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Podcast: The Man Who Sold the Moon, Part Two

Here‘s part two of my reading (part one here) of The Man Who Sold the Moon, my award-winning novella first published in 2015‘s Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, edited by Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer. It‘s my Burning Man/maker/first days of a better nation story and was a kind of practice run for my 2017 novel Walkaway.

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The Cranberries‘ searing acoustic version of "Zombie"

On February 14, 1995, The Cranberries performed this searing rendition of "Zombie" on MTV Unplugged. Dolores O‘Riordan, RIP.

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Costume designer makes a new wing for an injured monarch butterfly so it can fly again

Romy McCloskey of Faden Design Studios (Instagram, website) makes stunningly gorgeous costumes for movies, television, and private commissions. She also is interested in butterflies, and so she put her talents and interests together to repair the badly damaged wing of a monarch butterfly. She glued the intact wing of a dead monarch onto the butterfly, and allowed it to recover overnight, feeding it homebrew nectar. The next day she released it an

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MLK: anti-capitalist activist

You‘ve heard "I have a dream," but how about "Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all God‘s children?" (more)

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Public library‘s card catalog and books linked by scent

In 1974, Upper Arlington, Ohio public library launched a program to link their card catalog and shelved books by odor. The project was called: "Stick Your Nose in the Card Catalog." From Weird Universe: The idea was that the card in the catalog would have a scent, and then the book on the shelf would have a matching scent. So you could find your books by smell. There were about 60 scents in total, including apple, chocolate, garlic, lemon, ro

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Change My View: the subreddit for people willing to have their most cherished beliefs challenged

In /r/changemyview/, thousands of redditors gather to carry on an explicitly, rigorously civil discourse about the subjects that matter most to them: a submitter puts forward views on subjects ranging from the correct interpretation of old movies to the suitability of Donald Trump for president, and then invites the forum to present arguments to change their mind, awarding a (delta) symbol to people whose arguments cause a shift in their belie

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Watch this nuanced analysis of sci-fi film Ex Machina

Film critic Allison de Fren examines some of the complex issues raised in the 2015 Ex Machina. Her voiceover alone makes it worth it, but the insights about how women are depicted helped me get over some of my discomfort with the film‘s themes. (more)

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Glass pens and glowing ink make for mesmerizing drawing videos

Spend an hour relaxing as Peter Deligdisch aka Peter Draws experiments with cool glass inkwell pens and glowing ink. (more)

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Mormon missionaries share awful pickup lines before homeowner opens door

There are cameras everywhere, kids. This was recorded on the afternoon of Dec. 28, 2017. On the way to the front door these Mormon missionaries made eye contact with an attractive woman inside the home through the window and practiced their pick-up lines as they waited for her to answer the door. Needless to say, she never answered the door. Do you have video footage of Mormon missionaries acting like fools? Send them to me at NewNameNoah@y

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Nukemap: interactive map of potential nuclear bombing fatalities

In these troubled times, Alex Wellerstein‘s interactive Nukemap allows users to survey the damage of various kinds of nuclear bombs aimed at major cities worldwide. In this example, a typical Chinese nuke hitting downtown Los Angeles would kill 1.3 million and injure another 3 million. (more)

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Powerful film on how Bronx Freedom Fund rescues those who can‘t afford bail

Bail is intended to compel defendants show up for court, but for poor citizens who can‘t make bail, it can lead to pre-trial jail terms that can ruin their lives. The Bail Project profiles Ramel, who was bailed out by the nonprofit Bronx Freedom Fund. (more)

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Watch this nuanced analysis of of sci-fi film Ex Machina

Film critic Allison de Fren examines some of the complex issues raised in the 2015 Ex Machina. Her voiceover alone makes it worth it, but the insights about how women are depicted helped me get over some of my discomfort with the film‘s themes. (more)

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Why Is Blue So Rare In Nature?

