Shared posts

01 Dec 16:29

Presenting the 2014 edition of cars sliding down a Duluth avenue


This video is from the Nov. 10 snow/ice storm. It’s not as good as the original (which is nearing a million views) but still … everyone loves a good car-sliding montage.

The post Presenting the 2014 edition of cars sliding down a Duluth avenue appeared first on Perfect Duluth Day.

01 Dec 19:23

This brought a smile to my face

01 Dec 04:49

final-mazin-blade: theheauxofvalroyeaux: funny how not...



funny how not inciting violence causes peaceful protests to stay peaceful #Ferguson #MikeBrown

I like how officers just letting protest happen was apparently bizarre enough to make the fucking news

01 Dec 02:05

who-waits-for-slug: onlylolgifs: Bonobo builds a fire and...



Bonobo builds a fire and toasts marshmallows


29 Nov 18:45


29 Nov 20:55

Man was paid $2,500 to conceive a child with his neighbour's beauty queen wife, but failed after 3 months trying. Only the story doesn't end there...

28 Nov 13:23


Karlsson-on-the-Roof from Maripuka85 on Vimeo.

Young boy subject to hallucinations is befriended by drunken fairy godfather. In Russian, but that hardly matters.

The German live-action version is even odder.

Wikipedia entry here.

28 Nov 18:08

this is hypnotising as fuck

28 Nov 21:23

Game reviewer strikes back at male stalkers with a brilliant new ploy: Telling their moms

by Tom Boggioni
Tired of harassment, rape threats, and obscene commentary from gamers stalking her on Facebook and Twitter, a female Australian  game reviewer for digital TV show Button Bash is striking back at her harassers in a new way: Telling their moms. Alanah Pearce, who tweets under the name, @Charalanahzard...
27 Nov 22:36

canmakedothink: needscandalinmylife: poldberg: While there is...




While there is a lot of appropriate rage about Ferguson right now, the killing of John Crawford, III is getting less attention than it deserves. I put Shaun King’s tweets and history lesson on the matter in chronological order for easier consumption.


Autopsy and video show John Crawford shot from behind in Wal-Mart

Witness in murder of John Crawford changes story

You really should be following Shaun King on Twitter.


Do not sleep on this. It is happening. Still. Every day.

27 Nov 11:53

Happy Thanksgiving 2014!

27 Nov 17:37

Only in Canada

Cary Renquist

Meanwhile in Canada...

26 Nov 20:45

dominicandeathtrap: t-ii: Civil rights attorney/MSNBC legal...



Civil rights attorney/MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Bloom points out that Darren Wilson’s cross-examination was a joke

Meanwhile being ignored

14 Nov 19:35

Had to help grandpa.

Cary Renquist

I did that with my mother-in-law's remotes....

16 Nov 18:45


17 Nov 19:05

When you pause cartoons at the right moment..

24 Nov 18:37

Our god vs. theirs

by whyevolutionistrue

A New Yorker cartoon tw**ted by Massimo Pigliucci. Remind you of a certain Monty Python skit?

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 12.31.53 PM

24 Nov 16:52

Classic Pakulu

Classic Pakulu

24 Nov 20:48

Los Angeles school district therapist: Low-IQ girls ‘suffer less’ trauma from sex assault

by David Edwards
An expert hired by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) argued in court that a 9-year-old girl seeking damages after she was sexually assaulted would be protected from emotional stress by her low IQ. Court documents obtained by KPCC investigative producer Karen Foshay detailed forensic ps...
10 Nov 18:56



11 Nov 13:35

Another round of snow in store for Wisconsin

Residents to the north are already digging out from a foot of new snow or more. Observers reported 13 inches at Sarona in Washburn County early Tuesday morning, 12 inches at Poplar in Douglas County and 11 inches in Minocqua.

11 Nov 15:01

An Interview with Tesla Battery Hacker [wk057]

by Adam Fabio

We covered [wk057] and his Tesla Model S battery teardown back in September. Since then we had some time to catch up with him, and ask a few questions.

You’ve mentioned that you have a (non hacked) Tesla Model S. What do you think of the car?

