Boing Boing 

Bootleg action figure gallery

The Bootleg Action Figure site features page after page after page of photos of crummy bootleg action figures -- this Batman knockoff is adorable. Link (Thanks, Dan!)

Synthesizer ads for nuns

The UK's Synthi synthesizers ran an old ad campaign, collected here, showing all the different contexts in which their gigantic electric keyboards were de riguer: picnics, Christmas, and nunneries. Link (Thanks, Tom!)

Image gallery of firecracker labels

Link. (Thanks, Devon)

Sub-$20 Wonder Weapons

For less than one Andrew Jackson, you too can own any number of wack-ass scifi defense tools. Shown here, the dreaded Hypnodisk, guaranteed by its manufacturer to "Produce Weird and Bizarre Effects." Defense technology reporter Noah Shachtman says:
I believed all those government and scientific reports that laser rifles and hand-held force fields were decades away from reality -- if they were possible at all. Cloaked in the dull skepticism of a flat-earther, I naively thought that advances like "Electro-Hypnotizers" and "Ion Ray Guns" were the stuff of science fiction, or merely hoaxes. (...) Not only are these items for real, but a helpful Internet retailer -- "Information Unlimited," out of Amherst, New Hampshire -- has been thoughtful enough to sell them all under one electronic roof. Huzzah!

My only question is what to buy first. Should it be the "Telekinetic Enhancer"? The "Sonic Nausea Device" Or maybe I should go with the "Magnetic Cannon." Luckily, the plans for most of these projects are only $20. So I can afford to make some mistakes.


The Strange World of Blogspot Spam Blogs

Spam blogs are phony weblogs designed to game Google's pagerank system. They are automatically updated by scripts.

Justin Baeder says: "Blogspot spam blogs have gotten a lot more clever in recent weeks. Today I found a one that purports to be maintained by a real person, but upon further examination appears to be run by a bot that posts links to actual news articles (complete with excerpts). The spammy links are hidden using CSS, so you can only see them when you try to leave a comment or view the source of the page." Link

646-lb catfish caught in Thailand, may be record

Fishermen in Thailand caught what might have been the largest freshwater fish known to man -- a 646-lb whopper of a catfish.
 Si 2005 More 06 30 Fish.Ap P1 Catfish When wildlife officials caught wind of the catch they urged the villagers to release the adult male so that it could spawn, but it later died and was eaten, the groups said. They did not say when the massive fish was caught.
Link (thanks, Shawn!)

Badonkadonk mouse, gangsta gadgets

This fanciful Sync mag roundup of gadgets for gangstas includes a number of chuckle-inducers -- such as the mouse shown here mit junk in trunk, and the Redman Redeye photo filter.
Link to the whole list. (via MeFi)

David Lynch now does daily weather reports on the internet

The master auteur behind such works as Blue Velvet, Eraserhead, and Twin Peaks now reads you the weather, right here. It's strangely addictive! Well -- mostly just strange. (Thanks, Susannah Breslin!)

Google Maps, Reloaded: Animated Mozillas and Gnus attack Redmond

Boing Boing reader paolo says:
Yesterday BoingBoing reported the Google Map hack "Star Wars Imperial ATAT attack on Palo Alto". Today I created an *animated* hack: invaders move around the map! And this time invaders are mozillas and gnus converging towards Microsoft Offices in Redmond! ;-) Here is the animated map: Link. Be sure to check the HTML code (with the Javascript code that moves invaders around). In the blog post I also ponder that "It should be very easy to create real playable games on Google Maps. Here are some ideas: - playing Risk on the real world map (with the ability to zoom in/out to combat at different scales). Extend Jrisk or JavaRisk (code available on SourceForge). - playing FreeCiv on real world maps. Modify FreeCiv source code. - driving a car race on streets of the real world. - much more I guess.

Previously: Google Maps API released / Star Wars ATAT attack on Palo Alto

Darth Vader fetish chick on Yahoo! Korea website

Perhaps some Korean-speaking Boing Boing readers can tell me what in the Sith is going on here. Image found on Yahoo! Korea. Link
(Thanks, Swissfondue!)

Reader Comment: Random_Tangent says:

More in the Darth Vader fetish line. The model, Malady, decided to do her own homage to the release of Revenge of the Sith by wearing Thigh-high boots, a Vader mask and little else. A surprisingly disturbing combination of Geek Icon and sexuality. Twists the brain just to look at. Almost Safe for Work (that is to say no visible nipples). The photography is fairly boring and kind of flat, but the subject is enough to shine past the high key/Full Housian fill.

