A timeline showing my blog life thus far.
Created by gmanb5 on Jun 22, 2008
Last updated: 11/01/10 at 05:23 PM
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Christine sez, "One of my friends has made himself a Creeper costume for this Hallowe'en."
Instructables DIY Halloween Contest
Need a DIY Halloween costume? Try the face of Kanye, Win Butler ...
DIY Hallowe'en: "Nest" Mask
Open thread: your DIY Hallowe'en costumes?
DIY Hallowe'en: William Shakespeare
DIY Hallowe'en: Swedish Chef cooks family dog
DIY Hallowe'en: Robocop Kid Costume
DIY Hallowe'en: Edward Scissorhands
DIY Hallowe'en: Astronaut
DIY Hallowe'en: Bender
DIY Hallowe'en: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and alleged ...
A South Korean couple was arrested for allegedly letting their prematurely born daughter starve to death. The parents, it appears, were addicted to a popular role-playing game called Prius Online; they spent most of their time in Internet cafes raising a virtual baby they called Anima while neglecting to feed their real life baby.
Bloomingdales carries these Giuseppe Zanotti "Bullet" Thong sandals. Yours for a mere $650. "I understand 'fierce," tweeted Boing Boing pal Kristie LuStout. "I don't understand $650 designer sandals with BULLETS all over them." Oh, it's worse than that, Kristie. They're bedazzled bullets.
This is some pretty groovy fish-themed cutlery. I'd even consider getting a set, if I hadn't committed to a crazy-but-ambitious plan to collect a ton of mismatched, ornate silverware from yardsales and charity shops and then make it all match by getting all the handles powder-coated with matching materials (and yes, this may turn out to be ridiculous, but I'm willing to give it a shot!).
Yamazaki Gone Fishin 5 Piece Place Setting
(Thanks, Destro Mike!)
Years-old fast-food cutlery chunk removed from man's lung - Boing ...
Australian fliers will get their cutlery and knitting needles back ...
Quintessential TSA stupidity: taking airline cutlery away from a ...
Anti-terror cutlery for airline security theater
Business-card punch-out cutlery
Cutlery with built-in stands
Cutlery made out of potato starch
[Photo: Andy Davis for Mahala.]
If you missed this week's nuclear memesplosion of white trash Afrikaans zef-rap Next Level Shit with petite jailbait, Haring-esque wall art, and a Progeria survivor spiritual genius, here is the first BB post, and here is the second. Die Antwoord is the latest of many projects founded by Watkin Tudor Jones (aka "Waddy," aka "Ninja") and his classically-trained partner Yolandi Visser (aka "Yo-landi Vi$$er"). Today, Phillip de Wet of the South African newspaper The Daily Maverick emailed me,
Embarrassingly enough, you turned me onto these guys. As you did with plenty of other people. Does that make their next phase partially your creation? Anyway, that's why I thought I should point you to this piece we published a couple of minutes ago. It's partially a report on Die Antwoord's gig last night, and partially an examination on how their online fame doesn't mean much in the real world. Not yet, anyway. On behalf of many new fans, thanks for plucking them out of obscurity.
Here's a snip from Phillip's article, which is an awesome read—as is their previous coverage of Die Antwoord and related projects, published long before any Boing Boing mentions.
"Something fucking strange has fucking happened," Jones tells the crowd in Durbanville, explaining that the group's server (which hosts its entire upcoming album free for the listening) had served more than a terabyte of data in the previous two days. "If it was a Souf Efrican server I'd have to sell my father, sell my mother's house," he says, in reference to the high price of bandwidth in South Africa.
The group won't be bearing the cost of its sudden popularity; that is being taken care of by companies like Google. Its music videos are streamed by Google-owned YouTube, and most of the discussion about it happens on Facebook and Twitter or third-party blogs and news websites. Its own server is hosted in the USA, the land of milk and honey and bandwidth so cheap it's nearly free. Its demo CDs are created on a home computer at a price that can be measured in cents per unit, and even its very slick and highly stylised videos were made for next to nothing.
But neither is the group making any money out of the phenomenon. All its music is free for the taking and it has no merchandise to sell. It runs no advertising on its website, and doesn't get a cut of whatever revenues Facebook or Google generate. While millions of people were enjoying their music, they were splitting the door take at the house. At a couple of thousand rands a piece for a couple of hours work that is money many starving artists wouldn't sneer at, but it's hardly the big time.
