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13 May 01:43

"teach your girl to say no to spit no like fire to never apologize for it. her spine: NO. her..."

Courtney shared this story from Super Opinionated.

teach your girl to say no, to spit no like fire, to never apologize for it. her spine: NO. her fists: NO. her teeth all NO together.

but first and more importantly, teach your boy to see no, hear no, understand no before it’s spelled out for him. have him take “no” easily, not as an excuse to keep trying.

have him feel “no” like a change in the air so that he can infer it without so much as a word. don’t settle for no as just as the dictionary definition, show him no in body language, in “i’d rather not,” in “yes, but i’m drunk.”

teach him that “no” is not “convince me,” teach him to accept it gently, without violence, without feeling that he’s having something “denied” to him. “no” is not “take it from my fingers.” no is a shrug, is “i’m not sure,” no is a look, a scared smile, a terrified giggle. No is in the pocket of her clothes, no matter what they look like.

have him assume “no,” not “yes, unless otherwise stated.” girls are not swings on the playground, he cannot be upset when they don’t “share” themselves with him. there is no sharing, she is not an object. of a girl he sees on the street who doesn’t give him her number or react well to what he calls her: teach him she is not taking from him what is due, she is not denying him, she has never and will never belong to him. she will be his only after explicit and repeated consent and only by that alone. 

do me a favor

teach him no.

- A GIRL NOT SAYING “NO” IS NOT A GIRL SAYING “YES” // r.i.d (via inkskinned)

True story: the first night I met Darius was at a party and we hit it off and were texting and he was going to come over to my apartment, but by then it was after 2am or something and I was like “idk I’m getting sleepy” and he immediately sent back “ok no problem we can totally meet up another time” followed by flattering comments about how great it was to meet me.

And That’s When I Knew He Was Maybe Worth My Time.

12 May 18:14

Obama's Presidential Library Will Be In Chicago, Foundation Announces

"The future Presidential Center will include the library, museum, as well as office and activity space for the Foundation to inspire and engage citizens here and globally," the foundation said in a press release.
12 May 18:14

basically-better-than-you: attention-bot: I LIVE FOR THIS...

Courtney shared this story from Super Opinionated.





12 May 17:53


12 May 17:52

Blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh, third this year - Reuters Africa

Blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh, third this year
Reuters Africa
DHAKA (Reuters) - A blogger was hacked to death by machete-wielding attackers in Bangladesh on Tuesday, the third killing of a critic of religious extremism in the Muslim-majority nation in less than three months. Ananta Bijoy Das, a blogger who advocated ...

and more »
12 May 17:51

The New Dr. Kanye West Delivers His Honorary Doctorate Speech

Kanye received his Honorary Doctorate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and assures his fans that they "won't have to defend [him] as much" now that he's got the degree.
12 May 17:50


Courtney shared this story from Super Opinionated.

12 May 17:50

Linked: Sponsor Logo Faux Pas

by Armin

Sponsor Logo Faux Pas
As far as concept and appropriateness goes, this is spot on: UFC fighter Sam Alvey spray-tanned his tanning sponsor's logo on his chest for a fight. Execs not happy. Many thanks to our ADVx3 Partners
12 May 17:50

Want a huge raise, as soon as possible? Hope you work in sales

by Melvin Backman
A saleswoman talks to customers at a Nissan dealership in Jakarta, Indonesia.

It’s a bit unclear exactly where overall wage growth is going American workers. But there is one place where it’s really jumping. Sales. Yes, sales. Sales and related occupations had year-over-year wage-and-salary growth of 6.2% in the first quarter, compared to a 2.6% rate for all workers. Stripping out the effect of incentive-based pay—many sales jobs are based on on commissions—overall US wage-and-salary growth was up an even-more-muted 2.2%, year-on-year.

Tap image to zoom

Younger American workers have been avoiding the occupation (paywall) like the plague these days because they think it’s too volatile. It’s not that they’re wrong — sales pay actually shrank in the recession while growth simply slowed down  everywhere else — but the upside of volatile pay is that when the going’s good it’s really good. If you’ve the kind of person who responds to incentive-pay and you’ve got an iron stomach, a sales job isn’t a terrible option.

12 May 17:44

Want to reduce stress at work? Try commuting by bike (and use Broadway Bridge)

12 May 17:44

Dat glaive

by Christopher Noessel

When Loki materializes on the dais, he is holding one the key objects to The Avengers and indeed the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe multi-franchise Infinity Stones plot. What is it?


NIck Fury calls the thing a spear. Others call it a staff. The official Disney wiki calls it the Chitauri Sceptre, but this thing is very much a tool. Over this and the next several posts, I’ll talk about how it is used alternately as the following.

