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"Car cries are like, extra cathartic. What's with that?"
Grief Is Weird (part 2, part 3) is a short comic by artist Sara Goetter about dealing with losing her mom. (Goetter previously.)

Kung-Fu Flying
No wires are needed for these Shaolin monks to fly. This is the only video I found of it in use. It's short but exuberant. The wind tunnel seems to have come about by an accidental meeting of the Latvian architect and a representative of the Shaolin monastery.

Real risks that Americans face when they get on the road
ClickHole: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Is A Sobering Commentary On The Perils Of America's Crumbling Infrastructure

Portly astronauts doing a moon walk underwater
Fiona the Hippo (previously) spending more time in deep water and occasionally napping in the shower. But she's not learning to swim; she is practicing her series of porpoise-like leaps and high prancing steps in service of an underwater gallop.

Here's Looking at You
Amazon's latest iteration of its popular Echo device, the Echo Look, will not only include the voice-activated Alexa personal assistant, but also a camera that can take full-length pictures and video of you, and a "Style Check" that uses "advanced machine learning algorithms and advice from fashion specialists" to give you suggestions on what to wear. What could possibly go wrong?

Zeynep Tufekci, a "techno-sociologist" and associate professor at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, tweeted some of her concerns. There is already a potential murder investigation that may hinge on whether or not inadvertently-recorded Echo information provides any clues. (Amazon Echo previously on the blue.)

Take a little trip, take a little trip, Take a little trip with me ? ? ?
Cassidy the #MiracleKitten He was missing both back legs below the knee when Tiny Kittens HQ rescued him from a feral cat colony. There's no way he should have survived, but their little fighter refused to give up. TinyKittens HQ is located in Fort Langley, BC, and is operated by Shelly Roche. They trap-neuter-release (TNR) local feral cats and foster found pregnant feral moms and their kittens until they're adopted, live streaming their efforts since 2013.

Miss Lily Todd's Aeroplane, 1906-1910
"Miss Todd" (Vimeo, 13 minutes) is an award-winning short, stop-motion, musical animation inspired by the first woman to design and build an airplane, Emma Lilian Todd. The self-taught inventor wasn't permitted to pilot her craft, or she might have been the first female pilot, too, when her aircraft first took flight in 1910 (that title would go to the Baroness Raymonde de la Roche [previously]). Lily Todd wrote about her life and how she built her aeroplane in a 1909 article in Woman's Home Companion.

Full of sound and fury/ Signifying, umm, what?
This weekend the Trump Administrations will mark 100 days in office, with little of substance, but plenty of activity and noise, often breaking (or seriously bending) Trump's own promises in the process. Lots of goalpost-moving in just the last 24 hours, so shall we wade in?

Let's start with the ACA repeal/replace. After (despite?) the colossal failure of TrumpCare, the administration sees passing ZombieTrumpCare as their Hail Mary for a legislative win. They've now made it cruel enough to win Freedom Caucus support, but now some moderates are unhappy and senators, who ultimately would have the say, are feeling queasy. A vote could come by this weekend, but Democrats seem willing to play chicken with the administration. Meanwhile, progressives are mobilizing for Round 2.

Then there's tax reform, the other last-minute bid for achievement or distraction. Treasury Secretary and Mr. Moneybags Steve Mnuchin dangled a bright shiny plan they said would cut everyone's taxes, but as it turns out, most most benefits go to people like him and Trump -- breaking Mnuchin's own promise on tax reform. One provision is eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax, which changed Trump's 2005 tax payment from 3.48 percent to 24 percent of his income, or less than the share a single taxpayer earning about $50,000 a year would pay.

Democrats are insisting that you can't pass a tax plan without seeing how it benefits the President, and even some Republicans are saying deficits still matter, giving the proposal long odds of passing in its current form, if at all.

The NAFTA reversal and re-reversal happened at whiplash speed. We'll withdraw from from it; no, we'll modify it; er, ummm, we still could withdraw after all.

The wall, well, that's almost too easy. "I will build a great, great wall on our southern border and I'll have Mexico pay for it."
That is, "We'll build it eventually, mostly, and someday they'll pay, but for now, we need $20 billion." (paraphrase)
Even Republican Congressmen are skeptical and supporters are disappoint.

Even without the wall, Trumplandia is apparently keeping Mexican citizens from crossing the border, possibly from fear as much as from any policies.

And that's where the successes are. The measure of the 100 days isn't so much what Trump & Co. did, but what they un-did: disposing of rules limiting student debt, prohibiting the sale of internet browsing history data, requiring employers to keep accurate employee injury records, making coal companies keep waste out of rivers and streams and mandating energy companies report payments to foreign governments.

