Brush pens are fun - get two for $7

Brush pens are fun for drawing and lettering because you can vary the line thickness. And unlike a brush, which requires frequent dipping into an inkwell, a brush pen is always loaded with ink (until the barrel runs out, that it.) This Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen includes one hard tip and one soft tip for $7. Or go nuts and by a 4-pack for $10. Read the rest

This woman remembers every detail from her life since she was 12 days old

Great Big Story had a chat with Rebecca Sharrock, who has a condition called highly superior autobiographical memory (H.S.A.M.). Only about 60 other people on earth share her condition, which allows them to remember, in great detail, almost everything they experience. Read the rest

Evel Knievel's Sky-Sicle and Motor-Sicle treats

"A new craze for spring -- the Evel Knievel Sky-Sicle and Motor-Sicle combo enables any child to make their favorite ice pops using almost any fruit juice or soda. Just fill 'em up and pop 'em in the freezer."

I'll bet he made a fortune selling 'em.

Via Read the rest

21 famous books you don't have to read (and recommendations for better books)

Advice from the editors of GQ: Don't read the "totally silly" The Catcher in the Rye. Instead, read Olivia, "the story of a British teenage girl who is sent to a boarding school in France." Don't read Catch-22, because it "fails to capture the absurdities and impossible conflicts of war." Instead, read The American Granddaughter, a "thoughtful, nuanced, and often uproariously funny meditation on war in the 21st century." The editors also warn would be readers to steer clear of the Lord of the Rings series:

I liked The Hobbit. A lot. But while Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books are influential as exercises in world building, as novels they are barely readable. It never seemed to me that Tolkien cared about his story as much as he cared about rendering, in minute detail, the world he built. Why not instead read Ursula K. Le Guin's magnificent (and as beautifully rendered) stories and novels surrounding Earthsea? Le Guin captures the world of Earthsea through a powerful, dark, gorgeous kind of storytelling that is irresistible. Perhaps Le Guin's work -- along with an entire universe of fantasy fiction -- wouldn't have been possible without Tolkien's influence behind it, but in its time, Le Guin's books are more influential and make for better reading. — Manuel Gonzales, 'The Regional Office Is Under Attack!'

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Man on forklift prevents keg of beer from hitting the ground

I hope this forklift driver didn't hurt his shoulder when he saved a keg of beer from falling to the ground. Read the rest

Here's how The Rock responded to a high school girl's invitation to her prom

Katie, a high schooler in Minnesota invited Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to her prom. He wasn't able to make it, but he did have a special surprise for her. Read the rest

Why are restaurants louder than ever?

Why are restaurants, bars, and clubs so loud? I often return from a dinner party with a sore throat from having to shout all night just to converse with other people. It wasn't always this way. Julia Belluz, writing for Vox, blames loud restaurants on five things: Restaurateurs think loud music gives their restaurants a sense of "vibrancy and energy." It costs a lot of money to engineer good acoustics into a restaurant. "Simply sound-paneling a big ceiling can cost upward of $50,000." Restaurant design has moved away from soft, sound absorbing interiors, and towards open, concrete boxes. "And as these sound-absorbing elements went out of style, many restaurants introduced open-concept dining, with open kitchens or attached bar scenes, that helped turn up the volume." Restaurants are moving into buildings that were designed for other purposes. Churches, designed for one person to be heard by many, are especially ill-suited as restaurants. "Americans are loud." Anyone who has spent time in other countries knows this to be true.

Image: By Aaron Amat/Shutterstock Read the rest

Reefer Madness: anthology of funny old weed-scare comic books

My friend Craig Yoe, who is one of the most-knowledgeable comic book historians alive, edited an anthology of old comic book stories about the dangers of marijuana, called Reefer Madness. It came out today! These were the kind of sensationalists comic books Jeff Sessions would have read as young elf, if he'd had the sophistication and good taste to read comic books.

Here are a few sample pages:

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If you read a lot or need books for research, Kindle Unlimited is a good deal

Kindle Unlimited reminds me of Netflix. You get tons of all-you-can-eat content to choose from for a monthly fee, and the overall quality keeps getting better every year. I've been using Kindle Unlimited for a few years, and one of the best things about it is being able to download lots of non-fiction books and use them for research (I got a bunch of bitcoin and blockchain books that way). They also have lots of audio books. You can even get two of my books through Kindle Unlimited: Maker Dad and Trick Decks.

You can try it free for a month here. After that it's $9.99 a month. Read the rest

GOP fundraiser who paid for silence of impregnated Playboy model offered to lift sanctions on Russian firm for $26M

Remember that Trump associate who resigned as deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee last week after news came out he'd hired Michael Cohen to negotiate a $1.6 million deal to buy the silence of Playboy model he impregnated? His name is Elliott Broidy and, The Intercept has a new story about how Broidy promised the Russian gas giant Novatek he get it taken off the U.S. sanctions list for a cool $26 million. Just another day in the shithole presidency.

In February 2017, Broidy sent a draft of the plan by email to attorney Andrei Baev, then a Moscow- and London-based lawyer who represented major Russian energy companies for the firm Chadbourne & Parke LLP. Baev had already been communicating with Novatek about finding a way to lift U.S. sanctions.