  • A melée weapon
  • A projectile weapon
  • A bad-mojo radiator
  • A teleconferencing device
  • An enthrallment knife

Notably, in no scene does he carry it on a ceremonial occasion as a symbol of sovereignty, so scepter really doesn’t fit our purposes. What does? Well, any RPG fan worth their Deck of Many Things knows that the blades-on-a-stick category of weapons are many and nuanced. Finding a perfect term is tough since historians and medievalists have categorized other pole arms according to their construction and function, and none of them are quite like this one.


So though it hurts to let go of possibilities like falx, svärdstav, or bohemian earspoon—and also because I apparently hate the SEO that would earn me all the millionsI think the thing fits most readily into the category of glaive, since glaives are defined as a single-edged (I know, but it’s not quite double-edged either) slicing pole arm with a piercing tip. Like this one. So debate the choice in the comments if you must, but you’ll have to be pretty convincing since I’ve already written and scheduled the other posts and I have a lot to do in the UK at UX London over the next weeks.

And of course recognizing it as a glaive also gives us an opportunity for this joke.


12 May 17:42

Valiant Universe RPG On Sale At DriveThruRPG

by Polar_Bear

Comic books and tabletop gaming have a long history together. I don’t know many comic book readers that don’t also dabble in gaming or vice-versa. So when a major comic book company gets their own RPG, it’s a pretty neat melding of these two “sectors of geekdom.” Catalyst Game Labs’ Valiant RPG is just one of those. Valiant comics are a gritty take on the super hero genre, and the RPG allows players to get into that setting and walk around. The main book for the RPG is currently on sale.

The Valiant RPG is a new system designed specifically for this game. It’s designed to be friendly for those that have never played an RPG before, or those that have never read the Valiant comics before. The Cue System it uses is fairly rules-light, allowing the players and GM to decide what works best in whatever situation. There’s also an overview of the Valiant comic universe. This allows your group to decide what section they want to focus their attention on. Also included are both pre-generated character sheets for some of the most iconic Valiant personalities, as well as rules to create your own heroes.

The pdf is on sale for 20% off over on DriveThruRPG, so you can check it out for a little less than you usually would have to spend.


12 May 17:42

GIPHY Releases a Gmail Chrome Extension to Easily Add GIFs to Email

by Glen Tickle

GIPHY Deal With It

image via GIPHY for Gmail

GIF search and sharing company GIPHY has made it even easier to share GIFs via email with a new Chrome extension that adds GIPHY capability to a Gmail compose window. Users can now easily search and insert GIFs into their email without having to open another window or tab.

giphy gmail extension 2

giphy gmail extension 1

images via GIPHY

12 May 17:28

Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space: Imaginative and Illuminating Children’s Book Tickles Our Zest for the Cosmos #makereducation

by Kelly


Brainpickings’ Maria Popova posted about an enchanting new children’s book Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, written by Dominic Walliman with illustrations by Ben Newman. It’s both beautiful and illuminating.

What makes the book particularly wonderful is that it refuses to do the great disservice to science that textbooks often do, which is to insinuate having all the answers. Instead, it embraces the awareness that science thrives on “thoroughly conscious ignorance” and dedicates a good portion of the story to as-yet unanswered questions, like whether there is other intelligent life in the universe and what the human future in space might look like if we transplanted our civilization on other planets.

Read more.

Adafruit_Learning_SystemEach Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!

12 May 17:22

Reporter confronts fans who videobombed her with a dumb prank

by Mark Hinog

This meme really needs to stop.

While reporting on the Toronto FC vs. Houston Dynamo game, City News' Shauna Hunt was interrupted by a fan who quoted the "F*** Her Right In The P****" prank into her mic. Hunt was not having it, and she confronted the fan's friends who stood around while it happened.

Hunt elaborated more on the incident, on why the prank needs to stop and how her other colleagues have been bombarded with this dumb prank:

Wow. Thanks for all the support! This happens to reporters across North America. Hopefully people will think twice before harassing us.

— Shaunacitynews (@shaunacitynews) May 12, 2015

Sexual harassment isn't okay. Neither is online bullying. Our attempts to find TFC "pranksters" was for followup not global vilification.

— Avery Haines (@CityAvery) May 12, 2015

Thanks @citynews for saying #ItsNeverOkay. Whether or not it's caught on film, sexual harassment at work is no joke. @Hollaback_TO

— Kathleen Wynne (@Kathleen_Wynne) May 12, 2015

Thankfully, Toronto FC is working on identifying the fans, and once they do, they'll receive lifetime bans:

"We're appalled that this trend of disrespectful behaviour would make its way to our city, let alone anywhere near our stadium," an MLSE spokesperson said in a statement to the Sun. "We are working to identify the individuals, and when we do they will be banned from all of our facilities.

