Get deep rest under these hypoallergenic bamboo sheets

Bamboo fiber is a relatively new thing in luxury fabrics, but it's no surprise it's this snuggly. After all, pandas eat bamboo, and they constantly look comfortable.

But seriously: To understand the benefits of real bamboo sheets, you have to spend a night on them. This 4-Piece Luxury 100% Rayon Bamboo Sheet Set is a prime example.

The rayon fabric is made from sustainably sourced bamboo, and all the best properties of that material come through. It naturally draws moisture away from the body while you sleep, making it dry and breathable. It also has the fringe benefit of making it easier to clean, since this kind of rayon doesn't absorb sweat stains the way other fabrics do.

The sheets and pillowcases are hypoallergenic and machine washable. They're also stronger than cotton, which means they'll last much longer than most sheet sets you might be used to.

You can get this set now for almost 75% off the list price, available in a variety of sizes and colors:

4-Piece Luxury 100% Rayon Bamboo Sheet Set // Navy

4-Piece Luxury 100% Rayon Bamboo Sheet Set // Taupe

4-Piece Luxury 100% Rayon Bamboo Sheet Set // Light Gray

4-Piece Luxury 100% Rayon Bamboo Sheet Set // White

4-Piece Luxury 100% Rayon Bamboo Sheet Set // Aqua

4-Piece Luxury 100% Rayon Bamboo Sheet Set // Gray

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20 chef knives for for serious food prep

No chef's arsenal is complete without a good set of knives. In fact, it's the first big sign that you're ready to start cooking meals as opposed to just warming them up. Here are 20 knife sets that any chef would be proud to own, from visually stunning old-world metallurgy to sleek modern cutlery.

Mini Chef Knives: Set of 3

Taking your recipes on the road? These Damascus steel blades are sharp, easy to wield even in tight quarters and come with their own sheath for traveling.

MSRP: $99.40

Sale Price: $74.99

Laguiole Steak Knife

The Laguiole is another full portable knife that's sure to impress any crowd. The hypnotic pattern is a side effect of the hand-forging process that also gives it up to a 58 rating on the hardness scale, with a precision edge to match.

MSRP: $57.40

Sale Price: $43.99

Rose Wood Chef Knives: Set of 4

Jay Knives brings you these heat-treated Damascus knives that feature a flat grind for a clean cut every time. The ironwood handle is a perfect complement for the patterned steel.

MSRP: $99.40

Sale Price: $74.55

Gotham™ Steel Pro Cut Japanese Style Super Sharp Knife: Set of 2

Looking for a more timely feel? The blade and handle on these stainless steel knives are forged from a single piece, with non-slip accents on the grip.

MSRP: $19.99

Sale Price: $15.99

Monroe Knives: Set of 5

Wood sheets and resin combine for the handles on this comprehensive set, and the knives are no slouch either. The blades are forged with steel layered a painstaking 240 times or more, and it shows.

MSRP: $190.40

Sale Price: $142.99

Damascus Steak Knives: Set of 4

Wonder why you're seeing so many Damascus steel knives popping up? They cut as good as they look, and this set is no exception. This foursome sports classic handles made from pakkawood and rosewood.

MSRP: $214

Sale Price: $117.99

Damasukasu Japanese 3-Piece Master Chef Hanshu Knife Set

These knives are ones to keep. Their ancient forging process adds modern touches like nitrogen cooling, and the result is a super-hard carbon-rich blade with a 12 degree edge.

MSRP: $299.99

Sale Price: $69.99 (after a $130 price drop)

Japanese Pro Olive Wood Kitchen Knives: Set of 4

These handmade knives require a little extra care, but you'll see why when you use them. The etched Damascus steel blades cut meat and raw veggies with equal precision.

MSRP: $99.40

Sale Price: $74.99

Precision 2-Piece Starter Chef Knife Set

These stainless steel, non-stick blades will have any entree sliding off the edge in seconds. The ergonomic design ensures that your fingers won't be in the way. (And the looks are a big fringe benefit.)

MSRP: $49.90

Sale Price: $29.90

Pro Chef's Knives with Henkel Rosewood + Special Burl: Set of 5

This Jay Knives set includes a 2.5" paring knife and a workhorse butcher's knife. Between the two, you've got everything you need for any dish, and they're all forged with the same 176-layer Damascus steel process.

