Perlsphere: Blog-Battle #9: Körperkult

Die Meinungen über Körper gehen stark auseinander. Einige hassen sie abgrundtief, andere nehmen sie als unvermeidbares Übel der Naturgesetze hin und einige verehren sie. Vor allem die Gruppe der letztgenannten hat dazu beigetragen, dass sich im Laufe der Jahre ein regelrechter Kult entwickelt hat. Gemeint ist natürlich keine geheimnisvolle Clique, die sich Nachts im Wald trifft und unter Missachtung jeglicher Brandschutzvorschriften nackt um ein großes Lagerfeuer tanzt.

MetaFilter: ein abend eine stadt zwei künstler

Durch die Nacht mit Sibel Kekilli & George R.R. Martin/ Au coeur de la nuit: George R. R. Martin et Sibel Kekilli: an ARTE documentary taking George R. R. Martin & Sibel "Shae" Kekilli through Martin's hometown of Santa Fe, with your choice of German or French subtitles. (As you know Bob, ARTE is a German/French art orientated cable channel; "Durch die Nacht" is one of its regular documentary series.(previously))

Bifurcated Rivets: From FB


Bifurcated Rivets: From FB


Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

Compact, servant less homes of tomorrow??

Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

These are good

Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

More good stuff

Recent additions: stackage-curator

Added by MichaelSnoyman, Sun Mar 29 09:54:42 UTC 2015.

Tools for curating Stackage bundles DBICx-Sugar-0.0001

Just some syntax sugar for DBIx::Class

Slashdot: Material Made From Crustaceans Could Combat Battlefield Blood Loss

MTorrice writes: A foam composed of a polymer derived from crustacean shells may prevent more soldiers from falling victim to the most prolific killer on the battlefield: blood loss. Pressure is one of the best tools that medics have to fight bleeding, but they can't use it on severe wounds near organs. Here, compression could do more harm than good. First responders have no way to effectively dam blood flows from these non-compressible injuries, which account for the majority of hemorrhagic deaths. The new foam could help stop bleeding in these types of injuries. It relies on chitosan, a biopolymer that comes from processed crustacean shells. By modifying the chitosan, the developers gave the material the ability to anchor blood cells into gel-like networks, essentially forming blood clots. The researchers dispersed the modified chitosan in water to create a fluid they could spray directly onto noncompressible wounds.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Recent additions: rest-client

Added by ErikHesselink, Sun Mar 29 09:03:58 UTC 2015.

Utility library for use in generated API client libraries. Server-Starter-0.23

a superdaemon for hot-deploying server programs

Recent additions: HDBC

Added by ErikHesselink, Sun Mar 29 08:24:41 UTC 2015.

Haskell Database Connectivity

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Is computer science "fun?"

So I am currently a freshman in college in neuroscience. I definitely enjoy my science classes a lot but I feel like I'm getting burnt out. I was thinking of maybe going into computer science.

I've had some experience with html and css and I absolutely loved coding. But, based on what I've heard computer science doesn't seem to focus too much on web development which is what I've done. I'm assuming the career is just learning many programming languages is this correct?

I've heard so many people say the field is boring and it's super hard because it requires a lot of math. I'm not too sure what to think at this point. ( for the record I don't really like math)

What are your thoughts?

submitted by Luisin_miranda
[link] [2 comments]

Hackaday: Apple ][ Disk Emulation

A while ago, [Steve] over at Big Mess ‘O Wires created a device that would emulate old Macintosh disk drives, storing all the data on an SD card. No, it’s not SCSI; the early Apples had a DB-19 connector for connecting 400 and 800kB disk drives. It’s a great piece of hardware for bootstrapping that old Mac you might have sitting around. Apple ][s, IIs, and //s use an extremely similar connector for their disk drives. A few rumors on some forums led [Steve] to experiment with some ancient bromide-stained boxes, and the results are interesting to say the least.

After pulling out an old //e and IIgs from storage, [Steve] found his Macintosh Floppy Emulator didn’t work with the Apples. This was due to the way Apples could daisy chain their disk drives. There’s an extra enable signal on the connector that either brings Drive 1 or Drive 2 into the circuit. Macs don’t care about this signal, but Apples do. Luckily the 800kB drives for the IIgs have an extra board that handles this daisy chain and drive eject circuitry.

After removing this extra board from a IIgs drive and connecting it to the Floppy Emu, everything worked beautifully. With schematics and a working circuit in hand, it’s now a piece of cake to build an adapter board for using the Macintosh Floppy Emu with Apples, or to build that circuit into a future revision of the Floppy Emulator.

Considering how much trouble [Steve] had bootstrapping these Apples without an SD card to Floppy drive emulator, we’re thinking this is great. The current way of making an Apple II useful is ADTPro, a program that uses audio to communicate with Apples over the cassette port. In case you haven’t noticed, microphone and headphone ports on laptops are inexplicably disappearing, making a hardware device like a SD card floppy emulator the best way to bring disk images to 30-year-old hardware.

Filed under: classic hacks

programming: DuoCode 0.4 beta is out - C#-to-JavaScript compiler powered by Microsoft Roslyn

submitted by hmemcpy
[link] [5 comments] Facebook-OpenGraph-1.23

Simple way to handle Facebook's Graph API.

Computer Science: Theory and Application: What's the difference between physically based rendering and global illumination?

I know that Physically based rendering means we try to simulate how light actually works in real world and global illumination is bouncing back of light when it strikes a surface. But what's actual difference between them and how are they related?

submitted by Mr__Christian_Grey
[link] [1 comment]

Recent additions: HaTeX

Added by DanielDiaz, Sun Mar 29 07:26:46 UTC 2015.

The Haskell LaTeX library.

programming: Jodd, a set of java microframeworks under 1.5mb

submitted by luibelgo
[link] [1 comment] Faker-0.11

Extensible Fake Data Generator Pod-Weaver-Section-ClassMopper-1.150880

Generate some stuff via introspection

Recent additions: Zora 1.1.22

Added by bgwines, Sun Mar 29 06:39:10 UTC 2015.

Graphing library wrapper + assorted useful functions

Disquiet: Glia’s Beat

The arrhythmia of the beat against the tonal sweetness of the melodic material makes the track “__..____._” by Glia sound like someone having an acute panic attack on an otherwise serene day. The gap between those sensations, the significant expanse between the anxious churning percussion of the beat and the soft see-saw of the suspended waveforms, makes for a third presence. The track’s title, with its suggestion of a coded message, adds yet another layer of context. I wondered if the apparent Morse code might be supplying the beat, so I popped it into a translator, but it returned a null.

Track originally posted at More from Glia at

Slashdot: Australian Government Outlines Website-Blocking Scheme

angry tapir writes: The Australian government has revealed its (previously mooted) proposed legislation that will allow copyright holders to apply for court orders that will force ISPs to block access to pirate websites. It forms part of a broader Australian crackdown on online copyright infringement, which also includes a warning notice scheme for alleged infringers. They're not the only ones getting on board with website blocking — a judge in Spain ruled that local ISPs must block access to The Pirate Bay.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

programming: Nginx Optimization: understanding sendfile, tcp_nodelay and tcp_nopush

submitted by Categoria
[link] [2 comments]

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Anyone know of an online course that covers the material in this syllabus (with lecture videos would be preferred)?

submitted by IAmA_Guy
[link] [comment]

Hackaday: Resourceful DIY Brushless Hand-held Camera Gimbal

Holding a video camera while shooting video can lead to finished footage that has some serious shakes. Lucky for us there are some solutions to this problem such as a passive steady cam stabilizer or an active motor-driven gimbal. [Oscar] wanted a smooth-operating brushless motor gimbal but didn’t want to spend the big bucks it costs for a consumer setup so he went out and built his own.

[Oscar] didn’t have a CNC machine or 3D printer to help with his build. He made his gimbal with simple hand tools out of plywood and hardware store bracketry. In his build post, he talks about how it is important to keep the pivoting axes of the gimbal in line with the camera lens and what he did to achieve that goal. The alignment of the axes and the lens ensures that the video is stable while the gimbal adjusts to keep the camera’s angle constant.

[Oscar] purchased the brushless motors and motor controller which included a gyro sensor on a separate PCB board. The gyro is mounted to the camera mount and sends tilt information back to the controller that then moves the brushless motors to keep the camera level. The final project worked out pretty good although [Oscar] admits he still would like to tune the PID settings in the controller a little better. Check out the video after the break where the stabilized camera is compared to one that is not.

Filed under: digital cameras hacks Comic for 2015.03.29

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic

MetaFilter: "the actor who played Merrick would not wear makeup"

In 1980 David Bowie starred as John [Joseph] Merrick in the play The Elephant Man. Tim Rice interviews Bowie for Friday Night Saturday Morning

David Bowie, Mark Hamill, Billy Crudup and Bradley Cooper: A Look at the Elephant Man Stars Throughout the Years
Learn the Extraordinary True Story of The Elephant Man & How It Inspired Bradley Cooper, David Bowie & More

MetaFilter: "For example, we could transmit the contents of the Internet."

Seth Shostak, director of the Center for SETI Research at the SETI Institute, suggests in a NYT Op-Ed that we should "offer the aliens Big Data."
Such a large corpus — with its text, pictures, videos and sounds — would allow clever extraterrestrials to decipher much about our society, and even formulate questions that could be answered with the material in hand.
Previously, Stephen Hawking has disagreed.

Slashdot: Graphene Light Bulbs Coming To Stores Soon

An anonymous reader writes: A light bulb made from graphene — said by its UK developers to be the first commercially viable consumer product using the super-strong carbon — is to go on sale later this year. The dimmable LED bulb with a graphene-coated filament was designed at Manchester University, where the material was discovered in 2004. It is said to cut energy use by 10% and last longer owing to its conductivity. It is expected to be priced lower than current LED bulbs, which cost about £15 (~$22) each.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

MetaFilter: At FedEx, we considered that problem for about three seconds

The FedEx Problem: In which the author uses Euclidean geometry to determine, based on the US Population, the idea location for FedEx's giant hub in Memphis (spoiler: It's about 315 miles off). Then, the guy who wrote the original scheduling software for FedEx shows up at Hacker News with the real story, and some war stories about the founding of FedEx:
You mean the time FedEx towed one of its airplanes to the other side of a hanger to keep it out of sight of a sheriff with a lock and a chain sent to lock down the airplane as collateral for unpaid fuel bills?

You mean the time two barrels of liquids in the shop got confused and maybe some bad stuff got pumped by mistake into the hydraulic systems of some unknown number of airplanes?

The time Fred, in the Dassault DA-20 Fanjet Falcon he saved as the company executive jet, was flying, kept finding airports closed, kept flying, and finally landed but flamed out from no fuel on the runway?

Stok Footage: The New Privateers

I have finished reading George Lakoff’s The Political Mind after a (patient) friend lent it to me years ago, and I wish I had read it sooner. It has opened my eyes to how important the framing of issues can be.

Although the subtitle is Why You Can’t Understand 21st-Century American Politics with an 18th-Century Brain the ideas seem to me to apply more broadly.

There were a couple of passages which help me think in new terms about privatisation, a popular mechanism with late 20th century conservatives. In the first Lakoff re-purposes the term “privateering” (You can think of it as a blend of “privatization” and “profiteering.”)

Privateering is a special case of privatization in which the capacity of government to carry out critical moral missions is systematically destroyed from within the government itself, while public funds are used to provide capital for private corporations to take over those critical functions of government and charge the public a great deal for doing so, while avoiding all accountability.

In the second there’s a good take on deregulation and privatisation:

…Deregulation and privatization would be understood not as the elimination of government, but as a shift from government with accountability to the public to a government without accountability to the public, from public government with a moral mission (protection and empowerment) to private government with only the mission of maximizing profits.

There’s lots of food for thought in this book, even if I don’t agree with everything Lakoff puts forward.

Instructables: exploring - featured: DIY Micro Camper

I love camping, and I spend almost all my free time camping or building toys for camping. I am into all types of camping, but my favorite is getting back up in the mountains far from anything or anybody. It is great to get back to nature... However as I continue to get older, I find I need a few thi...
By: i.hate.karl.kilburn

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programming: Real-time peer-to-peer content streaming

submitted by RexGrammer
[link] [2 comments]

Hackaday: Arduino IDE Support for the ESP8266

Despite a wealth of tutorials for setting up and writing code for the ESP8266 WiFi module, there has not been much of anything on programming this cheap wireless module with the Arduino IDE. Finally, this has changed. After many months of coding, the Arduino IDE supports the ESP8266 module.

The Arduino IDE support was announced on the ESP8266 community forum. Setup is fairly simple with downloads for Linux, OS X, and Windows. This isn’t an ESP8266 shield, either: you can write code for the ESP module, connect the serial pins, and hit the program button.

The basic functions of the Arduino IDE – pinMode, digitalRead, digitalWrite, and analogRead – are available. Most of the WiFi functions work just like the WiFi shield library.

There are a few things that aren’t written yet; PWM doesn’t work, as the ESP8266 only has one hardware PWM source. SPI and I2C slave mode aren’t done yet, and uploading sketches via WiFi needs a little bit of thought. That said, this is a great introduction to programming the ESP module. If the Arduino IDE isn’t your thing, you could always do it the cool way with [CNLohr]’s programming tutorial we featured last week.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, wireless hacks

s mazuk: Waneta Plaza

Waneta Plaza:

please enjoy the informative website of my hometown mall, especially the photos showing how lifeless it is even during open hours

Slashdot: Measuring How Much "Standby Mode" Electricity For Game Consoles Will Cost You

An anonymous reader writes: Modern game consoles have a "standby" mode, which you can use if you want the console to instantly turn on while not drawing full power the whole time it's idle. But manufacturers are vague about how much power it takes to keep the consoles in this standby state. After a recent press release claiming $250 million worth of electricity was used to power Xbox Ones in standby mode in the past year, Ars Technica decided to run some tests to figure out exactly how much power is being drawn. Their conclusions: the PS4 draws about 10 Watts, $10-11 in extra electricity charges annually. The Xbox One draws 12.9W, costing users $13-$14 in extra electricity charges annually. The Wii U draws 13.3W, costing users $14-$15 in extra electricity charges annually. These aren't trivial amounts, but they're a lot less than simply leaving the console running and shutting off the TV when you aren't using it: "Leaving your PS4 sitting on the menu like this all year would waste over $142 in electricity costs."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

MetaFilter: Aussies v. Black Caps

In a few short hours the final of the Cricket World Cup will be held at the 'G. With some games of the World Cup reaching a billion viewers globally, it has now come down to a dream final between co-hosts Australia, who have won the cup four times, and first time finalists New Zealand.

Australia have been installed as favorites, with concern (or not) about NZ's ability to handle the size of the MCG. Emotions are high on both sides, with the announcement that this will be the Australian captain's last international one-day game, and terminally ill New Zealand cricket legend Martin Crowe describing this as likely to be the last game he'll ever see. In any event, plenty of New Zealand's Beige Brigade are making their way across the ditch to support their team, while Aussie fans prepare for hosting the final at home in Melbourne.

The competition so far has provided some magic moments including:

- Huge hits
- Super work in the field (even if unrewarded)
- Top bowling
- Last minute heroics
- Outstanding sportsmanship

New Zealand fans will be sadly without the services of its Alternative Commentary Collective (some content NSFW) today, after their accreditation was pulled, and who have called the "absolute scenes" of the NZ games so far. Their adult-rated(NSFW) cricket commentary, from inside a 1975 Sprite Alphine caravan, has produced a cult following as they renamed the NZ team members (including crowd favorite - the Hairy Javelin(lyrics NSFW)).

