Similar SpongeBobs have disappeared from Burger Kings in at least two other states, including Minnesota, where a "kidnapper" asked for ransom - 10 Crabby Patties, fries and milkshakes. The note was signed by SpongeBob's cartoon nemesis, Plankton.Link to one news story, and Link to another. (thanks, Stefan Jones)
* A hand-held traffic reporting device called TrafficGauge ($80, thanks to Mike Outmesguine for turning me on to this one!)
* A multimedia gizmo called the DVXPod (shown here) that plays music, movies and television shows ($599)
* laptop bags made from spaceship parachutes (which have actually been up in space, $95-195).
* some awesome headphones from Sennheiser -- good noise-canceling headphones are a must for the DVXPod or other handheld media centers. Here's my favorite model, the HD 212Pro (about $90-120).
Link to archived audio for this program, Link to NPR Day to Day home.
[When taking a [photo of a person applying for a passport] "The subject's expression should be neutral (non-smiling) with both eyes open, and mouth closed. A smile with a closed jaw is allowed but is not preferred," according to the guidelines. ... Smiling "distorts other facial features, for example your eyes, so you're supposed to have a neutral expression. ... The most neutral face is the most desirable standard for any type of identification," said Angela Aggeler, spokeswoman for the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, which handles travel-document guidelines.Link (Thanks, Maines!)
The CIA is quietly funding federal research into surveillance of Internet chat rooms as part of an effort to identify possible terrorists, newly released documents reveal.Link to story. One of the FOIA'd documents, via EPIC.org (PDF): Link
In April 2003, the CIA agreed to fund a series of research projects that the documents indicate were intended to create "new capabilities to combat terrorism through advanced technology." One of those projects is research at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., devoted to automated monitoring and profiling of the behavior of chat-room users.
What may be the world's oldest existing piece of printed porn will be auctioned off next month, and is expected to sell for up to 65 thousand dollars.
"Sodom," penned in the mid-1670s, has been attributed to John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester and is described by auction house Sotheby's as a "closet drama rather than for the stage" with pornography "in almost every line." (...) The book centers on the decision made by a lustful King to "set the nation free" by allowing "buggary" to be "used thro' all the land" and then details the dire consequences.Link to news item (Thanks, Sandy)
Although in every sense, and in almost every line, pornographic (even though its humour sometimes recalls that in Aristophanes’ Lysistrata), the play has two primary purposes: one literary, the other political. One aim is the production of a hilarious burlesque of the then fashionable ‘heroic’ plays... Its other main aim, however, is to satirise uncompromisingly the court of Charles II – not only the notoriously lecherous Charles himself, with all his mistresses (“Thus, in the zenith of my lust I reign”), but also the venality of his courtiers, who are depicted as slavishly imitating him and indulging in the common state of moral and sexual anarchy.
Rachelle Waterman had posted to an online journal dating back to February. In the journals, which she titled "My crappy life, the inside look of an insane person." She says she lives in Hell, Alaska, details conflicts with her mother and writes about a desire to commit violent acts against herself and others...Link to copy of one of her final entries, posted Nov. 14 -- hours after law enforcement learned of the mom's reported death. In the entry, Waterman writes about a trip to Anchorage, and buying a new pair of boots. Link to Waterman's blog. Link to related post on glassdog. Link to news coverage. (Thanks, pollenatrix)
Here's Google's cache of contributions to a fantasy art site from the accused teen (now unavailable in original form). Link
"Indian DJ Nasha made a splash with his 'Nasha - Flute Fantasy' and continued to create many more great bollywood remixes. He has now opened the first professional DJ academy in India- keep them coming, man!"Link to news story. Listen to a complete DJ Nasha session here(realplayer): Link. Nasha's set starts around 4:49 into that BBC ram link, after some banter with the show's host. It's a fine, fine session! Interview: Link
I founded a collective french music weblog with a mp3blog page. We made a compilation of musics we discovered on the web, by ourselves or via other mp3blogs. It's called Point D'ecoute (French for Listening post, a reference to a Mark Hansen Installation: Link
. All the tracks are taken from the bands' sites so it's 100% legal, like a mini Wired CD. 23 tracks, a lot from the US, but also Netherlands, France, Belgium, Austria, Sweden... You can download it here: Link We made it free to download, with a cover and all. At an event in Paris celebrating musical webzines, we burned it on demand: Link
The BoingBoing post about food safety tunes reminded of of something I heard on NPR a while back. Doctor Helen Davies at the University of Pennsylvania creates songs to help her students remember facts about microbiology. One of my favorite bits (song to the tune of the Beatles' "Yesterday"):Link to AMA News story, and there's another article here: Link
Bits and pieces falling off of me,
But it isn't the toxicity,
It's just neglect of injury.
