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Moment of couture ad zen: Biasia "doll" spread

Kigurimi couture? Pierpaolo Ferrari's obliquely unsettling print campaign for the 2005 Francisco Biasia handbag collection. Click on bag names or "Season Campaign" for individual images.
Link. Worksafe, but obnoxious Flash interface with sound. (thanks, Philip)

U2 vs. Negativland iPod

In December, artist Francis Hwang's prank auction of a parody "U2 vs. Negativland iPod" was shut down by eBay at Apple's request. (Previous post here.) Now Hwang is selling the iPod on his own site. All profits from the sale will go to Downhill Battle, an organization "working to break the major label monopoly of the record industry and put control back in the hands of musicians and fans."
 Img Iuvnse Box-Front In 1991, the experimental sound collage band Negativland released a single called “U2”, which extensively sampled both U2’s hit single “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and colorful studio recordings of Top 40 disc jockey Casey Kasem. This offbeat recording would have languished in obscurity if weren’t for Island Records, U2’s record label, which decided to sue Negativland and their independent label SST Records for deceptive packaging and copyright infringement. After a protracted legal battle, Negativland’s legal funds were exhausted and they settled out of court. Today, it is illegal to produce the “U2” single in the United States. (U2, on the other hand, would go on to use unauthorized samples of appropriated satellite video in their Zoo TV tour.)

Now you can commemorate this ignoble episode in intellectual property history with the Unauthorized iPod U2 vs. Negativland Special Edition. From its packaging to its pre-installed content, this unauthorized iPod modification is an artful mash-up of the forces of corporate megarock and obscure experimental music, and a provocative symbol of the ongoing struggle between those who would confine culture and those who would free it.
Link to auction, Link to Wired News article

Punk rock accoutrements for kids

Online shop "The Cradle Rocks" sells punk stuff for angst-ridden toddlers -- like the skull and crossbones kiddie plate set, shown here, plus some crazy two-headed mutant rag dolls and baby's first combat boots.
Link

Update: Damon Bacheller says,

I'm the web person for www.thecradlerocks.com. I noticed it appeared on boingboing today. There is an issue with the shared SSL, and getting the host to fix this problem. We're working on it, and hope to have it fixed asap. In the meantime, users can be assured their information is in a safe place, and orders can be placed securely.

Cosplay art in NYC

"Cosplayers," a video by Guangzhou-based photographer, videographer, and performance artist Cao Fei, will be on display from March 4 through April 9 at Lombard-Freid Fine Arts in New York. Shown here, a screengrab from the 8-minute piece.
Link to gallery of 18 video stills.

"Mac father" Jef Raskin: in memoriam

Personal computing pioneer Jef Raskin passed away this weekend.
Raskin is best known for starting the Macintosh project at Apple in the late seventies, though his later career as an expert in computer interfaces was overshadowed by controversy over who 'fathered' the Macintosh. Though Raskin conceived of the Mac, he was usurped by Steve Jobs, who put his own distinctive mark on the machine we know today.
Link to obit post on CultOfMac.

Update: BoingBoing's founder Mark Frauenfelder says:

This is really sad. I saw Jef last fall, and he seemed to be in good health. Jef wrote many wonderful ideas for me when I was an editor at Wired. He also wrote some really funny (and true) stories for the print edition of bOING bOING under the nom de plume "El Jefe." He was a wonderful artist, musician, and inventor. He'll be missed.

Funny typo on Air Canada sticker

Picture 2-7 Are airport security workers putting their no-longer needed pornographic materials in passengers' suitcases? This Air Canada luggage sticker reads: "THIS BAGGAGE HAS BEEN X-RATED AT POINT OF ORIGIN."
Link (Thanks, Greg!)

New Jim Woodring print: "The Confidence Bird"

 Printdetail Images Bird5 Pressure Printing is selling a 12" x 14" print of a Jim Woodring illustration called "The Confidence Bird." It costs $200 and is limited to 100 signed copies. (Tiny detail shown here.) The included frame and corner mounts are beautiful, too.
Link (Thanks, Scott!)

Python in a toilet

 2005 02 24 Images Homepg Snake218A man in St. Petersburg, Florida lassoed a snake that was poking its head out from his toilet. It turned out that the snake was a six-foot-long African rock python. Link (via Fortean Times)

HOWTO curse in Yiddish -- WARNING

Swearasaurus is a directory of curses in languages other than English. The Yiddish curse section is stupendous. I'm taking notes.
He should give it all away to doctors...
He should crap blood and pus...
He should have a large store, and whatever people ask for he shouldn’t have, and what he does have shouldn’t be requested...
All his teeth should fall out except one to make him suffer...
I should outlive him long enough to bury him.
Link (via MeFi)

Update: Some readers report that this site trips their anti-spyware software. I use Firefox and OS X, so I am immune. You may not be so lucky. On the other hand, the anti-spyware could just be overzealous. Who knows?