It’s the best car I’ve ever driven or owned, period. Not to get too into it, but, I love it. I’ve put almost 20,000 miles on it already in under a year and I have no real complaints. Software feature requests… but no complaints. After almost a year, multiple 1700-miles-in-a-weekend trips, and an overall great experience… I can never go back to a gas vehicle after this. It would be like going back to horses and buggies.

A salvage Tesla Lithium battery had to be expensive compared to a Lead Acid setup. What made you go with the Tesla?

Actually, if you consider that the Model S battery is already pre-setup as a high-capacity pack, contains the wiring to do so, and the modules are much more energy and power dense than any lead acid battery bank, it’s actually almost cheaper than a comparable lead acid bank and all the trimmings.

I haven’t officially weighed them, but the modules from the Model S battery are roughly 80 lbs. 80 lbs for a 5.3 kWh battery is around 15 lbs per kWh, which is impressive. For comparison, a decent lead acid battery will have a little over 1 kWh (of low-rate discharge capacity) and weigh almost the same.

Also, the Tesla pack is much more powerful than a lead acid bank of the same capacity.
Generally a lead acid battery bank would have a capacity that would only be realized with slow discharges, so, 1/20C. Much over that and you sacrifice capacity for power. 1/20C for an 85kWh pack is only 4.25kW, barely enough for a central air unit and some lights without losing capacity.

Now the Tesla pack can be discharged (based on how it does so in the vehicle) at up to 3.75C for short periods, and at 1/2C continuously without really affecting the overall capacity of the pack. That means I can run 10x more power than lead acid without a loss in overall charge capacity. Leads to a much more flexible battery solution since the loads will, in reality, always be so low that this will not even come into play with the Tesla pack, but would almost always be a factor with lead acid.

Charging is also somewhat better with the Tesla battery. Charge a lead acid battery at a 1/2C and it will boil. Charge the Tesla pack at 1/2C (42kW) and it might warm up a few degrees. Oh, and the charging losses at high rates are much less than lead acid also.
Overall, without continuing to yack about the technical aspects, it’s just a much better battery, takes up less space, weighs less, and has more power available.

There are likely decent arguments for other solutions, but the rest aside, this one won out because it was definitely more interesting.

Click past the break to read the rest of our interview with [wk057]!


Was it hard to find a salvage battery? How much did it cost?

I actually stumbled upon a listing for someone selling one from a salvage on TMC when I was considering options for my project.
It was pretty expensive, around $20k. However the cost per kWh was significantly lower than other comparable options, overall, especially after considering things I noted above. So, it was a no brainer.

What about buying bare 18650 cells and building up a system from scratch?

I had considered this, and actually purchased some and assembled a small module of cells. Many hours, pretty sore hands, and one small soldering iron burn later I had a 0.5kWh pack that in total, not counting time, cost 2.5x as much per kWh as the Tesla pack I bought. Add in labor and it was probably over 5x more expensive. Definitely not worth it.

Tell us a bit about the rest of your solar setup. How many panels does it have, and which inverters?

I’m setting up the system with just under 30kW (DC) worth of large commercial SunPower 20% efficiency 435W panels (69 of them) that I was able to get a hold of at an awesome price (< $0.80 per watt).

For inverters, I already have a couple of now are the Outback Radian Series GS8048A, 8kW off-grid. They’re programmable and work perfectly with the way I’ve reconfigured the Tesla modules (44.4V nominal, ~1900Ah). They’re stackable, so I plan to add more to basically have the same amperage AC service available from the setup that I do from the grid.

With a charged battery and no solar input I expect to be able to run the home, not counting Model S charging, for several days without issue. With solar input including Model S charging it should work indefinitely as a buffer for the power. I plan to generate around 35,000 kWh per year and run the home with the standard Tesla style “no compromises”.

Tesla Model S

Are you going completely off-grid, or are you going to sell back to the grid when your pack is fully charged?

