Truly tiny house flipping

"Mini House Flip" on Instagram is dedicated to documenting efforts to remodel a childhood dollhouse:

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Our inaugural post! This house was gifted to my sisters and I when we were kids. 20 years later, my mom and have finally decided to give it the remodel it deserves. Follow along to watch our progress! . . . #minihouseflip #dollhouse #dollhouseminiatures #miniatures #craftproject #remodel #makeover

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The three dozen or so posts to date include creating a new hardwood floor:

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Miter snips, crafts sticks, glue, and a ruler = a new floor for the next room in the house. Swipe to see a super blurry “before” photo of the what will become the study. This room is also where the stairs come up from the first floor. I created a template from card stock for the floor for easy installation. . . #dollhouse #miniatureinteriors #miniature #interiordesign #dolls #onetwelfthscale #remodel #remodeling #minihouseflip #dollhouseaccessories #maker #craft #craftsman

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Framed butterfly collection:

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Mom made tiny shadow box frames and I made tiny butterflies for the study’s gallery wall. . . #dollhouse #miniatureinteriors #miniature #interiordesign #dolls #onetwelfthscale #oneinchscale #remodel #remodeling #minihouseflip #dollhouseaccessories #maker #craft #craftsman

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Reupholstered chair and throw rug:

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Reupholstered chair for the study. . . #dollhouse #miniatureinteriors #miniature #interiordesign #dolls #onetwelfthscale #remodel #remodeling #minihouseflip #dollhouseaccessories #maker #craft #craftsman #armchair #upholstery

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Check out the amazing braided area rug mom made for the study! Swipe for progress pics. . . . #dollhouse #miniatureinteriors #miniature #interiordesign #dolls #onetwelfthscale #remodel #remodeling #minihouseflip #dollhouseaccessories #maker #craft #craftsman #arearugs #braidedrugs

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And crown molding:

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Turns out crown molding is a pain in the neck to measure, cut, and install...but it really finishes the look of the bedroom. . . #worthit #dollhouse #miniatureinteriors #miniature #interiordesign #dolls #onetwelfthscale #remodel #remodeling #minihouseflip #dollhouseaccessories #maker #craft #craftsman

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(Via Lauren Katz.)

Macrocilix maia, a moth that evolved to look like flies eating glistening bird shit

Macrocilix maia is a moth with a most unusual camouflage: it looks like two flies enjoying a delicious supper of fresh bird shit. Is this merely some amusing human poop-pareidolia, or did Macrocilix truly evolve an appearance that made avian predators think it was a poisoned meal? There is "scant research," writes research scientist Alex Wild.

The scant published research on the mural moth is systematic in nature, with nary a mention of the incredible mimicry. In fact, the photo-sharing site Flickr has outpaced any academic work: photographer Allan Lee reports in 2009 that the moth reinforces the imagery with a pungent odor. That’s the extent of our knowledge. Macrocilix maia is a Ph.D. project waiting to happen.

Wild was writing in 2011. Has anything interesting been learned of Macrocilix since? Google Scholar suggests only fleeting references in papers and a book, saying nothing more than Wild's summary. There are many splendid specimens on Flickr, all with nearly-identical caco-camo.

Photo: Alexey Yakovlev/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

This adorable puppy has a tail growing from his head

This good boy is named Narwhal. And yes, he has a tail growing from his head. Kind folks rescued from the cold outdoors in Kansas City, Mo. and took the 10-week-old pup to Mac's Mission, a nonprofit animal shelter in Jackson, Mo. From Yahoo!:

Once situated in Jackson, Narwhal was evaluated by Dr. Brian Heuring, a veterinarian at Cape Small Animal Clinic, who was able to share a good prognosis on the pup's signature appendage — and no, it doesn't wag, if you were wondering.

"Dr. Heuring is completely not on board with cutting it off at this point," (shelter founder Rochelle) Steffen shared of the extra tail, which is said to be about a third of the size of the tail on Narwhal's posterior. "We took X-rays and there is no medical reason for it to be removed, other than just cosmetic."

"We are always willing to do the medically necessary thing to make sure our animals have a good quality of life, but at this point, it doesn't bother him, it's not in his way," she continued. "He doesn't know any different, so he just runs and plays and is wild, like a normal puppy with a tail on his face."

Divers retrieve hundreds of bottles of booze from a World War I shipwreck

In 1917, Swedish steamer ship Kyros was traveling from France to Russia when a German U-boat sunk it in the Baltic Sea. The shipwreck was discovered in 1999 but it wasn't until the last month that a team of divers from Ocean X and iXplorer have hauled up the sunken treasure: 600 bottles of De Haartman & Co. cognac and 300 bottles of Benedictine (now Bacardi) liqueur meant for Tsar Nicholas II. From Smithsonian:

(Expedition leader Peter) Lindberg and his colleagues have sent samples of both the cognac and the Benedictine to a laboratory to gauge whether the alcohol is still fit for consumption. They are optimistic regarding the outcome of these tests, according to Metcalfe, as the Baltic’s freezing waters are actually ideal for storing spirits. Although some of the bottles contain sediment, many remain sealed. Several cognac bottles even have intact tin seals...

