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Brain candy for Happy Mutants

This butcher's twine dispenser helps keep things in place

This stand stops my spool of kitchen twine from rolling off the counter.

Years ago I bought a loose spool of kitchen twine. My cat constantly knocks it off the counter. I finally finished that spool, and replaced it with this spool on a stand!

Seriously a spool of thread lasts so long that I want a stand for it. I like to keep it on the counter, and not in a drawer. I do not like it on the floor. I don't like it rolling around.

Thoughtfully, this stand even has a string cutter on top!

Regency Cooking Butcher's Twine on Handy Dispenser with Cutter for Meat Prep and Trussing Turkey via Amazon

Posted on 25 June 2017 | 4:02 am

Bob Dylan plays "Free Bird" for a screaming fan

During a concert, this June, someone at Berkeley, CA's Greek Theater called out "FREE BIRD!" Naturally, rock and roll legend Bob Dylan obliged.

Posted on 25 June 2017 | 3:21 am

Poop doping could be the latest performance enhancement craze

Evidently you can be full of the wrong shit. A cyclist, by testing her friends fecal output, determined she needed better critters up in herself to improve her pedal pushing. So she did.

The madwoman behind “poop doping” is Lauren Petersen, a postdoctoral microbiologist at the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine. Petersen has been racing bikes all her life, but as she told The Scientist earlier this month, she’s struggled with chronic Lyme disease since her teen years. She finally rid herself of the disease in 2013, but the intense course of antibiotics she took had ravaged her system and left her with chronic fatigue and stomach problems.

Eventually, she learned that her microbiome (the colony of microbes in her body) was dangerously unbalanced and was not functioning as it should. She was not breaking down any food, and she learned that she was not eligible for a potentially beneficial fecal transplant. So she simply did one herself. As she said, it was a fairly dangerous DIY procedure and it wasn’t fun, but it worked better than she thought it could:

In February 2014, with the support of her family, she recruited a donor and did it herself. “I just did it at home. It’s not fun, but it’s pretty basic. It costs like six bucks to do.” (The $6 being for the drugstore enema kit.) The do-it-yourself solution worked. “Within two months I was a new person,” Petersen says. “I had no more fatigue. I could ride my bike hard three days in a row, no problem.” She started racing four months after her fecal transplant, and was winning races at the pro level soon after that. “Everything changed,” Petersen says.

Petersen’s donor was a fellow elite cyclist, and after analyzing the sample and those of other riders, she discovered an unusually high prevalence of the bacterium Prevotella, which helps synthesize amino acids that help in muscle recovery. Petersen’s analysis of her friends’ craps also showed an abundance of M. smithii, which performs a complementary function. The science is complicated, but in short, a healthy amount of both bacteria types in one’s gut means you can more efficiently process food and then deal with debilitating byproducts like carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

Via Deadspin

Posted on 25 June 2017 | 3:13 am

Remembering Prisoners of Gravity, the greatest science fiction TV show of all time

From 1989 to 1994, the public broadcaster TV Ontario ran Prisoners of Gravity, a brilliant science fiction TV show that used a goofy framing device (a host trapped in a satellite who interviewed science fiction writers stuck down on Earth) for deep, gnarly, fascinating dives into science fiction's greatest and most fascinating themes, from sex and overpopulation to cyberpunk and religion. (more…)

Posted on 25 June 2017 | 2:07 am

No, Italy isn't banning the iPhone

(more…)

Posted on 25 June 2017 | 1:57 am

Top Secret: New World Order: Merle M. Rasmussen reboots his 1980 RPG classic

(more…)

Posted on 25 June 2017 | 1:33 am

This power pack has a tracker built in, so it will be exceedingly difficult to lose

Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.

The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times on a single charge and it's about the size of a thick wallet. The 9,000mAh battery can even recharge most full-size tablets, and it features both USB-A and C ports for maximum compatibility. It’s rubberized polycarbonate frame is rated for military-grade shock resistance, so you don’t have to worry when it inevitably falls out of your pack. Plus, built-in Tile Bluetooth tracking makes your lost battery easy to locate.

This battery pack is a mobile workhorse designed to keep your devices chugging no matter where you are in the world. You can get the Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack today for $119.95.

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 11:45 pm

Is the host of the new 'Gong Show' really Mike Myers?

