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Brain candy for Happy Mutants



Last Build Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:53:50 PDT

 



Scientologists were all up in Neopet's business

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:53:50 PDT

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Since its launch in 1999, Neopets has enjoyed a pretty colorful history. The game offers users the ability to create a virtual pet to take on adventures and, using virtual and real-world currency, feed and trick out their digital pets with swag, homes and other online sundries. It was originally aimed at kids, but grew a cult-following of oldsters, too.

Oh, and it used to be run by Scientologists.

According to The Outline, the company that originally owned the Neopets brand employed business practices deeply rooted in Scientology. Up until the point where NeoPets was sold to Viacom in 2005, Neopet's CEO and practicing Scientologist Doug Dohring rocked L. Ron Hubbard’s Org Board business model in order to keep things running smoothly – provided you considered turning your employees against one another smooth.

From The Outline:

The information currently made public about Org Board is vague — introductory workshops are required to learn more about it. The business model contains seven divisions: Communications, Dissemination (sales/marketing), Treasury, Production, Qualifications (quality control), Public (public relations), and, most important to the system, Executive. The symbiotic divisions are arranged to create a “cycle of production” that parallels the church’s “cycle of action,” which Scientology.org describes as “revealing what underlies the continuous cycle of creation, survival and destruction—a cycle that seems inevitable in life, but which is only an apparency.” It is also made up of seven stages.

As part of putting Org Board into play, employees are called upon to spy on the work practices of other employees. Any useful information gleaned from their workplace voyeurism was to be sent to the company's executive team immediately. If what was reported was something that was bad for the company, or even an employee was found to have different views from those of the company's executives, punitive actions would be taken against the employee, immediately. It's some serious "eye-for-an-eye" crap that would have made for a terrible workplace environment.

If you've got the time, you can read the full, fascinating story here.

Image: PictorialEvidence - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link




What if humans weren't the first civilization on Earth?

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:49:36 PDT

Is it possible that modern humans aren't the first civilization on Earth? This is the insanely interesting question probed by "The Silurian Hypothesis", a new paper authored by Gavin A. Schmidt and Adam Frank, two NASA scientists. As they point out, if an industrialized civilization existed in the deep past, it's not clear there'd be easily recognizable traces of it. Our geologic record doesn't go back any further than the Quaternary period of about 2.6 million years ago. "Go back much farther than the Quaternary," as Frank writes in an essay about the paper in the Atlantic, "and everything has been turned over and crushed to dust." It's not even clear we'd find fossilized remains of a previous civilization, because while museumgoers might think that fossils are reasonably common, they're actually incredibly rare. A near-zero percentage of life on earth has ever been fossilized. A civilization could last what seems -- to us -- like a super-long time and still not produce any fossils, as Frank notes: So, could researchers find clear evidence that an ancient species built a relatively short-lived industrial civilization long before our own? Perhaps, for example, some early mammal rose briefly to civilization building during the Paleocene epoch about 60 million years ago. There are fossils, of course. But the fraction of life that gets fossilized is always minuscule and varies a lot depending on time and habitat. It would be easy, therefore, to miss an industrial civilization that only lasted 100,000 years—which would be 500 times longer than our industrial civilization has made it so far. The upshot is that Frank and Schmidt wind up focusing on the chemical traces of an advanced civilization. If previous lifeforms industrialized and began making stuff the way we do, you might see suspiciously large buildups of, say, nitrogen (in our case, from fertilizer) or rare-earth minerals (in our case, from making electronic gadgets). Indeed, the truly massive chemical signal you might see is the shift in carbon that comes from burning fossil fuels -- and its attendant global warming. The scientists here study the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, a period 56 million years ago where the global average temperature rose 15 degrees higher than today. The spike in carbon and oxygen isotope ratios was, they conclude, very much like what you'd see if an industrial society burned fossil fuels the way we do. But the thing that's different is the speed: The rise in atmospheric C02 these days is much, much sharper than the incline back then. The upshot, Frank writes, is that the evidence doesn't really suggest a previous civilization existed. But engaging in the counterfactual is useful for pondering our modern society, and the detritus we're producing ... It’s not often that you write a paper proposing a hypothesis that you don’t support. Gavin and I don’t believe the Earth once hosted a 50-million-year-old Paleocene civilization. But by asking if we could “see” truly ancient industrial civilizations, we were forced to ask about the generic kinds of impacts any civilization might have on a planet. That’s exactly what the astrobiological perspective on climate change is all about. Civilization building means harvesting energy from the planet to do work (i.e., the work of civilization building). Once the civilization reaches truly planetary scales, there has to be some feedback on the coupled planetary systems that gave it birth (air, water, rock). This will be particularly true for young civilizations like ours still climbing up the ladder of technological capacity. There is, in other words, no free lunch. While some energy sources will have lower impact—say solar vs. fossil fuels—you can’t power a global civilization without some degree of impact on the planet. By the way, Doctor Who fans will no doubt recognize the reference in the title of "The Silurian Hypothesis" -- Silurians being a race of humanoid reptiles (picture above) that appeared originally back on the show in the 70s, an[...]



