21 Nov 05:00

AI-Box Experiment

I'm working to bring about a superintelligent AI that will eternally torment everyone who failed to make fun of the Roko's Basilisk people.
20 Nov 11:01


20 Nov 00:34

skatedistrict: Same place, different day.


Same place, different day.

20 Nov 03:14

Time For Herrell's

19 Nov 16:00


21 Nov 10:00

When asked to solve a bug of a software that we do not know

by sharhalakis

by uaiHebert

20 Nov 06:05

gadaboutgreen: celestialallegorist: thinkinghurts321: celestia...





Okay but check out this on-point campaign my schools starting
((Lone Mountain is one of the buildings on campus and there’s a ridiculous set of stairs to get up to it))

Um whoa, how cool. The school is seriously doing this? This makes me want to visit again haha. 

Do you know what started it?

I’m actually not sure, but the posters say it’s a couple professors from the psych department, design department, and school of management working together on it. The posters should be up next week, I’m stoked


20 Nov 22:30

Asymmetric Dearomatization of β-Naphthols through an Amination Reaction Catalyzed by a Chiral Phosphoric Acid

by Shou-Guo Wang, Qin Yin, Chun-Xiang Zhuo, Shu-Li You


A highly efficient catalytic asymmetric dearomatization of naphthols by means of an electrophilic amination reaction catalyzed by chiral phosphoric acid is presented. This protocol provides a facile access to functionalized β-naphthalenone compounds with a chiral quaternary carbon center in excellent yields and enantioselectivity (up to 99 % yield, up to 96 % ee).

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Useful skeletons: An electrophilic amination reaction catalyzed by chiral phosphoric acid is the basis for a highly efficient asymmetric dearomatization of naphthols. This protocol provides functionalized β-naphthalenone compounds with a chiral quaternary carbon center in excellent yields and enantioselectivity. These motifs are found in various biologically active natural products and therapeutic reagents.

20 Nov 15:58

Cats Welcoming Soldiers Home [via]Previously: Cats Giving High...

Cats Welcoming Soldiers Home [via]

Previously: Cats Giving High Fives

19 Nov 16:03

Concentrically Layered Ceramic Sculptures and Vessels by Matthew Chambers

by Christopher Jobson

Concentrically Layered Ceramic Sculptures and Vessels by Matthew Chambers  sculpture ceramics abstract

Concentrically Layered Ceramic Sculptures and Vessels by Matthew Chambers  sculpture ceramics abstract

Concentrically Layered Ceramic Sculptures and Vessels by Matthew Chambers  sculpture ceramics abstract

Concentrically Layered Ceramic Sculptures and Vessels by Matthew Chambers  sculpture ceramics abstract

Concentrically Layered Ceramic Sculptures and Vessels by Matthew Chambers  sculpture ceramics abstract

Concentrically Layered Ceramic Sculptures and Vessels by Matthew Chambers  sculpture ceramics abstract

Concentrically Layered Ceramic Sculptures and Vessels by Matthew Chambers  sculpture ceramics abstract

Concentrically Layered Ceramic Sculptures and Vessels by Matthew Chambers  sculpture ceramics abstract

Concentrically Layered Ceramic Sculptures and Vessels by Matthew Chambers  sculpture ceramics abstract

Concentrically Layered Ceramic Sculptures and Vessels by Matthew Chambers  sculpture ceramics abstract

Concentrically Layered Ceramic Sculptures and Vessels by Matthew Chambers  sculpture ceramics abstract

When stopping to consider these masterful ceramic objects by artist by Matthew Chambers, a flood of familiar images came to mind as I tried to understand what I was looking at. The aperture of a camera, the protective shell of a curled up armadillo, ocean waves, bowls of pasta, or portals to other dimensions; all valid reactions to these hand-built ceramic vessels and sculptures that contain dozens of thin concentric layers.

For the last 8 years Chambers has been working from a 215 square foot studio in Newport on the Isle of Wight where he creates each piece without the aid of sketches or designs, preferring to experiment as he works. Each “layer” is an individual section thrown on a potter’s wheel which he then assembles with other layers to make a solid sculpture. How something so precisely geometric can be formed from clay by hand is nothing short of astounding.