Its advantage is that it can respond much more quickly and precisely than human drivers can to any change in speed. A vehicle using adaptive cruise control typically brakes sooner and more smoothly than one without the system.... Intriguingly, at an average speed of 67 miles per hour, if only one in five vehicles used adaptive cruise control, no traffic jams would form and traffic would generally flow freely. At lower concentrations, however, intermittent episodes of traffic congestion would still be an issue.Link
* DNA devices for crime scenes... and MarsI hope you enjoy it! Link
* Chilling News About Glaciers
* The Toughest Shrimp Around
Dr. Carl Winter of the UC-Davis Department of Food Science and Technology has been called the "Sinatra of salmonella" and the "Elvis of E. coli". He makes song parodies about food-safety issues. His website includes RA streams, PowerPoint presentations, and lyrics for such songs as "Fifty Ways to Eat Your Oysters", "I Sprayed It On The Grapevine", "Don't Get Sicky Wit It", and "Beware Of La Vaca Loca."Link
BoingBoing reader Tim Windsor says,
On the Target Marijuana page, you can get the ISBN under "More Information." Plugging that into Amazon leads to this product page, where the kids are havin' some fun in the comments section.Link
A group of former pupils at a London comprehensive school are poised to win thousands of pounds in unpaid royalties for singing on Pink Floyd's classic Another Brick In The Wall 25 years ago. The pupils from the 1979 fourthform music class at Islington Green School secretly recorded vocals after their teacher was approached by the band's management.Link (Thanks, Josh, and thanks Glenn)
Now the 23 ex-pupils are suing for overdue session musician royalties, taking advantage of the Copyright Act 1997 to claim a percentage of the money from broadcasts. Music teacher Alun Renshaw took the 13- to 14-year-old pupils out of lessons by to the nearby Britannia Recording Studios in Islington to record - without the head's permission.
Although the kernels of the tree have a bitter taste, this can be disguised if they are crushed and mixed with spicy food. They contain a potent heart toxin called cerberin, similar in structure to digoxin, found in the foxglove.Link
Digoxin kills by blocking calcium ion channels in heart muscles, which disrupts the heartbeat. But while foxglove poisoning is well known to western toxicologists, (researcher Yvan) Gaillard says pathologists would not be able to identify Cerbera poisoning unless there is evidence the victim had eaten the plant. “It is the perfect murder,” he says.
"Our sense of wonder is tweaked when we see, for example, a two-and-a-half-foot-high early-20th-century automaton with a little boy reaching for a jar of marmalade for his biscuit. As he reaches up, a door opens and the jar revolves, revealing the animated face of his scolding grandmother. A fly buzzes in the cabinet while a tiny mouse emerges from an apple.Link (free site reg. required)
In addition to the craft of it, this object, like virtually everything in the collection, is a piece of theater, an authentic historical performance: a time machine, if you will, visiting from the past."
UPDATE: As BB reader Rob Iracane so kindly points out, the Morris Museum Web site has nice multimedia clips of the various machines in action. Link
They may be tiny, but the hobbits -- the extinct one-metre-high human species whose discovery rocked the palaeontology world last month - are provoking a giant barney among Australian and Indonesian scientists.Link (Previous tiny humans updates here.)
One of Indonesia's leading palaeontologists, Professor Teuku Jacob of Gadjah Mada University in Jakarta, has grabbed the hobbit remains and locked them away in his safe, refusing to let other scientists study them.
In addition, he rejected the widespread view that the hobbits are a separate human species, claiming they are a pygmy form of modern humans who suffered microcephaly, a disorder that produces a small brain.
The Australian scientists who dug up the bones of the hobbits, officially dubbed Homo floresiensis, have pleaded with Professor Jacob to return the bones as they may contain vital DNA clues as to their exact ancestry. The seven skeletons were found last year in a cave on the Indonesian island of Flores by an Australian and Indonesian team.