an Oregon state psychiatric institution began to cremate the remains of its unclaimed patients. Their ashes were then stored inside individual copper canisters and moved into a small room, where they were stacked onto pine shelves.... Over time, however, the canisters have begun to react chemically with the human ashes held inside them; this has thus created mold-like mineral outgrowths on the exterior surfaces of these otherwise gleaming cylinders."- Publishing Food #2 - Edible Geography looks at miniature cookbooks and chocolate letters and robotic food chefs. - Fore-Edge book painting comes in classic and modern forms - Brian Dettmer's book art - American Woodworker shows people how to make a Lumber Library to show off fancy woods. Another Wood Book. - Typo of the Day for Librarians - a compilation of common library catalog typos. - The International Edible Books festival album pages always make me hungry, for words and snacks - A few more library mash-ups from an old MetaFilter post. And BibliOdyssey is always good for more biblioporn. In memory of Steve Cisler, Apple's digital librarian and all-around awesome guy.
3. Amazon Lost the Author's Fans. The interesting thing about the fans of authors: They feel somewhat connected to their favorite authors. So when their favorite authors kvetched on their blogs and Facebook pages and Twitter feeds about the screwing Amazon was giving them, what did many of these fans do? They also kvetched on their blogs and Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. So in pissing off a myriad of authors, Amazon also pissed off an exponential number of book readers, many of whom followed their favorite authors' leads in complaining about Amazon, and who themselves were read and followed by an exponential number of others. Even on a weekend, the traditional slow time for the Internets, that's a lot of pissed-off people.All The Many Ways Amazon So Very Failed the Weekend
So, two and a half days of the Internet being angry at Amazon. To be sure, there were people taking the side of Amazon, too. But those people lacked the social cohesion of an aggrieved class (writers) backed up by a mass of supporters -- not to mention the relatively high profile of these writers online, which, if you were a journalist looking for reaction quotes while on deadline, made them the go-to sources.
This Clay Shirky talk from Web 2.0 Expo NY ("It's Not Information Overload. It's Filter Failure") challenges the idea that we've got information overload problems (we've had more books than any human could read for hundreds of years), what we have is a series of filter failures, as our systems for managing information abundance are swamped by the growth of information.
- Clay Shirky Debunks the WSJ's "Bloggers For Hire" Feature Boing Boing
- Clay Shirky's advice for women: go ahead, be an asshole! Boing Boing
- Clay Shirky on traditional media: "2009 is going to be a bloodbath ...
- Clay Shirky on Colbert - Boing Boing
- Clay Shirky's masterpiece: Here Comes Everybody - Boing Boing
- Here Comes Clay Shirky (The Changing of the Guestbloggers) - Boing ...
- Shirky talks activism: how group forming networks change protest ...
- Shirky: Why 3G is doomed - Boing Boing
I have flat feet and associated back problems, and I've worn orthotic inserts since I was 17. Stick me in shoes without these inserts for 48 hours, and I'm in agony.
Unless I'm wearing a pair of Vibram "barefooting" shoes on holiday, in which case, I'm fine. (Only one data point: remember, the plural of "anecdote" isn't "fact.")
"People who don't wear shoes when they run have an astonishingly different strike," says Daniel E. Lieberman, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University and co-author of a paper appearing this week in the journal Nature. "By landing on the middle or front of the foot, barefoot runners have almost no impact collision, much less than most shod runners generate when they heel-strike. Most people today think barefoot running is dangerous and hurts, but actually you can run barefoot on the world's hardest surfaces without the slightest discomfort and pain. All you need is a few calluses to avoid roughing up the skin of the foot. Further, it might be less injurious than the way some people run in shoes."Barefoot Running: How Humans Ran Comfortably and Safely Before the Invention of Shoes
(Image: barefoot, a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike image from kisocci's photostream)
Marylin sez, "Even people living in San Francisco may not know there are 68 semi-secret privately owned public spaces in the city, and that's why the concerned citizens of SPUR (San Francisco Planning & Urban Research Association)has made a map that shows the locations of 45 of them, with short descriptions. A POPOS can be indoors or outdoors, on rooftops, past security guards, or beyond unmarked doors; some have been around since 1959; some are barren but others feature public art, fountains, and seating. These public spaces are (perhaps deliberately) not well marked, but the work of SPUR, recently published on Strange Maps, should help people find them."
- Sweet stop-motion video of paintings on public spaces - Boing Boing
- Security guard: no photography in Union Station; Congresswoman: Oh ...
- Possible B.O. ban in Honolulu - Boing Boing
- Cameraheads in Seattle protest CCTVs in public places - Boing Boing
- Japan 2008 Smoking Statistics - Boing Boing
- DIYcity - Boing Boing
Fred sez, "Students for Free Culture has organized another awesome Free Culture conference on February 13th and 14th in Washington D.C. and registration is open. Public Knowledge's Gigi Sohn and cyberscholar Jonathan Zittrain will be keynoting on the first day, and the second day will be an unconference tackling all the cutting edge issues of the free culture movement. Everyone is welcome to register and pay whatever they like (though last conference's median fee was $26) so signup today and see you in two weeks!"
