Shared posts

29 Jul 18:49

Hungry Goat Precariously Balances on Accommodating Donkey In Effort to Reach Low Hanging Fruit

by Lori Dorn

A hungry goat trying to reach the low hanging fruit off a tree precariously balances on the back of a very accommodating donkey in this silly video posted by Rumble Viral. While it’s more than likely that this act was staged, the donkey was nonetheless very gracious in helping out a friend.

via Tastefully Offensive

28 Jul 18:37



29 Jul 18:15

No One Steals My Sandwich Anymore!

28 Jul 16:15

Satanists Demand Religious Exemption From Abortion Restrictions, Cite Hobby Lobby Ruling

by Tara Culp-Ressler

CREDIT: The Satanic Temple

The Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision, which allowed some for-profit companies to claim a religious exemption to Obamacare’s contraception mandate, has sparked a heated debate over the definition of religious liberty and its role in modern society. At this point, even a Satantic cult has decided to weigh in.

The Satanic Temple — a faith community that describes itself as facilitating “the communication and mobilization of politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual liberty” — has launched a new campaign seeking a religious exemption to certain anti-abortion laws that attempt to dissuade women from ending a pregnancy. The group says they have deeply held beliefs about bodily autonomy and scientific accuracy, and those beliefs are violated by state-level “informed consent” laws that rely on misleading information about abortion risks.

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, the Satanists point out, it strengthens their own quest to opt out of laws related to women’s health care that go against their religious liberty. “Because of the respect the Court has given to religious beliefs, and the fact that our our beliefs are based on best available knowledge, we expect that our belief in the illegitimacy of state­ mandated ‘informational’ material is enough to exempt us, and those who hold our beliefs, from having to receive them,” a spokesperson for the organization said in a statement.

The Satanic Temple, sometimes referred to as “the nicest Satanic cult in the world,” falls somewhere between satire, performance art, and activism. The group says its central mission is to “encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will.” It has a set of seven tenets that closely track with humanism. Typically, wherever issues of church and state are overlapping, the Satanic Temple isn’t far behind.

Members of the Satanic Temple first made national headlines when they rallied in support of Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) for approving a bill that allows prayer in public schools, saying they’re glad the new policy will allow children to pray to Satan. Since then, they’ve also held “a formal ceremony celebrating same-sex unions” on the grave of the mother of the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, declaring that she has posthumously become a lesbian, and commissioned a seven-foot-tall Satanic statue near a monument to the Ten Commandments at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

And now, the Satanic Temple is turning its attention to “campaigns to assert our religious protection for women with health needs that are being complicated by unreasonable laws,” focusing on the abortion-related legislation that goes against science.

State-level abortion restrictions that aren’t actually based in medicine have swept the nation. “Informed consent” laws, which typically require women to receive biased counseling before being allowed to proceed with an abortion procedure, are now in place in 35 states. Many of those laws require doctors to tell their patients misleading information about abortion’s potential link to mental health issues and breast cancer. Some of them put words directly in doctors’ mouths, forcing them to refer to the fetus as an “whole, separate, unique, living human being.”

Members of the Temple of Satan are encouraging all women who share their belief in medical accuracy to seek their own exemption from these laws, even if they don’t personally identify as Satanists. They’ve drawn up a sample letter to help women talk to their doctors about the issue, as well as created “Right to Accurate Medical Information” t-shirts for purchase.

Satanists aren’t the only activists fighting back against the junk science used to justify anti-abortion laws. The secular humanist group Center for Inquiry recently launched a “Keep Health Care Safe and Secular” campaign to encourage more Americans to fight back against laws limiting women’s access to health services. Similarly, NARAL Pro-Choice America sometimes uses the slogan “Politicians Make Crappy Doctors.”

The post Satanists Demand Religious Exemption From Abortion Restrictions, Cite Hobby Lobby Ruling appeared first on ThinkProgress.

29 Jul 14:07

Ford and General Motors Sued Over 'CD Ripping Cars'

Your "CD-ripping" car is being sued for piracy. The Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies has launched a class action lawsuit against Ford and General Motors over the CD-ripping capability of their cars. The music industry group claims that the car companies violate federal law and demand millions of dollars in damages. Comments
29 Jul 23:06

Physicist concocts ice cream that changes color when you lick it

by Mariella Moon
What happens when a physicist decides to become a chef? If they're anything like Manuel Linares, then you can expect a fusion of food and science to come out of their kitchen. For instance, one of the Spaniard's masterpieces is an ice cream that...
29 Jul 18:30

Pest In Brazil Has Evolved Resistance Against GMO Corn

by Francie Diep

photo of an experimental corn field in Minnesota
Corn Field

Crop-munching caterpillars in Brazil are no longer put off by genetically modified plants designed to kill them, Reuters reports. The report is just the latest in a series that have emerged over the past few years.

In this case, the GM plant is Bt corn and the pest in question is the Spodoptera frugiperda, which is native to tropical regions of the Americas. Bt plants are engineered so that they have genes from a soil bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis. The genes produce crystalline chemicals that kill insect larvae when they eat it. A larva that chows down on a Bt-crystal-producing GM plant soon stops eating. A few days later, it dies.* In addition to Bt corn, Bt cotton is popular.

Yet resistance to Bt crops has been occurring with pest species throughout the world. The first publicly announced case of insects in a field evolving resistance to Bt plants occurred in India in 2009. The first U.S. case followed in 2011. Since then, there have been dozens of similar incidents. In 2013, a team of entomologists and agriculture scientists reviewed 77 previous studies about international Bt crops. The team found that in 2005, only one of the 13 pest species examined could eat Bt plants without dying. But by 2013, five species could eat Bt plants.

The first engineered Bt plant was registered by a U.S. company in 1995, but not long afterward, scientists noted that insects would likely evolve resistance to them. Controlling pests, whether it's with microbes in a hospital or grubs in a field, is always an arms race against evolution. That evolution happens whether you use genetic engineering or plain old spraying.

Controlling pests, whether it's with microbes in a hospital or grubs in a field, is always an arms race against evolution.

The rising Bt resistance means that farmers will likely ramp up their insecticide use. One group of Brazilian farmers even wants GMO companies to reimburse them for the additional insecticides they had to use because their Bt crops failed to deter pests. Companies are also likely developing new GMO crops, perhaps with more insect toxins engineered into them, to combat the newly evolved resistance. There is already a second generation of genetically modified, Bt crops that make two Bt toxins instead of just one. Some pests have evolved resistance against those plants, however.

There are some scientifically proven ways to slow bugs' ability to adapt to GMO toxins. Planting a mix of GMO and non-GMO plants helps. So does planting first- and second-generation Bt crops separately. Both strategies lessen the deadly pressure against insects susceptible to Bt poisoning, so they'll evolve more slowly.

Seed company Dow Agrosciences told Reuters that Dow representatives taught Brazilian farmers these strategies. The companies' instructions were confusing, a lawyer representing the farmers told Reuters, and there were not enough non-GMO seeds available for them to really put the strategies to work.

*P.S. What about the butterflies?!: Most non-scientist Americans first learned about Bt corn when a study came out finding that pollen from the corn may kill caterpillars of the monarch butterfly. Later studies have found that Bt corn doesn't significantly affect the numbers of monarch butterflies, although other modern farming practices may.


29 Jul 22:00

5 Phenomena That Science Has Yet To Fully Explain

by Douglas Main

Who doesn't love a good mystery, especially one that stumps researchers? 

Popular Science's editor-in-chief, Cliff Ransom, moderated a panel about such seemingly inexplicable phenomena this weekend at Comic-Con in San Diego. The occasion: the debut of the Science Channel's second season of "The Unexplained Files," which premieres tonight (July 29) at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

We thought it was fine occasion to ask, "What are some phenomena that science can't yet explain?" Below are five of our favorite enduring mysteries. 

Juanedc via Wikimedia Commons

1. Why People Yawn 

You yawn, I yawn, we all yawn. Reading or thinking about it makes you more likely to yawn. (Did you just yawn?) You can even "catch" yawns from other people, and from other animals like dogs. Thanks, biology—but what purpose does yawning serve?

Ideas abound, but none seem to hold up to scientific scrutiny. One is that yawning helps to cool the brain by increasing blood flow to the jaws, neck, and sinuses, and then removing heat from this blood when inhaling a big breath. Counterintuitively, yawning occurs less frequently in hot weather, when air has less ability to cool the body. In short, yawning "fails precisely when we need it," Dr. Adrian Guggisberg told WebMD. One hypothesis that has not (yet) been discarded: yawns "serve as a signal for our bodies to perk up, a way of making sure we stay alert," Maria Konnikova wrote in The New Yorker. "A yawn is usually followed by increased movement and physiological activity, which suggests that some sort of 'waking up' has taken place."

And why are yawns contagious? A recent study in PLoS ONE suggests they're way of showing empathy. But another newer study concluded the opposite. So it goes.

Patrick Swayze as a ghoul in the movie "Ghost." 

2. Ghosts

"Alright," you might say, "I understand that yawning thing, but ghosts don't exist." Well, a plurality of Americans—48 percent, in fact—believe they do, according to a CBS News poll in 2005. Most women—about 56 percent—believe in ghosts. And more than one-fifth of people CBS polled say they've seen or felt the presence of a ghost. 

