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.


Previously: Kisai Tenmetsu: TokyoFlash's new skinny OLED watch - Boing Boing TokyoFlash Tibida LED watch -- with binary mode! Three being given ... Radio Active watch from Tokyo Flash - Boing Boing TokyoFlash's "Infection" watch tells time on an electronic Petri ... TokyoFlash Nekura watches - Boing Boing Read the rest

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) Read the rest

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)

Previously: FCC commissioner: Warcraft is a "leading cause" of college ... Warcraft Identity of Obama's FCC Transition Team Co-Chair Revealed ... Pentagon researcher unveils World of Warcraft terror plot - Boing ... Pacifist Warcraft player trying to hit the top without killing ... Read the rest

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. Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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!) Read the rest

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

Previously: Arab shoe-tossing isn't a gesture of friendly affection - Boing Boing

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

Read the rest

Pure Country honky tonk concert and book

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 Read the rest

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 Read the rest

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.
Read the rest

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. Read the rest

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. Read the rest

The Return of the 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. Read the rest

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. Read the rest

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!)

Previously: For Love of Water: infuriating and incredible documentary about ... For Love of Water documentary opens tonight in DC, California ... Read the rest

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 WEPC.com, a project to build the world's first "community-designed laptop.")

PHOTO: Something crashed on my computer! Read the rest

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 fooddemocracynow.org 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.

Read the rest

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