The man who designed the Anthora "WE ARE HAPPY / TO SERVE YOU" blue and white paper coffee cup, an iconic element of everyday NYC life, has died. His name was Leslie Buck, and he was a WWII refugee from Eastern Europe. NYT obit here. (image: Dan Bluestein / Wikimedia - via Instapundit)
I'm serializing my first novel, THE LOVING DEAD (with zombies and a
Zeppelin, out from Night Shade in July), online for free starting today,
Monday March 8th. My friend and Locus coworker Tim Pratt is also serializing a new Marla Mason novel, BROKEN MIRRORS, starting Monday March 8th. Locus editors do it for free!
What people are saying about THE LOVING DEAD:
"Zombies are all over the place right now, but trust me, you've NEVER
read a zombie novel like this! Amelia Beamer's THE LOVING DEAD is about
zombies, all right, but it's zombies with Xanax, zeppelins, Trader
Joe's, iPhone apps, sex, humor, adventure, NPR, IKEA, and Indiana Jones!
It's a rollercoaster ride of a read and a true original!" -- Connie
Willis, New York Times Bestselling author of BLACKOUT.
"THE LOVING DEAD is really kind of hot, in a very creepy way. Read
it. You know you'd love you some sweet zombie sumpin' sumpin'. Buy
it, bitches! Ride this zombie zeppelin of love like there's no
tomorrow." -- Christopher Moore, New York Times Bestselling author of
LAMB and A DIRTY JOB
My friend Jonathan Koshi, who is Hawaiian, posted his recipe for Spam Musubi. Koshi says, "Over the last 30 years the Spam Musubi has indelibly stamped itself on the local Hawaii menu. They are great snacks, highly mobile, and filling." Here are the ingredients and equipment list, from Notes From The Zeitgeist:
Spam Musubi Fo' Real
1 Can of Spam. Has to be the real thing. No substitutes.
1 Pkg. Roasted Nori Sheets (any kine brand is okay)
3 cups white short grain rice (any kine brand is okay)
Cup of water (not for drinking)
Beer (for drinking)
The e-book version of O'Reilly/MAKE's excellent "The Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry: All Lab, No Lecture," which Mark posted about back in 2008, is on special today for just $10. Use the coupon code DDGHM. Just don't blow up your kitchen. Or at least make sure you're not inside if you do. "Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments"
Wang Xianjun of theLinshui County, Sichuan province, China, allegedly snacks on light bulbs. According to the People Daily, the 54-year-old has eaten approximately 1,500 bulbs since he had his first taste at age 12. This reminds me of an old Guinness Book of World Records I had as a kid that listed a man who ate an entire bicycle. And, of course, Pica syndrome sufferers who eat non-foods. Of course, that's a very real psychological disorder and Wang Xianjun's story may be, er, a slight exaggeration. From the People Daily:
When he was 12 years old, he accidentally swallowed a fish bone, and his parents became very worried. To their surprise, Wang did not feel uncomfortable at all. Then out of curiosity, he boldly picked up a piece of broken glass, and felt no adverse effects after eating it...
However, he does not eat bulbs every day. He sometimes only eats bulb splinters at breakfast, and at most, one bulb each time.
In its comments to Victoria Espinel, the American IP enforcement czar, AT&T calls on the government to hold tribunal in which accused infringers will lose their internet access. It doesn't want a full court to evaluate claims of infrigment, just a high-speed, traffic-court-style process by which entire families will lose their lifelines to the electronic society.
AT&T also wants the government to establish a list of banned websites that all ISPs are ordered to block.
But that doesn't mean AT&T is opposed to various forms of "three strikes" or "graduated response" programs meant to deter online copyright infringement; it just wants someone else to implement them. If the government wants to get into the enforcement business, AT&T would be fine with that. Actually, the company would be more than fine with the proposal--it suggests that the government get into the business of adjudicating such cases and dishing out penalties.
This might sound like a role for the courts, but AT&T and rightsholders argue that the current legal process is simply too slow and too expensive to deal wisely with online copyright infringement. Instead, AT&T proposes a "streamlined and reasonable adjudication system for rights holders to resolve civil infringement claims against end users." Call it "court lite..."
Also, AT&T thinks that getting the US government into website blocking would be a pretty terrific idea. AT&T suggests that the Department of Justice "create and maintain a list of international websites known to host and traffic in infringed copyrighted works."
