Video, MP3: More Raumpatrouille kitschtastic '66 German sfTV

Following an earlier BoingBoing post with clips from the 1966 German TV space-opera "Raumpatrouille" (Space Patrol) -- well, here are more clips. The show pre-dates Star Trek, and this quick B/W intro excerpt includes deliciously low-tech special effects: clothes irons, shower heads, and dissolving aspirin tablets create the illusion of spaceships gone wild, and planets in distress. Here's the same intro in color, sans English subtitles. Here's another clip in which the ship's commander is strongarmed against better judgement into admitting a science fiction author on board -- and another clip, "Never Trust a Robot." Here's a bunch more clips. Here's the show's IMDB listing. This fan-site for the show states:
The adventures of the Starship Orion were the first- and to date, only space opera project on German TV. There have apparently been several proposals to revive, continue or sequelize the series in the years since the series aired; all of these, sadly, have fallen through, but hope springs eternal. The last try were made by Roland Emmerich in 1996, but was dropped a year later.
This is so awesome. I grew up the child of a trekkie, and have a genetically-ingrained fondness for scifi teevee of this era -- but I'd never heard of "Raumpatroille" before this week. Update: Slip on your go-go boots and grab your laser gun, here's the highly fruggable "Raumpatrouille" theme song! Link to 2.8MB MP3. Coop sez, "The composer, Peter Thomas, did a lot of cool soundtracks for 60s & 70 Euro films." (thanks, Coop!) Reader comment: Nate says,
If you're so inclined, there's a link to PDF instructions on how to make a paper model of the ship featured in Raumpatrouille.
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Mark interviewed on Digital Village, Saturday 10am, KPFK Los Angeles, 90.7 FM

I'll be interviewed tomorrow on KPFK Los Angeles, 90.7 FM. Doran and Ric and I will talk about the origins of Boing Boing and Make magazine. I hope you tune it. Link Read the rest

Update: Textamerica won't kill old free accounts after all

Following up on earlier news that photo-blog service Textamerica planned to delete old, free accounts for longtime users who didn't want to be forcibly upgraded to a $99/year paid membership, BoingBoing reader (and former enthusiastic Textamerica user) Caines says,
Now on the log in page it reads like this:

- - - - "We are pleased to announce: In light of recent changes and the outpour of positive support, textamerica will continue provide free memberships to users. In celebration of our existing users that have recently upgraded, all accounts upgraded on or before 7/15/06 will hold “Founding Memberships” with special VIP privileges not available to other users. We are currently finalizing stipulations to new & existing memberships, terms and conditions to be announced 7/8/06. In honor of your greatly appreciated enthusiasm and participation in helping to keep the community strong, the “lifetime membership” contest will continue until the new TA is finalized ( Thank You." - - - -

"In light of recent changes and the outpour of positive support" my ass. We're having a grand time at the exTAmerica Flickr group.

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Illos of celebrity-animal cryptozoological hybrid monstrosities

The latest issue of NYC-based art & lifestyle mag ANIMAL includes a series of celebrity-animal hybrids called CELEBIMALS. Here's a preview, and you can download the whole mag as a PDF. Shown above, left to right: Paris Hilton Ass Ostrich (Shamelesseae Hussius), Britneyroo (Careerisoverum) and Freeloading Federline Lizard (Paraciticus Africus Wannabe Reptilia), and Bug-eyed Star Fish (Gastrica Bypassus Denialus) with Reynolds Rainbow Trout (Homosexus Closeta). While you're there, check out the article on...

Anarchy interior design by author and “Punk Shuist” Josh Amatore Hughes who cuts his couches in half and sprinkles glass on the floor.
(thanks, Bucky) hugh says,
the celebimal portraits are the work of ["14, "the same person behind] illustration/celebrity/satire blog, "gallery of the absurd".
Hugh is correct, and 14's collaborator on this project was "sex, drugs, and gossip" blogger Michael K. Read the rest

What did Brazil look like in 1822?

