Cornish pub installs an electric fence around its bar for safer distancing

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Star Inn, a pub in Cornwall, has installed electric fencing around its bar. Jonny McFadden, who runs the bar, says it’s a “normal electric fence that you would find in the field.” When asked if it’s turned on, he responded, “Come and find out. There’s a fear factor and it works. People keep away from it. People are like sheep. They know it’s a fence. They don’t want to touch it to find out if it’s on or off.”

image via Canva

(CNN) Read the rest

Gatling guns, balloon corps, and other weapons introduced during the American Civil War

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Conservative magazine The National Interest recently published an article celebrating the technological innovations of the Civil War. While I, for one, am not so keen on this narrative framing…

If there is anything that drives innovation in science and technology, it’s a good old-fashioned war. When you need to kill your enemies faster and deader than they kill you, governments are willing to try nearly anything, no matter how insane it sounds.

That isn’t to say we haven’t gotten amazing technology from war. Rockets, microwaves and radar were all game-changing innovations during battle, but also have turned into essential pieces of our everyday lives, helping humanity even when we aren’t smashing and destroying someone else for looking at us funny.

…I cannot deny that there is something interesting about remembering just what kinds of what weapons we forged to fuck ourselves over, including gatling guns, coal torpedoes, shotgun pistol revolvers, and reconnaissance balloons. Sure, half a million American died over a glorified temper tantrum about whether or not Black people deserve to be treated with the most basic human indignity, rather than as pieces of property — but dammit, the CSS Hunley was the first submarine to successfully sink a boat, and that’s an important hallmark of American innovation!

Anyway I clicked on this link by accident but it’s weirdly kind of fascinating to realize just how many horrible things we created — things which continue to benefit the mission of American Imperialism — just so that we could further dehumanize Black people. Read the rest

Stop playing Cards Against Humanity and start playing DICK instead

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The writer in me always loved to play Apples to Apples when I was younger — it was finally a game that would reward my clever wordplay and sense of humor (or at least, sometimes, depending on who I was playing with). But as the ribald alternative Cards Against Humanity began to catch on, I typically found myself filled with disappointment.

After the laughter resided, anyway. I definitely laughed. But they were cheap, empty laughs. Of course you laugh. The game is built on provoking cheap uncomfortable laughs. And frankly, it does that quite well! That’s all it really does though — all it’s ever done. It gives you permission to say vulgar things and laugh at them, which could be entertaining for a while. But there’s nothing unique about the experience, just like there’s no strategy involved in shocking people with Hitler’s Cum on Barbara Streisand’s 9/11 Applesauce, or whatever random combination of cards you get.

(It did also require me to explain fleshlights to my parents and in-laws, which was, erm, less than ideal.)

I’ve felt this for a while (before the fleshlight incident), and as such, was not surprised but disappointed to learn that the company behind Cards Against Humanity has let a toxic culture fester all this time. It turns out all those racist and sexist cards maybe weren’t meant to be ironic after all, but actually reflective of the company’s gross working atmosphere. (Those who remain in that cesspool are trying to unionize, which I support, though I’m hesitant about how much good it will do in the end.) Read the rest

Watch this expert woodturner make a coffee mug from an apple log

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Matt Jordan takes viewers through the complex process of making a wood coffee mug on a lathe.

He says:

This has to be my most requested project both on and off YT, so here it is…a coffee mug, with a handle. The mug is made from a small apple log with plenty of burl, the handle is also made from burl but with a Pewter centre piece. The mug is finished with Pure Tung oil, this oil is food safe and provides a very good water proof coating, the only downside is the time taken to apply in at least 5 coats and then around 4 weeks to fully cure, however once done it provides a very durable water proof coating that can sustain hot drinks etc and hand washing.

Bonus video: this cool speaker he just made:

His Instagram has lots of neat photos and videos of his gear:

View this post on Instagram

Part of a new speaker system coming soon to YouTube! #woodturning #epoxyresin #speakersystem

A post shared by Matt Jordan (@mj_woodturning) on Jul 5, 2020 at 3:28am PDT

Check out his website for bespoke handcrafted items.

Image: YouTube / Matt Jordan Read the rest

Save 50% on a 1-year subscription to Dashlane’s premium password manager

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We all know vital information about ourselves and our private digital accounts can be compromised by cybercriminals. However, many would be frightened to know just how compromised they and their vital data are right this moment. 

