Boing Boing

Monday, August 22, 2005

Indoor RC airplane

  Hobbies Img Butterfly This tiny (4 gram) remote control airplane from Plantraco, called the Butterfly, looks like a lot of fun. It even comes with a highly fetishistic carrying case. Watch the video of an almost inordinately jolly fellow demonstrating it. Gee, I want one, especially if it will make me as happy as the guy. $240.
Link (thanks, toihumanoid!)

posted by Mark Frauenfelder at 03:48:47 PM permalink | blogs' comments

Iranian postcards of western actresses in Muslim attire

 Starlets PictThis guy found some beautifully rendered drawings of western actresses dressed in traditional Muslim garb. Shown here, Katie Holmes.
Link (via Frank)

posted by Mark Frauenfelder at 03:07:57 PM permalink | blogs' comments

Japanese subway roach video

Video of roaches crawling out of a manhole cover in a Japanese subway station. When a man sprays some insecticide into a hole in the cover, the roaches really start pouring out. Link

posted by Mark Frauenfelder at 02:53:18 PM permalink | blogs' comments

Free FSM sticker to the first 100 Boing Boing readers who ask for it

Picture 2-15 Signs Never Sleep says "Just send me your mailing address via e-mail and I'll send one off to the first 100 people that request it, just for the sake of my whuffie score... and to promote Pastafarianism worldwide... White vinyl decal with black printing, die cut to shape, outdoor durable, measuring 3.5" x 6""

posted by Mark Frauenfelder at 02:49:06 PM permalink | blogs' comments

Unintentional faces in manufactured objects

Picture 1-22 According to Wikipedia, pareidolia is "a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (usually an image) being mistakenly perceived as recognizable."

One common form of pareidolia is seeing faces in objects (like the flying spaghetti monster on a tortilla, or the face of Sean Hannity on a human being). There is an excellent book filled with pictures of faces on objects, called Faces.

My friend Jim Leftwich has been taking his own pictures of faces for a while, and has a flickr gallery with them. As I expect from Jim, the photos are whimsical and surprising.

posted by Mark Frauenfelder at 02:14:52 PM permalink | blogs' comments

Flying Spaghetti Monster bumper sticker, Version 1.1

Picture 4-8 Tom Yeaton says: "I saw your post earlier showcasing the brilliant Flying Spaghetti Monster car tag submitted by another reader and thought I may be able to help in refining his design. Here's a PDF with illustrator editing capabilities preserved. If your team is interested in what I've put together, I'd be happy to release the art work to the public domain through BoingBoing."
Link to editable PDF

Picture 3-15 Update: Here's another, from Scott Shanks.

posted by Mark Frauenfelder at 01:47:24 PM permalink | blogs' comments

Goofy algorithm generates web page about "Prostitute Phobia"

A Boing Boing reader writes: "For reasons too complex (and embarassing) to explain I stumbled across this site.

"It's obviously generated by some sort of algorithm that takes Google search terms and writes copy based on them. In this case "Prostitute Phobia" generated this amazingly funny copy.

"An excerpt:

To add insult to an already distressing condition, most prostitute phobia therapies take months or years and sometimes even require the patient to be exposed repeatedly to their fear. We believe that not only is this totally unnecessary, it will often make the condition worse.
"Oh, it's beautiful! It even includes a semi-appropriate (and inadvertantly funny) stock photo in the design of the robo-generated page." Link

posted by Mark Frauenfelder at 01:28:42 PM permalink | blogs' comments

Warner Music CEO calls for iPod taxes, levies -- twirls moustache and cackles, clatters away on tiny, ebony hooves

Edgar Bronfman, Jr, the Chairman and CEO of Warner Music, gave a speech about how the future of music distribution will be all DRMed, how DRM makes technology companies "innovate" by producing technology to record executives' specifications, and how great it was that the Canadian government was considering a tax on iPods. What a dipstick. Here's a little refreshing honesty for ya, though:
"We like government levies when they benefit us," Bronfman said. "I would like none of the legislators in France, for instance, to say they should no longer pay us a levy for all the blank CDs that are being sold, (though) it doesn't make up for the revenue that we're losing...If the government mandated filtering technologies, we'd be delighted."

