This personal, smart air conditioner humidifies as it cools

    We all have a favorite room, the one we spend more than half our waking hours in. Typically that's the living room. If you work from home, it might be the den or wherever you've set up a desk. If that's the case, doesn't it seem wasteful to make sure the entire house is the same temperature?

    Clearly, this question was on the minds of whoever made the Evapolar 2 - a smart, compact air conditioner that cheaply and efficiently keeps the room you like feeling the way you like it.

    And they're not alone: As we write this, the Evapolar's Indiegogo page has raised more than $1,119,000 - more than enough to put the innovative unit into production.

    That's good news for frugal homebodies. The Evapolar 2 uses a special nanofiber filter and proprietary tech to humidify the air as it cools, keeping an even temperature throughout any room. It's fully compatible with virtual assistants like Google Home and Amazon Alexa and best of all, it only uses 12.5 watts of power.

    You can grab the new Evapolar 2: Smart Personal Air Conditioner for $199, more than 25% off the list price. Take your pick of white, black, or gray

    This 1:6 scale Tempest machine plays just like the classic

    If we were to pick one game out of the classic arcade pantheon that truly represented the anxiety and energy of the '80s, it would have to be Tempest. The neon vector graphics. The jackhammer pulse of the sound effects. And of course, the faceless, unstoppable enemies crawling up that tunnel to meet you. If you're old enough to remember it, you've probably lost several weeks worth of allowance money trying to beat it. This was the era when games did not care about your ego one bit, and if you think about Tempest at all, you might be harboring thoughts of revenge. Of taking that old machine down a peg or two.

    If so, the guys at Replicade are on your wavelength. Their latest arcade tribute is a working, fully playable 1:6 scale Tempest machine.

    These are the same guys that gave the shrink-ray treatment to Centipede a while back, and they're on a roll. All the features are here from the classic edition: Original art on the wood cabinet and the iconic spinner knob controller. (Replicade throws in replacement spinner caps for when your temper gets the best of you.) It's an officially licensed product by Atari, so it sports the same authenticity under the hood - original arcade ROM, including that level-select feature you remember from the opening screen. It even saves your high scores, and there's a special storage compartment hidden behind the coin slot. The Tempest x Replicade runs on an internal lithium-ion battery, easily rechargeable by USB.

    In short, it's the same white-knuckle game from the classic arcades, only action-figure size. The only thing that's different is the unlimited play. And if we remember right, you're going to need it.

    Right now, you can pick up the Tempest x Replicade 1:6 Scale Playable Arcade Machine for $99.99. That's more than 15% off the original list price of $119.99.

    Roky Erickson, psychedelic music pioneer, RIP

    Roky Erickson, the pioneering psychedelic musician behind the 13th Floor Elevators, has died at age 71. A brilliant legend of Texas garage rock who struggled with schizophrenia and drug abuse, Erickson's far out lyrics, songs, and life had a tremendous influence on countless punk, psych, experimental, and avant-garde bands. Erickson moved culture. In 1966, Erickson unleashed the quintessential psych classic "You're Gonna Miss Me." He was right. RIP, Roky.


    Beautiful book, augmented reality, and film about stunning rocket launches

    In the realm of rocket geeks and space nerds, filmmakers MaryLiz Bender and Ryan Chylinski have dream jobs. The pair have the equivalent of "backstage passes" to SpaceX, NASA and ULA rocket launches where they capture and share breathtaking videos that convey the power, risk, and thrill of space exploration. The work of their studio, called Cosmic Perspective, is visceral, wondrous, and inspiring. Now Bender and Chylinski are creating a fascinating art book enhanced with augmented reality along with a companion short film "documenting humanity's grand adventure to space." Titled "Guidance Internal: Lessons from Astronauts," the book, film, and their touring Cosmic Perspective show lies at the intersection of science and art "to inspire hope, elevate empathy, and bring people together." They've launched a Kickstarter to support the project and it looks, well, stellar.

    From Kickstarter:

    The art and the pages in this book come to life immediately teleporting you to rocket launch pads, directly to our intimate interviews with astronauts and the people sending missions to space. We fuse art with science blending our love of high-dynamic range photography with compelling video to capture the emotion, excitement, and gravity of these events. We also give you a front-row seat to transformative performances by artists inspired by these experiences.

    We place autonomous high-resolution and ultra-high speed video cameras at the launchpads of SpaceX, NASA, and ULA. These are cameras we place well ahead of the liftoff, design to survive the elements and, since no humans can be anywhere near the rockets, trigger without any human interaction. The results are stunning and provide a framework of awe and space for discussion. Close to our hearts are the intimate interviews with astronauts, scientists and the people sending missions to space; as well as artists, musicians and philosophers who are inspired by these events.

    Support "Guidance Internal: Lessons from Astronauts" on Kickstarter!

    Italy evicts Steve Bannon from $110,000-a-year medieval monastery that was to be was his “gladiator school for cultural warriors”

    Arrivederci, asshole.

    In Italy, authorities are reportedly evicting alt-right self-promoter Steve Bannon from the medieval monastery he'd planned to transform into a white supremacist radicalization academy, “after reports of fraud in the competitive tender process.”

