Interesting traffic citation scam

 Citizen Citation Citation04 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

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

Casino cheater's blog

Interesting weblog run buy a retired casino cheater -- that is, a former casino dealer who cheated the casinos. He gets interesting email from fans of his book, American Roulette:
Read your book and took action. It was the most satisfying money I’ve ever received from a casino. It was a post-bet placement of a $5 dollar chip on number 33. I placed the chip between the 32 & 33. Like your book says it was to the dealers far left and I could see the ball falling into the 33 slot on the wheel. It’s not much fun working on your own but it was greatly satisfying.

World Health Organization's bird flu warning: 100 million deaths

Matt Vine sez: Since yesterday, the rest of the world has been buzzing with news of the World Health Organization's warnings of a impending flu pandemic that could kill up to 100 million. These warnings are suspiciously missing from American news sites - we get things like "Godzilla honored with 'Walk of Fame' star" from CNN's front page." Link

UPDATE: Alex Rosen sez: "Well, the Times is carrying it, and has a much different spin than the submitter's. It sounds like off-the-cuff guestimates by one guy, not a prediction by WHO itself.

While the agency has previously said that the death toll would be from 2 million to 7 million people, Dr. Omi said the toll "may be more - 20 million or 50 million, or in the worst case, 100" million.

W.H.O. officials in Geneva said later that they had not received an advance copy of Dr. Omi's remarks and did not know the basis for his estimates and why he believed a pandemic was so likely.

"No one knows how many are likely to die in the next human influenza pandemic," or even when it will occur, said Dr. Klaus Stöhr, the agency's top influenza expert. "The numbers are all over the place."

Darrin Perry: in memoriam

Kenn Brown says,
My friend and mentor Darrin Perry, former Creative Director of Wired Magazine , passed away over the holiday weekend. He was only 39 years old. I am devastated... it was three awesome years we spent collaborating first as professionals, and then as friends... and now its over. I will miss him. I will miss working with him. He had a significant impact on publications from Sports Illustrated to Wired.

Here is the obituary. There is a guest book for those who wish to leave their condolences. Link

Tim Jarrett says, "Perry led the 2002 redesign of Wired Magazine, which freshened the look and feel of the aging geek bible while making it more legible."

Karate Kid, The Musical

A musical for stage, based on the 80's cheeseball film classic The Karate Kid. Now playing at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center in NYC. Somewhere, Ralph Macchio is crying. Link (Thanks, mediamelt)

Tis the season to STICK IT TO THE MAN

BoingBoing reader Garth Johnson says,

"This is a lovely pamphlet that artist Packard Jennings distributed at his local mall. Packard is the human who brought us the 'fallen rapper' pez dispensers."

Link to art-pamphlet, and Link to other past work from Jennings.

Bestial reality

Stay with me here: The British Office of Communications cleared Channel Five of any wrongdoing for airing an episode of reality TV show TheFarm in which David Beckham's ex-girlfriend gave a handjob to a pig.

From ABC News Online:
"The task performed by Rebecca Loos is one that occurs regularly on UK farms. It was properly supervised by a qualified veterinary surgeon and was carried out for a genuine purpose, to artificially inseminate the pigs on the 'celebrity farm'," the ruling said.

"We don't believe that the scene was degrading or harmful to the boar."

UPDATE: BB reader Jamal Cole points out: "It should be noted that Beth Littleford masturbated a pig on the Daily Show way back when Craig Kilborn was hosting (~1998). She showed it pictures of Miss Piggy, and asked, 'Do you find this attractive?' I had always found her attractive until then..."

Victorian Fax

This fax-by-telegraph machine was in operation at the New York Herald in 1900. From a Pearson's Magazine article published at the time:
victorianfax"The equipment consists of two machines, almost identical in construction, the first being called the " transmitter," the second the " receiver." Each is provided with an eight-inch cylinder, which may be made to revolve by a delicate system of clockwork so finely regulated that both instruments work together to a nicety.

Above each cylinder rests a fine platinum needle, or stylus, not unlike the point in a telegraph key. A sheet of tin-foil, six inches by eight inches, ready to wrap round the transmitter's cylinder, and a sheet of ordinary carbon manifold-copying paper of the same dimensions, which, when placed between two sheets of blank paper, is to be wrapped round the receiver's cylinder--these complete the chief requirements."
Link (via MetaFilter)

Etienne-Jules Marrey

MarreyThe Musée d'Orsay has an exhibition of the mind-blowing photographs by physician and physiologist Etienne-Jules Marey, whose research in the 19th century led directly to the invention of the movie camera. The image at left is a 1901 shot of a smoke machine.
"Marey became interested in movement at an early stage of his career: the movement of blood as it circulated, the movements which controlled the beating of the heart, then those of the muscles and nerves. To improve his studies, he developed more and more precise recording instruments. Once had explained the internal movements of the body, Marey extended his investigations to the motion of the body as a whole: a walking human being, a flying dragonfly, a swimming ray, a falling cat..."
For those outside of Paris, "Movement In Light" is a stunning online exhibit of Marey's work from which the text above was taken. Link (via AEIOU: Excuse my French!)

Busty hentai mousepads

About $25 per ergonomic hentai mousepad, boobies included. Link (via Fleshbot)

DIY dodecahedron calendar, a la D-n-D dice

This 12-sided pentagon print-em-yourself calendar is a nifty gift idea for thrifty geeks. Dodeca-bitchin'! Link (Thanks, ritilan).

McRorie the one-man bandstravaganza

McRorie Tait is a one-man, kilt-wearing, awesomely mulletted, electronic music phenom from Canada. His website describes him thusly:

"McRorie wears eight custom designed sensors on his shoes, four sensors on his chest, two midi keyboards on his hips, and sings lead vocals, harmonies, and solo instruments with his voice. McRorie coordinates the multiple parts of a musical composition: drums, bass, rhythm, vocals, and lead instruments -- TOTALLY LIVE."

Out of control cool. Plus his chest lights up like a robot and I think he also eats fire on stage while playing killer '80s cover songs with his feet. This is so cool it almost feels like a hoax. But I think it is real. Link to website with video clips, song downloads, and CD purchase details. (Thanks, Q-Burns).

UPDATE: BoingBoing reader Alexis says, "McRorie is legit - most of the footage in that clip IS from the 80's, that's why he's covering 80's songs. He appears in the clip on the now defunct Canadian talk show Dini Petty Show, several pieces are from Toronto news show City TV and part of the way through the clip he's seen with a very young Celine Dion before she hit mega-stardom."

Reader Matt McParland says, "I saw McRorie, the one man band, play live 4 or 5 years ago when his Canadian tour rolled through my hometown. His Canadian tour consisted of the man himself, two racks of MIDI-controlled effects and a few old Macs running wireframe screensavers for the light show. He played for about 20 people that night in a hole in the wall bar and we've been talking about it since!"

Genetically engineered plants detect land mines by changing color

 Materials Processes Plant Land MineWhen the roots of these GMO flowers hit nitrogen dioxide (which leaches into the soil from buried land mines), the plant changes color. Link

Big head people in Tokyo stores

 Images Bigkid

Giant headed people in Tokyo stores are a sign that Christmas is coming. Link