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Last Build Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2017 21:36:20 +0000


Astronaut Eugene Cernan, last man to walk on the moon, has died at 82

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 21:13:06 +0000


"We leave as we came, and, God willing, we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind." These were the last words Eugene Cernan said upon leaving the surface of our moon, at the end of Apollo 17.

Cernan (shown below at the beginning of EVA 3) was the last man to walk on the moon. He died Monday, Jan. 16, surrounded by his family.


Manifold - a pad a 100 origami puzzles

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 20:41:21 +0000


I think someone on the BBS mentioned that Manifold was a fun origami puzzle challenge (thank you, whoever you are!). I ordered it on Amazon for $8. It's a pad of 100 square sheets of paper, printed with white and black squares on one side, and nothing (except folding guides) on the other side. The object is to fold each sheet so that all the white squares are on one side, and all the black ones are on the other. I just did two of them, and it was so much fun that I'm saving the rest for a long flight I have coming up.





Here's a PDF you can print out to try five puzzles.

Treat your dog to some Waygu Kobe beef

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 19:27:45 +0000


Amazon getting in on the all-meat pet food craze. They've got packages of two 10-pound pieces of Waygu Kobe beef, frozen and vacuum sealed. This should last you a week or longer if have a couple of large dogs.

The Kuroge breed Wagyu cattle are humanely-raised with special care on grass for 30 months. Wagyu cattle are fed over 600 days on a natural diet including wheat, rice, corn, barley and other wholesome foods that build breed’s natural propensity to exquisite and abundant marbling. A stress-free environment and massage for muscle stimulation are all part of the pampering that the cattle receive. Strict protocols from birth to export ensure beef of unsurpassed quality.

It's $3,999.99 plus $30 shipping.

A beautifully illustrated story about a bookseller haunted by his past

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 19:14:40 +0000


Atmosphere just about drips off these pages. There’s a haunted quality to the images in The Return of the Honey Buzzard: lots of shadows, uncluttered panels, remote locations, and big eyes.

This mood is appropriate because the main character is haunted by an incident from his childhood, and the book builds toward this reveal. The dialogue and the drawings work seamlessly together to craft a sense of isolation and loss, crying out for a resolution.

Many of the pages don’t contain any text at all. Especially in these places, the simple but expressive drawings do a masterful job of communicating a mood, a sequence of events, or even the passage of time. It might be surprising for a graphic novel set partly in a bookshop and partly in a library, but The Return of the Honey Buzzard suggests that images can indeed say more than words.

The Return of the Honey Buzzard
by Aimée de Jongh
2016, 160 pages, 7.0 x 0.8 x 9.8 inches, Hardcover
$23 Buy one on Amazon

See sample pages from this book at Wink. (image)

The Swagtron T3

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 19:11:29 +0000

The office I work in is full of things old people buy to make themselves feel young again.  I can honestly say that our awesome new toy, The Swagtron T3 Hoverboard, makes me feel very, very old. I’ll explain why later. Swagtron T3 Pros There's no way to overcharge the battery and that means no more pesky fires and unplanned explosions! This model actually has a battery life indicator! There’s a new SwagTron app that syncs with your hover-board. You can set the top speed and sensitivity of both acceleration and steering. There’s an odometer that keeps track of lifetime miles traveled. You can toggle the Hoverboard on and off with the app – so no more bending over. Ever! The app has a speedometer! Amazing right? Swagtron T3 Cons The app has a speedometer! Crazy right?!  You have to look at the app while riding to enjoy the speedometer and if you do, you’re no longer watching the terrain which goes against every rule of motorized vehicles. It's pretty pricey at $449.99. But I have to say that the Swagtron T3 is much better than their previous models. The wheels are beefier, the ride is stable, and the motor is peppier. Why does the Swagtron T3 make me feel old?  Tonight, I decided to live on the wild side and switched from “Standard” to “Advanced” mode on the app. When I did, I got this friendly warning: “Extremely high injury risk”?! There was a time when I’d completely ignore a message like that or treat it as a challenge. But these days, with my back issues, bad knees and fear of everything around me, I have to be careful. And even though the T3 will reach a top speed of only 8 MPH, it’s plenty fast when you’re standing upright with your hands glued to your sides. Which brings me to this dude in Dubai who is surely riding in Advanced mode. What the S#!T is that?  And how did I get so old?!   PRO/CON COMBINATION The SWAGTRON T3 can also play music via Blootooth while you ride. How ridiculous is that?   Just today, I terrorized my coworkers as I zipped around the office while blasting Soul Coughing’s Super Bon-Bon.  I’ve been told that there's nothing more frightening than a 47 year old man blazing by your cubicle with the lyrics, “Move, aside, and let the man go through!” blaring from his feet. In case you either don't know how great that song actually is or how annoying it would be to hear in the're welcome. I’ve ridden many Hoverboards in the past few years and the SWAGTRON T3 is the best yet. It will always be magical to me to simply lean in a direction of choice and quickly travel there.   If only I was 20 years younger and didn’t enjoy lounging around on porch swings so much. [...]

Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast covers Westworld episode nine, "The Well-Tempered Clavier"

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 19:03:36 +0000


As HBO's Westworld nears its conclusion, Boars, Gore, and Swords is there to keep up with all the twists and turns. For this week's "The Well-Tempered Clavier," Ivan and Red discuss Arnold's true identity, the relative lack of value of human cognition, Logan wearing a "Hand of The King" pin, when and where Dolores is, and the male nudity everyone's been waiting for.

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To catch up on previous episodes of Westworld, previous seasons of Game of Thrones, the A Song of Ice And Fire books, and other TV and movies, check out the BGaS archive. You can find them on Twitter @boarsgoreswords, like their Facebook fanpage, and email them. If you want access to extra episodes and content, you can donate to the Patreon.

Karl Herlinger talks to his fist

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 19:02:31 +0000

The format for Scot Nery’s weekly BoobieTrap show is the wackiest I’ve ever seen. It’s vaudeville on steroids with Nery as the amped up and kooky ringmaster. The performers range from jugglers to contortionists, magicians and poets – but the first time I attended, the standout talent was a wooden dummy named Joey and his human named Karl Herlinger. I’ve seen ventriloquist acts before, but these two had an edge that kept me thinking for days on end, and at times I forgot about who was controlling whom. If you stop and think about it, the very idea of ventriloquism is pretty darned crazy. These performers choose to get in front of theaters full of people and have heated conversations and arguments with themselves. It’s hard enough to captivate an audience with story, dance, or musical talent when all you have to worry about is yourself, but imagine having to simultaneously play the role of two distinctly different personalities, while controlling a hidden levers that create the illusion of emotions in a wooden dummy. The strange combination of skills that must come together to pull something like this off has to be the reason we don’t see more great ventriloquists. This is a difficult and dying art. I’ve hung out with Karl a few times since I first saw his show and I appreciate that his abilities go far beyond controlling inanimate objects and throwing voices. There’s definitely meat on the bones here and though his lip control and manipulations are very, very good, it’s the storytelling that makes you want more. After 35 years of honing his craft, Karl pushes himself with the question of how small he can make the show and still have it resonate. He knows that if the base story is strong, people will forgive a lack of props and complex manipulations. Karl says that anyone can learn to throw voices and “work a puppet’s guts” but not everyone can give a story heart. I’ve seen plenty of performers do amazing things with their craft but simply appear mechanical – like a juggler who can keep may balls in the air but tells no visual story while doing it. Scot Nery is a great example of a fant juggler who can keep many balls aloft but what he’s really know for is juggling one item at a time – a real pancake. He takes the audience on a hysterical journey as he cooks the pancake in front of you and then flips it around the stage in unimaginable ways. Again, it’s only one object, but the show is much better than a juggler who can keep 10 balls in the air for any length of time. And back to Karl’s question: “How small can I make my show and still have it resonate?” He answers himself by swapping out the Joey puppet all together, fixing googly eyeballs to his fist and calling him Larry. The new show slays audiences and his new character is more real than anything he’s done before. This is a clothed version of Larry with bunny slippers and a set of googly eyes on his own hand. Larry seems human, and real because Karl is a master of his art and the dialogue is touching, you will want to hug him. By night, Karl performs around the world and by day, he’s a graphic designer, writer, actor, husband and father of 2 who lives by these simple rules: 1. Be present in everything you do and take advantage of the moment 2. Have no fear of failure because it’s part of the process 3. Learn for the past You can check Karl out nearly every Wednesday at Scot Nery’s Boobie Trap in Los Angeles and if that isn’t enough for you here are a few other venues in which Karl graces the stage: The Brookledge Theater (if you can somehow score a seat) The Super Serious Show  Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen We all think we understand what Karl does on stage because of conversations we’ve had with[...]