posted by Cory Doctorow at 12:51:47 PM permalink | blogs' comments

Butterfly knife demos

Balisong When I was a kid, I cut myself more than once trying, and failing, to get all flashy with the crappy butterfly (Balisong) knife I bought at a flea market. The Balisong video demos here are hypnotizing. I just wish they were shot as close-ups of the guy's hands. He does have amazing chops though. (Sorry.) Link (via MetaFilter, where there are more links)

posted by David Pescovitz at 12:26:16 PM permalink | blogs' comments

"Creative commons comics" join Saturday Night Live cast

Loyal Boing Boing readers may recall past posts about The Lonely Island, an LA-based collective of funnypersons who shot a pilot for FOX called Awesometown. Fox passed, none of the networks picked it up, so the guys released the pilot on their website under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

Previously, we'd blogged other work from the dudes including their Channel 101 short series The 'Bu, and a supremely deadpan music video called "Just Two Guys."

But here's the big news -- a blog exclusive. BoingBoing's Hollywood informant raises his nose mid-snort from a line of blow along a stripper's butt-crack to tell us that three Lonely Island-ers have been hired by NBC's Saturday Night Live.

On SNL's forthcoming season, Andy Samberg (far right in photo above) will become a member of the new cast, while Jorma Taccone (far left) and Akiva Schaffer (to the immediate right of Jack Black in colonial drag) will support him as writers.


Previously: Lonely Island: wack-ass online shorts and mp3s

"Lonely Island"-er Andy Samberg on Comedy Central

posted by Xeni Jardin at 12:25:04 PM permalink | blogs' comments

Mystery scream in Ohio

Residents of Liberty, Ohio, just north of Cincinnati where I grew up, are hearing a very strange scream at night that has yet to be identified. You can hear a recording of the blood-curdling scream by watching a cheesy local news report from Cincinnati's Channel 5. Link (via Fark)

posted by David Pescovitz at 12:13:08 PM permalink | blogs' comments

Piano Man goes home

In May, I posted about the mysterious "piano man" who was picked up by police in Kent, England. He couldn't or wouldn't speak but apparently played magnificent piano. The German foreign ministry confirmed today that the mystery has been solved. The piano man is a 20-year-old from Bavaria and is on his way home. According to a BBC News article, very few details have been revealed:
Pianoman A national newspaper reported on Monday that the man had finally broken his silence and stated he was German, before leaving the UK.

The health trust said the patient had been discharged following a marked improvement in his condition but the rules regarding patient confidentiality meant there would be no further statement...

The German embassy in London said it had been contacted on Friday morning by the Little Brook Hospital, in Dartford, with a report of a man claiming to be a German national.

"We contacted his parents and his identification was confirmed," an embassy spokesman said.

"We gave him replacement travel documents and he left the UK using his own arrangements on Saturday morning.

"This was a neutral affair for us, it was someone who had lost his passport and needed to get back to Germany and we helped him."

posted by David Pescovitz at 11:56:27 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Flying Spaghetti Monster Has a Posse, and more

Link (Thanks, David)

See also: FSM Flickr pool (Thanks, Buz Carter)

The Pesto Manifesto: Link.

The boundary separating diet and deity grows thinner with the rise of Bacontarianism, an Atkins-compliant response to Pastafarianism. Link. Praise the Lard.
And Boing Boing reader Alan says:

You blogged:

"So, here's a question. If some people see Jesus in a tortilla, or the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich, where does the Flying Spaghetti Monster show up to avoid redundancy?"


He appears in every server room or near computers everywhere.