Die Antwoord pays its dues for the last time, but Internet fame isn't cold, hard cash (The Daily Maverick, and thanks again for turning BB on to the whole thing, Clayton)
Related: more coverage at Mahala. "Die fokken Antwoord is," and earlier, "15 Minutes with a NINJA" and "Max Doesn't Live Here Anymore." Images in this post courtesy of Mahala.
Previously:Die Antwoord, S. African zef-rap, and Progeria survivor Leon Botha ...
Afrikaans rap-rave: Die Antwoord, "Zef Side [Beat Boy]"
"Hey, does that guy have an iPad?"
Progressive UK Labour MP Tom Watson (with whom I serve on the Open Rights Group advisory council) is putting on a panel on how government can support and nurture the video-games industry, calling games "the world's fastest-growing and most lucrative entertainment medium." It's in Westminster on Jan 25 at 6:30 PM, and open to the public.
I am chairing a discussion on the place of video games and virtual worlds in modern society - the lessons we might learn from them, their dangers, and why the public debate needs to move beyond breathless accusations about violent, screen-addicted young people.
Taking Video Games Seriously
(Image: Gaming Day, a Creative Commons Attribution photo from nickstone333's photostream)
Previously:Digital companies object strenuously to UK Digital Economy bill ...
Columbine anniversary and videogames - Boing Boing
Games need serious criticism - Boing Boing
Theory of Fun: Understanding Comics for games - Boing Boing
Chad sez, "Last night I gave a talk at IgniteOKC, Oklahoma City's part of the Ignite series of talking events, called 'All I Need to Know About Life I Learned from Dungeons and Dragons.' I had a ton of fun with it and I think it will be of interest to any fans of roleplaying games in general and D&D specifically. I am especially proud of my slides, which are all hand drawn by me :)"
This was an absolutely sweet little talk -- Chad, you should put your slides online separately, since they're a little hard to make out in the video.
All I need to know about life I learned from Dungeons and Dragons - an IgniteOKC talk
Portrait of the blogger as a young D&D addict
Steampunk D&D Beholder sculpture - Boing Boing
Dungeons & Dragons Creator Gary Gygax Passes Away; Interview on ...
D&D-style map of C++ - Boing Boing
Election 08 as a Dungeons and Dragons campaign - Boing Boing
Sleazy proposed new Dungeons and Dragons license seeks to poison ...
New Dungeons and Dragons license less sleazy than I believed ...
Flowchart: How D&D is a gateway drug to every flavor of nerdiness ...
Origami D&D miniatures - Boing Boing
Our friends at the brilliant TVOntario tech podcast Search Engine have launched a YouTube channel. The inaugural episode, "Does the Internet Make You Dumber?" is fun, informative, and 3 minutes long.
Search Engine Video #1: Does the Internet Make You Dumber?
Spotted on Bruce Schneier's blog, a note that the Vatican has acknowledged that "it was not realistic to think the Vatican could ensure 100% security for the Pope and that security guards appeared to have acted as quickly as possible... zero risk cannot be achieved."
Schneier agrees: "This is particularly enlightened in comparison to the fears that somehow the President was endangered by people sneaking into a dinner with him."
(Click for large). Oh, those TSA agents are special alright. Mary Kirby, aka Runway Girl, reports that one of the federal agents who showed up at travel writer Steven Frischling's house to issue a subpoena and search his computer for the source of the agency's leaked security directive flaked out and left his notebook lying in a public place. Yes, a notebook with notes on the very important Department of Homeland Security investigation they were conducting. No TSA response on this one yet. Kirby blogs the photo above, and asks:
Would you define such a misstep as complete ineptitude? Would you wonder how the agency protects the information it gleans from other - more important - investigations (you know, ones involving threats against our nation)?
Such tough questions! These were the same agents who (according to the Wired report) showed up armed at Frischling's home, told him "I don't think you know how much trouble you're in," said they had to run to Wal-Mart to buy a hard drive to burn his MacBook contents to, came back and couldn't figure out how to get that to work, then seized his hard drive and took off, returning it later in malfunctioning order after they'd copied what they wanted.
