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15 Apr 05:21

Netflix Orders ‘With Bob and David’, A New Sketch Comedy Show by Bob Odenkirk and David Cross

by Glen Tickle

Mr Show Reunion

Netflix has ordered a season of With Bob and David, a new sketch comedy show by comedians Bob Odenkirk and David Cross. The title of the show is a reference to the duos’ earlier sketch series Mr. Show With Bob and David which ran on HBO from 1995 to 1998. Netflix has ordered four half-hour episodes and one hour-long making-of special of the new series.

Fans of Mr. Show may have suspected a reunion of sorts was in the works when comedian Paul F. Tompkins tweeted a photo of a group of Mr. Show writers together in December of 2014.

Eight men out… of the 1990s. Maybe something new coming from the Mr. Show gang in the new year? #MrShow

— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) December 31, 2014

photo via Paul F. Tompkins

via Deadline

13 Apr 18:29

A Cat Walks Through a Panoramic Photo and Becomes a Hilarious, Many-Legged Cat-Centipede Creature

by Rebecca Escamilla

Cat panorama

reddit user FallenCoffee took a panoramic photo while his cat was walking by. The result was a hilarious photo of a cat-centipede creature (or caterpillar) that rivals Longcat in length.

image via Imgur

via reddit

11 Apr 22:06

Little Red Panda Adorably Reaches and Stretches for Yummy Apple Slices Stuck on a Glass Wall

by Lori Dorn

A hungry little red panda named Eita at the Sapporo Maruyama Zoo in Sapporo City, Japan, reaches and stretches as far as he can to get at the yummy apple slices that had been stuck onto a glass wall, each one higher than the other. When he’s done with the apple, Eita moves readily onto his next course.

Eita Licking

via Daily Picks and Flicks

13 Mar 00:30

A Clever Hinged Lamp Based on the Rubik’s Snake Toy

by E.D.W. Lynch

Rubik's Snake Lamp

The 5+5 lamp is a whimsical LED light with a hinged, customizable form inspired by the Rubik’s Snake toy. Much like the toy, the light’s segments can be arranged to formed a variety of shapes. As a result it can serve as a wall lamp, desk lamp, and even a ceiling fixture. The 5+5 lamp was designed by Oikimus design studio in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Rubik's Snake Lamp

Rubik's Snake Lamp

Rubik's Snake Lamp

photos via Oikimus

via Neatorama

10 Mar 05:19

A Math Professor Demonstrates the Complicated Procedure of Drawing a 17-Sided Figure With a Compass and Ruler

by Glen Tickle

There's something beautiful about this.

In a recent video by Numberphile, University of California, Berkeley math professor David Eisenbud demonstrates the complicated procedure needed to draw a heptadecagon–a 17-sided figure–using just a compass and ruler. Carl Friedrich Gauss first proved the method in 1796.

In a separate video on the accompanying channel Numberphile2, Eisenbud gets into greater detail about the mathematics behind the figure and Fermat primes.

08 Mar 06:03

Sayings As Mathematical Equations


Sayings As Mathematical Equations

Answers: (1) Hell to the no. (2) Dime a dozen. (3) Enough is enough. (4) Fair and square. (5) See eye to eye. (6) Negative Nancy. (7) With or without you. (8) You are a product of your environment. (9) The meaning of life, the universe, and everything.

Have your own equations? Share them with us on Facebook.

Ambulance chase your dreams.

— Ray Yamartino (@rayyamartino) March 6, 2015
05 Mar 18:19

‘Big Birdman’, A Touching ‘Sesame Street’ Parody of the Film ‘Birdman’ Starring the Actor Who Plays Big Bird

by Lori Dorn

The Watercooler and Sesame Street have joined forces to create “Big Birdman,” a very sweet and very accurate parody of the 2014 breakout film Birdman. The parody features the incomparable Caroll Spinney, the man who has been playing the large yellow feathery character for over 45 years.

For your Oscar consideration: A veteran puppeteer, who plays an avian icon, battles his ego and attempts to find his way back to a certain furry and friendly street. This is ‘Big Birdman.’

05 Mar 18:15

‘Frozen Fortress’, A Short Film Capturing the Frozen Beauty of the New Hampshire Ice Castles Show

by Lori Dorn

Somehow never went to this

Frozen Fortress” by Michael N. Sutton and Julian Tryba is a short film that reflects the stunning frozen beauty of the Ice Castles light show in Lincoln New Hampshire, where the filmmakers spent over 4 hours a day in sub-freezing weather to capture the show’s magnificence.

