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Brain candy for Happy Mutants

Last Build Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:55:36 PDT


Using Machine Learning to synthesize images that look NSFW but aren't

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:54:03 PDT


Yahoo has released a machine-learning model called open_nsfw that is designed to distinguish not-safe-for-work images from worksafe ones. By tweaking the model and combining it with places-CNN, MIT's scene-recognition model, Gabriel Goh created a bunch of machine-generated scenes that score high for both models -- things that aren't porn, but look porny. (more…)

At long last, America's racist, crazy tough-on-crime prosecutors are losing elections

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 22:35:16 PDT


Historically, being an elected prosecutor was a sweet gig: operating with "unchecked power and no transparency," you generally got to run unopposed for re-election, and on the rare instances in which someone did dare to run against the incumbent, the incumbent usually won. (more…)

Fidget toys to disperse your nervous energy

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 22:23:01 PDT


I dote on fidget gadgets -- soothing gizmos intended to give your hands something to keep busy with, like modern worry-beads -- and while you can't buy Chris Bathgate's amazing machined sliders, and the Fidget Cube Kickstarter just closed, there's still Thinkgeek's new Jumbo Noah Fidget Toy, which looks like a lot of fun and "features two interlocking rings that are also connected together with five links on each ring. The center link is larger and has a colored rubber band that rolls back and forth like a treadmill." (more…)

80th birthday party for Emperor Norton's Bridge, Saturday Nov. 12th in San Francisco

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 15:48:05 PDT


Join the Emperor's Bridge folks for a short adventure and a fun celebration! Help celebrate Emperor Norton's bridge's birthday!

If you're in the Bay Area on November 12th, please join The Emperor's Bridge Campaign for a celebration to wish the Emperor's bridge a happy 80th birthday — and to show your support for naming the Emperor's bridge...for him!


The Emperor Norton Bridge Turns 80

Saturday 12 November 2016

2 p.m.

Gather in Rincon Park (map)

For picture-postcard views of the bridge

2:30 p.m.

Short walk to Red's Java House

3 to 5 p.m.

Red's Java House (patio) (map)

Beautiful views of the Bay and bridge

Plus: An update on the Campaign's effort to have the bridge named for Emperor Norton in 2022


Although Red's will appreciate the appropriate coin for drinks and food!

Things I miss: Kool & the Gang

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 15:38:08 PDT


2013's Kool for the Holidays didn't really serve as the comeback I was hoping for.

WikiLeaks reveals President Barack Obama's personal email address

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 14:23:04 PDT


The stolen emails recently published by WikiLeaks reveal that President Barack Obama's email address during the presidential transition at the end of the 2008 campaign was


Clinton deftly managed Trump into collapse

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:33:38 PDT


Ezra Klein has a wonderful piece on Vox, "Hillary Clinton’s 3 debate performances left the Trump campaign in ruins," that well describes the master class in managing a bully into hanging himself these general election debates have been. Klein points out how Clinton pushed all Trump's buttons and practically had him performing tricks on command.

Via Vox:

Trump’s meltdown wasn’t an accident. The Clinton campaign coolly analyzed his weaknesses and then sprung trap after trap to take advantage of them.

Clinton’s successful execution of this strategy has been, fittingly, the product of traits that she’s often criticized for: her caution, her overpreparation, her blandness. And her particular ability to goad Trump and blunt the effectiveness of his political style has been inextricable from her gender. The result has been a political achievement of awesome dimensions, but one that Clinton gets scarce credit for because it looks like something Trump is doing, rather than something she is doing — which is, of course, the point.

It began in the first debate. "Donald," she kept saying. No one quite knows why Trump so loathes the sound of his first name, but he does. He quickly tried to shame Clinton into showing him more respect. "Secretary Clinton -- yes, is that okay?" he said, after she once again called him Donald. "Good. I want you to be very happy. It's very important to me."

Clinton’s next answer: "In fact, Donald was one of the people who rooted for the housing crisis..."

Each debate has followed the same pattern. Trump begins calm, but as Clinton needles him, he falls apart, gets angrier, launches bizarre personal attacks, offers rambling justifications for his own behavior, and loses the thread of whatever question was actually asked of him.