Cricket is a game that inspires its fans, and for those teams who didn't make the final, there have been somewhat passionate reactions. And of course no post about Australia and NZ cricket rivalry would be complete without a reference to "the underarm incident ", which also occurred at the MCG 34 years ago.

Instructables: exploring - featured: Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese in 2 Easy Steps

This stuff is way better than any salmon cream cheese that you'll find anywhere else. I promise. For the record, this can be made using either smoked salmon or brined salmon, aka lox or gravlax. Check out this instructable for smoking your own salmon at home Dice Salmon Dice up smoked salmon i...
By: mart33n33

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Instructables: exploring - featured: French Macarons

Hey momoluvers! It's momo. Today I am super duper excited for this instructable because I have begun to be obsessed with the trend that is "french macarons". If you don't know, macarons are sort of wafer cookies. They have a crispy lining in the top then a cake-y substance on the inside. Then the fi...
By: momoluv

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Hackaday: In Which Robots Fight the Console Wars

Though the names have changed over the years, the console wars wage on. [moop] must have been feeling nostalgic for the NES vs. SEGA days when he started his current project, Foobot, which is a tabletop football (soccer) game played by robots that are controlled with classic NES and SEGA controllers.

Each team has two robots that tool around on laser-cut perspex wheels attached directly to 16,000RPM motors. An SN754410 controls the motors, and each robot has an ATtiny2313 brain. They all communicate with a single transmitter over their 433MHz 1402 radio receiver modules. To avoid collisions, [moop] used a packet system, wherein each robot has an ID. The messages all contain a robot ID, message payload, and checksum. The robots ignore messages addressed to others, and any message with an invalid checksum.

[moop] has made everything available on his github, including the PCB layouts and CAD files for the robot chassis and transmitter case. Watch them battle it out after the break. If the Foobots have riled you up about vintage gaming, check out these sweet arcade hacks.

[via Dangerous Prototypes]

Filed under: ATtiny Hacks, robots hacks

Slashdot: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station writes with news that Russian officials are talking about working with NASA to build a new space station as a replacement for the ISS after its operations end in 2024. Igor Komarov, head of the Russian Federal Space Agency, was unambiguous in his support for such a partnership. He added, "It will be an open project. It will feature not only the current members of the ISS." NASA, while careful not to discourage future cooperation, was not so enthusiastic. They said, "We are pleased Roscomos wants to continue full use of the International Space Station through 2024 -- a priority of ours -- and expressed interest in continuing international cooperation for human space exploration beyond that. The United States is planning to lead a human mission to Mars in the 2030s, and we have advanced that effort farther than at any point in NASA's history. We welcome international support for this ambitious undertaking." They reiterated that there are no formal agreements in place as of yet. These comments come as three crew members arrive at the ISS, two of whom will be up there for an entire year.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Perlsphere: Culling zombies from January

This evening I culled 80 participants in the Pull Request Challenge. These were people who had a January assignment but never did a pull request, and haven't replied to any of my subsequent emails. Culling them freed up 80 distributions to be assigned again in April.

Instructables: exploring - featured: Brooks-like leather saddle from old mattress bicycle seat

Beeing a recent owner of a vintage CCM delivery bicycle, I wanted to install a seat / saddle that had some style. Naturally, I headed to the Brooks saddles, since I really like the style of those high quality seats. However, I decided to try to reuse an old mattress seat I had from a another bike, a...
By: P-Y

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Hackaday: Arduino SRL to Distributors: “We’re the REAL Arduino”

Arduino SRL (formerly known as Smart Projects SRL) sent out a letter to its distribution partners yesterday. If you’ve been following along with the Arduino vs Arduino story (we’ve previously published two installments), the content isn’t entirely surprising; it’s essentially a tactical move to reassure their distribution channels that Arduino SRL is the “One True Arduino”. That said, there’s still some new tidbits buried inside. You can skip down to read the full text below, but here’s our take.

The Business History of Arduino

arduino_vs_arduino_tnA quick summary of the legal situation. Arduino LLC was formed in April 2008 by the original five founders to provide a corporate entity behind the Arduino project. Smart Projects SRL, controlled by one of the founders, was tasked with the actual production of the boards. It turns out that Smart Projects had trademarked the Arduino brand in Italy in December 2008, before Arduino LLC got around to filing in April 2009 in the USA. But everyone was friends, right? As long as the licensing fees keep flowing.

Fast-forward to September 2014, when Arduino LLC filed a lawsuit in Italy against Smart Projects claiming that they had infringed LLC’s trademark and that they had recently stopped paying licensing fees on their use of the Arduino name. In October, Smart Projects filed with the USPTO to revoke Arduino LLC’s trademark. In late 2014, Smart Projects changed its company name to Arduino SRL (a “Società a responsabilità limitata” is one form of Italian limited-liability company) and hired a new CEO, [Federico Musto].  Around the same time, Arduino SRL opened up the website (different from long-existing but with nearly identical style. In January 2015, Arduino LLC filed a lawsuit in the US, claiming their right on the Arduino name.

The Gist of it

In short, Arduino LLC has been working on developing the Arduino platform, software, and community while Smart Projects / Arduino SRL was the major official producer of the hardware for most boards. Both are claiming to “be” Arduino, and going after each other in court. So it’s not strange that Arduino SRL would like to try to keep its hold on the distribution channels. Which brings us to their letter to distributors.

March 27 Letter

Arduino-Distributor-Update-0A good portion of the letter reads to be a very carefully worded defense of why Arduino SRL is the true Arduino:

“Arduino Srl (aka Smart Projects Srl), as you know has been from the  beginning of the Arduino® project, the place where the ideas were turned into reality and into a business.”

This is of course strictly true — Smart Projects was certainly the largest manufacturer of Arduino boards. But it sidesteps the issue at hand in the trademark suits: whether they were simply a licensed producer of the boards or whether they’re “Arduino”.

Similarly, in the questions section of the letter, they ask if there are actually two “Arduino” product manufacturers, and answer “not really”. Of course, that’s true. Arduino LLC doesn’t manufacture boards, but exists to license their trademark out to fund development.

The only real news in the letter is that Arduino SRL is replacing its old distribution and logistics company, Magyc Now, with a new one named CC Logistics. Both Magyc and CC Logistics are named as defendants in the US lawsuit filed by Arduino LLC, so it’s unlikely that this change is due to legal fallout.

What this Means

In conclusion, Arduino SRL’s letter to its distributors seems to essentially follow the line of reasoning in their trademark lawsuit in the US against Arduino LLC: since Arduino SRL is doing the manufacturing and using the Arduino name, they’re the true Arduino. Whether or not this will stand up in court, or whether Arduino LLC can make its case that SRL was simply a licensed manufacturer, remains to be seen.

We’ve embedded the contents of the letter after the break. You can also download the original PDF.

Ivrea (TO) , March 27, 2015

Dear Partners,

At this time we feel it necessary to update our partners on the state of Arduino® products and the distribution business which you are a key part of.

Arduino Srl (aka Smart Projects Srl), as you know has been from the beginning of the Arduino® project, the place where the ideas were turned into reality and into a business. The first Arduino® models were made and initially distributed to schools of interactive design all over the world.

Arduino® products were then offered to the first DIY enthusiasts, contributing concretely, as one of the first open source electronic boards, to found and promote the Makers Movement: your strong efforts and contribution have made this great new movement a success and has grown in many new exciting areas like IoT and m2m. A realization that will change the world of electronics and communications in the physical world.

The family of Arduino® boards has helped professional and non-professional developers to prototype electrical projects and learn in a way that is accessible and possible for everyone.

Currently, Arduino Srl continues to be the only designer and manufacturer of original Arduino® products.

Open Source is the environment we want for millions of designers, engineers, makers and Arduino® lovers around the world. We hope to continue to help children and newbies learn about electrical engineering and computer programming, in order to develop and grow their ideas for today and tomorrow.

This fantastic story and these ideals will continue on the new website, which has been developed to ensure we stay true to the vision of the beginning of Arduino® and Arduino Srl and our distribution of these cool products.

Beginning in 2015 new changes have been put into place to ensure that our companies can continue to grow with the popularity of the Arduino® product line. The production of these high quality products continue to be done in Europe and specifically Italy which has been very successful.

Our distribution and logistics are going through a change for a couple of reasons, to help with faster deliveries and lower transport costs, we have a new company structure cc logistics that have offices and warehouses in three continents, EMEA Cham Switzerland, North American Boston Massachusetts and APAC Honk Kong and Taipei.

Additionally lots of work are being completed to get inventories in line with demand. New personnel are being added to in many areas for response to your buying needs but also in the sales and support areas to ensure we are creating demand for Arduino products and for our distribution channel. These new sales people from time to time will be in contact to forge closer working relationships.

To help inform our partners of some questions recently raised in the press and other areas:

Q: Are there two “Arduino® ” branded products manufacturers?

A: Not really, the only company that ever designed and manufactured the “Arduino® ” branded product is Arduino Srl (formerly Smart Projects Srl). Others, for a number of reasons, have created in USA and Switzerland “Arduino” named companies. Some have been involved in completing contracts for web site development and PR (namely Arduino SA – Switzerland take cares of the web site has been one of those). Clearly this has been the place to go for open source info in the past, but we will make your new comprehensive location for this info and other valuable resources and services.

Q: I have heard in the press that there is a disagreement going on amongst initial founders of the open source project which inspired the Arduino® business.

A: Yes, there is a disagreement between the initial founders of the open source project (which have never been shareholders of Arduino Srl) and the actual management of Arduino Srl. We are confident that these issues will come to a conclusion shortly. Frankly some of these issues are complex because related to the validity of the registration of the trademark “Arduino® ” in some areas of the world and cannot be summarized in few words. In this respect just bear in mind that Arduino Srl (aka Smart Projects Srl) has been the sole manufacturer of the original “Arduino® ” branded products, selling and distributing them world wide for 10 years.

Q: Will cc logistics replace Magyc as distribution points ?

A: That is the big plan but exceptions may happen due to the nature of doing a worldwide distribution. cc logistics will help our makers to produce and distribute their projects in a world wide arena.

Q: Will Arduino make new products and new software?

A: Yes, new software and new products are the life blood of Arduino® . Recently new products, Arduino® Zero Pro, Arduino® , 9 Axes shield partnership with Bosch and many more are coming.

Q: Will Arduino forge technology partnership?

A: Arduino is in the forefront of new exciting fields like IoT and m2m which is an exciting direction of the type of prototyping done with present day Arduino® products. We are in constant contact with major companies exploring these exciting fields. The Arduino YUN with its wifi capabilities and open source processing has ignited lots of new opportunities.

Q: Arduino EMEA, APAC and NA Distributors Sales Meeting

A: We are planning and will notify you of the details of the first global annual meeting

Q: Is there a New Management structure in Arduino ?

A: As it happens in every company that grows as fast as the Arduino environment, additional expertises and capabilities are needed to help steer the company in the correct direction. Federico Musto is the new CEO of Arduino group and he has a strong background in the open source business.

You are Arduino and we are honored and privileged to work with you – Arduino isn’t the company, nor the board, nor the software nor the founders – the Arduino is YOU – You made Arduino® what it is today and you’ll continue to make it what it will be in the future.

Thank you in advance for your help and support

Arduino team

Arduino Srl
legal adress: Via Romano, 12 – 10010 Scarmagno (TO) Italy
shipping address: Via Kennedy, 36 – 10019 Strambino (TO) Italy

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, Featured, news, slider

Instructables: exploring - featured: Speaker to Desktop Lamp

I had this small Dog Speakers, but they were broken, so I converted them to a Desktop Lamp Took it appart and I tryed to get the speaker out as good as I could Wiring all and putting the dog together.I used a E27 bulbholder A 7 Euro color led lamp from ebay.1'st test, OKThe led lamp fitt...
By: awall99

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s mazuk: anfael‘s posting of old flash intros made me remember my favourite set, so I wanted to share the...

anfael‘s posting of old flash intros made me remember my favourite set, so I wanted to share the beauty of Fry Steel. They took down the intros from 10 years ago, but the internet archive has five of the twenty-one still available:

4, 7, 10, 12, 14

Paper Bits: "Deceiving us has become an industrial process."

“Deceiving us has become an industrial process.”

- Making Light: Common fraud

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Maze Algorithms (visual)

submitted by sanderD
[link] [16 comments]

explodingdog: Photo

TwitchFilm: SXSW 2015 Interview: Julien Temple On Life, Death, And THE ECSTACY OF WILKO JOHNSON

Julien Temple, with his numerous music documentaries behind him - many involving his pals, The Sex Pistols - may be no stranger to the rock documentary, but there is nothing quite like his new film, The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson. For one, even though the film is about his dear friend Wilko Johnson, with its meditation on life, death, and the meaning we assign to this thing we call living, Ecstasy is Temple's most personal film to date.The project arose upon receiving the tragic news that his good friend Wilko Johnson, former Dr. Feelgood front man, had been told he had only 10 months to live. His initial interviews with Johnson had less to do with making a film than they did documenting the final...

[Read the whole post on] Blog: OpAmps Tutorial – What is an Operational Amplifier?

The most often requested video! In this tutorial Dave explains what Operational Amplifiers (OpAmps) are and how they work. The concepts of negative feedback, open loop gain, virtual grounds and opamp action. The comparator, the buffer, the inverting and non-inverting amplifiers, the differential amplifier, and the integrator circuit configurations are also explained.
Then a practical breadboard circuit to demonstrate a virtual ground and the effect of voltage rail limitations.

OpAmps Tutorial – What is an Operational Amplifier? - [Link] Blog: Keithley 2460 Source Measure Unit (SMU) Review, Teardown and Experiments

Keithley 2460 Source Measure Unit (SMU) Review, Teardown and Experiments - [Link]

Paper Bits: The Other Half of American History

The Other Half of American History

Arduino Blog: Arduino Day Official Events Hangout – #ArduinoD15


Arduino is officially 10 years old and celebrating during Arduino Day!
Watch the video with Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles, Tom Igoe hangout with all the Official Arduino Day events:


TwitchFilm: New Directors/New Films 2015: 10 Notable Selections From An Impressive Slate

As this year's edition of New Directors/New Films, co-programmed by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art, winds up (it closes tomorrow), the festival once again confirms its stellar reputation for introducing New Yorkers to audacious and vital new talent. Even the most jaded moviegoer could find plenty of fresh perspectives and approaches to filmmaking. Below are 10 of the most notable titles I was able to catch at this year's festival. For more information, and to purchase tickets for the remaining screenings, visit the festival's website....

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Planet Haskell: Paul Johnson: Google Maps on Android demands I let Google track me

I recently upgraded to Android 5.1 on my Nexus 10. One app I often use is Google Maps. This has a "show my location" button:
When I clicked on this I got the following dialog box:

Notice that I have two options: I either agree to let Google track me, or I cancel the request. There is no "just show my location" option.

As a matter of principle, I don't want Google to be tracking me. I'm aware that Google can offer me all sorts of useful services if I just let it know every little detail of my life, but I prefer to do without them. But now it seems that zooming in on my GPS-derived location has been added to the list of features I can't have. There is no technical reason for this; it didn't used to be the case. But Google has decided that as the price for looking at the map of where I am, I now have to tell them where I am all the time.

I'm aware that of course my cellphone company knows roughly where I am and who I talk to, and my ISP knows which websites I visit and can see my email (although unlike GMail I don't think they derive any information about me from the contents), and of course Google knows what I search for. But I can at least keep that information compartmentalised in different companies. I suspect that the power of personal data increases non-linearly with the volume and scope, so having one company know where I am and another company read my email means less loss of privacy than putting both location and email in the same pot.

