Erotokitsch master: Boris Vallejo

Reflecting on the intergalactic love-art of Boris Vallejo, BoingBoing pal Siege opines:

"I recently stumbled across this online gallery of Boris Vallejo's paintings. A few days ago my mom had informed me that she had just scored an awesome calendar of his work, and snagged it for me, remembering that when I was a little kid I used to teach myself drawing with his paintings."

"Boris was the Botticelli of the trailer park. My dream (not yet dead) was to have a jacked-up molester van, regally decorated with massive Boris paintings airbrushed on the sides, accenting the tinted portholes and the silver tail-fin. I would blast Hot For Teacher as I cruised the parking lots, luring the Daisy Dukes into my mobile velvet-lined bachelor pad... I used to draw Boris art (along with the occasional Playboy centerfold) and sell them to the rich kids for $5-20 dollars each, priced according to the amount of nudity."

Link to the official Boris Vallejo website. Link to a ginormous gallery of work spanning multiple decades. And link to one of Siege's all-time fave Boris creations, which depicts a man-goat-loverdude ascending with his betrothed on an invisible hairway to Steven. This one is my favorite (alternate link). If you squint a little, it looks like the pattern on a Pucci dress. Read the rest

Correction: RFID-chipped Mexican cop numbers overstated

Following up on this BoingBoing post from August, 2004:
News reports earlier this year indicated that 160 employees in the Mexican Attorney General's Office had been implanted with Verichip RFID devices. New information indicates that only 18 individuals received the device, said Katherine Albrecht, Founder and Director of CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering).

"Our concern is that dozens of news outlets have repeated the inflated number, which has reached the level of an urban legend," Albrecht observed. "I myself have repeated the erroneous figure in several media interviews, and I want to set the record straight."

Link to Allbrecht's statement and futher details. Read the rest

Animation: My Neighbor's Wife

Link to Flash animated short (Thanks, Susannah) Read the rest

Desktop wallpapers of cellular transmission towers

A collection of wireless transmission tower-themed desktop wallpapers: Link. See also this collection of wireless tower site snapshots, and this handy online search tool for locating a cell tower near you. (via SOCALWUG wireless tech listserv) Read the rest

Karate chimp mpeg short

This movie's already made the rounds plenty of times. But in light of the Karate Kid moment we've been having here on BoingBoing, seems worth a mention. Link to mpeg short of a chimpanzee throwing karate kicks with a human partner. Link (Thanks Siege) Read the rest

Math of Christmas Carols

BoingBoing reader Ben Dalton says,

"Brian Whitman, maker of eigenradio (which "plays only the most important frequencies, only the beats with the highest entropy") has released a happy holiday album automatically derived from the principal components of 'all christmas music'. Description, from his site: 'This season, as a present to friends worldwide, our system listened to as much Christmas music as it could handle. When it was done it synthesized these sixteen new timeless classics.' Great stuff." Link, and Link to all of them compressed into a regularly updated .m3u audio stream (thanks Stevyile) Read the rest

Blinged-out baby umbilical cord gift atrocity

A company in South Korea will gold-plate your child's umbilical cord and frame it for display. Link (second image down on the page.) (Thanks, Isaac)

Reader Andrew says, "Koreans have been keeping umbilical cords for centuries (Link) and recently they have used umbilical cord to help a paralysed woman walk again (Link). There are other medical uses for the umbilical cords (Link). My Korean girlfriend says her mum still has her umbilical cord, and she's 23!" Read the rest

Update -- Darrin Perry: in memoriam

Earlier today, we posted word of the untimely passing of Darrin Perry, the former creative director whose career included work at both Wired Magazine and Sports Illustrated. Wired managing editor Blaise Zerega shares the following update for BoingBoing readers who may have known Mr. Perry:
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the North Carolina School of the Arts, a place that allowed Darrin to first cultivate his passion and love of the arts. Or donate to the human rights campaign @ an organization that was a voice for his beliefs. For the North Carolina school of the Arts please Note: "In Memory of Floyd Darrin Perry." Please make checks payable to: N.C.S.A. Foundation Inc., Mailing Address: N.C.S.A. Foundation Inc.. Attn: Sarah Turner, 1533 South Main Street, Winston Salem, NC 27127-2188, Tel: 336.770.1371, Email: turnes [at]
Link to a SF Chronicle story about Perry's redesign of Wired Magazine in 2002. Read the rest

US Army spamming students by phone, too

Following up on a previous BoingBoing post about the US Army sending e-mail recruitment spam to college students, Mark Miller sez:
I had previously mentioned the US Army spamming students at UT Austin. While they have done so again, even after being told that I wished no further e-mails, what has become even more bizarre is a call from +1 702-671-0040, by a pre-recorded Army Recruitment message. It gave the number for the local Army Recruitment Center here in Austin. When I called back, it noted that you could leave no messages, but to call the number stated in the message you received. Several other friends of mine have received such calls this evening.

