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|Thursday, May 25th, 2017|
|UK Tories say they'll exploit Manchester's dead to ban working crypto in the UK
One of UK Prime Minister Theresa May's government ministers told a reporter from The Sun that the government is planning on invoking the "Technical Capabilities Orders" section of the Snoopers Charter, a 2016 domestic spying bill; the "orders" allow the government to demand that companies cease using working cryptography in their products and services, substituting it with deliberately defective code that can be broken.
|Whatever happened to Alfalfa from Little Rascals?
This is a good homebrew documentary about Little Rascals' Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer. He was born in 1929. As an adult he held a variety of odd jobs such as dog trainer, bartender, and hunting guide. He was shot to death in 1959 during a drunken confrontation over $50 at a movie cowboy's house in Mission Hills California. He was 31.
|Republican candidate Greg Gianforte attacks reporter during interview (Updated)
Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate in Montana's congressional election, attacked a reporter from UK newspaper The Guardian, body-slamming him and breaking his glasses.
In audio recorded by Ben Jacobs, who covers the U.S. political beat, you can hear Gianforte getting shirty, then, when pressed, the muffled sounds of what Jacobs said was "the strangest thing that has ever happened to him in politics."
Im sick and tired of you guys, Gianforte said. The last guy who came here did the same thing. Get the hell out of here. Get the hell out of here. The last guy did the same thing. Are you with the Guardian?
Yes! You just broke my glasses, Jacobs replied.
The last guy did the same damn thing, Gianforte said.
You just body slammed me and broke my glasses, Jacob said.
Get the hell out of here, Gianforte yelled.
Jacobs was taken to hospital but is fine—except for his specs. A TV crew and a Buzzfeed reporter were nearby at the time, each apparently getting a partial look at the altercation. The Gallatin County sheriff, Brian Gootkin, says he's investigating.
One interesting aspect to Gianforte: he's a tech entrepreneur, which would account both for his emotional inability to cope with conflict and his evidently slobbish and untutored combat technique.
UPDATE: Gianforte's campaign released a statement suggesting that Jacobs got physical, not Gianforte. I'm not sure if it was released before or after The Guardian published its audio of the incident, but one doubts they were aware of it.
UPDATE II: The Fox affiliate news crew in the room with them released a statement, and it's completely damning for Gianforte.
Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the man, as he moved on top the reporter and began yelling something to the effect of "I'm sick and tired of this!"
Jacobs scrambled to his knees and said something about his glasses being broken. He asked Faith, Keith and myself for our names. In shock, we did not answer. He then said he wanted the police called and went to leave. Gianforte looked at the three of us and repeatedly apologized. At that point, I told him and Scanlon, who was now present, that we needed a moment. The men then left.
To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff's deputies.
|Wednesday, May 24th, 2017|
|Trumpcare would leave 23 million fewer insured by 2026, CBO forecast of GOP health bill shows
The plan Donald Trump and the GOP released to dismantle "Obamacare," the Affordable Care Act, will increase the projected number of people without health insurance by 14 million next year and by 23 million in 2026, the Congressional Budget Office reported Wednesday. The long-awaited "CBO report" you've been hearing about in the news was finally released today, weeks after The American Health Care Act, or "Trumpcare," narrowly passed the House. The 10-year figure of 23 million people losing their insurance coverage is slightly less than originally estimated, but still completely insane.
|Animated interviews with "futurists" Ayn Rand, Kurt Vonnegut, and Aldous Huxley
The first law of futurism is that there are no facts about the future, only fictions.
(Blank on Blank)
|'Bad' Russian intel may have influenced how FBI and Comey handled Clinton email investigation, helpi
But his intel.
The Washington Post has a bombshell report out today on how the Russians may have hoaxed former FBI director James B. Comey into his public statement on the Hillary Clinton "but her emails" investigation, which helped swing the election in Donald Trump's favor.
|Watch the beauty of a Lego Porsche 911 crashing in slow motion
Who knew a slo-mo car crash could look so celestial? Of course it helps that the car, going about 29 mph, was made of Lego pieces.
c't went to the crash test experts from ADAC and crashed the model car just like a big one (EURO-NCAP, 40% offset). The crash was filmed with several high speed cameras with 1000 fps.
|Game of Thrones season 7 trailer
k Enemies to the west of me, enemies to the east, here I am, stuck in the middle with you j
The seventh and final season of Game of Thrones starts July 16.
|TSA to require some electronics out of bags at 10 U.S. airports starting Memorial Day weekend
The TSA will be testing out expanded screening for carry-on electronics larger than a phone and certain food items at selected airports around the country. The new rules come just two days after a major terrorist attack in Manchester, UK, and stepped-up security in response.
The TSA says they're testing security screening procedures for carry-on bags at 10 U.S. airports only, and There are no changes to nationwide procedures.
|Good deal on the AmazonBasics travel case: $9
I bought this small travel case in 2011 for $14 and use it whenever I travel. Here's an article I wrote for Cool Tools a few years ago about the stuff I carry in it.
It's still in great condition. Amazon has a great sale on it right now for $9.
|Is this keyboard player the happiest person on the planet?