Pastafarianism: Flying Spaghetti Monster cult grows

Boing Boing's $1 Million Intelligent Design challenge

DIY Flying Spaghetti Monster bumper sticker

posted by Xeni Jardin at 11:50:10 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Robot can get back on its feet

R Daneel, a humanoid robot, can stand up after falling over by kicking up its legs and rocking onto its feet. Developed at the University of Tokyo, the 60kg robot was named after an Isaac Asimov character. From New Scientist:
Daneel"The robot is not controlled all the time through a predefined trajectory - as is typically done in robotics," says Max Lungarella, who works at the lab where R Daneel was developed...

The research project is aimed at exploring more flexible - and graceful - ways for robots to interact with the world around them. "The main idea behind the design of the robot is the exploitation of body dynamics," Lungarella told New Scientist.

The same blend of control and flexibility used in standing up could also be applied to other robot tasks, Lungarella believes. "All kinds of tasks - particularly dynamics-based ones - can be addressed with our framework. We are currently looking at jumping, rolling, walking, trotting, swinging, reaching and grasping."
Link to New Scientist article, Link to amazing video of R Daneel in action (via We Make Money Not Art)

posted by David Pescovitz at 11:23:36 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Flickr Pool of mid-century illustrations

Drawn!'s Ward Jenkins has launched an excellent Flickr Group called The Retro Kid. It's a photo pool of mid-1940s through mid-1960s illustration. From Ward's blog post:
Sheltertrap-2 The Retro Kid... focuses on children's book illustrations from the mid-40's through the the mid-60's, as that is one of my favorite eras for that sort of thing. But I don't want to limit it to just books, as I'm open to seeing anything that was illustrated for kids, such as textbooks, booklets, pamphlets, albums, 45's, ads, games, toys, etc. As long as it has that mid-century modern stylized look with the characters and colors, I'm down with it. Oh, and if it looks cool. Yeah. Cool.

In the description for the group, I mention some illustrators as examples that I dig -- Aurelius Battaglia, JP Miller, Art Seiden, The Provensens, Mary Blair, M. Sasek, and many more with similar styles. They were a prolific bunch, and I feel that there is not enough out there on the web about these incredibly talented artists to really get a sense of how influential they were. Thus, The Retro Kid was born. Hopefully this group will give exposure to these fantastic artists, and give credit where credit is due.
Link (via Drawn!)

posted by David Pescovitz at 11:11:19 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Bar Camp photos

Picture 1-21 Over the weekend two great campouts were held: foo camp at O'Reilly Headquarters in Sebastopol and bar camp in Palo Alto. Both camps brought together hackers and makers of all stripes for a concentrated weekend of cross-pollination. Here are Scott Beale's photos of bar camp.

posted by Mark Frauenfelder at 10:51:51 AM permalink | blogs' comments

VR Goggles Heal Scars of War

Snip from a story I filed for today's Wired News about a new virtual reality system designed for treating Iraq vets suffering from acute combat stress:

As part of an ongoing trial [at the San Diego Naval Hospital, Dr. James L.] Spira treats Marine and Navy personnel with the system. Some of his PTSD patients are veterans; others remain on active duty. One of the patients Spira worked with in the VR therapy trial was a Marine sniper, the sole survivor of an attack in which he witnessed at close range the violent deaths of fellow squad members.

"One of them was cut in half, literally, with machine-gun fire. (My patient) ran out on impulse to help him, and was shot in the arm and leg. He picked up the body, scooped up the intestines, brought him back to their vehicle as the guy looked up at him and spoke, dying. His squad truck headed back with them for safety, and was then hit by IED (improvised explosive device), which killed everyone but him." The Marine was rescued and transported to a hospital, and eventually returned to the United States, where he started VR treatment with Spira.

"Snipers are very tough in general, and during the session, he kept saying, 'I'm fine.' But I had him hooked up with physiological monitors, and when I asked him to tell the story of what happened, his system went through the roof.

"He flew out of his wheelchair in public once, and started pounding on a guy who said we shouldn't be in Iraq," Spira said. "But over time, as the therapy continued, he became calmer and was able to get along with people better."