Clinton, meanwhile, crisply summarizes the binders full of policy information she absorbed before the debate. The gap in preparation, knowledge, and basic competence has been evident in every contest, and it’s led to polls showing that even voters who loathe Clinton recognize she’s far more qualified and capable than Trump. Nor does Clinton make mistakes — she’s often criticized for being careful and bland in her answers, but here it’s helped her, as she’s never taken the headlines away from Trump’s own gaffes.

The Republican primary field were incapable of managing this overgrown orange child. Secretary Clinton put him away with grace and dignity.

I'm Bored: surreal and weirdly touching comics by Jess Rotter

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:27:38 PDT


If the Zap Comix collective hung out in Gary Larson's basement rolling numbers on psychedelic record covers while giggling about those motivational calendars where you tear off one earnest aphorism each day, and the internal awkwardness that all of us experience, the comix that emerge would likely fit into I'm Bored, the surreal and wonderful new book by illustrator Jess Rotter with a foreword by Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte. Below are a few pages for your pleasure. You likely recognize Jess's art from her inspired illustrations for vinyl and apparel projects from Rodriguez, the Grateful Dead, Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Best Coast, Light in the Attic Records, and her bimonthly "Songbird Stories" column for Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter. I'm Bored is Jess's first book and I'm already ready for the next trip.

Visit Hat & Beard Press to order the hardback of I'm Bored, a special lenticular-cover edition, or bundles including a variety of delightful patches, postcards, and apparel.




Hot Wheels retro Batmobile

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:09:56 PDT


This die cast Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment collection Batmobile brings me a ton of joy.

I also have the Mystery Machine.

NSA contractor Harold Thomas Martin to face espionage charges over 50TB of "stolen code"

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:03:09 PDT


A former Booz Allen Hamilton contractor who worked with the National Security Agency will face charges of espionage in a case involving 50 terabytes or more of highly sensitive NSA data the government says were stolen.


The great Australian poetry hoax, in which deliberate nonsense was hailed as great art

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:59:33 PDT


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In 1943, fed up with modernist poetry, two Australian army officers invented a fake poet and submitted a collection of deliberately senseless verses to a Melbourne arts magazine. To their delight, the poems were published and their author was hailed as "one of the most remarkable and important poetic figures of this country." In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll tell the story of the Ern Malley hoax, its perpetrators, and its surprising legacy in Australian literature.

We'll also hear a mechanized Radiohead and puzzle over a railroad standstill.

Show notes

Please support us on Patreon!

The Modernist Utopia that never was

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:58:52 PDT


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HOME: Stories From L.A., a member of the Boing Boing Podcast Network, is back for its fourth season. This week:

What happens to a utopia that never got off the ground? Bits and pieces of one, an experiment in postwar living for the masses, are hiding in plain sight in the hills above Sunset Boulevard. Architect and author Cory Buckner talks about Crestwood Hills, a Modernist vision for a cooperative future that never quite arrived.

A note from the producer: If you'd like to help HOME get off to a good seasonal start, drop by the iTunes Store and subscribe. And if you have a minute to leave a rating and/or review, that helps stir the algorithmic stew that gets shows noticed. Thanks for listening.

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Email | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

What the Third Debate Felt Like

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:48:49 PDT


Boing Boing pal Joe Sabia and friends created this surreal edit of the third 2016 presidential debate, which took place last night and creeped everyone out big league.


Tesla announces full self-driving hardware on all models

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:29:47 PDT


Tesla released a video of a commute from home to office, including parking as a demonstration of its fully self-driving hardware. "The person in the driver's seat is only there for legal reasons. He is not doing anything. The car is driving itself."


Watch this spider weave her web with great care

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 11:53:09 PDT


My friend Rachel shot this great video of a cute spider making her web. Anyone know what kind it is?

Build 10 real working apps with Python

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 11:51:35 PDT


This Python Mega Course will help you learn to code by teaching you to build 10 real-world apps that each highlight a unique use of Python.

