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July 31, 2013

Life hack

OK... but can I put a handle on the cat?

cat-cleaner.jpg

Source

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The secret is out

...all you need is an 'event widget'.

Pittsburgh man modifies his toaster to tweet 'toasting' and 'done'

PITTSBURGH, July 26 (UPI) -- A Pittsburgh says he's wired his toaster into Twitter so it to automatically sends him a tweet when it's toasting every morning.

Hans Scharler glued a switch to the outside of his toaster that detects when the slider is down and the toaster is on, or when it's up and finished toasting -- and connected in to the Internet to automatically tweet "Toasting" and "Done Toasting," boston.com reported Friday.

All he needed was a terminal board, a resistor and some alligator clips, Scharler said.

Scharler set up an event widget that monitors input from his contraption and sends alerts to his Twitter email address when the digital input from his toaster modification was high -- toasting -- and low -- done toasting.

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Pop a top! (3)

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July 28, 2013

Why yes, I am a little jealous

I think I'll put some big old fat tires on mine.

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Robo art


eDavid the robot painter excels in numerous styles

The line between art and technology isn't just being blurred, it's being erased altogether. Painting or sketching from photographs and life, for example, is a technique that is now being mastered by robots. The latest, called eDavid, combines a camera, computer vision software, and a standard welding robot arm to skillfully recreate (in a variety of styles no less) any image you feed its software. It seems that even art, a cornerstone of human ingenuity since the dawn of man, isn't safe from a robot takeover.

Though some of the sketches of eDavid (Drawing Apparatus for Vivid Image Display) look a bit like an image run through Photoshop filters, or printed on an old dot-matrix printer, the results will send shivers down the spines of traditional artists.

edavid-drawing.jpg

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July 26, 2013

Top End time lapse

Via The Presurfer

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Mum's the word

Today's XKCD.

xkcd's snare

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Chromecast

From Google (of course)

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July 25, 2013

Ahoy, mates

Interesting catamaran

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Source

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Or you can take the water with you

Picture at the link.

Police Discover Swimming Pool on Wheels

German police on Sunday pulled over four men driving a BMW convertible that had been converted into a motorized swimming pool. Despite their creativity, at least one could be facing charges for being drunk behind the wheel.

A BMW convertible first aroused the suspicions of a motorcycle cop on patrol in the eastern German town of Eibenstock when water sloshed out of it as it drove around a curve. When the officer pulled the car over, he could hardly believe his eyes.

In a police report released on Monday, he described encountering an "a convertible of a slightly different kind." The car had been converted into a swimming pool on wheels complete with a wooden railing and cheap floral decoration that could have come out of a chintzy Hawaiian hotel.

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GPS prank

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July 24, 2013

MizzouRAH!

...as they say in Columbia.

This video is from 5 Pound Apparel's Kickstarter project..

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Markets in everything (20)

Japanese women paid to put adverts on their THIGHS to catch the attention of men

An advertising agency has hit upon a unique way of catching the attention of people living in ad-saturated Tokyo - use women's thighs as a living billboard.

Consumers in the Japanese megalopolis are notoriously hard to reach because of the sheer abundance of billboards, neon signs and huge TV screens pumping out commercials, so the WIT agency decided to put ads on a place men are happy to pay attention to.

'It's an absolutely perfect place to put an advertisement as it's what guys are eager to look at and girls are OK to expose,' said Hidenori Atsumi, the CEO of WIT.

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Mosaiculture

Jaw-Dropping Plant Sculptures from Mosaiculture International 2013

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Via The Presurfer

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July 23, 2013

Sweet (3)

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These delicate geometric forms are "3D printed" from sugar

These fantastically delicate sculptures, designed by Liz and Kyle von Hasseln, bring a whole new meaning to the notion of sugar work.

The pair hit upon the idea when attempting to bake a birthday cake for a friend without the use of that most essential of bakery tools: the oven. The pair decided to 3D print a cake instead, finding success with sugar. Reasoning that others would like their sweet creations, the pair started "micro-design firm" The Sugar Lab.

According to iGnant, the pair uses a mixture of water and alcohol to wet and harden a sugar substrate into the precise forms, a process similar, the pair says, to the way frosting hardens if left in the bowl.

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Nice boyfriend, lady

Woman gets head stuck in banister during impromptu sex session

A lover having sex on a flight of stairs had to be rescued after getting her head stuck between some banister railings.

The 46-year-old, from Lipetsk in Russia, said she wanted to 'spice things up' with her boyfriend when the unfortunate accident happened.

A neighbour called police after finding the woman naked and on her knees in a stairwell, unable to free herself, Pronews48.ru reports.

