This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

How we almost blew up Jupiter

Posted by: James Lileks under Outstate, Photos, Technology Updated: February 21, 2014 - 12:12 PM

There’s another deal in Ukraine; we’ll see how that goes. Reddit has a before-and-after picture of Kiev’s Independence Square. A detail:

The BBC has more before-and-after shots here.

WINTER On a lighter note, here’s a shot of my backyard yesterday morning, and today.

The chair is like the Sphinx, which was buried up to its head for hundreds of years.

TECH Only 12 iPod chargers left! After that you’ll have to look elsewhere for things that pop, sizzle, and burst into flames. A sample review:

This is a cheap imitation copy received just two days after the airing of a BBC documentary following trading standards where people's houses were nearly burned down by such items. This is not something that is a rip off and makes no effort to disguise the fact, this is a completely fake product with the exact same design and copied part numbers, CE logo etc from the genuine article.

More quotes: “Our youngest son plugged one in on the day they arrived. The plug exploded in the socket and blew all our electricity.” And: “Had the product for just over a year and it exploded, with black soot all round the socket.” And: “t is totally unsafe. It blew up in my face the first time I tried to use it.it threw the charging cable across the floor.” You can understand if the thing was made by CDCK, or Cheap Dangerous Chinese Knockoff Ltd., but the Amazon page says it’s from Apple. Which it isn’t.

There’s also the mater of melty power supplies, Daily Dot takes a look at the situation, and asks why Amazon allows these things to be sold. Caveat Emptor doesn’t seem to capture it.

ART You could call it the rise and fall of Dutch Industrial Safety Posters. Via Coudal, which titled their link “Don’t Spit on a Nun!”

This is one of the least horrifying ones.

Not to hoover up all their links, but here’s another: “The Museum of the City of New York and Queens Museum have embarked on an 18-month project to make their collections from the 1939/40 and 1964/65 New York World’s Fairs accessible.” Every other site about the World’s Fair might as well close their doors; this sounds like the motherlode collection.

Reminder: bookmark Coudal so you don’t need anyone else to remind you how much cool stuff they have.

SPACE Hair-raising historical note of the day:

There were a small group of people concerned that crashing Galileo into Jupiter, with its Plutonium thermal reactor, might cause a cascade reaction that would ignite Jupiter into a second star in the Solar System.

Yipes. Not a situation where you wanted to say “I told you so.”

Elsewhere in speculative news: Did an orbital probe relay a message from a civilization living on the sixth planet in a binary star system, and communicate important message to a man via a pink beam that came out of a woman’s necklace?

No. Then again, is it really that much of a stretch to say the probe may have influenced one of the greatest sci-fi writers of the 20th century?

Yes. But it’s a fun read. The Black Knight Bracewell Probe, the decoded message, and Philip K. Dick.

But a Vulcan visiting the Star Wars universe? That totally happened.

EULA There’s a new genre in online legalese: casual, friendly, and comprehensible. Imagine that. I got an email from Dropbox: “We’re adding an arbitration section to our updated Terms of Service. Arbitration is a quick and efficient way to resolve disputes, and it provides an alternative to things like state or federal courts where the process could take months or even years.” Interesting. It had a link to the new terms, and wondering if it was as breezy and helpful as Tumblr’s Terms & Conditions, I actually read it. You have to admit you don’t see things like this often:

Sharing Your Stuff

Our Services let you share Your Stuff with others, so please think carefully about what you share.

It’s the word “stuff” that stuck out. Apparently that passed muster with the lawyers. Lest your think that everything’s totally cool, there’s this:

No Refunds. You may cancel your Dropbox Paid Account at any time but you won't be issued a refund.

Good luck taking that one to arbitration.

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