Security researchers Digital Shadows say usernames and passwords for more than 15 billion accounts are currently up for purchase on the dark web, including everything from administrator access information, bank account details, and more. What might be even more shocking is that there are so many compromised accounts that many are just given away for free on hacker forums or even just posted to the open web.

Considering how much your life can be turned upside-down if a personal or professional account is seized or funds are drained from your bank, the need for an efficient, aggressive password management system isn’t just recommended, it’s downright critical.

Dashlane Password Manager has established itself as one of the web’s most trusted password protection systems by adhering to the simple philosophy that you’re the only person who should ever control your data.

With Dashlane, you can generate strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts with a single click, store them for future use, and change them in seconds. Of course, Dashlane also goes beyond simple passwords, storing and automatically filling in all your password, payment, and personal details wherever you need to enter them across the web, on any device.

Safely stashed in Dashlane’s military-grade encrypted vault, all of your passwords and other data are only accessible to you through your single master password. Read the rest

Kickstarter for a cool deck of 60 conversation-starting questions

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My multitalented friend Cooper Bates is the co-founder of Hint Mint (which features artists’ work on mint tins), a stage performer, and a photographer. He’s got a new project on Kickstarter, and I signed up for it. It’s a deck of conversation/introspection cards called “I Think Therefore I Question.”

From the Kickstarter description:

I Think Therefore I Question is more than just words on paper. It’s more than manufactured questions generated by co-workers in a think tank. This deck is an expression of my cumulative lifetime of experiences, interactions, and friendships amassed on a beautifully designed deck of cards. 60 cards, with 60 thoughtful if not eccentric questions crafted to mine entertaining, unexpected answers, interesting conversations, and a whole lot of fun. And just for the record: the questions in this deck are thoughtful and sincere. I don’t move through the world presenting crass topics in the interest of shock value. Enter with an open spirit and you will learn a little something about yourself, too.

Read the rest

How to make your own DEC H-500 Computer Lab Reproduction

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Michael Gardi, who makes reproductions of vintage computers and computer-like games, went all out and built a DEC H-500 Computer Lab. He even posted a step-by-step Instructable on how to make your own H-500 reproduction.

Most people reading this will be familiar with the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) lines of PDP machines. I would guess though that far fewer have encountered the H-500 Computer Lab. Launched in the late 60s the H-500 was part of a COMPUTER LAB curriculum to introduce students and engineers to digital electronics. It’s not surprising that DEC would undertake this since more than half of its PDP machines at the time were installed in educational institutions.

The machine itself shipped with a wonderful workbook that contained a complete course in digital electronics. Together the COMPUTER LAB package was intended to accompany courses in binary arithmetic, Boolean algebra, digital logic or computer technology. While not a true computer, the H-500 could be “wired” to perform many of the underlying operations of a true computer using a point-to-point patch cord mechanism.

Michael’s builds have been previously featured on Boing Boing:

Here’s how to make a “computer on a card” from the 1960s
The GENIAC, a narrative interactive game from 1955
How to make a replica of the GENIAC Electric Brain from 1955
Complete instructions for making a replica of the Minivac 601 educational computer kit
3D printed replica of the Digi-Comp II marble computer
Make this scale model of the Dr. Nim digital game Read the rest

Donny and Marie Osmond sing “Reelin’ In the Years”

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What’s not to love about this opening segment from the Donny & Marie Show, which first aired on January 20, 1978. Besides this a fantastic cover of Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ In the Years,” the episode had an all-star guest lineup with Ruth Buzzi, Buddy Hackett, and Suzanne Somers.

If you enjoyed this video, there’s more

Image: YouTube Read the rest

Flux and Contemplation: portrait of an artist in isolation

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This year, the merry-go-round of summer music festivals is not happening, all the major events have been canceled. And that’s a bummer. But luckily, the pandemic didn’t stop artists’ creativity. Here comes a musical consolation, Flux & Contemplation — Portrait of an Artist in Isolation courtesy of Simon Posford.

Simon Posford (a.k.a. Hallucinogen) is an internationally acclaimed figure of the psychedelic trance scene, with groundbreaking productions under his belt, among which the boundary-defying collaboration called Shpongle.

