*Headlines*, #Headlines, #TheNewz, Bacon and more | #Food, random

Cheeseburger removed from Happy Meal menu

McDonald’s is to cut a certain high-calorie item of junk food from the Happy Menu marketed to kids: cheeseburgers.

“We hope these actions will bring more choices to consumers and uniquely benefit millions of families, which are important steps as we build a better McDonald’s,” Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook said in the statement.

After child obesity rates in the U.S. almost tripled since the 1970s, McDonald’s is seeking healthier ingredients while trying to boost its image with more environmentally friendly packaging.

For those who appreciate the inherent absurdity of trying to make McDonald’s a place of health and youthful wellbeing, a classic Onion story is always worth revisiting: McDonald’s Drops ‘Hammurderer’ Character From Advertising.

Source: https://boingboing.net/2018/02/15/cheeseburger-removed-from-happ.html

#IndieBrew, Entertainment | #Entertainment, Humor & Comedy | #Comedy, IndieBrew, random, Video | #Video

Watch: A painful belly flop in slo-mo

YouTube creators Gavin and Dan, aka the Slo Mo Guys, make lots of fun slow-motion videos. In this one, Dan gets in a speedo and belly flops into a pool from a platform 15 feet in the air. To capture the painful plunge, they’ve got high-speed cameras set up poolside and underwater. Ouch!

(Tastefully Offensive)

Source: https://boingboing.net/2018/02/17/watch-a-painful-belly-flop-in.html

#pch3lp, #TechNews, Music News | #Music, pch3lp, random

Pulling Music Out Of Thin Air with a Raspberry Pi


Pianos are great instruments, but being rather heavy and requiring a fair amount of space they are certainly not known for their convenience. Sure, there are more portable varieties available, but they rarely resemble the elegance and classiness of a grand piano. One option is of course to build a downscaled version yourself — and since you’re already customizing the instrument, why stop at the way you play it. [2fishy] didn’t stop there either and ended up with a wooden, space friendly, light controlled piano housing a Raspberry Pi.

Inspired by the concept of a laser harp, [2fishy] followed the same principle but chose a simpler and safer alternative by using LEDs instead. For each playable tone, a LED is mounted opposite a light dependent resistor, creating an array of switches that is then connected to the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins. A Python script is handling the rest, polling the GPIO states and — with a little help from pygame, triggering MIDI playback whenever the light stream is interrupted.

There are enough LED/LDR pairs to play one full octave and have some additional control inputs for menu and octave shifting. This concept will naturally require some adjustments to your playing — you can get an idea of it in the demonstration video after the break. And if this design is still not the right size for you, or if you prefer to play in total darkness, this similar MIDI instrument using ultrasonic distance sensors could be of interest.

Source: https://hackaday.com/2018/02/15/pulling-music-out-of-thin-air-with-a-raspberry-pi/

*Headlines*, #Headlines, #TheNewz, Guns and Weapons | #Guns, random

Gun homicide rate map of America

At r/DataIsBeautiful, academiaadvice posted this map of U.S. gun homicides per 100,000 residents between 2007-2016.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – https://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10.html – Tools: Excel, Datawrapper. Rates are expressed on an annual basis, covering the years 2007-2016. Raw CDC data

By comparison, here’s gun ownership rates:

Idaho’s relatively low gun homidice rate (about 1.2 per 100k) still outstrips those of heavily urban democracies like the UK (0.23) and Japan (0.1). The variation within U.S. regions conceals the general scale of the killing on a whole (5.3 per 100k). And that particular number excludes about half the gun deaths in America—gun deaths that are as less likely elsewhere as the homicides are. One we decide to ignore the obvious correlation — absolute thresholds of gun owenership and availability — the more significant obscure ones become.

Source: https://boingboing.net/2018/02/15/gun-killings-map-of-america.html

#IndieBrew, History and Shit | #History, IndieBrew, random

This IS Your Grandfather’s Radio


Tube radios have a certain charm. Waiting for them to warm up, that glow of the filaments in a dark room. Tubes ruled radio for many decades. [Uniservo] posted a video about the history and technology behind the 1920’s era Clapp-Eastham C-3 radio. This is a three-tube regenerative receiver and was advanced for its day.

