Mystery saint giving out $100 bills and encouraging notes in eastern Canadian town

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It’s been a crackerjack year, hasn’t it? Kids are being held in concentration camps, whole species are disappearing from the face of the earth, our weather is absolutely borked and drinkable water is fast disappearing in many locales around the world. Everything is terrible!

Except for when it isn’t.

From The Globe & Mail:

An anonymous benefactor who secretly placed a $100 bill and an unabashed message of positivity in a Nova Scotia park has delighted and intrigued the town’s residents.

The bill was taped to a New Glasgow, N.S., gazebo in a Ziploc bag with a note encouraging the finder to spend the money on something that brings them happiness and to remember the good in the world.

It was found by town employee Doug Miller while setting up for a funding announcement over the weekend.

As detailed in a photo on the Globe & Mail’s website, the note reads: To whoever finds this $100 bill — it is yours! I hope it will bring you joy and that you will use it for your enjoyment. Always know that there is good in the world and joy to be found. I hope you know, or will learn, that you are priceless and worth more than any paper or plastic. I hope you will always choose to be happy.

A hundred bucks is a lot of cash, to most people. To others, it’s a fart in a mist. No matter how you’re situated for cash, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s nice to occasionally run across a news story where nothing is on fire, spreading like the plague or about to die at the hands of the military industrial complex. Read the rest

Arts & Crafts: Build a canoe from a few slabs of plywood

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You know what’s more badass and relaxing at the same time than going on a week-long canoe trip? Going on a week-long canoe trip in a vessel you built your own damn self. What I dig the most about this video is that shows the build process, mistakes and all, from start to finish. I don’t know about you, but I always feel a whole lot better knowing that mistakes can be made by an expert and the project can still come out looking like a champ. Read the rest

Cop starts yelling “Gun! Gun!” during a car stop, until he realizes he’s being filmed

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Sometimes with a cellphone arrest video, you’ll see cops behave bizarrely, shouting things like “stop resisting!” or “gun!” when it’s obvious the suspect is not resisting and is unarmed. The point of it is to establish, on less revealing recording devices such as bodycams and dashcams, that the officer has a reasonable fear for their lives. That fear is thought to legally justify anything bad that might then happen to the arrestee, even if it turns out to be mistaken. And so the weird yelling about guns and resisting becomes a ritual to that end.

Which is to say, if a cop starts shouting “gun!” during an interaction with you, that cop intends to kill you and you better get lucky fast. Read the rest

This AR gift set has the right stuff for any NASA fan

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So you’ve visited the Kennedy Space Center every year. You’ve watched “The Right Stuff” for the 95th time. There must be something to do while you’re waiting to join Space Force for the next manned mission to Mars or the moon.

Here’s a combo that should raise a salute from any fan of space or the American space program: The NASA AR Notebook & NASA Space Mug Bundle.

The notebook is a handy enough gift on its own, hardbound and emblazoned with the ever-popular NASA “worm” logo. But the mug is a real testament to the technology that drove us to the stars: Simply install a companion Augmented Reality app on your smartphone and point it at the bottom of the cup. Instantly, that mug becomes a space capsule, a tunnel you can peer through for an interactive astronaut’s eye view of the planet Earth.

Right now, you can pick up the NASA AR Notebook & NASA Space Mug Bundle for $54.99, an 8% discount off the original price of $59.98. Read the rest

Good deal on a padded picnic blanket

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We went to the LA Zoo yesterday and had a picnic lunch near the kids’ playground. It was in the grass under a shady tree. We brought along this 80″ x 60″ picnic blanket ( on Amazon). It folds up into a small package and comes with a handle for easy carrying. The underside is made of a tough material to resist scratching, and the top is softer and easy to wipe down. It has a thin layer of foam to provide a bit of a cushion. We’ve used it a bunch of times and it holds up well. Read the rest

Fun “urban blight” popsicle stick and graffiti art project for kids

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Graffiti Diplomacy is a Brooklyn-based graffiti art studio and educational outfit with a terrific Web site containing free lessons, handouts, and craft activities for beginning (and advanced) artists. Their “Urban Blight” diorama how-to, complete with popsicle stick picket fences, looks like a lot of fun to build and tag.

Graffiti Crafting # 1 – Learn How To Make A Popsicle Stick Graffiti Picket Fence

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Son-of-Reflectacles: Kickstarting a new generation of anti-surveillance eyewear

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Eccentric eyewear maker Scott Urban first kickstarted his “Reflectacles” frames in 2016; the frames used emedded retroreflectors to make them throw back tons of light, making them highly visible (and great for things like night cycling); subsequent iterations beefed up the IR reflectivity, which blinded many CCTV surveillance cameras (they use IR to paint low-light scenes, and their sensors can be overwhelmed if enough of that IR bounces back at them).