Wonder what else was in the little notebook ("created with pride by Americans who are blind.") Presumably, some directly identifying information which is not shown in the photos Kirby chose to publish.
Exclusive: TSA agent's notebook discovered in public place (flightglobal)
Previously:TSA drops subpoenas issued to bloggers who published security ...
Update on bloggers threatened by TSA over security directive leak ...
Did Google get TSA subpoena over the blogged security directive ...
TSA subpoenas, threatens two bloggers who published non-classified ...
Yo dawg, I heard you like TSA security restrictions, so I put some ...
Do new post-pantsbomber TSA security directives kill inflight WiFi ...
Reader femaletrouble3 wins an HP MediaSmart EX495 for this entry in our 100-word fiction contest. Runner-up acrocker wins a Peek Pronto. Runner-up Toryhoke wins a mystery prize. Winners, email Rob at Boing Boing dot net for your loot!
Do you think the TSA would let you past security with this USB memory stick in the shape of an itsy-bitsy grenade?
(Watch video: YouTube, Dotsub, or download MP4.)
A quick little goodie from Boing Boing Video. Last night, I sat in on a live recording session at Santa Monica's Village Studios with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, described as "African-American string band revivalists." They were amazing: I have never been so emotionally moved by someone playing a musical jug (and banjos, fiddles, cow bones, and kazoos). Their performance was witnessed by a handful of music biz folks and oldtime music enthusiasts, and made me feel deeply homesick for Appalachia (I'm also craving cornbread and butterbeans today - there's a song for that).
The Chocolate Drops have a new record coming out in 2010, and Boing Boing will be all over it like gravy on grits. If you dig R. Crumb, Smithsonian Folkways recordings of pre-blues and pre-bluegrass banjo music, and love folks who bring new life to authentic American music, you will flip out.
So, the video above: after the Drops' performance and recording session ended, Dom Flemons (of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, seated in center in the video), Blind Boy Paxton (seated at left in the video), and Frank Fairfield (seated far right) sat down together and jammed pure, sweet magic for a spell. I wasn't prepared with a proper camera or crew, but I grabbed my iPhonetraption out of my pocket and got to shootin'. I hope you enjoy it as much as everyone in the room did. Pure magic, these guys. (Special thanks to Joe Henry; Jeff Greenberg of Village Studios; Tom Osborn, Warner Bros. Records;
David Bither, Nonesuch Records, and to Boing Boing Video's tireless editor, Eric Mittleman.)
Here are photos of a bear that has lost her fur, save a few tufts around her head. All the female bears at the Leipzig zoo suffer this humiliating affliction. (I think the CIA, which associates bears with communism, sprinkled thallium salts on their paws to cause their fur to fall out.)
Vets baffled by bald bears with mystery condition
A thirsty gentleman with a new bottle of wine, but no corkscrew, shows his friends a neat trick. (Via Cynical-C)
Salon has a refreshing take on the effect of the net on wider culture, courtesy of Dennis Baron, author of the new book A Better Pencil. Baron places hysteria about the net's supposed dumbing-down in context with other panics of years gone by.
Historically, when the new communication device comes out, the reaction tends to be divided. Some people think it's the best thing since sliced bread; other people fear it as the end of civilization as we know it. And most people take a wait and see attitude. And if it does something that they're interested in, they pick up on it, if it doesn't, they don't buy into it.
I start with Plato's critique of writing where he says that if we depend on writing, we will lose the ability to remember things. Our memory will become weak. And he also criticizes writing because the written text is not interactive in the way spoken communication is. He also says that written words are essentially shadows of the things they represent. They're not the thing itself. Of course we remember all this because Plato wrote it down -- the ultimate irony.
We hear a thousand objections of this sort throughout history: Thoreau objecting to the telegraph, because even though it speeds things up, people won't have anything to say to one another. Then we have Samuel Morse, who invents the telegraph, objecting to the telephone because nothing important is ever going to be done over the telephone because there's no way to preserve or record a phone conversation. There were complaints about typewriters making writing too mechanical, too distant -- it disconnects the author from the words. That a pen and pencil connects you more directly with the page. And then with the computer, you have the whole range of "this is going to revolutionize everything" versus "this is going to destroy everything."