Brazil in 1822: people walked around with monkeys sloths on their shoulders (why is the monkey sloth holding a stick in his mouth like that?) and kids ran around squirting some kind of liquid on well-dressed women carrying overloaded fruit baskets on their head (what kind of fluid and why did they squirt it?). See more engravings from the same series at the always-wonderful BibliOdyssey. Link

Reader comments: Jackson Pritt says:

Sloth, not Monkey! That's a sloth, not a monkey. Also the stick appears to be a truss being used to keep the sloth from clawing the man carrying. Given the way the other animals are presented in that engraving it seems pretty apparent that they're taking exotic animals to market for slaughter.
Bernardo Carvalho says:
The liquid the kid is squirting is water, and the tube is called a 'bisnaga'. It was a common carnival prank until the early 20th century. This PDF talks a little bit about it on the first paragraph, also about the works of Jean Baptiste Debret.

Grant Berger says:

These pictures are actually examples of traveler artists whose commissions from colonial governments sent them to Latin America in order to produce elaborate pictures depicting native life, flora, and fauna. Obviously, these were made before the advent of photography, and were the only way the colony's mother government would see the place. Most western stereotypes are derived from these paintings.

William Silva says:

The fluid is perfumed water, squirted for fun, in the carnival.

Axt von Feld says:

Well Jackson, you are right, that is a sloth in a truss.
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The game theory of penalty kicks

David Goldenberg says: I heard from In Front Sports & Media how interested you are in the World Cup, so I thought I'd share a recent interview Gelf did with an economist at Brown who studies risk and reward on the soccer field.
There are several cool things about his research--most recently on how game theory applies to penalty kicks--but I thout this weird nugget on info he shared might be most interesting to BB readers.

Gelf Magazine: Sports Jones suggested in a 1998 article on this topic that the reason more players don't shoot to the center on PKs is because it would be embarrassing to get such a kick blocked. Do you agree?

Ignacio Palacios-Huerta: No, I do not. One can readily make exactly the opposite argument, namely that it is a great honor to score shooting to the middle, and not a big deal to have it stopped (rather than an embarrassment to have it stopped and not a big deal to score).

In fact, I think that in some sense it is a great honor. The most famous penalty shot (and I think the first one) to the middle was taken by Panenka in 1976 (YouTube). It is so famous that it has a name: when a penalty is shot softly to middle, say, 1 meter or 1.5 meters above the ground (like the second Ukrainian kicker did on Monday in the penalty shoot-out against Switzerland), it is said that the penalty was shot a la Panenka.

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Voicemails from guy wants $50 for dinner date

Gonzo Rangers has opened the doors to a mob shamefest on some guy who left voicemail for a woman he met through a dating service, demanding that she pay him $50 for dinner and drinks after she told him she didn't want a second date. The entry includes emails and voicemail recordings. This kind of thing -- publicly shaming a person for rude behavior by posting voice recordings, video, and photos on the Web -- is becoming very common -- sidekick thief, subway flasher, camera thief, subway puppy poo girl. Who needs law enforcement when you have a globally distributed mob ready to pounce on people who are accused of behaving badly? (Note: I was being sarcastic in this last sentence) Link

Reader comment: Adam says:

You forgot the "The Broken Laptop I sold on eBay Blog"
James says
Privacy should be a concern for everyone. My main concern when I see articles like these about mobs using public shaming and ostracism as a form of punishment for social misdemeanors makes me cringe. I can't help but think that at some point, someone will be wrongly victimized by one of these mobs and there will be no protection for them.

I speak from real-world experience with mob-mentality from when I was in high-school. I was constantly ostracized, threatened, and involved in altercations that landed me in the hospital or near death on several occassions. My only social crime? Being a punk in a sea of kids who were into hip-hop and gangs.

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Giant aluminum rectifier purchased for $1

John bid $1 on a "large rectifier" on eBay. He won, and when he went to pick it up, it was four times bigger than he expected it to be (see soda can in lower right of image). It contains about 100 lbs of aluminum. Now, he wonders what he can do with it.
So, the question is: I have no earthly use for the thing, and while turning a $1 ebay lot into $58 at the aluminium scrap yard is an attractive option, I'd hate to see the thing melted down when there may be someone out there that could use it.
Link (thanks, Terrie!) Read the rest

In South Bronx: "Free Technical School in basement"

John Young says:
My company in NYC was doing a community service day in the South Bronx. On the way there, I got waylaid on the street by a short older man who said in a thick Jackie Mason accent: "Young man! Do you want to learn electrical engineering?"