"Moving forward, we will also work with our local television outlets to provide extra security support to female reporters doing live hits at any of our games. Our organization is committed to an environment where everyone can feel safe and included and discrimination or intolerance of any kind will be met with a swift and serious response.

To Shauna Hunt, City News and Toronto FC: Kudos to y'all.

12 May 15:29

▶ Unapologetic rockers of Sleater-Kinney return with new songs to fight lagging stereotypes - YouTube

by gguillotte

meanwhile, on PBS NewsHour

Indie-rock band Sleater-Kinney, part of the ‘90s riot grrrl movement, has released its first album, “No Cities to Love,” in nearly a decade. Hari Sreenivasan asks the band what led to their surprise reunion.
12 May 15:20

The NFL punished Tom Brady and the Pats for lying, not for deflating balls

by Rodger Sherman

'This actually isn't that dissimilar to how the league punished Ray Rice. (Please, please, please do not interpret this as a comparison of the wrongs Brady and Rice committed. One of them did a horrible thing, the other did something sleazy that modestly affected football games.)'

too late~

The NFL couldn't give Tom Brady a big punishment for the actual rule-breaking. To the NFL, the real crime was not cooperating with the NFL.

Tom Brady and the Patriots received a punishment far larger than you'd expect for merely deflating footballs. But in the NFL's eyes, their punishment wasn't actually for deflating footballs.

When the DeflateGate scandal broke, several people reported that the NFL had a punishment on the books for altering game balls.

That punishment? $25,000. (Some reported a minimum of $25,000, others reported a maximum. Either way, people kept reporting $25,000.) When the Panthers and Vikings deliberately altered balls during a cold game in December, their punishment was ... a warning.

The Patriots were fined $1 million, 40 times more than the rulebook's punishment. And they lost a first-round draft pick. And a fourth-round draft pick. And Tom Brady was suspended for four games. How could the NFL follow the rulebook so literally when deciding if a crime had been committed, then completely throw the rulebook away when deciding the punishment?

Because the NFL was extremely clear that it wasn't punishing the Pats just for cheating. From the official explanation of the Pats' penalty -- emphasis added:

For the violation of the playing rules and the failure to cooperate in the subsequent investigation, the New England Patriots are fined $1 million and will forfeit the club's first-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft and the club's fourth-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft.

The official explanation of Brady's penalty -- again, emphasis added:

Quarterback Tom Brady will be suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL. Brady may participate in all off-season, training camp and pre-season activities, including pre-season games.

"Conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL" is a fun phrase. It's the clause in Article 46 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement -- "commissioner discipline" -- and it isn't really defined. It's kinda up to Roger Goodell to decide what it is and how it's punished. In this case, it seems like it applies to both Brady's cheating and his lack of cooperation.

NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent additionally wrote a letter to Brady, in which he states:

...The report documents your failure to cooperate fully and candidly with the investigation, including by refusing to produce any relevant electronic evidence (emails, texts, etc.), despite being offered extraordinary safeguards by the investigators to protect unrelated personal information, and by providing testimony that the report concludes was not plausible and contradicted by other evidence.

"Your actions as set forth in the report clearly constitute conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the game of professional football.

There's no way the NFL could've justified the huge punishments it levied for an equipment violation. But by penalizing Brady and the Patriots for their failure to cooperate, Roger Goodell and the league found a legitimate reason to drop the hammer.

This actually isn't that dissimilar to how the league punished Ray Rice. (Please, please, please do not interpret this as a comparison of the wrongs Brady and Rice committed. One of them did a horrible thing, the other did something sleazy that modestly affected football games.)

Rice's initial suspension was two games. After video of Rice punching his fiancée was released, the NFL realized the two-game suspension was a huge mistake. But it couldn't legally increase Rice's suspension just because video of his incident came out -- labor law prevents companies for suspending somebody twice for the same act when all the facts were available at the time of the first punishment.

The NFL's primary legal justification for Rice's eventual indefinite suspension was that Rice had misled the league: His depiction of events was insufficient for the NFL to properly understand what had happened. Therefore, the NFL could add further punishment without a new crime. But a judge ruled Rice hadn't misled Goodell -- he'd provided all the information he needed the first time around, and he only needed to serve the initial two-game suspension.

Brady probably won't have similar luck. It does seem like he withheld information from the NFL, so if that's what the NFL is punishing him for, it would most likely hold up.

With Brady and the Patriots, the NFL had one of two choices: It could've given the Patriots the tiny punishment the crime they committed mandated. Instead, the league sent a message that even a marquee player on Roger Goodell's friend's team can't get away with lying to Roger Goodell. For Goodell, the choice was easy. Gotta Protect the Shield.

