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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Boing Boing's InsaneJournal:

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    Friday, August 26th, 2016
    1:32 pm
    Trump campaign boss Stephen K. Bannon was charged with domestic abuse

    Steve Bannon, head of  Breitbart News, was named to the new position of campaign chief executive officer. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

    Stephen Bannon, the Breitbart News boss recently hired to lead millionaire businessman Donald Trump's faltering presidential campaign, was charged in 1996 with domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness after allegedly beating his then-wife. The charges were dropped, reports Politico, after his alleged victim failed to appear in court.

    The Santa Monica, Calif., police report says that Bannons then-wife claimed he pulled at her neck and wrist during an altercation over their finances, and an officer reported witnessing red marks on her neck and wrist to bolster her account. Bannon also reportedly smashed the phone when she tried to call the police. While the case ended when Bannon's ex-wife did not appear in court, the incident presents a new problem for the Trump campaign following the hiring of the controversial Bannon. He went on leave from Breitbart News, where he is chairman, to take over the Trump campaign.

    The police report describes a distressing scene: responding to a silent 911 call (the phone was found smashed), a cop encounters a crying woman with red marks on her neck and arms.

    According to the report, she said, Oh, thank you, you are here. How did you know to come? and took several minutes to compose herself.

    Bannon, according to the report, was less than seven months into his second marriage, though the couple had known each other for a number of years prior to their April 1995 wedding. The couple just had twin girls seven months earlier, Bannons ex-wife told police at the time.

    There had been a history of physical altercations in their relationship, Bannons then-wife relayed.

    She accidentally woke him up when she went to feed their infant twins, see, and things went downhill from there.

    There is no plan to Trump's campaign. Everything happens on a whim, quickly and with no diligence. When things are down, he'll roll for anyone bearing a convincing promise of satisfaction.

    12:59 pm
    Manygolf: simple, addictive online golf game


    Manygolf is similar to Desert Golfing, in that it presents a random two-dimensional course and simple controls to angle and power shots. But it's also multiplayer, which means there's always someone annoying you by proving an "impossible" shot is anything but. There's no nonsense: as soon as the page loads you're assigned a name and thrown into the slowclap-worthy action.

    The creator, Thomas Boyt, has an official Twitter account for the game at @manygolf; he's published the source code and his dev notes.

    manygolf is a massively multiplayer golf game. everyone plays together, simultaneously, in the same session. Whoever wins the round in the fewest number of strokes wins. in the event of a tie, the player who scores the fastest wins.

    1:06 pm
    Time to Statham Punch


    Matthew Haughey noticed that movies starring British actor Jason Statham, with only a single exception, sooner or later involve him punching someone. At Time to Statham Punch, he maintains statistics on the timing and circumstances of these punches.

    12:51 pm
    RIP clumsy stormtrooper Michael Leader


    Michael Leader, famous in certain circles as a clumsy Star Wars stormtrooper who knocked his head on a door, has died. He was also known for playing the longtime milkman character in UK soap Eastenders.

    4:41 am
    See you at Burning Man!

    I'm about to switch off my email until September 5 and drive to Black Rock City for 10 days of incinerating the dude. (more…)

    1:26 am
    400 years of equator hazings, and how I survived one


    This summer, I spent a month aboard a research vessel in the Indian Ocean. At one point, we crossed the equator, which meant that those of us who had never done that before were treated to a special ceremony. In fact, it was a straight-up hazing, as I describe in a new article at Collectors Weekly.

    The minute Pascal tied my hands together, I knew was in trouble. Pascal is a big man with an even bigger laugh, one of two hardworking, and hard-drinking, bosuns aboard a French research vessel called the Marion Dufresne. For his birthday a few days earlier, the crew had given Pascal a ball gag. Pascal thought this was hilarious, and immediately strapped the sex toy over his mouth, contorting his face in exaggerated expressions of mock distress, to the delight of the deckhands and officers assembled in the ships bar. Somehow, I couldnt get that image out of my head, as Pascal, a mischievous grin now creasing his broad face, secured the knots around my wrists and gave me a wink. No doubt about it, whatever was about to happen next was totally going to suck.

    12:08 am
    Do Your Part! Illegally Download Scientific Papers


    Jesse Singal requested this shoop, and I delivered. After all, who's downloading pirated papers? Everyone. (I've uploaded this to Redbubble if you'd like a poster—of course, you can just as well pirate it.)

    Thursday, August 25th, 2016
    9:12 pm
    NASA's Juno to Soar Closest to Jupiter This Saturday

    This dual view of Jupiter was taken on August 23, when NASA's Juno spacecraft was 2.8 million miles (4.4 million kilometers) from the gas giant planet on the inbound leg of its initial 53.5-day capture orbit. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

    An update on the Juno mission, from NASA.


