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17 Sep 04:52



technoviking captioned. remember a classic.

17 Sep 14:37


16 Sep 03:38

Washington Faces Apartment Glut After Boom

15 Sep 13:00

Head examined

by Kristin

On my recent travels, my mind wandered much farther and wider than my physical form.

I wanted to carry a closed umbrella high in the air in a manner ala tour guides. I often walked along the Mall and looped the Memorials. I wondered if I could get people to follow me. If not that, could I make people worry that I'd lost my group. (Alternately, I could raise my arm in the air or carry a stick with ribbons. A name tag on lanyard would make this more convincing.)

With my brother staying at my condo, I also wanted to randomly change channels at home at prime viewing times using the Xfinity app. SoapNet would be ideal (if it still exists) but also Lifetime, Hallmark and ScyFi (channels my brother was unlikely to watch).

I realized at various points that I had eggs in my hair, didn't like walking for the sake of walking and preferred to keep moving forward even when I didn't know where I was going. Especially then.

This morning, I planned to have my head examined. Actually, next week I am having my head examined. This morning, I planned to my neurologist about my head as well as my strength and sleeplessness, the chronic pain and fatigue, the stressors in my life (of which I've had most of life's biggest in the past year) and how to function despite a disorder exacerbated by stress.

That was the plan, anyway, but I received a voicemail canceling my appointment while I stood in her lobby. I am not sure when or how it might be rescheduled as I do not have the time and my insurance will change next week. My head might need to deal on its own.

In the next few days, I need to decide if I want to enroll in a 10-week workshop on fall prevention to keep myself upright. The invitation makes me feel old and broken. I'm not even 40! My parents are too young for something like this. Why me?

Honestly, with a flowering bruise on my back from the last fall, I know that need it but don't want to admit it. I don't want to fill 10 Tuesday nights with a class on how not to fall.

I want to walk through the city like a Pied Piper trying to get people to follow. I want to shake up someone settling into couch and TV. I want to keep moving forward.
14 Sep 13:00

One Shot

by Kristin

Last night, my book club convened to discuss a singularly unremarkable book in a remarkably good time with diner fare, birthday wishes and loads of laughter.

Conversations streamed over one another with people flowing in and out of the room and discussions, leaning from one into another as we talked about Jack Reacher and Lee Child, bike rides and hikes, generational differences, Zoom, The Electric Company, and Sesame Street, whether or not Captain Kangaroo ever really served as a captain and a million other things.

My reason for travel surfaced briefly and I found myself laughing over an ongoing assumption of my life. I haven't ever given a reason for it, the travel. I don't suppose that I have one. I see the world because the world's there to see, but in the past several years, even before my diagnosis of MS, I felt that there was something wrong with me. Things were getting harder. Travel was getting harder, so I started doing it more.

"I am never going to be as young and as fit as I am right now," I thought and while others shook their heads and told me not to think that way, I couldn't help but believe it true.

The frequent international trips to odd destinations raised a brow or two, and a few years ago, I learned that the group thought I was a spook, a sleuth, a spy. I didn't help when I said things like "last week in Croatia," and denying the charge only entrenched the belief, so I laughed.

Next month, the choice is mine for book, date and venue. I hope to host in my new(ish) abode sometime in October, but that's the easy part. I must decide on the book and my last two were duds. Decent for conversation only in that people really didn't like them.

I am deliberating between hysterical historical fiction and a delightfully dystopian novel with social relevance. I am leaning toward dystopia because I always lean toward dystopia, but the choice is hard. Will this be three duds in a row? Why not just throw out The Dud Avocado while I am at it? (Though, I rather enjoyed that one, too.)

Regardless of book, I know the night will be grand because it always is. I never laugh so hard as I do with this group.

Tag: Books
12 Sep 20:39

‘Soviet Ghosts’ Captures Post-Apocalyptic Scenes Left Behind by the Fall of the USSR

BULGARIA -Buzludzha 09

Rebecca Litchfield is a photographer who has faced radiation exposure risks, arrest and interrogations, and even accusations of espionage… all for the sake of her project “Soviet Ghosts.”

