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Howto: design a cocktail for a Lunar civilization

Ian McDonald‘s Luna trilogy is filled with fantastically detailed grace-notes that give his lunar society an uncanny veneer of reality; one of the most fascinating and thoughtful of these details is the cocktails that McDonald‘s clannish lunarians consume, each great house with its own signature tipple. In a new essay for Tor.com, McDonald describes the worldbuilding behind his booze, which is always a cocktail made from hard spiri

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Good deal on the Takeya 32-oz vacuum insulated water bottle

Amazon has a sale on the 32-oz Takeya Vacuum-Insulated Stainless-Steel Water Bottle. It‘s . It‘s got a one-hand-operated drinking spout, and you can unscrew the lid to rinse and dry the inside of the bottle. Cold water stays cold for many hours, in my experience. Read the rest

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Buried in the TOS: free Starbucks refills

Lifehacker bravely read Starbucks‘ Terms of Service and reports that you can get free refills on certain drinks. This is news to me. According to the company‘s website, to qualify, you have to have purchased your original drink using the Starbucks app with a Starbucks card connected to your account. You‘ll have to present this to a barista to obtain a refill. One other thing: if you leave the store, the deal‘s off. (Just f

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More snarky comments about crappy design

"While most beds provide convenient ingress/egress from the sides, I wanted to design one where you need to crawl in and out through the foot of the bed. I also wanted it to be difficult to make the bed each morning." I‘m so glad Core 77 started the Weekly Design Roast, in which they make sarcastic comments about poorly designed luxury garbage of the kind that appeals to criminal oligarchs and those who aspire to the lifestyle of criminal o

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16,000 NYT readers share their stories of being told to ‘go back‘

‘Go back to where you came from.‘

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George Nader indicted on child porn charges and traveling with a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity

Trump-linked businessman testified in Mueller probe Search of 3 iPhones seized from George Nader in 2018 via search warrant turned up child pornography, say feds ‘Jailed Mueller witness George Nader showed up briefly in court this AM to hear he faces an indictment on child-porn and related charges,‘writes Politico‘s excellent courts and law reporter Josh Gerstein, whom you should follow. ‘Defense suggests feds have neve

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Startup offers to build studio apartments in homeowners‘ backyards and split the rental income

Rent the Backyard is a startup that is building small standalone apartments in people‘s backyards and splitting the rent with the homeowner. From Techcrunch: That means Rent the Backyard works with a partner to build the apartment, finances the construction, lists the property, selects the tenant, collects the rent and serves as the landlord. In exchange for all that, it has an ownership stake in the unit and keeps 50% of the rent. The star

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Boing Boing‘s own Rob Beschizza interviewed on the Cool Tools podcast

Kevin Kelly and I interviewed Boing Boing‘s Rob Beschizza for the Cool Tools podcast. Rob is a fascinating person, as you probably already know from the thousands of posts he‘s written here. He is an excellent artist, designer, coder, and writer, and has a delightful sense of humor. Rob is also the founder of Txt.fyi, an effectively invisible publishing platform and low-key internet cult. It‘s always a huge treat to be able to c

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Having burnished their reputations with extravagant promises, the billionaires who pledged 600m. to rebuild Notre Dame are missing in action

Philanthropy is theoretically an expression of generosity and fellow-feeling, but in an increasingly unequal world, charitable giving is a form of reputation laundering for super-rich oligarchs who build their massive fortunes on savage programs of exploitation and immiseration. The idea is that you can paper over the fact that deliberately starting the opioid crisis made you richer than the Rockefellers by having your name plastered all over th

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This portable fire pit is pretty nice to have around

I was absolutely thrilled with this hot burning, nearly smoke-free portable fire pit. If you are dispersed camping and you do not want to dig a fire pit everywhere you go, or you just want to enjoy a wood-burning fire in your backyard without scorching your pavement or yard, this fire pit has me convinced. A friend joined me at the coastal camping site I‘ve enjoyed this week. When he asked whe he could bring I told him firewood would be

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Will ‘Top Gun: Maverick‘ be used to test new surround systems?

Nostalgia time! Top Gun was not my favorite Val Kilmer film, but it did teach me that the Navy pilots are more pilot than Air Force pilots. Football? Not volleyball? Read the rest

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After the Oliver Twist poorhouse became luxury housing with a segregated playground, London bans segregated play-areas

The world is full of corrupt oligarchs looking to smuggle their money out of their countries and put it somewhere where the rule of law that they have helped to dismantle at home still reigns; a favourite safe asset class is luxury housing in major cities, which is viewed as easy to sell on short notice due to the large supply of other money-laundering oligarchs. Cities don‘t need more luxury housing, though (not least because a sizable

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Palm Beach sheriff opens internal affairs investigation into Jeffrey Epstein Florida case

On Friday, the Palm Beach sheriff opened an internal affairs investigation into the absurdly lenient handling of the Jeffrey Epstein case, after Epstein entered a guilty plea in his prostitution case. ‘The release refers to examining his deputies‘ actions in overseeing Epstein‘s work release,‘ says Miami Herald investigations editor Casey Frank. ‘Will it examine his own actions in approving the work release in the f

