Group art show in L.A.: Kawasaki, Sol, Kukula, Milne, and Hultberg

Thinkspace Gallery in Los Angeles has a new group show opening this weekend of truly breathtaking work by artists KuKula, Audrey Kawasaki, Amy Sol, Brandi Milne, and Stella Im Hultberg, who created the magnificent piece seen here. The opening reception is Friday evening from 7pm-11pm and all five artists will be in attendance. The exhibit is titled "Smitten." And I am. The gallery has posted a behind the scenes photo set on Flickr of some of the artwork and the artist's studios. Link to Flickr set, Link to ThinkSpace (via Juxtapoz) Previously on BB: • Stella Im Hultberg's beautiful drawings Link • Amy Sol in Juxtapoz Link • Audrey Kawasaki interview on MacTribe Link • Audrey Kawasaki at Roq La Rue Link Read the rest

Boston-centric Punk video archive (late '70s - early '80s)

Here's a video archive of about 40-odd vintage punk (and post-punk, power pop, and new wave, and I don't want to argue about it) music performances. Most of them appear to have been taped between 1979 and 1983, in fine old dive bars in and around Boston. Link, link 2. Bands both famous and obscure: Buzzcocks, Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Specials, Mission of Burma, Gang of Four, Dead Kennedys, Stranglers, Stiff Little Fingers, XTC... (thanks, Oz) Read the rest

Fark's Drew Curtis profiled on NPR's All Things Considered

NPR's All Things Considered profiled founder Drew Curtis today. During the segment, Curtis shares some of the financial nuts-and-bolts behind Fark the business -- for example, he only pays himself $60K a year, and ferrets away a significant amount for legal protection, should a rainy day of lawyergrams befall him. Why would any attorneys get a bug up their ass about such an awesome weird-news aggregator site, you ask? Well, I asked Drew over IM, and he illustrated this in the form of an actual email exchange with a Fark submitter earlier today:
upcoming Fark tagline: Boss must pay $32,300 to employee after forcing her to go drinking with fellow employees.

Submitter: "Better get lawyered up, Drew, there's legal precedent now."

Drew: "If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying"

Link to archived audio for " Making Money Off of Goofy News" [Ed. Note: So goofy!] on All Things Considered.

Drew Curtis also has a book coming out soon -- can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

Link to pre-order "It's Not News It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap as News" (which comes out on May 31). Read the rest

Spinal Tap smells the planet

BoingBoing buddy extraordinaire Gareth Branwyn says,

When my wife and I first saw Spinal Tap, we laughed so hard, several people around us got up and moved. We laughed pretty much from the moment that Marty DeBergi entered the first scene, in his USS Ooral Sea cap, till the credits rolled. We'd both been involved in rock and roll and it was just too spot on for its own good. So, seeing that there was a new Spinal Tap short, a sort of "where are they now?," in advance of their reunion at the Live Earth Concerts, I was hoping for similar dumb-funny fits of giddiness.

It didn't disappoint. The vid opens on the set of Marty DeBergi's new film, "The Hills Have Eyes with Macular Degeneration." Hoping to get the band back together for Live Earth, Marty seeks out the members, now not talking to each other. Nigel is a ranch hand on a miniature horse farm, David runs a hip-hop production company, called Back Alley, in a former colonic irrigation clinic. Derek talks to Marty from a rehab center, via webcam, where he's being treated for Internet addiction. Marty, the affable lunk, manages to get the band talking again and to agree to reunite for the benefit.

If you're a Tap fan, you'll likely get as big a kick out of this as I did. Wonder who the drummer will be at Live Earth? Too bad Mick Fleetwood has thus far defied the band's drummer curse. He's still with us (as far as anyone can tell), but no word if he'll mount the exploding drum stool for the upcoming shows.

Read the rest

Cory's new story podcast: "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow"

I've just started podcasting a new story, a novella-in-progress called "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow/Now is the Best Time of Your LIfe." It's a long, weird adventure story about the failure of futurism and the difference between "progress" and "change," all about immortal children stalking the bones of ruined cities in lethal mechas. Disney fans will recognize the title as coming from the amazing, weird, awful and wonderful Carousel of Progress ride that Disney built for GE at the 1964 World's Fair in NYC, and subsequently moved to Disneyland, then Walt Disney World.

I'm presently about 18,000 words into this -- final length is probably somewhere north of 30,000 words -- and I'm planning on reading about 30 minutes' worth of audio every week.