Is the Internet melting our brains?
This week, we learned that the Obama administration will continue the Bush administration's practice of relocating war-on-terror detainees to other countries for offshore imprisonment and interrogation, with promises that their treatment will now be more closely monitored to ensure that they are not tortured. Human rights advocates condemn the decision as an extension of a program that creates conditions in which abuse is likely to flourish with impunity. U.S. Says Rendition to Continue, but With More Oversight (NYT).
The news came on the same day the ACLU released documents obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request which detail acts of torture committed against detainees held by the United States, domestically and in overseas "black sites."
In related news, the ACLU is protesting an agreement between the US and Britain which may lead to hacker Gary McKinnon being extradited to the US, after he penetrated the defenses of poorly secured US Government computers. According to reports, McKinnon suffers from Asperger's Syndrome, and has testified that he was searching for evidence of extra-terrestrials and UFO activity.
Previously:Highlights of the Inspector General's torture report - Boing Boing
Profiteering torture teachers modeled US techniques after those of ...
Boing Boing Video: "OUTLAWED" excerpts, pt. 1 -- Guantánamo ...
Boing Boing Video: "OUTLAWED" excerpts, pt. 2 -- Khaled El-Masri ...
BB Video: How you can get involved in the torture cases documented ...
At a recent Ignite show, designer Jeff Veen gave an entertaining talk on iPhone copycats as a kind of cargo cult.
Ignite Show: Jeff Veen on Great Designers
Dat sez, "To celebrate Candyland's 60th anniversary, Lombard Street in San Francisco is being turned into a life-size game and children from UC San Francisco Children's Hospital and the nonprofit Friends of the Children will be able to compete."
Candyland Game Starts at 10 a.m. Today
Fifty years ago this summer, Sir Christopher Cockerell publicly demonstrated the hovercraft. The black and white photo at the top shows the curious craft, called the SR-N1, on the Thames at Westminster, UK. Fortean Times celebrates the birth of the "flying saucer" and also its, er, human-powered descendent, the Steam Boat Willy. Watch the video above and give the Steam Boat Willy project an A+ for effort. Here's the project leader Chris Roper quoted in Fortean Times:
“You don’t need to be an athlete to hover it. Everyone who has tried has succeeded in becoming airborne under their own leg power in this craft. It’s still at the prototype stage, and the craft is currently being tested, developed and improved. It weighs in at 56lb [25kg] empty, and has carried a 58lb [26kg] girl as a passenger. Is it a boat, a bike, a plane or an ‘air-car’? It is an Unclassifiable Flying Object.”
"Unclassifiable Flying Objects"
Jonathan Haeber of Terrastories took these incredible photographs from inside an abandoned Titan I missile site. He writes,
On Memorial Day of 2007, and then again in December, I visited two separate Titan I missile sites. The first was quite the introduction. The second was mind-blowing. There are no words to describe being in what is perhaps the world's largest underground missile complex. In fact, I've tried more than once, and in my mind have not achieved an adequate description. Last month, I clicked on a random link and encountered the narrative of another man who had done the same. His words, and his story came much closer to describing the feeling in detail. Even better, this man knew all of the intricacies of the base. He was a true savant of Titan I - and probably the foremost non-military expert of these historic bases. I contacted him and asked if he would be willing to talk about his experience and he readily agreed.
Discovering the History of a Titan I Base (Terrastories)
Here is an extensive gallery of photographs: Various Trips to Titan Silos in California and Colorado
Nancy creator Ernie Bushmiller sure looks happy!
Heidi MacDonald says: I have a post you may enjoy, from the ever wonderful Life Mag/Google
Archives. It's from 1950 and it shows the artists of Nancy, Smokey
Stover and so on drawing on scantily clad young models. It's kinda
creepy but sort of endearing in that old time girdle fetish way, too.
It reminds me of an event Craig Yoe would produce.
A bunch of old school strip cartoonists draw on the bathing suits of comely young models
This Egyptian bust has become a popular attraction at Chicago's Field Museum because it's a spitting image of Michael Jackson, complete with a tweaked nose. It was carved between 1550-1050 BCE and depicts a woman. "Statue's a Dead Ringer for Jacko" (NBC Chicago)
A paper in Archives of Disease in Children documents a New Zealand experiment in which children's sleep habits were tracked against their activity, as measured by an actigraph. The conclusion won't surprise many parents: kids who run around all day sleep more at night (and kids who sleep more at night are more apt to run around all day).