Reflecting on his own experience of being in lockdown, Posford has crafted a refined psychedelic chillout/downtempo piece of work. Flux & Contemplation is an elegant gallery of sonic portraits, each track a signpost of an inner journey—ranging from minimal, trance-like, haunting vibes, to more uplifting melodies and groovy rhythms. The overall result is a very satisfying and intense listening experience.

In a culture “where music has become more and more a commodity barely heard in the background, Posford’s inspired and involved creative process transforms his handiwork into foreground music, his experience breaking free while in isolation providing a parallel experience for listeners”.

Looking forward to seeing Simon Postford live again on stage, surrounded by a crowd of happy revelers, Flux & Contemplation is a ray of hope while imagining brighter futures. Read the rest

Pre-order Jim Rugg’s fluorescent, blacklight comic book starring Russian outlaw superhero Octobriana – the devil woman!

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Cartoonist extraordinaire Jim Rugg recently launched a successful Kickstarter for a fluorescent blacklight comic book about a Russian Outlaw superhero called Octobriana. Check out samples and how to buy here.

This project began when Rugg made a blacklight screen print in 2014 with Telegraph Art & Comics. In the process, he wondered why no one had made a comic book using vivid, fluorescent inks. It would look spectacular. So he decided to make one himself.

The story is set in the 1970s, the period when blacklight posters were most popular (also the period of Rugg’s graphic novel, Afrodisiac). In 1971, the west learned about Octobriana – the outlaw Russian superhero comic in Petr Sadecky’s expose, Octobriana and the Russian Underground. Octobriana is part Barbarella, part Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds. She’s an unusual cult character with a storied history. David Bowie tried to make a movie about her. Billy Idol has her likeness tattooed on his arm. As a child of the Cold War and fan of underground comix, Rugg identified Octobriana as the perfect character for his psychedelic outlaw comic!

The concept of Mtsyry: Octobriana 1976 is that underground American cartoonists made their own Octobriana comic book after reading Sadecky’s book. It was an effort to show solidarity with their Russian cartoonist comrades. Robot Stalin’s got a new doomsday bomb! Can the Devil-Woman stop him before he destroys us all? Siberian labor camps, PPP secret orgies, motorcycle gunship train chases – this one has it all!

Read the rest

The Bite Helper removes the itch of a mosquito bite in seconds

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While mosquitoes have certainly earned their title as the deadliest animal on earth, their impact on most of our lives is usually a lot less consequential.

But even though they might not transmit a disease to you or seriously affect your life, being a blood donor for one of those insects is certainly an annoyance. In fact, pest control giant Terminix found that mosquito bites are a bigger nuisance to more people than backseat drivers, alarm clocks, people who interrupt, and even those who call you to respond to a text message.

Of course, after a bite is inflicted, the damage is done, right? Thankfully, the Bite Helper Itch Neutralizer is a new creation that just might have something to say about the lasting annoyance of a mosquito bite.

A CES Innovation Award winner, the Bite Helper actually gets under your skin to attack the itch, irritation and overall discomfort that comes from the mosquito’s bite. 

Bite Helper is about the size of a TV remote control, but packed inside are thermo-pulse emitters, capable of getting right to the heart of the bite. In just about 30 seconds, those thermo-pulses pound the affected area with heat and vibration, increasing the circulation and stimulating blood flow. That actually works to neutralize and soothe the itch in literally seconds.

The Bite Helper is completely drug and chemical-free, so it’s 100 percent safe.

While mosquitoes are the most likely offenders, Bite Helper is actually designed to combat the itch and irritation caused by all kinds of insect stings and bites, including fleas, wasps, bees, and ants. Read the rest

Top 3 Reasons to Build a Website with Wix

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With all the website builders on the market, it can feel overwhelming to choose the best one for your needs. The most important things to look for are usability, flexibility and a professional look and feel. That’s why over 180 million people use Wix to create the website of their dreams.

Here are the top 3 reasons to build your website with Wix.

Wix caters to everyone, from beginners to professionals

Whether you’re creating your very first or your 100th website, Wix has a solution for you. If you’re a beginner, one option is to let Wix do the work for you with its advanced design intelligence (ADI) tool. Simply answer a few questions about the type of website you want to create and ADI will create it for you. The other option is to use Wix’s editor that lets you choose from hundreds of templates that you can customize yourself. If you have lots of experience creating websites, Corvid by Wix gives you the freedom to code and build your own advanced web applications.

