Filial piety: letting your father-in-law nurse at your breast

Today in my ongoing series of photos from my travels over the years, this shot of a statue depicting "filial piety" (a young mother allows her motherfather-in-law to nurse at her breast while her son cheers her on) from the awesomely weird Haw-Par Villa, a Tiger Balm-sponsored statue-garden/Confucianist theme-park in Singapore and Hong Kong. I've heard rumours that it's now defunct, which is a crine shame. Link, Link to more photos of Haw-Par Villa Read the rest

Peggy: Open source LED-based Mooninite kit

Peggy is an "open source lighted pegboard design" from Evil Mad Scientist Labs, released to coincide with the anniversary of the Great Boston Mooninite Scare of 2007, when law enforcement mistook lite-brites advertising a cartoon for terrorist paraphernalia and spent $2,000,000 running around, flapping their arms, screaming, and pulling their hair.
This is an easy way to drive a lot of LEDs-- up to 625-- in a big matrix. You can make an LED sign for your window, a geeky valentine for your sweetie, one bad-ass birthday card, or freak the holy bejesus out of Boston. Your call. It's a versatile, high-brightness display.

The display can run off an AC adapter or batteries (3 'D' cells), and is designed to run as many green/blue/white/violet LEDs as you care to solder into the holes, all with excellent brightness. The board can accommodate LEDs in several common sizes: 3mm, 5 mm (standard T-1 3/4 size), and 10 mm. A photosensor is provided that can automatically turn off the display in bright daylight or incandescent light.


See also: Nevar Fergit! 1-31-07. Deconstructing the Great ATHF Freak Out of 2007 Mooninite on the Haunted Mansion Stickers: This is engineering, not bomb-making State of Massachusetts insists on calling ATHF ads "hoax devices" Boston LED terror scare: a message to the media Mark on ABC news about Mooninite devices Fake pipe bombs found in Boston Video of Mooninite menaces Boston Mooninite installer arrested Boston Channel photoshops Mooninite LED signs Aqua Teen Hunger Force is the Bomb T-Shirts LED ad campaign ignites terrorism scare in Boston Read the rest

Rules for life

These ten rules from the Immaculate Heart College Art Department are incredibly good advice for just about everything you do in life:
6. Nothing is a mistake. There is no win and no fail. There is only make. 7. The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It's the people who do all of the work all the time who eventually catch on to things. 8. Don't try to create and analyse at the same time. They're different processes. 9. Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It's lighter than you think.
Link to image, Link to text (via Kottke)

Update: Karen sez, "These were compiled by students of Sister Corita Kent." Read the rest

Oldest accurate "road map" of Britain

The Gough Map is a new book that details the fascinating history of the oldest accurate map of Britain, which is amazingly accurate (except for the Scotland bits), especially considering that it was made around 1360. It's also extremely lovely:
"There are 600-odd places and, if you compare it with a modern map, most of them are in pretty much the right spot," says Millea.

"We don't know whether they did the coastline first then filled in the interior, or whether it was done by word of mouth - a verbal map - so they put in London then worked outwards, adding places they knew."

Nick Crane, topographer and presenter of TV series Map Man, thinks they may have used an astrolabe - a highly technical instrument used by classical astronomers, navigators and astrologers which involved checking the horizon, the stars, the sun and all sorts of angles.

"This could be the beginning of mathematical map-making - some of the points of latitude have probably been measured through astronomy," he says.

Michael notes, "As a bonus, there doesn't seem to be a Wikipedia entry about this map yet - a nice little task for someone who feels like getting their cartographic vibe on." Link, The Gough Map: The Earliest Road Map of Britain? on Amazon (Thanks, Michael Read the rest

Video game death animation re-enactments (to do in LA)

Mark Allen from Machine Project says,

This Saturday from 8-10pm at Machine Project in Los Angeles we have a new performance by Brody Condon (the same artist who staged a medieval battle inside the gallery in 2004). This time 10 performers outfitted in medieval/space/fantasy armor re-create Bruce Nauman’s 1973 work “Tony Sinking into the Floor, Face Up and Face Down”. Performed in slow motion and combined with movements based on computer game death animations, this piece is accompanied by a high volume binaural beats reputed to induce out of body experiences.

Link to the event page with photos, video and more information. Other projects by Brody Condon include his series of "self-playing" modifications of Northern European Late Medieval religious paintings of 15th century using the Unreal game engine, which can be seen on his website.