The study included 519 healthy 7-year-olds from New Zealand, who each wore a device called an actigraph for 24 hours. An actigraph records movement, providing an objective measure of a child's activity level and sleep time. Parents also noted when their child went to bed, which allowed researchers to calculate how long after bedtime children actually fell asleep.
The researchers found a wide variation in how quickly children fell asleep, with some taking as little as 13 minutes and others needing more than 40 minutes after going to bed. Within this range, there was a close relationship between the onset of sleep and daytime activity. On average, children took an extra three minutes to fall asleep for every hour they weren't moving about. Also, the children who fell asleep faster slept longer overall. On average, children got one extra hour of slumber for every 11-minute drop in how long they took to get to sleep.
Active days mean better bedtimes
Thanks to Cynical-C blog for finding this video of Vladimir Nabokov answering questions about his novel Lolita on NBC's Close Up in the mid-1950s.
Here's Part 2.
I'm looking forward to seeing Know Your Mushrooms, a documentary by Ron Mann (who also directed Comic Book Confidential).
KNOW YOUR MUSHROOMS follows uber myco visionaries Gary Lincoff and Larry Evans (two of the more expert and unforgettably mercurial characters in the community) as they lead us on a hunt for the wild mushroom and the deeper cultural experiences attached to the mysterious fungi.
Combining material filmed at the Telluride Mushroom Fest with animation and archival footage along with a neo-psychedelic soundtrack by the Flaming Lips, KNOW YOUR MUSHROOMS opens the doors to perception, takes the audience on a longer, stranger trip and delivers them to a brave new world where the fungi might well guide humanity to a saner, safer place… with extra cheese…
When I was young my grandmother would take my family on mushroom hunting trips. She really knew her mushrooms. Once when we were in the woods, my mother and grandmother got into an argument about whether or not a mushroom they'd found was poisonous. My mother said it was poisonous and my grandmother said it wasn't. To make her point, my grandmother ate the mushroom on the spot. (I have to assume she was right, because she lived to be 107.)
Last week in Colorado, my mother (who knows her mushrooms too, just not as well as her mother did) found and dried some mushrooms. Photos here.
Know Your Mushrooms documentary
Previously:Mushroom Magick art book - Boing Boing
Mushrooms in Helsinki - Boing Boing
TED 2008: Paul Stamets on how mushrooms can help the world - Boing ...
Dancing man wearing a horse mask cooks wild mushrooms (video ...
Wall Street Journal discovers psychedelic mushrooms - Boing Boing
Netherlands bans magic mushrooms - Boing Boing
Boing Boing: Mushrooms as insulation material
Willie Nelson's mysterious "narcotic" mushrooms - Boing Boing
Shrooms to cure headaches - Boing Boing
This original, unopened 1967 Star Trek oil paint-by-numbers is for sale on eBay. It could be yours for just $1800! The seller has a slew of Star Trek memorabilia for sale.
I visited the home of BB pals Richard "Dangerous Minds" Metzger and Tara McGinley last week, and Richard showed me this gem, found on a telephone pole nearby. "I'm still peeing myself laughing about this guy," says Richard.
MAN CLAIMS TO LOOK LIKE MICHAEL FROM "GOOD TIMES" (Dangerous Minds)
Update: A savvy BB commenter points out that the guy's a) prolific b) known.
Here's a set of intriguing notes by Joey DeVilla from a talk at the FutureRuby conference called "Artisanal Retro-Futurism and Team-Scale Anarcho-Syndicalism," presented by Brian Marick. I hope a video goes up soon -- I'd love to hear this in full.
# First, let's consider what "anarcho-syndicalism" is
# Consider an agile team. The see themselves as alone in a dangerous place, where no one else is offering any help.
* It would be nice if a "daddy" swooped in and help save them from the mean people
* The are problems with this approach: it's pathetic, and it often doesn't work
# Here's a story for you to illustrate things:
* An agile team was made to work in cubicles, like the rest of the company
* Agile methods aside, cubicles are the "single worst arrangement of humans and objects in space for the purpose of developing software"
* The team proposed changing their workspace to an open one
* Furniture Police turned them down
* In response, the scrum-master went to the office over the weekend. She disassembled the cubicles and changed the office layout to an open one. On Monday, she declared to the Furniture Police that "If the cubicles come back, you will have to fire me."
