Fur-faced LED watch

TokyoFlash has brought out its long-awaited "Waku" watch, a super-thin LED watch that uses a wide variety of textiles for the face, creating an unbroken loop with the band. You can customize the LED colours, too. We saw a prototype of these when we were in Tokyo in September, and my wife, an avowed non-watch-wearer, was absolutely taken with the "fur" version.


Classical music performed by the Muppets: Ode to Beeker and the Blue Gonzo Chicken Waltz

The Muppets/YouTube partnership is bearing sweet, musical fruit. Here are two fantastic musical clips to help familiarize your kids with the cultural significance of the great works of classical music: first, Beeker and his many clones perform Ode to Joy (viddy it, oh my brothers, just viddy it), then Gonzo the Great and his chicken orchestra cluck out The Blue Danube Waltz (by Strauss, the louse, he lives in a house, with Mick-ey Mouse).

(via Kottke)

Should employers discriminate against World of Warcraft players?

On a gamer forum, a vigorous discussion about whether it's fair for employers to discriminate against World of Warcraft players when hiring, on the grounds that WoW players are never fully out of the game. A surprising number of players agree with this proposition.
I met with a recruiter recently (online media industry) and in conversation I happened to mention I'd spent way too much time in the early 2000s playing online games, which I described as "the ones before World of Warcraft" (I went nuts for EQ1, SWG and the start of WoW, but since 2006 I have only put a handful of days into MMOG playing - as opposed to discussing them - I've obsessed over bicycles and cycling instead).

He replied that employers specifically instruct him not to send them World of Warcraft players. He said there is a belief that WoW players cannot give 100% because their focus is elsewhere, their sleeping patterns are often not great, etc. I mentioned that some people have written about MMOG leadership experience as a career positive or a way to learn project management skills, and he shook his head. He has been specifically asked to avoid WoW players.

Topic: Recruiter told not to hire WoW players (via Raph Koster)

Lost Landscapes of San Francisco audience-participation archival film showing this Friday in SF

Master archivist Rick Prelinger sez,
For the past two years I've been putting together obscure/unknown/lost archival film clips showing the many vanished San Franciscos. This year I'm collaborating with the Long Now Foundation to present the third (and, I think, the best) iteration of Lost Landscapes of San Francisco, as one of their Seminars on Long-Term Thinking.

I've been busy throughout 2008 collecting and transferring new clips. We'll join two women hitchhikers and a dog as they cross a spanking new Bay Bridge in 1938; tour the wonderful Kodachrome world of the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition; witness the V-J Day riots and looting on Market Street; see a bit of the newly-restored "A Trip Down Market Street," a 1905 film many San Franciscans think they've seen but really haven't, as most other copies are in terrible condition; take a cable car ride to nowhere in a drab early-morning 1960s SF; and much much more.

Unlike most other film screenings, this one relies on audience members for a soundtrack. We'll encourage everyone to shout out names and places they recognize and to talk back to the screen -- interactivity the way it used to be.

I'm also going to talk very briefly about what it means to look back at the past and how every historical image will figure in the coming battle over the control of 3D models of the world.

BBers anywhere near SF, come join us for a holiday celebration, and bring your friends, ancestors and offspring!

The event's this Friday at 7PM at the Coswell Theatre, click below for details.

Lost Landscapes of San Francisco (Thanks, Rick!)

Australian court rules that Facebook "Wall" scribbles are legal notice

An Australian court has ruled that a posting on someone's Facebook page can serve as legal notice. I think that this is a bad idea -- I've got a lot of accounts hanging around on various social sites that I never check into (Facebook falls into this category). Lots of us do. Some of them don't even let you resign your account automatically, requiring you to send email to a special address, begging to be removed. T

he idea that you can have legal certainty that someone's seen your "I'm about to take away your house unless you object" notice because you stuck it somewhere, where someone has created an account under that person's name (how many of these services ask for ID to verify your identity before setting up the account in your name?) is ridiculous.

It's like serving notice on me by sticking a post-it on a toilet wall on which someone has written "Cory wuz heer" and declaring it legal.

In a ruling that could make legal and internet history, a Supreme Court judge ruled last week lawyers could use the social networking site to serve court notices.

Email and even mobile phone text messages have been used before to serve court notices, but the Canberra lawyers who secured the ruling are claiming service by Facebook as a world first.

Lawyers Meyer Vandenberg, acting for lending company MKM Capital, applied to Master David Harper of the Supreme Court last week to use the popular internet site to serve notice of a judgment on two borrowers who had defaulted on a loan.

Carmel Rita Corbo and Gordon Kingsley Maxwell Poyser failed to keep up the repayments on $150,000 they borrowed from MKM last year to refinance the mortgage on their Kambah townhouse.