Watch how to use dry erase markers to make writing that floats

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:43:47 PDT

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SoCraftastic tested six marker types on a non-porous surface to see which one allowed the ink to float on water. The effect is pretty cool with a stick figure. (more…)




Customizable cat-purr emulator

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:34:28 PDT

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Stéphane Pigeon has created Purrli, a web site that generates audio of a cat purring.

It's customizable; I found setting it for "sleepy" and "relaxed" produced my particular fave timbre of cat-purr.

As Pigeon notes:

The sound of a purring cat is one of the most comforting sounds available and can help soothe and calm you down when you're feeling stressed. Naturally, it's not just the sound that is important, but it's also the presence of the warm cuddly cat. Purrli tries to recreate both the sound and the presence of your very own virtual cat through a custom sound engine modelled after real purrs.

With a purr that delicately changes over time, Purrli aims at making the experience as real and lively as possible. Just like a real cat, Purrli will call for your attention. Just be careful when adjusting the last slider, if you don't want to be nagged in the middle of your work.

Scroll down the page and read the testimonials -- it's quite interesting to see the varied reasons people enjoy hearing a virtual cat purr, including:

My cat that grew up with me during childhood died two or three years ago, and whenever I was upset, she would come and lay next to me and purr to calm me down. She would nap with me, and her purring would help put me to sleep. I really miss that. This cat purr generator sounds just like her, and it really helps with my anxiety, especially during large projects.

I have fibromyalgia, so I am constantly in pain. This cat purr generator relaxes me and puts me to sleep. When I wake up during the night with pain, it helps me to fall back to sleep. I wish I had this years ago.

I have misophonia and work in an office. The purr generator has been a life saver. Now I can drown out the things like coughs, sniffles, throat clears, etc., that used to drive me nuts! It's comforting and helps me to focus.




Mostly naked man plays Nokia ringtone on the accordion so that you don't have to

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:30:15 PDT

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He's doing God's work. Which God that might be, however, is open for debate.




ICE agents remove legal foreign worker from farm, threaten farmer when questioned about having a warrant

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:19:53 PDT

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I don't want to alarm anyone, but it sounds like maybe some ICE agents are, I dunno, a shower of bastards.

According to Syracuse.com, New York state dairy farmer John Collins was doing his thing when he heard screaming. When he ran out to see what was happening, he found that his hired hand, Marcial de Leon Aguilar, was being pinned to the side of his farm's milk house by armed men. Aguilar is from Guatemala, and had all of the paperwork required to work in the United States. He'd been employed by Collins for just under a year.

When Collins confronted the armed men about what they were doing with his employee, they stated that they were ICE agents. As the goons slapped a set of handcuffs on Aguilar, Collins demanded to see the warrant that allowed ICE to come on to his property. You'll be shocked to know, I'm sure, that the agents stated that they had none.

It gets better. As the agents dragged Aguilar across the road to their waiting vehicle, Collins continued to demand that they produce paperwork on why they were taking his employee or show the authority that allowed them onto his land. As he did so, he began filming the exchange with his smartphone. Collins alleges that, at this point, one the agents grabbed the phone out of his hand, handcuffed him and threatened to arrest him for hindering a federal investigation. In the end, Collins was released, but Aguilar was carted away.