 Hey, Google, stop being evil!

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Carbon Bonding

New comic!
Today's News:

Neato thing to be announced tomorrow! 

programming: Never Invent Here: the even-worse sibling of “Not Invented Here”

submitted by RageD
[link] [227 comments]

TwitchFilm: Crowdfund This! THE DEVIL ON WHEELS Wants To Take A Drive With Spielberg's DUEL

With the recent success of both Jodorowsky's Dune and Lost Soul, the documentary on the never-made feature is alive and well. This success has, in some small part, fueled the desire to know more about certain cult films that were such unlikely successes. Director Enric Folch and his team want to examine in detail the cult-curio that launched Steven Spielberg's feature film career: Duel. A lowly TV Movie-Of-The-Week shot in 1971 over 13 days with no film stars, the visceral idea of a terrifying truck, whose driver we never see, for no apparent reason chases a lone driver along the desert roads of Southern California. Years before The Road Warrior, Jaws, and even The Hitcher, this tiny-budgeted film has planted deep roots of influence across genre cinema,...

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Arduino Blog: Arduino IDE 1.6.2 released and available for download

Arduino IDE 1.6.2

A new version of the Arduino IDE (1.6.2) is available at the download page!

The Arduino IDE 1.6.2 features new one click install of boards and libraries.

With 1.6.2, two new menu items are available: “Sketch > Include Library > Manage Libraries…” and “Tools > Board > Boards Manager…”

We have written two guides that explain how to use them. Discover how to use the Library Manager and how to install support for additional boards.

If you don’t find your preferred library in the list, let us know: open an issue on github and request us to add the library you love!

Having such tools allow us to better and easier deliver updates for both cores and libraries: just open Library Manager or Boards Manager to find an Update button on the updatable items.

IDE 1.6.2 also includes a handful of bug fixes and improvements, also thanks to our fantastic community of hackers and makers:

  • Ever suffered of a super slow Tools menu? Solved! Ports list gets refreshed in background, so you won’t need to wait any more.
  • We have dropped support for Mac OS X 10.6 or older: previous versions of the IDE will remain available for download at the previous releases page.
  • A new EEPROM library, thanks to @Chris–A
  • Pre and post build hooks, thanks to @Wackerbarth
  • Various bug fixes, thanks to @Timmmm, @vicatcu, @arve0 and @Xuth

As usual, the complete list of fixes and credits is available here.

Don’t forget to report any issue you find, either on Github or on the Arduino forum: your help is very much appreciated. It doesn’t matter if you are not a tech specialist: every feedback adds value.

Session of work on 1.6.3 will start on Monday: we are now enjoying  Arduino Day!

Planet Haskell: Joachim Breitner: An academic birthday present

Yesterday, which happened to be my 30th birthday, a small package got delivered to my office: The printed proceedings of last year's “Trends in Functional Programming” conference, where I published a paper on Call Arity (preprint). Although I doubt the usefulness of printed proceedings, it was a nicely timed birthday present.

Looking at the rather short table of contents – only 8 papers, after 27 presented and 22 submitted – I thought that this might mean that, with some luck, I might have chances to get the “Best student paper award”, which I presumed to be announced at the next iteration of the conference.

For no particular reason I was leisurely browsing through the book, and started to read the preface. And what do I read there?

Among the papers selected for these proceedings, two papers stood out. The award for Best Student Paper went to Joachim Breitner for his paper entitled Call Arity, and the award for Best Paper Overall went to Edwin Brady for his paper entitled Resource-dependent Algebraic Effects. Congratulations!

Now, that is a real nice birthday present! Not sure if I even would have found out about it, had I not have thrown a quick glance at page V...

I hope that it is a good omen for my related ICFP'15 submission.

Paper Bits: "In the Alamo Myth, the Texas Revolution is a battle for freedom against the imperial domination of..."

““In the Alamo Myth, the Texas Revolution is a battle for freedom against the imperial domination of Mexico. But actually, the 1824 constitution established after the Mexican revolution from Spain did away with slavery. The Southern slavers who had emigrated to Texas came up with a variety of dodges to keep their slaves, and figured Mexico City was far away. But when Mexico eventually began moving to enforce the ban, slave-holding Texans organized resistance, eventually declaring independence in 1836. So the Alamo really was a battle for freedom, but Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett were on the anti-freedom side.””

- The Other Half of American History

Perlsphere: Modern Perl Articles

Back in 2011 I wrote a series of three articles about “Modern Perl” for Linux Format. Although I mentioned all three articles here as they were published, I didn’t post the actual contents of the articles as I wasn’t sure about the copyright situation.

But now I suspect that enough time has passed that copyright is no longer going to be an issue, so I’ve added the full text of the articles to this site. The articles are all about writing a simple web application to track your reading. They use DBIx::Class and Dancer.

Let me know if you find them interesting or useful.

The post Modern Perl Articles appeared first on Perl Hacks.

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Summary of 'Computing Machinery and Intelligence' (1950) by Alan Turing

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Open Culture: Download 422 Free Art Books from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

met museum books
Met 1

You could pay $118 on Amazon for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s catalog The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry. Or you could pay $0 to download it at MetPublications, the site offering “five decades of Met Museum publications on art history available to read, download, and/or search for free.” If that strikes you as an obvious choice, prepare to spend some serious time browsing MetPublications’ collection of free art books and catalogs.

met museum free art books

You may remember that we featured the site a few years ago, back when it offered 397 whole books free for the reading, including American Impressionism and Realism: The Painting of Modern Life, 1885–1915; Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomical Drawings from the Royal Library; and Wisdom Embodied: Chinese Buddhist and Daoist Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of ArtBut the Met has kept adding to their digital trove since then, and, as a result, you can now find there no fewer than 422 art catalogs and other books besides. Those sit alongside the 400,000 free art images the museum put online last year.

wisdom embodied

So have a look at MetPublications’ current collection and you’ll find you now have unlimited access to such lush as well as artistically, culturally, and historically varied volumes as African IvoriesChess: East and West, Past and PresentModern Design in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1890–1990; Vincent Van Gogh: The Drawings; French Art Deco; or even a guide to the museum itself (vintage 1972).

chess east and est

Since I haven’t yet turned to art collection — I suppose you need money for that — these books don’t necessarily make me covet the vast sweep of artworks they depict and contextualize. But they do make me wish for something even less probable: a time machine so I could go back and see all these exhibits firsthand.

Related Content:

Download Over 250 Free Art Books From the Getty Museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Puts 400,000 High-Res Images Online & Makes Them Free to Use

The Guggenheim Puts 109 Free Modern Art Books Online

Where to Find Free Art Images & Books from Great Museums, and Free Books from University Presses

700 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices

Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture as well as the video series The City in Cinema and writes essays on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Download 422 Free Art Books from The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post Download 422 Free Art Books from The Metropolitan Museum of Art appeared first on Open Culture. Comic for 2015.03.28

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic

TwitchFilm: SPECTRE: 007 Will Tangle With The Crime Syndicate In Teaser Trailer

The first teaser trailer for Spectre has arrived and it is very much a moody affair. It is limited in action but heavy in atmosphere. Just as the production has been mum on the plot details so is this trailer light on action. In fact it is mostly just a lot of people standing, including a brief glimpse of Bond Girl Monica Bellucci. But there is good old Christoph Waltz at the end, waiting for Bond in the shadows. A cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.I am sure that the action will come...

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Planet Haskell: Gabriel Gonzalez: Algebraic side effects

Haskell differentiates itself from most other functional languages by letting you reason mathematically about programs with side effects. This post begins with a pure Haskell example that obeys algebraic equations and then generalizes the example to impure code that still obeys the same equations.


In school, you probably learned algebraic rules like this one:

f * (xs + ys) = (f * xs) + (f * ys)

Now let's make the following substitutions:

  • Replace the mathematical multiplication with Haskell's map function
  • Replace the mathematical addition with Haskell's ++operator

These two substitutions produce the following Haskell equation:

map f (xs ++ ys) = (map f xs) ++ (map f ys)

In other words, if you concatenate the list xs with the list ys and then map a function named f over the combined list, the result is indistinguishable from mapping f over each list individually and then concatenating them.

Let's test this equation out using the Haskell REPL:

>>> map (+ 1) ([2, 3] ++ [4, 5])
>>> (map (+ 1) [2, 3]) ++ (map (+ 1) [4, 5])

Evaluation order

However, the above equation does not hold in most other languages. These other languages use function evaluation to trigger side effects, and therefore if you change the order of evaluation you change the order of side effects.

Let's use Scala to illustrate this. Given the following definitions:

>>> def xs() = { print("!"); Seq(1, 2) }
>>> def ys() = { print("?"); Seq(3, 4) }
>>> def f(x : Int) = { print("*"); x + 1 }

.. the order of side effects differs depending on whether I concatenate or map first:

>>> (xs() ++ ys()).map(f)
!?****res0: Seq[Int] = List(2, 3, 4, 5)
>>> (xs().map(f)) ++ (ys().map(f))
!**?**res1: Seq[Int] = List(2, 3, 4, 5)

One line #1, the two lists are evaluated first, printing "!" and "?", followed by evaluating the function f on all four elements, printing "*" four times. On line #2, we call f on each element of xs before beginning to evaluate ys. Since evaluation order matters in Scala we get two different programs which print the punctuation characters in different order.

The solution

Haskell, on the other hand, strictly separates evaluation order from side effect order using a two-phase system. In the first phase you evaluate your program to build an abstract syntax tree of side effects. In the second phase the Haskell runtime executes the tree by interpreting it for its side effects. This phase distinction ensures that algebraic laws continue to behave even in the presence of side effects.

To illustrate this, we'll generalize our original Haskell code to interleave side effects with list elements and show that it still obeys the same algebraic properties as before. The only difference from before is that we will:

  • Generalize pure lists to their impure analog, ListT
  • Generalize functions to impure functions that wrap side effects with lift
  • Generalize (++) (list concatenation) to (<|>) (ListT concatenation)
  • Generalize map to (=<<), which streams elements through an impure function

This means that our new equation becomes:

-- f  *  (xs  +  ys) = (f  *  xs)  +  (f  * ys)
f =<< (xs <|> ys) = (f =<< xs) <|> (f
=<< ys)

You can read this as saying: if we concatenate xs and ys and then stream their values through the impure function f, the behavior is indistinguishable from streaming each individual list through f first and then concatenating them.

Let's test this equation out with some sample definitions for xs, ys, and f that mirror their Scala analogs:

>>> import Control.Applicative
>>> import Pipes
>>> let xs = do { lift (putChar '!'); return 1
<|> return 2 }
>>> let ys = do { lift (putChar '?'); return 3
<|> return 4 }
>>> let f x = do { lift (putChar '*'); return (x + 1) }
>>> runListT (f =<< (xs <|> ys)) -- Note:
`runListT` discards the result
!**?**>>> runListT ((f =<< xs) <|> (f =<< ys))

The resulting punctuation order is identical. Many people mistakenly believe that Haskell's mathematical elegance breaks down when confronted with side effects, but nothing could be further from the truth.


Haskell preserves algebraic equations even in the presence of side effects, which simplifies reasoning about impure code. Haskell separates evaluation order from side effect order so that you spend less time reasoning about evaluation order and more time reasoning about your program logic.

Greater Fool - Authored by Garth Turner - The Troubled Future of Real Estate: Slimy

FRISK modified

So, remember what I said yesterday about sleazy realtors deliberately listing properties under market in order to create a feeding frenzy? It’s not illegal, or even unprofessional. It’s merely unethical. And it sucks.

But it sure brings out the animal spirits in house-horny buyers. It stokes competition. Makes the lusty do extreme things. Plus, when all is said and done, it sure helps with the Audi lease payments.

Just ask Paul Eviston, the agent who listed a $2 million house on E 26th Ave. in Vancouver for $1.6 million. You can imagine what happened in a city where people would rather make offers than have sex. Eight panting couples competed for the ho-hum house with a basement suite, pushing the price skyward until it topped at $2,167,000. Not only did Paul succeed in deliberately inflating the value, but he also squeezed out some useful market-pumping headlines. Like, “Vancouver house sells for $567K over listed price.”

Eviston also defended himself thusly: “If the product’s right, the timing’s right and the inventory is right, it’s the right strategy. I wouldn’t call it underlisted, I would call it strategically listed to garner the interest level that we wanted to get the result that we got.”

By the way, this house – just inside the East Van border where all the poor people live – set a new record for property in that region. The average income in the neighbourhood is $82,020, and about 30% of the people living there don’t work. But they sure can borrow.

Josh is a realtor in Hamilton who reads this blog at night under the sheets on a secret iPad.

“I get a kick out of some of your commentary on my fellow Realtors, many of which are the Audi driving vultures you describe,” he says. “I’d like to think I’m not one of them, I happen to drive a KIA! Granted, its a nice KIA, but its a KIA. And I make about $120-140k a year working more hours than most for the same salary, primarily evenings and weekends.  In the last week or two you seem to have taken a more aggressive aim at my profession and I’m hoping you’ll comment on a few observations of mine.”

On the issue of unethical sales practices designed to draw in unsuspecting virgins for evisceration on the altar of house porn, Josh has this to share with us:

“I agree the pricing low tactic and holding offers for a certain number of days is a tad slimy. I refuse to do it on my own listings despite it becoming the prevailing strategy among my peers. I agree there are agents out there that will fabricate offers to inflate the perceived interest in a property, but to suggest that this is some sort of foregone conclusion I think is ridiculous and, forgive me, equally slimy to suggest.  Multiple offer situations are already regulated by RECO (the regulator), and I’d challenge your assertion that RECO is understaffed (perhaps complaints driven). Any buyer agent can request to confirm the existence of each and every offer by way of form 109 “Offer Acknowledgement”. I’m a professional, as are 90% of my colleagues. I would never portray the existence of an offer if there wasn’t one.”

That’s a relief. Now if only we could get the real estate board to stop secretly altering monthly statistics, as happens in Toronto, or publishing a meaningless market Frankenumber instead of average prices, as in Vancouver, or letting buyers see selling prices, price changes or days-on-market stats, we might feel better. But if you need an honest realtor in the Hammer who actually admits to reading this pathetic blog, lemme know.

Now, I feel duty bound to share with you some words from the Italian Mama whose boy, Junior, I so mercilessly mocked earlier this week. He joined a 13-idiot bidding war for a suburban GTA bung listed for $649,000 which sold for $810,000. His offer was for $785,000, no conditions, and I now learn that Mama gave him big whack of the $500,000 he had in his shorts for a down payment.

She sent me a long letter explaining the family’s inbred house lust. I will spare you most of it, but here is her argument:

“You accused me of trying to make my son into a mini version of me. I have taught my children as my parents taught me… example. It is their decision not mine to follow a similar road or choose a different path. In the end it’s what they feel comfortable with. Freedom, fun, mobility might be their choice. I respect that. But you should understand that for some freedom, fun and mobility will come to those who work hard, diversify their investments from a young age and yes, sacrifice for the goal of achieving financial freedom.

“I am not your typical whining blog dog. I have nothing against people who rent but I hope they are still following the same simple steps mentioned above. Save and invest wisely. Sadly most are not. Most people are not disciplined and when you talk to them about financial investments their eyes glaze over. For them a house and a big fat mortgage is their only hope.”

Now, let’s take that sentiment to its extreme.

