Friday, February 27, 2015

Log pillows

$14 to $26 at Amazon. Via.

Aqua Mermaid

AquaMermaid offers mermaid-themed parties and fitness classes:
We cater to all age groups and genders.
Mermaids or mermen of all ages, sizes and genders are welcome! Our classes are multi level and geared towards helping students improve their swimming skills and gain confidence in the water

Poster for It Follows

By Harriet Lee-Merrion, on sale here.

Warren Ellis/Declan Shalvey-style Moon Knight custom vinyl toy

Munny customized by B. Curtis.

Tiny swing

By Slinkachu.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

How Adam Savage built a model of "the" maze from Kubrick's The Shining

Problem one: the maze is different every time it appears in the movie.

"Here's What Really Happened To The Cars From 'Pimp My Ride'"

The Huffington Post spoke with three of the kids who got their cars pimped


In Justin Dearinger’s Reddit AMA, he claimed that “they actually take out a lot of the stuff that they showed on TV,” such as in his case, a “pop-up” champagne contraption and a “drive-in theater.” Further explaining to HuffPost, Dearinger said that they removed the champagne part because the show didn’t want to condone drinking and driving. The theater was removed for not being street safe.

According to Larry Hochberg, however, the removals were done with a specific purpose in mind. “Sometimes we did things for safety reasons that the kids on show interpreted as us ‘taking away’ some items,” he said.

Rainbow dome power plant concept

A design proposal by BIG.

Giancarlo Stanton's personalized "G" face mask

Hopefully it'll make baseball safety seem a little cooler.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"The owner of one of the country’s largest maraschino cherry companies fatally shot himself Tuesday"

NY Post:
. . . as authorities raided his Brooklyn factory — a suspected massive drug front.


Teaser for  Hunger.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"The weirdest profiles from the now-defunct Tinder in Dubai"

My sister is currently living in Dubai, and before the app stopped working, she — and her friends — sent me screenshots of weird profiles they had seen on Tinder in Dubai. Of course, there were plenty of regular, humdrum profiles on Tinder in Dubai. But the odd ones are way more fun. We have no idea if these are real — all dating sites have pranksters — but we do know that they’re really weird.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Penny Arcade imagines Metroid as a "free" game.

"A collection of bongs worth half a million dollars"

Buzzfeed says marijuana sellers can't deposit their earnings in banks, so instead, they buy and sell bongs "worth tens of thousands of dollars each."

"A Plumber's Regret"

Super Mario print available in this kickstarter.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

You should play First Draft of the Revolution

Free interactive fiction, it starts like this, and is full of sex and intrigue:

Saturday, February 21, 2015

On cutting out the boring, unnecessary parts from movies

This is a good article about editing, using examples from Citizen Kane, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and more:
The ending of "North by Northwest" contains a famous edit that collapses a lot of time and what could have been a lot of unnecessary exposition and creates a very quick, short and satisfying happy ending (SPOILERS). In the climax of the movie, Cary Grant struggles to hold onto Eva Marie Saint's hand as she dangles over the side of a cliff. Then the film cuts to a shot of Grant lifting Saint up into a train berth as they enjoy a ride off into the sunset. So the film completely skips over the resolution of whether he will be able to hold onto her as she struggles to hang on, and the wrap-up of the mystery/spy story, both of which are unnecessary at that point. We all know she won't fall to her death, because that would be unsatisfying and dramatically it would have no point, and we already know the villains have been caught or killed and we know what they were doing and why. Any more recap would be redundant and boring.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A history of mishaps involving Nascar pace cars

Here's how it's supposed to work: Pace car driver gets in car. Pace car driver drives a few laps. Pace car driver turns off the track, motors down pit road, and parks near turn 1 in what's known as "pit out." If he's NASCAR's pace-car driver, he stays there for the race, pulling back onto the track whenever a caution flag flies. If he or she is a celebrity, he or she gets out of the car, is greeted by an entourage of handlers and/or security, and goes to watch the race from a fancy suite.

Over the years, something has gone wrong in every step of that process.