She told police she had consensual sex with her partner, who had left the scene by the time officers and ambulance staff had arrived to assist her.

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Depression

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July 22, 2013

Got wood? (3)

This ad for NT&T (Nippon Telephone & Telegraph) may be a repeat.

Via Carpe Diem

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Will it blend? You bet it will!

Oswego man gives blender some extra horsepower

SYRACUSE -- An Oswego couple turned heads at the Syracuse Nationals this week with an interesting take on a popular household appliance.

Russel Keene spent his winter developing a 380 horsepower blender powered by an old muscle car engine. The invention, which runs on gasoline and requires a key to start, can blend about five gallons in one minute. Keene says his blender has been put to good use during summer parties, but says it's really just a regular appliance.

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Nice sense of humor, James

home-james.jpg

Source

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July 19, 2013

Dali cappuccino

dali-cappucino.jpg

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Mean Mower

So much for the John Deere

Honda Fast Lawn Mower Goes Zero To Sixty In Four Seconds

A Honda fast lawn mower with the ability to top 100 mph has been designed for people who like to cut their lawn but don't want to spend more than a few seconds doing it.

The supercharged grass-cutting machine was announced by Honda UK and Team Dynamics. Dubbed the Mean Mower, the Honda fast lawn mower can chug along at 15 mph for people who want to use the vehicle for its intended purpose, but it can also top off at close to 130 mph for those with a racing spirit.

The Mean Mower got it start as a different model, the Honda HF2620 Lawn Tractor, but then developers replaced the 20 hp motor with a supercharged, 1,000 cc V-twin that actually comes from the Honda VTR1000 Firestorm sport. The lawn mower also got the bike's six-speed transmission and a stronger suspension to handle a set of ATV wheels and tires. The developers threw in a Cobra racing seat for good measure.

In all the lawn mower can go zero to 60 mph in about four seconds.

H.T. Jeff

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Robohand

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July 18, 2013

All the falling dominoes you ever wanted to see

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Busted! (10)

Thanks to the surveillance cam. Picture at the link.

Off-duty AZ cop accused of pointing gun at clerk

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A Tucson, Ariz., police officer has been fired after authorities say he pulled a gun on a gas station attendant while off duty and apparently intoxicated.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department notified Tucson police that 23-year-old Kyle James McCartin was arrested early Tuesday on two counts of aggravated assault.

Deputies were called to a Giant Gas Station and learned two men who appeared very intoxicated entered the store wearing bulletproof vests.

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Spreadsheet artist

kegon-falls.jpg
Tatsuo Horiuchi | the 73-year old Excel spreadsheet artist

"I never used Excel at work but I saw other people making pretty graphs and thought, 'I could probably draw with that,'" says 73-year old Tatsuo Horiuchi. About 13 years ago, shortly before retiring, Horiuchi decide he needed a new challenge in his life. So he bought a computer and began experimenting with Excel. "Graphics software is expensive but Excel comes pre-installed in most computers," explained Horiuchi. "And it has more functions and is easier to use than [Microsoft] Paint." [...]

Horiuchi first gained attention when, in 2006, he entered an Excel Autoshape Art Contest. His work, which was far-superior than the other entries, blew the judges away. Horiuchi took first place and went on to create work that has been acquired by his local Gunma Museum of Art.

Don't believe these were made in Excel? You can even download the excel file and play around with it yourself.


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July 17, 2013

Waterspout

waterspout.jpg

Source

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Use them for what, exactly?

Nearly 1 out of 10 Americans use smartphones during sex

Detailed within a study conducted by Harris Interactive, approximately nine percent of American adults admitted to using a smartphone while engaging in sexual intercourse with their partner. Of the 2000+ survey respondents, the largest percentage of adults that admitted this fact were split between Generation X and Millennial ages. Specifically, twenty percent of adults between the ages of 18 to 34 grabbed their smartphone during sex. Included within the 2013 Mobile Con­sumer Habits study, this survey was commissioned by Jumio; a company that offers payments and ID scanning solutions. [...]

Regarding places where Americans adults used their smartphones, approximately 12 percent of U.S. adults have used their smartphone while in the shower, 19 percent within a church or place of worship, 32 percent at a child's function taking place at school, 33 percent while on a dinner date, 35 percent while sitting in a movie theater and 55 percent while driving their automobile.

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Not the Good Humor Man

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July 16, 2013

How it's done

How to clean rusty chrome (though it won't fill the pits).


How to make a prison lighter

How to make a door-closer.

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They're back!