Back to Vancouver, where Greg’s parents have gone postal:

“My aging parents (65 + 70) are looking to build a laneway house in Vancouver. They have a $1M house (all paid off), and about $400K in bonds/mutual funds, etc. They think their purchasing power is just getting eroded by inflation, and want to put $250-300K in a laneway house, and rent it for $1K a month for the next 30+ years or so. Basically payback is 25 years. They think this is a better investment. I think they’re out of their minds, and can get better returns with less risk by holding a mixed portfolio instead. How do I convince them otherwise? They think Vancouver real estate is only going up, and want to get in again by this path. It’s insane. Let me know how I can convince them otherwise.”

Of course they think that way, Greg, because a house in East Van just sold for $567,000 more than the asking price! It was on TV! Don’t be a dipstick, kid, and get with the program. Your dad has it all figured out – a sure thing winner to start making him some serious money when he’s just 95. If the market doesn’t collapse under its own folly, of course. If mortgage rates don’t move for a decade or two. If the economy survives the oil mess or death by debt. If the feds don’t reign in CMHC. If enough people actually want to live in a laneway with the rummies and ‘coons.

Naturally, Greg’s parents are fools. Taking three-quarters of their liquid net worth to plow back into real estate, so they can make about 3% on their money, fully taxable, while risking everything on a single asset class, now at its most inflated point, is just weird. But telling.

Did I ever mention this won’t end well?

new shelton wet/dry: Master Gee! My mellow! It’s on to you, so whatcha gonna do?

{ Velasquez, Rokeby Venus, c. 1647–51 } { On March 10, 1914, the suffragette Mary Richardson walked into the National Gallery and attacked Velázquez’s canvas with a meat cleaver } { Copenhagen’s The Little Mermaid sculpture, vandalized in 1964 | More examples of art vandalism }

Jesse Moynihan: Forming 187


TwitchFilm: PILGRIMAGE: Next Film From LOVE ETERNAL Director Begins Shoot

Irish filmmaker Brendan Muldowney (Love Eternal) will begin production in April on Pilgrimage, an action film set in 13th Century Ireland. Filming will happen on the west coast of Ireland and in the Ardennes region of Belgium. The cast includes Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead and Fury), Richard Armitage (The Crucible) and Tom Holland (The Impossible) who will wrap up shooting Backcountry in Northern Ontario, Canada this weekend. Pilgrimage follows a small group of monks as they undertake a treacherous pilgrimage to escort their monastery's holiest relic to Rome. Love Eternal producer Conor Barry will produce again, alongside John Keville from Savage Productions. While in Belgium they will be helped by Benoit Roland from Wrong Men North. Nick Spicer and Aram Tertzakian from XYZ Films will executive produce. XYZ...

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explodingdog: I hope you weren’t cold

I hope you weren’t cold

Quiet Earth: Walking Dead Spin-Off FEAR THE WALKING DEAD Airs this Summer

Okay, guys. Here's everything you need to know about AMC's Walking dead spin-off, offically titled "Fear The Walking Dead."

AMC announced that it's placed an initial two-season order for a companion series to “The Walking Dead,” the #1 show on television among adults 18-49 for going on three seasons.

he new series called Fear The Walking Dead will be set in Los Angeles and focused on new characters and storylines. The show’s first season will consist of six one-hour episodes and premiere on AMC in late summer. The show’s second season will air in 2016.

Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero and David Alpert from “The Walking Dead” are executive producers of the new series, which, like the original, is being produced by AMC Studios [Continued ...]

new shelton wet/dry: Now baby we can do it take the time, do it right, we can do it baby

The sexual selection concept arises from the observation that many animals had evolved features whose function is not to help individuals survive, but help them to maximize their reproductive success. This can be realized in two different ways: • by making themselves attractive to the opposite sex (intersexual selection, between the sexes), or • by intimidating, deterring [...]

Disquiet: via


Cross-posted from

new shelton wet/dry: *sighs heavily, walks over to big DAYS SINCE MAX GOT TOO DRUNK AT AN OFFICE PARTY AND EMBARRASSED HIMSELF sign, flips number back to 0* —Max Read

15 years ago, the neurosciences defined the main function of brains in terms of processing input to compute output: “brain function is ultimately best understood in terms of input/output transformations and how they are produced” wrote Mike Mauk in 2000. Since then, a lot of things have been discovered that make this stimulus-response concept untenable and [...]

Penny Arcade: News Post: Bloodborne

Gabe: I picked up Bloodborne expecting not to like it. I’ve never played any of the Souls games and from what I’d heard, Bloodborne was the same sort of game. As I understood it, these were brutally hard games that seemed to generate equal amounts of frustration and joy. I’m not an especially skilled gamer and I don’t tend to play very difficult games. I get frustrated easy and I’m usually the first to read a game F.A.Q. when I get stuck. I just sort of assumed Bloodborne was not for me. Boy was I ever wrong. Today’s comic is 100% accurate. I “quit” Bloodborne a bunch of times…

Paper Bits: "All day long, an immense amount of time and energy is spent making sure young African-American..."

“All day long, an immense amount of time and energy is spent making sure young African-American students are taught to obey.”

- Education Week

new shelton wet/dry: And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and the death shall not be any more

Furans are coffee’s dirty little secret. Although we can thank them for the pleasant aroma and delicious flavour of freshly brewed coffee, furans have been labelled as a possible human carcinogen (cause of cancer) in disguise by food safety agencies including the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority [...]

Penny Arcade: News Post: Provisional Resignation

Tycho: The first day, he quit on two separate occasions.  This is not weird in any way.  It would be like if you had just gotten a job and your job was to be kicked over and over in places ill-suited to jostling.  You would say, “Maybe this isn’t for me.”  Then I got this text: I didn’t really want to tell him how to feel about it, I just wanted him to know that there was another camera on this scene and it was returning the same data.  He had unquit, but encouragement wasn’t what he needed; what he needed was to succeed.  I got this…

explodingdog: Photo

CreativeApplications.Net: Help Gray Area #ReviveTheGrand

thegrandtheatreSan Francisco’s venerable Gray Area Foundation for the Arts are winding down a major fundraising campaign and they need your help. With just ten days remaining, they are attempting to hit a crucial $300,000 fundraising goal as they begin construction on their new space, which will transform the Mission District’s historical Grand Theater into a media arts centre and their […]

All Content: White God


Imagine an "R" rated "Lassie" by way of "Spartacus." That's Kornél Mundruczó's "White God," a brutal but stirring fantasy about street dogs rising up against cruel and indifferent humans.

Between its (faked) animal-on-animal and human-on-animal violence, harsh language, sexual situations and casual drug use, this Hungarian drama is definitely not for children. And yet it plugs into some of the same feelings of childlike awe and terror that make classic animal pictures (including monster movies) so memorable. "Old Yeller," "E.T.," "Black Beauty," "King Kong"—there are bits of all of them in the DNA of "White God," but the film is its own amazing thing. From its opening flash-forward of its 13-year old heroine, Lili (Zsofia Psotta), cycling down an eerily empty street amid a wave of masterless canines to its numerous, wordless images of the world as seen through a dog's eyes, the film has a rare sense of the fairy-tale uncanny. It doesn't always hang together—its attempts to parallel the life of its mistreated, misunderstood and often neglected heroine and her beloved dog Hagen don't always make storytelling sense, mainly because the dog simply has it worse. But Mundruczó and his filmmaking team get the basics so right that the movie's missteps don't matter much. Owing less to contemporary Hollywood films than to broad-brushstrokes silent-era melodramas, this is an image-and-sound driven example of purely cinematic storytelling. Throughout much of its running time, it achieves a dreamlike, sometimes nightmarish power. 

Lili is a child of divorce whose college professor mother leaves town to pursue a job opportunity for several months, leaving her in the care of her father Daniel (Sandor Zsoter), a slaughterhouse inspector who's first seen overseeing the evisceration of a dead cow. This gory sequence sets up the movie's world view: humans arrogantly carry themselves as if they have unquestioned dominion over all of nature, especially animals. They treat their fellow mammals as property while occasionally paying lip service to the idea that they're caretakers and companions. The blood flowing across the slaughterhouse floor psychically tints the whole movie. It says, "Society treats all animals as meat—and even if you think you're not part of that mentality, you probably are."

Daniel is an impatient and in some ways petty man. He barely tolerates his daughter's love for Hagen, and is deeply uncomfortable with letting the animal live with them in an apartment building that forbids unregistered street pets. (Hagen is a mixed-breed street dog who can't be kept legally anyway, unless Daniel pays a tax and gets a proper license.) When a nosy neighbor reports Hagen to animal control, "White God" turns into a harrowing tale of separation and reconciliation—a love story of sorts that explicitly invokes Richard Wagner's opera "Tannhäuser" in scenes where Lili plays trumpet in a high school orchestra overseen by an arrogant teacher-conductor. Over the course of the film, Hagen wanders the streets alone, dodges cars and forages for food, and eventually ends up being captured and brutally conditioned as a fighting dog before escaping to try to find his way back to his human friend (calling Lili an "owner" seems at odds with the movie's spirit).

But although the simple plot is articulated with great clarity, this is mainly a film of moments. And what moments! Mundruczó's and his cinematographer Marcell Rev shoot Lili and Hagen's story with a documentary-like immediacy, following much of the action with a handheld widescreen camera that's often placed at ground level, the better to show harsh urban landscapes through a dog's eyes. The cutting, by David Jancso, is fast, sometimes choppy and deliberately disorienting, to make us think that animals are actually fighting or suffering when what really we're seeing is cinematic sleight-of-hand.

But despite all these "gritty" affectations, the movie's tone is defiantly old-fashioned. The human characters are clearly defined as moral or immoral based on how much empathy they show towards animals. The movie approves or condemns them based on whether they treat the movie's street dogs as fellow beings, with feelings and inherent rights, or as property, or nuisances, or menaces to order.

The comparison to Stanley Kubrick's "Spartacus" is not offered lightly. "White God" is a slave revolt film in girl-and-her-dog drag, with Hagen as our intrepid hero and surrogate—much more so than Lili, who's appealing but never in as much immediate physical danger. We don't just want Hagen to escape his tormentors, the worst of whom is a dogfighting trainer who drugs him, tortures him and trains him to kill other dogs; we want him to seek revenge for humankind's collective crimes against his species—and we may not have thought of them as crimes until Mundruczó script laid them out for us, in a series of coolly observed, elegantly choreographed, often devastating set-pieces.

A brief interlude that shows Hagen being leashed and then sold by a homeless man drives home the idea of a ingrained and mostly unquestioned humans-above-animals hierarchy. The man is living in squalor and can barely feed himself, but he won't recognize the "humanity," such as it is, in the dog, because Hagen is "just" a dog—a resource to be turned around for a bit of money and a hot meal. An early scene of Hagen and other wild dogs being rousted by noose-toting animal control officers in a junkyard evokes Kubrick's Roman epic, as well as a "human roundup" scene in the original "Planet of the Apes," which was itself a not-too-subtle parable about slavery and bigotry. The dogfighting scenes are essentially gladiatorial arena scenes. There's an extraordinary moment where Hagen, who's forced to kill a fellow canine in combat, regards the body with what seems like moral revulsion. The scene is just a bag of editing 101 tricks—shot "A" plus shot "B" equals idea "C"—but it's sensationally effective because it's so unfussy and direct. It puts across the idea that Hagen is disgusted by what he's become, and furious at the conditions that pushed him to this point.

The use of classical music, including generous swaths of Wagner, is bold, and it's key to the film's magic; it confirms that "White God" is an unabashedly mythic melodrama that's always chasing the big moment, the grand gesture, the overwhelming feeling. When Mundruczó cuts from a dog fight to a shot of escaped dog running down a dark street, the camera tracking ahead of him at pooch-level, the drums pound and the string section swells, and you can feel your heart race. What's wrong will be made right.

s mazuk: Photo

All Content: Get Hard


If you love rape jokes, "Get Hard" is your movie.

This film about a car wash manager, Darnell (Kevin Hart), helping a convicted hedge fund manager prepare for a stint in maximum security prison is driven by fear of non-consensual buggery, mostly at the hands of looming African-American prisoners with deep voices. At its core, the story is about a wimpy White man's fear of being owned and "turned out" by Black men—treated as a "bitch," to use a word both characters employ pretty much constantly. The script has the hedge fund manager "training" for prison by bulking up, and learning to carry himself with more confidence, and fight, and talk "black." None of this will be a surprise to anyone who's seen the subway and bus poster, which shows the hedge fund manager, James, seated, his face frozen in a not-so-secretly terrified fake scowl, while the car wash owner Darnell stands behind him, braiding his hair into cornrows.

Before we go further, let the record reflect that nothing about this material is inherently unacceptable. To quote the title of a Steve Martin album, comedy isn't pretty. Few things are more antithetical to the idea of art—not to mention more unfunny and boring—than a comedy that's mainly concerned with proving how sensitive it is. Comedy can work in a lot of different modes and be funny, provocative, even brilliantly incisive. One of those modes is "tear the lid off the id and watch the razor-toothed fishies swim around." 

That happens to be the mode that great R-rated comedies like "Blazing Saddles," "Stir Crazy," "Office Space," "Friday," Roberto Benigni's "Monster," and the similar but vastly superior "Let's Go to Prison" all worked in. ("Would you like some Merlot?" Chi McBride's inmate asks his "Let's Go to Prison" lover. "I made it in the toilet.") This is the mode that "Get Hard" tries to work in, too. The film isn't set in an ideal world, but an exaggerated version of the world we're actually stuck with. This world is racist, homophobic, sexist, and a whole lot of other -ics and -ists. It's also driven by an urge for alpha male dominance, expressed through economic violence as well as prison rape. Somewhere in the "Get Hard" screenplay is a terrific if troubling germ of an idea: a rich, crooked white man is terrified that members of the American underclass will literally rape him, as his pals have been economically raping them for generations.

It's all fair game for Cohen. Too bad his skills are lacking. The first-time director's resume includes co-writing Ben Stiller's "Tropic Thunder," which wrung laughs from a white actor (Robert Downey, Jr.) in blackface, a Gentile actor (Tom Cruise) playing an outrageously greedy and grotesque Jewish agent, and a monologue about how Hollywood movie stars play characters with Down syndrome to prove their versatility ("never go full retard"). "Thunder" suffered from the "Get Hard" problem of trying to have its politically incorrect cake and eat it, too: Downey's and Cruise's characters were minstrel show doodles enclosed by air quotes. But it had moments of scathing insight, and it never entirely forgot that its main target of opportunity was the entitled cluelessness of Hollywood's elite. Cohen casts the "Get Hard" panic net wide enough to include Mexican-American gangbangers and white supremacists (showcased in a set-piece that seems modeled on the classic bit in "48 HRS" where Eddie Murphy intimidates a bar full of rednecks). And its distaste for the rich swells has a peculiar but appealing kind of outdated Bowery Boys populism: James's people aren't just wealthy, they're movie-wealthy, hanging out on yachts and golf courses and in the dining rooms of country clubs, and attending banquets where string quartets are interrupted by champagne toasts.