12 May 15:19

Sheep Ranchers Count On American Muslims To Keep Lamb On Menu

by Luke Runyon

via saucie

Today, the average American eats about a half pound of lamb per year. Now lamb producers are setting their sights on Muslim consumers. But first they'll have to learn how to market to them.

» E-Mail This

12 May 14:50

Squishy robots from shape-shifting, self-powered material could mimic living things

by Rebecca Houlihan


By Christine Lepisto via treehugger

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have demonstrated a new material that can be programmed — and energized — to move by means of light patterns shining on it.
The material combines a Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) gel with spirobenzopyran (SP), two remarkable materials. BZ gel oscillates (sways back and forth) when exposed to light. It the oscillation at one end of the material differs from the other, it can cause the material to move in an oozing manner. Spirobenzopyran molecules contains ring structures that change shape when exposed to light.
Together, the BZ gel and SP give scientists two mechanisms that can be manipulated to result in differing types of movement. And because the light provides the energy for the movement, no batteries nor wires are required.


For now, the “robot” is about as appealing as an amoeba, but as one author of the study, Dr. Kuksenok, notes: “To put it simply, in order for a robot to be able to move more autonomously in a more biomimetic way, it’s better if it’s soft and squishy. It’s ability to grab and carry something isn’t impeded by non-flexible, hard edges. You’d also like its energy source incorporated into the design so that it’s not carrying that as extra baggage. The SP-BZ gel is pointing us in that direction.”

Read more

12 May 14:50

Snakes Teach Robots Trick Of The Tight Turn #Biomimcry

by Rebecca Houlihan

great, robots are snakes now too


Studying the snake movement to improve robot’s tight turns. via futurity

Knowing how sidewinder rattlesnakes are able to make rapid sharp turns in tight places could help researchers design snake robots to be even more valuable in urban search and rescue missions.

Researchers say the complex motion of a sidewinder can be described in two motions—vertical and horizontal body waves. Changing the phase and amplitude of the waves is how snakes achieve exceptional maneuverability.

“We’ve been programming snake robots for years and have figured out how to get these robots to crawl amidst rubble and through or around pipes,” says Howie Choset, professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute.


Doing the wave

“By learning from real sidewinders, however, we can make these maneuvers much more efficient and simplify user control. This makes our modular robots much more valuable as tools for urban search-and-rescue tasks, power plant inspections, and even archaeological exploration.”

The work, reported in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is a continuation of a collaboration between Choset, Daniel Goldman, associate professor of physics at Georgia Institute of Technology, and Joseph Mendelson III, director of research at Zoo Atlanta.

An earlier study published in the journal Science analyzed the ability of sidewinders to quickly climb sandy slopes. That study showed that despite the snake’s hundreds of body elements and thousands of muscles, the sidewinding motion could be simply modeled as a combination of a vertical and horizontal body wave.

Control and maneuverability

With the model in hand and with a method to measure the movements of living snakes, researchers on the new study were able to observe that sidewinders make gradual changes in direction by altering the horizontal wave while keeping the vertical wave constant.

They also discovered that making a large phase shift in the vertical wave allowed the snake to make a sharp turn in the opposite direction.

Applying these controls to the robot allowed it to replicate the turns of the snake, while also simplifying control.

Read more

12 May 14:50

Astro Pi flight case

by David Honess

You can’t just take a Raspberry Pi into space in your pocket or an old soft scoop ice cream tub. It’s too spiky for one thing. What you need is a block of aluminium the size of your head and some mad milling skills to make the best Pi case ever. Dave Honess explains:

The latest update to the Astro Pi project is the unveiling of the Astro Pi aluminium flight case that British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake will be using on the ISS. This will not be available to the public to buy because we’re only making a small number of them. We may however, in due course, release an object file so schools with a 3D printer can print one themselves.

The Astro Pi flight case.

The Astro Pi flight case.

The case is made from 6063 grade aluminium which is standard for aerospace applications. The image below was taken from the CAD software that we used to model it.

This is the top view showing the opening for the LED matrix and joystick along with a quad of buttons with an adjacent pair. The face on the right is used to attach it to a Bogen arm so that the Astro Pi can be held in place, for example if the crew want to aim the camera out of the cupola window.

The hole next to the joystick is to allow air to flow inside and reach the temperature, pressure and humidity sensors.


The design may surprise you because it’s so big a bulky. It satisfies the safety requirements that ESA and NASA have in place for small payloads aboard the ISS though!

This is not a 3d rendering.

This is not a 3d rendering!

