Get 2 right-angle, braided, MFi Certified Lightning cables for $15

Lightning cables typically fray at the ends causing the wire to break. I wish Apple used plain old microUSB cables, because I have about 100 of them for other devices and they seem to last longer than Lightning cables. Instead, I have to constantly buy replacement Lightning cables. These Lightning cables have connecters at right-angles to the cable, which might reduce the wear and tear. The cables themselves are braided, too, for additional robustness. They are MFi Certified. Read the rest

Burger restaurant owners take Gordon Ramsay's criticism poorly

"I can see the blood, but what's in it?" asks the cantankerous celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay about a burger before taking a bite, in an episode of Kitchen Nightmares.

After he tastes it, Ramsay says, "that is hideous" and moves the plate away.

The restaurant owners get mad at Ramsay, and even madder at their executive chef, after he serves a differently prepared burger to Ramsay which the show host declares "delicious." Read the rest

Gentleman ignores advice not to drive jeep without brakes

A tow truck driver came to pick up a jeep that had been totalled in an accident. "We told him it didn't have any brakes and was unsafe to drive," says the man who uploaded the video. But the tow truck driver chose to ignore the man's advice, got in the jeep and drove it up on the tow truck's ramp. Unfortunately, not having any brakes meant that the jeep rolled backwards down the ramp, and flipped over a ledge. "It broke the natural gas meter off and a large amount of natural gas leaked out," says the man who issued the ignored warning. "Fortunately, no one was hurt, the fire department and police came." Read the rest

This is the best marble chain reaction video so far

YouTuber Kaplamino makes ingenious chain reaction tricks with marbles and dominoes. His latest, Blue Marble 2, is loaded with delightful little mechanisms that release their stored energy when a marble comes into contact with them.

From Kaplamino's comments:

The air canon with the balloon was a big challenge to make. The rubber band squeezes the balloon around the straw to release the air in a specific direction. Then the hardest part was to find how to stop the air and deliver it when I want. It was too difficult to put something like tape at the end of the straw because it was either too clingy or not enough.

The solution was to twist the balloon around the straw and block it in this position with a rope. In this position the air stays in the balloon until it untwists. I explain it because I think what exactly happened it's not easy to get when you see the video.

Read the rest

Two religious organizations are suing to stop Drag Queen Story Time at a public library

Two religious groups, "Warriors for Christ" and "Special Forces of Liberty" are suing Lafayette Library in Louisiana in an attempt to stop a Drag Queen Story Time event scheduled for October 6 because the groups claim the event violates the First Amendment Establishment Clause. Attorney Christopher Sevier, who represents the groups says, “By bringing this lawsuit, we are unapologetically and firmly defending the civil rights movement led by pastor Martin Luther King.”

From KADN:

Sevier believes the Drag Queen Story Time violates the First Amendment Establishment Clause by failing the Lemon Test.

According to Sevier, to pass the test it must satisfy all three of these following requirements, 1. Serve a valid secular purpose, 2. No endorsing of a religion and 3. It can’t entangle government with religion.

Sevier says the event violates two of the requirements.

Adding that by having the event at the library, they are endorsing secular humanism.

“The evidence would suggest that the self identified transgendered. They are using a government facility to show that the governments backs their worldview to then target children , to indoctrinate them under a faith based ideology.” Sevier explained.

From the New York Post:

Drag Queen Story Hours have been held at libraries or book stores in big cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and costume-loving New Orleans — where over-the-top hair, makeup and gowns and stories about gender fluidity aren’t exactly new.

In some smaller communities, however, the programs have sparked protests from conservative and religious groups.

Read the rest

Three men arrested in $364 million Ponzi scheme

A trio of men were arrested on multiple charges of operating a Ponzi scheme, the funds from which the gentlemen used to buy nine homes, 26 luxury cars, a boat, jewelry, and a share in a private jet, all the while telling their clients/victims that the money was being used to buy consumer debt portfolios.

Kevin B. Merrill (53), Jay B. Ledford (54), and Cameron R. Jezierski (28) face decades in federal prison if they are found guilty.

From a statement issued by the United States Attorney's Office in the District of Maryland:

According to the fourteen-count indictment, beginning in January 2013, the defendants perpetrated a Ponzi scheme to defraud investors of more than $364 million. The scheme was revealed with the arrests and unsealing of the indictment. Specifically, the indictment alleges that Merrill and Ledford invited investors to join them in purchasing consumer debt portfolios. “Consumer debt portfolios” are defaulted consumer debts to banks/credit card issuers, student loan lenders, and car/truck financers which are sold in batches called “portfolios” to third parties which attempt to collect on the debts. The defendants falsely represented to investors that they would use the investors’ money to buy consumer debt portfolios and make money for them by (1) collecting the payments that people made on their debts or (2) selling the portfolios for a profit to third party debt buyers--in a practice called “flipping.” According to the related complaint filed by the SEC, the victim investors included small business owners, restauranteurs, construction contractors, retirees, doctors, lawyers, accountants, bankers, talent agents, professional athletes, and financial advisors, located in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, Las Vegas, Texas, and elsewhere.