MSRP: $134.40

Sale Price: $99.99

5-Piece Professional Damascus Chef's Kitchen Set

This set includes a serrated knife for bread or tougher meats. The rosewood and leather handle on all five are a great fit for any kitchen decor.

MSRP: $475

Sale Price: $179.99

Black Diamond Knife Block & 5-Piece Blue Primal Ceramic Knife Set

If you haven't tried ceramic blades yet, this lightweight set is a good introduction. The knives are visually stunning enough on their own, but the set comes with an angular "float" knife block that's practically a piece of sculpture.

MSRP: $359.80

Sale Price: $150

Black Diamond Knife Block & 4-Piece Precision Professional Knife Set

Basic black more your speed? These four versatile ceramic knives include the same angular block design.

MSRP: $215.80

Sale Price: $135

SmartPan 3-Piece Knife Set

Ever wonder why certain knives have perforations or hashing on the blade? It's to prevent cheese and other foods from sticking to the side. The Santoku knife in this ultra-sharp set is the perfect example of that functionality.

MSRP: $39.99

Sale Price: $15.99 (after a $4 price drop)

Olive Wood Japanese Style Knives: Set of 5

The bold olive wood handles on this set say that these knives mean business. The hand-forged Damascus steel blades back up that claim.

MSRP: $176.40

Sale Price: $132.99

Cuta Chef Knives: Set of 5

With the occasional polish, these Damascus steel knives will last for years. Which is good, because cutting with them is the best part of any meal prep - especially if you've got an audience.

MSRP: $162.39

Sale Price: $121.99

Teak Star Slim 9.8" 005TS Cutting Board & 4-Piece Arondight Knife Set

This one's a great deal if you need a cutting board to practice your skills. The teak wood board has a geometric simplicity that goes well with this modern design of these stainless steel single-piece tools.

MSRP: $155.80

Sale Price: $110

Small Magnetic Knife Rack & 4-Piece Arondight Knife Set

Need to save a little space in your kitchen? These streamlined Arondight blades stick firmly to the magnetic teak wood board, suitable for mounting on a convenient wall.

MSRP: $165.80

Sale Price: $120

Super-Sharp Kitchen Knives: 3-Piece Set

The name says it all about these zirconium ceramic knives. As a bonus, the company that makes them donates a portion of every purchase to Feeding America and its work to provide meals for the needy.

MSRP: $276

Sale Price: $58

CRIMSON G10 2-Piece Chef & Paring Knife Set

The fiberglass resin handles on these modern knives don't just look great; they absorb moisture so that you've got the most control possible while the German steel blades do their work.

MSRP: $99.99

Sale Price: $64.99 (after a $10 price drop)

Price subject to change.

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Enhance your on-the-go photography with these iPhone accessories

The latest iPhone cameras are undeniably impressive, but they’re still no match for a professional camera when it comes to taking clear, wide-angle shots. These six accessories will transform your iPhone into a pro-level camera in seconds, thanks to powerful and easy-to-attach lenses.

1. Lemuro 18MM iPhone Wide Lens

MSRP: $100 | Sale Price: $80 (20% off)

Take truly majestic photos with this pocket-sized attachment lens that boasts an 18mm focal length along with a 110-degree field of view. In layman's terms, it helps you shoot better landscapes, portraits, and more.

2. Lemuro 60MM Tele Portrait Lens for iPhone

MSRP: $104 | Sale Price: $84 (20% off)

Ideal for capturing flawless portrait shots, this lens features a 60mm focal length, 2x optical zoom, and cutting-edge optical technology that delivers unparalleled clarity, so your portraits will be worthy of posting to the 'gram.

3. Lemuro 8MM iPhone Fisheye Lens

MSRP: $99 | Sale Price: $80 (20% off)

You'll be happy to have this lens the next time you're standing before a stunning sunset or panorama. With an 8mm focal length and a 238-degree ultra-wide-angle lens, this fisheye attachment allows you to take shots that are 5x wider than what your iPhone can do on its own.

4. Lemuro 25MM iPhone Macro Lens

MSRP: $95 | Sale Price: $76 (20% off)

Transform your iPhone into a pocket-sized digital microscope with this incredibly powerful and portable lens that delivers a 22mm focal length and 10x magnification ratio in any environment.

5. Lemuro iPhone Photo Case

MSRP: $44 | Sale Price: $35 (20% off)

Designed for seamless compatibility with Lemuro lenses, this aluminum case will also protect your iPhone from drops and bumps, and it even supports wireless charging.

