William Gibson's playlist

From William Gibson, a playlist of ten musical tracks to get you in a Spook Country mood (sez Bill, "I have always regarded music with lyrics as a species of fiction.")
1) Country Blues, Dock Boggs. On finally learning to hear this music, you literally become some different, more primal manner of flesh. There is simply nothing else like it. It is an Ur-thing, sere and terrible, yet capable of profound and paradoxical rescue in the very darkest hour. Dock Boggs lived in Wise County, Virginia, not far from where I grew up. I am haunted by the possibility that someone could have listened to this recording in Paris, in 1927, the year it was released.

2) Make Me Down a Pallet on Your Floor, Lucinda Williams. A ravishingly young woman (1978) channels all the sexuality, injustice and spirituality of the American Gone World. For Smithsonian Folkways, no less.

3) Decoration Day, Drive-By Truckers. Like early Cormac McCarthy, but with three lead guitars. Hyper-literate narrative song-writing in the service of an act of stingingly efficient shamanistic cultural recall.

Living With Music: A Playlist by William Gibson (via Beyond the Beyond) Read the rest

Simple way to keep your download folder tidy

From Danny O'Brien, a nice hack for keeping your download folder tidy -- a script that deletes everything that's more than a week old. I'd like one of these to run on my ~/.Trash folder, too.
I've had bad experience with handing "delete file" powers to an automatic script before, so I'll disclaim any warranty ("TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW" as the GPL shouts), but it's pretty straightforward, and works for me: I have it in a cronjob. The tmp folder it cleans up is my default save folder on Firefox, and where I generally download everything. If I want to save anything longer than a week, I find it a place in the rest of my filing system. It's sort of like having a cleaner come around every week: occasionally you go "Garr! Where's that coffee-stained, have torn copy of last month's New Yorker! I was going to eventually get around to reading that!", but mostly your cruft just silently disappears without you noticing a thing.
the most useful simple script i have Read the rest

1736 thieves' cant dictionary

Here's a scanned and indexed copy of a 1736 guide to thieves' cant, for those times when you want to play stern thief-taker and naughty pickpocket.
AUTEM-CACKLETUB AUTEM-CACKLETUB, a Conventicle, a Meeting-House for Dissenters.
Canting Dictionary (Thanks, Gabe!) Read the rest

Singularity Summit: Oct 25, San Jose CA

Tyler sez,
Singularity Summit 2008: Opportunity, Risk, Leadership takes place October 25 at the Montgomery Theater in San Jose, CA, the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence announced today. Now in its third year, the Singularity Summit gathers the smartest people around to explore one of the biggest ideas of our time: the Singularity.

Keynotes will include Ray Kurzweil, updating his predictions in The Singularity is Near, and Intel CTO Justin Rattner, who will examine the Singularity's plausibility. At the Intel Developer Forum on August 21, 2008, he spoke about why he thinks the gap between humans and machines will close by 2050. "Rather than look back, we're going to look forward 40 years," said Rattner. "It's in that future where many people think that machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence."

The first Singularity Summit was held at Stanford in 2006 to further understanding and discussion about the Singularity concept and the future of human technological progress. It was founded as a venue for leading thinkers to explore the subject, whether scientist, enthusiast, or skeptic.

The Singularity Summit 2008 (Thanks, Tyler!) Read the rest

Moon-cake USB sticks

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival -- celebrate in nerd style with one of these moon-cake-shaped USB sticks -- 4GB for $28. USB Mooncake Flash Drive (via Neatorama) Read the rest

Katrina, three years on: Clayton Cubitt

Photographer Clayton Cubitt updated his "Operation Eden" blog today to mark the third year since Hurricane Katrina. He grew up in and around New Orleans. That's his mom on the far left. Here was his first post on that blog. She lost their (very modest) family home in the storm, as did many thousands of other moms, many thousands of other families. Clayton's mother is doing okay, but in spite of -- not thanks to -- the systems we're supposed to rely on in America, the systems created to help the helpless in greatest time of need. New Orleans -- and all the other poor communities nearby, all hard hit by Katrina -- never mended. Snip from Clayton's post today:

She recently received a creepy pre-recorded phone warning from Governor Haley Barbour telling her to evacuate in the path of Gustav, as if she wasn't planning on it already. That's her on the left in the above picture. Next to her is her childhood friend Russell. Next to him is her sister, my aunt Lorraine, who's self conscious about her down-turned smile since the stroke, but who I think is just as beautiful and beaming as she's always been. The three of them grew up together first on Piety Street, then on McKain Street, in New Orleans. Their dads worked together in the junkyard, chopping up cars for scrap using big hand axes. Russell had nineteen brothers and sisters, in a family poorer even than mine.
Read the rest

Jared Joslin art exhibit

We've featured the exquisite work of Jessica Joslin on Boing Boing a few times. It turns out her husband, Jared Joslin, is a terrific artist, too. He has a show currently running in Los Angeles.

Solo Exhibition of paintings by Jared Joslin. August 14- September 13, 2008. YARGER/STRAUSS Fine Art 354 N Bedford Drive Beverly Hills, CA August 14- September 13, 2008
Jared Joslin -- Shadow of the Silver Moon Read the rest

Morph's Outpost 15th anniversary

In the early 1990s cyberculture, Morph's Outpost on the Digital Frontier was a hip multimedia technical magazine inspired in design (and consciousness) by 60s underground newspapers. This month is the 15th anniversary of the first issue. To celebrate, co-founders Jody Radzik (Art Director), Doug Millison (Editor), and Dave Pola (Ad Developer), have made the magazine's signature comic strip, Morph's Outpost On The Digital Frontier, by Fred "Sundance" Gromadski, available online. Millison has also launched an online Morph's retrospective. Dig that logo treatment by Kai "Power Tools" Krause! Morph's Outpost comic, Morph's Outpost site (Thanks, Jody Radzik!) Read the rest

Serialization of The Deal, Chapter 13

My friend Joe Hutsko contacted with the intriguing offer to serialize his novel, The Deal, on Boing Boing. I jumped at the chance. I read The Deal when it first came out in 1999 and loved the thrilling story about a Apple-like company's undertaking to create an iPhone-like device.

