BB reader phots: Rancho Obi-Wan, bombs, squash, lo-fi carmod

Boing Boing readers are a shutter-happy lot -- you send us links to your online photo sets each day. Try as we might, it's hard to keep up with you guys! Here are four picks from this week's heap o' submissions:

Bonnie Burton says, "Here at Lucasfilm, it's well known that if you find a Star Wars collectible, chances are Director of Fan Relations Steve Sansweet already has it in his museum aptly titled, 'Rancho Obi-Wan.' Steve's museum is home to not only endless Star Wars toys, costumes, model kits, action figures and posters, but also classic film artifacts such as speeder bike and snowspeeder models, pieces of the krayt dragon skeleton, Mos Eisley Cantina creature masks (made from the original molds) and a Han Solo stunt pistol, to name just a few. It was an honor to be let in to his amazing toy habitat, and thankfully this time I ventured in with my camera." Link

Thomas Hawk says, "There was a bomb scare that shut down Market Street and the Embarcadero MUNI/BART station in San Francisco yesterday during rush hour from about 4:00pm to 5:00pm. The City remains on high alert and this is the third time in the past few weeks that transit stations have been shut down over suspected bombs. Turns out the suspected bomb was just a trash can. I took photos of the shutdown that include a close up of one of the bomb robots as well as an officer in bomb gear checking out the suspected bomb." Link

John Ulaszek says, "Here is the aftermath of a semi trailer load of squash hitting a overpass in Pennsylvania. I saw this while I was on a road trip two weeks ago." Link

Kurt says, "I saw this Dodge Diplomat low-end DIY car mod on the streets of West Los Angeles yesterday. The spoiler on the back is a wooden board attached to the trunk and painted blue to match the peeling body color. Perhaps it's a prototype." Link 1, Link 2.

Yamaha adds rare animal menagerie to papercraft offerings

Yamaha has increased its downloadable papercraft offerings to include dozens of "rare animals of the world" and "rare animals of Japan" as well as "the seasons" and the traditional highly detailed paper motorcycle models. Link (via Paper Forest)

Collision on Disneyland's California Screamin' coaster

Yesterday, there was a low-speed collision on the California Screamin' roller-coaster at Disneyland's California Adventure park, hospitalizing 15 of the 48 riders. From The Disney Blog:
The Purple train ran into the back of the red train that sits to the right of the image. They are in a braking zone. The railing on the right of the track is an emergency unloading zone if a train has to stop in a braking area. From what I can tell this is the next to last braking zone before the train enters the station. Trains entering this braking zone would not generally come to a full stop. But they would if there was a train ahead of them waiting to enter the station.

Potemkin East Village coming to Vegas

A Vegas developer is creating a 44-acre East-Village-themed shopping center:
...Las Vegas developer Mark Advent's "East Village" retail complex plan, complete with faux Washington Square and an entertainment zone called the "Meat Packing District." But ever since stumbling across this ultimate show of hubris we've been hungering for more. Other than calling it the East Village, what will make the 44-acre commercial playground identifiable as such (CBGB hasn't packed up for there, yet)? Well, if this promotional electronic pamphlet is to be believed, it's a Ray's Pizza, a traffic cop, a hot dog cart and some roadside banners.
(via Kottke)

American Airlines gets profitable, thanks to its workforce

American Airlines just posted its first profit in five years -- thanks to working with its union to find ways to cut costs. Only a few years ago, its workers (who'd made huge wage concessions) were ready to go on strike over the fact that management had handed itself fat bonuses and protected its pensions from creditors, but now that the old guard was turfed out and replaced with a CEO who works with labor, the company is turning a profit.
Two American Airlines mechanics didn't like having to toss out $200 drill bits once they got dull. So they rigged up some old machine parts - a vacuum-cleaner belt and a motor from a science project - and built "Thumping Ralph." It's essentially a drill-bit sharpener that allows them to get more use out of each bit. The savings, according to the company: as much as $300,000 a year.

And it was a group of pilots who realized that they could taxi just as safely with one engine as with two. That was instituted as policy has helped cut American's fuel consumption even as prices have continued to rise to record levels.

Link (via Kottke)

Toronto's Quick Boy Movers: incompetent and bullying

Back in June, Joey "AccordionGuy" DeVilla got a blog-comment about a moving company in Toronto called Quick Boys Moving, in which the commenter complained about the dreadful service he'd received from them.

Last week, someone from Quick Boys tracked Joey down on his work phone. They tried to intimidate him with legal threats into taking down the comment. At the time, the comment was the second result on Google for "Quick Boys Movers." Joey took the comment down temporarily and contacted the poster, a friend of his, who confirmed the story. Then he reinstated the comment and wrote a long entry explaining that Quick Boys is not only unqualified to help you move house, they're also thugs who try to censor their critics.

Joey's an engaging writer and many people are linking to his post, which has now risen to the number one spot for "Quick Boys Movers" on Google. There's a moral in there, somewhere.

Me: And you say that this comment is not true?

FV: It is a lie. Let me put my boss on the line.

Gruff Male Voice with Eastern European Accent: Remove that comment. That's all I'm going to say. (click)


Michael Lynn's Cisco vulnerabilities presentation taken offline at lawyerpoint

Richard Forno had been hosting the Black Hat presentation on Cisco's massive security vulnerabilities that Michael Lynn had to quit his job at ISS to deliver, since his candyass employer, a "security firm," sold him out to Cisco, who would rather bully researchers than fix their errors.