The start of the race was minutes away, so the pace car being on the track seemed normal—until someone asked over the radio communication system used by NASCAR officials and teams, "Who's that fucker in the pace car?"

This case should be the next one featured on Serial

A wrongfully convicted man filed a $40 million lawsuit on Tuesday against Northwestern University, a former journalism professor, a private investigator and an attorney, accusing them of framing him for a double murder to get another man released.

Alstory Simon, 64, of Ohio, claims in the lawsuit that he was the victim of unethical tactics by a team focused on freeing another man in what became a celebrated Illinois wrongful conviction case.


Another man, Anthony Porter, was originally convicted of the murders, and sentenced to death but was released after Simon's confession.

Porter's release was an early victory for Innocence Project programs that work to overturn wrongful convictions. His and other cases eventually spurred Illinois to abolish the death penalty.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"Chinatown" adaptation of famous logos

Chinatown is a Chinese translation of the trademarks in a graphical way.
It’s a carefully arranged series of artworks showcasing 20 well-known western brand logos
with maintained visual and narrative continuity.
It uses basic words for translation, such as “Caramel Macchiato” for “Starbucks” in order to maintain the visual continuity. By arranging the words this way, ‘Chinatown’ pushes viewers to ask themselves
what it means to see, hear, and become fully aware. ‘Chinatown’ also demonstrates our strangeness
to 1.35 billion people in the world, when you can’t read Chinese.
Conception: Mehmet Gözetlik
Producer: Handan Akbudak
Neon Sign Maker: Asım Doğan

Play Infinite Crisis as D1A-NA Prototype Mecha Wonder Woman

Before she was the Warden of Truth, before she worked with the Justice Consortium to upgrade her frame, and before she was in-service to Queen Hippolyta, Mecha Wonder Woman was nothing more than a humanoid frame in Themyscira Labs. Now you can relive those early days and leave the armor at home as ‘D1A-NA Prototype’ Mecha Wonder Woman.

Featuring an uncovered (and probably unregulated) Tempest pack, exposed hydraulic lines, and the first iteration of her humanoid structure, this costume is perfect to embarass your enemies. Nothing else says “you lost your lane” better than being taken to task by a half-finished automata.

What is your favorite ineffective RPG character?

I once played in a Shadowrun game at a con where one of the other players showed up with a troll gardener. In character while we're all introducing ourselves and giving a brief rundown of our specialties he makes mention that he honestly has no idea why he's here, how we all seem like really scary people, but that we seem to like him, so he's happy to be making new friends. We all assumed he was joking and was there as some sort of hired muscle since he was pretty physically intimidating.

As the run begins, we find out that our mysterious troll is pretty much absolutely useless in any situation calling for hacking ability, magical skill or knowledge, or social graces. This seems to confirm our suspicion that this guy is some sort of combat monster. I mean after all, his build points had to go somewhere. Sure he doesn't seem to be openly carrying any sort of weapons, but that just means he's probably an adept who can kick your head clean off or that he has a bunch of big ass guns stashed away in the gardening van he showed up in.

There are a couple combat encounters, but he manages to avoid being in either of them. The first combat was pretty much the characters with relevant stealth skills sneaking ahead and ambushing a couple security guards with silenced weapons and the second combat encounter was us trying to evade some cops because someone walked into a tripwire and literally tripped the alarm. In each situation his character was sufficiently far from the action for him to not need to do anything. The fact that he spent the first couple combat encounters on the sidelines only added to the anticipation of what would finally happen when he gets into the action.

Towards the very end of the run, the entire team finds itself surrounded by some very hostile and very hungry ghouls, so we know shit is about to go down. We roll up initiative and the mystery troll ends up going last. This surprises us as combat focused characters should usually be near the top of the initiative order, but no one really paid attention to him rolling and the player kind of shrugs sheepishly, so we just assume that he rolled terribly.

Combat begins. Another troll in the group begins combat by roasting some ghouls with the underbarrel flamethrower on his gyro stabilized machine gun. I start pumping grenades down the halls in order to deal with some more incoming ghouls. The other members of the team open up with their various shotguns, pistols, submachine guns, and even one hunting bow with explosive tipped arrows.

