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Brain candy for Happy Mutants

Last Build Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 22:59:06 +0000


12-in-1 Stanley Multitool for $8

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 21:34:53 +0000


What's not to like about this 12-in-1 Stanley Multitool, especially when it costs just $8 on Amazon? I grabbed a couple to have around the house so I don't need to get my toolbox from the garage for minor fix-it tasks.



First impressions of Amazon's Echo Dot

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 21:15:48 +0000


I didn't think an IoT voice assistant was for me, but at $50 I couldn't resist the Amazon Echo Dot. I'm finding Alexa to be handy for lots of little things.

Amazon's hockey puck like Echo Dot gives you all the utility of their personal assistant Alexa at pretty low price. I felt it wouldn't be too much of a disaster if the thing never got used. Thus far it is proving to be pretty handy.

Echo Dot pairs with bluetooth speakers pretty well, and I enjoy being able to voice control my radio. Switching between news, music and podcasts is easy. I've found that this alone makes Echo Dot useful to me. Being able to occasionally stop the sound and ask Alexa for time time, weather in San Francisco or other simple, frequent searches one may perform is strangely satisfying, and temporarily provides an 'I live in the future' feeling.

Next up will be syncing it with my Fitbit, tho I'm not sure what that is really going to do for me.

Echo Dot (2nd Generation) - Black via Amazon

Hiker timelapse wearing out shoes hiking from Mexico to Canada

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 21:13:28 +0000


Andrew Holzschuh took a photo of his shoes every day as he hiked the Pacific Coast Trail, then made a fun timelapse of his shoes' daily wear and tear.

Many hikers forgo hiking boots for trail runners on a well-marked trail like this. Eagle-eyed viewers who know the trail picked up on a detour, to which Andrew replied:

We were forced to skip like 15 miles of trail at crater lake because of forest fires (because it would have been illegal and stupid to walk a section of trail that's on fire) we also had to backtrack here and there for random reasons. to be honest I dont know how many miles we actually walked. but I think it might have ended up being more than the 2663.5

Bonus video: he also grew an impressive beard.

4 pairs of shoes (PCT thru-hike shoe time-lapse)

Things I miss: Davey and Goliath

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 20:59:44 +0000


No one else thought a talking dog teaching us about God's love was weird? I kinda enjoyed these as a kid but always felt something was off...

Great post-mortem on The Inbetweeners USA vs. UK

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 20:13:27 +0000


The Inbetweeners is a great British comedy series that bombed when remade for an American audience. How can the same characters, plot lines, and jokes work so well in one case and fail in the other? YouTuber JackWolf dissects some examples, brilliantly explaining the essence of good comedic directing and editing. (more…)

Donald Trump's still running, but the campaign's over

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 19:59:55 +0000


Former Fox News chief Roger Ailes isn't talking to presidential candidate and alleged friend Donald Trump. National Political Director Jim Murphy quit. Trump's Campaign CEO, Kellyanne Conway, is reduced to sighing quips on Twitter. Trump himself might still be running, but his campaign seems all but over.

What a political campaign should be doing right now — even a struggling political campaign — is driving a unified message, contacting voters with that message before they vote and encouraging supporters in early-voting states to get to the polls. It's the Jim Murphys of the campaign who are responsible for doing that.

Trump is now without a Jim Murphy. Even if he could crawl back nationally — probably a decent-sized if — he's now completely reliant on his party to do the hard work of ensuring voters go to the polls. If he doesn't crawl back nationally, or if he doesn't crawl back enough, the party doesn't have a lot of incentive to spend time and money that could instead go to embattled House and Senate candidates.