Music video: "Reason" (dirty/hard bass + martial arts chic)

This looks pretty badass. "Reason" video by DJ Maxximus featuring Soom-t (mov file): high-quality, low-quality, zip file. (Thanks, DJ Maxximus!)

Pakistan's internet slowly returns after countrywide outage

Sean Bonner says,
The entire country has been without internet for the past few days, it's just now coming back, but VERY slowly
Link to Sean's blog post, Link to coverage on the Karachi metblog, and Link to related news coverage via Google.

PlayStation player zapped by lightning

David Robinson, 14, of Middleton, New Hampshire, was playing Grand Theft Auto 3 during a thunderstorm when he was zapped by lightning that struck outside his bedroom and traveled through his PlayStation controller. Fortunately, the shock only left Robinson exhausted and with a black spot on his left hand. From Foster's Daily Democrat:
"My TV went out a few seconds before I got a shock," Robinson said, adding the current traveled through the television, the gaming system and into him through his game controller.

Robinson said he doesn't remember what happened next, but believes the electricity traveled from his left hand and exited through a toe on his right foot, part of which he shot off with a .32 caliber rifle during an accident in October...

"I was shocked myself that it (the electricity) traveled through his whole body and didn't damage it," (his mother Wendy) Smith said, adding there was a distinct hole and black spot in Robinson's left hand where the electricity entered his body. His body was also severely stimulated to the point of exhaustion...

"I was worried my Play Station was broken," Robinson said, adding the television, the video game and the Play Station were undamaged, but the controller was fried by the charge.

DOJ "Operation Site Down"

Snip from United States Department of Justice press release:
Beginning yesterday morning, the FBI and law enforcement from 10 other countries conducted over 90 searches worldwide as part of â€Å“Operation Site Down,â€Â designed to disrupt and dismantle many of the leading criminal organizations that illegally distribute and trade in copyrighted software, movies, music, and games on the Internet.
Link, and Link to report of one such bust on a local ABC affiliate TV station. (Thanks, Santos Halper)

What science knows it doesn't know

Scientific journal Science is celebrating its 125th anniversary by asking 125 big questions that science can't answer... yet. The ground rule in the selection process was that "scientists should have a good shot at answering the questions over the next 25 years, or they should at least know how to go about answering them." Here are the top 25:
What Is the Universe Made Of?
What is the Biological Basis of Consciousness?
Why Do Humans Have So Few Genes?
To What Extent Are Genetic Variation and Personal Health Linked?
Can the Laws of Physics Be Unified?
How Much Can Human Life Span Be Extended?
What Controls Organ Regeneration?
How Can a Skin Cell Become a Nerve Cell?
How Does a Single Somatic Cell Become a Whole Plant?
How Does Earth's Interior Work?
Are We Alone in the Universe?
How and Where Did Life on Earth Arise?
What Determines Species Diversity?
What Genetic Changes Made Us Uniquely Human?
How Are Memories Stored and Retrieved?
How Did Cooperative Behavior Evolve?
How Will Big Pictures Emerge from a Sea of Biological Data?
How Far Can We Push Chemical Self-Assembly?
What Are the Limits of Conventional Computing?
Can We Selectively Shut Off Immune Responses?
Do Deeper Principles Underlie Quantum Uncertainty and Nonlocality?
Is an Effective HIV Vaccine Feasible?
How Hot Will the Greenhouse World Be?
What Can Replace Cheap Oil -- and When?
Will Malthus Continue to Be Wrong?

Junko Mizuno's illustrations

 ~Mjdotcom Gallery Room02 Pic Room02 2-1 Roq la Rue gallerist Kirsten Anderson just turned me on to the amazing illustrations of Japanese artist Junko Mizuno. As Kirsten says, Mizuno's work is "pretty deranged... in a cute way." Mizuno's new book, Pure Trance, goes on sale tomorrow. Next weekend, she'll be signing books in San Francisco and Berkeley before heading to the Comic-Con in San Diego July 14-17! Link

Crappy restaurant

A new restaurant in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung seats diners not at tables and chairs but rather toilets. Meals at The Martun ("toilet" in Chinese) are presented in toilet bowls of both Western and Asian styles. (Link to Mark's previous post with a close-up photo of the dishware.) From Reuters:
Manager Hung Lin-wen said the original inspiration came from a toilet-shaped spaceship in a Japanese cartoon. The theme has attracted droves of novelty-seeking young people who come to play with their food and gross out their friends...

But no matter how delicious, a few customers still find the combination a little hard to swallow.

"The taste is good, but I still feel disgusted when I look at it," said diner Lin Yu-may.