Read the rest

Serial season 3 has launched: "A young woman at a bar is slapped on the butt. So why’s she the one in jail?"

A new season of Serial is out. I really likd the first season, about the murder of Baltimore high-schooler Hae Min Lee, and unanswered questions about her convicted murdered Adnan Syed. I thought the second season was OK, but I didn't finish it. Now the third season is out, and it is the story of one year in a Cleveland courthouse, told week-by-week. I'm going to give it a try. Two episodes are available. Read the rest

12 ways to curve fit a bunch of random points

This xkcd comic reminds me of the way I make up my mind about things, and also how easy it is for other people to convince me to change my mind based on their curve-fitting biases. Read the rest

What is dubnium and why is it interesting?

Before I watched this video and you had asked me if dubnium was a real element or not, I would have had to guess. Read the rest

According to porn consumption bandwidth, Puerto Rico still suffers from lack of power and internet access

People living in Puerto Rico are not viewing online porn as much as they were before the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria last year.

From an xHamster press release:

A year after Hurricane Maria made landfall, the island of Puerto Rico still lags far behind in power and internet access, according to data from xHamster.

The data shows traffic from the island dropping -74.2% in the aftermath of the storm, then gradually recovering. However, a year later traffic to the site is down by over a fifth, or -20.1%.

"Porn is a unique indicator in a recovery, as it's able to measure not only access to power and the internet, but also privacy" says Alex Hawkins, Vice President of xHamster. "After news sites, adult content is one of the first things that users seek out when they secure regular access to power and internet. But unlike news or government sites, porn can't be accessed in public spaces like a library or shelter, so it gives remarkable insight into when life in a place like Puerto Rico has returned to 'normal'. In this case, we see that the recovery still has a long way to go."

Hawkins notes that other locations that suffered during the 2017-8 hurricane season, like Houston, have fully bounced back or have grown.

"What we're seeing is inconsistent with some of the claims made by officials that show a full recovery in Puerto Rico. It also disproves claims that Puerto Rico's power grid erratic prior to the storm.

Read the rest

Get an Amazon Fire 7 Tablet for $35

I've had an Amazon Fire 7 Tablet for over a year and I use it all the time to watch streaming videos, read Kindle books, listen to podcasts and audiobooks, do email, and browse the Web. It's doesn't have a lot of horsepower, but at the current sale price of $35 for Amazon Prime members, it's a pretty amazing deal. Read the rest

Deceptive packaging makes it look like you are getting 3 pens, but there's only one in the box

It beggars belief that this packaging wasn't designed to trick people into thinking there are three pens in the box instead of just one. Read the rest

Schoolmate of Kavanaugh's accuser: "This incident did happen."

Cristina Miranda King was a schoolmate of Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who says Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh locked her in a room and tried to rip her clothes off at a high school party. Read the rest

Bitcoin’s software had a bug that could have wrecked the cryptocurrency

Bitcoin’s core developers discovered a vulnerability in its software that would have allowed a miner to insert a “poisoned block” in its blockchain, which would have crashed the nodes running the Bitcoin software around the world, reports Vice’s Motherboard. Read the rest

This adhesive patch closes wounds without stitches

Zipstitch is a patch that closes wounds without stitches. It's available over the counter, but I suggest if you get a cut big enough to require this nifty gadget, you should probably go to the doctor as soon as you can. Read the rest

Pornography use increased when Fortnite crashed for 24 hours

The Journal of Behavioral Addictions found that when people can't play Fortnite they will masturbate.

In April 2018, the servers of the popular video game “Fortnite” crashed for 24 hr. During this period, Pornhub (a popular pornographic website) analyzed trends in pornography access, finding that: (a) the percentage of gamers accessing Pornhub increased by 10% and (b) the searches of pornographic videos using the key term “Fortnite” increased by 60%.

Image: vrcosplayx (NSFW)

[via new shelton wet/dry] Read the rest

Safebook: Facebook without the content

Artist Benjamin Grosser created a browser plugin called Safebook, which removes the content from Facebook. Useful!

Given the harms that Facebook has wrought on mental health, privacy, and democracy, what would it take to make Facebook “safe?” Is it possible to defuse Facebook’s amplification of anxiety, division, and disinformation while still allowing users to post a status, leave a comment, or confirm a friend? With Safebook, the answer is yes! Safebook is Facebook without the content, a browser extension that hides all images, text, video, and audio on the site. Left behind are the empty containers that frame our everyday experience of social media, the boxes, columns, pop-ups and drop-downs that enable “likes,” comments, and shares. Yet despite this removal, Facebook remains usable: you can still post a status, scroll the news feed, “watch” a video, Wow a photo, or unfriend a colleague. With the content hidden, can you still find your way around Facebook? If so, what does this reveal about just how ingrained the site’s interface has become? And finally, is complete removal of all content the only way a social media network can be “safe?”

[via] Read the rest

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