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04 Nov 19:13

JavaScript for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming

by Mark Frauenfelder


JavaScript for Kids is for kids, but also for adults who don't know anything about coding and want to learn. The author, Nick Morgan, is a front-end programmer at Twitter, and he does a great job of clearly presenting programming concepts like data types, control structures, functions strings, arrays, loops. Nothing is dumbed down. You'll also learn jQuery to make interactive web pages, and Canvas to create graphics. Along the way you'll write several computer games.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 11.11.22 AM

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 11.10.43 AM

09 Oct 20:29

A Look Inside the Smitten Kitchen

by Anne Marie Lindemann

Deb Perelman, the writer behind the wildly popular food blog Smitten Kitchen, recently published her 1,000th recipe. She’s also written a cookbook that spent weeks on the New York Times best-seller list in 2012 and is still No. 1 on Amazon in the “gourmet cooking” category. Perelman’s success is easy to understand: She’s a stunning photographer, her writing is chatty and self-deprecating, and her taste is impeccable. (If Perelman recommends a recipe, you know it’s going to be good.) Perelman’s image is both relatable and aspirational—she is an everywoman who, by force of will, has transformed her small New York City kitchen into a stage for irresistible delicacies.

08 Oct 13:24

Amazon Launches Marketplace Dedicated To Handcrafted, “Factory-Free” Products

by Ashlee Kieler

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 8.48.38 AMBack in May, we reported that Amazon was dipping its toes into yet another marketplace venture, this one centered on handcrafted goods. At the time, the e-commerce behemoth was prepping for a showdown with the top site in the craft world, Etsy, by attempting to lure away its vendors. Fast-forward four months, and the launch of “Handmade at Amazon” is upon us. 

The new marketplace, which features items crafted and sold directly from artisans, was designed to provide customers and artisans a tailored store filled with unique, one-of-a-kind handcrafted products, Amazon said in an announcement Thursday.

All of the 80,000 items – ranging from jewelry, kitchen supplies to furniture and stationary – currently for sale through roughly 5,000 vendors on the site are required to be “factory-free” and made by hand.

“We have designed a custom shopping experience for customers looking for handmade items by bringing together many of the best artisans in the world, and they’re adding thousands of items daily,” Peter Faricy, VP for Amazon Marketplace, said in a statement. “Knowing an item has a unique story behind it creates a personal experience that customers have told us makes owning handmade items special.”

While shopping on Handmade, customers will find small location icons on listings, identifying where the artisan is based and linking to their profile.

It’s unclear how many of the vendors featuring products on Amazon’s site came from Etsy or continue to sell on that site, as well.

When Amazon began exploring its foray into handcrafted goods, the company sent many Etsy sellers invitations to sign up for the forthcoming marketplace and asked them to participate in a survey regarding the types of products they specialize in.

“We’re offering artisans like you a first peek at Handmade, a new marketplace for handcrafted goods,” the Amazon email stated.

At the time, several vendors said their interests were piqued after receiving the email, but they remained skeptical on whether or not they could produce personalized and made-on-demand products that would fit Amazon’s shipping guidelines.

30 Sep 21:13

‘Back To The Future’ Trilogy Is Free For Amazon Prime Members In October

by Sarah Buhr
back_to_the_future Hold on to your 1.21 gigawatts. Amazon is offering the Back to the Future trilogy for free to Prime members for the whole month of October. This year marks the 30th anniversary for BTTF. Super fans may recall October 21, 2015, is also the date Marty McFly heads into the future to see what can be done about his kids. Read More
10 Sep 17:00

Watch Mr. Darcy get rekt

by Laura Hudson


R.I.P. Mr. Darcy.

26 Aug 15:16

Flyby video from latest photos shows Pluto in all its glory

by Jason Kottke

Bjorn Jonsson used the photos taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft to make an animation of the probe's flyby of Pluto.

The time covered is 09:35 to 13:35 (closest approach occurred near 11:50). Pluto's atmosphere is included and should be fairly realistic from about 10 seconds into the animation and to the end. Earlier it is largely just guesswork that can be improved in the future once all data has been downlinked from the spacecraft. Light from Pluto's satellite Charon illuminates Pluto's night side but is exaggerated here, in reality it would be only barely visible or not visible at all.

