Challenge yourself by building this DIY wooden combination lock

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Is a wooden lock as tough as one made out of metal? Nope. Is buying a lock easier than building one? Absolutely. Is a lock you made with your own two hands significantly more badass than anything you can purchase, ready-to-use? Without a shadow of a doubt.

If you’re looking for an unusual woodworking project to undertake, Matthias Wandel has you covered. You can buy the plans for his wooden mechanical lock, here. Once you do, you’ll also get access to the plans for a laser cut iteration of the project. While it might not provide the level of security that you’d want for keeping your valuables safe, the level of whimsy that this project could bring to a woodworker’s life looks like it would be hard to beat. Read the rest

Matt Whitaker and Daredevil’s Kingpin, separated at birth?

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It’s been driving me crazy. I knew acting Attorney General slash Cult45 tool, Matthew Whitaker, reminded me of someone. Someone awful. My first thought was Lex Luthor. But yesterday, I figured it out. It’s Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin, from Daredevil. Played by Vincent D’Onofrio in the Netflix series, Kingpin is a scary, hot-headed, New York City crime lord. I did a search on Whitaker and Kingpin and found this pic on Imgur. Whitaker could be Kingpin’s double. Read the rest

Bread faces

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Carbo pareidolia. Artist: Sabine Timm, “artist, creator, beach-trash collector, flea-market lover and photographer.” She’s on Instagram as @virgin_honey.

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Bobtail bread

A post shared by Sabine Timm (@virgin_honey) on Oct 3, 2018 at 2:06am PDT

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…party is over

A post shared by Sabine Timm (@virgin_honey) on Nov 1, 2018 at 6:12am PDT

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…endless varieties of dog breads

A post shared by Sabine Timm (@virgin_honey) on Oct 13, 2018 at 2:22am PDT

[via Laughing Squid] Read the rest

‘The Amazing Spiderman Web Shooter’ was a favorite childhood toy

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GenX kids had better toys.

I once shot my friend’s mother in the eye with a web-slung Spiderman wrist dart. It had to be an accident because you couldn’t aim these wrist mounted, weakly sprung dart pushers for anything. No one took the wrist launchers away.

An acceptable-by-current-parenting-standards version is nothing but a Silly-string can under your child’s wrist.

I am so glad I lived through the 1970s and 1980s.

Image of the OG toy via Hake’s Auctions, who sold one for over $400. I will stick with my Lone Ranger ring for now. Read the rest

“Privacy Not Included”: Mozilla’s guide to insecure, surveillant gadgets to avoid

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“Privacy Not Included” is Mozilla’s Christmas shopping (anti)-guide to toys and gadgets that spy on you and/or make stupid security blunders, rated by relative “creepiness,” from the Nintendo Switch (a little creepy) to the Fredi Baby monitor (very creepy!).

Mozilla’s reviews include a detailed rationale for each ranking, including whether the product includes encryption, whether it forces a default password change, how easy to understand the documentation is, whether it shares your data for “unexpected reasons,” whether it has known security vulnerabilities, whether it has parental controls and more.

The reviews also explain what might go wrong with each product (some of these are a little unconvincing, like an insecure sous vide wand that could overcook your food).

Mozilla rightly acknowledges that a survey of 70 products shouldn’t be seen as any sort of definitive buying guide. There are thousands of internet-connected presents waiting to be gifted this year, all of them offering a wide range of privacy controls. But that’s not the point.

“The number of products is a drop in the bucket,” says Boyd. “We’re trying to drive a conversation where manufacturers can see that consumers care about this information. We’re trying to give people essentially a way to look at any product and what to look for, what questions to ask.”

Shop Safe This Holiday Season [Mozilla]

Mozilla Makes a Naughty List of Gifts That Aren’t Secure [Brian Barrett/Wired]

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Turn your photography and videography hobby into a career

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A picture can be worth a heck of a lot more than just a thousand words. If you’ve squinted for ages trying to get just the right photo, you might have the right passion for a career behind the camera. You might even have the right equipment, but do you have the know-how? The Beginner-To-Expert Photography & Videography Bundle is a great start for amateur shutterbugs looking to turn pro.