Oh, did I mention that Aguilar's kids saw the whole damn thing? Because they totally did – the Aguilar's family was living in a house on Collins' spread as a partial payment for his gig.

From Syracuse.com:

Aguilar's wife, Virginia, and the couple's four children were not in the U.S. until recently. She was caught crossing the border, illegally, with the children. Collins said she has been meeting with ICE officers since she arrived, and is seeking asylum for herself and the children because of the violence in Guatemala. Collins said Virginia met with ICE officers as recently as last week, and has another meeting scheduled for this Friday. At times, Aguilar has accompanied his wife, who is pregnant, to some of the meetings, Collins said.

So, instead of going through the proper channels to obtain a warrant, or nothing to go after individuals, per their mandate, that are actually in the country illegally, the two uniformed ass clowns opted to grab the first brown fella that they saw on the farm. Outstanding work. So what's the lesson here? Don't attend meetings surrounding the asylum process? Warrants and the rule of law don't matter under the current administration? Jackboots are a state of mind? I dunno.

Apparently ICE will be looking into the incident. I bet they'll send a real crackerjack investigator to hunt down the truth on this one.

Image: Police - Wikipedia Commons, Public Domain, Link




Giuliani to join Trump's legal team

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 15:06:12 PDT

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Rudolph W. Giuliani, the once moderate former New York mayor who morphed into an angry spittle-flecked screamer, says he is joining Trump's legal team with the goal of getting Special Counsel Robert Mueller to cease his investigation. Good luck with that. From The Washington Post:

“I’m doing it because I hope we can negotiate an end to this for the good of the country and because I have high regard for the president and for Bob Mueller,” Giuliani said in an interview.

Trump counsel Jay Sekulow said Thursday in a statement that Giuliani is joining the team along with two former federal prosecutors, Jane Serene Raskin and Marty Raskin, a couple who jointly run a Florida-based law firm.

“Rudy is great,” Trump said in the statement issued by Sekulow. “He has been my friend for a long time and wants to get this matter quickly resolved for the good of the country.”

What are Giuliani and Trump so afraid Mueller will find?

Below, highlights of Giuliani's unusual behavior, conspiracy theory spreading, lies, and general kookiness. width='480' height='290' scrolling='no' src='https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/9a1cba50-6b09-11e6-91cb-ecb5418830e9' frameborder='0' webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen>




Pepsico launches a K-Cup for juice

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 14:25:48 PDT

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https://youtu.be/ImYEAYYlBJk

Pepsico is the low-key -- some might say deliberately hidden -- backer of the Drinkfinity system. As Jaiksmith says, "it's a proprietary bottle that uses proprietary "pods" that are a mix of dry and liquid ingredients, no artificial sweeteners. For $35 you can get a bottle and 16 pods...about twice the cost (per oz) of their other product, Tropicana Orange Juice."




Copy of Action Comics #1 could fetch $600k at auction

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 13:39:47 PDT

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A copy of Action Comics #1 (1938), featuring the first appearance of Superman, is on the auction block. The current bid is $300k and Heritage Auctions says it could go up to $600k or more.

The book considered by many to be the “Holy Grail” of comics collecting is expected to compete for

top-lot honors at Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art Auction May 10-12 in Chicago in what could be the most lucrative comics auction ever held.

“This auction has a chance to be among the largest comics auctions of all time, if not the largest,” Heritage Auctions Comics Director of Operations Barry Sandoval said. “It will be in a vibrant city that is easy to reach from just about anywhere, and we have an extremely strong collection of valuable comic books that will draw the attention and interest of comics collectors from just about everywhere.”

Action Comics #1 (DC, 1938) CGC VG 4.0 Cream to off-white pages (est. $650,000+) is among the most coveted comic books in the hobby. The issue generates major interest regardless of its condition, and this is one of the highest-graded copies ever offered by Heritage Auctions. Ernst Gerber's The Photo-Journal Guide to Comic Books rated it "scarce,” and CGC's census lists just 40 unrestored copies. The first appearance of Superman launched the Golden Age of Comics, and every superhero that followed is in debt to the character created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster (artist). The issue also sits atop Overstreet's “Top 100 Golden Age Comics” list.