I was so intrigued that I followed him a few blocks away, past a whole bunch of disquieting, Wile E. Coyote-style "Free Technical School in basement: GO RIGHT IN! RIGHT THIS WAY!" signs, and found, basically, an underground maker's lair consisting of a big unimproved basement filled with chairs, boilers, and homemade electrical diagnostic devices. Plus LCD monitors mounted on the wall, CAT6 cable, and dry-erase boards filled with math. All the ingredients of a supervillain's lair. Except used in the service of creating more geeks.

I was terrified the whole time (South Bronx! Three stories underground! Genial elderly man who's spouting theories about biodiesel to passers-by!), but it turns out that he's teaching a highly employable skill, for free, to anyone with a clean police record in a depressed neighborhood.

There are some pictures here, if you want to see the "Free elec. school in basement go right in" signs for yourself.

Link Read the rest

Scott Beale reviews Kyocera KR1 Mobile EV-DO Router

Scott Beale of Laughing Squid loves his Kyocera KR1 EV-DO router, which uses a high speed wireless EV-DO connection for sharable Internet WiFi.
Now my portable broadband network is ready to go. I just show up with it, plug it in and in a minute or so the wireless network is live. That’s all there is to it. All I need is power and Verizon EV-DO coverage. Have an old laptop without a wi-fi card? No problem, just plug it into one of the 4 ethernet ports.

I’m going to bring the EV-DO router up to Gnomedex this week and see if I can get it to work at the conference and maybe do some testing with distance and number of users.


Reader comment: Vinny says:

I have to say the Kyocera EVDO Router is one of the best things ever. In our company, we were paying almost $500 a month in one of our stores in NYC that couldn't get anything beyond a 144k down ADSL. Even at 1XRTT speed, we get 160 down in that location, and in another location in Ohio, we get almost 400k down, which is cool because we couldn't get anything at all there. Laptops weren't an option but this allowed us to hook the EVDO card up, leave it out where it could get a good signal, and even let the managers of those locations use their laptops with the included WiFi.

Awesome device and HIGHLY recommended.

Update: Scott Beale says:

I'm using it at Gnomdex right now and it works great.
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Video: Fantastic Planet with electronica soundtrack

The musical trainspotters at mixed a new soundtrack for La Planète Sauvage (Fantastic Planet), the 1973 surrealist SF animation by René Laloux and Roland Topor. It's a strange film made even more psychedelic with the sounds of Aphex Twin, Matmos, Venetian Snares, and other composers. Link (via Aeiou blog: excuse my French!) Read the rest

Whale meat sold by the can in Japan

According to Tokyo Times blog, there's a glut in the whale meat market.
With the prospect of Japan getting the go-ahead to resume commercial whaling in the not so necessarily distant future, the people in power are desperately trying to get rid of the nation’s growing stock of scientific research by-products – or whale meat as it’s more commonly known. School children in certain prefectures are being served it for lunch, one restaurant chain is offering whale burgers, and, in a rather desperate measure, dogs are allegedly being fed the stuff, whether they like it or not.
Link Read the rest

Hirst's shark in tank needs replacing

The subject of artist Damien Hirst's famous 1991 work "The physical impossibility of death in the mind of someone living" needs to be replaced. Apparently, the shark suspended in formaldehyde isn't aging well. Hirst has said that he will happily refurbish the piece, purchased in 2004 from the Saatchi Gallery by US hedge fund manager Steve Cohen for a reported £6.5m. From The Art Newspaper:
Oliver Crimmen, curator of fish at the Natural History Museum who advised Hirst on the necessary measures to be taken for the conservation of the shark in 1991, said the long-term preservation of large specimens for scientific purposes requires an alcohol-based solution rather than formaldehyde... Mr Crimmen said that Hirst “did not inject the deep tissues of the shark with formaldehyde and this has caused it to undergo some changes in shape.” He believes the tissue of the shark could be shrinking and put the cloudiness of the formaldehyde down to the chemical composition of the solution used by the artist. Speaking to critic Stuart Morgan in 1996, Hirst said: “I did an interview about conservation and they told me formaldehyde is not a perfect form of preservation... They actually thought I was using formaldehyde to preserve an artwork for posterity, when in reality I use it to communicate an idea.”
Link (via Fortean Times) Read the rest