Depends on how you look at it. I plan to power everything completely off of my solar setup/battery pack, drawing zero from the grid. However, I’m not cutting my grid service.
The inverters I’ve chosen are grid interactive. In the event that for some reason I need more power than the battery and solar can provide, they can recharge the battery from the grid.
So, 99.9% of the time I will be completely off-grid, as I’m sizing my setup accordingly. The grid will basically be my backup generator (along with my actual backup generator).

I do not plan to sell back to the grid at all. I decided to go off-grid initially because the concept of net-metering is just flawed, in my opinion. The grid is not a battery, but that is what many people are using it as with net metering. Eventually policies will change to reflect this and the cost benefit of doing so will likely be lost, and soon. Going off-grid assures that I’m in control of my power production and usage constantly. The price per kWh could jump to $5 next year (unlikely) and it wouldn’t phase me.

In the event I generate excess power, which may happen a bit in the summer, I plan to have several diversion setups in place to dump the power. The first being my Model S if available and at < 90% charge. The next being some climate tweaks (make it 1 degree cooler or 1 degree warmer to “store” that energy in the house itself). Auto modify the pool-pump timer schedule for that day. Heat the hot water a couple more degrees, etc. I don’t plan to waste the excess, but “store” it in other forms. Will take a little bit of custom hardware to make this happen, but that’s a project for another day. :)

Have you talked to any Tesla employees about your project? What did they say?

I had spoken with several people at Tesla regarding the project. Their standard responses seemed to be that they could not support my efforts in any way and wouldn’t provide information about any of the components in the battery pack to assist. I found this unfortunate.

What was the hardtesla-2est part about tearing down the pack?

Few things kind of rank together…
First, safety. Since I was not sure of the exact configuration and layout of any wiring and components, and could not find any definitive information about this, the added time and effort taken to disassemble it safely while essentially blind was probably the hardest part, but certainly important and worth it. A wrong move here could mean instant death.
Second, the pack was put together with strong adhesives almost everywhere. This physically made the tear down difficult.
Third, moving the thing. It was *heavy*, nearly a full ton. Took 4 people to move it around even with the wheels I put on it.


At one point you had casters on the full pack, did you consider putting a motor on it? It almost looked like a go-cart.

The casters barely held the weight of the pack, and several were bent by the time I removed them when I scrapped the frame.
My brother had mentioned the go-cart thing, actually, and I admit… the thought had crossed my mind and would have taken the project in a totally different direction. A go-cart with hundreds of miles of range… hmm…

10. Do you think you could have added the battery to your Tesla Model S to increase the range?

Funny you mention this. Directly, no. I don’t think there would be any way to directly increase range by adding the additional battery. Weight considerations aside, the pack would need to end up in parallel with the existing pack to make it work. So, assuming I could somehow fit the thing on or in the car, this would almost certain confuse the heck out of the electronics in the car and probably would end badly.

Indirectly, however, I plan to potentially try this. I’m going to have to move my test setup (where I currently have a couple of inverters, the pack, and a couple of the solar panels setup) to its permanent location soon. If I have the time, I may wire up half of the pack in the back of the Model S along with one of the inverters. Then I’d drive, stop along the way somewhere, and charge the Model S from the pack in the trunk.
Probably pretty pointless, but, a fun “Yeah, I did that” project for sure.

11. Do you think Elon Musk would be happy about you pushing the limits of solar with your Tesla battery pack?

I believe Elon Musk is already involved in similar more official projects if I understand correctly. As for whether or not he would be “happy” about my project with a salvage pack, I couldn’t say. I think he may at least appreciate the recycling aspect of it, in any case.

12. If you could ask Elon Musk anything – be it about Tesla, Solar City, or SpaceX, what would it be?

I would actually be curious as to what he thought about my particular project, if he had anticipated such projects, and what, if any, impact he feels similar projects have or will have on Tesla in general, now or in the future.

We’d like to thank [wk057] for taking the time to answer our questions, and wish him luck with his Tesla Supercharged home solar power system!


Filed under: car hacks, Featured
10 Nov 22:43

More national attention for Duluth?

by Fitz

Duluth snubbed again

I love the image, but I feel like I’m missing something.