I've got my eye on this page from Steve Ditko's Ayn Randian superhero, Mr. A, a grimly vengeful Objectivist who looks like Bob Dobbs after swearing off 'frop:

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Good deal on flush-cut wire cutter

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:59:12 PDT

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These flush-cut micro soft-wire cutters are made by Hakko. I use them to cut wire, zip-ties, and stray pieces of 3D printer filament. I have one in my toolbox and another on my workbench. At $4.43 (with free shipping on Amazn prime), they are a great deal.




I tried Odlum's Irish Brown Soda Bread mix

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:57:44 PDT

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I tried the popular Irish brand Odlum's Irish Brown Soda Bread mix to see if it was better or easier than my standby recipe.

(more…)



White evangelical support for Donald Trump at all-time high

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:34:45 PDT

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White evangelicals love Trump more than ever.

From PRI:

Trump’s support among white evangelicals at this stage of his presidency is strikingly solid. While there are modest differences by gender, Trump’s favorability among white evangelical women is still a robust 71 percent, compared to 81 percent among white evangelical men. And Trump’s favorability is still a strong 68 percent among college-educated white evangelicals, compared to 78 percent among those without a college degree.

Looking ahead to the 2020 election, Trump’s support among white evangelicals is also strong. White evangelical Protestants who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party say they would prefer Donald Trump, rather than another candidate, to be the GOP nominee for president in 2020 (69 percent vs. 23 percent).

White evangelicals are on the decline: "About 17 percent of Americans now identify as white evangelical, compared to 23 percent a decade ago," according to PBS. It could be that they are afraid of going extinct, and think of Trump as their lifeboat.




Since when did breaking into houses to take a bath – and perhaps enjoy a meal – become a thing?

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:33:59 PDT

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Usually the goal of a home burglary is to get in and out of the house as quickly as possible. But apparently there are those who prefer to make a pitstop in the bathtub where, if inclined, a full-on meal can be enjoyed. Do three recent cases of burglary bathtub breaks make a trend?

On Tuesday in Louisiana a woman came home from work to find another woman, Evelyn Washington, in her bathtub eating Cheetos, which were just the hors d'oeuvre. Beside her on the toilet was a full plate of food. The burglar had broken through a window, and according to the Star Telegram, she and the homeowner did not know each other.

Less than two weeks earlier, a 36-year-old gentleman broke into someone's house, made himself a cup of Oxo as well as a heap of pickles, junk food and Coke, and decided to draw himself a nice bath.

"He had a cup of Oxo in his hand. He'd made himself a cup of Oxo," the homeowner said after discovering the naked burglar and thinking it was a ghost, according to the BBC. "He ate me crisps, had five rounds of corned beef and sauce, ate a jar of pickles, had two ice creams and a can of coke...Nobody can believe what's happened because it's something what doesn't happen."

And then, a little over a year ago, there was 26-year-old Brian Walker who broke into a home in the wee hours of the morning in Visalia, California and climbed into the bath, refusing to get out when police showed up. Sadly, I don't think this guy got to enjoy a meal during his soak.

Via Star-Telegram

Image: Kat/Flickr




Jim Carrey makes a surprise appearance during Conan's interview with Jeff Daniels

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:19:21 PDT

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https://youtu.be/kxMC7g_sKjw

Jeff Daniels was just finishing up answering Conan's question about Dumb and Dumber when Jim Carrey walked on stage to surprise him. Their genuine pleasure of meeting up again is a joy to watch.




