adam st. amand

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How Ben Burtt Designed The Sounds Of Star Wars

In this eminently watchable series of interviews, the Oscar winner explains how he created the sounds of R2-D2, lightsabers, and Chewbacca.<p>Star Wars is lauded for its visual effects, but the films’ sound design is just as good if not better. What would a light saber be without its ominous hum in …

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Cartoonists show solidarity after Paris Charlie Hebdo attack, in pictures - Telegraph

10 Best Car-Free Bike Paths in the USA

Why take just the lane when you can take the whole road? Pedal blissfully through stunning scenery on these car-free roads, lanes, and bike paths.<p>There’s no reason to yell “Car back!” on America’s rail trails and bike paths, where the bike is king of the road. On these 10 routes, take in the …

Readability Is a Myth

There aren't "difficult" books and "easy" ones. There are books that are difficult for some people, and easy for others.<p>What's the most difficult book you've ever read? For me, at least within recent memory, there's no question—the book that was hardest for me to slog through, the book that I would …

Oil tycoon: I'm too broke for $1 billion divorce

A billionaire oil tycoon, who just last month agreed to pay $1 billion after a highly contentious divorce, now says it's no longer fair to ask him to pay out the big bucks because his wallet has been hit so hard by falling oil prices.<p>Harold Hamm this month filed an appeal in Oklahoma saying his …

30 Questions to Help You Reflect and Get Excited for 2015

<i>This post originally appeared on BrandMentalist.com</i><p>Another year has almost gone by, but now is the perfect opportunity to reflect and build a plan for next year.<p>I've come up with a set of questions to help you reflect, focus and build a plan to make your 2015 a successful year that embraces …

Want to Be Happy? Be Kind and Grateful

Above are two of my favorite viral photos. The one on the left is of Isaac Theil allowing college student Garvey Dutes to sleep on his shoulder in a New York subway car. The one on the right is of Gage Boucher, a grocery store employee, tying the shoes of an elderly customer. What I love about …

5 Simple Things That Will Make Your Life Better

<b>1) Want to be happy?</b><p>It’s more about perspective than anything else. Write down three good things that happen to you every day.<p>Via Flourish: A …

Time-lapse videos of Earth capture line between life and death

Astronaut Alexander Gerst combines more than 12,000 photos taken about the International Space Station in 2014 into a collection of spellbinding videos that show our lively planet in gorgeous HD.<p>We've already taken a look at some of the best still photos captured of the Earth from space in the past …

Time-lapse Photography

5,200 Days in Space

An exploration of life aboard the International Space Station, and the surprising reasons the mission is still worthwhile<p>When humans move to space, we are the aliens, the extraterrestrials. And so, living in space, the oddness never quite goes away. Consider something as elemental as sleep. In …

When Plants Attack: A Time-Lapse

This "biolapse" condenses more than three months of footage into an eerie study of how carnivorous plants eat insects. Filmmaker Chris Field shares a behind-the-scenes look at how he shot the film on his Vimeo channel.<p>Via Vimeo Staff Picks

The top 10 words invented by writers

I have long been interested in words but most specifically in the question of how a coinage makes it into the larger language, especially at a time when the English language seems to have more than enough words to sustain itself. It is one thing to create a new word or catchphrase and quite another …

Is joining a tech startup like buying a lottery ticket?

<b>Dear Annie:</b> I don’t usually meddle in my kids’ career decisions, but I think my son is about to do something he’ll regret. He’s been working in IT at …

Mormon founder Joseph Smith had as many as 40 wives

Joseph Smith (1805-1844), founded the Church of the Latter-day Saints, Mormonism's formal name, and is regarded by followers as a prophet.<p>The Mormon church said in an online essay last month that Smith is estimated to have had between 30 and 40 wives, some of whom were already married.<p>The New York …

15 Gravity-Defying Homes From Around the World

Ingenious engineering and the will of slightly crazy homeowners, brings architecture to new heights.

To combat fragmentation, ARM built a new type of OS for the internet of things

Advertisement<p>2 Comments<p>ARM may be a chip design firm, but like its rival Intel, it also spends a lot of time and money on building software. And to …

You can steal data from a computer by touching it

Normally, breaking a PC's security involves either finding security exploits or launching brute force attacks, neither of which is necessarily quick or easy. However, a team at Tel Aviv University has come up with a potentially much simpler way to swipe data from a computer: touch it. If you make …

Can Rocksmith 2014 Really Teach You to Play Guitar?

Two Popular Mechanics players find out whether an Xbox game can level up their axe skills.<p><b>Following the phenomenal success of games</b> like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, Ubisoft sensed an opportunity. If gamers went nuts for playing real rock songs on plastic guitars, why wouldn't they swoon for a game …

Researchers break robot’s leg, teach it to walk again

Our future robotic neighbors will be as vulnerable to injury as their human counterparts, and as such will have to learn to adapt to compensate for …

The 7 Strategies For Getting Past Gatekeepers

Do you know how many people approach me every week with article pitches? Neither do I, but the number is huge. However, this salesman—a first-time author—managed to use the strategies in his book to get successfully through to me, a busy CEO with a part-time unpaid gig writing articles about …

Packing Tips: 6 Hacks Every Man Should Have in His Arsenal

Packing Tips: 6 Hacks Every Man Should Have in His Arsenal

The 5 Best Ways To Learn How To Code

Photo: Courtesy of Skillcrush.<p>It’s no secret that the world of tech has a serious diversity problem. From bro-y CEOs and founders behaving badly on …

10 Lessons I Learned from a Year of Productivity Experiments

Over the last 12 months I have conducted countless productivity experiments on myself, interviewed some of the most productive people in the world, …

Time Management

9 Video Games You Can Beat in Under 10 Hours

9 Pint-Sized Video Games<p>1. <i>Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons</i><p>2. <i>Gone Home</i><p>3. <i>Journey</i><p>4. <i>Portal</i><p>5. <i>Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare</i><p>6. <i>Heavenly Sword</i><p>7. <i>Costume Quest</i><p>8.</i> …

Zoomed-out photos give new perspective to famous landmarks

Famous landmarks like the Taj Mahal and Mount Rushmore look startlingly different outside of travelogues. <i>PolicyMic's</i> photo compilation shows zoomed-out portraits of 15 iconic tourist attractions and their postcard shots. The collection shows how small the Forbidden City, once the political center …

No three-month course can teach you how to code

Organizations such as Codecademy, the Flatiron School, and General Assembly regularly get lauded for churning out legions of seemingly qualified engineers. The latest came in a recent Wall Street Journal article headlined, “Have Liberal Arts Degree, Will Code.” Student X took Course Y and in a mere …

Computer Science

AgIC Is A DIY Kit For Turning A Home Inkjet Printer Into A Circuit-Board Maker

This embed is invalid<p>Another startup aiming to simplify the process of prototyping electronics by doing away with the need to wire up breadboards has taken to Kickstarter.<p>This latest one, called AgIC, combines the approaches of two we’ve previously covered — the Ex1 3D printer for PCBs and the …

13 GIFs That Show You How Everyday Items Are Made

Some we use everyday, others we only ever see the final product - but how exactly are things like forks, crash barriers, springs and even camouflage …