Update 2: Ed Bott sez, "I am the author of the best-selling books Windows XP Inside Out and Windows Security Inside Out. I can tell you for a fact that this site offers to install a known piece of deceptive software (aka spyware) on the computer of anyone who visits. It uses social engineering techniques to trick the visitor into accepting the installation. In my opinion, you should remove this link as a service to your readers." Forewarned is forearmed.

Update 3:Ran Li sez, "The Alternative Dictionaries provides a similar service, with entries sorted alphabetically, PDF versions (the whole thing or for individual languages), and no spyware."

Vintage PC magazine ads

1000bit has a jaw-dropping gallery of scanned in vintage magazine ads for old computer systems. Link (Thanks, Olli!)

Graffito of a dog humping R2D2

Found via the Flickr graffiti tag RSS --deepwarren's photo of a fantastic stencil of a doggie having its way with R2D2. Link

Learn German from Deutsche Welle

Paul sez, "For years Deutsche Welle, Germany's government-run international shortwave radio station, has been broadcasting German language lessons in English, for their worldwide audience. Now, the audio lessons are available for download from their website, along with the accompanying text (pdf). It appears to be quite comprehensive, too. I'd love to see other countries setting up similar courses on the web, for their respective languages." Link (Thanks, Paul!)

Update: Bug sez, "the BBC also does this. They have English, Irish, Welsh, and Scottish Gaelic, along with French, German, Italian and Spanish and a whole bunch of others at a variety of levels."

Brain-pacemaker show great success in treating depression

Researchers in Toronto have had success with direct brain stimulation of mood-controlling areas as a means of treating depression -- they liken it to a pacemaker for the brain.
Four women and two men had electrodes planted deep into their brain to stimulate one of the areas involved in mood control.

Each underwent local anaesthetic before doctors drilled two small holes in their skulls. Then, using magnetic resonance imaging to guide them, doctors inserted two thin electrode wires into the brain area. The other ends of the wires were threaded under the scalp down to the lower neck area.

Next, the patients underwent a general anaesthetic to have a pulse generator implant, the "pacemaker", sewn in under the skin of their chest. The wires were hooked up to this to provide constant brain stimulation...

All six volunteers reported acute effects once the current was switched on. These included a sudden brightening of the room and a "disappearing of the void".

Link (via We Make Money Not Art)

Does Google complain if you reformat its pages? Nope

Yesterday, I posted a link to Yoz Grahame's rant on Google Toolbar, a service that lets you change the webpages on your screen so that things like ISBNs and addresses are automatically linked to database entries on various services.

One question that arises from this is: how would Google feel if you were to provide a service that reformatted its pages for others to use? As it turns out, Google routinely allows it. Here are three examples:

  1. W3C HTML Validator: Scrapes Google and reformats it, commenting on its use of html, linking to relevant elements of the spec
  2. Bobby Accessibility Validator: Scrapes Google and reformats it, commenting on its adherence to accessibility guidelines
  3. For Me To Poop On: Scrapes Google and reformats it with a large, floating pile of dogshit drawn over the screen

Update: Phil adds, "don't forget GooglePreview, the Firefox extension that adds dinky thumbnail views of websites directly onto the Google search results page."

Update 2: Nearly forgot my favorite: The Internet Archive scrapes Google, reformats it, and replaces all the links with links to cached historical versions of Google's pages.

Update 3: Two more gooduns: Scroogle "scrapes Google, discards the ads, removes cookie, and has access log deleted after 7 days" (Thanks, Philip!); and Gizoogle "scrapes Google entries...and reformats them from Snoop Dogg's internet perspecizzle" (Thanks, J!).

Update 4: Not always, though: George reminds us that "Julian Bond wrote a PHP script to reformat Google News searches as RSS and Google had him take it down. He was simply aggregating data from Google News, which is exactly what Google News does to other sites."

Update 5: Christoph sez, "Marcos Weskamp's excellent newsmap is remixing Google News for quite some time now and it's still running. Perhaps he has reached some agreement by now, but when he presented his project at Ars Electronica last year he mentioned that he's scraping Google News."

Update 6: Google Mirror scrapes Google result screens and reverses them (Thanks, John!).

Halle Berry accepts "Razzie" for Catwoman, calls it a "piece of shit"

The Razzies are joke awards given for actors and filmmakers who produce crappy movies. It's rare for a Razzie "winner" to make a personal appearance at the awards, but Halle Berry gets my vote for coolest person in Hollywood for not only showing up to get a Razzie for Catwoman, but also making a very funny speech:
Berry was named worst actress of 2004 by the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation for her performance in "Catwoman" and she showed up to accept her "Razzie" carrying the Oscar she won in 2002 for "Monster's Ball."

"They can't take this away from me, it's got my name on it!" she quipped. A raucous crowd cheered her on as she gave a stirring recreation of her Academy Award acceptance speech, including tears.

She thanked everyone involved in "Catwoman," a film she said took her from the top of her profession to the bottom.

"I want to thank Warner Brothers for casting me in this piece of shit," she said as she dragged her agent on stage and warned him "next time read the script first."

Link (via JWZ)