Government info APIs from Rhode Island

The State of Rhode Island is publishing large amounts of government data via an API that is easy to hack, and they're looking for feedback from developers on how to improve it.
It is simply unacceptable at this point in history that a citizen can use web services to track the movies he is renting, the weather around his house, and the books he's recently purchased but cannot as easily monitor data regarding the quality of his drinking water, legislation or regulations that will directly impact his work or personal life, what contracts are currently available to bid on for his state, or what crimes have recently occurred on his street.

As a step towards resolving this dissonance, the Rhode Island Office of the Secretary of the State has released GovTracker Services to provide RESTful access to public information. We hope that this set of web services is adopted by the developer community and is a step towards an era of community-developed applications that make it as easy for citizens to interact with their government as it is for them to interact with the rest of the networked world. With input from the developer community we look to add additional services and make the existing ones even better. You can reach us at

Link (Thanks, Zack!)

Taiwan intros hip colored rice as cheeseburger alternatives

The Taiwanese government is pushing colored novelty rice as a means of luring teenagers away from burgers and pizza:
Yellow rice gets its hue from curcumin, an herb that's a spice in curries and is believed by some to be an antioxidant that may help prevent cancer. Green rice comes from the nutritious bitter gourd, often used in Asian soups and stir-fried dishes. Pink comes from tomato, and purple from a mixture of vegetables. "We hope to develop up to 14 colors so people can have a different color of rice every day for two weeks," Lo said.
Link (Thanks, Isaac B2!)

Mario and Goomba pixellated computer mice

This company sells computer mice shaped like pixellated Mario and Goomba sprites. Not very ergo, but very much teh sexy. Link (Thanks, Sphinx!)

eBay zen: photos from 19th c. Japan in cool lacquer case

Link to full-size image. Link to auction listing for "19th c. Japanese Lacquered Album w Albumen Photos -- Meiji Period - 50 Large Hand Colored Images of Japan". A blog should be so beautiful.

Photos: Abandoned sattelite devoured by earth

Boing Boing reader Josh says, "These are some very eerie photos of an abandoned Earth Satellite Station in Nova Scotia. Photographer Adam Graham shot the dish both before and after it was pulled down. Apparently the whole thing is now up for sale, and there's a lot of abandoned equipment there."

Snip from Graham's blog post:

I am constantly intrigued by the interplay between nature and technology. Which is partly why I love checking back in on the space station. As it falls more and more into abandon the signs of nature reclaiming that area become more evident. Grass encroaches more and more over and through the concrete and pavement, animals have clearly bunked down in some areas of the buildings, birds building their nests under disused walkways. Sometimes when I take a picture I'll try and eliminate the technological just to focus on the nature. Sometimes I'll try to show the interplay between the two. I know it can be a tired theme but it's one that grabs my brain.
Link to one series, Link to another.

Reader Comment: David Calkins says,

Someone posted your Nova Scotia Earth Satellite station for sale.

National Security Service created by Bush; surveillance plan endorsed

Declan McCullagh writes:
President Bush on Wednesday announced the "National Security Service," to be organized under the FBI: Link

Also, at the same time, he endorsed this proposal: Link

President Bush supports extending the duration of electronic surveillance in cases involving agents of foreign powers who are not U.S. persons.

More details: Link

The President should seek to have the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) amended to extend the duration of electronic surveillance and "pen registers" in cases involving agents of foreign powers who are not U.S. persons. Extending the duration of FISA orders for non-U.S. person agents of foreign powers will result in a substantial savings of resources and permit the Department of Justice (DOJ) to focus more time and attention on other FISA matters where U.S. persons are involved. DOJ has already proposed legislation that would extend the duration not only for electronic surveillance and pen register orders, but also physical search orders in cases involving agents of foreign powers who are not U.S. persons. This proposed legislation has been shared with appropriate Committees of the House and Senate.

Link. See also: FBI launches regional data sharing system

Notorious B.I.G. meets Frank Sinatra

Boing Boing reader John Mathot says,
Hip hop mixtapes are dead -- long live hip hop mixtapes! With the copyright powers-that-be cracking down on unapproved use of music on mixtapes (premier hip hop site Turntable Lab recently took down their mixtape listings), the ones that emerge these days are more brazen. Case in point: "Blue Eyes Meets Bed Stuy" from DJ Cappel -- a mash-up/remix/mixtape created with vocals from Biggie and tunes (breaks?) from Frankie. It's not as brilliant as "A Night at the Hip Hopera" by the Kleptones, but it's very much worth owning (which means get it while you still can). It can purchased at and
Link to MP3 audio snippets at (includes sexually explicit language)

Reader Comment: Andrew Austin says,

Turntable Lab only took down their "Mixtape" section because people aren't doing mixes on cassette anymore - not because of any panic over the unauthorized use of copyrighted music. They still have plenty of mix CD's of all types for sale, they're just in the CD section, under "DJ mixes".