Modern scientists haven't delved into this topic all that much, but a few compelling explanations exist. One has to do with infrasound, or low-frequency sounds inaudible to humans but that storms and even household appliances can generate. Such rumbles can vibrate human organs and make people feel a sense of unease. Infrasound vibrations can also mess with vision and make people think they are seeing things. Another idea is that drafts may create "cold spots" thought to be signs of spirits. A final theory is that some observations of ghosts may have been due to hallucinations caused by carbon monoxide poisoning

One stage productions' (creepy) interpretation of what déjà vu looks/feels like.

3. Déjà Vu

You've probably had this feeling before: As something happens, you feel you're reliving a past moment. What causes this eerie feeling of déjà vu? In short: No one is certain, but some ideas exist.

One study, which placed people in a virtual computer world, hints that the feeling triggers most frequently when a person encounters a place that's similar in layout to another place he or she has visited, but doesn't consciously recognize. "One reason for the jarring sense that accompanies déjà vu may be the contrast between the sense of newness and the simultaneous sense of oldness—something unfamiliar should not also feel familiar," cognitive psychologist Anne Cleary at Colorado State University told Scientific American. Another study found that one healthy male subject experienced a strong recurrent sense of déjà vu when he took two drugs to ward off the flu. Déjà vu might also come about when the brain improperly encodes a new memory, or when it misfires when establishing a sense of familiarity.

A grainy image of Sasquatch from the Patterson-Gimlin film, which purports to show Bigfoot.
Wikimedia Commons

4. Bigfoot 

Bigfoot is a creature of many names -- Sasquatch in the Pacific Northwest, Yeti in the Himalayas, "wild man" in Central Asia, and (my favorite) "Yowie" in Australia -- but science knows it as a cryptid: a type of animal whose existence hasn't been proven. Definitive proof of Bigfoot has never been established, but as scientists have been known to say, "absence of proof isn't proof of absence." Many speculate that Bigfoot sightings often involve large animals that could be mistaken for humans, such as bears. One recent study looked at DNA from hairs, which allegedly came from a large human-like beast. The study found that the hairs came from "raccoons, sheep, bears, dogs, humans and more," the New York Times reported. (Bigfoot was not listed.)

Spinal Placebo
Pain relief through the placebo effect may take place in spinal cord cells
Sussex Physio

5. The Placebo Effect 

You surely know about the placebo effect: If you truly think something will have a particular somatic effect (like reduce pain), it probably will—even if it is just a sugar pill and has no pharmacological activity. For this reason, placebo pills are used in all legitimate medical studies, to prove whether or not a drug actually has an effect that isn't psychological. The placebo effect is actually more puzzling than you might expect, though—recent work has shown, for example, that it even works when participants are told they are taking a sugar pill. It also works for sleep. If you believe you got a better night of sleep compared to others who slept the same amount, you are more likely to perform better at a variety of tasks.

There are some clues here and there as to how it might work. For example, one study found that in people given fake pain-relieving cream experienced less activity in pain-sensing regions of the brain. Another found a similar fake cream activated cells in the spinal cord (see the above image). But how the exact process maps across a whole host of experiences—from fighting infection, to performing better on tests, to sleeping better—nobody really knows.

26 Jul 18:00

stunes530: triptone: Last night my little sister (5th grade) was making an e-mail account She saw...



Last night my little sister (5th grade) was making an e-mail account

She saw gender and went to click female when she noticed the “other” choice

She looked at me confused and I started to explain that some people don’t think they fit in with strictly male or female

"Oh! You mean like transgender and stuff like that. I was freaked out for a second- I thought they meant robots."

Yet another example the kids are more open-minded than adults

The best.

25 Jul 21:18

Direct From San Diego Comic Con 2014: Get to Know the Newest Cast Members of GAME OF THRONES Season 5

by theTVaddict
25 Jul 21:38

Microsoft unleashes 'Settlers of Catan' on the web

by Dana Wollman
Microsoft has something of an extracurricular activity: When it's not releasing Office for iPad or updating Windows, it has a habit of helping other companies build websites. Its latest project is a web version of Settlers of Catan, the popular board...
24 Jul 06:50

1306818254-54.jpg (JPEG Image, 500x373 pixels)

by flakeybark
27 Jul 19:23

Sure enough, you can play 'Doom' on an ATM

by Jon Fingas
The quest to play Doom on just about everything won't be over any time soon, it seems. A team of Australians has torn open and modified an ATM to play id Software's classic first-person shooter using some of the bank machine's built-in controls. This...
25 Jul 14:30

Entire Firefly cast coming back for Firefly Online

by Steve Watts

The cult hit TV show Firefly is getting a comeback of sorts. Firefly Online, the social RPG announced last year for PC and mobile, will have the entire original cast reprising their roles.

io9 reports that Alan Tudyk, who played the pilot Wash in the show, will be playing multiple roles. He has done some pretty diverse voice work for Disney movies like Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen, so that makes sense. At least one minor character will be showing up as well: Michael Fairman as the torture-happy crime boss Niska. 

