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Published: Thu, 08 Dec 2016 23:40:15 GMT

Last Build Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2016 23:40:15 GMT


Lode Runner in HTML5

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 23:40:15 GMT

The classic action puzzle game Lode Runner is now on the web, implemented in HTML5 by Simon Hung using CreateJS! It has all 150 the levels from the original and the 50 from Championship (VERY HARD), plus some more collections. Here's the source on GitHub. More info.

If you get stuck somewhere, keep the following tricks in mind:
  1. Every level has a solution. Yes, every level. There are few games quite like Lode Runner for making something that looks impossible, but in fact there is a tricky way.
  2. The basic trick is to dig out a layer of bricks, jump into the hole, and keep digging. The places where this technique can be used are many and varied and will keep you guessing for a long time. Assuming no ladders, each layer's hole will have to be one block narrower than the layer above. If you have a ladder to stand on, the rules change a bit. Enemies that walk into a dug pit from the side are not stuck and can move around normally!
  3. Enemies can pick up the gold you need to collect to clear the level. There are levels where you rely on enemies picking up gold in places you cannot reach and carrying it into the places you can go to. To cause an enemy drop what it's carrying, make it fall into a pit. Some levels you have to kill enemies to get them to the top of the screen where they can reach otherwise-unobtainable gold.
  4. Before long you'll have to start learning how to manipulate enemy movement to proceed. Watch how enemies react when you move to different places in relation to them. You don't have to know exactly how enemies move to win, but you will have to watch carefully to ensure they go where you need them to be, or stay out of your way.
  5. You can use enemies' heads as stepping stones, even when they are falling. You not only run faster than them, you also fall faster. You can take advantage of this.
  6. You cannot dig at a spot with another block, gold, an enemy, a ladder or, oddly, overhead bars in the space immediately above it. If none of these things can be seen and yet it still looks like a diggable block and you can't dig, then it might be a trap door instead....
  7. If you find a place where you absolutely cannot escape, there are still two possibilities. One, there are ladders that appear when you collect the last gold on the level, and sometimes you have to rely on them to escape. And two, if there's a gold that it looks like you absolutely cannot get it without getting stuck, sometimes there's a trap door (a fall-through block that looks just like normal ground) beneath it.
If you get stuck without hope of escape press Ctrl-A to lose a life and try the level again. And if this isn't enough, I've played a great deal of Hudson's "Battle Lode Runner" that's on Wii Virtual Console and can vouch for it. And there's a mobile-optimized version of the computer game available for smartphones.

Previously: The death of its creator Douglas Smith.

John Glenn, dead at 95

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 21:11:49 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — John Glenn, whose 1962 flight as the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth made him an all-American hero and propelled him to a long career in the U.S. Senate, died Thursday. The last survivor of the original Mercury 7 astronauts was 95.

The least influential images of all time

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 20:53:46 GMT

These 100 photographs did not change the world and had no influence whatsoever (unlike these ones), but we should be thankful for their existence anyway. Includes hamsters, Sarah Bernhardt's foot (and dog), lovers, a large balloon, a kangaroo, some clouds and various types of human beings. (short article about this collection, in French)

Dinosaur Tail Discovered Trapped in Amber

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 19:24:34 GMT

"The tail of a 99-million year old dinosaur has been found entombed in amber, an unprecedented discovery that has blown away scientists....The amber adds to fossil evidence that many dinosaurs sported feathers rather than scales. "

No extended description, I just thought this was really neat.

2015 U.S. Transgender Survey Report

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 15:12:16 GMT

The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS) is the largest survey examining the experiences of transgender people in the United States, with 27,715 respondents from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. military bases overseas. (Full report. Executive Summary) The USTS was for all trans-identified people, including genderqueer and non-binary people, at any stage of their lives, journey, or transition. Participants had to be currently living in the United States or a U.S. territory, or be living abroad on a U.S. military base.

a perfect superposition of tragedy and farce

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 07:42:13 GMT

How the Soviets invented the internet and why it didn't work - "Soviet scientists tried for decades to network their nation. What stalemated them is now fracturing the global internet." The first global computer networks took root in the US thanks to well-regulated state funding and collaborative research environments, while the contemporary (and notably independent) national network efforts in the USSR floundered due to unregulated competition and institutional infighting among Soviet administrators. The first global computer network emerged thanks to capitalists behaving like cooperative socialists, not socialists behaving like competitive capitalists. In the fate of the Soviet internet we can glimpse a clear and present warning to the future of the internet. Today the 'internet' – understood as a single global network of networks for advancing informational liberty, democracy and commerce – is in serious decline... consider how often companies and states are seeking to silo their online experiences: the ubiquitous app is more of a walled garden for rent-seekers than a public commons for browsers. Inward-looking gravity wells (such as Facebook and the Chinese firewall) increasingly gobble up sites that link outwards. also btw... What is the 'splinternet'? - "THE word—and the concept—is not new. An entire book has been written about it. But it is likely to find greater currency in the coming years: 'splinternet', or the idea that the internet, long imagined as a global online commons, is becoming a maze of national or regional and often conflicting rules. Elders of the internet—among them politicians, entrepreneurs and technologists who want the network to remain open—have started to push back." How a Trump Administration Could Shape the Internet - "Under a President Donald Trump, cable and phone companies could gain new power to influence what you do and what you watch online — not to mention how much privacy you have while you're at it." [...]