Ice Castles are a magical collision of ice caves, frozen waterfalls and glaciers, formed into towering archways, caverns and tunnels. Guests can explore this glacial wonderland by day or by night when lights embedded deep within the ice change to the rhythm of inspiring music.

Frozen Fortress gif


Film Making

Ice Castle

images by Julian Tryba

gif by Beckett Mufson

via Creators Project

13 Feb 07:14

A Life-Like Eight-Foot Polar Bear Puppet Set Loose on the Streets of London to Promote a New Sky TV Show

by Brian Heater

Puppets are cool

Sky TV enlisted a team of puppet makers to create a life-like eight-foot-long polar bear, which it then let loose on the streets of London, courtesy of a pair of puppeteers who previously worked on the stage show, War Horse. The bear was created to promote Sky Atlantic’s new Icelandic crime thriller, Fortitude.

Sky TV

Sky TV

Sky TV

Sky TV

images via Sky TV

via The Presurfer

09 Feb 18:30

February 08, 2015

09 Feb 18:21

Between depriving a man of one hour from his life and depriving...

Between depriving a man of one hour from his life and depriving him of his life there exists only a difference of degree. You have done violence to him, consumed his energy. Elaborate euphemisms may conceal your intent to kill, but behind any use of power over another the ultimate assumption remains: “I feed on your energy.”

08 Feb 01:42

Turkish Artist Creates Delightful Anamorphic Calligraphy That Appears to Pop Out of the Page

by E.D.W. Lynch

Anamorphic Calligraphy by Tolga Girgin

Turkish graphic designer and lettering artist Tolga Girgin creates delightful anamorphic calligraphy by hand that appears to pop out of the page. Girgin makes the drawings with a calligraphy pen, brush pen, and pencil. He posts his latest works on his Instagram account.

Anamorphic Calligraphy by Tolga Girgin

Anamorphic Calligraphy by Tolga Girgin

Anamorphic Calligraphy by Tolga Girgin

Anamorphic Calligraphy by Tolga Girgin

photos by Tolga Girgin

via DesignTAXI

07 Feb 17:36

‘Old/New’, A Short Film Narrated by Patton Oswalt About Age, Love, Things, Cloning, and Time Travel

by Glen Tickle

Old/New” is a short film by Seth Worley and Aharon Rabinowitz about a man named Brian/Drew/Matt/John obsessed with new things who has a sudden change of heart that rearranges his world completely. The film is narrated by comedian Patton Oswalt and focuses on themes of aging and love, but also features a fair amount of cloning and time travel.

Red Giant also released a behind-the-scenes video about the making of the film.

03 Feb 22:07

One Golden Retriever Magically Turns Into Two Golden Retrievers In Just a Few Seconds

by Lori Dorn

In an adorable sleight of paw performed, one beautiful golden retriever turns into two with a clever trick that is flawlessly performed by dogs Goldie and Ami in just a few seconds.

via reddit, Boing Boing

03 Feb 04:02

Google will compete with Uber, which is now developing autonomous cars

by Nick Sarafolean

Google is in development of a taxi service to compete with Uber, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Uber has been under fire lately as a result of several factors, but that hasn’t affected the fact that it still serves thousands of people. The company was founded in 2009, and after its take-off, Google Ventures invested $258 million in August 2013. But the companies could now be splitting.

Bloomberg‘s report states that Google is planning to offer its own ride-hailing service to compete with Uber. A notable part of the situation is that it appears that Google will create the service in partnership with Google’s autonomous car program. This would allow Google to have a competitive edge in the market, particularly in neighborhoods. Autonomous cars give Google the ability to set up small fleets for specific neighborhoods, allowing for quick, low-cost trips. They also allow Google to cut the human driver out of the equation, which is both an extra expense and frequent complaint of current taxis.

Uber, however, is fighting back. The company just announced a collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University that has resulted in the creation of the Uber Advanced Technologies Center. The center will focus on R&D of new technologies. Examples of major projects include autonomous cars and enhanced vehicle safety.

With Uber beginning research into creating its own autonomous cars, it seems that Uber is looking to compete with Google on the self-driving car front. It could also be a clear sign of the gap between the two companies, signifying that Uber is planning to compete with Google in the future.

Another possible sign of the upcoming split came in the form of a Google Now announcement last week. Google has begun working with third-party apps to input their information into Google Now. Ride-sharing service and Uber competitor Lyft was found on the list of 40 newly-supported apps, but Uber was nowhere to be found.

Both companies declined to comment.