Onion A.V. Club: Duluth snubbed yet again as the next Star Wars readies to film in London

Pinewood CEO Ivan Dunleavy made the announcement at the annual Confederation of Business Industry conference, boasting, “The seventh Star Wars movie just finished shooting at Pinewood. And I’m delighted to be able to tell you that a new Star Wars movie is already booked in.” His words were considered a direct affront to the fine people of Duluth, who have patiently waited decades for England to quit hogging all the Star Wars.

The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Dunleavy was referring to the first Star Wars spinoff, to be directed by Gareth Edwards, and not the follow-up to J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, But Not In Duluth, Because Fuck That Place.

The post More national attention for Duluth? appeared first on Perfect Duluth Day.

10 Nov 20:06


10 Nov 23:13


10 Nov 09:30

Artist Andrea Dezsö’s Enchanting Black-and-White Illustrations for the Little-Known Original Edition of the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales

by Maria Popova

“Tales are powerful instruments and should be wielded skillfully.”

In December of 1812, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, then in their twenties, published the first volume of what would become the world’s most enduring and beloved fairy tales, which have raised generations of children and inspired endless reimaginings, most recently by Neil Gaiman. But what most of us know today — the most commonly known Grimm tales, those most continually reprinted, widely translated, and even more widely celebrated — is the 1857 edition, which has very little to do with the original. Over the forty-five years and six editions in between, the Grimm brothers refined, revised, and wholly rewrote the tales beyond recognition. But in the preface to the magnificent The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition (public library), translator and Grimm scholar Jack Zipes argues that “the first edition is just as important, if not more important than the final seventh edition of 1857, especially if one wants to grasp the original intentions of the Grimms and the overall significance of their accomplishments.”

The original tales were pioneering examples of elements of creative culture we celebrate today as modern inventions — desk-bound scholars and philologists, the brothers were visionary crowdsourcers and deft remixers of folktales they collected from oral storytelling traditions. To that end, the tales also bespeak the central but unsung role of women in literary traditions — several well-educated young women from two local families played a significant role in gathering the tales and reciting them for the Grimm brothers to record; but the most significant contribution came from a tailor’s wife named Dorothea Viehmann, who lived in a nearby village and told the brothers more than forty tales.

'The Frog King, or Iron Henry'

Most significantly, the tales as originally envisioned were beautifully blunt and unaffected, not moralistic or didactic — as Christian and puritanical ideology would later censor them into being — but celebratory of the ennobling effect of poetry itself. The Grimms capture this beautifully in the preface to the 1812 edition, where they also speak with great elegance to the notion — shared by Tolkien and echoed by Neil Gaiman — that children shouldn’t be shielded from the dark:

In publishing our collection we wanted to do more than just perform a service for the history of [poetry]. We intended at the same time to enable [poetry] itself, which is alive in the collection, to have an effect: it was to give pleasure to anyone who could take pleasure in it, and therefore, our collection was also to become an intrinsic educational primer. Some people have complained about this latter intention and asserted that there are things here and there [in our collection] that cause embarrassment and are unsuitable for children or offensive (such as the references to certain incidents and conditions, and they also think children should not hear about the devil and anything evil). Accordingly, parents should not offer the collection to children. In individual cases this concern may be correct, and thus one can easily choose which tales are to be read. On the whole it is certainly not necessary. Nothing can better defend us than nature itself, which has let certain flowers and leaves grow in a particular color and shape. People who do not find them beneficial, suitable for their special needs, which cannot be known, can easily walk right by them. But they cannot demand that the flowers and leaves be colored and cut in another way.

'The Three Sisters'

But what makes this newly released original volume especially enchanting are the breathtaking illustrations by Romanian-born artist Andrea Dezsö. Her delicate ink-drawing vignettes — intended to invoke the magical cut-paper sculptures for which Dezsö is known — illuminate scenes from the Grimms’ tales through an extraordinary interplay of darkness and light, both of color and of concept.

'The Wild Man'

'The Elves'

'The Godfather'

I had the pleasure of speaking with Dezsö about her creative process, the enduring enchantment of fairy tales, the singular allure of papercraft, the relationship between horror and whimsy, and the joy of making art at a public library.