The most important of these requirements is touch temperature. There is a rule that any surface, that the crew can touch, must not reach or exceed 45 degrees Celsius. Our Jonathan Bell and SSTL’s Nimal Navarathinam did extensive thermal simulations to work out the requirements. That’s really hard maths to you and me! The CAD heavy lifting was done by Jonathan Wells who runs an industrial design consultancy local to us in Cambridge.


In space the process of convection doesn’t happen. On Earth the air warmed by a Pi CPU will rise as colder air is pulled down by gravity. On the ISS the air warmed by a CPU just stays there and bakes it. So the case has been designed for thermal dissipation in mind. There is a guaranteed level of airflow within all of the ISS modules which makes this possible.

Those pillars on the base each dissipate about 0.1 Watts of heat. All of them combined with the surface area of the case ensure that the Astro Pi can never get anywhere near 45 degrees. Inside the case the Raspberry Pi is thermally joined to the aluminium by way of a heat conductive boss / slug.


The view above shows the hole for the camera module in the middle too. So make a mental note that the camera faces in the opposite direction to the LED matrix when in flight configuration. You can also see the corner bolts that hold the two halves of the case together.


The ISS crew are also really fond of bungee cords, the kind you might use for camping or mountaineering with those hooks on the ends, and so the four corner columns have holes to allow bungee cords to be used to lash the Astro Pi to whatever they want.


The case is made from a solid block of aluminium and a serious set of skills are required to turn it into what you see above. We’re using a company based in Derby called Pentaxia for this. They’re a great company and have been hugely accommodating of our needs. Below is a picture of their main shop floor. The machines on the right were the ones used to make the case.


So that’s about it for now. The only thing left to tell you is that we’ve now reached and successfully passed phase two of the flight safety process with ESA. So it’s only phase three to go now before we get the mighty flight safety certificate that says we can go on the Soyuz rocket with Tim! Between now and the phase three review all the testing will occur at SSTL and Airbus Defence and Space.

Here is a brief summary of the tests we have to do:

RTC (real time clock) Battery

  • Measurement of open circuit voltage and loaded voltage
  • Vacuum exposure test (450 mmHg for 2 hours)
  • Post vacuum inspection for leaks and deformation
  • Post vacuum measurement of open circuit voltage and loaded voltage

Flight Hardware

  • Operation checks (verify it boots and functions correctly)
  • Power integration test (using an ISS mains AC inverter)
  • Thermal test (stress the Astro Pi to cause maximum current consumption / heat dissipation and measure touch temperature)
  • Vacuum thermal test (same as the above but in a vacuum)
  • Off gassing assessment (determination of off gassing products from materials and assembled articles to be used inside the ISS modules)
  • EMC test
  • Vibration test (Soyuz launch vehicle conditions)

Keep an eye on social media over the coming weeks for as it happens updates!

Thanks for reading.

The post Astro Pi flight case appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

12 May 14:48

Closing This Summer: Verizon To Scoop Up AOL For $4.4 Billion

by timothy

all carriers suck forever

MojoKid writes with this excerpt from Hot Hardware: We learned this weekend that AOL's dial-up business still has over 2 million customers who pay on average just under $21 per month for service. Regardless of how strange that seems to those of us that salivate over the prospects of gigabit Internet, folks are still clinging to 56k modems are adding millions to AOL's bottom line. However, also recall that AOL has a massive digital advertising platform with a heavy focus on the mobile sector and also owns a wealth of popular web destinations including Engadget, TechCrunch, and The Huffington Post. With this in mind, it shouldn't be too surprising that Verizon has offered AOL a marriage proposal. Verizon is acquiring AOL for an estimated $50 per share, which brings the total value of the transaction to $4.4 billion. Here are stories from The New York Times, NBC News, and NPR on the proposed sale, which it's worth noting isn't yet final, and is subject to regulatory approval.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

12 May 14:48

Built a Living Art Project for your Classroom #makereducation

by Kelly


We love how art merges with science in this tutorial from Metro STEAM on instructables! Makes for a great classroom project.

This ant farm is both interactive and educational! We created this to tie in elements from our environmental science class, as well as community outreach. The farm is part of our daycare center, where the children can interact, learn, and take care of its inhabitants. All of the materials are available at your local hardware store. It’s simple and fun to do.

Read more.

Adafruit_Learning_SystemEach Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!

12 May 14:47

Cops must now get a warrant to use stingrays in Washington state

by Cyrus Farivar

Law enforcement officials in Washington state will now be required to get a warrant before deploying a stingray, according to a bill that was signed into law by the governor on Monday after unanimously passing both houses of the state legislature.

Washington’s law, which takes effect immediately, is not the first in the United States, but it may impose the most stringent requirements.

