Voice of SpongeBob asked to improvise voices of 5 new characters

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It’s always great to see a master craftsperson at work. From Vanity Fair: “Watch as Tom Kenny seamlessly improvises the voices to 5 random cartoon characters that he has never seen before. Using his skills from decades as the voice of SpongeBob, The Ice King (Adventure Time), The Mayor (Powerpuff Girls), Heffer (Rocko’s Modern Life) and many others, Tom is able to create amazing characters in the blink of an eye.”

Image: YouTube

[via Dooby Brain] Read the rest

“I Wanna Wash My Hands” and “Don’t Come Together” by The Bits

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Who is the best Hungarian Beatles tribute band? This is a question musicologists have argued about for years, but more than a few agree that The Bits are worthy contendors for the title. Above, a pandemic inspired “I Wanna Wash My Hands.” Below, a social distanced version of “Come Together,” retitled “Don’t Come Together.”

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There was a prototype toy line for the X-rated epic film disaster Caligula (1979)

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In 1979, Penthouse founder Bob Guccione produced a big budget feature film about the Roman emperor Caligula starring Maclolm McDowell, Teresa Ann Savoy, Helen Mirren, Peter O’Toole, and John Gielgud. Scripted by Gore Vidal and filled with graphic sex and violence, it was a critical and box office disaster but has garnered cult acclaim over the years. (Original trailer below.) Now, archivist Thomas Negovan and Shadow of the Vampire director E. Elias Merhig have located all of the original footage and are recutting the film into a 40th anniversary edition titled Caligula MMXX. Over the course of their research, they found this bizarre TV commercial produced for a line of Caligula action figures that, of course, never made it into production. Negovan tells Dangerous Minds:

A company named Cinco Toys pitched Guccione, who never met a deal he didn’t like, on them getting a license to do a line of action figures. Star Wars action figures were making millions and apparently they pitched him pretty hard for this. Caligula‘s budget was twice that of Star Wars. They made a handful of prototypes for action figures. They even went so far as to make a spec TV commercial to woo Guccione to let them do this, which is extra insane. They made it like he (Guccione) would be (star) in the commercial himself and had someone do a VO as if they were Bob. And there it was on the shelf with the various drafts of the script. There was a 3/4” tape and a VHS of the same commercial with Cinco labels.

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This 3D animation shows you what’s inside Seattle’s famous Space Needle

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Ever wonder how the Space Needle’s rotating glass floor works? CGI animator extraordinaire Jared Owen gives us an inside look at Seattle’s most iconic structure.

The Space Needle is located in Seattle Washington. It was built in 1962 just in time for the World’s Fair. The top looks like a Flying Saucer and is meant to inspire people to look towards the future. The Space Needle is icon to Seattle just as Eiffel Tower is to Paris, France. Around the Space Needle there plenty to see and do as well. The bottom of the building has a large spiral ramp that tourists get to climb on their way towards the elevators. The top of tower has the observation level with an outdoor deck, a service level, and The Loupe which features a revolving glass floor. The center of the tower has supports for the 3 elevators and the stairs which are mostly used for emergencies. The Skyline level is for private events at the Space Needle.

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This animated short about a horse is adorable, existential, and relatable

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This is exactly how I’ve felt while cooped in my house these last few weeks and yes I mean “exactly.”

The 2-minute film was created by AJ Jeffries, a 3D illustrator and animator based in Norwich in the UK. The only description or explanation given for it is this: “A horse struggles to exist.” That feels like it’s vague or underselling, after watching this mesmerizing cartoon several times over, I think it’s actually perfect.

Horse [AJ Jeffries / Vimeo] Read the rest

Every movie, starring Godzilla

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Sean Kaen, @oddnmacabre on Twitter, posed the challenge ‘let’s make some Godzilla movies!” and the results are unusually amusing due to the one rule: replace 1 word in any movie title with “Godzilla”.

Heather offers “Extremely Loud And Incredibly Godzilla.”

