Boing Boing 

A self-professed "rude and sarcastic"

A self-professed "rude and sarcastic" Christian site offering some pretty considered advice for Xtian alternatives to Hallowe'en.
* The bible teaches that all people are going to Hell if they don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. (Sorry- it's not my fault. I'm not making this up. It's really what it says!)

* You're not going straight to Hell because you dress up your sweet little girl as a ballerina on Halloween and have fun. You are going to Hell if you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It's a completly different reason you're going to Hell.

* Going to Hell has nothing to do with being good or bad, but only on your relationship with Jesus.

* The Bible actually has a few other verses in it beside that one that everyone seems to know about, "Love your neighbors". (Have you seen a bible lately? They're really thick.)

Link Discuss (via The Ultimate Insult)

NASA is researching boredom. They've

NASA is researching boredom. They've asked a group of volunteers to spend 30 days in bed, tilted head down, playing card games and watching TV to see how space travel will affect astronauts on long, confined jaunts. Volunteers get $11/hour! Link Discuss

Dammit, I got outbid on

Dammit, I got outbid on this deck of Tarot cards themed after the Disneyland Haunted Mansion and Nightmare Before Christmas. $71+ for 24 bits of cardboard that came off the presses a couple months ago? Even I'm not that obsessive and lacking in perspective. Link Discuss

The perfect Xmas gift

The perfect Xmas gift for the mystical nihilist who's got everything: Plush Cthulhu dollies! Link Discuss (Thanks, Tobias!)

A Brit set the world's

A Brit set the world's record for toy-balloon flight yesterday, climbing 11,000 feet in a harness attached to 600 toy helium balloons. Check out the amazing photo, meditate on the mystery of Bugs Bunny. Link Discuss (via Robot Wisdom)

Funny -- if repetitive --

Funny -- if repetitive -- zombie jokes!
Q: What's the zombie's favorite kind of ice cream?

A: BRAAAAINS!

Q: Why did the zombie cross the road?

A: BRAAAAAAAAINS!

Link Discuss (via Robot Wisdom)

For years, the US Army

For years, the US Army has used off-she-shelf commercial videogames to train their people. Now, they've started commissioning the production of custom gameware that really and truly suits their needs, and they're recruiting upon famous game-producers to run the show. Once the custom stuff is done, they'll be releasing their games commercially -- though whether that's to recover costs or to insidiously create a generation of pre-trained Nintendo warriors (a la "The Last Starfighter" and Ender's Game) they're not saying. Link Discuss

Aaaaaaaaaah! THEY CLOSED THE

Aaaaaaaaaah! THEY CLOSED THE CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS!

The very finest Disney attraction to be retired to the Parks after the 1964 World's Fair, gone without a trace. Disappeared off of the guidemaps and chalk-boards. Gone, gone, gone. I guess that now is no longer the best time of our lives, and there is no great, big, beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of this day.

For my money, there is no better place to while away half an hour on a muggy Orlando afternoon that seated in the revolving theatre, watching a robot pimp the benefits of GE's gizmos. Repeated viewings of this ride likely account for my gadget obsession, as GE's paeons to the wonders of technology were burned right into my brain.

A couple years ago, they renovated the Carousel at WDW to restore it to something very like the original World's Fair show, and added a pre-show with video of Walt and songwriting gods the Sherman Brothers singing the theme, "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow!" Alas, they didn't restore Progressland, the giant diorama of a prototype city of tomorrow that Walt later proposed to build in Florida (that vision was stripped down and turned into Epcot Center and the planned community Celebration).

Here's some of the choicest dialogue from the Progressland voice-over:

[Mother]
Everything you see in Progress City is possible today in any city. Even where you live. We have all the latest all electric ideas to help cities look better. And to make them better places to live and work in.

[Father]
Take our transportation. It's a coordinated electric system.

[Mother]
I just love getting around in my own little transporter.

[Father]
And we have other electric vehicles. In fact the heart of Progress City's transportation is our rapid transit system that's controlled by computers. I get to work in half the time on a high-speed electric train. Sure beats traffic jams.

[Dog]
Growwwl!

[Father]
Take it easy, Sport.

He's complaining because electric vehicles are so quiet.

[Mother]
Going shopping is simply a breeze too. And getting there is only half the fun. Today our whole downtown is completely enclosed. Whatever the weather is outside, it's always dry and comfortable inside.

[Father]
General Electric calls it a climate controlled environment. But Mother calls it...

[Mother]
A sparkling jewel. Now far off to your right, we have a welcome neighbor...

[Father]
Our GE nuclear power plant, dear. And next door, is Industrial Park which really looks more like...

[Mother]
Like an attractive city park, thanks to beautiful lighting and landscaping.

[Father]
And speaking of parks, outdoor lighting has added hours to our recreation time. We have night lighted stadiums, ball fields, golf courses, we even have our own amusement park.

[Mother]
It's not exactly Disneyland, but it is clean and bright and lots of fun.

[Father]
Mother, it's time for Grandma and Grandpa to take off.