Minor Injuries As The Twinkie Makes A Comeback

Twinkie fever is back.

Hostess Brands LLC, the new owner of Twinkies, CupCakes and Zingers, officially brought back the iconic products on Monday. But some retailers, after agreeing not to start selling the products until midnight on Sunday, jumped the gun.

The fresh frenzy over the cream-filled confections left one Rhode Island woman with minor injuries last week, according to Hostess co-owner and Chief Executive C. Dean Metropoulos. As the woman was leaving a store with several boxes of Hostess goodies, she got jostled as other customers grabbed them from her, Mr. Metropoulos said in an interview after a kick-off event at a Schiller Park, Ill., Hostess bakery on Monday.

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Heh (11)

Correlation versus causation in a single graph

causation-correlation.jpg

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July 15, 2013

Summertime

lightning-bug.jpg

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Markets in everything (19)

Makes you wonder what it would take to have MS Windows or Sun's Java declared a national security risk.

Nations Buying as Hackers Sell Flaws in Computer Code

On the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta, two Italian hackers have been searching for bugs — not the island's many beetle varieties, but secret flaws in computer code that governments pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn about and exploit.

The hackers, Luigi Auriemma, 32, and Donato Ferrante, 28, sell technical details of such vulnerabilities to countries that want to break into the computer systems of foreign adversaries. The two will not reveal the clients of their company, ReVuln, but big buyers of services like theirs include the National Security Agency — which seeks the flaws for America's growing arsenal of cyberweapons — and American adversaries like the Revolutionary Guards of Iran.

All over the world, from South Africa to South Korea, business is booming in what hackers call "zero days," the coding flaws in software like Microsoft Windows that can give a buyer unfettered access to a computer and any business, agency or individual dependent on one.

Via Carpe Diem

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What a wind-up!

Best opening pitch ever? Might be.

H.T. Jeff G


Update: For contrast, this may be the worst opening pitch ever.

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July 13, 2013

Oops (24)

A couple of people sent links to this and I assumed it was a hack. But it actually happened and the station has broadcast an apology.

KTVU issues on-air apology for misreporting Flight 214 pilots' names


Updates:

The NTSB issued an apology of its own blaming the names on an intern.

And the airline is planning to sue the television station. Asiana Airlines confirms it will sue KTVU-TV over broadcast of racist fake pilot names

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Gas or charcoal?

Grilling Over Gas Is Objectively, Scientifically Better Than Grilling Over Charcoal

Grilling on a holiday like the Fourth of July, when you've got the day off, is easy. You can take your time; pull out your artisanal hardwood charcoal; light it in your chimney starter; build a perfect two-level fire; and lovingly tend your rib-eye, or your chicken breasts, or your pork ribs.

Fourth of July is hobby grilling.

But what about the 22nd of June, or the 12th of August — when temps are in the 80s and all you want is to be in your backyard with a beer and a hunk of meat to cook? Instead, it's 6 p.m., you're at the office, the kids need to eat by 7, and you still have to go to the store.

This, my friend, is why a gas grill rules.

Grilling Over Charcoal Is Objectively, Scientifically Better Than Grilling Over Gas

It's a beautiful day. The family's in attendance, side dishes and beer in tow. Your sister-in-law brought a trunk full of Super Soakers. It's BBQ time. Time to kick back in the yard and fire up the … stove?

Hmm, that doesn't sound terribly exciting, does it? But that's basically what you're doing when you cook out on a gas grill, which is powered by the same largely flavorless fuel as your kitchen stove.

True fact: Cooking on a gas grill is more convenient than cooking with charcoal.

It's also a lot less special. And, scientifically speaking, it creates less flavorful food.

To understand why, you first need to understand that flavor and taste are not the same thing. "Within flavor, we have taste compounds and we have aroma compounds," says Gavin Sacks, associate professor of food science at Cornell University. "Our brains just aren't designed to decouple them."

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Oh snap

down-with-browns.jpg

Source

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July 11, 2013

Vacation memories

Anyone got a vacation picture that tops this one?

elephants-on-the-trail.jpg

H.T. Tucson John

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WTF in Thailand

Pix at the link

Fried chicken takeaway called 'Hitler' opens in Thailand and comes complete with logo of Nazi leader in a bow tie

Schoolchildren dressing up as Nazis and a billboard advert showing Hitler were just the start.

Thailand's obsession with so-called 'Nazis chic' just won't go away - and now a fried chicken takeaway called Hitler - complete with a logo showing the Nazi leader in a bow tie - has opened its doors.

The bizarre restaurant opened last month in Thailand and images of it are doing the rounds on Twitter as shocked customers take photos of the offensive eatery.

