• Paul Rudd has been handing out cookies to Brooklyn voters waiting in rain

    In Brooklyn Thursday, all-around-good-guy Paul Rudd thanked folks waiting in line to vote (in the rain!) by gifting them cookies.

    On Twitter, Brian Rosenworcel posted the video evidence and then shared a photo of himself holding the packaged Milk Bar blueberry & cream cookie he got from the masked celeb writing, "What a MENSCH."

    Nope, it doesn't break any federal laws to hand out food to people in line to vote as long as there are no strings attached.

    screengrab via Andrew Cuomo

  • Eau de Bookstore: biblichor perfume for sexy readers

    Biblichor (cf. petrichor) is a term referring to the scent of old books. Powell's by Powell's ($25) is a unisex personal fragrance from the eponymous Oregon bookstore, promising to give you its unique odor.

    "Like the crimson rhododendrons in 'Rebecca,' the heady fragrance of old paper creates an atmosphere ripe with mood and possibility," offers the cheeky product description. "Invoking a labyrinth of books; secret libraries; ancient scrolls; and cognac swilled by philosopher-kings, Powell's by Powell's delivers the wearer to a place of wonder, discovery and magic heretofore only known in literature."

    I actually have a bottle of Demeter's Paperback cologne [Amazon], a similar product, and find myself eager to do a comparison review.

  • At least 6 sharks have washed up on shores with swordfish swords stabbed through their heads

    The New York Times reports:

    Since [September 2016] at least six more sharks have washed up on Mediterranean coasts, each impaled with the same murder weapon, and almost always in the head. In the latest example, an adult 15-foot thresher shark — itself equipped with a whiplike tail capable of stunning blows — washed up in Libya. Inside was a foot of swordfish sword that had broken off near its heart.

    Taken together these cases offer what may be preliminary scientific evidence of high-speed, high-stakes underwater duels that had previously been confined to fisherman's tales.

    The first rule of Fish Fight Club is: you don't talk about the Fish Fight Club.

    Sharks Wash Up on Beaches, Stabbed by Swordfish [Joshua Sokol / New York Times]

    Image: Public Domain via Pexels and Public Domain Pictures

  • What will happen to your shows in 2021?

    The runaway train that is streaming services, cable TV and the networks offering brand new and diverse content, also known as peak TV, is going to slow down in the coming months. Yes, the industry has found ways to continue production of shows and movies with effective Covid-19 safety precautions, but with these fixes comes a hefty price tag, and the casualties are high. The Kirsten Dunst dramedy On Becoming a God in Central Florida on Showtime is just one of them.

    From Rolling Stone:

    In recent weeks, the pandemic has resulted in a wave of "un-renewals," a term which means exactly what it sounds like: TV shows who've had defeat snatched from the jaws of victory by networks and streamers that no longer want to make planned new seasons under these rapidly-shifting economic conditions.

    If a tried-and-true series continues to show a high demand then the cost for daily testing, PPE, updated HVAC systems in studios, quarantine restrictions if production needs to go out of state, etc., may be worth it. Like any kind of business, the numbers have to add up, whether the show is critically acclaimed or not.

    Will things like green screens, production simplification and limiting the amount of acting roles be essential in keeping costs down? How would that affect the quality we've been enjoying? We shall see. One thing is already true: fewer new shows coming to us, so prepare to indulge in old movies, classic shows and maybe even a book for our 2021 entertainment.

  • Brilliant makes learning about math and science shockingly fun

    You may have heard the old story that kids hate math. You may even assume that that's true. But the reality is, the "hatred" for math and related fields like science or computer science isn't quite what you think.

    According to a survey of teenagers, almost half said they actually liked or even loved math, almost twice the number who disliked it. Of course, the true heart of the matter may come down to another finding from that survey, where almost 70 percent of those kids said they'd likely enjoy math even more if they actually understood how it applied to their future.

    When you think about it, that makes a whole lot of sense. If you don't understand why something matters to your life, what are the odds you're going to care deeply about it?

    Math, science and computer science are often misunderstood or "hated" because the learner never received the key to unlocking how to think about these challenging disciplines of knowledge and advancement. Brilliant understands that — and offers a fun, engaging way of learning that doesn't just teach professionals and students alike about math and the sciences. It teaches them how to think about math and the sciences.

    Whether you want to launch a STEM career or just have a deeper understanding of these complex topics, Brilliant wants to help smart, creative individuals grasp those concepts through entertaining, yet challenging math, science, and engineering explorations.

    Brilliant has assembled a roster of great teachers who illuminate the beating heart of math and science through bite-sized, interactive learning experiences.

    For example, while the Computer Science Fundamentals course covers topics like concurrency, graph abstractions, decision trees and more, its main objective is to develop your problem-solving techniques so you can think like a computer scientist. The course follows decidedly unscience-y professionals like librarians, cooks and politicians to see how computer science problem-solving techniques affect their daily lives. And you'll even get your hands dirty with some specific algorithm work along the way.

    Or take the Math Foundations courses like Logic, Algebra, Geometry and Probability.  Through unique interactive quizzes and exercises, you'll ultimately be able to spot logical fallacies, navigate some strategic game theory, understand machine logic, fairness, and expected value, and even use symmetry to simplify problems.

    You'll experiment with pendulum clocks to master the physics of motion. Or you'll use rockets to model algebraic functions. Or you'll learn probability by playing casino blackjack. How better to learn about these ideas than to experience them firsthand?

