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Brain visualized as an island map

Brainlandmap
The designers at New Zealand's Unit Seven created this New Brainland Map that visualizes and, er, maps out various neural regions. They used a reference photo of a human brain to model the 3D terrain. Computer wallpapers of the image are free and large color prints on silk paper are available for US$15-US$70 depending on the size. From the project page:
This digital elevation model was then used to create contour line data, relief shading and to plan where the roads and features should be placed for map compilation. Real New Zealand public domain data was then added for the surrounding islands.
Link (Thanks, Mike Love!)

Fun flash game - Chat Noir

Picture 3-31 The object of this simple game is to click on the light colored dots to create a barrier that prevents the kitty from getting away. Each time you click on a dot, the kitty gets to move from one dot to another.

Link (Via Neatorama)

Gallery of owl-related photos

VB says:
Picture 2-42We have recently started a weblog of images of various Owls and Owl-related human cultural representations, with minimal commentary. This project began as a casual parody of the contemporary art-scene weblog www.VVORK.com.

Of possible interest is where the links tend to go:

Laibach parody

Canned Heat

Auto parts distribution database

Astronomy Student Photography

Luftwaffe production politics

How to properly dispose of old Owl costumes

FBI's spy network

Ookpik amputation

Link

Custom bike lets you spin over

Picture 1-61 Video of a home-made bike that lets you can spin while you ride. Link

Collector asks for your 1968 pennies

This guy is asking you to send him pennies minted in 1968. He will add it to his collection of other 1968 pennies and put you name on the contributors' list. The current total is 9,887 pennies.

Won't you please help him in this worthy endeavor?

200711300911The 1968 penny collection began on September 27th, 1999 with just a single 1968 penny, and over the years it has steadily grown both in size and the number of contributors.

The goal of this website is to keep the collection growing indefinitely by soliciting 1968 pennies from as many people as possible. This is a group effort.

Everybody who contributes pennies to the 1968 penny collection will be featured on this website.

Quality and condition of pennies is unimportant, as all certifiable 1968 pennies (whether uncirculated & shiny, or well-worn & grimy) are accepted and added to the collection equally.

All pennies are 100% 1968 guaranteed, and this collection is never to be cashed in, as its value as a collector's item is greater than its monetary value.

Of the 4,858,503,583 pennies minted in 1968, an untold number have been forever lost to history, which is why it is important to save the remaining 1968 pennies NOW while they are still relatively easy to find. If every American donated just one 1968 penny, the collection would number in the hundreds of millions.

Link

Video: Charlie Stross reads HALTING STATE at Google

Craig sends in this "video of Charlie Stross's visit to Google's headquarters where he gave a reading of his book, 'Halting State'." Halting State -- a novel about a heist in a multiplayer online role-playing game -- is one hell of a fantastic book and Charlie's a GREAT reader. Link (Thanks, Craig!)

See also:
Charlie Stross's Halting State: Heist novel about an MMORPG
Opening chapters of Charlie Stross's "Halting State"

Brits! Petition the PM to stop national children's database

Glyn sez,
If you're in the UK, please help petition the Prime Minister to abandon plans to create the Information Sharing Index, a national database of all children between birth and eighteen.

How many parents are aware that the DfES is planning a huge national database of every child in the UK? As well as their names and addresses, it will also hold parent's contact details and the name and contact details of every education, health and social care practitioner that children come into contact with. At this stage we don't know exactly who will be able to access that information, but the plan is that practitioners will be able to contact each other to share information without parental consent. Parents will no longer have the right to act as gatekeeper and your child's privacy and the right to withhold information about their education, health and social welfare will be lost completely. Remember, this will effect every child, not just children deemed to be 'at risk'. Could this be a national identity scheme by the back door? Once a child has been given a unique ID in a database such as this, how easy will it be for the Government to keep that ID after the age of 18?

And in all the protest about Contactpoint, let's hope that the other national database, eCAF, doesn't quietly slip through. A national system containing the in-depth personal assessments of 50% of children is even more dangerous.

If you're intrested in these types of issues in the UK you should check out the Open Rights Group.

Link (Thanks, Glyn!)

