Shared posts

02 Aug 04:09

Cartoonish Daria Costume

by John Farrier

Daria was one of the greatest cartoons of the turn of the millennium. Here is Jaimie Jenkin's very convincing paper mache costume of the title character. She made it for a 90s-themed party, where she was hopefully bitingly sarcastic.


31 Jul 13:00

Espress Yourself

the world's most dangerous kitten

My comic universe operates by one rule: The smaller something is, the deadlier it is. G’night!

29 Jul 19:47

July 29, 2013

Brian Stephens

Dear Internet, please send this post back in time to December, 1998. I need to use it for my term paper.

28 Jul 14:57

He Needs A Hair Net

27 Jul 06:51

Starring role discovered for supporting cells in inner ear

Researchers have found in mice that supporting cells in the inner ear, once thought to serve only a structural role, can actively help repair damaged sensory hair cells, the functional cells that turn vibrations into the electrical signals that the brain recognizes as sound.
27 Jul 06:49

Wired Space Photo of the Day: Helix Nebula Details

by Wired Science Staff
Wired Space Photo of the Day: Helix Nebula Details
Close-up view of gas droplets in the Helix nebula. At 650 light-years away, the Helix is one of the nearest planetary nebulae to Earth. A planetary nebula is the glowing gas around a dying, Sun-like star.

21 Jul 23:18

Cheap, easy, no-mess cold-brew coffee

by Cory Doctorow
Brian Stephens

Ooh! You seriously may have just changed my summer cold brew routine. (Note to self, turn safe search On before searching for nut milk bags)

I've just finished teaching week four of the amazing Clarion Science Fiction Writers' Workshop at UC San Diego; in addition to spending a week working closely with some very talented writers, I came up with a new and cheap way to make astounding cold-brew coffee.

I bought a $10 "nut-milk" bag and a plastic pitcher. Every night before bed, I ground up about 15 Aeropress scoops' (570 ml) worth of espresso roast coffee -- the $20 Krups grinder is fine for this, though I wouldn't use it with an actual espresso machine -- leaving the beans coarse. I filled the bag with the grind, put it in the bottom of the empty pitcher like a huge tea-bag, and topped up the pitcher with tap water (distilled water would have been better -- fewer dissolved solids means that it'll absorb more of the coffee solids, but that's not a huge difference). I wedged the top of the bag between the lid and the pitcher and stuck it in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, I took the bag out of the pitcher and gave it a good squeeze to get the liquor out of the mush inside. Add water to the pitcher to fill to the brim and voila, amazing cold-brew. You can dilute it 1:1 or even further.

Cleanup was easy: invert the bag over a trashcan or garbage disposal, rinse off the bag, and you're ready to go.

This produced very, very good coffee concentrate, with only a little grit settled into the bottom 3mm of the pitcher (easy to avoid). It may just be the cheapest and easiest cold-brewing method I've yet tried.

See also: HOWTO attain radical hotel-room coffee independence


18 Jul 20:24

The Walking Ched Will Bring You One Step Closer to Death

by Jill Harness
Brian Stephens

The fried Mac & cheese as buns is a new one to me.

It might not be alive, but the Walking Ched burger from Zombie Burger is certainly dangerous. It's also incredibly alluring, featuring not only two beef patties topped with cheddar cheese slices, bacon and macaroni and cheese, but also a bun that is made out of deep-fried bundles of macaroni and cheese. 

Link Via Food Beast

14 Jul 15:23

Robot That Tears Down And Recycles Buildings

by Miss Cellania

A new concept in robotics may improve the efficiency of building demolition and recycling. Swedish student designer Omer Haciomeroglu says that the robot called ERO is a smart recycling robot like Wall-E.

The ERO can “efficiently disassemble concrete structures without any waste, dust or separation and enable reclaimed building materials to be reused for new prefabricated concrete buildings”.