Fantastic...and Pluto's moons flying about in the background is the cherry on the top. (via @BadAstronomer)

Tags: astronomy   Bjorn Jonsson   NASA   New Horizons   photography   Pluto   science   solar system   space   video
26 Aug 15:06

The Times-Picayune's Hurricane Katrina newspapers on

by Diya Chacko, | The Times-Picayune
Newspapers in their entirety from August 29 to November 9, 2005.
10 Aug 21:35

"Cooler" temps prompt heat advisory through 7 p.m. Tuesday for southeastern La., southwestern Miss.

by Mark Schleifstein, | The Times-Picayune
Dangerously high temperatures remain a problem through Tuesday afternoon, except for areas close to coast and marshes, forecasters say
07 Aug 13:17

Save Up to 80% on Kindle Books By Jon Stewart's Guests, Today Only

by Shep McAllister, Commerce Team on Deals, shared by Shep McAllister, Commerce Team to Deadspin
04 Aug 15:52

Where broadband is a utility, 100Mbps costs just $40 a month

by Jon Brodkin

There’s been a lot of debate over whether the United States should treat Internet service as a utility. But there’s no question that Internet service is already a utility in Sandy, Oregon, a city of about 10,000 residents, where the government has been offering broadband for more than a decade.

SandyNet” launched nearly 15 years ago with DSL and wireless service, and this summer it's putting the final touches on a citywide upgrade to fiber. The upgrade was paid for with a $7.5 million revenue bond, which will be repaid by system revenues. Despite not being subsidized by taxpayer dollars, prices are still low: $40 a month for symmetrical 100Mbps service or $60 a month for 1Gbps. There are no contracts or data caps.

“Part of the culture of SandyNet is we view our citizens as owners of the utility,” City IT Director and SandyNet GM Joe Knapp told Ars in a phone interview. “We've always run the utility on a break-even basis. Any profits we do have go back into capital improvements and equipment upgrades and things like that.”

Read 34 remaining paragraphs | Comments

28 Jul 17:57

Key & Peele Report on Teachers as if They’re Pro Sports Stars

by Matt Wilstein

What if the media covered and celebrated public school teachers the way it obsesses over professional athletes? That’s the premise of the latest sketch from Key & Peele, which imagines TeachingCenter, a SportsCenter for education superstars that features classroom highlights and news of million-dollar contracts.

Make sure to keep watching for the BMW ad starring P.S. 431’s star English teacher Ruby Ruhf. “Meet the New Teacher’s Pet.”

Watch video below, via Comedy Central:

[Photo via screengrab]

— —

>> Follow Matt Wilstein (@TheMattWilstein) on Twitter

05 Apr 16:19

Santorum on RFRAs: 'Tolerance a '2-way street'

20 Mar 18:42

SpaceX makes photos freely available on Flickr

by Matthew Roth

SpaceX, the pioneering company founded by Elon Musk, has recently started a Flickr account and uploaded a number of amazing photos of their launches, as well as product views and behind the scenes images. What’s more, they’ve licensed their images under a Creative Commons license that enables free, noncommercial re-use with attribution.

In speaking with a media representative for the company, he told Flickr that SpaceX has licensed the images for reuse by the public and they explicitly grant the media the rights to use the images.


We’d highly encourage checking out their account if you’re interested in space exploration. The launch images are superb and some of the technical photos give you a great view of what has gone into building the first privately-funded spacecraft in history.

Crew Dragon

Given their plans to launch the first Dragon 9 with human crew aboard in 2016, we expect SpaceX to be in the news often. Follow their photostream and be sure to use and engage with their photos as they continue to make space exploration history.

SpaceX, welcome to Flickr!

Crew Dragon Artist Depiction
DSCOVR 2nd Stage Earth View

03 Mar 17:46

Cartoonists don't understand net neutrality

by Jason Kottke

This collection of political cartoons depict the FCC's recent ruling on net neutrality as Big Government throttling the free internet, except that every caption has been replaced with "the cartoonist has no idea how net neutrality works". Here's one example followed by the unadulterated cartoon:

Cartoon Net Neutrality

Cartoon Net Neutrality

The zingers get zinged. (via @john_overholt)

Tags: cartoons   net neutrality   politics
26 Feb 17:26

LEGO Elves 41071 Aira’s Creative Workshop [Review]

by Caylin

The LEGO Elves sets are out in the wild! I spotted some this evening at Toys R Us, and picked up a few. Happy birthday to me.

