Chocolate Christ art exhibit cancelled

Artist Cosimo Cavallaro's 200 pound, milk chocolate sculpture of Christ was to be exhibited next week at Manhattan's Lab Gallery but the Roger Smith Hotel that houses the exhibition space cancelled the show today. After hotel officials bowed to pressure from pissed off Catholics, Gallery director Matt Semler resigned. From the Associated Press (image from Cavallaro's Web site):
The 6-foot sculpture was the victim of "a strong-arming from people who haven't seen the show, seen what we're doing," Semler said. "They jumped to conclusions completely contrary to our intentions." "In this situation, the hotel couldn't continue to be supportive because of a fear for their own safety," Semler said.
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Milton Caniff's Steve Canyon Dailies

Stephen Worth, director of ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive says:
Today at the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive, video producer John Ellis stopped by with a portfolio case full of original artwork he discovered in a box of memorabilia belonging to the estate of cartoonist Milton Caniff. Unseen for decades, these jaw-droppingly beautiful ink sketches stand as a testament to the genius of Caniff, whose 100th birthday would have been celebrated this year. Caniff drew "Terry & the Pirates" and "Steve Canyon" every day for 54 years, and his draftsmanship was the envy of his peers. But most of all, he was a masterful storyteller. We posted a dozen high resolution scans of original "Steve Canyon" strips, and we''ll be posting more dailies and Sunday pages soon, along with rare photographs that have never been published before.
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Alan Graham's life recounted one computer at a time

On Alan Graham's new blog MedHed, he posts photos of every personal computer he's owned over time along with anecdotes that occurred at the time he owen them.
Macintosh IIvx

After dropping out of college and spending two years flying airplanes and helicopters (while managing a pizza place), I got a bee in my bonnet to buy a computer. I walked into a store that sold Macintosh computers and walked out $5,000 poorer with an Apple Mac IIvx. It was a pretty big deal because it was the first Mac built to house an internal CD-ROM drive, and the first time I had even seen one.

Through a chance encounter I ended up starting a computer repair and consulting company. In the early days I would often secretly peek into my repair bag at David Pogue's Mac for Dummies book to diagnose my clients problems.

"Ah yes...I think this is a problem with an moment while I look into my bag here....uh huh...yes definitely an extention."

[Note: many years later I had the great privilege to do R&D for the first two versions of David's Missing Manual: OS X book. How funny is that story arc?]

Within a year I was a Mac authorized VAR and Apple Authorized repair technician. And not long after that I was one of the leading digital video experts in the country.

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Photos of Burbank fire

People are posting their photos of the fire in Burbank, CA on Flickr. This one is by crza. Link Read the rest

Uri Geller misusing DMCA to remove critical YouTube videos?

According to Brian Flemming of, Uri Geller, who claims to be psychic, has been using the DMCA to force YouTube to remove videos that debunk his stunts (which include bending spoons and locating hidden objects.) By law, only the copyright holder of a video can make a Web site owner remove a video.
The only bright spot is that Geller's actions to suppress criticism may expose him to legal liability (provided that one of his victims has the resources and will to fight this litigious spoon-bender).

His liability? Geller does not apparently own the copyrights to the videos that he demanded YouTube remove.

The DMCA allows copyright owners to file a "takedown notice" with a service provider such as YouTube, provided that the copyright owner swears under penalty of perjury that he or she owns the copyright in question ("I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner of an exclusive right that is infringed").

It appears that on March 23, Geller or his representative filed with YouTube a series of these DMCA takedown notices, which should have included swearing to the stated facts under penalty of perjury. When internet griefer Michael Crook tried this method of critic suppression, it didn't work out too well for him.

You can see one of the videos pulled from YouTube here. Link Read the rest

Peanut butter disproves evolution

MJ Kelly says: "A (serious) Creationist clip showing how peanut butter disproves the theory of evolution. (Query whether it makes a difference if its creamy or with nuts...)"