This is achieved using high-powered water jets to crack the concrete. The aggregate cement and water is then sucked up and separated. The water is recycled back into the system, while clean aggregate is packed and sent to concrete precast stations for reuse. The rebar can then be cleaned and cut on the spot to be reused.

A fleet of ERO robots working together would be able to scan the surroundings and plan a route of action. Once they start working, the robots can “literally erase a building”.

If you ask me, the concept art looks more like the Nu-Nu from The Teletubbies than Wall-E. Get a better look at DesignTaxi. Link -via Digg

14 Jul 06:11

Decapitated Worms Regrow Heads with Memories Still Inside

by Miss Cellania

Think that memories are in the brain? New research says that may not be exactly true -at least for flatworms. The planarian is fascinating in that it has the ability to regrow body parts when you cut it into pieces -it will even grow a new head if you cut it off! If that's not freakish enough, experiments show that a newly-regrown head can have some knowledge the earlier head learned. Experiments had been don on planarian heads decades ago, with inconsistent results. Tal Shomrat and Michael Levin at Tufts University returned to this idea with state-of-the-art planarian training methods and computerized testing methods. They trained the worms to overcome their distaste of light and rough surfaces to reach food. After two weeks, the trained planarians went straight to the food, unlike a control group of untrained worms.

The worms were relieved of their heads. The scientists made certain that no bit of brain survived. Then, after the worm stumps had painstakingly re-headed themselves, the planarians went back into the testing chamber.

The memory wasn't there right away. But Levin and Shomrat found that if they gave all the worms one quick training session before testing, worms who'd previously been familiarized with rough petri dishes reached the food significantly faster than the other worms. The training session "basically allowed the worms to refresh their memory of what they had learned before decapitation," Levin says. In other words, their memories had survived the loss and regrowth of their heads.

Levin doesn't know how to explain this. He says epigenetics may play a role—modifications to an organism's DNA that dial certain genes up or down—"but this alone doesn't begin to explain it."

Read more at Inkfish. Link -via Not Exactly Rocket Science

(Image credit: Shomrat and Levin)

12 Jul 03:22

Nerdy Love Song with Kitten Bonus

by Miss Cellania
Brian Stephens

Zomg so need a ukulele helper kitty

(YouTube link)

TheRealDeAnne performs the Nerdy Love Song, but is upstaged when Clark tries to make it a duet. He is altogether distracting! (lyrics may be NSFW) -via Laughing Squid

11 Jul 14:41

NFL Arrest Stats via Russel Miner

by joberholtzer

NFL Arrest Stats

via Russel Miner

07 Jul 20:24

US Air Force My Little Pony Patch Is Apparently Real

by John Farrier

Do airmen at Vance AFB in Oklahoma actually wear this patch? According to Equestria Daily commenter charelz, yes:

I couldn't take pictures because it would have embarrassed my stepson if I got all fanboy squee in front of his buddies. (He is in 14-04; this is 14-05's patch and they were present for the Track Select for 14-04 where trainee pilots are told what kind of planes they're going to be flying - my kid could have taken T-38 fighter track but he wants to be a commercial pilot so he picked T-1s which is the transport/tanker track.) Also the impression I got is that they vote on the patches and they have to get approved by the brass. This was their third try, so I don't know how much was genuine and how much was irony but there was at least one non-brony who straight up refused to wear it and I overhead another complaining to his mom about it. But the flight instructor (who was a captain) was wearing it and he had no problems with his masculinity...

The Wonderbolts would be proud.

-via Equestria Daily

06 Jul 16:33

card cheatin

Today on Married To The Sea: card cheatin
05 Jul 15:01

A Softer World

Brian Stephens

I hoped the punch line was going to be "I open somewhat aggressive, try an inventive gambit or two, but usually end up in a closed game with an attrition endgame and play for the draw"

04 Jul 18:38

The State of Web Articles


The State of Web Articles

Happy reading folks, but stay safe out there.