You see, Litchfield is an avid urban explorer who has been fascinated by scenes of decay found in countries that were formerly part of the USSR and the Eastern Bloc.

Photographing and exploring the old Iron Curtain isn’t the easiest thing to turn into a project, she says:

Not many explorers travel to Russia, where the rules are very different, locations are heavily guarded and a strong military presence exists everywhere. There are serious consequences for getting caught. We managed to stay hidden for all of the trip, we maximised our stealthiness, ducking and diving into bushes and sneaking past sleeping security. But on day three our good fortune ran out as we visited a top secret radar installation. After walking through the forest, mosquitos attacking us from all directions, we saw the radar and made our way towards it, but just metres away suddenly we were joined by military and they weren’t happy…

Fortunately for Litchfield, she was able to wiggle out of that tricky situation and continue her adventure through more than 10 different countries.

She says that her goal is to capture the scenes as they are, highlighting their beauty in decay, “like a memory hanging on that will soon be lost in a breeze, a museum that no one gets to see.”

Here are some of the haunting photographs in the project:

BULGARIA - Soviet Friendship Monument

BULGARIA -Buzludzha 01

BULGARIA -Buzludzha 10



GERMANY - Miltary Barracks

GERMANY - Soviet HeadQuarters 01

HUNGARY - MAV 424 Steam Train




RUSSIA - Chemical Laboratory

RUSSIA - Cinema

RUSSIA - Sanatorium 01

RUSSIA - Sanatorium 03

RUSSIA - Tuberculosis Hospital

RUSSIA - Young Pioneer Camp 02

RUSSIA - Young Pioneer Camp 04

UKRAINE - Chernobyl Hospital 02

UKRAINE - Chernobyl Kindergarten

UKRAINE - Chernobyl Sports Centre 01

UKRAINE - Chernobyl Sports Centre 02

The photos in the project have also been published in a book that’s available from $28 over on Amazon. You can also find more of Litchfield’s work over on her website.

Image credits: Photographs by Rebecca Litchfield and used with permission

13 Sep 13:00

Brain games

by Kristin

My phone might be one of the most boring smart phones in creation. Occasionally, I take pictures. Sometimes, I access the internet, look up directions or send an email. I write stories. Sporadically, I send texts. Mostly, I just use it like a phone.

I don't have really apps. I definitely don't have games. Children seeking diversion look at a picture or two – oh, look, lion! – and hand it back. It requires too much imagination to have fun with my phone.

I have never played Minecraft, Angry Birds, or Candy Crush. In fact, I had to look them up to make sure I had the names right and I am fairly certain that they all have different interfaces and might not be lumped together. I don't do Words with Friends. I don't do that drawing one, either, which I seem to remember from another friend's phone a few years ago. (Is that still a thing? Are any of these?)

It is not that I don't like playing games. I love playing games. I just cannot stop so I don't start. I have too much to do – work, walk, read, write, volunteer, take pictures, spend time with family and friends – that I cannot find time to kill.

Lately, though, I have started to worry about the state of my brain. I have a neurological disorder that leads to cognitive disabilities and I really don't want to wait until it's too late. So, I have installed an app to assess and train my memory and other cognitive abilities. I have started playing brain games.

The games are relatively simple. Sudoku. Mahjong. Wordquest. I unjumble pictures and fuel cars. I find words. I tap moles on the head, twice if they're wearing helmets and not at all if they are carrying dynamite. The concepts are simple, which is probably why I get so agitated when I cannot figure them out. They frustrate me. They make me feel stupid, but I keep playing them. I feel myself becoming addicted.

According to the game maker's guidelines, by spending only 20 minutes, two to three times a week on the mind exercises, I could see improvements in my overall brain fitness and I need to keep these guidelines in mine. Twenty minutes. Two to three times a week. Much like the gummy vitamins I take, I need to see it as medicine; otherwise, I'm in danger of downing the whole jar.

Suddenly, though, it seems that my phone's gotten a lot more interesting.

Tag: Games Multiple Sclerosis
12 Sep 15:20

Friday Morning Dance Party: This kid is so good, you couldn't fake it if you tried.

by Someecards

"I don't care about what these ankles were designed to do, I care about what they can do."