The video explains that evolutionists claim that energy plus matter sometimes results in the creation of life. But since no one has ever found spontaneously-generated life in a jar of peanut butter, that means that matter plus energy from the sun couldn't have caused life on Earth. That's a grand piece of thinking! Link Read the rest

Making of Snow White from Pop Sci, 1938

Today on the Modern Mechanix blog, an incredible, five-page spread about the making of Snow White, from the January 1938 issue of Popular Science. Modern Mechanix scans old science mags and posts them in high-res, along with transcripts of the articles, so that they're machine searchable. It's my favorite old-magazine blog ever. Link Read the rest

Papercraft R2-D2 mailboxen

Bonnie sez, "With R2-D2 mailboxes popping up across America, thanks to the U.S Postal Service and Lucasfilm, fans can celebrate 30 years of Star Wars and mail letters at the same time. But if you can't find a R2-D2 mailbox near you, make this cool papercraft 3-D model of the mailbox for your action figures. Just print out this handy PDF on sturdy paperstock and follow the directions to make your very own mini R2-D2 mailbox!" Link (Thanks, Bonnie!)

See also: R2D2 mailboxes from the US Postal Service Read the rest

1950s outfit knit from old grocery bags

Craft blog has a great feature on the work of Cathy Kasdan, who has knit an entire 1950s ensemble out of old grocery shopping bags:
The dress is all hand knit from grocery bags that were the result of actual trips to the grocery store. As soon as I told people I could use their old bags for a project they brought them in by the bag full, I received thousands! The plastic grocery bag came about in the 1950's along with futuristic optimisim about America, so I made a "typical" 1950's ensemble complete with pillbox hat and purse, not pictured. I am going to have my pieces in an art show on recycled art at the School of Art Gallery in downtown Kent along with a group of other people beginning April 19th.
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NYT changes, back-dates article after Wikipedia fact-checkers find error

JFarber sez,
On 3/27, someone submitted a question to the Wikipedia Reference Desks (where I volunteer) asking about what seemed like a silly claim in a NYT health article published that same day.

The article, which summarized a recent panel study on the health benefits of beverages, claimed that it was illegal to fortify soy milk with Vitamin D, and, because soy milk did not contain calcium, that the soy milk was not recommended as a substitute for cow's milk.

The NYT reported that claim as true, and used it to close their article.

Over the next 24 hours, the ref desk volunteers (including myself) followied the info back to its source, dicovered that the error was due to the original study's citation of a 1971 article on this point (which seems like pretty bad science, given how much nutritional laws have changed in that time)...and further tracked down plenty of evidence on both the public online documents of the Federal Register and on our own shelves which showed this claim to be absolutely false.

Wednesday night, I sent a letter to the NYT.

Sometime yesterday, the entire last section of the NYT article, which (according to the NYT website) was NYT's most emailed article for the last two days, was changed to the following sentence:

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TSA missed 90% of bombs at Denver airport

Undercover agents were able to slip bombs and IEDs past the Transport Security Agency checkpoint at Denver airport 90 percent of the time. Last time I was in Denver, the eagle-eyed agent was able to spot and confiscate my toothpaste, and of course, my suitcase arrived damaged, contents filthy, having been pawed at by a TSA goon and then improperly closed. These eagle-eyed guardians of freedom are so obsessed with making sure that we're all sharing our foot-funguses with each other on while our shoes go through the X-ray machine that they can't actually find actual bombs.

It's great that the TSA devotes all its energies to stopping the kind of ridiculous terrorist attacks that don't work, like shoe bombs and moisture bombs. Makes me feel much safer. I sleep better knowing that four-year-olds whose names sound vaguely like some terrorist's possible alias are kept off our planes.

In one test, sources told 9NEWS an agent taped an IED to her leg and told the screener it was a bandage from surgery. Even though alarms sounded on the walk-through metal detector, the agent was able to bluff her way past the screener...

Dzakovic was a Red Team leader from 1995 until September 11, 2001. After the terrorist attacks, Dzakovic became a federally protected whistleblower and alleged that thousands of people died needlessly. He testified before the 9/11 Commission and the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the US that the Red Team "breached security with ridiculous ease up to 90 percent of the time," and said the FAA "knew how vulnerable aviation security was."