No one involved with the reboot of The Gong Show will admit it, but it seems Mike Myers (in a heavy prosthetic disguise) is playing Tommy Maitland, the show's 'British' host.

Ian Crouch of The New Yorker writes:

Yet there is a reason to watch, if only to attempt to make some sense of the show’s host, a rakish late-middle-aged British comedian named Tommy Maitland, who bounds onstage on the first show wearing a tuxedo and a montera (a bullfighter’s cap), and tosses out such catchphrases as “Who’s a cheeky monkey?” and “You’ve got no proof.” Though the audience appears familiar with him, Maitland is not a real person. He is, beneath an accent and a prosthetic mask, Mike Myers—though nowhere in the show’s promotional materials is his name mentioned.

The show, which is executive produced by Will Arnett, premiered last night on ABC. https://youtu.be/e64HSt6HsJI

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 10:49 pm

Here’s why people hate the word “moist”

Mashable explains why so many people can’t stand the word “moist.” It turns out it has to do with both word association and the bandwagon effect.

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 10:48 pm

Review: bug-zapping lightbulbs are worthless

I got one of those bug-zapping LED lightbulbs, in hopes of murdering the flies drifting into my office during the increasingly warm and muggy Pennsylvania summer. I got mine from Home Depot, but the bulbs at Lowes, Wal-Mart and Amazon are all obviously identical. There are two lights in each bulb: an ultraviolet one inside an electrified bug-zapping cage, and a standard 60W-equivalent LED element to light the room. You can have one or both lit simply by turning the light off and on repeatedly within a second: it sounds clunky, but in practice is an ingenious way to cycle the options without adding interface elements.

But it doesn't matter, because they're useless.

I installed my bulb in three locations, moving it every couple of days until a week had passed. As a control, I moved one of those traditional gooey fly strips likewise.

Subjectively, neither did much to stop the flies, a job clearly best accomplished by closing the damn windows.

Objectively, the death tolls were as follows:

Traditional fly strip: 9 bugs, 3 large.

Bug-zapping lightbulb: 4 bugs, all tiny. (The bulb is pictured here, without cleaning)

VERDICT: Don't be tempted: they're not half as good as fly strips and are many times the price. The only advantage they have is not being quite so gross when you throw them in the trash.

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 10:31 am

Every lie Trump has told as president, a very long list by the New York Times

Trump told public lies or falsehoods every single day of his first 40 days in office, and he hasn't stopped yet.

(more…)

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 9:39 am

The White House banned cameras from press briefings, so CNN sent in a courtroom sketch artist

Bravo, CNN artist Bill Hennessy.

CNN equated the briefing to a Supreme Court argument -- an on-the-record event at which cameras are banned.

Hennessy has been a Washington-based courtroom sketch artist for decades. He has covered a wide range of cases, including the Clinton impeachment proceedings, terror suspect trials, and Guantanamo Bay detainee hearings. He worked for CNN at the Supreme Court on Thursday.

Hennessy's presence highlighted the significant change in White House access that has taken place recently. Press secretaries for Democratic and Republican presidents have held on-camera briefings on a regular basis for the past quarter century. But the Trump White House has been cutting back on the frequency and the length of on-camera briefings.

What's amazing is how angry conservatives are about CNN doing this. I'd call them snowflakes, but they've already melted into salty little puddles.

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 8:47 am

This man has visited Disneyland 2,000 days in a row

Jeff Reitz of Huntington Beach, California has visited Disneyland 2,000 days in a row and he has no plans to stop. Why? It makes him happy. From ABC7:

Reitz, an Air Force veteran, credits the parks with giving him something to look forward to each day, noting that he enjoys hearing the music as he enters, interacting with the friendly park cast members, and watching the park guests having a good time. He also enjoys the shows and attractions, including one of his favorites, the Matterhorn Bobsleds adventure.

(via NextDraft)

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 8:33 am

Nazi cache hidden behind a bookcase

A secret passageway led to an trove of smuggled Nazi artifacts, say investigators in Argentina, and their collector is in trouble with the law.

They were put on display at the Delegation of Argentine Israeli Associations in Buenos Aires on Monday. Many Nazi higher-ups fled to Argentina in the waning days of the war, and investigators believe that officials close to Adolf Hitler brought the artifacts with them. Many items were accompanied by photographs, some with Hitler holding them.

"This is a way to commercialize them, showing that they were used by the horror, by the Fuhrer. There are photos of him with the objects," Argentine Security Minister Patricia Bullrich told The Associated Press.

