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Last Build Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:33:53 +0000


Graham Nash is auctioning off his Robert Crumb original art collection

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 22:15:10 +0000


Graham Nash, the singer-songwriter who is known for being a member of the rock group Crosby, Stills, and Nash, is currently auctioning off a variety of original pieces by countercultural cartoonist Robert Crumb on the website Heritage Auctions. Robert Crumb played a key role in the underground comix movement of the 1960s. He founded Zap Comix, which was the first successful underground comix publication. Crumb is known for his provocative content, iconic characters such as Fritz the Cat and Mr. Natural, and crosshatched drawing style. From Goldmine:

The top prize among the Nash’s offering of art by master Robert Crumb likely will be a dramatic Robert Crumb Zap Comix #1 Cover Original Art (1967), which carries a pre-auction estimate of $100,000 and up. The image is a perfect example of Crumb’s refusal to hold anything back, with the word “Zap” being written across the top in electrified lettering over the image of a nude man being jolted through a cord attached to an electrical outlet. The image was intended by Robert Crumb to be on the cover of Zap No. 1.

You can also find Crumb's original paintings, comic strips, and sketches in the auction lot. I believe that Crumb is one of the best artists of all time, and owning some of his original pieces would be the coolest thing ever. If you can afford it, place a bid while you can!

Image: Crumb's original art for Fritz the Cat sold for $717,000 in a Heritage Auction in 2017

Police officer calmly handles irate gentleman

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 22:08:34 +0000


In this case, I think the P stands for "Peace Officer," actually.

Scaramucci's potty-mouthed rant about Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 22:05:36 +0000


Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director, called The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza on the phone last night. He was angry because Lizza had tweeted earlier that night: "Scoop: Trump is dining tonight w/Sean Hannnity, Bill Shine (former Fox News executive), & Anthony Scaramucci, per to 2 knowledgeable sources," and "Senior White House official tells me that Melania was also at the dinner tonight with Trump, Hannity, Shine, and Scaramucci."

He wanted Lizza to reveal his sources. When Lizza refused, Scaramucci hilariously threatened to fire everyone on the White House communications staff. "I laughed, not sure if he really believed that such a threat would convince a journalist to reveal a source," wrote Lizza.


Later on the call, Scaramucci went on a potty-mouthed rant about Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon. Lizza dutifully transcribed it:

Scaramucci was particularly incensed by a Politico report about his financial-disclosure form, which he viewed as an illegal act of retaliation by Priebus. The reporter said Thursday morning that the document was publicly available and she had obtained it from the Export-Import Bank. Scaramucci didn’t know this at the time, and he insisted to me that Priebus had leaked the document, and that the act was “a felony.”

“I’ve called the F.B.I. and the Department of Justice,” he told me.

“Are you serious?” I asked.

“The swamp will not defeat him,” he said, breaking into the third person. “They’re trying to resist me, but it’s not going to work. I’ve done nothing wrong on my financial disclosures, so they’re going to have to go fuck themselves.”

Scaramucci also told me that, unlike other senior officials, he had no interest in media attention.

“I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock,” he said, speaking of Trump’s chief strategist. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the President. I’m here to serve the country.” (Bannon declined to comment.)

If you thought farcical hilarity in the White House was ending with Sean Spicer's departure, think again. The fun's just starting.

Image: Wikipedia/Jdarsie11

Hey, Little Rock, AR: there's a special stage performance of Little Brother coming your way for Banned Books Week!

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 20:40:56 +0000


Adapted by Josh Costello from the novel by Cory Doctorow/September 15, 16, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, 2017/Directed by Ryan Whitfield and Jason Green (more…)

Every "That's what she said" joke from The Office

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 19:52:31 +0000


This left me very satisfied. (ahem)

(via Laughing Squid)


Quindar remixes NASA's audiovisual archives (and you can dance to it!)