A handful of states, including Virginia, Minnesota, and Utah have similar laws on the books. Washington’s, though, imposes extra requirements that compel police to describe the technology and its impact in detail to judges—presumably despite any nondisclosure agreement that those agencies may have with the FBI and the dominant manufacturer of the devices, Harris Corporation. Both the FBI and Harris have previously refused to respond to Ars’ direct questions.

Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

12 May 14:47

GLaDOS and The Sniper: A Voice Acting Love Story #ArtTuesday #Gaming

by Jessica


Nice post from motherboard!

Ellen McLain, the voice behind the murderous artificial intelligence GLaDOS from the Portal series, and her husband, John Patrick Lowrie, who voices The Sni per from the game Team Fortress 2, are nothing if not adorable.

The celebrity of the characters they portray may not be readily apparent for the minority of Americans who don’t play video games. But the games they have worked on have won multiple British Academy Awards (the UK Academy Awards have a video game category), sold out 10,000-seat stadium esports events in under an hour, and raked in hundreds of millions of dollars annually for at least one of their publishers. Ellen and John, and their decade-spanning body of work, are at the epicenter of the video game voice acting universe. During a recent recording session at a dimly lit Seattle studio, the couple gave me a demonstration of how they work.

“Killing you and giving you good advice aren’t mutually exclusive,” Ellen said, quoting her favorite GLaDOS line, in which the evil AI advises the player how to most comfortably die.

Ellen had first shown me GLaDOS in her most basic, emotionless artificial intelligence form, before the “morality-core,” as the game’s story has it, is removed. For that, Ellen’s face had gone blank, arms stiff by her sides, as she robotically intoned “Welcome to Aperture Science.” But when she became evil-revealed GLaDOS, her face turned sinister. Her voice took on a sort of snarky malevolence. For both variations of GLaDOS, Ellen wiped away the dash Nashville, her home town, that still lingered somewhere in the background of her natural speaking voice.

On the other microphone, John, Ellen’s husband of 28 years, wrangled a natural, kingly baritone into the gravelly outback accent of the Team Fortress 2 Sni per. “Boom. Headshot,” he said. A minute later he’d gone full cockney as Dota 2’s monster butcher, Pudge: “Fres h meat! Fresh meat!”

Ellen and John, both 62, are arguably the original voice actor celebrities in a medium that has long been stingy in knighting any of its creative personnel with recognition. Some of the games they are in, like Half-Life 2 and Portal, are canonized in the medium. Portal is also uniq uely distinguished for having the most famous lyric-b ased song in gamedom, “Still Alive,” sung by Ellen herself. Both John and Ellen also portray some of the most popular heroes in Valve’s Dota 2. Ellen voices two characters, and John seven. Dota 2 has some 10 millio n unique players logging in every month.

At the 2013 International, a massive Dota 2 competition with players from all over the world competing for millions of dollars, they sat at a table and sign ed autographs for fans—or at least for as many as they could.
“People were lined up for hours to meet us,” Ellen told me. In fact, there were so many people that by the end of the day, they simply had not been able to get through the entire line. 

Read more.

Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!
12 May 14:40

Boston newspapers slam NFL over Tom Brady suspension, New York has balls jokes

by James Dator

Let's see how people are handling the suspension today.


A few questions, Boston Herald. Who are the "NFL air heads"? Is it Tom Brady? The Patriots? The league itself? You definitely have a photo of Tom Brady, which makes the page confusing.

Also, what's up with the "INFLATE-GATE" thing? That makes no sense. I suppose you're saying the punishment was too much, or "inflated," but this is just confusing.

TRUMP! You seem too excited about this.

New York

New York's front pages are a lot more straightforward. Some nice, easy-going balls jokes. Tried and true. Kudos to The Daily News for committing front page Inception. They liked that "Great Balls of Liar" one too much to let it go.

h/t Newseum, via @jfdulac

SB Nation presents: The NFL has dropped the hammer for DeflateGate

12 May 14:40

Philip Rivers is the middle child in a golden age of quarterbacks

by Louis Bien

of course Philip Rivers _likes_ living in San Diego

Philip Rivers has been too good in San Diego to watch his Chargers era end like this.

I'm going to try to convince you that Philip Rivers -- a 12-year NFL veteran, multimillionaire, family man -- is a person deserving your sympathy. If that makes you want to run away from this website, then that in itself is reason to open your cynical hearts. Imagine if every complaint you ever had was shunned by an unsympathetic mass. What if you could not relate to anyone, but only because everyone refused to listen?