A Walk in Eden – Anders Nilsen's surrealist paradise is a haunting adult coloring book

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 19:48:18 +0000


In previous books, like the strange and cinematic Big Questions, Anders Nilsen has used his gorgeous pen and ink, stipple, and hatch technique, amidst generous white space, to create surprisingly dense and dreamy worlds. In A Walk in Eden, he builds a wonderful narrative backdrop, an abandoned Eden, and invites us in to finish it with “magic markers” and our undivided attention. But this isn’t any Eden you’ve imagined or heard of, this is a tripped-out surrealist dream-Eden if drawn by Dali, Ernst Haeckel, and kiddie-show cartoonists (maybe after a little bump of ether). Over the pages, the scale of what you’re looking at, from the seemingly diatomic to full-size flora and fauna, changes until you feel as though you’re really examining this world in a unique and thorough way. The book is really engaging and wants to tell you its stories, as-is, but I can only image how much richer it becomes after coloring it in yourself.

The adult coloring book is all of the rage these days and I, for one, am a fan of this perhaps shortlived, gimmicky genre. A Walk in Eden takes the genre for a stroll in a very fun and promising direction. And like any coloring book worth its bold outlines, it was hard to get through this without wanting to grab my Crayolas, stick my tongue out like a five year old, and start coloring.

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

A Walk in Eden: A Coloring Book by Anders Nilsen
by Anders Nilsen
Drawn and Quarterly
9.8 x 9.9 x 0.4 inches (softcover)
$17 Buy a copy on Amazon

Skateboarding in an abandoned nuclear missile silo

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 19:13:37 +0000


Skateboarder Rick McCrank hosts Abandoned, a series from Vice where he explores abandoned malls, amusement parks, racetracks, and even nuclear missile silos. Many of these are excellent places to skate. (more…)

Samsung issuing copyright claims to remove videos mocking its exploding phones

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 18:21:22 +0000


YouTube users who post videos mocking Samsung's recently-recalled Galaxy Note 7 smartphone report they get removed because of copyright claims by Samsung.

The claims center on a popular add-on to the game Grand Theft Auto V, which lets players fool around with the hot handsets and use them as as grenades.

This is not how copyright works, the BBC says, and is likely to only focus more attention on Samsung's failings and YouTube's own shortcomings when it comes to copyright enforcement.

Samsung has not yet responded to repeated BBC requests for comment. Critics have warned that trying to remove gamers' videos will only draw more attention to them.

One US gamer - known as DoctorGTA - said restrictions had been put on his YouTube account as a result of Samsung's complaint.

"It's going to take three months to get the strike removed from my channel... I got my live stream taken away," he said in a video.

"If I submit a counter-notification to say 'sue me', I wonder what they will do. Will they sue me, the kid that has cancer and just makes money off YouTube playing a video game?"

The Note 7's propensity to burst into flames ultimately resulted in the handset being withdrawn from production and recalled from store shelves. The Federal Aviation Administration banned them from the skies, making it a federal crime to take one on board an airplane.

Here's a video still live. (Warning: moronic)

I'll just drive my car off this tow truck, what could go wrong?

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 17:32:38 +0000


This gentleman didn't want a tow truck to take his car away, so he tried to drive off the truck's bed. You will believe what happened next.

Angry "sovereign citizen" meets polite police officer

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 17:10:34 +0000


This patient police officer does not take much stock in the legitimacy of the sovereign citizen movement.

Best part:

Cop: "You're under arrest."

Sovereign citizen: "NO I'M NOT!"

From Wikipedia: "The sovereign citizen movement is a loose grouping of American and Canadian litigants, commentators, tax protesters, and financial-scheme promoters. Self-described sovereign citizens take the position that they are answerable only to their particular interpretation of the common law and are not subject to any government statutes or proceedings."

Large dog surfing

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 17:08:15 +0000


You can really see the dogs adjusting their balance and controlling the boards! Haole and Hanzo are both awesome!

Monkey tries to teach human how to open a nut

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 17:00:17 +0000


Dangit human. put some muscle in it

This little monkey is trying her hardest to train a limp-limbed human how to crack open a nut with a rock. When she realizes the human isn't making much of an effort, she looks up with an expression that says, "Wtf‽ Help me out here, hairless ape covered in fibers!"

Similarly: Monkey teaches human how to crush leaves