5 tips for saving money at Target

Kathryn of What’s Up Moms offers five tips to help you save some money on your next Target run. Read the rest

Here's what happens when you set fire to a glued ball of 42,000 matches

All is Art, via Adam Koford:

What happens when you start gluing matches together? Because the heads are slightly wider than the wooden bodies, they begin to form a sphere. This was an experiment in how many matches it would take to get all the way around to make a perfect globe. After months of gluing and gluing and gluing we made it to the other side. Then the experiment shifted to see what it would look like when this thing burned. Enjoy!
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The furby organ

From the galleries, the music grows louder and more complex as the slaves, surgically operated upon to sing but one perfect note each, are stimulated to more passionate efforts. Even the young emperor is moved by the sinister harmony of their song which in few ways resembles anything previously uttered by the human voice. Why should their pain produce such marvellous beauty? he wonders. Or is all beauty created through pain? Is that the secret of great art, both human and Melnibonean?

The Emperor Elric closes his eyes.

            — Michael Moorcock, Elric of Melnibone

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Supercut of Instagram travel photo clichés

Filmmaker Oliver KMIA was traveling in Rome where he noticed the throngs of tourists surrounding the Trevi Fountain all trying to get the same photo of themselves with the monument. "I couldn't secure a picture of the Trevi Fountain for my Instragram account but I still had a very nice time in Italy," he writes. And when he got home, he was inspired to make this video, "Instravel - A Photogenic Mass Tourism Experience."

"I'm basically making fun of something I'm part of," he writes. "The irony is strong."

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Garbage collectors open library of abandoned books

Garbage collectors in Ankara, Turkey, have opened a library with all the books that people throw out.

"We started to discuss the idea of creating a library from these books. And when everyone supported it, this project happened," said Çankaya Mayor Alper Tasdelen, whose local government oversaw the opening of the library. Today, the library has over 6,000 books ranging from literature to nonfiction. There is also a popular kid's section with comic books and an entire section for scientific research. Books in English and French are also available for bilingual visitors. The library is housed in a previously vacant brick factory at the sanitation department headquarters.
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Workout app accidentally reveals secret military bases

Strava is a GPS-enabled mobile app for runners interested in seeing where and how far they ran. It also has a publically-accessible global map, which accidentally disclosed the whereabouts of secret military bases, and even the exercise activity and identities of individual soldiers.

From The Guardian:

While the heatmap only shows information in aggregate, Strava’s own website allows users to drill down into the tracked runs to find the names of individuals, as well as the dates they set their personal best times on particular runs.

When applied to military bases, that information can be extremely sensitive. The leaderboard for one 600m stretch outside an airbase in Afghanistan, for instance, reveals the full names of more than 50 service members who were stationed there, and the date they ran that stretch. One of the runners set his personal best on 20 January this year, meaning he is almost certainly still stationed there.

In Djibouti’s Chabelley Airport, used as a staging ground for US Air Force drones, three runners have completed a 7km loop of the runway – two in December 2014, and one two years later in August 2016. At least one of them is no longer based there: their running profile shows they were transferred to an air base in Germany in 2016.

The Pentagon said on Monday it was reviewing whether it needed to bolster its security protocols. “The Department of Defense takes matters like these very seriously and is reviewing the situation to determine if any additional training or guidance is required,” the Pentagon said in a statement, without directly confirming that U.S.

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If you bought something on Silk Road with bitcoin, the blockchain will remember it forever and possibly reveal your identity

A common misconception is that bitcoin transactions are anonymous. The truth is, unless you are very careful about covering your tracks, your bitcoin transactions can be connected to you. And the transaction records on bitcoin's public database (the blockchain) can never be changed or deleted, meaning they will forever be searchable by authorities or anyone else. Andy Greenberg of Wired reports that researchers were able to "connect someone's bitcoin payment on a dark web site to that person's public account."

