Real life folk horror: turkeys march in a circle around a dead cat

No horror film auteur could envision and produce something as creepy as a bunch of turkeys spontaneously circling and marching around a dead cat in the road. 

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Comparing the exciting cover art of Atari 2600 games with screenshots of the games has a nice gallery of Atari 2600 game cartridge boxes and screenshots of what the games actually looked like. Read the rest

This cool mechanical pencil sharpens itself

The inexpensive Uni Kuru Toga is my favorite mechanical pencil, because it automatically rotates the lead everytime you touch the tip to paper. This keeps the lead nicely rounded. It does this without making the pen feel clicky or clunky, which would render it useless. Instead the mechanical action is so smooth as to be unnoticable. Read the rest

The weird sexually-themed ad campaign for a Candy Crush style game

Lily’s Garden is a variant of Candy Crush, a brainlessly addictive match-three smartphone game. The thing that makes Lily's Garden different, says Brian Feldman of New York's Intelligencer, is its bizarre ad campaign, which has Lily telling her friend about the penis size of men she knows, and magically erasing her pregnancy by swiping away the "positive" line on a home pregnancy test.

From the article:

The reality of Lily’s Garden is even more complicated. For one thing, the fake-pregnancy story line is not present in the game itself. According to Stella Sacco, the game’s writer, those ads were created by a separate team. “All of those are all totally fabricated for, I guess, virality,” she said “And to that degree, I would say that it worked.” Lily’s Garden has a similarly intricate story line, but fans hoping for more information about the Lily from the ads might be found wanting.

Most mobile games are designed to appeal to every demographic on Earth simultaneously. Consider this: what is the narrative of Candy Crush? Nobody knows, it’s just bright colors and harmless shapes. Plus, most games have their narrative crafted to justify the mechanics of that game. For instance, if a developer makes a game where you can just hop into any car in the virtual world, the player’s character might be designated a car thief in the narrative, as in Grand Theft Auto. But according to Sacco, Lily’s Garden and its narrative structure is very deliberately targeted at what I’ll call (non-pejoratively!) “Facebook Moms,” women over 30 who make up the largest audience for these types of mobile games.

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Review of Zelda: Link’s Awakening: not worth buying

In his Ars Technica review of the Nintendo Switch remake of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (available September 20), Sam Machkovech says the terrific music and visual upgrades are not enough to justify paying $60 for a game that "feels like 1993.... When the game isn't offering laughs or smiles via its quests and quirkiness, it's either serving up all-too-familiar challenges or making players fumble blindly in search of a single, buried clue."

I'm getting it anyway. Read the rest

Look at new SNL cast member Chloe Fineman's spot-on impersonation of Elizabeth Holmes

I haven't watched Saturday Night Live in years, but I might start again just because I like Chloe Fineman's impersonation of Elizabeth Holmes so much. Read the rest

Review of the iPhone 11's camera

When I got an iPhone 8, I was amazed at how much better the camera was than the one on my iPhone 7. I didn't buy an iPhone XS, but its camera was a lot better than the iPhone 8's. Austin Mann's review of the iPhone 11's camera makes it clear that its camera is much improved over the XS. Above: "iPhone XS vs iPhone 11 Pro w/ Night mode, tripod mounted. Guilin, China." Read the rest

Good deal on a stovetop espresso maker

I don't have this particular make of stovetop espresso maker, but they all work the same way. It quickly makes several cups of strong coffee. I wouldn't call it espresso - just strong coffee. No filter is needed. If you've never tried this kind of coffee maker before, now is your chance: Amazon is selling the 3-cup model for and the 6-cup model for . Read the rest

Watch these AI creatures learn to play hide-and-seek

These AI agents played millions of games of hide-and-seek to learn the best strategies for using different tools (ramps and barricades).

From OpenAI:

We’ve observed agents discovering progressively more complex tool suse while playing a simple game of hide-and-seek. Through training in our new simulated hide-and-seek environment, agents build a series of six distinct strategies and counterstrategies, some of which we did not know our environment supported. The self-supervised emergent complexity in this simple environment further suggests that multi-agent co-adaptation may one day produce extremely complex and intelligent behavior.

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Watch this sick feral dog get nursed back to health

The first part of this video is hard to watch, but it has a happy ending.

via Gfycat Read the rest

Comic Maeve Higgins to Shane Gillis: "Your words have consequences. Imagine!"

What Shane Gillis and his supporters seem to not understand is that free speech means others can respond to what you say in ways that might not make you happy.

From comic Maeve Higgins essay in The New York Times:

Comedy, like so many of our cultural institutions, remains dominated by men, usually straight and white men. I’ve seen countless versions of Shane Gillis and his material truly spread all over the world, and I’m not about to wrestle the mic from them. I have no problem with anybody speaking their piece, even when it’s lazy and xenophobic. I’m not going to listen, but please, get that off your chest, son! If the most absorbing and insightful thing Mr. Gillis and his buddies have to sound off on is that they find Chinatown to be ugly, then by all means, go right on ahead.

The problem is when Mr. Gillis — and the others like him — frame their words as bold and boundary pushing and brave. What would really be shocking, what would really be exciting and edgy to watch, would be a person climbing down from their safe height and fighting the powerful in a situation where there’s a chance they will lose more than a role on a show. I’m not saying comics need to get into fistfights. We’re too out of shape and anxiety-ridden for that. But a little real bravery wouldn’t hurt.

When anyone disagrees with something a comic says, or there are repercussions for their behavior, the comic too often seems genuinely shocked.

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Look at this incredibly over-the-top unveiling for Staples new logo

They unbent the staple.

As one YouTuber put it, "Geez you would think a cure to all cancer was just unveiled."

Stick around for the executive's statement that reveals the deep meaning behind this earth-shattering new logo. Read the rest

Deepfaking Trump and Kushner into Breaking Bad

Donald explains to his son-in-law how to make money the Trump way and stay out of prison. Read the rest

Our friend Ariel Waldman spent 5 weeks in Antarctica looking for extremophiles, and made a video series about it

Our friend Ariel Waldman (who has written for Boing Boing quite a bit) recently led an expedition to Antarctica to look for extremophiles. She made a great YouTube series chronicling her work there and recently uploaded the final video in the series.

Above: Ep. 1 - How to get to Antarctica.

Ep. 2 - Antarctica under the ice:

Ep. 3 - Camping in Antarctica:

Ep. 4 - Extremophiles of Antarctica:

Ep. 5 - Antarctica robot road trip:

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These steel taco holders are a steal

I've been using these steel taco holders for a few years now and they are a big hit with the family. They hold tacos upright, making it easy to add fillings. And when you serve them, the fillings don't fall out. Plus, they are just fun to use. Amazon has them for the sale price of Read the rest

Cat owner runs a test to see if cats can pass through a narrow gap

There's a rule of thumb that says if a cat can get its head through a hole, its body will also squeeze through it. To test the rule, Maru and Hana's owners built a doorway barrier with a series of increasingly narrower gaps. I don't think they learned much from the experiment, but the video is entertaining.

[via Neatorama] Read the rest

Guantánamo Bay is the most expensive prison on Earth

It costs $13 million per year to house each of the 40 prisoners at Guantánamo Bay detention camp, according to The New York Times. The US military stations 45 troops per prisoner there.

The estimated annual cost of $540 million covers the 12-month period that ended last Sept. 30 and does not include expenses that have remained classified, presumably including a continued C.I.A. presence. But the figures show that running the range of facilities built up over the years has grown increasingly expensive even as the number of prisoners has declined.

Image: Sgt. Cassandra Monroe -, Public Domain, Link Read the rest

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