Team Trump may seem divided on that Chinese hoax, climate change. But fear not, at home, it's consistent in efforts to undo environmental protection. The administration took the first steps to rescind the designations of large, new national monuments. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, formerly a board member of an oil pipeline company, sees logging, mining and drilling as appropriate uses of those lands. The move has prompted the expected responses from Sierra Club, NRDC and others, and even a threat of a lawsuit from Patagonia.

Heard enough about domestic matters? How about international crises? As the lost carrier fleet is puffing out American chests off the waters of North Korea, that country's propaganda team has literally put it (and the White House) in the crosshairs. Senators, summoned to the White House yesterday for a briefing on North Korea, gave the presentation bipartisan rave reviews, ranging from "OK" to "dog-and-pony show." However, some said it sounded like an administration lacking a plan but determined to act.

We're almost there. With so many big, public stories, it would be easy to miss news of First Daughter and Special Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump's plan to set up a private foundation, prompting comparisons to the Clinton Global Initiative and conservatives' outrage over Hillary Clinton's potential conflicts of interest. (thanks Metafilter!) Meanwhile, first Son-in-Law and Master of the Universe Jared Kushner had new potential ethical conflicts emerge.

And – breaking news, or it was when I started! – now Defense Department watchdogs are reportedly pulling at another end of the Russia ball of collusion yarn.

Whew. A tale told by an idiot. What will the next 100 days bring? Have at it.

Not a lot of green states, even in the red states
Agriculture is not the "number-one driver" of rural American economies , despite the claim made by Ray Starling, special assistant to the president on agriculture, trade, and food assistance, when discussing the big-ag focus of the White House's first initiative to tackle rural policy. The Daily Yonder's response includes an interesting map based on BEA and USDA data showing the dominant economic sector of all non-metro counties in the United States. Agriculture is green, and there's not a lot of it outside of the Great Plains.

Per the BEA's Rural America at a Glance report (PDF) , populations have been steadily decreasing in farming counties, while "recreation counties have seen the most robust population growth since 2000." As in urban areas, most jobs in rural areas are in the service industry; the public sector is also a major source of rural jobs.

How to wash your hair.
Because you (if you're a woman) are probably doing it wrong wrong wrong.

Robots, ceramics, bigfoot, and a mad scientist's lab
Opened in 2013, The Bailey Art Museum in Crockett, California (under the Carquinez bridge on the I-80 route between San Francisco to Sacramento) is run by artists Clayton and Betty Bailey. (2002 Previously.) It features robot sculptures made from salvaged metal, some of which have motion-activated electronics, rayguns, a mad scientist's lab, ceramics including face jugs, kinetic ceramics, and exploding clinker bottles. Clayton Bailey's associate Dr. Gladstone has also discovered a kaolithic skeleton of a Bigfoot and artifacts from the Pre-Credulous Era.

Clayton Bailey has been making ceramic sculptures since the 1960s, and came to California in 1967 initially at the request of fellow ceramic sculptor Robert Arneson, who was taking a leave from U.C. Davis. From 1970 to 1978 he ran the the World of Wonders Museum. Bailey is sometimes grouped with Funk Art or Nut Art. Bailey was the subject of a retrospective at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento in 2011-12, for which there is an associated catalog.

Fantastic Spikes Through Balloon
"Yet in the last week of March 1997, with The Wallflowers' "One Headlight" topping Billboard's Modern Rock chart, Capitol Records quietly released one of the noisiest, most wired and willfully perverse major label debuts of the year from a band called Skeleton Key." With inspiration from the Jesus Lizard, Primus, Led Zep, and even Prince, Skeleton Key produced taut pop songs that sound "...like a clockwork junkyard." Members of the band would go on to produce macabre puppet shows, seed bands like Enon, and compose the music for Bob's Burgers.

From Noisey:

Skeleton Key were a guitar-bass-drums band with the added wrinkle of a second drummer, Rick Lee, whose "junk percussion" kit contained a whimsical variety of pots, pans, toys, and scrap metal. Between frontman Erik Sanko's big gulping basslines, guitarist Chris Maxwell's blown-out riffs, and Lee and drummer Steve Calhoon's clanking polyrhythms, Skeleton Key made a busy, nasty racket. But songs like "The World's Most Famous Undertaker" and "Dear Reader" lunged forward with enough hard rock heft that someone at Capitol thought the band had a chance at radio airplay. At times Skeleton Key resembled a punkier, artier Primus, right down to the guttural Tom Waits homages "Nod Off" and "Big Teeth." That may not sound like a recipe for mainstream success, but Primus actually sold millions of records back then.
The band's only official TV performance was on weird MTV show Oddville, but you can get a sense for the live ferocity and scrapyard aesthetic at this '97 NYE show.

