Chess: take the Knight’s tour online

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The Knight’s tour is a traditional chess problem where a lone knight is placed on a chess board and must visit each square only once. You can play this perfectly simple free implementation created by u/psrwo on Reddit. The source code is at github. The knight is randomly placed at the outset.

I can’t visit more than fifty-something squares, because I’m terrible at stuff like this. Read the rest

Flip your flapjacks & omelets in style with this twin-skillet design

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Eating pancakes and omelets? Super fun. Cleaning up afterward? Almost more trouble than its worth. Nothing makes us appreciate our mothers more than having to scrape the batter off those well-worn skillets and griddles, just like we never had to do after those magical Saturday morning breakfasts.

Now, making those breakfast treats might just be as fun as eating them thanks to the Gotham Steel Pancake Bonanza.

Be assured this company does not use the word “bonanza” lightly. Their stainless steel, specially coated twin skillet has a “double-dome” design that’s particularly great at making pancakes, omelets or any number of fluffy cookie treats. Simply pour in the batter or eggs, wait a bit, then flip it over. The extra dose of radiant heat cooks your dish faster, and you’ve saved yourself the use of a spatula.

And possibly the use of a scrub brush, too. Thanks to the non-stick coating, you can just slide dishes right off onto your plate.

Right now, you can pick up the Gotham™ Steel Pancake Bonanza for more than 35% off the MSRP. While you’re at it, get your mom one, too. Read the rest

Ice fishing in Kazakhstan is the wholesome content we need right now

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I did not know how much joy ice fishing in Kazakhstan could possibly bring me until I watched this video of an amazing and talented fisherman in the icy-cold former Soviet republic fish through the ice like a damn boss.

Two goats follow him along on the ice fishing adventure.

I am so here for this I cannot even tell you. I am such a fan of this dude.

I know absolutely nothing about the video, other than the fact that it came from the Twitter account @Starshina73.

Read the rest

Gwyneth Paltrow’s got a $75 “smells like my vagina” candle

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If my vagina smelled like “geranium, citrusy bergamot, and cedar absolutes juxtaposed with Damask rose and ambrette seed,” I’d go see my doctor. But, then again, I’m also no Gwyneth Paltrow. Her shop Goop recently introduced a $75 candle named “This Smells Like My Vagina.”

Described as having a “funny, gorgeous, sexy, and beautifully unexpected scent,” the overpriced candle is not meant to actually smell like Paltrow’s private parts (thank goodness). The original description, now removed, explains, “This candle started as a joke between perfumer Douglas Little and GP. The two were working on a fragrance, and she blurted out, ‘Uhhh..this smells like a vagina’…” The rest is votive history.

If you were hoping to get a whiff of (this) vagina (candle), sorry weirdo, it’s already sold out.

image via Goop Read the rest

The Motorola Smart Safe lets you monitor and open it remotely

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When it comes to safes, there’s typically not a lot of features beyond extra security. Keypads, fingerprint or retina IDs are all in the service of keeping things under lock and key (even if there’s no physical key).

Of course, that’s the main concern. But what about those times you might need to open it for a guest or family member and you’re not around?

The Motorola Smart Safe solves that problem elegantly, and it certainly doesn’t sacrifice security to do it.

This rock-solid safe is perfect for holding passports, money, important documents, pills and more. It’s equipped with a water-resistant keypad and an odor-controlled interior and comes with a mounting kit if you need to install it inside a wall or on one.

But what really sets it apart is the wireless connection to your smartphone. With the included app, you’ll be able to tell if your safe has been opened or give yourself reminders about what to do with the contents. And most importantly, you’ll be able to open it remotely in case of family emergencies while you’re away.

The Motorola Smart Safe is now on sale for almost 10% off the original price. Read the rest

Touring the inner workings of the Mellotron on King Crimson’s anniversary

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Fifty one years ago today, the first incarnation of the prog rock band, King Crimson, gathered in a cramped basement space below the Fulham Palace Cafe in London. One of the instruments the band would use that would come to distinguish their early sound was that strange, iconic 60s instrument, the Mellotron.

Keyboardist Ian McDonald was taken by the sound of this instrument as it was employed by the Moody Blues (and on The Beatles’ Strawberry Fields) and thought it would work well with the type of lush and orchestral sound the band was looking to create. Later in the year, in the summer of 1969, the instrument would again appear on David Bowie’s Space Oddity (played by future Yes man, Rick Wakeman).

Of all of the strange instruments that’ve worked the edges of popular music (the Theremin also comes to mind), the Mellotron is probably the oddest. Basically an upright organ cabinet filled the tape heads and recorded loops that you trigger through the keyboard, the Mellotron is like some crazy one-off contraption that caught on and actually got manufactured.

In this video, Allison Stout, of Bell Tone Synth Works, a synthesizer repair shop in Philadelphia, PA, takes us under the hood of a Mellotron MK1 and how it works. One can only imagine how finicky and prone to breakage touring versions of these things must have been.

And here’s one of King Crimson’s Mellotrons in action during a performance in 1974 at the ORTFTV Studios in Paris. Read the rest

Tickets for Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) 2020 are now on sale!