I know I’ll never get to watch “Remains of the Godzilla”, but there’ll always be the whale on Florence beach. And then I can found the Dead Godzillas Society. Read the rest

Watch Sir Patrick Stewart read a Shakespeare sonnet every day

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#ASonnetADay

A post shared by Patrick Stewart (@sirpatstew) on Mar 31, 2020 at 1:06pm PDT

“Having spent so much of my life with Shakespeare’s world, passions and ideas in my head and in my mouth, he feels like a friend—someone who just went out of the room to get another bottle of wine,” Patrick Stewart once said.

On Instagram, he’s now delivering a daily fix of the Bard. See them all at @sirpatstew on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

It has led me to undertake what follows. When I was a child in the 1940s, my mother would cut up slices of fruit for me (there wasn’t much) and as she put it in front of me she would say: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” How about, “A sonnet a day keeps the doctor away”? So…here we go: Sonnet 1.

A post shared by Patrick Stewart (@sirpatstew) on Mar 22, 2020 at 4:28pm PDT

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#ASonnetADay

A post shared by Patrick Stewart (@sirpatstew) on Mar 28, 2020 at 12:35pm PDT

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Microsoft Excel is still the lifeblood of data analysis and this training bundle breaks it all down

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If you’re charting the fortunes of a business, one glance at the right columns can instantly detail that company’s health. If you want to see their current roster of customers, a spreadsheet can bring those clients into sharp focus.

Make no mistake — the world of business is still dominated by the all-powerful spreadsheet. It’s still a defining business tool, one users can get to know inside and out with training like The 2020 Ultimate Microsoft Excel Certification Training Bundle.

The package collecting 10 courses jammed full with more than 40 hours of training unlocks everything a new Microsoft Excel user needs to start exploring, managing and analyzing data in this business industry staple.

First, a trio of courses guide first-timers through three levels of Excel knowledge, starting with basic terms and ideas before moving to templates, databases, and ranges, then the most advanced Excel tools like macros and creating your own Excel operations with VBA programming.

Meanwhile, another three courses dig into some of Excel’s most valuable functions, including productivity tools like keyboard shortcuts and data validation; data visualizations to create data-driven maps, templates, forms and other dynamic visuals; and pivot tables for grouping and displaying your data in every conceivable way.

Additional training covers powerful data modeling and business tools like Power Query and Data Analysis Expressions, how to use formulas and functions at all levels, and advanced tips for handling critical data processes like password protection and tracking changes.

From Excel newbies to hardcore veterans, there are tips and strategies here to help users of any level extract even more meaning from all their Excel explorations. Read the rest

Samuel L Jackson reads “Stay the F at home”

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You know what you’re gonna get and the master delivers. The recital begins at 6:08.

While Jimmy is in quarantine, he checks in with the great Samuel L. Jackson at his home. Sam talks about canceling his trip to Italy with Magic Johnson, Jimmy wanting to be a part of their annual vacation, watching “Tiger King” with his daughter, the go-to meal he likes to cook himself.

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Car crash footage with one of the vehicles digitally removed

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This is a compilation of security- and dash-cam footage of auto accidents with one of the vehicles digitally removed, thereby becoming “invisible”. It is remarkably creepy and unsettling, like one of those science fiction blockbusters that starts with an ingenious and terrifying disaster/invasion/escape scene but then becomes normal and boring for the rest of the movie. Read the rest

Using colored paper, help a neighbor with “Isolation Communication”

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Nova Scotia resident Glynis Mullen shared a simple, but brilliant, way that we can all employ to look out for our neighbors in real life, “Our neighbour is older and lives alone so I gave her three colour pieces of paper for her window which face our kitchen window. Green is for I’m OK, yellow (is) for need(ing) help with an errand, and red for emergency. I call it isolation communication.”

