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For $400 a night, you can rent this literal ‘Netflix & Chill’ room on Airbnb
02:22 pm


Netflix & Chill

Someone clever on Airbnb is renting out what looks to be a pretty ordinary NYC apartment space in Manhattan’s West Village as a “Netflix and Chill” room. To quote their ad: “We bring the famous ‘Netflix & Chill meme’ to life and offer it as an IRL experience that people can rent for a night.” So they can binge watch. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

The fundamentals for a night of movies and sex are all present, including a laptop, an HD projector, a bed with cute Netflix bedspread and pillows, a “fully stocked” mini-fridge containing champagne and various other types of alcohol, and so on. There’s also a nice shower.

Remarkably, there’s no mention of prophylactics in the ad, which would at least have been self-aware considering that some of the earliest invocations of the phrase “Netflix and chill” (going back a whopping two years now) used visuals of condoms in order to get the cheeky point across.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
New black tarantula spider species discovered near Folsom Prison is named after Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash and Aphonopelma johnnycashi
Johnny Cash and his eight-legged namesake tarantula spider, Aphonopelma johnnycashi

Aphonopelma johnnycashi is a new species of black tarantula spider that was just discovered roaming the hills near Folsom State Prison. The lockdown, near Sacramento, CA, is where Johnny Cash performed two historic shows inside the walls of the still operational correctional facility in 1968, captured on the iconic album, At Folsom Prison.
Aphonopelma johnnycashi
Aphonopelma johnnycashi
According to Biologist Chris Hamilton of the Florida Museum of Natural History, Aphonopelma johnnycashi was one of fourteen new tarantula species that were discovered in and around western Sierra Nevada mountains. The males of the species are predominately black and while there is no word on how big Cash’s eight-legged namesake is, Hamilton (who also sports a Johnny Cash tattoo, because science), had this to say about the newest arachnid to be named after rock and roll royalty:

Then once we looked at the genomics and looked at some of the ecological constraints, we could see this species was pretty unique and independent from the others that it’s closely related to.

Which fittingly sounds very much much like the Man in Black himself.

After the jump,Johnny Cash sings “Folsom Prison Blues”...

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
99 million year-old erect spider penis has been discovered
11:29 am



“How do you say “Ron Jeremy” in Latin?”

An arachnid encased in amber was found in a rather, er, comprising position to say the least. The discovery was made in Burma.

A harvestman of the species Halitherses grimaldii was discovered sporting a massive erection, a position it had been stuck in for the past 99 million years. What’s more, the creature was so uniquely endowed that scientists declared the find a brand new family of arachnids — a move based mostly on the shape of its penis

Apparently the outsized spider penis is like no other:

The researchers used photography and 3-D imaging to study the preserved harvestman, focusing special attention on the penis, which extended to almost half the length of the unfortunate male’s body. The erect appendage possesses a distinctively heart-shaped head and a twisted tip, meant for delivering sperm to females via a hole near their mouth.

Sadly, there was no female partner found near the arachnid. Scientist speculate that perhaps the two were separated during the throes of passion or that the spider’s big ol’ erection was due to increased blood pressure while trying to escape the sticky resin. Whatever the case, I feel bad for anything that’s had a 99-million-year-old priapic problem. Yikes! Talk about painful…

Via Discover Magazine and h/t Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Photos of women and giant-ass mainframe computers from the 1960s
09:51 am



Computer Operators
All hail the vintage female geek culture from the polyester past! These splendid images come from Lawrence Harley “Larry” Luckham. Yep, that’s his name. Anyway, he used to work for Bell Labs back in ‘60s “managing a data center and developing an ultra high speed information retrieval system.”

I took a camera to work and shot the pictures below. I had a great staff, mostly women except for the programmers who were all men. For some reason only one of them was around for the pictures that day.

Women and giant-ass computers! What more could you ask for? So retro-looking that they’re almost futuristic!

Computer Operations Supervisor
Computer Operations Supervisor

More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Californium’: Finally, the ultimate video game tribute to the worlds of Philip K. Dick
01:42 pm


Philip K. Dick

When you go to the website for Californium, the first words you see are “If you find this world bad, you should see some of the others,” which is the title of a talk Philip K. Dick gave in France in 1977.

Californium is a game produced by Darjeeling and Nova Production, and published by ARTE, the Strasbourg-based French-German TV channel dedicated to the arts. It seems exceedingly likely that this game will prove to be the most sustained tribute to the works of Philip K. Dick in the video game idiom.

Both movies and video games have proven fertile settings for Dick’s apocalyptic visions, even if the path from book to final product has often been treacherous. From Blade Runner and Total Recall to The Adjustment Bureau, there seems to be no Dick work that can’t have its title changed on the way to becoming a major motion picture (okay, okay, Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly kept their original names, anyway). As for video games, John Saavedra argues that Eidos, makers of Deus Ex, might just be “Phillip K Dick’s greatest students.”