I piloted the mecha through the streets of Detroit, hunting wumpuses. The mecha was a relic of the Mecha Wars, when the nation tore itself to shreds with lethal robots, and it had the weird, swirling lines of all evolutionary tech, channelled and chopped and counterweighted like some freak dinosaur or a racecar.

I loved the mecha. It wasn't fast, but it had a fantastic ride, a kind of wobbly strut that was surprisingly comfortable and let me keep the big fore and aft guns on any target I chose, the sights gliding along on a perfect level even as the neck rocked from side to side.

The pack loved the mecha too. All six of them, three aerial bots shaped like bats, two ground-cover streaks that nipped around my heels, and a flea that bounded over buildings, bouncing off the walls and leaping from monorail track to rusting hover-bus to balcony and back.

Read the rest

Tiki Mickey sheets and lamp

I just bought a set of Disney's new "Mickey Tiki" sheets and a matching lamp -- it's totally bad-ass freaky screaming tiki-riffic. Link Read the rest

Nonsense words from Cory's Overclocked

Verbotomy, an online game that challenges people to invent words, create definitions for them, and use them in sentences, is using my short story collection Overclocked for its raw material this week -- they've come up with some great words already!
Mimeopath Created by: toadstool57 Pronunciation: mim-ee-oh-path Sentence: Jill did a mimeopath of herself in her prom dress, handing it out to everyone she knew and didn't know. Etymology: mimeograph, psychopath
Link Read the rest

ONE MORE DAY to stop REAL ID and keep Big Brother out of the US

Guilherme sez, We have less than a day to comment on REAL ID! This is the next step in the surveillance society, and it passed Congress without hearings. We're encouraging people to comment with sample comments like: 'The plan will create a massive national identification system without adequate privacy and security safeguards. It will also make it more difficult for people to get driver's licenses. And it will make it too easy for identity thieves, stalkers, and corrupt government officials to get access to such personal information as a home address, age, and Social Security number.'" Link (Thanks, Guilherme!) Read the rest

HOWTO own a 128-bit number!

Would you like to be the exclusive owner of a number, with the right to sue other people for knowing your number or telling other people what it is? Now you can.

Last week, the AACS consortium made history by issuing legal threats against the 1.8 million web-pages (and counting) that mentioned its secret code for preventing HD-DVD discs from being copied.

In effect, AACS-LA (the AACS Licensing Authority) claimed that it owned a randomly chosen 128-bit number, and that anyone who possessed or transmitted that number was breaking the law. Moreover, it claimed to own millions more random numbers -- claimed that the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which criminalises telling people how to break anti-copying software, gave it exclusive dominion over its many keys.

Why should the AACS get all the fun? Princeton prof Ed Felten has come up with a great way of giving out legally protected 128-bit numbers to anyone who wants them. If he gives out 2^128 of these, then all 128-bit numbers will be owned and no one will ever be able to use a 128-bit key without breaking the law. Good times.

Here’s how we do it. First, we generate a fresh pseudorandom integer, just for you. Then we use your integer to encrypt a copyrighted haiku, thereby transforming your integer into a circumvention device capable of decrypting the haiku without your permission. We then give you all of our rights to decrypt the haiku using your integer. The DMCA does the rest.

The haiku is copyright 2007 by Edward W.

Read the rest

BBC Trustees agree to let BBC infect Britain with DRM

The BBC Trust -- the organisation that oversees the BBC's operations -- has driven another nail into the BBC's relevancy for the 21st century today by giving the broadcaster permission to use DRM on its online offerings.

The BBC has turned its back on its promise to deliver a remixable, DRM-free archive of its video materials to the British public, citing lame excuses like, "It will cost a lot to negotiate rights," and "It might make us less effective at selling DVDs to Americans." Instead, it has opted for the "iPlayer," a crippling technology that infects PCs and makes them incapable of saving and using some of the files on their hard-drives. At the core of this is a Microsoft technology, the WMV file-format. It's illegal for British entrepreneurs to build devices that play WMV without permission and a license from Microsoft, and Microsoft specifies what features WMV players must and must not have.

The upshot is that British TV -- when recorded over the air -- can be stored forever, shared, re-used, and recorded using anyone's tools. British entrepreneurs can make recorders for it. British people can save it and use it as they see fit within the law.

But British TV -- when delivered over the Internet -- infects your computer. It deletes itself after a set period. It can't be used for any purpose other than watching it. And no one is allowed to make a player for it without Microsoft's permission.

