White Plains -- My Baby Loves Lovin'In Bolus' comments section, someone said Tony Orlando's "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" belongs on the list, and I agree. Link
Terry Jacks -- Seasons in the Sun
Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods -- Billy Don't Be a Hero
Captain & Tenille -- Muskrat Love
Tony DiFranco & the DiFranco Family -- Heartbeat (It's a Love Beat)
Bobby Goldsboro -- Honey
Sammy Johns -- Chevy Van
Debbie Boone -- You Light Up My Life
Here are some photos of giant sculptures being set up for Maker Faire, taking place this weekend in San Mateo. (Click on thumbnails for enlargement) Link
Feeding those (fever) dreams is the Pentagon's realization that it no longer controls who manufactures the components that go into its increasingly complex systems. A single plane like the DOD's next generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, can contain an “insane number” of chips, says one semiconductor expert familiar with that aircraft's design. Estimates from other sources put the total at several hundred to more than a thousand. And tracing a part back to its source is not always straightforward. The dwindling of domestic chip and electronics manufacturing in the United States, combined with the phenomenal growth of suppliers in countries like China, has only deepened the U.S. military's concern.Link
Recognizing this enormous vulnerability, the DOD recently launched its most ambitious program yet to verify the integrity of the electronics that will underpin future additions to its arsenal. In December, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon's R&D wing, released details about a three-year initiative it calls the Trust in Integrated Circuits program. The findings from the program could give the military–and defense contractors who make sensitive microelectronics like the weapons systems for the Fâ€‘35–a guaranteed method of determining whether their chips have been compromised. In January, the Trust program started its prequalifying rounds by sending to three contractors four identical versions of a chip that contained unspecified malicious circuitry. The teams have until the end of this month to ferret out as many of the devious insertions as they can.
Vetting a chip with a hidden agenda can't be all that tough, right? Wrong. Although commercial chip makers routinely and exhaustively test chips with hundreds of millions of logic gates, they can't afford to inspect everything. So instead they focus on how well the chip performs specific functions. For a microprocessor destined for use in a cellphone, for instance, the chip maker will check to see whether all the phone's various functions work. Any extraneous circuitry that doesn't interfere with the chip's normal functions won't show up in these tests.
“You don't check for the infinite possible things that are not specified,” says electrical engineering professor Ruby Lee, a cryptography expert at Princeton. “You could check the obvious possibilities, but can you test for every unspecified function?”
I've just completed building the 2.0 version of Committee Caller for my master's thesis. It's called Cause Caller and it is a virtual phone bank web app powered by a Semantic Media Wiki.Link (Thanks, Fred!)
I came up with the idea of automating call queues for phone banks while trying to organize one for myself, it was a total hassle to find everyone’s phone number on a particular committee, so I built CommitteeCaller last semester. Over the last couple of months I’ve worked with several local causes to develop the idea into a generalized activist tool that is my thesis – Cause Caller. The result is a fully extendable, platform that drives a “live” VoIP application that hopefully takes a lot of the hassle out of phone banking.
Right now Cause Caller is a bit of a blank slate – while I have almost all of America’s federal politicians (Congressional representatives, Senators, etc.) in the database, I am really interested in building state level politicians into it. Causes also need to be added as right now there are only two: the demo cause and SolarOne’s I Heart PV Cause. This is where you can help – if you are or you know any activists looking to organize phone banks, please forward this to them! I’m going to be presenting this project for my thesis at ITP on Friday, May 9th at 12:20pm, so I’ll be incorporating feedback I receive over the next week into the “results” section of my presentation.
Have fun getting in touch with democracy!
Boing Boing readers may remember some static from the State of Oregon about whether their statutes are public or private.Link See also: Oregon: our laws are copyrighted and you can't publish them
Tim Stanley, the CEO of Justia and myself have had three phone calls with the staff of the Office of the Legislative Counsel, examined their proposed so-called "public" license, and believe we've established that we're going to have to agree to disagree. As such, we've retained counsel and referred the matter to him for the next steps.
Readers may be interested in a recent post by William Patry, author of the 7-volume treatise on copyright, on the subject Oregon goes wacka wacka huna kuna. Despite the technical legal words used in the title, he does a great job explaining the basic concepts.