Man, I wish I could get to this!
Update: Fred adds:
SFC just let me know that they just announced incentives for registration levels (the JZ voicemail is particularly awesome):
If you register at $50 or more, get a DVD with the complete Free Culture 2008 videos archive
If you register at $75 or more, get a signed copy of one of these books:
* Remix by Lawrence Lessig OR
* Convergence Culture by Henry Jenkins
If you register at $100 or more, get one of these badges of coolness:
* a firstname.lastname@example.org email address OR
* a custom answering machine greeting by none other than cyberscholar Jonathan Zittrain
- Free Culture Forum Barcelona, Oct 29-Nov 1 - Boing Boing
- Free Culture distributed audiobook jukebox - Boing Boing
- Lessig's Free Culture, free online, under a Creative Commons ...
- FreeCulture NYC photo-mob to produce enormous repository of free ...
- UMaine launches free culture/code/knowledge service - Boing Boing
- Free Me! A free culture DVD - Boing Boing
- Free Culture Movement turns one - Boing Boing
We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan's terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books.The battle over pricing conceals a more intricate and important one over Amazon's place in the book-buying ecosystem [Charles Stross]. Announcement: Macmillan E-books [Amazon] Previously: Amazon and Macmillan go to war: readers and writers are the civilian casualties; Macmillan CEO on Amazon deletepocalypse; Scalzi and MacMillan v. Amazon
"[A]ll files that were available were equally likely to appear in the sample -- the sample was not weighted by number of downloads, and it probably contains files that were never downloaded at all. So we can't say anything about the characteristics of BitTorrent downloads, or even of files that are downloaded via BitTorrent, only about files that are available on BitTorrent."
Read the rest
(Xeni's in LA at the Grammy Awards, armed with a tactical blogging apparatus. Read the winners, losers and bad fashion in real-time starting after 5 p.m./8 p.m. Update: Thanks for reading! Tweets archived after the jump. - Rob) Read the rest
Read the rest
Reviewed by the New York Times in 1908, the set was supposed to be
"A book that never grows old, that is, never antiquated, that will give answer years after its publication to the most modern of queries -- such a book, one imagines, may be found in the great classic of poetry whose verse, metaphorically speaking, breathes the spirit of perpetual youth." Nelson's claimed it had a permanent editorial staff who were "constantly on watch for all important new facts for the benefit of Nelson's subscribers"It was advertised heavily in many types of publications (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Loose leaf was big business in the early part of the 20th Century. Companies were offering "a loose-leaf system for every purpose." One loose-leaf company began in New York City in 1908 and still makes at-a-glance calendars to this day. Other loose-leaf titles flourished such as Nelson new loose-leaf medicine, Winston's cumulative loose-leaf encyclopedia (read online) and Oxford loose-leaf surgery (read online) Nelson's was still going strong in 1930 where a set cost $99.50 plus $6/year for updates -- buy a set, get a free bookcase -- Nelson's stopped publishing updates sometime in the 1930s. Thomas Nelson & Sons is still around today, the world's largest Christian publisher, but their company history curiously makes no mention of their innovative encyclopaedia. See also: "A Solution to the Problem of Updating Encyclopedias" by Eric M. Hammer and Edward N. Zalta, 1997.
Releasing the data was an about-face for the FAA, which refused to release the records because it felt doing so would jeopardize safety. If the information were made public, the argument went, it would discourage airlines and airports from reporting bird strikes. The agency changed its position under pressure from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who says the move is part of a larger shift toward full disclosure. "The Department of Transportation is, among other things, a safety agency," he wrote on his blog. "Public disclosure is our job. The sea change in government transparency is beginning, and we are happy to be a part of it."See also: trends in unruly passengers. [Photo from Australian War Memorial]
Because they couldn't mathematically determine a "perfect" solution, the researchers decided to task the slime mold with a problem human designers had already tackled. They placed oat flakes (a slime mold favorite) on agar plates in a pattern that mimicked the locations of cities around Tokyo and impregnated the plates with P. polycephalum at the point representing Tokyo itself. They then watched the slime mold grow for 26 hours, creating tendrils that interconnected the food supplies. Different plates exhibited a range of solutions, but the visual similarity to the Tokyo rail system was striking in many of them[via jetlib express, abstract of full article]
In "Catch 'Em in the Act," Lou is a loner and a loser who orders a "Crimestoppers" camcorder from eBay, and discovers that whenever he points it at someone, they commit crimes. All Lou wants is to find friendship, and maybe a girlfriend, but getting people to commit crimes is a tricky method for accomplishing this.
Catch 'Em in the Act (audio)
Lou was almost thirty. He had a job and an apartment, but he was lonely. He didn't have any friends. He didn't know why; he just didn't.
So he did what everyone who is lonely does: YouTube and eBay. One day it was eBay.
"Say, look at this!" he murmured. Lou often murmured to himself.