31 Jan 21:54

MIT Students Create Beautiful Lightweight Structures Out of Frozen Water-Soaked Fabric

by E.D.W. Lynch

Forces Frozen Ice Fabric Structures

Earlier in January, students at MIT built a remarkably diverse array of lightweight structures from just two components: fabric and water. The structures are created by first shaping the fabric with various supports and forms. Water is added, and the Boston winter transforms the fabric into rigid ice shells, which are then inverted and placed on the ground. The technique is inspired by the work of Swiss structural engineer Heinz Isler. The structures are built during the annual MIT workshop, Forces Frozen.

Frozen Ice Structures at MIT

Frozen Ice Structures at MIT

Frozen Ice Structures at MIT

photos via Forces Frozen

29 Jan 13:12

The Song ‘Tank!’ From the Japanese Anime ‘Cowboy Bebop’ Played on Eight Floppy Drives and a Digital Keyboard

by Justin Page

Anand Jain (a.k.a. “MrSolidSnake745“) has created a fantastic rendition of the song “Tank!” from the popular Japanese anime series Cowboy Bebop using eight floppy drives (previously) and a digital keyboard.

The original version of the song for comparison:

29 Jan 08:24

Loring's First Principle


And this is why I'm glad I don't unsubscribe from feeds just because they seem dead.

Loring's First Principle
28 Jan 21:57

Scientists Use Lasers to Create Super-Hydrophobic Material That Causes Water to Bounce Off Its Surface

by Brian Heater

UofR causes water to bounce and flow uphill.

Researchers at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York have created super-hydrophobic materials that repels water with extreme efficiency, using laser-cut micro- and nanoscale patterns, removing the need for temporary chemical coatings.

The material is so strongly water-repellent, the water actually gets bounced off. Then it lands on the surface again, gets bounced off again, and then it will just roll off from the surface.

The material, detailed in a paper published by The Journal of Applied Physics is more slippery than Teflon and is easily cleaned, as water bounced of its surface takes dust particles along with it.

via Gizmodo Sploid

28 Jan 05:53

Trippy Swirling Kaleidoscopic Visuals Created By Pointing a Camera at its Own Monitor

by Brian Heater

YouTube photography instructor Jong Chool Do took a break from his usual tutorial fare to create some kaleidoscopic shots by pointing a video-shooting DSLR at its own live monitor, for increasingly trippy images of infinite looping visuals.

via Digg

26 Jan 23:22

Basics: How Not to Solder

by Lenore

While there are a great many guides that teach you to solder (here is one fine example), we have found that there is a surprising lack of guides to help you with the opposite skill: How not to solder. This guide shows you some wonderful examples of how well circuits can come out when you disregard all of those other guides. Let’s get started!


To begin with: Make sure that your circuit board is “generally messy.” A messy board might have leads trimmed to various lengths and/or extra little bits and blobs of solder and flux everywhere. Not only will the extra little bits of solder occasionally cause short circuits, but the disarray will help to hide other issues that might be lurking, making them nearly impossible to diagnose.


Zooming in on that same example, we can find incomplete solder joints like the one close to the rubber foot. A joint like this may look like it’s making an electrical connection, when in reality it may or may not be. These kinds of joints really are the best, because they can lead to intermittent connections that usually work. Intermittent connections are also a great way to prank anyone who likes to debug electronics. Think of it as making your own Annoy-a-tron!


While most of the solder joints shown here have a clean, smooth meniscus, there are also two fine examples of connections that have gaps in the solder joint. Gaps like these are essential to ensure adequate ventilation of the electronic components on the other side. Some people may tell you that joints like these may crack (or break off entirely) over time, but don’t listen to them.

026 - Version 2

When soldering components from the bottom side of your circuit board, you can sometimes — if you feed enough solder into your solder joint for long enough — wick enough through the holes to form blobs of solder on the top side of the circuit board.  You can see these blobs here on four pins of the chip, as well as on some of the resistor leads. These blobs are highly desirable because you can make a “trick” circuit board where all of the solder joints look good from the bottom side, but there are actually short circuits on the top side of the board.

If you hone your skill well enough (or just get lucky), you may even be able to create an “invisible” short circuit between two pins of a component, fully hidden beneath the component. We’ve seen “secret” shorts like these under both chips and discrete components like capacitors and LEDs.

As an added bonus, it usually takes quite a while to wick this much solder through a joint. Most soldering guides recommend that you limit the time that you heat a component to just a few brief seconds. If you ignore that to get this much solder in the joint, you may have the added outcome of overheating the component and damaging it beyond functionality. That way, even if someone were to find and remove the short circuit, the component still wouldn’t work.


Expert mode! Going one step further, if you solder a given location on a circuit board for long enough or with enough pressure, you can actually delaminate the printed copper pad (trace) from the circuit board. The pad is usually a thin ring of copper around the hole with the pin that you’re trying to solder, or (on surface mount boards) simply a rectangle or oval of exposed copper that you solder to.

