Emusic's DRM-free store is second largest in the world

Emusic, which sells DRM-free MP3s, is now the second-largest online seller of music on the Internet. I cancelled my sub when they capped the number of downloads per month -- I wanted to feel like I could take some months off from downloading, then download intensively when I felt experimental, and by capping the monthly downloads, Emusic made me feel like I had to download every month to get my money's worth.
That eMusic has found any traction is surprising, as it doesn't have any big hits. No music from major labels means nothing from chart-toppers such as Shakira, Beyoncé or U2 – but plenty from Scott H. Biram, the Pipettes, Dashboard Confessional and Peaches.

They are some of the popular eMusic artists, a roster that also includes household names: Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Credence Clearwater Revival, Miles Davis, Van Morrison, Moby, the White Stripes and Diana Krall are a few of the independent label notables, in a roster more heavily weighted to jazz, classical and indie rock than pop.

Link (Thanks, Tim!)

Update: Aaron sez, "Emusic doesn't charge a subscription anymore. It's just a straight $0.25/download now."

Update 2: Max sez, "eMusic is still a subscription service; if you sign up for the basic plan and download 40 songs a month, it works out to 25 cents per song." Read the rest

Handmade wooden specs-frames

I don't know what these handsome, hand-made wooden specs-frames cost, but they're just fantastic. Link (Thanks, Nelson!)

Update: Kent sez, "Here's the Etsy shop for the wooded specs."

Update 2: Scott of Urban Spectacles sez, "I prefer that people interested in wooden frames contact me directly." Read the rest

Beirut time capsule: Last magazine cover before war

Image link: the last cover of the Beirut edition of Time Out magazine before the current war broke out. (thanks, Katy)

See also this related New York Times story -- "In Beirut, Cultural Life Is Another War Casualty," by Jad Mouawad: Link.Update: Ah, wow -- there's a fascinating story behind this magazine cover, involving two editors: one from "Time Out Beirut," the other from "Time Out Tel Aviv." Lisa Goldman, a freelance Israeli journalist, blogs:

This is the story of two men, one from Beirut and one from Tel Aviv, who met less than four months ago and formed an instant friendship. They believed that the things they had in common were far more significant than politics - until the twisted reality of the Middle East interfered with that conviction.

This is the July 20 cover of Time Out Tel Aviv, published one week after the current conflict began. It is based on a famous 1970's New Yorker cover, A View of New York from Ninth Avenue. But whereas the world beyond New York's Hudson River is portrayed as a quiet, peaceful place, the world beyond Tel Aviv's Yarkon River is one of turmoil and violence. To the right are Baghdad and Tehran; on the left are Haifa, Tiberias, Carmiel, Acre and Kiryat Shmona - areas that have been under constant bombardment since July 12. The cluster of buildings at the top is Beirut.

Link Read the rest

New serial novel by Monster Island novelist

David Wellington, author of the excellent and super-creepy zombie novel Monster Island (which was a serialized novel before it was published as a print book), started a new serialized novel today, called Frostbite. Link (Thanks, Michael!) Read the rest

Gutfeld: Mel Gibson's guide to addressing female cops

Link to an illo-quiz by Greg Gutfeld, in which the immortal term "Toffee Twat" is coined. Here's more. (Thanks, Coop!) Read the rest

Web Zen: BBQ zen

grilled meat grills pepsi stove grilling and barbecue guide ground meat cookbook meathenge meat hats cole slaw baked beans periodic table of condiments barbecue'n burger time

Bonus: BoingBoing reader Travis says, "Joey Chestnut ate 8.4 pounds of pork rib meat at the Chinook Winds Casino in 12 minutes on July 16, 2006. Link to great video of the event. Here's Joey's web page: Link."

Web Zen Home, Store (Thanks Frank!)

Reader comment: Jeremy says, "I received this link in an email today, then saw the web Zen entry on BoingBoing and, well, the photo is mostly SFW." Read the rest

Solar powered sidewalk bricks

Sun Bricks are self-contained solar-powered outdoor nightlights that use amber colored LEDs to illuminate walkways. They cost $60 each. Link (Via Popgadget) Read the rest

Make Vol 7 at printer

MAKE Vol 7, the "Backyard Biology" issue just went to the printers today (I'm editor-in-chief of MAKE). We have some fun biology projects, including three DNA-based experiments. Other projects include putting a video camera in a model rocket, an easy-to-make Stirling engine, and a home mushroom growing lab. If you order a subscription from the Make site, you are eligible for a discount rate of US$29.95. Link Read the rest

Anti-EMF headwear

Handy-fashions.com sells hats, scarves, and waistcoats lined with shielding fabric to block the electromagnetic fields generated by mobile phone handsets. The amount of electromagnetic waves emitted by phones may or may not be very bad for you. Seen here, the Mobile Cap, approximately US$38. From Handy-fashions.com:
Handy-fashions.com is a Norwegian based corporation and offers fashionable and specially designed textile products for cellular phone users. Our products are made of a special fabric, normally used by the military to shield missiles in extreeme mircrowave exposed environments. Handy-fashions.com presents the cutting edge of microwave shielding technology for mobile phones, and it looks fancy and fashionable, too.
Link (via Red Ferret Journal) Read the rest

Monster House reviews reviewed

David Goldenberg says:
Not that it's particularly related to the discussion of the animation behind Monster House, but I thought you guys would be interested in how the Monster House PR folks twisted a review from the NY Times into blurb fodder:

A.O. Scott, The New York Times: " 'Monster House' is the best child-friendly movie of the summer so far...smartly written and a lot of fun."

