Boing Boing 

Wikileaks volunteer detained

A volunteer for Wikileaks was detained by officials Thursday while entering the country at Newark International Airport. Jacob Appelbaum, noted for his work with the Tor online security project, was searched and "interrogated" for three hours before being released, according to a source who asked to remain anonymous. Wikileaks, a clearing house for information submitted by whistleblowers, released a trove of "War Logs" last Sunday relating to the conflict in Afghanistan. Appelbaum delivered a keynote speech at the recent HOPE conference in Wikileaks chief Julian Assange's place, and gave an interview to Boing Boing about the content of the logs. According to the source, Appelbaum was stopped by customs officials and spoken to for at least three hours by a team that included a U.S. Army investigator. Army Pvt. Bradley Manning was named last week as a possible Wikileaks source in relation to the classified logs. Appelbaum's interviewers demanded that he decrypt his laptop and other computer equipment, the source said. After his refusal to do so, they confiscated it, including three cellphones. The laptop was returned, apparently because it contained no storage drive that investigators could examine. He was also asked about his role in Wikileaks and informed that he was under surveillance. The FBI also asked to speak to Appelbaum earlier today in Las Vegas after his talk at the annual DEFCON hacker conference. Mr. Appelbaum, the source said, had an attorney present who declined the request on his behalf. Appelbaum, reached Saturday afternoon, said he was unable to comment. Update: CNET has more details of the detainment.

Paul Stanley's boots

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Last night, my pal Gil Kaufman of MTV snapped this fantastic photo at a Kiss concert in Cincinnati, Ohio. I call it "Duct Tape Rock City."

Ants on a scanner: 5-year video timelapse

By François Vautier

(via Submitterator, thanks gevertully).

Army's Wikileaks dragnet widens

The New York Times reports that Army investigators expanding their inquiry into the Wikileaks document dump to include "friends and associates" who may have aided suspected leaker, Pfc. Bradley Manning. "Two civilians interviewed in recent weeks by the Army's criminal division said that investigators were focusing in part on a group of Private Manning's friends and acquaintances in Cambridge, Mass. Investigators, the civilians said, apparently believed that the friends, who include students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University, might have connections to WikiLeaks, which made the documents public."

In Boise, of all places, lawyers squabble over BP spill claims lawsuits

"This must be the biggest thing to hit Idaho since 'Napoleon Dynamite.'" —a lawyer in Boise, ID, 1,500 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, where many lawyers have gathered to "argue about the fate of hundreds of federal lawsuits related to the oil spill."

TIME Afghansploitation magazine cover: fixed it for you.

('shopped by Rob Beschizza).

Context, and Rob explains his thoughts in this comment.

Commenter "Unmutual," in the previous Boing Boing thread, observed:

When you show a naked little girl running away from a burning village, that is honesty. If you show that same little girl and say "this is what happens if we leave Vietnam", that is proganda, and it's a lie.

Submit to the Submitterator!

 Images Submitterator600 We're thrilled that everyone seems to be digging our new Submitterator! (More about the launch here.) Every day, folks are submitting a slew of wonderful links. Thank you! In fact, I browse it as if it's a group blog edited by a bunch of my most interesting friends that I haven't yet met. For those of you who missed the announcement earlier this week, the Submitterator is essentially a public submissions form. Every link you submit is shared with everyone else visiting the page. Vote 'em up or vote 'em down. We're keeping a keen eye on the Submitterator for front door posts and also getting a kick out of the stuff that doesn't end up here on the blog. We hope you are too! Got a link to share? Please submit to the Submitterator!

Anti-Defamation League joins bigots in opposing Manhattan mosque

The Anti-Defamation League has announced its opposition to the building of an Islamic community center (or mosque, as CNN and others put it) in Manhattan, near ground zero. It accepts that the builders have every right to do so, but believes that they should not because its presence there will cause offense and pain.
Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain --unnecessarily -- and that is not right.
Perhaps the Anti-Defamation League could produce some helpful maps to delineate the areas in our cities where Muslims may live, work and pray without causing more pain. The original statement was linked to here by others, but it's not currently available. Via CNN. Discussion: Tablet, Wonkette, and TPM.

Largest hail stone in the US?

 Images Hailstonnnnnn  Images Hailrooof
According to the Weather Channel, this is the country's largest hail stone. It's 8 inches in diameter and weights approximately 2 pounds. It fell in Vivian, South Dakota, during a hailstorm that apparently left damage like that seen in the image above right. "Record breaking hail"

Stating the Obvious : If you don't have a house you don't need no sofa


"empty home on Bloomington Ave S, Minneapolis" by Andrew Ciscel via CC

OK, so I'm not an economist. But as a venture investor in early-stage medical and technology companies I read the usual financial articles that come across my screen and I see the same statistics everybody is seeing. I listen to Obama and I watch the TV shows where pundits argue with Congressmen about the wisdom of this or that particular tax or stimulus measure to restart our sick economy. I have nothing to say about this, no statistics of my own and no fancy theory, so instead of taking sides in this particular debate I keep looking for the things that are missing.