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 19:21:17 +0000


Quindar is a fantastically far out project to remix NASA's weird and wonderful sound and film archives into a new audiovisual experience of electronic music and video cut-ups. Created by my friends Mikael Jorgensen of Wilco and art historian/curator James Merle Thomas, Quindar's recordings and live performances are a wonderful hyperreal trip into the human history of space exploration. Indeed, their just-released album "Hip Mobility" is essential listening for all Earthlings jonesing for a new kind of cosmic kick. I recommend going for the stellar vinyl package, created by Lawrence Azerrad/LADdesign who partnered with Tim Daly and I on the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition.

Below, have a listen to Quindar's Hip Mobility and also hear an interview with Mikael and James on the latest episode of NPR's Science Friday.


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Senate panel votes to protect medical marijuana - major buzzkill for Jeff Sessions

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 19:02:02 +0000


The overwhelming majority of Americans think medical marijuana should be legal. Even Donald Trump pretended to be in favor of states' rights to make their own cannabis laws when he was campaigning. That hasn't stopped attorney general Jeff Sessions from trying to revive the disastrous drug war policies of the 80s and cracking down on the devil weed. Today, he was soundly defeated by the Senate Appropriations Committee, which voted in favor of a renewing a spending rider that blocks the Justice Department from interfering with state medical marijuana laws.


See you at Defcon this weekend!

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 18:55:55 +0000


I'm making the final(ish*) stop of my Walkaway tour at Defcon this weekend in Las Vegas, giving a speech on Saturday in Track 2 at 10AM called $BIGNUM steps forward, $TRUMPNUM steps back: how can we tell if we're winning?, followed by a book-signing at the No Starch Press table in the exhibitors' hall. (more…)

Try to guess the artists represented on these cards

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 18:35:06 +0000


Guess the Artist (available for pre-order) is an art history quiz game that comes in a sleek, colorful package. Each of the 60 cards gives three clues from which the players must guess an artist (who is named on the back, like a flashcard). The clues/illustrations, which are done by Craig & Karl, range from things the artist might have worn to methods and iconography that they used.

Even if you don’t know your Monet from your Manet, the reverse of each card gives the artist’s name and explains each of the clues very clearly. Because of this, Guess the Artist can easily be a learning tool for anyone wanting to brush up on art history. This is a beautiful game that will stand out on any bookshelf or table, and the amount of information packed into this little box makes it something you can return to again and again.




Head of Boy Scouts gives public apology for Trump's weird speech on Tuesday

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 18:30:55 +0000


Two days ago the Boy Scouts of America held their national Scout jamboree in West Virginia, and as is tradition, they invited the president of the United States to give a speech. But of course the current president is like no other the country has had to endure, and it's not so surprising that his speech was inappropriate and weird. Inappropriate and weird as in lines like, "The hottest people in New York were at this party. A lot of successful people were there. And I was invited to the party, I was very young...”

So today the Boy Scouts Chief Scout Executive, Michael Surbaugh, released a letter of explanation and apology, which in part reads:

"I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree. That was never our intent. The invitation for the sitting U.S. President to visit the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition that has been extended to the leader of our nation that has had a Jamboree during his term since 1937. It is in no way an endorsement of any person, party or policies. For years, people have called upon us to take a position on political issues, and we have steadfastly remained non-partisan and refused to comment on political matters. We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program."

But honestly, I'm not sure why he's apologizing. Shouldn't that come from Trump himself?

Image: Evan Guest

Hack for Super NES emulators turns Zelda and Super Metroid into two-player games

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 18:23:27 +0000


Andi McClure's emu-coop is an emulator hack that brings two-player fun to Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, and Legend of Zelda for the NES. It works by enabling players to share in-game inventory over the Internet.

emu-coop (GitHub via Waxy)

Link Rot: only half of the links on 2005's Million Dollar Homepage are still reachable

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 18:16:13 +0000


In 2005 a young man from England created a website called The Million Dollar Homepage and sold advertising space on it. The page is a 1000 × 1000 pixel grid (1,000,000 pixels) and he sold the pixels for $1 each. The page has 2,816 links in it. A recent analysis of all the links reveal that only 1,780 are still reachable.

