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amemait: roachpatrol: the-real-seebs: sptrashcan: roachpatrol: prokopetz: I’m usually pretty...

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amemait:

roachpatrol:

the-real-seebs:

sptrashcan:

roachpatrol:

prokopetz:

I’m usually pretty particular about the sorts of traits that get assigned as humanity’s “special thing” in sci-fi settings, but I have to admit that I have a weakness for settings where the thing humanity is known for is something tiny and seemingly inconsequential that it wouldn’t normally occur to you to think of as a distinctive trait.

Like, maybe we have a reputation as a bunch of freaky nihilists because we’re the only species that naturally has the capacity to be amused by our own misfortune.

Alien: Why are you happy? You’ve been seriously injured!

Human: *struggling to control laughter* Yeah, but I can imagine what that must have looked like from the outside, and it’s pretty hilarious.

Alien:

Captain XXlr’y: First Officer Jane The Human, your olifactory protuberance is severely damaged! Why is this a matter for mirthful celebration???

First Officer Jane The Human: A SPARKLY LITTLE POMERANIAN THING WITH A GODDAMN UNICORN HORN CHASED ME STRAIGHT INTO A WALL! OH MY GOD! DID YOU SEE THAT? I RAN STRAIGHT INTO THE WALL. 

Captain XXlr’y: Yes I just observed this sequence of events! It was terrible!

 First Officer Jane The Human: OKAY WHO GOT THAT ON CAMERA, I WANNA SEE. 

Captain XXlr’y: So you more fully understand that this is a situation you should never get into again?

First Officer Jane The Human: SO I CAN SEND THE VIDEO TO MY MOM!

Captain XXlr’y: For… for the solicitation of maternal concern…?

First Officer Jane The Human: NO, BECAUSE SHE’LL THINK IT’S HILARIOUS TOO. 

Sidetrack but: I am of the opinion that we will be known as the Throwers. The biomechanics of our shoulder joints, which allow us to hurl things farther, faster, and more accurately than any other animal, set us apart almost as much as our intelligence. And indeed our dominance as a species on Earth has a lot to do with applying that intelligence to throwing more better.

When the aliens come visit via seventh dimensional space fold like sensible people, I can only imagine their reaction when we ask them to point out where they come from so we can fling our ambassadors at them.

That would be fascinating. Imagine if, for whatever reason, they were simply very badly adapted to throwing, and never picked up the habit. And the first time they saw someone toss a thing to someone else, they’d just be like “why did you … drop that thing sideways?”

oh my god that’s fascinating. imagine a bunch of alien species that never evolved a socket joint. like, tentacles or hinges, that’s it. maybe some pivoting paired bones like our radius and ulna. then we show up and we’re like ‘haha watch this’ and windmill our arms and the Zygosian ambassador gets really grossed out. 

later some aliens are like ‘so, as remarkably throwy guys, what’s your opinion on this mathematical acceleration experimentation tensile device one of our philosopher kings recently invented?’ and show humans a little desk-sized catapult. 

Heeeee I do like the idea of a tiny catapult.

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denismm
26 days ago
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In Phil Foglio's Buck Godot series, humanity's big thing is having invented popsicles.
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eraycollins
26 days ago
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They don't call it throw weight for nothing.
skorgu
26 days ago
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This is delightful. I'd read all these books.

Ridiculous Products: Kérastase Hair Coach

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The Consumer Electronics Show (also known as CES) just finished up last week, and as always, it was full of a plethora of technology you almost certainly don’t need. While it can be fun to see what’s coming in the future, it’s perhaps more enjoyable to laugh at the bizarre future some companies envision. To that end, allow me to present the Kérastase Hair Coach.

If you’ve ever thought “This hair brush just isn’t smart enough”, while also thinking “I’d be willing to spend almost two hundred dollars on a hairbrush”, then the Hair Coach is for you. Of course, it’s likely that this site is not for you, so you may wish to stop reading now.


The Hair Coach is much like Zoolander, in that it’s not an ambi-turner. Also, it’s stupid.

The CEO of Withings, the company behind the Hair Coach, was quoted as saying “The last thing we want to do is turn a simple device into a complex device”. So naturally, his company added wi-fi and Bluetooth to a hairbrush. But they didn’t stop there. The brush also includes (taken directly from their press release):

  • A microphone that listens to the sound of hair brushing to identify patterns, providing insights into manageability, frizziness, dryness, split ends and breakage.

  • 3-axis load cells that measure the force applied to the hair and the scalp when brushing.

  • An accelerometer and a gyroscope which help further analyze brushing patterns and count brush strokes, with haptic feedback signaling if brushing is too vigorous.

  • Conductivity sensors to determine if the brush is being used on dry or wet hair, in order to provide an accurate hair measurement.

If you’ve ever felt like you weren’t brushing up to your full potential, the solution is here. If you were perfectly at peace with your hair brushing, and your life in general, I’m sorry to tell you those days are over. You’re bad at brushing, and you should feel bad about your brushing. Only the Hair Coach can save you now.

I recognize that I am far from the target market for this device. I won’t even venture a prediction that this product will be unsuccessful. I will however state, without equivocation, that this is a ridiculous product which should not exist.

