Trump offers self-branded plastic straws to mock Liberals

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Trump’s merch team sure does know their audience. To mock Liberals, they’re offering a 10-pack of these red “reusable” and “recyclable” plastic straws for $15 on his website.

Liberal paper straws don’t work. STAND WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP and buy your pack of recyclable straws today.

Stephen Colbert said it best:

(Steve Garfield) Read the rest

Freequences, Alexandre Dubosc’s latest mesmerizing “caketrope”

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No one makes a cake-based zoetrope like French artist Alexandre Dubosc (previously). He spent three months on his latest caketrope, “Freequences,” and it’s a completely mesmerizing visual and auditory experience. Want to see how the sausage, er cake, is made? Visit his website to see the “Making OeuF.”

(Pee-wee Herman) Read the rest

Picard trailer

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Here’s the trailer for CBS’s forthcoming series focusing on the further adventures of Starfleet Captain Jean Luc Picard, starring Patrick Stewart. I’d hoped for a sci-fi mix of Murder She Wrote and Le Carre’s George Smiley novels (Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy, etc), posing a well-retired and wryly dysphoric Picard getting reembroiled in things. That’s the first impression the trailer offers, but it also lets the “quickly back in the saddle” cat out the bag, too. Even so, who isn’t looking forward to a dozen more hours of Stewart-Picard? Read the rest

Penn Jillette remarks on (mostly phony) magic tricks in pop culture

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“But remember, I lie.”

In this video, legendary magician Penn Jillette watches clips from TV and movies that feature magic tricks of one kind or another, and then gives his honest opinion about what’s actually going on. (“Instant Stooging” is totally going to be my next band’s name.)

Why is he doing this? Well, Penn & Teller are teaching the art of magic in a new MasterClass (which looks terrific!).

Here’s the full clip of him and Teller doing that magic trick upside down on Saturday Night Live that he talks about at the end of the video:

Read the rest

The snail cosmology of medieval manuscripts

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We’re no strangers to the delights of the rude drawings that monks doodled in the margins of medieval manuscripts around here (1, 2, 3), but University of Bonn medievialist Erik Wade’s epic Twitter thread on the astonishing variety of snail-doodles is genuinely next-level.

Whether it’s the snail-gods that snail-monks pray to, or the snail jousting tourneys, the lives of these molluscs was rich and complex: from the snail/human friendships to the lost art of nude snail-riding.

(via Super Punch)

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A 3D papercraft Haunted Mansion board game to print and assemble

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Escape from the Haunted Mansion is a massive, ambitious free papercraft project to download, print, mount on coreboard, cut out, assemble and play. I have no idea if the gameplay is any good, but the model is freaking gorgeous. It’s from the good folks at Disney Experience, who have a wealth of papercraft Disney projects and other fan media for you to play with. (via Metafilter)

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7 high-tech vaporizers on sale for up to 65% off

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Vape technology has been around long enough that vapers are starting to get picky about their gear. Luckily, so are we. From disposable models to cutting-edge touchscreen atomizers, there’s a vaporizer in this roundup to suit every taste.

Hera 2 – World’s Most Advanced Dual-Use Vaporizer

Choose between dry herb or oil extraction modes – not to mention 100 different temperature settings – by way of a VUI touchscreen on this sleek little number. Hera 2 – World’s Most Advanced Dual-Use Vaporizer is on sale for $126.99, down 36% from the retail price.

Limited Edition Platinum Chong Essential Oil Vaporizer

The Cloud Tornado Atomizer makes for super-quick and precise heating of your favorite oils, and you can get the satisfaction of watching the vapor build-up through the transparent mouthpiece. Pick up the Limited Edition Platinum Chong Essential Oil Vaporizer for $44.99, a full 30% off the MSRP.

RT4200 Digital Classic Vape Pipe

The classic pipe shape is distinctive, but this vaporizer doesn’t rest on its retro laurels. The isolation airflow tech on the RT4200 makes every hit as smooth as the last, and you can save your temperature settings with a handy memory function. Grab the RT4200 Digital Classic Vape Pipe for $79, 65% off the list price.

Hippie Bee Vaporizer

Easy and ergonomic to use, this vaporizer fits snugly in the palm of your hand and features a leakproof construction that maximizes airflow. The Hippie Bee Vaporizer is now $29.99 (25% off), and the company makes a donation to the New York Bee Sanctuary with every unit sold. Read the rest

Where to catch me this weekend at San Diego Comic-Con! Panel today at 5PM!

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I’m headed back to San Diego for Comic-Con this weekend, and you can catch me on Saturday and Sunday:

Saturday, 5PM: Panel: Writing: Craft, Community, and Crossover (with James Killen, Seanan McGuire, Charlie Jane Anders, Annalee Newitz, and Sarah Gailey), Room 23ABC

Sunday, 10AM: Signing and giveaway for Radicalized, Tor Booth, #2701.

