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Brain candy for Happy Mutants



Last Build Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2018 15:22:49 +0000

 



To keep their bond-ratings, hedge-funds have to publicly demonstrate that they are the most ruthless of landlords

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 15:22:49 +0000

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After the subprime crisis, vulture funds swept into the hardest-hit areas and bought thousands of foreclosed-upon homes at firesale prices and floated bonds based on the expected returns from the rents they'd be able to charge in an America with the lowest levels of home-ownership in modern history. (more…)







Self-destructing thumb drives with smoke loads, glowing elements, tiny explosives

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 15:03:09 +0000

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MG's Mr Self Destruct project takes the USB Killer to new levels, combining a $1.50 system-on-a-chip with a variety of payloads: smoke bombs, "sound grenades," and little explosives, cleverly choreographed with keystroke emulation, allowing the poisoned drive to first cause the connected computer to foreground a browser and load a web-page that plays an appropriate animation (a jack-in-the-box that plays "Pop Goes the Weasel" with the drive's explosive detonating for the climax). (more…)




SE Ranking helps keep your website at the top of search rankings

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 13:00:00 +0000

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The web may be a big place, but space is certainly limited when it comes to securing a spot on that first page of a Google search. That's why investing in your site's SEO is critical for staying relevant and ensuring the appropriate audience finds you. Thankfully, doing so just got a bit easier with SE Ranking, and now you can sign up for a personal plan for $49.99.

SE Ranking delivers all the standard SEO tools, like keyword position tracking and competitor research, while also loading in unique features like page changes monitoring and SEO ROI forecasts. You can audit as many pages as you need while receiving actionable recommendations on the go. Plus, you can discover what keywords your competitors are using in their ads to give you an edge online.

You can net a lifetime personal plan of SE Ranking for $49.99 in the Boing Boing Store.




Russia: Nearly nude Putin dips in icy pool to celebrate Orthodox Epiphany in manly-man tradition

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 22:02:49 +0000

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Putin does the best manly-man propaganda of all global bad guys. It's a long-established internet truth.

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Facebook will ask its 2 billion users to rank their trust in news orgs for 'Newsfeed' makeover

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:28:03 +0000

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Facebook today announced major changes to their 'newsfeed' which 2 billion people use monthly. Now, Facebook plans to begin asking each user to rank their trust in various news organizations.

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A page of architectural screw-ups

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 20:09:01 +0000

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Stairs that lead nowhere. Toilets that get in the way of doors. Balconies you can't stand on. Pfusch am bau is a Pinterest page with delightful examples of building boo-boos.