Unfortunately, "Get Hard" rarely rises to the level of "Tropic Thunder"'s better bits. Much of it plays as though a filmmaker who grew up watching "Stir Crazy" on HBO thought the scene where Richard Pryor taught Gene Wilder to walk and talk Black would be better if it lasted 90 minutes instead of 90 seconds. The film's not as clever as it seems to think it is. Certainly it's not clever enough to handle provocative, even explosive material without seeming cynical and opportunistic. It's a reactionary film posing as a provocative but basically liberal one. A lot of the time it acts as though it's boldly seeing through mindsets that it is actually just unveiling for the zillionth time. It wants us to think it's critiquing racism and cultural stereotypes, but that's mainly a pose—a pretext to get laughs from Will Ferrell dressed in "street" clothes, babbling barely coherent slang, and apologetically insisting "I'm not trying to appropriate your culture." (Few entertainment trends are as obnoxious as white "liberal" comedians being "ironically" bigoted, while tacitly telling audiences, "We all know nobody in this room is racist, so laugh it up!")

The film is also casually homophobic: at one point, Darnell gives up on teaching James to act tough and brings him to "the number one gay pickup spot" in Los Angeles so that he can learn to perform fellatio in the men's room. And it's misogynist, too. James's fiancee, played by Alison Brie of "Community," is a castrating harpy, and her counterpart on the underclass side of the fence, a young groupie who hangs with a street gang, fares no better—though at least Darnell's wife Rita (Edwina Findley) and daughter Makayla (Ariana Neal) come across as human beings rather than hateful parasites in their limited screen time.

Ferrell and Hart have their moments: the former once again displays his gift for surreal, improvised blurting, and the scene where Hart acts out a hypothetical encounter between a Black inmate, a Latino inmate and a gay hustler in a prison yard is Pryor-level great. But such moments are oases in a tedious whole, and none of them can dispel the feeling that "Get Hard" is trying to put one over on its audience and getting away with it. 

Arduino Blog: More than 250 groups in the world are celebrating Arduino Day!


Tomorrow we are celebrating Arduino and its community with a day of official and self-organised gatherings, encouraging people to meet and share their interest in open source DIY electronics with neighbors and friends. More than 250 user groups, makerspaces, hackerspaces, fablabs, schools, studios, and educators around the world joined us with a series of unique activities designed for a wide range of audiences and skillsets.

Like last year we created a map to identify all community events going on throughout Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa,  Australia and make it easier for you to find an event near you on the Arduino Day website . In 2015 even more collectives appeared on the map, you can explore them now clicking on the pic below:


The official events

Starting in the morning of Saturday 28th Arduino co-founders and staff are going to be in the following events:


To make this event a truly connected experience share your Arduino moments on social networks using the hashtag: #ArduinoD15

Triangle Triangle: Felicia Honkasalo

Felicia Honkasalo

Tea Masters: 2001 Xiaguan Tea Factory Jingua puerh (shu)

Quel étrange printemps Taiwanais! La semaine dernière, il fit si chaud qu'on se serait cru en été. Canicule et sécheresse. Mais depuis 7 jours, il pleut pratiquement sans arrêt sur le nord de l'ile et les températures ont chuté. Les réservoirs d'eau se remplissent à nouveau... mais je me reprends à avoir des envies de thé chaleureux. Cela tombe bien, car j'ai pu sélectionner ce melon de puerh cuit de Xiaguan de 2001!

Cette manufacture se reconnait notamment à sa compression bien dure. Il m'a fallu l'attaquer au couteau à puerh, une fois n'est pas coutume.

Sa forme de melon est plus nette que pour celui de la Menghai Tea Factory de 1989. On voit bien les marques du tissu qui compresse les feuilles.

Pour l'infuser, je choisis une Yixing zisha poreuse et plate. L'eau vient de la tetsubin (pour plus de goût). Et l'ambiance est classique et sombre (plateaux Qinghua sur Chabu noir). 
Ces plateaux en porcelaine bleu sur blanc représentent des paysages aux montagnes et d'eau. On y trouve aussi des petites habitations et quelques hommes qui se fondent dans ce cadre naturel et serein. Harmonie entre l'homme et la nature. Rien de tel que le thé pour communier avec cette belle nature!
La première infusion est bien noire. Je ne vous apprends rien! Là où je vais peut-être vous surprendre, c'est en vous disant que je l'ai bue cette toute première infusion! Moelleuse à souhait.
C'est un de mes critères de sélection: comme je ne fais pas de rinçage, j'exige de mes feuilles de thé qu'elles soient bien 'clean'. Cela explique aussi pourquoi j'ai tant de mal à trouver un puerh cuit à mon goût. Trop jeunes, ils ont souvent des goûts 'off' dus à leur fermentation, et quand ils sont vieux, c'est souvent leur stockage qui laisse à désirer!
Cette fois, c'est bien propre, doux et pur. Il a les odeurs d'un shu bien affiné. Il tient la route sur de nombreuses infusions. Il apporte chaleur et bien-être. J'adore! Et comme il est plus jeune, son prix est tout à fait raisonnable pour une telle qualité.
Et, petit miracle, le soleil fit son apparition lors de son coucher!

Open Culture: An Online Gallery of Over 900,000 Breathtaking Photos of Historic New York City

Grand Central

What is any major American city if not an industrial gallery bustling with people and machines? Sometimes the images are bleak, as with the photo essays that often circulate of Detroit’s beautiful ruin; sometimes they are defiantly hopeful, as with those of the rising of New Orleans; and sometimes they are almost unfathomably monumental, as with the images here of New York City, circa the 20th century—or a great good bit of it, anyway.

Queensboro Bridge

You can survey almost a hundred years of New York’s indomitable grandeur by perusing over 900,000 images from the New York City Municipal Archives Online Gallery. Photos like the astonishing tableaux in a sunlight-flooded Grand Central Terminal at the top (taken sometime between 1935 and 41) and like the breathtaking scale on display in the 1910 exposure of the Queensboro Bridge, above.


The online gallery features large-format photos of the human, like the sea of bathers above; of the human-made, like the vaulted, cavernous City Hall subway station below; and of the melding of the two, like the painters posing on the cables of the Brooklyn Bridge, further down.

City Hall Station

These images come from a selection of photos culled from the various galleries by The Atlantic. For more, see the NYC Municipal Archives site, which you can search by keyword or other criteria. “Visitors,” writes the site, “are encouraged to return frequently as new content will be added on a regular basis. Patrons may order reproductions in the form of prints or digital files.”

Brooklyn Bridge

Many of the images have watermarks on them to prevent illegal use. Nonetheless the gallery is a jaw-dropping collection of photos you can easily get lost in for hours, as well as an important resource for historians and scholars of 20th century American urbanism. See The Atlantic’s selection of images for even more dazzling photos. Or better yet, start rummaging through the New York City Municipal Archives Online Gallery right here.

Related Content:

New York Public Library Puts 20,000 Hi-Res Maps Online & Makes Them Free to Download and Use

Great New Archive Lets You Hear the Sounds of New York City During the Roaring 20s

Vintage Video: A New York City Subway Train Travels From 14th St. to 42nd Street (1905)

Designer Massimo Vignelli Revisits and Defends His Iconic 1972 New York City Subway Map

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

An Online Gallery of Over 900,000 Breathtaking Photos of Historic New York City is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post An Online Gallery of Over 900,000 Breathtaking Photos of Historic New York City appeared first on Open Culture.

Paper Bits: "Driving imposes a pressure of responsibility on the driver, which is felt unconsciously even by..."

“Driving imposes a pressure of responsibility on the driver, which is felt unconsciously even by people who otherwise love the speed and power of it and the options it brings.”

- Clarkson Agonistes

Planet Haskell: Jan Stolarek: The basics of coinduction

I don’t remember when I first heard the terms “coinduction” and “corecursion” but it must have been quite long ago. I had this impression that they are yet another of these difficult theoretical concepts and that I should learn about them one day. That “one day” happened recently while reading chapter 5 of “Certified Programming with Dependent Types”. It turns out that basics of coinduction are actually quite simple. In this post I’ll share with you what I already know on the subject.

Recursion in Haskell

Let’s begin with looking at Haskell because it is a good example of language not formalizing coinduction in any way. Two features of Haskell are of interest to us. First one is laziness. Thanks to Haskell being lazy we can write definitions like these (in GHCi):

ghci> let ones = 1 : ones
ghci> let fib = zipWith (+) (1:fib) (1:1:fib)

ones is – as the name implies – an infinite sequence (list) of ones. fib is a sequence of Fibonacci numbers. Both these definitions produce infinite lists but we can use these definitions safely because laziness allows us to force a finite number of elements in the sequence:

ghci> take 5 ones
ghci> take 10 fib

Now consider this definition:

ghci> let inf = 1 + inf

No matter how hard we try there is no way to use the definition of inf in a safe way. It always causes an infinite loop:

ghci> (0 /= inf)
*** Exception: <<loop>>

The difference between definitions of ones or fib an the definition of inf is that the former use something what is called a guarded recursion. The term guarded comes from the fact that recursive reference to self is hidden under datatype constructor (or: guarded by a constructor). The way lazy evaluation is implemented gives a guarantee that we can stop the recursion by not evaluating the recursive constructor argument. This kind of infinite recursion can also be called productive recursion, which means that although recursion is infinite each recursive call is guaranteed to produce something (in my examples either a 1 or next Fibonacci number). By contrast recursion in the definition of inf is not guarded or productive in any way.

Haskell happily accepts the definition of inf even though it is completely useless. When we write Haskell programs we of course don’t want them to fall into silly infinite loops but the only tool we have to prevent us from writing such code is our intelligence. Situation changes when it comes to….

Dependently-typed programming languages

These languages deeply care about termination. By “termination” I mean ensuring that a program written by the user is guaranteed to terminate for any input. I am aware of two reasons why these languages care about termination. First reason is theoretical: without termination the resulting language is inconsistent as logic. This happens because non-terminating term can prove any proposition. Consider this non-terminating Coq definition:

Fixpoint evil (A : Prop) : A := evil A.

If that definition was accepted we could use it to prove any proposition. Recall that when it comes to viewing types as proofs and programs as evidence “proving a proposition” means constructing a term of a given type. evil would allow to construct a term inhabiting any type A. (Prop is a kind of logical propositions so A is a type.) Since dependently-typed languages aim to be consistent logics they must reject non-terminating programs. Second reason for checking termination is practical: dependently typed languages admit functions in type signatures. If we allowed non-terminating functions then typechecking would also become non-terminating and again this is something we don’t want. (Note that Haskell gives you UndecidableInstances that can cause typechecking to fall into an infinite loop).

Now, if you paid attention on your Theoretical Computer Science classes all of this should ring a bell: the halting problem! The halting problem says that the problem of determining whether a given Turing machine (read: a given computer program) will ever terminate is undecidable. So how is that possible that languages like Agda, Coq or Idris can answer that question? That’s simple: they are not Turing-complete (or at least their terminating subsets are not Turing complete). They prohibit user from using some constructs, probably the most important one being general recursion. Think of general recursion as any kind of recursion imaginable. Dependently typed languages require structural recursion on subterms of the arguments. That means that if a function receives an argument of an inductive data type (think: algebraic data type/generalized algebraic data type) then you can only make recursive calls on terms that are syntactic subcomponents of the argument. Consider this definition of map in Idris:

map : (a -> b) -> List a -> List b
map f []      = []
map f (x::xs) = f x :: map f xs

In the second equation we use pattern matching to deconstruct the list argument. The recursive call is made on xs, which is structurally smaller then the original argument. This guarantees that any call to map will terminate. There is a silent assumption here that the List A argument passed to map is finite, but with the rules given so far it is not possible to construct infinite list.

So we just eliminated non-termination by limiting what can be done with recursion. This means that our Haskell definitions of ones and fib would not be accepted in a dependently-typed language because they don’t recurse on an argument that gets smaller and as a result they construct an infinite data structure. Does that mean we are stuck with having only finite data structures? Luckily, no.

Coinduction to the rescue

Coinduction provides a way of defining and operating on infinite data structures as long as we can prove that our operations are safe, that is they are guarded and productive. In what follows I will use Coq because it seems that it has better support for coinduction than Agda or Idris (and if I’m wrong here please correct me).

Coq, Agda and Idris all require that a datatype that can contain infinite values has a special declaration. Coq uses CoInductive keyword instead of Inductive keyword used for standard inductive data types. In a similar fashion Idris uses codata instead of data, while Agda requires ∞ annotation on a coinductive constructor argument.

Let’s define a type of infinite nat streams in Coq:

CoInductive stream : Set :=
| Cons : nat -> stream -> stream.

I could have defined a polymorphic stream but for the purpose of this post stream of nats will do. I could have also defined a Nil constructor to allow finite coinductive streams – declaring data as coinductive means it can have infinite values, not that it must have infinite values.

Now that we have infinite streams let’s revisit our examples from Haskell: ones and fib. ones is simple:

CoFixpoint ones : stream := Cons 1 ones.

We just had to use CoFixpoint keyword to tell Coq that our definition will be corecursive and it is happily accepted even though a similar recursive definition (ie. using Fixpoint keyword) would be rejected. Allow me to quote directly from CPDT:

whereas recursive definitions were necessary to use values of recursive inductive types effectively, here we find that we need co-recursive definitions to build values of co-inductive types effectively.

That one sentence pins down an important difference between induction and coinduction.

Now let’s define zipWith and try our second example fib:

CoFixpoint zipWith (f : nat -> nat -> nat) (a : stream)
                   (b : stream) : stream :=
  match a, b with
    | Cons x xs, Cons y ys > Cons (f x y) (zipWith f xs ys)
CoFixpoint fib : stream :=
   zipWith plus (Cons 1 fib) (Cons 1 (Cons 1 fib)).

Unfortunately this definition is rejected by Coq due to “unguarded recursive call”. What exactly goes wrong? Coq requires that all recursive calls in a corecursive definition are:

  1. direct arguments to a data constructor
  2. not inside function arguments

Our definition of fib violates the second condition – both recursive calls to fib are hidden inside arguments to zipWith function. Why does Coq enforce such a restriction? Consider this simple example:

Definition tl (s : stream) : stream :=
  match s with
    | Cons _ tl' => tl'
CoFixpoint bad : stream := tl (Cons 1 bad).

tl is a standard tail function that discards the first element of a stream and returns its tail. Just like our definition of fib the definition of bad places the corecursive call inside a function argument. I hope it is easy to see that accepting the definition of bad would lead to non-termination – inlining definition of tl and simplifying it leads us to:

CoFixpoint bad : stream := bad.

and that is bad. You might be thinking that the definition of bad really has no chance of working whereas our definition of fib could in fact be run safely without the risk of non-termination. So how do we persuade Coq that our corecursive definition of fib is in fact valid? Unfortunately there seems to be no simple answer. What was meant to be a simple exercise in coinduction turned out to be a real research problem. This past Monday I spent well over an hour with my friend staring at the code and trying to come up with a solution. We didn’t find one but instead we found a really nice paper “Using Structural Recursion for Corecursion” by Yves Bertot and Ekaterina Komendantskaya. The paper presents a way of converting definitions like fib to a guarded and productive form accepted by Coq. Unfortunately the converted definition looses the linear computational complexity of the original definition so the conversion method is far from perfect. I encourage to read the paper. It is not long and is written in a very accessible way. Another set of possible solutions is given in chapter 7 of CPDT but I am very far from labelling them as “accessible”.

I hope this post demonstrates that basics ideas behind coinduction are actually quite simple. For me this whole subject of coinduction looks really fascinating and I plan to dive deeper into it. I already have my eyes set on several research papers about coinduction so there’s a good chance that I’ll write more about it in future posts.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Rebus

New comic!
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Colossal: Delicate Pressed Fern Leaf Illustrations by Helen Ahpornsiri


Artist and illustrator Helen Ahpornsiri creates incredible pressed fern illustrations from her studio in East Sussex. Tiny bits of stems and leaves are arranged on paper to create butterflies, dragonflies, and birds scarcely larger than a coin. Many of her pieces are available as prints on Etsy (along with a few originals), and you can also follow her on Instagram. (via The Kid Should See This)












explodingdog: New framed print from 2012 drawing

New framed print from 2012 drawing

All Content: While We're Young


Noah Baumbach’s latest film, “While We’re Young,” begins with the image of an adorable infant with a sweetly tinkling lullaby version of David Bowie’s “Golden Years” playing in the background. It’s a contrast that perfectly encapsulates the film’s push-pull between the wisdom of age and the optimism of youth, as well as the balance it strikes between zesty ambition and quiet resignation.