[T]he Qatari researchers first collected dozens of bitcoin addresses used for donations and dealmaking by websites protected by the anonymity software Tor, run by everyone from WikiLeaks to the now-defunct Silk Road. Then they scraped thousands of more widely visible bitcoin addresses from the public accounts of users on Twitter and the popular bitcoin forum Bitcoin Talk. By merely searching for direct links between those two sets of addresses in the blockchain, they found more than 125 transactions made to those dark web sites' accounts — very likely with the intention of preserving the senders' anonymity — that they could easily link to public accounts. Among those, 46 were donations to WikiLeaks. More disturbingly, 22 were payments to the Silk Road. Though they don't reveal many personal details of those 22 individuals, the researchers say that some had publicly revealed their locations, ages, genders, email addresses, or even full names. (One user who fully identified himself was only a teenager at the time of the transactions.) And the 18 people whose Silk Road transactions were linked to Bitcoin Talk may be particularly vulnerable, since that forum has previously responded to subpoeanas demanding that it unmask a user's registration details or private messages.

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Watch - serene beauty of snowboarding in a forest

In the comments people are wondering if this was shot with a drone. One guy says "Probably not a drone. My guess is a second snowboarder with an DJI Osmo on a stick. My stick goes out 4 feet." However it was done, it's gorgeous. Read the rest

Unpopular ex-governor Chris Christie no longer warrants VIP treatment by TSA

Chris Christie, the much-reviled former New Jersey governor, learned that he will no longer be treated like the important person he pretends to be. Yesterday at Newark Liberty International Airport Christie headed straight to the special VIP entrance with his state police security detail but was turned away.

From Huffington Post:

The entry point is typically used by dignitaries and others to bypass the normal Transportation Security Administration checkpoint, and Christie used it himself recently, according to NBC New York.

However, his access to the bypass appears to have ended this week along with his two terms as governor of the Garden State.

“Port Authority says Christie showed up at Newark Airport today with NJ State PD detail,” a Port Authority spokesman told CBS New York. “They tried to go into the special access area where they have been going for years. A PA cop told him he was no longer allowed to use that access and they escorted him to the regular area.”

Christie was quick to say the story was fake news, but at that point, nobody really cared what he had to say about it, or anything else.

Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) Read the rest

Incredible meteor over Michigan

“I went to turn and I noticed a ball of flame coming at an angle,” Danny McEwen Jr. told the Detroit News. "...It just blew up into a bunch of sparks. I didn’t even know what to think. It was kind of odd how orange the sky was behind me and this blaze of flame out of nowhere.”

A brilliant meteor tore through Earth's atmosphere around 8pm on Tuesday night over southeastern Michigan. The United States Geological Survey measured the rumble as equivalent to a magnitude 2.0 earthquake.

From the Washington Post:

(NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office lead Bill) Cooke said the fireball was caused by a small asteroid about one to two yards in diameter, moving at 28,000 mph. When it entered into the atmosphere, he said, it heated up and began to melt away, producing the bright light that people saw...

In the case of the Michigan meteoroid, NASA’s Cooke said, “there are probably meteorites on the ground in southeast Michigan right now. . . . I’m sure the meteorite hunters will be out in force.”

More at the Detroit News: "Hunt on for spec of space rock that shook Michigan" Read the rest

The Star Wars 'Cantina Band' as played by a pencil in a math equation

YouTuber Dani Ochoa says she's a "girl with too much time on her hands," but I disagree. I think figuring out the math formula to play the Star Wars "Cantina Band" song with just a paper and pencil is exactly what she should be doing with her time.

Listen to this and compare:

(reddit) Read the rest

Fire and Fury lawyer responds to Trump's cease-and-desist letter: go pound sand

Trump seemed to think it would be a good idea to send the publisher of Michael Wolff's book, Fire and Fury, a letter demanding it to cease publication and "issue a full and complete retraction and apology." The letter had the effect of boosting sales of the book, and also of giving Henry Holt's lawyer the opportunity to write a hilariously scathing response.