Lawyers to serve notices on Facebook (Thanks, Georgie!)

Tiny, laser-cut assemblable dinosaurs

Mur sez, "Found this tiny mammoth on Kelly Farrell's Etsy store and fell in love. She uses a laser to cut the parts for her designs, and her store is full of tiny things - city rings, tiny T-Rex, and tiny letters. Bonus for some lucky buyers: 'if you live in the NYC area you can even come to the studio and say "FIRE THE LASER" before it goes off.' I haven't the eye or the hand to actually make it, but the fact that it's a kit makes for a challenging and painfully cute project. Little dinosaurs! They're dinosaurs! And little!"

Build Your Own Woolly Tiny (Mammoth) (Thanks, Mur!)

Send your old shoes to Dubya's Liberry

Got an old pair of shoes lying around, waiting to be used in a ritual gesture of disrespect? Send 'em to the GW Bush liberry so they can put them on the My Pet Goat shelf.
George W. Bush Presidential Library
c/o SMU
6425 Boaz Lane
Dallas TX 75205
Old Shoes (via Making Light

(Image: Worn Out Shoes, a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike photo from Eschipul's Flickr stream)

Today on Offworld

Today saw the first new look in over a year at Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi's new PS3 downloadable game Noby Noby Boy. It's a game so impenetrable even its own website doesn't try to explain it, so I've taken some extra time at the end of the day to try and connect the dots between what little we know about the game now to a then-seemingly wildly rambling speech Takahashi gave a year ago. Elsewhere today we saw that Daniel Pemberton's Little Big Music album we got an exclusive preview of last week has now gone on sale, read that Myst MMO URU was going open source and fan-created, that Half-Life themed Peggle Extreme was being offered for free, and that gorgeous PS3 art/platformer PixelJunk Eden was about to get a bit mercifully easier. We also downloaded a demo of the unapologetically psychotropic PC strategy/shooter Space Giraffe, listened to a new song created with Toshio Iwai's musical DS software Electroplankton, reflected on the hyper-targeted demographic of last night's brütal Spike TV Video Game Awards, and, charmingly, saw homebrew DS software made solely to use as a marriage proposal.

Pure Country honky tonk concert and book

La Pure Country 72 200812151705

Our friends at Process Books have a stunning new photography book called Pure Country: The Leon Kagarise Archives, 1961-1971, and to celebrate, they're throwing a hony tonk concert at the Echoplex in Los Angeles tonight!

Throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s, many of country music’s biggest stars first won over their audiences on the small backwoods stages of rural America’s outdoor music parks. These intimate, $1-a-carload picnic concerts might have been forgotten if it hadn’t been for the documenting eye of music lover Leon Kagarise, whose candid photographs of the musicians and their fans provide the only surviving window into this long-vanished world.

Kagarise captured dozens of classic country and bluegrass artists in their prime, including Johnny Cash and June Carter, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Bill Monroe, Hank Snow, The Stanley Brothers, and many other greats.

Pure Country presents this collection of rare color images for the first time, revealing an archive considered by historian Charles Wolfe to be one of the richest discoveries in the history of American music.

Pure Country: The Leon Kagarise Archives

Fashioning Technology: A DIY Intro to Smart Crafting


Craft magazine recently released the fun book, Fashioning Technology: A DIY Intro to Smart Crafting, by artist, roboticist, and teacher Syuzi Pakhchyan. Syuzi shows you how to make truly chic wearable technology, interactive toys, and other things using conductive smart materials and electronic components. The all-color book is filled with large photos and the instructions are clearly written so that people who know nothing about electronics can make the projects.

Check out the online sampler.

Among the projects:

* LED Bracelet: move over "jewel-encrusted," because now there's "LED-encrusted." Simple and easy, this accessory filled with "techno-sequins" will let you stand out in any fashion-loving crowd.

* Solar Crawler: magically translating the sun's invisible rays into song, this pull-toy will fascinate both children and adults alike.

* Space Invaders Tote: featuring an ambient light signal, this bag can remarkably alert you when you receive an incoming phone call.

* Photochromic Blinds: supplementing conventional inks with photochromic inks create patterns that appear and disappear when a UV light source, such as the sun, is removed, giving your blinds a life of their own!

* Luminescent Table: this table features a decorative pattern coated with a phosphorescent ink. The pattern absorbs sunshine during the day and emits light at night. It doesn't require any electricity and can glow for up to several hours.

Fashioning Technology: A DIY Intro to Smart Crafting

Ad for free gubmint money


I came across this ad (served by Google) for FREE GOVERNMENT MONEY. I can't wait to get my share!