I hope to see you there!

Read the rest

Learn how to draw portraits, comic books, & more with this training

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With enough practice and commitment, anyone can be a visual artist. But without the right instruction, that time spent honing your skills could seem like an eternity. If you really want to see where your talent can take you, you need sound fundamentals – and no matter what discipline or genre you lean toward, the Drawing Fundamentals Bundle has valuable insights you can draw on (and draw with) online, anytime.

In total, there are nine complete courses in this package, and the best part is that you can decide what it’s worth. For a limited time, the whole thing is up for grabs on a “pay what you wish” basis. Fill in that price tag with any number you want, and you’ll get at least a few courses. Beat the average offer, and you can take home the whole thing. Which, for the record, is pretty comprehensive:

The Complete Ballpoint Pen Drawing Course For Beginners: A guide to making vibrant art with the most accessible tools.
How to Draw a Flower & Pitcher with Colored Ballpoint Pens: A step by step exercise that will hone your hatching and detail skills.
Portrait Drawing with Colored Ballpoint Pens: An entryway into portraiture, where you’ll learn shading, volume and more.
Colored Pencil Drawing Techniques: Expand your art vocabulary with the most versatile weapon in the sketcher’s arsenal.
Portrait Drawing Fundamentals Made Simple: A walk through the Loomis method and other failsafe portrait techniques.
Digital Painting: Amazing Fantasy Art in Manga Studio 5: A fun dive into an affordable and essential piece of art software. Read the rest

Howto: design a cocktail for a Lunar civilization

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Ian McDonald’s Luna trilogy is filled with fantastically detailed grace-notes that give his lunar society an uncanny veneer of reality; one of the most fascinating and thoughtful of these details is the cocktails that McDonald’s clannish lunarians consume, each great house with its own signature tipple.

In a new essay for Tor.com, McDonald describes the worldbuilding behind his booze, which is always a cocktail made from hard spirits because of the carbon budget needed to grow grain or fruit for beer or wine.

But: spirit alcohol. Yes! You can make it from anything. Vodka and gin! Liquor opened up an entire world for me. My moon is a cocktail culture. The underground cities run on three different time zones so it’s always Happy Hour somewhere. The Cortas have their own signature cocktail; the Blue Moon. (I tried it, oh my beloveds. When I write a book, I sink deep into the mindset of the characters—it’s like method acting. I have become a real gin connoisseur/bore. My favourite? The light and fragrant Monkey 47 from the Black Forest in Germany. I do it for you, dear readers.)

And so, Dior. Because when you picture a Martini glass, you picture it in the gloved hand of Audrey Hepburn. And then I had it all. I didn’t want a Moon of people in coveralls and shorts and tank tops—these are people who have mastered 3D printing. If you can print clothes, why not in the style of one of the most elegant eras in fashion history?

Read the rest

More snarky comments about crappy design

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“While most beds provide convenient ingress/egress from the sides, I wanted to design one where you need to crawl in and out through the foot of the bed. I also wanted it to be difficult to make the bed each morning.”

I’m so glad Core 77 started the Weekly Design Roast, in which they make sarcastic comments about poorly designed luxury garbage of the kind that appeals to criminal oligarchs and those who aspire to the lifestyle of criminal oligarchs.

Previously: Enjoy this weekly dose of snark about bad product designs

  Read the rest

Buried in the TOS: free Starbucks refills

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Lifehacker bravely read Starbucks’ Terms of Service and reports that you can get free refills on certain drinks. This is news to me.

According to the company’s website, to qualify, you have to have purchased your original drink using the Starbucks app with a Starbucks card connected to your account. You’ll have to present this to a barista to obtain a refill.

One other thing: if you leave the store, the deal’s off.

(Just for fun, I’m using this photo of a Starbucks in Kyoto. I went there when I was in Japan last year, and it’s by far the coolest Starbucks I’ve been to. See more photos here.)

Image: Starbucks in old town Kyoto, by f11photo/Shutterstock Read the rest

This portable fire pit is pretty nice to have around

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I was absolutely thrilled with this hot burning, nearly smoke-free portable fire pit.

If you are dispersed camping and you do not want to dig a fire pit everywhere you go, or you just want to enjoy a wood-burning fire in your backyard without scorching your pavement or yard, this fire pit has me convinced.

A friend joined me at the coastal camping site I’ve enjoyed this week. When he asked whe he could bring I told him firewood would be awesome, as the camp hosts were selling stuff that just wouldn’t burn. I’d tried lighting some charcoal and using it as a base to start my fires, but they were still just smokey and unfun. I had given up on reading by the fire with my whiskey and had taken to going to bed early.

