On the road with America’s post-homed nomads

Housing costs Americans more than at any time in history, and it's only getting worse as foreclosures open the door to market-cornering by inconceivably vast hedge funds who buy all those "distressed properties" and turn then into bond-coupon factories where the rent ratchets higher and higher, well ahead of inflation, wages, or affordability. (more…) Source: Boing…

Nuclear War Survival Skills (PDF)

Nuclear War Survival Skills is a guide to getting through the inevitable forthcoming nuclear devastation of America and the radioactive immolation of the last and greatest of human dreams. Written in 1986 by Cresson Kearny, it'll take you through everything from gathering food to the proper ventilation of backyard bunkers. This updated and expanded edition…

Tulip mania wasn’t that big of a deal

Lorraine Boissoneault (citing Anne Goldgar) writes that Tulip mania — the wild trade in Dutch tulips that ended with tulips worth more than mansions and a market meltdown illustrative of capitalism's flaws ‐ is mostly fable. Rather than a classic speculator-driven bubble that affected all levels of society, it was a fad among the rich…

Review of pages intentionally left blank

The most perfect lie in publishing, "This Page Intentionally Left Blank", is commonly to be found in books, manuals and tests. But also journals, curiously enough, a fact that is the subject of a paper published at Academia Obscura. The US Code of Regulations (1984) actually mandates that blank pages in certain books and pamphlets…

London bans Uber; firm can stay while it appeals

Citing its failure to disclose serious crimes and the use of "Grayball" software to evade regulatory oversight, London banned Uber today. https://twitter.com/TfL/status/911168235189489669 The company has 21 days to appeal the loss of its license to operate cabs, during with Uber is permitted to continue doing business. London's Licensed Taxi Drivers Association praised the decision. “Since…

European Commission spent 360,000€ on a piracy study, then buried it because they didn’t like what it said

Estimating displacement rates of copyrighted content in the EU is a 360,000€ study commissioned by the European Commission from the Dutch consulting firm Ecorys, whose mandate was to "research the effect piracy had on sales of copyrighted content" -- the report was completed in 2015, but never made public. (more…) Source: Boing Boing (published under a Creative…

Chewbacca beanbag

I don't go gaga over Star Wars merch like some folks do, but I can't help but appreciate this Chewbacca beanbag from PBTeen. It's pretty great, though for $279 it should probably include some eyes and a roar function. Source: Boing Boing (published under a Creative Commons license)

Kim Jong Un responds to Trump’s name calling

"I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire," said glorious North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in response to US mentally deranged dotard Donald Trump's recent threats and name calling. The world is less stable. Via The Hill: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday fired back at President…

Have a messy room? Here’s a tool you can build to clean it in an instant

Colin Furze’s debut book, This Book Isn't Safe features ten inventions kids can make at home with step by step instructions. Inventions include "Concrete-Crusher Boots," the "Fab Frisbee Flinger," and the "Downhill Racer." Below, Colin's instructions for making the Brilliant Bedroom-Tidy Pulley: https://youtu.be/NTYh6sIHKvE Source: Boing Boing (published under a Creative Commons license)

The brilliant book that inspired Dune author Frank Herbert

That science-fiction extravaganza Dune allegorizes contemporary themes of imperialism, economic addiction to oil, and religious war is obvious. But it turns out that Frank Herbert's masterpiece owes much to one particular book in particular: Lesley Blanch's brilliant, half-forgotten Sabres of Paradise, about the warlords of the Caucasus, where Europe and Asia meet. Anyone who has…