Identical twin drugged brother, left him in cell to escape prison

According to The Washington Post, a set of identical twins in Peru not only share the same parents and looks, but also, briefly, a prison sentence.

In January, 2017, Alexander Jheferson Delgado was in a Peruvian clink serving a 16-year sentence for robbery and child sexual abuse. For some people, no matter what they do, family is family. Alexander’s twin, Giancarlo, is one of those: he came to visit his incarcerated sibling, bringing food and letters from their family with him. Giancarlo met with his twin in a common area of the prison, walking with him as he returned to his cell. Once there, Alexander offered Giancarlo a soda. So nice! Except for the fact that the can of pop was laced with enough sedatives to lay out a rhino.

Once his twin was in a deep drug-induced sleep, Alexander stripped and swapped clothes with Giancarlo. Once in his brother’s threads, all he needed to do to make his escape was walk past six checkpoints inside of the prison to freedom. If the guards at the checkpoints had been doing their jobs, they would have noticed that Alexander did not have the stamp on his arm, given to all visitors to the facility, that his brother Giancarlo did.

When Giancarlo woke up, he tried to tell his captors what had happened. Of course, they didn’t believe him – at first. After checking Giancarlo’s fingerprints against the imprints of his brother’s that they had on file, the prison’s authorities had to admit that they had the wrong man under lock and key. As a result of Alexander’s escape, the prison’s warden and a number of the guards were fired. Alexander managed to evade authorities for over a year, before finally being captured last week.

Image: Adam Jones, Ph.D. - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

People keep walking into the glass walls at the new Apple campus

Apple employees are hurting themselves walking into the glass walls and doors of the new Apple campus, reports Bloomberg. Apple keeps removing the post-it notes they put up so they know where they are.

Surrounding the Cupertino, California-based building are 45-foot tall curved panels of safety glass. Inside are work spaces, dubbed “pods,” also made with a lot of glass. Apple staff are often glued to the iPhones they helped popularize. That’s resulted in repeated cases of distracted employees walking into the panes, according to people familiar with the incidents. Some staff started to stick Post-It notes on the glass doors to mark their presence. However, the notes were removed because they detracted from the building’s design, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing anything related to Apple. Another person familiar with the situation said there are other markings to identify the glass.

I bet the campus overheats if you leave a magazine on top

Debullshitifying Uber's financial statement reveals a hemorrhaging fountain of red ink with no path to profitability

Uber trumpeted its Q4/2017 financial statements as evidence of the company's progress towards CEO Dara Khosrowshahi's goal of profitability and IPO by 2019; the company argued that despite losing $4.5 billion in 2017, its cust-cutting in the final quarter of the year was proof that they would eventually go from losing money on each ride to actually earning money. (more…)

My interview with Nelson Dellis, USA Memory Champion

My guest this week on the Cool Tools Show is Nelson Dellis. Nelson is one of the leading memory experts in the world, traveling around the world as a Memory Consultant and Keynote Speaker. A four-time USA Memory Champion, mountaineer, and Alzheimer's disease activist, he preaches a lifestyle that combines fitness, both mental and physical, with proper diet and social involvement.

Subscribe to the Cool Tools Show on iTunes | RSS | Transcript | Download MP3 | See all the Cool Tools Show posts on a single page

Show notes:

Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer Jacket

"I like to climb, I'm a big climber, and through my charity I do a bunch of big expeditions. So I’ve been up Everest a few times … where you’re dealing with the elements, trying to stay warm and not get cold in different circumstances. You're trying to find the perfect gear that's not too heavy and gets the job done. So I’ve experimented with a bunch of stuff, and in 2016 I was on Everest, and I was introduced to this jacket … and I haven’t stopped using it since. It’s just this really lightweight kind of down jacket that folds up super small, it's super light, and it just has so many different uses. I wear it kind of in between layers, on top of layers, it just stops the wind and just keeps you toasty.”

Peak Design Anchor Links for Camera Straps

"I love taking video of when I travel, when I climb, even for some of my memory videos, I'm shooting them on the go, interviewing people or trying to get a shot while I explain something and sometimes, I like to go really hand-held to get these angles or to just be run and gunning. Other times, I just have to have it’s strapped around my neck and I'm doing something else, holding something else. So, I kind of go in-between those things and I’ve always hated Canon straps that have these double loops that take like, 10 minutes to sit down and fish them through the little loop and all that stuff and I think the Sony’s DSLRs, which I’ve played with too, have these really annoying kind of clips that make noise if you keep them on, so people take them off … this little kind of contraption is basically getting rid of you ever having to do that again … they don’t bother the camera at all, but you can just latch on when you need the strap or not and it’s awesome for dealing with that kind of stuff.”

The Memory Palace Technique

"This technique supposedly was invented by the Greeks thousands of years ago and has been used to memorize massive poems and legions of armies’ fighters names and it’s something people had to use back in the day to store information … The technique works around something that our brains are really good at, which is one, thinking in pictures. … The second step is to take advantage of what our brains are also good at, and that is spatial information. We're very spatially aware. Our brain is very good at kind of scanning areas and keeping that information within our heads without really trying. And so, if you think about your house for example, close your eyes and picture yourself standing at your front door. I guarantee you, 99.9% of people listening could close their eyes and walk through their whole house without even trouble, right? … So, if you can take those two things, thinking in pictures and using your house or some place familiar, the spatial information that’s already memorized in your mind, you can actually memorize really large amounts of things, and this is the memory palace … Let’s say you’re memorizing all 45 presidents … You would come with a picture for each of the Presidents' names. So, like, Taft could be a raft, because you'd actually picture a raft, right? Wilson could be a tennis ball, right? Because you think of Wilson tennis, right? Trump’s face is actually memorable, or you could think of an orange … So, you have a picture for each of those things and then what you do is you place the pictures in order, because you want to know the presidents in order, around a path through the place that you’re using as your palace. … So, maybe your picture for Washington is a washing machine filled with a ton of clothes and you picture that washing machine kind of pushed up against the front door and maybe it’s rattling because there’s a ton of stuff in there, it’s really over-loaded and it's just shaking, making a lot of scary noises and kind of banging up against the door so much so that maybe even the wooden door is splintering and kind of shattering. So you kind of combine the images and have them interact with the space.”