BBtv: Human USB Hack / Very Simple Motor


Austrian tech-art-pranksters Monochrom show us how to hack into the human brain using a vintage calculator, duct tape, a USB drive, and some pickled onions (preferably Romanian). Then, Mark shows us how to make a very simple motor -- another fun project from scitoys.com.

Link to video for this episode, and full text of blog post with comments.

See also: BBtv: Monochrom's love song for Lessig

Bizarro Genius Baby -- latest MC Frontalot nerdcore video


Jason Thomas of Red Rocket Farm and nerdcore rapper MC Frontalot have just released their video for his latest single, "Bizarro Genius Baby." This is one of my favorite tracks off the last Frontalot album, and the video is awesome. Link (Thanks, Frontalot!)

See also:
Video for Frontalot's nerdcore song about Zork
New MC Frontalot nerdcore album
MC Frontalot: Nerdcore rapper

Science Fiction Writers of America reinstates E-Piracy Committee -- new name, same chairman

The Board of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has reinstated Andrew Burt as chairman of its copyright committee, despite the recommendations of the group that was chartered to investigate SFWA's work on copyright in the wake of August's illegal and damaging campaign against the text-hosting site Scribd.

Last August, Andrew Burt, the vice president of SFWA, sent a list of thousands of works that he alleged violated the copyrights of Robert Silverberg and the Isaac Asimov estate. This list was compiled by searching the Scribd site for the words "asimov" and "silverberg" and it included my own novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, a teacher's guide to great science fiction for young readers, and the entire back-catalog of a science fiction magazine whose editors had placed their work on Scribd. Burt sent an email to Scribd's management in which he said that this list wasn't "idle musing, but a DMCA notice."

In the ensuing debacle, Burt (who's position as SFWA vice president is the result of an uncontested ballot) repeatedly claimed that his list contained "three errors" -- the real number was more like dozens, if not hundreds, of innocents who were accused of being pirates because they had quoted or merely mentioned science fiction writers.

He also singled me out for vilification, suggesting that I had timed my public disclosure of this in order to cause him damage -- I posted the information as soon as I had all the facts, in the middle of the afternoon at the World Science Fiction Convention, after taking the time to talk it over with many fellow writers, including fellow past officers of the organization (I am the former Canadian Director of SFWA). Burt persists to this day in claiming that I posted "at midnight on a holiday weekend," a gross mischaracterization that's as absurd as the claim that "only three works" were misidentified by his notice.

Burt's copyright projects for SFWA have been controversial and divisive. He created a push-poll that attempted to convince the membership to stop Amazon from indexing their books; he created a non-working system for poisoning ebooks and ruining the download experience and then patented it, in his name, at the organization's expense (he has promised to return the money); he helped create a loyalty oath in which members were told to swear to "respect patents and trademarks" and so on.

SFWA's response to Burt's embarrassing and damaging negligence in the Scribd matter was to dissolve the "E-Piracy Committee" that Burt had chaired and to charter a new committee to investigate better ways for the organization to grapple with copyright. That committee was chaired by John Scalzi, whom I respect and like. I declined to work on the committee, however, as I was skeptical that it would make progress , given that Burt was to have a seat on it. Update: John Scalzi clarifies in the comments below, "the committee of which I was the chair did not have Andrew Burt on it; I would not have participated on it if it had, for the reason that having him being the committee would not have been useful."

The committee returned its recommendations to the SFWA board and included (in the words of committee member Charlie Stross) "[a] further recommendation was discussed...brought to the attention of the president of SFWA via a back channel...at all costs, Andrew Burt must be kept the hell away from the copyright committee. In view of his earlier activities, his appointment to it would automatically destroy any credibility the new body would have."

Stross has posted an angry public denunciation of the Board's response to these recommendations -- specifically, the Board's decision to reinstate Burt as chairman of the renamed Copyright Committee. One commenter has pointed out that Burt got to vote for himself in the Board's deliberations, and did not recuse himself on the basis of a conflict on interest.

John Scalzi has also posted on the matter, in less heated voice, but with equal definitiveness: dissolving the E-Piracy Committee and replacing it with a new committee with the same chairman is not an effective resolution to SFWA's problems with copyright.

Stross feels that the Board's reinstatement of Burt was a betrayal of the committee members who volunteered to work on a new direction for the organization on copyright. I believe he's right.