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Aestetix writes, “HOPE 2020 [ed: Hackers on Planet Earth, the triennial, astoundingly great hacker con put on by 2600 Magazine] is in a brand new location and will be bigger and better than ever with lots more activities and space – all without leaving New York City! It will be held from July 31st to August 2nd at St. John’s University in Queens. Get your tickets now for only $200, while supplies lasts.

Read the rest

Review of an ultra-tiny but usable Bluetooth gamepad controller — the 8Bitdo Zero 2

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Sam Makovech of Ars Technica reviews the 8Bitdo Zero 2 ( on Amazon), an adorable gamepad controller you can use with a Switch, PC, or Mac. His overall impression of the meant-for-travel gamepad is favorable.

From Ars Technica:

To my pleasant surprise, 8BitDo starts this gamepad off with a crucial emphasis on its D-pad. At roughly the size of an American dime, this small D-pad is comparable to some of Nintendo’s smallest takes, like you’d find on a GameCube controller or a Nintendo 3DS console. But unlike those offerings, 8BitDo allows its Zero 2’s D-pad to protrude ever so slightly farther from its body. Pressing down on any edge of the D-pad offers a full 2mm of action, and this has a satisfying sense of travel when a thumb is in its depressed, rounded center—built for the sake of neatly rocking from left to right or up to down.

The D-pad’s quality was borne out by my own feverish Tetris testing, which worked whether I rapidly tap-tap-tapped in one direction or pivoted to a crucial “up to fast-drop” maneuver in newer Tetris games. When I imagine various times that I might rely on the Zero 2 as a controlling option, I think about how a good D-pad is the primary differentiator from other on-the-go options, whether that’s a spare Joy-Con turned sideways, a weak laptop’s keyboard, or a phone’s on-screen buttons. I’d rather play Tetris or Super Mario Bros. with my thumb on this D-pad than relying on those other options.

Read the rest

Listen to this strange and compelling mix of field recordings, cut-ups, and sound art

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Composer Janek Schaefer drew from the work of John Cage, DJ Shadow, The Orb, Marina Abramovi?, Steve Reich, Chris Watson, and so many other greats to create this powerfully evocative and weird 90 minute mix. A former architect, Scahefer has masterfully designed a haunting, expansive environment of found sound. This is the way, step inside…

Schaefer also prepared a complementary essay and annotated tracklist for the mix. From The Vinyl Factory:

I loved how sound creates images that you cannot see, capturing an impression of spaces and places that can only be revealed again thought playback over time…

This C-90 style mixtape, entitled ‘New Dimensions In Time, Space and Place’, is a meander through my physical collection of works that have inspired me over the last 36 years, and I still enjoy. The loosely connecting themes explore found sound, ready-mades, collage, samples, sound design, sculpture, performance, field recordings, sonic art, appropriation, alteration, and accidents. The context of these sounds brings meaning to the works, and our understanding of that context brings the work to life when listening to it.

Read the rest

Magnificent steel toilet flushes forty golf balls with ease

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Do you blow several kilograms of rock-hard spherical poop at a time? Have you ever found yourself extruding five pounds of thick gelatinous candy from your rectum? Does your ass blast hundreds of acorns? Metcraft’s High Abuse Stainless Steel Toilet is for you.

This is the greatest hits video of a High Abuse Metcraft Stainless Steel Toilet, HET Model using 1.28 gallons of water.

Still considering whether the slow, menacing on-screen crawl of the text “12 Inch Chocolate Longjohn Doughnut from Lamar’s” qualifies this post for the “Star Wars” tag. Read the rest

Good Twitter thread for book recommendations

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Over the weekend my friend Bonnie Burton (a writer who was a recent guest on my Cool Tools podcast) asked on Twitter, “What is your favorite book that you’re currently reading? I’m always curious what folks like to read!”

She got tons of responses, and I think Boing Boing readers would be interested.

(My contribution to the thread is Let It Come Down, by Paul Bowles) Read the rest

The H2 Belt Light lets you use your peripheral vision in pitch darkness

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There’s a reason why most people do their jogging in the morning. Even though it might be muggy, foggy or warmer, there’s a certain amount of safety that comes with daylight. I mean, it’s not like you can just take a flashlight on your run.

Or can you? With a simple but innovative design tweak, the H2 Belt Light might have just changed the game for night runners, hikers or anyone who needs to move around in the dark.

After seeing it once, you kind of wonder why miners weren’t wearing these instead of helmet lamps decades ago. Instead of a single, thin beam, the H2 casts a broad spectrum of light in front of you, right where you need it most: A 180-degree halo that lets you use your peripheral vision, even on the run.

The belt and lamp are light, with an IPX7 waterproof rating that keeps it safe even in heavy rain. There’s high and low-intensity brightness modes or even a flash mode for extra safety. Even on the highest setting, you’ll get three hours of life from the rechargeable battery.

Get your H2 Belt Light now from the Boing Boing shop for a full 25% off the retail price. Read the rest

Re-key every lock in your home

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Matt Haughey moved into a new home with a lot of deadbolts. Rather than carry around a jangling morning star of keys, he decided to re-key everything. It took less than a day.