Wix offers professional features for any kind of website

Wix has over 500 templates for a wide range of industries including eCommerce, health, beauty, fitness, hospitality, food, design, creative arts, and more. You can customize any template to fit the look and feel of your brand. In addition, Wix has an App Market with hundreds of Wix and third-party apps to meet your needs and enhance your business.

Wix helps you get site traffic

Building your website is only part of the process. Read the rest

This PSA tells covidiot snowflakes, “You should be wearing a fucking mask”

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In a deep, gentle voice this scolding video for covidiots starts with: “Hello. You should be wearing a fucking mask. Why aren’t you wearing a mask? Are you being a snowflake, complaining about your rights? Are you telling people you can’t breathe? Good luck breathing with the coronavirus.”

And it goes on from there, with phrases like, “This isn’t about you, you piece of shit,” and “This is about the people you love, and people who love you, which is unlikely that there are any…” After asking viewers to put on their mask, the voice kindly acknowledges the good deed with, “See, that wasn’t very hard, was it you dumb fuck?” This Covid “PSA” for non-mask wearers is the most delightfully passive-aggressive I’ve seen. Read the rest

Cheap USB-C Hub lets me use my old devices with a new USB-C only Mac laptop

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My MacBook Pro has 4 USB-C ports, only 2 of my peripherals use USB-C. This hub to the rescue.

Three standard USB ports and one USB-C power delivery port pretty much covers me. The HDMI port and card readers may come in useful later.

I can’t remember the last time I took a CF card out of a digital camera. They seem to be put one in and leave it.

Thanks to this hub my mic and all my iPhone and Apple Watch charging crap can now be connected to my laptop again.

USB C Hub Multiport Adapter – 7 in 1 Portable Space Aluminum Dongle with 4K HDMI Output, 3 USB 3.0 Ports, SD/Micro SD Card Reader Compatible for MacBook Pro, XPS More Type C Devices via Amazon Read the rest

DIY wound-closing with this $10 skin stapler

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Over on Cool Tools, Xander Rose recommends a $10 skin stapler for people who don’t have great suturing skills. ” It forms the staple as it pushes it into your skin in a pattern that doesn’t rip your skin,” he says. “You start at one end of the wound and close it up slowly.” A downside of stapling wounds together rather than suturing them is that staples leave bigger scars. Read the rest

This smart gimbal packed with AI is like having your own robot cameraman

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The bar has been raised on home video production. So just in case you haven’t been on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok or other video-heavy platforms lately, the days of the boring, white-walled, locked-down selfie video that looks like it could have been filmed by hostage-takers doesn’t really cut it anymore.

Thankfully, your filming options have also advanced beyond propping your smartphone up against a wall and pushing record. In fact, the Apai Genie Gimbal is an easy-to-use, smartphone gimbal that practically mimics having an actual photographer on hand to direct your photo or video shoots.

Just clamp your phone into the Apai Genie’s loving embrace, and you’re ready to go. Powered by artificial intelligence, you’ll find this gimbal not only does a monster job steadying and smoothing out all your videos, but its machine-driving smarts allow the unit to automatically lock on to your face and track you, even when you move out of frame. That’s why this gimbal has full 360-degree rotation capabilities…so you can even do circles around the Apai Genie and like a good photog, it’ll keep the lens trained on the action.

It even has a pairs mode, so two people can both stay in the frame together without any unfortunate cropping incidents.

In its intelligent shooting mode, the Apai Genie can be set to detect your face and immediately start shooting. You’ll never have to ask for help shooting a selfie again.

Meanwhile, your robot cameraman can flash some serious skills, switching easily between horizontal and vertical recording modes, offering multiple perspectives to record and a full range to adapt to different scenes.  Read the rest

If you own an iPhone, you might be eligible for $25 “throttling” lawsuit settlement

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In 2017 Apple acknowledged it had been throttling iPhones with degraded batteries. This resulted in a class-action lawsuit and a $500 million settlement. Lifehacker has a guide on how you can collect a cash payment of $25 per eligible iOS device.

You’ll qualify for this settlement if you own(ed) one of the following iPhones before December 21, 2017:

An iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus or SE that ran iOS 10.2.1 or later

An iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus that ran iOS 11.2 or later

I just checked and found that all four members of my family have eligible iPhones, and I submitted claims for all of them. Thanks for the $100, Lifehacker!

Image: Jumpstory / CC0 Read the rest

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