Blue as a pigment in nature is incredibly rare. Most animals with blue coloration achieve it through microscopic structures in their skin, fur, or feathers. This helpful explainer delves into the details. (more)

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Yuzu emulates Nintendo‘s Switch

Yuzu is an experimental emulator for Nintendo‘s Switch console. No, it does not run commercial games. It is written in C++ with portability in mind, with builds actively maintained for Windows, Linux and macOS. The emulator is currently only useful for homebrew development and research purposes. yuzu only emulates a subset of Switch hardware and therefore is generally only useful for running/debugging homebrew applications. At this time, y

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This American Life gets a new logo

The true-story radio program, This American Life, began in 1995. (My friend and Cool Tools partner, Kevin Kelly, was the subject of the very first episode!) For over 20 years, the show has used the same logo, which is tall and breaks the word American into two words, AMER and ICAN. As part of a substantial site redesign, it commissioned a new logo. It‘s by Erik Jarlsson. Gone is the dark purple color. The new logo has an all red simplified

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Interview with the founders of io9

Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders on 10 years of io9. Annalee: We wanted to have a vision of the future for our readers that wasn‘t completely silly but that wasn‘t hopeless and dystopian. And again, part of covering science was very important to that because it was about how our stories could actually infect reality in a good way, and that what we dream can come true and that science and science fiction are part of the same pr

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Watch: interviews with Japan‘s homeless

Greg is a Canadian living in Tokyo. He has a YouTube channel called Life Where I‘m From, which explores what it‘s like to be a Westerner in Japan. For the last year or so he has been working on a serious project to understand homelessness in Japan. In the latest video, he interviews older men in Tokyo‘s skid row to learn their stories, and profiles Sanykai, a non-profit group that supports Japan‘s homeless population.

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I bought this set for the LEGO Yoda minifig

My daughter loves building LEGO Star Wars anything, so Yoda‘s Starfighter is just fine by her. At 262 pieces, this is a perfect short afternoon project for a 10 year-old. I wanted the Yoda minifig. LEGO Star Wars Yoda‘s Jedi Starfighter via Amazon

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Watch: Bread maker flings dough across restaurant with astonishing accuracy

Incredible skill mixed with this paratha maker‘s nonchalant demeanor of tossing dough disks across a room full of people may put him in the running for the world‘s most efficient worker. At what point did this man decide he would save more time by throwing flatbread dough to the other end of the kitchen, potentially striking patrons in the face? It must have been a risky business decision, but surely production increased. Viewe

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Cranberries singer Dolores O‘Riordan dead at 46

Sad news from London, where Cranberries‘ lead singer Dolores O‘Riordan died suddently today. The band‘s official page announced her death at about 1 p.m. EST, with no further details and a statement requesting privacy for her family. https://twitter.com/duranduran/status/952959007219683328 https://twitter.com/MayKapes/status/952958441403944961 https://twitter.com/louisemcsharry/status/952950887475015680 https://www.youtub

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Listen: Deep house mix of Martin Luther King Jr.‘s "I Have A Dream" (1989)

From 1989, Fingers Inc.‘s beautiful mix of "Can You Feel It" with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s "I Have A Dream" speech.

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Blind backpacker and travel writer has visited over 120 countries

I initially felt bad for Tony Giles when I watched his story on the BBC Travel Show. I caught the episode part way through and saw him walk right into a turnstile while crossing a security checkpoint into Palestinian territories. Giles, from England, is completely blind and severely deaf, but he travels all over the world by himself and occasionally stumbles into people willing to guide him a bit. When I found out he‘s visited over 12

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Trump‘s new assistant Drug Czar: a 24-year-old campaign volunteer with no experience, in charge of billions to end the opioid epidemic

In 2016, Taylor Weyeneth took a break from his studies as an undergrad law student at St John‘s University and used the skills he‘d acquired organizing a single golf tournament and working in his father‘s chia seed factory (closed abruptly when his father went to jail for processing illegal Chinese steroids in the plant) to campaign for Donald Trump. Now Weyeneth, at 24 years old, is the deputy chief of staff for Office of Nati

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Marriott fires employee for "willfully liking" a tweet in support of Tibetan independence

Marriott has fired one of its social media managers because the employee "wrongfully liked" a tweet from Friends of Tibet, a group that supports Tibetan independence from China. (more)

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