Broidy proposed arranging meetings with key White House and congressional leaders and generating op-eds and other articles favorable to the Russian company, along with a full suite of lobbying activities to be undertaken by consultants brought on board. Yet even as he offered those services, Broidy was adamant that his company, Fieldcrest Advisors LLC, would not perform lobbying services but would hire others to do it. He suggested that parties to the deal sign a sweeping non-disclosure agreement that would shield their work from public scrutiny.

The plan is outlined in a series of emails and other documents obtained by The Intercept. Broidy and Baev did not dispute the authenticity of the exchanges but said the deal was never consummated.

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Senate confirms a homophobic climate change denier with no scientific credentials to lead NASA

Homophobic climate change denier Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) "has made a career out of ignoring scientific expertise" says Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). Naturally, Bridenstine was approved 50-49, along party lines, to be our next NASA administrator.

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Online communication: "If you just message 'hi' and nothing else I assume I’m getting fired"

I have a friend who used to always put "Mark" and only "Mark" in the subject line of emails to me. It vaguely bugged me but I never told him to stop. Then I found out he did it to a mutual friend and she told me it really freaked her out and she told him to stop. She said having email with nothing but her first name as the subject made it seem like the message was going to have ominous news and she was loathe to open it.

In as essay for The Outline, Casey Johnston shares a similar experience: a boss who slacked "hi!" and only "hi!" Johnstone thought this meant she was about to be fired.

“Hi” implies “I need to have a full conversation with you that you’re going to be present for,” which is never good. Once I respond, if she responds to my response fast enough, I can’t theoretically pretend to not have seen what she just said, because I was literally physically JUST there, responding; no one responds and then immediately logs off. Once I respond, she has me, but I don’t know what for. It’s like she has laid a trap that is very obviously a trap that I have to now just walk into knowing I’m about to get lit up for something. Except that I don’t, really, because all she said was “hi!”

All she wanted was for me to fix a misspelling of a source’s name in a piece.

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Happy 420 Day - very high people on the TV news

I got a contact high just from watching these people who are high as fuck being interviewed on TV. Read the rest

Giuliani to join Trump's legal team

Rudolph W. Giuliani, the once moderate former New York mayor who morphed into an angry spittle-flecked screamer, says he is joining Trump's legal team with the goal of getting Special Counsel Robert Mueller to cease his investigation. Good luck with that. From The Washington Post:

“I’m doing it because I hope we can negotiate an end to this for the good of the country and because I have high regard for the president and for Bob Mueller,” Giuliani said in an interview.

Trump counsel Jay Sekulow said Thursday in a statement that Giuliani is joining the team along with two former federal prosecutors, Jane Serene Raskin and Marty Raskin, a couple who jointly run a Florida-based law firm.

“Rudy is great,” Trump said in the statement issued by Sekulow. “He has been my friend for a long time and wants to get this matter quickly resolved for the good of the country.”

What are Giuliani and Trump so afraid Mueller will find?

Below, highlights of Giuliani's unusual behavior, conspiracy theory spreading, lies, and general kookiness. Read the rest

Copy of Action Comics #1 could fetch $600k at auction

A copy of Action Comics #1 (1938), featuring the first appearance of Superman, is on the auction block. The current bid is $300k and Heritage Auctions says it could go up to $600k or more.

The book considered by many to be the “Holy Grail” of comics collecting is expected to compete for

top-lot honors at Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art Auction May 10-12 in Chicago in what could be the most lucrative comics auction ever held.

“This auction has a chance to be among the largest comics auctions of all time, if not the largest,” Heritage Auctions Comics Director of Operations Barry Sandoval said. “It will be in a vibrant city that is easy to reach from just about anywhere, and we have an extremely strong collection of valuable comic books that will draw the attention and interest of comics collectors from just about everywhere.”

Action Comics #1 (DC, 1938) CGC VG 4.0 Cream to off-white pages (est. $650,000+) is among the most coveted comic books in the hobby. The issue generates major interest regardless of its condition, and this is one of the highest-graded copies ever offered by Heritage Auctions. Ernst Gerber's The Photo-Journal Guide to Comic Books rated it "scarce,” and CGC's census lists just 40 unrestored copies. The first appearance of Superman launched the Golden Age of Comics, and every superhero that followed is in debt to the character created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster (artist). The issue also sits atop Overstreet's “Top 100 Golden Age Comics” list.

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Good deal on flush-cut wire cutter

These flush-cut micro soft-wire cutters are made by Hakko. I use them to cut wire, zip-ties, and stray pieces of 3D printer filament. I have one in my toolbox and another on my workbench. At $4.43 (with free shipping on Amazn prime), they are a great deal. Read the rest

White evangelical support for Donald Trump at all-time high

White evangelicals love Trump more than ever.

From PRI:

Trump’s support among white evangelicals at this stage of his presidency is strikingly solid. While there are modest differences by gender, Trump’s favorability among white evangelical women is still a robust 71 percent, compared to 81 percent among white evangelical men. And Trump’s favorability is still a strong 68 percent among college-educated white evangelicals, compared to 78 percent among those without a college degree.

Looking ahead to the 2020 election, Trump’s support among white evangelicals is also strong. White evangelical Protestants who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party say they would prefer Donald Trump, rather than another candidate, to be the GOP nominee for president in 2020 (69 percent vs. 23 percent).

White evangelicals are on the decline: "About 17 percent of Americans now identify as white evangelical, compared to 23 percent a decade ago," according to PBS. It could be that they are afraid of going extinct, and think of Trump as their lifeboat. Read the rest

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