Job prospects for coders are still growing steadily—and with Python being one of the most popular coding languages out there today, it’s important for job seekers to demonstrate a widespread understanding of the language. That's why we recommend this course. It goes beyond the basics to give you real-world skills.

You’ll have access to 172 lectures and 21.5 hours of content designed to help you build web applications, database applications, web visualizations, and much more.

At the end of the course, you’ll have built 10 apps you can be proud of—and show off to potential employers. Some of the specific apps you’ll build include a webcam motion detector, a desktop application, and an interactive web-based financial chart.

For a limited time, we've dropped the price of the Python Mega Course to 78% off retail, selling for just $42.

Also explore the Best-Sellers on our network right now:

Notebook nirvana – three stunning journals to behold

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 11:48:33 PDT

These notebooks are all blank, calm, and satisfying. All three have attached ribbon bookmarks, elastic bands to hold them shut, and pockets in the inside back cover to tuck ephemera into. SketchyNotebook (bottom left photo above) comes with thin sheets of printed plastic to place behind the page you’re writing on, as a guide for navigating the blank space. It starts with the templates intended for graphic designers (squares, triangles) and journalists (horizontal lines, vertical lines; not sure what this has to do with journalism), which is cool, but where it really dorks out is all the other templates they make: filmmakers get storyboards, mobile app developers get iPhones, interior designers get perspective grids, fashion designers get shoes, and so on. Sketchy opens completely flat, so you can write all the way to the gutter, and the perforated edges let you neatly remove the finished page. SketchyNotebook, from Taiwan, is offered in a variety of sizes, as the prize of a Kickstarter campaign, which ends November 5, 2016. The planned ship date is February, 2017. What is it about the Quo Vadis Habana notebook (bottom right photo above) that makes it so pleasurable to use? Maybe it’s the paper, cream-colored and thick, the smoothest paper I’ve felt in a notebook. The rounded corners give it dignity, and the sewn binding suggests durability. The Habana is made in the USA, with certified sustainable paper. The paper in the Flexible Notebook (middle photo above), from the Spanish company Miquelrius, is thin and white, so white, the whitest of white. The cover of mine is in a eye-soothing subtly mottled blue. Unlike the heftier Sketchy and Habana, the Flexible’s cover is, as you might guess, flexible, and the binding is sewn; you can bend the front cover out of the way while you write on the right-hand side (or the other way around, for lefties). You may wonder about ghosting, bleeding, and other inkly topics; there are so many variables when it comes to pens and writing that there isn’t room to go into them in this review. I prioritize notebooks over pens; I recommend getting any of these that catches your eye, then finding the pen that works with it. See sample pages from this book at Wink. Quo Vadis Habana Journal 9 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches $27 Buy a copy on Amazon Flexible Notebook Miquelrius, 5.25 x 8.25 $14 Buy a copy on Miquelrius SketchyNotebook Series: Creative's All-In-One Notebook Kickstarter $18-$28 Buy a copy on Kickstarter[...]

Learn 3 cool magic tricks with a Sharpie

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 11:36:20 PDT


Oscar Owen has a nice tutorial for doing three different tricks with a standard Sharpie pen.


Participate in a Silicon Valley design jam to make the future of work more equitable for everyone

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 11:16:50 PDT


My colleagues at Institute for the Future are hosting a "Positive Platform Design Jam" November 30-December 1 at our Palo Alto, California gallery and offices. The goal is to hack on software or conceptual frameworks for on-demand platforms that not only maximize profits for their owners but also provide dignified and sustainable livelihoods for those who work on them. Are you a creative technologist, social inventor, policy expert, labor activist? IFTF hopes you'll apply to participate!

From IFTF:

Why are we doing this?

A host of technologies—from automation to digital platforms for coordination of tasks — are reinventing not just what people do to earn a living but at a much deeper level how we organize to create value. The landscape of labor economics is in upheaval. In the process, new platforms, algorithms, and attitudes are undermining many established institutions, regulatory regimes, and work practices, challenging some of the basic tenets of the social safety net established in the 20th century. But what of the workers? How can we ensure dignified and sustainable livelihoods for everyone?