The first set up for review is 41701 Aira’s Creative Workshop. This set is $9.99 and has 98 pieces. It will be available on the LEGO Shop online on March 1.

Elves 41071 Aira's Creative Workshop

Let’s get started!

First thing’s first: I like the Friend’s line, and am a big fan of the Disney Princess sets. So the fact that the Elves theme is part of the Friend’s line doesn’t bother me a bit.

Elves 41071 Aira's Creative WorkshopThis is a small set. The parts are in three separate baggies, and the pieces are mostly brown, tan, and purple. When it comes to Aira–I like her. The design on her torso is nice, and the elvish filagree is nice. My main issue with her is that the printing of the ears on her hairpiece does not match the color of her flesh. The hair has a nice effect of being mostly purple and fading to white tips.

The little bird’s pretty cute, too.

I am happy to report that the tiles in this set are all printed! You’ve got a ruler, the map, the scroll, and the wing design. The printing is all crisp.

Elves 41071 Aira's Creative WorkshopThe first model in the build is a desk, with ink, scissors, and a ruler. I found it to be rather clever; instead of sticking with the molded drawers, this set builds the drawer from scratch. I like that element of design.

The second piece is a glorified bird stand with a place for an envelope and a cookie. It looks nice.

The third piece is a steampunk-esque glider that Aira holds on to. There appears to be a pin to wind up the gold wings, then off she goes.

It’s a simple set overall, with decent parts. At $10, you could really take it or leave it. I enjoyed it as a nice little build. I’d say go ahead and pick one up.

Elves 41071 Aira's Creative Workshop

23 Feb 15:14

YouTube for Kids is now available on Android and iOS

by Chris Welch

The YouTube app that parents have always clamored for is now here: just as expected, the company has today released YouTube for Kids, celebrating it as "the first Google product built from the ground up with little ones in mind." Available for Android and iOS (and coming soon for kiddie tablets like the Kurio and Nabi), YouTube for Kids offers a curated selection of videos that are appropriate for young viewers. Like Vine's own kids app, everything is contained in a "bright and playful design" meant to grab and hold the attention of younger users. YouTube for Kids is broken up into four sections: shows, music, learning, and explore. And with this being YouTube, you'll find a pretty extensive vault of popular children's content from R...

Continue reading…

13 Feb 08:00

strip for February / 13 / 2015 - Have You Taken The Coffee Oath?

10 Feb 20:53

Earn 2GB of Google Drive space for checking your security settings

by Billy Steele
To properly celebrate Safer Internet Day, Google is offering a a nice perk for users who complete a quick security checkup. If you're willing to make sure your account recovery info is up to date, review recent log-in activity and confirm the list of...
06 Feb 16:48

chocolate oat crumble

by deb

chocolate oat crumble

I have learned over the years that people have strong opinions about the combination of chocolate and fruit. I don’t judge, I mean, I have strong opinions about pretty much everything, such as the combination of pumpkin and chocolate (no), sea salt-flecked cookie lids (delicious but ftlog, only with a light hand), syrup on pancakes (only if the pancakes aren’t sweet), and how many episodes in a row it’s acceptable to consume of city.ballet. when you’re sick for the fourth day in a row (all of them, what kind of question is that?). What I’m saying is, pretty much the only thing I don’t have rigid views on is the combination of chocolate and fruit.

what you'll need

And yet, when my mother spotted this recipe in the newest and (in my not unbiased opinion — I blurbed it) most charming book from Nigel Slater I said, as articulately as ever, “I dunno, wouldn’t it be kind of weird?” Which is when I realized that I might I have an overly segregationist view of fruit crumbles. To me, they’re a very specific thing, fruit recently plucked from a tree or vine, mixed with sugar, spices if desired, flour or cornstarch to thicken and topped with a crumbly mix of flour, butter, sugar, oats and sometimes nuts. A butter-free, flour-free topping? A buttery almost caramel sauce-d base? Chunks of chocolate?

oats, chocolate, maple syrup, salt

... Read the rest of chocolate oat crumble on

© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to chocolate oat crumble | 101 comments to date | see more: Chocolate, Crumbles/Crisps, Fruit, Gluten-Free, Pear, Photo, Quick, Raspberries

02 Feb 19:48

Earth Primer

by Jason Kottke

Earth Primer is an upcoming iOS app that bills itself as "A Science Book for Playful People". It looks amazing:

Earth Primer is a science book for playful people. Discover how Earth works through play-on your iPad. Join a guided tour of how Earth works, with the forces of nature at your fingertips. Visit volcanoes, glaciers, sand dunes. Play with them, look inside, and see how they work.