* They gave in
FutureRuby Talk: "Artisanal Retro-Futurism and Team-Scale Anarcho-Syndicalism"
Update: Here's that video
Mike sez, "In his closing talk from last month's Reboot conference in Copenhagen, Bruce Sterling guesses at what it will be like to live through the next ten years: 'It is neither progress nor conservatism because there's nothing left to conserve and no direction in which to progress. So what you get is transition. Transition to nowhere.'"
Bruce Sterling - reboot 11 closing talk
"The choppers call him 'Torch.'"
Many thanks to the The Isotope Guerrilla Cult Theatre for uploading this 1961 movie about a gang of kids who steal and strip down cars to turn into hotrods.
If you cool cats like classic hotrod cars, bad boys from the other side of the tracks, sexy blondes in tight shirts, insipidly catchy songs, goofy teen idol good looks, and the world's biggest cell phone... this one is for you!
Hot rods, hot rock, and hot hair are the jewels in the juvenile delinquency crown of THE CHOPPERS. This classic drive-in exploitation flick features the debut of sixteen year-old Arch Hall Jr. as Cruiser, the spoiled rich kid with a taste for crime and his band of troubled teens who call themselves cool names like Torch, Flip and Snoop, and specialize in stripping cars in record time. This is the movie that made you mom weak in the knees and your daddy worried about the crowd you run with.
Featuring the some exceptional less-than-hit songs from the awesome Arch Hall Jr, including non-classics like "Konga Joe" and "Monkey In A Hatband".
Ed Hebb, a volunteer at the Henry Ford Estate, shows how to start and drive a Ford Model T. Now I know. (via BB Gadgets)
Previously:Model-T snowmobile hacks - Boing Boing
Boing Boing: HOWTO convert a Model T into a tractor
We all know Carl Linnaeus as the father of taxonomy, but how did he keep all that taxonomic information organized? Turns out he invented index cards:
Speaking at the annual meeting of the British Society for the History of Science in Leicester, UK on Saturday 4 July, Mueller-Wille will reveal his preliminary findings of research on Linnaeus' manuscripts held June 16 at the Linnaean Society of London...
Towards the end of his career, in the mid-1760s, Linnaeus took this further, inventing a paper tool that has since become very common: index cards. While stored in some fixed, conventional order, often alphabetically, index cards could be retrieved and shuffled around at will to update and compare information at any time.
Carl Linnaeus Invented The Index Card
Hallmark's delightful miniature "The Menagerie" is advertised as a way to "relive moments from Star Trek's beloved two-part episode featuring the radiation-scarred Captain Christopher Pike." This would be a great Thanksgiving centerpiece, or topper for your toilet-paper cozy.
Here's a set of instructions for operating and maintaining the replica of Charles Babbage's mechanical computer -- the storied difference engine -- built and displayed in 1991 at London's Science Museum to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Babbage.
If the Engine is being demonstrated on a daily basis, lt should be oiled and greased at least once a week. If no demonstrations are taking place, then the Engine should be oiled and greased on a monthly basis, but the handle should be turned at least twice a week to cycle the mechanisms.
Grease : "Alvania" grease or it's equivalent should be used.
1. all vertical motion cam profiles only and their levers.
2. all bevel gears above and below the cam stack.
3. all bevel gears on the carry axes and those on the carry drive shaft.
4. the phasing gear, register pinion, "Impact tooth and the tw-in tooth drive.
5. the pawl wheel and crank pinion.
to Operate and Maintain
2nd Difference Engine
(via Hack the Planet)
(Image: The Difference Engine, a Creative Commons Attribution photo from Adactio's Flickr stream)
Gama-Go's Greg Long says:
Dave Cooper's one of my most favorite artists ever. He just did this unbelievably awesome video for one of my most favorite bands ever, Danko Jones. Check it and be thrilled.
