Boing Boing 

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)

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

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 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.

Petition to make clean water a human right

The Article 31 petition is trying to get the UN to add a new article to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, one that recognizes a fundamental right to water. It comes from the people who made the amazing documentary on water rights, Flow.
In 1948, the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were ratified by all the nations of the world. These 30 articles guaranteed a broad sweep of human rights across many human endeavors, from Life to Liberty to Freedom of Thought.

Now, sixty years later, recognizing that over a billion people across the planet lack access to clean and potable water and that millions die each year as a result, it is imperative to add one more article to this historic declaration, the Right to Water.

We, the undersigned, respectfully call upon the United Nations to add a 31st article to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, establishing access to clean and potable water as a fundamental human right.

We believe the world will be a better place when the Right To Water is acknowledged by all nations as a fundamental human right, and that this addition to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights represents a major step toward the goal of water for all.

Please join us. Water is a right, not a privilege.

Article 31 (Thanks, Steven!)

I Dream of CES: Your Input Requested, With or Without Kitteh Assistance.

Boing Boing TV will be traveling to Vegas for CES (Jan 8-11, 2009) with our colleagues over at Boing Boing Gadgets to do video reports from the show floor. Possibly with the assistance of hard-working investigative journalists like the guy you see above (who could frankly use a shave).

Our video crew will be joining Joel, John, Rob to walk through the maze of consumer electronics offerings, separating the junk from the gems, and trying to parse what's worth separating you from your heard-earned samoleans.

To get us started on the road to CES, and in planning our coverage on the blog in text, photos, and in video, I thought it might be cool to hear from you.

What are you expecting to see? What are you expecting to see more of, or less of? What devices and/or services would make computers, laptops, smartphones, or gaming devices for more fun, more productive, more -- whatever it is you want?

CES is historically the largest electronics trade show in the world. Why do so many people travel across the globe to um -- pounce on Las Vegas once a year for this, and what do we expect to be different this time? Extra points if you type in LOLcatese. We might read your comments out in a special BBtv episode we're planning to air tomorrow about our CES prep.

(A sponsorship note: BBtv's "Road to CES" episodes will be sponsored by Intel and Asus, who recently launched, a project to build the world's first "community-designed laptop.")

PHOTO: Something crashed on my computer! by Simon Davison, a CC-licensed photo on Flickr.

Petition to "Get a Secretary of Real Food appointed" in Obama Administration

Bonnie Powell, who covers the ethics and politics of foodover at the marvelous blog Ethicurean, says:

Obama still hasn't named a Secretary of Agriculture, which is one of the most important appointments in the Cabinet, overseeing a $94 billion budget that directly affects not just farmers, but public health, the environment, animal welfare, and so much more. For years this post has been held by shills for "Big Farma" and pandered to those corporations like Cargill, Smithfield, Monsanto, and Archer Daniels Midland with massive lobbying clout. As Nicholas Kristof wrote in his NY Times column "Obama's Secretary of Food?", appointing a reformer to head the USDA would send a "powerful signal" that U.S. food policy was finally about to become more palatable.

Kristof linked to a petition at that asks Obama's transition team to consider six candidates – all experienced, viable names of people who are ready and willing to serve – for Secretary of Agriculture who could potentially mend our broken food system. Already, after only six days, 36,000 people have signed the petition, including Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, and Bill Niman, and the Obama transition team appears to be paying attention. But for some reason, the current names still being floated in the media are not those of reformers at all.

Dave Murphy, a sixth-generation Iowan and the petition's organizer, tells me that he thinks if we can get the number of signers to 100,000 over the next few days, the pressure to choose someone from the sustainable agriculture and food community – not Big Farma – would be too immense to ignore.

Please consider signing the petition, blogging it, and/or forwarding this message to your personal networks and any list-servs you are on. Visit now to sign.

Sign this Ag Sec petition: It’s worth a shot (Ethicurean)

Weird blank wallet ID card


This blank ID card came with a wallet made in Japan. (Card was printed in China).

Weird blank wallet ID card

Web Zen: Winter Zen

catmas cheer
tuba christmas
34 diy gifts
christmas stickers
snowy kitten
winter cranberry cupcakes
santastic 4
cute animal christmas song

previously on web zen:
chaoskitties in snowsuits
winter zen 2007

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!)