Baumbach’s lead characters—a longtime husband and wife played with a natural, lived-in chemistry by Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts—are so vocal about how content they are as childless New Yorkers in their mid-40s that it’s clear they’re protesting too much. And yet, when they strike up an unlikely friendship with a spirited couple in their mid-20s, they can’t help but get sucked into their energetic vortex. As writer and director, Baumbach allows us to enjoy the silliness of the older couple’s newfound lust for life, whether it manifests itself in a trendy fedora or a hip-hop dance class. But since he’s the same age as Stiller and Watts’ characters, he’s also decent to them in their awkward fumblings. He is them, and they are us.

At the same time, he offers a biting yet affectionate skewering of Brooklyn hipster culture through the characters of Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried, both for its ridiculousness and ubiquity as well as for the way it makes the rest of us feel impossibly old. The details are delightfully dead-on. These are people who make artisanal ice cream, ride bicycles everywhere, play board games and only listen to music on vinyl. (That golden oldie “All Night Long” by Lionel Richie is among their favorites.) But there’s a catch: While Driver and Seyfried and their friends are actively retro, they also possess a generational entitlement—an expectation that they should have whatever they want, and have it now, without having to work too hard to get it.

Stiller’s Josh, by comparison, has worked way too hard over the past decade on a dense and overlong documentary about intellectualism and power and some such; I won’t even bother trying to explain it to you because watching Josh try to explain it is amusing enough. His wife, Cornelia, is a smart and seasoned producer whose father (an underused Charles Grodin) is a pioneer of the genre along the lines of a Maysles or a Pennebaker. Josh yearns for such greatness and esteem, but it has eluded him. The character is a perfect fit for Stiller’s patented mix of restlessness and self-deprecation; more so than the one he played in Baumbach’s more dramatic “Greenberg.”

Yet Josh feels rejuvenated when Driver’s character, the wide-eyed and warmhearted Jamie, shows up to audit the college class he teaches and fawns all over him. An aspiring documentarian himself, he quickly becomes Josh’s new BFF; meanwhile, Jamie’s wife and constant companion, Seyfried’s foul-mouthed Darby, befriends Cornelia and impresses her with an effortless cool. Through zippy and well-crafted use of montage and production design, Baumbach beautifully reveals the contrasts in these two couples’ lives.

There are traces of Woody Allen at work here as “While We’re Young” vividly makes fun of a specific subculture of hyper-articulate New York denizen, as well as the way its characters try to stave off the malaise of aging by clinging to characters who radiate the exotic promise of youth. But it also takes a clear-eyed look at the narcissism that can result from settling into a smug life of parenthood and domesticity, as evidenced by Josh and Cornelia’s former BFFs, played sharply by Maria Dizzia and Adam Horovitz. (Better known as Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys, Horovitz is great in this—a total natural and a surprising source of a calm and stability in a film full of flux.)

But “While We’re Young” takes a turn in the third act as it grapples with some ethical dilemmas, and it doesn’t quite work. It becomes angrier and heavier as Josh uses his inquisitive nature to unearth some dark truths—both about himself and his new friends. It feels like a totally different movie as it reaches its very public climax, and an inferior one.

Many Baumbach movies feature brilliant but immature people doing terrible things to each other (“The Squid and the Whale”, “Margot at the Wedding”) and “While We’re Young” is no exception. The observant and mocking humor that makes the film’s first two-thirds so breezy and enjoyable gives way to shattering realizations, but Baumbach ultimately tempers that instinct somewhat by exhibiting genuine sympathy for Stiller’s character.

“While We’re Young” searches for the blurry line we all cross once we’ve entered middle age, finds it and tramples all over it, but it does so with kindness for those of us who’ve made that inevitable journey and survived with some dignity intact.

BOOOOOOOM!: Jordy van den Nieuwendijk


Paintings by artist Jordy van den Nieuwendijk. More images below.

View the whole post: Jordy van den Nieuwendijk over on BOOOOOOOM!.

BOOOOOOOM!: Animation of the Day: Dan Deacon “When I Was Done Dying”


Animators Jake Fried, Chad Vangaalen, Dimitri Stankowicz, Colin White, Taras Hrabowsky, Anthony Schepperd, Masanobu Hiraoka, KOKOFreakbean and Caleb Wood were recently tapped to create a special episode of Adult Swim’s Off The Air. The piece seamlessly weaves its way through different interpretations of the afterlife, set to the tune of Dan Deacon’s “When I Was Done Dying”.

The stills I’ve pulled here all come from Masanobu Hiraoka’s section of the film because he’s my favourite and his work is next level (proof).

Watch the animation below!

View the whole post: Animation of the Day: Dan Deacon “When I Was Done Dying” over on BOOOOOOOM!.

The Rhizome Frontpage RSS: Live Action Role Painting

.. Blog: AMS color sensor for mobile devices improves accuracy and offers new light source detection capability


TCS3490 intelligent color sensor’s accurate measurement of color temperature and ambient light intensity enables sophisticated display color management control for smartphones, tablets, notebooks and digital still cameras

ams AG released the TCS3490, a color sensor for portable devices which is ideally suited for light source detection when operating under a wide range of light sources.
Providing accurate color and light intensity measurements, the TCS3490 enables designers of portable devices such as smartphones and tablets to implement more sophisticated display management and brightness control.

This integrated five-channel color sensor has extremely accurate measurements of the Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) of light. As sensors continue to proliferate in today’s mobile electronics market, manufacturers of mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops can use these measurements to dynamically adapt the display’s color palette to provide the user with a superior viewing experience.

AMS color sensor for mobile devices improves accuracy and offers new light source detection capability - [Link]

Open Culture: Download 100,000 Free Art Images in High-Resolution from The Getty

Abandoned Dust Bowl Home

When I want to get a good look at the city of Los Angeles, I go up to the Getty Center in the Santa Monica Mountains. I can also, of course, get a pretty good look at some art at the museum there. But if I don’t feel like making that trek up the hill — and if you don’t feel like making the trek from wherever you live — The Getty can give you, in some ways, an even better way to look at art online. Just visit the Getty’s Open Content Program.

Japanese Ladies

Seeing as this sort of free cultural resource fits right into our wheelhouse here at Open Culture, we’ve tried to keep you posted on the archive’s development over the past few years. Last time we passed the word along, the Getty’s digital public-domain archive of high-resolution images had grown to 87,000, and now it has nearly hit the 100,000 mark (99,989, to be exact)— which sounds to us like just the time to keep you posted on what you can find therein.

Rue Mosnier

In its current state (which promises further expansion still), the Getty’s Open Content Program offers images like Abandoned Dust Bowl Home (top image), Dorothea Lange’s vividly stark evocation of Depression-era American desolation, as well as other photographic time (and place) capsules, such as Kusakabe Kimbei’s hand-colored prints of life in late 19th- and early 20th-century Japan (Japanese Ladies pictured here); impressionist canvases like Édouard Manet’s 1878 The Rue Mosnier with Flagsand even views of Los Angeles itself, like Carleton Watkins’ shot of the city’s plaza circa 1880.

Plaza Los Angeles

To download an image for which you’ve searched, you first need to click on that image’s title. That link takes you to the image’s own page (like those we linked to in the paragraph just above), where you’ll find a download link. Look for the word “download” beneath the image, and then click that link. It’s just that simple — far simpler, in any case, than visual access to such a range of artwork has ever been before. Though if you do make it to Los Angeles, don’t hesitate to make the effort to visit the Getty Center; the tram that takes you up to it makes for a pretty fascinating cultural experience and view of the city in and of itself.

Related Content:

The Getty Adds Another 77,000 Images to its Open Content Archive

Download 35,000 Works of Art from the National Gallery, Including Masterpieces by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Rembrandt & More

Download Over 250 Free Art Books From the Getty Museum

40,000 Artworks from 250 Museums, Now Viewable for Free at the Redesigned Google Art Project

LA County Museum Makes 20,000 Artistic Images Available for Free Download

The Rijksmuseum Puts 125,000 Dutch Masterpieces Online, and Lets You Remix Its Art

Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture as well as the video series The City in Cinema and writes essays on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Download 100,000 Free Art Images in High-Resolution from The Getty is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post Download 100,000 Free Art Images in High-Resolution from The Getty appeared first on Open Culture.

All Content: Home


While watching “Home,” a comical animated spin on alien-attack thrillers with the usual tacked-on touchy-feely messages, I began to get bored as did the families seated around me. Rare is the child-filled theater that falls silent during the opening minutes of any movie, especially when they should have been laughing at Steve Martin’s supposed wild-and-crazy vocals as Smek, the daffy leader of a nomadic race of pastel-hued outer-space blobs known as the Boov.

Then I started to grow nostalgic. Before donning cheap plastic 3-D glasses was considered de rigueur and when artists still prided themselves on drawing images by hand, Disney made a brave move and released the two-dimensional  “Lilo & Stitch” in 2002—just as the computerized revolution that began with “Toy Story” and continued with “Shrek” and “Ice Age” was about to make such non-CG cartoon titles nearly obsolete.

Somehow, this disarming story about a lonely orphaned Hawaiian girl whose best pal is an ill-tempered fugitive space creature that looks like a mutant koala bear and acts like John Belushi at an all-day buffet found its way into the hearts of moviegoers.

It didn’t rely on a green ogre picking wax out of his trumpet ears or a squirrel-rat being continually tortured by the forces of nature. The charming oddity managed to capture the spirit of the islands by extolling the concept of “ohana,” which celebrates family and unity, while spinning Elvis Presley oldies on its soundtrack. Whatever sci-fi  elements were involved were kept to a minimum. Instead, the focus was on appealing characters, relatable relationships and delightful forays into Polynesian kitsch. And, despite being an underdog, the low-tech Oscar nominee for best animated feature ended up saying “aloha” to $271 million in ticket sales worldwide. 

How the animation world has changed and not always for the better. I kept thinking about “Lilo & Stitch” while watching “Home,” a decidedly disappointing effort based on the popular kid-lit book “The True Meaning of Smekday” from the already embattled folks at DreamWorks Animation. After “How to Train Your Dragon 2” lost to Disney’s “Big Hero 6” at the Academy Awards and “Penguins of Madagascar” underperformed last fall, the studio needed its lone offering this year to be a substantial leap forward instead of this obvious exercise in playing it safe. 

I longed for relief from all the relentless joking, the antsy visuals overflowing with bubbles and the frantic pacing as the Boov overtake Earth and kick humans to the curb. Much of the plot is amazingly similar to “Lilo & Stitch”: Tip (voiced with verve by Rihanna), a pre-teen girl originally from Barbados who somehow evaded the intergalactic interlopers, encounters a socially awkward Boov named Oh (Jim Parsons from TV’s “The Big Bang Theory”). Oh, who eschews contractions when he speaks (a lot of “do nots” and “cannots”) in a supposedly amusing patois, is on the run after mistakenly alerting his race’s mortal enemy to the location of their new digs.

Besides surviving on what looks like cans of Chef Boyardee, Tip is desperate to find her mother (Jennifer Lopez ) who was whisked away to an unknown locale with the rest of humanity. That leads her to initially mistrust Oh and lock him in a convenience store cooler. He cutely stares through the glass and asks repeatedly, “Can I come in from the out now?” 

While most of the Boov tend to be cowardly and lack the personal skills needed to make friends, they are quite adept when it comes to gadgets and useful tools. Oh wins Tip over by reconfiguring her damaged car into a flying vehicle by using the store’s snack machines, with slushie drinks providing the fuel. Consider that one of the flavors is called “Busta Lime,” a gag repeated at least three times, and that will tell you all you need to know about the level of the humor. From there, “Home” turns into a globe-spanning road trip adventure shared by the Tip, her cat named Pig and Oh. 

What I wanted to do was to get to know Tip and Oh a bit better before they got to gawk at a Boovified Statue of Liberty and endanger the Eiffel Tower. But mostly they argue incessantly and quite loudly until they naturally become bosom buddies. There are some clever moments, such as Oh’s big dance number to Stargate’s “Dancing in the Dark.” However, we then have to listen to Tip say, “Shake your Boov thing.” Matters could be worse. Oh in the book is named—wait for it—J. Lo. One assumes that is why Ms. Lopez was hired since she gets only a handful of lines and sings one song on the soundtrack (Rihanna, however, gets a bunch of tunes).

Mostly, I was disturbed by some story points that should have been addressed from the beginning. Yes, the Boov can manipulate gravity to their advantage. But since when do Earthlings simply act like sheep and not rebel when outsiders force them into mass captivity? Did no one even attempt to fight back? Did the president or the military just surrender? Strangely, when we are shown where they are exiled, it appears to be a theme park (dubbed Happy Humantown) with rides, ice cream cones and smiling faces. And why is Tip apparently the only one who managed to avoid being sucked up into a giant vacuum tube and taken away by these creatures who look like a cross between a jellyfish and an eraser?

You do not submit, people. Has no one seen “War of the Worlds” or, if they have more arcane tastes, “Mars Attacks!”?

It is too bad that “Home” isn’t better since it does offer a much-needed break from one unfortunate tradition at DreamWorks. Tip is not just one of the studio’s few female main characters (I count two others: Susan aka Ginormica in “Monsters vs. Aliens” and Gloria the hippo in the “Madagascar” series). She is the first female lead of color, complete with beautiful natural hair and real-girl body proportions.

As it concluded (with another dance number, of course, because you got to shake that Boov thing as much as possible), “Home” did make me appreciate one thing: Being able to head back to my home and dig out my copy of “Lilo & Stitch.”

All Content: Serena


Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence have brought such energy and chemistry to their relationships in their scenes together in “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle” that viewers may be tempted to give their latest collaboration some attention despite the stories of post-production drama and bad buzz that has accompanied it. I certainly approached it with an It Can’t Be THAT Bad attitude, largely due to my admiration for its stars, but also because I’ve respected director Susanne Bier’s work in the past (particularly “Brothers” and “After the Wedding”). Ten minutes in, one can tell something is wrong with “Serena”. By the misguided ending, it’s a flat-out disaster, the kind of film that its cast and crew hope gets buried as quickly as possible as they race to move on to other projects. Given the fact that it was filmed almost three years ago, Cooper and Lawrence have likely forgotten they made it by now. Follow their lead.

It is Depression-era North Carolina and George Pemberton (Cooper) seems to be one of the few successful businessmen in his mountainous region, running a flourishing timber empire. With the assistance of a business partner named Buchanan (David Dencik) and a spiritually-guided hunter named Galloway (Rhys Ifans), the Pemberton name is becoming well-known, although the local Sheriff (Toby Jones) suspects something is afoot. Into this empire falls a Lady MacBeth in the form of Serena Shaw (Jennifer Lawrence), who quickly becomes Serena Pemberton (over such memorable lines as “I think we should be married.” Smile. End scene.)