    8:56 pm
    Donald still trumps the polls! fibs Dick Morris


    Prince Charles has confessed to his sons: I had to kill Diana! claims the Globe.' Your mother was out of control! She was a threat to the monarchy! She had to be stopped before she ruined everything!

    I wonder: which of the trio engaged in this private palace conversation - Charles, William or Harry - phoned the Globe' to leak this information? My moneys on none of them. The shocking face-to-face confrontation" allegedly occurred after Princes William and Harry had their mothers body exhumed and conducted a second autopsy, uncovering a Pandoras box of cover-ups and conspiracies.

    Theres only one small problem with this story: Dianas body has not been exhumed, there was no second autopsy, no secret report, and therefore no possible confrontation between Charles and his sons. Apart from those small quibbles, it seems like a cracking piece of journalism.

    Im troubled by the 'National Enquirer' report claiming that Scientology leader David Miscaviges big brother Ronald Jr. is the subject of FBI files detailing a series of increasingly troubling encounters. Among various sordid allegations of sex and drugs, the Enquirer' lists this disturbing detail of Ronald Jr.s alleged debauchery: Asking a prostitute to stop at a McDonalds and bring him a breakfast muffin to snack on during a motel tryst. Im confused. Whats so bad about asking a hooker to buy a breakfast McMuffin on her way to work? Its not like she wasnt going to be reimbursed. Its probably the most innocuous thing shed be asked to do all day. Was she asked to buy it after they stopped serving breakfast? Would it have made a difference if hed asked the prostitute to buy him a four-cheese ultimate bacon Whopper at Burger King? Or did Ronald Jr. then make her eat the McMuffin - because there are some things that even a weathered hooker doesnt want to put in her mouth? Sadly, the explosive FBI files dont have the answers, but evidently the Enquirer' considers this a shameful secret. I guess if I ate breakfast McMuffins Id want to keep it a secret too.

    Donald Still Trumps The Polls! claims the 'Enquirers chief political reporter, former Clinton campaign staffer Dick Morris, in defiance of every opinion poll that puts Hillary Clinton ahead of her Republican rival. Donald Trump boasted endlessly about his polling numbers when trouncing his rivals in the Republican primaries earlier this year, but now hes behind in the polls Trump apologist Morris calls reporting the results one of the greatest attempts at disinformation in American political history. No hyperbole there. Morris rightly points to past presidential polls that in August had indicated big wins for candidates who went on to lose, but you cant have it both ways, Dick.

    Do Enquirer' headline writers even read their own stories? The mag carries a headline about Johnny Depps $15 million divorce scandal, though the story below reveals that he made only a "$7 million settlement - the same figure widely reported by mainstream media. I guess that $15 million just seemed like a better headline, the facts be damned.

    Fortunately we have Us' magazines team of crack investigative reporters to tell us that Jamie Chung (Who she, Ed?) wore it best, Jessica Alba cant live without popcorn made with coconut oil and Himalayan sea salt (well, who can?), Heather Locklear carries an aphrodisiac-infused breath mist" along with deodorant and toothpaste in her fringed Cleobella tote bag, and the stars are just like us: they ride bikes, go snorkeling, drink beer and go boating.

    'Us' mag brings us the big story of the week, with 'Bachelor in Paradise reality show participant Amanda Stanton revealing Why I Trust Josh, despite allegations that Josh Murray was jealous, controlling and emotionally abusive to a former lover. Were living together! they coo. Why the Wall Street Journal hasnt picked up this story yet is beyond me.

    People' magazine devotes its cover to the Gosselins - remember Jon & Kate Plus 8? No? I cant blame you. - with the promise: The Gosselins Tell All. I read the story thoroughly, but the Gosselins dont reveal where Jimmy Hoffa is buried, where D.B. Cooper is hiding, whether aliens created crop circles, or even who let the dogs out. Telling us all? I dont think so.

    We have to rely on the 'National Examiner' to deliver the weeks only real news: an alien spaceship has been caught on video, after allegedly circling the Earth for decades. Evidently the UFO is a dark object closely following the International Space Station, which was filmed by astronauts aboard the ISS. Evidently the UFO, dubbed the Black Knight Satellite in the 1960s . . . is one of many deployed throughout the galaxy to transmit data about life on other planets, according to current theory. Hopefully inhabitants of their home planet wont be too upset that the Gosselins havent really told all about life on Earth. Or perhaps its just an alien spaceship full of roving space-hookers sent out to buy a breakfast McMuffin on their way to a distant planet.