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This soup has been simmering for 45 years in a Bangkok restaurant

A family-run restaurant in Bangkok has had a the same giant pot of soup simmering for 45 years. When it runs low, they top it off. From Great Big Story: It‘s a beef noodle soup called neua tuna. It simmers in a giant pot. Fresh meat like raw sliced beef, tripe and other organs is added daily. But any broth leftover is preserved at the end of each day and used in the next day‘s soup. It‘s an ancient cooking method that gives the

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R. Kelly ordered to NY to face racketeering conspiracy and sexual abuse charges

The American singer-songwriter-sexual-predator R. Kelly has been ordered to be brought in the custody of U.S. Marshals to New York, where he will be arraigned on August 2 on racketeering conspiracy charges. R. Kelly is alleged to have manipulated and coerced girls under the legal age of consent whom he met at concerts, and then sexually abused them. AND ALSO in R. Kelly legal news, one of his employees was arraigned today in the federal case out

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Using university syllabi to map the connections between every scholarly and scientific discipline

Joe Karganis writes, "This is the ‘Co-Assignment Galaxy‘ created by David McClure. It maps the top 160K titles in the new Open Syllabus 2.0 dataset, based on the frequency with which those texts are assigned (reflected in the size of the dot) and assigned together (reflected in the location and clustering of the dots). It‘s US centric given the composition of the syllabus collection, but also a unique representation of human

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Small town, independent and municipally owned ISPs offer America‘s best connectivity

An article of faith among neoliberals is that monopolies are efficient because they are so profitable that they can offer better prices to their customers as well as better services. Reality has a well-known left-wing bias, however. A new Pcmag analysis of 356,925 broadband speed tests found that the super-concentrated communications giants -- universally loathed companies like Frontier, Verizon, ATT, Comcast, Charter, etc -- underdelivered

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Vast majority of porn sites use Google Analytics and Facebook embeds that track you, even in incognito mode

If you only look at porn with your browser in incognito mode, your browser will not record your porn-viewing history; but the porn sites themselves overwhelmingly embed tracking scripts from Google and Facebook in every page: 93% of 22,484 porn sites analyzed in a New Media Society paper had some kind of third-party tracker, with Google in the lead, but also including trackers from some of the worst privacy offenders in Silicon Valley, like Ora

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Stephen Fry explains the vast superiority of UK healthcare to America‘s omnishambles, which Brexiteers hope to import

After Brexit, Tory leaders are hoping to strike a bilateral trade agreement with the USA that will begin the dismantling of the NHS, starting with a ban on price-controls for pharma and open doors for America‘s wasteful, cruel, useless health-care insurance mega-corporations. In this video, national treasure Stephen Fry explains how the UK and US systems compare, and how American media lies about the state of the NHS to credulous, mouth-br

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Where to catch me this weekend at San Diego Comic-Con!

I‘m headed back to San Diego for Comic-Con this weekend, and you can catch me on Friday, Saturday and Sunday: Friday, 5PM: Signing in AA04 Saturday, 5PM: Panel: Writing: Craft, Community, and Crossover (with James Killen, Seanan McGuire, Charlie Jane Anders,, Annalee Newitz, and Sarah Gailey), Room 23ABC Sunday, 10AM: Signing and giveaway for Radicalized, Tor Booth, #2701. I hope to see you there! Read the rest

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This bundle teaches you how to market on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, & more

Theoretically, there‘s never been an easier time for marketers. The ubiquity of social media means a good word - or a good brand - can spread like wildfire with very little effort. But as limitless as the internet is, there‘s a lot of competition and noise to contend with. And the vast graveyard of failed start-ups out there pays testimony to the fact that what works on what platform won‘t necessarily get traction on another. En

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SAMBA versus SMB: Adversarial interoperability is judo for network effects

Before there was Big Tech, there was "adversarial interoperability": when someone decides to compete with a dominant company by creating a product or service that "interoperates" (works with) its offerings. In tech, "network effects" can be a powerful force to maintain market dominance: if everyone is using Facebook, then your Facebook replacement doesn‘t just have to be better than Facebook, it has to be so much better than Facebook that

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E.P.A. won‘t ban chlorpyrifos pesticide that scientists say damages children‘s brains

In the Federal Register, EPA said ‘critical questions remained regarding the significance of the data‘ that show chlorpyrifos causes neurological harm to young children.

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DoNotPay‘s latest service will auto-cancel your free trials before the billing period starts

DoNotPay (previously) is a collection of consumer-advocacy tools automated the process of fighting traffic tickets, help homeless people claim benefits, sue Equifax for leaking all your financial data, navigating the airlines‘ deliberately confusing process for getting refunds on plane tickets whose prices drop after you buy them, and filing small-claims suits against crooked corporations. The service was created by Joshua Browder, a Bri

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