Guitarist Chris Maxwell went on to become one half of Elegant Too, providing the musical accompaniment to Bob's Burgers, including such tunes as BM in the PM.

Bassist Erik Sanko has continued to lead the band, with excellent follow up records Obtanium and Gravity Is The Enemy. He also produces bizarre and odd puppet shows, with collaborations with Kronos Quartet among others.

Blowing Up St Helens
It took ten years of waiting for the right conditions, but on April 21, Aaron Sales made the 3,150-foot ascent to the rim of Mt. St Helens in a record-setting 35 minutes...using a kite. He also made a 200-foot, 40-second snow kite jump.

Can I get a Bisquick?
Naomi Watts, Laura Dern & Patricia Arquette Tell Stories About David Lynch. Spoiler: Lynch's nickname for Laura Dern is 'Tidbit'. Naomi Watts is 'Buttercup' and Patricia Arquette is 'Solid Gold'.

Pugs turn out to be small-dog catalysts

From the 80-kilogram Great Dane to the 1-kilogram tiny teacup poodle, there seems to be a dog for everyone. Now, the largest genetic analysis to date has figured out how those breeds came to be, which ones are really closely related, and what makes some dogs more susceptible to certain diseases.

The full 360 degrees in all directions
What you are seeing when you look at a Termesphere® painting is an optical illusion. An inside-out view of the total physical world around you on the outside surface of a hanging and rotating sphere. If you were on the inside of this sphere, this painted image around you would seem normal, but it is read from the outside.

Dick Termes, a South Dakota-based painter uses six point perspective to capture all 306 degrees of scenes ranging from the real to the geometrically fantastical:
-Wrigley Field

While the visual illusion is difficult to capture in two dimensions, Termes has provided a Spherical Thinking Web Demo (YT) that shows several of his spheres rotating.

A refund is due unto me
Shirleen goes to get her hair done and ends up with a pineapple. Shirleen is one of the characters played by the fantastic Christianee Porter, creator of The Christi Show.

Anne of Japan
Canadian World, a now-abandoned Canada-themed amusement park in Japan, prominently featured Anne of Green Gables, the subject of a new CBC miniseries (as well as the classic Megan Follows version).

Anne is absurdly popular in Japan, where the story was one of a handful of English stories translated into Japanese available after WWII, which became part of the official school curriculum there in 1952, and was one of a very small handful that featured orphans (as Japan suddenly had a large number of them, and little cultural tradition of orphans, as they'd previously been absorbed into extended family networks). The eloquent descriptions of nature in Anne are said to echo Japanese nature writing and provide an entree for Japanese readers. Anime: Akage no Anne.

75 facts about Lucy Maud Montgomery. The NYT remembers Anne as one of its most prominent book reviewing errors (they didn't like it in 1908). She's also big in Poland, where she's associated with Solidarity.

The CBC series is airing now in Canada; Anne airs in the US on PBS at Thanksgiving 2017.

Project Gutenberg (& amazon for those under copyright):
Anne of Green Gables (1908)
Anne of Avonlea (1909)
Anne of the Island (1915)
Anne of Windy Poplars (still under copyright -- 1936)
Anne's House of Dreams (1917)
Anne of Ingleside (still under copyright -- 1939)
Rainbow Valley (1919)
Rilla of Ingleside (1921)
The Blythes are Quoted (recently published -- 2009)

What bullets do to bodies

The gun debate would change in an instant if Americans witnessed the horrors that trauma surgeons confront every day.
24 hours with Dr. Amy Goldberg, Chair of Surgery at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Conservative Party of Canada Leadership Race Finally Enters Final Stage
Who says Canadian political campaigns are short? For over a year, candidates have been vying to replace Stephen Harper as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. There are 14 13 of them. The final official debate featured all 14 13 candidates earlier tonight in Toronto. Voting begins this Friday, with 259,010 party members registered. The new leader will be chosen on May 26-27, 2017 using a preferential ballot and per-riding points system.

With likely front-runners Peter MacKay and Jason Kenney deciding last summer not to run, the race was left wide open.

The most - or least - fun was had at the French language debate in Quebec. There are few things more Canadian than the sight of an Anglophone politician trying to win over Quebec votes with the language acumen of a kindergartner. Deepak Obhrai, the fun uncle (warning: autoplay) of the race, went briefly viral for his performance in French.

Not-so-fun Kellie Leitch, of barbaric cultural practises tipline infamy, got early attention with her calls to screen immigrants for Canadian values, somehow making Canadian values seem like a bad thing.