I'm from a punk rock band, it's all about getting your music out any way you can - you don't make money from the record, the record companies make the money from the record. If they can't make money these days because they haven't come onside with the way the world is going, it's their own problem.Link (Thanks, Paul and Sandy!)
A friend at Fleshbot writes...
Prague's Big Sister internet-enabled brothel has long been high on our list of travel destinations ever since our globetrotting siblings at Gridskipper first bought it to our attention a couple of years ago. (But only from a sociological perspective, you understand, not because we want to boink our way to international notoriety via the dozens of video cameras set up throughout the establishment which broadcast the goings-on to tens of thousands of the site's subscribers.) Short of going to Prague or coughing up a $40 monthly membership to join the website, the best way to see what Big Sister is all about is photographer Hana Jakrlova's Big Sister photodocumentary project...Link to Fleshbot post (nsfw). Shown here, the, ah, polar bear theme room inside the Big Sister brothel.
... apologies to xkcd.com/149/ (thanks, Wayneco!).
UPDATE, 630pm PT: He beat the world record! Still playing. - XJ
UPDATE, 9:00pm PT: Wow, okay, they finally stopped. Much screaming and champagne. - XJ
Following up on the post I made yesterday about a marathon attempt to set a world record for Grand Theft Auto gameplay (it's all happening right next door to Boing Boing tv, at DECA studios) -- bleary-eyed and sleep-depped Bush League GM/Executive Producer Allison Kingsley says, between caffeine slurps...
We're getting close! Jim, our dedicated Bushleaguer, is in his 23rd hour of playing GTA IV for the world record. It was a long, long night but he's nearing the 24th hour. The good news is he's doing surprisingly well, the bad news (in his words) after all this time he's only slept with one hooker.Link to ongoing live video and chat; tweets here, G4 just did an interview here. Some quick iphone snaps I took of the ongoing madness are above, below, and here.
Other favorite stats:
25.27% of the game completed 34 missions passed started 23 fires killed 10 people with bare hands shot to death 31 times 265.46 is the longest jump distance 1 kill with a molotov cocktail $50.00 most spent on a date (and although not a big spender he did score 5 times) 38,188 spent on health care ...and the stat he's particularly proud of? 0 times cheated.
Previously on Boing Boing:
* GTA IV world record attempt tonight, next door to BBtv
* Grand Theft Are You Fcking Kidding Me
On Monday, I referenced this famous Diane Arbus photograph of Eddie Carmel, "The Jewish Giant." BB reader Christopher Washer pointed me to a terrific Sound Portraits profile of Carmel, who died in 1972. The documentary was produced by Jenny Carchman, who first saw the Arbus photo as a little girl and couldn't get it out of her mind. From the description of the program, titled "The Jewish Giant":
The Jewish Giant began with Jenny's search to uncover a story that has remained a secret for 25 years. Eddie was normal sized until he became a teenager, when he began to grow uncontrollably (he suffered from acromegaly, a then-incurable condition resulting from a tumor that had developed on his pituitary gland). According to The Guiness Book of World Records, Eddie grew to be 8'9". As an adult, the only work he could find involved exploiting his freakishness. He starred in B-grade monster movies (The Brain that Wouldn't Die), made two 45 records ("The Happy Giant" and "The Good Monster") and was billed in the Ringling Brothers Circus at Madison Square Garden as "The Tallest Man on Earth." Eddie died in 1972 at the age of 36 in Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. His coffin was custom made.Link
The Jewish Giant is a story of suffering, of not fitting in, of the body betraying itself, and of the bizarre life-twists that can subsume a family. It's a story about what it's like to be a regular person looking at the world from inside a not-so-regular body.
Previously on BB:
• Hubert's Freaks: the lost photos of Diane Arbus Link
After a video of the Ladies of Liberty City began circulating around, in which men drive around, pick up sex workers and/or drive over them, shoot prostitutes standing on street corners, and get some freaky-ass, legs-in-the-air, booty-shaking lap dances, everyone got all up in arms over it.Link
The girls at Feministing weren't having it: "It is no question that GTA is merely reflective of the bigger misogyny embedded in capitalist patriarchy, but the question is why is a game that depicts such violence towards women so popular?" (Jesus Christ, if this is what degrees in gender studies hath wrought, polysyllabic bloggers still carping about the patriarchy, please fucking stop handing them out.)
