Making an espresso machine from a (thoroughly scrubbed) motorbike piston

Rulof Maker used a salvaged motorcycle piston and cylinder, mounted in an Ikea lamp, to create a homebrew espresso machine, using a lever to pressurize water at temperature through a puck of coffee grounds. Read the rest

Frankenbook: collective annotations on Mary Shelley's 200 year old novel "Frankenstein"

Joey from Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination writes, "Frankenbook is a collective reading experience of the original 1818 text of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein. The project is hosted by Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination, The MIT Press, and MIT Media Lab. It features annotations from over 80 experts in disciplines ranging from philosophy and literature to astrobiology and neuroscience; essays by science fiction authors, scientists, and ethicists; audio journalism; and original animations and interactives. Readers can contribute their own text and rich-media annotations to the book and customize their reading experience by turning on and off a variety of themes that filter annotations by topic; themes range from literary history and political theory to health, technology, and equity and inclusion. Frankenbook is free to use, open to everyone, and built using the open-source PubPub platform for collaborative community publishing." Read the rest

Dank Learning: teaching a machine learning algorithm to generate memes

A physics student and an engineering student from Stanford fed 400,000 memes to a Long Short-Term Memory Recurrent Neural Network and asked it to generate more memes of its own. Read the rest

Bubble, a new dystopian podcast sitcom!

The Maximum Fun podcast network (home to such shows as Judge John Hodgman (previously), Oh No Ross and Carrie (previously), and Sawbones) has just launched its most ambitious project to date: a science fiction sitcom about life in a domed city in a monster-haunted wasteland called Bubble, and it's hilarious. Read the rest

Astounding t-shirt art, created by marker-wielding open source hardware plotters

Evil Mad Scientist Labs sell a bunch of cool open source hardware kits for making plotters -- basically, a very precise robot arm that draws with whatever pen or marker you screw into its grip. There's the Eggbot (for drawing on curved surfaces like eggs, balloons and balls), but there's also the Axidraw, which works on flat surfaces. Read the rest

Country Time will pay your kids' lemonade stand fines this summer

If your kid gets fined for running an unlicensed lemonade stand this summer, or has to pay to get a license to operate a stand, Country Time will pay the first $300 in expenses, to a maximum of $60,000 in fines between now and Aug 31 (sorry, Labor Day parade lemonade stands, you're SOL). It's a genius promotion, which is not something I say often. (via Kottke) Read the rest

New Yorkers: DJ Spooky is launching "Phantom Dancehall" in Brooklyn on Jun 13

Lisa Rein writes, "DJ Spooky is having a record release party Wednesday night for his new Phantom Dancehall album, which utilizes samples from legendary VP Records' Greensleeves sublabel." Read the rest

Cameron Esposito's "Rape Jokes," an hour-long set free to stream, raising money for anti-sexual-violence campaigns

Cameron Esposito's one-hour long comedy special is free to stream on her site -- the perfect knife-edge balance of laughs and rage, and she's soliciting donation for RAINN, "the United States’ largest anti-sexual violence organization." (via Waxy) Read the rest

The Freeze-Frame Revolution: mutineers unstuck in time, strung out across an aeon

Peter Watts (previously) is a brilliant bastard of a science fiction writer, whose grim scenarios are matched by their scientific speculation; in his latest, a novella called The Freeze-Frame Revolution, Watts imagines a mutiny that stretches out across aeons, fought against a seemingly omnipotent AI.

Kickstarting a Trump Tower Collusion Meeting commemorative coin

John writes, "My partner, Valery Estabrook, is an artist who has started a Kickstarter for a project of limited edition coins based on actual historic events associated with the Trump administration. The first of these is a coin commemorating all the participants of the infamous Trump Tower Meeting with Don Jr." Coins are $15 and up! Read the rest

To do in San Francisco: an evening with science fiction writers Ellen Klages, Lucy Jane Bledsoe, and Meg Elison

The next installment of the excellent SF in SF series is tomorrow night, June 10, starting at 630PM and featuring Ellen Klages (previously), Lucy Jane Bledsoe, and Meg Elison, moderated as always by Terry Bisson. Read the rest

3D printing arbitrary shapes without sprues, by embedding them in 3D-printed clear plastic

3D printing complex shapes is hard; the additive nature of most 3D printing means that the printer has to create sprues (struts that support parts of the structure during printing, which have to be removed later), or add in material that can be dissolved in a solvent bath after main production. Read the rest

Turning the NSA's vintage internal security posters into t-shirts

Techdirt is in the throes of a two-part revelation: 1. the US government's works are public domain and can be freely commercialized, and; 2. many of the weird things that spy agencies make can be turned into ironic, cool, and sometimes fun and/or beautiful objects of commerce. Read the rest

Brain-aching list of counterintuitive probability riddles

In 2017, Leila asked Stack Exchange for suggestions for counterintuitive probability riddles for a course on probability; the assembled list is a brain-aching adventure in Monty Hall problems, neighbors' daughters, Sleeping Beauty epistemology, colored lottery balls and birthday paradoxes. Read the rest

How do we fix IoT security without blocking interoperability and creating monopolies?

Jonathan Zittrain (previously) writes, "There’s reason to worry about security for the ever-growing Internet of Things, and it’ll be tempting to encourage vendors to solely control their devices that much more, limiting interoperability or user tinkering. There are alternatives - models for maintaining firmware patches for orphaned devices, and a 'Faraday mode' so that iffy devices can still at least partially function even if they’re not able to remain safely online. Procrastination around security has played a key role in its success. But 'later' shouldn’t mean 'never' for the IoT." Read the rest

Ugears: beautiful, steampunkular geared wooden puzzle-toys

Ugears makes gorgeous wooden puzzle toys made from laser-cut plywood that snap-fits to create beautiful, retro machines and sculptures with meshing, working geared mechanisms. Read the rest

Using saccade-tracking to trick VR users into walking in circles, giving the illusion of "infinite walking"

"Saccades" are the phenomenon where your eyes flick momentarily from one place to another; during saccades, you don't consciously register visual input, creating tiny moments of blindness (AKA "saccadic suppression"). Read the rest

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