Boing Boing 

HOWTO make a D20 out of pecan pies

Instructables has a great recipe (!) for crafting a gigantic and delicious 20-sided gaming die out of pecan pies. They call it a pie-cosahedron. Why pecan pies? Because they are the most inherently 20-sided of all pies. Link (Thanks, BW Jones!)

Audio from Seth Schoen's USC talk last night

Here's the audio from last night's USC talk by Seth Schoen, the final talk of 2006 in my USC Public Diplomacy Center Fulbright Chair lecture series. Seth is staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and he gave a wide-ranging lecture on trusted computing, the economics of freedom, and the ideology of engineering. Due to a technical screw-up (mine), we only got the first half of Seth's talk on tape (argh), but it's a great hour! Link

Ghost hunting van on eBay

This 1986 GMC G30 was apparently used on Miami Vice and Nash Bridges and later tricked out by the American Institute of Parapsychology to investigate hauntings. The current owner is auctioning it on eBay with a starting bid of $3,000.  02 I 000 7A 53 0553 3  02 I 000 7A 53 0846 3
From the auction listing:
Comes with working pan/tilt mounted on roof (camera removed), deep cycle battery bank-(all hold full charge), a 250gig 4 channel DVR which also records 4 channel audio and acts as a quad.You could record audio and video remotely for a month. Huge power inverter to run everything you need on 120v AC. Like new Samsung 17" Flat Screen monitor. 2 smaller swivel LCD Monitors. Pan Tilt Controller, dash mount flip out LCD monitor and rear mount infrared camera for backing up easily. I also have the 20 watt low frequency tx/rx set which is like new,used with the van and already mounted antenna. You can recieve and record clear audio and video for many miles with this setup. Integrated sound system in the back along with a video effects board. All equipment works very well. Four swing out chairs and a practical work area in the back. Even has a huge xray flourescent light table viewer mounted to wall. Windows are mirror tinted. Has a very solid tow bar section for towing another vehicle(see pic). Van has been in everything from childrens books on ghosts to above mentioned tv shows...

Not a show vehicle but absolutly awesome potential with a huge number of uses: Surveillance/Spy, Parapsychology,Police, Military,Camping, Ghost Hunting, etc.
Link (via Fortean Times)

Blip Festival -- art and music made with low-bit video consoles

Jeremiah says: "I thought this might be something the BoingBoing readership would be interested in: a HUGE 4-day chiptune / lo-bit music festival taking place in NYC that kicks off tomorrow (Thursday) and runs through Sunday.

"This looks like its going to be quite the gathering with nearly 40 international musicians and visualists from all over the globe.

"For anyone that has been curious about people repurposing old NES consoles, Game Boys, Ataris and C64s to create completely original music -- this looks like the event to check out."

200611291338 THE TANK and 8BITPEOPLES are pleased to present the Blip Festival, a four-day celebration of over 30 international artists exploring the untapped potential of low-bit videogame consoles and home computers used as creative tools. Familiar devices are pushed in new directions with startling results — Nintendo Entertainment Systems and Game Boys roaring with futuristic floor-stomping rhythms and fist-waving melody, art-damaged Sega hardware generating fluctuating and abstracted video patterns — and that's only the beginning. An exploration of the chiptune idiom and its close relatives, the Blip Festival is the biggest and most comprehensive event in the history of the form, and will include daily workshops, art installations, and nightly music performances boasting an international roster larger and more far-reaching than any previous event of its kind. Small sounds at large scales pushed to the limit at high volumes — the Blip Festival is an unprecedented event that is not to be missed.

Paper/Deitch Art Store at Art Basel Miami

If I were fortunate enough to be attending Art Basel Miami Beach next week, I bet the best value for my limited art dollars would be found at the Art Store presented by the Deitch Projects gallery and my friends at Paper Magazine. (Seen here is a Jeff Koons skateboard and Tobias Wong's 24 karat coke spoon inspired by the McDonald's coffee stirrers that stirred up controversy in the 1970s.) The list of represented artists is incredible. Hopefully the shop will move online after the event. From a blog post about the store by Kim Hastreiter who is curating the collection of goods for sale:
Jeff Koons Skateboard

I have always been an art shopping maniac, collecting toys, sneakers, skateboards, refrigerator magnets and closets full of artist products since Keith Haring made his first transistor radio. (I even have some Salvador Dali perfume bottles that are amazing.) The recent art and commerce feeding frenzy has led many artists to collaborate with numerous brands over the past ten years. On my office shelves I have Damien Hirst Becks beer bottles, Futura CK One fragrance bottles, Jeff Koons skateboards, Tom Otterness bookends, Stephen Sprouse fabric covered pillows. In my closets I have Phil Frost sneakers, Murakami Vuitton bags, Kenny Scharf magnets, Jeff Koons vase, Barry McGee and Margaret Killgallen dolls, Os gemeos sneakers, and LOTS more. I think of this stuff as my 401 K.

