Start your data analytics career with this Excel boot camp

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Nearly everyone who has sat at a desk knows about Microsoft Excel. But if you’re picturing a simple, boring spreadsheet in your head, that’s only scratching the surface of its capabilities. Just for starters, Excel is an essential tool in the field of data analytics, allowing users to collate disparate mounds of data, visualize trends and chart a course for new business plans.

The capability to do all those things is the difference between a simple clerk and a highly paid data analyst. And no matter what your experience with Excel, the Ultimate Microsoft Excel Certification Training Bundle is the fastest way to get that knowledge – and the job that goes with it.

The six-course bundle kicks off with a primer on Excel’s broader capabilities before diving into complex functions like pivot charts and macros. There are a couple of dedicated courses on data analysis, including the Power Query and Data Analytics Expressions (DAX) tools. All in all, it’s more than 30 hours of lessons, examples, and resources, with a full certification waiting for you at the end.

Right now, the full Ultimate Microsoft Excel Certification Training Bundle is $34. Read the rest

Wizard Magazine issue 21, Cartoonist Kayfabe

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Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg continue to dissect the turbulent comic book speculator boom on the 1990s while looking through antique copies of Wizard Magazine.

Some of this issues contents:

• Jae Lee takes center stage and talks Youngblood: Strikefile, WildCATs Trilogy, Namor, John Byrne, and more!
• Liefeld interview 2: Youngblood, Bloodstrike, Brigade, Prophet, Image, editors, publishers, and late books
• Star Trek comics
• Ray Bradbury comics at Topps and the all-star lineup of artists drawing them: Richard Corben, Al Williamson, Mike Mignola!
• Topps’ Kirbyverse comics: Steve Ditko draws the Secret City!
• The Comics Code, Mike Allred in Palmer’s Picks, and Wizard’s editor vows to never read manga – a proclamation that upsets Jim and Ed so much that they make a new t-shirt in response: 
• PLUS – the winners of the Cable cover contest in Brutes & Babes!

Subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel for more vids celebrating the medium of comics. Read the rest

The Beach Bum should start a cult — and not just the midnight movie kind

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Director Harmony Korine’s newest feature, The Beach Bum, seems the likely follow-up to his 2013 candy-coated crime caper Spring Breakers. Substitute your Vanessa Hudgens for Zac Efron and your James Franco for Matthew McConaughey and the casting decisions to break away from type seem borderline formulaic. Tonally, the films are similar, with wandering, boozy shots and dialogue seemingly lifted right from your acid casualty neighbor and color cues taken from him as well.

Where Beach Bum diverges, however, is in substance. While leisure and pleasure seem the ultimate goal of both McConaughey’s Moondog and the girls of Breakers, the method of getting there differs wildly. Crime sprees and social climbing are the girls’ preferred method. Laying back and taking the world in one toke at a time is Moondog’s. While heavy smoking and sleeping around might seem like a philosophically void path to enlightenment, it’s really the only way there in an America who’s ethos is to constantly tell you to want more, buy more, be more.

Every Hollywood movie builds up this idea, from foundational kids’ animation to aspirational teen drama to middle-aged career comedy and beyond. And what better way to respond to that constant pressure than to do and be nothing at all? Sure, Moondog has written fairly successful poetry and given the odd public speech, but the practice he preaches is the one he lives, a sort of contagious cosmic hedonism. Partying with him will leave you a happier, more content person, even if you happen to lose a foot, a husband or a few million dollars in the process. Read the rest

This keychain has Tile tracking built-in so you’ll never lose your keys

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From your apartment door to your bike lock, it’s not uncommon to carry a number of different keys on your keyring, but that doesn’t make it any more bearable when you’re fussing to find the right one or deal with the infamous pocket bulge. The KeySmart Pro‘s smart design cuts down on key clutter and comes loaded with Tile™ Smart Location, so you’ll always have your keys handy.

Fashioned from stainless steel, the KeySmart can easily store up to 10 keys in its space-saving sleeve. In addition to locating your keys on a map, the KeySmart’s Tile™ functionality also allows it to ring, so you can hear your sleeve even if it’s buried between the couch cushions. What’s more, the KeySmart even works in reverse, allowing you to ring your phone if you can’t find it—even if it’s on silent.