NPR "Xeni Tech": Virtual reality to treat PTSD for Iraq vets

posted by Xeni Jardin at 10:15:23 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Hand-drawn map of Burning Man, 2005

Black Rock City in hand-drawn glory. By Lisa Hoffman (lisalisa at there dot net).
Link to full-size. (Thanks, Wayne Correia!)

Reader comment: Tim Holt says,

Here's a great satellite view of burning man's land scars. An interesting companion image to that amazing hand drawn map. Link
nym says,
I've collected some Burning Man maps here, and here is a Google Maps Slideshow I made.
Sebbo says,
Tim Holt refers to Burningman's "land scars" in the Google satellite image. I think that's misleading. Judging by the amount of settlement at the site, I'd estimate that the picture was taken at this time of year--that is to say, about a week before the event started. What you're seeing is the beginning of the city, not the aftermath. I don't know if Tim meant to suggest that the site is visible year-round, but given the controversy that's sometimes swirled around questions of the event's environmental impact, I thought it would be worthwhile to set the record straight.
And, finally, a personal note: Boing Boing reader Thomas Terashima says that "Kamp Kanuckistan" at Burning Man 2005 just named me Governor General of Kanuckistan. They're calling the trophy for the group's second annual road hockey tournament the "Xeni Cup". This is totally weird and I think my brains just exploded. I don't know what to say, other than -- thank you, kind Kanuckistani citizens. First gubernatorial decree: free bandwidth and beverages for all.

Thomas explains:

I am gifting a silver-plated bowl as the actual physical trophy. A group of Canadians (mostly from Calgary, Alberta) are hosting the event again this year on Thursday (September 1st) from 4 to 7 PM. Kamp Kanuckistan (representing the "stateless state" of the Free United Cartel of Kanuckistan) will be at 5:20 on Fetish.

The pronounciation of "Xeni Cup" would link it to an alternate name for the sport: Link.

Bonus extra -- a chart of 8 years of Black Rock City street names: Link.

posted by Xeni Jardin at 10:02:09 AM permalink | blogs' comments

DIY Flying Spaghetti Monster bumper sticker

Fsm bpowah says: "This morning over coffee, I meme-sprouted a simple graphic intended for chrome plating and adhesive sticking to the back of a car. I hope some (if not all by now) Boing Boing readers are Pastifarian graphics artists and would like to refine it and perhaps submit it to a manufacturer of those footed Darwin Fish (who's population is on the decline as they are gobbled up by jesus fish) I submit it to the public domain via BoingBoing and Wikipedia."

posted by Mark Frauenfelder at 09:32:22 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Snapshot: Six Feet Under sign, Sunset/Gower Studios

</the show>. Shot on the way home in Hollywood on August 21, the day the final episode aired. Link, and here's another.

posted by Xeni Jardin at 08:41:09 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Customers of new UK ISP get to share all Sony music on P2P

PlayLouder MSP, an ISP in the UK, has secured a license from Sony that allows its customers to legally share any song in the Sony-BMG catalog with any other PlayLouder MSP customer, and to download these tracks from any ISP customer in the entire world.

This is such stupendously good news that I frankly didn't believe it. This is what EFF has been calling for for years now, a Voluntary Collective Licensing Scheme will break the file-sharing deadlock and give the majority of Internet users who file-share today the chance to get legit while compensating rightsholders.

I spent the day going back and forth with the two principles from PlayLouder MSP, Paul Sanders and Paul Hitchman, and based on what they've told me, I'm prepared to say that this is the best thing to happen to the copyfight all year -- maybe all century.

Here's the deal. PlayLouder MSP DSL costs about the same as comparable DSL offerings in the UK (though right now, PlayLouder MSP's one-meg speeds don't compare to the high-end offerings from ISPs like Bulldog, who are offering 8-meg DSL). For their money, PlayLouder MSP customers get their regualr DSL lines, as well as:

  • The right to share any song in the Sony-BMG catalog
  • Even if it's out of print
  • In any file-format
  • Using any file-sharing software
  • At any bitrate
PlayLouder MSP's customers' license includes Sony music sourced from P2P networks, ripped from CDs, or digitized from vinyl, cassettes, or radio broadcasts.