6. Lemuro Lens Carry Bag

MSRP: $35 | Sale Price: $28 (20% off)

This bag lets you both carry and protect your Lemuro lenses on the go, thanks to micro-suede lining and a premium canvas build that can withstand its fair share of rough handling.

Prices are subject to change.

Forget the gym membership. Stay fit in 2020 with this portable home gym

Few things in life are more universally dreaded than going to the gym, which is unfortunate since a new year usually means making new resolutions to get in shape.

Thankfully, this BodyBoss 2.0: Portable Home Gym has everything you need to burn fat and build muscle in the comfort of your own home.

With just a small collection of resistance bands and gear, you’ll be able to do hundreds to go-to gym exercises in virtually any environment. The BodyBoss 2.0 is designed to simulate thousands of dollars worth of gym equipment, so you can tone and sculpt all in the same space and without having to jump from machine to machine.

And since the entire fitness package weighs less than 11 pounds, it's easy to take it with you wherever you go.

Hit your New Years' fitness goals without dragging yourself to the gym with this BodyBoss 2.0: Portable Home Gym for just $155—45% off its usual price.

Prices are subject to change.

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Excellent review of Jack Vance's "Tales of the Dying Earth"

I read and greatly enjoyed Jack Vance's 4-book series, Tales of the Dying Earth last year. Today I wanted to tell my daughter about one of the spells in the book (the Spell of Forlorn Encystment), so I looked it up online. One of the top results Alison Flood's 2011 review of the series in The Guardian. She likes the books for the same reasons I do, describing the stories as "strange, and disturbing, and glowing."

"Glowing" is an especially good way to describe Vance's writing. His use of language in enchanting, and it really does feel like his sentences and words are manifesting some kind of spell.

From Flood's review:

All is recounted in Vance's wonderful, unique prose. Is it possible to be both deadpan and flowery at the same time? I think he pulls this off, to hilarious effect. "These girls seem not to relish the garland of pulchritude," says Guyal of a collection of unattractive women. Cugel, after ditching a former princess into the hands of a brigand (it was his own hopelessness which led to her losing her kingdom), justifies himself angrily. "'The woman is a monomaniac!' he told himself. 'She lacks clarity and perceptiveness; how could I have done else, for her welfare and my own? I am rationality personified; it is unthinking to suggest otherwise.'"

There are remnants of ancient civilisations: floating roads and air-cars. There are horrific images galore: a pyramid of screaming flesh half a thousand feet high. And so, so much of these stories can be seen in the work of later authors. Mazirian's garden of nightmarish plants ("'K-k-k-k-k-k-k,' spoke the plant. Mazirian stooped, held the rodent to the red mouth. The mouth sucked, the small body slid into the stomach-bladder underground. The plant gurgled, eructated, and Mazirian watched with satisfaction.") reminds me a much-loved childhood novel, Douglas Hill's Blade of the Poisoner, and the poisoner's deadly garden. The Twk-men – tiny men-things mounted on dragonflies, with skin "of a greenish cast", bring Philip Pullman's Gallivespians to mind. Mazirian's plunge into the Lake of Dreams after uttering the Charm of Untiring Nourishment, breathing the water as if it were air and chasing T'sain across the lake's bottom, recalls the scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Harry uses gillyweed to breathe underwater. And this is just the first 29 pages …

(By the way, the Spell of Forlorn Encystment "constricts the subject in a pore some forty-five miles below the surface of the earth.")

Brawny Disneyland guest removes park's sword in the stone

Using sheer brute force, a Disneyland guest successfully removed Excalibur, the "sword in the stone," from its anvil in front of the King Arthur Carrousel. It was first reported that the sword was removed as part of a planned refurbishment but then a guest stepped up to share what really happened.

WDW News Today:

The sword is not removed for refurbishment. My friend Sam broke it last week on the 8th when we went to Disneyland. He literally ripped it out. The staff said that it was really old and that’s why he was able to do so. It was his first time at Disney and he’s a pretty buff dude, I told him if he pulled it out he’d win a prize and he just used brute force I guess lol. It was broken and jagged. The staff said they taped it off so no one would stick their fingers in and cut it on the broken piece left inside.

