Denmark is 0.07 seconds behind the world

Every country once ran on its own time. This wasn't much of a problem until the era of global telecommunications began. That's when Denmark decided to use the line that's 15 degrees east of Greenwich, England as the spot to set Central European Time (one hour difference from Greenwich Mean Time). Clocks in Europe were all set so that when the sun was at its zenith 15 degrees east of Greenwich, it was noon. But because the Earth wobbles and its rotation is slowing down, "noon drifts by a fraction of a second each day," says Tom Scott. The world now uses Coordinated Universal Time, based on "a network of atomic clocks around the world" so that electronic assets trading can take place around world, where tiny fractions of a second can make a big difference.

But Denmark has never changed its law from 1894, which dictates that it must follow Mean Solar Time, to match the rest of the world, which uses Coordinated Universal Time. That means the error is now 0.07 seconds, and by the end of 2019, the error will be 0.25 seconds. Fortunately, everyone ignores the outdated law.

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Parrot wants to touch cat

Not like this parrot, though. Previously in Parrots. Read the rest

Spectacular 21-car pileup at Daytona 500

You'd be surprised how often we cover NASCAR: "Well, that ruined everything." Read the rest

Ah, the sound of a dot matrix printer!

One of my first jobs, back in the late 80s, stuck me in a room with an IBM /36, a gigantic floppy drive, and a printer the size of a Volkswagen Scirocco. I think I woke up today still hearing this... Read the rest

Shoulder tattoo of wrong Mars rover

Someone took the awesome last words of Mars Opportunity and got a tattoo of Mars Curiosity. Twitter was not kind.

Keep it clean and out of the sun! Read the rest

YouTube's algorithms demonitizes piano tutorial site for "Repetitious content"

When you're learning to play a musical instrument, you have to play the same songs and scales over and over again. YouTube's algorithm doesn't seem to know this, and so it demonetized a piano tutorial channel for "Repetitious content."

We just found out that our channel was demonetised for "Repetitious content" and we believe that this is an error, possibly decided by an algorithm, and now the biggest part of our livelihood has been taken away. Please help us by discussing this (tweeting and posting) if possible. We need to be heard by YouTube. It's a risk for the piano and synthesia community as we all have similar-looking videos.

I hope they get this sorted out soon! Read the rest

The 'Carlton Dance' is not eligible for registration, Fortnite boogies on

Alfonso Ribeiro sure can move, but the Copyright office doesn't see anything registerable about it. This ruling further imperils Ribeiro's claim that Epic Games 'Fortnite' has stolen from him.

The Verge:

The US Copyright Office refused to register The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro’s “Carlton dance” routine, likely weakening lawsuits against two game studios that copied the dance. In new legal filings, Take-Two Interactive produced letters and emails from the Copyright Office, showing serious concern over whether the dance qualified for copyright protection and, if it could, whether Ribeiro even owned the rights.

Ribeiro sued Take-Two for copying the Carlton dance, which he created while playing Fresh Prince character Carlton Banks, for a celebratory dance gesture in NBA 2K. He’s also filed a lawsuit against Epic Games, which used a version of the Carlton dance in Fortnite. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Take-Two filed a defense earlier this week, asking a judge to dismiss the case. It argues that Banks’ dance is too basic to be protected by copyright, which only covers more complex “choreography.”

A letter from the Copyright Office backs up that argument — at least, for one of three dance variations that Ribeiro submitted. The letter calls his submission “a simple routine made up of three dance steps” and refuses registration. “The fact that a dance or movement may contain more than a trivial amount of original authorship is irrelevant,” it reads. In other words, even if Ribeiro’s dance was unique and distinctive, it’s not protected by copyright.

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Ja Rule has plans for to Fyre up another music festival. Seriously.

Ja Rule, who claims he hasn't watched either of the Fyre festival documentaries, is ready to rise like a phoenix from the, er, flames:

"(Fyre is) the most iconiq festival that never was," he says. "So I have plans to create the iconic music festival." Read the rest

Watch a bus do a u-turn on a busy highway

According to Digg, this bus driver in China realized he wouldn't make it through a toll plaza so he pulled a u-ey. I think he actually wanted to grab a killer parking spot on the other side of the road.

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Trump says he's "most excited" about the death penalty for drug dealers

During Trump's address this morning where he declared a National Emergency in order to get funding for the wall that Mexico didn't pay for, he also mentioned how excited he was about the idea of a death penalty for people who traffic drugs.