PlayLouder MSP is using audio-analysis software provided by Audible Magic to analyze the P2P traffic that it can detect on its network and count approximately how many times each track is traded, and will deliver that, along with a cut of its revenue, to Sony.

They're also filtering traffic to the Internet to prevent Sony music tracks that Audible Magic recognizes from leaving its network via recognized P2P protocols and going to ISPs whose customers have not paid a license fee. However, they will not be stopping any tracks that Audible Magic fails to recognize, nor will they be resticting traffic using unrecognized protocols.

PlayLouder MSP has deals with many indy labels as well as Sony, and those labels will also get a proportional cut of the money that PlayLouder MSP takes in based on their network monitoring. The ISP says that it is negotiating with other major labels and hopes they'll come into the fold soon.

They'd be crazy not to: this is free money, just for letting music fans go on doing what music fans have always done.

More, this is a chance for the labels to extract themselves from the unsustainable quicksand they've sunk up to their necks in: suing their customers by the thousands in the hopes that some day, with enough lawsuits, the music-buying public will finally see the light and go back to the malls.

PlayLouder MSP is live at the end of September if their schedule holds. I'm subscribing. Link (Thanks, James and Chris!)

posted by Cory Doctorow at 08:40:33 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Writer's perspective on Amazon's pay-to-download short stories

John Scalzi, author of the tremendous sf novel Old Man's War, sez, "Amazon has started selling short fiction and essays as part of its new "Amazon Shorts" area -- I've checked it out and have written a review of the site from the perspective of both a reader and a writer."
Should Amazon be considered any different than any other fly-by-night "publisher" who offers to publish first, pay later? We'll have to see, but provisionally, I can think of a number of reasons why the answer here would be "yes." First: Unlike any number of nebulous "publishers," Amazon does not appear to be saying that author payment is contingent on some vague profit goal or on whether the magazine/site sells advertising or whatever; what it appears to be saying is "you get a cut from the very first sale" -- Meaning that as soon as Amazon starts taking in money, the author starts making money. If indeed this is the case, then Yog's Law is not violated.

Second: Unlike any number of nebulous "publishers," Amazon is Amazon, the industry leader in online retail, with a well-established history of working with (and paying) third-party vendors, which in this case is what the author would be. Amazon has nothing to gain by attempting to scam authors out of their work without paying them, and rather a lot to lose, since if it did so it would anger publishers, agents and authors, from whom Amazon derives one of its main sources of income, i.e., books. The proof of Amazon's business practices for Amazon Shorts will be at the end of however Amazon has structured its payment periods, when the participating authors get cut a check. But until that time, given who Amazon is and its history in business, I'm willing to assume they're not out to screw the authors.

Link (Thanks, John!)

posted by Cory Doctorow at 07:54:31 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Pledge to poison a registration database this November 13!

The BugMeNot people are calling for an International Database Poisoning Day this November 13, and are collecting pledges to register an account with fake details at one of several major, registration-required news websites:
We, the undersigned, wish to demonstrate the pointless nature of forced web site registration schemes and the dubious demographic data they collect.

On November 13th we will each register an account using fake details at one or more of these top 10 offending sites:

Link (Thanks, Bugmenotter!)

posted by Cory Doctorow at 05:23:10 AM permalink | blogs' comments

China's beautiful ice and snow festival

R Todd King went to Harbin, China, documenting the astonishing Ice and Snow Festival, where ice and snow scultpors are erecting buildings, statues, rides, and other fantasies out of frozen water. Link (via Ambiguous)

posted by Cory Doctorow at 02:05:36 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Google stealthily monitoring clickthroughs from search-results

There's some very subtle clickthrough tracking going on at Google. Just before you click on a link on a search-results page, at the "on mousedown" event, Google rewrites the links in its search results with a long redirector URL that is presumably being used to track which search results are being selected most often.