Here's your Friday Morning Dance Party to get you ready for the weekend—everyone imagines they're a good dancer, so let this guy be your new mental image of what you look like when you're out on the dance floor moving like a scarecrow with arthritis. Fortunately, it won't be hard to pretend, since his name is Fik-Shun.

Fik-Shun or not, this is as real as it gets. Unbeknownst to me and my demographic of lame-oids, Fik-Shun was the male winner of season 10 of "So You Think You Can Dance?" So, I think it's fair to say at this point that he knows he can dance. This video is from World of Dance Live, hosted at the Universal CityWalk nightclub in Orlando, FL, and featured performances from Jabbawockeez (those dudes in the white masks) and others, but it was Fik-Shun who was almost too good to be believed.

Oh yeah, this was also shot two days before his 20th birthday. Once again, Fik-Shun: you can't make this stuff up.

Want more pre-weekend dance to envy? Check out two cousins who merged Memphis Jookin and ballet to create the coolest dance of the year.

(bJohnny McNulty)

12 Sep 17:40

Lots of grandparents are accidentally tagging Grandmaster Flash on Facebook and it's driving them crazy.

by Someecards

"Love, Grandpa and the baddest motherfucker in the game." (via)

If you've been wondering why your grandmother has been sending birthday and holiday wishes from herself along with Grandmaster Flash, don't worry. Your grandma hasn't left grandpa for the hip hop pioneer behind "White Lines." The puzzling signoffs are the result of one of those uniquely modern problems that make old people want to smash their giant monitors with a hammer and throw their 2003 Dell towers in the woods.

Because of Facebook's auto-suggest tagging feature, grandparents have been accidentally sending out messages without noticing that their signoffs include the Hall of Fame rapper. It has been happening so often that there's now a Tumblr page dedicated to collecting the messages along with the resulting confused responses.








The adorable SNAFU has been such a goldmine of unintentional comedy that Facebook will likely figure out a way to fix the problem. Until then, if you'd like to keep laughing at this technological plight of the elderly, you can do so here.

(by Jonathan Corbett)

12 Sep 04:46

Turd Wrestling 2014 Calendar

Turd Wrestling 2014 Calendar

11 Sep 14:33

Web Triumphs: Someone digitally inserted Super Mario into viral videos to take credit for the Internet's biggest fails.

by Someecards

Super Mario: 1Up. Wedding Party: 1Down.

I've always loved Super Mario, foe to King Koopas and weird pelican things, hero to and Princess Peach. But now, I love Super Bad Mario even more. Thanks to Pastek, Mario has been digitally inserted into all the great fail vids to become a foe to middle aged dudes trying to ride a skateboard and a hero to me.  

He's not just Super, he's Super Bad. 

Oh how I wish this really were a game. I'd invest hours into Super Bad Mario Brothers if it meant that instead of knocking down a row of Koopa Troopas, Mario kicked turtle shells to knock fancy ladies off boats.

(by Myka Fox)

11 Sep 18:20


10 Sep 02:24

Super Looper

by swissmiss

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 10.21.41 PM

Super Looper. You have to try it! Make sure to put headphones on, then, get in the zone.

(via coudal)

07 Sep 21:00

twerkforyoutube: are dogs even real?


are dogs even real?

09 Sep 23:06

With genetic testing, I gave my parents the gift of divorce

09 Sep 19:02

A Drone’s-Eye View of Burning Man 2014

by EDW Lynch

Photographer Eric Cheng shot some aerial footage at Burning Man 2014 with a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter. The video includes shots of the event during the day and night, as well as footage of art cars, sculptures, and the burning of the Man. Cheng recently described the experience of operating a drone at Burning Man in a blog post.

07 Sep 13:00

War photos

by Kristin

With a half day left in Dubrovnik, in Croatia, really, we decided to pack a punch into our final hours. Up early. Old Town with its churches, walls and market, history, souvenir shops, pizza places with red checked table clothes. And then came the wallop: photos of war.

Celebrating 10 years in Dubrovnik, War Photo Limited offered a glimpse into war zones around the world including Africa with child soldiers, the Middle East with refugees and fighters in Palestine, Lebanon and Israel, and Europe with an emphasis on the breakup of Yugoslavia, on Bosnia and of course, Croatia.

