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26 Nov 12:00

The Terrifying Ancient Aztec "Death Whistle"

by Don

was not disappointed.


A man demonstrates how to play an Aztec “death whistle” to make a noise even more irritating than a vuvuzela.

26 Nov 18:54

Funny Exam Answer: C for Creative

by Brad
24 Nov 22:00

People Hate Smokers

People Hate Smokers

Submitted by: Unknown

25 Nov 23:30

If it's Good Enough for Han, it's Good Enough for Me

If it's Good Enough for Han, it's Good Enough for Me

Submitted by: Unknown

Tagged: wtf , star wars , wookie , Han Solo , funny
26 Nov 05:00

November 26, 2014


those are some lucky pants.

Exclusive bonus comic over at The Nib!
25 Nov 23:36

TOM THE DANCING BUG: Richard Scarry's Busy Town in the 21st Century

by Ruben Bolling
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26 Nov 06:29

The CIA and Homeland Security want to delete almost all their emails

by Mariella Moon
Usually, deleting emails is a no-fanfare, one-click affair -- but not when you're the Central Intelligence Agency or the Department of Homeland Security. Both agencies have recently submitted proposals to the National Archives and Records Administrat...
25 Nov 05:00

November 25, 2014

25 Nov 01:45

Amiibo Nearly Wins Super Smash Bros Tournament

by Nathan Grayson

Amiibo Nearly Wins Super Smash Bros Tournament

A Fox Amiibo—as in, a CPU-controlled version of a character housed in a tiny action figure—took third place in a Smash Bros tournament against real humans. It was a Fox Amiibo. Of course it was Fox.

Amiibo Nearly Wins Super Smash Bros Tournament

Twitch streamer dazee recounted the tale in a series of tweets (as spotted by NeoGAF). At a local Smash tournament in Richmond, British Columbia, a Fox Amiibo named WaveShine rose through the ranks and nearly took the whole thing. He (or she? I don't know how Amiibos process gender in their cold, plasticine circuits) made it all the way to the losers finals, taking on one of the best Smash players in the region in the process.

Amiibo Nearly Wins Super Smash Bros Tournament

Just look at it, sitting motionlessly in front of a controller, scheming. Has science finally gone too far? Robots already took chess from us. Now this? Does humanity's future lie not in the lap of technology-borne luxury, but rather in the clammy iron grip of an army of elite combat action figures, our own metaphorical Final Destination (no items, naturally)?

I'm joking, of course. And it should be noted that high-level Amiibos get some pretty serious boosts to damage and other stats. This wasn't really a fair fight. Even if an Amiibo's AI isn't perfect, it still packs a mean(er than normal) punch.

Amiibo Nearly Wins Super Smash Bros Tournament

Still, it's pretty funny. I also find it fascinating, because we continue to see Amiibos being used in ways I doubt Nintendo intended. I have to admit, I wasn't sold on the concept at first. All I saw was a cheap Ninty knock-off of a concept Skylanders turned from cheap to plastic to pure gold.

Conceptually, though, these things pair pretty perfectly with Smash. Fighting game players frequently refer to "their" version of a character—the unique fusion of that player and character's identities—and Amiibos are a physical extension of that. I finally gave into my "alright, this is kinda neat" impulse when people started customizing them. I gave into my nightmares about Animal Crossing's villager shortly after.

Now, to add to that, we have an instance of an Amiibo doing its own thing... shockingly well. I think it's time for an all-Amiibo tournament next. Seriously! I think it'd be really cool if people tweaked and tinkered with Amiibos specifically to make them compete against each other. And then we'd see professional Amiibo trainers, Amiibo gyms all over the world, a series of badges you'd earn for defeating them and wait I just described Pokemon. But the first thing I said—the tournament stuff—that'd be dandy.

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22 Nov 08:33

neptunain: who is this person


who is this person

20 Nov 13:30

Pokémon are usually named after the sounds they make, unless those sounds are, well, screaming.

by András Neltz

Pokémon are usually named after the sounds they make, unless those sounds are, well, screaming. We see this in action in the comic drawn by Justin Hall of The unnamed spelunker probably had a list for these cases.

Latest Pokémon Comic [JhallComics, via r/pokemon]

Dayshot is an image-based feature that runs every morning, showcasing some of the prettiest, funniest game-related screenshots and art that we can find. Send us suggestions if you've got them.

Questions? Comments? Contact the author of this post at andras-AT-kotaku-DOT-com.

