A Calvinesque and Hobbesian look at a President becoming a Dictator

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Save over 50% on this super organized luggage that has compartments for everything

Are you super organized? You're going to love the Genius Pack G4 and its seemingly limitless, well-placed compartments. Not that organized? You're still going to love this piece of luggage because it's so well thought out that it practically does the packing for you.

We've all tried to stuff a piece of carry-on so full that it practically becomes a black hole. That practice becomes almost effortless with the Genius Pack, which not only boasts a separate compartment for dirty clothes but an air valve to vacuum-seal the contents. And that's only for starters: This thing has labeled, tidy spaces for chargers, socks, toiletries - even an umbrella. If you still need more room, an accordion-like zipper space expands it by 25%, and you can tote your jacket or personal bag outside with a handy strap. Made of high-strength nylon, it's sturdy enough to handle whatever you stuff into it, and the 360-degree spinning wheels are a nice touch.

Right now, you can pick up the Genius Pack G4 Carry-On Spinner Case for $179 - a full 39% off the MSRP. Plus, as a special offer to Boing Boing readers, you can save an additional 15% off this suitcase when you use promo code SPRING15.

Akira Animation Cels! Cartoonist Kayfabe Show and Tell

The boys, Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and Tom Scioli got hold of a couple animation cels from the classic anime and couldn't help but show them off. A fun glimpse into the analogue way of producing animation. Come for the cels, stay for the Katsuhiro Otomo storyboard books.

Also, in case you missed the Cartoonist Kayfabe coverage of the Akira manga:

Subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel for more vids celebrating the medium of comics.

Get the gist on hundreds of books in 12 minutes apiece

If you're an entrepreneur, you're not just hungry for success. You're hungry for knowledge, the insights that can lead to bigger and better ideas and ways to implement them. That knowledge is out there in the bestselling biz books that have changed the game over the years. There's just one problem: In a fast-paced lifestyle, who has the time to read them?

That's where Readitfor.me comes in.

It's a reading service built specifically for people who need the big ideas boiled down into a compact presentation. In 12-minute animated videos and summaries, Readitfor.me gives you the big takeaways from bestselling, fact-packed books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, To Sell is Human, Hooked, Steve Jobs, Leaders Eat Last and 10% Happier. The complete library has over 300 essential guidebooks for the business world, with more being added all the time.

You can get a one-year subscription to the Readitfor.me Standard Plan for $29 today - a full 87% off the list price.

Put music therapy to work with this science-backed app

Countless research studies have proven what is incredibly obvious to anyone who has a favorite song: Music can have a profound effect on our mood. So why not put that science to work for more than just de-stressing your commute? That's the idea behind the Humm.ly Music Therapy App, a new tool that aims to make you more productive, creative and mindful.

Curated by actual music therapists and music producers, Humm.ly is more than just a killer playlist. Choose a situation in your daily life and the app pulls up a soundtrack scientifically engineered to fire up just the neurons you need, whether it's brainstorming, winding down after work or falling asleep. It even gamifies the process so you can stay on track with your journey toward mindfulness. It's about time an app took music seriously enough to harness its full potential, and Humm.ly is engineered to do just that.

Right now, you can get a lifetime subscription to the Humm.ly Music Therapy App for $39.99, more than 85% off the original price.

I bought the second installment in Neal Shusterman's Scythe series before I finished the first book

Neal Shusterman's Scythe explores a post-mortal dystopia where everything is perfect except humanity.

Our nascent 'Cloud' has developed into 'the Thunderhead' and all of humanities problems are solved! The Thunderhead is an AI that has only our best intentions at heart! Amazon Cloud Services Rejoice! Quantum computing or some advancements in cloud technology have allowed for the elimination of human death! Go figure! Aged folk can reboot into new younger bodies! Accidental deaths simply render people 'dead-ish' until they are revived in a new bod.

Unsurprisingly, humanity not motivated by want or finite time on the planet becomes pretty boring. To add the edge back into life Scythes are created. This group of humans randomly permanently kill otherwise-immortal humans. The idea is that random death will keep folks aware that their end could come. This service is for some reason viewed as critical for the survival of the species and Scythes are the one aspect of life not controlled by the Thunderhead.

Humans have never proven good at running things for themselves.

I had a fantastic time reading this book, look forward to the second installment in the series, and was disappointed to learn I'd have to wait until November for the finale.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman via Amazon

Culturing butter at home to enjoy with sourdough made with freshly milled wheat

Baking great tasting, and looking sourdough bread with freshly milled wheat is only complicated if you are used to market-bought wheat. Like we all are.

These two loaves are pretty identical, the only difference in their composition was perhaps 1 tablespoon of extra water in the loaf that got the dusted linen crust. I eyeball water in the measuring cups and do not weigh anything.

I used 2 cups of King Arthur bread flour and 1 1/2 cups of the Hard Red Winter Wheat supplied by Grist and Toll for each loaf, as well as 1 1/2 cups of water, 1/3 cup of well-fed starter and 1 1/2 tsp of Trader Joe's fine sea salt.

I find the Grist and Toll wheat slows fermentation down. Everything I read suggested fresh wheat would speed things up, by my experience showed that more patience and more time are needed. In addition to giving the first ferment more time, close to 18 hours rather than a normal 12-14, I also engaged the use of my Rancilio Ms Silvia espresso machine. I put the fermenting glass bowls of dough on top of Silvia, and her warming tray helps kick the yeast into high gear.

