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I absolutely have to promote this Easter ad from German supermarket chain Netto, being supremely adorable and leporine-themed. ^_^ It's a real joy, honestly. (And a really good Voight-Kampff test, too =:)

I must ask: did you enjoy chemistry or electronics kits as a leveret? (Or your species' equivalent =:) Any fond memories?

Steam Powered Giraffe will be playing live again on YouTube, entirely gratis, on Saturday, April 1, at 1pm PDT/9pm BST.

And coming on April 14 to Netflix: the new season of MST3K. =:D

I'll be trying this service out presently: 33Mail. They give you unlimited email aliases, which can be independently zapped; so, you might enter a competition or sign up for some newsletter, and if it turns out they begin spamming you or selling your address, you can then just kill that alias, leaving everything else unaffected. You don't even need to set anything up - just use whatever alias you want, and if anything's sent to that address, it'll automagically be set up and forwarded to your real address. The basic service is free, with a small 10MB monthly bandwidth limit; "premium" for $1/mo raises that to 50MB, permits anonymous replies, no ads, and use of your own domain (with the basic level, your email addresses will be somerandomname@yourusername.33mail.com). There's also a "pro" level at $5/mo, giving 500MB/mo and use of five custom domains.

Here: some sketches from /u/fxscreamer's graphic novel, a work in progress.

The Royal Mint has a site dedicated to the new £1 coin, brought into circulation on Mar 28 2017, noting the rationale behind its creation, how it differs from the existing coin, and so on. They note that currently, about 1 in 30 £1 coins is counterfeit. The Mint has a guide on telltale signs - often, fakes are fairly easy to spot, if you're looking to begin with, but who really notices much about pound coins in change, beyond their number? One that gives away a lot is simply that the faces on genuine coins are always aligned; beyond that, it gets down to quality, with the lettering around the edge often being rather ropey.

On which note - did you know that we're still uncertain as to where Earth's gold originated? There's a popular theory that it's the result of supernovae, but, that has certain factors against the current understanding, including the amount and distribution of such heavier elements. It may, in fact, be the work of neutron star collisions - or, indeed, a combination of the two.

It's quite fun, checking up on how far I walk during rabbiteering days - Monday especially, which was prefaced by popping into the city as well. Supposedly, I took about 13,300 steps, coming to a little over five miles. ^_^;

Huh! That was an interestingly different bit of spam.. it included my surname and address. Well, an address from about fifteen years ago, in the lovely county of Other. =:) Still, it's easy to imagine the response rate from that being a good bit higher than the usual "invoice for your attention". Interestingly, it registered not one hit on VirusTotal's scan. It's a .dot file, FWIW. I admit, I'm half tempted to open it in a disposable VM, just out of curiosity. If I did so, though, I'd definitely want to have some form of packet sniffer waiting to witness the hilarity, and maybe inject something along the way. =:) If anyone wants a copy, let me know - I'd love to hear what its payload amounts to. (It's not a field I've ever delved into, but I can easily see the fun in security engineering and pentesting!)
The ad is adorable, I am so passing that on to Bunny B :)

And lovely sketch work, thanks for pass that on too.

As a pup, I did indeed do chemistry kits and electronic kits. I failed to blow up the planet or electrocute my self, so the dangers of those being taken off the store shelves was all mythical.

I'm quite the fan of both Julian Ilett's electronics videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmHvGf00GDuPYG9DZqQKd9A

and Prof. Martyn Poliakoff's Periodic Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfS10ArXTBA

I'm definitely looking forward to that graphic novel being finished! Even aside from whatever story, just the artwork sells it to me. ^_^

I did manage to scorch the carpet once, when something went wrong with a mains-powered widget I'd constructed (on Veroboard, yay!), but other than that, nothing very life-changing. Curiously, even solder flecks in the eye aren't damaging, even if momentarily ouchy. At one time, I had a really nifty electronics kit, in a small wooden briefcase - open it up, and were two panels filled with components, all terminated in springs, so you'd patch up your circuit using short wires. (Resistors and capacitors on the bottom, active components on the top, like a transistor, LDR, relay, and even an integrated circuit, with features large enough to see =:)

I was always fond of the "snowglobe" experiment, producing that renowned precipitate. I'd love to see what kind of chemistry kits are available now - ISTR the ones the Science Museum sold were quite good, but expensive, coming in at the £70-100 mark for ones with any real number of compounds.

Ah, of course - YouTube! I'll have to check their work out. ^_^ I do rather miss the chemistry practicals I took at Uni - the gas spectrograph was quite cool. (The melting point viewers, less so..) Oh, and the tiny glass tubes! I used to love fashioning tiny sculptures using those and a Bunsen. =:D
They note that currently, about 1 in 30 £1 coins is counterfeit.

If that's true, that's pretty hilarious! Unfortunately none of the coins I have on hand appear to be counterfeit according to their guide.