The images were sobering, startling, amazingly beautiful and heart wrenching, and my heart nearly broke as I saw the faces of the dead and dying. Those killing. Those struggling to survive.

Burns covered the body of a young woman who chose self immolation over the horror of war and yet survived. Another girl stared at her viewers as she raised her shirt to show the scar of the acid she used to remove the brand of her captors. Blood streamed from the neck of one young soldier, a child too dazed by drugs to realize he'd been shot in the neck.

Other images were slightly less graphic but equally intense. Others were more so, and the whole time, a baby whimpered from the sling his dad carried. Floorboards squeaked. Seal crooned from a soundtrack in the last room, "No, we're never gonna survive unless we're a little crazy."

Dubrovnik burned. Soldiers cried. I did, too. It was hard, graphic and visceral. It was also one the most important things we could on our last day on Dubrovnik. Croatia. War Photo Limited was not to be missed.
06 Sep 20:11

FAA Scans the Internet For Drone Users; Sends Cease and Desist Letters

An anonymous reader writes with this news from Carl Malamud's Government Attic: "The FAA has released a set of cease and desist letters sent in 2012 and 2013 to people operating drone vehicles for a variety of purposes including: tornado research, inspecting gas well stacks, aerial photography, journalism education, and other purposes. Drone cease and desist letters sent during 2014 are available from the FAA upon request." The text of the letters (bureaucratically polite, but bureaucratically firm) often starts with notes indicating to the UAV operators to whom they were sent that the FAA became interested in them because it "became aware of" their web sites, or even because someone tipped them off about an article in a community newsletter. The letters go on to outline the conditions under which the FAA allows the operation of unmanned aircraft, and specifically notes: Those who use UAS only for recreational enjoyment, operate in accordance with Advisory cicular 91-57. This generally applies to operations in remotely populated areas away from airports, persons and buildings, below 400 feet Above Ground Level, and within visual line of sight. On February 6, 2007 the FAA published UAS guidance in the Federal Register, 14 CPR Part 91 / Docket No. FAA-2006-25714 I Unmanned Airaaft Operations in the National Airspace System. Toward the end of the docket it says, ''The FAA recognizes that people and companies other than modelers might be flying UAS with the mistaken understanding that they are legally operating under the authority of AC 91-57. AC 91-57 only applies to modelers, and thus specifically excludes Its use by persons or companies for business purposes." Update: 09/07 02:16 GMT by T : Pray forgive the OCR that turned "persons" into "pecions" and "circular" into "arcular"; updated to fix those.

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06 Sep 13:00

Leaving Mljet

by Kristin

On our next to last day in Croatia, we did nothing at all.

Actually, that's not entirely true. We got up and watched an industrious bee cut a hole in the meat served with breakfast - pimento loaf, maybe - and fly off with it only to return a bit later for another chunk and again. I'm not sure how many holes he managed to cut or how much meat he flew away but it was rather impressive and a highlight of a rather quiet day.

We probably could have done with one less day in Mljet and one more in Dubrovnik. Two days of hiking in thunderstorms proved more than enough and when after a very expensive dinner with a nice young waiter desperate to practice hi English and talk politics, storms continued to rage, we decided to spend the day close to the pension.

Swim. Hammock. Hammock. Swim.

I didn't sleep much through the night with my back screaming in pain whenever I rolled. Apparently, trying to impale myself with a stainless steel water bottle would leave a lasting mark.

Around 12:22, I got up and padded downstairs to a lot common room to read the book that I'd borrowed from the last pension. I finished it the next day from a swinging bench and a table on the portico. The skies were too gray to warrant a swim and the hammock was both damp and musty.

Storms filled the day with light rain, sometimes heavier, constant rumbling, occasional flashes and thick, still air. Sometimes, it rained while the sun shone. Sometimes, the sun burned against a dark threatening sky. It was all rather bizarre and not at all suited to hiking, especially not with a 4 pm ferry back to Dubrovnik.

