Refinishing my waxed-cotton raincoats

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I am a huge fan of using this brush to spread Otter wax all over my favorite raincoats.

As temperatures drop its time to get ready for the wet. It has certainly already arrived elsewhere. One of my two waxed-cotton coats was leaking last winter. The sleeve started to absorb water instead of beading.

Heating up the wax and lightly brushing it on is cathartic. The results look better than spraying on Nikwax and last a lot longer. I also think the thicker wax helps protect the fabric, the Nikwax goes on near invisibly and the wax is a barrier.

Round Paint and Wax Brush for Furniture Handcrafted by Stay Fine via Amazon

Previously on Boing Boing: Otter Wax, for reproofing your waxed cotton Read the rest

Japanese Red Cross under fire for using “overly sexualized” manga character in blood drive poster

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Uzaki-chan wa Asobita! (Uzaki-chan Wants to Play!) is a Japanese manga that features a young woman named Uzaki. Baka-Updates describes the manga this way: “The daily life of a quiet college student who just wants to be left alone, being teased by his cute, stacked underclassman.”

The Japanese Red Cross featured Uzaki in a recent blood drive poster. In the poster Uzaki is saying “Senpai, you’ve never donated blood? Is it maybe because you are scared of needles?”

A westerner saw the poster and complained about it on Twitter, then a Japanese person translated the tweet into Japanese, resulted in a heated conversation in the Twitterverse.

I the video below, That Japanese Man Yuta does a good job describing the reactions:

Image: Twitter Read the rest

Hunting for microplastics in your seafood

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We live in a plastic-coated world. Sure, there are the obvious bits and pieces — the straws, the plastic bags, a seemingly never-ending stream of packaging — but a lot of the plastic in our lives is too small to notice. Microplastics, or plastics that are smaller than five millimeters, are just about everywhere. They’re in the air you breathe, the tea you drink, and even the food you eat.

Some microplastics are easily washed off clothes or sent down the drain as people rinse away cosmetic products. Others are fragments of larger plastic items that have been broken down by wind, waves, or sunlight. No matter where they come from, many microplastics end up getting washed out to sea where they can be gobbled up by organisms — including…

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Fender’s new app is a giant chord library that integrates with Apple Music

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Fender Songs is a new iOS app from the veteran guitar manufacturer which lets you learn the chords to millions of songs on guitar, piano, or the ukulele. The app is available to download now for iPhone with a rotating selection of chords available for free, and you can get access to its full library with a subscription costing $4.99 a month or $41.99 a year.

I had a chance to try out Fender Songs ahead of its release, and I found that the app paired a slick interface with a database of chords that sounded pretty accurate to my ears. However, I also found that the app has its limitations, which means it won’t teach you exactly how to play many of its songs. It’s a great resource for anyone who’s getting to grips with playing their first…

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Samsung patent application reveals augmented reality headset design

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The patent application includes what appears to be a full 3D render of the headset. | Image: KIPRIS

A newly discovered design patent application has revealed an unannounced Samsung augmented reality headset. Galaxy Club, which was first to spot the February 1st application, notes that the headset features two screens (one in each lens), and one image shows a cable running down its right arm (although it’s unclear if this is a wired headset or if the cable is just meant for charging).

The unannounced headset would be Samsung’s first foray into augmented reality after years of focusing on its lineup of mobile Gear VR headsets. However, in recent years, the entire mobile industry’s interest in VR has decreased. Samsung hasn’t released a new VR headset enclosure for its smartphones since 2017, and its latest flagship, the Note 10, is the…

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This 12-course training bundle will teach you how to code for 2020 & beyond

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If you’re a coder, there’s a multitude of avenues for you to take your skills. Whether you’re just jumping into the world of programming or looking to rise up the ranks as an established professional, a wide base of knowledge is key. And this Premium 2020 Learn to Code Certification Bundle is a resource that’s truly worthy of its name.

This collection of 12 courses is designed to cover all the popular programming languages in detail, as well as emerging ones that are crucial for specialized professions like database management and platform-specific app development. If it seems like a lot, it is. And it’s going to seem like a lot more to potential employers when you’re able to add these skills to your resume.

Inside, you’ll find The Web Developer Bootcamp where you’ll use NodeJS, Express and other platforms to build 13 projects including authenticated web apps. From there, you’ll move on to Learn Python Programming in 150 Steps, which contains exercises and puzzles that take you through the high-level language from simple algorithms to deep learning applications.

You’ll also grow your understanding of Java with Learn Java Programming in 250 Steps, which teaches you clean coding with one of the most essential languages for web design. These courses only scratch the surface of what’s inside, though, as there are 12 courses included total.

Today, you can get lifetime access to all 12 courses for 98% off the cost of the individual courses, only $45 today. Read the rest

Creeptastic eye pies

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“Look into my pies”

Baker Lorraine Elliott has just the thing to bake this Halloween: creepy, vanilla-scented rhubarb “eye pies.” A conversation with her friend Nina inspired them:

“I’m so hungry I’m going to eat someone’s face off!” she said with madness in her eyes, while kneeling dangerously close to my face.

“How long have you been on this diet?” I asked.

“A day,” she said solemnly.

…I offered her a rhubarb tart but alas that wasn’t high protein enough. Moral of the story: eat pies even ones with eyes or you could possibly want to eat someone’s face off.

Go to her blog, Not Quite Nigella, for the recipe.

(Nag on the Lake)

photo by Not Quite Nigella Read the rest

Arthouse Muppets for Inktober

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Bruce McCorkindale has been churning out some deliciously demented art for Inktober, recasting arthouse films with Muppets. Who knew the Muppets and David Lynch went together like peanut butter and jelly?