Xeni's Movie reviews on Fancast, ct'd: KOYAANISQATSI

As blogged here previously, I'm contributing reviews and "appreciations" to of various TV and movies you can watch there, in entirety, for free (after sitting through some ads). As disclosed previously, I'm being paid to write the posts, but no one's telling me what to write about, or editing my content.

With that out of the way, here's a snip from my latest contribution to the project -- a post about one of my favorite movies ever, Koyaanisqatsi, directed by Godfrey Reggio and scored by Philip Glass. Snip:

Power plants, Nevada nuke detonations in the desert, and a spiderweb of powerlines follow, drawing us in to the awareness of human presence, and showing just how broken our own design of human experience has become. People do eventually appear in the movie, but they’re not so much thinking beings. They’re blurry, busy, insect-like clusters; humming and buzzing through life in a timelapse haze.

The "Microchips" chapter juxtaposes images of tiny computer chips (remember when those images were new to us?) with satellite photos of big cities (and these too, before Google Maps?). The microchips and the aerial city layouts are reflections of each other, and we are shown as captives of a chaotic, conflicted realm we have constructed for ourselves.

The film ends as it began, a long arc that reveals itself to be a circle. We return to the same melancholy prophecy with which the film began: a life out of balance is a life destined to disintegrate. The film, its score, and its message, were intended to be timeless – and they are.

An audio note: That Glass soundtrack was re-recorded and re-released in 1998, fifteen years after the film came out. It’s really wonderful music, and worth picking up on Amazon. Snip from the original New York Times review:

The range of instrumental colors is astonishing. If one particular timbre has come to characterize "Koyaanisqatsi," it is the dark, subterranean growl that opens and closes the score.

Read the whole thing, and do comment over there, would you please? Koyaanisqatsi (1983): Xeni's review on Fancast.You can watch the entire movie here with a few brief commercial interruptions. Here's a link to all of my contributions to Fancast's review blog so far.

Captain Nemo of the cocaine trade

Darkside maker Enrique Portocarrero of Colombia is alleged to have designed and built up to 20 fiberglass submarines for transporting cocaine.
"He had a marvelous criminal vision," Colombian navy Capt. Luis German Borrero said. "He introduced innovations such as a bow that produced very little wake, a conning tower that rises only a foot above the water and a valve system that enables the crew to scuttle the sub in 10 minutes. He is very ingenious."


Portocarrero was living well. Police, who reported finding $200,000 hidden in the spare tire of his car, say he had invested his reputed $1-million-per-vessel fees in the purchase of five shrimp boats.

Administrative Security officials allege that Portocarrero helped invent "semi-submersibles," as the narco-vessels are called, because they don't dive and resurface like true submarines, but cruise just below the surface.

Portocarrero's craft are difficult for counter-narcotics officials to detect on the open seas because their tiny wake creates a negligible radar "footprint." Also, authorities say, the exhaust is released through tubing below the surface, frustrating patrol aircraft's heat-sensing equipment.

In Colombia, they call him Captain Nemo

Band Aid for the banking industry: "Bleed the World"

From Arbroath: "At Christmas time we should always spare a thought for those less fortunate than us. After 20 years of bleeding the world, the global financial community has fallen on hard times. These people desperately need our thoughts, prayers and lots of our money. If you have any investments or savings left, or any money left over at the end of the month please, please give generously."

Bike parking system in Japan

Automated bike parking system accepts your bike and sends it into the 7th dimension. Returns it to our world at your command.

Daily tracking of 40 things about yourself


Over at Kevin Kelly and Gary Wolf's Quantified Self blog ("Tools for knowing your own mind and body") guest blogger Alexandra Carmichael explains how she keeps a record of 40 different things in her life every day, and what she's learned about herself from studying the data.