Brad Trost, Pierre Lemieux and Andrew Scheer are fighting for the social conservative vote, with Scheer - the only one of the three who has promised not to re-open the abortion debate - as the only social conservative who appears to be a front-runner.

Michael Chong is running as a Red Tory: "No more catering to anti-immigrant sentiment ... Or discussions on climate change that don't actually include any plans to address climate change. Or an obsession with screening immigrants for somebody's perception of what Canadian values are." He is also the face of sanitary washrooms in Guatemala.

Erin O'Toole and Lisa Raitt sit in the middle of the pack on conservative issues and in Conservative polling. O'Toole is hoping that Stephen Harper's example proves that you don't need razzmatazz (warning: autoplay) to win in Canadian politics. He is currently the favourite of other Conservative MPs.

Raitt had three eventful cabinet postings in Stephen Harper's government, and was seen as a possible front-runner after MacKay and Kenney declined to enter the race. She has come out swinging against the "irresponsible populism" of Leitch and O'Leary. With her husband's recent diagnosis of Alzheimer's, she has noted the differing caretaking expectations applied to male and female politicians.

Leading candidate Maxime Bernier, a libertarian - or, as he styles himself, an Albertan from Quebec - has played a solid ground game in an attempt to win the points system (see below). So far he has drawn the most fire from dairy farmers, though he may face more pushback in a general election over his plan to get the federal government out of healthcare. You may also recognize Maxime Bernier as Jay Bradley.

Reality star Kevin O'Leary - who likes to get attention by saying controversial things (warning: autoplay) - skipped the French and bilingual debates but leads in most polls. And he doesn't care if you marry a goat. dropped out of the race earlier today, hours before the final debate, citing his failure to gain enough support in Quebec to win a general election (and doubting that Stephen Harper's Quebec-free winning strategy could be repeated). He threw his support behind Maxime Bernier.

The Conservative Party has a complicated preferential ballot riding-by-riding points system which makes predicting the winner more difficult than polls would suggest. The CBC's Éric Grenier has attempted to tackle the complications; his March numbers (which didn't change much in April) suggest that the race is still wide open:

Maxime Bernier still tops the index with a score of 20.1 points (suggesting he would capture 20.1 per cent of the vote on the first ballot if that vote were held today), down slightly from where he stood on Mar. 9. O'Leary is next with 18.5 points, up 0.7 points, followed by Scheer at 13.3 points.

O'Toole, inching up to 9.9 points, has moved into fourth place. He displaced Leitch, who dropped 0.7 points to 9.5.

Lisa Raitt and Michael Chong round out the top seven with 6.4 and 5.6 points, respectively.
Some Conservatives have been disappointed by all the candidates.

Some of the previous debates, for your viewing pleasure:
Quebec City
Edmonton (featuring wieners and beans)

The Shipping News: Containers (Podcast)
Oakland, California. The war in Vietnam. Global trade. Logistics, then and now. The thread that links them over time and space? Containers, the subject of an 8-part audio documentary hosted by Alexis Madrigal. "Throughout the documentary, Alexis uses a collection of anecdotes to explore how global trade has transformed the economy and ourselves. In doing so, he provides an insightful, in-depth perspective regarding the role that global trade has had in shaping capitalism, ushering in the world of commerce as we know it today."

Cap being a Nazi can't help, but...
What the hell is wrong with Marvel Comics anyway? Marvel is in trouble. In February 2017, their best selling ongoing superhero title barely passed 60k. By contrast, DC has fifteen superhero comics selling 50k or more that same month. But why is the brand synonymous with superhero comics in the minds of the general public doing poorly?

Marvel's SVP of Sales and Marketing posited that maybe people didn't want diversity in their superheroes after all.

But maybe that isn't really the problem.

It isn't merely that there are never fewer than six "Avengers"-titled books going on at a single time (February 2017 brought "Avengers", "Avengers point one", "Great Lake Avengers", "Occupy Avengers", "Uncanny Avengers" and "US Avengers", sheesh – the best-seller was about 40k copies, yuck!) – but that Marvel prices each of them at $4 (minimum), and tries to publish as many titles as it possibly can at 16-18 times a year.

The harder you make it to collect "Marvel comics", the fewer people will do so. And that audience fracturing has finally come home to roost.

Flavor Text
New Scientist reports that scientists in Singapore found a new way to taste the rainbow, by electronically transmitting the flavor and color of lemonade to a tumbler of water.

The technology hasn't been perfected yet, but its makers anticipate it will be used to share flavors through social media, or as an alternative to salt or sugar by people who need to limit their intake for health reasons. The work was presented at TEI 2017, the International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interactions. Scientist Nimesha Ranasinghe and his teams previously developed a virtual spoon and a digital lollipop.

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