The Trustees heard that 80 percent of the respondents didn't want DRM and especially didn't want Microsoft DRM. Read the rest

Mickey Mouse pirate tee pays tribute to Dali

I love this Mickey Mouse/Salvador Dali skull mashup tee -- just ordered mine so I could be sure I'd get one before you all got your orders in (the run was limited to 120). Link (Thanks, Integer Poet!) Read the rest

Amazing 1/6th-scale military dioramas

Photo gallery of super-realistic WWII military scenes. Link (Thanks, Andy!) Read the rest

Juggling monkey makes ape out of AACS

It is forbidden to attempt to solve ApeLad's puzzle, or write down the answer. You have been warned. Link

Previously on Boing Boing: • Digg users revolt over AACS keySecret AACS numbers, the photoshopped editionEd Felten explains the AACS revoltEFF explains the law on AACS keysAACS DRM body censors Cory's class blogNew AACS crack "can't be revoked"AACS vows to fight people who publish the key Read the rest

McRaw McChicken McServed at McMcDonalds

Fanny Brown Rice took a photo of an uncooked chicken sandwich that a McDonald's restaurant in Windsor, Connecticut served her.

David Herman says: "Noticed this on SlashFood today, really gross. Original story is here."

This was roughly my 3rd time ever going to a McDonalds... and my last. I ate some raw chicken before noticing and spitting it out in horror, I didn't expect good food, but I did expect cooked food. FYI, I did look at it before eating it, as raking the great blobs of mayo off took some effort. I can't even think of chicken now without feeling like I'm adrift on a choppy sea.
Link Read the rest

Interview with Dale Dougherty

In anticipation of the upcoming Maker Faire, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat ran a nice interview with Dale Dougherty, founder of MAKE.
PRESS DEMOCRAT: In 1993, you developed the first commercial Web site -- known as the Global Network Navigator. How did you come up with the idea?

DOUGHERTY: Late in 1991, I saw a demonstration of the Web from Tim Berners-Lee, its founder, and I became a believer. I began showing it to others and watched as they were amazed by its power -- that you could use a single program to access information on servers around the world. I remember saying: "That page just came from Italy. Just like that." You'd have to remind everyone that it wasn't coming from a local hard disk. I knew this was the future for publishing. I set out to organize a team to build a site but it was never clear how we could make money on it. Before Yahoo, GNN was an early attempt to create a directory of links to what you could find on the World Wide Web; it was also a magazine with some articles on how to explore this new world. We sold GNN to AOL in 1995 for millions, although AOL didn't deliver on the promise to scale it up. (Editor's note: the site is viewable at

Link Read the rest

Army's new regulations may restrict soldiers' blogs (NPR Xeni Tech)

For today's edition of the NPR program "Day to Day," I filed a report on new US Army regulations for military bloggers. I first heard about the new regulations from Noah Shachtman (post 1 | post 2), who weighs in for the NPR segment. I also spoke with milbloggers Matthew Burden (author of "The Blog of War," and editor, and John Noonan (active duty Air Force member, and co-editor of

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LISTEN: "U.S. Army May Restrict Soldiers' Blogs" Link to archived audio (Real/Win). Here's an MP3 Link. Or, listen to this report as an MP3 in the "Xeni Tech" podcast (subscribe via iTunes here). NPR "Xeni Tech" archives here.

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Snip from radio transcript:

Some fear the new rules could end up silencing first-person web journals published from combat zones. The uproar circles around an Army regulation issued April 19 which updates earlier language about operational security (or "OPSEC") and blogs.

Paragraph 2-1g says Army personnel must "consult with their immediate supervisor and their OPSEC Officer for an OPSEC review prior to publishing or posting information in a public forum."

The regulation applies to e-mail, blogs, message board, and other forms of digital communication.

The new orders were a hot topic over the past weekend, when milbloggers gathered in Arlington, Va., for the second annual Milblog Conference.

In a taped message played during the event , President Bush thanked military bloggers for their contributions; but the president's upbeat message felt to some like a contradiction with the actual regulations. Read the rest

Lousy test question for fourth graders

My fourth-grade daughter is taking a series of standardized tests in school this week, called the ERB tests. Her teachers handed out a practice test last week, and when I was going over it, I came across a question in the math section that I think has several possible correct answers:
Sara wants to measure how much applesauce she made this fall. If she uses metric, which unit should she use?

A) gram B) liter C) kilogram D) centimeter

I've shown this question to a movie director, a screenwriter, and a magazine editor, and they think its a lousy question, too. I've even heard a decent argument for d).

What do you think? Weigh in here: Link to PDF file of discussion (read from bottom up) (At request of QuickTopics's owner, who said his server load meter is pegged, I have removed the conversation link.) Read the rest

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