For example, the first search result for a Google search for Boing Boing is listed as "". If you hover your mouse over the link on the results page, the status-bar in your browser displays the link URL as "". However, if you right-click on the link and copy the link location, it is revealed to actually be " url=http%3A//" (it will probably be a slightly different URL for you).

I have no doubt that most of Google's intended uses for this are beneficial to Google users. For example, Google can use this to refine its search results based on which links Google users click most often.

However, there is a grave privacy implication here, especially when coupled with Google's never-expiring cookie: this new (?) practice means that Google now has a record not just of all the searches you performed, but potentially of all the links you've clicked through on its site.

It may be that Google is simply tracking click-throughs and not associating them with users, but it sure doesn't look like it. Look at the letter-salad at the end of the real URL there: "U4gJQ6_fBqKiQevXjYIO". That looks like a unique identifier to me -- if all Google cares about is which result is most popular with searchers, there'd be no reason to uniquely identify each click.

At the end of the day, the thing about this that bugs me is that it is stealthy and non-transparent to the user. If my search-engine is collecting info on every click I make on its site, I want to know that. Further, I want to know what it's doing with that information.

I hope Google will release more info on this today. Link (Thanks, Dylan!)

Update Loadquo sez, "If you check the unique identifier, it is constant for each search, but not constant over searches. Which suggests it is part of ploy to see what people click on for certain searches. Whether the search identifier is linked in any way to your user cookie would deterimine whether Google had broken its 'do no evil' code."

Update 2: Koz sez,

I believe the letter-salad you're seeing is related to google's personalised search & search-history features. In my case, I have an option in the top right which is:

"Turn OFF Personalized Search for these results"

Which reloads the results without the unique ids.

If I want to turn it off, I can click my account and then Delete personalised search. I don't know if my experience is different because I'm logged into gmail, but it doesn't look like anything evil is happening here.

Update 3: Rev Jeffrey Paul sez, "One of their features is a 'search history', which includes links to the pages you clicked through to from each search's result page (You must be logged in to your Google account for this to work.)

"It's great for when you found something useful off of Google then close the tab/window/whatever and end up needing the information again. There's direct links to just the pages you found important from the results."

Update 4: Dylan sez, "After deleting all Google-related cookies /and/ turning off personalized search and the search history feature, it is /still/ doing click-tracking URL's in the search results."

Update 5: Dave points out that Google's been experimenting with this since at least last February.

Update 6: Knock me over with a feather. There's a Greasemonkey Script to pull out Google redirects (Thanks, Kap!)

posted by Cory Doctorow at 01:19:14 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Hunter S Thompson's ashes in fireworks display -- pics

In accordance with his last wishes, Hunter S Thompson's ashes were packed into fireworks and shot into the sky on August 20th. This TalkLeft post has a good roundup of the coverage, with picture. Link (Thanks, Major Bloodnok!)

posted by Cory Doctorow at 12:22:02 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Locked-out CBC production staff podcasting and blogging

Darren sez, "The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has locked out 5500 workers -- producers, on-air personalities, engineers, etc. Tod Maffin, a freelance broadcaster with the CBC, is doing a great job offering coverage of the labour action. Locked-out CBC producers plan to create shows and serve them as podcasts over the Web." Link (Thanks, Darren!)

posted by Cory Doctorow at 12:18:34 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Sunday, August 21, 2005

In Memoriam: Robert Moog

Robert Moog, the gentle genius known to many as the father of electronic music, died at his North Carolina home today. He was 71.

