Interesting sites, projects, and articles from around the web, brought to you by Zac Szewczyk. View past issues here.
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The Neat and Out of Scope Newsletter, Issue #5


Hey everybody, welcome back to the latest and the last installment of The Neat and Out of Scope Newsletter. If you would like to know why I decided to discontinue publishing this every week, I wrote about my decision in Me the Writer. I have enjoyed writing these past six issues, and the responses I have received have been flattering, to say the least. To all that took time out of their day to read this, I thank you. So enjoy this, and if you like what you found here I will continue posting similar links on my site; I hope you'll give it a chance as well.
As part of a campaign to raise awareness for their product, Sony has begun selling its waterproof sports MP3 player in bottles of water. Very interesting. What better way to advertise a key product feature than to demonstrate it at the time of purchase? 

Sony sells its waterproof mp3 player inside a bottle of water

Kenneth Price demonstrates how to sharpen a pencil in a video just barely plausibly enough to seem real, yet so ridiculous as to give the unshakable feeling it could very well be a farce. In other words, the perfect recipe for a great comedy.

How to Sharpen Pencils

Foster Huntington set out to spend a year living out of his camper and traveling around the country. Two and a half years later, he has no intention of stopping any time soon. In this article, he shows us his home.

My Toyota Camper

Adam Kaplan put together a great guide to responsive design. If you do any web design at all, I highly encourage you to check this out.


Following Flappy Bird's demise shortly after it gained widespread popularity, the App Store was quickly filled with tens of hundreds of clones. Thanks to Pythonista user "bashedcrap", we now have an open source knockoff written completely in Python.

Jumpy Squid via MacStories

HBO just released another trailer for the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. Although not quite as impressive (by virtue of the fact that it had no new footage, mostly) HBO is doing a great job of building wholly-justifiable hype around their upcoming release. 

New ‘Game of Thrones’ Trailer Reminds Us That All Men Must Die

I must preface this link with a warning: you may find the following video extremely offensive. If vulgar language in any way offends you, skip the video; hardly a minute goes by without someone saying every word in the book. Now, with that said, this is incredible. What struck me the most was not the astounding weight "DA HULK"--because really, there's no other way to write the name for someone as huge as him except in capital letters--lifts though, but his concluding thoughts towards the end of the video: he is not some muscle-bound, self-centered, egotistical jerk too obsessed with his own abilities to forget where he came from. And whether you believe in God or not, you have to respect his humility; I certainly do. I closed the video incredibly impressed with this guy not just for his physical strength, but the strength of his convictions as well.

CT Fletcher Introduces "DA HULK", hat-tip to Diego Petrucci for the link.

Now for a much more SFW video, Marvel just released the first full trailer for their upcoming film, Guardians of the Galaxy. I have to say, I'm not impressed. The Iron Man trilogy had some great moments, but towards the end Marvel spent too much time and effort trying to turn it into a comedy. Iron Man 3 had the potential to be a really, really great movie, even better than the last two, but it turned into a poorly-done comedy interspersed with action scenes. Too bad.

Although to a lesser degree, we began seeing this devolution into humor with The Avengers that, while still a great movie, strayed from its true calling as a kick-ass super hero action movie a few too many times. From what I can glean from the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer, it looks like this film will, unfortunately, be the culmination of that decline. I will probably still go see it, but I seriously doubt I will walk out of the theatre impressed even in the slightest.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Trailer Introduces Star Lord and Some Other A-Holes

An extremely talented developer named Evan Wallace created perhaps the most incredible WebGL project simulating water I have ever seen, and thanks to Chrome Experiments I have seen quite a few. You'll need Chrome for this demo--I couldn't get it to work with Safari--but even if you have to go download another browser, this project is worth it. Very, very cool.

WebGL Water

The United States' Geological Survey, a government-backed "science organization that provides impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the core science systems that help us provide timely, relevant, and useable information", mapped the country's more than 47,000 wind turbines. Unsurprisingly, most are in the midwest. You'll need Chrome--or flash installed in Safari, at the very least--and the map is a little janky, but it's still pretty cool.



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Copyright © 2014 Zac J. Szewczyk, All rights reserved.
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