Spoon And so I thought it would be SO fun to survey what's out there, pull it all together and open an ART STORE for four days in Miami. My inspiration is the 99 cent store so we're going to sell stuff priced from 99 cents to 9,999,999 dollars!! The interior of the store is being customized by the wonderful artist Jim Drain (of Forcefield fame) and the sign for the front of the store is being made by the amazing artist Tauba Auerbach.

Artists represented in the store include Futura (clothes, skateboards), Kaws (toys), Ryan McGinnis (toys) , Thomas Campbell (wallets, T Shirts surfboards), Jeff Koons (skateboards), Tracey Emin (Longchamp Bags), Jean Michel Basquait (sneakers, Valentino purses), Tom Otterness (toys), Jo Jackson (DC sneakers), Shephard Fairey (watches, clothing), Lisa Yuskavage (shower curtains), Kiki Smith (rugs, toys), Keith Haring ( Jeremy Scott sneakers sweatsuits, bathroom tiles), Alex Katz and Marilyn Minter (the most amazing TARGET produced beach towels for The Art Production Fund!!! See photo of glittery eye.), Assume Astro Vivid focus ( Le Sportsac bags) , Kenny Scharf (mini mannequins, watches, Bic lighters, magnets), Artist Network Program (RVCA Tshirts), Neckface (jackets and skateboards), Ed Templeton (skateboards), John Baldessari and Sol Lewitt silk scarves, Karen Kilimnik, Jack Pierson (see photo of dish) and John Waters dishes, Skullphone (T shirts and bags), Sol Lewitt (china), Andy Warhol (watches, soap, mousepads), Tobias Wong (bongs, 18kt cokespoons, necklaces), Dalek (cameras, dolls), Barbara Kruger (pillows mousepads), Hugo Guiness (Kate Spade bags), Leanne Shapton (Jack Spade bags), Andrew Andrew (cookies, magnets, jewelry), Skullphone (bags, T shirts), Donald Sultan (playing cards), Claw Money (pillows, jackets), Threeasfour (bicycles, scarves)! PLUS we will have little pockets of representation from a couple of our most favorite likeminded shops like ALife, aNYthing, and Colette.

Crap of the Future

PeaceLove sez, "'Surly media nerd' Annalee Newitz has posted some hilarious predictions about the lame holiday crap of the future. Her DRM prediction rawks!"
DNA DRM: The latest solution to the problem of media copying is a digital rights management (DRM) scheme that relies on identifying the DNA of the consumer. When you purchase a piece of media, your licensed copy is encoded with 13 unique sequences of nucleotides from your genome. Each time you hit the power button on your new DNA DRM Zune media player, a hair-thin needle painlessly pierces your flesh and feeds a drop of blood into an embedded genome sequencer. If you are the registered owner of the media, you are permitted to play it. If you aren't, the media is deleted from your device and a record of your transgression is reported to the central media certification authority. You will be forced to pay an extra "unlicensed play penalty tax" to license it next time. The only thing good about this system is that biohackers can take the DNA DRM Zune apart, remove the embedded sequencer, and use it to figure out if they have cancer.
Link (Thanks, PeaceLove!)

Open classical music repository

David sez, "This is a new online repository of public domain classical music. What's really cool is that Aaron tells me it's okay to sample/remix the music into new compositions as long as you provide attribution."
This site takes music that is in the public domain, meaning a work that belongs to the community, and has it recorded by individuals and college/community orchestras throughout the United States and stored online so it can be accessed for free through this website. This would do the following:

1. Provide free unlimited access to music in the public domain to anyone with internet access.

2. Allow obscure works, for example some Baroque music, to be recorded for the first time that would otherwise not be recorded because of its small profit potential.

3. Community - being a community driven project, this can create an online music community, perhaps leading to future cooperative projects.

4. Add usefulness to all the untapped talent in our nation\u2019s orchestras. Think of about how many college orchestras perform to diminishing numbers of audiences. Now, every performance adds to the online repertoire, adding another reason to perform and perform well.

5. Create the first organization devoted to giving the public access to musical works which belong to them.

Link (Thanks, David!)

