Our favorite posts on Giz this week cover everything from the surprising history of brands to the human lab rats researching nootropics on Reddit. We fucked around with some gadgets, baked a laptop in the oven, and paid a drunk guy to evaluate our web design. Then we swung a hatchet around. Enjoy!


The First Brand Manager Was a 1st Century Roman Glassblower

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Ennion made me. Those were the words molded on glass vases and jars that survived centuries of dust, change, and trauma all over the classical world. But who was Ennion? And how, in the early years of the world, did his glassware become so famous?


Throwing My Broken Laptop in the Oven Baked It Back to Life

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Every couple months I pull out my old gaming laptop from college: a busted-ass Dell m1210 that's had its motherboard replaced four times under warranty because Nvidia couldn't get its shit together. It never works right. I've had enough. I'm sticking this sucker in the oven.


All The Neat Stuff You Can Do With A Hatchet, Safely

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You know the book. A kid winds up in the forest with nothing but a small hand axe and figures out how to survive. A hatchet is one of the most versatile tools you can take with you in the outdoors, this is how you use one and how you'll manage to keep all your fingers and toes when you do.


Nootropics and the Human Lab Rats of Reddit

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Eric Matzner tells me he takes 30 to 40 pills a day. He is 27 and perfectly healthy. Thanks to the pills, he says he hasn't had a cold in years. More importantly, the regimen is supposed to optimize the hell out of his brain, smoothing right over the ravages of aging, sleep deprivation, and hangovers.


I Paid a UX Expert $100 to Get Drunk and Evaluate Gizmodo's Design

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It happened late on Tuesday night. Of course I was working. "Have you seen this?" my colleague Chris Mills texted. He followed up with the link to a site where a rather devilish-looking UX professional promised to get drunk and evaluate the website of your choice. Only $75! I knew I had to do it, and that Gizmodo had to be his target.


The Origin of Color Bars on TV, and Other Standard Test Files

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Occasionally, we get to catch a glimpse of the hidden tests that ensure our technology-infused world runs smoothly: color bars on TV or blocks of "lorem ipsum" gibberish text. There's a fascinating story behind how each of these tests came to be and how they work.


Anova Precision Cooker Review: Killer Sous Vide for Everyone

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I have a problem. It's a kitchen gadget addiction. Ever since I was a kid, I've always wanted to try the latest and greatest cooking appliances—or at least all the As Seen On TV and Sky Mall shit. Well, that addiction just paid off: The Anova Precision Cooker has been bringing me stupid amounts of joy for the past few weeks. Sous vide, anyone? This $180 gadget makes it so, so easy.


PlayStation Vue Review: Online TV Is Great, But It's Still Pretty Dumb

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Television is experiencing a digital renaissance. Cutting the cord no longer means severing you from live TV. We're witnessing the birth of true internet television, and Sony's PlayStation Vue is the service with the most to offer as of today.


What ISIS Really Wants (According to the Islamophobia Industry)

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Welcome back, dear readers, to The Kerfuffler, where every other week we take a look at the culture wars raging online. This week we're looking at the debate surrounding the nature and aims of one of the first 'internet generation' terrorist groups, Islamic State.


The Fukushima Cleanup Wasted Half a Billion Dollars on Bad Technology

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The cleanup of Fukushima's leaking nuclear plant has been long, expensive, and plagued with problems. Now, the AP reports a government audit has found that more than a third of the budget for cleanup was wasted—totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.


Facebook Is Finally Getting Messaging Right

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Facebook wants to be your everything, and the next step in its long and deliberate journey to subsume the entire world is here. Messenger, Facebook's separate (and now genuinely useful) messaging app, is growing up and you have every reason to be excited.


Why Millions of Grownups Are Buying These Coloring Books For Adults

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Amazon's Top 100 book list changes hourly, but there are a few mainstays right now: All the Light We Cannot See, of course, and the unreleased Go Set a Watchman. Oh, and two coloring books for grownups.


The Samsung Galaxy S6 Has As Much Bloatware As Ever

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You know the rumors about how the Galaxy S6 would have dramatically less bloatware? How a bunch of the Samsung apps would be deletable if not completely optional? Yeah, not true. It's a bummer, but the Galaxy S6 has as much bloatware as ever.