From Harvard's Library Innovation Lab:

Over the decade or so since the Million Dollar Homepage sold its last pixel, link rot has ravaged the site’s embedded links. Of the 2,816 links that embedded on the page (accounting for a total of 999,400 pixels), 547 are entirely unreachable at this time. A further 489 redirect to a different domain or to a domain resale portal, leaving 1,780 reachable links. Most of the domains to which these links correspond are for sale or devoid of content.

The 547 unreachable links are attached to graphical elements that collectively take up 342,000 pixels (face value: $342,000). Redirects account for a further 145,000 pixels (face value: $145,000). While it would take a good deal of manual work to assess the reachable pages for content value, the majority do not seem to reflect their original purpose. Though the Million Dollar Homepage’s pixel canvas exists as a largely intact digital artifact, the vast web of sites which it publicizes has decayed greatly over the course of time.

[via Clive Thompson]

Watch this flipbook animation of 600 million years of human evolution

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 18:11:17 +0000


The EVO evolution webshop offers this fantastic flipbook of human evolution. It's €7.50. (image)

(via /r/educationalgifs)

How did smugglers put bags of pills inside onions?

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 17:38:31 +0000


This is like the magic trick where the magician cuts open a lemon and reveals a signed dollar bill inside. I know how that trick is done. But how did the smugglers get the drugs into these onions, which don't look like they were tampered with?

Yet another reason to never go to Dubai: prison for sex ‘out of wedlock’

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 17:30:10 +0000


I was once invited to attend an event in Dubai, but after I read stories of people going to prison there for stupid reasons (like a man from Britain who received a four year prison sentence when customs officers found a microscopic speck of cannabis stuck to the bottom of his shoe, and a another man who went to prison for "possession of three poppy seeds left over from a bread roll he ate at Heathrow Airport") I bowed out.


Learn philosophy from James Franco

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 17:25:58 +0000


Actor James Franco has a new YouTube channel in which he raps about philosophy with Eliot Michaelson, a philosophy lecturer at King's College London, and other experts on such heady matters as imagination (above), and metaphor (below). The special guest on these two episodes is Rutgers University philosophy professor Elisabeth Camp. Also below is an episode on the ethics of abortion with Princeton University philosophy professor Elizabeth Harman.

The cool step stool folds up

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 17:18:34 +0000


This is the lowest price I've seen for this foldable step stool: $11. It's 11 inches high, supports 300 lbs, and is only 1.5 inches thick when folded up. It has replaced a non-folding plastic step stool that we'd kept in on the floor in the closet.

Larry David and Bernie Sanders just found out they're actually related

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 17:10:02 +0000


No wonder Curb Your Enthusiasm's Larry David did such a great job impersonating presidential candidate Bernie Sanders last year on Saturday Night Live. The two are apparently related, perhaps as distant cousins.

According to NBC News:

Sanders is a "third cousin or something," David told reporters at a Television Critics Association event on Wednesday. The comedian, who impersonated the senator on "Saturday Night Live" during the 2016 election, said he learned about the genealogical connection while filming an upcoming episode of the PBS series "Finding Your Roots."

"I was very happy about that," David said, according to Variety. "I thought there must have been some connection."

We're still waiting to see how Sanders feels about his new extended family member.

Chrome extension turns Trump's tweets into a child's crayon scrawls

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 17:04:52 +0000


From The Daily Show: "We made a browser extension that converts Donald Trump's Tweets back to their rightful state: a child's scribble."

Malware sucks: crappy code makes it easy to hack hackers

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 16:50:39 +0000


Common Remote Access Trojan (RAT) tools -- which allow hackers to remotely control hijacked computers, from the cameras and mics to the hard-drive and keyboard -- are very badly written and it's easy to hijack computers running the "command and control" components that malicious hackers use to control RATted systems. (more…)

Fragile Rocks' emo puppets tear up NPR's Tiny Desk

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 16:46:35 +0000


Before spotting them on NPR's Tiny Desk concert, I had never heard of Fragile Rock, the 10-member emo puppet band from Austin, Texas. But now, I can be counted as a fan. How the hell did I miss them? Sheer genius!