Unfortunately, the poor fellow didn't become King, as legend dictates. And a brand new sword has already been placed in its (freshly polished) anvil in its central Fantasyland spot. See photos of it at WDW News Today.

screengrab via Disney's Sword in the Stone

Learn a new language in 2020 with these best-selling apps

If one of your New Year's resolutions is to travel more, you owe it to yourself to learn the language of the place you're visiting. If you're not sure where to start, give these resources a look. From mobile apps to online courses, these products can get you conversant in a new language before you set foot on foreign soil. Read on for details:

1. Language Zen–Spanish Language Learning Program: Lifetime Subscription

MSRP: $500 | Sale Price: $79 (84% off)

Learn Spanish twice as effectively with this personal language tutoring platform that adapts to your unique learning habits.

2. The Complete Learn French in 30 Days Bundle

MSRP: $2000 | Sale Price: $19 (99% off)

This 10-course bundle will help you learn French language and grammar the easy way, thanks to simple, bite-sized lessons that can be completed in as little as a few minutes.

3. The Fast-Track French Language Learning Bundle

MSRP: $796 | Sale Price: $20 (97% off)

Fancy a trip to the City of Lights? With 13 hours of content spread over four in-depth courses, this bundle will teach you how to speak and read one of the world’s most beloved languages.

4. HelloTalk VIP: Lifetime Subscription

MSRP: $230 | Sale Price: $29 (87% off)

This best-selling platform lets you learn a new language by speaking directly with native speakers from around the world.

5. Babbel Language Learning: Lifetime Subscription

MSRP: $399 | Sale Price: $159 (60% off)

Learn up to 14 new languages with a lifetime subscription to Babbel, which comes with access to over 10,000 hours of high-quality educational content.

6. uTalk Language Education: Lifetime Subscription (140+ Languages)

MSRP: $699 | Sale Price: $100 (85% off)

If you know you want to learn a new language but aren't quite sure which one, you can't go wrong with uTalk. Accessible at home or on the go, uTalk's platform gives you access to a massive learning library that can teach you over 140 different languages.

7. The Fast-Track Spanish Language Learning Bundle

MSRP: $995 | Sale Price: $20 (97% off)

Much faster than a conventional language class, this 5-course bundle comes with 15 hours of immersive content to get you speaking Spanish right away.

8. Earworms MBT Language Learning Bundle Vol. 1-3

MSRP: $41 | Sale Price: $15 (62% off)

Ditch the boring vocal lessons and learn your next language through the power of music with this Earworms bundle.

9. Mondly: Lifetime Subscription

MSRP: $1199 | Sale Price: $70 (94% off)

Mondly uses state-of-the-art speech recognition and AR technology in order to make the language-learning process both intuitive and enjoyable.

10. Rosetta Stone: Lifetime Subscriptions

MSRP: $299 | Sale Price: $189 (36% off)

As one of the world’s most popular language-learning platforms, Rosetta Stone has been hailed as the “gold standard” for learning a new language, and you can try it yourself for a fraction of its usual price.

Prices are subject to change.

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Healthcare choice in America is a scam, according to the people who came up with it

One of the most frustratingly incredible things about Corporate PR Con Artistry is that even when the chaos magicians behind it reveal their tricks, there are still people who will continue to insist that somehow, this makes the lie even more real. We've seen it before with climate change, and the bullshit connection between vaccines and autism.

And now, in a new op-ed from The New York Times, we can see this phenomenon happening in real-time with healthcare. Most rational-thinking people understand that the private healthcare system in America offers no more "choice" than the socialized, single-payer, or other government-subsidized systems in other developed nations. Yet that idea of "choice" — and the fantastical fear-mongering about wait times in Canada — has become a popular talking point with those opposed to healthcare reform. Which is precisely what it was designed to do, by people like Wendell Potter, a former vice president for corporate communications at Cigna. As he writes in the Times:

To my everlasting regret, I played a hand in devising this deceptive talking point about choice when I worked in various communications roles for a leading health insurer between 1993 and 2008, ultimately serving as vice president for corporate communications.

[…]

Those of us who held senior positions for the big insurers knew that one of the huge vulnerabilities of the system is its lack of choice. In the current system, Americans cannot, in fact, pick their own doctors, specialists or hospitals — at least, not without incurring huge “out of network” bills.

[…]

But some reforms being discussed this election, such as “Medicare for all,” would provide these basic freedoms to users. In other words, the proposed reforms offer more choice than the status quo, not less.