Ordering ice cream in VR is dangerous

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:14:25 PDT

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I have questions about this VR ice cream incident. First, where is this taking place? And second, was the ice cream vendor intentionally trying to kill the customer? src='https://gfycat.com/ifr/WhisperedBonyBuffalo' frameborder='0' scrolling='no' width='1024' height='768' allowfullscreen>




EPA head Scott Pruitt is being investigated by the House of Representatives, Senate, White House, Office of Management and Budget, Government Accountability Office, and EPA Inspector General

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:44:37 PDT

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EPA head Scott Pruitt has gone on a multi-million dollar luxury item spending spree at taxpayers' expense. With his soundproof booth, bulletproof limousines, and chartered private jets, he seems to think people care who he is and are out to get him, when in truth he's just one of the indistinguishable swamp creatures appointed by Trump to dismantle the federal government's regulatory agencies.

His expensive form of ego gratification has become so flagrant that various organizations in the federal government are finally doing something about it. “Scott Pruitt Is now being investigated by the House of Representatives, Senate, White House, Office of Management and Budget, Government Accountability Office, and EPA Inspector General,” tweeted Rep. Don Beyer (Dem, VA).

Image: By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America - Scott Pruitt, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link




Watch Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard play the re-prounouned Beatles song "And I Love Him"

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:22:25 PDT

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Universal Love is a new compilation of wedding songs reimagined for same-sex couples. It includes the likes of Kesha doing "I Need a Woman to Love," Bob Dylan playing "He's Funny That Way," and my pal Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie singing "And I Love Him." Check out Ben's lovely performance on Conan last night!

More about Universal Love in this New York Times article.




'Walmart yodeling kid' becomes a one-up action figure

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:18:20 PDT

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Remember Mason Ramsey, the 11-year-old yodeler who was discovered in an Illinois Walmart? Well, now thanks to artist Dano Brown, the "Walmart yodeling kid" has become an action figure. You won't find this "Walmart Legend" being sold at the chain though, because it's not mass produced. It's a one-of-a-kind piece of art. There is just this one single Mason Ramsey action figure available and you can go to eBay to bid on it (currently at $410).

If these one-up action figures are your thing, be sure to check out Dano's other works on his Instagram feed.




Post-internet lament

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 09:46:51 PDT

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(more…)



Government accidentally sends file on "remote mind control" methods to journalist

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 09:43:32 PDT

When journalist Curtis Waltman filed a Freedom of Information Act request with Washington State Fusion Center (which is partnered with Department of Homeland Security) to obtain information about Antifa and white supremacist groups, he got more than the information he was looking for – he also accidentally received a mysterious file on "psycho-electric weapons" with the label “EM effects on human body.zip.” The file included methods of "remote mind control." Creepy images like these were included: So what gives? Via the Daily Beast: According to Muckrock, a nonprofit that publishes government information gathered through FOIA requests, the mind-control documents came from the Department of Homeland Security-linked agency in the form of a file called “EM effects on human body.zip.” The file reportedly contained various diagrams detailing the horrors of “psycho-electronic weapon effects.” One diagram lists the various forms of torment supposedly made possible by using remote mind-control methods, from “forced memory blanking” and “sudden violent itching inside eyelids” to “wild flailing” followed by “rigor mortis” and a remotely induced “forced orgasm.” It was not immediately clear how the documents wound up in the agency’s response to a standard FOIA request, but there was reportedly no indication the “remote mind control” files stemmed from any government program. And according to Popular Mechanics: The federal government has absolutely experimented with mind control in a variety of methods, but the documents here do not appear to be official. Waltman had no idea why these documents were included in his request and isn't sure why the government is holding them. The WSFC did not respond to requests for more information. As fun as conspiracy theories are, Muckrock doesn't believe the images are "government material." One seems to come from a person named “Supratik Saha,” who is identified as a software engineer, the brain mapping slide has no sourcing, and the image of the body being assaulted by psychotronic weapons is sourced from raven1.net, who apparently didn’t renew their domain. Muckrock put out a call to WSFC but hasn't yet heard back from them. For more details, go to Muckrock.[...]