Rivers is at a pivot point. Recently, LaDainian Tomlinson described his former teammate as disaffected with the San Diego Chargers. Rivers has been with the organization for a long time now. He has seen a lot of old friends go. Now with the team on the brink of moving to Los Angeles, Rivers may have to say goodbye to a city he doesn't want to leave. He will deliberately allow his contract to expire after next season to ensure he can keep control over his future. If he won't be in San Diego much longer, then he most certainly won't be in L.A.

This feels like an impending breakup, and the worst kind at that -- a slow, mutual "welp" disproportionately dull next to what Rivers has accomplished with the Chargers. We may be watching Rivers' brilliant San Diego career die with a drawn-out whimper, and it's not his fault.

Overshadowed again

Rivers began his career as a compromise. The Chargers wanted to the draft Eli Manning in 2004, but Manning was steadfast he would never go to San Diego. The Chargers settled for Rivers and draft picks in a trade with the New York Giants that worked out well for all parties, in hindsight. Still, our first glimpse of Rivers was as a second-tier "great" quarterback, and his on-field success since supports that view.

Rivers is seventh all-time in passer rating among quarterbacks with at least 45 career starts.* That's a wonderful legacy, except when you consider that five of the six players ahead of him are still active. Four of them -- Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers -- have won Super Bowls. In fact, seven of the top nine players by passer rating since 2004 all have Super Bowl rings. Rivers and Tony Romo form a sad, jewel-less duo among the NFL's passing elite.

*Lower the limit to 44, and Hap Moran enters the list at No. 1. Moran played from 1926 to 1933 with the Frankford Yellow Jackets, Chicago Cardinals, Pottsville Maroons and New York Giants. He went 12-for-21 passing for 91 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions over that span for a sterling 107.3 passer rating. Sorry Hap, for leaving you out.

Rivers has a knack for having his best seasons at the same time his peers were rewriting history.

  • His 105.5 passer rating in 2008 led the league, but the bigger story was Drew Brees becoming the second player ever (the first since Dan Marino 24 years before) to top 5,000 yards passing in a season.
  • In 2010, Rivers had what could have been an MVP season that included a league-leading 4,710 passing yards, but Tom Brady became the first unanimous MVP ever with a deadly proficient 36-4 touchdown-interception ratio that is still tops for any quarterback with at least 318 passing attempts. (During that 2010 season, Antonio Gates missed six games, Malcom Floyd missed five and Vincent Jackson missed 11. Patrick Crayton was the third-leading wide receiver or tight end with 514 yards. Seyi Ajirotutu was fourth with 262. Rivers was killer with one of the most damaged receiving corps of recent memory.)
  • The 2013 season was one of Rivers' biggest karmic snubs. He completed a career-best 69.5 percent of his passes for 4,478 yards, 32 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and another 105.5 passer rating. It was enough to earn him NFL Comeback Player of the Year after two shaky seasons, but the award was a footnote to the carnage wreaked by Peyton Manning in the same division, an NFL record 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns on his way to earning the second unanimous NFL MVP award of all time.

The best of Rivers was somehow never superlative for its time and place. He has always looked up to an alpha child -- a delightful, talented Jan Brady who cannot be Marcia, not ever.

The Chargers were fated to lose

Worth noting, too, is that during the 2008, 2010 and 2013 seasons, the Chargers went 8-8, 9-7 and 9-7, respectively. The teams of NFL MVPs during those seasons went 12-4, 14-2 and 13-3. The Chargers haven't made it out of the Divisional round of the playoffs since 2007. If Rivers hasn't been appreciated enough, a large portion of blame falls on a team that has fallen just short of relevancy so often during his best seasons.

The Chargers with Rivers at quarterback fit an odd, but consistent profile. Almost every year, the Chargers were mediocre before catching fire over the final weeks of the regular season. Since 2007, they have gone a combined 21-19 during their first five games, and 23-25 during their middle six. That record jumps to 30-10 during their final five games of the regular season. Keep narrowing the focus and the record trends upward: 26-6 during the final four games of the regular season, 19-5 during the final three, 13-3 in the final two and 7-1 in all Week 17 games during that span.

Then 4-4 in the playoffs -- 4-5 if you include Rivers' first year as a starter in 2006, when the Chargers went 14-2 and suffered a disappointing Divisional round loss to the New England Patriots. The Chargers did just enough to create positive momentum, but it was never consequential.

Only on occasion could Rivers be faulted for poor performances -- he'd no doubt like to take back the three combined interceptions he threw against the Pats in 2006 and 2007. During the 2008 season playoffs, however, Rivers passed 298 yards, three touchdowns and one interception only to lose because a bottom-barrel Pittsburgh Steelers offense put up 35 points and held the ball for all but 17 seconds in the third quarter. In the 2013 season playoffs, the Chargers lost to the Broncos even though Rivers outdueled Manning on a windy day. The defense, again, relented, allowing the Broncos to convert 9 of 13 third-down attempts, including a third-and-17 on the game's final drive.