I track these things about my health and personal patterns every day:

- sleep (bed time, wake time, sleep quality, naps)
- morning weight
- daily caloric intake (each meal, total calculated at end of day)
- mealtimes

- mood (average of 3 positive and 3 negative factors on 0-5 scale)
- day of menstrual cycle
- sex (quantity, quality)
- exercise (duration, type)

- supplements I take (time, dosage)
- treatments for vulvodynia (a chronic pain condition)
- pain of administering the vulvodynia treatment I take (0-5)
- vulvodynia-related pain (0-5)
- headache,nausea (0-5)

- time spent working, time with kids
- number of nursings and night wakings (I'm a mom)
- weather
- unusual events (text)

The mood factors I measure every day are:

1. Happiness
2. Irritability
3. Calmness
4. Sadness
5. Feeling beautiful / self-love
6. Feeling fat / ate too much

She's come to the realization that her mood is much better on days she exercises, and on days when her mood rating is low, she overeats.
I hadn't expected my tracking to unearth such deep, emotionally charged issues. I did expect the optimization which often accompanies tracking, but when striving for an optimized ideal, the question becomes how to decide what "ideal" means. I just don't have an intuitive sense of what the data "should" look like. Are such wild swings in caloric intake normal? What do other people's patterns of mood, sleep, and exercise look like? I'd love to see some kind of comparable, to get some sense of where my patterns fit on the distribution curve. Part of my motivation in sharing my data is to encourage others to do the same. Let's learn from each other!
It's fascinating stuff, and it will be even more fascinating when people start sharing this data and analyzing it in various ways. Quantifying Myself

Skillful gum bubble blower

Amy Crehore found this video of a girl blowing a gum bubble in a bubble in a bubble in a bubble.

Sundman's The Pains, a novel about decent people bearing up under unending misery

Sf writer John Sundman's latest novel, "The Pains" is up for free download and purchase as a physical object. It's "the story of a perfectly decent person upon whom God, or the Universe, or Random Chance, or Chaos, or Whatever, decides to dump unending physical misery--and of how that perfectly decent person bears up with extraordinary grace under the onslaught."
Mr Norman Lux, nSF, woke up with a pain in his body that felt as if it might have been a soul gone bad.

He first perceived the pain as a toothache in the general area of the upper right quadrant of his mouth. But as he fixed on it and tried to determine which tooth it might be that was hurting, he experienced a swift vague transfer of pain from the upper portion of his mouth–by way of the right side of his neck, down the right side of his body, traversing his torso near his belt line–to a region just north and to the left of his scrotum, where it briefly ceased. Two seconds later he felt the sharp ingrowing of the pinky toenail on his right foot. That pain stopped after about five seconds and was almost immediately replaced by the crushing weight of the white linen sheet under which, exhausted from prayer, Mr. Lux had drifted to sleep only a few hours ago. By faint dawn light, the sheet, where it pressed upon the bad toenail, showed a small bloodstain.

Read THE PAINS or I will shoot you in the face (Thanks, John!)

Idiotic British tourists acting like jerks in Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market

Here's video of drunken idiot British tourists disgracing themselves in Tokyo's legendary Tsukiji Fish Market -- licking and fondling fish, joyriding in the forklifts, and so on. Tsukiji is one of the most interesting places I've ever visited, and these dorks are behaving in a way that's dangerous, disrespectful and, well, embarrassing. Our pal Lisa Katayama adds, "The Japanese guy interviewed makes a valid point: he says they allowed tourists here because they thought it would be an interesting learning experience to see how the fish market operated; but at the point where they are blatantly disrupting operations, its time for an intervention."

Video of tourists licking fish at Tsukiji

Retro-gamer cat toys

Etsy seller GEEKitty makes handmade, retro-gaming-themed catnip-filled cat-toys. They'll even do custom plush dope-filled dice, Game Boys, NES controllers and related gamer kipple.

GEEKitty Gear (Thanks, Absinthetic!)

Guest blogger: Susie Bright!


I'm really excited to welcome our new guest blogger to Boing Boing: Susie Bright! I've been a fan of Susie's for over 20 years. She's a brilliant feminist sex writer, erotic forensics expert, and political activist with a big fountain pen instead of a sword.

She's been called: "#23 out of 62 Reasons to Love America," (behind Tofu Pups) -- and "a national treasure right up there with the Grand Canyon, the battlefield at Gettysburg, the Okefenokee Swamp, and the Smithsonian Nancy Reagan Memorial Dress Collection."

Lesser-known details include:

1958 - Born in Arlington, VA, conceived in Jakarta in by expat linguists. Raised all over California, and Edmonton, Alberta, attending eleven schools before dropping out in 1975, and moving to Detroit.

1966 - Wrote first political pamphlet in Crayola Orange-Red, begging neighbors to vote against Reagan in California gubernatorial race.