The objects include a device used to measure heads. Nazis believed that one could distinguish a Jew from someone belonging to the supposed Aryan race by head measurements.

[Thanks, Matthew!]

Previously: found a locked safe hidden at the back of a closet in my new house

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 8:23 am

Canada: Trump shows us what happens when "good" politicians demand surveillance powers

The CBC asked me to write an editorial for their package about Canadian identity and politics, timed with the 150th anniversary of the founding of the settler state on indigenous lands. They've assigned several writers to expand on themes in the Canadian national anthem, and my line was "We stand on guard for thee." (more…)

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 8:15 am

When the rhythm hits you and you're a dog in the car in the rain

This doggo is living life to the fullest.

(more…)

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 8:15 am

For one year, the internet in a town in Bahrain has been switched off every day

Every day for the past year, the government of Bahrain has shut off the internet in Duraz between 7PM and 1AM, making this the longest internet shutdown in the history of the region, and one of the longest internet shutdowns in world history. (more…)

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 8:03 am

When you've had too much Trump news and bae reminds you about Caturday

[via]

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 7:46 am

Yes I did it and I am proud

“When you're proud to admit you did it.”

(more…)

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 7:28 am

Dog logic: This fun walk will never end if human can't carry my limp body up these stairs

Classic tactics in canine Passive Resistance.

(more…)

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 7:04 am

FCC intends to fine man $120 million for making over 96 million robocalls

Federal Communications Commission officials say Adrian Abramovich of Florida made as many as a million illegal telemarketing calls a days, at times using lines reserved for hospital emergencies. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said at a hearing yesterday, “This scheme was particularly abhorrent because, given its breadth, it appears to have substantially disrupted the operations of an emergency medical paging provider. It did this by slowing down and potentially disabling its network. Pagers may be low-tech, but for doctors, these devices are simple and dependable standbys.”

From Miami New Times:

According to complaints sent to the FCC, homeowners have said for years that robocalls have been trying to get them to sign up for fake free trips or vacations. The robocalls would tell the victims to "press 1" to hear more about exclusive vacation deals with companies such as TripAdvisor, Expedia, Hilton, and Marriott and then route anyone who fell for the scam to a call center, where the perpetrators would try to hook gullible customers into buying time-shares that had nothing to do with those companies.

Eventually, TripAdvisor got wind of the illegal calling campaigns and launched its own investigation, which traced the calls back to Abramovich, who ran a company called Marketing Strategy Leaders out of 2000 Bayshore Dr., a swanky address in the gated Coconut Grove community L'Hermitage. In April 2016, TripAdvisor tipped off the FCC.

Abramovich will be given to opportunity to respond to the FCC's findings before the fine is imposed.

Image: Jon Phillips

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 6:45 am

A woman's act of kindness at McDonald's leads to 167 customers who pay it forward

Last Sunday, an older woman in the drive-thru line at McDonald's in Scottsburg, IN told the cashier she wanted to pay for the $36 order of the man behind her. She didn't know him, but he was in a van with four children. She told the cashier, Hunter Hostetler, to tell the man "Happy Father's Day!"

When the man received the free order of food including four Happy Meals, he told the cashier he wanted to pay for the two cars behind him. And so the day went, until by the end of the day, 167 customers had paid it forward, buying someone else's meal.

So who was the woman who started the good samaritan chain?

“I keep looking for her, hoping I see her and can tell her what happened,” Hostetler told ABC News. “I don’t know if she knows, but I hope to see her again so I can tell her.”

Image: Mike Mozart

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 6:41 am

The wonderful Flair felt tip pen

Paper Mate introduced the Flair felt tip pen in the 1960s. I liked them when I was a kid because the lines were so clean and you could vary the line width. I kind of forgot about them until I was at Maker Faire and my toy inventor friend, Bob Knetzger, said he uses them to produce his wonderful sketches. They are also cheap! Amazon sells a dozen black Flair pens for $6.71. A set of 12 colored ones go for $11.

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 6:10 am

Johnny Depp's joke about assassinating Trump makes White House "sad."

Last night at the UK's Glastonbury Festival, Johnny Depp asked this rhetorical question of the crowd: "When was the last time an actor assassinated a President?"

I believe that the answer is April 14, 1865, when actor John Wilkes Booth murdered Abraham Lincoln.