Jones Soda ditches high-fructose corn syrup

Jones Soda is ditching high fructose corn syrup (toxic waste in liquid form) in favor of cane sugar -- not that I eat either, but if you're into poisoning yourself with soft drinks, this is a lot less bad for you.
The change at Jones Soda comes at a time when high fructose corn syrup, which became a common sweetener for sodas in the late 1970s and early 1980s, has received negative publicity as being linked to obesity and diabetes.
Link (via Megnut)

Leicester Square gets free WiFi

Hurrah! London's Leicester Square is getting free WiFi, 24/7. Link

IHOP's "no ID, no pancakes" policy

An IHOP restaurant has been forced to abandon its practice of requiring diners to surrender their drivers licenses before ordering. They'd instituted the no-anonymous-pancakes policy to prevent dine-and-dash, but as with all security measures, what made one party more secure made another less secure. In requiring all diners at the pancake house to produce ID, IHOP opened their customers up to identity theft.
Russo said a security guard at the restaurant had "at least 40" licenses in hand when he arrived to eat.

"Identity theft is rampant. I wouldn't want to give my license, with my address or Social Security number to anyone that I'm not familiar with," Russo said. "I'm going just for breakfast."

Link (via Schneier)

Street Tech holiday gift guide

bOING bOING senior editor Gareth Branwyn and the crew at Street Tech just issued part one of their annual holiday gift guide. THe contents range from Herbie the Mousebot to Operation Damocles AT-43 to my grooming weapon-of-choice, the HeadBlade. From Gareth's introduction to the holiday gift guide:
 Storypics Cybersantastreettech While we make a lot of noise here at Street Tech about consumer responsibility, environmental awareness, living lower on the hog (or forgoing the hog altogether), truth be told, we love buying shit just as much as the next conspicuous consumer. And we won't even try to deny our unwavering interest in new gadgets and cool tools. That said, we're also obsessed with high quality, intelligent design (of the non-theocratic kind), and products that perform as they're advertised. On top of all this, we love the act of gift-giving, showing our love and appreciation for people, in ritual gestures of exchanged beads and baubles. Combine all this: Great goods that are well- and responsibly made, that you get to buy and then give away to make fellow, beloved meatbots happy? Well that just sounds like a whole lot o' good times to us.

Urban light pillars above cities

is of Ath, Belgium, snapped this photograph during last week's Leonid meteor shower. According to physicist Les Cowley, the strange lights that Bavais captured so beautifully are urban light pillars. From (Cowley) explains:
 Swpod2006 26Nov06 Bavais1 Strip (Joel Bava) explains: "That night above Ath there was an icy fog full of flat plate crystals. The tiny crystals mirrored the lights of the city beneath into sets of light pillars. The higher the crystals, the closer the reflection glints approached the zenith making the pillars appear to converge overhead: illustration. Why the breaks in the lines of light? There were several layers of ice crystals with gaps between them."
Link (no permalink, view archive of November 28) (Thanks, Paul Saffo!)

Dept. of Defense investigating sadistic "water bottle" soldiers

Picture 7-9 Yesterday I posted a video of a sicko jackass soldier in the back of a truck, taunting an Iraqi boy with a bottle of water. It made me sick to see this US soldier laughing derisively at a little kid running as fast as he could for some water. Apparently, the U.S. Department of Defense is just as disgusted, and it is investigating the incident, along with another incident caught in video that shows a soldier complaining that he can't shoot children who throw rocks at his vehicle. Link

Waltz of the Polypeptides sculpture

Seen here is Waltz of the Polypeptides, an eighty-foot long, ten-foot high sculpture by Mara G. Haseltine that was recently installed at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Long Island, New York. From a CSHL press release:
 Public Releases Images 06 Waltz The sculpture depicts a subcellular protein factory called a ribosome caught in the act of producing the BLyS protein, which stimulates the production of infection-fighting antibodies in the body...

The sculpture is comprised of seven structures, each of which is derived from that of the actual biological forms, observed using scanning electron microscopy, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and X-ray crystallography.
Link to press release, Link to more about the Waltz of the Polypeptides

Geisha Asobi makes long false eyelashes from her hair

 99 304110192 Dcfc5Ce54FWhen my favorite Japan-based blogger, Geisha Asobi, cut her hair, she made hair gloves and extra long false eyelashes from the cut hair. Link

Wilhelm Scream - Hollywood's favorite scream

A single scream, recorded for the 1951 film "Distant Drums," has made its way into dozens of films, games and TV shows. Afficianados call it the "Wilhelm Scream" and have cataloged many of the films in which it appeared, from Hercules to Pirates of the Caribbean, The X-Files to the short "Golden Dreams" film at Disney California Adventure.
One person who noticed the same distinctive scream reoccurring in so many movies was sound effects fan Ben Burtt. Ben and his friends in the cinema department at USC, Rick Mitchell and Richard Anderson, noticed that a scream was popping up in a lot of movies. One of the films they made together, a swashbuckler parody "The Scarlet Blade" (1974) included the scream - which they borrowed off another film's audio track.

