Watch Paul Ryan say the same vapid bullcrap after every mass shooting

Every time there's a mass murder, Paul Ryan says we should all be more concerned about knees that jerk than bodies that bleed to death. Read the rest

My interview with Nelson Dellis, USA Memory Champion

My guest this week on the Cool Tools Show is Nelson Dellis. Nelson is one of the leading memory experts in the world, traveling around the world as a Memory Consultant and Keynote Speaker. A four-time USA Memory Champion, mountaineer, and Alzheimer's disease activist, he preaches a lifestyle that combines fitness, both mental and physical, with proper diet and social involvement.

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Show notes:

Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer Jacket

"I like to climb, I'm a big climber, and through my charity I do a bunch of big expeditions. So I’ve been up Everest a few times … where you’re dealing with the elements, trying to stay warm and not get cold in different circumstances. You're trying to find the perfect gear that's not too heavy and gets the job done. So I’ve experimented with a bunch of stuff, and in 2016 I was on Everest, and I was introduced to this jacket … and I haven’t stopped using it since. It’s just this really lightweight kind of down jacket that folds up super small, it's super light, and it just has so many different uses. I wear it kind of in between layers, on top of layers, it just stops the wind and just keeps you toasty.”

Peak Design Anchor Links for Camera Straps

"I love taking video of when I travel, when I climb, even for some of my memory videos, I'm shooting them on the go, interviewing people or trying to get a shot while I explain something and sometimes, I like to go really hand-held to get these angles or to just be run and gunning. Read the rest

Watch: Woman rides through security x-ray machine to keep an eye on her purse

Railway station inspectors in Dongguan, China spotted a woman who hopped on the conveyor belt of an X-ray machine. When questioned, she said she didn't want her handbag stolen, so she rode through the machine, getting an unneeded dose of radiation.

Image: PearVideo screenshot Read the rest

Good deal on the classic Huntsman Swiss Army knife

I had a Fieldmaster Swiss Army Knife ($35) all through my teenage years. I brought it with me on my Boy Scout camping trips. I loved the toothpick, and I used the scissors to trim my nails. I lost it in college and didn't replace it because it was too expensive. I eventually forgot about it, but my sister bought me a replacement as a Christmas gift last year, and I happy to have my old friend back. I just noticed that Amazon has a sale on the almost-identical Huntsman II knife for $20. Here's the difference -- the Huntsman has a corkscrew instead of a Phillips-head screwdriver. If that's OK, $20 is a great price for a knife that will last for many years. Read the rest

Parody commercial for Trump's lawyer who paid porn star $130,000 for no reason

Donald Trump says he never had sex with porn star Stormy Daniels, but for some reason Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, admitted that he paid Daniels $130,000 of his own money to keep quiet. Huh? To clear up the confusion, Jimmy Kimmel made this parody commercial.

From Wikipedia:

In January 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported Cohen used Essential Consultants LLC, and pseudonyms to pay, in October 2016 prior to the election, porn star Stormy Daniels regarding an alleged affair she had with Trump in 2006. Cohen told The New York Times in February 2018 that this money was paid from his own pocket, that it was not a campaign contribution, and that he was not reimbursed for making it by either the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign. The Washington Post later noted that, by stating that he used his own money to "facilitate" the payment, Cohen was not ruling out the possibility that Trump, as an individual, reimbursed Cohen for the payment.

Read the rest

The Verge reviews the "chimerical monster" for iPhones without a headphone jack

Apple sells you a lie. The bare iPhone looks sleek, but it's as weak and ravenous as a newborn kangaroo joey. In order to survive outside its heavily protected crèche at One Infinite Loop an iPhone must be enveloped in a bulky case and kept near a power source at all times to prevent shutdown from rapid battery depletion.

And now that iPhones no longer have a 3.5mm headphone jack, users who want to keep their device charged while using wired headphones must resort to using this confounding dongle, described by Chaim Gartenberg of The Verge as a "chimerical monster." Behold the Cheero Earphones with Charging Dock ($28).

Tracing your eyes along this hybrid horror is almost like an optical illusion: one cable splits in two and then splits into two again, forking and twisting as it curves around. And yes, we’ve seen plenty of Lightning dongles before that have tried to fix Apple’s design through standalone Lightning splitters, but somehow this still seems worse.

The worst part about the Cheero Earphones with Charging Dock is that about halfway through writing this post, I started to think, “You know, that’s actually not a half bad idea. I mean, it looks ridiculous, but it’s also so practical! And it’s a pretty reasonable price, too.” Such is the state of living the cursed half-existence that is dongle life.

Read the rest

This animation shows a dog's six different kinds of gaits

This animated gif shows how a dog walks, ambles, paces, trots, canters, and gallups. This is how robots will get around, too. Read the rest

94% of seniors benefitted from therapeutic use of cannabis

The European Journal of Internal Medicine published a study that found 93.7% of seniors benefited from cannabis treatment.