Read the rest

Shepard Fairey's Obama poster

Shepard Fairey, the artist behind "Andre The Giant Has A Posse," created this poster to show his support of Barack Obama. Apparently, the limited edition prints sold out in moments. It appears that Obama has a posse too. Link Read the rest

DIY tractor culture in Poland

We Make Money Not Art has a post up about DIY tractors in rural Poland, photographed by Łukasz SkÄ…pski. Żak Gallery in Berlin is currently showing prints of SkÄ…pski's photos, and there's video of interviews with the farmer-tinkerers circulating somewhere, too. Snip:

In the '60s Poland it was almost impossible to acquire a tractor in Poland. Agricultural machines produced by the country were available mainly for state-owned enterprises. For private farmers these tractors were too expensive and they weren't even robust or efficient enough for the mountain region. Out of necessity they constructed their own machines using spare parts and bits and pieces from whatever machines they could find. Including decommissioned army vehicles and pre-WWI German machines.
Link. Read the rest

New Arbitrary TSA requirement: all electronics out of your bag (cables, too)

I thought it was silly when a TSA agent at the Oakland airport asked me with concern in her voice to remove my thin cotton sweater before walking through the metal detector this afternoon, but it sounds like things are even sillier at San Francisco Airport. Scott Beale reports:

Wow, flying out of SFO just became much worse. While traveling this morning I surprised to find out that TSA is now requiring that you remove all electronic devices from your carry-on bags, including cables etc. and place them in a separate bin to be scanned at the security checkpoints. Along with slowing down the line to a crawl, this will undoubtedly lead to people losing expensive equipment, not to mention the possiblity for your stuff to be accidentally taken by someone else or even stolen.

Of course none of this information is mentioned on either the TSA or SFO websites.

Does anyone know if TSA is requiring this at any other airports?

Link Read the rest

"Giraffe women" of Burma are trapped in Thailand

A community of 'long-necked' Burmese refugees in Thailand are being denied resettlement in other counties by Thai authorities, according to this BBC article. The women wear traditional, stacked metal neck rings that elongate their necks -- they've become a tourist attraction in Thailand, on display what is described as a 'human zoo'.
The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) says that for the past two years, the Thai authorities have refused to allow a group of 20 Kayan to leave the country, despite firm offers to resettle them in Finland and New Zealand. The suspicion is that the women are being kept in Thailand because of the central role they play in the local tourism industry.
Link. (thanks, Kendra / image: BBC News) Read the rest

Top US general says: let my soldiers blog.

Noah Shachtman at Wired's Danger Room blog writes.
A leading general is pleading with the armed services to let troops blog and post to YouTube. Too bad the video site is banned on military nets, and Army rules squeeze military bloggers, hard.

Previously on Boing Boing: Army's new regulations may restrict soldiers' blogs (NPR Xeni Tech) US Army: reporters are "threat," just like Al Qaeda; milblogs = "therapy" Army audits show official sites breach security, not milblogs Under fire, soldiers kill blogs: Pentagon milblog crackdown Pentagon Sued Over Milblog-Monitoring Read the rest

StarShipSofa science fiction podcast

Tony C Smith says:

StarShipSofa is a weekly podcast that has started to put out Hugo Winning audio stories for free. Last week we put up David Brin's 1985 Hugo winning story "The Crystal Spheres." This week we put up Bruce Sterling's 1989 story "We See Things Differently." Other narrated stories include 2007 Hugo nominee Peter Watts and Michael Moorcock.

A host of SF writers have offered to let the StarShipSofa narrate their works. Writers who have already donated their work include Ian Watson, Pat Cadigan, Harry Harrison, Joe Haldeman, Joan D Vinge, Norman Spinrad, Ian MacDonald, J D Nordley, Gweneth Jones, Alastair Reynolds, Jerry Pournelle, Landon Jones, John Varley, Pat Murphy, John Kessel, Laurel Winter, Jeff Vandermeer, Kevin J Anderson, Bradley Denton and Matthew Hughes.

Link Read the rest

Organlegging nurse sold diseased corpsemeat for dental implants, knees and disks

An oral surgeon-turned-nurse-turned-organlegger has been busted in Philadelphia for buying corpses from funeral directors, extracting their valuable tissues, and selling them on to be used in surgery in the US and Canada:
Mastromarino, a former oral surgeon, paid funeral directors $1,000 per corpse, then sold the parts to tissue banks, Sagel said.

The body parts fetched up to $10,000 apiece, though tissue banks resold them to hospitals for many times that amount, he said. Mastromarino is believed to have taken in $6 million to $12 million since 2001.