Help wanted: Archivist for the Prince museum at Paisley Park

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 09:31:44 PDT

Prince's Paisley Park, now a museum, is seeking an archives supervisor to "actively work in the care, catalog, storage and preservation of all artifacts and archival materials; the care, cleaning, and monitoring of all exhibits." According to the job requirements, "Some knowledge of Prince is helpful." From the job listing at the American Alliance of Museums site: RESPONSIBILITIES: Actively work in the care, catalog, storage and preservation of all artifacts and archival materials; the care, cleaning, and monitoring of all exhibits. Maintain and Update the archival database system. Monitor the trafficking of archive inventory. Assist the appropriate staff in having access to the archives collection as required. Travel/act as a courier of artifacts to locations where artifacts are to be displayed including the setting up and taking down of exhibits in these locations. Execute, maintain, and provide accurate conditioning reports for all items being moved from storage for exhibition. Ensure that the collections manual, preservation plans and archives emergency plan are observed. Locate, retrieve, and prepare artifacts for display/loans. Ensure the integrity of the collection in maintained at all times. Oversea all cleaning of exhibit spaces. Work with outside vendors to schedule monthly, quarterly and annual cleaning. Assist with Archives long term planning, conservation goals and preservation needs. Photograph and or scan artifacts when needed. Assist with exhibition installs. Maintain displayed artifacts in proper environment, eliminate risk to artifacts. Assist Director of Archives with coordinating activities involving the maintenance, preservation and mansion upkeep. Ensure the integrity of the exhibitions are maintained at all times. Assist other departments with general research/fact checking, research use of the collection Assist with the training staff in methods and procedures for the database system, in collection preparation and care, and in exhibit development and installation. Assist with the supervision the daily activities of the archives staff. Conduct annual performance evaluations of archives staff. Perform the job of courier when needed Other duties as required. [...]



All of Puerto Rico loses power

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 09:23:46 PDT

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1.4 million people in Puerto Rico lost power yesterday in an outage that lasted for a day and left part of the island without power even after service was mainly restored. (more…)




Ovary Actions: menstruation euphemism gifs to smash period taboos

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 09:00:01 PDT

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Oakland, California-based stop motion/GIF artist Headexplodie (aka Annie Wong) thinks that society is overreacting to menstruation, an ordinary biological process that affects half our population. That's why she created "Ovary Actions" (get it...? Overreactions = Ovary Actions), an ongoing series of lovely animated gifs based on period euphemisms. She's hoping they'll take some of the stigma out of "that time of the month."

She writes:

I’m interested in the cultural paradox that exists around menstruation. Although it’s an ordinary and healthy part of life, we treat it as if it were a mysterious thing which leaves us with a confused and silly view of it....

I just think it’d be cool if we could all be more chill and comfortable with talking about this thing that for so long has been painted with a broad brush of negativity.

I personally used to think about my periods as something to be ashamed of, to hide, something that made me feel absolutely gross. But since embarking on this project I’ve opened myself up to various menstrual educators, artists, and entrepreneurs, and seeing their work in my daily feed makes periods seem totally normal. Being able to talk openly about it with my friends has done the same. Normalizing periods is the first step in being able to take better care of our reproductive health.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhexGD6ldG-/?taken-by=headexplodie https://www.instagram.com/p/BhHY9ZiBxHr/?taken-by=headexplodie https://www.instagram.com/p/BgwTqb_h0IV/?taken-by=headexplodie https://www.instagram.com/p/BgjNNJnl7wn/?taken-by=headexplodie https://www.instagram.com/p/BgOoK7fl9fi/?taken-by=headexplodie (image)

Surfing the Crimson Wave

If you love this project as much as I do, be sure to follow her on Instagram. Also: can we all just agree that "Headexplodie" is the best artist name ever?




Amputee drummer with bionic playing arm launches Kickstarter

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 08:59:17 PDT

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Drummer Jason Barnes, who only has one arm, has been collaborating with engineer Gil Weinberg of Georgia Tech's Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines to develop a cyborg arm that enables Barnes not only to play his kit again, but to "play at speeds not humanly possible... and play strange polyrhythms that no human can play." Weinberg and Barnes have now launched a Kickstarter to build another prosthetic cyborg arm that Barnes can take on the road. From IEEE Spectrum:

The Cyborg Drummer Project Kickstarter is looking to raise $90,000; of that, $70,000 will go straight to production of the new arm. A big chunk of the cost comes from trying to replace the “couple of computers and a technical team” that are currently required to operate the arm with components that are portable, self-contained, and user operated. The remaining $20,000 will go towards organizing concerts and making recordings so that folks who contribute will be able to hear and enjoy some of the result, potentially in person.