The NPA-NXX lookup says this is a Las Vegas number.

What's even more disturbing is that my number is on the FCC's Do Not Call List.

If any reader on BoingBoing could shed some light on the new recruiting practices of the US Army, and perhaps the call center that they are calling out from, I would be appreciative.

Link. You're welcome to send replies to that question via the BoingBoing submission web-form.

Reader Douglas Barnes says,

I, too got automated phone spam from the Army today; when I called to complain in, er, rather strong language, instead of apologizing or promising not to do it again, the sergeant in charge threatened to "find [me] and beat the shit out of [me]." Not a great day for Army PR.

I'm assuming they got my info from UT.

Read the rest

Anti-porno iPod feature?

BoingBoing reader Brandon says,
There is a "bug" in the iPod Photo that randomly flashes photos from other albums into slideshows. [on Leander Kahney's Wired blog, "Cult of Mac,"] Keith Finch has suggested this might not be a bug, but rather an intentional measure to dissuade users from keeping "double secret 'Hot Butts'" albums on their iPods. The hypothetical situation he presents to support his case is good for a chuckle or two.
Link Read the rest

Sony Adds MP3 Support

BB reader Morgan opines:
To paraphrase Cory, Sony has realized that their customers want to do more, not less, with their hardware. They're now offering firmware upgrades (at $20 per unit) for their portable digital music players that will allow them to play back non-DRM'ed MP3s. Previously, Sony customers were locked into using Sony's DRMeriffic ATRAC format. Their next generation of music players will have natively support MP3 playback.
Link Read the rest

Versace Barbie

I didn't know there was such a thing. Does she come with a (perfect) nose full of (plastic) coke? Link (Thanks CityRag) Read the rest

Haptics: Can You Feel the Buzz?

My latest article for TheFeatures is about haptic interfaces, which send information to your skin.
At Nokia Research, Jukka Linjama and Topi Kaaresoja added a small acceleration sensor to a phone to create a Pong-like game that a user controls by tapping the phone either horizontally or vertically. The user gets feedback from different vibration patterns. In a paper presented at the NordiCHI human-computer interaction conference, they wrote that the synchronized combination of graphics and vibrations "creates a kind of a kinesthetic illusion of a soft ball being tapped and bouncing inside the device. In informal evaluations most users rated this illusion very natural, impressive, and enjoyable."
Link Read the rest

New Netscape = Firefox / IE shotgun wedding?

BoingBoing reader boogah says,
Apparently Netscape isn't totally dead - AOL outsourced development of a new browser based on Firefox to Canadian firm Mercurial Communications. Normally I'd applaud something like this. Getting Firefox into the hands of the many is a good thing... But the fact that they're going to allow the user to switch their rendering engine from Mozilla developed Gecko to Internet Explorer's rendering engine seems a bit sinister. BTW: Ugly screenshots are available here.
Link Read the rest

GuitarBot Strums Classics at Juilliard

BoingBoing reader Mia says,
Tonight at the high-falutin' Julliard School: the RoboRecitcal, an all-automata concert performance by a player piano (old school) and GuitarBot (new school). GuitarBot, "a stringed instrument that is designed to extend -- not simply duplicate -- the capabilities of a human musician," was created in 2000 by LEMUR (the League if Electronic Musical Urban Robots... no joke) and looks like it was designed by Dan Flavin. It will play a program featuring Bach, Mozart, and compositions by J. Brendan Anderson, the Julliard undergrad who coordinated the recital.

The Julliard link includes a discussion of the centuries-old history of musical composition for automata, based on the ideal of direct transmission of music from composer to listener, unsullied by those accident-prone humans.

Link Read the rest

Interesting traffic citation scam

Stefan Jones sez: Rob Cockerham takes a break from pranks, hijinks, tomfoolery, and bizarre eBay auctions to describe a new type of mail fraud: An authentic-looking letter claiming that the recipient's car was spotted exceeding the speed limit and demanding payment (by money order or cashier's check) of a fine. Link Read the rest

Exploding lava lamp kills man

BB reader Poppy says, "A 24 year old man left a lava lamp on his stove, and it exploded. A shard of glass pieced his heart, killing him instantly. Link to story. This just a week after all the warnings over exploding cell phones. Link."

Reader Jeremy says, "I thought the story might be complete bull, but went right to the Kent Police Department site and found this press release. It has a little more information that the AP report." Link Read the rest

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