Chambers most recently had work at New Craftsman Gallery. You can also read a studio visit from Ceramic Arts Daily, and a more in-depth interview about his process on Ideas in the Making. (via Rhubarbes, Contemporist)

19 Nov 12:45

Ir-Catalyzed Reverse Prenylation of 3-Substituted Indoles: Total Synthesis of (+)-Aszonalenin and (−)-Brevicompanine B

by Jonathan Ruchti and Erick M. Carreira

TOC Graphic

Journal of the American Chemical Society
DOI: 10.1021/ja509893s
21 Nov 04:45

Цитата #431132

Пара в университете. 9 утра. Преподаватель читает лекцию о теории относительности. Тут сверху раздается звук перфоратора и следом жалобный голос из аудитории: "Здесь то он меня как нашел?!"
21 Nov 01:42


21 Nov 00:00

AI-Box Experiment

I'm working to bring about a superintelligent AI that will eternally torment everyone who failed to make fun of the Roko's Basilisk people.
20 Nov 05:00

November 20, 2014

20 Nov 00:00

Alternate Universe What Ifs

by xkcd

Alternate Universe What Ifs

Dispatches from a horrifying alternate universe

This week: Excerpts from What If articles written in a world which, thankfully, is not the one we live in:

... and most SCUBA equipment functions relatively well when immersed in human blood. However, since the density of blood (1.06 kg/L) is much higher than fresh water (1.00 kg/L) and slightly higher than seawater (1.03 kg/L), SCUBA diving weights must be adjusted. For obvious reasons, most equipment manufactured after 2006 is designed to cope with this ...

... we've all heard the factoid that the average person supposedly eats 4 spiders per second. This statistic is misleading; it's based on a study examining on the peak rate of spider consumption in areas where the spider-streams are densest. The global average rate is probably closer to 1 spider per second (obviously higher while asleep than while awake) ...

... assuming American football has an average death rate of 1.2 players per game. This is slightly higher than the average for association football (soccer), but an order of magnitude lower than the rates found in volleyball.

... the concept of a "population bottleneck" is in the news a lot lately. Let's take a look at some examples of past human population bottlenecks, which should help us understand how the current situation is both qualitatively different and much worse than ...

According to a report by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the top ten leading causes of injury in the workplace are as follows:
  • • Lightning strikes
  • • Unknown
  • • Predation
  • • Betrayal
  • • Curses (ancient + modern)
  • • Ant bites
  • • Falling
  • • Spider bites
  • • Bites (other)
  • • Natural causes

... while the idea that a human-sized mirror could offer protection from moonlight makes intuitive sense, in effect it serves only to create a second moon. The interaction between any pair of moons—in this case, the real Moon and the mirror-image "virtual" Moon—takes place at the geometric halfway point between them.

Here, that point is located at the surface of the mirror you are carrying, which makes it clear why this is such a bad ...

... while there are no firsthand accounts of the new building layout near Buckingham Palace, an examination of satellite imagery can give us an idea of the changes. Although the images are clearly heavily distorted due to the highly variable air temperature in Westminster, it appears that the Tower of London is intact, surrounded by a series of concentric rings presumably made from the remains of ...

... for these calculations, we will assume a spherical cow, although most remaining "cows" are actually closer to oblate spheroids ...

... while a roc is self-evidently capable of lifting and carrying adult humans without difficulty, even the largest among them would struggle to lift a typical 1,200 kg sedan. While it's plausible that a flock could accomplish this by cooperative lifting, they have instead taken to dropping boulders (usually 50-100 kg) on the cars from above. This is why most commuters stick to the tunnels, despite the obvious threat posed by snakes and ...

21 Nov 00:40

Sham Journal Accepts Totally Absurd But Completely Appropriate Paper

by Robbie Gonzalez

Sham Journal Accepts Totally Absurd But Completely Appropriate Paper

The International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology, a predatory open-access journal, has accepted for publication the marvelously titled paper "Get me off Your Fucking Mailing List."


20 Nov 02:19

An Introduction to Lock Picking: How to Pick Pin Tumbler Locks

by Brett


Back in October I had the pleasure of attending the ITS Tactical Muster, during which I learned several awesome manly skills. My favorite tutorial was on lock picking.

Going into the lock picking session at the Muster, I assumed that it would be really hard to do and would take hours of practice to figure out. Yet within two minutes of getting a set of picks in my hand, I had successfully picked my first lock.

Since coming home from the Muster, I’ve been regularly practicing my lock picking skills, and from time to time I’ll be offering a primer on how to pick various locks. We’ll start by taking a look at the most common lock used on front doors across the world: the pin tumbler lock. But let’s begin by discussing why you might want to learn the art of lock picking in the first place, as well as the legal issues involved with this great hobby.

Why You Should Learn How to Pick Locks (Even If You’re Not a Criminal)

Some of you might be thinking, “Brett, why should I learn how to pick a lock if I don’t plan on breaking into people’s homes?”

Great question.

There are a few good reasons why law-abiding citizens should learn how to pick a lock:

Lock picking opens your eyes to the “illusion of security.” We all lock our doors to keep our loved ones safe at night and to secure our possessions during the day. After I picked my first lock within two minutes of learning how to do it, I realized that locks don’t really do much except provide the illusion of security. Locks make us feel safe, but if someone really wanted to get in your house, they could easily pick the lock on your front door. If they didn’t know how to do that, they could find another way in. You can’t just rely on a lock to keep you and your family safe. You need to utilize other tools and tactics and create multiple layers of security.

Realizing how little locks actually keep you and your stuff safe was both terrifying and surprisingly heartwarming. Terrifying because I saw that someone could easily enter my house and walk off with a crap-load of stuff without having to break a window; heartwarming because seeing how easy it is to pick a lock and yet how rarely people get burgled, made me realize that most people don’t break into homes because, well, most people are good people.

It makes you handy. If you’ve ever been locked out of your house or car, you know how annoying it is to be standing there like a chump, waiting for someone to show up with a key or a professional locksmith to arrive. Wouldn’t you love to be able to jimmy your way in yourself? Not only can this skill save you a lot of time and money, being able to solve a problem like that on your own is pretty dang satisfying. Plus, you can help out all your friends when they get locked out too.

Knowing how to pick a lock may even help you save a life one day. ITS Tactical has highlighted a few instances in which someone picked their way into an older parent’s home because they weren’t answering the phone, only to find their parent collapsed on the floor. Could they have kicked the door down or broken a window? Sure. But picking a lock just takes a few seconds and doesn’t leave any damage. So why wouldn’t you do that if you could?

It’s cool and fun! There’s simply a “cool” factor of knowing how to pick a lock. Of all the Jason Bourne-esque skills every man wishes he had, it’s one of the most attainable. The idea that I can surreptitiously enter most doors without a key makes me feel all-powerful, like some sort of super ninja-spy.

It’s also a fun little hobby and something I like to do when I’m taking breaks from work or hanging out with the kids while they do their kid thing on the carpet. If you get really into lock picking, you can actually go to events and contests to test your skills against other lock pickers.

The Legality of Lock Picking

There’s a common misconception that the only people who can legally own lock picking tools are first responders or licensed locksmiths. The reality is that in most states, as long as you’re not trying to illegally enter someone’s home with your lock pick set, you can legally own, carry, and use lock picking tools.

There are, however, some states that have laws that make owning lock picking tools prima facie evidence of criminal intent. If you’re caught with picks in these states and you want to avoid criminal charges, you have to prove that you didn’t plan on committing a crime.

Long story short: owning lock picking tools and learning how to pick locks is perfectly legal and ethical as long as you do so without nefarious intent. Just be a decent human being. For a summary of lock picking laws across the country, see here.

How to Pick a Pin Tumbler Lock

Pin tumbler locks are the most common locks found on the front doors of homes. So it makes for a good first lock to learn how to pick.

How a Pin Tumbler Lock Works

You don’t really need to understand how pin tumbler locks work to successfully pick them, but it does help.

The basic design of the pin tumbler lock has been in use since 4000 BC. Of course, it’s gotten more complex over the millennia. The design that is used in most cylinder locks – like the one on your front door — has been around since 1861 and it hasn’t changed much. Basically most of the world is using a technology that’s been around for a century and a half to keep their most prized possessions safe and secure.

Here’s the anatomy of most run-of-the-mill pin tumbler locks:


Pin tumbler locks consist of an outer cylindrical casing (colored green) in which a plug is housed. The small gap between the outer casing and the plug is called the shear line. Remember that. It will come in handy here in a bit. The plug has an opening for the key. When the proper key is inserted into the plug, the plug can rotate, thus unlocking the lock. On top of the plug, a series of five or six holes are drilled. The holes contain key pins (colored red) of different lengths. They’re called key pins because they touch the key when you insert a key into the plug. Above each key pin is a driver pin that’s spring-loaded.

So you have an idea of how the pins look in action, here’s a gif of me inserting a pick into a see-through practice lock:


In the diagram above, there’s no key in the plug. Because of the different key pin lengths, the driver pins cross the shear line, making it impossible for the plug to rotate. If you put a wrong key into a lock, the notches on the key won’t lift up the key pins at the right height, causing them to protrude through the shear line as you can see in the diagram below:


In order for the plug to rotate, you need to lift each of the key pins and driver pins to the correct height — until the gap between the key pins and driver pins reaches the shear line. When all of the pins reach this position, the plug can rotate. That’s what happens when you put a properly cut key into a lock:


Pretty simple, huh?

When you pick a lock, all you’re doing is using tools, instead of a key, to line up the gap between the key pins and driver pins with the shear line between the outer casing and the plug. That’s it. And it’s super easy to do.

Tools Needed for Picking a Pin Tumbler Lock

There are various tools you can use to pick a lock. For this post we’re going to focus on using the most common lock picking tools: a tension wrench and pick rakes. (We’ll do a post on using bumper keys and pick guns in the future.)

Below is my wallet-sized lock pick set that I got from SEREPick while I was at the ITS Muster. The picks are made of titanium. There’s one tension wrench and several rakes with different numbers of ridges, which allow you to pick several pins at a time. There’s also a pick that allows you to pick one pin at a time. Some locks will require you to do that.


SERE is out of stock on the exact set that I have, but they do have metal cards with the tools laser cut into it. Just keep the card in your wallet and when you need to pick a lock, pop out the tools and get a pickin’.

If you’re looking for something a littler sturdier and robust, you can find lock picking sets several places online (even Amazon). If you want to be even more of a MacGyver, you could even make your own picks from a windshield wiper.

Lock Picking Technique

Lock picking is more art than science. You definitely have to develop a “feel” for it. Each lock is different, but the same basic principles apply. The easiest way to pick a lock is to use the fast and dirty method: scrubbing.

1. Insert Tension Wrench into the Bottom of Key Hole and Apply Slight Pressure


The tension wrench is the key (no pun intended) to successfully picking a lock. Thanks to video games, people wrongfully think it’s the pick, because that is the thing that’s actually lifting the key pins to line up with the shear line.

Here’s why the tension wrench is so important: as you’re lifting the pin sets with your pick you need to apply tension on the plug. If you’re applying the right amount of torque on the plug, once the driver pin passes the shear line, the plug will rotate slightly. When you pull your pick out, the key pin will drop back down, but the driver pin will catch the edge of the plug, thus staying above the shear line. Here’s a diagram of what it looks like:


You’ll keep lifting pins with your pick and applying pressure with your tension wrench, until all the driver pins have cleared the shear line.

So far so good? Alrighty.

So take your tension wrench and place it in the bottom of the key hole. Apply slight pressure in the direction you would turn the key if you had it. And by slight I mean slight. If you apply too much pressure, you’re just going to cause the driver pins to bind below the shear line. You need to have enough give to let the driver pins rise above the shear line, but have enough torque that when they start dropping down, an edge of the drive pin catches the plug as it starts to rotate.

How much is too much pressure? If your tension wrench is bending a lot, then you’re probably applying too much pressure. So lean on the side of applying less pressure than more.

2. Insert Pick at Top of Lock


Pick your pick. I prefer the Bogota rake that has three ridges. This one has picked every lock that I’ve used it on very easily.

Slide the rake all the way to the back.

3. While Applying Slight Torque to Your Wrench, Scrub Your Pick Back and Forth in the Key Hole

Keep applying that slight pressure on your tension wrench. I use my left hand for that. With your right hand, scrub or rake the inside of the plug with your pick. As you pull the pick back, simultaneously lift up in order to apply pressure on the pins. It looks sort of like this motion:


4. Repeat Until All the Pins Set

Keep applying torque on your wrench and scrubbing the pins until they all set. You may need to apply more torque and pressure on the pins with your pick as you get near the last one or two pins that need to set. If you’re not making any progress, you probably applied too much torque with the wrench. Relax, let the pins reset, and start over again, focusing on not using too much pressure.

That’s it! Really. That’s all there is to it. You can successfully pick most pin and tumbler locks using this scrubbing method.

You may run across locks that require a little bit more finesse by picking each pin set one at a time. In these trickier locks, you may need to get more methodical by looking for the pin stack that resists the most and picking it first and then repeating the process until all the pins are successfully picked.

Practice, Practice, Practice


Like I said above, lock picking is more art than science. The best way to learn how to do it is to simply pick locks as much as possible. Buy yourself different pin and tumbler locks at the hardware store and keep them on your desk or by your couch. When you’re taking a break from work or while you’re watching TV, practice picking. I’ve got three or four locks in my drawer that I’ll bust out during the day for practice sessions.

You also might consider purchasing a training lock. The plug is housed in clear plastic, so you can actually see the pin stacks move in relation to the shear line as you’re picking. ITS Tactical has them for sale in their store. I bought one from them and it has helped me tremendously.

You’re one step closer to becoming Jason Bourne. Remember, use this knowledge for fun or for legal entries. If you’re going to burgle, only burgle hamburgers. Robble, robble.

Further Reading

If you want to get more in-depth in the art of lock picking, check out these two sources:

CIA Lock Picking Field Operative Training Manual

The MIT Guide to Lock Picking (This baby goes really in-depth into the mechanics and physics of why we’re able to pick locks. Very thorough. Definitely recommend reading it.)

19 Nov 14:36

Solution Processable MOF Yellow Phosphor with Exceptionally High Quantum Efficiency

by Qihan Gong, Zhichao Hu, Benjamin J. Deibert, Thomas J. Emge, Simon J. Teat, Debasis Banerjee, Brianna Mussman, Nathan D. Rudd and Jing Li

TOC Graphic

Journal of the American Chemical Society
DOI: 10.1021/ja509446h
19 Nov 12:48

Ligand-Controlled, Tunable Silver-Catalyzed C–H Amination

by Juliet M. Alderson, Alicia M. Phelps, Ryan J. Scamp, Nicholas S. Dolan and Jennifer M. Schomaker

TOC Graphic

Journal of the American Chemical Society
DOI: 10.1021/ja5094309
21 Nov 00:07

31262: Russian Arktika-class nuclear powered Icebreaker Yamal

by theburnlab


Russian Arktika-class nuclear powered Icebreaker Yamal

20 Nov 22:30

Phase-Transfer-Catalyzed Asymmetric SNAr Reaction of α-Amino Acid Derivatives with Arene Chromium Complexes

by Seiji Shirakawa, Kenichiro Yamamoto, Keiji Maruoka


Although phase-transfer-catalyzed asymmetric SNAr reactions provide unique contribution to the catalytic asymmetric α-arylations of carbonyl compounds to produce biologically active α-aryl carbonyl compounds, the electrophiles were limited to arenes bearing strong electron-withdrawing groups, such as a nitro group. To overcome this limitation, we examined the asymmetric SNAr reactions of α-amino acid derivatives with arene chromium complexes derived from fluoroarenes, including those containing electron-donating substituents. The arylation was efficiently promoted by binaphthyl-modified chiral phase-transfer catalysts to give the corresponding α,α-disubstituted α-amino acids containing various aromatic substituents with high enantioselectivities.

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Increased substrate scope in phase-transfer-catalyzed asymmetric SNAr reactions was achieved by the use of arene chromium complexes as electrophiles. An efficient asymmetric synthesis of α,α-disubstituted α-amino acids containing various aromatic substituents is shown. PTC=phase-transfer catalyst.

20 Nov 22:10

Metal-Free Carbonylations by Photoredox Catalysis

by Michal Majek, Axel Jacobi von Wangelin


The synthesis of benzoates from aryl electrophiles and carbon monoxide is a prime example of a transition-metal-catalyzed carbonylation reaction which is widely applied in research and industrial processes. Such reactions proceed in the presence of Pd or Ni catalysts, suitable ligands, and stoichiometric bases. We have developed an alternative procedure that is free of any metal, ligand, and base. The method involves a redox reaction driven by visible light and catalyzed by eosin Y which affords alkyl benzoates from arene diazonium salts, carbon monoxide, and alcohols under mild conditions. Tertiary esters can also be prepared in high yields. DFT calculations and radical trapping experiments support a catalytic photoredox pathway without the requirement for sacrificial redox partners.

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

A metal-free and base-free carbonylation has been developed which affords primary, secondary, and tertiary alkyl benzoates under irradiation with visible light in the presence of eosin Y as a photocatalyst. The mechanism has been studied by spectroscopic, theoretical, and preparative methods, and appears to involve intermediate aryl and aroyl radical species as well as a light-driven one-electron redox cycle without any sacrificial redox partner.

20 Nov 20:16


by Kristin Ess

photos/post KRISTIN ESS

With so many of you pretty people sporting shorter hair right now, it seems like the only thing growing is our short hair style request list here in the TBD office. Today we’re doing a fairly simple look geared specifically toward the bob. You can do this with or without bangs and the best thing is, the actual half-updo requires no heat tools (other than styling your hair in the morning, or air dry if you prefer) so it can be done after work on the way to a holiday party or a hawt date. Add some sparkle in the back if you’re going to a wedding.

Pop in a wide comb with a cool vibe like these:

Or more sparkly pieces like these:

Short Hair Half Up via thebeautydepartment

  1.  You’ll want to dry your hair with a bit of texture. In otherwords, air dry if you have natural wave or add some wave if you don’t. Light wand waves or flat iron waves will do the trick. If you have curly hair, you may want to blow it out to get this particular look but you should also try doing it curly as well! Add a little texture spray of choice. Here in photo 1, we broke out THIS SPRAY! It gives a soft beachy feel.
  2. Now tease your crown area lightly.
  3. Add a little of THIS TEXTURE POWDER (which is on sale right now, btw!). This helps the tease stay in place without having to backcomb too aggressively. Lightly sprinkle some powder into the crown and tap it into the light back combing.
  4. Pinch both sides together in back of the head. Twist them over once and then secure with a bobby pin. The texture powder will also help the bobbypins stay in place and not slide out.
  5. Go in with a TAIL COMB and pull up a little as you see in photo 5 for a little extra height.
  6. Tilt your head foreward and give the back a little veil of hairspray. We used THIS ONE but you can use whatever you’ve got! It’s just for a tiny bit of extra hold.
  7. Now, I like to go into the crown area (to the side of and above the bobby pins) and put my fingers into the hair tousseling up the texture just a little bit. Nothing crazy. It just makes it appear a bit more lived in. This is fully optional and you can leave it smooth if you prefer!
  8. Check the back in a hand mirror to make sure it feels balanced. Then check from the side as well to see that it looks good with your profile.

You can see that Caitlyn has bangs, but again, this can be done without bangs. Just choose which side you want to part on before getting started. Here’s a pretty shot of it with a comb from our friend MYRA CALLAN of Twigs + Honey.

the beauty department short hair


Enjoy, shorties! And stay tuned for more!

20 Nov 19:26

A Flexible Alkaline Rechargeable Ni/Fe Battery Based on Graphene Foam/Carbon Nanotubes Hybrid Film

by Jilei Liu, Minghua Chen, Lili Zhang, Jian Jiang, Jiaxu Yan, Yizhong Huang, Jianyi Lin, Hong Jin Fan and Ze Xiang Shen

TOC Graphic

Nano Letters
DOI: 10.1021/nl503852m