Boing Boing 

Handmade wooden "cellphones" from Mozambique

Peter sez, "I saw these beautiful wooden handmade Nokia, 'Philips', and best of all, 'Scony' cellphones in Pemba, Mozambique. I feel like a total jerk because I was so intent on getting a picture for Boing Boing that I forgot to buy one."

Reminds me of these wooden mobile-phone bottle-openers I spotted in a market in Helsinki.

Link (Thanks, Peter!)

Disneyland parking structure repeatedly robbed at gunpoint

The Disneyland parking-structure toll-booth has been robbed at gunpoint twice in the past two weeks:
Two unidentified men drove up in a dark-colored Porsche at about 3:50 p.m. Tuesday. One man got out of the car, walked up to the toll booth and demanded all the money in the cash box. A weapon was seen by the attendant but never pointed. The man was given the money, returned to the vehicle and drove off very quickly, said Anaheim police Sgt. Rick Martinez.

On Sept. 19, a man in a light-colored vehicle, possibly a Toyota Camry, drove up to a different toll booth at about 2:30 p.m. The man got out of the car, asked for the money, flashed a gun, received the money and drove off, Martinez said.

Link (via The Disney Blog)

Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick - Chocolate Chip Flavor!

Jimmy Dean Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick - Chocolate Chip Flavor! I get fatter just looking at a picture of the box. !, indeed. Link (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

HOWTO: Make a bat-person costume out of an old umbrella

This bat costume is a dead clever way of recycling a broken black umbrella. Link (via Make Blog)

Ragnar's "Maltese Chimp" as a sculpture set

Picture 4-10 Electric Tiki's sculpture of Ragnar's "Maltese Chimp" is a faithful 3D rendition of the original drawing. Link (Via TimeDragon)

Stick Magnetic Ribbons on Your SUV song parody

Picture 3-16 Asylum Street Spankers have an excellent parody rendition of "Tie a Yellow Ribbon," called "Stick Magnetic Ribbons on your SUV." (Not safe for work)

Sample lyrics:

"Oh Stick magnetic ribbons on your SUV, keep your apathy and get off scot free. If I don't see a ribbon on that SUV, I'll call you a red, wish you were dead, and put the blame on weed, if I don't see a ribbon on that SUV. Please don't send me to Iran and I sure don't wanna see Afghanistan. Any day now I could be another grunt sporting a stump, so buy another ribbon while you're paying at the pump." Link

Kid Sphere Hotel in Belgium

Picture 2-16
The Atomium is a giant model of an iron molecule built for the 1958 World's Fair in Belgium. It re-opened this year as the Kid Sphere Hotel and it looks amazing. Link (Thanks, Jessica!)

Reader comment:

Wendy says:

I'm a Belgian, I live in Brussels, and I am a huge fan of this building (we were able to do one of the last parties in the then not yet renovated top ball :-).

Just passing by it once a week makes me smile again and again :-)

If you're ever in Brussels, go visit it...

It's only of of the balls which has the kids hotel - this is what the atomium site has to say about it: -- An area specifically for children and school groups.

This area will occupy a whole sphere and will be used for lessons in urban life. The idea, an original concept from the Spanish artist Alicia Framis, that they should be able to sleepover has also been incorporated as part of an educational trip.

General site. For the rest all the balls have different functions and there is a restaurant in the top ball.

American Airlines bans in-flight kissing

A gay couple flying from Paris to JFK on American Airlines were told by the crew and purser that they weren't allowed to touch or kiss each other. When they questioned this, the captain came out of the cockpit and threatened to divert the plane. American Airlines says this was all according to procedure, because kissing of any kind isn't allowed on AA flights.
Shortly after takeoff, Varnier nodded off, leaning his head on Tsikhiseli. A stewardess came over to their row. "The purser wants you to stop that," she said.

"I opened my eyes and was, like, 'Stop what?' " Varnier recalled the other day.

"The touching and the kissing," the stewardess said, before walking away.

Tsikhiseli and Varnier were taken aback. "He would rest his head on my shoulder or the other way around. We'd kiss--not kiss kiss, just mwah," Tsikhiseli recalled, making a smacking sound.

Link (Thanks, Doran!)

