YouTube Comment Snob hides badly spelled, profane, poorly capitalized YouTube comments

Here's an idea whose time has come: YouTube Comment Snob is a Firefox plugin that nukes comments with too many spelling mistakes, weird capitalization or punctuation, and too much cussin'. It works pretty damned well, too. As XKCD has pointed out in the past, YouTube has the worst, just the worst comment-areas on the Internet. YouTube Comment Snob (via Making Light) Read the rest

Air Canada shaves fuel costs by eliminating life-jackets

Air Canada continues its race to the top of the list of the world's shittiest airlines by removing life-vests from its regional carrier Jazz, saving money on fuel in the process. In the event of a water crash, passengers can use their seat-cushions to float.

Come to that, they can use their pillows: the last time I flew AC, you had to buy a "pillow" that consisted of a giant ziploc bag that you were supposed to inflate. Passengers in business class got the same "pillows," but they were "free" (except for the extra thousands of dollars for a business-class ticket).

Jazz spokeswoman Manon Stuart said Thursday that Transport Canada regulations allow airlines to use flotation devices instead of life vests, provided the planes remain within 50 miles of shore.

Safety cards in the seat pockets of Jazz aircraft now direct passengers to use the seat cushions as flotation devices.

Stuart says Jazz is a transcontinental carrier that doesn't fly over the ocean.

Jazz planes do fly over the Great Lakes and along the Eastern seaboard from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Boston, Massachusetts, and to New York.

Emphasis mine. Airline removes life vests to lighten planes (via Neatorama) Read the rest

CC licensed off-the-grid weaving cooperatives up for $1.5M prize

Cameron sez,
The non-profit Architecture for Humanity and Lulan Artisans are vying for $1.5M worth of funding to build weaving cooperatives in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and India. These centers will be designed through the Open Architecture Network with the Creative Commons Developing Nations License.

These funds will allow 6000 women access to a stable income and create an alternative to the human trafficking going on in many of these rural villages.

Voting for the AmEx Members Prize is on September 1st and the top 25 go through. This project is currently in 27th place out of 1190.

Vote for Architecture for Humanity and Lulan at Amex Members Project (Thanks, Cameron!) Read the rest

Quebec free software group suing over government's no-bid Microsoft contracts

Kurt sez, "FACIL, the Quebecois Free Software advocacy group, is suing the Quebec provincial government, accusing them of abusing a legal loophole to essentially create 'no-bid' government software contracts for Microsoft. For a province that once considered independence from Canada, never mind independence from indentured servitude to US corporations, this is sublimely ironic."
Government buyers are using an exception in provincial law that allows them to buy directly from a proprietary vendor when there are no options available, but Facil said that loophole is being abused and goes against other legal requirements to buy locally.

"It shouldn't be the rule," Facil president Mathieu Lutfy told CBC News. "It goes against the public markets policy of the government, which requires them to stimulate competition and look for local alternatives. It's really an absurdity."

Quebec government sued for buying Microsoft software, FACIL contests government practices in the Superior Court Read the rest

Yankees will drag you out of the stadium if you try to go to the bathroom during "God Bless America"

The Yankees are serious about their bizarre prohibition on going to the bathroom during the playing of "God Bless America" during the Seventh Inning Stretch: a man was dragged out of the stadium for daring to stand up and move around instead of singing a patriotic, religious song. I really like Tommy Smothers's formulation of the principle at work here: "America, where you're free to say anything you want, and you'd better not say what you're not supposed to!"
The NYCLU seems inclined to follow through with last year's promise to sue the Yankees over their policy of confining fans to their seats during the national anthem and "God Bless America," which is played during the seventh inning stretch. Yesterday Red Sox fan Bradford Campeau-Laurion, a Queens resident, told us about his rough ejection from Yankee stadium at the hands of the NYPD after he tried to go to the men's room during the seventh inning's moment of mandatory nationalism Monday night.
NYPD Defends Ejecting Sox Fan from Yankee Stadium During "God Bless America" (Thanks, Bill!) Read the rest

Comcast limits customers to 250 gigs a month

Starting October 1, roundly hated broadband provider Comcast will begin officially capping consumer use at 250 gigs a month, according to the company's recently-updated Frequently Asked Questions about Excessive Use.
If a customer exceeds more than 250 GB and is one of the heaviest data users who consume the most data on our high-speed Internet service, he or she may receive a call from Comcast's Customer Security Assurance (CSA) group to notify them of excessive use.
Comcast to limit customers' broadband usage (Reuters) Read the rest

Bigfoot/atheist t-shirt)

Mark F. got me this terrific t-shirt for my birthday. Great tastes that go great together! It's $19 from TopatoCo. Pfft (There Is No God) t-shirt (TopatoCo) Read the rest

Today at Boing Boing Gadgets

Today at Boing Boing Gadgets, we saw new Walkmen from Sony, hoped that Kindle 2 will be less ugly, and praised Fujitsu Siemens' Amilo Mini netbook for its Stormtrooping style. John found notes on how to port Pitfall 2 to the Apple IIe, gazed upon the beautifully thin Philips Essence, and laughed out virtual at NASA's space virus woes. There was an touchscreen PC with Netbook-like specs; a Pac-Man Mini which saw Namco in a new box, and a beautiful Haight St. apartment filled with old typewriters and cameras. We mused at Bloomberg's iMacabre Steve Jobs obit snafu, but nothing reminds us of our mortality quite like a Lego shoggoth-thingie based on the Ohmu from Nausicaä. Finally, Rob saw some silly cellphone accessories and launched a perhaps ill-advised defense of those terrible Tiger Electronics handheld games from the 1980s. Read the rest

Today on TokyoMango

Today on TokyoMango, I blogged about a guy who turns into a robot from a Hayao Miyazaki anime; a new technology that fights bird flu; and a silly man who kept 51 poisonous snakes in his house (and got bitten by one); and Tokyo's (slightly controversial) total dominance in the world restaurant scene. Oh, and this was yesterday, but there's a new Wii game that turns you into a competitive eater. Good night!