The White House's response to Depp's comment? "Sad."

According to an official White House statement, "President Trump has condemned violence in all forms and its sad that others like Johnny Depp have not followed his lead. I hope that some of Mr. Depp's colleagues will speak out against this type of rhetoric as strongly as they would if his comments were directed to a democrat elected official."

Secret Service staff assistant Shawn Holtzclaw told CNN that they are aware of the matter but can't comment further.

UPDATE: Johnny apologized.

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 5:49 am

Peacock raises havoc in liquor store

The animal control officer doesn't know if he should use his net to catch the bird or the bottles of liquor falling off the counter.

We started a new page called @animalsdoingthings and it's all animal videos and they're all hilarious. Check it out

A post shared by Drunk People (@drunkpeopledoingthings) on

[via]

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 5:39 am

Watch the President of Costa Rica swallow a wasp

At a recent press conference, a wasp flew into the mouth of Costa Rica's President Luis Guillermo Solís.

"I ate it," he said in Spanish with a smile. "I ate the wasp."

As Weird Universe points out, it's similar to this memorable and unscripted moment in Raiders of the Lost Ark:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StIT0oYWyIA

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 5:38 am

Cashier calmly stops would-be beer thief

This thirsty gentleman thought he could help himself to a couple of cases of beer, but a smooth cashier thwarted his plans without breaking a sweat.

Defensive play of the year (@bethaniebob) (@drunkpeopledoingthings)

A post shared by Drunk People (@drunkpeopledoingthings) on

[via drunkpeopledoingthings]

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 5:32 am

Watch: Teenagers' hilariously ridiculous reenactment of entire SpongeBob SquarePants episode

The fine young men of MegaIceTV made a live action re-enactment of the entire "Pizza Delivery" episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. What a fantastic way to spend a Saturday afternoon! The original is below. Don't miss their other bad/good videos either!

(via r/DeepIntoYou)

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 5:31 am

Diamond Yoda pendant to be auctioned

This Yoda pendant listed by Heritage Auctions "features full-cut yellow and near colorless diamonds weighing a total of approximately 9.00 carats, set in 14k gold." The estimated value is $2,500 - $3,500. will a lucky Boing Boing reader place the winning bid?

An avatar for all time, Yoda, the wise can be with you always. Instantly recognized as one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars narrative, this custom made pendant is whimsical and fun. It can be worn on a cord or chain or easily modified by a jeweler to wear as a brooch. Appropriately, Yoda is covered with diamonds, an ancient gemstone that can take billions of years to form. His robe is made of white and yellow diamonds totaling approximately 9.00cttw. A single round brilliant cut diamond held in Yoda’s outstretched hand has a known carat weight of 0.46ct.

Could this single diamond represent a kyber crystal? Or symbolize the Force? To quote Yoda, “Long ago in forgotten times, when the Sith and Jedi fought for control of the galaxy, weapons there were, of unimaginable power. Always at their heart, a kyber crystal was.” Gem quality diamonds are cut to exact proportions to accentuate their ability to reflect light. The dispersion of white light into spectral colors is diamonds’ primary gemological characteristic. Since Yoda lost his light saber in his legendary duel with Darth Sidious, and the lightsaber reflects the Force of the Jedi who holds it, a diamond is the perfect replacement.

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 5:26 am

Desktop museum for sale contains dinosaur bones, "space gems," and sliver of Steve Jobs' turtleneck

The Mini Museum is a small, self-contained cabinet of curiosity in a lucite box. This third edition contains such wonders as a Spinosaurus bone, rotor from a WWII Enigma machine, sliver of one of Pelé's soccer balls, and a tiny swatch from Steve Jobs' turtleneck. It's $300 (or $129 for a smaller collection). Maybe the next edition will come with Madonna's pap smear! Creator Hans Fex writes:

In 1977, my father was a research scientist and a Director at the National Institutes of Health. Growing up, we had a subscription to every great science magazine - and living near Washington DC we visited the Smithsonian museums and saw dinosaur bones, meteorites, and rockets almost every weekend. My father kept an amazing collection of artifacts at his lab and also at home.

After a trip to Malta, he returned with some artifacts which he embedded into epoxy resin. I had never seen this done before and it was beautiful.

Then, all at once, I saw it... A grand collection within a manageable space that I could share with others.

(via Uncrate)

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 5:19 am