Forgetomori has a nice photo gallery of giant earthworms. I'm not sure if they are real or not.
The worms in the images all look they are up to a meter in length, compatible with the recorded dimensions for the many species of the families we discussed. They are probably real, though exactly from where and what species my ordinary investigation didn’t come up with. Specialists, do enlighten us with further confirmation and identification! The first image of a girl holding up one, for instance, may not be of an earthworm but of a caecilian.
Vaughan of Mind Hacks came across a paper about a 23-year-old woman who was mountain climbing and got struck by lightning (a "bolt from the blue" in a sky that was "clear and sunny"). Upon waking from a three-day-long medically-induced coma, she experienced a series of hyperreal hallucinations that remind me of drawings from one of R. Crumb's sketchbooks.
These exclusively visual sensations consisted of unknown people, animals and objects acting in different scenes, like a movie. None of the persons or scenes was familiar to her and she was severely frightened by their occurrence. For example, an old lady was sitting on a ribbed radiator, then becoming thinner and thinner, and finally vanishing through the slots of the radiator.
Later, on her left side a cowboy riding on a horse came from the distance. As he approached her, he tried to shoot her, making her feel defenceless because she could not move or shout for help. In another scene, two male doctors, one fair and one dark haired, and a woman, all with strange metal glasses and unnatural brownish-red faces, were tanning in front of a sunbed, then having sexual intercourse and afterwards trying to draw blood from her.
These formed hallucinations, partially with delusional character, were in the whole visual field and constantly present for approximately 20 h. At the time of appearance, the patient was not sure whether they were real or unreal, but did not report them for fear that she might be considered insane.
Bolt from the blue triggers bizzare hallucinations
One of the most exciting revelations in the book Homemade Hollywood was the news of the existence of Monster Kid Home Movies, a two-hour 2005DVD of kid-made monster movies from the 1950s to the 1980s, transferred from streaky old film-stock.
I sent away for a review copy of the disc and it's been my captivating evening viewing for two nights now. Monster Kid Home Movies is an utterly exuberant celebration of monster-obsessed amateur creativity, and the films are filled with raw enthusiasm for the genre. These are Forry Ackerman's spiritual progeny at their most ingenious, contriving incredible costumes, ill-advised stunts, clever camera work, and often hilarious hamming to recreate the famous monsters of filmland.
The DVD's extras are great as well -- bios and production stills from the films, which are organized by creator. Some of these kids went on to have real Hollywood careers, others didn't, but they all made glorious monster movies in their day.
Buy Monster Kid Home Movies
Monster Kid Home Movies homepage
Previously:Monster Kid Home Movies DVD - Boing Boing
On the Neurophilosophy blog, a fascinating look at confabulatory hypermnesia, a rare disorder in which people with various kinds of amnesia (including amnesia resulting from alcoholism and Vitamin B1 deficiencies) invent a continuous stream of detailed, fictitious events to fill in the gaps in their memory. The write up comes from a paper published in the journal Cortex:
Most strikingly, LM confabulated plausible answers to questions about both his personal life and public events, which would normally elicit from most people an answer of "I don't know". When the researchers asked him "Who won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980?" he replied "Fernandel"; when asked what he had for dinner on Tuesday two weeks ago, he answered "Steak with french fries"; and when asked "Do you remember what you did on March 13th, 1985?" he replied "We spent the day at the Senart Forest."
LM thus has a "pure" amnesic syndrome, in that his impairment is not associated with other cognitive deficits which might interfere with memory function. He scored normally on short-term memory tests, and the evaluation revealed mild, diffuse neurodegeneration, rather than damage in a specific part of the brain. False memories are not uncommon in patients with Korsakoff's syndrome - indeed the condition is also referred to as amnesic-confabulatory syndrome. However, the confabulations of such patients are sometimes extraordinary, bizarre and verging on being delusional. LM's confabulations, on the other hand, were always plausible, and therefore quite unlike those reported in other Korsakoff's patients.
Confabulatory hypermnesia, or severe false memory syndrome
Previously:Oliver Sacks on music and amnesia - Boing Boing
Josh Foer on memory - Boing Boing
Man in 25 day fugue state - Boing Boing
Canonical, the folks who maintain the Ubuntu flavor of the GNU/Linux operating system, have demoed code that lets you run apps from Android phones and devices (like Google's G1) on your desktop. Given that I'm a G1 user and an Ubuntu user, this is good news!