The keyboardist for The Incredible Bongo Band likes his job. (There's also some seriously egregious cultural appropriation happening.)
|How to make a cotton candy machine with an angle grinder, then unofficially demo it at Maker Faire
Maker William Osman from Ventura, CA shows us how to make a cotton candy machine with an angle grinder, small metal container, motor, coffee filter, and other household/workshop materials. He worries about being able to bring his contraption onto the Maker Faire grounds, but slips it in with no problem. He then huddles under bleachers to test the machine with friends, and by their reactions it looks like some pretty scrumptious cotton candy. For the grand finale Osman demos the machine to the public, giving out free samples to passersby. That's the Maker Faire spirit!
|A beer cooler that follows you around
This week on Cool Tools' Maker Update: Kitty Grabs Gold, a beer cooler that follows you, the Circuit Playground Express, Adafruit and Microsoft, Other Machine Co. and Bre Pettis, Tinkercad Lego export, a great kit for gadget and toy hacking, and Maker Faires. Our featured Cool Tool is the iFixit Electronics Tool Kit.
Check out the show notes.
|Watch a boxer beat up a tennis ball hanging from his hat
Ukrainian professional boxer Vasyl Lomachenko jabs with incredible precision at a tennis ball attached to his hat. It's a neat training technique! All that's missing, of course, is a soundtrack of "Gonna Fly Now/Theme from Rocky."
|Global recreational drug survey: magic mushrooms are safest
Speed, synthetic cannabis, and alcohol top the list for the most dangerous drugs in the 2017 Global Drug Survey, while cannabis and magic mushrooms are the safest. The results are based on the percentage of people who sought emergency medical treatment after taking one of the drugs.
From The Guardian:
Both [Adam] Winstock [a consultant addiction psychiatrist and founder of the Global Drug Survey] and [Brad] Burge [from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (Maps)] said that the findings indicate a need for drug policy reform, with a focus on shifting psychedelics off the schedule one list of the most dangerous controlled substances.
Drug laws need to balance the positives and problems they can create in society and well crafted laws should nudge people to find the right balance for themselves, said Winstock.
People dont tend to abuse psychedelics, they dont get dependent, they dont rot every organ from head to toe, and many would cite their impact upon their life as profound and positive. But you need to know how to use them.
|When the TSA got suspicious of a scientist's 3D-printed mouse penis
Sometimes, in the course of his work, University of Florida molecular geneticist Martin Cohn must travel with unusual items like a 3D-printed mouse penis. Similarly, University of Massachusetts biologist Diane Kelly totes around anatomical models like a mold of a dolphin vagina. They're not alone in the odd science-related items they must fly with, from bottles of monkey piss to a stash of 5,000-year-old human bones. At The Atlantic, Ed Yong explores what happens when objects of science meet airport security:
The TSA once stopped Michael Polito, an Antarctic researcher from Louisiana State University, because his bag contained 50 vials of white powder. When he explained that the powder was freeze-dried Antarctic fur seal milk, he got a mixed reaction. Some officers just wanted to just wave me on, he says. Others wanted me to stay and answer their questions, like: How do you milk a fur seal? I was almost late for my flight.
Airport security lines, it turns out, are a fantastic venue for scientists to try their hand at outreach. Various scientists are said to have claimed that you dont really understand something if you cant explain it to your grandmother, a barmaid, a six-year-old, and other such sexist or ageist variants. But how about this: can you successfully explain it to an TSA officialsomeone who not only might have no background in science, but also strongly suspects that you might be a national security threat? Can you justify your research in the face of questions like What are you doing? or Why are you doing it? or Why are you taking that onto a plane?
Cohn did pretty well to the four assembled TSA agents who started quizzing him about his mouse penis. They noticed that the translucent object had a white tube inside it, and asked if it was a bone. It was indeedthe baculum. I explained to them that most other mammals have a bone in the penis and humans have lost them, says Cohn. I do outreach at the drop of a hat, and Im ready to teach a bit of evolution to the TSA if theyre interested. And they were freaking out.
"That Time the TSA Found a Scientists 3-D-Printed Mouse Penis" (The Atlantic)
|Here are the favorite book designs of master book designers
I've bought an awful lot of books just because I liked the cover. I don't regret it. It's like buying an art print that you can pull from your shelf an admire at any time. In this Magenta article, Belinda Lanks asks noted designers about their favorite book covers.
If you ask me who my favorite book jacket designer of all time is, its Alvin Lustig. If you ask me which of his jacket designs is my favorite, its impossible. Its most certainly one of the jackets he designed for New Directions New Classics. Lustig essentially branded the New Direction series with a modern look that was reminiscent of what was going on in the fine art world. Its as if he translated a Calder sculpture or a Joan Miro painting into a book cover. Each book is reduced to color, line, shape, and type to reflect the feel of the book rather than the literal content. The geometric shapes, the bold color palettes, the freeform lines still feel modern today. -- Rex Bonomelli
|USPS issues circular, textured sports ball stamps
The USPS's new "Have a Ball!" stamp series include eight circular designs of sports balls I like the design of these stamps more than the sports they celebrate!
Each of the 16 self-adhesive circular stamps showcases illustrations of one of eight sports balls: baseball, basketball, football, golf, kickball, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. A special coating applied to selected areas of the stamps during the printing process gives them a textured feel. The sheet features two of each design.
Mike Ryan designed the stamps and Greg Breeding served as the art director of the project. Artist Daniel Nyari created the colorful, stylized stamp art.
|Big, sweet dog interrupts newscast
And that's the way it is. (via Laughing Squid)