If you can manage to remove pads from a circuit board, then you remove the ability for a component to make electrical contact with the circuit board there. Sometimes, depending on the circuit, one can manually add a repair wire to fix the board. But in other cases, tearing off just a pad or two can destroy the circuit board beyond repair. (It’s also possible to break components this way, by overheating their leads.)

On single-sided circuit boards, you merely need to look at the pad once too many times to make it fall of. But on multi-layer (e.g., two-sided) circuit boards, pads tend to be resilient, so you’ve got to either heat them for quite a while or use pressure with the soldering iron to dislodge the pad. Again, this is “expert mode” territory, but the two most common techniques that we’ve seen for delaminating pads are (1) using a “cold heat” soldering iron (for which you may need to heat the joint for a very long time to get it to melt) and (2) repeatedly soldering and desoldering components at the same location.

In the photo above, the pads have been torn off of the circuit board at two of the solder points (both ends of one resistor). Rather than having the solder flow down to a smooth meniscus there, the solder forms a blob that sits above a mysterious dark circle at those two points— the exposed circuit board substrate.


Here’s another example of what can happen when you heat a board for long enough. The two wires (red and black) from a battery holder are coming up through wide clearance holes next to the “8×8″ marking, and then are soldered back down to the VCC_IN and GND_IN locations in the “Batt. In” section.

The insulation around the two wires has been melted back (almost back to the wide clearance holes) from long overheating, and the wires themselves have been frayed until there are just a couple of fine strands making all of the electrical connections. Added bonus: Stray strands like these can help to cause intermittent short circuits, when the wires get bumped.


Soldering guides will often try and steer you away from making “blobby” solder joints with excess solder, but there’s clearly no good reason for this.  If a little solder is good, surely more is better!

Some of the blobby solder joints (like those at at the lower left) are shaped like onions grown over the integrated circuit pins, making it impossible to see how (or even, if) the joint actually contacts the circuit board. Others — like the giant gravity-defying inverse silver teardrop in the center — seem to hover in mid-air above the circuit board, deftly managing to avoid contact with the plated through-hole of the circuit board.


Keeping the component leads long and using blob-style solder construction can also help you to protect your intellectual property, by obscuring your circuit design from prying eyes. Spaced along the left edge of this circuit board, you can see that there are eight LEDs wired up… or are there? By lumping the two pins for a given LED under a single blob of solder, no one will ever be certain! (Also worth noting: this technique may have some side effects on the functionality of those LEDs.)

The very lowest solder joint on this circuit board is where the power and ground wires (red and black) are attached from the battery holder. Note that these two wires have been soldered together. “Shorting” the power and ground together like this is a classic technique to protect a circuit from damage due to unwanted charging or static discharge. (Note, however, that if the battery is switched on with its leads shorted together like this, the battery itself will also discharge quickly, get very hot, and possibly even explode.)


Here’s another related technique: If you solder together multiple pins of your microcontroller, you can connect to all of those pins at once, ensuring that no one pin steps out of line, and that all of the pins will work together in perfect digital harmony.

Got any other favorite examples of “novel” soldering techniques? Let us know in the comments or in the flickr group, and we’ll do another roundup sometime!

We would like to sincerely thank the helpful individuals who kindly granted us permission to use their photos and also those who allowed us access to their boards for photography.

26 Jan 17:35

German Breakdancers Perform in the Snow With Fireworks Strapped to Their Legs

by Brian Heater

German breakdancers LIL AMOK and Bboy Snoop strapped fireworks to their legs in the snowy streets of Frankfurt, Germany to celebrate the arrival of 2015. The results, shot with an array of GoPro cameras, are pretty spectacular.





images via LIL AMOK

via reddit, The Daily Dot

26 Jan 17:31

Oakland, California’s New Mayor Libby Schaaf Rides Snail Art Car To Her Inauguration

by E.D.W. Lynch

Protest outside Libby Schaaf's mayoral inauguration
photo by Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group

On Monday, January 5, 2015, Oakland, California’s new mayor Libby Schaff arrived for her inauguration at the Paramount Theater in a most striking vehicle. The mayor was driven to the theater aboard The Golden Mean (previously), a fire-breathing snail car created by Oakland artists (and couple) Jon Sarriugarte and Kyrsten Mate. Sarriugarte acted as driver while a chase car and a parade of additional vehicles filled out the motorcade.

photo by Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The Chronicle

photo by Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The Chronicle

photo by Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The Chronicle

23 Jan 17:53

Star Wars

A long, long time (plus 40 years) ago, in a galaxy far, far away (plus a corrective factor involving the Hubble constant) ...