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Run Android on your Nintendo Switch

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Putting Android on things has become the new putting Linux on things.

XDA Developers:

The Nintendo Switch was never meant to run Android. It’s a portable game console with a 6.2-inch 720p display powered by the Tegra X1 chipset (which is also found in the NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV), 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and a 4,310 mAh battery. It runs games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, and Mario Kart 8: Deluxe. Those specifications make for a pretty beefy handheld games console, but imagine an Android tablet with those specifications? That’s effectively what we’ve got here thanks to ByLaws and fellow developers, and while it’s certainly not perfect yet, it’s already pretty powerful.

One of the most appealing aspects of the Switch is the fact that it is a hybrid console. When you put it in the Switch dock and detach the controllers on the sides, it becomes a full-fledged console with 1080p output via HDMI and higher CPU and GPU clock rates. When you’re done, just re-attach the controllers, take the Switch out of the dock, and use it wherever. A similar idea was employed by the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet, an Android gaming tablet that could output to a TV at up to 8K resolution. Android on the Switch works in the same way as it once did on the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet. Dock your Switch and it will output the display via HDMI, where you can continue to use it as normal on a bigger screen.

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Relive Star Wars ‘Maginot Line’ with the LEGO Echo Base Defense kit

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The Rebels sure got their asses kicked on Hoth. Can you do better? Give it a try with the LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Echo Base Defense kit.

Luckily Luke gets out of the bacta-tank just in time. Now it is your turn to defend the base with useless canon and watch as your mini-fig compatriots are overrun by the glorious attack forces of the Empire, or just play as the guys on the side of Order.

This 504 piece kit includes a Probe Droid mini-fig.

LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Action Battle Echo Base Defense via Amazon Read the rest

These Seals are Singing for Science

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As you may have noticed, a number of bird species have proven capable of mimicking snippets of sound they overhear, be it a melody, the wail of an ambulance or a dirty phrase taught to them by some drunk fella at a party. But here’s the thing: most mammals suck at it. Not so seals. They’re able to reproduce the sounds they hear, even if they’re outside of their regular vocal range.

In this video, these seals, who were schooled by scientists from the University of St. Andrews, are captured barking out the Star Wars theme song and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It’s adorable! It’s also a part of some pretty important research that could eventually lead to a greater under standing of speech disorders in humans.

This sort of stuff’s beyond me, but Gizmodo’s George Dvorsky does a damn fine job of breaking down why the work has the potential to be so important.

From Gizmodo:

“First, knowing how seals use sounds is important to assess how they are affected by noise created by human activities such as shipping or marine construction,” he explained. “This, in turn, will help us to manage wild populations more carefully. Second, studying how vocal learning works in seals and how it might be naturally impaired in some individuals can help to understand vocal development and its limitations in other mammalian learners that use similar structures, such as humans.”

It’s a lengthy story, but it’s fascinating stuff–if you’ve got a few minutes to kill, taking a read of it is definitely worth your time. Read the rest

Enter to win an iPad Pro or save big on refurbished iPads

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Looking for a new tablet? If you haven’t upgraded in a while, it might be time to check out the latest iPad Pro for two very good reasons. First, the 2018 model is a real workhorse. The 12X Bionic chip processor means it can handle any task you set out for it, and still have plenty of speed left over for gaming or streaming video (which both look great on the liquid retina display). Not to mention great new features like Face ID and a magnetic Apple Pencil mount which also charges up that peripheral.

The second reason? If you’re feeling lucky, you could get one for free.

Sign up below and you’ll be eligible for a free iPad Pro, plus an Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. That’s everything you need to make this versatile piece of hardware your new workstation.

No need to wait for your lucky number to come up, though. As new iPads hit the market, there are tons of refurbished models popping up. Here are a few of the greatest hits we found from Apple’s tablet line, all priced to move:

iPad

There’s nothing like the classics. The flagship tablet in Apple’s fleet is still the perfect size for a range of uses, including gaming and live chat. Even the older 2012 models pack plenty of storage for photos and video, and the iPad 5’s screen was a definite step up that showed off the possibilities of its 8MP iSight camera.

Apple iPad 5 9.7″ 32GB WiFi Space Gray (Certified Refurbished)
Apple iPad 3 9.7″ 64GB WiFi Black (Refurbished)

iPad Mini

When the Mini was released in 2012, it was seen as the perfect traveling companion. Read the rest

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