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12 Jul 09:35

Oh God for one more breath

by Shaun Usher

On the morning of May 19th, 1902, a huge explosion ripped through Fraterville Coal Mine in Tennessee, its devastating power instantly killing most of the 216 miners who were below ground. For the 26 who survived the initial blast, a side passage of the mine proved to be a safe haven, but not for long—when rescuers eventually reached them, all had suffocated. Found next to a number of the those 26 bodies were letters to loved ones, one of which can be seen below. It was written by Jacob Vowell to Sarah Ellen, his beloved wife and mother to their 6 children, one of whom, 14-year-old Elbert, was by his side in the mine. ("Little Eddie" was a son they had lost previously.)

All but three of Fraterville's adult men were killed that day; over a hundred women were instantly widowed; close to a thousand children lost their fathers. The Fraterville Mine disaster remains the worst of its kind in Tennessee's history.

(Source: United Mine Workers of America; Image above: Jacob Vowell with his daughter, Lily, via.)

Ellen, darling, goodbye for us both. Elbert said the Lord has saved him. We are all praying for air to support us, but it is getting so bad without any air.

Ellen I want you to live right and come to heaven. Raise the children the best you can. Oh how I wish to be with you, goodbye. Bury me and Elbert in the same grave by little Eddie. Godbye Ellen, goodbye Lily, goodbye Jemmie, goodbye Horace. We are together. Is 25 minutes after two. There is a few of us alive yet.

Jake and Elbert

Oh God for one more breath. Ellen remember me as long as you live Goodbye darling.

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08 Feb 04:46

This robot will utterly destroy you at air hockey

by George Dvorsky

In an effort to suck the fun out of every activity still left for us puny humans, an engineer has built an amazing 3D printable air hockey playing robot that, in addition to moving across the required two dimensions, can predict the movements of rebounding pucks.



18 Sep 09:21

Ramen Burger

by J. Kenji López-Alt

Kenji you magnificent bastard.

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

recipEvery recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

Special equipment: 4-inch ring mold or empty 28-ounce can


serves Serves 2, active time 20 minutes, total time 20 minutes

  • 1 pack instant ramen noodles
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces freshly ground beef, formed into two 4-ounce patties
  • 2 slices American, Cheddar, or Swiss cheese
  • Toppings as desired


  1. Cook noodles according to package directions, draining 1 minute before time indicated on package. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and spread out to allow them to dry slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  2. Divide noodles into 4 piles. Heat oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place ring mold or empty 28-ounce can with both ends cut off on one side of pan. Place 1 pile of noodles into mold and press down gently with a rubber spatula to form a thin, even layer. Carefully lift mold. Repeat with other piles of noodles until you have four circular piles of noodles cooking. Cook without moving until well browned on first side, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip and brown on second side, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

  3. Season meat with ramen seasoning packet, adding additional salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out skillet with paper towel and heat over high heat until lightly smoking. Add burger patties and press down immediately with a stiff spatula so that patties make contact with skillet. Cook without moving until seared on first side, about 2 minutes. Carefully scrape up patties and flip. Top with cheese and continue to cook until desired doneness is achieved, about 1 minute for medium rare.

  4. Top bottom ramen buns as desired, add burger patties, top with second ramen buns, and serve immediately.

14 Aug 22:51

The suits of James Bond

by Sarah Pavis

For the Snook.

Whether you're into movies, fashion, or history, this site by Matt Spaiser cataloging the outfits worn by James Bond and his contemporaries is a great read.


This outfit from The Man with the Golden Gun may be the one most to blame for Roger Moore's undeserved reputation for always wearing a leisure suit as James Bond. This safari jacket, made of cream-coloured silk or a linen and silk blend, is really the only one that's a 100 percent product of the 1970s. Unlike Moore's traditional safari shirts, this one is a structured jacket. It has natural--but structured--shoulders, set-in sleeves and a tailored waist. It has most of the traditional details of a classic safari jacket: shoulder straps and four flapped patch pockets with inverted box pleats. The sleeves have buttoned straps around the cuffs as well as a vent. The front has a dart that extends to the bottom hem. The front of the jacket has four buttons, and Moore leaves the top button open. It has a long, single rear vent.

What takes this jacket, more than any of Moore's other safari jackets, into the 1970s are two things: the collar and the stitching. A safari jacket should have a shirt-type collar, but this jacket has a a long, dog-ear style, leisure-suit collar. The other really fashionable aspect of this jacket is the dark, contrast stitching that's found all over the jacket. It's on the collar, lapels, shoulder straps, cuff straps and pockets. And Moore wears the jacket with medium brown, slightly-flared-leg trousers, so it's not a suit.
(via ★murtaugh)
01 Aug 03:14

The No. 1 Reason To Wear Nose Plugs At A Freshwater Water Park: Brain-Eating Amoebas

by Mary Beth Quirk

The Snook is definitely never taking me to Jamberoo.

Maybe you think you’re too cool to wear nose plugs when swimming or rocketing down water slides at the water park, despite the fact that they prevent water from shooting up into your nasal passages. But there’s one very, very good reason to invest in a pair or at least plug your nose if you’re visiting a water park with fresh water: Brain-eating amoebas can get inside and that is not a good thing.

“How can this be?” you’re probably muttering while imagining the horrific consequences of the aforementioned parasite. It’s a rare but very deadly occurrence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and PRevention. And yes, it’s horrifying: A 12-year-old girl in Arkansas is battling for her life after being infected by the Naegleria fowleri, likely at the Willow Springs water park, reports CNN.

The amoeba enters the body through the nose and makes its way to the brain to feed, and is usually the result of swimming in warm freshwater. It can’t get into your brain by drinking it, just by sniffing fresh water. It’s also almost always deadly.

It’s unclear whether the water park the little girl attended in Arkansas is where the amoeba came from, but the department of health says that’s the most likely scenario. Another report of that parasite, primary amebic meningoencephalitis, was filed in 2010 and named the same location.

“Based on the occurrence of two cases of this rare infection in association with the same body of water and the unique features of the park, the ADH has asked the owner of [the water park] to voluntarily close the water park to ensure the health and safety of the public,” a news release said.

“This infection is one of the most severe infections that we know of. Ninety-nine percent of people who get it die,” Dr. Dirk Haselow with the Arkansas Department of Health told a CNN affiliate.

Symptoms like headache, fever, nausea, vomiting and a stiff neck can show up anywhere between one and seven days after the infection occurs, says the CDC.

“Later symptoms include confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance, seizures and hallucinations,” the CD notes. “After the start of symptoms, the disease progresses rapidly and usually causes death within one to 12 days.”

These terrifying creatures are also rumored to be the downfall of the River Country freshwater ride at Disney World, which mysteriously shut down in September 2012, but that’s never been confirmed.

While there are only 32 reported cases of brain-eating amoebas between 2001 an 2010, the CDC is on board with the nose plugs idea, especially in the Southeast where most of the cases stem from. It also recommends skipping that dip in fresh water when it’s hot out or the water level is low, only using distilled or sterilized water in your neti pot, and avoid stirring up sediment in shallow areas. That being said, the water park might consider installing concrete at the bottom of its pools instead of earthy, sandy floors so the amoebas have nowhere to live while they await their next victims.

Arkansas girl battles brain-eating amoeba [CNN]

31 Jul 11:26

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Dr Pepper

by Stephanie Stiavetti

[Photograph: Stephanie Stiavetti]

This dish calls for a slow cooker, but if you don't have one, you can cook it in a covered Dutch oven. Either way, this pulled pork is a long, slow braise that will leave your house smelling amazing, and that's my idea of the perfect meal.

About the author: Stephanie Stiavetti is a writer and cookbook author in San Francisco. Her food blog, The Culinary Life, is a repository for all things comfort food related, from savory dinners to transcendental desserts. She also publishes a monthly culinary newsletter full of stories, review, and helpful tips. Stephanie's cookbook, Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese, celebrates America's favorite dish by recreating it with specialty cheeses. Available for preorder now.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

Special equipment: slow cooker


serves Serves 4 to 6, active time 10 minutes, total time 8 hours

  • 1 small boneless, skin-off pork shoulder roast, about 2 pounds
  • 1 can of Dr Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 cups store-bought or homemade Kansas City-style barbecue sauce
  • 6 soft hamburger buns


  1. In a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat, brown the pork on all sides. Transfer the roast to the slow cooker. Return the pan to the stove.

  2. Pour Dr Pepper into the pan and deglaze, using a spatula to scrape up all the pork bits on the bottom. Let cook for 2 minutes, scraping the bottom occasionally.

  3. Pour the Dr Pepper over the meat in the slow cooker. Add honey, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir well. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.

  4. After the meat has cooked for 7 hours, drain off any excess liquid and shred the meat into small bits with two forks. Add the barbecue sauce to the pork and stir well. Cover the slow cooker and cook for 1 more hour.

  5. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Fill the burger buns with pork and serve immediately.

26 Jul 23:48

How to tie your shoes

by Jason Kottke


He's a witch! Burn him! See also how to fold a shirt in two seconds. (via ★interesting)

Tags: fashion   how to
26 Jul 23:35

And you shall know us by the locations of our Starbucks

by Jason Kottke

I managed 11. I really only got the ones that were obvious.

13 Jul 05:00

slow-and-low dry rub oven chicken

by deb

dry rub oven-barbecued chicken

Five years ago, I fell in love with dry-rub barbecue. Prior to the summer of 2008, I naively believed that the only way to make ribs deliciously on the grill was to mop them with copious amounts of a wet, tomato-based barbecue sauce. I know, I know, silly Deb, but what can you really expect from a Yankee?

making the dry rub
dry rub

Under my friend Molly’s tutelage, I learned the error of my ways. The thing is, no matter how unappealing the word “dry” may sound against meat of any sort, the results are anything but. While a wet sauce just wants to roll or evaporate off your meat as it cooks, the dry rub spices adhere themselves to it, almost crusting in the meltingly tender meat within as it cooks slow-and-low over a the grill. It loses none of its punch, no matter how long it cooks. You might have some barbecue sauce around when you’re done as a dip for the meat, but there’s so much flavor from that spice crust, you probably won’t need it.

dry rub

... Read the rest of slow-and-low dry rub oven chicken on

© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to slow-and-low dry rub oven chicken | 213 comments to date | see more: Grilling, Meat, Photo, Poultry, Summer

13 Jul 04:59

Peanut Butter Oat Cookies with Salted Honey Buttercream

by Carrie Vasios

[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

Thick and chewy peanut butter oat cookies sandwich a salted honey butter cream filling.

Notes: The buttercream frosting can be tailored to your taste: add more salt if you like, and choose your favorite honey. Just use a honey with a strong flavor (such as wildflower or orange blossom) or else you'll end up with a frosting that tastes like sugar, not honey. I go pretty light on the amount of buttercream per sandwich in order to keep things from getting too intense; feel free to add more if you like.

About the author: Carrie Vasios is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

Special equipment: stand mixer, baking sheets, parchment paper


serves makes 1 dozen sandwich cookies, active time 30 minutes, total time 1 hour

  • For the Cookies:
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • For the buttercream
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablepsoon strongly flavored honey, such as wildflower or orange blossom
  • 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)


  1. For the Cookies: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together peanut butter, brown sugar, and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and baking powder. Stir in oats on low speed just until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill dough for 30 minutes.

  2. Adjust oven rack to lower and middle positions and preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  3. Use a 2-ounce cookie scoop or your hands to form balls the size of rounded tablespoons. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheet and use a fork to press down on dough, flattening slightly and creating a criss-cross pattern. Bake cookies until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

  4. For the Buttercream: Wash out bowl of stand mixer and dry. Add butter and honey and beat until combined, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners sugar and salt and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Taste; if desired, add more salt or honey.

  5. To assemble: Spread bottom of one cookie with 1 teaspoon frosting (See note). Top with another cookie. Repeat to form remaining sandwiches.

01 Jul 06:32

A 6-year-old kills it on America's Got Talent

by Jason Kottke

This is the best thing in the world right now. An adorable 9-year-old kid who plays the drums and his equally adorable 6-year-old sister who sings take the stage on the show America's Got Talent to perform. The judges coo at their kidness and cuteness. And then:

Give it until 1:40 at least...I promise it pays off. I haven't laughed this hard in weeks. (via ★interesting)

Tags: music   video
21 Jun 02:56

This amazing R2-D2 cake can project a holographic Leia

by Rob Bricken

This incredible — and edible — version of everybody's favorite Astromech droid can actually project Princess Leia's holographic message to Obi-Wan. I just hope whoever received the cake didn't accidentally eat the Death Star Plans hidden inside, because otherwise the Rebellion is gonna be screwed.



21 Jun 02:49

Map of Mobile Devices Using Twitter

by John Gruber


More than 280 million Tweets posted from mobile phones reveal geographic usage patterns in unprecedented detail.

Rather amazing. Zoom in on Philadelphia or any other big city, and you see just what you’d expect: a red/green breakdown along socio-economic lines.

Also: Mountain View seems pretty red.

20 Jun 12:27

Fudgy Chocolate Pretzel Cake

by Yvonne Ruperti

A tower of fudge with salty crunch. [Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

This super tall, super moist cake is swathed in a creamy sour cream chocolate frosting and gets a salty kick from crunchy pretzels.

Notes: The cake base was adapted from the Double Chocolate Layer Cake from Engine Co. No. 28. I used a dark cocoa (such as Hershey's dark), which resulted in a very dark cake, but this is not necessary. Regular natural cocoa will work fine for this cake. Do not use Dutch process cocoa here. The pretzels soften after the first day. If making ahead, omit the pretzels on the inside, and coat top and sides of cake with pretzels before serving.

About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore working on her new baking cookbook, and as a recipe developer for HungryGoWhere Singapore. Check out her blog: . Follow Yvonne on Twitter.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

Special equipment: Two 9- by 2-inch round cake pans, mixer


serves Makes one 9-inch cake, active time 45 minutes, total time 1 1/2 hours

  • For the cake:
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups hot coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (4 1/2 ounces) cocoa (see note above)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • For the frosting:
  • 13 tablespoons (6 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 7 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) confectioners' sugar
  • 3 ounces pretzel knots, crushed, divided


  1. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper.

  2. Place chocolate in a large bowl and pour coffee over. Whisk until melted and then cool briefly. Whisk in brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, eggs, oil, sour cream, and vanilla until combined.

  3. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking power in a medium bowl. Whisk into wet mixture until smooth. Evenly divide batter between pans and bake until just set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans for 30 minutes, then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

  4. For the frosting: Mix butter, chocolate, sour cream, cocoa, and vanilla in mixer with paddle on low speed until combined. Add sugar and mix until just combined. Increase speed to medium and beat until creamy, about 1 minute. If frosting is too soft to spread onto cake, chill briefly until thickened.

  5. Place one cake on serving plate and spread with about 2/3 cup frosting. Sprinkle almost half of the crushed pretzels on the frosting and then place the second cake on top (rounded side up). Use remaining frosting to ice top and sides of cake. Sprinkle remaining pretzels on top.

01 Jun 02:30

Tobacco Cookies

by Emma Kobolakis

WTF. This is... interesting.

[Photograph: Grant Cornett]

Cigar aficionados, take note: this recipe makes serious use of your favorite indulgence. Smoke & Pickles flavors soft sugar cookie dough with chopped leaves, and the topping is a boiled down mix of molasses, coconut, and tobacco water. If you're a nicotine neophyte, consult the main recipe post for a breakdown of the best cigars to use here.

Reprinted with permission by Edward Lee. Copyright © 2013. Published by Artisan Books. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.


serves makes about 24 cookies, active time 40 minutes, total time 1 hour

  • Tobacco Coconut Flakes
  • 1 cup firmly packed sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups brewed coffee
  • 3/4 cup cola
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Tobacco Water (recipe follows)
  • Cookies
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 14 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons chopped tobacco leaves (reserved from cigar used to make Tobacco Water)
  • Tobacco Water
  • 1 good cigar
  • 3 cups warm water


  1. Preheat the oven to 355°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. To make the tobacco water: Peel half of the layers off the cigar and discard. Separate the inner tobacco leaves. Reserve 2 tablespoons' worth of chopped leaves to use in cookies; set aside. Rinse remaining leaves under warm water for 3 minutes. Fill a small bowl with the 3 cups warm water and steep the tobacco leaves in the water for 10 minutes. Strain the water and discard the tobacco leaves. The tobacco water will be quite strong, with a nicotine sting.

  3. To make the coconut flakes: In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut, coffee, cola, molasses, sugar, and tobacco water. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for about 20 minutes, until all the liquid has been cooked off. Transfer the coconut flakes to a baking sheet and allow to cool to room temperature.

  4. To make the cookies: In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and stir together with a fork. Melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler. Allow to cool slightly.

  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, and tobacco. Stir into the chocolate mixture, then stir the flour mixture into this batter.

  6. Spoon the dough 1 tablespoon at a time onto the prepared baking sheet. Leave room in between for the cookies to spread while baking.

  7. Top each cookie with a little of the tobacco coconut flakes. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookie tops crack but the cookies are still soft in the center. Let cool for 3 minutes before handling. Lift with a spatula and transfer the cookies to a wire rack. Or let cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

01 Jun 02:29

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas

by Alexandra Penfold

[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]

Every Arrested Development fan knows that there's always money in the banana stand...but what kind of bananas are there? Well, thanks to the Bluth's Original Frozen Banana Stand wiki I was able to track down the menu. The recipe below is for basic chocolate dipped frozen bananas with or without nuts, but check out the slideshow to see some make-at-home versions of the Bluth creations and feel free to let your creativity guide you. I used peanuts here, but you can use your favorite nut or mix and match.

About the author: Alexandra Penfold is mild-mannered literary agent by day, food ninja by night. Never one to skip dessert she's the Brownie half of Blondie & Brownie, a Midtown Lunch contributor, and co-author of New York à la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple's Best Food Trucks. You can follow her on Twitter at @blondiebrownie.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

Special equipment: 12 popsicle sticks


serves Serves 12, active time 30 minutes, total time 2 hours 30 minutes

  • 6 large bananas
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate, melted in the microwave or double boiler
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups nuts, medium coarsely chopped (optional)


  1. Slice bananas in half and carefully mount on Popsicle sticks. Place bananas on a tray, plate or baking dish in the freezer for 2 hours or until firm. You can freeze up to overnight. Do not cover bananas as this will cause ice crystals to form.

  2. In a medium bowl whisk together melted chocolate and coconut oil until thoroughly combined. Place nuts in a wide, shallow plate or pie plate (if using).

  3. Remove bananas from freezer. If ice crystals have formed on the bananas use a paper towel to gently brush them off. Dip banana in chocolate and swirl to cover. Alternately you can use a spoon to help cover and ensure even chocolate distribution.

  4. Roll bananas in chopped nuts. Let cool for 1 minute, Then place on a serving platter. If you don't plan on serving the bananas immediately, return them to the freezer for up to a few hours. If serving from freezer, place on plate and allow to thaw for 10 minutes before serving.

15 May 09:53

Lucy Liu for The Edit Magazine

by Tom and Lorenzo

For your Pretty of the Day, let’s get some fierce [...]
08 May 09:42

Binder Clip Bag

by Laura Cochrane
CLip-Bag-Swinging-Peter-Bristol-600x275Seattle designer Peter Bristol's Clip Bag translates those ubiquitous binder clips you find in offices into a funny and useful accessory that could almost be elegant, if it weren't so silly. It's one of those form translations that makes me say, "Of course!" The bag is made out of wool felt and aluminum tubing.

Read the full article on MAKE

08 May 09:27

New at LitKids: Little Bo Peep

by Matt

There’s a new girl in town, and she’s looking good – my LitKids Little Bo Peep screenprint, that is!

After getting saddled with a heavy workload throughout the early part of this year, I was so relieved to find some time in the past month to develop a new print. This particular one has been in the works for a while. It started a few years back, when a craft fair shopper asked if I had any nursery-ready subjects for parents with babies. Before blurting out “All of these are great for that purpose, have a little imagination,” I stopped myself and agreed that it was a good idea. Indeed, some kind of print that could serve as a baby shower gift was needed to flesh out the variety of items at the store.

Casting aside the subject matter (which was a delight to draw), I’m really happy with how this print came out. I’m getting better with using the color layers in an offbeat way, and the print quality is coming out less amateurish with each new design. Little Bo Peep and her sheep is availabe, as usual, at LitKids.

27 Apr 10:25

OK I Know "Salt" And That's About It


Paging Mr Snook...


Submitted by: Unknown

23 Apr 09:39

Wringing out a washcloth in space

by Jason Kottke

What happens when you wring a washcloth out in zero gravity? Something cool.

Commander Hadfield is the best. I love when he casually lets go of the wireless mic and it just floats there right in front of his face. (thx, dusty)

Tags: gravity   science   space   video
13 Apr 07:32

Google Introduces Dead Man’s Switch For Your Accounts

by Laura Northrup



More than a decade ago, I had an online friend who abruptly disappeared, not answering e-mails or showing up on any of her favorite sites. Did she lock herself out of her accounts? Did her parents cancel their dialup? Did something happen to her? I never found out, and never would. What if you could prevent that? What if you could send a notice out to all of your contacts after you don’t log in to your accounts for a set period, and “will” your data to someone else? There are workarounds to do this, but now such a feature is built in to Google.

No one wants to think about their own death, but not thinking about it has a zero percent chance of preventing it. The Inactive Account Manager (great euphemism) can send your data from many Google services to your digital heirs, alert your contacts, delete the accounts, or do all or none of the above. It affects Blogger, Contacts/Circles (in Google+) Drive, Gmail, Google+ profiles, Pages and Streams, Picasa albums, Google Voice, and YouTube.

It also serves as a useful self-destruct button. Don’t want anyone watching your stupid YouTube videos after you’ve long forgotten that you had an account? Don’t want your kids to find your password notebook years after you’re gone and read your dirty chat sessions with their dad? You can have your account auto-destruct after trying to reach you using other e-mail addresses and by text message. You know, in case you just get tired of Gmail and wander off somewhere else.

Self-destruct buttons on all sorts of online accounts would be nice. You could torch abandoned Twitters and vacation albums and kill off forgotten e-mail accounts. Would that be a good thing?

Take Our Poll

Plan your digital afterlife with Inactive Account Manager [Google Public Policy Blog]

11 Apr 21:18

How-To: Mastering Zipper Techniques

by Haley Pierson-Cox
craftsy_zipper_techniquesDon't fear the zipper! Head over to Craftsy to check out their free Mastering Zipper Techniques online sewing class.

Read the full article on MAKE

11 Apr 00:30

The powerful, unstable explosive found in children's toys

by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Cue the Snook telling us how he used to make this stuff in college...

The cap guns that kids use and poppers that they throw at the ground aren't just annoying. They contain one of the most unstable diy compounds that anyone could lose a hand to. The worrying concoction, called Armstrong's mixture, is one of the easiest, and most flammable, explosives that anyone would care to make.


10 Apr 08:54

Cool Dad Raising Daughter On Media That Will Put Her Entirely Out Of Touch With Her Generation

by Jason Kottke

Hahaha... It was the Danger Mouse-themed birthday party that made me laugh out loud.

No, this story is not spot on at all. No one at our house is doing this. Nope.

"Well, I'm not making the same mistake he did," Campbell continued as he pulled out vinyl copies of Television's Marquee Moon, Miles Davis' Sketches Of Spain, and Big Star's #1 Record, highly influential albums that will in no way help his daughter interact with her peers at a particularly delicate time in her social development. "There's a lot of cool stuff out there, and it's never too early to start learning what's worth your time. I'm just glad I have the know-how to guide her."

Campbell said he has also been vigilant in ensuring Emma develops an increased familiarity with timeless classic films, a parenting strategy that will inevitably hobble her as she attempts to achieve individuation while negotiating an adolescence heavily influenced by the very latest pop culture.

Yeah, our kids definitely do not listen to Philip Glass, Ella Fitzgerald, Edith Piaf, Burl Ives, Joan Jett, and Miles Davis on a regular basis. Or watch Chuck Jones-era Looney Toons shorts. Or Miyazaki films. Oh God, what are kids into these days? Pokebots? Blay blays? Yo-yos?

Tags: parenting
10 Apr 03:32

How Your Commute Affects Your Bottom Line

by Trent

A friend of mine works at a Home Depot about ten miles from her home, which means she has a daily round trip of about twenty miles for her commute. She makes more than minimum wage – let’s say $8 per hour after taxes – and she seems pretty happy there.

As far as I can tell, she works five shifts per week, seven hours each.

She drives herself back and forth to work on each of those work days. Her car is reasonably fuel efficient and pretty reliable. We’ll say, for the purposes of this exercise, that she paid $6,000 for it and figures she’ll be able to get 100,000 miles out of it without any major repairs. That’s really optimistic, I know, but it gives us something to work with.

Her car gets about 25 miles per gallon, too. In the area where she lives, gas is about $3.50 per gallon. Her tires wear out at the 40,000 mile mark, so she’s going to be spending about $400 to replace them all. She has to change the oil every 5,000 miles, which costs her, say, $25 per oil change (I’m trying to use round numbers that will divide easily while still being fairly accurate). She tries to stick to her maintenance schedule, too. She also has to cover auto insurance on her car – just liability insurance, mind you – which sets her back about $40 per month.

So, let’s start figuring this up.

Her gas cost is about $0.14 per mile. Since she commutes ten miles each way, that’s $2.80 per day.

Her tire cost is about $0.01 per mile, adding up to $0.20 per day.

Her oil cost is half a cent per mile, adding up to $0.10 per day.

Her insurance cost, assuming she only drives back and forth to work, is $0.10 per mile, adding up to $2.00 per day.

Her time invested in driving back and forth to work is about half an hour each way.

So, if we ignore her commute entirely, a given day sees her working a seven hour shift and bringing home $8 per hour for that work, totaling $56.

What happens when we include her commute? Out of that $56, she loses $2.80 to fuel, $0.20 to her tires, $0.10 to her oil, and $2.00 to her insurance. Her total goes down to $50.90. She also adds an hour of commute time, bumping her up to eight hours of work.

The commute alone drops her hourly take-home pay for her time away from home from $8 per hour to $6.30 per hour. That’s the reality of a commute.

I’m not going to suggest that she ditches her car and rides a bike to work. It’s certainly an option for her, but it’s not one that the vast majority of people will follow up on.

Instead, I propose something different. Take your commute into account when you’re shopping around for a job.

Let’s say she simply takes a job that’s two blocks away at a diner, still working seven hours a day, five days a week. She continues making the same wage as before, but she’s not driving her car each day and her “commute” is just a few minutes.

She’s still losing $2 per day to auto insurance, but she’s bringing home $54 for every seven hours spent outside the house instead of $50.90 for every eight hours spent outside the house. She now has an extra $2.10 to keep in her pocket every single day but, more importantly, she has an extra hour of freedom each day.

One of the best subtle financial moves you can make is to simply live close to your work. Ideally, choose to live close enough so that you can walk there or, even better, find some way to work from home. Your commute length – which is essentially part of your workday – virtually disappears, as do many of the expenses related to your commute. It doesn’t have any impact on your other buying decisions or your quality of life. It just leaves more money in your pocket and more time in your day.

The post How Your Commute Affects Your Bottom Line appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

10 Apr 00:49

Why don't trains need differential gears?

by Jason Kottke

The other day I posted a video about how differential gears work to help cars go smoothly around curves. Trains don't have differential gears, so how do they manage to go around curves without slipping or skidding? Richard Feynman explains:

Ha, it looks like I've posted this one before as well. Can never get enough Feynman. (thx, kerry)

Tags: physics   Richard Feynman   science   video
02 Apr 10:31

The secrets to a REALLY good Bolognese sauce

by imacri

paleo bolognese recipe

Recipe: The secrets to a really good paleo bolognese

Who doesn’t love a bowl of good, hearty spag bol? It’s tasty, filling, cheap and simple to make. Minced meat, tomato sauce, spaghetti – I mean anyone should be able to cook a simple version of the meat based Bolognese sauce, yet there are a million and one recipes, each claiming to have the best combo of flavours and the most perfected method learnt from grandmothers and celebrity chefs or self-discovered in the kitchen. I’ve made hundreds of Bolognese sauces and in the last couple of years I’ve been perfecting my own version. Here are my secrets to a rich, hearty Bolognese sauce made with paleo intricacies in mind.


This is not really a secret but many people don’t know that the tastiest Bologenese sauce is made with a mix of beef or veal and pork mince. 50/50 ratio can taste a little too ‘porky’ for some people and I found that having less pork than beef works well for my tastebuds. If you’re a little more adventurous, you can try adding a little chopped chicken liver, which adds more complexity and depth. I’m leaving it out to please the mainstream palates. Many people add bacon but I really like some chopped pancetta, which is cured Italian meat similar to prosciutto. And finally, I used grass-fed beef and free-range pork and trust me when I say that you can taste the difference! Plus, you’ll be getting a healthier ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids.

Quick tip: I use a potato masher to break down the mince into very little pieces. I don’t like large chunks of mince stuck together and prefer a smoother consistency, where the meat is really broken down and incorporated into the sauce.


Traditional Bolognese sauce is served with spaghetti or other pasta which holds the sauce quite well. That means that having a slighty runny sauce is actually quite good, otherwise the dish might be a little dry. When it comes to paleo, the sauce is usually served over something like zucchini strips – I call it Zuchettini – or with shavings of Spaghetti squash. Because the vegetables, especially zucchini, are quite moist already, having a runny sauce will make the whole dish a little soupy. I prefer a very thick sauce that holds well and coats every fork-full of  zucchini strips without slipping off back into the bowl. To get a rich, thick sauce I cook my sauce for a long time and I let most of the liquid evaporate until it’s thickened, slightly caramelised and sticky. Slow cooking and thickening also enhances all of the flavours, as does adding a dollop of butter right at the end.

Another reason I like a thick sauce is that I can use left-overs to make Shepherd’s Pie, Mexican taco filling or mix it with some sweet potato or grated zucchini for super-quick patties.


In addition to the classic onion, carrot, celery, wine and tomatoes ingredients, I like to add a whole bunch of flavour enhancers such as cinnamon and star anise to heighten the rich meat taste, port or dry cherry and nutmeg for depth, lots of garlic and winter herbs for pungency, and some chili for a kick. You can experiment and adjust the amounts depending on your own palate and pantry inventory.

Cook’s notes: I always make a large saucepan of the sauce to save smaller batches for freezing and as leftovers for the next couple of days.


For the sauce

  • 700 grams grass-fed beef mince (go for normal fat to meat ratio, no need to get extra-lean)
  • 300 grams free-range pork mince
  • 4 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 large brown onion, peeled and diced finely
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 4-5 pancetta slices, finely diced
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 800 grams tomato passata or diced canned tomatoes (2 cans)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 30 ml port or dry sherry
  • 2 tbsp GF Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 1/2 tsp celtic sea salt or sea salt
  • 2/3 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2/3 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 packed tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp butter

For zucchetini

  • 4 medium green zucchinis
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • A good pinch of sea or celtic salt
  • 1 tbsp ghee or olive oil


  1. Heat three tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan. Sauté onion, pancetta, carrots and celery on medium heat until golden and translucent. Remove to a bowl.
  2. Add mince to the saucepan with another tablespoon of olive oil. Break the mince into small pieces using a potato masher. Fry on high heat until the colour changes from red to desaturated brown. Stir frequently to make sure all bits are cooked evenly. This should take about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Keeping the heat high, add red wine, sautéed vegetables, garlic, pepper, paprika, star anise, cinnamon, thyme, bay leaves, salt, chili, nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce and port. Stir through and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding tomato passata and tomato paste. Bring to boil then turn the heat down to simmering temperature. Cook on low heat covered for two hours. Stir through every 20 minutes or so. After two hours, remove the lid and cook uncovered on low heat for another hour, stir occasionally. Finally, bring the heat up to medium-high, add a dollop of butter and  let the sauce bubble away for 5 minutes to complete the thickening of the sauce.
  4. In the final 30 minutes of sauce cooking,  prepare zucchetini. Cut zucchinis into thin slices going lengthways first and then cut those into fettuccine thick strips. Heat a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of ghee or olive oil to sizzling hot. Toss zucchini strips with lemon zest and sea salt and sauté on high heat for a minute. You want to warm and soften the zucchini strips quickly so they keep a slightly crunchy, ‘al dente’ texture. If you cook them for too long you’ll end up with soggy vegetables.
  5. Serve zucchini strips with Bolognese ragu sauce and some fresh thyme and lemon zest scattered on top. Grate some Parmesan or Pecorino if you eat dairy.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 3 hours

Number of servings: 5-6

01 Apr 23:26

glukkake: cineraria: Magnetic Putty Time Lapse 1080p -...

01 Apr 22:07

The 20 Most Epic Beards and Mustaches in the Multiverse

by Rob Bricken

For Mr. Snook

They say the truest test of a man is his ability to grow and maintain facial hair. Admittedly, I have no idea who "they" are in this instance, but its obvious why they're preoccupied with what happens above and below a man's lips — it can make the difference between shame and dignity, between class and boorishness, and sometimes even good and evil. Behold the greatest mustaches, beards and other forms of facial hair that scifi, fantasy, comic books and more have to offer.