Earth Primer defies existing genres, combining aspects of science books, toys, simulations, and games. It is a new kind of interactive experience which joins the guided quality of a book with open ended simulation play.

Here's a quick preview of the app. Can't wait to explore this, with and without the kids.

Update: The Earth Primer app is now available on the App Store.

Tags: Earth   iPhone apps   video
30 Jan 20:59

Flickr Friday: #Superman

by Tenz Shih
#FlickrFriday: Superman | Dreaming to fly in the air, and move huge things easily, and save the world.

Almost everyone dreams of having a superpower that lets us do what others can’t: flying super fast, moving heavy things without toughing them, or maybe just saving the world.

There might be real supermen and superwomen in your images, or maybe your imagination has taken you to new heights. Take your best shot for the #Superman theme in the upcoming days, share it to our Flickr Friday group pool by next Friday, and we will feature our favorites on the Flickr Blog right here.

29 Jan 17:20

FCC redefines broadband: minimum download speed raised from 4 to 25 Mbps, minimum upload from 1 to 3 Mbps (Micah Singleton/The Verge)

Micah Singleton / The Verge:
FCC redefines broadband: minimum download speed raised from 4 to 25 Mbps, minimum upload from 1 to 3 Mbps  —  The FCC has changed the definition of broadband  —  The Federal Communications Commission has voted to change the definition of broadband by raising the minimum download speeds needed …

26 Jan 21:04

If Only The Shower Coffee Maker + Soap Dispenser Was A Real Thing

by Mary Beth Quirk

Really for sale, but not really a coffee maker for the shower.

Really for sale, but not really a coffee maker for the shower.

With the dawn comes an age old dilemma — do you make coffee first thing in the morning or take a shower to greet the day? If only those two things could happen at the same time! Maybe they can, but it won’t come in the form of the Bathe & Brew Coffee Maker + Soap Dispenser.

Consumerist reader Brandon wrote in to share a photo his wife Stacey snapped at a Birmingham, AL Walmart, writing that she came across “this genius invention” while browsing for party supplies. Nothing says party like coffee in the shower, that’s for sure.

Indeed, at first glance, Bathe & Brew promises to be the answer to a yawner’s dreams, pledging to “Cut your morning routine in half!” and bragging, “Stainless housing stands up to even the harshest dandruff shampoos!”

Alas, upon further investigation, the Bathe & Brew has revealed itself to be nothing more than a prank box, artfully designed for gift givers to dupe recipients into thinking their soapiest prayers had been answered. It’s basically a way to break someone’s heart.

Here it is as sold by, as one of a series of “genuine fake gift boxes.” It even has its own fake commercial:

Guess this means I’ll have to go back to taking the travel mug into the shower.

26 Jan 18:46

Police want Waze to remove cop-spotting feature

by Mark Frauenfelder


Sheriffs are demanding that the Google-owned Waze navigation app remove a safety feature that alerts drivers about police cars parked on the side of the freeway.

Read the rest
30 Jan 17:12

garlicky party bread with cheese and herbs

by deb

garlicky party bread with herbs and cheese

My mother’s standard party donation is a boule of pumpernickel bread with the center scooped out and filled with a spinach dip that includes water chestnuts because, of course. The sides are cut into fingers that remain attached at the base (as “severed fingers” would be unsettling, yes?) and can be torn off when the urge comes to swipe one through the center. The urge will come often, so I try to position myself in any room that the boule is not. Nevertheless, I hadn’t considered that there were other approaches to party bread until I came upon this 1998 recipe for one in Taste of Home, the belly full of dip forwent for a multi-pronged attacked of butter, cheese, scallions and poppy seeds, all toasted until melted and crisp.

what you'll need (i skipped the proscuitto)
cut your loaf like this

But why stop there? You could pretty confidently argue that you’ve happened upon a lucky series of life choices when you get to spend half an hour on a Wednesday morning at Whole Foods debating what you’d like to put on your party bread in addition to butter and cheese. There was so much to consider! I considered rarebit-ing it, with a boiled mess of butter, beer, mustard powder, paprika, cayenne, Worcestershire and a scattering of cheddar that I might dream about tonight. I wondered if we ought to go French, with gruyere, shallots and herbes de provence or style it like an American baked potato, with chives and bacon, sour cream and cheese. And then I realized that I’ve never once covered garlic bread on this site and was suddenly filled with purpose and couldn’t wait to get home and start playing in the kitchen.

someone asked if I use a garlic press. yes, I do!
butter. sea salt. so much garlic.