Jack Thompson nearly had a heart attack over it. (To wit: "Grand Theft Auto IV is the gravest assault upon children in this country since polio. We now have vaccines for that virus... The 'vaccine' that must be administered by the United States government to deal with this virtual virus of violence and sexual depravity is criminal prosecutions of those who have conspired to do this.")
And Rockstar got a helluva lot richer. (See: "Record Sales Expected For Grand Theft Auto IV.")
Previously on BB:
* GTA IV world record attempt tonight, next door to BBtv
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall police told the Manchester Grauniad:Link
"Information from the public has highlighted a possibility that the offenders could be children aged 10 and over, masquerading as a paedophile. The investigations are continuing and at this moment we are looking into every line of inquiry and are not ruling out any possibility. However, the language used on the social networking sites such as Bebo and MSN is at times childish. [No change there, then - Ed]
"It could be youngsters playing a sick game to try and intimidate friends they have fallen out with. This will be treated seriously and we will be contacting the families of the children involved and we will try and help them by involving social services."
Google just launched a bunch of custom artist themes for iGoogle, and they were kind enough to invite me to design a theme for it. I called it "Adventure in Lollypop Land." The scene changes throughout the day.
I donated my fee to the wonderful SOVA Community Food & Resource Program, run by Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles.Link
O'Reilly's Make: Books launched a new series of books called DIY Science, and the first one is The Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiements, by Robert Bruce Thompson. Here's the preface to the book, which I found very inspiring.
Christmas morning, 1964. I was 11 years old. My younger brother and I arose at the crack of dawn and noisily rushed downstairs to find out what was under the tree. Our parents followed us, bleary-eyed.
Santa had been good to us that year. Colorfully-wrapped presents were scattered, not just under the tree, but across most of the living room floor. Being boys, we started tearing open the presents with no thought at all for the care that had gone into wrapping them. We were after the loot.
There were the inevitable disappointments. Sweaters from grandma, school clothes from Aunt Betty, and hand-knitted stocking caps for both of us from Pete and Sarah, our elderly next-door neighbors. But there was plenty of good stuff, too. Sports equipment and a cap pistol for my younger brother. A battery-powered Polaris nuclear submarine that actually fired small plastic missiles. A bicycle for my brother and a BB gun for me! Lots of books, the kind we both liked to read. A casting set, with a lead furnace and molds to make toy soldiers.
As we opened the packages, my brother and I mentally checked off items against our wish lists. We’d both gotten everything we asked for. Almost. One item had been at the top of every iteration of my wish list since the Sears Christmas Wish Book had arrived, and that item was nowhere to be found. I searched frantically through the piles of discarded wrapping paper, hoping I’d overlooked a box. It wasn’t there.
My parents had been watching my brother and me ripping through gifts like Tasmanian Devils. Just as I’d decided that I hadn’t gotten the one gift that I really, really wanted, mom and dad called me into the kitchen. There it sat, on the kitchen table, exactly what I’d been hoping for. It was already unboxed and spread wide open to show the contents. My father said, “This is from your mother and me. It is not a toy.”
It was a Lionel/Porter/Chemcraft chemistry set, and the exact model I’d asked for. The biggest one, with dozens of chemicals and hundreds of experiments. Glassware, an alcohol lamp, a balance, even a centrifuge. Everything I needed to do real chemistry. I instantly forgot about the rest of my presents, even the BB gun. I started reading the manual, jumping from one experiment to another. I carefully examined each of the chemical bottles. The names of the chemicals were magical. Copper sulfate, sodium carbonate, sulfur, cobalt chloride, logwood, potassium ferricyanide, ferrous ammonium sulfate, and dozens more.
Read the rest
It’s our preference to use a text editor, like HomeSite, TextPad or TextMate, to “hand code” everything, rather than to use a wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) HTML and CSS authoring program, like Dreamweaver. We just find it yields better and faster results.Link (via /.)
But really the browser-to-browser consistency that you see (and I have to admit, it’s far from perfect) is the result of a vigilant collaboration between many different groups – the visual designers and technologists in the design team that I lead, their counterparts in our technology staff, and the many, many detail-oriented people who come together to make the site a reality every hour of every day.
Link (via Monochrom)
A new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA indicates that two thirds of the brain's energy budget is used to help neurons or nerve cells "fire'' or send signals. The remaining third, however, is used for what study co-author Wei Chen, a radiologist at the University of Minnesota Medical School, refers to as "housekeeping," or cell-health maintenance...