Surrey Now-Leader:

She and her neighbour often communicate through her kitchen window and said the tri-colour paper system is a “really good visual comfort that everything is okay. When it’s yellow, I know I should call and we can arrange something.”

screengrab via Glynis Mullen/Facebook Read the rest

Take a virtual visit to Napa – with very real sips of wine

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For wine lovers around the world, it’s all about discovery. Once they get a taste for the grape, oenophiles are rarely satisfied with even the most carefully curated, go-to vintages. There’s always a hunt for the next great pairing, the thrill of uncorking a bold new Tempranillo or sublime Moscato.

That feeling is a jones that winemakers in general – and wine clubs in particular – are happy to feed. But while online wine-of-the-month clubs have made discovering new wines a lot easier, many feel there’s been something lost in terms of the personal touch; that sense of place and adventure that began many wine lovers’ journey in the first place.

Enter Wine Access, a growing portal to the wine world that offers not just convenience but a more curated approach. At a time when a trip to Napa is out of the question, and wineries sit closed for the foreseeable future, why not bring the experience to your home?

The online wine shop is based in the heart of downtown Napa, and even within that insular wine hub, the founders have some deep connections. (Their Head of Wine, Vanessa Conlin, came to the job after heading up sales and marketing for several high-profile estates including Arietta Wines.) Wine Access leverages those connections to get their members access to some rare and award-winning picks like Estate Argyros’ Assyrtiko Santorini, a Grecian white that elevates any shellfish meal to a life-changing experience.

But Wine Access doesn’t randomly push these wines onto its subscribers, however, well-selected they may be. Read the rest

Cory Doctorow reads the author’s note from his third Little Brother book, Attack Surface

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From Cory’s awesome Pluralistic website, a post about the latest episode of his podcast, in which he reads the author’s note from Attack Surface, his third Little Brother book.

My latest podcast is a reading of the author’s note from “Attack Surface” — the third Little Brother book, which comes out on Oct 12.

https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250757531

I recorded this for the audiobook edition of Attack Suface, which I’ve been recording all last week with Amber Benson and the Cassandra de Cuir from Skyboat Media.

https://craphound.com/podcast/2020/03/30/authors-note-from-attack-surface/

If you like what you hear, please consider pre-ordering the book — it’s a scary time to have a book in the production pipeline!

Here’s the MP3:

https://archive.org/download/authorsnotefromattacksurface/Cory_Doctorow_Podcast_335_-_Attack_Surface_Authors_Note.mp3

And here’s the podcast feed:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/doctorow_podcast

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What Steve Forte can do with a pack of cards borders the unbelievable

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When watching a magician perform some card tricks, it’s a legitimate question to ask: “Would you be able to cheat at a card game?” Most performers will smirk and wink, implying they could. Truth is: they probably can’t. Sleight-of-hand with cards for conjuring and entertainment purposes is one thing; gambling techniques to cheat at cards is a whole other story. Sometimes these two domains overlap, in that liminal zone of the so called “gambling demonstrations.” However, the gamblers’ “real work” entails a very different skillset from that of a magician—while true gambling techniques are among the most fascinating and difficult to master.

The gambling expert

In the realm of gambling techniques with cards, one name immediately commands undivided admiration and respect. That name is Steve Forte. It’s no hyperbole to say that what Forte can do with a pack of cards borders the unbelievable; his skillful handling is the closest thing to perfection in terms of technique. Here is a taste of his smooth and classy dexterity:

Steve Forte’s career spans over 40 years within the gambling industry. After dealing all casino games and serving in all casino executive capacities, he shifted gears to a spectacularly successful career as a professional high-stakes Black Jack and Poker player; shifting gears again, he later became a top consultant in the casino security field. To dig deeper into Forte’s adventurous and shapeshifting life, the go-to place is the enduring profile penned by R. Paul Wilson for the October 2005 issue of Genii Magazine. Read the rest

A virtual fireside chat with Erik Davis, Dennis McKenna, and the premiere of a never-released Terence McKenna lecture at Esalen Institute, 1989

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Boing Boing pal Erik Davis will be joining Dennis McKenna (Terence’s brother) on April 3rd for an online screening and virtual chat centered on a previously unseen lecture that Terence McKenna delivered at Esalen Institute in 1989.