The tagline for the game is “Explore the worlds of Californium, a first person exploration game where you are a writer trapped into shifting realities. Will you find what’s behind the simulacra?” which puts us squarely in that familiar PKD “Got-here-30-years-before-The-Matrix” world in which every innocuous American surface is but cloak for a more terrifying reality.

For the position of as art director, the developers have chosen Olivier Bonhomme to help create the distinctive feel of a Philip K. Dick book.

Here’s the “synopsis” for the game:

Berkeley, 1967. You are Elvin Green, a writer whose career is not better than his sentimental life. Besides, the day starts badly : your wife Thea left you a break up letter. As for Eddy, your editor, he summons you : “you are a writer who does not write”—you should find yourself another editor. Your world is falling apart. Too much acid and cheap booze ? Too many sleepless nights stuck to your typewriter, powerless to tackle your first novel ? Your brain perceives a signal, the Theta—which seems connected to your collapsing emotional state—shows that there could be a way out: this world is unstable, you can extract yourself from it and thus access another reality! You have nothing to lose!

Californium is expected to be available for the PC in a few months.

Here’s a teaser video for the game followed by several mouth-watering screenshots:



More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Sign the petition to have a heavy metal element named after Lemmy on the periodic table
09:46 am



Okay, folks, so we kind of have to make this happen: There’s a petiton on that’s tryng to get a newly discovered ‘heavy metal’ element named after Lemmy Kilmister. The suggested name? Lemmium. That works for me. You? Sign the petition!

Heavy rock lost its most iconic figure over Christmas with the sudden and unexpected death of Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister.  Lemmy was a force of nature and the very essence of heavy metal.  We believe it is fitting that the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry recommend that one of the four new discovered Heavy Metals in the Periodic table is named Lemmium.  An astrological object (a star) has been named Lemmy to meet the IUPAC naming recommendations.

I think they mean “astronomical,” but maybe not!

So far has amassed over 21,000 supporters. I think we can do better. A link to sign the petition is here.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Kill TVs at sports bars, the gym & Jiffy Lube with TV-B-Gone, a tiny ‘off’ switch for televisions!
10:35 am


culture jamming

Back in 1992, when I was still in short pants and an egg cream cost a nickel, William S. Burroughs put in a guest appearance on Ministry’s then brand new single about heroin addiction. There he intoned: “SMASH THE CONTROL IMAGES. SMASH THE CONTROL MACHINE.” It was an exciting time to be alive. Extry! Extry! cried the newsboy on the corner. Homosexual narcotics fiend records with clown prince of industrial metal! Read all about it!

As always, Burroughs offered sage counsel, but smashing the control machine was easier said than done! In those days, the job required a stickball bat or a ball-peen hammer, and then there were the hazards of the cathode ray tube to contend with. I would have to wait a full decade before a good, wise, industrious inventor named Mitch Altman solved this problem with his TV-B-Gone, a special universal remote control for TVs. What’s so special about it, you say? It only has one button: OFF.

I don’t think I have to spell out the ways you, the suave and cunning Dangerous Minds reader, might use this device for mischief around the house. Let’s face facts: if you can’t figure out how to irritate friends, bewilder relatives, or enrage enemies with a universal off switch for TVs, pranks just might not be “your bag.”

But it’s the public applications of this device that interest me. Say, friend: how do you like it when strangers bombard your personal nervous system with upsetting lights and sounds, to say nothing of falsehoods and wrong opinions? Because I myself do not care for it. No, when I think of all the times I’ve been stuck in an urgent care waiting room listening to Judge Judy scream, sipping weak coffee from a Styrofoam cup at the mechanic while Dr. Phil takes a word solo, on the treadmill at the gym while Fox & Friends blather on like nincompoops, scrambling the brainwaves of senior citizens, or “eating” “lunch” in Baja Fresh as the National Speed Cutting Chainsaw Championship unfolds on several 65” HDTV screens simultaneously, I want to commit murder. 

Happily for me and the rest of the human family, there is a nonviolent solution. Point this little keychain gadget and CLICK! Darkness. Silence. Peace. At $19.99, the TV-B-Gone is one of my favorite stocking stuffers, but not for long. Last month, Altman’s email bulletin announced: “this is the last holiday season that you or anyone will be able to buy a TV-B-Gone remote control.” Make haste to Cornfield Electronics to buy the last crop of these suckers before they are discontinued. The handy among you might prefer Cornfield’s DIY kit (or Adafruit’s, or Make’s), but all are very close in price to the pre-assembled gizmo.

