Kottke points us to this fun video of a giant machine that sorts salami. Something about the way the salami wiggles on the conveyer belt and the way the robot arms dance as they pick the salami sticks up is really mesmerizing.
The city health office in London, Ontario, created an online sex-education game that officials hope will appeal to teenagers in that its messages are delivered by a cast of iconic superheroes. According to a February report by Canwest News Service, the players are Captain Condom (who wears a "cap"), Wonder Vag (a virgin girl), Power Pap ("sexually active") and Willy the Kid, with each fighting the villain Sperminator, who wears a red wrestling mask and has phalluses for arms. The characters answer sex knowledge questions and, with correct answers, obtain "protection," but a wrong one gets the player squirted with sperm.
The gender minister of Malawi is trying to pass a polygamy ban, and it's making the Muslim Association of Malawi a bit nervous. From the BBC:
A spokesman for the Muslim Association of Malawi told the BBC the proposed law would discriminate against the country's Muslim minority. He said with about 6% more women than men in Malawi, if polygamy were banned, many women would be left without a husband and become prostitutes.
The secretary general of the association expressed similar sentiments, saying the following:
We are totally rejecting it. There are also other ethnic groups [who practise polygamy] and they also totally reject this... If these people go ahead banning polygamous marriages it means many women will go into prostitution...
Every woman has the right to be under the shelter of a man
Oh, and here's the kicker:
I have only one wife, my dear wife... but the moment they proceed with this, I will take a second wife.
This is a replica of an actual 15th-century invention, created to do exactly what it sounds like. It's from the personal collection of Erwin Kompanje, a medical ethicist fascinated by forgotten medical discoveries.
Of course, while it flies in the face of everything you've learned via Maxim and unsolicited emails, there's a very good reason for the penis-shortener to exist. Frankly, sometimes over-endowment can be a hindrance. A painful hindrance. Kompanje first wrote about this in a research paper published in 2006 in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. If you understand Dutch, you can read more about the penis-shortener—and other forgotten medical advancements—in Kompanje's new book, titled, De Penisverkorter.
Erico Guizzo says: "Japanese roboticist Masaaki Kumagai has built wheeled robots, crawling robots, and legged robots. Now he's built a robot that balances and rides on a bowling ball. You say why? Kumagai says why not?"
Sometimes all you need is 74 seconds to convince the world that they'll want your game, as Sweden's Southend have just proved with their debut trailer for upcoming Xbox Live Arcade title ilomilo.
Tick the checkboxes: tiny, innocent fantasy world, puzzling gameplay on the order of underappreciated original PlayStation game Kula World/Roll Away, and I'm pretty sure I already want a toy of that floppy-eared flying dog.
When I co-founded EZTakes, my intention was to create a movie download service that encrypted content with DRM. But after hearing Cory give a speech on DRM at a 2005 indie film conference in Montreal, I decided to launch a DRM-free service. I've continued the fight ever since.
Today, we offer about 5,000 DRM-free feature films that we licensed from over 80 distributors and studios. We've focused on finding the great movies you used to get at that quirky corner video store (when it was in business), and can't find among all the rows of "Avatar" at Wal-Mart. Our catalog includes classics such as Fellini's "La Dolce Vita," movie riffs like the entire Cinematic Titanic (former Mystery Science Theater 3K crew) collection, indie films like "Super Size Me," and campy/cult films such as "Plan 9" and "Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter." Our revenue has grown steadily, and the vast majority of our content partners are pleased with the income they get from us.
We've just re-launched our site with a host of new features. Now when you buy a title from us, you almost always get: a tiny MP4 that plays on most smart phones; a high-quality MP4 that plays on any iPad, iPhone or video-enabled iPod; a downloadable DVD (for some titles) that you can burn and play on DVD players; and you can stream your purchase immediately, even while other versions download (broadband connection permitting). As an added benefit, iPhone and Android users can login to our mobile site (http://m.eztakes.com) to get their purchases streamed to their mobile phones (no download required). We also let our customers re-download, even if it's far into the future. So, I think it's safe to say that we've bent over backwards to give consumers reasons to buy. The "scarce value" we provide is our service, which lets our customers easily enjoy their content when, where and how they want.
It hasn't been easy. We've flirted with DRM. Just last year two major Hollywood studios offered us large catalogs of films, with no upfront payment, if we'd just use a certain vendor's DRM. Last week we walked away from a contract with a large media company because they wanted us to charge for re-downloads. Last year we ditched a deal (after spending tens of thousands on legal fees) when a well-known media company changed their mind at the 11th hour and told us they wanted DRM (even on trailers!).
IMPORTANT: If you look at the EZTakes site from outside the USA, you won't automatically see our entire catalog. Although we've tried, we couldn't always get world-wide rights. Many of our content partners had pre-existing deals with distributors in various territories.