When it comes to making rope, there's no school like the old school. I love that, despite the advances made in the areas of fabrication and industrial automation, there are still products made using methods that haven't changed in a century. Some things, as this video from How it's Made illustrates, are better off without updates.
Warner Bros. has just released Emmet’s Holiday Party, a cute nearly-2-1/2-minute-long short that has The LEGO Movie's Emmett decorating Apocalypseburg for the holidays. It doubles as a promo for The LEGO Movie 2, which hits theatres in February 2019.
This spells doom for Trump and the NRA. Paul Erickson, hope the sex was fantastic. (more…)
Rocky Bergen creates gorgeous, downloadable papercraft models of retro PCs, from the Commodore 64 to the Apple ][+ to the Amstrad, with different screens to print celebrating classic 8-bit games, and accessories like tiny floppies in tiny paper sleeves. As Waxy points out, these would make stunning Christmas ornaments.
Apparently, sitting on the floor in Brooklyn is against the law and, if you've got a baby in your arms, watch out!
A 23-year-old woman, Jazmine Headley, was at the Human Resources Administration building waiting in line for hours to receive daycare vouchers for her baby so that she could work. There weren't any seats left in the waiting room, and as anyone who has had to care for a 1-year-old knows, it's exhausting to stand for a long period of time holding a baby. So Headley sat on the floor.
Security told her sitting on the floor was not permitted, but Headley said without any available chairs she would continue to sit on the floor. She was not blocking any doorways or passageways, but that didn't matter. According to Daily Dot (and as you can see in the video), police jumped all over her, tried to pry her baby away from her, and pandemonium broke out.
The video shows Headley laying on her back on the ground desperately trying to keep a hold of her son, while screaming, “They’re grabbing my child!” Multiple police officers violently yank on the infant, at the same time, in different directions. People in the office are crowded around the group of officers, screaming at them to stop.
People can be heard yelling, “That’s a baby!” and “Look at what they’re doing to her!” Some bystanders even try to get their bodies between the police and Headley. At one point an officer points a stun gun at the people, and then at the Headley, who is on her back on the ground.
Unbelievably, Headley is now in jail for "resisting arrest, obstruction, trespassing and acting in a manner injurious to a child," according to ABC. All for sitting on the floor because the government doesn't supply people with enough chairs to sit in while waiting in their excruciatingly long lines. Local officials are asking the NYPD to drop the charges.
Add this to the ongoing list of "quirky and downright strange" calendars for 2019: Sean Tejaratchi of LiartownUSA's Social Justice Kittens.
It’s 2019. All around us, ancient evils lurk in the deepening shadows, growing more powerful by the hour, feeding on hatred and centuries of oppression. The signs and symbols are everywhere for those willing to see.
Thanks to LiarTown, you can now take the most courageous step of all: remaining silent while others speak. Once again it’s time to amplify the voices of those fluffy little activists, the Social Justice Kittens! They’ve returned, rested and ready to call out and clap back!
But don’t think for a minute these woke, whiskered warriors have come alone! Get an eyeful of the all-new litter of Social Justice Puppies scrambling along behind them! These progressive pups have endured marathon struggle sessions and merciless “self-crit” to achieve dizzying levels of abject submission and self-debasement. They’re determined to be on the right side of history, and positively squirming for a chance to recite their gut-wrenching confessions!
It’s up to you. Will you celebrate the voices of the marginalized, or further stain your soul with murderous complicity? Every moment you delay causes further abuse and gentrification. Those far more woke than you roll their eyes at your absurd doubts and questions! Desperate times call for desperate measures! Answer that call NOW…with kittens!
Please note: As usual, every bit of kitten and puppy dialogue is sourced from genuine social media posts. Nothing has been taken out of context or misrepresented. Though grammatical tweaks were sometimes necessary, everything remains faithful to the courageous, original declarations which continue to delight and inspire so many online!
Get yours now from Buyolympia for $18.
Here's a peek:
Previously: Social Justice Kittens: the postcards
Leon Hong writes, "I made this science-y animation for my wife Elaine Hsiao's research — with the hopes that people will learn something new about how all the microbes that live in and on us affect our brains and behavior."
It's highly unusual for a squirrel to purposely jump on a human. And it's even more unusual for said human to roll with it, without any shock or flinch, laughing while the squirrel does its thing. As the old lady said in When Harry Met Sally, "I'll have what [s]he's having!"
Jim Hightower is a longstanding, respected columnist distributed by Creators Syndicate -- but Creators refused to distribute his latest column, "Free the Free Press from Wall Street Plunderers," which warns about Wall Street vultures like Digital First Media and GateHouse Media buying up newspapers, including the Austin Statesman.
John Lewis & Partners is a well-known general department store in Great Britain. It’s the type of old-fashioned department store that, like the late and lamented B. Altman & Co. (which you can see recreated in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), carries everything from clothing to electric appliances.
“Special” Christmas TV commercials and Christmas shows are a big big thing in English television, much bigger than here in the United States. It is often the season when extinct TV shows come alive for one new episode on one night.
John Lewis’s Christmas commercial stars a big “get”: Elton John. It’s a musical tour through his life that mixes old and new footage, with de-aged Elton mixed with young Elton and old Elton.
I liked it, but there’s been a lot of odd hate for it online. You decide. Either you’ll smile or you won’t.