... Read the rest of garlicky party bread with cheese and herbs on

© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to garlicky party bread with cheese and herbs | 139 comments to date | see more: Appetizer, Bread, Photo, Snack

17 Jan 19:28

Putin: Gays Are Welcome at Olympics as Long as They ‘Leave Kids Alone’

by Josh Feldman

sounds like the 'do you still beat your wife?' quip, he's implying they mess with kids elsewhere

The Sochi Winter Olympics are just weeks away, and concerns about anti-gay laws in Russia are still at the forefront of people’s minds. President Vladimir Putin, naturally, wants to avoid much controversy when Russia is in the international spotlight, and Friday he spoke at a question-and-answer session, where one Olympic volunteer asked Putin about Russia’s anti-gay laws and how it would affect gay people attending the Olympic Games. Putin reportedly responded, “One can feel calm and at ease. Just leave kids alone, please.”

Putin insisted there is no explicit ban on acts of homosexual sex, there’s just a ban on gay “propaganda.”

“We have no ban on the nontraditional forms of sexual intercourse among people… We have the ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia. I want to stress this: propaganda among minors. These are two absolutely different things: a ban on certain relations or the propaganda of such relations.”

Putin was also asked why Russia’s Olympic uniforms are rainbow-colored. His answer: “I didn’t design the uniform.”

When NBC is in Sochi to cover the Olympics, Bob Costas has said they won’t shy away from talking about the discriminatory laws, while President Obama, instead of going himself, is sending a delegation that includes openly gay athletes like Billie Jean King and Brian Boitano.

[h/t Slate]
[photo via Remy Steinegger]

– –

Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

10 Jan 16:29

Bandits dress as Darth Vader strike Shreveport dollar store

by The Associated Press
Shreveport police are on the lookout for a couple of thieves dressed as Darth Vader.Police tell KTBS TV the pair robbed a Dollar General store around 7:30 p.m. Thursday.The suspects are described as black males, both approximately six-feet tall, wearing...
08 Jan 19:56

This photo was *not* taken this week

by Jim

(Credit: John McCormick)

(Credit: John McCormick)

John Heilemann was just one of many people who tweeted this Michigan lighthouse photo and claimed it was taken during this week’s record low temperatures.

Actually, photographer John McCormick snapped it on January 23, 2013 — another very cold day. (“I remember my camera batteries dying.”)

John McCormick

John McCormick

He tells me he’s seen his lighthouse picture posted and tweeted “all over the world” this week and misrepresented as a recent shot.

“People are submitting it to meteorologists, like Tom Skilling of WGN, and claiming it’s theirs.”

McCormick says he posted the image on photo-sharing sites last year, but never sold it to a news outlet. “It was just in my own portfolio.”

“I have a large following on Facebook and people were telling me [this week] that my picture was being misrepresented. I figure someone pulled it off one of the photo-sharing sites,” and it then went viral.

“It’s had hundreds of thousands of shares on Facebook.”

Update: I should note that Heilemann corrected his error.

23 Dec 21:52

30-year-old lead finds its way into the trendy urban chicken business

by Maggie Koerth-Baker
The United States began phasing out the use of tetraethyllead in gasoline in the mid 1970s (though it's still used in aviation and race car fuel). The pollution from TEL-enhanced gas, however, continues to linger in the soil, especially in cities, where concentrations of tailpipe emissions were higher. A recent study of New York City chickens found that lead from the soil was showing up in detectable levels in the chickens' eggs. The dose is low (though you probably don't want young children eating lots of those eggs), but it's a great example of how the effects of pollution don't vanish just because the pollution ends.

20 Dec 08:00

strip for December / 20 / 2013 - You know what goes great with coffee??


everything goes great with coffee