Break-in goes awry

In this security-camera video, an attempted break-in somewhere in China goes very wrong almost from the outset. [via] Read the rest

Randomly generated variations on the Mii Channel theme

Mii Channel Markov generates melodies similar to, but never likely to be mistaken for, the Mii Channel theme.

Made with Band.js and my own markov generator, Markov.js. All transcribing of the original music was done by hand, with help from Pianoletternotes.

It sounds like it's trying to figure out the launch codes. When you hear a perfect correspondence, the nukes are about the fly. Read the rest

Here's what happens when you set fire to a glued ball of 42,000 matches

All is Art, via Adam Koford:

What happens when you start gluing matches together? Because the heads are slightly wider than the wooden bodies, they begin to form a sphere. This was an experiment in how many matches it would take to get all the way around to make a perfect globe. After months of gluing and gluing and gluing we made it to the other side. Then the experiment shifted to see what it would look like when this thing burned. Enjoy!
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Trick for vacuum-sealing food without a vacuum-sealer

Perhaps you've put food in a ziplok baggie. Perhaps you've tried to leave open just enough of a gap to push out almost enough air to consider it truly sealed. Perhaps, like me, you've even sucked out the last air through that gap, creating a genuine vacuum while filling your mouth with delicious, cold poultry slime. Here's how to do the same thing without risk of becoming a campylobacter campsite! All you need is a plastic tub or pot of water. Read the rest

The sound of skating on thin ice

Henrik Trygg: "This is how 45mm new black ice sounds like. Don't forget to put on the sound. Recorded on Lissma Kvarnsjö outside Stockholm the 5th of December." (Previously)

It's beautiful and a little bit scary. See (below) a cool NPS video about the weird sounds that ice make. The same phenomenon, acoustic dispersion, is often heard in wind-whipped metal cables. It's the foley artist's secret sauce for making laser-gun sound effects that don't register as synthesized.

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David Granick's beautiful, haunting Kodachrome photos of London's East End

David Granick's unseen 1960s Photos of London’s East End offer a glorious Kodachrome history, rediscovered and scanned by Chris Dorley. Most are colorful and filled with life, poverty and halting renewal, but check out this moody still of Stepney Green in 1961. It seems almost science fictional, a view of London that informed literature (consider Ballard) more than cinema (the same environment has a very different quality in the 1962 film Sparrows Can’t Sing). I can imagine setting SF in this precise setting and filmic character. All of this, including the then-new towers, are long-demolished. There's more at The Guardian.

“I was completely blown away by these pictures,” says Dorley-Brown, of the first time he saw Granick’s slides. “I had always suspected that there was a great color collection of East London photographs taken during this era.”

Dorley-Brown had long been fascinated with the post-war East End, and particularly its depiction in color film. “Granick was an amateur,” he says. “He shot these pictures to illustrate talks he gave to local history groups, and I think that is what makes them so alluring. There is no ‘professional’ agenda here. They are impressionistic, personal. He knew the territory and how to photograph it from an insider’s perspective.”

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Baltimore cops so corrupt two of them actually got convicted of something

The Associated Press reports that two Baltimore police officers were convicted today of racketeering and robbery. I'm not sure off the top of my head which case it is, because it's Baltimore and the apple barrel is so rotten as to be a gooey tub of lovecraftian matter that converts public trust into settlements.

UPDATE: 2 Baltimore detectives convicted of racketeering, robbery

Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor were shackled and led out of the courtroom after the verdict was read.

Federal jurors deliberated for two days after hearing nearly three weeks of testimony centered on details of police wrongdoing. The jury was released late Thursday afternoon after a few hours and returned to their deliberations Monday morning.

Hersl and Taylor faced robbery, extortion and racketeering charges that could land them up to life in prison. They were convicted of racketeering and robbery under the Hobbs Act, which prohibits interference with interstate commerce, but were cleared of possessing a firearm in pursuance of a violent crime.

Hersl put his head down and shook it as the verdict was read. Taylor had little reaction. Hersl’s family in the gallery wept and his father called out, “Stay strong, Danny.”

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Robot opens door

The latest from Boston Dynamics is alarming in a wonderfully uncanny new way. I shan't spoil it for you, but I am looking forward to the latex sheathing options. Read the rest

How not to write sex scenes

At The New York Times, Sarah Lyall writes about an eternal problem of literature: " A writer’s tumescent member is a reader’s risible euphemism"
In a climactic sex scene in the novel “Golden Hill,” set in mid-18th-century Manhattan, Francis Spufford’s narrator briefly steps outside the story to grumble to the reader. “How hard it is to describe a desirable woman without running into geography! Or the barnyard. Or the resources of the fruit-bowl,” he complains. “I do not want to write this part of the story.”

"Brobdingnagian." Read the rest

Boney M's Rasputin performed on a 1905 Marenghi Organ

Alexey Rom sequenced (arranged?) the disco classic Rasputin for an 81-key Marenghi Organ that was in existence at the same time as Russia's greatest love machine. Now there was a cat that really was gone; it was a shame how he carried on.