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23 Nov 20:00

Defective Samus Amiibo? More Like Perfected Samus Amiibo

by Mike Fahey

Defective Samus Amiibo? More Like Perfected Samus Amiibo

The Amiibo Samus figure Redditor Adam "Adamantium126" Truesdale received from Best Buy might not be able to enjoy a cup of coffee or open manual doors, but who cares when you've got double the firepower?

According to a Gamespot interview with the lucky owner of no-hands Samus, he didn't even realize the figure had two cannons until a friend pointed it out. Luckily he was able to procure a "normal" Samus, and her awesome twin remains encased in her plastic shell, to show up on eBay a few years from now as a super-rare variant.

Defective Samus Amiibo? More Like Perfected Samus Amiibo

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23 Nov 01:10

the lammily doll goes on sale next week for $25 The brainchild...

the lammily doll goes on sale next week for $25

The brainchild of 26-year-old graphic designer Nickolay Lamm, the “Lammily” doll will begin shipping next week with the sales pitch that “average is beautiful.”

Lamm based the physique of his doll from statistics provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), calculating that the “average” 19-year-old was five feet, four inches (163.3 centimeters) tall, weighed 150 pounds (68 kilograms) and measured 33.5 inches (85 centimeters) around the chest. (x)

i like this, but i’d make one change: rather than “average is beautiful”, i’d say “realistic is beautiful”.

23 Nov 13:20

Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun


Via Cooper Griggs

Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun

23 Nov 14:13


22 Nov 12:53

Bible: tl;dr edition

by Cory Doctorow

Cabbagetroll's masterful summary of the Bible (both testaments) on Reddi's /r/Christianity really captures the books' spirit.

God: All right, you two, don't do the one thing. Other than that, have fun.
Adam & Eve: Okay.
Satan: You should do the thing.
Adam & Eve: Okay.
God: What happened!?
Adam & Eve: We did the thing.
God: Guys

God: You are my people, and you should not do the things.
People: We won't do the things.
God: Good.
People: We did the things.
God: Guys

The stories of the Bible in TL;DR form [Cabbagetroll/Reddit]

(via Kottke)

(Image: The Wolverton Bible)

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18 Nov 20:00

Feel the Hate, and Hate the Love

Feel the Hate, and Hate the Love

Submitted by: Unknown

Tagged: allergy , Cats , funny
19 Nov 19:00

They Have All Sorts of Uses

They Have All Sorts of Uses

Submitted by: Unknown

20 Nov 18:04

The Shirt That Ended All Shirtstorms

by Brad
21 Nov 19:25

Abandonware heroes

by Rob Beschizza
2 Gizmodo's Kate Knibbs reports on people who do the hard work of recovering and restoring forgotten games, so that they may be remembered—and, Heaven forbid, played again.

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19 Nov 18:50

IGN's Pokémon ORAS Review: Too Much Water

by Brad

Pokémon fans are having a field day with IGN’s latest review of Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire for Nintendo 3DS after the gaming review site listed “too much water” as one of its drawbacks.

20 Nov 00:30

A Six-Step Guide to Realizing Art Is Hard

by Brad
19 Nov 04:51


18 Nov 18:02

Bob Marley’s Family Is Starting A Line Of Branded Marijuana For Reasons No One Must Explain

by Mary Beth Quirk

In a branding combination that goes together like Bob Marley black light posters and college students, the late musician’s family says it’s starting a new line of Bob Marley marijuana. If you need someone to explain the relationship between Marley and Mary Jane, go ask your 19-year-old niece/nephew/son/daughter living in the basement.

The family has partnered up with a private equity firm that focuses on the cannabis industry called Privateer Holdings. The two have struck a 30-year licensing deal, reports Fast Company, to create Marley Natural (what, not Marleyjuana?!), a pot brand that will have a slew of products on the market at dispensaries around late 2015.

The line will come plastered with the new Marley Natural logo of a lion, which is an important symbol to Rastafarians, anchored with two leaves. Products include topical things hemp-derived lotions and the like, as well as six “heirloom” strains of marijuana that were personal favorites of Marley.

“We really want the products to be rooted in Bob’s life and in his message, and be authentic to his Jamaican roots,” Privateer CEO Brendan Kennedy told Fast Company. “We’re doing everything out of respect for Bob and out of respect for his vision.”

The deal had to be worked out in secret ahead of today’s announcement, seeing as the company’s headquarters is in New York City, where recreational pot is not legal.


