A special treat from Boing Boing tv for your New Year's eve revelry, we're gonna sneak this one last episode in before the clock strikes 2009 here! Enjoy this music video for Sydney, Australia-based band The Herd, directed by the phenomenally talented Mike Daly. More about the band's
"glam/folk/tropical" music here. Every time we played this one in the BBtv editing bay, we all ended up dancing around the Final Cut windows. Mike Daly did incredible work here, there's not a frame of this I'd do differently, and it says so much about the year we're ending tonight, don't you think? Dig it, TRY not to dance, keep the faith my fellow mutants, and Feliz Año a todos ustedes, from all of us at the Boing Boing blogs, and the Boing Boing TV team! Peace.
Malibu homeowners with houses overlooking Broad Beach are fighting two battles. The first one is against public-access activists, who accuse homeowners of illegally using private security guards keep the public off the beach. The second battle is against a rising sea level erosion that has reduced the beach to a mere sliver. The LA Times reports with a story and video. The sandbagging efforts shown in the video seem futile.
Sandwiched between the advancing sea and coastal armor built to protect multimillion-dollar homes, the strip of sand is being swept away by waves and tides. Soon, oceanographers and coastal engineers contend, the rising ocean will eclipse the clash between the beach-going public and the private property owners: There will be no dry sand left to fight over.
"These folks in these overly rich communities will be sipping their martinis during some big El Niño and watching their backyards disappear in 5-feet chunks," [Bill Patzert, a climatologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory] said. "In the end, Mother Nature and global warming will win. No matter how much concrete they pour, all of those sea walls and houses will end up in the ocean."
I was planning to tell you about this epic tale I wrote for Rolling Stone about Master Legend, a real life superhero. But Boing Boing beat me to the punch! I was wondering if I could entice you to do an updated post now that the full story is not only available at RS but also, in full layout PDF on my blog
In addition to the layout, I put up a whole series of extra bonus Master Legend pictures. I mean, who can resist ML once you see him striking a pose in the sunset?
And that's the thing about ML. I really wanted to highlight his story for your readers, both because its right on point but also because I know that the narrative at Boing Boing (and in the wider world) about real life superheroes has mostly been bemusement at the weirdos in spandex. That was my perception of the world when I started reporting. But this is most serious look at what it actually means that people are doing this, and having found Master Legend and spent a lot of time with him, I realize that what he's doing is strange, yes, but also strangely sympathetic.
Yes, the story of Master Legend can be very funny at times, because Master Legend lives life like he's in a comic book. He even has a band, also called the Justice Force, made up of his superheroes, and they sing epic prog rock jams about the Manichean struggle of good against evil. But the thing is Master Legend is always trying to help people, every day. He's the type of dude who would give a guy his last dollar, and he doesn't have that much to start with. He made me genuinely think about what I do to help people. Take it from an enthusiastic reader who already saw the article and tracked me down to summarize as follows:
Everyone has a bit of Master Legend in them. But we don't have courage to let him out.
Awesome, right? I want to get Master Legend's story out to as many readers as possible, so they can all experience The Legend of Master Legend for themselves. I feel like the premature link was a bit of a false start, and if you can figure out a way to highlight it again, I'd be forever grateful. As would Master Legend.
Another installment in our "faves from 2008" BoingBoing tv retrospective -- this two-parter in which Mark Frauenfelder gets an exclusive tour of Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea. Above, part one, below, part two, and MP4 links for download here:
Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea is based out of Chicago, Illinois and has recently opened up a new store in the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Kyle Glanville, head of research and development at Intelligentsia and winner of the 2008 US Barista Championship shows Mark how they acquire and roast some of the finest coffee in the world.
The word intelligentsia derives from the Latin word intelligentia, meaning a group of people engaged in complex mental and creative labor directed to the development and dissemination of culture. Kyle Glanville has been laboring to promulgate a new coffee culture with Intelligentsia to combat the "get up and go" mentality, and Mark is along for the ride to learn the careful art of roasting coffee.
Intelligentsia is located at 3922 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90029 and is open 7 days a week.
You may remember Danny Choo from an earlier Boing Boing tv episode this year -- the "prince of Akihabara" donned his Stormtrooper finery and led some of Silicon Valley's finest CEOS through a tour of Tokyo's famed otaku district, with Joi Ito. So, Danny is also the son of famed fashion designer Jimmy Choo, and he is very well-known in Japan as a web personality, and a curator of truly wonderful nerdy things. He's like a long-lost Boing Boing cousin! Anyway -- today, Danny checks in with some amazing snapshots.