Every year the government is required to give away free money to citizens and residents of the United States. Over $50 billion dollars is given away each year to individuals and businesses in the form of free grants. This free money can be used for almost any purpose - including to buy a house, start a business, pay for college, buy equipment, pay salaries, buy school supplies, get out of debt, buy clothing, pay for child camp, pay for music, art or education lessons, paying off your medical bills, pay for gas for your car, and anything else you desire.

Iraq Shoe Tosser Guy: The Animated Gifs

Mr. al-Zaidi has become Iraq's version of Joe the Plumber -- with nicer taste in loafers. (Thanks, John Walsh!) Previously: Arab shoe-tossing isn't a gesture of friendly affection

Update: And the hits keep on comin'!

(that last one via substitute.livejournal.com)

Update 2: December 16, 2008. I've unpublished, alternately hosted, republished, and added a few new sources. The original post here made our bandwidth bill go through the roof. Big thanks to Boing Boing's amazing sysadmin Ken Snider for catching the problem quickly, and big thanks to Archive.org for hosting the images now.

More gifs here (Thanks, Teresa). I am also quite fond of this YTMND creation, Bush Dodges Everything. Also here's a fine Flash game: Sock and Awe.

Stay Close to Daddy and Stay Away From the Octopus Man!


Peggy Munson is the author of "Fairgrounds," a short story in my new Erotic Treasury.

Peggy's story is about a group of young perverts who work at the circus. Their world is informed by lifelong genderfuck and the profound physical disabilities of a couple of the main characters:

"This is not one of those postmodern Canadian sideshows," [Daddy Billy] warned, "with adorable, tumbling twins. The inbreeding here makes them ugly and mean. So stay close to Daddy and stay away from the octopus man."

SB: Have you ever won an award for any of your talents?

PM: I almost won the Lambda Literary Awards in Lesbian Debut Fiction -- but was disqualified in the finals because my work was "too straight."

I also won the spelling bee in elementary school, ultimately choking on the word "gangrene" at regionals.

SB: Tell me how you would cast the film version of your story... just for fun!

PM: Lead Girl: Chloe Sevigny

Daddy Billy - I would do a cattle call for a gruff no-name butch stud

Octopus Man - William H. Macy

Octopus Man's Girlfriend - Kathy Bates, wearing something spandex-y from Target

Octopus Boi - Rufus Wainwright playing a disabled tranny boi

Random Carnies - Other Wainwrights

SB: Your story has apparently became a big deal on a locked bulletin board for amputee fetishists... have you been able to find out what they're saying?

PM: As far as I could tell, amputee fetishists were doing untoward things with prosthetics while rolling around on a giant Braille scroll of my story -- or something like that. (Sadly, I never got in either!)

SB: Did you like carnivals as a child?

PM: My own experience with carnivals looked a lot like David Foster Wallace's essay on the Illinois State Fair.

Those Illinois fairs (the McLean County fair, the Kroger parking lot fair, the annual Corn Festival) spelled out my budding awareness: the 4-H tent with its neat stitches and carefully hemmed adolescent desires swirling around absurdly delicious cakes. The swine tent with its unapologetic grit and dropped corn dogs covered in carny cigarette butts.

My erotic sensibility is something akin to picking up the dropped corn dog, taunting the swine, eating as much cake as possible, and letting out those perfect seams.

What's hot at those fairs is the hemmed chaos about to break. The carnies lose their patience and do sadistic things with the ride gears. The cut-off jeans get snagged on teenage lust.

SB: Do you hear from people saying, "You're making our oppressed minority look bad, can't you be more sensitive?"

PM: Disabled folks never get enough recognition to even arrive on the p.c. radar.

I took a course at Oberlin called "Theorizing Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality in Contemporary Capitalism," where we sat around talking about the intersections of our oppression- but disability just did not exist.

Disability has always been in a fringe space, because it is about the aspects of the body that freak people out. Disabled people usually don't get worked up about radical sex because they're used to their bodies being put under a microscope- poked and prodded and subjected to telethon-esque social freak shows.

Even conservative disabled bodies are, on some level, living a queer sexuality.

When someone comes along and writes about disabled bodies seizing pleasure, disabled folks are generally psyched about the visibility and the notion (not often shared by social institutions) that sexual pleasure is their birthright.

In contrast, even the most open-minded sex radicals can flinch at the idea that some people find prosthetic legs as hot as prosthetic cocks. Or that insane levels of transcendence can bloom out of physical restrictions. Injured young veterans are damned well going to fuck their girlfriends when they get out of the rehab hospital.

I was just re-reading a 1999 essay by Patrick Califia in which he talks about how, when he became a sex writer with an acquired disability, people were "so overwhelmed by cognitive dissonance because of my disability that they've literally tried to take the cane away from me."

