In bringing the world wide web to the whole wide world, [we are] looking for a few volunteers to travel to Africa for four challenging IT projects that are changing the role of information and communication technologies in the developing world.Link to details about Geekcorps' paid volunteer assignments in Mali, Ghana, Senegal, and Kenya. (via DMCA-Discuss listserv) Despite what the BBC reported of Bob "Mr. Bloody Africa" Geldof's comments today, Africa is not neccesarily "boring." (via Warren).
Speaking of odd food, here's some Hello Kitty-shaped sushi (thanks numlok), and there is a chocolate cake disguised as a giant head of cabbage. (thanks, heidi). Special thanks to all the readers who submitted that website about people in Japan who carve elaborate designs in the flesh of watermelons -- but I'm kinda holding out for the website about people in Japan who carve elaborate watermelon designs in their own flesh.
Lightwav for PalmOne Treo smartphones has a feature called "CoverUp Sound" where you can trigger sounds to play in the phone conversation.In related news -- last week, San Francisco-based Phonebites nabbed a US$3MM venture round. They, too, offer a service that allows mobile phone users to insert a pre-recorded sound clip into a live conversation - like a radio soundboard, but for your cell phone. Here's a related Engadget post from last October: Link. (thanks, Marc Nathan, via the unwired list)
I hear that this application is popular in Japan with cheating "salary men" husbands. They'll trigger sounds of a train station, a busy office or a bar, while explaining to their wives why they won't be home until later. Single men trigger the sound of a girl in the background saying "come back to bed" to make their male friends jealous.
I use it to insert a bad connection effect: "I can't hear you, you're breaking up on me, I'm losing signal, I'll have to call you back about that. Kshhhh."
Update: BB reader Daniel says,
There's also such an application available for Seiries60 smartphones. The app is called CallCheater. And it works quite nicely.Link
dead rock stars club
top 10 silly black metal pics
more about dead rock stars
rock and roll fantasy camp
rock star kenny
cooking with rock stars
Image: Rock Star Kenny, a mid-'80s toy created by a Mattel licensee in Argentina. web zen home, web zen store, (Thanks, Frank).
Link (Thanks, Rohit Gupta in Bombay!)
I've been doing a tiny bit of research into the German crime of "public incitement" in response to your post about the fake VW ad. This is not simply a copyright infringement issue. The theory here is that this ad could provoke someone to commit a car bombing. Under German law as I read it, even if the ad does not in fact incite someone to commit a car bombing, the two men who produced the phony ad are still subject to a maximum penalty of five years in prison, simply for creating the ad.Link
Update: raging red says:
Some people [in the comments section of my blog] have corrected me. Apparently the translation from German in the Reuters article is a little off. The crime they may be charged with is a different kind of public incitement. It's called "Volksverhetzung," which apparently means agitation of the public or incitement of hatred. It's basically a hate speech statute. The punishment is 3 months to five years. I haven't verified this information myself yet, but the people in my comments sound like they are correct, and one person has given the text of the statute in my comments.
Family tags: In a weird confluence of SoCal suburbia and meatspace metadata, people are tagging their cars with stick figure facsimiles of their family. What's next, the corporate version? (Stick figure CEO holds hand of middle manager holding hands with a legion of cube-dwellers...)Link
Update: Boing Boing reader Mario Lopez says:
These stickers started appearing in Mexican cities around 2001 and spread like wildfire. Now they are everywhere and even political candidates have resorted to this kind of advertising. They are sold everywhere and are customizable with the name/nickname of your children and pets and whatnot. It is all pretty abnormal and ugly. I can only guess that this fad was brought to the US by chicanos returning from these last holidays in their hometowns.
For once Mexico is not 10 years behind the US, now we are like 3 years ahead in the bizarre family sticker business. When everyone started using these things on their cars, authorities advised to the contrary, they said it was an unnecesary risk to broadcast so much information about your family (names, how many boys, girls, aproximate ages, etc) to potential kidnappers. No one seemed to care.
I will look for some really odd ones on the street and send them if they are really good.
Is there some gadget, tool, web site, newsletter, instructional video, book, magazine, CD-ROM, or instrument you already own and love? Then write about it for MAKE. We'll pay you if we run it.
Reviews should be approximately 100-300 words, and be written in the first person. Think more "recommendation" and "experience" when you write these than "review." We want to hear about your involvement with it.
The old Wired guidelines for reviews went like this: “Write your review. Then write us a letter explaining why we should devote space to your item. Throw away your review and send us the letter.” That's the way to do it.
Send your reviews to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Downhill Battle torrents for Eyes on the Prize have gone away, but there is still a mirror of them available. Please consider using the mirror to get your own copies and host a party of your own.