CRIMESTOPPERS™ VIDEO CAMERA
Catch 'em in the Act!
BUY IT NOW: $19.95
Brand New in Box.
One to a Customer.
That didn't seem like all that much. The shipping wasn't bad either. That's usually where they get you. So Lou did what every lonely person with PayPal does. He clicked on BUY.
Four days later, it came. It was about the size of a cell phone, with a little viewscreen that folded out to one side.
It only had two buttons: SHOOT and PLAY. Not a lot of features. But the price was right.
- Terry Bisson's "They're Made Out of Meat" video - Boing Boing
- Tor.com: a blog, a social network, a zine -- totally clueful big ...
- Podcast on future of technology, copyright and science fiction ...
- Win a customized Asus Mini painted by Donato - Boing Boing
- Daniel "Robot Uprising" Wilson's debut story: "The Nostalgist ...
- The Things That Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away ...
- Red Nose Studios art -- tilt-shifty fantastic illustration/photos ...
Mark Siegel, the editorial director of the remarkable graphic novel publisher FirstSecond, has begun serializing his comic "Sailor Twain, or the Mermaid in the Hudson" on the web. This is Siegel's labor of love, a wonderful and weird comic that he's been working on for five years now. It's damned exciting to find it online!
(Disclosure: I am currently in contract negotiations with FirstSecond for a graphic adaptation of one of my stories)
iCopyright offers "licenses" to use taxpayer-funded CBC articles on terms that read like a bizarre joke. You have to pay by the month to include the article on your website (apparently no partial quotation is offered, only the whole thing, which makes traditional Internet commentary very difficult!). And you have to agree not to criticize the CBC, the subject of the article, or its author. Thanks for fostering a dialogue, CBC!
The cherry on the cake? iCopyright offers a reward of up to $1,000,000 for snitching on bloggers who don't pay Danegeld to Canada's public broadcaster to quote the works they funded.
- CBC radio show on advertising now podcast - Boing Boing
- Save CBC Radio's "Search Engine" -- join the Facebook group ...
- Who Owns Ideas? CBC's Ideas radio documentary on copyright - Boing ...
- CBC to release TV broadcast as high-quality, no-DRM BitTorrent ...
- Suspect Society: CBC Radio's Ideas documentary on surveillance ...
- CBC launches Internet documentary news service - Boing Boing
- Associated Press loves fair use (we just wish they'd share) Boing ...
- Associated Press DRM diagram demystified (with cuss-words) - Boing ...
- Take a Flickr/Creative Commons survey - Boing Boing
- Compfight: powerful search-tool for Flickr images - Boing Boing
- Smithsonian images join the Commons - Boing Boing
- Flickr adds Creative Commons licenses, OS X uploader - Boing Boing
- Funny music video using Creative Commons Flickr photos - Boing Boing
- Early 20th c. George Eastman House photos now on Flickr - Boing Boing
- Smithsonian copyright-free images on Flickr - Boing Boing
Baboomska mcGeesk sez, "In 1956, Buddy Holly traveled to Nashville to record several songs. One of the songs he recorded was "That'll Be The Day", but the producer assigned to his sessions (Owen Bradley) hated rock n' roll, and did a terrible job on the song. After that, Buddy traveled to New Mexico and re-recorded "That'll Be The Day" (the version that became the monster hit) at a different studio with his own (superior) arrangement, but according to his contract with Decca, he couldn't release it, because Decca owned all rights to his music. He decided to call Decca, to try reason with them, and he secretly taped his conversation. They refused to give him the rights to his own song, but he went ahead and violated his contract. Here is the conversation he secretly taped."
Buddy Holly - The Phone Call (Thanks, Baboomska!)
When I woke this morning at 5AM UK time, I discovered an in-box full of emails from people asking if I knew what was going on with Amazon.Read the rest
The Harry Houdini Collection from the Library of Congress is available (at least 30 or 40 full texts of published materials) through Google Books.Read titles such as The right way to do wrong: an exposé of successful criminals and Ventriloquism explained: and juggler's tricks, or legerdemain exposed: with remarks on vulgar superstitions. Also at the Library of Congress: Houdini a Biographical Chronology and the Variety Stage: Harry Houdini collection. [via more or less bunk]
(Video: live Chilean television coverage, shot off TV set on iPhone so pardon quality).
I'm in Guatemala for a brief personal trip. I was just now sitting here in the family home after lunch, with the TV on. Suddenly, regular programming was interrupted by a live feed from Chile: a giant mechanical doll-girl has taken over the streets of Santiago. There are a bunch of dudes in red velvet suits yanking her cables. WTF.
"La Pequeña Gigante" is what the Chilean TV announcers are calling her. Turns out she's the creation of French mechanical marionette street theatre company Royal de Lux. She, and they, have been blogged here on Boing Boing a number of times. They've performed in Chile before (and many other cities), and the troupe is headed to NYC later this year. I may be the last to know about the takeover of earth by our giant-doll-girl overlords, but I, for one, welcome them.