It's a .dot file, FWIW.

I don't suppose that's a Graphviz file...?
I was quite amazed! But indeed, it seems if you frequent certain markets or streets, there'll be people openly selling them - one comment on Hacker News mentioned, I believe, £40 per 100 for ones that wouldn't work in machines, or £80 per 100 that would. And given people generally don't have much incentive to weed out bad ones they receive, I suppose they can remain in circulation for a while. =:/

It's apparently something for Word, that most reliably secure application. =:) Maybe I will set up a spare VM and just see what it tries to do. (Come to that, I wonder what OpenOffice and friends might make of it.. couldn't hurt to try, though I can't shake the concern that there'll be some especially cunning malware that manages to pierce the VM isolation and attack the host)
it seems if you frequent certain markets or streets, there'll be people openly selling them - one comment on Hacker News mentioned, I believe, £40 per 100 for ones that wouldn't work in machines, or £80 per 100 that would.

Haha, nice. BTW, have you seen this explanation of all the new features?

t's apparently something for Word, that most reliably secure application. =:)

Ah, yes. Quality from your pals at Microsoft! :D
A very digestible quantity of lovely info as ever, my friend!
I came by to say... precisely what Mako did! :D

I will further promote your ad link as well ^v^ .... and yep, some limited access to Chem and Elec sets thru friends and school ... I don't think we had very elaborate kits of our own at home.

Happy rabbitteering! *slips you some neutron star gold....*
That's quite a bit of useful information that I'll have to pack into my already overtaxed brain. :)

(And speaking of taxing, I should take care of that for the year too, hmm...)

Whenever you mention rabbiteering, I feel guilty about my burgeoning interest in falconry. ;P

For sure cyber security is an interesting field. Also finding all the backdoor crap that people leave hanging around in Windows and other packages, for example. I would love to get more engaged there except that there are people who can already do a much better job (and who have much greater patience) than myself.

For some reason, though years old, I forgot to include this meme with respect to my above-mentioned interests. :P
Ah, chemistry sets! Let me spam your timeline...

My brother and I in our little basement lab, around 1963/64. I'm the spooky Shane kid ;o) I never did anything memorable with the set. My brother was more the electrical wizard- he built several (tens) of those Heathkit items, including amps and even a five-band radio. Had he survived his wild teen years he would have been right at home with all things computer.

I found this in my parents' barn this past summer, and think it is the one with my brother in the above picture. It still has various nasty and unlabelled chemicals in it :D I also found my kit but alas, it was only an empty metal box.
...and that Netto ad is adorable, and original :o)

Should I also mention that my brother's experimentation led him to trying to concoct gunpowder? All we got from the ingredients assembled was a flare powder. Still exciting!

And then there were the fermentation projects (hard cider as well as a still). Good times...
Within seconds of starting to watch it, I knew I had to share it. ^_^ There may be an awful lot of insipid ads out there, but now and then, there's an ad agency really wanting to create something inspiring, funny, heartwarming, or flat-out adorable. (Come to think of it, I wonder - there must be sites out there that bring memorable ones to their readership's attention. I see almost none these days, as I watch very little TV (right now, just MasterChef, which began on Wednesday, though it'll be joined on April 15 by both Doctor Who and MLP:FiM), and that which I do tends to be either from the BBC (hence, no ads whatsoever) or off the net (and has therefore already had any ads removed, with occasional exceptions for promos/teasers for the same show), so I'm largely unaware of any interesting campaigns)

Ooo.. have you replicated any of these experiments recently? YouTube ahoy! =:D

Mmm, I used to enjoy making the odd batch of homemade wine or beer, but haven't done so in way too long. I definitely should, even if it's from a kit, though I suppose there's nothing to say I couldn't make my own wort, or possibly even buy some good concentrated cider apple juice, like Vilberie, Dabinett, or Yarlington Mill, though concentrating might well lose a lot of its character, given how mediocre most commercial fruit juices from concentrate tend to be, even with all of food science thrown at it. Ah, I do miss working on the vector video project - both because it was an inspiring project, but also because it put me in the heart of cider country. =:9
I've not tried to make this material in almost 50 years! It was a saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal mixture, but where the ingredients were obtained and what quality/purity they were I don't recall ;o)

As a kid I mostly used the powder to add realism to pushing a model car off an embankment after lighting a fuse... you know, a Charles Addams type of outlook on things. My brother's friend went the full route and somehow got hold of some TNT and blasting caps. That was... educational.

The cider was pretty simple. A gallon of cider, a cup of sugar, a cup of raisins, and it was put under the shed until it got bubbly. Luckily I never got poisoned. The still was my brother's idea to make the cider into something of higher octane. Fun with science!
Stumbled across this today - figured I'd share, in case you hadn't heard about it yet: https://tapastic.com/series/ForestTails (sheltered bunny meets fox - not zootopia!)

Edited at 2017-04-01 06:10 am (UTC)