HOWTO make retractable metal Wolverine claws

This is a hell of a costume -- a set of retractable galvanized metal Wolverine claws. Lethally cool.
The next step was to mount the claws to a ball-bearing track that could be hooked to the back of Nate's forearm. The track was created from a sliding keyboard tray. The slider on the track was modified to be much shorter, and use only 8 ball bearings. Bolts were put through the slider on the track and then some galvanized metal was bent and hack-sawed to make the right shape for attaching the first claw. This required drilling holes through each galvanized metal pience and matching holes in the first claw. Once the first claw was fitted to the track, 2 other claws were then drilled to match the first, and 3" and 3.5" bolts were used with nuts, split washers, washers, and locking nuts to to space the claws apart and keep them tightly affixed to each other and subsequently to the track. Once this was complete, screws were added through the bottom of the track so that the slider could not slide out of the track (to avoid killing innocent bystanders). Pictured above the the fully extended claws on the track.
Link (via Make Blog)

Accessory turn signals from the 20s and 30s

Before the late 1940s, automobile turn signals were an after-market item. At the Automotive Addictions blog, Bobby Green displays a wide variety of amazing accessory turn signals from the 20s and 30s that came in all kinds of cool shapes and styles.
Turnpoint Mine4 Mine6
From his post:
As necessity is the mother of all invention, you can only imagine how many model T's and A's smashed into each other due to the lack of information form one driver to another as to which direction you were about to suddenly go. Of course everyone could use hand signals, but you can imagine how many people actually did, I mean,... what if it's raining ?.. are you gonna roll down your window and stick your arm out of the car every time you want to turn? Probably not.
Link (via Coop's Positive Ape Index)

HOWTO make a "Kip Hawley is an idiot" Freedom Baggie

KipHawleyIsAnIdiot.com is a site devoted to helping travelers express their dissatisfaction with the TSA's security theater war on moisture.

This week, a traveller in Milwaukee was detained and then booked as a threat to the nation for writing [TSA director] Kip Hawley is an idiot on the "liquids" baggie at the airport.

KipHawleyIsAnIdiot.com gives you instructions for making your own "freedom baggie" with your opinion of the TSA chief.

I flew from SFO to LAX yesterday morning, and was robbed at gunpoint by a TSA agent, who stole my cologne, face-wash, and moisturizer. She said that my moisture baggie could only contain vessels of 3 oz or less' worth of moisture. I pointed out that all these vessels did have less than 3 oz' worth of moist substances in them, as they were all half-empty, and she said yes, but the vessels were capable of holding more than 3 oz. Apparently, the risk is that a hair-gel bomber will take to the skies, and use a syringe to refill the tube of face-scrub through its tiny little aperture, somehow mixing some kind of moisture-bomb in the plastic tube without melting it. Apparently, liquids acquire magical explosive properties when they are in quantities of more than 3 oz.

A TSA supervisor took me aside and asked me why I was so upset. I said that my family left the Soviet Union to escape arbitrary authority, and the seizure of property by the state. She suggested that I send in a report to the TSA complaining, and I laughed and asked her how many of those people get added to the No-Fly List.

Of course, this is all a hollow joke. The risk of someone mixing a binary hair-gel explosive has been dismissed by chemists as a near-zero. Meanwhile, as KipHawleyIsAnIdiot.com points out, "air cargo is not screened and there is still no point-to-point baggage matching." Link (Thanks, Bill!)

British Library, Council take on Creative Commons and DRM

Adam sez, "Counterpoint is a think tank, sponsored by the partially government-funded British Council. Today (29th Sept) they're publishing a Creative Commons-licensed ebook by Rosemary Bechler (Contributing Editor to openDemocracy) bringing together thoughts on new approaches to copyright and cultural commons. It's aimed at policy-makers without a background in copyright issues, so starts from the basics, introducing RMS, CC etc. but quickly brings lots of threads together in a fascinating way. A great read for smart politicians or journalists."
The first generation of Creative Commons is not the Utopian world of Romantic authentic exchange that Carlyle thought money had destroyed. But it draws on the same insight. It turns out that what makes for success is not whether money is exchanged or whether laws are challenged. What makes cultural commons thinking the basis of a gathering social movement worldwide, is the perception that it is the mutually enabling relationship that matters most. These licences make it easier to share. Those whose innovating energy have begun to transform the centre from the edge – who we might think of as the new authors – are people who have understood this. And they are also its beneficiaries.

