Mechanical spinning globe that shows the night/day terminator

Elenco's Night 'n Day Mechanical Globe uses a system of translucent, exposed gears to rotate an internally illuminated globe that displays the seasonally adjusted, real-time night/day terminator as it spins. Read the rest

Artificial sweeteners be damned; these naturally occurring, safe proteins are thousands of times sweeter than sugar

KSU plant biochemical geneticist Raj Nagarajan describes the properties of Thaumatin, Monellin and Brazzein, all found in west African plants that are generally considered safe for consumption; each is a protein, and they are, respectively, 1,000x, 2000x, and 3000x sweeter than sugar. Read the rest

Required reading: The 2017 Nebula Awards shortlist

The Science Fiction Writers of America has released the ballot for this year's Nebula awards, nominated for and voted upon by the organization's members; the ballot lists novellas, short stories, novelettes, YA novels (the Andre Norton award), dramatic presentations (the Bradbury award), and novels -- including two debut novels I reviewed in 2016: Nisi Shawl's Everfair and Charlie Jane Anders' All the Birds in the Sky. Read the rest

1922 house and furnishings made entirely from varnished paper

Having successfully invented the paperclip-bending machine, engineer Elis F. Stenman set out to build a new summer home for himself in Rockport, Mass in 1922, entirely from paper. Read the rest

A Gmail plugin to do "emotional labor"

Install the Emotional Labor extension and it will automatically add social niceties to your outbound mail -- phrases like "Hey, Lovely! I've been thinking of you." (via 4 Short Links) Read the rest

How to talk about shitgibbons with your high school English class

The introduction of "shitgibbon" into America's political discourse is a teachable moment for English classes studying the evolution of language. Read the rest

Philomena Cunk on Shakespeare

You may know Charlie Brooker only through his amazing Black Mirror programs, but savvy Brookerfen are avid viewers of his Screenwipe/Newswipe shows -- acerbic, potty-mouthed media criticism shows that feature talents of Barry Shitpeas and Philomena Cunk, a thick-skulled, oblivious, amazing deadpan comedic persona of Diane Morgan. Read the rest

House Republicans just voted to defund the agency that fights election hacking

All of the GOP's bluster about election fraud couldn't save the budget for the Election Administration Commission, the federal agency that deals with software security risks in America's creating, Windows-2000-based voting machines. Read the rest

This year's nerd Valentines are in, and they are boss af

For the fifth year (previously), Evil Mad Scientist Labs offers a selection of supremely nerdy Valentines to download [PDF] and print! Read the rest

Now in the UK! Pre-order signed copies of the first edition hardcover of Walkaway, my first adult novel since Makers

The UK's Forbidden Planet is now offering signed hardcovers of Walkaway, my first novel for adults since 2009 -- this is in addition to the signed US hardcovers being sold by Barnes and Noble. Read the rest

A Flickr group devoted to the most beautiful old control panels you've ever seen

Do you like dials, knobs, levers, gauges, toggles, dip-switches, knife-switches, blinking peanut bulbs, faders, patch-panels, big red buttons, keyboards, breakers, fuses, stops, fascia, takeup reels, wheels, yokes, tachyometers, odometers, speedometers, emergency handsets, mics, valves, periscopes, oscilloscopes, brush-switches, paper tapes, manufacturer's instructions engraved in acrylic signs, and other control apparatus? I know you do! You will therefore love the Control Panel Flickr group. Read the rest

The BBC will air a docudrama on Terry Pratchett's life and his struggle with Alzheimer's

Paul Kaye plays Pratchett in Back in Black, based on Pratchett's unfinished autobiography; it will air on Saturday. Read the rest

Customizable, animated feminist "candy hearts" for an anti-trumpist v-day

Clair writes, "In light of all the coverage of Trump Valentines, I wanted to share a kickass content piece I helped create that is a feminist alternative. With the Women's Marches and Trump's complete disregard for the American people--especially women--it's important to share positive, pro-female content too!"

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Bouquets of flowers made from kitchen utensils

Sculptor Ann Carrington's 2016 Pop Goes the Weasel show at the Royal College of Art included her "Bouquets and Butterflies", an amazing series of floral arrangements made from kitchen utensils. (via Colossal) Read the rest

Metropolitan Museum of Art makes more than 375,000 public domain images available as CC0

The Met's collection contains over 375,000 images of art in the public domain; they've made these directly searchable and browseable, there's a Github repo of metadata, integration with the Creative Commons search tool, and extensive collaboration with Wikimedia and GLAM Wiki. Read the rest

"Cruelty free" Italian snail-farming booms thanks to caviar and slime-cosmetics

The Italian snail-farming industry has grown by more than 325% over 20 years, driven by a boom in eating snail-egg "caviar" and snail-slime-based cosmetics (which have little-to-no scientific basis) -- slime sales are up 46% over the past ten months. Read the rest

Anti-Trident activists poster London with "Become a Suicide Bomber" spoof naval recruiting ads

Artist Darren Cullen (previously) created the posters, which read, "The crew of our nuclear submarines are on a suicide mission. To launch their missiles means death is certain, not just for them, but for the millions of innocent people those bombs will obliterate, and for the rest of us too." Read the rest

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