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denismm
43 days ago
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Please tell me the Bluetooth toothbrush is blue.
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drchuck
43 days ago
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I don't know which is more ridiculous, this brush or the electric toothbrush with Bluetooth.
Long Island, NY

Revisiting the Threaded Thanks

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We’re all connected, and I’m thankful for that.

Last year I wrote this piece on the subject, and this year I think the idea is worth revisiting because we’re much less likely to spew hatred and vitriol when we recognize our connections.

Consider today’s feast, if you’re an American participating in the feasting, or if you’re a human who happens to be eating: farmers from around the world contributed to the things on the table. If you’re enjoying poultry it may be local, but the spices applied to it were likely grown much further afield—Hungary for your paprika and Vietnam for the black pepper, to name two likely contenders.

Did anything sit in your refrigerator? Components for that miraculous bit of technology were built by engineers from many nations, using materials that include petroleum products and rare earth metals. When you open the refrigerator you’re operating equipment with bits from China, Thailand, Malaysia, Russia, the United States, Australia, and Saudi Arabia, and that’s the short list.

The “threaded thanks” exercise works in this way: Pick a thing for which you are thankful, and then read up on that thing. Where did it come from? Before it came from there, where did its parts come from? Who hauled it from all those places to the place where you got it? How were they able to make the trip? Find the thread and keep pulling, and identify as many connections as you’re able to. Then express your gratitude for each of those connections.

It might take a while. Probably don’t do this while others are waiting to eat.

There is no room for jingoism or any other dehumanizing belief system in this exercise. There were no “lesser” people involved in bringing you the things that made today’s meal possible. You depend on them, and when they sit down to eat, they depend on you. If you’re reading this, it’s likely that I depend upon you in some way for the meal I’m enjoying. My own living is earned in a massive web of transactions that include the streams of data moving to and from the device upon which you’re reading this text.

Last year at this time I described myself as a thankful person. To me, being thankful means acknowledging the countless hands that bear me up, and expressing my love and appreciation for them. It means being grateful, and learning to whom I owe the debt of gratitude. It means embracing the idea that when I pay for a thing and bring it home, the financial transaction is just one small part of the established connection.

We are all connected, and I am thankful for that. You’re part of those connections in more than just one way. I’m thankful for you, and the work you do to make our world a better one.

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denismm
92 days ago
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Last Remaining Boundary Marker for the Republic of Texas in Carthage, Texas

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The marker is at the border of Texas and Louisiana on FM-31

The independent Republic of Texas had a good 10-year run in the middle of the 19th century. From 1836 to 1846 the Lone Star State wasn’t a state at all, but its own country. It had its own flags, currency, capital, and even its own embassies.

In order to show foreigners that they were entering sovereign land, granite markers were driven into the ground along the Republic’s borders. Today there is only one of these boundary markers still on the job.

Dating back to 1840, this last of the known markers is 10 miles southeast of Deadwood, Texas (yes, it really is called Deadwood) on Farm-to-Market Road 31. Its role is unofficial now, except to let you know when you’ve left Louisiana, and give you a little history of the old Republic and the disputed border along the Sabine River. There were many of these stone markers at the time, but this one, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is the only one that hasn’t either disappeared or sunk into the river.  

The granite pillar is nine inches square, and sticks up about four feet from the ground. An accompanying plaque notes that it’s actually ten feet long, which means it’s buried several more feet—a feature that has kept it from being stolen, at least on one reported occasion. Three sides are engraved, providing all the necessary details: Merid. Boundary, Established A.D., 1840* on one side, and sides two and three simply say U.S. and R.T., just to make sure you knew which side you were on.

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denismm
111 days ago
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That's a myth. It is allowed to split itself into 5 states if it wants though.
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JayM
112 days ago
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Only state that still retains the right to secede, I have heard.
Atlanta, GA

There’s no pumpkin in “100% canned pumpkin”

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Pumpkin is too watery and stringy to can, and the USDA has an exceptionally loosey-goosey definition of "pumpkin," which allows manufacturers to can various winter squash varieties (including one that Libby's specially bred to substitute for pumpkin) and call it "100% pumpkin." (more…)

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denismm
150 days ago
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False. http://www.snopes.com/canned-pumpkin-isnt-actually-pumpkin/
icepotato
150 days ago
THANK YOU <3
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Mahjong Is Now Available For Xbox One

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Content: Mahjong
Check price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region

Game Description: Play a Zen game! Rediscover the famous traditional Chinese game. Find all the matching pairs of tiles, being careful not to become blocked in, to get to the end of each level. Concentration and perceptiveness are needed to finish the gorgeous boards that we have produced for you. Traditional Mahjong with all its depth and captivating beauty. 70 levels with varying difficulty and brand new puzzles. Customize your games with different graphic styles. Compare scores with your friends and players from around the world.

Purchase Mahjong for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store

Product Info:
Developer: –
Publisher: Bigben Interactive
Website: Mahjong
Twitter: @BigbenBenelux





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denismm
178 days ago
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Calling this game "Mahjong" is like calling Klondike "Cards". 😡
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DMack
178 days ago
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at last it is available
Victoria, BC
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