Whether you look at a mature movement such as the open source software movement, or emergent groups, such as the free culture movement or the scientists’ movement for open publication, these people are intent on creating a domain of open cultural sharing, somewhere where all can be creative together. An Open Business40 project, too, has a quality that is hard to pin down, from the perspective either of law or of economics. It recognises that the same transaction could at one and the same time be a commodity, a gift and a public service – as long as the common culture, the enabling relationship, is intact.

At the same time, the British Library has published "Intellectual Property, a Balance: The British Library Manifesto" that is also very good, constituting a comprehensive set of reforms to British copyright law that would keep the BL in a position to go on being the guardian of UK culture.

I like this one quite a lot, but am skeptical of the clause on Digital Rights Management, which says that DRM should be allowed, provided that it doesn't undermine "fair dealing" (the UK equivalent of fair use). The problem is that DRM inevitably undermines fair dealing, since fair dealing includes exemptions for scholarship, criticism, parody, etc. There's no DRM software invented yet that can tell the difference between a pirate and a parodist -- indeed, sometimes it takes the Supreme Court or the Law Lords to state defintiively whether a work is a parody or just a ripoff. Can a DRM simulate the Supreme Court and figure out, a priori, whether they'd rule that this use was fair?

Libraries should be allowed to make copies of sound and film recordings to ensure they can be preserved for posterity in the future.

Currently the law does not permit copying of sound and film items for preservation. Without the right to make copies, the UK is losing a large part of its recorded culture.

â–  The British Library Sound Archive is one of the largest archives of music in the world with over a million discs, 185,000 tapes and holdings of every other medium upon which sound can be recorded. â–  As the Library is not able to make copies of items, many original audio and film formats we hold are becoming increasingly more fragile and require the urgent creation of a preservation surrogates or face irretrievable decay.

We recommend that copying for preservation purposes is extended to all copyrightable works as is the case in many other countries.

Link to Counterpoint report, Link to British Library report

(Thanks, Adam and others!)

Ceramics decorated with crawly critters

I'm quite taken with Laura Zindel's simple ceramic housewares, decorated as they are with line-art of crawly critters in the style of Victorian naturalist illustration. Link (via Geisha Asobi)

Tiny edible fast-food meal

A Craftster competition to produce edible, miniature food inspired a wife-and-husband team to prepare an incredibly tiny fast food meal, complete with miniscule fries and a tiny soft drink -- they also made a miniature tray, cup, and fries-bag.

I give you, miniature fast-food... Our burger was a little over one inch tall and about an inch wide. After we took all the pictures we cut the tiny burger in half and each ate half. It tasted awesome... Everything was handmade, including the tiny buns.
Link (via Geisha Asobi)

Replica of gen-one Star Trek phaser

The 40th Anniversary Star Trek Phaser -- of all the ray-gun shapes, this was always my favorite, implying in its delicacy that it was doing something altogether mroe interesting that merely blasting opponents with raw energy. Instead, I always presumed that it was delicately, fatally, discombobulating the atomic structure of its targets. Link (via Red Ferret)

Otaku hunters

Tokyo teenagers have been busted for mugging junior high students in the Akihabara district. Apparently, these toughs call their bullying "otaku hunting" because they target young Akiba-kei, a slang term for people who dig the electronics, manga, and anime products sold in Akihabara. According to the Mainichi Daily News, there have been 25 reports of otaku hunting this year. From the Mainichi Daily News:
"Otaku are weak and they've got money, so we went after them," one of the arrested youths told the police.

Police said one of the cases involved three boys waylaying a 14-year-old boy who was headed to Akihabara to buy an anime doll and demanding he pay them money or he would be bashed. The boy handed over 3,000 yen (US$25.47), the police said.
Link (Thanks, Paul Saffo!)

John K's animation for Weird Al's video

200609282022 Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi and his partner Katie Rice created a funny video for Weird Al Yankovic's latest CD/DVD dual disk set, Straight Outta Lynwood. You can watch an excerpt of the video on John K's blog. Beware of the scene where a cat bites off the girl's face Link