    Onwards and downwards . . .

    6:49 pm
    Easter Island statue ice cube tray


    This silicone ice cube tray creates nine Moai statue ice cubes at a time. Even better, you can make chocolates and soap with it, too. Amazon has it for $10.

    6:59 pm
    Far future of libraries


    Business Insider's Chris Weller asked me to draw from our work at Institute for the Future, where I'm a research director, to take a long-distance look at the far future of what libraries could become:

    In 50 years' time, Pescovitz tells Business Insider, libraries are poised to become all-in-one spaces for learning, consuming, sharing, creating, and experiencing  to the extent that enormous banks of data will allow people to "check out" brand-new realities, whether that's scaling Mt. Everest or living out an afternoon as a dog....

    The definition of a library is already changing.

    Some libraries have 3D printers and other cutting-edge tools that makes them not just places of learning, but creation. "I think the library as a place of access to materials, physical and virtual, becomes increasingly important," Pescovitz says. People will come to see libraries as places to create the future, not just learn about the present.

    Pescovitz offers the example of genetic engineering, carried out through "an open-source library of genetic parts that can be recombined in various way to make new organisms that don't exist in nature."

    "Libraries of the future are going to change in some unexpected ways" (Business Insider)

    (image: "The Long Room of the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin")

    7:55 pm
    Hydraulic press vs. carbon fiber yields interesting results

    Hydraulic Press Channel shows why carbon fiber and variants like carbon nanotubes have so many uses: depending on the configuration, they can hold up against the hydraulic press. (more…)

    8:01 pm
    How you can avoid committing the "conjunction fallacy"


    Here is a logic puzzle created by psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.

    “Linda is single, outspoken, and very bright. She majored in philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with the issue of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in demonstrations. Which of the following is more probable: Linda is a bank teller or Linda is a bank teller AND is active in the feminist movement?”

    In studies, when asked this question, more than 80 percent of people chose number two. Most people said it was more probably that Linda is a bank teller AND active in the feminist movement, but that’s wrong. Can you tell why?

    This thinking mistake is an example of the subject of this episode – the conjunction fallacy. Listen as three experts in logic and reasoning explain why people get this question wrong, why it is wrong, and how you can avoid committing the conjunction fallacy in other situations.

    This episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast is the ninth in a full season of episodes exploring logical fallacies. The first episode is here.

    Download  iTunes  Stitcher  RSS  Soundcloud

    This episode is sponsored by Bombas  game-changing socks. Bombas decided to take socks seriously, by designing the most highly engineered, best-fitting, comfortable socks humans have ever imagined  and they look cool too. Go to 20% off your first order.

    This episode is also sponsored by Squarespace. Creating your website with Squarespace is a simple, intuitive process. You can add and arrange
    your content and features with the click of a mouse. Squarespace makes adding a domain to your site simple; if you sign up for a year youll receive a custom domain for free for that year. Head to and use the offer code “SoSmart” for 10 percent off your first order.

    This episode is also sponsored by The Great Courses Plus. Get unlimited access to a huge library of The Great Courses lecture series on many fascinating subjects. Start FOR FREE with The Fundamentals of Photography filmed in partnership with The National Geographic and taught by professional photographer Joel Sartore. Click here for a FREE TRIAL.

    Support the show directly by becoming a patron! Get episodes one-day-early and ad-free. Head over to the YANSS Patreon Page for more details.

    BobBob Blaskiewicz is an assistant professor who teaches, among other subjects, critical thinking at Stockton University. He also writes about logic and reasoning at, and is a regular guest on the YouTube show The Virtual Skeptics.


    Julie Galef is the president and co-founder of the Center for Applied Rationality, a non-profit devoted to training people to be better at reasoning and decision-making. She is also the host of the Rationally Speaking Podcast and writes for publications like Slate, Science, Scientific American, and Popular Science. This is her website.

    Vanessa Hill is an Australian science writer and stop-motion animator who hosts BrainCraft, a PBS series exploring psychology, neuroscience and human behavior. She previously worked for Australias national science agency, as a science reporter for ScienceAlert, and has appeared in TIME,The Huffington Post,Scientific American, and Brain Pickings. Her Twitter page is here.