Solutions won’t come from any one agency, discipline, or company. It will take collaboration, broad public engagement, smart policy, and an openness to reinventing old economic models. And while we can’t put the technologies enabling on-demand platforms back in the box, the algorithms we embed in them, the platform design choices we make, the policy and regulatory solutions we create can be shaped by all of us. It is one of the more urgent tasks that we face today. And we need your help

Apply to join the IFTF Positive Platforms Design Jam: 11/30 – 12/1

Learn more about Positive Platforms in the IFTF report: “10 Strategies for a Workable Future

Man enjoys coffee in a flooded Starbucks

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:54:50 PDT


Yes, Starbucks coffee IS that good(story in comments)(x-WTF)

Come hell or high water, this gentleman is going to have his Starbucks.

Is your Eierschalensollbruchstellenverursacher as nifty as this one?

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:52:03 PDT


This is a boiled egg shell cracker. It works like a charm every other time you use it.


4-year-old Russian girl speaks and reads 7 languages

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:37:28 PDT


Four-year-old Bella speaks 7 languages and does improvisational dancing at the same time.

Like a dream - fabulous treasure discovered in old lunchbox

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:26:13 PDT


I'm not going to spoil the fun by telling you what this guy found in a dusty old lunchbox hidden in the basement of a 1940a house he was remodeling. Just go here and enjoy each of the photos that slowly reveal the treasure he discovered inside. Don't miss part 2, here. Geraldo Rivera is gnashing his teeth.

As a bonus, there's a singing girl wrestler in the story.


Support Radiotopia, home to 99% Invisible, Song Exploder, and many of the best podcasts

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:05:51 PDT


The Radiotopia podcasting collective is home to most of my absolute favorite podcasts: 99% Invisible, The Memory Palace, and Song Exploder. Roman Mars, founder of Radiotopia and 99% Invisible, and the other podcasters have created something truly wonderful with this network. And once every year they ask for our support to keep the network going. Count me in. From their fundraising page:

Back in the day, homemade mixtapes helped convey feelings words could not. Songs were meticulously arranged in a particular order, and each track told a different story. Decorating the tape case was as important as curating the content. Every detail counted, and sharing a mixtape with someone meant the world.

Radiotopia embodies the mixtape tradition. Our shows explore life, society and culture through illuminating and unforgettable stories. We focus on craft, value process, and champion good design—from the sounds in every episode, to each show’s logo and custom artwork. And we’re big fans of sharing what we love with you.

Once a year, we ask you to think about how much Radiotopia podcasts mean to you, and to make a donation to help keep the network strong. Here’s your chance to support the original, independent and wildly creative Radiotopians you love, so they can continue to create amazing audio experiences for you.

Support Radiotopia!

This Ghostbusters Ecto1 Wheelchair Halloween Costume is Totally Amazing

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:01:13 PDT

IMGURian Ryan S. Miller posted this wonderful series of images: “Here is Jeremy's Costumer this year...The Ghostbusters Ecto-1!” “Every year we've tried to step up the scale of the costume builds we do for Jeremy,” Ryan says. “This year we put it to a vote and our friends choose the Ghostbusters Ecto-1!” Check it out in action, below. [...]

"Self-control" can be switched off with electromagnetic brain stimulation

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:47:18 PDT


University of Zurich researchers used transcranial magnetic stimulation, a noninvasive method of inhibiting activity in parts of the brain, to "turn off" people's ability to control their impulses. They focused on the temporoparietal junction, an area of the brain thought to play an important role in moral decisions, empathy, and other social interactions. They hope their research could help inform our understanding of addiction and self-discipline. From Scientific American:

In their study, subjects underwent 40 seconds of disruptive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)—in which a magnetic coil placed near the skull produced small electric currents in the brain that inhibited activity of the posterior TPJ—then spent 30 minutes completing a task. To rule out a placebo effect, a control group received TMS in a different area of the brain. In one task, subjects made a choice between a reward (ranging between 75 and 155 Swiss francs) for themselves or one that was shared equally between themselves and another person, who ranged from their closest confidante to a stranger on the street. In another task subjects were offered an immediate reward of between zero and 160 Swiss francs or a guarantee of 160 Swiss francs after waiting three to 18 months. In a final task, subjects were instructed to take the perspective of an avatar and indicate the number of red dots on a ball that the avatar would see.