    Being evicted from his fancy Italian gladiator castle is a big setback for Bannon, who's trying to grow an alt-right empire in Europe.

    Upset man builds fence around car-share vehicle parked in his driveway

    Dan Smith of Seattle contacted Car2Go (a short term car rental company that allows people to pick up and drop off cars anywhere) about one of their cars parked in his driveway. Car2Go didn't give him a satisfactory answer so he built a fence around the car and told Car2Go it would now have to pay him storage fees, a nuisance fee, and fence-building fees before they can get the car. Smith told the Q13 news station in Seattle that Car2Go is accusing him of stealing the car.

    Image: Q13 Fox/YouTube

    [via Digg]

    Brass knuckles are now legal in Texas

    Texas governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law "relating to the criminal consequences of engaging in certain conduct with respect certain instruments designed, made, or adapted for use in striking a person with a fist." The law strikes "knuckles" from a list of prohibited weapons that a person can't "intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells."

    The Texas Penal Code defines "knuckles" in this context as "any instrument that consists of finger rings or guards made of a hard substance and that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with a fist enclosed in the knuckles."

    From CNN:

    Rep. Joe Moody, a Democratic legislator from El Paso who sponsored the bill told the Texas Standard... "A young woman who has a keychain for self defense, certainly fits the statute of knuckles. And she was arrested for that."

    Supporters of the bill argued "knuckles are primarily a defensive tool," the summary says, and shouldn't be associated with "explosive weapons, machine guns, and other prohibited weapons."

    The law comes after lawmakers previously removed switchblades from that same banned list in 2013.

    "Law abiding Texans who carry knuckles, perhaps as part of a novelty key chain, should not be vulnerable to jail time for possessing a legitimate self defense tool," the summary says.

    "It's now legal to carry brass knuckles in Texas. Because, 'self-defense'" (CNN)

    image: uncredited via Wikipedia

    Company that makes dog food from fungi gets $11 million in venture capital funding

    Wild Earth is a dog food start-up in Berkeley, California. It specializes in dog food made from the Aspergillus oryzae fungus, known as koji in Japan. Koji is used to make "soy sauce and fermented bean paste (including miso), and also to saccharify rice, other grains, and potatoes in the making of alcoholic beverages such as sake and shōchū." [Wikipedia]. Chemical & Engineering News reports that Wild Earth recently secured $11 million in VC funding from "VegInvest, Mars Petcare, and other backers." This looks like a great snack for people, too.

    Image: Wild Earth

    Arizona sky penis

    Again with the military and the sky penises. Last time I posted about this, it was Navy pilots pulling a prank over the state of Washington. This week, it was Air Force fighter jets over Arizona's Luke Air Force Base and the official statement is that it was an "accident." From CNN:

    "We've seen the photos that have been circulating online from Tuesday afternoon. 56th Fighter Wing senior leadership reviewed the training tapes from the flight and confirmed that F-35s conducting standard fighter training maneuvers ... resulted in the creation of the contrails," an Air Force spokesperson told CNN. "There was no nefarious or inappropriate behavior during the training flight."

    Hawaii reports three more cases of parasitic worms that burrow into human brains

    Friends, don't eat slugs and snails you find on trails in Hawaii. And while you're at it, make sure to wash lettuce leaves thoroughly to get rid of slug and snail excretions. Failure to heed these warnings could result in rat lungworms that dig into your brain and cause "neurological problems, severe pain and long-term disability."

    From Ars Technica:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed three new cases in unrelated adults visiting Hawaii Island from the US mainland, the health department announced. The latest known victims—who became infected at different times—bring the state’s 2018 case total to 10 and the 2019 total to five.
    While there were 17 confirmed cases in 2017, the state counted only two cases total in the prior decade. The new case counts indicate a sustained boom in the parasite’s population and spread.

    The parasitic worm in these cases is the rat lungworm, aka Angiostrongylus cantonensis. As its common name suggests, the wandering worm primarily takes up residence in rats’ lungs, where female worms lay their eggs. Young worms leave the nest early to find their own windy homes, though. Larvae get coughed up into rats’ throats then swallowed. The hosting rat eventually poops out the young parasites, which then get gobbled up by feces-feasting snails and slugs (intermediate hosts). When other rodents come along and eat those infected mollusks, the prepubescent parasites migrate to the rats’ brains to mature before settling into the lungs and reproducing. The cycle then starts again.

    Image: Punlop Anusonpornperm - Own work, CC BY 4.0, Link

    Watch Nico cover a Gordon Lightfoot tune in 1965

    In 1965, two years before Nico made the Warhol/Factory scene with the Velvet Underground and released her first solo LP "Chelsea Girl," she recorded this cover of Gordon Lightfoot's "I'm Not Sayin'." According to Wikipedia, "This version of the song features Jimmy Page, then a studio musician, on the 12-string guitar. Nico's version was produced by Rolling Stones multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones and the promo film was shot at West India Docks in London." Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham released the track as a 7" backed with "The Last Mile," written by Oldham and Page.

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