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.
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
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.
Todd says: "Isabella Rossellini has made a series of short films in which she dresses up like insects (always the males, for some reason) and acts out bug sex. You'll find a quartet of stills at the link." Link
Our favorite federal administration, the TSA, has just launched a blog, called Evolution of Security. It kicks off with a cheerful message from Kip Hawley.
I applaud his reason for launching the blog:
One of my major goals of 2008 is to get TSA and passengers back on the same side, working together. We need your help to get the checkpoint to be a better environment for us to do our security job and for you to get through quickly and onto your flight. Seems like the way to get that going is for us to open up and hear your feedback...
The 270 comments following Hawley's introductory post contain a mix of congratulatory messages (most of these are from proud TSA employees), accounts of bad experiences with the TSA, general and specific questions, and suggestions for improvement.
Here's a typical comment from a citizen:
DHS and TSA are fundamentally broken. Disband both immediately and return our civil liberties. Thank goodness Richard Reid did not conceal something in his underpants or these people would be strip-searching every poor grandma from here to Branson. Would someone please explain to these people that putting shoes through an x-ray does not mean they don't contain an explosive? And honestly-- Refusing a valid ID because it is "expired"? Confiscating deodorant and sun block? Does anyone believe that this kabuki security theater really makes us safer? If you guys are serious about your responsibility to protect the country I suggest you start by (1) not cutting off "TSA approved" locks anymore (2) learning and sticking to your own rules and regs especially those pertaining to passengers with medical problems (3) not trying to intimidate anyone who asks for a complaint form and (4) immediately crack down on the threatening screeners who shout "do you want to fly today?" anytime their crazy made-up-on-the-spot orders are questioned by passengers--who in my opinion often know the rules better than the screeners themselves. Oh and by the way your first amendment rights to free speech don't stop when you enter an airport screening area, even at MKE.
Traveling through Chicago I set off the metal detactor. I'm an almost 60 year female. I stopped dead in my tracts, afraid of what I had done. The TSA lady (??) barked at me worse way than how I talk to my large dog. All she kept yelling at me was, "BACK!" I'm not that used to traveling and didn't know what she meant. Why cannot you not talk to us as if we are 'people'? You say that you yourselves are people...I doubt that!
And here's a typical comment from a TSA employee:
As a LTSO I have very proud to work for TSA. I understand that some of the passengers do not like taking off their shoes or surrendering their toothpaste, however, there are many passengers that thank us for what we do. We must all remember that 9/11 happened and we are just trying to make the air safe for everyone. Flying is not a right granted under the Bill of Rights and due to the state of the world today, we must all make smart decisions. I am proud of what we do and what we represent. Thank you Mr. Hawley!!
The comments make for entertaining reading, but I'm skeptical that any positive changes to TSA policies will be made as a result.
Meteorologists in China say that that if necessary they will modify the weather on August 8 so it doesn't rain on the 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremonies. From the Los Angeles Times:
Training with the Olympics in mind, the meteorologists have been practicing their "rain mitigation" techniques since 2006. They have had a couple of dry runs, so to speak -- a China-Africa summit and a panda festival in Sichuan province, among others.
Link (Thanks, Sean Ness!)
The bureau of weather modification was established in the 1980s and is now believed to be the largest in the world. It has a reserve army of 37,000 people -- most of them sort of weekend warriors who are called to duty during unusual droughts. The bureau has 30 aircraft, 4,000 rocket launchers and 7,000 antiaircraft guns, said Wang Guohe, director of weather modification for the Chinese Academy of Meteorology.
"We have the largest program in the world with the most people involved and the most equipment, but it is not really the most advanced," Wang said. That honor belongs to the Russians, who he says used sophisticated cloud-seeding in 1986 to prevent radioactive rain from the Chernobyl reactor accident from reaching Moscow.
This fellow is named Robert Morin. There's a warrant out for his arrest in Lewiston, Maine, where he's been charged with domestic assault. According to the Smoking Gun, a jail administrator said that when Morin "removed his teeth, he became very flexible." Fortunately, there's another mugshot available where Morin doesn't screw up his face in such a fantastic way.
Link (Thanks, Vann Hall!)
This circa 1880 anti-masturbation device is currently up for auction on eBay. The starting bid is $1500. From the auction listing:
EXTREMELY RARE ANTI MASTURBATION DEVICE DATING FROM c1880. THE COPPER SHAPED DEVICE WAS ATTACHED TO A BELT AND WORN BY BOYS AS A MEANS OF PREVENTING NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS. VERY MUCH AN INDICATION OF SOCIETIES VIEWS ON ONANISM IN THE 19TH CENTURY. THIS IS THE FIRST EXAMPLE WE HAVE OFFERED FOR SALE IN 24 YEARS. THE CONDITION IS EXCELLENT 3 ½ INCHES TOP TO BASE.