This inclusive series of courses has something for every niche. Starting you off with basics in photography that apply to any great image, moving or still, you’ll drill down into a focus on DSLR photo and video production. At your own pace, you can move on to the master class courses in video or photography, and even explore the fundamentals in the tricky art of drone videography.

The seven-course bundle has more than 34 hours of instruction, and it’s up for grabs at $35 – a substantial discount off the price of the individual courses. Pick up the Beginner-To-Expert Photography & Videography Bundle today. Read the rest

For Sale: Fan-made Pizza Planet pickup, like the one in ‘Toy Story’ and other films

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If you’re a Disney-Pixar superfan, this $2500 is a solid investment. A fan from Colorado recreated the Pizza Planet pickup from Toy Story (which has also made several cameos in other Disney-Pixar films) and now has to sell his sweet, sweet banana yellow ride. His loss, your gain.

The truck runs and handles a bit rough. Its very hard to part with, but it needs to go. Looking for $2500. Make me an offer, but please don’t insult me. Lots of my own work went into the exterior.

You know you want it: 1983 Toyota Pickup (Pizza Planet) – $2500 (Highlands Ranch)


images via screenshot and Craigslist Read the rest

Newly divorced woman blows up her wedding dress

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Simply setting fire to her wedding dress wouldn’t do for Kimberly Santleben-Stiteler. The newly divorced woman from outside San Antonio, Texas (shocker!) attached 20 pounds of Tannerite to the dress and created an explosive target. In front of family and friends, she shot the dress from 200 yards away, creating a fireball and explosion that was heard for miles.

Santleben-Stiteler plans on selling her wedding ring. Sorry, demolition fans.

Via Star-Telegram Read the rest

Moment is offering a new telephoto smartphone lens and I’m so there for it

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I’m a big fan of Moment’s lens system for Android and iOS smartphones. The company is staffed by folks who are just as passionate about mobile photography as I am. More importantly, they seem to understand that having to buy entirely new lenses every time you land a new handset is twelve different kinds of Bullshit. With Moment’s second generation lens system, all you need to do when you invest in a new smartphone is plunk down some new cash for a new photo case and you’re in business. Their business model makes me feel comfortable with fielding the relatively steep cost of their high quality smartphone accessory lenses and other kit.

Today, Moment announced that they’re releasing a new 58mm telephoto lens. If you’re using it with a single lens smartphone like the Google Pixel 3, it’ll provide you with 2X optical zoom. Have a dual camera lensed phone like my iPhone 7 Plus? You can expect 4X optical telephoto zoom. That means better photos of far away subjects, portraits and landscapes without having to deal with the pixilation that comes from using digital zoom. Having this option makes me feel much less obligated, in many cases, to bring along an actual camera with me.

I’ve got one on the way to me and can’t wait to try it out. I’m curious to see how it performs versus the last incarnation of their tele lens. I’ll post a review with a few choice shots of the lens in action just as soon as I can. Read the rest

A modern mudlarker finds treasures washed up on the River Thames banks

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In the 18th and 19th centuries, mudlarks were people who sifted through the mud on the banks of the River Thames to find things of value. Ted Sandling keeps the dream alive. He compiled his curious collection in a book, London in Fragments: A Mudlark’s Treasures, and you can also follow his finds on Instagram. If you’re inspired to dig yourself, new laws require mudlarkers (and metal detector users) to apply for a permit first and then report any treasures you uncover to the authorities.

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A couple of days ago I found this spoon, standing straight up in the gravel like a very small and shapely monolith. There was a symbolic significance to its position, as if it had been placed with deliberate purpose, probably to do with britishness, and tea. I picked it up (how could one not?) and brought it home for someone who is six and a half years old and likes spoons. The reverse tells all manner of stories to those who can decode the hallmarks (I can’t, but I know a google who can). It’s silver plate, made by James Deakin & Sons in the late nineteenth century and has what sophisticates know as ‘rather a lot of dings’ in the bowl. Also, for some ceremonial reason, most of the silver has come unplated. It’s their Sidney Silver brand, so called because it was made at the Sidney Works on Sidney Street, quite possibly by a man named Sidney.