Fresh whole wheat absorbs water differently than market-sourced wheat. 'Hydration' or ratio of flour to water in the dough is something a baker can pay a lot of attention to if said baker wants. I don't bother, but you do need enough water in the dough to get everything to stick together. I suggest reserving a little water or a little flour from your initial mixing, and you can add a bit more of whichever material you held back if you feel the texture is off. Typically you want a wet and sticky ball of dough that'll require you flour your hands to work with it. A little dryer or wetter is not a problem.

'Hydration' influences the crumb of the bread a lot, and you'll get bigger bubbles in your bread if there is more water. Why? Bread rises as water evaporates out of it during baking. Lifting the bread up. More water will create more steam and if the yeast has done its work there will be lots of little pockets formed in the dough to catch it and expand like a balloon. Too dry dough and you'll get very dense bread. Too wet a dough will run like a non-Newtonian oobleck.

I know that around 1 1/2 cups of water works with around 3 1/2 cups of flour. Reserving 1/4 cup of flour or water will probably be enough to let you fiddle. You can also just add a bit more flour or water. It will not hurt anything.

The loaves rose about 1/2 as much as I thought they should overnight, so I gave them a few hours on the espresso machine's warming tray. Rotating between the bowls every 45 minutes or so, so as not to let the heat of the tray cook the bread, the dough rose some more and had a very fermented and gluten-y texture when spread out for folding.

I chose to put the wetter dough in the linen lined basket, as I felt it was less likely to stick there than in a plain banneton. Both came out of their proofing baskets just fine and cooked up well.

One loaf went with my daughter to her mothers, so she'd have sandwich bread this week. The second loaf was shared with a guest who taught me to make my own butter at home.

Making butter seems pretty easy. I will certainly be doing it again. All it took was a pint of heavy whipping cream, a dollup of yogurt and then my stand-up mixer. My guest had combined the cream and yogurt a few nights before and then left it to sit on her counter for a day. Once the cream had taken on a tangy taste and smell, she refrigerated the concoction. When we were ready for butter all she had to do was let the mixer run on a relatively high-speed, splash shield in place, until the cream formed butter fat globs and the buttermilk separates.

I was enthralled watching the cream change into all the various types of cottage cheese, creme fraiche and other various milk products on the path to butter.

After squeezing and rinsing the butter we salted it a bit and stuck it in my bell jar butter crock.

I have been told that making my own cultured butter is a good skill to go with the bread baking.

A machine-learning wishlist for hardware designers

Pete Warden (previously) is one of my favorite commentators on machine learning and computer science; yesterday he gave a keynote at the IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference, on the ways that hardware specialization could improve machine learning: his main point is that though there's a wealth of hardware specialized for creating models, we need more hardware optimized for running models. (more…)

"Cthulhu was real!" say scientists

Well, sort of. Paleontologists have identified a 430 million-year-old fossil of a multi-tentacled sea creature as a new species and dubbed it Sollasina cthulhu after HP Lovecraft's Great Old One. From Yale University:

The new cthulhu, Sollasina, had 45 tentacle-like tube feet, which it used to crawl along the ocean floor and capture food. The creature was small, about the size of a large spider. It was found in the Herefordshire Lagerstätte in the United Kingdom, a site that has proven to be a trove of fossilized ancient sea animals.

“In this paper, we report a new echinoderm — the group that includes sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and sea stars — with soft-tissue preservation,” said Yale paleontologist Derek Briggs, a co-author of the study. “This new species belongs to an extinct group called the ophiocistioids. With the aid of high-resolution physical-optical tomography, we describe the species in 3D, revealing internal elements of the water vascular system that were previously unknown in this group and, indeed, in nearly all fossil echinoderms.”

Hanging by my arms helps my shoulder pain

One of my shoulders stopped working very well about three years ago. Hanging from a pull-up and chin-up bar helps me a lot.

I was waking up in the middle of the night unable to move my right arm. Then my arm started to ache all day and I was already suffering a greatly reduced range of motion. A physical therapist told me that my sleeping position, on my right side, matched with my 8-12 hours a day standing in front of a laptop and typing, was to blame.

I can't stop typing, and the frustration of trying to change my sleeping position is a monster. As if an aching dominant arm's shooting pains when moved were not hardship enough, running on to little sleep is a whole other category of horrendous. Issues start to compound. I was spending a lot of time wondering if this was now my life.

My physical therapist told me to hang from my chin-up bar, palms out. Just to hang there and to try and do it for 2 minutes a day. The first time I tried it, I didn't have the strength to even hang there for 5 seconds. I could do chin-ups with my palms facing in no problem, but just hanging on the bar palms out caused the impinged arm to start shaking and trembling. Over the course of a few days, I worked up to 30 seconds and maybe up to one minute hangs.

My arm felt better.

My arm improves for longer and longer periods of time after hanging. The sleeping position remains super important and I'm trying pillows and all sorts of rolling painfully around trying not to put pressure on the shoulder.

My favorite reading position includes me laying on the impinged shoulder.

Unintentionally, I stopped hanging from the bar for a few weeks. Unsurprisingly, the pain came right back with all its associated problems. I started hanging from the bar again and the pain is receding.

An insider's view of Facebook's 15 months in hell: my take

Following up on Xeni's post from earlier today: For their 12,000-word, beautifully reported story on how Facebook's top executives coped with 15 months of mounting crises, Wired's Nicholas Thompson and Fred Vogelstein spoke with 65 current and former insider sources, producing a gripping account of how the people who built the worst thing to ever happen to the web coped when the world woke up one day and figured this all out. (more…)

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