"Housekeeping power is important for keeping the brain tissue alive," Chen says, "and for the many biological processes in the brain," in addition to neuronal chats. Charged sodium, calcium and potassium atoms (or ions) are continuously passed through the membranes of cells, so that neurons can recharge to fire. ATP supplies the energy required for these ions to traverse cell membranes. Chen says there must be enough energy to maintain a proper ionic balance inside and outside cells; if too many get stuck inside, it can cause swelling, which can damage cells and lead to strokes and other conditions.
I'm the editor of PoopReport.com. I've been living in India for the last six months. While here, I've come across a great cause related to the subject of my site: raising money to build toilets for lowest-caste girls studying at the Pardada Pardadi school in rural Uttar Pradesh.I'm in for $250 -- I've dug pit latrines in a squatter village in Central America and it's pretty thankless labor, but I've seen first hand what a difference it makes. Link (Thanks, Dave!)
Today these students are forced to suffer the dangers and humiliation of waking up before sunrise to relieve themselves in nearby fields. This is incredibly unsanitary and quite demeaning -- imagine if you had to wait until the sun was down before you could use the bathroom, no matter how bad you had to go?
But a toilet really can change their lives. It will directly impact the health and the dignity of these students, their families, and their villages as a whole.
A single dual-pit toilet based on the Sulabh model (which converts waste into fertilizer and needs to be serviced only once every five years) costs $250. Every little bit helps -- $1 is enough to cover lunch for four laborers building the toilets. But if you give a full $250, Pardada Pardadi will give you naming rights and send you picture of your toilet and of the girl and the family to whom you've given such a great gift.
Matt Mason, author of The Pirate's Dilemma, sez, "I thought you'd be into this 3-D printed scale model of Cinderella’s Castle I received in the mail today. A few weeks back I was speaking at the Disney Imagineering HQ in California, where 3-D printing is used to develop new designs. They made one of these for Bob Iger, one for Steve jobs, and had this one at HQ, which they very kindly sent me as a thank you, after finding out about my obsession with all things 3-D printed. It’s the most detailed thing I’ve seen come out of a prototyping machine yet, this picture doesn’t do justice to the perfect brickwork, spires and columns, nor can you see the corridors that run through the model. It’s pretty nuts. Apparently it took 11 hours to print." Link (Thanks, Matt!)
Link to Boing Boing tv episode with discussion and downloadable video.
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Chick, born in 1924, is the most published comic book author in the world. Over decades, his publishing company has released some 500 million fundamentalist evangelical "Chick tracts" warning of the eternal consequences of a life lived without salvation.
One of these cautionary cartoon gospels, "Somebody Goofed," attracted the attention of animator-directors Syd and Rodney a decade ago -- and they transformed it into the mixed media pastiche Boing Boing tv presents to you, dear viewer, today.
We showed it all over the world. No other film came close to provoking the kind of intense, gut-level reaction that we saw with Goofed -- people really loved it or really, really hated it. Religious people called it blasphemous and threatened to organize boycotts of our shows. Anti-religious people called it religious propaganda and wrote angry letters to theater owners where we screened the festival.
To me, Goofed was the Birth of a Nation of After Effects films, and was really the aesthetic blueprint for much of what you see on TV today. So many people have copied their cool 2D photo-animations, and their style is used so heavily today on VH1, E, MTV, and so on -- it's easy to forget how groundbreaking the film was. No one had ever really done anything like it before.
I loved the way Goofed is this rich moving collage of newsprint religious tracts, album covers (can you spot Paul's Boutique?), clips from 70's gangster films, cigarette ads from old magazines etc. To me, Goofed represented a whole new way of collaging various forms of media.
UPDATE: We reached out to the filmmakers for some thoughts on this amazing piece of work, 10 years after its creation -- Rodney Ascher tells us...
Making Somebody Goofed was 50% art experiment and 50% self-designed AfterEffects tutorial. It was the first digitally animated project for both of us (I think...). It took at least 6 months to make the thing, maybe close to a year. I was running a Powermac 7500 (Syd's always had a model 1 or 2 levels faster than mine so he was probably behind the wheel of an 8500) and we got a gasp during a Q and A when we explained that rendering some of the QuickTimes took more than a day or two and transporting the uncompressed files demanded about 12 Jaz cartridges!
