Cat enjoys licking air going into vacuum

“The horror of the void became once again its own inverted retort.” ― Gellu Naum

(Thanks, Matthew!) Read the rest

Bowler Ben Ketola sets world record with fastest 300 game

Bowler Ben Ketola (age 23) just broke the record for the fastest perfect game: 12 strikes in 86.9 seconds.

(Thanks, Matthew!) Read the rest

RIP Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

"The truth knocks on the door and you say, ‘Go away, I’m looking for the truth,’ and so it goes away. Puzzling." -- Robert M. Pirsig

I was saddened to learn that Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance author Robert M. Pirsig died today at the age of 88.

I read the pop philosophy treatise Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in college and thought it was the greatest book ever. I read it again 15 years later and didn't get as much out of it the second time around. It's been another 15 years since I re-read it and I no longer remember why I had those opinions (I have a lousy memory when it comes to books and movies). I think I should give it another try and see what my current nervous system thinks of his exploration into the nature of quality.

One thing is for certain, the title of the book is one of the best ever (and has been imitated ever since the book came out in 1974), and the paperback cover design is absolutely iconic.

Author Robert Pirsig and his son Chris in 1968. Pirsig, who wrote Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, died Monday at age 88. William Morrow/HarperCollins

From NPR:

Zen was published in 1974, after being rejected by 121 publishing houses. "The book is brilliant beyond belief," wrote Morrow editor James Landis before publication. "It is probably a work of genius and will, I'll wager, attain classic status."

Indeed, the book quickly became a best-seller, and has proved enduring as a work of popular philosophy.

Read the rest

A note from the new CEO of Lobstero

Something Awful is running a letter of explanation written by the CEO of Lobstero, who is fighting back against unfair criticism of its wi-fi enabled lobster dispensing unit.

First, let me be very clear: Lobstero's Lobster Packs are much more than just a lobster in a plastic bag. These pouches contain specially conditioned saltwater designed to preserve your lobster's unique qualities. Each pouch allows our lobster to interface directly with our supply chain, ensuring that Lobstero pouches are never more than three-days old.

Squeezing the lobster out of the pack will startle it, possibly injuring it in the process. The Lobstero Home Lobster Station gently applies pressure to the back of the pouch, easing the lobster out of its pouch and into your favorite dish.

If you don't know what's going on here, read this. Read the rest

Board game sale on Amazon

Amazon has one-day sale on a bunch of board games, including one of my family's favorites, called Forbidden Island, where you and the other players work together to collect treasure from a rapidly sinking island. It's just $8.39. The pieces look really cool:

My daughter and I reviewed the iOS version in Apps For Kids. Read the rest

How to make a mallet from milk jugs

Peter Brown made a serviceable mallet from melted down plastic wood jugs.

HDPE is the plastic used in many household containers including gallon sized milk jugs. I melt down about 7 milk jugs and 3 powdered lemonade containers to get enough HDPE to make my mallet head.

The handle of the mallet is made from a cherry board and adds a nice warm contrast to the plastic! This mallet packs a punch and is quite heavy given it smaller size!

Read the rest

Watch: nature documentaries are phony

Nature documentaries: the sound is fake, the scenes are concocted, some of the animals are computer animations, and the music is emotionally manipulative. But that's the only way we will sit through them, says Simon Cade, host and creator of this explainer video. Read the rest

Muji is selling a hut

Every time I go to a Muji store I load up on these fat little newsprint notepads:

They cost just $1.25. I bought 10 when I was at JFK a couple of weeks ago. I've also bought a bunch of other Muji items, because they are high quality and reasonably priced. Now Muji has announced that it is going to sell a Muji Hut. It'll cost $28,000 (which includes costs of materials needed for construction, and operating costs of the construction contractor.) and will be sold in Japan only.

Read the rest

Uber secretly identified and tagged iPhones even after its app had been deleted and the devices erased

The more we learn about Uber and its founder, Travis Kalanick, the less we like them. The NY Times reports on the ride company's sleazy tactics.