Subjects with an inhibited TPJ were less likely to share the money and were more likely to take the money up front rather than delay gratification and wait for a larger prize. They were also less able take on the perspective of the avatar, which makes sense, says Christian Ruff, a co-author of the paper and an economist at the University of Zurich. “The function of perspective-taking is essential to both of these tasks,” he says, in terms of both “thinking how someone else would feel if you give them money and also how you yourself in the future would feel with that money.”

The findings suggest that the TPJ plays an important role in perspective-taking, which (co-author Christian) Ruff describes as “a very basic social mechanism” that is essential not only for helping us figure out what other people may be thinking and feeling during social interactions but also in self-control, as we weigh the needs and desires of our current self against the needs and desires of our imagined future self.

New Trump accuser Karena Virginia claims Donald grabbed her breast, asking, "Don't you know who I am?"

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:32:42 PDT


The morning after America's third and final presidential debate, a new woman has come forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexual assault. By my count, Karena Virginia is at least the 10th women to accuse the GOP presidential nominee of sexual assault. There are probably more.


Last call for the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition!

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:19:01 PDT

Are you jonesing for a dose of optimism and possibility? In the mood to contemplate the cosmos? Want to experience a musical message for extraterrestrials the way it was meant to be played? The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition, a project I launched with Timothy Daly and Lawrence Azerrad, is a lavish vinyl box set containing the contents of the phonograph record launched into space in 1977 and now 13 billion miles from Earth. Our Kickstarter ends at 8pm PDT tonight (Thursday). Once we fulfill the rewards from this campaign, we'll never produce this deluxe 40th Anniversary Edition again. We are so thankful enthusiasm and excitement about our project and the incredible Voyager interstellar mission. The curiosity and support is infectious. We're deeply grateful that a project that has been on our minds for so long has resonated with so many people around the world. Ad astra! For more on the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition, please visit our Kickstarter page here. And here's an excerpt from an interview with me about the project, from The Vinyl Factory: Ultimately it was a utopian vision for Earth as much as an actual attempt to communicate with extra terrestrials… Wasn’t it? Yeah I think the idea is that if there is a civilisation that is intelligent enough to actually intercept it, they’ll be able to follow the instructions on how to play it. And I think that’s true. In some ways though, it doesn’t even really matter if it’s ever played or not by an extra-terrestrial civilisation. And I firmly believe this, it was a gift to the cosmos but it was also a gift to humanity. And Linda Salzman Sagan, who was on the original committee, said something along the lines of there being two audiences, there was the extra-terrestrial audience and then there was the audience of the people on Earth. And that’s what’s exciting to us... And the label you’ve set up for this end is Ozma Records… It’s worth mentioning the name. So Ozma is the Princess of Oz from the Wizard of Oz books. That’s the first reference. But the second reference is connected to Frank Drake, who is a pioneer in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and was on the Voyager Golden Record committee. In fact he’s the one who came up with the idea of sending a phonograph record. In the 1960s he launched one of the first scientific efforts to search for extraterrestrial intelligence using radio-telescopes and that was called Project Ozma, named after Princess Ozma. So we wanted to honour him and use that name. Our hope is to release future records that lie at the intersection of science and art and music too, that also instil a sense of wonder. Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition (Kickstarter) [...]

“Nasty Woman vs. Bad Hombre,” by Jonathan "Song a Day" Mann

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:17:06 PDT


“Nasty Woman vs. Bad Hombre”  is a nifty new number on the nutty 2016 presidential campaign by Jonathan Mann, who writes and publishes a new song every single day, as he's been doing for the last 7+ years.


Hillary vs. Donald Debate Remix from Eclectic Method

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:10:03 PDT


Remix of the 3rd un-presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump from with a hip-hop "Hail To The Chief" backing track, by Eclectic Method.