Downloadable calendar features retro sci-fi women

The Website at the End of the Universe is offering its yearly PDF calendar featuring vintage science fiction magazine covers of women in bikini spacesuits and other practical garments.
Picture 4-17 Decades before Princess Leia ever wore her metal bikini in Return of the Jedi, women frequently modeled fine metallic swimwear on the covers of pulp science fiction magazines to excite the imaginations of impressionable, young readers.

Relive those days by downloading the Website at the End of the Universe’s free 2007 calendar. Each month features a different bathing beauty from the future as illustrated on a vintage science fiction magazine cover.

No religious or secular holidays are indicated on the calendar, but the birthdays of different science fiction authors, editors and artists are there for you to start new holidays. Tell your boss that you’re taking January 2nd off because it’s Isaac Asimov’s birthday.

Link

Painting: Angelina Jolie as the Virgin, Wal-Mart as Hell.

By Kate Kretz. Link, and here's a larger size: JPEG Link.

"Blessed Art Thou", 2006, 88' x 60", oil & acrylic on linen.

Bangkok: 7 bombs explode amid New Year's celebrations

BoingBoing reader Lulu J. says,
Seven grenade/bombs (accounts differ) exploded almost simultaneously a little while ago... No one is sure who is responsible, whether the insurgency in the South has come to the nations capital, or if it is supporters of the recently ousted PM (Shinawatra)or those against the military government that quietly installed itself more permanently than what they implied they would do when the tanks rolled in a few months ago. So far I think at least 2 are dead and 30 injured, also, my ears are ringing.
Link. More "citizen journalist" photos here: Link, and Link. More at Bangkok metblogs: Link (thanks, Sean).

World's Worst - $2

200612310858 My book, World's Worst: A Guide to the Most Disgusting, Hideous, Inept, and Dangerous People, Places and things on Earth, is on sale at Barnes and Noble's online star for $2. At this bargain price, it's jumped to 15 position 1 on the sales charts at bn.com. (Update: bn.com ran out of stock, but it is on sale at Amazon.com for $4.95) Link

Previously on Boing Boing:
World's Worst Excerpt -- The Maddest Mad Scientist: The CIA’s Dr. Sidney Gottlieb
World's Worst Excerpt -- The Least Adorable Pet: Miracle Mike The Headless Chicken
World's Worst Excerpt -- The Least Healthy Diet: Breatharianism

Cali Rezo's digital paintings

Artist Cali Rezo's portraits are not digitally-manipulated photographs but rather tablet/pen illustrations drawn from reference photos. Amazing. From the "How do I work" section of her mostly-French language site:
 Blog Images Decembre2006 022 Kashou I work with a tablet and a pen directly on the computer. Besides, my crafting is quiet "traditionnal":

I use photographics references (I shoot everything that moves... and everything that does not also, haha !). I start with a sketch (with my electronic pen, huh, not on paper, no, no, no !)( and I don't draw ON the photo). Then I paint the light and dark flat tints. And I tune the color tints and the finess of the strokes.
Link (via Drawn!)

Grand Canyon bookstore still selling Creationist myth

There's a book for sale at the Grand Canyon National Park claiming that the canyon was a result of Noah's Flood. According to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), park superintendent Joe Alston in 2003 lobbied to keep the book, titled Grand Canyon: A Different View, by Tom Vail, out of the park's bookstores; the National Park Service responded by promising a "high-level policy review" of the matter. PEER claims that three years later, a Freedom of Information Act request shows that the review wasn't even "requested, let along conducted or completed." From PEER:
Park officials have defended the decision to approve the sale of Grand Canyon: A Different View, claiming that park bookstores are like libraries, where the broadest range of views are displayed. In fact, however, both law and park policies make it clear that the park bookstores are more like schoolrooms rather than libraries. As such, materials are only to reflect the highest quality science and are supposed to closely support approved interpretive themes. Moreover, unlike a library the approval process is very selective. Records released to PEER show that during 2003, Grand Canyon officials rejected 22 books and other products for bookstore placement while approving only one new sale item – the creationist book...