Image: Mr. Moog in 1965.

posted by Xeni Jardin at 10:19:51 PM permalink | blogs' comments

Reboot Stereophonic reissues space age Jewish music

Today's New York Times profiles Reboot Stereophonic, a new non-profit record label reissuing (stay with me here) classic space age bachelor pad Jewish music. The first release, available next week, is Irving Field Trio's Bagels and Bongos (1959), followed over the next several months by a Gershon Kingsley compilation called "God Is A Moog," and Joe Quijano's "Fiddler on the Roof Goes Latin" (1965). One of the Reboot Stereophonic co-founders is my pal David Katznelson of the excellent and eclectic Birdman Records label. From the NYT article:
Gk Cover Mr. Kingsley, too, pried Jewish music from its traditional foundation, but where Mr. Fields looked to another culture for inspiration, Mr. Kingsley took to the technology of his time. Already a virtuoso on the Moog synthesizer - his songs have more recently been covered by Kraftwerk and sampled by RJD2 - Mr. Kingsley, who learned to play piano on a Palestinian kibbutz and who worked as musical director for several Los Angeles synagogues, composed entire albums of songs for Jewish religious ceremonies. Two of them, "Shabbat for Today" and "The Fifth Cup," will be included in his Reboot Stereophonic collection. The Moog is a quizzical, at times mournful instrument, and the religious compositions Mr. Kingsley wrote on it are invariably strange: in places ominous, elsewhere blissful. The compositions turn religious reverence on its ear; the Moog sound, with its infinite modulations, invites and suggests questioning.

"I am a religious composer who doesn't like religion," Mr. Kingsley said.
Link to NYT article, Link to Reboot Sterephonic

posted by David Pescovitz at 06:24:45 PM permalink | blogs' comments

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Papercraft horse-race

This papercraft "Paper Horse Park" is fantastic. There are several different jockeys and horses, each posed differently, with real expressiveness. As if that wasn't enough, there are a group of cartoony kid-jockeys on kid-horses to print, fold and assemble, with removable jockey-helmets and goggles. Wow! Link (via Paper Forest)

posted by Cory Doctorow at 11:41:50 PM permalink | blogs' comments

Oxford no longer accepting "child prodigies"

Oxford is no longer accepting admissions from "child prodigies" because of the new UK child protection laws.
'The admissions executive is in discussions around whether we should introduction a minimum age of 17 for undergraduates,' confirmed Ruth Collier, a spokesperson for admissions to Oxford. 'We have been pushed to consider it, not because of concerns about whether it is psychologically healthy for children to study here, but because of child protection laws which have come into play this year for the first time.'...

Children can no longer live in student accommodation, because the university could not carry out a criminal record check on every other undergraduate sharing the same premises.


posted by Cory Doctorow at 11:33:47 PM permalink | blogs' comments

Flickr magazine-cover-maker

This Flickr magazine-cover-generator uses the URL of a Flickr image and a bunch of user-supplied text and spits out a perfectly credible-looking magazine cover design that brings it all together. Fun! Link (via Make)

posted by Cory Doctorow at 04:46:26 PM permalink | blogs' comments

Lost Astro Boy episodes sought for re-issue

An anime distributor that is planning on reissuing Astro Boy is looking to buy or borrow 16mm prints of a dozen lost episodes for the definitive versions:
16. Secret Agent 3-Z
19. The Cosmic Giant
20. Toxor, the Mist Man
21. Satellite R-45
29. Memory Day
30. The Super Duper Machine
32. The Moon Monsters
35. Planet X
36. The Elixir of Life
39. The Mysterious Cat
41. Deadline to Danger
47. The Gigantic Space Crab
51. Jimbo the Great
95. The Mighty Mite from Ursa Minor
104. Double Trouble
Link (Thanks, Tamu!)

posted by Cory Doctorow at 08:26:36 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Yma Sumac to make rare appearance ay Hukilau 2005

Picture 1-2In February, I posted an entry about outre vocalist Yma Sumac. She is going to make a live appearance at the Hukilau Festival in Ft. Lauderdale, October 6-8.