MARIA POPOVA: Your artwork is so intricate, so delicately detailed. Where does each piece begin, both in your mind and on the paper?

ANDREA DEZSÖ: Images can arrive fully-formed as I read the text, if it comes this way then it just pops out. Images that don’t come to mind fully-formed begin vague and undetailed, like something seen from a distance at night. In those cases, I sketch on the margins of the text or in a small notebook using a thick, blunt pencil that does not allow for precision. Through the act of drawing the image gets clearer and clearer. I start from marking what I know, what I can already see taking shape.

I made most of the Grimm sketches at a public library in New Jersey that had sturdy tables, great light, lots of books, people reading — a quiet and uplifted environment that made it easy to focus. I love to work outside of the studio — at libraries, in meetings, on the subway, while waiting around. Since you’re not expected to create great artwork in those places, it’s easy to relax and let the mind wander and find unexpected images.

A lot of the creative work and visual thinking happen up front, in the sketch phase. Loose sketch, detailed sketch. I typically show clients only highly detailed sketches that very closely resemble the finished illustrations — that’s the first they see of how I’ve translated the text into imagery.

'The Twelve Brothers'

'Hans My Hedgehog'

MP: How did you choose which fairy tales and which particular scenes to illustrate?

AD: Jack Zipes asked that I illustrate the first and last tales (“The Frog King” and “The Golden Key”), and also suggested a group of other tales to consider, so I started by reading those. If I liked his suggestion, I illustrated it; if not, I picked another one. I chose tales to illustrate that gave me immediate, strong, clear mental images as I read them. The scenes to be illustrated popped into my mind, often fully formed — like the whale rearing from the water with a man sitting in a tiny boat in front of it. I love tales that feature the devil or other nonhuman creatures, so that influenced my choices, too.

'The Devil in the Green Coat'

MP: How long did each piece take, on average — both the mental incubation period and the physical crafting?

AD: This was a fast-paced project — I made the 20 illustrations and the cover over three months, working intensively. Each image took several days to complete. Some images took days just to conceptualize, while others popped into mind ready to be put on paper. Some of the sketch sheets are heavily worked-up, while others contain a single drawing which looks pretty much the same as the final image. Sketching takes hours, sometimes much longer. Once the publisher was happy with the direction of the sketches, I re-drew them from scratch, regardless of how detailed the sketch was, in order to get it perfect.


MP: Papercraft seems like a medium particularly well-suited to fairy tales — it is magical in and of itself. (Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Hans Christian Andersen was a paper-cutter himself.) Do you find that the magic of papercraft comes from the medium itself, or does the quality of immersive, patient attention imbue any medium upon which it is bestowed with magic? Or is it some combination of the two?

AD: I like the tension that arises from using a medium in a way that it’s not typically used. In the case of the Grimm book, these are ink drawings that I made to look like cut paper. This drawing technique presents a unique set of challenges, like solving a puzzle, so I didn’t simply cut paper to make these illustrations.

There’s an instinctive compatibility between folk and fairy tales and paper cutting, as you mention. When I first began cutting paper years ago, I cut and arranged detailed scenes into multi-layered tunnel books — cut paper sculptures of fantastical scenes from my imagination and nightmares in the guise of fairy tales. The initial impression of beauty conveyed by a delicate, lacy cut paper piece is challenged the moment the viewer realizes what’s actually taking place in the scene. The experience moves back and forth between the beauty of the medium and the edginess of the message.

This extends to media beyond paper, too. For example, I like to embroider images and words that subvert the notion of the feminine and domestic. These embroideries are decidedly outside the traditional sense of craft, though a superficial glance might signal quaint samplers.

'The Singing Bone'

MP: What drew you to papercraft in the first place?