Dzakovic, who is currently a TSA inspector, said security is no better today.

Read the rest

Open Rights Group party in London, 11 April

On April 11, the Open Rights Group is having a party/raffle in London. ORG is a group I co-founded that works to preserve online freedom in the United Kingdom, and they've done amazing work since (I can't take any credit for that -- it's all down to ORG's incredible volunteers and supporters, as well as its executive directors, Suw Charman and Becky Hogge) -- they were instrumental in slaying the proposal to extend copyright on phonorecords by another 45 years. That's the first time (that I know of) that a proposal to extend copyright has been defeated!

The ORG party is a chance for people who care about this stuff to get to know each other, and there are some great items up for raffle. I'm selling off naming rights to a character in Little Brother, my forthcoming young adult novel about hacker kids who fight the American Department of Homeland Security.

It’s less than two weeks until Support ORG! (and Party) - the ORG supporter event on the evening of 11 April at Bar Kick, London. To recap - SO!(aP) is a chance for ORG supporters to meet one another, and we’re asking each ORG supporter to bring at least one friend who they think would like to support ORG if they knew more about our work. The event will feature “public domain” music, remixed visuals and free culture goodie bags - truly an evening not to be missed.

And I’m pleased to announce that our very special guest speaker will be ORG’s pledge founder - Danny O’Brien - who is flying in to the UK from his EFF outpost in San Francisco.

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Canada's copyright czar's boomerang tantrum at Museum Assoc meeting

On Thursday, Bev Oda (Canada's besieged Heritage Minister) disgraced herself by storming out of a Canadian Museums Association lunch where she was the speaker. After her talk, the group's president gave her a boomerang and delivered a little speech about how her campaign promises would always come back to her. She refused to accept the boomerang and left without comment.

Bev Oda is the Heritage Minister -- that means that her job is to provide support for Canada's cultural institutions, like museums. It's completely unacceptable for her to storm out of the room when these people (whom she is paid to keep happy) tell her that she needs to do a better job. What is she, a six year old?

This is just the latest in a string of shameful Oda incidents. When she was running for election, she financed her campaign by soliciting donations from multinational and American entertainment companies -- the same companies it would be her job to regulate, should she be elected. Then she got caught taking money from those same companies after she was elected, and was forced to give it back. She's granted entertainment companies extraordinary access while shunning actual artists' groups. Most recently, she spent thousands of tax-dollars on a fleet of limos to chauffeur her and her staffers around (the small, walkable city of) Halifax during an awards show.

As a politician, Oda is a disgrace. Of course we'll fire her during the next election -- but it seems a sure thing that her buddies from the entertainment industry will give her a cushy job once she's kicked out of office. Read the rest


Diodesex: macro-focus photos of electrical diodes bent into tiny pornographic scenes. NSFW Link (ZOMG you got me fired from my job in the diode secks factory!) (via Monochrom)

Update: Jake sez, "While the heads are Light Emitting Diodes, the ecstatic bodies are in fact resistors." Read the rest

Pencils made from cremated humans

Artist Nadine Jarvis can fabricate pencils from carbon left over by incinerating human remains -- it's part of a larger "research project into post mortem." She notes that "240 pencils can be made from an average body of ash - a lifetime supply of pencils for those left behind." Link (via Cribcandy) Read the rest

Doctor Who meets the Beatles, 1965

The Beatles had a guest appearance on Doctor Who in 1965 -- singing "Ticket to Ride." Afterwards, a traveller from the future remarks that she's heard of the Beatles, having visited their memorial in Liverpool, but that she didn't realize that the Beatles also performed "classical music." This is black-and-white Doctor Who comedy gold. Link (via Making Light)

Update: David sez, "The original recording of that particular Beatles performance has been lost along with a lot of the BBC library which was tragically thrown out in a great video tape purge in the 1970s. That Doctor Who footage is now the only visual record of that performance." Read the rest

Otters holding hands

Here's a video of sea otters holding hands that will make your teeth hurt. Awwww (Thanks, Lindasy Tiemeyer!) Read the rest

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