Google's Linux-based Android platform is attracting a lot of attention. The new version significantly improves the platform's reliability and could make it look a lot more appealing to carriers and handset makers. The availability of an experimental x86 port has caused some people to speculate that Android might have a place in the netbook market.
Canonical developers aim to make Android apps run on Ubuntu
RunPee is a website that tells you when the best time to leave a movie and run to the bathroom to pee is. It also tells you what you missed while you were draining off a quart or two of lime kool-aid.
The US chamber of commerce is leaning on trade representatives to make sure that poor countries have to pay to license patents on technologies that will reduce their carbon footprints and stave off global warming:
Developing countries such as Brazil, India and China have indicated that if - as expected in the next few years - they are going to have to make sacrifices to reduce carbon emissions, they should be able to license some of the most efficient available technologies for doing so.
Big business is worried about this, because they prefer that patent rights have absolute supremacy. They want to make sure that climate change talks don't erode the power that they have gained through the World Trade Organisation.
The WTO is widely misunderstood and misrepresented as an organisation designed to promote free trade. In fact, some of its most economically important rules promote the opposite: the costliest forms of protectionism in the world.
Green technology should be shared
Over on BBG, our Joel's spotted this visionary statement from one of our would-be masters of technology:
"I'm a guy who doesn't see anything good having come from the Internet," said Sony Pictures Entertainment chief executive officer Michael Lynton. "Period."
Quote: Sony Pictures CEO on the value of the internet
Discuss this on Boing Boing Gadgets
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Here's my latest column for Internet Evolution: "Big Entertainment Wants to Party Like It's 1996" explains how the entertainment industry's greedy, naked lobbying tactics will be their undoing, since these victories end up backfiring because they arouse such public ire.
It's not that these companies can't get their laws on the agenda, and not that they can't cook the process to make it run favorably for themselves. For example, when Canada was considering its own version of the WCT, the entertainment giants saw to it that the parliamentarians in charge of the process only talked to multinational entertainment giants, without conducting any kind of embarrassing public consultation. They wouldn't even talk to the Canadian record companies -- just the multinationals.
The proposed laws -- Bill C60 and Bill C61 -- were complicated and took a lot of explaining. But here's what didn't take any explaining at all: "Your government is about to introduce sweeping, controversial regulations to the Internet, and they won't talk with anyone except the jerks who are suing all those music downloaders in the States about it -- they won't even talk to Canadian record companies!"
This made the Canadian lawmakers who backed the proposal look like sellouts (which they were); made the laws look like conspiracies (which they were); and made the geeks who cared about this stuff look like heroes (which they were). The complicated story about the law became a simple story about the process.
Likewise in New Zealand, where a new copyright provision called "Section 92A" made every geek in the country freak out in unison. 92A allows a rightsholder to have your Internet connection terminated by filing three unsubstantiated accusations of copyright infringement against you. No judge and no jury: just a rightsholder standing over you, able to administer the death penalty to your participation in electronic life without showing a shred of evidence.
Now, this is a little easier to explain to the general public -- the entertainment lobby isn't just stupid about process, they're also greedy in what they ask for -- but 92A was rammed through Parliament in a dodgy process that got those people who weren't interested in copyright or the Internet outraged anyway.
New Zealand's brilliant, tireless geeks organized around the clock, mounted a huge, high-profile global campaign through Twitter and blogs (they probably tripled the amount of international coverage New Zealand received), and forced the government to back down on its plans, sending the entertainment industry packing.
In France, the "colorful" Nicolas Sarkozy faced a revolt after trying to pass the New Zealand law there -- where it was called HADOPI -- and having it rejected by his own government.
Big Entertainment Wants to Party Like It's 1996
Hannah Perner-Wilson's limpet shells, which contain either an LED or vibrating motor that is activated when you push down on the shell, have no purpose other than to delight the person who happens upon them.
Limpet Shell Electronics
Niko Kugler & Georg Heitzmann's concept design for "The Harvester" is a Lorax-terrifying device that can pick up felled trees in a forest and extract them without harming nearby growth.
Can't see the video? Click here