Useful wall-mount thread checker

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In this Cool Tools video, Sean Michael Ragan reviews a wall-mounted thread-checker – a handy thread verifier for nuts and bolts.

It measures 3″ wide by 39″ tall, and, like the original version, features both male and female reference threads in a range of standard SAE and metric sizes. It’s mounted on a half-inch thick plastic composite board, and the printing is both grease- and waterproof. It has three 5/16” diameter mounting holes for attaching it to the wall, and it is made in the USA, by the same folks who make the original thread checker: S&W Manufacturing of Chicago.

Unlike the original, the wall-mounted version can be used one-handed, which lets you quickly find a particular size in a bin of unsorted fasteners, or identify an unknown thread with one hand while you hold an assembly in the other.

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Miniature magnetic marble track

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Enjoy Daniel de Bruin’s wonderfully-produced video of a miniature marble machine being made from a) exactingly precise stuff from the workshop parts drawer, b) a Pruser Mini 3D printer, and c) a lot of patient work with soldering irons, glues and fiddly lengths of wire.

In this video I’m using a ball bearing of only 5mm wide. The track is made of 0.6mm wire. It took me waaaay longer to construct than anticipated, because a small mistake and the ball wouldn’t stay on the track. It took me 5 days to shoot, make and edit.

Below, de Bruin offers a more general look at this incredible hobby. You don’t need fancy equipment to get started, but you do need a wee soldering iron (I like the TS100 [Amazon] a lot), a variable-speed power drill for the wire-coiling magic, and precision calipers. Read the rest

Exhaustive tour of video game bathrooms

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It’s been four years since Cory posted a supercut of video game bathrooms, but the industry hasn’t been slacking since. Curious Reviewers posted a series collecting the typically revolting, sometimes deluxe, always weirdly spacious virtual pissoirs of videogaming.

Here are the three episodes, in reverse chronological order. Note that many of the clips show nudity, violence, grossness and other things you might expect to find going on in ludological lavatories. Read the rest

What are “phantom traffic jams” and how can technology get rid of them?

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Stop-and-go waves of dense freeway traffic can flow backward for miles. This TED-Ed video explains the phenomenon of “phantom traffic jams” and shows how self-driving cars that are aware of the traffic conditions ahead can adjust their behavior to prevent phantom traffic jams. Interestingly, models have shown had just one self-driving vehicle for every 20 human-driven vehicles can dampen a stop-and-go phantom traffic jam wave.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

Watch: How to build your own Nintendo Switch

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Seattle maker Brennen Johnston wanted his friends to play Animal Crossing with him but they couldn’t get their hands on a Nintendo Switch, a scarce commodity amid COVID-19 lockdowns. Enraged by the prices scalpers were charging for a Switch, Brennen set out to build one himself from individual components. The Internet fell in love with the build notes he posted to Imgur and now he’s released the above video documenting the project! Brennen writes:

The support I received from my original Imgur post has been overwhelming. I never imagined so many people were interested in my project or had thought of doing something similar. I with I was able to answer everyone’s questions but I just couldn’t keep up with all the requests.

Most of the private messages asked me to do a version for the Joy-cons so I went ahead and made you that you can find here:

https://www.unorthodoxtech.com/#/blog/5ecc7e3157d93d0017683e23

How To Build A Nintendo Switch From Scratch – Building With Brennen(YouTube)

• Previously: “‘How to build a Nintendo Switch’ for coronavirus #StayAtHome gamingRead the rest

Tony Hawk’s first skateboard is now in the Smithsonian

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Tony Hawk first learned to ride a skateboard in 1979 when he was 11 years old. The board was the 1975 Bahne pictured above. Now, that board is in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. (Below, video of Hawk’s last ride on the Bahne.) From Cole Louison’s new interview with Hawk in Smithsonian magazine:

The first wave of skateboarding—when decks were wood, wheels were steel and “sidewalk surfing” was banned in 20 U.S. cities by August 1965—had ended by the time Hawk stepped on the board. Yet the sport enjoyed a major resurgence in the 1970s, thanks in part to new technology. The blue Bahne evokes an era when public outcry had driven skaters off sidewalks and into the first skateparks, where they rode plastic boards with polyurethane wheels higher and higher up the walls of in-ground pools that were capped at the top or extended with plywood[…]

“In its early days, skateboarding was considered a sport for misfits and outsiders,” Hawk tells me. “We didn’t mind the label, since we weren’t trying to fit in with mainstream culture anyway.” And even as mainstream culture prepares to embrace skateboarding more enthusiastically than ever before, Hawk says, “I believe our sense of counterculture and individualism will shine through.”