04 Jul 04:31

cola companies agree

Today on Toothpaste For Dinner: cola companies agree

Read Drew's blog: The Worst Things For Sale.
03 Jul 19:39

The Surreal Illustrations of Tebe Interesno

by John Farrier
Brian Stephens

I love this kind of surrealism and especially the cosmonaut references


The digital works of Russian artist Tebe Interesno are either stunning, funny or both. I especially like the submarine image, which reminds me of the anime series Space Battleship Yamato.

Link (Translation) -via Colossal

03 Jul 13:00

Baikonour, We Have A Problem. Russian Rocket Crashes And Burns

A massive Proton-M rocket carrying three Russian navigation satellites veered off course shortly after liftoff.

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03 Jul 05:26

jtotheizzoe: Twelve Tones Vi Hart does a pretty magical thing...

by joberholtzer


Twelve Tones

Vi Hart does a pretty magical thing with her latest. A half-hour mathemusical journey through Stravinsky’s “The Owl And The Pussy Cat", copyright law, and how 12 tone compositions can create some pretty killer geometric art. 

And because I think about things like this, now some thoughts on how this relates to YouTube videos in general: I have a lot of ideas and reactions rolling around in my head about this video, because it’s so out there compared to what is being done on the ‘Tubes. It’s sparked many conversations among my science writer and video friends. It’s not perfect, and it’s not for everyone. But it’s definitely good, and definitely out of the ordinary.

Here’s the bottom line for me: It’s so important that people push the envelope for what’s “expected" when it comes to YouTube videos. Just because 3-minute webcam, jump-cut vlogs have been the staple format of online video  for half a decade (for both necessity and stylistic reasons) doesn’t mean that everyone should make their videos like that. Just because Henry Reich draws stuff doesn’t mean everyone should draw stuff. Just because Michael Stevens monologues doesn’t mean everyone should monologue. There is no “right" way to make a video. Just like in radio, you shouldn’t set out to make the next Radiolab, you should set out to make the next thing that you think could be as important as Radiolab.

If more people break the molds, then maybe someone will say “Oh, I can totally do that, because I have an idea, and I could make it work." That means not being afraid to make videos beyond 5 minutes long. That means not being afraid to tell stories instead of just delivering information. That means not being afraid to do anything, really, and just seeing what works, and what doesn’t work, and not feeling bad about any part of this process.

Vi’s video is one of those experiments. More important than anything I just learned about math and music theory, I can’t wait to see what people do next after watching this.

02 Jul 04:47

Botanical Blueprints by Macoto Murayama

by Alex Santoso
Brian Stephens

I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks of geometry when I look at a flower

Lathyrus odoratus blueprint by Macoto Murayama

How would an engineer or an architect go about and design a flower? With blueprints, of course!

When he was studying at Miyagi University in Japan a few years ago, Macoto Murayama was inspired to combine the worlds of architecture and scientific illustration and apply computer illustration techniques to diagram flowers in great details.

Murayama carefully dissected flowers, removed their anatomical parts with a scalpel to the individual parts - the petals, anther, stigma and so on - under a magnifying glass, and then sketched and photographed them. He then recreated the flowers, part by part, using computer graphic software - in essence, he has created botanical blueprints for some of nature's most beautiful flowers.

Frantic Gallery in Tokyo has fantastic images from Murayama's 2011 exhibition, titled "Inorganic Flora." Check it out: Link

Blueprint of Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus)

Blueprint of Asiatic dayflower (Commelina communis)

Blueprint of Yellow Cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus)

View more of Murayama's excellent artwork over at Frantic Gallery: Link

02 Jul 04:44

Life-Size Dexter Cake

by Alex Santoso
Brian Stephens

Sharing for Ronda if she eventually joins us here

Photos: AJ Pilkington/Manicks Productions Ltd.