You can't say Rivers isn't clutch. During that 2013 season, the Chargers had to win every game from Week 14 onward -- including in overtime in Week 17 over the Kansas City Chiefs, who were outscored 10-0 in the fourth quarter. The stars have never aligned quite right for Rivers, and that may be in part why statistically lesser peers like Joe Flacco, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger have rings and he doesn't.

This all horribly makes sense

The 2009 season was probably Rivers' best shot at personal or team glory. The Chargers went 13-3 to win the AFC West and take the No. 2 seed in the conference. He had the league's third-highest passer rating and second-highest adjusted net yards per attempt. He completed 65.2 percent of his passes and threw just nine interceptions to 28 touchdowns. He was easily the best player on a contending team, and he earned just two MVP votes. Peyton Manning won with 39.5 votes.

And that's fine. Manning had a great season, too. Still, if Rivers feels jilted one can understand why. He's an all-time great quarterback who has yet to win the one game he needs to win to be recognized as such in an era of ridiculously good passers. In time, he may be the most easily forgotten great passer of the era -- Romo seems to hold a higher place in our collective consciousness, though perhaps dubiously for his few ill-timed gaffes. Maybe Rivers would be okay with this, too. A lot of players probably aren't as legacy-obsessed as the people who write about them (hi!).

Rivers doesn't come off as legacy-obsessed. His beef is personal. He likes San Diego. He likes that he is surrounded by a strong Christian community. See look, he said so himself talking to something called the National Christian Register:

Our bond in the faith is the foundation of our marriage. San Diego has a very solid Catholic community, which has been great for my wife and kids to make friends and be supported in the faith. This is very encouraging, especially when it comes to living out teachings of the Church that are not as popular as others.

Rivers is deeply concerned about his family: A wife of 14 years and seven, soon to be eight, children. The proof is in the fact that he's turning down an extension now, at a time when teams are giddily throwing money at his peers like jail-broken ATMs. Rivers is about to take his chances that he survives another season behind a Chargers offensive line that was in the bottom half of the league in adjusted sack rate, according to Football Outsiders, and 29th in pass-blocking efficiency, according to Pro Football Focus.

Assuming general manager Tom Telesco was genuine when he said he wanted to enter extension negotiations with his quarterback, Rivers may have turned down an opportunity to be a $100 million quarterback with likely $50 million-plus guaranteed before entering a contract season. Rivers is 33 and riding the league's longest active starting streak. He has a lot of good years left, and he's worth the paycheck to San Diego. But he seems to have bigger things on his mind and that's ... kind of noble.

Stories admonishing Rivers for the trade rumors that persisted up until the NFL Draft exist solely to fill a narrative gap. Let a story linger long enough and eventually every potential angle will be taken -- one of the easiest is "guy and his agent who aren't fully cooperating with management have set forth Machiavellian machinations." Simpler is to take Rivers at his word that he is concerned about his standard of living if he has to move.

In response, the Chargers are acting rationally within the framework of How People Do Business. This isn't Good vs. Evil, Evil vs. Evil or Good vs. Good. It's people carefully erecting dominoes in hopes that the contraption stays inta--aww hamburgers, everything fell over.

Rivers to the Titans for Marcus Mariota made sense, even if it was a media fabrication. Rivers has been upfront about his dislike for Los Angeles, and San Diego's best chance of retaining the Chargers is by playing chicken with the franchise. The Mariota deal would have been a neat settlement for both dissatisfied parties. It wasn't the perfect solution for quarterback or franchise, however, and so both sides are hedging like anyone who might be trying to salvage a relationship in its final throes. In its current trajectory, the relationship will break.

Rivers' Family is being threatened by Business. Business has never been much concerned with Family. We're watching the natural consequence of misaligned interests, and it's terribly sad. Rivers should be remembered as one of the best quarterbacks to play the game, and if this were a storybook he could forever be associated with the city he loves and that likewise stuck by him. Now, if Rivers ever achieves his greatest moment, there's a very good chance it won't occur with San Diego, and that'd be wrong.

12 May 14:37

The 14th Permalance Lama

by Dorothy


12 May 14:36

purplechocolatekisses:onyourtongue: onyourtongue: They really...




They really convicted a 6th grader with autism. This is unfair. Don’t allow these crooked officers to ruin his future.

Sign this petition please:



12 May 14:35

“You can’t keep a cool head when you’re...


via Toaster Strudel

“You can’t keep a cool head when you’re drowning in love. You just thrash around a lot and scream, and wear yourself out.”

—Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride