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29 Feb 08:10

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Macro


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Now, if your macro had been accomplished by paying people to pray on your behalf...

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25 Feb 11:34

Ringtone Timeline

No one likes my novelty ringtone, an audio recording of a phone on vibrate sitting on a hard surface.
14 Feb 22:03

Further Research is Needed

Further research is needed to fully understand how we managed to do such a good job.
08 Feb 06:36

Tax AI

I ended up getting my tax return prepared at a local place by a really friendly pretrained neural net named Greg.
07 Feb 07:04

Lounge area in an airship

by Minnesotastan

Not an airplane, mind you - an airship (think dirigible).  This one is the Airlander 10.
05 Feb 21:18

How to virtually block a road: Take a walk with 99 phones

by Kate Cox

Ninety-nine used smartphones, rolling down a sunny street...

It turns out, if you're creative enough, you can use one of the most common of childhood toys to make Google Maps display false real-time data. All you need is a little red wagon—and a hundred cheap smartphones.

The little red wagon full of phones is the idea of German artist Simon Weckert, whose projects focus on "hidden layers" in technology and examine the social and moral effects of the modern electronics-based lifestyle.

Google Maps determines congestion by gathering the location and motion speed of phones in a given area. Generally speaking, those phones are going to be in the road because they're with drivers, inside vehicles, and so measuring the phones' speed is a reasonably decent proxy for measuring vehicle speed. Those data points, aggregated, make a road look green on the map if traffic seems to be moving smoothly, or they look red on the map if traffic appears to be severe. When traffic is severe, the map's navigation software will reroute drivers around the congestion when possible.

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04 Feb 20:32

Oldest-ever wooden structures are water wells

by Minnesotastan

It's a well from the Neolithic period, made of oak trees.
“Today, over 40 Neolithic water wells are known in Europe,” said Mendel University researcher Michal Rybnicek and his colleagues from the Czech Republic and Germany.  These wells represent the oldest dendrochronologically dated wooden structures in the world.”

The external dimensions of the structure were 80 by 80 cm (31.5 x 31.5 inches) and 140 cm (55 inches) in height in total.

“A chest-like well lining was formed by four oak corner posts, each with two longitudinal grooves, set at 90 degrees to each other, in which oak planks were inserted horizontally in seven layers,” the archaeologists said...

“Only the upper parts yielded one clay container and a fragment of an antler. Only exceptionally, small fragments of ceramics were found in the remaining parts.”

They found that the oak trees (Quercus spp.) used for the Ostrov well were cut between 5256 and 5255 BCE.
More information:

The finds, reported in a paper in the journal PLoS ONE, contradict the common belief that metal tools were required to make complex wooden structures.
The logs were split first in half with wooden wedges that were hammered in using wooden mauls. Such timber conversion has been verified experimentally for prehistoric times. There is evidence on the timber surfaces that the log halves were cut to their final length by adze work and the use of burning charcoals. Molding by fire is also a common technique in Neolithic logboat construction. The trimmed halves were then again radially or tangentially split into the final timbers. After smoothing the split timber surfaces using adzes, the boards were ready for constructional use...

This study demonstrates that the first farmers were also the first carpenters, contradicting the common belief that the invention of metal woodworking tools more than a thousand years later was imperative for complex timber constructions. Settlers of the early Neolithic time were able to build sophisticated corner joints and log constructions, which fulfilled all of the static requirements of massive water well linings.
I am truly impressed by the quality of the woodworking.
04 Feb 07:20


After a while you adjust to the new cicadian rhythm.
01 Feb 20:13

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Mucho


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And give me the largest greenest carbonated beverage God will suffer to exist.

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01 Feb 20:12

Nordstrom will begin selling used clothing

by Minnesotastan
As reported by the Washington Post:
Nordstrom began selling secondhand apparel, shoes and accessories online and in its New York flagship store on Friday, the latest attempt by the 119-year-old company to appeal to changing consumer tastes and capitalize on one of the few bright spots in retail. It joins Macy’s, J.C. Penney and Madewell, among others, in carving out a place for used clothing, shoes and handbags alongside new ones.

Secondhand sites such as ThredUp, Poshmark and the RealReal have become destinations as eco-friendly alternatives to fast fashion. As resale goes mainstream — the market is projected to triple in three years — department stores have become an unexpected next step to woo younger shoppers.

“We want our customers to feel good not only about what they’re buying, but how they’re buying it,” said Olivia Kim, Nordstrom’s vice president of creative projects.

The secondhand offerings take up space once filled with Burberry, a luxury British clothier, at the Manhattan store. Nordstrom also is buying back customers’ used clothing, shoes, jackets and accessories, which will be cleaned and repaired as needed before being sold. The company will pay as much as 60 percent of an item’s resale value, in the form of a gift card. The initiative, known as See You Tomorrow, also will accept merchandise by mail...

It saves money... and more importantly, keeps clothing out of landfills. “There is such glut of cheap, disposable fashion out there,” she said. “The last thing I want to do is contribute more waste."
31 Jan 22:38

Parker Solar Probe

It will get within 9 or 10 Sun-diameters of the "bottom" (the Sun's surface) which seems pretty far when you put it that way, but from up here on Earth it's practically all the way down.
31 Jan 14:43

Superman's advice re immigrants (1960)

by Minnesotastan

I found this page in a 1960 "Bob Hope" comic book (published by DC comics).

Everyone knows that Superman was an immigrant; fewer people realize that "the creators of Superman, the scenarist Jerry Siegel and the draughtsman Joe Shuster, were children of Jewish immigrants."
31 Jan 07:26

Worst Thing That Could Happen

Before I install any patch, I always open the patch notes and Ctrl-F for 'supervolcano', 'seagull', and 'garbage disposal', just to be safe.
31 Jan 07:23

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Transporter


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This is where you decide to make some post-murder adjustments.

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28 Jan 17:33

Lunch with grandma

by Minnesotastan

Cartoon found in the discussion thread of this image:

27 Jan 23:36

roasted squash and tofu with ginger

by deb

I didn’t mean to disappear on you. I’d intended to start the year with soup, as I always do. I made a lovely-but-not-lovely-enough winter minestrone and then a red lentil situation but neither really seemed spotlight worthy and it can be hard sometimes but I really don’t want to publish anything here I don’t want to sing from the rooftops about. All of our time is worth more than that. While I was debating my next soup move, my friend texted and said “Can u believe the wedding is two weeks away??” and I bolted straight up in bed because, well, no. I could not believe it at all. I mean, I knew I’d told her I’d make her wedding cake. We’d discussed the headcount and flavors they liked. I had a loose idea of it in my mind and looked forward to really getting started on it… in a couple weeks. Needless to say, this is where the rest of January went and I’m going to tell you all about it next week — it’s going through some rigorous retesting and is going to be worth the wait because it’s probably one of the most delicious cakes I have ever made. But still, let’s never go on a break again.

Read more »

22 Jan 22:25

Solar System Changes


Looks like Randall has a real bias towards rocky planets over gas giants. How anthropocentric.

"Actually, Jupiter already has a very impressive ring system!" --someone who knows Jupiter is within earshot
20 Jan 21:59

Unsubscribe Message

A mix of the two is even worse: 'Thanks for unsubscribing and helping us pare this list down to reliable supporters.'
19 Jan 21:56

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Job Interview


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Oddly enough, this comic inspired by TH White's 'The Goshawk,' which I recommend to anyone interested in goshawks.

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16 Jan 06:18

Tattoo Ideas

The text ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US with a lengthy footnote explaining that I got this tattoo in 2020 and not, as you may assume, 2001, but offering no further clarification.
14 Jan 21:47


by Minnesotastan

Created by bonsai master Masahiko Kimura
His unconventional bonsai creations have stirred controversy at first. Deemed by some traditionalists as a non-conforming artist, Kimura continued to break the traditional rules of bonsai making. Typically, the art involves cultivating a single tree or shrub planted on a container. Instead of planting just one miniaturized tree, Kimura brilliantly created a mini-forest sprouting from a slanted deadwood. He has produced and sold several versions of the Hinoki Forest. But the original version, which he created more than 20 years ago, still sits proudly in his garden. His garden is located in Omiya, Japan and is open to the public upon request.
Image via
13 Jan 18:39

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Time Machine


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In the new future, everyone is awful, but we're all DINOSAURS.

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10 Jan 22:33

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Rich


It's like the SMBC version of The Shock Doctrine

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Honestly, if you see a prophet and he's not super rich, you probably shouldn't trust him.

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04 Jan 15:46

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Coffee


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I need to do a book of just comics that end with God laughing.

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