Finally its the mysterious troll's turn to act. Most of the ghouls who are immediately threatening us are dead by now, but there are still a couple left. He describes his character kind of hesitantly sauntering over towards one of the ghouls and we all wait in anticipation of the magic powered martial arts badassery that we are about to witness. I mean after all, who else aside from a close combat killing machine would dare to close with a ghoul that can permanently infect you if it hits?

The mystery troll then proceeds to sort of flail at the ghoul and throws, as the player describes it, the clumsiest looking punch any of you have ever seen. He rolls two dice. The attack misses without the ghoul even needing to make a defense roll. There is a period of pronounced silence as the rest of the table just looks at him stunned.

We begin to try to figure out who this troll actually is. The GM reminds us that ghouls are still trying to eat us and this conversation is probably best saved for after we escape. We kill the remaining ghouls in the immediate area. The other troll lays down suppressing fire and as we're leaving I throw a brick of C4 down the hallway for good measure.

After piling into the van we took to get here, we all begin to question the troll as to who he actually is. The hacker tells us to quiet down as he's trying to listen in on police frequencies to make sure they're not after us. We tell him to shut up and let a program handle it because this is more important. The survivalist tells us to quiet down because all of this yelling is making it difficult for him to treat that ghoul bite he received. We tell him to shut up because he knew the risks of being a shadowrunner and because this is more important. The street samurai repeatedly mumbles something about helicopters, but everyone ignores him because we're pretty sure that's what happens when you take future cocaine while using wired reflexes.

One tense moment with a DocWagon High Threat Response Team later (it turns out there actually was a helicopter, they were here to transport the survivalist to a hospital), we resume our questioning of the mystery troll. He explains that his name is Davison and that he's a gardener. He really likes plants and animals, but doesn't have many friends. As this is the first extended conversation we had with Davison (he was the strong, but silent type), it rapidly becomes apparent that Davison is slow even by troll standards.

Our hacker checks the SIN he has been using and we alarmingly discover that it appears to be both completely legitimate and states that his name is indeed Davison, he is a gardener, and due to his diminished mental capacity he is a ward of the state. We then proceed to figure out what the fuck a mentally handicapped gardener is doing on a shadowrun. Davison relays to us the story of how while walking down an alleyway he found a dead body that had been shot repeatedly.

He describes the dead guy as having a black trench coat, mirror shades, a pink mohawk, and a plethora of guns. Basically, your stereotypical shadowrunner. While staring at the body, unsure of what to do, the dead guy's commlink rings. Knowing that its impolite to not answer a phone call, Davison picks up the commlink and answers. Turns out a fixer who didn't know the dead guy personally had acquired his number and was calling him about work. After a brief, but very confused, conversation, Davison concludes that he needs to follow the instructions of the mysterious guy on the commlink because he will be paid to do so.

Thus Davison, the mentally handicapped troll gardener with no useful skills whatsoever, wound up on a shadowrun. By this point, everyone else at the table was thoroughly flabbergasted. We eventually demand to see his character sheet because surely he has to have some useful skill in something. I mean his build points can't have just disappeared.

The player complies and lets us see Davison's character sheet. Davison truly had no useful skills. He had sunk all of his points into Strength, Body, Willpower, and Edge and had put as many points as possible into every single knowledge or active skill that could conceivably relate to gardening. Anything he had leftover was either used up on contacts with minimum loyalty and connection or was used to get money, which was in turn spent on a sports car collection that Davison had apparently inherited from a wealthy uncle.

While we all sat there stunned, Davison informed us that he had a bunch of fun hanging out with us and that he was going to draw a picture for his new best friends.

Actors don't like to eat oysters on camera...

A food stylist shares movie secrets:
"Oysters are always scripted into scenes because they're very sensual, but many actors don't want to slurp those down on camera," she says. "So I tend to make a lot of fake oysters, which I make out of flan — a custard — which I then color and air brush, and I shape it. It perfectly slides out of the oyster shell."

Italian poster for On the Waterfront

Available at Amazon. Via.