Is Tumblr the inheritor of the Dada movement?

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 19:00:31 +0000


I came across this fascinating discussion on Tumblr, comparing the oft-irreverent blogging platform to the avant-garde Dada art movement of the post-WWI era:

Strangely satisfying paint smearing

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 18:50:55 +0000


Watch Canadian artist Annette Labedzki turn her “paint flower” back into paint. She’s got plently more oddly satisfying paint videos on her Instagram:

This French Bulldog can’t handle encountering sand for the first time

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 18:50:48 +0000


On the Instagram run from her perspective, Princess Pickles The Frenchie “shared” this adorable video of her first encounter with sand:

Pickles' Instagram is full of more adorable videos and photos:

Watch one of the world’s biggest firework shells fill the sky

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 18:50:39 +0000


Set off in Zurrieq, Malta late last year, this impressive chain-reaction firework is believed to be the biggest single firework ever, although it’s rivaled by a display in Kounosu, Japan from 2014. The Daily Mail has more details about the Matla display. YouTube user Janet Reed originally captured the massive single firework as well some of the show around it (the single firework begins at 1:36): [via]

Black Lives Matter Chicago pens essay on reclaiming Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 18:50:11 +0000

In honor of MLK Day, the Chicago branch of the Black Lives Matter organization wrote this new piece for The Root. The article compares BLM's contemporary fight for racial justice with the work of Martin Luther King Jr. It argues: King died working on a Poor People’s Campaign and demanding that a redistribution of wealth was necessary to eradicate poverty. Black Lives Matter Chicago echoes this demand and asserts that violence in Chicago will not end, but will only worsen, if continued divestment, unemployment and blight occur. The solutions to addressing poverty are well-known. We must implement the radical measures King died fighting for right now by demanding fully funded schools, health care, jobs, access to housing, free drug-treatment programs and food. The fact that these demands are considered radical today are a testament to how little regard our political establishment prioritizes life and how little has changed since King’s day, even since the nation has experienced its first black president. For some time now, King’s legacy on mainstream media has been bastardized, completely removed from his actual work. This gross misrepresentation of King is all about the sanitized “dream” devoid of reality. It would have us sleep through police shootings, a monstrous legal system that unjustly and disproportionately eats up black communities, and a lack of quality educational and employment opportunities to dream of a better day of equality and brotherhood. We see images of a smiling or thoughtful King, likely thinking of peace and looking crisp and clean in his suits, quite unlike today’s protesters. We think of King and we hear freedom ringing on mountaintops and in valleys and ignore the cries of oppression even in the streets named after him. We have conflated nonviolence with passivity, and we have forgotten that King’s legacy is meeting incredible violence with masses in the street. You can read the full article—which was written by Kofi Ademola Xola, Amika Tendaji, and Aislinn Pulley—on The Root. You can find more information on the Black Lives Matter website and Twitter account, and you can connect to the Chicago branch on its website and Twitter account as well. Both organizations are also currently accepting donations (BLM donations and BLM Chicago donations). [photo: "Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking against the Vietnam War, St. Paul Campus, University of Minnesota, 27 April 1967," Creative Commons, Minnesota Historical Society] [...]

The benefit of making your personal to-do list public

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 18:44:37 +0000


Joe Reddington makes his personal to-do list public, and he says "it’s the most useful thing I’ve done in years." Because he is writing his list for an audience, he has to describe the task clearly. The tasks now take "less thinking when I cast my eye down the list. That makes them easier to start, and that makes them easier to finish."

My favorite item on his list: "Brainstorm doubling down on the 'Never leave the house unless it's going to be fun' unless cycling."

Make driving safer by replacing air bags with daggers that stab you in the heart

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 18:32:03 +0000


Saw this at a car show today. The guy drove it there...

This concept inspired the economist Gordon Tullock to come up with the idea that instead of mandating safety belts, it would save far more lives if the government required that large spikes were installed in the center of steering columns, because this would make drivers more acutely aware of the danger of driving too fast. This steering-wheel spike is referred to as the Tullock Spike, or Tullock Steering Column.

Image: Wikipedia