For months, Mr. Kalanick had pulled a fast one on Apple by directing his employees to help camouflage the ride-hailing app from Apple’s engineers. The reason? So Apple would not find out that Uber had been secretly identifying and tagging iPhones even after its app had been deleted and the devices erased — a fraud detection maneuver that violated Apple’s privacy guidelines.

But Apple was on to the deception, and when Mr. Kalanick arrived at the midafternoon meeting sporting his favorite pair of bright red sneakers and hot-pink socks, Mr. Cook was prepared. “So, I’ve heard you’ve been breaking some of our rules,” Mr. Cook said in his calm, Southern tone. Stop the trickery, Mr. Cook then demanded, or Uber’s app would be kicked out of Apple’s App Store.

For Mr. Kalanick, the moment was fraught with tension. If Uber’s app was yanked from the App Store, it would lose access to millions of iPhone customers — essentially destroying the ride-hailing company’s business. So Mr. Kalanick acceded.

Read the rest

World's best jar lid opener

The reason it's hard to open jar lids is because the vacuum seal is pulling the lid tightly against the jar. Once in a while, the vacuum seal is so strong that I can't open it. That's when I grab my Jarkey, a $6 plastic lever that effortlessly breaks the seal, making it easy to open. I always try to open jars with my bare hands, then use the Jarkey after I strain my wrist. My wife goes straight for the Jarkey, because she's smarter than I am. Read the rest

7-pack of disposable fountain pens in assorted colors for $12

I got this set of 7 fountain pens last year for my daughter, who is studying art in college. She's been incorporating them into her work. The pens have a stainless steel nib and come in seven different ink colors. I just ordered set for myself. Read the rest

This is your brain on drug policy - remake of classic PSA with Rachael Lee Cook

In 1998 actor Rachael Lee Cook starred in the "This is your brain on heroin" PSA, smashing up a kitchen with a frying pan: Read the rest

McDonald's new employee uniforms look like Logan's Run

Good catch by Gizmodo's Matt Novak.

Matt doesn't care for the new uniforms ("mandatory gray-on-gray with a dash of black is pretty much universally recognized as the standard uniform for bleakest of futures"), but I want to replace my current wardrobe with them. Read the rest

Kottke's list of the web’s best hidden gems

Jason Kottke asked his readers to tell him "what were the best web sites that they knew about that most people have never heard of." I've been going through his curated list of the top 56. My favorite so far is Pink Trombone, a human voice synthesizer. While playing it, I felt my own throat moving to match the cartoon throat. Freaky! Read the rest

The Insect Magnet

Luckily, I'm not an insect, because the packaging for this poison free bug trap appeals to me. I've been using this product for years and it works as advertised. From my 2010 review: "Even if we didn't have a cricket infestation problem I would have bought this box of insect traps, because the packaging is so terrific. My 7-year-old daughter couldn't take her eyes of it. My wife was repulsed by it and made me remove the box from the kitchen, but admitted that its design was striking."

A 12-pack is just $6 on Amazon. Read the rest

Woman smokes pot 100 different ways in 2 minutes 31 seconds

From YouTube description:

In honor of the High Holy Day, 4/20, we asked Ella to get high using 100 different pipes, bongs, other instruments, pieces of produce, and edibles. Filmed over eight hours, we watch her achieve higher and higher consciousness by drinking cannabis soda, smoking out of a gas mask, a shoe, a block of cheddar cheese, a baby bottle bong, and way more. It’s with gratitude, good vibes, and joy that we puff, puff, and pass this video onto you.

Read the rest

Trippy endless GIFs

An Instagrammer named Motion Magic uses an app called Plotagraph Pro to create this captivating endless GIFs.

From Core77:

"When creating this effect on still images, I take great care in the small details that help to add a more realistic feeling in the movement," the designer writes. "It's as if the moment captured is brought back to life with an endless mesmerizing motion effect."

Enter a caption (optional) Enter a caption (optional) Enter a caption (optional) Enter a caption (optional) Read the rest

More posts