Serena rubs everyone but George the wrong way. She barges into the lumber company ordering people around and accusing them of doing six months of work in nine months. She is clearly designed as a force of change, first feeling competition for George’s business from Buchanan and then feeling competition for his legacy from a townswoman who happens to be the mother to George’s illegitimate child. But Serena, despite Lawrence’s best efforts isn’t a character. She has melodramatic emotions and plot twists forced upon her with no depth or thematic resonance to any of it. She bends to the will of a manipulative narrative as if no one ever paused to answer questions of motive or back story for this character. Why does she feel so strongly for George? Why does she take center stage in one scene but pull back in another? She is maddeningly inconsistent, and so the film has a thematic vacuum in the middle of its narrative. Who is the title character and why do we care about her should be two of the first questions asked when crafting a screenplay like “Serena”. They never were here.

It doesn’t help that Bier finds a way to over-direct and under-direct in alternately frustrating manners. The first act is filled with an overuse of score, gauzy camerawork and slow-mo montages of people riding horseback and making love by candlelight. But as the narrative gets darker and death enters this little world, Bier loses the romantic, old-fashioned filmmaking style, and the entire affair just becomes dour and depressing, which is all the more startling given the two typically-vibrant actors who star in it. None of it feels organic, genuine, or even moderately entertaining. It is a film in which performers and crew go through the motions in such a way that one can sense that they knew, long before production wrapped, that something was wrong. Maybe that’s why it took so long to come out. Even the people who made it didn’t want to finish it. Blog: Does a universal signal relay exist?


To tell the truth, probably no, but we have for you a few hints for relays which are very close to an ideal.

Signal relay is almost an „ideal component“ thanks to a practically zero distortion and a total isolation of a switched signal from a control one. That is naturally one of the main features of all electromechanical relays, but at signal relays it´s especially valued, as we usually require switching of relatively small signals. Favorite and widely used are for example relays Fujitsu series B3 and B4 (miniature SMT and THT relays) and series AxW (miniature only 5mm high relay) – all with bifurcated gold-plated contacts for a high reliability.

A novelty in our portfolio is the series Fujitsu NA representing something like a “golden middle way “. With dimensions 7,4×14,9×9,7 mm it belongs to narrow miniature relay enabling a high density of components on a PCB. Even though relay NA is somewhat bigger than for example series B4, but it´s able to withstand higher AC current – up to 0.5A/125VAC (vs. 0.3A at series B4) and it also provides an extreme mechanical lifetime up to 100×106 , what´s approximately twice that of B4 series. Sensitive coils, with a consumption of 0.1-0.3W at majority of types enable a dense mounting without problems with overheating.

From the point of view of the lowest possible consumption are naturally the best latching relays (with a permanent magnet) controlled only by pulses. Usually they´re easy to recognize by a letter „L“ behind the series marking (for example NAL, JSL). In a Fujitsu signal relays overview and the Fujitsu catalogue can be easily found a comparison among particular types as well as detailed information about them. We try to keep the most favorite types always on stock, what´s also reflected in the substantial increasing of stock.

Does a universal signal relay exist? - [Link]



This past year the mural arts festival known as Pow! Wow! grew leaps and bounds, hosting their largest event yet, in Honolulu, Hawaii, and launching a satellite event in Taipei, Taiwan.

This month they continued their rapid expansion by partnering with SXSW and SprATX to bring some mural artists to the city of Austin, Texas. Rone (seen above), Tatiana Suarez, Kamea Hadar, Yoskay Yamamoto, Jeff Gress, Ana Maria, and Meggs were among the attending artists.

More photos (shot by Brandon Shigeta) below.

View the whole post: POW! WOW! SXSW over on BOOOOOOOM!. Blog: Scientists Pursue Super-Fast Material


by R. Colin Johnson @

PORTLAND, Oregon — Scientists trying to fulfill the 80-year-old dream of Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner, recently discovered how to place crystalline lattices of pure electrons in the bottom of a silicon-encased quantum well. The resulting material promises electron mobility more than 200 times greater than that of graphene and more than 1,700 times that of crystalline silicon.

So far, the work is still at the level of fundamental physics, but if researchers make the kind of advances they anticipate they could open a door to significant applications in semiconductors.

Scientists Pursue Super-Fast Material - [Link]

BOOOOOOOM!: Yannick Fournié


Paintings by French artist Yannick Fournié that feature characterss identities hidden beneath Luchador masks.  Continue below to see more paintings by Yannick.

View the whole post: Yannick Fournié over on BOOOOOOOM!.

BOOOOOOOM!: Craftsy: Drawing The Human Face


This week our sponsor is Craftsy, a resource for downloadable guides and online courses for aspiring artists looking to pick up some fundamentals. If you never went to art school this might be helpful for you. They’re currently offering a free downloadable eGuide on “Drawing the Human Face”.

The eGuide gives you tips for things like drawing hair, placing facial features, and adding a little life to eyes. If you’re interested: Download the eGuide for free.


View the whole post: Craftsy: Drawing The Human Face over on BOOOOOOOM!.

Michael Geist: Quebec Takes on the Internet: Government Announces Plans to Require Website Blocking & Studies New Internet Access Tax

The Government of Quebec released its budget yesterday featuring two Internet-related measures that are sure to attract attention and possible litigation. First, it is moving forward with plans to study a new tax on residential Internet services in order to provide support for the cultural sector. The study was recommended by the Quebec Taxation Review Committee, which is looking for new sources of revenue to support the movie, music, and book publishing industries. There are no further details on how much an ISP tax would be, though the plan would increase Internet access costs at the very time that governments are concerned with improving affordability.

Second, the government says it will be introducing a new law requiring ISPs to block access to online gambling sites. The list of blocked sites will be developed by Loto-Quebec, a government agency. The budget states:

A legislative amendment will be proposed to introduce an illegal website filtering measure. In accordance with this measure, Internet service providers will not be allowed to provide access to an online gaming and gambling website whose name is on a list of websites that are to be blocked, drawn up by Loto-Québec. This measure will be applied by the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux, which should have the necessary resources to fulfil its new responsibilities.

The government views this as a revenue enhancing measure because it wants to channel gamblers to its own Espacejeux, the Loto-Quebec run online gaming site. A November 2014 report found that Espacejeux was not meeting revenue targets since people were using other sites. It believes that the website blocking will increase government revenues by $13.5 million in 2016-17 and $27 million per year thereafter.

This is a remarkable and possibly illegal plan as the government seeks to censor the Internet for its own commercial gain. The plan would likely face a legal challenge, both on free speech and jurisdictional grounds, since the telecommunication regulations fall within federal jurisdiction (Quebec will counter that provinces are empowered to regulate gambling and consumer protection).

More importantly, website blocking in Canada has been exceedingly rare. Canadian Internet providers block access to some child pornography images under the Cleanfeed Canada initiative, but the blocking is not legislatively mandated and involves images that are illegal to access. Online gambling sites are not illegal to view and to legislate blocking for commercial gain sets a dangerous Canadian precedent. In fact, once blocking gaming and gambling sites is established, it is easy to envision the government requiring blocking of sites that are alleged to infringe copyright or blocking e-commerce sites that are not bilingual or do not pay provincial taxes.

The post Quebec Takes on the Internet: Government Announces Plans to Require Website Blocking & Studies New Internet Access Tax appeared first on Michael Geist.

Planet Haskell: Well-Typed.Com: Qualified Goals in the Cabal Solver

When you ask cabal-install to install one or more packages, it needs to solve a constraint satisfaction problem: select a version for each of the packages you want to install, plus all their dependencies, such that all version constraints are satisfied. Those version constraints come both from the user (“please install lens version 4”) and from the packages themselves (“this package relies on mtl between version 2.1 and 2.2”). Internally cabal-install uses a modular constraint solver, written by Andres Löh. It was first presented at the Haskell Implementor’s Workshop in 2011, and is based on the paper Modular lazy search for Constraint Satisfaction Problems.

For the Industrial Haskell Group, Well-Typed has recently extended the constraint solver to deal with qualified goals. In this blog post we will explain how this constraint solver works by means of a running example, and look at how the new qualified goals change things.

Overview of the Solver

The ability to be able to decouple generating solutions from finding the right one is one of the classical reasons why functional programming matters, and cabal-install’s constraint solver makes very heavy use of this. It first builds a tree with lots of “solutions”; solutions in quotes because many of these solutions will not be valid. It then validates these solutions, marking any invalid ones. This might still leave many possible solutions, so after this we apply some preferences (we prefer newer packages over older ones for example) and heuristics (we want to pick the version of base that is already installed, no point considering others) and then it uses the first solution it finds (if any).

It is very important to realize throughout all this that these trees are never built in their entirety. We depend on laziness to only evaluate as much as necessary. A key design principle throughout the solver is that we must have enough information at each node in the tree to be able to make local decisions. Any step that would require looking at the tree in its entirety would be a big no-no.

In the remainder of this section we will see what these different steps look like using a running example.

Building the tree

Suppose we have a package database with base version 4.0, mtl versions 1.0 and 2.0, both of which depend on base, and a package foo that depends on both base and mtl version 2.0.

When we ask cabal to install package foo, it constructs a search tree that looks something like this:

GoalChoice nodes, shown as G nodes in the diagram, represent points where we decide on which package to solve for next. Initially we have only one option: we need to solve for package foo. Similarly, PChoice nodes P represent points where we decide on a package version. Since there is only one version of foo available, we again only have one choice.

Once we have chosen foo version 1.0, we need to solve for foo's dependencies: base and mtl. We don’t know which we should solve for first; the order in which we consider packages may affect how quickly we find a solution, and which solution we return (since we will eventually report the first solution we find). When we build the tree we essentially make a arbitary decision (depending on which order we happen to find the dependencies), and we record the decision using a GoalChoice node. Later we can traverse the tree and apply local heuristics to these GoalChoice nodes (for instance, we might want to consider base before mtl).

In the remainder of the tree we then pick a version for mtl (here we do have a choice in version), and then a version for base, or the other way around. Note that when we build the tree, package constraints are not yet applied: in the tree so far there is nothing that reflects the fact that foo wants version 2.0 of mtl, and every path ends with a Done node D, indicating success. Indeed, we would get precisely the same tree if we have a package DB

where foo depends on either version of mtl.


Once we have built the tree, we then walk over the tree and verify package constraints. As soon as we detect a violation of a constraint on a given path we replace that node in the tree with a failure node. For the above example this gives us the following tree:

Paths through the tree that lead to failure are not removed from the tree, but are replaced by explicit failure F. This helps with generating a good error message if we fail to find a solution. In this case, both failures are essentially the same problem: we cannot pick version 1.0 for mtl because foo needs version 2.0.

Heuristics and Preferences

After validation we apply a number of heuristics to the tree. For example, we prefer to pick a version of base early because there is generally only one version of base available in the system. In addition, we apply user preferences; for example, we try newer versions of packages before older versions. For our example this gives us

Finding a solution

After applying the heuristics we throw away all but the first choice in each GoalChoice node (but keeping all choices in the PChoice nodes)

and traverse the tree depth first to find a solution, returning the first solution we find. In our running example, this means that we will use version 1.0 of foo, 4.0 of base and 2.0 of mtl.

Whenever we encounter a Fail node we backtrack. This backtracking is aided by so-called conflict sets. I haven’t shown these conflict sets in the diagrams, but each Fail node in the tree is annotated with a conflict set which records why this path ended in failure. In our running example the conflict set for both Fail nodes is the set {foo, mtl}, recording that there is a conflict between the versions of mtl and the version of foo that we picked. The conflict set is used to guide the backtracking; any choice that we encounter while backtracking that does not involve any variables in the conflict set does not need to be reconsidered, as it would lead to the same failure.

If we cannot find any solution, then we must report an error. Reporting a good error here however is difficult: after all, we have a potentially very large tree, with lots of different kinds of failures. Constructing an informative error from this is difficult, and this is one area where cabal-install might still be improved.

Qualified goals


Normally cabal-install can only pick a single version for each package. For example, if we have a situation

we cannot install package D because it would require installing both versions 1.0 and 2.0 of package A (this is known as the diamond problem).

Setup scripts

Cabal packages can however have their own custom Setup scripts, when necessary, which are Cabal’s equivalent of the traditional ./configure scripts. In principle there should be no problem building these Setup scripts using different (and possibly conflicting) dependencies than the library itself; after all, the Setup script is completely independent from the library.

From Cabal 1.23 and up these setup scripts can have their own list of dependencies. Let’s suppose that in our running example the Setup script of foo has a dependency on any version of mtl:

We want to allow the setup script to be compiled against a different version of mtl as foo itself, but of course we would prefer not to, in order to avoid unnecessary additional compilation time.


In order to allow picking a different version, we introduce qualified goals for each of the setup dependencies. In our running example, this means that cabal-install will now try to solve for the variables foo, mtl, and base, as well as foo.setup.mtl and foo.setup.base. This makes it possible to pick one version for mtl and another for foo.setup.mtl.


But how do we make sure that we pick the same version when possible? One (non-) option is to look at the entire search tree and find the solution that installs the smallest number of packages. While that might work in theory, it violates the earlier design principle we started with: we only ever want to make local decisions. The search tree can be quite large; indeed, the addition of the single setup dependency to foo already makes the tree much larger, as we shall see shortly. We certainly never want to inspect the entire search tree (or, worse yet, have the entire search tree in memory).

Instead, we introduce the concept of linking. This means that when we select a version for foo.setup.mtl (say), in addition to being able to pick either version 1.0 or 2.0, we can also say “link the version of foo.setup.mtl to the version of mtl” (provided that we already picked a version for mtl).

Then we can make local decisions: when we pick a version, we prefer to link whenever possible. Of course, this is subject to certain constraints. In the remainder of this section we shall see how qualified goals and linking works using our running example, and identify some of these linking constraints.

Building the tree

The code to build the initial tree is modified to introduce qualified constraints for setup dependencies, but does not itself deal with linking. Instead, it builds the tree as normal, and we then add additional linking options into the tree as a separate phase.

The search tree for our running example gets much bigger now due to combinational explosion: we have two additional variables to solve for, and linking means we have more choices for package versions. Here’s part of the initial search tree:

Let’s follow along the spine of this tree to see what’s going on. We first consider foo and pick version 1.0, just like before (there is no other choice). Then, on this path, we first consider foo.setup.mtl, and we have two options: we can either pick version 1.0 or version 2.0. We pick version 1.0, and continue with foo.setup.base and pick version 4.0 (only one option).

But when we now consider mtl things are more interesting: in addition to picking versions 1.0 and 2.0, we can also decide to link the version of mtl against the version of foo.setup.mtl (indicated by a red label in the tree). Similarly, when we pick a version for base, we can now choose to link base against the version of foo.setup.base in addition to picking version 4.0.


When we link mtl against foo.setup.mtl, we are really saying “please use the exact same package instance for both mtl and foo.setup.mtl”. This means that the dependencies of mtl must also be linked against the dependencies of foo.setup.mtl.

In addition, ghc enforces a so-called single instance restriction. This means that (in a single package database) we can only have one instance of a particular package version. So, for example, we can have both mtl version 1.0 and mtl version 2.0 installed in the same package database, but we cannot have two instance of mtl version 2.0 (for instance, one linked against version 3.0 of transformers and one linked against version 4.0 oftransformers) installed at the same time. Lifting this restriction is an important step towards solving Cabal Hell, but for now we have to enforce it. In our terminology, this means that when we have to solve for both (say) mtl and foo.setup.mtl, we can either pick two different versions, or we can link one to the other, but we cannot pick the same version for both goals.