AD: To me the perfect situation is when life and work are seamlessly integrated. I love the idea of working with everyday materials like pencils, papers, knives, thread and fabric, because those materials are always available, so nothing can prevent me from working. Paper is also just a perfect material in that way: ubiquitous, affordable and easy to work with. It’s versatile, physical, light yet strong, it folds flat but can also be made to pop up or built into three dimensional environments. It can be used large or small, cut, sewn, used as-is or painted, printed or glued, new or recycled, hand or machine made. A nice piece of paper never fails to inspire me.

My first notion of paper cutting came from Victorian toy theaters. From the start, I was interested in cut paper beyond its conveyance of narrative, and began experimenting with the possibilities of light and shadow and movement. After the initial tunnel book sculptures, I was invited to create gallery-sized cut paper installations and found it necessary to transition to laser-cutting in order to avoid destroying my hand from the repetitious act of cutting thousands of minutely-detailed figures. Making laser cuts involves drawing an image and digitizing it to send to the laser cutter; at that point the whole question of drawing and cutting has come full-circle. I started to play with that challenge.

'Herr Fix-It-Up'

MP: You, like myself, grew up in Eastern Europe, where the Grimm fairy tales weren’t sterilized out of their grimness. Many Western storytellers, including J.R.R. Tolkien, Maurice Sendak, Neil Gaiman, and Sophie Blackall, have argued that shielding children from the dark is a selfish act on behalf of grownups and that there isn’t really such a thing as writing “for children.” How do you, both as an artist and as someone with one foot in each culture of fairy tales, feel about the childhood/adulthood polarization and about the element of the dark in “children’s” storytelling?

AD: I don’t believe my grandmother, mother, or aunt left out any of the grimmer elements of the fairy tales they read to us as children. I guess there was a respect for the integrity of a tale — this idea that every story had a wholeness that should not be tampered with when it was told. I thought it entirely normal that scary things happened in fairy tales because scary things happened in the real world as well. Romania had serious food shortages when I was growing up and I remember thinking that my sister and I still had it pretty good compared to all those children in the fairy tales whose parents sent them off to the forest with a stale slice of bread when they could not feed them anymore.

The publishing industry has its conventions, but children like to be taken seriously sometimes. A few years ago I wrote and illustrated a children’s book, Mamushka, that appeared in Hungary. The book is a series of whimsical episodes, but is ultimately about a child working through her grief and finding consolation after the death of her grandmother. The illustrations are black-and-white graphite drawings. It’s an unconventional children’s book for Hungary, both because of the subject matter and the lack of color. Some readers indicated that they were ambivalent about giving the book to their children at first, but when they did the kids really took to the book and wanted it read over and over.

I guess it always depends on the individual child — some children may find some stories or characters disturbing, while others might find them relatable, and we as adults should be sensitive to that. There might be a cultural component at play — children raised in Eastern Europe might be expected to handle emotions provoked by folktales about betrayal and death, whereas in America maybe that’s considered challenging — though these same American kids see plenty of violence and death in popular culture, so there you have it. I think the right tale at the right time can be tremendously helpful, but tales are powerful instruments and should be wielded skillfully.

'The Golden Key'

You can see more of Dezsö’s enchanting work on her site. Complement The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition with the best illustrations from two centuries of Grimm tales, then revisit Italian artist Lorenzo Mattotti’s illustrations for Neil Gaiman’s retelling of Hansel and Gretel.

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10 Nov 07:23

A prairie dog too fat to get out of its hole.

10 Nov 12:33


09 Nov 23:00

Double Spacing After a Period Could Reveal Your Age

by Dave Greenbaum
Cary Renquist

Double spacer here...

Double Spacing After a Period Could Reveal Your Age

Depending on your age and where you went to school, you may have learned keyboard skills on a typewriter rather than a computer. Those of us who learned on a typewriter were usually told to double space after a period. Try single spacing on your resume and emails if you want to avoid some unintended age discrimination.


09 Nov 13:00

Top ten most common sexual fantasies: new study asks what makes a fantasy “unusual”

by Katie Halper
A new study from the University of Montreal published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that a lot of sexual fantasies are pretty common and pretty vanilla. 1,516 participants rated 55 sexual fantasies and the researchers broke down the fantasies into four categories:  “statistically rare” (fo...