image: RIDE Channel/YouTube
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Color in your favorite hard rockers with these Kerrang! cover coloring books

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If you’re looking for more quarantine activities — for yourself, or your kids, or something to do together! — the British rock magazine Kerrang! is now offering coloring book variants of some of their covers, featuring famous rock bands:

We have turned seven Kerrang! magazine covers (plus a bonus My Chemical Romance photo) into elaborate colouring-in pages for you to turn into Technicolor masterpieces. We’ve got Slipknot, Lemmy, BABYMETAL and Ozzy Osbourne [and more] to choose from.

Not only will it give you (or your young ones) a chance to practice your artistic skills, colouring-in is ideal for relieving stress and improving mental health.

 

You can download all available Kerrang! coloring book pages here. And if you email your best designs to the magazine, you could get featured in an upcoming issue!

Design your own Kerrang! Magazine Cover Read the rest

Listen to the original NPR radio drama adaptations of the first STAR WARS trilogy

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In my 90s childhood Star Wars obsession, I remember hearing a lot about the fabled NPR radio drama adaptations (read: “podcast”) of the original trilogy. They were supposed to be canonical, in-as-much as they were Lucas-approved stories that expanded on the familiar ones we already knew.

Now, someone has finally compiled them all on YouTube (although apparently you can find the MP3s on Archive.org as well). And wow, they are expanded — the A New Hope radio drama is 13 hours long!

It’s quite a stark departure from the movies I’m used to. The first chapter focuses exclusively on Luke, and highlights his relationships with his friends at Tosche Station — Cammie, Fixer, Deke, and the OG prodigal son, Biggs Darklighter (there’s a version of some of this material floating as a deleted scene, but it’s not nearly as expansive as this). Chapter Two turns more attention to Leia and her relationship with her father, as well as the information that lead them to the Death Star plans in the first place. It’s not even until the third chapter that we get to the opening scene of the movie (that’s as far as I’ve listened yet). It definitely conflicts with the newly established canon, especially Rogue One, but I’m enjoying the experience of re-discovering this world in a different format, with different and exciting details filling out the edges. I’m eager to find out what other ancillary characters might get more of a spotlight treatment here.

From the editor who posted these compilations on YouTube:

I have combined all episodes of the original radio drama using excerpts from John Williams’ original soundtrack and Ben Burt’s sound effects for a more seamless blending from one episode to the next.

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A bleakly touching webcomic compares our apocalyptic fantasies to the real experience of coronavirus quarantine

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Nate Powell is the writer and artist behind About Face, a brilliant webcomic about America’s obsession with fascist fashion. His latest comic, Hide Out, is less of a macro-scale political analysis, and more of a quiet, reflective, internal piece about life in apocalyptic scenarios — but it’s just as powerful, and just as much worth reading.

 

This Isn’t My Fantasy Apocalypse [Nate Powell / The Nib] Read the rest

Topography of U.S. states in ridgeline (Joy Division ‘Unknown Pleasures’) style

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IMGURian @KRANKARTA6 did an awesome topography visualization project in the “Ridgeline Style” that reminds us of the album cover for Joy Division’s classic LP ‘Unknown Pleasures.’

USA states’ topography in ridgeline / stack plot / joy plot style.

These map artworks are created from SRTM elevation data and processed in QGIS and python.

All images have the same elevation scale.

See all of the work here at IMGUR:
USA States Topography in Ridgeline Style – equal scale

USA States Topography in Ridgeline Style – equal scale

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Members of Flaming Lips and Los Lobos score Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1923)

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During Passover last month, I posted about The Ten Commandments, Cecil B. DeMille’s 1923 epic silent film version of the biblical Exodus story (plus a related modern story that I never bothered to watch.) As part of tomorrow night’s DAWN online celebration of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips, Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, and drummer Scott Amendola are premiering a far out new score for the film! Watch the excerpt above. Organized by the Jewish arts and culture organization Reboot, DAWN is sure to be a wild program of music, conversations, comedy, and performances. My pal and Boing Boing contributor David Katznelson, the head of Reboot, orchestrated the new Ten Commandments musical collaboration. From Rolling Stone:

Reboot CEO David Katznelson — who signed the Flaming Lips to Warner Bros. years ago — said of the project: “Watching this film score come together, with three amazing artists forced to work remotely and yet completely in flow with each other as they composed such an incredible piece of music was inspirational. Using the greatest artists of the day to bring something like The Ten Commandments to life for new generations to connect with… that is exactly what Reboot was created to do.”