Ironically, in 2005, two years after the Grand Canyon creationist controversy erupted, NPS approved a new directive on “Interpretation and Education (Director’s Order #6) which reinforces the posture that materials on the “history of the Earth must be based on the best scientific evidence available, as found in scholarly sources that have stood the test of scientific peer review and criticism [and] Interpretive and educational programs must refrain from appearing to endorse religious beliefs explaining natural processes.”

“As one park geologist said, this is equivalent of Yellowstone National Park selling a book entitled Geysers of Old Faithful: Nostrils of Satan,” (said PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch.)
Link to PEER press release, Link to a review of the book at the National Center for Science Education (Thanks, Paul Saffo!)

Previously on BB:
• The Grand Canyon is only a few thousand years old! Link
• Profile of Creation Museum founder Link
• Creationist theme park Link


UPDATE: BB reader Joseph Francis points out that the National Park Service FAQ on the Grand Canyon includes the following question and answer:
How old is the Canyon?

That's a tricky question. Although rocks exposed in the walls of the canyon are geologically quite old, the Canyon itself is a fairly young feature. The oldest rocks at the canyon bottom are close to 2000 million years old. The Canyon itself - an erosional feature - has formed only in the past five or six million years. Geologically speaking, Grand Canyon is very young. Link

Doll packed with pot

When a young girl in China Grove, North Carolina, opened a Bratz doll on Christmas morning to play with it, she discovered three pounds of pot in the box. According to WSOC-TV, the girl's mother bought the doll on eBay and thought it had never been opened. After seeing the grass hidden behind the doll's head, she called the cops who have since turned the case over to postal inspectors. No word on whether the mom left the seller positive feedback. Link

Saddam Hussein has been executed (and now it's on youTube)


At least two Arab-language television networks (Alhurra, US-based; and Al Arabiya, Dubai-based) are now reporting that Saddam Hussein was hanged in Baghdad at 10:05 PM Eastern Time. Reports say he was executed with two co-defendants.

Update, 1035PM ET: Iraqi state television (Al-Iraqiya) is now reporting the same, as are other Iraqi TV networks and Al Jazeera. CNN now reports that a senior US military official has confirmed.

Link to CNN's coverage, Wikinews here, evolving Wikipedia article here, New York Times coverage here.

Related: in the New York Times, a report on debate at television networks today over whether and how to broadcast images and video of the execution. In the age of abundant online video, it seems inevitable that explicit footage will soon show up on the internet. How does that -- or should that -- influence editorial decisions at television networks? Will they show greater restraint on-air than online? Link. Poynter is running a related column about the ethics of coverage: Link. Editor&Publisher has a similar item here: Link.

Update, Dec. 30, 11AM ET: Online and on-air, CNN is running stills and video of Hussein at the gallows just up to the execution, and "video captured by cell phone" of his corpse wrapped in a shroud, with the face visible. The NYT online is running similar video and stills, and the BBC seems to be running the same footage (with stills of the shrouded corpse). As I understand it, the footage comes from Iraqi state TV (Al Iraqiya -- screengrab of their website below), which did not broadcast the actual moment of death. It would be interesting to see a roundup of exactly what editorial choices the big Western media companies made, and whether any of them went with different boundaries on-air than online.

Nice to see Fox News staying classy: JPEG Link (Thanks Krolls)

Explicit images of Hussein's corpse and "unedited" cellphone video of the hanging (which includes the moment of death) have already shown up online in other places. A quick search on Google Video, YouTube, and other popular video services for "Saddam," "saddam hanging," or "saddam execution" yields abundant copies of both the phonecam and Al Iraqiya footage. The metadata some uploaders have added for the more explicit cellphone video is macabre: "Includes the drop!" (examples -- video links: 1, 2, 3, 4)

IMAGE below: screengrab of Al Iraqiya (Iraqi state TV) website (cropped): Link to full image.