One of the unique things about the prosthetic that Weinberg and Barnes want to build is that it will be partially autonomous. There are two drumsticks: Barnes controls one; the other operates autonomously through its own actuator. The arm listens to the music being played (by Jason and the musicians around him) and improvises its own accompanying beat pattern. It's able to do this on the fly, and if it chooses to, is capable of moving at speeds far faster than a human drummer can.

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Tesla pulls a Trump, smears critical press outlet as "extremists"

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 08:52:24 PDT

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Tesla was extremely upset to learn that the employees who'd been injured and maimed in its factories spoke to Reveal News about the unsafe working conditions and culture of cover-ups at the Tesla plants. (more…)




Video toilet displays ads while men pee

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 08:50:17 PDT

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Mr. Friendly is a waterless public urinal that integrates a video screen to show you ads while you pee. This is just begging for "gamification." From the Dutch manufacturer:

Every gentleman knows that a toilet break is a moment of relaxation. This is when we have “time on our hands”. We seize that perfect moment with our unique Mr.Friendly urinal. Sponsors of environmentally friendly urinals are happy with that moment when they can display a nice video to introduce themselves.

As a location holder you can also use the built-in display. Communicate your message at a unique moment.

Mr. Friendly Toilet (via Neatorama)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woqoEgbZRnE




Amazing photos of sports games combined into single chaotic images

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 07:54:14 PDT

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Photographer Pelle Cass takes dozens of photographs of the same location and then combines the people into a single image. His photos of sporting events make the games look much more fun! From Cass's artist statement:

This work both orders the world and exaggerate its chaos. With the camera on a tripod, I take many dozens of pictures, and simply leave in the figures I choose and omit the rest. The photographs are composite,but nothing has been changed, only selected. My subject is the strangeness of time, the exact way people look, and a surprising world that is visible only with a camera.

Pelle Cass: "Crowded Fields" (via Kottke)

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Police seeking woman who stole butterfly from exhibit

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 07:28:17 PDT

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Cincinnati police are looking for a woman caught on video stealing a live Menelaus blue morpho butterfly from a special exhibit at Krohn Conservatory. From WCPO:

(University of Cincinnati biologist Stephen) Matter and colleague Patrick Guerra said the butterfly was likely dead by Wednesday, given its biological need for a warmer climate than the one Cincinnati has experienced since Sunday.

(Thanks, Charles Pescovitz!)

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Facebook vs regulation: we exist nowhere and everywhere, all at once

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 07:09:53 PDT

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O Moldy Night: A pop-up museum of molded gelatinous food

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 07:00:49 PDT

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"Jell-O by the Sea" by home cook Kate Fulbright

Three (m)old friends -- Kate Medley, Emily Wallace & Kate Elia of North Carolina -- have a long-standing relationship with Jell-O and its molds. So, they recently got folks together to create gelatin masterpieces for "O Moldy Night," their pop-up museum celebrating molded food.

They write:

As for the three of us, our relationship with molds began with the campy — ’70s recipes and good “mold-fashioned” wordplay: A birthday cake with the slogan "I'm old" started our endeavour. But our obsession with the molded eventually expanded to reflect our combined careers in art and food. We wondered about the rise and demise of shaped and gelatinous foods and became enamored by their aesthetics. So, what began as a years-long joke to elevate aspic to a pedestal eventually solidified (as gelatin is wont to do) into a pop-up museum project deemed "O Moldy Night," which displayed the works of some 40 chefs, home cooks, grandmas, and artists at The Durham Hotel in our North Carolina town. Materials ranged from tomatoes and carrots to pig’s feet, chicken tenders, and crushed pineapple.

Take a gander at some of the other creations over at The Bitter Southerner.

Previously: The Mid-Century Supper Club revives kooky recipes of yore

image via The Bitter Southerner

(Neatorama)