Actual line: "If I say that 'Monster House' is the best child-friendly movie of the summer so far ('Ant Bully' and 'Barnyard' will expand the competition in the next few weeks), it may sound like extravagant praise—or maybe like faint praise.

Link Read the rest

FSM hate mail

FSM hate mail is a collection of email that Bobby Henderson, author of The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, has received from friendly folks who hope to win him over with their charitable benevolence.


"If I was your creator and you mocked me in this manner I couldn't think of a hell hot enough for you."

"I hope you die in a lake of fire and get your eyes pecked out by crows, so that you may go to hell and exist for eternity in a lake of fire getting your eyes pecked out by crows."

"people like you are scum, I hope you die by the hands of some sick perverted guy who will skullfuck you and then use your skin to make lampshades."

"Charles Darwin went insane when he was 28 anyways (didn't know that did you?) Let me put it this way to you concerning your bologna flying spaghetti monster. If we are created in the image of what you believe God to be, we would look like spaghetti."

Link Read the rest

Diebold voting machines can be beaten with a switch-flip

Diebold's voting machines are even less secure than previously suspected. Inspection of a Diebold machine by the open Voting Foundation revealed that all it takes to get a Diebold machine to boot a modified, crooked operating system is the flip of a switch, a task that can be accomplished in a brief moment using nothing but a screwdriver. Diebold has strenuously resisted calls for its voting machines to be fitted with paper audit-tapes that would record the votes cast for comparison against the electronic tally, and has used legal threats to keep critics from publishing memos detailing earlier flaws discovered in its machines. If you want to steal an election, use a Diebold machine.
Upon examining the inner workings of one of the most popular paperless touch screen voting machines used in public elections in the United States, it has been determined that with the flip of a single switch inside, the machine can behave in a completely different manner compared to the tested and certified version.

"Diebold has made the testing and certification process practically irrelevant," according to Dechert. "If you have access to these machines and you want to rig an election, anything is possible with the Diebold TS -- and it could be done without leaving a trace. All you need is a screwdriver." This model does not produce a voter verified paper trail so there is no way to check if the voter's choices are accurately reflected in the tabulation.

Link (via /.) Read the rest

Videos of people humping hummers

ihumpedyourhummer.com has videos of people humping other people's Hummers. Link (Thanks, rosemary!) Read the rest

Never forget a lock combination

Robert Kohr says: "Combination locks are great because it means that you don't have to worry about losing the key, but if you don't remember the lock combo, you are in trouble."
The solution to this problem is to write an encrypted version of the combo directly on the lock itself using a sharpie, and then all you have to do is work back from the encrypted version if you forget the lock combination. This can be as simple as adding your birthday to the number, and when you need to recover the number, you just subtract your birthday from it.
Link Read the rest

Rabbinical mystery game

The Shivah is an old-fashioned PC game about a Rabbi running a failing synagogue on the Lower East Side.
Just as he is on the verge of packing it all in, he receives some interesting news. A former member of his congregation has died and left the Rabbi a significant amount of money.

A blessing? Or the start of something far more sinister? Can Rabbi Stone just accept the money and move on? His conscience says no. Step into his shoes as he travels all over Manhattan in his attempt to uncover the truth.

Features rabbinical conversation methods, a unique method of fighting, an original score, and three different endings!

Link (Thanks, Andrew!) Read the rest

Animation historians blast SF Chron movie critic

A Boing Boing reader says: "Mick LaSalle is a film critic for the SF Chronicle. His review of Monster House revealed his supreme lack of understanding when it comes to animation and CGI."

I agree. LaSalle doesn't know what he's talking about. His assessment of this crummy movie is profoundly wrong. The most egregious statement in the review had to be this one: "There was never any point to a close-up in an animated film -- there was never really anything to see." -- Woah! I mean, Winsor MacKay was blowing away audiences with the adorable and expressive Gertie the Dinosaur in 1914.

I know there's no accounting for taste, and if someone likes the animation in Monster House or A Scanner Darkly , I'm envious that they're so easily amused. But LaSalle's review reveals such a supreme lack of understanding about animation that true aficionados of the artform and talented industry pros are dumbfounded by LaSalle's astoundingly clueless review.

Pixar story artist Jeff Pidgeon sent a polite letter to the SF Chron in an attempt to educate LaSalle on the fact that animated cartoons weren't half bad before motion capture arrived to rescue the artform. (Excerpts from LaSalle's review in italics, followed by Pidgeon's response.):

Animated films always had the advantage of being able to go anywhere and show anything, to defy the laws of physics and follow the imagination as far as it could go. But they never had the ability to show the human face. There was never any point to a close-up in an animated film -- there was never really anything to see.
Read the rest

Man lifts car to save teen

Tucson, Arizona resident Tom Boyle lifted a car with his bare hands to save a young fellow trapped underneath it. Kyle Holtrust, 18, was riding his bike in Tucson when the Camaro hit him and he was dragged for 20 or 30 feet. Boyle and his wife happened to be driving by when the accident occurred. No word on the gamma radiation levels at the scene. From an Arizona Daily Star article:
"I didn't believe what I saw," Boyle said Thursday. "I didn't believe it until my wife said something, and I was just like, 'Oh my God.' You think things like that only happen in movies...." Holtrust was pinned underneath his bike, which was pinned underneath the car, said Boyle, who is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 300 pounds. "As soon as I get to the car, the boy is just screaming his head off, and I could tell he was in a lot of pain," Boyle said. "As I was lifting the front end of the car off of him, he was just saying, 'Mister, mister, higher, higher.' Then when it was high enough, he said, 'OK. I can't move. Get me out.' "
Link Read the rest

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