Reader comment: Alf LaMont says,

The images of Saddam, and the notion that our country had a hand in such medieval barbarism were so disturbing, that I immediately sought solace in Matt Stone and Trey Parker's endlessly more amusing end for Saddam as a "Sandy Little Butthole" /Satan's consort. Link.
Omar says,
The BBC News 24 posted to their blog on their editorial choices: Link
Update, Dec. 30, 930PM ET: Defensetech has more about the state videographer who shot the official tape at the gallows: Link.

Update, Dec 31: BBC is running a story on the fact that the phonecam video differs significantly from the "official" Al Iraqiya footage, which seemed to depict a quiet, dignified procedure. In contrast, the "unofficial" phonecam video shows Hussein being taunted and cursed at his death, and him taunting back, while camera flashes go off: Link, and here's their translation, though I understand that others would translate some of the nuances differently. The phonecam video would also appear to contradict some details of previous reports. Al Jazeera's English-language site is running a story on the footage here: Link. We don't know who shot it.

BoingBoing's most-trafficked posts of 2006 (and all time)


What were the most-clicked posts on BoingBoing this year? Ken Snider, BoingBoing's sysadmin extraordinaire, dug into the stats to find out. Between that and our keyword logs, one thing is clear -- we really need to be doing more posts about britney spears' naked mesothelioma ipod video lesbian kissing torrents.

While we don't currently have a reliable way to determine which items were in fact most read by human eyeballs (or cyclops kitten eyball, for that matter), Ken did calculate which permalink urls received the most traffic. Here they are:

Top visited permalinks in 2006 (Stories from 2006 only):

(1) StarForce threatens to sue Cory: Link (669,311)
(2) Adorable cyclops kitten: Link (305,773)
(3) NBC nastygrams YouTube over "Lazy Sunday": Link (191,513)
(4) Facebook prank on police: Link (165,773)
(5) Anti-copying malware installs itself with dozens of games: Link (154,139)
(6) Coldplay's new CD has rules: No MP3s, no DVD players, no car stereos: Link (147,720)
(7) Diet Coke + Mentos = Rapid Carbonic Geyser: Link (141,649)
(8) Rumsfeld resignation summarized in Mac OSX screenshot: Link (139,487)
(9) Stephen Colbert kicks ass at White House press corps dinner: Link (136,691)
(10) SNL Natalie Portman gangsta video, braindead NBC: "viral" = "borrowed": Link (122,316)

Top visited permalinks in 2006 (Stories from all years):

(1) Microsoft "Genuine Advantage" cracked in 24 hours: Link (1,176,966)
(2) StarForce threatens to sue Cory: Link (669,311)
(3) HOWTO get something posted to Boing Boing: Link (371,114)
(4) Five years' worth of Boing Boing posts in one file!: Link (315,143)
(5) Adorable cyclops kitten: Link (305,773)
(6) BoingBoing traffic stats are back: Link (304,182)
(7) NBC nastygrams YouTube over "Lazy Sunday": Link (191,513)
(8) Solving and creating captchas with free porn: Link (173,134)
(9) Facebook prank on police: Link (165,773)
(10) Boing Boing has a linking policy: Link (155,332)

Ken adds,

Some other interesting stats for 2006:

  • There were 53,356,288 requests for the main page
  • The various RSS/Atom feeds were served 144,949,688 times
  • There were 385,629 views of BB's "Defeating Censorware" page
  • Reader comments: Michael Mason says,

    Below are a list of some early posts I found while perusing the archives:

  • Somebody is launching an encyclopedia: Link
  • First mention of Cory: Link
  • Mark disses Hunter S. Thompson: Link
  • Cory's first post: Link
  • Cory's First Haunted Mansion mention: Link
  • 400 Visitors a day: Link
  • Pesco's First Post: Link
  • Welcome Xeni: Link
  • Giant arctic ice shelf liberated by climate change

    Iceberg liberation activists, rejoice! Scientists reported yesterday that an enormous ice shelf the size of 11,000 football fields has finally broken free from Canada's Arctic:
    The mass of ice broke clear 16 months ago from the coast of Ellesmere Island, about 800 kilometers (497 miles) south of the North Pole, but no one was present to see it in Canada's remote north. Scientists using satellite images later noticed that it became a newly formed ice island in just an hour and left a trail of icy boulders floating in its wake.
    Link to AP story, here's a related CNET post, here's a related item about how such changes may help rid the world of notoriously unfriendly polar bears, who aren't all that much fun at parties because their breath smells like blubber: Link.