Cat Hulbert: How I got rich beating men at their own game

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 05:44:03 GMT

Cat Hulbert: How I got rich beating men at their own game In her own words, Cat Hulbert describes how she got rich beating male opponents - and the casinos - and explains why in her view women are innately better at poker than men.

"Reading one book is like eating one potato chip."

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 05:13:08 GMT

100 Notable Books of 2016 [The New York Times] The year's notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. This list represents books reviewed since Dec. 6, 2015, when we published our previous Notables list. - The 10 Best Books of 2016 [The New York Times] The year's best books, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. - The Best Book Covers of 2016 [The New York Times] However ornamental book jackets may be, they are also entry points to both the good and bad ideas that illuminate our possible futures. Conventional wisdom holds that an uninteresting book cover should never stop a worthy idea within from taking hold. And yet, so many conventions and so much wisdom were proved wrong this year that during my more histrionic moments, I wonder how many instances exist throughout the course of history in which book covers have worked against the potential human value of the books they're wrapped around. Here then are 12 reasons to be less fatalistic and more optimistic. These covers are challenging without being impenetrable and playful without being precious — none of which is an easy task for a designer. - Temples for the Literary Pilgrim [The New York Times] From Mexico City to Hangzhou, bookstores that are destinations in and of themselves. - 7 Writers on Their Favorite Bookstores [The New York Times] Geraldine Brooks, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Pamela Paul and others in the literary world reveal their favorite bookstores. - Ann Patchett's Guide for Bookstore Pilgrims [The New York Times] If bookstores are a must on your travel itinerary, Ann Patchett has a road map for you. - A Bookworm's Travel Plan [The New York Times] For the writer, a good bookstore in a faraway place is as basic a need as a decent hotel, a hot shower and enough underwear. - NPR's Book Concierge [] Our Guide To 2016's Great Reads: Use the filters below to explore more than 300 titles NPR staff and critics loved this year. (You can also combine filters!) Want even more recommendations? Check out our favorite books from 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 - Best Books of 2016 [Good Reads] Announcing the winners of the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards, the only major book awards decided by readers. Congratulations to the best books of the year! - Best Books of 2016 ['s Editors Picks] All year,'s editorial team reads with an eye for the Best Books of the Month, plus the best books in popular categories like Cooking, Food & Wine, Literature & Fiction, Children's books, Mystery & Thrillers, Comics & Graphic Novels, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, the best books for teens, and more. We scour reviews and book news for tips on what the earliest readers have loved, share our own copies and tear through as many books as possible. - The 10 Best Books of 2016 [Vulture] There were many literary surprises in 2016 — we were forced to learn of Elena Ferrante's true identity before we wanted to; in an Oprah-coordinated marketing assault we were treated to Colson Whitehead's new novel a month before we expected it; and in accord with the year's backwards logic, the runaway best-seller about ethnic identity was by a white guy from Ohio: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. We won't forget these shocks, but what really mattered in 2016 transpired quietly. A changing of the guard is under way, and most of the year's best books were debuts or sophomore efforts. I was disappointed by many of the year's marquee releases (Whitehead's was a glorious exception), but for every high-profile bomb there were several outstanding books from singular authors emerging on the fringes.[...]

Peace, love, unity, respect, and rave with Kutski

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 04:51:19 GMT

DJ Kutski is keeping the rave alive via podcast mixes, "representing 360 degrees of the harder styles of dance music," an hour at a time. He's up to 244 episodes, and if you check out a few, you'll quickly notice a pattern in the shows. They generally feature a mix of old and new tracks, a cheeky check to see "does it sound good at 170 BPM", a bit of sample mania, and a guest mini-mix from such names as Dune and Charlie Lownoise & Mental Theo from the living history of the scenes, with folks like Sound Rush and AniMe representing the new generation. PLUR!

If you prefer, you can browse KTRA directly on Mixcloud, and he has a separate account for older mixes. He has also posted a mix of live videos and KTRA episodes on YouTube. And you can find more Kutski on Soundcloud, where he has a selection of his own production.

Not an Onion Title: Rehab for Millennials Aims to Turn Them Into Adults

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 04:12:15 GMT

"Yellowbrick was founded a decade ago specifically to treat 'emerging adult' brains. It helps its patients navigate the extended period between childhood and adulthood." At a cost of $27,500 per month and a minimum commitment of 10 weeks, parents of prospective patients are paying dearly - and some would say being sucked dry - in the name of launching their failed-to-launch 20 or 30-something child.

smash the state, pet the pups

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:05:45 GMT

An American in Syria: The young United States florist headed to Raqqa, Syria, as a volunteer with the People's Defense Units, or YPG, is known to most of Weird Twitter as PissPigGranddad.