Link (Thanks, Michael-Anne Rauback!)
Over at MAKE, Phil Torrone blogs:
This is interesting - it seems that a group of artists have celebrated 1-31-07 in their own way and have created a series of political themed LED art sculptures and (you guessed it) placed them all over Boston. Pictured here, Bush & Bin Laden... Click on through to see more images and if you're in Boston the locations are listed to go on an art tour. Get there before the robots do.
(thanks, James P of GRL, who denies any connection to the event)
The military junta controlling Myanmar (Burma) has increased surveillance of the Internet, and recently arrested a man who blogged about the crackdown on freedom of expression there:
The blogger, Nay Myo Latt, was taken into custody in Yangon on Wednesday after writing about the suppression of freedoms following last fall's crushing of pro-democracy demonstrations, Reporters Without Borders said.
Despite international condemnation and pressure following the demonstrations, there is little evidence that the junta is easing its repressive rule or moving closer to reconciliation with pro-democracy forces led by Suu Kyi.
The arrested blogger, a member of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, owns three Internet cafes, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said in a release seen Thursday.
Myanmar authorities have stepped up their surveillance of the Internet since the beginning of the month, pressuring Internet cafe owners to register personal details of all users and to program screen captures every five minutes on each computer, the release said.
Today on Boing Boing tv: Wilderness Information Network, an eco-art installation in the woods of northern New York state. Director Cary Peppermint and the Department of Ecology Art and Technology -- more than 30 artists in all -- contributed to this project using digital technologies, renewable energy, and sound art.
Next, Pour Nos Jeunes, a surreal and eco-funky animated short by award-winning motion graphics studio PepperMelon, from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Directed by Martin Dasnoy.
Link to BBtv post with video and discussion.
Lou sez, "This is an actual scanned page of a radio station's Emergency Broadcast System authenticator list. A radio station would receive a 'secret word' by teletype and they'd have to use this list to verify that the emergency was real or if it was merely a test. As I look over this list, I can't help but notice the silly ones, and imagine myself as a DJ trying to announce the probable extinction of the human race by nuclear attack, all the while straining to hold back the laughter over the authenticator word being one of the stupider ones on this list, like 'OINTMENT' or 'SPAGHETTI' -- or 'FLAPCAKE'
Then there are the creepy ones, like 'UNHOLY', 'TORMENT', 'MALICE', and 'RAISIN'"
The British government has granted McDonald's the right to hand out A-levels, "a qualification ... recognized around the world and ... used as a sort of entrance exam for some universities
" on the basis of its training programme.
This is the same qualification one gets for sitting exams at Cambridge.
Fast-food giant McDonald's has become one of the first firms to offer its own nationally recognised qualifications.
It will offer a "basic shift manager" course, training staff in skills such as human resources and marketing.
The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority said the company had been approved to develop courses up to the equivalent of A-level standard.
The QCA will also allow Network Rail and Flybe to award qualifications based on their workplace training schemes.
(Image: Remains of a McDonald's Meal, a Creative Commons Attribution licensed photo from Taekwonweirdo's Flickr stream)
Today in my ongoing series of photos from my travels around the world, this electronic noticeboard from the UN's Palais des Nations in Geneva, advising delegates on which rooms to go to for meetings of the "Working Group on Arbitrary Detention" and "Committee Against Torture." I was at the Palais (which used to be a Rothschild family home and still has their peacocks roaming the grounds -- the home was given to the UN on the condition that the peacocks got to stay) to give a press conference to the UN press corps about the goings-on at WIPO, the copyright treaty body down the street.
Andy Baio has caught a "search engine optimizer" working for The Times -- a venerable British newspaper -- posting thousands of spams for times.co.uk to various social sites, including Metafilter, Mahalo, Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, Yahoo! Answers, Ma.gnolia, and Netscape's Propeller. The spammer works for Sitelynx, a contractor to The Times, as "SEO Manager."
Since 2004, The Times retained the established SEO consulting firm Sitelynx to handle their search engine marketing. Working on behalf of The Times, a Sitelynx employee posted thousands of links to community and social news websites, including Mahalo, Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, Metafilter, Yahoo! Answers, Ma.gnolia, and Netscape's Propeller. His actions were done without any disclosure of his affiliation to Sitelynx or The Times and were, in some cases, posted under the assumed identity of his wife.
The accounts were all created by Piotr "Peter" Wyspianski, an SEO Manager at Sitelynx since June 2007. (Though his LinkedIn resume says "Executive.")
Before coming to Sitelynx, Piotr had a history of promoting his own business, an online jewelry store called Signature Gems, by using his profiles on sites like Myspace, Flickr, and Yahoo 360 to manipulate his search engine rankings. After coming to Sitelynx, he continued to use this technique to promote The Times. (A full breakdown of his accounts on each site is below.)