The original, for reference:

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The furby organ

From the galleries, the music grows louder and more complex as the slaves, surgically operated upon to sing but one perfect note each, are stimulated to more passionate efforts. Even the young emperor is moved by the sinister harmony of their song which in few ways resembles anything previously uttered by the human voice. Why should their pain produce such marvellous beauty? he wonders. Or is all beauty created through pain? Is that the secret of great art, both human and Melnibonean?

The Emperor Elric closes his eyes.

            — Michael Moorcock, Elric of Melnibone

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Late-stage journalism

Tis sweet to know that stocks will stand, When we with daisies lie, That commerce will continue, And trades as briskly fly. Read the rest

ParadiseOS far from it

ParadiseOS depicts an alternative computing world from the turn of the millenium: a desktop obscenely slathered in compulsory and broken services, ads and applications, an experience designed by dotcom era advertising boyars but hopelessly unrealistic before the wide availability of broadband internet and hardware video decoding. It's part Black Mirror, part vaporwave, part ironically brilliant web development by Stephen Kistner.

Paradise OS imagines an alternate version of 1999 where the personal computer is a gateway to a commercialized global network. Palm Industries, a former mall developer turned technology giant effectively controls all online experiences.

Acting as a time capsule, the desktop captures the moments of December 30, 1999 — just days before a catastrophic Y2K event leads to the computer emerging in our dimension. Participants explore this frozen moment from time, using the content to discover more about the world from which it came.

The project references the visual vernacular of the 20th century American shopping mall. It establishes a connection between the mall and the Internet as escapist experiences and hubs of social activity.

The desktop's content deals with Internet phenomena including fake news, instant gratification and information overload. By engaging with contemporary topics from the perspective of an alternate reality, the project encourages participants to think more critically about the state of our own digital spaces.

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Logan Paul finally booted from YouTube ad program after tasering dead rat

Logan Paul made a video posing near of a suicide victim in Japan's Aokigahara forest. He was widely condemned, seemed chastened, made a soft-focus video about his learning experience, then went back in front of the camera to taser a dead rat and poke a fish. YouTube issued a statement saying Paul's been suspended again from their advertising program, but you get the feeling that, like him, they just aren't learning their lesson.

The BBC:

YouTube has suspended advertising on video blogger Logan Paul's channels owing to his "pattern of behaviour". ... “After careful consideration, we have decided to temporarily suspend ads on Logan Paul’s YouTube channels,” YouTube said in a statement Friday. “This is not a decision we made lightly; however, we believe he has exhibited a pattern of behavior in his videos that makes his channel not only unsuitable for advertisers, but also potentially damaging to the broader creator community.”

YouTube is fixated on Brand Suitability as the problem, but that's how you expect YouTube to fail at PR, apologizing to advertisers in the place it's supposed to be apologizing to viewers. The bigger problem is how it's trying to serve Brands in the first place, by financing a dystopian cargo cult of adolescent fameballs in the hope of incubating true talent. The social milieux they've created is a breeding ground for shark-eyed nasties and bug-eyed nazis, and their job depends on not understanding it. Read the rest

No charges for speeding cop who plowed into elderly couple's car

Christopher Ferguson, an off-duty cop in Algood, Tenn., going 20 miles over the speed limit, will not be inconvenienced after ramming into James and Rena Cryer's SUV with such force James was thrown into the road. Amazingly, the elderly couple survived—and District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway found them at fault.

“Both of them did things they shouldn’t have done, and both of them violated the law,” said Dunaway, who represents the 13th judicial district. “They violated the rules of the road.”

Cryer failed to yield, according to the THP. The investigative report, obtained by the News 4 I-Team, also found Ferguson was speeding.

Documents state at one point, Ferguson was traveling up to 26 miles over the speed limit.

“If the officer had been driving the posted speed limit…the collision would have been avoided,” an investigator wrote.

“Even with this knowledge, you still felt comfortable not prosecuting?” asked reporter Alanna Autler.

“Even with that knowledge, yes,” Dunaway replied.

Lucky not to be charged with vandalizing police property! Ferguson, as I'm sure you've already guessed, reportedly has a history of similar mistakes. Read the rest

Most ancient Briton yet found was black-skinned, blue-eyed and clearly laughing at enraged Daily Mail comments about him

Meet Cheddar Man. He's from just north of Glastonbury, circa 8,000 B.C.

Tom Booth, an archaeologist at the Natural History Museum who worked on the project, said: “It really shows up that these imaginary racial categories that we have are really very modern constructions, or very recent constructions, that really are not applicable to the past at all.”

Yoan Diekmann, a computational biologist at University College London and another member of the project’s team, agreed, saying the connection often drawn between Britishness and whiteness was “not an immutable truth. It has always changed and will change”.

Love that smile! If you're British, you've reportedly got about a 10% chance of descending from this guy's tribe. I suppose the more intellectually kempt white supremacists can remind themselves he isn't really black in the modern pseudoscientific or culturally-significant sense, but you know that's not how they feel about these things.

The instantly self-owning strategy among the crypto-racist morons of British punditry is to find white people who don't actually look like him in an attempt to suggest he's basically a Somerset lad with a tan.

Which he is. Read the rest

Morgellons Tesseract atop Trump's head peels off in high winds

CORDELL! CORDELL! WHERE'S MY RUBBER CEMENT?

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