"Lotsa tiki acts and DJs, a slideshow presentation about Tiki through the years by Charles Phoenix, but most importantly: AN APPEARANCE BY YMA SUMAC," says Richard Butner.

posted by Mark Frauenfelder at 08:17:13 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Quake III Arena source is live

The source code to Quake III Arena is now online under the GNU General Public License -- free to be hacked, spindled, bent, folded and mutilated. Let the meta-fragging begin! Link (via /.)

posted by Cory Doctorow at 08:12:09 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Cardboard house supplies own water

The Cardboard House -- roofed with HDPE plastic -- is recycled, recyclable, flat-pack, home-assembled, and comes with a composting toilet and condenses its own water, which doubles as an under-house ballast tank to keep it from blowing over.
The Cardboard House is conceived as a kit of parts comprising a flat pack of frames, and infill floor and wall panels. It uses minimal fixings: nylon wing nuts, hand-tightened polyster tape stays and Velcro fastenings are used to assemble the frames and protective skin system.

The building can be assembled by two people over a six-hour period using appropriate scaffolding, and is transportable in a light commercial vehicle. A series of repetitive portal frames are both spaced and stabilised by a standardised secondary structure, similar to the interlocking spacer sheets found in wine boxes. Once assembled, the structure provides a creative architectural frame from which the house derives its aesthetic.

Link (Thanks, Ivy!)

posted by Cory Doctorow at 08:06:05 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Free admission to Plane Crazy musical in NYC for flight crews

I've blogged before about Plane Crazy, my friend Suzy Conn's new musical about 1960s airline stewardesses and the sexual revolution, currently playing at the New York Musical Festival in Manhattan.

The show's been getting great reviews in places like Billboard, and now the producers have a new wrinkle: free admission for flight attendants who turn up in uniform.

Yep, that's right, all air crew get into the show for free...they just have to wear their uniform or wings to the show. For free air crew passes to the show, e-mail Plane Crazy's producer, Michael Rubinoff, at (we have to subject this offer to availability just in case it gets out of control...thanks for understanding).
Link (Thanks, Grad!)

posted by Cory Doctorow at 07:34:35 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Violence satirical RPG under CC license

World-champ game designer Greg Costikyan once wrote a funny, obscure game called "Violence: The Roleplaying Game of Egregious and Repulsive Bloodshed" as a gag for a published called Hogshead Publishing. The founder of Hogshead, James Wallis, has let Greg re-release the long-gone game under a Creative Commons license -- download it at the link below. 1MB PDF Link (via Games * Design * Art * Culture)

posted by Cory Doctorow at 07:29:49 AM permalink | blogs' comments

ToorCon hacker con in San Diego this Sept announces speakers

One of the most fun conventions I've ever attended was Toorcon, the indie, friendly hacker convention in San Diego. Their next event is coming up soon. Conference Chair H1kari sez, "ToorCon has just announced their finalized lineup for its 7th conference in San Diego this September 16th-18th. Seminar attendees receive training from some of the top experts in the industry including a Reverse Engineering tutorial by Mike Lynn, a hands-on overview of how evade most security tools by David Maynor and Robert Graham of ISS, and many others. The conference sessions feature over 30 talks including Paul Vixie, Joe Grand, Simple Nomad, Roger Dingledine, and many others." Link

posted by Cory Doctorow at 01:23:27 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Micro-Compact Homes inspired by first class air travel

These "Micro-Compact Homes" were designed at the Technical University of Munich and the Tokyo Institute of Technoloogy, inspired by the highly designed compact spaces in first-class airplane cabins and Smart cars. They are lightweight, transportable, and cost a mere 50,000 Euros. They're going to be installed in a "village" on campus at the Technical University of Munich.
The tiny cube provides a double bed on an upper level and working table and dining space for four or five people on a lower level. The kitchen bar is accordingly arranged to serve these two levels. The entrance lobby has triple use and functions as a bathroom and drying space for clothing. Storage is provided off each of these four functioning spaces.
Link (via We Make Money Not Art)

posted by Cory Doctorow at 12:36:59 AM permalink | blogs' comments