We're revisiting some of our favorite Boing Boing tv episodes during the holiday break, and while the one I'm embedding here (MP4 link here) is perhaps not going to win any Pulitzers, it was one of the most fun we had shooting anything ever. I won't spoil the surprise, but it involved making people in an office building very uncomfortable, and had absolutely nothing to do with George Lucas or Boba Fett. As for the bait 'n' switch title -- just work with me here, this was our April Fool's Day episode for 2008. And as for why it's worth posting today? If you're anywhere near an office park or an elevator with strangers in it, I strongly recommend you do this on New Year's Eve.
This isn't new, but a quick search finds no prior mentions of Ennio Marchetto on Boing Boing and I'm sure many of you will appreciate the One Man Living Cartoon Factory. This clip is from a show in Amsterdam in 2004.
My Institute for the Future colleague Lyn Jeffery, a cultural anthropologist specializing in China and co-editor of the 88 Bar blog, turned me on to Youku Buzz, a blog devoted to one of China's largest video sharing sites. On the front page right now: videos about Chinese college girls becoming "professional housewives," a public serenade, and a drunk driver pissing on armored cars. Youku Buzz
Lowering the TV volume a little more each day can help you improve focus. UC San Francisco neuroscientist Michael Merzenich told Prevention magazine that the technique trains your brain "to filter out background noise." TV-Brain Workout
A couple years ago, my pal Ken Hollings, a UK journalist and outré culture chronicler, presented a mind-blowing radio series called Welcome To Mars, about the "fantasy of science in the early years of the American Century." In the series, Ken maps the connections between UFOs, weird science, vintage science fiction, the space race, and LSD. It's an amazing series and now it's been followed by a fantastic book, Welcome To Mars: Fantasies of Science In The American Century 1947-1959, published by Strange Attractor Press. Timed with the book's publication, 3am Magazine have just published a fascinating interview with Hollings. From the interview:
The Flying Saucer, like the effects of LSD and the dangers of atomic radiation are all phenomena whose real power exists outside the human sensory spectrum: each in its own way defies detection and categorization in any conventional sense. They are, in the words of former RAND president Donald Rumsfeld, ‘known unknowns’. One way of studying them is to examine how large organizations, such as RAND and the Pentagon, respond to their existence; another is to examine them obliquely through popular culture, to see how the public imagination responds to it. Reactions to the Flying Saucer were conditioned to an appreciable extent by the spread of the new electronic media and the interdisciplinary approach to mass communication that accompanied them during the period covered in my book. It’s not an accident that 1957, the year which sees Sputnik launched into Earth orbit is also the year when Marshall McLuhan first publicly states that the medium is the message. Both incidents represent a threat to the established status quo which had previously been embodied by the Flying Saucer. Fantasy is only theory that has subsequently been rendered unworkable.
Over at Cryptomundo, Loren Coleman ends 2008 with his annual Top 10 list of the biggest cryptozoology stories of the year. Topping the list, of course, was the Georgia Bigfoot Hoax. Number 2 was a BB favorite, the Montauk Monster. Find out more about the rest of the magical mystery beasts, from the Giant Elephant Shrew to the Colorado Lion, over at Cryptomundo. Top 10 Cryptozoology Stories of 2008
Over at Boing Boing Offworld, Brandon blogged a TV commercial for the BioShock PS3 vidgame. The ad reminds me of the nonsensical, arty Mr. Plow commercial on The Simpsons. (Thanks for the reminder, TR0NK!) a Simpsons bit where Homer stars in a nonsensical, arty perfume (?) commercial. Anyone remember that? BioShock commercial
We've posted quite a bit about DIY biohackers over the years, but the trend continues as the tools become cheaper and the information easier to find. A few days ago, the Associated Press took a quick look at amateur gene jockeys. From the AP:
In her San Francisco dining room lab, for example, 31-year-old computer programmer Meredith L. Patterson is trying to develop genetically altered yogurt bacteria that will glow green to signal the presence of melamine, the chemical that turned Chinese-made baby formula and pet food deadly.
"People can really work on projects for the good of humanity while learning about something they want to learn about in the process," she said...
In Cambridge, Mass., a group called DIYbio is setting up a community lab where the public could use chemicals and lab equipment, including a used freezer, scored for free off Craigslist, that drops to 80 degrees below zero, the temperature needed to keep many kinds of bacteria alive.
Co-founder Mackenzie Cowell, a 24-year-old who majored in biology in college, said amateurs will probably pursue serious work such as new vaccines and super-efficient biofuels, but they might also try, for example, to use squid genes to create tattoos that glow.