    Brilliant aims to cultivate a world of better learners, thinkers, and problem solvers. And if this engaging learning kicks open a new world of thought or even a new professional trajectory, everyone considers that a win-win.

    You can dive into Brilliant's library of over 60 courses by heading to the Brilliant website. Right now, if you're among the first 200 to sign up, you'll also get 20 percent off an annual subscription.

  • Idaho Lt. Governor drives around with a gun and a Bible protesting COVID-19 restrictions, in video questioning if virus is even real

    Idaho's Republican Lieutenant Governor drives around with a gun and a Bible protesting coronavirus restrictions in this weird new pandemic truther video.

    Read more at the Idaho Statesman: Idaho Republicans, including Lt. Gov. McGeachin, decry pandemic measures in new video.

    Excerpt:

    The video features cameos from Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, state representatives Tammy Nichols, R-Middleton; Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley; Bryan Zollinger, R-Idaho Falls; Christy Zito, R-Hammett; Chad Christensen, R-Ammon; Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird; Tony Wisniewski, R-Post Falls and Heather Scott, R-Blanchard; and Ron Nate, R-Rexburg, and Karey Hanks, R-St. Anthony, both of whom are unopposed for election to the House in November. The lawmakers' script is a "declaration to Idaho residents and officials" that the Idaho Freedom Foundation published on its website in early October.

    Hundreds of people, including the lawmakers in the video, have signed on to the declaration, which says it was "ratified by the people of Idaho October 1, 2020."

    The rest of the article is here.

  • Twitter finally cracks down on Kremlin-controlled RT

    Twitter labeled a video from the Russian-state controlled broadcaster RT as election misinformation on Thursday.

    Today for the first time, reports CNN, Twitter took action against the Kremlin-controlled network RT for spreading misinformation about the 2020 U.S. election. RT had posted a 4-minute segment amplifying Trump's false claims of widespread fraud and election rigging.

    Earlier this year, an internal intelligence bulletin issued by the Department of Homeland Security said Russia was amplifying disinformation about mail-in voting as part of a broader effort "to undermine public trust in the electoral process."

    Read more at CNN: Twitter calls out Russian misinformation about US election

  • Don Jr. lies that U.S. coronavirus death numbers are down to "almost nothing." FACT: 228,636 deaths and counting

    In this clip, the president's son Donald Trump Jr. claims coronavirus death numbers in the United States are down to "almost nothing." But 228,636 coronavirus deaths and counting in America isn't "almost nothing." More than one thousand people in the nation died TODAY of coronavirus. TODAY alone.

  • Forge abstract art in Low Grade Fraud Shop

    The title "Low Grade Fraud Shop" drew my eye, and it turned out to be an unusual and joyously cynical art-making game. As a harried art forger's new apprentice, you must make copies of valuable artwork as quickly as possible using various crude brushes and a limited palette. You draw on-screen in a crazed hurry (a graphics tablet or pen are not strictly necessary, but help) as an anxiety-inducing timer ticks down. The artworks to be copied are abstract trash, and seem to be created with the same tools the master meanly supplies. The secret of a good copy is to have bought the brush upgrades and to have the knack of layering colors to create fine details.

    Nonetheless, I've failed to beat 85/100 on a copy, so I doubt I have much of a future in Dafen. But the buyers here don't seem to mind.

    Low Grade Fraud Shop [itch.io] is by Sheepdog and available free of charge on Windows and MacOS.

  • This advanced data analytics trading can set you up for a great new career in 2021

    If you want to understand the job market, there's no source more reliable than LinkedIn. So when data science and data analysis roles dominate the LinkedIn list of the fastest-growing jobs in the world, it's probably worth some consideration for job seekers.

    Knowing the tools and processes that fuel the adoption of data analysis in virtually every job sector can be the key to getting hired quickly. The training in The 2021 Advanced Data Analyst Bundle could be groundwork that has you opening 2021 as an employed and well-compensated data analysis pro.

    This package brings together five courses featuring almost 30 hours of content exploring data analysis basics all the way up through advanced applications.

    When you're talking data today, that conversation almost always starts with the programming language at the current center of that explosion, Python. In Introduction to Python, new coders will get a complete overview of the language to understand why Python is at the heart of today's data analysis and business intelligence development. From practice exercises and mini-projects, even first time Python users will learn basic data types, understand how Python works with other programming languages, and then write their first Python script.

    Even in a landscape of advanced data analytics platforms, there's still no more popular or resourceful environment for organizing and examining data than Microsoft Excel. Advanced Excel 2019 goes in-depth on how baseline Excel users can up their game by using detailed formatting tools, advanced lookup functions, and connect that work to other workbooks and datasets outside of Excel.

    Next, Advanced PivotTables examines one of the most powerful Excel features, the data summarization and representation found in a pivot table. This course breaks it all down with refresher training to set up pivot tables, before moving to more complex operations for sorting data through grouping and ungrouping, using slicers and timelines, employing formulas, and more.

    Finally, Power Pivot, Power Query and DAX in Excel digs into these three critical advanced Excel abilities. First, users linear to merge and clean data with Power Query, then handle calculations using DAX before finally displaying your analysis using pivot tables and charts.

    And Power BI explores another Microsoft business intelligence tool for streamlining how complex data analysis gets down in just a few clicks.

    A $450 value, this 2021 Advanced Data Analyst training is available now over 90 percent off its regular price, just $29.99.

    Prices are subject to change.

    Do you have your stay-at-home essentials? Here are some you may have missed.