NASA's Voyager 2 space probe has officially left our solar system and entered interstellar space. Now more than 11 billion miles (18 billion kilometers) from Earth, the spacecraft has crossed the boundary of the bubble-like heliosphere around the planets and is no longer touched by the plasma wind from our sun. Voyager 2's twin Voyager 1 entered interstellar space in 2012 and continues to send back valuable scientific data via the Deep Space Network.
“I think we’re all happy and relieved that the Voyager probes have both operated long enough to make it past this milestone,” said Suzanne Dodd, Voyager project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. “This is what we've all been waiting for. Now we’re looking forward to what we’ll be able to learn from having both probes outside the heliopause.”
Voyager 2 launched in 1977, 16 days before Voyager 1, and both have traveled well beyond their original destinations. The spacecraft were built to last five years and conduct close-up studies of Jupiter and Saturn. However, as the mission continued, additional flybys of the two outermost giant planets, Uranus and Neptune, proved possible. As the spacecraft flew across the solar system, remote-control reprogramming was used to endow the Voyagers with greater capabilities than they possessed when they left Earth. Their two-planet mission became a four-planet mission. Their five-year lifespans have stretched to 41 years, making Voyager 2 NASA’s longest running mission.
The Voyager story has impacted not only generations of current and future scientists and engineers, but also Earth's culture, including film, art and music. Each spacecraft carries a Golden Record of Earth sounds, pictures and messages. Since the spacecraft could last billions of years, these circular time capsules could one day be the only traces of human civilization.
Last year, my friends Tim Daly and Lawrence Azerrad and I released the Voyager Golden Record on vinyl for the first time ever and were blown away to win a Grammy Award for the box set. It's really a testament to the creators of the original Voyager Record and the scientists and engineers behind the absolutely incredible Voyager mission. We were honored to have had the opportunity to bring this stellar artifact to a wider terrestrial audience.
Go Johnny go!
above: "This illustration shows the position of NASA’s Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes, outside of the heliosphere, a protective bubble created by the Sun that extends well past the orbit of Pluto." (NASA/JPL-Caltech)
The latest installment of the Canadaland media criticism podcast (MP3) (previously) features an outstanding and nuanced discussion between host Jesse Brown and NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen (previously), regarding the Trudeau government's plan to hand Canada's press a $600 million bailout, with large tranches of that money to be funneled to billionaire media barons who ran their businesses into the ground by loading them up with predatory debt while mass-firing their newsrooms and paying themselves millions in bonuses -- Brown and Rosen don't just discuss the merits and demerits of this proposal, but get into a fascinating debate/discussion about what a better version of this would look like.
Say a prayer for Our Patron Saint of Taking Down the Current Administration by lighting one of artist Clare Winter's Robert Mueller devotional candles. You can get these rhinestone-embellished candles through Winter's online shop Devotional Democracy ($12) or in person at Cargo Inc in Portland, Oregon. (Rumor has it she is making Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) longevity candles next.)
In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution does not guarantee Americans "equal" education (which would require similar per-student funding in both rich and poor neighborhoods), merely "adequate" education.
Frustratingly, this video has no data about the identity of the incredible genius featured therein. Who is she?
In 1948, Costa Rica weathered a civil war, and in 1949, they abolished their military. Since then, Costa Rica has emerged as the Central American success story, more politically stable and richer than its neighbors.
George HW Bush was a mass murderer and a war criminal and now he is dead.
Daniel Willingham, a University of Virginia psychologist who wrote "The Reading Mind," says that the most common question he receives these days is the following: “Is it cheating if I listen to an audiobook for my book club?” In a New York Times essay, Willingham parses the benefits and drawbacks of both formats. Which one is better? Of course personally preference and convenience matter, but Willingham argues that generally right now when it comes to listening or reading a book, there is "equivalence for easy texts and an advantage to print for hard ones." For example, audio books provide prosody, the intonation, tone, and rhythm of the words. Sometimes, hearing those cues helps us understand the material. But not always. From the NYT:
For example, one study compared how well students learned about a scientific subject from a 22-minute podcast versus a printed article. Although students spent equivalent time with each format, on a written quiz two days later the readers scored 81 percent and the listeners 59 percent.
What happened? Note that the subject matter was difficult, and the goal wasn’t pleasure but learning. Both factors make us read differently. When we focus, we slow down. We reread the hard bits. We stop and think. Each is easier with print than with a podcast.
Print also supports readers through difficult content via signals to organization like paragraphs and headings, conventions missing from audio. Experiments show readers actually take longer to read the first sentence of a paragraph because they know it probably contains the foundational idea for what’s to come.
So although one core process of comprehension serves both listening and reading, difficult texts demand additional mental strategies. Print makes those strategies easier to use. Consistent with that interpretation, researchers find that people’s listening and reading abilities are more similar for simple narratives than for expository prose. Stories tend to be more predictable and employ familiar ideas, and expository essays more likely include unfamiliar content and require more strategic reading.
Is Listening to a Book the Same Thing as Reading It? (NYT)
image: detail of Jean-Honoré Fragonard's "A Young Girl Reading" (c. 1770)
"I'm not a narcissist... just trying this mirror thing... testing the camera... seeing how well it works... doooooo... applehead."
These people are pretty bad at recognizing different languages. And so am I.
Bonus facts I happened to find on Ethnologue, a fascinating directory of languages: Apparently there are more than 7,000 living languages in the world. Half the world's population speaks one of the top 23 most-used languages, with the top five being Chinese, Spanish, English, Arabic, and Hindi. One-third of the 7,000 languages are endangered, "that is, loss of all individuals who continue to identify the language as being related to their identity."