I researched getting a locksmith to come out, but it would run hundreds of dollars in their time plus you can only re-key locks to a key made by the same manufacturer, and by my count we had at least three different brands of locks spread among all the doors. I could save money by bringing the locks to a locksmith’s store, replacing off brands with a single brand and re-installing myself, or I could teach myself how to rekey locks using a ~$100 set from amazon that takes a few hours of practice to master.

He replaced three of the locks so all could use the Kwikset Smart Key [Amazon] system, the hero of the piece — about $100 all in. Read the rest

The Mavic 2 Pro is the newest flagship drone from DJI

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Drones are fairly ubiquitous these days. It doesn’t take much to get a piece of plastic off the ground — and, as our smartphones have proven, decent cameras don’t have to take up space. Attach one, and voila! You’ve got some fun, if shaky, footage.

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone is a whole other ballgame. This piece of technology shows that the line between consumer tech and professional-grade movie-making equipment is growing thinner every day.

If you ever wanted to know what’s available at the high end of the drone market, the Mavic 2 hits all the marks. Where to start?

First and foremost, there’s the camera. It’s Hasselblad L12-20c with an adjustable-aperture lens, capable of taking 20 MP photos. The range is impressive, thanks to the 10-bit Dlog-M color profile that begs to be used for sweeping, panoramic vistas. But even on foggy nights or in low light, the CMOS sensor compensates to deliver crisp images back to the viewer.

Those viewing options are just as impressive. You can watch the footage from your smartphone or fly along virtually in DJI goggles. With low latency transmission, it’ll be just like you’re in the very tiny cockpit.

Speaking of portability, the unit is 8.4″ H x 3.6″ L x 3.3″ W when fully deployed, but it folds up to a fraction of that when dormant. The low-noise propellers make it fly like a whisper, and sensors on all sides of the drone can actively scan for obstacles and compensate in flight for remarkable maneuverability. Read the rest

Save over 50% on the expanded edition of Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

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There’s no shortage of turn-based strategy games on the market. But few of them have the scope of Sid Meier’s Civilization, whose title says it all. Your goal is nothing less than the shepherding of an entire nation from its first village to global dominance — and beyond.

The Civ series is now on its sixth iteration, and the latest is a literal world-beater. It’s also one of the most expandable, and all those expansions have finally been collected in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Platinum Edition.

If you’re looking for a late Christmas gift for a sim fan, this one is hard to beat. The pack includes the core game Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, with new tweaks that include a branching cultural improvement path and enhanced AI for computer opponents — a definite improvement over previous editions.

It also comes with six DLC packs that introduce new scenarios and allows you to play as entirely new civilizations. As the cherry on top, you get the major expansions “Rise and Fall” and “Gathering Storm” which introduce game-changing Global Eras and devastating natural disasters.

The entire set is now available for 58% off the original retail price. Read the rest

Want to be a Cisco network admin? Get CCNA certified for 2020

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Thousands of businesses use Cisco as the platform for their network, and there’s a good reason for that. As data and security needs evolve, Cisco evolves to keep up with them — but that means the administrators and IT professionals that implement it have to evolve, too.

That’s not just a figure of speech. As of 2020, those with a Cisco Certified Network Associate title are going to have to update that certification. Luckily, there’s a Complete 2020 Cisco CCNA Certification Prep Course to walk you through everything you need to know.

The whole course packs in more than 30 hours of lectures and exercises, all geared to allow you to set up and manage Cisco networks. It covers the latest changes in wireless connectivity, Software Defined Networking, automation and a host of other topics from the perspective of the experienced CCNA worker who needs to get up to speed.

By the end of it, you’ll be able to breeze through the CCNA 200-301 exam, get your updated certification, then move on to any number of specialized fields.

Lifetime access to the course is now more than 85% off the list price. Read the rest

This low-cost contour gauge is very useful

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This 10″ contour gauge makes measuring for detailed or difficult cuts easier.

Having seen ads for these all over Instagram and other websites I was intrigued. For less than $15 I had to give a contour gauge a try. They are as handy, and easy to use, as the videos suggest.

This Avide gauge is cheap and it works. The pins are held into the frame with enough pressure that a very moderate amount of force will shape the gauge, but the pins will not slide or move once you draw it away and go to work.

I am also interested in the 5″ version as there are some tight spaces around a few pipes this one may not fit. We shall see.

10 Inch Contour Gauge Irregular Profile Gauge Duplicator Tiling Laminate Tiles Edge Shaping Wood Measure Ruler Plastic Woodworking Tools Profile Jig Guide via Amazon Read the rest

Family Feud contestant thinks she knows what Popeye’s favorite food is, but she’s wrong

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Oh my gosh, this poor gal is never going to live this down. Eve, a contestant on Family Feud Canada**, screwed up her family’s chance to play for $10,000 by incorrectly answering the world’s easiest sudden-death question: “What’s Popeye’s favorite food?” Oof! Let’s hope she’s at least offered an endorsement deal from a certain fast food chain.

Even crazier, watch these unaired outtakes:

**Am I the only one who didn’t know there was a Canadian version of Family Feud?

(Twitter) Read the rest

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