18 Nov 20:22

Computer Engineer Barbie Needs Men To Write Code, Can’t Reboot Computer

by Mary Beth Quirk

I'm guessing someone in the Amazon comments beat me to it, but is Barbie doing computer engineering in the kitchen?

barbieengineerIt’s taken the media at large many months to catch on, but Amazon reviewers have been up in arms over a book from Mattel’s “I Can Be” Barbie series, I Can Be A Computer Engineer (Mattel created a Computer Engineer Barbie in 2010 as well) for months now. Why? Because Barbie doesn’t seem to actually do anything a computer engineer does, only has the skills to design a game and needs the help of men to code it and heck, she can’t even reboot her computer right.

Let’s set the scene, as noted by yesterday and subsequently posted to Reddit: Barbie is working on her laptop one morning, eating yogurt as one does in front of computers, and Skipper asks what she’s up to. She’s busy computering, it seems.

“I’m designing a game that shows kids how computers work,” explains Barbie. “You can make a robot puppy do cute tricks by matching up colored blocks!”

Right on, girl power! Wait — designing adorable puppies is one thing, but they need to be coded.

“Your robot puppy is so sweet,” says Skipper. “Can I play your game?”

“I’m only creating the design ideas,” Barbie says, laughing. “I’ll need Steven and Brian’s help to turn it into a real game!”

Yes, really.


She then proceeds to give her computer a virus while failing to email her design ideas to the boys who must help her, and can’t figure out to reboot her computer. If that’s not bad enough, she also puts a virus on Skipper’s laptop, losing all her important homework files.

And yes, there’s more — a whole lot, including a scene where the boys tell Barbie she can fix things faster if they help, and the end where Barbie takes the credit for all the work she didn’t do and gets extra credit to boot: ” ‘I guess I can be a computer engineer!” says Barbie happily.’ “

Those are not the messages parents say they want their daughters to hear, as reviewers have been noting on the Amazon reviews of the book since January. It’s part of a two-pack offering along with I Can Be An Actress.

Of course there’s been an avalanche of negative reviews since yesterday, but the bad reviews stretch back 11 months.

January 31, 2014:

I found the sexist drivel that this book portays[sic] to be especially inflammatory, so much so that I’ve placed it near my fireplace for emergency use during a power outage. The demeaning words add extra fuel as they certainly come from the fire of hell itself.

Also wonderful for starting your backyard grill.

February 11, 2014:

I just read this book, and it’s incomprehensible how misogynistic it is. I wouldn’t be surprised if it got removed from the shelves soon.

Still on virtual shelves by February 13, 2014:

An appalling representation of how women act in the world of technology.
Lessons you learn from “I Can Be a Computer Engineer”:

A girl needs a boy to do anything of value.
Women are not able to fix their own computer problems.
Girls need boys to do their work for them but can simply take the credit and no one will worry about who really did the work since, duh! a girl couldn’t have done it by herself.

Basically this book enforces all the bad stereotypes about women/girls not being capable enough to compete with men/boys when it comes to careers in technology. Fantastic.

November 17, 2014, people are catching on even more:

To add insult to misogynist injury, the depiction of “computer engineer” has nothing to do with either engineering or computer science. As far as I can tell, this story seems to think “computer engineer” means being utterly ignorant of how computers work, and not actually using them to write software.

Do your daughter a favor, and just download the past year of @SwiftOnSecurity’s tweets, instead. She’ll learn far more about computer security, engineering, and girl power from a real fake girl than from this waste of tree carcasses.

Which brings us to today:

Wow, and here to think I’ve been foolish enough to do my own work all these years when I could have just found some boys to do it for me. Where were Steven and Brian when I had to write my dissertation?

Seriously, with all the hard work so many are putting in to make sure that girls know that computing can be a great career for them it’s absolutely appalling to see something like this out there to reinforce the gender stereotypes.

I wish I could say this is the first time we’ve seen a major company send a message like this, but of course there was “Math is hard” Barbie, followed by a slew of bad retailer decisions that, intentionally or not, tell girls they can’t do something boys can do, or should like only stereotypically girl things like shopping and the color pink.

We’ve reached out to Mattel for comment and will update this post if we get a response.

19 Nov 16:38

Comcast Hits Man With $2,789 Fee For Moving To Area Not Served By Comcast

by Chris Morran

I'm sure Comcast would argue that once they eat TWC, they'll control the area the guy was moving to, and so this issue shouldn't happen again.

comcastbillWhen a Tennessee graphic designer decided to move an hour away, Comcast originally told him that he could move his business-class service and even set up an appointment for installation. But when the Comcast installer never showed up, the company finally told the man that (A) his new address wasn’t served by Comcast and (B) he owes the company nearly $3,000 in early termination fees.