1974 - Joined notorious high school underground newspaper, The Red Tide, and sued the L.A. School Board for the right to distribute without prior censorship or approval- a struggle not without sit-downs, walkouts, and overturned police cars.

1975 - Co-founded the rank-and-file activist group, Teamsters for a Democratic Union.

1984 - Co-founded On Our Backs, the first sex journal by and for women, the first entirely-out-of-the-closet lesbian magazine, and the first print publication about anything produced with Macintosh Desktop Publishing.

1987 - Began publishing the first "real" film criticism of porn movies. Named the "Pauline Kael of Porn" by Alice Kahn.

1986 - Taught first university class on porn, "How To Read a Dirty Movie" at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.

1990 - Baby Aretha born; perfect happiness. Writes "Egg Sex."

1993 - Founded The Best American Erotica series; published ~400 short stories of literary erotic fiction.

1995 - Made everyone cry in The Celluloid Closet.

1996 - Inspired the lesbian lovers for the Wachowski Brothers' Bound and wrote the sex scenes.

2004 - Blog debut: Susie Bright's Journal. First Post: Moral Values I'd Like to Revive

2001 - Bought rental fleet Prius from disgusted dealer for $7,000. Still driving it. Started first audio program about sex that was FCC-free: In Bed With Susie Bright. Interviews with Betty Dodson, Erica Jong, and the last candid conversation with the late Jeane Palfrey, "The DC Madam."

2006 - Bong-Wrangler and Cameo on Six Feet Under

This appearance was the delayed result of a telling a talented writer to shut up. Jill Soloway wrote an early script where Susie's name was mentioned in an offhand remark by "Brenda."

A exec at HBO banned the line out from the script, vowing that Bright's name would never be allowed on the show. (Paging Andrea Dworkin!) Three years later, Soloway wrote her final season episode without censorship. Viewers may have wondered about the recurring joke, where every major character repeated the line: "Do you know Susie Bright? She's the feminist sex writer."

Now you know.

2007 - Chief Sewing Columnist at Craft magazine. Writes: The Case of the Missing Curve.

2008 - "Got my first mountain bike. Asked to guest-blog at Boing Boing; my Work is Done. Supposed to finishing memoir, but this timeline was easier.

Susie says: "I read Boing Boing every day, and would love to get tips from you on any of my favorite topics, which include: Sexual politics, writing and editing, cooking, sewing, labor, movies, drugs, pop culture queerities, photography, feminism, fooling around outside, raising teenagers, and words of all kinds. I'll try anything once. Email:

Please give her a warm welcome!

Expert responds to Brit politico who swore to make more copyright despite admitted facts

Glyn sez, "Andrew Gowers has written a response in the Financial Times to Andy Burnham, Britain’s secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport statement in favour of copyright extension. Mr Gowers was appointed by the UK goverment two years ago to do a year long review listening to all the evidence on copyright extension amongst other things, his final report said dont do it, it makes no sense. His comment on Burnham's speech: 'As political speeches go, this is pretty silly. A moral case? You might just as well say sportspeople have a moral case to a pension at 30.'"

Gowers is the expert who conducted the thoroughgoing analysis of the costs of extending copyright. Burnham is the politician who said that he didn't care if the facts said that longer copyright on sound recordings was bad for Britain -- he would extend copyright because of the "moral case."

All the respectable research shows that copyright extension has high costs to the public and negligible benefits for the creative community.

Consumers find themselves paying more for old works or unable to access “orphan works” where copyright ownership is unclear. Small businesses that play recorded music such as hairdressing salons and local radio stations face a hidden extra “tax” in the form of higher music-licence fees. Do they really need this at this time?

Mr Burnham will no doubt find such arguments uncool. But even on his terms, the case for extension does not work. Twenty years’ extra earning power in 50 years’ time does nothing to put more money in the pockets of struggling performers now: two thirds of lifetime income from an average compact disc comes in the first six years after release.

And it will not alter the incentives for creation one jot. As Dave Rowntree, Blur’s drummer, told my review: “I have never heard of a single band deciding not to record a song because it will fall out of copyright in only 50 years. The idea is laughable.”

There's lots more -- and every word of it dripping with learned, factual rebuttals of errant nonsense.

Copyright extension is out of tune with reality (Thanks, Glyn!)