Art of Memory

"This is something I actually helped create with a few other memory friends and it's basically a place to train your memory. I use it to practice, of course. Teach others as well, these techniques. Play memory games online against other memory enthusiasts and you can actually create your memory palaces through our software online … So, it’s just a great kind of tool. All memory training related. Great resource for learning techniques, practicing them and developing your systems.”

Also mentioned:

Climb For Memory

This $7 magnifying glass with alligator clips comes in 'handy'

This small magnifying glass on a stand comes in very handy when I need a third one.

Can you hold this?

Living solo has taught me that delicate tasks on small objects can be a real pain. Having only a ten-year-old, with the manual dexterity of a 10-year-old, around the house as an assistant sometimes causes a lot of unpleasant yelling. This helpful magnifying glass with some alligator clips reduces my instances of grumping-at-child markedly.

SE MZ101B Helping Hand with Magnifying Glass via Amazon

Image via Amazon

Psychedelic 'Mirror Maze' is a hidden gem deep within popular San Francisco tourist trap

My friend Mark Krawczuk recently discovered an under-appreciated attraction at San Francisco's Pier 39, Magowan's Infinite Mirror Maze.

In his latest newsletter (which is a delightful find itself), he describes it:

There’s something about the atmosphere at Pier 39 that set me and my friend Julie on edge. Something about the ingenuous tourist trap consumer culture that they’ve been able to refine to its purest form. We nearly turned back before we got to this marvel. I’m so glad we pushed through.

It’s unlike anything I’ve ever been to before: it evokes joy, awe, glee, fascination and terror at the same time. It’s premise seems so simple, but it truly blew my mind. I truly enjoyed my time there, but I have to admit I was glad when we solved the way out. I highly recommend it! And a bargain at $5.

A clever way around high school reunion small talk

So, you've learned you've got a high school reunion coming up. Well, if you've decided to go and want to stave off awkward conversations, take some inspiration from my author friend Benjamin Wachs. Last year, he went to his reunion in upstate New York and brought stacks of laminated flip books he made in advance. His "Benjamin Wachs Small Talk Experience" answered the basic questions about his life since high school and then prompted some more thoughtful ones. It made me smile.

Take a look (click on each image to see it bigger):

Mittens to run for Utah senate seat

Mitt Romney, former Republican presidential candidate and Trump "critic", is to run for the Utah senate seat vacated by Orrin Hatch's retirement.

Romney's run has already faced some resistance: the head of the state's Republican Party criticized him for not having deep enough ties to the state. Jenny Wilson, a Democratic candidate running for Senate in Utah, said this week that "Utah families deserve another Utahn as their senator, not a Massachusetts governor who thinks of our state as his vacation home." If elected, the former governor would bring strong name recognition and influence as a first-term senator. While former aides expect Romney to push for conservative policies in the Senate, they also believe he will rebuke the president when necessary and potentially clash with him on some policies.

What ... what if he only votes with Trump 85% of time, like GOP rebel Jeff Flake? This could be revolutionary.

How Arch Hosting helps you bypass steep web hosting fees

For many startups and fledgling businesses, web hosting — and the fees associated with it — can take a sizeable chunk out of the company budget and limit growth down the road. But, that's not to say there aren't hosts out there who can get your site online while staying within your budget. Arch Hosting is a performance-oriented host that lets you utilize multi-core processors, a lightning fast network, and powerful hardware, and it's offering lifetime subscriptions plus a one-year domain starting at $24.99.

With Arch Hosting, you'll receive 2GB of SSD storage space and 500GB of bandwidth for one domain, plus free SSL certificates for all other domains and subdomains. What's more, Arch Hosting boasts a host of intuitive features, like a drag-and-drop website builder and a Softaculous Script Installer, which allows you to deploy your WordPress, forum, or e-commerce application with a single click. It even keeps your site secure with automated backups.

A lifetime subscription to Arch Hosting and a one-year domain is available today for $24.99. Additionally, Arch Hosting's business plan nets you 10GB of SSD storage space and 1TB of bandwidth for three domains, all for $44.99.

'The Greatest American Hero' reboot will have a female lead

I have fond memories of watching ABC's early-1980s comedy The Greatest American Hero and was only mildly surprised to hear they are bringing it back (as a pilot, for now). What was surprising is that the "hero" will be a "heroine" in the reboot.

Deadline reports:

...Hannah Simone has been tapped for the title role in ABC’s single-camera comedy pilot The Greatest American Hero, from the Fresh Off the Boat duo of Rachna Fruchbom and Nahnatchka Khan. In the reimagining with a gender switch of Steven J. Cannell’s 1981 cult classic, the unlikely (super)hero at the center, played by William Katt in the original, is being reconceived as an Indian-American woman.

Written by Fruchbom, The Greatest American Hero centers around Meera (Simone), a 30-year-old woman who loves tequila and karaoke and has spent her life searching and failing to find meaning, much to the chagrin of her traditional Indian-American family. An inexplicable event occurs that will change the course of Meera’s life forever: she is entrusted with a super suit to protect the planet. Meera may have finally found purpose, but the world has never been in more unreliable hands.

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