Doctors remove lightbulb from man's ass

On Wednesday, Fateh Mohammad of Multan, Pakistan underwent surgery to have a lightbulb removed from his rectum. The prison inmate says he has no idea how it ended up there. From Reuters:
Mohammad, who is serving a four-year sentence for making liquor, prohibited for Muslims, said he was shocked when he was first told the cause of his discomfort. He swears he didn't know the bulb was there. "When I woke up I felt a pain in my lower abdomen, but later in hospital, they told me this," Mohammad said. "I don't know who did this to me. Police or other prisoners."
Link to Reuters article, Link to the classic Rectal Foreign Bodies page Read the rest

Using Nomadic Furniture book to make doll furniture

Over at Swapatorium, poopscape writes about using the plans in a neat-looking hippie DIY book called Nomadic Furniture to make doll-sized furniture.
Nomadic Furniture gives instructions on how to build lightweight furniture that folds, knocks down, stacks or is disposable and can be recycled. Despite the hippy-ish hand-drawn illustrations, this book offers some interesting and rather modern furniture designs. Design Within Reach isn't exactly within mine, but if I can diy my own reasonable facsimile, I'm pretty happy.

Reader comment: Jim says:

The Nomadic Furniture book was by Victor Papenek, an architect and designer that headed the School of Design at the Kansas City Art Institute just prior to my time there (he moved a few miles west to chair the department of architecture at the University of Kanasas in Lawrence).

Papanek was an amazing visionary designer, who saw the importance of designing for the real world and real human needs long before the rest of the design world began to get it. He introduced a set of values into design that are only now beginning to see wider interest and adoption.

An excellent book to read is his 1995 book, The Green Imperative: Natural Design For The Real World. In one of my favorite chapters, he talks about the design and adaptive genius of the Inuit people of the Arctic, describing many of their ingenious inventions, such as floating tactile coastline maps and goggles which utilized a slit to cut down on snowblinding glare.

I just wanted to point out that Papanek was a true revolutionary genius in the design world.

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Video: Indonesian coelacanth

A month ago, I posted that an Indonesian coelacanth had been caught on video by Japanese researchers. Thought to have been extinct for 65 million years, the coelacanth was "rediscovered" in 1938. It was thought that they only lived off the coast of Africa, but in 1998, an entirely different species of coelacanth was discovered swimming around near Indonesia. (More background from cryptozoologist Loren Coleman in this Cryptomundo post.) A team from Aquamarine Fukushima videotaped one just four weeks ago using an underwater robot. The video is now available on YouTube. What a beautiful beastie! Link (via Planet Timbotron) Read the rest

Bengali science fiction of the 1880s

Amardeep Singh has posted a brief and fascinating essay on early Bengali science fiction literature of the 1880s:
The first [rocket] that he had built was unsuccessful and had come down on his neighbour Abinashbabu's radish patch. Abinashbabu had no sympathy for Shanku; science and scientists made him yawn. He would come up to Shanku and urge him to set off the rocket for Diwali so that the neighbourhood children could be suitably entertained. Shanku wants to punish this levity and drops his latest invention in his guest's tea. This is a small pill, made after the fashion of the Jimbhranastra described in the Mahabharata. This pill does not only make one yawn, it makes one see nightmares. Before giving a dose to his neighbour, Shanku had tried a quarter bit on himself. In the morning, half of his beard had turned grey from the effect of his dreams. Shanku's world is a real world, a human world. In his preparations for the space journey he has decided to take his cat Newton with him. For that he has invented a fish-pill. "Today I tested the fish-pill by leaving it next to a piece of fish. Newton ate the pill. No more problems! Now all I have to do is make his suit and helmet."
Link (via Making Light) Read the rest

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