As Lindberg tells CNN’s Gianluca Mezzofiore and David Williams, he and the rest of the team detected a slight scent of sweetened herbs coming from the Benedictine bottles...

Earlier this year, two bottles of 17th-century wine discovered by Ocean X went up for auction at Christie’s. And in 2011, a 200-year-old bottle of champagne found in another Baltic shipwreck sold for a record-breaking $43,000.

images: OceanXTeam on Instagram

Absorb best-selling books in minutes with this reading app

Knowledge is power. It's a cliché, but sometimes things turn into a cliché because they're true. If you're making your way through the world of business and entrepreneurship, it only makes sense to read about the insights of people who have climbed that ladder before you.

Trouble is, the modern workday doesn't leave a lot of time for reading - especially for those go-getters who might benefit the most.

That's where services like Readitfor.me can be a real life-saver, giving you the meat of self-help or business books in minutes rather than days or weeks.

The book summary service gives laser-focused breakdowns of some essential titles in the nonfiction world - bestsellers like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, To Sell is Human, 10% Happier and many more. The current library has over 300 titles and is growing at around 100 additions every year.

Summaries are accessible as animated videos that distill the big ideas and water-cooler facts into bite-sized chunks that you can absorb over a quick lunch, coffee break, or lazy commute. That's a ton of time freed up to actually act on all that great information.

There's a number of plans available, but you can get access to them all on sale now. Pick up a 1-year subscription for $19.99, 5 years for $49.99, or a lifetime for just $99.99 today.

Interview with Errol Morris about his new Steve Bannon Documentary

Nick Gillespie of Reason interviewed filmmaker Errol Morris about American Dharma, his new documentary about Steve Bannon. I'm looking forward to seeing it.

When Errol Morris debuted American Dharma, his documentary about Stephen Bannon, last year at the Venice Film Festival, he received an ovation. But after early reviewers accused the Oscar-winning director of letting the former Breitbart.com head and adviser to President Trump "off the hook," Morris found it impossible to get a distribution deal in the United States.

It was the first time in decades that the acclaimed director of The Thin Blue Line and The Fog of War couldn't get a movie into theaters. "The experience was so damn weird," Morris tells Reason. "People became so angry with me and with the movie, they certainly wanted to deplatform not just Bannon, but they wanted to deplatform me."

But now his film, American Dharma, is finally in theaters.

Nick Gillespie sat down with the 71-year-old Morris, whom Roger Ebert called "as great a filmmaker as Hitchcock or Fellini," for a wide-ranging conversation about the censorious first reactions to his new film, his history with Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, and what he learned—and didn't learn—about Steve Bannon's philosophy. He also talks about why he thinks we're in a golden age of documentary filmmaking, his heated grad-school confrontations with philosopher Thomas Kuhn (detailed in his recent book The Ashtray: Or the Man Who Denied Reality), and Wormwood, his 2017 Netflix docudrama series about the CIA's notorious MKUltra mind-control program.

How to survive solitary confinement

I highly recommend McKinley Valentine's email newsletter, The Whippet. In each issue she presents interesting ideas, art, videos, and articles.

Here's an item from the latest issue (#85):

How to survive solitary confinement

I like to read things like this, keep it in my pocket, so I worry less about what if it happens.

The recommendation is more or less -- you'll go crazy anyway, so go crazy with intention, to protect your brain.

The human brain does very badly in social isolation - we're not built for it, and people start hallucinating and dissociating very quickly when it's complete. It's actual torture, but people don't expect it to be because it sounds so low-key.

So the people in this article - both people who've survived solitary, and psychologists - suggest using a lot of visualisation. Imagine yourself in a much bigger space than you are, get to know it. Have a "workspace" where you train, maybe practice a sport in your mind. Every day, regularly, like you were outside and had a proper life. Imagine meeting a friend and having conversations with them.

Part of what makes you go crazy in isolation is the lack of external cues and structures, so it has to be structured visualisations, not just panicked uncontrolled daydreaming.

From someone who survived 7 years in almost total solitary confinement (again, this is torture, it is amazing he came out of it relatively okay):

"He he used to kill time for hours working out detailed visualizations of himself in a vivid alternate reality, where he could inhabit open spaces and converse with people.

“I might imagine myself at a park and come upon a person sitting on a bench,” he says. “I would ask if she or he minded if I sat down. I’d say something like, ‘Great weather today.’ The other person would respond something like, ‘It is indeed. I hope it continues until the [football game].’ ‘I know what you mean. In another couple of weeks it’s going to be cold as a witch’s tit in Wisconsin.’ As we conversed, I would watch joggers, bicyclists, and skateboarders pass by. The conversation might go on for half an hour or so. When I opened my eyes and stood, I would feel refreshed and even invigorated.”

There you go, now you're prepared.