Anti-Japanese WWII propaganda posters

The Pacific University's Asian Studied program has compiled this jaw-dropping gallery of WWII anti-Japanese US propaganda posters. Link (via We Make Money Not Art)

Touch-up paint roller is clever way to store paint

These Rubbermaid Paint Buddies are amazingly clever. They're touch-up paint rollers. After you finish painting a room, you store the left-over paint in the roller-body, and when you get a scratch or a smudge, you just whip out the roller and give it a quick swipe over the spot. Link (via A Whole Lotta Nothing)

Declassified WWII sub manuals

This site hosts copies of WWII US military submarine manuals, now declassified:
Rapid search
1. From the bearing at which the hydrophone was left by the previous watch, sweep through 000 degrees and continue on to 180 degrees.

2. Then, reversing direction, sweep back around the full circle to 180 degrees. If no suspicious sounds are heard, shift to ...

Progressive search
Sweep forward two full turns of the handwheel and then one turn back. Continue up the same side, two turns forward and one turn back, until you have crossed the bow. Then train rapidly down the opposite side to 180 degrees. Reverse direction and train two turns forward, one back, two forward, one back, until you have crossed the bow again. Then train rapidly down the other side ... and so on. Continue this procedure for the duration of your watch, unless ordered to do otherwise.

Link (Thanks, MrBigStuff247!)

Left Behind Christian sf novels spawn video-game

The Left Behind novels are a series of Christian science fiction books about the coming end-times, when all the saved Christians are whisked away to heaven, leaving the sinners to battle it out on Earth (Charlie Stross and I wrote a short novel in two parts called "Rapture of the Nerds" that's a piss-take on this, where all the geeks have ascended to the Singularity hive-mind, leaving Luddites and fundamentalists stuck on Earth). Now there's an upcoming Left Behind video-game:
Scheduled for release between Christmas 2005 and Easter 2006, Left Behind: Eternal Forces will put players in command of the apocalyptic battles raging in the streets of New York City between the angelic Tribulation Forces and the demonic Global Community Peacekeepers during the End of Days. Gamers will participate in events from the Left Behind book series in single player mode and battle to capture territory from other players in the multi-player online game mode.

The Left Behind game series will allow play in the same End of Days fictional world as the bestselling Left Behind(R) novels, which use the prophecies of the Book of Revelation as a framework. The first title, Left Behind: Eternal Forces, is set in the future when the faithful have been gathered up and ascended to Heaven during the Rapture. In the chaos that follows, the Antichrist has taken the reigns of power at the United Nations and is gathering the countries of the world under his banner. But a small resistance, the Tribulation Forces, have formed to oppose Satan's legions.

Link (Thanks, Zahn!)

Montreal free software/free culture event this Sunday

Next Sunday, the Université du Québec à Montréal is throwing a free software/free culture event with guest speaker Richard Stallman, the founder of the Free Software Foundation and the GNU project, author of the GPL and of emacs. Sounds like a terrific event.

A dozen kiosks hosted by local and not so local Free Culture enthusiasts such as Debian, FreeCulture, KDE, île sans fil, Savoir-faire Linux; a press conference announcing the Semaine québécoise de l'informatique libre, a Free Software week; a Richard Stallman presentation on copyright; and finally, the answers to all your questions with Russell McOrmond (Flora), Daniel Pascot (Laval University) and Marcus Bornfreund (Ottawa University), responsible for the canadian adaptation of the Creative Commons licenses, Cyrille Béraud (Savoir-faire Linux) and Robin Millette (FACIL).

Sunday July 3rd 2005, from 13h until 22h
Université du Québec à Montréal
320, Sainte-Catherine east, room DSR 510
Montréal, Québec, Canada
Berri-UQAM metro


In China, directors now developing films for phones

Snipped from Danwei blog (they cover media trends in China)
Meeting at the Beijing Film Academy yesterday, directors representing several generations of Chinese cinema discussed plans to shoot movies expressly for viewing on mobile phones. They believe that the time is ripe to take advantage of the technology, despite the graininess, high compression, and poor sound quality of most mobile phones. This follows the big cell-phone media story from last year, fiction serialized over SMS.
Link (Thanks, Tian)