Splix.io is a pretty fun massively multiplayer online game. It’s a combination of Snake and Qix. The object is to acquire as much territory as possible without your tale being touched by other players, yourself or the boundary wall.

Silly me, I thought I was going to get something done this afternoon.
Via Metafilter

The Deadliest Garden In The World

Inside the Gardens at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, U.K. you find the famous Poison Garden. A garden plot containing around 100 different plants that can kill a man in just as many ways. From deadly Golden Bells to Hemlock, the only way a plant is allowed to grow in this garden is if it is lethal to humans.

In this video from Great Big Story we are introduced to Trevor Jones, the head gardener. Clad in a protective suit, Jones explains the cautious steps taken in order to safely maintain the garden. Surprisingly most of the plants are very common and known as cottage garden plants – they’re grown in many people’s gardens, but people don’t know how harmful they actually are.

The Moon 1968–1972

Project Apollo Archive 41

During all six of NASA’s manned lunar landings, astronauts were armed and trained to use modified Hasselblads. During the Apollo missions, NASA’s astronauts took photos of moon landings, moon walks, the lunar surface, the horizon, and the Earth with these cameras. The results included over 20,000 photographs by 13 astronauts over six lunar landing missions. This huge trove of photographs are cataloged at The Project Apollo Archive. NASA also released a large number of these photos on Flickr back in 2015. The photo above is one of my favorites from this collection.

Though shot originally for scientific purposes, many of the photos have an extraordinary aesthetic value that encompasses an inadvertently artful composition. The fine folks at T. Alder Books have sorted through the nearly 15,000 of these photos and came up with 45 images that consist of “unintended artful compositions” and a “beautiful, deft outtake quality,”. The collection will be released in a book entitled The Moon 1968–1972 that will be released later this month.

At a time when archival images are often hastily assembled into digital galleries that get passed around briefly on social media, it’s especially satisfying to sit with an affordable ($18), carefully edited, designed and printed archive of photographs of historical significance and esthetic value. Texts include excerpts from a speech President John F. Kennedy made about the Apollo program, and from an E.B. White story for The New Yorker recalling the first moon landing.

Bad Trips Gone Good

A new study (Survey Study Of Challenging Experiences After Ingesting Psilocybin Mushrooms: Acute And Enduring Positive And Negative Consequences) from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine had nearly 2,000 individuals complete an online survey about their single most psychologically difficult or challenging experience (worst “bad trip”) after consuming psilocybin mushrooms.

The study found that about 84 percent of users who have experienced a “bad trip” from hallucinogenic mushrooms say they benefited from the psychologically difficult situation. Some 60% of respondents considered their experience to be among the top 10 most psychologically personally meaningful experiences of their lives. Additionally, the majority of respondents said that a “psychologically difficult experience” while on Psilocybin lead to “enduring increases in well-being.” PsyPost reports that:

34 percent of participants said the bad trip was among the top five most personally meaningful experiences of their life and 31 percent said it was the among the top five most spiritually significant. And 76 percent said the bad trip had resulted in an improved sense of personal well-being or life satisfaction. Forty-six percent said they would be willing to experience the bad trip all over again.

Interestingly, the degree of psychological difficulty was statistically associated with beneficial outcomes. More difficult or challenging experiences tended to be viewed as more beneficial or meaningful. However, longer bad trips were associated with less beneficial outcomes.

Despite the counter-intuitive findings of this study, anyone who has psychedelic drug experience can assure you bad trips are not fun. Of those surveyed for this study, thirty-nine percent rated it among the top five most challenging experiences of his/her lifetime. Furthermore, 7.6% sought treatment for enduring psychological symptoms as result of their bad trip. Three cases appeared associated with onset of enduring psychotic symptoms and three cases with attempted suicide.

Remember, Set and Setting folks, Set and Setting.

As Crocheted On TV

Crocheted On TV

The Crochet Time blog has an entire category that discusses crocheted blankets seen on TV. The blog’s author figures out the patterns and yarn types used in all kinds of throws and blankets from tv shows like Roseanne, Mad Men, Taxi (as seen above), and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Most of the afghans use a variation of the basic granny square but there is great variation in color, style and stitch.

If you google around you’ll find all kinds of people replicating blankets from their favorite tv shows. Things like this are why I love the internet.

Pat “Sample Detective” Shannahan

This interview with sample clearance expert Pat Shannahan is worth a couple of minutes of your time. Pat is hired by musicians and record labels to clear samples used to make their music. Pat tracks down the original owners of the works being sampled and convinces them to OK the usage in a new original work.

While Pat has worked for a whole slew of notable artists (her first client was Prince Paul) it seems she is most proud of the work she has done clearing samples for both of The Avalanches albums (and rightfully so seeing as how their recent release had a sample that was directly approved by Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono).

The Avalanches have stuck very hard to the true art of sampling, which as I always understood it in the hip-hop community, the true art of sampling was to find these very obscure records and to sample them. They would all go to where the old records are and go to garage sales. They literally dig very deep into the recordings.
I always understood that that was the true way of sampling, not, you know, sampling the current hits that are out there. I guess I get the reputation for being “The Detective” because these records, it was so hard to find who owned them. Like I said, they were all put in the resale bin for $0.99 or whatever.

Running With The Devil

This isolated audio track of Running With The Devil, from Van Halen’s début album, is highly entertaining. I found this buried deep on my old laptops hard drive last night so I have no idea where this originally came from (if you know the source tell me in the comments so I can link to it) but I had to share it. You are absolutely right David – the simple life ain’t so simple.