At 8pm on February 8th we will celebrate the struggle and triumph of the civil rights movement with screenings of Eyes on the Prize Part 1: Awakenings. Eyes on the Prize is the most renowned civil rights documentary of all time; for many people, it is how they first learned about the Civil Rights Movement (more about the film). But this film has not been available on video or television for the past 10 years simply because of expired copyright licenses. We cannot allow copyright red tape to keep this film from the public any longer. So today we are making digital versions of the film available for download. Join us in building a new mass audience for this film: organize or attend a screening in your city, town, school or home on February 8th.Link
...When told of the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes "too far" in the rights it guarantees. Only half of the students said newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories...Who is teaching these kids? Link
Three in four students said flag burning is illegal...
About half the students said the government can restrict any indecent material on the Internet.
UPDATE: Fortunately at least some students aren't being entirely short-changed by their schools, as this email from BB reader Maxx points out:
"I am a junior (11th grade) at Cocalico High School. Our school has a mandatory course named Principals of Democracy. In this class, we are taught everything about the Constitution including an in depth study of the Bill of Rights. The students must also write a essay about a section of the bill of rights and also conduct a formal debate against fellow classmates. On this essay we must use at least 34 sources and my paper turned out to be 16 pages on the second amendment right to bear arms. So, just to clarify, some of us do know a thing or two about the constitution. Also, as students, we do not have the right to free speech, protection from unreasonable search or seizure, or freedom of assembly."UPDATE: As reader Steve Jones points out, the common "principals" vs. "principles" spelling error in Maxx's email is particularly ironic in this case.
UPDATE: Blogger Britta Gustafson says:
Students do have the right to free speech, protection from unreasonable search or seizure, and freedom of assembly. The rights are more restricted than those of adults, but we have them. The extent depends on your state and school district.
I'm in 12th grade at a high school in the horrible Los Angeles Unified School District. My friends and I started an underground newspaper because the principal insisted on prior review if we did an official one. She can't stop us from publishing and distributing our paper as long as it is not disruptive, libelous, or obscene. We can only be searched randomly or if there is reasonable suspicion. We are free to assemble on and off campus as long as it is not disruptive.
The problem is that students don't have the resources to protect their rights. We get suspended if we don't wear the school uniform -- even though mandatory uniforms are illegal -- and we can't do much about it. The District bureaucrats don't care and legal action is out of reach for most of us.
But we write about it. High school journalism is still alive -- and the best way for us to learn what our 1st Amendment rights really mean.
Bizarre reportage from the India Daily: "In every country of the world, all on a sudden the weather forecasting computer models are failing – human or extra-terrestrial hand in weather manipulation?"Link
Weather forecasting all over the world is breaking, says the article. Is some unseen hand at work? No, really, look:
"In India, for example, scientists were astonished at the National Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting were perplexed by the deviation of the weather from the that predicted by the Doppler reports."
And that's not all:
"In India, China, Africa, Europe, all over the world the same story is repeating. In every country the meteorologists are thinking that these anomalies are just present in their region. But it is global and increasing every day."
The writer concludes that "someone" may be controlling the weather.
If it's you, do feel free to own up in the comments.
If you want to make perfect cheese triangles first you have to cut the cheese block diagonally, he says, then you turn one half of the block on its side and slice across it to get regular triangles.Link
This is an example of hierarchical thinking, which as far as we know is a unique attribute of how modern humans think.
But, says Moore, he has found is possible to make at least one particular type of the tool found alongside the hobbit, called a 'blade', quite incidentally and unintentionally, without hierarchical thinking.
Image: excerpt from Howard Hathaway Aiken and Grace Murray Hopper's "A manual of operation for the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator by the staff of the Computation Laboratory."
Link to auction contents. I bet Alpha-60 is in here somewhere!
Update: Apparently, this story is, like, so two months ago. Link to Wired Magazine item. From (cough) December '04. (Thanks, Adam Rogers).
Here's more on the auction, from the current owner of its contents. Link. In the weeks leading up to the auction, there will be public events in Cambridge, MA, and at Stanford University in California, at which portions of the collection will be displayed.
When I asked Isaac about his most unusual commission his eyes light up and a big grin envelopes his face.Link
"Oh," he says, "An angel, a big white angel".
Now it seems he cannot wait to craft the archangel Gabriel himself.
But for those wanting something more conventional, there is always the Bible coffin which remains a popular design.
Think of a large box in the shape of a leather bound book with the front cover on hinges, and you get the idea.
Pascual-Leone and Amedi want to see what Armagan's brain can tell them about neural plasticity. Both scientists have evidence that in the absence of vision, the "visual" cortex - the part of the brain that makes sense of the information coming from our eyes - does not lie idle. Pascual-Leone has found that proficient Braille readers recruit this area for touch. Amedi, along with Ehud Zohary at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, found that the area is also activated in verbal memory tasks.Link
When Amedi analysed the results, however, he found that Armagan's visual cortex lit up during the drawing task, but hardly at all for the verbal recall. Amedi was startled by this. "To get such extraordinary plasticity for [drawing] and zero for verbal memory and language - it was such a strong result," he says. He suspects that, to a certain extent, how the unused visual areas are deployed depends on who you are and what you need from your brain.