Along with Drozd, Berlin and Amendola, the DAWN lineup will feature appearances from Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, Michaela Watkins, Gaby Moskowitz, Tiffany Shlain and Kasher vs. Kasher, a new podcast from comedian Moshe Kasher and his brother Rabbi David Kasher. The event kicks off May 28th at 10 p.m.

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Easy Electronics book is an excellent introduction to electronics

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Charles Platt’s growing series of electronics books are the best I’ve come across. He explains concepts very clearly, and his illustrations are excellent. His latest book in the series is called Easy Electronics. It covers voltage, resistance, capacitors, transistors, integrated circuits, and more. No tools are needed to complete the projects in this book.

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Father’s mind is blown when he learns he is going to have triplets

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In this video we see a woman hand her husband a folder with her pregnancy ultrasound results. The husband is in their car with his smiling adorable baby son in his lap. As the husband goes through the contents of the folder, he comes to the realization that his wife is pregnant with triplets. This comes as a surprise to him, and from his reaction, it’s clear that the thinks it’s a big deal. Read the rest

KontrolFreek’s gaming gear cleaner is great for phones, monitors and laptops too

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KontrolFreek’s CleanFreek foaming cleaner keeps my monitor, controller and iPhone sparkling.

CleanFreek’s foam leaves no residue or streaking on my cherished 1440p monitor. The grubby kid hand-stains left on my Xbox and Switch controllers easily wipe away. The layer of oil that constantly lives on my iPhone screen is gone.

I also use CleanFreek on my glasses and this very laptop. I hate it when my gear gets blech!

KontrolFreek CleanFreek Anti-bacterial Cleaner for Gaming Gear (2.7 fl oz) | Cleaner for Controllers, Mice, Smartphones, Tablets, Monitors and Glasses via Amazon Read the rest

Real Tested CBD Brand Spotlight – Charlotte’s Web

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Boing Boing welcomes Real Tested CBD as a sponsor!

Real Tested CBD is known for efforts in bringing information about the CBD products for not only established brands, but the budding brands in the niche. We fuel our passion through the zest of our clients, asking us for updates on what is happening in the CBD universe. Thanks to the laws in the US that allow legal production of CBD products for health and research, there are some premier products on the market, but it’s important to know what you are shopping for to ensure the best purchase.

We at Real Tested CBD run all the products through lab tests and present everything in black and white for our readers. This way, our consumers get to find out what product they are getting and if it is worth getting at all. Today, we review Charlotte’s Web and its CBD products that include balms, creams, tincture, edibles, and capsules.
Here is a review of all the nine products of Charlotte’s Web that we tested.

This hemp-infused balm by Charlotte’s web comes with 150 mg of botanical blend hemp extract. It has a soothing scent, and we found no traces of pesticides and solvents in the mix. Moreover, it contains all the goodness of CBD at 107.2 mg per pack. It also contains THC at 4.69 mg and CBC at 4.48 mg per package. However, our test results indicate that the total CBD levels were lower than those claimed on the label.

This Canine hemp-infused balm is for adult dogs with 450 mg of hemp extract. Read the rest

Open Culture has a new directory of the “Best Podcasts to Enrich Your Mind”

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Open Culture has a page with capsule reviews of The 135 Best Podcasts to Enrich Your Mind. The list includes “great podcasts on art, music, history, philosophy, plus captivating true and imagined stories.”

Some are familiar to me and I already subscribe to them. Here a few that are new to me that I just subscribed to:

Last Seen – Apple – Spotify – Google – Web Site – RSS –  It remains the most valuable — and confounding — art heist in history: 13 artworks stolen from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Twenty-eight years later, not a single piece in a haul worth half a billion dollars has surfaced. The art, and the thieves who made off with it, remain at large. With first-ever interviews, unprecedented access, and more than a year of investigative reporting, “Last Seen” takes us into the biggest unsolved art heist in history. A joint production from WBUR and The Boston Globe. Read more here.

Blackout – Apple – Spotify – Google – Academy Award winner Rami Malek stars in this apocalyptic thriller as a small-town radio DJ fighting to protect his family and community after the power grid goes down nationwide, upending modern civilization.

The Walk – Apple – Spotify – “Dystopian thriller, The Walk, is a tale of mistaken identity, terrorism, and a life-or-death mission to walk across Scotland. But the format of this story is — unusual. The Walk is an immersive fiction podcast, and the creators want you to listen to it while walking.

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