The eight and final season of Dexter will premiere on FOX in the United Kingdom, and to commemorate that event, Miss Cakehead and Annabel de Vetten of Conjurer's Kitchen teamed up to create a life-sized Dexter Morgan out of cake ... then proceeded to cut and eat him up:

Inspired by the name of Dexter’s boat – A Slice of Life – the cake was 5ft 10” long, the same height as Michael C. Hall, the actor who has played Dexter for the past eight years. The entire cake took over 100 hours to make and weighed over 105 kilograms.  24 eggs, 25 kilograms of flour, 16 kilograms of buttercream, 18 kilograms of sugar, 20 kilograms of sugar paste and marzipan, and 15 kilograms of buttercream were used in the creation of the edible masterpiece. 20 blood oranges were also used, the cake flavour inspired by the iconic titles of the series.

A Dexter ‘kill room’ was created for the cutting of the cake, the kitchen walls covered in plastic sheeting. Replicating Dexter’s kill technique, the cake was initially cut by a knife being plunged into the chest area before being sliced up. The cake was also ‘dressed’ in clothes to give an authentic appearance, with hours spent on adding fine attention to detail such as stubble.

Photos: AJ Pilkington/Manicks Productions Ltd. Thanks Emma!

30 Jun 18:22

June 27, 2013

Brian Stephens

...and I have a job in the field of my degree. Hubba hubba!

SMBC Theater has created... a love compilation.

29 Jun 00:35

Restaurant Scales Its Burritos Next to Babies

by John Farrier


Gorditos, a Mexican restaurant chain in Seattle, offer massive, 4-pound burritos. Each is roughly the size of a newborn baby. To encourage the comparison, the restaurant offers free burritos to customers who let their babies be photographed next to the gut-busters:

As a result the walls of the eaterie are covered with framed images of swaddled babies next to their burrito counterparts.

After a diner recently posted an image of Gorditos' 'wall of fame' to their Reddit account, dozens reminisced about their dining experiences.

One explained that 'two people can barely finish' the wodge of tortilla and another added that as takeout meal it can 'last for days'.

I'll take two.

Link -via Foodbeast

(Photo: Gorditos)

22 Jun 19:28

The Ultimate In Cat Shaming

by Jill Harness
Brian Stephens

Yay now I can share cat things again

Is your cat too happy and unencumbered? Then perhaps he needs the weight of the world (and the rest of the solar system) on his shoulders. This moment in terrible cat shaming brought to you by Etsy seller NotsoKittyShop.


21 Jun 21:02

$7.77 Factory Second Mug Zone 3000

Brian Stephens

Oh man how am I not buying this? I have so many mugs already and I don't have the cupboard space for it and its not quite worksafe. But it's just so perfect.



I have a ton of mugs which, while perfectly good, are not insanely perfect. I have perfectionism... issues, so they've been building up. Problem is, I really need floor space to pack for Comicon.

I really, really need floor space to pack for Comicon.

They are: Slightly scuffed or have minor imperfections in the glazing.

They are not: Broken or misprinted.

Do you stare at your mug from less than a foot away? These are not for you. Do you enjoy drinking coffee with reckless abandon? You're gonna love 'em.

21 Jun 15:25

A Chocolate Maker’s 
Big Innovation

Brian Stephens

Like this for several reasons. 1) good chocolate, 2) interesting good chocolate 3) cool idea of reversing some of the knowledge flow on the supply chain

In transforming the way cacao farmers supply manufacturers, a 
San Francisco startup is creating a superb product.

You may have seen little squares of Tcho chocolate in their brightly colored wrappers decorated with futuristic parabolas of gold and silver. They’re easily found: Starbucks has sold them; Whole Foods sells them now.

19 Jun 07:48

'We Were Told To Lie,' Say Bank Of America Employees

Six former employees and one contractor say Bank of America's mortgage servicing unit consistently lied to homeowners, fraudulently denied loan modifications and offered bonuses to staff for intentionally pushing people into foreclosure, according to a report.

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