    In every episode, after I read a bit of self delusion news, I taste a cookie baked from a recipe sent in by a listener/reader. That listener/reader wins a signed copy of my new book, You Are Now Less Dumb, and I post the recipe on the YANSS Pinterest page. This episodes winner is Justin Near who sent in a recipe for Monster Cookies. Send your own recipes to david {at}

    Links and Sources

    Download  iTunes  Stitcher  RSS  Soundcloud

    Previous Episodes

    Boing Boing Podcasts

    Cookie Recipes


    Center for Applied Rationality

    Skeptical Humanities

    Your Logical Fallacy Is

    PBS Idea Channel

    A Guide to Logical Fallacies

    Extensional versus intuitive reasoning: The conjunction fallacy in probability judgment.

    Looking at Linda: Is the Conjunction Fallacy Really a Fallacy?

    The Conjunction Fallacy at Bias123

    5:17 pm
    French artist Patrick Commecy converts bare building walls into trompe-l'Sil
    French artist Patrick Commecy transforms boring buildings into something else

    Via Amusing Planet:

    French artist Patrick Commecy and his team of muralists transform dull and boring facades around France into vibrant scenes full of life. His hyperrealistic painted-on windows, balconies and tiles closely resemble their real-life counterparts. Hanging in the balconies and outdoor space, Commecy would often incorporate figures of famous and influential persons from the history of the town the mural is in.

    5:19 pm
    Lawnmower triggers false Northern Lights alert


    Lancaster University's Aurora Watch issued an alert on Tuesday that the Northern Lights would be clearly visible in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, the alert was cancelled after the scientists determined that the data from one of their magnetometers was spurious. A surge in geomagnetic energy is indicative of auroras but this particular spike was likely caused by a lawnmower.

    "We believe the interference was caused by University staff mowing the grass on a sit-on mower," Aurora Watch stated. "Well work with the facilities team to try and avoid an incident such as this occuring in the future!"

    (via BBC)

    5:42 pm
    Awesome doctor gives toddler a vaccination

    The only person who wouldn't approve of this doctor is Jenny McCarthy.

    5:54 pm
    Bird asks for a drink


    Raven asks to drink

    A polite bird asks a human to give it a drink from a bottle of water.


    5:59 pm
    Koko the gorilla plays bass with Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea

    Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea visited Koko at her home in Woodside, CA and let her play his bass. Said Flea,"This is the greatest thing that ever happened. I will never forget."


    6:34 pm
    How to Wrap Five Eggs is a real inspiration for both designer and maker


    See sample pages from this book at Wink.

    How to Wrap Five Eggs: Japanese Design in Traditional Packaging
    by Hideyuki Oka (author) and Michikazu Sakai (photographer)
    Harper & Row
    1967, 203 pages, 10 x 11.6 x 1.2 inches (hardcover)
    From $35 Buy a copy on Amazon

    This book is a museum of traditional packaging artifacts from Japan. Before the age of plastic, the Japanese perfected the art of packing consumables in incredibly ingenious ways. They excelled in using natural materials such as paper, straw, clay, and wood. Much of the packaging looks astonishingly modern, even though the form may be hundreds, if not thousands of years old. In fact, packages in Japan today often are wrapped in the same way. I recently received a gift from Japan that contained seven layers of boxes within boxes, wraps within wraps, each layer its own exquisite art, the packing at least equal to the cost and worth of the gift inside. There is a mesmerizing variety of packing collected during the last years of traditional Japan on display here. Each artifact is featured in stunning black and white photographs. It is a real inspiration for both designer and maker. Long out of print, this masterpiece of design was first published in 1967; used copies can be found today at rare book prices. It has also been republished in a modified paperback form, that contains some of the original content at a smaller scale.

    6:39 pm
    The Mainstreaming of Psychedelics


    From MDMA as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder to Ketamine for beating depression, there's a psychedelic revival afoot, one that is firmly rooted in science and medicine. In High Times, Natalie Lyla Ginsberg, policy manager of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), writes about the "Mainstreaming of Psychedelics":

    What brings you to Canada? the Border Patrol asked Dr. Michael Mithoefer in the spring of 2015. Mithoefer, a psychiatrist, and his wife Annie, a psychiatric nurse, are pioneers in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Mithoefer had been invited to Toronto to address the largest gathering of psychiatrists in the worldthe annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Associationon the results of their research into treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using MDMA.

    Needless to say, if theres ever a time to avoid ruffling feathers with the mention of psychoactive substances, international border-crossing fits the bill. Mithoefer succinctly explained that he was presenting his PTSD research at the APA conference.

    PTSD? Did you know that researchers are using MDMA now to treat war veterans? the border agent asked him incredulously.

    Mithoefer recounts this story to me with delight after he arrives at the APA conference. Its a sign of how much the times are changing: Not only is the famously old-fashioned APA hosting a panel on the use of psychedelics, but a recognition of their therapeutic value seems to be seeping into the public consciousness.

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