It was designed to be something of a Rorschach test: we followed the original comic as rigorously as we could, resisted any temptation to change things around (for pacing, content, whatever) and allowed the audience to interpret however they liked. During its premiere at DFilm, the audience was mostly quiet and thoughtful but at a screening at the SFMoMA it played pretty much as a spoof with a lot of appreciative laughter. On the other hand, when it was shown at a screening for the Television Commercial Industry, the awkward, confused, slightly hostile silence was deafening. Happily enough, we've gotten very nice responses from both Chick Publications and The Suicide Girls.
Related posts on Boing Boing:
There are two species of pudu, Northern Pudu (pudu mephistopheles) and Southern Pudu (pudu pudu). These are pics of pudu pudu, perhaps the most fun to say of all species names.
Pudu are the smallest deer species on earth. (There are smaller critters that look deeroid, but they're not.)
A student at Purdue once tried to start a movement to change the school mascot from the boilermaker to the pudu, so they would be the Purdue Pudus. This did not succeed.These pudus have been hit by cars or wrongly adopted as pets, so without Fernando, they probably wouldn't have survived. When people in these parts hear of such things, they bring the pudus to Fernando's hideaway, where they live out their days with space, safety, food, and comfort. Sometimes they even make babies.
You mean, all over that woman's face and neck, while she passively mimes pleasure as the ice cream pelts her at high velocity?
Yes, this would be new. Usually I just use a spoon.
These Mediterranean girls had the custom of going up nude on the roof so the influence of the moon would increase the size of their breasts.
Clearly, I have been playing Jeopardy! in the wrong country entirely. Unfortunately, none of the contestants gives the correct response.
I'm 95% sure on my translation, but I can't swear to it. My Spanish is not yet fluent.
I'm a filmmaker in Los Angeles at the helm of project ARTEMIS ('Artemis Eternal') a short, scifi-fantasy film currently in preproduction that is professionally-led, community-funded, cross-platform and supported by an audience of Wingmen who accept the challenge to create a better professional model for film production, distribution and exhibition. Here's a 2-minute clip.Twitter the project & use it to coordinate: Link
You may have seen us on YouTube Film, MySpace.com main, CurrentTV.com' top 8, io9, and the Globe & Mail... The project is noted for its advanced presentation and packaging and the involvement of many high-profile crewmembers such as celebrated computer artist Greg Martin, who I collaborate with frequently from development to delivery.
We've had tremendous community support already, ranging from Fortune 500 companies like JetBlue (who altruistically has contributed free airfare) to independent craftsman like a renown master bowyer in Hungary to Wingmen who have been working directly with me on various parts of the project.
And, thanks to the Wingmen, everyone can access what we accomplish without a login or payment and we continue to deepen the content each week and add new ideas to the project map on the official site.
This is the best time to come into the project. We are completely prepared to shoot: Everything is booked and packaged and will happen quickly from this point forward. Budget-wise we're halfway there and are looking for the rest of our Wingmen to help us cross the finish line.
The story of the actual film is about questioning what society expects of you and what we accept as normal. Everything we're doing with the overall project fits and explores that theme. As BoingBoing readers ourselves, we're looking forward to sharing the project with other like-mindeds. We won't succeed without you.
bushleague.tv is a yet-to-be-launched internet video show produced right next door to where we make Boing Boing tv, at the studios of internet video firm DECA. The Bush League people are pretty crazy, and they're fun neighbors to have.
Anyway, tonight at at 5pm LA time, they -- specifically, this one guy on the show named Jim -- will attempt to break a gaming world record by playing the new edition of Grand Theft Auto (GTA IV) for over 25 consecutive hours. That's a lot of whores and cars! I understand they've even hired a real-life nurse to stand by in case the guy like, dies or whatever.
A live-cast video feed (and twitter updates) will be at bushleague.tv. I hear a bunch of friends from G4 TV will be in the house. Allison Kingsley from Bush League bought a ton of flowers to counteract the anticipated olfactory menace of eau de wargamer (I am so not kidding).
There's a teaser about their show on the site now, and the live feed will start promptly at 5pm. Bush League is an entertainment site aimed mostly at dudes that launches next week, on May 8th.