Hall's concise volume ("The Secret Destiny of America") described how America was the product of a "Great Plan" for religious liberty and self-governance, launched by a hidden order of ancient philosophers and secret societies. In one chapter, Hall described a rousing speech delivered by a mysterious "unknown speaker" before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The "strange man," wrote Hall, invisibly entered and exited the locked doors of the Philadelphia statehouse on July 4th, 1776, delivering an oration that bolstered the wavering spirits of the delegates. "God has given America to be free!" commanded the mysterious speaker, urging the men to overcome their fears of the noose, axe, or gibbet, and to seal destiny by signing the great document. Newly emboldened, the delegates rushed forward to add their names. They looked to thank the stranger only to discover that he had vanished from the locked room. Was this, Hall wondered, "one of the agents of the secret Order, guarding and directing the destiny of America?"
At a 1957 commencement address at his alma mater Eureka College, Reagan, then a corporate spokesman for GE, sought to inspire students with this leaf from occult history. "This is a land of destiny," Reagan said, "and our forefathers found their way here by some Divine system of selective service gathered here to fulfill a mission to advance man a further step in his climb from the swamps."
Reagan then retold (without naming a source) the tale of Hall's unknown speaker. "When they turned to thank the speaker for his timely words," Reagan concluded, "he couldn't be found and to this day no one knows who he was or how he entered or left the guarded room."
Reagan revived the story in 1981, when Parade magazine asked the president for a personal essay on what July 4th meant to him. Presidential aide Michael Deaver delivered the piece with a note saying, "This Fourth of July message is the president's own words and written initially in the president's hand," on a yellow pad at Camp David. Reagan retold the legend of the unknown speaker - this time using language very close to Hall's own: "When they turned to thank him for his timely oratory, he was not to be found, nor could any be found who knew who he was or how had come in or gone out through the locked and guarded doors."
At long last, Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine is open to electronic submissions, as opposed to managing the mountains of paper that come into its NYC office every month. Asimov's gets vastly more submissions than it could ever publish, but the willingness to put a paper manuscript in the postal mail is not a good proxy for the ability to write a great story. Asimov's is the first of the big three (Asimov's, Analog and F&SF to open to electronic subs.
I recently posted about Penguin Group Australia accidentally publishing the Pasta Bible with a typo in a recipe where "salt and freshly ground black pepper" actually read "salt and freshly ground black people." Since news of the misprint broke, sales have increased nearly four-fold, according to TheBookseller.com. The sales numbers are still tiny but, "according to Nielsen BookScan data, sales over the two weeks to 24th April were up 275% on the previous fortnight, from just 48 copies sold to 180." (Thanks, Arkizzle!)
Tristan Shone's "Big Knob" is exactly that: a giant knob for use as a controller in live music performance with a removable detent so it can "click" or turn smoothly. You can buy one in the Makers Market / Boing Boing Bazaar for $225.
This simple device is a heavy-duty CNC machined black anodized knob for use with your expression port on any midi/usb keyboard controller. Simply plug into your expression port and immediately have a 0-128 mappable control knob for use with Ableton Live, Reason, etc.
Currently there are 10 spring loaded detente positions and a hard stop for quantized physical snapping, however by removing the 1-inch chromed steel ball bearing and spring, you can create a smooth position knob controller. The detente disc is made from self-lubricating Delrin which both supports the potentiometer and creates a smooth snap in with the chrome spring loaded ball bearing.
The stainless steel frame is adjustable and clamps onto either your keyboard or table.
You might expect this drawing to win a children's art contest.
It's lovely, technically sophisticated, and positive.
So it's no surprise Mirna's picture won first place, elementary school category, in a contest sponsored by a state museum in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, not long after the country's authoritarian regime was overthrown by a student-led movement.
Prahlad Janim, who claims not to have had food or drink for the last 70 years, is under observation by India's defense research organization in a hospital in India.
He has now spent six days without food or water under strict observation and doctors say his body has not yet shown any adverse effects from hunger or dehydration.
Mr Jani, who claims to have left home aged seven and lived as a wandering sadhu or holy man in Rajasthan, is regarded as a 'breatharian' who can live on a 'spiritual life-force' alone. He believes he is sustained by a goddess who pours an 'elixir' through a hole in his palate. His claims have been supported by an Indian doctor who specializes in studies of people who claim supernatural abilities, but he has also been dismissed by others as a "village fraud."
This article ran on April 28. I wonder how much longer it will be before the research organization is forced to abandon this foolish experiment.