Lo and behold my friend arrived with the Solo Stove ‘Ranger’ — a portable firepit that is designed to maximize airflow to the fuel, burn hot, radiate heat but thrown off almost no smoke. It is ‘lightweight’ for car camping uses and only weighs in around 15lbs. He took the Ranger out of its bag, threw some wood in it and then set the fire off with a tablespoon or two of the white gas I keep around for my Coleman Stove (we’ve both know White Gas as ‘LBS’ or liquid boy scout since our teens.) Instantly the fire was started and within a few moments it was roaring along!

The Solo Stove only put off smoke when there was wood fuel above the top line of the stove. Read the rest

This soup has been simmering for 45 years in a Bangkok restaurant

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A family-run restaurant in Bangkok has had a the same giant pot of soup simmering for 45 years. When it runs low, they top it off.

From Great Big Story:

It’s a beef noodle soup called neua tuna. It simmers in a giant pot. Fresh meat like raw sliced beef, tripe and other organs is added daily. But any broth leftover is preserved at the end of each day and used in the next day’s soup. It’s an ancient cooking method that gives the soup a unique flavor and aroma.

Image: YouTube/Great Big Story Read the rest

Boing Boing’s own Rob Beschizza interviewed on the Cool Tools podcast

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Kevin Kelly and I interviewed Boing Boing’s Rob Beschizza for the Cool Tools podcast. Rob is a fascinating person, as you probably already know from the thousands of posts he’s written here. He is an excellent artist, designer, coder, and writer, and has a delightful sense of humor. Rob is also the founder of Txt.fyi, an effectively invisible publishing platform and low-key internet cult. It’s always a huge treat to be able to chat with him.

Subscribe to the Cool Tools Show on iTunes | RSS | Transcript | See all the Cool Tools Show posts on a single page

Show notes:

Vortexgear Tab 75 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
“Mechanical keyboards — the appeal is in the old-fashioned key switches which have a more tactile, more clicky feel to them, and there’s all sorts of different types that you can get depending on your preferences. It’s just great for people who type a lot who just don’t like modern keyboards or who are getting sick of butterfly keyboards from Apple. I think for anyone who listens to a tech podcast or is familiar with the cult of mechanical keyboards, a big part of the appeal is you can swap out the keys, so there’s a cottage industry of key caps and sorts of different color schemes and styles. You can have a keyboard that looks like an old typewriter or one that looks like a very specific 8-bit computer that you had 30 years ago, or that looks like a nuclear missile launch silo console. Read the rest

Using university syllabi to map the connections between every scholarly and scientific discipline

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Joe Karganis writes, “This is the ‘Co-Assignment Galaxy’ created by David McClure. It maps the top 160K titles in the new Open Syllabus 2.0 dataset, based on the frequency with which those texts are assigned (reflected in the size of the dot) and assigned together (reflected in the location and clustering of the dots). It’s US centric given the composition of the syllabus collection, but also a unique representation of human knowledge as a collective, connected project.

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Where to catch me this weekend at San Diego Comic-Con!

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I’m headed back to San Diego for Comic-Con this weekend, and you can catch me on Friday, Saturday and Sunday:

Friday, 5PM: Signing in AA04

Saturday, 5PM: Panel: Writing: Craft, Community, and Crossover (with James Killen, Seanan McGuire, Charlie Jane Anders,, Annalee Newitz, and Sarah Gailey), Room 23ABC

Sunday, 10AM: Signing and giveaway for Radicalized, Tor Booth, #2701.

I hope to see you there!

Read the rest

This bundle teaches you how to market on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, & more

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Theoretically, there’s never been an easier time for marketers. The ubiquity of social media means a good word – or a good brand – can spread like wildfire with very little effort. But as limitless as the internet is, there’s a lot of competition and noise to contend with. And the vast graveyard of failed start-ups out there pays testimony to the fact that what works on what platform won’t necessarily get traction on another.

Enter the Silicon Valley Digital Marketers Bundle, a master class for online advertisers that truly covers all the bases.

This comprehensive series of 11 courses cover the principles that apply to any savvy marketing effort, but also dives deep into the specific social media sites that will give you the biggest bang for your marketing dollar – and if you’re marketing right, you might not even need to spend a dollar.

Copywriting – Write Marketing Headlines That Sell: Good copy is good copy, no matter what the platform. Learn how to write it and tailor it to your audience.
Facebook Ads & Facebook Marketing Mastery Guide 2019: How to work the algorithms on the world’s biggest social media site.
MailChimp 101 – Learn Email Marketing: This course teaches you how to use the mass mailing service to reach eyeballs without your message landing in the trash folder.
How To Start a Profitable Social Media Marketing Agency: Ready to take your marketing game to the next level? There are plenty of businesses that need a digital mouthpiece. Read the rest

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