Fragile Rock consists of five puppets, six puppeteers, 3 musicians, two roadies and a band therapist. Fragile Rock is the brainchild of Brently Heilbron and the product of the creative soup that is Austin, TX.

Good to see the heart of Texas is still keepin' it weird. Bravo, puppetmasters.

P.S. New hashtag alert: #SocksAreMurder (pass it on)

Kickstarting a Bondic, handheld UV-curing plastic "3D printer"

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 16:39:06 +0000


I first tried Bondic in 2015, when I ordered a tube of the UV-curing plastic and started using it to fix everything -- especially irregularly-fractured items with hard-to-fill gaps. (more…)

Hot mic senators: Trump is "crazy" and "I don't say that lightly"

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 16:31:36 +0000


Republican Susan Collins [ME] and Democrat Jack Reed [RI] accidentally broadcast themselves saying "I think -- I think he's crazy. I mean, I don't say that lightly and as a kind of a goofy guy" and "I'm worried. Oof, you know, this thing -- if we don't get a budget deal, we're going to be paralyzed." (more…)

Great Pyrenees are merely the 67th most popular dog breed says the AKC

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 16:30:37 +0000


Every dog is the best breed if you are the person who loves'em.


Perhaps it is their great size, their extremely loud bark, all the fur they shed, or the 2-tons of poop? My best buddy Nemo's breed strangely lands at 67th on the AKCs 2017 list of most popular breeds. Zuul, and her family of Cavalier King Charles, comes in 19th.

Wonder what kind of standardized test they give the dogs?

The full list is here.

A-ha! This app turns your living room into a 1980's music video using augmented reality

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 16:27:54 +0000


I lived through the eighties and I approve of Trixi Studios’ "Take On Me" iOS (proof-of-concept only) app which turns your surroundings into a pencil-sketched, a-ha-style music video using augmented reality. The Chicago-based team created it with Apple's ARKit, which is a suite of developer tools launched in June that adds AR to apps.

Here's a-Ha's original music video, in case you're feeling as nostalgic as I am:

Thanks, Robert Scoble!

EU's highest court strikes down passenger data-sharing arrangement with Canada

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 16:24:03 +0000


The European Court of Justice has ruled that the 2014 EU-Canada passenger name record (PNR) agreement was "incompatible with the fundamental rights recognised by the EU," because the records ("names, travel dates, itineraries, ticket and contact details, travel agents and other information") were used for purposes "beyond what is strictly necessary for the prevention and detection of terrorist offences and serious transnational crime." (more…)

What is optimistic nihilism?

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 16:20:46 +0000


I always hate having to write "Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell," because it's such a wtf mouthful. But they make beautiful animated explainer videos, so I have to write "Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell" a lot. They are always great, but this 6-minute guide to thinking your way out of existential dread might be their best video yet. The graphics are stupendous.




How Claude Shannon used information theory to cheat at Vegas roulette

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 16:10:25 +0000


Claude Shannon is one of the great, heroic titans of the computer science revolution, a brilliant scientist and Feynman-grade eccentric whose accomplishments fill several excellent books. (more…)

Audit shows that pharma companies are still cheating by suppressing trials

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 15:25:01 +0000


It's been years since the major pharma companies agreed to participate in the Registry of All Trials, meaning that they'd end the practice of only reporting on trials whose outcomes they were pleased with, leaving about half of all trials unreported-on. (more…)

First known US example of a gas-pump skimmer that uses SMS to exfiltrate data

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 15:13:27 +0000


This credit-card skimmer was removed from a New York gas pump; it uses components scavenged from a cellular phone and a T-Mobile SIM to send the credit card details it harvests to its owners, who can retrieve them from anywhere in the world. (more…)