The KeySmart Pro with Tile™ Smart Location is available in the Boing Boing Store for $39.99 today. Read the rest

Watch the teaser for the upcoming Swamp Thing series

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I haven’t paid much attention to Swamp Thing since the days of Bernie Wrightson, but this teaser trailer for the upcoming TV series looks promising.

From Ars Technica:

The DC Universe series stars Crystal Reed as Abby Arcane who, in the comics, is niece to arch-villain Anton. According to the official synopsis, she’s now a doctor with the CDC who comes back to her hometown of Houma, Louisiana, because of “a deadly swamp-borne virus” ravaging the area. She teams up with fellow scientist Alec Holland to investigate—and just like in the comics, Holland is killed. Except he might not really be dead, as Abby learns more about the mysterious, likely supernatural nature of the local swamp.

We don’t learn much more from the first teaser about just how Swamp Thing will be reimagined this time around, but the writers are clearly emphasizing the horror aspects. There’s no dialogue apart from horrified screams of various folks who encounter something terrible—probably Swamp Thing, but there could be other monsters in the mix.

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Unboxing video of a phone that’s as hideously ugly as it is expensive

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It’s too late for this to be an April Fools joke, so I’m assuming this $5000 Caviar Vladimir Tsarphone, which runs a Nokia OS from 2008, is real.

From the marketing copy:

Flawless. If one characterizes this phone with one word, this very epithet should be definitely chosen. Concentrated masculinity dressed in a strict “smoking” of the most classic style. Confident and expressive tandem of shining gold and the ultimately black color attracts eyes and places a focus on the original shape – six charismatic tops give the dynamics and some belligerence to the phone’s silhouette, because it starts looking like a sword.

Called with the name “Vladimir”, according to the creators’ idea, it refers to the image of Prince Vladimir Krasnoye Solnyshko (the Red Sun) and symbolizes fair power, union and wisdom.

Strict, business but along with it festive in its superiority and majesty, this phone is created for the most important talks of the most high-powered people.

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Timothy Leary vintage wristwatch on eBay

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Is it LSD o’clock yet? This far out Timothy Leary vintage wristwatch is up for auction on eBay. In more than 20 years of looking at Leary memorabilia on eBay, this is only the third time I’ve seen one of these. I bought the first that came up for myself and only wear it at, er, the right times.

The starting bid is $600, which is hundreds of dollars more than the selling price of previous examples. Read the rest

Jeff Koons stainless steel rabbit for sale

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This would have been a perfect inclusion in someone’s (oversized) Easter basket. The Jeff Koons stainless steel “Rabbit” (41″ x 19″ x 12″, 1986) will be on the auction block at Christie’s on May 15 during their Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale. The current owner purchased it from the Gagosian Gallery in 1992. It is expected to sell for between $50 million and $70 million.

According to Christie’s, “this work is number two from an edition of three plus one artist’s proof and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.”

If you can’t afford this Rabbit for yourself, you can always visit one of the others for free at the truly fantastic Broad museum in Los Angeles. From The Broad’s description of Rabbit:

In 1979 Jeff Koons made Inflatable Flower and Bunny (Tall White, Pink Bunny), the seed for so much of his future work. This sculpture, also in The Broad’s collection, features two vinyl inflatable toys — a flower and a pink bunny — that sit on top and in front of four square mirrors. Seven years later, Koons ditched the flower, combined the mirror and the bunny, and created Rabbit. The switch from the word “bunny” to “rabbit” is intriguing. Bunny is cute and floppy; rabbit is quick and sharp. The carrot in the rabbit’s paw is wielded like a weapon, and the once soft, leaky, and cheap vinyl shell of the bunny has been replaced by armorlike, costly stainless steel, which reflects everything surrounding Rabbit and deflects any allusions to the sculpture’s interior.

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Drew Friedman’s homage to science fiction illustrator Frank “Kelly” Freas in MAD

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In MAD #7, illustrator Drew Friedman has a fantastic portrait of the great science fiction illustrator, Frank “Kelly” Freas, along with a short essay about seeing a copy of the paperback Son of MAD (with a Freas cover) as a kid.