Becoming a mother in a Rohingya refugee camp

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 20:04:08 +0000

This was her third baby. She was accustomed to the harsh realities of motherhood in a life in poverty. But I wasn’t. I’m a midwife. I was volunteering at one of the camp clinics when I was called to visit Rojinessa on the morning after her baby was born. I walked about half a mile into the sprawling refugee camps to her tent and stepped inside. The tent was smoky and very dark. I could hardly breathe. I asked one of the Bangladeshi midwives who came with me to open the flap of plastic sheeting that served as a door. Rojinessa was sitting on the concrete floor on a thin woven mat. The remains of a small fire was inches from her “bed.” She and her husband and her now three children live in a one bedroom tent in the middle of what used to be a rice field. Cows bathe in the small polluted stream that bubbles twelve feet from the structure. I don’t know what happened during the birth because I wasn’t there. All volunteers are required to leave the camps by 5 pm every day. Most babies are born at night, so even as trained medical personnel, we are cold comfort to the mothers giving birth in the camps. Plus, I don’t speak the Rohingya dialect. And neither, it seems, do many others. The Chittagong dialect of Bangla, I’m told, is somewhat similar, but miscommunications are all too common as we play “telephone” from English to Bangla to Rohingya. Rojinessa’s blood pressure and pulse were normal. She didn’t have a fever. She complained of weakness, dizziness, fatigue. No kidding. She hadn’t eaten anything but rice in days. Her family could not afford to buy one of the live chickens sold at the pop-up market by the road. We had nothing to give her but a few biscuits and… you guessed it, more rice, with a few lentils mixed in. She had no menstrual pads to catch postpartum bleeding. We were able to bring her some from the clinic. Her baby was vigorous and hungry. Good signs. She popped him on her breast to nurse like she had done it hundreds of times before. Fantastic. Pregnant women in Ukhia sometimes walk miles to receive care at one of the women’s-only clinics sprinkled throughout the camps. The clinics themselves are tents. Only a few of them have electricity. Most of them lack the equipment to provide the most basic prenatal and postpartum care. Running a routine lab test is out of the question, much less listening to a fetus on a heart rate monitor or ordering an ultrasound. We have to use our hands, our ears and eyes, and hope for the best. If there is a true emergency, we can refer a patient to the Red Crescent or MSF hospital tents a few miles down the road, where they have some more capabilities. But there are a number of reasons a woman might not go. Maybe her husband won’t give her permission. Or he can’t give her permission because he’s out working in the fields. Or she doesn't have anyone to watch her other children. Rohingya mothers grow small babies. They often have trouble producing enough milk for their babies because they don’t have enough food themselves. All of the people in the camps are malnourished. They have been trapped in a state of abject poverty since long before they fled their homes. At the clinic we give each mother a small package of high-calorie cookies and a fist-sized bag of rice with lentils at every visit – which is about once a month. The food is encouragement to come and get care. But it isn’t anywhere near enough. Rojinessa and her baby survived birth in the camp. Not all do. Hopefully they will continue to survive and her baby boy will grow into one of the many children running and playing everywhere in the camps. They play soccer with empty plastic jugs and make kites out of bamboo sticks and plastic bags. But survival is about all they can hope for. Without a home and without access to education, without the[...]



Plane lands safely

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 19:40:42 +0000

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Even by the standards of "storm-buffeted planes landing without incident", this is astounding: a small jet turboprop all but spinning in circles as it comes in, only to plop perfectly onto its wheels at the last moment. According to the video, there were 110 km/h (68 mph) crosswinds.

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Lightweight packable backpack

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 19:29:59 +0000

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Just a few minutes left to get this super lightweight backpack that folds into a small pouch. I just bought one for our upcoming trip to Japan. It's $16 on sale.




It won't be as easy as it used to be to bring comfort animals on a Delta flight

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 19:16:09 +0000

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Delta passengers who wish to bring emotional-support animals with them on flights now face tighter restrictions. Beginning March 1, passengers must provide a letter signed by a doctor or licensed mental-health professional attesting to the passenger's need to travel with the animal and a letter that states the animal can behave out of a kennel.

From USA Today:

Because of a vague definition for what qualifies, Delta said passengers have brought turkeys, possums and snakes on planes as comfort animals.

Delta said it won't accept those critters as comfort animals any more — or other exotic animals such as hedgehogs, ferrets, reptiles, or anything with tusks or hooves.

Comfort animals can be discomforting to others. Incidents of animals urinating, defecating and biting, and behaving more aggressively with growling and lunging, have increased dramatically in recent years, according to the airline.

In one highly publicized case in June, an emotional-support dog bit a neighboring passenger in the face during the boarding of a flight from Atlanta to San Diego.

“The rise in serious incidents involving animals in flight leads us to believe that the lack of regulation in both health and training screening for these animals is creating unsafe conditions across U.S. air travel,” Laughter said. “We are committed to consistently improving our policies, prioritizing the safety of all Delta customers and employees.”

Chris Christie, the much-reviled former New Jersey governor, learned that he will no longer be treated like the important person he pretends to be. Yesterday at Newark Liberty International Airport Christie headed straight to the special VIP entrance with his state police security detail but was turned away.

From Huffington Post:

The entry point is typically used by dignitaries and others to bypass the normal Transportation Security Administration checkpoint, and Christie used it himself recently, according to NBC New York.

However, his access to the bypass appears to have ended this week along with his two terms as governor of the Garden State.

“Port Authority says Christie showed up at Newark Airport today with NJ State PD detail,” a Port Authority spokesman told CBS New York. “They tried to go into the special access area where they have been going for years. A PA cop told him he was no longer allowed to use that access and they escorted him to the regular area.”

Christie was quick to say the story was fake news, but at that point, nobody really cared what he had to say about it, or anything else.

Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)