SB: Do you think limited mobility and kink have any special understanding together?

PM: Yes! My illness is characterized by immobility- and it's hot for me to hear a partner snarl, "hold still" or, "don't you dare move." -Or to simply move my limbs around like a ragdoll. I've studied all of the textures of stillness.

There is a discipline that can come out of sex with a disability, a honed Zen-like awareness.

Imagine you have pain all over your body. What does it mean for a lover to run a finger along the one place you feel pleasure? Imagine the increased valuation of that pleasure in contrast to your daily life. Disability often forces reinvention, which can just make even the most placid activity kinky.

SB: What comes to mind when you consider your ancestors?

PM: My aunt did some genealogy and discovered abolitionists as well as Amish in my family tree. That might explain why I think this Amish tradition called "bundling" is really hot (it involves lying with someone under a quilt and seeing how long you can resist temptation).

My recent ancestors on Mom's side were Germanic farm stock, John Deere to the marrow. I grew up the youngest grandchild of huge farm families who had amazing stories. My Dad was part of the local media ( the morning radio drive time shift) before everything went corporate. My aunt worked as a criminal pathologist at the L.A. County Coroner's Office, which handles most of the famous Hollywood autopsies. This always brought a freak element to holiday dinners, when it wasn't unusual to hear about an autoerotic asphyxiation case while Grandma was dishing out mashed rutabagas.

(Susie Bright is a guest blogger)

The Return of the Nutcracker Princess

Nutcracker-Princess The impact of Gus Van Sant's biopic, Milk, inspires many viewers to ask, "What Would Harvey Do, Now?"

Proposition 8's rotten victory took the stuffing out of a lot of us.

I know exactly what Harvey would've done this past weekend -- he would have been with me, and hundreds of others, pirouetting our asses off to The Dance-Along Nutcracker, performed each year by the band which was founded in 1978  to celebrate Milk's inauguration:  The Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band.

Every December, the band takes over the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, opens the doors to all ages and species -- there were a couple tutu-ed puppies this year -- and plays the Tchaikovsky classic, while the audience leaps, skips, and crawls their way through "Arabian Coffee," "Chinese Tea," and the Russian Trepak. (Bring ibuprofen for the intermission).

Photos to make you squeal: here

I especially like the sequence where a pack of four-year-old girls ambushed me with their Magic Wands.

When I was a little wanna-be ballerina, I could barely remain still at sit-down Nutcracker events; I ached to waltz with the other Flowers. In the 1960s, the kids in my parish would run around with fake swords and wild scarves as we recreated the whole shebang to the scratchy amplification of the nuns' beat-up record player. I think I peed in my pants one time -- please don't tell the Nutcracker Prince!

The Freedom Band's version is far better, with more room to take a flying leap, and an incredibly patient orchestra who play the entire show in costume while scores of little children sit at their feet with mouths hanging open. I am tempted to take up the piccolo again.

Incidentally, in the original edition, the Evil Mouse King is done in when little Clara expertly throws her shoe at the Rodent President, allowing the Good-Nut Prince to finish him off with a sword. 

Hand me my slippers, darling!

(Susie Bright is a guest blogger)

BBtv Update: Best Viral Videos of 08, Susie Bright Sexblogs and Guestblogs, "Imaginary" Art, Cory's Charitable Giving Guide.

(Flash video embedded above, Direct MP4 Link here).

In this week's edition of our weekly Boing Boing tv update...

♦ We take a sneak peek at the images in Imaginary Foundation's gallery show, which opened this week in LA, and we watch their iconic "astronaut drummer" guy rocking out IRL.

♦ New BB guestblogger Susie Bright checks in with a video report! (NB: she consults Brian Eno and Eric Schmidt's Oblique Strategy cards when in doubt -- and she shows us the Mac desktop widget version here).

♦ We take a look at the groups featured in Cory's "Boing Boing Charitable Giving Guide"

♦ Boing Boing is blogging over at GOOD Magazine, and we preview Pesco's first contribution -- about the psychological impact of Twittering/vlogging/lifecasting/Facebooking everything you do.

♦ At the end of this episode, BBtv remixes the already-excellent "Best Viral Videos of 2008" montage curated by our pals at Videogum. Enjoy. Crunk makes everything better.

Previous Weekly Boing Boing Updates from BBtv:
* Boing Boing tv Update: Econopocalypse, Julie Amero, Holiday Gifts, Mumbai.
* Boing Boing tv Update: Virgin WiFi, Obfuscated Code, Comment Poetry, Downfall Housing Remix
* Boing Boing tv Update: OFFWORLD, YES MEN, and THIS IS THE FIRST.