A massive (most likely unintentional) explosion just went off in Beirut

August 4, 2020

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The cause is unknown, but a massive explosion just occurred in Lebanon's capital Beirut.

The Associated Press is reporting that a fire started at a fireworks factory and then moved over to a neighboring building that caused the massive followup explosion. Apparently at least 25 are dead and over 2,500 injured. It's incredibly horrible, and I'm only posting this because everybody everywhere will be posting it and they probably need as much attention and help as possible right now.

I've included a few more videos after the jump that show the aftermath to help reconcile the astounding magnitude of the explosion with the absolute human devastation.

EDIT: Added some more videos of people getting hit by the shockwave as they're filming. It's unbelievably terrifying.

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This guy built a ride that takes 10^20k years to complete in 'Roller Coaster Tycoon 2'

August 4, 2020

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YouTuber Marcel Vos built this "impossible maze" in Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 that takes 6.6*10^19,758 years to complete. If you don't understand how big that number is, it's a 6 followed by about twenty thousand zeroes. And if you don't understand how big that number is, it's okay because nobody does. It's incomprehensibly large.

The maze itself is not very impressive, but exploits the pathfinding algorithm for guests in the game. Marcel starts out with an explanation of the exploit using a smaller version of his maze and then slowly scales it up. You can skip to 7:30 to see the progression and then at about 7:40 he reveals the completed maze. Just looking at it gives me PTSD of the time I got lost in a corn maze. And by corn maze I mean the time I got lost in the canned corn section of the supermarket when I accidentally held on to the wrong woman's hand. "Wasn't that, like, last week?" Yes. Yes it was.

NOTE: Less than 48 hours after Marcel published his video, OpenRC2 (an open source re-implementation of Roller Coaster Tycoon 2) patched the pathfinding algorithm to not prefer a direction and the commit literally says: "This is just to mess up MarcelVos"

Keep going for the full video and the math-heavy explanation of how the maze works.

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Luxury leather bag to carry around a single watermelon

August 3, 2020

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Japanese luxury bag maker Tsuchiya Kaban has an initiative where they work with artisans and give them complete creative rein over their own side projects. Crafter Yusuke Kadoi took the initiative to make The Watermelon Bag, a leather luxury bag to hold a single watermelon. It's as beautiful and pointless as that sounds, and probably caused Tsuchiya Kaban to question what exactly it is they're doing at their company.

There's no price listed, but I'm assuming it's going to cost way more than it needs to, adding to the complete magic of it. What kind of person transports a watermelon and only a watermelon? And it's not like this thing can even transport any watermelon, only watermelons of a specific size. I'd love to meet the lunatic that buys this and shake their hand, which I'll be able to do even if they're transporting a watermelon because they have this handy watermelon bag.

Keep going for some more pictures and a video of the crafting process.

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Guy with one hand builds mechanical prosthetic hand for himself

July 30, 2020

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Mechanical engineer Ian Davis built this extraordinary mechanical prosthetic hand for himself after losing four fingers in a shop accident two years ago. He started working on the build when he was denied a prosthetic hand by his healthcare provider because they said his fingers weren't "medically necessary". If that wasn't bad enough, he also has cancer. No, that's not a joke.

This man perfectly exemplifies America: the ingenuity and do-it-yourself attitude along with the absolute failure of our institutions and healthcare system. And I don't mean to sound ableist, but I couldn't even imagine building this thing with two hands, let alone one. Hell, give me three hands and I'd struggle with even putting it on.

Keep going for video of him putting the hand on and of it in action. You can check out his build progress on his Instagram page.

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Guy builds wooden computer monitor

July 30, 2020

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YouTuber The Q converted his monitor into a wooden one because things made out of wood are better than things not made out of wood. My favorite part is that he included the Phillips branding because it serves absolutely no functional purpose. I think I relate, because that's exactly what my mom says about me. Well can this stupid monitor win a soccer participation trophy?! I don't think so, mom!

Keep going for the full video, including one where he converts his keyboard to wood.

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Beautifully creepy Facehugger mask

July 30, 2020

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Reddit user skystonemeteorites posted this Facehugger face mask because it was only a matter of time and I'm surprised it took this long. It looks as incredible as it does non-breathable. I mean, is that leather? Viruses aren't getting through there, but neither is oxygen or anything else. Except maybe Facehugger testicles. I definitely see some Facehugger testicles and they're disturbingly close to the mouth.

TheirTube simulates what other people's YouTube feed looks like

July 29, 2020

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TheirTube is a YouTube filter bubble simulator that provides a look into how videos are recommended on other people's YouTube home page. Each persona simulates a real YouTube user by recreating their viewing history and then displays their recommendation bubble. From their site:

Each of these TheirTube personas is informed by interviews with real YouTube users who experienced similar recommendation bubbles. Six YouTube accounts were created in order to simulate the interviewees' experiences. These accounts subscribe to the channels that the interviewees followed, and watches videos from these channels to reproduce a similar viewing history and a recommendation bubble. Everyday, TheirTube retrieves the recommendations that shows up on their Youtube home page. You can go back and forth the dates to see different results by clicking on the arrow button and also see the viewing history of each persona by clicking "Watch History" button.

It's not exactly news that recommendation engines are crafting people's views, but it is shocking to see just how different and aggressive those differences are. Although I clicked on all six personas and not a single one matched my feed at all. Where are all the videos of microwave pizza reviews? And not a single one that explains how to make a best puppet friend from a used sock? C'mon!

Alexagate is a device to prevent an Amazon Echo from eavesdropping

July 28, 2020

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Internet hooligans MSCHF have released a device they're calling Alexagate that sits on top of an Amazon Echo device to prevent it from eavesdropping by using pulsed ultrasound to jam the Echo's microphone. You clap three times to turn it off when you want to use the device and then clap three times to turn it back on. It costs $99, though I don't think anybody has actually verified whether or not it works. I mean, I tried calling Jeff Bezos to ask if he heard the sounds of my furious masturbating, but his secretary kept telling me I had the wrong number and that they were a Domino's pizza. Nice try, Bezos. Also, your pizza tastes terrible, though it was delivered in a timely manner.

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