The best part is on the last page:

Lastly, the majority of your letter -- indeed, seven full pages -- is devoted to instructing Henry Holt and Mr. Wolff in meticulous detail about their obligations to preserve documents that relate in any way to the book, the article, President Trump, his family members, their businesses, and his Presidential campaign. While my clients do not adopt or subscribe to your description of their legal obligations, Henry Holt and Mr. Wolff will comply with any and all document preservation obligations that the law imposes upon them. At the same time, we must remind you that President Trump, in his personal and government capacity, must comply with the same legal obligations regarding himself, his family, their businesses, the Trump campaign, and his administration, and must ensure all appropriate measures to preserve such documents are in place... Should you pursue litigation against Henry Holt or Mr. Wolff, we are quite confident that documents related to the contents of the book in the possession of President Trump, his family members, his businesses, his campaign, and his administration will prove particularly relevant to our defense.

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Trump denounces Steve Bannon: "When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind."

President Donald Trump has lashed out at Steve Bannon, his former campaign manager and White House strategist, following Bannon's suggestion that a Trump Tower meeting with Russians was "treasonous" and "unpatriotic."

“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party.” Trump continued, “Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look. Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country. Yet Steve had everything to do with the loss of a Senate seat in Alabama held for more than thirty years by Republicans. Steve doesn’t represent my base — he’s only in it for himself.”
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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory releases 62 declassified videos of nuclear weapons tests

It's eschatology in motion: 62 tests carried out between 1945 and 1962, of detonations filmed from up to 50 angles. A total of 210 tests were carried out and this tranche is a good slice of them. Read the rest

Bad Lip Reading dubs 'Stranger Things' as a perfectly odd retro sitcom

Things have been turned upside down (see what I did there?) in the world of Stranger Things as the good folks at Bad Lip Reading have dubbed over original scenes from the show and created a funny sitcom version of it (Wonder Years, anyone?). It's 18 minutes long and worth a watch, especially if you're a fan of the popular Netflix series.

(Neatorama)

Previously: Watch this Bad Lip Reading of Trump's inauguration day Read the rest

Infinitown is a procedurally generated city that seems to go on forever

This eBoy-esque procedurally generated city brings to mind short story by J.G. Ballard called "Report on an Unidentified Space Station," which appeared in one of my favorite science fiction anthologies, Semiotext(e) SF which was edited by Rudy Rucker and Robert Anton Wilson.

"

This WebGL experiment is an attempt to create a procedural city that feels alive and is fun to watch. First, we generate a finite grid of random city blocks. Then, using some tricks, the viewpoint wraps around this grid, which creates the illusion of an endless cityscape."

By pinching and zooming on a trackpad, you can change the point of view. Not sure how to do it with a mouse, because I don't use one. Read the rest

Senator says WH economic advisor pretended to have bad connection to end phone call with Trump

US Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) told CNN that White House's chief economic adviser Gary Cohn wanted to get off the phone with a long-winded Trump, so Cohn pretended to have a bad connection.

The white lie was Carper's idea, who was in a meeting about tax reform with Cohn, members of the administration, and moderate Democrats. He suggested Cohn first slather Trump with a compliment, then say buh-bye.

"I said, 'Gary, why don't you do this, just take the phone from, you know, your cell phone back and just say, Mr. President, you're brilliant, but we're losing contact, and I think we're going to lose you now, so good-bye," Carper said. "That's what he did, and he hung up, and then we went back to having the kind of conversation where we needed to, where they asked the right kind of questions, looking for consensus and common ground and I think we identified a little bit."

But someone in the meeting room (I have a hunch this someone is part of the administration) disagrees with Carper's account.

According to CNN:

A source in the room disputed Carper's recollection of the events, telling CNN that while Carper did say Cohn should "tell (Trump) he's brilliant and hang up," he did not suggest faking a bad connection. Cohn then walked away from the table while still talking on the phone and left the room, the source said.

Image: The White House Read the rest

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