The very expensive dinner squelched interest in eating out. Ever. Again. (It was our most expensive meal of the trip at twice the cost of earlier contenders and not nearly as tasty. We did however enjoy both the waiter and free house made sherry.) Of course, the only places for internet access on the island came with menus, food and drink. We traded information for saving some kuna and grabbed snacks from the grocery to eat as we read.

Sometime later, we'd catch up with the world. For a while, we slowed down in a beautiful garden and kept out of the rain. It was a quiet ride back to Dubrovnik. Everyone else seemed equally beaten down by the drops and the wind. At the first stop (picking up passengers from the other end of the island), people appeared with plastic bags on their heads looking for all the world like there was someplace they'd rather have been than an island national park in the rain.
05 Sep 13:00

Second verse

by Kristin

On our second day in Mljet, we followed the same route we'd followed before. It was, after all, the only official walk of our self-guided tour. More than that, though, we wanted to hike to the highest spot on the island.

On day one, I wore trail shoes rather than hiking boots and failed to carry my walking stick. On day one, the summit seemed less than possible. I trudged along forest trails littered with pine needles with rocks in my shoes and dizziness in my head. It was hot. Humid. Slightly boring. It wasn't unlike a scene we'd see at home and we had 10 miles of that plus a water taxi across a canal and a half mile in a thunderstorm.

Day two dawned cool, clear and bright, much better for climbing to the top of a mountainish peak. Of course the sun disappeared before we left the room and clouds settled in for an ominous day. Once again, we packed the rain gear: dry sacks, rain pants and jackets.

After breakfast, we headed out for the mountain, following the path we knew and then veering left, up, up, up through still air and dense trees. Hot. Humid. Fragrant of pine. The path grew rocky and confusing near the top and then we made it.

The views were distinctly unspectacular. Clouds hung low and trees stretched high. I spent more time trying to get a picture of myself with something vaguely interesting in the background as I scowled into the strangely intensely diffused light.

We followed the varying marks of several different hash marks on the way down and ended up on a switchback trail that didn't seem to be the switchback trail but offered the views we'd missed from the top. Open, breezy, and scenic, it made up for the miserable hike to the summit.

Near the bottom, back to the tree cover and damp detritus of the forest, I slipped and nearly impaled myself with a stainless steel bottle wedged firmly upright between a rock and my back. Cemetery. Boat ride. Monastery.

We wandered the island and missed the first boat. Ate lunch in the rain (and then out) and missed the second. The third came and left a quarter hour off schedule so we got a glass of wine, listened to women making pizza and singing an ethereal a cappella for nothing but the joy of singing itself, and caught the fourth.

The second first wasn't at all the same as the first. It was slower, wetter and far prettier with sight and sound. It just started out the same (plus an attempt at impaling).
04 Sep 19:20

21 free SEO tools to instantly improve your marketing

by Kevan Lee
This post originally appeared on the Buffer blog. Whenever I dream up a home improvement project for my place, I end up working smartest and fastest when I have the right... Keep reading →
04 Sep 19:34

Directed by Michael Bay

Directed by Michael Bay

04 Sep 13:00


by Kristin

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned a year older but really just a day had passed. Another day on an island.

We had gone to the grocery Tuesday night rather than cleaning up and heading out in the rain after a long day and the last boat back from Šipan. We walked to the grocery, bought bread, cheese and wine. Fruit. Olives. And ate a picnic in our room.

The tap water, so very clean and drinkable, had turned to something closer to mud. Monday's storms and Tuesday's rain had done something to drainage and pipes. Things were a mess. We added iodine tablets from my bag (because I had iodine tablets in my bag) and waited the prescribed time before adding that to our repast.

Books, photos and music made our night complete, my birthday eve, as we caught up with friends around the world in our pajamas.

Then, we got up and packed, ate more (breakfast) and headed out to meet Darko for a trip to the port, another boat, an island. I would spend the rest of my birthday and a day and a half to follow on Mljet.

The island features a national park, which covers half the island, and serves as "a paradise for anyone looking to get away from it all." Few residents. No large towns. One major road. Rumor has it that the island proved so seductive that Odysseus came and stayed for seven years.