The body parts were used in disk replacements, knee operations and dental implants performed by unsuspecting doctors across US and Canada.


(Image: Roll Up for Your Dentures!, a Creative Commons Attribution licensed photo from Meanest Indian's Flickr stream) Read the rest

Amazon buys Audible, promises to kill DRM if we complain

Amazon's just bought audiobook provider Audible, the exclusive provider of audiobooks to iTunes, Amazon's rival for audio downloads. Even though Apple says it prefers that its suppliers deliver non-DRM media (and even though Audible's DRM does nothing to prevent piracy), Audible has a mandatory DRM policy for the books it sells. That is to say, even if they author doesn't want DRM on his or her books, Audible will only deliver those books with DRM on them. As part of the deal, an Amazon spokesman said:
Audible's audio books are wrapped in a layer of DRM, which Amazon does not plan to remove unless customers start to complain.
Mike adds, "Audible audio books are the last source of media I purchase that includes DRM I can't easily bypass. Books, of all things, should be open and protected. I shouldn't have to wear special glasses to read a particular novel - nor should I need a special player to listen to a particular novel. What do people recommend we do to show Amazon the advantage of releasing audiobooks without DRM?"

It's a good question. I'm an audiobook junkie -- I've spent thousands of dollars on Audible books over the years, hoping that the problem of DRM would never bite me in the ass. Of course, it did -- when I switched away from iTunes, I had to spend a solid month, running two Powerbooks, full time, to get the DRM off my Audible audiobooks by playing them back in realtime while capturing the audio with Audio Hijack Pro. Read the rest

Dopplr's spacetimegeist

Matt Jones from Dopplr (a social networking site for travelers) sez, "We've been chewing some of the data from our first year of Dopplr, and just spat out some infonuggets about the year in travels, including a socially-generated map of the globe... Google has the zeitgeist (spirit of the times), but we have the Raumzeitgeist (The spirit of Spacetime!)"
The top ten trips were:

* London to Paris * San Francisco to New York * Helsinki to London * London to New York * San Francisco to Los Angeles * New York to San Francisco * Boston to New York * Los Angeles to San Francisco * London to Amsterdam * London to San Francisco

Link (Thanks, Matt!) Read the rest

Rio Carnival float depicting Holocaust banned

A Rio samba group built a Carnival float that is piled with naked mannequins meant to look like Holocaust victims. The group, Viradouro, reportedly also planned for the float to be topped with one or more dancers in Hitler costume. After the Jewish Federation of Rio de Janeiro filed a lawsuit, a judge issued an injunction banning the float as it is now from the parade. From the Associated Press (click image for full photo by Vanderlei Almeida / AFP-Getty Images):
Reports in the media have said that Viradouro had planned to feature at least one dancer dressed as Adolf Hitler in the parade, using the theme: "It Gives you Goose Bumps." Viradouro would neither confirm nor deny those plans... According to (Judge Juliana) Kalichszteim's decision, the group would face fines of $113,000 if it ignores her order by parading without removing the mannequins and $28,000 for each dancer dressed as Hitler. In her decision, Kalichszteim said carnival "should not be used as a tool for the cult of hate, any form of racism, beside the clear banalization of barbaric events."
Link UPDATE: From a BBC News article:
Viradouro's creative director, Paulo Barros, said the float was a "very respectful" reminder of the Holocaust and a reminder that such an atrocity should never be repeated. "This an extremely serious work, and people think we're mocking," said Mr Barros, who was in tears as his team started dismantling the float. Link
Read the rest

Alan Moore documentary on AlterTube

The Mindscape of Alan Moore, a documentary about the creator of such comix masterpieces as Watchmen and V For Vendetta, is now viewable at AlterTube. Link to video, Link to Alan Moore titles on Amazon (via Cabinet of Wonders) Previously on BB: • Alan Moore is a magick man Link • Free download: Alan Moore's Swamp Thing, Issue #21 Link • More on Alan Moore Link Read the rest

Hen lays green eggs (no ham)

A Mexican hen named Rabanita has become quite an attraction in the village of Cuautitlan since she started laying green eggs last month. Apparently the hen, owned by Elvira Romero, eats a regular diet. From the Associated Press:
Scientists believe that shell colour - which does not affect the colour or flavour of the yolk or white - is determined by the genes, and say blue or green shells are frequently found in the Araucana chicken strain. Green egg layers attract a premium in some parts of South America, where poultry breeders aim to produce chickens, which lay nothing else.
Link Read the rest

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