Everybody on the poop train!

Right now, dozens of train cars carrying 10 million pounds of poop are stranded in a rural Alabama rail yard.

The load has been there for almost two months, and it's making the whole place smell like a rotting animal carcass. To add insult to injury, it isn't even their poop. For the last year, waste management facilities in New York and one in New Jersey have been shipping tons of biowaste -- literally, tons -- to Big Sky Environmental, a private landfill in Adamsville, Alabama. But in January, the neighboring town of West Jefferson filed an injunction against Big Sky to keep the sludge from being stored in a nearby rail yard. It was successful -- but as a result, the poo already in transit got moved to Parrish, where there are no zoning laws to prevent the waste from being stored.

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USB to Toslink

Dear Lazyweb, what's the cheapest USB to Toslink adapter? Prefer USB-powered.

Apple decided to save $0.17 on the new iMacs by removing Toslink output from the headphone jack, and I can't use HDMI audio because reasons.

I tried this piece of junk but apparently it only does Toslink input.

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Oh, botnets. Never give up hope.

Last month, fully 0.27% of the hits on my various domains were for a nonexistent /wp-login.php document.

That's 1 out of every 360 hits.

And that number is lower than it would otherwise be because I have a fail2ban rule where a single hit on that URL results in an immediate 3-day blacklist entry for the IP address.

And, that tally doesn't even include hits on the login page that actually exists (under /blog/ instead of in the root directory).

This is rivalling Bitcorn mining in its sleepless, mechanized optimism.

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Hoberman Switch Pitch

This is a really neat toy! When you toss it, it sort of turns inside out, changing colors. The curved body panels that make it look like a sphere hide an internal structure that is a cube; or really, two tetrahedrons embedded in a cube; and when it hits its activation energy, the tetrahedron becomes its dual, swapping faces and vertices.

The profile of those body panels is really clever too, because they manage to just slide past each other while this is happening.

There have been a few papers written on this thing, but most of them are behind paywalls. Here's one that isn't, from the amazingly-named "Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures", which contains this illustration of how the nodes move:

It's normal to buy a $9 kids' toy and then search for journal articles on it, right? Anyway, if this toy is patented, I'll bet the illustrations in there would be informative, but I haven't been able to find one. It's not quite "Bit" from Tron but it will do.

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BYOBW

The Big Wheel race is actually a pagan tradition dating back almost 14,000 years. Not everybody knows that.

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