A few years later, when Ben Burtt was hired to create sound effects for Star Wars (1977), he had an opportunity to do research at the sound departments of several movie studios. While at Warner Bros. looking for sound elements to use in the space adventure, he found the original "Distant Drums" scream - which he called "Wilhelm" after the character that let out the scream in "Charge at Feather River."

Link, Link to video (Thanks, Matthew!)

Dr Seuss's anti-malaria GI comic

Dr Seuss made this malaria comic (starring Ann, an Anopheles mosquito) for the United States Army Orientation Course, overseas edition in 1943, which was published for GIs in the tropics. It's very funny and charming and a little ruder than your average Seuss story. Link (Thanks, Phunkysai!)

Geek wreath

The Geek Wreath is a simple and powerful idea: take a strand of lights and weave it around a wreath of all the goddamned power cables, spare USB cables, obsolete SCSI cables and whatever else you've got cluttering up your home. Link (via Make)

Zombies sue Minneapolis for bogus WMD bust

Minneapoliteans who dressed up as zombies and were busted for "simulating weapons of mass destruction" because their costumes had wires sticking out them are suing the city for being freaking idiots:
A group of zombies have risen up to claim the city of Minneapolis and Hennepin County violated their free rights and discriminated against them.

The six adults and one juvenile who were arrested while impersonating the undead in July filed their lawsuit Thursday.

The ragged group were arrested for "simulating weapons of mass destruction" during a dance party near the Minneapolis entertainment district.

Link (via Neatorama)

Boing Boing in Toothpaste for Dinner

Hurrah! Toothpaste for Dinner, one of my favorite web-funnies, gave Boing Boing a namecheck in a new toon! Link (Thanks, Coleman!)

See also:
Toothpaste for Dinner -- high-larious new book from Drew
Funny toons
Mad Drew: new Toothpaste for Dinner book

Make Magazine Issue #8 Launch Party in LA this Saturday

If you live in LA, I hope I see you at the Make Magazine Issue #8 Launch Party on Saturday at 5:30pm.
Please join us Saturday Dec 2nd at 5:30pm for a very special meeting of Dorkbot SoCal to launch the new issue of MAKE magazine.

Simon Penny (Director of UCI's Arts Computation Engineering program) will speak on integrating interaction design, space design, structure design, mechanical design, electronic design and software engineering using his 3D machine-vision driven interactive digital-video project Fugitive 2 as a case study. Attention will then turn to the pragmatic design and fabrication issues involved in building a custom motion control rig for the video projector in the project. Simon is bringing in a prototype of the motion control rig as tangible example.

Mr Jalopy (Contributing Editor to MAKE and automotive mad scientist) will be giving an epic (yet fast paced) talk on "Deep Sea Suburbs: Custom Vans, Internal Combustion Engines, Backyard Anthropology and the California Dream".

Make magazine issue #8 will be available for perusal and purchase

There is a high probability of free beer and pretzels

Machine Project
1200 D North Alvarado Street
Los Angeles, CA 90026


OLPC laptop runs DOOM

Wayan sez, "The $100 laptop is now shipping to Brazil and Argentina, and the OLPC developers are taking a fun break. They installed DOOM and have a video of themselves playing it on the OLPC XO!" Link (Thanks, Wayan!)

RIAA sues elderly Rita survivor

The RIAA lawsuits have reached a new low:
An elderly survivor of Hurricane Rita, Ms. Rhonda Crain, has been sued by the RIAA in Beaumont, Texas, in SONY v. Crain.

She is fighting back and has asserted a counterclaim against the plaintiffs, saying that the RIAA's actions "amount to extortion, reciting a litany of other similar cases brought by the RIAA.


US Trade Representative bends Russia over on copyright

The US Trade Representative has declared victory over Russia. Russia will be required to license CD/DVD pressing plants and inspect them day and night -- the US, spreading democracy by requiring licensing of the presses! Russia will also have to shut down and stop its collecting societies from representing artists without permission (of course, this doesn't mean that US quasi-governmental collecting societies like SoundScanExchange will stop doing the same thing).