“I was just blown away,” the man tells Nashville’s WSMV-TV about the $2,789 in fees from Comcast. “That’s way too much money for somebody like me to be able to pay.”

Comcast told him that he was in a 3-year contract for his business broadband service, and per the business-class terms of service [PDF] he owed a fee equal to 75% of the amount he would have eventually paid over the balance of the contract.

“They kept telling me the same thing,” he recalls. “‘You’re under contract, that’s what the contract says.’”

The former Comcast customer, who said he’d never had any problem with the company until this incident, says he understands that there’s an early termination fee for those who cancel service, but he wasn’t attempting to get out of his contract. He’d tried to relocate his service and he’d been told that Comcast could install service at his new address.

“I didn’t think that was fair, to pay an early termination fee, because I wanted to keep their service,” he explains. “And due to them not offering it in my area, I feel like I was being punished because they don’t offer the service here.”

A rep for Comcast confirmed the early termination fee to WSMV but said there were extenuating circumstances in this case and that the fee is being waived.

19 Nov 04:32

World's oldest photograph, and more cool "oldest" objects

by David Pescovitz
oldest-photo.jpg__800x0_q85_crop Smithsonian posted a gallery of "ten of the world's oldest everyday objects," including the above photo by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce from 1826 or 1827, thought to be the oldest surviving photograph. It's titled "View from the Window at Le Gras" and housed at the University of Texas's Harry Ransom Center.

Niépce, considered the father of photography, invented the camera out of necessity because he couldn't seem to master drafting images by hand. As early as 1793, Niépce talked about the possibility of capturing images through light. By using a mixture of bitumen of Judea, which hardened and became insoluble after prolonged exposure to light, Niépce was able to capture the first photograph from a camera onto a pewter plate.

Check out the other objects Smithsonian selected, including a soccer ball, book, and leather shoe: "Where to See the Oldest Artifacts in the World"

More background on "The First Photograph" here at the Harry Ransom Center.

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19 Nov 15:11


by jon



Day Four of Sciencemaster Adler’s Science Rampage finds him saving the day in a major way. What will happen on Friday? Probably something!

My Patreon has fallen off a bit in recent weeks, would you consider becoming a patron and supporting SFAM? If we can hit $3000 a month I’ll increase my comics output. We’re only $340 away from that!


17 Nov 11:12

Al Franken: Ted Cruz Has No Idea What Net Neutrality Is

by Chris Morran

Man, what's it going to take to get Franken the presidency?

Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas attempted to slam the notion of net neutrality, dubbing it “Obamacare for the Internet” and claiming that it would result in prices and services being set by the government. But over the weekend, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken called Cruz’s claim “baloney,” pointing out the fact that we’ve had net neutrality for years and cable companies have been doing just fine.

“He has it completely wrong,” said Franken on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley. “He just doesn’t understand what the issue is.”

The Senator clarifies that neutrality has existed throughout the Internet age. It’s the ISPs, led by Verizon, that successfully sued to gut the rules so that they can add fast lanes and charge more to companies that can afford to pay.

So the move to keep the Internet neutral is intended to maintain the status quo. It just requires new rules because the cable companies don’t want to abide by the old ones.

On the other hand, points out Franken, Obamacare is a program that created something new. Whatever your opinion of the Affordable Care Act, it’s in no way analogous to net neutrality.

“This would keep things exactly the same as they’ve been,” says Franken of neutrality.

The reason that the FCC is even considering the idea of reclassifying broadband as telecommunications infrastructure — as opposed to its current designation as an information service — is because it’s the only way in which the government can effectively tell ISPs to not create fast lanes, and there are some who contend that even reclassification may fail a legal challenge.

“It’s because these ISPs, which have been getting bigger… they essentially have an oligopoly,” says Franken about the need for FCC-enforced neutrality. “They have been talking about a fast lane — they have been talking about charging big, deep-pocketed corporations extra money to go faster, meaning everyone else goes slower.”

As for the claim that reclassifying broadband would cripple innovation and investment, Franken says, “That’s baloney,” and that a truly neutral Internet won’t be the end of investment.

“All this stops them from doing is making a whole bunch of extra money,” says the Senator. But this is not going to stop them from wiring the country.”

For an even better rebuttal of Cruz’s “Obamacare for the Internet” claim from someone without any sort of legislative agenda, check out this hilarious response from The Oatmeal.


18 Nov 05:00

November 18, 2014