Image: By Fairv8 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The Life Cycle podcast meets neurologist Dr. Phil Kennedy, who had a brain-computer interface implanted in his head

In Episode 5 of this podcast on the future of humanity, co-host Eva Kelley travels to meet transhumanist pioneer and neurologist Dr. Phil Kennedy, who recently had a brain-computer interface installed in his own head. Dr. Kennedy tells Eva all about that experience (including gory footage from the operation), compares his approach to brain-computer interfaces with those being developed by people like Elon Musk ("they forgot the brain doesn't like electrodes"), and discusses the implications of this technology on human evolution. Eva and co-host John Holten close by reading an excerpt from Dr. Kennedy's self-published novel, which features a sex scene between a life support robot and his longtime wife.

The Life Cycle is a production of Klang Games, creator of Seed, the planet colonization MMO -- watch the new trailer here.  Subscribe to The Life Cycle on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, and Spotify. Follow The Life Cycle on Twitter and Instagram.

Fox News: Today's impeachment testimony was "very damaging to the President"

Chris Wallace of Fox News was impressed with Ambassador William Taylor's testimony in today's impeachment hearings:

"William Taylor was a very impressive witness and was very damaging to the president. First of all, as you pointed out, he took very copious notes at almost every conversation... I think very nonpolitical. He went out of his way to talk about what he knew, what he was specifically testament to. The only thing he talked about was a strong feeling that it was in the U.S. national security interests to support Ukraine in the fight against Russia. But he certainly wasn't taking any partisan position."

Butthole Surfers' Gibby Haynes wrote a young adult novel and it sounds fantastically weird

Gibby Haynes, frontman for legendary psych band the Butthole Surfers, penned a young adult novel, "Me and Mr. Cigar," to be released in January. And no surprise, it sound fantastically far fucking out. I can't wait to read it. Here's the description:

Seventeen-year-old Oscar Lester is never without his dog, Mr. Cigar. The two have made a pretty good life for themselves in North Texas, organizing drug-fueled dance parties with Oscar’s best friend, Lytle Taylor. The only real grownup in Oscar’s life is Carla Marks, protégé of his deceased father and the genius behind the enigmatic IBC Corporation. (Oscar’s mom spends all of her time with her new boyfriend.) Carla doesn’t approve of Oscar’s nefarious activity, though his parties provide an ideal environment to test-run some of IBC’s more freakish technology. As for Oscar’s older sister, Rachel . . . she’s been gone for the past five years, having fled after Mr. Cigar bit off her hand.

But Oscar knows that his dog is no menace. Mr. Cigar is a loyal protector: a supernatural creature that can exact revenge, communicate telepathically, and manipulate car doors and windows with ease. So when Rachel—now twenty-two and an artist living in New York—calls out of the blue and claims that she’s being held hostage, Oscar sees an opportunity to make things right between them . . . at least until Carla Marks warns Oscar that Mr. Cigar’s life might be in danger, too.

Suddenly Oscar finds himself on the run with his dog and his best friend. Together they race north to save Rachel and to flee the mysterious evil forces after Mr. Cigar. Ultimately they discover that this dual quest might untangle Oscar’s own strange life and reveal the true nature of Mr. Cigar’s existence.

Me and Mr. Cigar (Amazon)

Watch this lock picker remove an inventory control tag in one second

It's frustrating to buy an article of clothing from a store, then get home and discover that the ink-filled inventory control tag is still attached. This happened to the Lock Picking Lawyer, but instead of wasting a lot of time returning to the store, he was able to safely remove the tag at home in a fraction of a second by holding a neodymium magnet against it.

Image: YouTube

Nemesis Prime Transformer has a G-Shock wristwatch in its chest

Casio G-Shock and Transformers are releasing a Nemesis Prime action figure that contains a G-Shock wristwatch in its chest. More than meets the eye, the Optimus Prime also transforms into a fancy pedestal for the watch when it's not on your wrist. The ¥30,000 JPY (US$275) set will only be available in Japan.

G-SHOCK DW-5600TF19-SET (Hypebeast)

Minnesota high school threw away hot lunches for students with over $15 of lunch debt

Instead of feeding high school kids who were too poor to pay their lunch bill, a high school in Minnesota humiliated the students in front of the other students by throwing their hot meals in the garbage and giving them cold food instead, reports NBC News. After the school was exposed, they decided an apology was in order.

"We deeply regret our actions today and the embarrassment that it caused several of our students," the district wrote in a statement Monday. "We have met with some of the students involved and apologized to them."

Richfield Superintendent Steven Unowsky told KARE the actions of cafeteria staff were "inappropriate."

“There are multiple failures we had in this situation and our job is to fix it. First and foremost [in] the way we treated our kids. We should never leave kids with the feeling they had from the experience,” Unowsky said.

It seems like a decent apology. You can donate to the school district's meal account here. It's kind of difficult to do, so follow the directions closely.

Image: U.S. Department of Agriculture - Fruit-bar-pic---Web, Public Domain, Link

Protestors use laser pointers to bring down police drone

As William Gibson wrote, "The street finds its own uses for things."

More in this vein:

• Hong Kong protesters use lasers to blind security cameras

• After student arrested for carrying laser-pointers, Hong Kong protesters stage "stargazing" laser-protest

(Thanks, UPSO!)

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