So, in addition to the regular validation phase which verifies package constraints, we introduce a second validation phase that verifies these kinds of “linking constraints”. We end up with a tree such as

In this part of the tree, the two failures for mtl are because we picked version 1.0 for foo.setup.mtl, but since foo itself wants mtl version 2.0, we cannot pick version 1.0 for goal mtl nor can we link mtl to foo.setup.mtl. The two failures for base are due to the single instance restriction: since we picked version 4.0 for foo.setup.base, we must link base to foo.setup.base.


If we picked the first solution we found in the tree above, we would select version 1.0 of mtl for foo’s setup script and version 2.0 of mtl for foo itself. While that is not wrong per se, it means we do more work than necessary. So, we add an additional heuristic that says that we should consider setup dependencies after regular (library) dependencies. After we apply this heuristic (as well as all the other heuristics) we end up with

In this part of the tree we see one failure for foo.setup.mtl and two failures for foo.setup.base. The failure for foo.setup.mtl comes from the single instance restriction again: since we picked version 2.0 for mtl, we cannot pick an independent instance for foo.setup.mtl. The failure for foo.setup.base on the right is due to the same reason, but there is an additional reason for the left failure: since we chose to link foo.setup.mtl to mtl, its dependencies (in this case, foo.setup.base) must also be linked.

Finding a solution

As before, after applying the heuristics we prune

and we report the first solution we find. In this case, this means that we will pick version 2.0 for mtl and link foo.setup.mtl to mtl, and foo.setup.base to base.


Although we skimmed over many details, we covered the most important design principles behind the solver and the new implementation of qualified goals. One thing we did not talk about in this blog post are flag assignments; when the solver needs to decide on the value for a flag, it introduces a FChoice node into the tree with two subtrees for true and false, and then proceeds as normal. When we link package P to package Q, we must then also verify that their flag assignments match.

Qualified goals and linking are now used for setup dependencies, but could also be used to deal with private dependencies, to split library dependencies from executable dependencies, to deal with the base-3 shim package, and possibly other purposes. The modular design of the solver means that such features can be added (mostly) as independent units of code. That doesn’t of course necessarily mean the code is also easy; making sure that all decisions remain local can be a subtle problem. Hopefully this blog post will make the solver code easier to understand and to contribute to.

Open Culture: Hysterical Literature: Art & Sexuality Collide in Readings of Whitman, Emerson & Other Greats (NSFW)

Without shame the man I like knows and avows the deliciousness of his sex, 

Without shame the woman I like knows and avows hers.

Thus spaketh Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass. 160 years after that poem’s publication, how might that most American of American Romantics react to the spectacle of an attractive young woman pleasuring herself with his work, as an unseen hand beneath the table surreptitiously pleasures her with the Cadillac of vibrators?

The peephole is much larger than it would’ve been in 1855. Hysterical Literature was conceived as an online project in which each session’s featured female participant chooses a resonant text, then reads it aloud until a Hitachi Magic Wand puts an end to her ability to form coherent sentences.

Creator Clayton Cubitt has complained that the orgasmic element and the status of certain celebrity participants like comedian Margaret Cho  have preoccupied the press. His preference is for viewers to take a more holistic approach, viewing the experience with some “mystery and magic and ‘WTF.’”

Accordingly, let us focus upon some of the selected works:

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson

The Necrophilia Variations by Supervert

Really, no Anaïs Nin? I would’ve thought…

The most recent contributor to the series is also its oldest, 60-year-old Janet, below, who had to take leave of Whitman’s pal, Ralph Waldo Emerson, not once but twice in eight minutes.

Cumulatively, these sessions make a marvelously frank primer for actors or directors charged with creating realistic sex scenes. The dichotomy of Hysterical Lit’s staging ensures that things are fairly respectable above the waist, thus satisfying YouTube’s Community Guidelines.

Daring female lovers of literature should be advised that Cubitt seeks to include more women of color, older participants, and non-English texts. No word on who exactly is under that table. Drain your pent-up rivers by applying here.

via Kottke

Related Content:

Read Fanny Hill, the 18th-Century Erotic Novel That Went to the Supreme Court in the 20th Century

This is Your Brain on Sex and Religion: Experiments in Neuroscience

An Introduction to World Literature by a Cast Of Literary & Academic Stars (Free Course)

Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. Follow her @AyunHalliday

Hysterical Literature: Art & Sexuality Collide in Readings of Whitman, Emerson & Other Greats (NSFW) is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post Hysterical Literature: Art & Sexuality Collide in Readings of Whitman, Emerson & Other Greats (NSFW) appeared first on Open Culture.

Quiet Earth: Star Wars Goes Anime in Fan Flick TIE FIGHTER [Full Short]

This incredible fan made short lovingly recreates the 80s anime action style, complete with all the bells and whistle. Question is, whose side is animator Paul Johnson on? Full short after the break.

[Continued ...]

Penny Arcade: Comic: Provisional Resignation

New Comic: Provisional Resignation Comic for 2015.03.27

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic

Disquiet: Disquiet Junto Project 0169: HTML505


Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group on and at, a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. Membership in the Junto is open: just join and participate.

Tracks will be added to this playlist for the duration of the project:

This assignment was made in the evening, California time, on Thursday, March 26, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, March 30, 2015.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at

Disquiet Junto Project 0169: HTML505
Make a track using only an HTML5 drum machine.

Every Junto project is about, to some degree or another, exploring the freedom to be found within constraints. This week’s project takes a piece of software as its constraint.

Step 1: Go to the following webpage in a browser that supports HTML5:

Step 2: Create an original track using only this tool.

Step 3: Upload your track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 4: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This assignment was made in the evening, California time, on Thursday, March 26, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, March 30, 2015.

Length: The length of your finished work should be roughly between one and four minutes.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this assignment, and include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on, please include the term “disquiet0169-html505” in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

Download: It is preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 169th Disquiet Junto project — “Make a track using only an HTML5 drum machine” — at:

More on the drum machine at:

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

s mazuk: mashpototo:me: *likes ur posts* *supports u*


me: *likes ur posts* *supports u*

s mazuk: 50watts: Inscrutable matchbox


Inscrutable matchbox

Perlsphere: Unscheduled Unavailbility

We're currently having (unscheduled, unplanned, unwanted) unavailability of services.  We think it's a hardware failure in the critical path.

Apologies for the disruption.  We'll update this post as more information becomes available.

Update: 8:00pm America/Los_Angeles.
Everything is back up now.

Planet Lisp: Zach Beane: Your go-to libraries

Here are some of the libraries I reach for when I want to do stuff:

  • alexandria for general utilities
  • chirp for twitter
  • yason for processing/generating json
  • cl-ppcre for regular expressions
  • cxml for processing/generating XML
  • Postmodern for database work
  • Hunchentoot for web work
  • drakma as a HTTP client
  • cl-pdf and Vecto for making PDFs and PNGs
  • function-cache for memoization and caching

What are some of the libraries you use for day-to-day programming tasks? Email me and I'll summarize next week.

Open Culture: William Faulkner Resigns From His Post Office Job With a Spectacular Letter (1924)


Working a dull civil service job ill-suited to your talents does not make you a writer, but plenty of famous writers have worked such jobs. Nathaniel Hawthorne worked at a Boston customhouse for a year. His friend Herman Melville put in considerably more time—19 years—as a customs inspector in New York, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. Both Walt Disney and Charles Bukowski worked at the post office, though not together (can you imagine?), and so, for two years, did William Faulkner.

After dropping out of the University of Mississippi in 1920, Faulkner became its postmaster two years later, a job he found “tedious, boring, and uninspiring,” writes Mental Floss: “Most of his time as a postmaster was spent playing cards, writing poems, or drinking.” Eudora Welty characterized Faulkner’s tenure as postmaster with the following vignette:

Let us imagine that here and now, we’re all in the old university post office and living in the ’20’s. We’ve come up to the stamp window to buy a 2-cent stamp, but we see nobody there. We knock and then we pound, and then we pound again and there’s not a sound back there. So we holler his name, and at last here he is. William Faulkner. We interrupted him. . . . When he should have been putting up the mail and selling stamps at the window up front, he was out of sight in the back writing lyric poems.

By all accounts, she hardly overstates the case. As author and editor Bill Peschel puts it, Faulkner “opened the post office on days when it suited him, and closed it when it didn’t, usually when he wanted to go hunting or over to the golf course. He would throw away the advertising circulars, university bulletins and other mail he deemed junk.” A student publication from the time proposed a motto for his service: “Never put the mail up on time.”

Unsurprisingly, the powers that be eventually decided they’d had enough. In 1924, Faulkner sensed the end coming. But rather than bow out quietly, as perhaps most people would, the future Nobel laureate composed a dramatic and uncharacteristically succinct resignation letter to his superiors:

As long as I live under the capitalistic system, I expect to have my life influenced by the demands of moneyed people. But I will be damned if I propose to be at the beck and call of every itinerant scoundrel who has two cents to invest in a postage stamp.

This, sir, is my resignation.

The defiant self-aggrandizement, wounded pride, blame-shifting… maybe it’s these qualities, as well as a notorious tendency to exaggerate and outright lie (about his military service for example) that so qualified him for his late-life career as—in the words of Ole Miss—“Statesman to the World.” Faulkner’s gift for self-fashioning might have suited him well for a career in politics, had he been so inclined. He did, after all, receive a commemorative stamp in 1987 (above) from the very institution he served so poorly.

But like Hawthorne, Bukowski, or any number of other writers who’ve held down tedious day jobs, he was compelled to give his life to fiction. In a later retelling of the resignation, Peschel claims, Faulkner would revise his letter “into a more pungent quotation,” unable to resist the urge to invent: “I reckon I’ll be at the beck and call of folks with money all my life, but thank God I won’t ever again have to be at the beck and call of every son of a bitch who’s got two cents to buy a stamp.”

via Letters of Note

Related Content:

The Art of William Faulkner: Drawings from 1916-1925

Famous Writers’ Report Cards: Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Norman Mailer, E.E. Cummings & Anne Sexton

William Faulkner Outlines on His Office Wall the Plot of His Pulitzer Prize Winning Novel, A Fable (1954)

Guidelines for Handling William Faulkner’s Drinking During Foreign Trips From the US State Department (1955)

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

William Faulkner Resigns From His Post Office Job With a Spectacular Letter (1924) is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post William Faulkner Resigns From His Post Office Job With a Spectacular Letter (1924) appeared first on Open Culture.

Greater Fool - Authored by Garth Turner - The Troubled Future of Real Estate: Phantoms

BMW modified

Remember Junior, the Italian mama’s boy with the hots for an eight-hundred-thousand bung? As I told you yesterday, the $649,000 Toronto beater house turned into an $810,000 sale after 13 competing bids were tabled. (Junior lost.)

Or were there?

Bidding wars are back, at least in the GTA and YVR (while markets like Calgary and Halifax spiral into despair), and buyers absolutely loath them. No wonder. Unlike in Australia, where blokes stand around and make verbal offers to buy a property – transparent and thrilling to everyone present – multiple offers in Canada are one of realtors’ dirty little secrets.

If you compete for a property, you’re blind to the process with no recourse but to believe what an agent tells you. The guy with the listing might say nine registered offers are coming and they’re all for more than the sellers are asking, prompting you to offer a massive premium. But you never know. There could be three low-ballers. There could be none. And you’ll never see what those offers contained in terms of price or conditions. All that’s revealed is the winning amount.

In one famous case a woman was informed a listing would be hotly contested. So, she upped the offer by tens of thousands. It later turned out hers was the only one (accepted, of course). She sued.

Phantom offers undoubtedly happen. It’s just one of the sleazier tactics used to inflate prices and commissions at a time when inventory may be low, and mortgage rates lower. Another slimy strategy is to list a property vastly below market value, prompting hysteria and dyspepsia among the virgins, and purposefully creating a feeding frenzy of offers.

Remember the North Toronto unrenovated pile that went for 195% of the listing price last April, after 72 offers hit the kitchen table? Sure ya do. And the buyer who ‘won’ was a client of the listing agent – the dude who orchestrated the whole thing. Hey, that seemed fair.

Well, something may be about to happen to curtail these orchestrated slugfests. The real estate regulator in Ontario, known as RECO, is hot to slap down cheaty realtors who manufacture phantom offers. Soon agents will have to keep records of all the bids on a property (for at least a year), and be prevented from claiming there are competing offers unless they actually exist and have been registered. Failure to do so will bring deregistration – which means you have to give the Audi back.

Unclear is whether a jilted bidder can petition to see the other, competing offers. But don’t hold your breath. This is still a process stacked in favour of the seller and their omnipotent agent. And RECO (like real estate regulators across the country) is an under-staffed and complaints-driven outfit. They have no roving realtor cops to police the 108,706 people flogging houses.

The best advice? Don’t go into a multiple-offer situation. Establish what you can offer and still have a financial life. Make your first offer the best (if competition looms). Always get pre-approved for a mortgage. In writing. Engage a realtor to represent you instead of dealing only with the listing agent. Don’t sign a BRA. If you’re forced into it, make the BRA specific only for the property being sought. On the day you offer, wear your special underwear backwards or whatever it is you do to find private joy. This is a not a fun process.

It’s also a process destined to get more bizarre and stressful before we’re done and this gasbag of a housing market pizzles. For that you can thank mortgage rates and our dithering central bank. Head guy Stephen Poloz ‘s latest media encounter actually opened the door to no rate drop on April 15th.

He downplayed the oil collapse, put more faith in a manufacturing rebound and suggested the poodles may wait until the middle of the year to reassess rates. Observed Capital Economics’ David Madani: “The speech earlier today by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz and his remarks during the press release shortly afterwards suggest that the Bank isn’t in any hurry to cut rates further. Accordingly, the odds of another rate cut coming in April are lower than we previously thought, though we still wouldn’t rule it out completely.”

In response, the Canadian dollar rallied a little, even as poor Alberta was bringing in a budget drenched in red ink (a $5 billion deficit). Thus, the Bank of Canada has done it again. It surprised markets in January with an unexpected and unannounced rate plop, killing the dollar. And it looks like the stage is being set for another surprise. Maybe April 15th. Perhaps May 17th. Or it could be July 15th. Or never.

You know what that means, kids. Buy now, or buy never. Hurry.


Finally remember that little tussle I reported having a couple of weeks back with Condo King and Omnivore Brad Lamb, plus mortgage-broker economist and former bank star Sherry Cooper? The media event has now been published, and you can read a version here. I had a quick read and came to the conclusion Mr. Lamb stole the audio tapes, secretly altered them, and had an irresistible, creamy, raven-haired realtress drop them in the editor’s worn briefcase during a tryst they engineered. But that’s just a working theory. Or, they don’t type well.

Quiet Earth: Watch Kevin Smith's Original Ending of RED STATE; A Ballsy Apocalyptic Bloodbath

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to like Quiet Earth on Facebook for breaking news and contests on-the-move, discussion with our staff and readers, and more!]

Fans of Kevin Smith's ambitious Red State may know the film was originally intended to have a very different and very violent ending. Smith would often talk about how he wanted the film to end, but due to budgetary reasons just couldn't pull off the effect.

But now, due to the advanced technology of animation, the apocalyptic finale to Smith's already violent movie has made it's debut as part of EW's Scene Unseen series!

[Continued ...]

new shelton wet/dry: Every day, the same, again

Buying human breast milk online poses serious health risk, say experts Researchers may have solved origin-of-life conundrum A power nap of under an hour can improve memory performance by five times, a new study finds. One thousand genes you could live without Can We Interpret Smoking Habits in Historic Skeletal Remains? [...]

OUR VALUED CUSTOMERS: While discussing TV shows... / 2015-03-29T10:26:28