[Mother]
That could be their jet now, dear.

[Father]
Look at it go! And imagine how convenient air travel will be in the future. Maybe then...

[Mother]
Maybe then, we'll do the traveling.

[Dog]
Growwwl!

[Father]
Now calm down, Sport. We'll always come back to Progress City. And we hope you folks will come back too. But right now, it's time to go. Remember...

[Mother]
Everything you've seen here in our all electric city is really possible today. 

Link Discuss (via Exciting Monkeybum Stories for Boys and Girls)

Harry Potter Lego kits.

Harry Potter Lego kits. It was inevitable, I suppose. Link Discuss (via Meerkat)

I was over at my

I was over at my friend Lori Ann's place yeterday, and noticed a poster over her bookcase: It's Like Porno, But With Kung Fu Instead of Sex. It was a promotional for thekwoon.com, an online series of comedic martial arts short movies. Just finished watching episode one, "Mummy Dearest," which involves so many of my favorite things, I can't even begin to express my joy:
  • Tai Chi vs. Kung Fu
  • The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose
  • Slapstick nipple-twisting
  • Witty dialog delivered by wooden, ass-kicking actors
  • Comedic belching
Sure, it's 120MB, but it's well worth the download. Link Discuss

Tim Earnshaw, a British sf

Tim Earnshaw, a British sf writer, wrote to me a couple weeks ago and basically ordered me to buy some of his stuff from Amazon UK and read it and tell people about it. I finished Godbox last night, and boy, it was a way spiffy book. Like Ben Elton meeting James Morrow meeting Elmore Leonard. Godbox is about a sleazy Hollywood wannabe who discovers a shoebox full of God, which magically transforms those who look into it into Good People, so he takes it upon himself to represent the box, as the God's agent. The book is hilarious. Link Discuss

I am a compulsive neat-freak.

I am a compulsive neat-freak. I can't abide crumbs on the counter, books off the shelf, laundry on the floor. I'm convinced that one out-of-place item is the top of a slippery slope that leads to filth and misery. Consequenty, Squalor Survivors gives me the fantods. It's an online support group for people who've allowed their lives and homes to descend into animal putrescence.
First degree
You are getting behind in tasks that you would normally manage, like laundry and dishes. You are not the tidy person you once were. Little piles are starting to emerge and your disorganization is starting to affect your life and inconvenience you. Things are just starting to get out of hand and become unmanageable. A sign of first degree squalor might be that you are embarrassed for other people to see your mess...but you would still let them in the house.

Second degree
Now things are really starting to get out of hand. Signs that you have reached second degree would include losing the use of normal household items like your bed, table, television or telephone, because the piles have expanded to cover the items up. You start to develop new methods of moving around your house, as normal movement is impeded by your piles of stuff. You might start making excuses to discourage people from entering your house.

Third Degree
At this stage, you have all the above, plus you have rotting food and animal faeces and/or urine in the house, and this is the rule not the exception.You cannot cope with the growing mess. Essential household repairs may not be done, because you are too afraid to let a tradesperson see your house. Just the thought of someone seeing your mess causes you great stress.

Fourth degree
At fourth degree squalor, you have all of the above, plus you have human faeces in your house that is not in the toilet.

Link Discuss

Emulator heaven! Erik writes "Dude's

Emulator heaven! Erik writes "Dude's running OS X.I, I mean, 10.1, on a 466 iBook. He's got the Xfree86 rootless port, so's he's got the dock on the left, and the IceWM taskbar on the bottom. He's using X to run an Mac Emulator, running System 7.6. Meanwhile, OS X is running Virtual PC, and *that's* running Windows XP. (OSX running X running System 7. That's not right. That's not even wrong.)" Link Discuss (via /.)

From Squalor Survivors: A before

From Squalor Survivors: A before and after photojournal of a house that was rendered basically unlivable by out-of-control messiness. Link Discuss

Hometown Favorites is a retailer

Hometown Favorites is a retailer of vintage "comfort" snack brands, like Candy Buttons, Franco American Au Jus Gravy, Krusteaz Scone Mix, Pappy's Sassafras Concentrate, King Vitamin Cereal, Chef Boyardee Spaghetti Dinner Kit and Ah-So Chinese Rib Sauce. Link Discuss (via Bento)

This site contains photos

This site contains photos of the worst commercially available Hallowe'en smock-and-mask costumes from my boyhood days: Baretta, Chuck Barris, Chiachi, Flipper, Rubik's Cube, Tattoo, Atari Asteroids, and, of course, Mr. Kotter. Link Discuss (via Memepool)

A hacker hobbyist reverse-engineered the

A hacker hobbyist reverse-engineered the software that ran his Sony AIBO, a robotic dog that costs more than a laptop. Then he generated a bunch of cool AIBO warez, like "Disco AIBO," and posted them to the his site, so that other AIBO enthusiasts can have great AIBO experiences. Instead of featuring the AIBO warez on the official site and sending the coder a letter of thanks, Sony sent him a nastygram, threatening legal action under the DMCA -- because he had to reverse-engineer the AIBO software before he could write his own, and because he made the original software (which can only run on an AIBO in the first place) available on his site, in case you wrecked your pet with his software and wanted to restore it. He shut his site down. Link Discuss (via Slashdot)