Now Forno has replaced the presentation with a cease-and-desist letter from the aforementioned candyasses at ISS, in which they whinge about the "misappropriation" of their "intellectual property" (that would be the presentation that they tried to suppress). Please send links to mirrors of Lynn's presentation and I'll put 'em up. 204K PDF Link (via Schneier)

To do in SF: Pirate (arrrr!) ship (arrr!) invasion

A slew of tall sailing ships cruise in to the San Francisco Bay this weekend. Rides, tours, and battle re-enactments will be offered. Stick an eyepatch on, stuff some bootleg DVDs in your pants, and join the pirates here.

Hello, Planet X

NASA announced today that astronomers have found a tenth planet -- which is larger than Pluto -- at the edge of our solar system. Link

A SF Chron article states:

Informally, the astronomers have been calling it "Xena" after the television series about a Greek warrior princess, which was popular when the astronomers began their systematic sweep of the sky in 2000. "Because we always wanted to name something Xena," Brown said...
XENA? <sigh>. Aw, c'mon guys! Where's the love? So close, and yet one vowel away.

Reader comment: John Parres says, "Water ice in crater at Martian north pole! Cool pic, check it out! Where there is H2O there is life." Link

Aki Zeta-Five says,

It's confusing, but they've actually discovered /two/ planets this week: 2003 EL61 and 2003 UB131.Link 1, Link 2. And a moon. And here's some orbital diagrams: Link 1, Link 2.

Nightmarish statue at The National Bowling Stadium in Reno, NV

My friend Dan went to the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, NV and got freaked out by a statue in the lobby depicting a family hell-bent on hitting the lanes.
Picture 1-11It is a statue with a title something like "Family Goes Bowling" and it is a group of 7 foot high family members running at full speed getting ready to bowl. However, in their mad dash to go bowling, the young boy is being left in the dust. The aging dad is being pushed back and looks like he is falling, while his bowling shoes are flying. The mom looks like she partially insane the way she is smiling, running fast and staring into space. And the freakiest one is the little girl who is running ahead of the rest.

She has the horrific look of gleeful uncontrolled frenzy on her face as she runs with her cheek romantically pressed against the bowling ball. Her eyes are fixed straight ahead, I assume at the bowling lane she is running towards, but in her eyes there was a sense of almost possessed evil. It was as if nothing could get in her way of going bowling. She pushes her own dad down out of the way, she leaves her little brother behind, nothing matters to her. All that mattered was that she would bowl and she would use violence if anyone tried to get in her way.


Unicorn urls that require unicorn chasers

There are many bad things in the world. Here are two. Not worksafe, contain explicit material. Don't click, and please don't click this either (Thanks Chris, and others!).

Previously on Boing Boing: Unicorn porn, And now, we pause for a unicorn moment.

Prehistoric woman-targeted gadgets

Here's a great article on the early days of women-targeted gadgets: "From 1928 to 1933, Kodak manufactured several colored and deco-styled cameras that were designed to attract women. Among the camera kits designed was the Vanity Kodak Ensemble outfit, which included a color-coordinated camera, lipstick holder, compact, mirror and change purse in a fitted case." Link (via Shiny Shiny)

Happy sysadmins' day

Today is Systems Administrators' Appreciation Day. A moment for our virtuoso sysadmin, Ken Snider, the kickass geek who fires off emails like this one now and again:
Allow me to geek out for a moment.

Cory's post today on how to disable the Microsoft GA program was the first real slashdotting I believe BB has had since the move to the new server.

The old server could handle 500 simultaneous connections at once, and we only very rarely reached that cap.

I had (somewhat conservatively) set the server to handle 750 connections, and, to date, we'd used about 450 max at any one time.

Before it even left the Subscriber-only status on /., the server was 100% pegged, all 750 slots used. So, I kept raising it until it could meet demand.

It's now running *1500* slots for connections, and the traffic rate is holding steady at about 1200 simultaneous connections at once. This is *three times* what the old server could handle, and guarantees instant page load times on our part (ads notwithstanding, hopefully Indieclick can keep up!).

Anyway, I thought that was mighty impressive, and thought I'd share. :)

Link (via /.)

Update: The Systems Administrator Song from Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie totally kicks ass. (Thanks, Jesse!)

EFF's trusted computing guru sums up MSFT's lockware strategy

Donna sez, "Seth Schoen, EFF's trusted computing guru, attended this year's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) to find out. In a four-part series of updates on Microsoft's security and lockware strategy for Windows, Schoen looks at how the latest developments will affect your ability to stay in the driver's seat of your own PC."
Part 1: Microsoft Trusted Computing Updates

Part 2: The Dangers of Device Authentication

Part 3: Protected Media Path, Component Revocation, Windows Driver Lockdown

Part 4: Microsoft Sells Out the Public on CGMS-A

Link (Thanks, Donna!)


In light of recent NASA woes regarding the Shuttle program, and new questions about its future, some suggest a "WWBRD" sticker campaign:

What Would Burt Rutan Do?

One Boing Boing reader provides this interpretation.

(Thanks, Lisa Julie/Doug Humphrey)