After the jump, TV-B-Gone inventor Mitch Altman speaks about hackerspaces at TEDx Brussels…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
William S. Burroughs in ‘Energy and How to Get It’

Robert Frank and Rudy Wurlitzer collaborated on a few movies in the 70s and 80s. Frank, of course, is the photographer behind the book The Americans, the Beat movie Pull My Daisy and the notorious Stones-commissioned, Stones-banned Cocksucker Blues; Wurlitzer is the novelist and screenwriter who wrote the scripts for Two-Lane Blacktop, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, and Alex Cox’s Walker.

(Incidentally, Wurlitzer and Cox allege that Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man is a ripoff of Zebulon, an unproduced screenplay Wurlitzer wrote for Sam Peckinpah in the 70s. Several years ago, Wurlitzer refashioned Zebulon as the novel The Drop Edge of Yonder.)

Among Frank and Wurlitzer’s collaborations is the 1981 pseudo-documentary short Energy and How to Get It, about real-life Tesla admirer Robert Golka’s experiments with fusion. It includes an entertaining turn by William S. Burroughs as the sinister Energy Czar, whose interests are threatened by Golka’s experiments and who knows how the world is really run:

Prayin’ is for the moron majority. They’re handy, they’re useful, but we don’t go in for that sort of rubbish. No, I mean, if we had to start prayin’, we’d be prayin’ to ourselves. ‘Cause we’re the source. If you want anything, you have to come to us.


Frames from Energy and How to Get It
Earlier this year, about fourteen minutes of the 28-minute short surfaced on YouTube. I’m not sure whether this is just the movie’s first half or if it’s the edited version that was released on Giorno Poetry Systems’ home video It’s Clean, It Just Looks Dirty. In any case, to see the 28-minute cut, you’ll have to track down the out-of-print German DVD Robert Frank: The Complete Film Works Volume 4. Good luck with that. In the meantime, behold this tantalizing glimpse of a future that never was.

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Effectively killed by porn in the early 80s, Sony vows to discontinue Betamax format in… 2016
08:33 am



Sony announced it is finally discontinuing popular recording format… uh… BETAMAX next year.

Sony recently issued a press release stating that they will be discontinuing production of Betamax videocassettes in March 2016. According to the same release, the company ceased production of Betamax players in 2002 and Betamax camcorders in 2005.

Look at this ancient artifact.
Upon hearing the announcement, many were shocked to learn that Beta had been in production at all since VHS won the “format wars” in the early ‘80s with Sony conceding that loss in 1988 with the production of their first VHS videocassette recorders.

The Betamax format was introduced by Sony in 1975 and went up against rival JVC’s VHS (or Video Home System) format. Despite the perceived higher quality of images on Beta cassettes, the format floundered against VHS in the United States due to the lower price of VHS players and the longer recording time available on the VHS tapes. The original Betamax tapes could only record one hour of programming—a fatal flaw.

It has been argued that the porn industry’s decision to become an early adopter of the VHS format was a deciding factor in that format’s dominance, as home-viewing of pornography was one of the primary drivers of the early videocassette industry.

Ad from back cover of a 1979 issue of Hustler magazine. Call the porn professionals to ask if you should choose VHS or Beta. Hint: They’re going to tell you VHS.
Betamax hung around past its perceived expiration date due to its continued use (as a superior tape format) in local television production, particularly ENG (electronic news gathering) purposes. As Sony’s superior professional BetaCam format and then digital video became the standard for television production, Betamax became obsolete—still its surprising to learn it has continuously been in production for 40 years past the advent of VHS, past the advent of DVD, past the advent of Blu-ray, and past the advent of hard-drive recorders and digital streaming.

RIP Betamax. We hardly knew ye.
Here’s a 1978 commercial when Beta was some hot shit:

H/T: The Guardian

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Rumblr: The Tinder-style brawling app that lets you set up fist-fight ‘dates’
07:29 am


Fight Club

OK, so this post is probably breaking the first two rules of something or other, but check this out:

A new app is currently in development that will allow users to find and set up fist-fight “dates” much in the same way users of Tinder or Grindr find other interested parties to set up potential fuck sessions.

“I’d hit it.”
The app, called Rumblr, includes a chat tool and a map function to locate nearby fights and fighters. Users can upload their stats to see how they measure up against competitors. Unlike a certain other “club,” users aren’t required to fight—they can use the app’s “explore” function to find nearby fights to attend as spectators.


The app has yet to have an official release (is it even legal? How much liability can be attributed to the app or its platform when someone ends up murdered?), but the developers have a waiting list going for potential users to be notified when and if it becomes available.

Let’s file this one under “Apex of Western Civilization” or “What could possibly go wrong?”

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
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