From Erik’s monthly newsletter.

This Friday, at 5:30 PST, I will be participating in a TRIBUTE TO TERENCE MCKENNA hosted by Dennis McKenna and our mutual friends at Psychedelic Seminars. Terence died twenty years ago, and over the next few weekends, Dennis will be hanging out with some of T’s wonderful friends, like Eduardo Luna, Bruce Damer, and Rupert Sheldrake.

On Friday we will be streaming a recently discovered hour-long film of Terence shot at Esalen in 1989. After the showing, Dennis and I will have a chat—the first in-depth conversation we have had since the publication of High Weirdness.

You can sign-up for the screening and chat here. You can find more info on the whole series here.

And if you’re looking for something provocative and mind-bending to read while you’re cowering in your invisible zombie apocalypse hidey hole, check out Erik’s wonderful new tome, High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies

[H/t Laurie Fox]

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These toys and games can keep the kids busy while you’re all trapped inside

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These toys and games can keep the kids busy while you’re all trapped inside.

As rough as all this time cooped up inside the house is on us adults, it’s even worse for kids. All that borderline maniacal energy along with an unquenchable thirst for stimulation and attention make home sequestration like a life sentence for them. Unfortunately, they have no problem taking out all that pent-up disappointment and boredom on you, the unwitting adult who must take the rap for a worldwide pandemic.

These are difficult times and we all have to do what we must to survive. We wouldn’t normally endorse this, but under our current conditions…bribe them. Tell the kids that if they can be good for a day, or just through your workday or heck, even for a few hours, you’ll get ‘em one of the cool toys and games we’ve assembled here.

Everything here is on sale. They won’t care. You will. And peace will still reign in your household. For now. But for today, it’s all we’ve got…

Video games

Every kid loves video games — and this is a good time to plant some of the old-school retro gaming love you had when you were a kid.

From the folks at 8BitDo, both the Gbros. Wireless Adapter for Nintendo Switch ($14.95; originally $19.99) and the SN30 Bluetooth Gamepad ($23.95; originally $29.99) gives you the retro-style gaming controller that’s compatible with all the latest gaming systems. Whether your kids have a Switch or play games on Windows, Android, macOS or Steam-based platforms, these Bluetooth-connected devices will take you all right back to the 90s and 2000s…even Read the rest

Outstanding, free, and far-out music stream from Aquarium Drunkard

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Aquarium Drunkard is an incredible audio hub of reviews, podcasts, features, interviews, and sessions sure to please all crate diggers, outré musicologists, fringe culture fanatics, and deep music geeks. Their genre-bending curation spans jazz, folk, garage, psych, experimental, and every other niche of music to present oft-unheard gems from across time. As the creators say, Aquarium Drunkard is “for heads, by heads.” In author Erik Davis‘s own excellent newsletter, he shares word that Aquarium Drunkard has now launched a free online radio stream, Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard. Tune in and turn on. Erik writes:

I have been in love with Aquarium Drunkard’s mailing list, streams, and musical curation chops since I stumbled across a three-part collection of rare 70s Jesus Freak music they posted years ago. Given that millions of us are now stuck at home, addictively trawling newsfeeds while trying to stay sane, the AQ kids just launched Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard, a wonderful 24/7 radio stream of joy, verve, and reflection. Admittedly, I find my own sensibility uncannily mirrored in RFAQ’s mix of scruffy indy, ladyfolk, 90s basement tapes, spiritual jazz, weird country, and deep deep 70s. But I am particularly enjoying the intimacy, wit, and kindness of the selections, segues, and overall vibe. These days we should all be paying close attention to the collective process of meaning-making. This means ignoring the algos and opening up to playlists, personal recommendations, and DJs. Tune in!

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