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The curious case of the Pixel 4’s missing headphones

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales

As you might guess, I have more to say about the Pixel 4 even though the review and video are both voluminous. After John Gruber pointed out on Twitter that I forgot to mention that Google didn’t put USB-C headphones or an adapter in the Pixel 4 box in the review, I realized that I had a whole series of thoughts about it that have been rumbling around in my head all weekend. (I have also updated the review.)

In the spirit of this newsletter, which has a tradition of taking a small thing and showing how it is instructive in understanding a big thing, I’m going to dwell on headphones for a bit.

Ahead of the event where Google formally announced the Pixel 4, I once again asked the perennial question: is Google serious about hardware? The…

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Pokémon Go is getting online multiplayer battles early next year

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Starting in early 2020, Niantic will let Pokémon Go players compete against each other online in a new Go Battle League for the mobile game. Niantic says the league will let you battle players from around the globe using a matchmaking system, and that it will feature ranks that you’ll have to rise up through.

This won’t be the first time Pokémon Go has let you battle other players, but the current Trainer Battles feature is much more limited in scope. Unless you’ve reached an “Ultra” or “Best” friend ranking with another player (a process which takes 30 days at a minimum) then you can only battle players in your immediate vicinity. The Go Battle League has a more global focus, and it sounds like you could be matched against players…

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Watch the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

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The Skywalker saga that started more than 40 years ago in Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope is finally coming to an end, and the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker teases an epic conclusion. The trailer debuted tonight during ESPN’s Monday Night Football matchup between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets.

Landing a finale is often considered one of the most difficult feats in Hollywood, whether it’s a film franchise or TV series. The Rise of Skywalker, which sees the final battle between the Resistance and the First Order, will give the story a meaningful end, according to director J.J. Abrams. “We went into this thing knowing it has to be an ending. We’re not screwing around,” Abrams told Entertainment…

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Materiality: a new science fiction story for the Oslo Architecture Triennale about sustainable, green abundance

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In my latest podcast (MP3), I read my short story “Materiality,” which was commissioned for Gross Ideas: Tales of Tomorrow’s Architecture, a book edited by Edwina Attlee, Phineas Harper and Maria Smith that is part of the Oslo Architecture Triennale.

The editors pitched me on writing a story about sustainability and de-financialization in architecture, and I asked them if they’d be OK with someone who is both an environmentalist and pro-abundance — in the mode of Leigh Phillips’s groundbreaking Austerity Ecology and the Collapse Porn Addicts. They graciously accepted.

What followed was “Materiality,” a story that ultimately turned into a kind of dry-run for the novel I’m planning now, which I call my “Green New Deal/truth and reconcilliation/Modern Monetary Theroy” novel; I’ve just written another very short story in the same vein for a new British magazine and my notes file for the book is filling up so fast that I’m pretty sure I’m about ready to start writing.

It was supposed to be a special graduation treat: for their last two weeks of middle school, Artemio’s class would be the model classroom for the Huerta’s Twenty-First Town, part of the show for all the *other* kids whose teachers were no more excited about being in school in the final weeks of May than their students were.

Artemio’s parents thought it was going to be great. His dad had loved the Huerta when he was a kid, and his mom, who had grown up in Oregon, had been charmed by the Huerta when she moved to LA for grad school.

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Pick from over 1,000 new skills with this eLearning pass

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Everybody could use a little improvement, especially those of us on the hunt for new careers. Each job requires a different set of skills, and that list can change from year to year or even month to month as new technologies emerge.

When you’re in that race and need to learn fast, the old model of schooling can seem, well … a little too old school. So what’s the alternative?

Enter StackSkills, a subscription service that opens up a library of more than 1,000 eLearning courses.

Both beginning and established coders will find a ton of great resources here, with classes on blockchain, app development, project management, data analytics and much more, frequently updated for the latest programming languages and platforms.

But that’s just one broad subject area. You’ll also find courses on graphic design, personal finance, entrepreneurship, speed reading and a ton of other disciplines. There are even ways for you to learn a new hobby or monetize an existing one with masterclasses on things like photography and podcasting.

They’re all taught by top instructors in the field, and they’re all open for you to use. StackSkills is essentially a virtual university, minus the lifetime debt. In fact, it’s just $59 now for an annual pass. Read the rest

Google got wireless charging right on the Pixel 4

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Google sort of botched wireless charging on the Pixel 3 last year. Only customers who bought the company’s own Pixel Stand accessory and a very small selection of third-party chargers were able to juice up the Pixel 3 at the fastest possible wireless charging speeds. Everyone else using their existing mats and charging stands were limited to a much slower 5-watt charge. But Google has righted this mistake with the Pixel 4.

According to Mishaal Rahman of XDADevelopers, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL support 11-watt wireless charging. This is confirmed on a page for the device at the Wireless Power Consortium, and has also been further verified through direct testing.

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Serato’s new versions of its DJ software are compatible with macOS Catalina

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Image: Serato

Music software company Serato has released new official versions of its DJ Pro and DJ Lite software that are fully supported in macOS Catalina. The updated software works with Apple’s new Music app, which replaced iTunes in Apple’s latest desktop OS refresh, and libraries in Music can automatically load in the updated Serato DJ Pro and DJ Lite.

Along with updating its DJ software, Serato has also released a new version of its beat-making software Serato Studio that’s supported in Catalina. However, not all Serato products are in the clear. Serato Sample and Pitch ’n Time Pro and LE are still not compatible with Catalina, but the company says it’s actively working on updates. Additionally, Serato warns there is still some DJ hardware from…

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