You might ask why collecting societies are in there at all. That's because claimed that they were paying licenses to a collecting society that made their business legal. Putting this last clause in the agreement sounds like the US Trade Rep is admitting that is a legitimate, licensed business that pays for what it sells.

Russia has to take on board the WIPO Copyright Treaty, which is the treaty that created the US DMCA, a law that has resulted in the jailing of a Russian researcher who visited the USA for talking about math.

* The United States and Russia agreed on the objective of shutting down websites that permit illegal distribution of music and other copyright works. The agreement names the Russia-based website as an example of such a website.

* Russia will:
- take enforcement actions against the operation of Russia-based websites; and
- investigate and prosecute companies that illegally distribute copyright works on the Internet.

* Russia will work to enact legislation by June 1, 2007, to stop collecting societies from acting without right holder consent,

* Russia will also work to enact legislation implementing the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Internet treaties.

PDF Link (via Digg)

HOWTO Knit retro computing socks

Check out these retro-computing knitting patterns for socks. I love the Breakout socks! Link (via Make)

Gingrich wants first amendment abolished

Newt Gingrich has called for America to tear up the Constitution and throw out the first amendment, because free speech helps terrorism. Didn't this guy take an oath to uphold the Constitution? This is a new low, even for Gingrich.
Gingrich, speaking at a Manchester awards banquet, said a "different set of rules" may be needed to reduce terrorists' ability to use the Internet and free speech to recruit and get out their message.
Link (via /.)

Iraqi children run desperately for water bottle held by soldier

Picture 3-20 Video of a US soldier amusing himself by holding a bottle of water from the back of a truck while young Iraqi children run desperately for it. Link (Via WFMU's Beware of the Blog)

Reader comment:

GarrettThank sent a link to this video of US soldiers using their tank to crush a car owned by some impoverished Iraqi citizens who allegedly stole some wood in a greedy attempt to feed their families. I'm sure the vast majority of US soldiers are excellent people, but these assholes ruin all the good will. He says:

Picture 5-15 Compared to the GIs in WWII who carried extra chocolate rations to make friends with the locals these soldiers look like punks. Link
(Here's a video of a nice soldier playing soccer with some Iraqi kids. I hope to see more like this one to get rid of the sick feeling in my gut from watching the first two. Link -- Mark)

Reader comment:

David Cassel says:

Speaking of Iraq footage, here's a really cool link. Footage from Iraq shows how YouTube is giving a much better view of the reality in Iraq than the traditional news media.

Combat attacks are seen - from both sides - and towards the bottom there's some surprising hot Iraqi "action" of another sort.

UK artists instinctively choose Creative Commons

Matt sez, "Some interesting titbits in a UK report by and the Arts Council of England on artists utilising Creative Commons licensing in the UK, and their thoughts on copyright. I think it's interesting artists seem to be using CC licenses on instinct, even if many haven't thought through how that can really apply or feed through into their work, other than through network effects related to distribution."
Often the artists that are using CC have chosen to do so almost on instinct. They believe strongly that traditional copyright has not succeeded in providing the promised financial incentives and protection for artists themselves and see CC as a way of limiting negative effects without completely losing control over their work.
Link (Thanks, Matt)

Harvey comic book covers from the 60s

Picture 4-16
"A Sampler of Things" presents a small gallery of Harvey comic book covers from the 1960s. The composition and colors are wonderful. I especially like this one, which takes place in a windstorm. The dots are blowing off Little Dot's dress and hitting Little Lotta, covering her eyes and mouth. Nightmarish. Link

Homeland security buffoons blow up data logging device

Over at "Notes from the Technology Underground," Bill Gurstelle writes about a university geoscience researcher who accidentally left a temperature logging device in the trunk of her rental car when she dropped it off at the rental agency. When she and her husband arrived at the airport gate, "five uniformed airport police with flak jackets and guns" were waiting to interrogate her. But they employed a "blow up first, ask questions later approach," because the equipment had been destroyed by Bloomington Police Department bomb squad before giving her a chance to explain.

And for good measure, authorities closed portions of the Twin Cities Lindbergh terminal parking ramp for two hours.

 Images Product Images 1430 Tidbit Xt Why in the world would the police destroy the equipment so quickly? Here's a picture I found of the "suspicious looking equipment."

Remember, this thing was in the trunk of an Avis rental car, about a half mile from the nearest runway, not on the tarmac or in the terminal.

Yes airline security is important, but all this paranoia, and rote following of draconian procedures means no flexibility, no common sense, and second chances. Looks like another win for the real terrorists.