Hiking, biking and swimming serve as the major attractions along with "stunning scenery and peaceful atmosphere."
02 Sep 16:19

How Game of Thrones Crafted Last Season's Emmy-Winning Visual Effects

by Alissa Walker

Game of Thrones walked away from the Emmys last week with four of the biggest technical awards, including a very well-deserved win for best visual effects. One team responsible has posted some of their process videos from season 4. Let's just say it looks tougher than conquering the walled city of Meereen.


02 Sep 14:19

New Obamacare tax on insurance company CEOs raises $72 million

by (Joan McCarter)
Cathey Park of Cambridge, Massachusetts shows her cast signed by U.S. President Barack Obama after he spoke about health insurance at Faneuil Hall in Boston October 30, 2013. The writing on the cast reads,
It's enough to make you love the law.
With very little fanfare, Obamacare just raised $72 million from health insurance companies. To be more precise, it raised that money from health insurance company CEOs by closing a tax loophole.
For decades now, the United States has limited the corporation tax deduction for executive pay to $1 million for the company's top four employees. That deduction cap, however, excluded performance bonuses, creating a massive loophole allowing companies to pay their top employees more than $1 million without facing a higher tax burden.

Obamacare quietly changed the rules for health insurance executives. It lowered the cap to $500,000—and, in that amount, now includes all forms of compensation. The health insurers' regulation also widens the scope of who it hits: while the general deduction cap only applies to the company's top four employees, the Obamacare rule hits any executive earnings more than $500,000.

That's how much was raised just from the 10 largest insurance companies, and just 57 executives. So this estimate is likely underestimating how much was raised by the law. While $72 million is a tiny drop of the bucket in terms of the federal budget, for health care alone, it's a good chunk of money.

Imagine how much the government could raise if it closed that loophole in every industry. No wonder Republicans hate Obamacare so much; It's working to insure people and it's raising money. What a nightmare for them.

03 Sep 03:40

meanwhile in russia…

meanwhile in russia…

31 Aug 22:00

Firefighters Comfort Grieving Widow by Mowing the Lawn Her Husband Was Cutting When He Died

by John Farrier

(Photo: Ashley Odom Chandler)

John McCormick of Baytown, Texas was mowing his lawn when he had a heart attack. His family summoned emergency responders. A fire truck followed the ambulance, which took him to the hospital. The firefighters could do nothing to immediately contribute to McCormick's health. But they could finish what they started. So the firefighters quietly mowed the lawn, locked the mower away in the garage, then left the key in the mailbox.

(Photo: City of Baytown)

The firefighters also left a note expressing their sympathy. It's pictured above. Sadly, McCormick did not survive. But the firefighters' simple act of kindness meant a lot to the family:

"I just couldn't believe it," said Patsy McCormick of the firefighter's gesture. "I just couldn't believe they took the time to do that."

"It just speaks to their character," said son-in-law Dan Blackford. "They say honor is doing the right thing when nobody's looking. That's a fact," he said of the firefighters who didn't know someone captured their gesture on camera. "They were very honorable."

"This just shows just exactly how special they really are," said Jeana Blackford who, despite the grief over losing her father wanted to publicly thank the men of Station 4 for showing everyone the impact a single random act of kindness can have. And for showing everyone that going above and beyond the call of duty, whether a firefighter or a civilian in everyday life, often just takes a few more steps.

"I think we all need to do random acts of kindness every day, every day," she said.

-via I Own the World

01 Sep 04:37

What’s next with 3D printing? A concrete castle in your backyard

by Mirko


I slowly got used to the printing small objects, but the idea of being able to print some small (or big) houses doesn’t cease to amaze me.

In this project, Andrey Rudenko constructed a little castle in a yard using concrete printed in 3D. The walls and the more complicated parts like the tops of the towers have been printed separately, then assembled.

Rudenko seems very excited about this new technology as well, he said: “a new era of architecture is inevitable and I’m excited to see where the next few years will lead in terms of construction and design. I have previously been sure I could print homes, but having finished the castle, I now have proof that the technology is ready.”








The post What’s next with 3D printing? A concrete castle in your backyard appeared first on Design daily news.

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01 Sep 08:04

Paul Robertson

by Glenn

This pixel art by Australian animator Paul Robertson will wake up your eyeballs this monday morning!

31 Aug 15:51