It's time to welcome our

It's time to welcome our next Guestbar blogger, Stefan Jones. Over the next week or so, Stefan will take over the miniblog in the bar on the right. A million thanks to Pat York for her excellent stint as the inaugural Guestbar editor! Discuss

"National Novel Writing Month is

"National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 200-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30." Link Discuss

Paul Di Filippo reviews my

Paul Di Filippo reviews my pal Peter Watts's new novel, Maelstrom on Sci-Fi.com. Maelstrom is the sequel to Starfish, a gutsy heller of a book. Can't wait to get a copy of Maelstrom!
Like the endlessly mutating and recombinant digital/wetware entities that live in Peter Watts' online Maelstrom, his fiction itself exhibits a wonderful Darwinian adaptability. Internalizing the lessons and modes taught by cyberpunk and fusing them with the Bear/Benford pedigree of hard SF, Watts has bred a robust, streamlined, snarling kind of science fiction which achieves both a sharp-edged verisimilitude and visionary exuberance. From such innovative, catchy neologisms as "head cheese" (the term for gel-based AIs) to the scrupulous research on a dozen fronts which Watts, a marine biologist himself, catalogs in an appendix, these two novels are state-of-the art SF. And best of all, Maelstrom does not merely repeat the successes of Starfish but extends them into new territory, thus giving hope that Watts is no mere one-hit wonder.
Link Discuss

Great first-person account of a

Great first-person account of a tour of The Raven's Grin Inn, a spook-house in Illinois. Link Discuss

The author of an Abbie

The author of an Abbie Hoffman bio recounts the day that the Yippies took over Disneyland in 1967 (it's way down on the page -- search on the page for "Disney").
The people who had gotten off these first two rafts--that's about what it was, it was two raftloads of people--decided to march down Main Street in Disneyland, singing various odes to sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, and marched on down to the city hall of Main Street, Disneyland where they have the American flag on a flagpost. And there was an empty flagpost. Someone pulled out a so-called Yippie flag, red and black with a green marijuana leaf, and started to raise it on the flagpole, OK? And some Orange County redneck came storming up to them and said how dare you raise that flag next to the American flag. And someone else went to the other flagpole as this guy was trying to rip down the Yippie flag, and said "If you rip down our flag we'll rip down your flag."
Link Discuss (Thanks, Steve!)

Xmas Gift for the nerd

Xmas Gift for the nerd who's got it all: Translucent, iMac-style TiVo replacement remotes. Link Discuss

Well, this is probably a

Well, this is probably a hoax, but it's a damned cool one. This page purports to be a leaked document from Apple's staging server announcing their next Big Thing, the "G5 Sphere," a round computer with no wires at all. Link Discuss (via MeFi)

Foreigners in the US on

Foreigners in the US on work-visas (ahem) will soon have to provide authorities with biometric data (retina prints, hand geometry, etc) and can be imprisoned, well, forever, without cause or trial, thanks to the USA Act. Colour me nervous.
Section 412 of the final version of the anti-terrorism legislation, the Uniting and Strengthening America By Providing Appropriate Tools Required To Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (H.R. 3162, the "USA PATRIOT Act") permits indefinite detention of immigrants and other non-citizens. There is no requirement that those who are detained indefinitely be removable because they are terrorists.
Link Discuss (Thanks Sonia!)

I've been enjoying the hell

I've been enjoying the hell out of a CD I picked up in Toronto a couple weeks back, Girls in the Garage Vol 9: Oriental Special. It's a compilation of 60s Chinese girl cover bands whose rare novelty tracks were discovered in Singapore flea markets and remastered for CD. My favorite is a singer who called herself "Nancy Sit" and covered Nancy Sinatra songs in Cantonese. Although there's no beatin' Rita Chao singing a "Yummy Yummy Yummy" in Chinese. It's the original Cantopop! Link Discuss

Rumors that Google is going

Rumors that Google is going to start charging subscriptions fees for specialized versions of its search-tool are spreading. Link Discuss

Hello, Police State! "A Sacramento

Hello, Police State! "A Sacramento journalist is taken into custody by police and forced to destroy photos by an over-zealous National Guardsman." Link Discuss

Hello, Police State!Stewart Baker, an

Hello, Police State!
Stewart Baker, an attorney at the Washington D.C.-based Steptoe & Johnson and a former general consul to National Security Agency, said the FBI has plans to change the architecture of the Internet and route traffic through central servers that it would be able to monitor e-mail more easily.
Link Discuss

Anyone ever see this flick,

Anyone ever see this flick, The Giant Gila Monster? It stars a guy who plays the banjo-ukulele, so you know it has to be great. Listen to him play an ultra religious song to his sister! Be sure to read the accompanying article about the movie too. Link Discuss