Beginning in the late 1950s, the renowned illustrator Frank “Kelly” Freas was hired by MAD to be their cover artist. His vivid cover for the 1959 paperback Son of MAD is the first MAD image I remember seeing, and it remains, to this day, my favorite cover. The abject fear in the poor gorilla’s face, the terrified-yet-nuanced pose of his body, the curled toes — all as he’s encountering the infant Alfred E. Neuman as seen from behind. Pure visual perfection!

The cover is memorable to me for another reason. In the Beatles’ first film A Hard Day’s Night, the character Shake is briefly seen reading Son of MAD in the opening train scene. Two towering icons forever converged in that moment, the Beatles and MAD! When I first watched that scene, I was so thrilled my head (almost) exploded.

The moment I discovered that cover at age 5, my life changed. From then on, I was a Son of MAD. Not only did it lead me to becoming an obsessive MAD fan, but it spurred my mission to someday join the “Usual Gang of Idiots,” something I later (amazingly) achieved.

Here’s my take on that life-altering piece.?

Drew’s story and illustration page was art directed by Suzy Hutchinson, and is reprinted here with the kind permission of MAD. Read the rest

Save an extra 15% off these DNA kits in honor of DNA day

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Happy DNA Day! April 25 is a day to recognize deoxyribonucleic acid – better known as the molecule that holds the code to our entire genetic makeup. What better way to celebrate than with a complete ancestry test that’s about more than just satisfying idle curiosity about your family tree? The lab techs at Vitagene use DNA to tell you about your lineage, but they also use that data to tailor a complete wellness plan that’s specific to your body.

When you get a Vitagene DNA kit, take a simple cheek swab and return it in one of their included vials. After a thorough analysis, you’ll get back the most detailed ancestry report you could hope for – not to mention the most practical. With the Vitagene DNA Ancestry Test Kit & Personalized Health Plan, you’ll understand your ancestry visually with a map that breaks down ethnic and regional percentages. You’ll also get a complete health plan that tells you what food choices are the best for your body, and any gluten sensitivity you’re likely to have. Vitagene will tell you the type and frequency of workouts that are best for you and suggest supplements to enhance your regimen.

For a small upgrade, the Vitagene Premium Health DNA Kit gives you all that info plus your genetic risk for certain skin conditions, and updates to your profile as new genetic research affects it.

Both kits are on sale, with the Vitagene DNA Ancestry Test Kit 20% off at $79 and the Vitagene Premium Health DNA Kit priced 28% off at $99. Read the rest

Pandemic cooperative tabletop game on sale today

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Amazon is having a sale on tabletop games today, and the one I recommend is the highly rated Pandemic, a cooperative game for 2-4 players.

Game description:

Four diseases have broken out in the world and it is up to a team of specialists in various fields to find cures for these diseases before mankind is wiped out. Players must work together playing to their characters’ strengths and planning their strategy of eradication before the diseases overwhelm the world with ever-increasing outbreaks. For example, the Operation Specialist can build research stations which are needed to find cures for the diseases. The Scientist needs only 4 cards of a particular disease to cure it instead of the normal 5. But the diseases are out breaking fast and time is running out: the team must try to stem the tide of infection in diseased areas while also towards cures. A truly cooperative game where you all win or you all lose.

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If you correctly guess the secret word on Slack you’ll win $1,000

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The Word of the Day is a daily guessing game in Slack. It’s easy enough to play. Just go there and enter words. If you are the first to match the secret word of the day, you win $1,000. The most recent winner was Erika Y. who correctly guessed “inscrutable.”


How and when will I get paid?

We will DM you on Slack for your Venmo handle, and you’ll get paid within 24 hours of winning.

How do you know who said the first correct word?

We built a slack bot to monitor the channel and notify everyone when someone wins.

What happens if no one gets the word right?

The slackbot will announce what the word was at 11:59PM EST. No one will get paid, and the $1000 will not roll over to the next day.

How many guesses do I get?

You can guess as many times as you want, but only in one word increments.

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