    Reader comment: Madeleine Begun Kane responds:

    Ode To A Former Canadian Ice Shelf
    By Madeleine Begun Kane

    An ice shelf’s collapsed in the ocean.
    Global warming’s far more than a notion
    Dreamed up by Al Gore,
    Though some wish to ignore
    All the changes that greed’s set in motion.

    Link

    A tale of two social newsfilter sites: Digg and Newstrust

    Howard Rheingold says, "This San Jose Mercury News story compares the well-known and for-profit Digg with the lesser-known and probably far more important not-for-profit Newstrust." Excerpt:

    Two years ago, the inspiration for creating a Web site for news junkies hit two men with vastly different ambitions. One hoped to make boat-loads of money. The other dreamed of enriching American democracy by identifying trusted news sources hidden in the deluge of information available online. The latter turned out to be the tougher task.

    Fabrice Florin, a successful technologist and a veteran of Apple Computer, launched the beta version of NewsTrust.net last month after turning 50 and deciding it was time to give something back to society.

    Florin had founded three for-profit companies, but feared that if he focused on profits with NewsTrust "the public interest would get cheated.'' So he raised a small amount of money from donors and funded the rest himself.

    Meanwhile, Kevin Rose, 27-year-old host of an obscure cable TV tech show, lost no time in launching Digg.com in October 2004. Rose's site lets people give a thumb's up or a thumb's down to stories other users had found on the Web and submitted to Digg.

    Link. Image: Newstrust founder Fabrice Florin (Joanne Ho-Young Lee / Mercury News)

    In defense of Noka: a monkey argues for fine chocolate


    Internet celebrity monkey ("i'm small, i'm terry cloth, and i think i have a nice personality!") weighs in on the internet fistfight over luxury chocolate brand Noka (Previous BB post: Link). There's an interesting thread on this over at food forum "chocolateandzucchini" today: Link. Monkey's rebuttal after the jump.

    Read the rest

    DIY centrifuge weapon from 1963 Popular Mechanics


    BoingBoing reader Ted read our post yesterday on the Dubious Centrifuge Weapon, and says,

    It immediately made me race down to the basement to my pile of old Popular Mechanics, specifically the November 1963 issue. I scanned it am sharing it here for BoingBoing readers. Now we can all build our own little electric centrifuge cannons! ;)
    JPEG Link to complete scan (cropped, downsized image shown in this post)

    Previously on BB:

  • Silent but deadly: DREAD centrifuge-powered weapon
  • Centrifuge as a weapon (2005)

    Reader comment: anonymous says,

    That reminded me of this site, with a How-To on building a BB machine gun that uses a centrifugal chamber to accelerate the BBs: Link.
  • More on Google and the case of the disappearing sexblogs

    Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land has published a detailed, thoroughly researched analysis of technical factors behind this week's case of the missing sex blogs.

    Link to his post, which is very instructive reading for any blogger or website owner -- not just "adult" -- who wants to ensure their site is properly ranked in Google and other search engines. Background for the story on BoingBoing here and here.

    Antique Denver blizzard photos


    BB reader Mike says,

    I like the pictures of a 1913 Denver blizzard that Flickr user etching has posted in his stream. (Just in his stream, not grouped, unfortunately.) It's a kind of silent editorial on the thousands and thousands of pics of the current mess. I didn't know that the buried car shot was actually a hundred years old, but I suspected as much. And I wish people still sledded down 8th Ave.
    Link

    Previously on BB:

  • Snowed-in Denver airport viewed from above (photo)
  • Great roadside signs of Denver
  • Guide to suburban Denver subdivision names