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Got stockings to stuff? Black Friday just came early.

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In case you hadn’t noticed from the sleigh bell-heavy music and the hues on your Starbucks cup, the holiday season hasn’t shown any more patience this year. But that doesn’t need to be a bad thing, especially if you’re hoping to get a jump on your shopping. Retailers aren’t waiting til Black Friday to dish out the deals, and neither should you. Here are’s six of the more notable bargains on the radar, from booze paraphernalia to tech-minded winter wear:

Knit Touchscreen Gloves

So you’re walking in frostbite weather and an urgent text pops up. It’s an all-too-common annoyance with an easy solution: These fashionable knit gloves, equipped with a conductive fingertip surface that lets you swipe and send with comfort in any climate. They’re currently 42% off the MSRP at $10.99.

TREBLAB X11 Bluetooth In-Ear Headphones

With passive noise-cancellation tech and HD sound, these next-gen buds will be going straight from the stocking into your music-loving friend’s ear. (And with the stabilizing ear fins, they’ll stay there.) Equipped with Bluetooth 4.1 CSR and a built-in mic, they’re equally well suited for taking calls on the go, at the gym – anywhere you need hands-free audio. Best of all, they’re $29.99 – a significant drop from the already sale-priced $54.99.

Eravino Whiskey Globe Decanter

Here’s one for the worldly tippler on your list. Mounted on a hardwood display, this decanter holds 30 ounces of whiskey or other spirits inside an etched globe map, complete with a blown glass ship-in-a-bottle. Great for Christmas, but just as well suited as a gift for newlyweds. Read the rest

Tips for overcoming reader’s block

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I have a lot of trouble reading anything longer than a tweet, these days, so I wrapped duct tape around my head and monitor to force myself to get through Emily Petsko’s tips for overcoming reader’s block.


Compared to a 300-page novel, short stories won’t seem like such an insurmountable task. Ginni Chen, Barnes and Noble’s “Literary Lady,” suggests trying a collection of stories written by different authors. That way, you’ll have the chance to figure out which styles and subjects you enjoy most. In an advice column addressed to someone with reader’s block, Chen recommended the Best American Short Stories and the Best American Nonrequired Reading collection. And if you want to start really small, there’s an app called Serial Box that will send you 150-character stories as push notifications.


Photo: Shutterstock. Read the rest

My life on the road: stranded in Wyoming

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Few things can fuck an RV up worse than a frozen water system. Grey, black and potable water tanks, water pumps and the delicate tubing that run through the undercarriage and into the living area of a motorhome don’t do well when exposed to subzero temperatures. Some RVs, like ours, come with blowers that force warm air from the furnace into the undercarriage. Others, like our old rig, have systems that draw power from the chassis battery to keep the tanks heated and the liquid inside of them, well, liquid.

We started our first day headed south at -4° Celsius. We assumed that we’d be able to make it to Lethbridge, Alberta, a few hours south of Calgary. The overnight temperature would dip to -10° there. Fading headlights and the encroaching dark forced to a halt, short of our goal, in Claresholm. There, the overnight temperature dipped to -17°.

We knew that we could weather the weather in Lethbridge. Claresholm, cold as it was, would have been a test we weren’t prepared to sit for. Fortunately, we were able to find a hotel. Even more fortunate was the fact that we’d winterized our RV well before the first cold. Our tanks were drained dry. Our lines were wetted with anti-freeze. For the first three days of our trip south, we traveled without any water, save what we brought with us in bottles. We used it to flush our toilet, brush our teeth, make coffee and wash. On the end of the third night, we felt it warm enough to risk de-winterizing the RV. Read the rest

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