Firefly Online is all about getting your own ship and crew and taking on missions, rather than playing as the Serenity crew themselves. Presumably, though, this news means you'll cross paths with them at some point. 

We also got a first look at gameplay in a new trailer, full of Firefly fans and a Jayne hat.

25 Jul 14:46

Pavlok shocking wristband zaps your ass off the sofa and into the gym

by Lee Bell
Pavlok shocking wristband zaps your ass off the sofa and into the gym

Delivers a 340 volt electric shock if you choose to be lazy

24 Jul 08:37

​Meet the supercar that runs on salt water

by Christofer Lloyd

22 Jul 20:00

Good Thing Costco Sells Shampoo

Good Thing Costco Sells Shampoo

Submitted by: (via Izismile)

22 Jul 07:09

Schumacher using eyelash flutters to communicate

by Christofer Lloyd

11 Jul 15:00

Mike Judge on ‘Silicon Valley’ Emmy nods and dreams that (thankfully) don’t come true

by Neil Janowitz
Before creating Silicon Valley— the new HBO comedy that Thursday morning garnered five Emmy nominations—Mike Judge says he “hadn’t had a hit
11 Jul 16:15

MTV greenlights ‘Shannara’ fantasy to series

by James Hibberd

MTV?? Good books, though

MTV is moving forward with its ambitious high fantasy show. In a quest to find its own Game of Thrones,
19 Jul 22:24

Little brothers. [video]

Little brothers. [video]

21 Jul 12:00

Thor Is a Huge Klutz

No wonder this dude isn't worthy of his hammer anymore.



20 Jul 18:52

Black Leopards reaction when he sees his favorite zoo keeper.

22 Jul 10:28

Researchers fully 'delete' HIV from human cells for the first time

by Steve Dent
So far, HIV has eluded a cure because it installs its genome into human DNA so insidiously that it's impossible for our immune system to clear it out. While current treatments are effective, a lifetime of toxic drugs are required to prevent its...
21 Jul 17:30

Dicks finds women's football 'refreshing'


The title is hilarious

"They used to apologise in training when they went in with a tough tackle on their team-mate. I'm not having that."
21 Jul 22:18

The Big Picture: Not-quite San Francisco's 'Davis Street'

by Timothy J. Seppala
Take a second look at the above image -- it isn't actually a photo. Nope, the entire scene (dubbed Davis Street) was painstakingly created with the graphics rendering suite 3DS Max. To achieve the impressive end result, artist Gilvan Isbiro says that...
21 Jul 17:26

FYI: You can create Google Now reminders from

by AndroidGuys

Just a short and sweet post to let you guys know that you don’t have to open you Android device to create reminders for Google Now. No sir, you can actually do it from a desktop client by simply navigating to in the Chrome browser. Instead of searching for something type something with one of the following phrases

  • remind me to…
  • create a reminder to…
  • add reminder…

These reminders, when saved, will prompt you on your Android smartphone or tablet as well as in the Chrome OS. Feel free to play around with the reminder feature for things such as calling contacts, stopping at places, events to check out, and more. Have fun putting together reminders based on time of day, date, and location!

via Google Operating System

The post FYI: You can create Google Now reminders from appeared first on AndroidGuys.

17 Jul 00:50

Maniac Mansion Design Notes

While cleaning out my storage unit in Seattle, I came across a treasure trove of original documents and backup disks from the early days of Lucasfilm Games and Humongous Entertainment. I hadn't been to the unit in over 10 years and had no idea what was waiting for me.

Here is the first batch... get ready for a week of retro... Grumpy Gamer style...

First up...

A early mock-up of the Maniac Mansion UI. Gary had done a lot of art long before we had a running game, hence the near finished screen without the verbs.

A map of the mansion right after Gary and I did a big pass at cutting the design down.  Disk space was a bigger concern than production time. We had 320K. That's right. K.

Gary and I were trying to make sense of the mansion and how the puzzles flowed together. It wouldn't be until Monkey Island that the "puzzle dependency chart" would solve most of our adventure game design issues.

More design flow and ideas. The entire concept of getting characters to like you never really made it into the final game. Bobby, Joey and Greg would grow up and become Dave, Syd, Wendy, Bernard, etc..

A really early brainstorm of puzzle ideas. NASA O-ring was probably "too soon" and twenty-five years later the dumb waiter would finally make it into The Cave.

I'm still amazed Gary and I didn't get fired.

18 Jul 18:27

im-horngry: Cupcakes - As Requested!


Cupcakes - As Requested!

19 Jul 11:00

NPH For Heineken Light

by Joe Jervis