During the study period, 2736 patients above 65 years of age began cannabis treatment and answered the initial questionnaire. The mean age was 74.5 ± 7.5 years. The most common indications for cannabis treatment were pain (66.6%) and cancer (60.8%). After six months of treatment, 93.7% of the respondents reported improvement in their condition and the reported pain level was reduced from a median of 8 on a scale of 0-10 to a median of 4. Most common adverse events were: dizziness (9.7%) and dry mouth (7.1%). After six months, 18.1% stopped using opioid analgesics or reduced their dose.

This goes against US Attorney General Jeff Sessions claim that cannabis use leads to more opiate use.

Image: Stay Regular Read the rest

Here are the 200,000 Russian troll tweets deleted by Twitter

NBC news has compiled a database of 200,000 tweets that Twitter identified as "malicious activity" from Russian trolls in the run up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

These accounts, working in concert as part of large networks, pushed hundreds of thousands of inflammatory tweets, from fictitious tales of Democrats practicing witchcraft to hardline posts from users masquerading as Black Lives Matter activists. Investigators have traced the accounts to a Kremlin-linked propaganda outfit founded in 2013 known as the Internet Research Association (IRA). The organization has been assessed by the U.S. Intelligence Community to be part of a Russian state-run effort to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential race. And they're not done.

"There should be no doubt that Russia perceives its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 US midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations," Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday.

Image: Bradley Davis/Twitter, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0) Read the rest

Trump's military parade will cost $10M-$30M

Trump's self-aggrandizing military parade, with flown-in tanks rolling down the streets of Washington, will cost cost $10M-$30M, according to the White House budget director. Read the rest

Good deal on a highly rated Rubik's Cube - $5.21

Amazon is selling this cool-looking speed cube for $5.21. I love the colors. I have been trying to solve Rubik's Cube for decades. I'll get it one day!

Read the rest

The human-like lips on this fish are disconcerting

This cichlid, pulled from Lake Malawi, has lips that resemble those found on some humans.

Image: YouTube/RM Videos Read the rest

Salon gives readers a choice: view ads or mine cryptocurrency

Salon announced this week that visitors who insist on using an ad blocker must either disable it or mine cryptocurrency for the site.

For our beta program, we’ll start by applying your processing power to mine cryptocurrencies to recoup lost ad revenue when you use an ad blocker. We plan to further use any learnings from this to help support the evolution and growth of blockchain technology, digital currencies and other ways to better service the value exchange between content and user contribution.

Your unused processing power are the resources you already have but are not actively using to it’s full potential at the time of browsing salon.com. Mining uses more of your resources which means your computer works a bit harder and uses more electricity than if you were just passively browsing the site with ads.

Who will be the first to sue Salon, claiming the mining software melted their laptop? Read the rest

Maker Update: Contraptions and QR Coasters

Every week Donald Bell posts a video about interesting maker projects. This week in Maker Update he looks at an animated wooden sign, new mesh boards from Particle, 3D printed QR coasters, 3D printing on fabric, and his talk with CNC router whiz Jon-A-Tron. This week’s Cool Tool is a Retractable Cardboard Cutter. Read the rest

Take the test to see which political quadrant you inhabit

Are you a left-wing authoritarian, a right-wing authoritarian, a left-wing libertarian, or a right-wing libertarian? I took this 6-page online test and was not surprised to learn that I'm in the left libertarian quadrant, right next to Bernie Sanders.

Take the test here and report your results in the comments. Read the rest

Illuminated digital tire pressure gauge on sale

Amazon has a good sale on this digital tire pressure gauge. It has a backlit LED display and the nozzle is lighted, too. It comes with batteries. It's regularly $9.97 but it's on sale today for $6.57. Read the rest

How to ban porn

"Let's Ban Porn," writes Ross Douthat in the Op-Ed pages of the NY Times. Good luck with that, writes Peter Suderman of Reason, who says "Douthat's core worry is effectively the same fear that drove socially conservative criticisms of video games, action movies, and Dungeons & Dragons — that teenagers will be unable to distinguish between fantasy and reality, and will reenact what they see on screen in real life."

Here's what would have to happen to ban porn, says Suderman: Stop the porn industry from producing porn, "forcing, at minimum, every person who has ever attended the Adult Video News Awards in a professional capacity to immediately find a new line of work." Stop websites from distributing porn. Stop everyday people who videotape themselves having sex.

To be at all effective, you would also need to enforce criminal penalties against former professionals who continued to produce porn for the black market. And you'd need to penalize thrill-seeking amateurs as well, which would mean going after, and perhaps locking up, a wide array of sympathetic and otherwise law-abiding individuals from all walks of life whose only crime was to record and distribute consensual sexual activity. You'd also need to punish illicit viewers, whose numbers could easily reach into the tens of millions.

This project would be difficult, unpopular, and there would be no guarantee that it would work at all. Many of the most popular domestic hubs for porn would probably move to protected locations overseas. But it is at least plausible that if you devoted sufficient public resources and effort on the part of law-enforcement, you might—might—be able to reduce, if not eliminate, porn consumption.

Read the rest

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