Aquaman #2 cover

By Becky Cloonan.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"A GTA set in Gotham and if you get enough stars Batman comes to stop you."

A good idea.

Baby sea lion climbs aboard family's kayak, cuddles

Off the coast of California.

Plush Banana Guard from Adventure Time

On sale at Etsy.

Momo and the Moon Peach

By Felt Mistress for an upcoming Airbender/Korra show at GN. Via.

12 Most Expensive Puppets Sold At The Laika Auction

Cartoon Brew runs the numbers.

NES game-inspired paintings

On sale here.

Super Mario pens

Available for preorder.

E-nable helps connect people with 3D printers with kids who need prosthetics

NY Times:
E-nable, an online volunteer organization, aims to change that. Founded in 2013 by Jon Schull, the group matches children like Dawson in need of prosthetic hands and fingers with volunteers able to make them on 3-D printers. Designs may be downloaded into the machines at no charge, and members who create new models share their software plans freely with others.

The materials for a 3-D-printed prosthetic hand can cost as little as $20 to $50, and some experts say they work just as well, if not better, than much costlier devices. Best of all, boys and girls usually love their D.I.Y. prosthetics.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Rise and Fall of Modern Farmer magazine

In depth article at the New Yorker on the conflict between the magazine's founder and chief investor. 

A painful anecdote about the founder throwing a party with chicken on the menu:
Gardner parked by a red barn. In a white room with metal tables, two men in aprons were spraying down chicken carcasses. One of the men asked how many chickens she needed.

“Fifteen people, so I probably need three or four,” she said.

“All I have is frozen chickens,” the man said. “If you can wait, I can get it done in twenty minutes. They’re in there now,” he said, pointing to a room on the other side of a small opening in the wall, like something food might pass through at a restaurant. A bird in the other room squawked, and Gardner flinched. “That’s fresh, that’s real,” she said. “That’s a little real for me. Let me think about this. We really need chicken.”

She walked out to the parking lot and called the chef who was to grill the chickens. “I’m having a crisis, because they haven’t killed the chickens, and he’s going to kill them for me,” she said. “I’m really seriously thinking, Couldn’t we just do pasta?”

You can watch Mike Tyson Mysteries online

at Cartoon Network.

The first panel of today's Penny Arcade.

New USA national soccer team jerseys

Available today.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015

I just bought Mona

At Gumroad:
MONA (Deluxe edition with audiobook)

By Leigh Alexander

Part modern original fiction, part tribute to Silent Hill 2, Leigh Alexander's MONA is about a monstrous woman, ambition and the hunger for love. Haunting illustrations by Emily Carroll bring the story to vivid life.

The "deluxe" version includes a stylish audiobook by yours truly.

The writer of Safety Not Guaranteed live-tweeted the movie last night

Friday, February 13, 2015

"Brian Williams Might Have Also Lied About Navy SEALs, the Pope, and the Berlin Wall"

NYMag. (How many bitter coworkers have been waiting for someone to listen to these stories?)

Pakistani policemen practice motorcycle stunts

This seems like a pretty specific skill to practice.

MLB star Andrew McCutchen's take on the current Little League scandal

When people talk about the Jackie Robinson West team and blame the adults who took in kids from outside the boundaries that the Little League organization set, remember that those adults may be saviors to those kids. They’re the ones buying them shoes when they need it or an extra protein drink after the game.


Sometimes I wasn’t even sure how the scouts or AAU coaches found me. It seemed like a miracle. I kept clawing my way up the ladder to better and better teams, kind of like a mercenary. I remember I was playing for the Lakeland Road Runners and we got whooped by the Orlando Red Raiders. They were like professionals to us. After the game, their coach came up to me and asked if I’d want to play on his team. The Red Raiders were big, man. It felt like I had just made the New York Yankees. I remember looking at my buddies on the Road Runners and shrugging, like, “Well, see ya!”

Candy Crush players spent $1.3 billion on in-app purchases in 214

while 97.7% of people playing King’s games are playing for free, the 2.3% that pay are spending an average of $23.42 a month within the games

Adventure Time Doc Martens

Available next month in limited quantities.