As evidenced by that last quote, Wendell has since seen the light (or some sort of brightness, anyway), and now serves as the president of Business for Medicare for All and Medicare for All NOW! Unfortunately, there are still some people who will refuse to believe this magician revealing the secrets behind their own trick.

How the Health Insurance Industry (and I) Invented the ‘Choice’ Talking Point [Wendell Potter / The New York Times]

Image via 401K 2012 / Flickr

3 racks perfect for transporting bikes, skis, & more on the road

Anyone who loves biking, skiing, or snowboarding in the great outdoors knows just how difficult it can be to safely transport your gear—especially during extended trips. These three accessories make it easier than ever to securely attach your gear to your car. So if you're planning to embark on a outdoor adventure soon, you'd be wise to check out these options:

1. STAG Ski, Bike & Base Unit Bundle

MSRP: $549 | Sale Price: $494 (10% off)

This streamlined rack allows you to attach and carry two bikes along with your ski gear (up to four snowboards or five pairs of skis), thanks to a premium vacuum roof system that offers unparalleled grip strength for all of your equipment.

2. STAG Ski & Base Unit Bundle

MSRP: $379 | Sale Price: $341 (10% off)

If you tend to travel a bit lighter when you hit your favorite adventure spots, this simplified rack system has you covered—thanks to premium vacuum cup technology that allows you to securely carry either four snowboards or five pairs of skis.

3. STAG Bike & Base Unit Bundle

MSRP: $379 | Sale Price: $341 (10% off)

Ideal for cycling enthusiasts, this premium roof rack can carry up to two bikes with either a 15mm thru axle or a 9mm skewer, and it’s easy to attach the rack to glass, metal, or fiberglass surfaces.

ICANN needs to ask more questions about the sale of .ORG

[The selloff of the .ORG domain name registry to a private equity fund is fractally terrible, but it's in danger, thanks to public outcry. My EFF colleague Mitch Stoltz lays out the grotesque contours of the deal and its many deficiencies in this comprehensive overview. -Cory]

Over 21,000 people, 660 organizations, and now six Members of Congress have asked ICANN, the organization that regulates the Internet’s domain name system, to halt the $1.135 billion deal that would hand control over PIR, the .ORG domain registry, to private equity. There are crucial reasons this sale is facing significant backlash from the nonprofit and NGO communities who make the .ORG domain their online home, and perhaps none of them are more concerning than the speed of the deal and the dangerous lack of transparency that’s accompanied it. 

(more…)

Angelenos! I'm speaking in Culver City tomorrow about the sale of .ORG to private equity

Late last year, the nonprofit Internet Society abruptly announced a deal to sell control over the Public Interest Registry (which manages all .ORG domain registrations) to Ethos, a newly created private equity fund capitalized by three politically connected families of Republican billionaires. Under the deal, ISOC would get $1.135B to spend on various projects, and PIR would have to return a profit to their private equity investors. (more…)

Break into the field of AI and Machine Learning with the help of this training

It seems like AI is everywhere these days, from the voice recognition software in our personal assistants to the ads that pop up seemingly at just the right time. But believe it or not, the field is still in its infancy.

That means there's no better time to get in on the ground floor. The Essential AI & Machine Learning Certification Training Bundle is a one-course package that can give you a broad overview of AI's many uses in the modern marketplace and how to implement them.

The best place to dive into this four-course master class is with the Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) Foundation Course. This walkthrough gives you all the terms and concepts that underpin the entire science of AI.

Later courses let you get your hands dirty with some coding, as in the data visualization class that focuses on the role of Python in the interpretive side of data analytics. There are also separate courses on computer vision (the programming that lets machines "see" their surroundings) and natural language processing (the science of getting computers to understand speech).

The entire package is now available for Boing Boing readers at 93% off the MSRP.

Here's a 1968 episode of The Dick Cavett show discussing the assassination of Robert Kennedy

It's fascinating to see this round table discussion on The Dick Cavett Show about the assassination of Robert Kennedy. People had the same concerns about gun violence 50 years ago, but the way people talked about it on TV in 1968 is inconceivable today. The panelists were allowed to speak for more that 15 seconds without being interrupted, and the other panelist appeared to be listening to what the others were saying. The panel consisted of actor Robert "Man From U.N.C.L.E." Vaughn (a politically active friend of the Kennedys), NAACP executive director Roy Wilkins, psychiatrist David Abrahamsen (author of "A Study of Lee Harvey Oswald: Psychological Capability of Murder"), and broadcast journalist David Schoenbrun.

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