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

Use code "dogdays" at the MakerShed for 20% off

The Maker Shed, Make and Craft magazines' online store, sells lots of great books and kits, like this solar powered Theremin (list price $15.99). If you use the code "dogdays" you'll get 20% off everything in the Shed.

It's hot here in Sebastopol. So hot, that the PG&E substation across the street blew a transformer and knocked out our power yesterday afternoon. So.... Under the category of anything is a good excuse for a promotion, we'll do the "dog days" promotion now through midnight Sunday, August 31. Visit MakerShed and enter "dogdays" as the promotional code and get 20% off everything in your shopping cart. Offer expires midnight PST this Sunday (9/1).
Use code "dogdays" at the MakerShed for 20% off Read the rest

Aquarium for your toilet

The Fish 'n Flush is an aquarium for your toilet. According to the manufacturer's site, "Fish 'n Flush... makes a fun-fashion statement for the homeowner who wants to have something unique in the bathroom. It's $299 and fits most standard tank/bowl configurations. Toilet aquarium (Fish 'n Flush, via Dark Roasted Blend) Previously on BB Gadgets: • Tacky Glass Toilet Dioramas Read the rest

Astrobiology Rap

I dig the Astrobiology Rap, written by Jonathan Chase, a post-graduate science communication researcher. Chase wrote the song for the new issue of the Astrobiology Magazine European Edition. Astrobiology Rap (AMEE, via Nature) Read the rest

Urinal targets and other helpful nudges

The always-good GOOD magazine has a short list of unusual nudges to get people to do the "right thing," from reducing teenage pregnancy to quitting nail biting. From GOOD:
Stop men from peeing on the floor. Authorities at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam have etched the image of a black housefly into each urinal. It seems that men usually do not pay much attention to where they aim, which can create a bit of a mess. But if you give them a target, they can’t help but try to hit it. Similar designs have been implemented in urinals around the world, including mini soccer goals, bulls-eyes, and urine video games (seriously). Do they work? Since the bugs were etched into the airport urinals, spillage has decreased by 80 percent.
Tricking People Into Doing The Right Thing (GOOD) Read the rest

Cases of 2,000 skulls

The intrepid travelers at Curious Expeditions took this photo and many other fantastic shots at the Museo delle Cere Anatomiche (Museum of Anatomical Waxes) in Bologna, Italy. From Curious Expeditions:
These are Luigi Calori’s 2,000 human skulls, organized according to many different themes, from groupings of ancient Roman skulls to cluster of skulls from suicide victims. Calori was the head of the anatomy department of Bologna University in 1831.
Museo delle Cere Anatomiche (Curious Expeditions) Read the rest

Seth on cartooning

One of my favorite comix artists, Seth, wrote an essay for The Walrus about "the quiet art of cartooning." It's a lovely piece and gives some nice insight the artist's mind at work. Seth's article is accompanied by a comic strip and also an interview with him. From The Walrus:
A cartoonist isn’t like a writer. Writing requires a special kind of focus. Your mind must be utterly devoted to the task at hand. When I’m breaking down a strip or hammering out dialogue, I’m using that writer’s focus. But drawing and inking are different. They use different parts of the brain. I often find that when I’m drawing, only half my mind is on the work – watching proportions, balancing compositions, eliminating unnecessary details. The other half is free to wander. Usually, it’s off in a reverie, visiting the past, picking over old hurts, or recalling that sense of being somewhere specific – at a lake during childhood, or in a nightclub years ago. These reveries are extremely important to the work, and they often find their way into whatever strip I’m working on at the time. Sometimes I wander off so far I surprise myself and laugh out loud. Once or twice, I’ve become so sad that I actually broke down and cried right there at the drawing table. So I tell those young artists that if they want to be cartoonists, the most important relationship they are going to have in their lives is with themselves.
Seth: The Quiet Art of Cartooning (Walrus Magazine, via Drawn! Read the rest

Papercraft CCTV

Nude Magazine's got a free, downloadable papercraft CCTV camera, for freaking out your neighbors. Put one in the bathroom. The dog house. Use it for a hood-ornament. Build Your Own Nude Magazine CCTV Camera (Thanks, Alice!) Read the rest

Wolfenflickr: Wolfenstein in Flash, with your Flickr photos

Wolfenflickr is a Flash-based implementation of Castle Wolfenstein that decorates the castle's walls with random images pulled from any Flickr stream (or any Flickr tag). Shooting Nazis and looking at snapshots: two great tastes that taste great together. Wolfenflickr (via Wonderland) Read the rest

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