If you are worried he won’t open it up, don’t despair. Around the ten minute mark, your patience will be rewarded. Inside are three big tubes full of getter and bus bars instead of wires. Add to that the furniture-quality case, and this is a grand old radio.

One interesting thing about this receiver is that it uses a special kind of transformer known as a variocoupler where a coil rotates inside another to adjust the regeneration. It turned out that the tubes were newer than the radio, so [Uniservo] replaced them with more age-appropriate tubes.

Unfortunately, the radio is silent for now because of open audio transformers. We hope he’ll get it working and make another video of it actually operating.

Regenerative receivers have pretty good amplification performance with a low parts count. That’s because the amplifier operates near oscillation where the gain at the selected frequency is very high. It is pretty easy to build your own using technology a little newer than these tubes. If you want to dive into the theory, we’ve done that, too.

Source: https://hackaday.com/2018/02/14/this-is-your-grandfathers-radio/

*Headlines*, #Headlines, #TheNewz, Corruption and Greed | #Corruption, Government and Taxes | #Government, Politics | #Politics, random

Calling politicians on their bullshit in West Virginia will get you dragged away

You know that thing where politicians take money from big companies and then try to pass bills that represent the interests of those big companies? Well, some of that shit went down in West Virginia last Friday when a bill was brought into the legislature that would allow oil companies to drill for black gold on a piece of land, provided 75% of the land are cool with it. I’m not huge on math, but it seems to me that this would seriously screw the last 25% of the land’s owners who don’t want their land messed with.

Lissa Lucas, a Democrat who’s running for a seat in the state’s House of Delegates, thought so too. Also, she has a serious issue with the strangle hold that energy companies have on West Virginia’s politics and, in turn, West Virginian politicians. Giving voice to her beef, Lucas stood up and attempted to read, on camera, the names of all of the politicians who were voting on the bill who happened to have also received political donations from oil companies.

For her troubles, she was hauled out of the legislature faster than shit pours through a goose. Did I mention that the whole thing was caught on video? Welp, here we are.

The Intercept’s Zaid Jilani spoke with Lucas about the incident, earlier today. If you’ve got a few minutes and care about the right of citizens to have their say over what their government does, and why, it’s worth a read.

Source: https://boingboing.net/2018/02/12/calling-politicians-on-their-b.html

#IndieBrew, Arts and stuff | #Art, IndieBrew, random

Met paintings transformed into interactive art

The software developer Simone Seagle has taken the images of several paintings in the Met collection – released on open access – and transformed them into lovely and moody animated interactives.

You can see a bunch of them here on her own web site, and at the Met’s site she’s written an essay meditating on the process. It’s an ode to the enormous creativity that’s uncorked when we legally allow artists (encourage them, even!) to transform the works of their forebears …

Beyond the joy I get from creating these interactives, I have two other goals—first, to engage with some of my favorite works of art and share them, and second, to demonstrate how math and programming can combine with these works of art to create something new. As I look through The Met’s online collection, I try to imagine how each piece would come to life if it could. I choose art that resonates with me personally, and also make sure that the work’s tone won’t make cutting it up and animating it seem disrespectful. Many pieces of art would need an expert animator to bring them to life convincingly—especially the nearly photorealistic classical paintings. I create more generative types of animation that involve moving and flexing different elements, which is more suited to highly stylized works of art, like those produced around the turn of the 20th century: Art Nouveau, Modernism, Expressionism, and Impressionism. These are some of my favorite works and styles, with pieces that are colorful, exuberant, and not too difficult to pick apart for animations. [snip]

Sometimes I wonder what the artists would think if they saw what I was doing. I hope they would appreciate it, but I’ll never know. And perhaps it doesn’t matter—that’s the beauty of what The Met has done with Open Access. The art that was just for a few now belongs to all, and those with the will and imagination can play with, modify, and augment these works as they see fit. I come to these pieces with my own background and perspective, but there are millions of different ways to approach them for millions of different purposes. I am excited to see what comes next

(Animated gif used with permission of Simone Seagle)

Source: https://boingboing.net/2018/02/12/met-paintings-transformed-into.html