He talked about a meeting he had with China's President Xi Jinping, in which Xi attributed China's low drug crimes to the punishment of death. "That's frankly one of the things I'm most excited about in our trade deal," Trump said, referring to the death penalty given to drug dealers.

"If we want to get smart...you can end the drug problem, a lot faster than people think." Read the rest

An "e-ink typewriter" that can only do one thing

Lucian's SPUDwriter (Single Purpose User Device) was designed to help him focus on creative writing after a long day of staring at a screen in his engineering job: it uses an e-ink screen and a keyboard, and only outputs via SD card or thermal printer.

As a person who does all of their engineering work on or adjacent to a computer, the idea of coming home and spending even MORE time on the computer for creative writing isn’t super appealing. So I made an e-paper typewriter – no browser, no games, just you and your word count. It has a character LCD at the bottom for the current line you’re typing, to make up for how slow E-paper updates, and when you’re finished you can save your file to an SD card or print it all out with the internal thermal receipt printer for redline editing. I call it the SPUDwrite (Single Purpose User Device), hopefully the first of a couple of SPUDs. It’s built on MBED and the STM32F401 Cortex M4.

The SPUDwrite (Single Purpose User Device) for creating writing made with E-paper, MBED, and STM32F401 Cortex M4 [Adafruit]

(Thanks, PT!)

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How to deal with getting fired

Brilliant culture critic Rob Walker, author of the forthcoming book The Art of Noticing, just launched a new column at Lifehacker about "navigating the modern workplace," a continuation in some ways of his long-running New York Times column "The Workologist." Naturally, Rob's first column in the new series is about getting fired:

...What I’m suggesting is that you should not wait for a major crisis (getting fired, a horrible reorg, your worst rival becomes your boss) to start thinking about other objects. It’s better to always have a kind of low-grade, ambient awareness of and openness to other professional opportunities. That’s true even if you’re ecstatic with whatever you’re doing. Always take the lunch or have the meeting or go on the informational interview that pops up on your radar...

The absolute flat-out most irritating piece of career advice is this: Reframe challenges, failures, slap-downs, and humiliations as exciting opportunities.

Yes, we all get the logic. In fact we all get it so well that we don’t need to hear this advice anymore. Particularly right after we just got fired and it doesn’t feel exciting at all!

So let me try to offer a slightly different reframing. As noted, it totally sucks to lose your gig. But take a deep breath and try to keep an open mind about what might come next. This, in a way, is just a restatement of the “permanent job search” idea, with a little panglossian polish.

"How To Get Fired" (Lifehacker) Read the rest

An edible "second skin" to preserve fruits and vegetables

Founded with a grant from the from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Apeel Sciences is a California-based startup that's developed a thin "second skin" for fruits and vegetables to preserve them for longer periods. Avocados coated with Apeel will soon hit shelves in Europe. From Technology Review:

The thin coating is made from the pulp, peels, and seeds of other fruit and vegetables. These are turned into powder, which gets mixed with water and then applied to produce by spraying, dipping, or brushing. It's then left to dry. This “second skin” acts like a barrier, slowing down loss of water and exposure to air, the main factors that lead to food spoiling. A lemon that might stay fresh for one month could stay fresh for two or more once it’s been treated with Apeel. And because it’s just made from fruits and other plants, it’s also edible.

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How to make an origami winged heart

All you need is love, love / Love and paper is all you need

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Corgi secretly rides pony at night

The original local news story seems to have vanished, so maybe all was not as it seems, but I prefer to believe that this corgi was caught secretly riding the neighbor's pony at night. Read the rest

Man enjoys unexpected slide down own icy path

The composition of the shot is perfect. You know it's going to happen. And when it does, it's delightful rather than horrible. I'd spend at least an hour sliding down again and again, and might even install a rope and traffic barriers to expedite and ensafen the joy. Read the rest

Weezer's video for "Take On Me" cover stars Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard and his band Calpurnia

The video for Weezer's cover of A-ha's "Take On Me" stars Calpurnia, the rather wonderful indie rock band fronted by Finn Wolfhard who plays Mike on Stranger Things. The song is included on Weezer's new "Teal Album," a collection of 1980s cover songs including their acclaimed version of Toto's "Africa."

And just for kicks, here's Calpurnia's "Greyhound":

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