Here's a link to Chapter 13 as a PDF or a text file. (Here's chapter 1 and an introduction to the book, and here are the previous chapters)

To buy a paperback copy of the book, visit JOEyGADGET or purchase directly from Amazon. Read the rest

Best of BBtv - Bill Barminski (animation and short films)

The Boing Boing tv crew continues their hard-earned snooze in the sands of a swingers' resort on the south shore of Mars today, but we're revisiting the best of the show while we slack off in outer space. (Robot! Bring me another red Rover martini.)

Today, we feature the work of animator, filmmaker, and music video director Bill Barminski, a longtime Boing Boing fave.

Above, "Drive in," a soothing ambient work I like to watch before bedtime.

Another beloved Barminksi joint is below, S.E.X.Y. R.O.B.O.T.: Pinker Tones music video by Walter Robot.

Here's a link to all of the BBtv episodes which have featured Barminski's work.

My favorite appears in the second half of this BBtv episode: the "Fuji Apple" animated short from Barminski's production team Walter Robot, with music by Boards of Canada (song: Roygbiv, from "Music has the Right to Children.") I could just watch that over and over again, and I often do.

Read the rest

Web Zen: Tourist

vintage trailering giant lava lamp luna parc kate's lazy meadow arizona state fair roadside signs weird america dasparkhotel their circular life passing by souvenirs previously on web zen: travelling zen

Permalink for this edition. Web Zen is created and curated by Frank Davis, and re-posted here on Boing Boing with his kind permission. Web Zen Home and Archives, Store (Thanks Frank!) Read the rest

Katrina, 3 years later: Banksy throughout New Orleans.

Jonno D'Addario says:

Over the past few days, Banksy street pieces have been appearing around New Orleans. This one is in my neighborhood, and the timing seems to coincide with the third anniversary of you-know-what this week.

Someone else took a photo of this one in the Uptown neighborhood of New Orleans. It references a local (in)famous anti-graffiti crusader named Fred Radtke, aka "The Grey Ghost", whose one man mission to eradicate street art and tagging in NO involves painting ugly grey squares over everything. (Lots more on him via Google)

More photos from Flickr user anthonyturducken, still more here from Jonno's Flickr stream, and a gallery on Sky.com.

Read the rest

Chinese political cartoon art, 1958-60.

Ethan Persoff of Comics with Problems shares this collection of Chinese political comics from 1958-60. The images address perceived exploitation and human rights offenses committed by the United States. Above, an "illustrated man" with tattoos of A-bombs and H-bombs all over his back. Read the rest

Electropop remix of the oldest Japanese song ever

This fun song featuring a dancing 8-bit skeleton is actually a remix of what is believed to be the oldest Japanese song in the world. The song is called Kokoriko Bushi, meaning tune of a kokoriko–an ancient string instrument. The artist is Japanese electro-pop collective Omodaka of Far East Recordings; the animation is directed by Teppei Maki. If you like how it sounds, there's another fun video on TokyoMango today. (Thanks, Matt!)

( Lisa Katayama is a guest blogger.) Read the rest

The history of yellow peril science fiction

This week on MangoBot–my biweekly column about Asian futurism on io9–I wrote about the yellow peril and the portrayal of Asians in science fiction:
Back in the 1920s and 30s, when Asian immigration to the US and Europe was picking up steam, prominent science fiction writers like Philip Nowlan and H.P. Lovecraft created speculative scenarios starring massive hordes of horrible, slanty-eyed, intelligent Asians who were either taking over or destroying the world.
Continue reading...

( Lisa Katayama is a guest blogger.) Read the rest

Mad Magazine's War on Bush collection

Mad Magazine's "The Mad War on Bush" gathers a truly superlative collection of parodical and satirical material from eight years' worth of Mad lampoons between a single set of covers. As Jimmy Kimmel notes in his introduction to the book, there are many things to hate about the Bush regime, but it has been very, very kind to political satirists of all description.

Mad Magazine has had a glorious eight years with this presidency -- see, for example, the Gulf Wars Episode II poster (included as a full-size pullout, suitable for framing -- apparently the White House completely missed the joke here and used the poster internally as a morale booster; Sean Hannity showed it on his Fox "News" show!); the absolutely brilliant Dick Cheney shotgun accident cover, the NSA warrantless wiretapping poster (also included as a pull-out full-size item) and the bang-on "Bush campaign commercial if he was running against Jesus.

Mad's already warming up to have some fun with Obama, but at the end of the day, he's just not mush-mouthed, uncoordinated, and goofy to adequately serve the nation's satirists. Poor bastards. The Mad War on Bush Read the rest

Chunky steel home-built pocket game system

Over on Boing Boing Gadgets, our John's found this absolutely ugg-lovely homebrew pocket video-game system:
It looks more like a Cold War era device for the remote detonation of nuclear warheads than a game console. but modder Sam Thornley's Portable Pac-Man Mini takes one of those old Namco emulator joysticks you plug and play into any old television and melds it with a tiny 2.5-inch LCD powered by 4 rechargeable AA batteries. That D-Pad isn't very good – perhaps he's trying to duck patent litigation – but the doodad can play Galaxian, Rally-X, Bosconian and Dig Dug. Because it's there!
Meet the Pac-Man Mini, Discuss this on Boing Boing Gadgets Read the rest

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