To say that this is a fuckwitted decision is an understatement. Under Dr Burt, the new copyright committee will almost inevitably devolve into a reincarnation of the old piracy committee. If I thought it'd do any good I'd be resigning in protest right now; only the expense of a life membership purchased a couple of years ago is restraining me right now. Clearly the current executive of SFWA is making damaging decisions and ignoring input from committees it appointed, and and in view of this I call on SFWA president Mike Capobianco and the rest of the SFWA executive – including Andrew Burt – to resign immediately. Meanwhile, I'd like to call on all other SFWA members who don't want to see their organization commit public relations suicide to make their voices heard.

As for my own role in the affair, I consider this to be a betrayal of trust. I've been used as a stalking-horse to legitimize a process I absolutely despise; I've put in a fair amount of work on a project that was clearly intended as a distraction and which has now been set aside and ignored by the man who commissioned it. I will not forget this – and the current SFWA executive should consider that cozening and lying to their own members is not usually considered best practice for representing the members' best interests.

Link to Charlie Stross's post, Link to John Scalzi's post

See also:
Science Fiction Writers of America abuses the DMCA
Why writers should stop worrying about "ebook piracy"

Egyptian anti-torture blogger says YouTube shut his account.

Wael Abbas is an award-winning blogger in Egypt whose work documenting human rights violations through online video has been blogged here on BB before.

Wael claims that his YouTube account, with which he has posted more than a hundred videos of alleged police abuse, has been terminated over complains the clips contain "inappropriate material."

Abbas said YouTube sent him an e-mail saying they had suspended his account. "They didn't ask me to remove it. They said 'Your account isn't working,' " he said. When asked about Abbas, a YouTube spokesperson said, "We take these matters very seriously, but we don't comment on individual videos."

YouTube regulations state that "graphic or gratuitous violence" is not allowed and violations of the Terms of Use could result in the ending of an account and deleting all of the videos in it.

Link to CNN account.

Snip from related item at Foreign Policy blog:

There are plenty of other video-sharing sites and third-party tools out there for posting viral videos, but Abbas says he's lost his entire archive, the fruit of years of painstaking work. Also this month, Yahoo! accused Abbas of spamming and shut down two e-mail accounts of his.

Link. Here's the post on Wael's blog about the suspension of his Yahoo email account: Link. (Thanks, Rafe)

Previously: Supporters Work to Free Egyptian Blogger

Vancouver 2010 Olympic mascots include a Sasquatch

Drawn! ran Meomi's fabulous designs for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic mascots. They just need to add a 'frop pipe in that Yeti's mouth and all will be good.  WordPress Wp-Content Uploads 2007 11 2010

Leave it to Canada to have a cryptozoological beastie like a sasquatch as its Olympic mascot. Earlier today Vancouver 2010 unveiled their Olympic and Paralympic mascots: Quatchi the Sasquatch, Miga the Sea Bear, and Sumi the Thunderbird.
Link (Thanks, Scott!)

Unicorn eats bowl of glitter


Boing Boing reader: Recalibrate thyself. One unicorn, one cup. Link, By Ape Lad.

Two Girls 1 Cup: a grandmother reacts.

Continuing in BoingBoing's ongoing exploration of highbrow internet cinema, I now present to you a reaction video of some guy's poor grandma seeing the German New Wave classic "Zwei Mädchen eine Tasse" for the first time.

Clearly, she is overwhelmed by the heady metaphysical influence of Fassbinder and Herzog evidenced in this masterwork, which treats its characters in a scope of almost Wagnerian breadth.

Link. (thanks, Jason, and Teapunk!)

Previously:

  • Film review: 2 Girls One Cup
  • Webby Awards: Most Influential Online Videos of All Time
  • (Warning: This is my serious voice now. The reason I will never link directly to the shock video referenced in the title of this post can best be expressed in this equation from BB reader Ivan: 2Girls_1Cup = Goatse * TubGirl / White_Unicorns).

    Update: Here's a t-shirt idea for fans of this cinematic great from Flickr user Andrewc.


    Bicycles with sick soundsystems


    In today's NYT, a feature (with lots of great photos) about folks who build elaborate stereo soundsystems for their bicycles. It's not a new phenomenon, but it's neat to see it treated with such formal examination. Link, and pix here shot for the Times by Tyler Hicks. (thanks, Mark Hurst)