The fascist dictator's head has been grafted onto the body of bow-tie wearing Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC.

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Jumpy

A very well-trained dog.

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July 10, 2013

Feminist make-up

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Midnight in the O.R.

Patient Wakes Up as Doctors Get Ready to Remove Organs

It was exactly midnight when Colleen Burns eerily opened her eyes and looked at the operating lights above her, shocking doctors who believed she was dead and were about to remove her organs and donate them to patients on the transplant waiting list.

The Syracuse Post-Standard unearthed a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that chronicled the series of errors that led to the near-organ removal on a living patient at St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, N.Y., in 2009.

"The patient did not suffer a cardiopulmonary arrest (as documented) and did not have irreversible brain damage," the HHS report concluded. "The patient did not meet criteria for withdrawal of care."

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Yo dawg

yo-dawg.jpg

Source

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July 09, 2013

Amazing origami

From a Flickr stream of origami by NGUYỄN Hùng Cường. This is one of many images.

origami-tyrannosaurus.jpg

Via David Thompson

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Get a skillet

Stop Frying Eggs On The Road, Tourists Told

Tourists in America's Death Valley are being asked to stop frying eggs on the road.

Sweltering at the best of times and currently experiencing a heatwave over 50 degrees [122°F - Jdj], visitors to the area which straddles Nevada and California are leaving behind a mess of runny eggs, cartons and shells as they look for a photo opportunity.

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Dinner's coming right up

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July 08, 2013

Talking the budget

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The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but...

beer-is-my-coffee.jpg

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Hands

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July 05, 2013

Puppies!

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Circular logic

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Mind control

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July 03, 2013

In the oil aisle

Amen, lady

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Source

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Superhydrophobic (2)

It's been a year and a half since it was mentioned here, but this is finally coming to market. I gotta check it - just for kicks.

NeverWet superhydrophobic spray hits stores this week

We all know that, at some point in your life, you really needed the ability to make something waterproof. Thankfully for your windows, Rain-X gets the job done with minimal effort on your part, but Rain-X eventually wears off and requires a new application seemingly all too often, which can be tedious. The world learned of NeverWet — which you can think of as a tougher, longer-lasting Rain-X — two years ago, but now the spray has finally hit the market.

The latest demo clip:

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How do you say 'Take Five' in Urdu?

Pakistani musicians playing Brubeck's Take Five

Via David Thompson

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July 02, 2013

Ka-boom!

A SpaceX Grasshopper it's not.

Emergency start rocket "Proton-M" with 3 Glonass spacecraft. Baikonur Cosmodrome. 02.07.2013.

Glonass is Russia's GPS system.

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Skulpturhalle

With 3D printing, you'll be able to replicate the world's famous sculptures

In his living room in San Diego right now, Cosmo Wenman has two life-sized reproductions of the British Museum's Head of a Horse of Selene, a magnificently life-like sculpture with nostrils flared that dates to around 432 B.C. The original in Britain is made of marble, about three feet end-to-end. Wenman's copies, created with an older digital camera and a MakerBot 3D printer, are clearly reproductions as soon as you lift them up. Created out of plastic, coated in a bronze patina, they weigh about 8 pounds each.

For the last year or so, Wenman has been casing some of the world's great sculptures for at-home replication, photographing them from every angle in plain sight inside the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Louvre in Paris, the Tate Britain, the British Museum and a few others.


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Life-size whales

Stunning Life-Size Photos Capture Close Encounters With Whales

life-sized-whale-pix.jpg

(Not available in your browser of course)

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July 01, 2013

It's obvious

What these puppies should be named.

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Source

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Imagine a life without bacon

Local woman swears off food, hasn't eaten in 5 weeks

SEATTLE -- There are a few things that we all know and accept about human beings, and one of them is that we all need food and water to survive.

But one local woman wants to challenge that fundamental concept of life.

Her name is Naveena Shine, and some of her ideas can best be described as being "out there." The 65-year-old England native who now lives in the Seattle area is aiming big with her goals.

"This will literally save the Earth," she said of her most recent experiment.

Shine claims she doesn't need food to survive, and she's out to prove it to the world.

"Well, the intention of what I'm doing is I want to provide evidence that it is possible, should it be possible, that human beings can live and thrive and do really well without having to eat solid food," she said.

To prove her point, she quit eating. She's now living on water and tea with a dab of milk. She claims she hasn't had a thing to eat since May 3rd. [...]

"There's got to be a point that's a shift over point, you either go into starvation and death or you go into finding the place within and without that creates living on light," Shine said.

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Surprise! (7)

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