Even more intriguing was the way in which drawing activated Armagan's visual cortex. It is now well established that when sighted people try to imagine things - faces, scenes, colours, items they've just looked at - they engage the same parts of their visual cortex that they use to see, only to a much lesser degree. Creating these mental images is a lot like seeing, only less powerful. When Armagan imagined items he had touched, parts of his visual cortex, too, were mildly activated. But when he drew, his visual cortex lit up as though he was seeing. In fact, says Pascual-Leone, a naive viewer of his scan might assume Armagan really could see.
He's still associated with Billy-Bob Teeth, but is no longer involved in production and sales.Link
"I want to give back because I've been accused of earning a living off other people's afflictions," he said.
Picking up the phone when it rings is like signing a legal contract: "You hereby agree to actively participate in this conversation, responding in a timely manner and allowing the dialogue to run its course. Only with the consent of both parties can this contract be prematurely terminated without holding one of the aforementioned parties liable for rudeness." Of course, other forms of audio communication have very different unspoken contracts. For example, in social situations, push-to-talk over cellular has a lot in common with online instant messaging. Each party agrees to reply to the other when convenient. The conversation is less of a commitment. If mobile video calling takes off, it too will have its own specific terms-of-polite-use. Meanwhile, conference calls require an entirely unique set of rules to avoid a cacophony of separate conversations.Link
To help negotiate these social mobile-communication contracts, computer scientists at the Palo Alto Research Center, a subsidiary of Xerox Corporation, are developing software systems that analyze the subtleties of conversation. Unlike automated voice menus or other natural-language processing systems that attempt to identify what we're saying, the PARC software listens for how we're saying it.
PLAY: Players take turns moving one piece per turn. The pieces may be moved ‘forward’ (toward or away from the centre of the board) or ‘sideways’ (left or right around the ring). The pieces may be moved as far as the player wishes, but must not leave the board on the outside, enter the dead zone, move diagonally or ‘jump’ a piece in its way.Link (Thanks, Andrew!)
To capture a piece, you must move your piece so that it completes a ‘surround’, then remove the captured piece from the board.
Update: Tom sez: How about an entire Zine of paper strategy games that is under a CCL? Countermoves has put out about 5 issues that can be had as a print ready PDF or from a few game stores and conventions when folks get around to printing them off in enough numbers to share. Gurilla Publishing for Gamers. There are a ton of games in the issues that have come out and the zine is just about to spawn an entire CCL game system called the Countermoves Micro Game Engine. Folks will be able to take the rules and create pretty much any micro sized strategy game with it.
The film is controversial due to its treatment of race and class, and there are those who claim that it makes use of racial stereotypes, while other critics treat its use of dialect and slavery-times themes as historical, as opposed to stereotypical.
Eisner's Disney organization has staunchly resisted re-releasing the Song of the South, and even though the Splash Mountain rides at Disneyland and Walt Disney World are inspired by it, you can't buy the video or see the movie in theatres.
The heart of Tweel innovation is its deceptively simple looking hub and spoke design that replaces the need for air pressure while delivering performance previously only available from pneumatic tires.Link (Thanks, MLE!)
The flexible spokes are fused with a flexible wheel that deforms to absorb shock and rebound with ease. Without the air needed by conventional tires, Tweel still delivers pneumatic-like performance in weight-carrying capacity, ride comfort, and the ability to "envelope" road hazards.
Michelin has also found that it can tune Tweel performances independently of each other, which is a significant change from conventional tires. This means that vertical stiffness (which primarily affects ride comfort) and lateral stiffness (which affects handling and cornering) can both be optimised, pushing the performance envelope in these applications and enabling new performances not possible for current inflated tires.
Update: Becky's site was groaning under the load of distributing the videos, so she's found herself a mirror. Please use that instead.
"At the beginning of the 20th century, there were only two psychedelic compounds known to Western science: cannabis and mescaline. A little over 50 years later -- with LSD, psilocybin, psilocin, TMA, several compounds based on DMT and various other isomers -- the number was up to almost 20. By 2000, there were well over 200. So you see, the growth is exponential." When I asked him whether that meant that by 2050 we'll be up to 2,000, he smiled and said, ''The way it's building up now, we may have well over that number."Link (free reg. required) Thanks for the reminder, Nick Wilson!
The point is clear enough: the continuing explosion in options for chemical mind-manifestation is as natural as the passage of time. But what Shulgin's narrative leaves out is the fact that most of this supposedly inexorable diversification took place in a lab in his backyard.