Read the rest

San Francisco: Diana Gameros at this weekend's Bicycle Music Festival

This Saturday in San Francisco, the largest bicycle-powered music festival in the world takes place in Golden Gate Park's Speedway Meadow and throughout the city. Bike powered? Think Gilligan's Island. In Golden Gate Park, more than a dozen bands will play through a 2000 watt pedal-powered audio system and a variety of crazy party caravans will travel through the streets during the day and night. All of the infrastructure for the event is haulable via bicycle and no cars or trucks will be involved in staging the festival. My family will be attending, and we're especially excited to see our favorite San Francisco singer/songwriter Diana Gameros. We first heard Diana perform solo at Roosevelt Tamale Parlor, a very old and excellent tiny restaurant in San Francisco's Mission District. At Roosevelt's, Diana mostly performs traditional Latin music but in her own modern, soulful, and passionate style. Diana's original music is enchanting indie pop infused with her strong Latin heritage. Check out Diana and her band at noon on Saturday or on her MySpace page. Diana's tune "Para Papa," listenable in her MySpace player, is one of my favorites.

Diana Gameros (MySpace)

Bicycle Music Festival

The Wunderkammer that is Webb Gallery

I've posted previously about the Webb Gallery, an immensely interesting gallery in Waxahachie, Texas that specializes in outsider art and the artifacts of secret societies, and overflows with an incredible (dis)array of curiosities, from tramp art to circus sideshow banners. I discovered Webb Gallery and met the delightful proprietor, Bruce Webb, last year when he sold me an artwork by William S. Burroughs who had exhibited at the gallery right before his death. The Texas art site Glasstire has published Christina Patoski's photo tour of the Webb Gallery and Bruce and Julie Webb's equally odd living space above. Glass Houses 21: Julie and Bruce Webb

Elephants in Scotland and other odd animal translocations

 Blogs Intelligenttravel Translocation Elephant-Crossing[3]
Via Submitterator, BB pal Marilyn Terrell shares with us the above photo of a magnificent elephant crossing a road between stone cottages in Scotland. Huh? This image is from Translocation, a new book by photographer George Logan, depicting African animals shooped into Logan's home of Scotland: a cheetah running beside a loch, water buffalo and celtic cross tombstones, and the like. National Geographic has a gallery of the photos. From NatGeo:
Logan, a gold medal winner at the Association of Photographers Awards, traveled to such locations as South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, and Botswana to photograph his subjects in their natural habitats before combining them with shots of his native Scotland, including the Isle of Skye. The idea for the book was inspired by Logan's own childhood fantasies of exotic animals being part of his familiar surroundings.
The Elephants of Scotland

Experiencing the re-invention of flight in St. Paul

Last weekend*, I joined around 90,000 of my closest friends at the Twin Cities Flugtag in St. Paul. If you aren't familiar, Flugtag is an event that tests out the skyworthiness of home-built flying contraptions. For the most part, there's more of an emphasis on art and comedy than on effective engineering. Teams design their flying machines (and costumed skits) around a theme, they perform for the audience, and then push their craft off an elevated runway and (usually) directly into a major body of water below.

It's entertaining. I had a good time watching giant purple narwhals (narwhals!) and open caskets piloted by zombies crash into the Mississippi River. But what really made Flugtag post-worthy is the moment captured in the video above.

My husband called this before the flying even started. Walking around the "hangar" area, looking at the crafts before the show, he spotted what looked like an anorexic WW2 bomber on stilts. It wasn't the most elaborate craft. Or the most hilarious. But it was going to fly further than anything else, Baker predicted. Unlike some home-built aircraft, this thing actually had an airfoil.

Later, we found out that it also had controllable flaps. And a for-real-real pilot&mdashMajor Trouble, her band of Dirty Dixie drag queens took care of the entertainment portion—at the controls.

We'd already watched six or seven contraptions utterly fail to fly. We'd gotten used to a routine. The team pushes off. The team goes straight down. It is hard to describe the utter elation that swept the crowd when Major Trouble's plane came back up**. And flew. Really, truly flew. For a second, we all forgot that jet planes existed. For a second, we were all back at Kitty Hawk, in 1903, witnessing a previously unimagined miracle.

Major Trouble and the Dirty Dixies flew 207 feet before ditching in the Mississippi. They broke—by 12 feet—a Flugtag flying record that had stood for 10 years. Everything happens in the Midwest. You are missing out.

*I meant to post this Monday. Somehow, I forgot. Whoops.

**Another thing it is hard to describe: The frustration that rippled through the crowd every time the RedBull announcers referred to the Mississippi River as "the ocean". This happened repeatedly. Guys, we get it, you're used to staging these things on the coast. But there's a freaking opposite bank, right over there. And the people on that side are rolling their eyes at you, too.

Wii, wii, wii—all the way back to the gym

The good news: You're less likely to injure yourself while working out with Wii Fit than while working out at the gym. The bad news: The Wii is safer because you are doing less. "People tend to burn twice as many calories per minute doing an actual activity than when doing the same activity on the Wii."

Tron Legacy score contributions by Daft Punk leaked?

What some are identifying as the Daft Punk score for Disney's Tron Legacy movie has been leaked. I blame Julian Assange.

Mutilated Afghan woman on cover of Time: Afghansploitation?

On the cover of the current issue of TIME: Aisha, an 18 year-old Afghan girl whose nose was cut off for "shaming" her in-laws. Her story blogged previously on Boing Boing here. The cover is sure to shock, and some criticize it as "Afghansploitation": an image used at a sensitive moment, to inspire support for endless war. (Thanks, Kristie LuStout)

North Korean soccer team fails at "ideological struggle"

The coach for the North Korean soccer team has been banished to a life of hard labor as a construction worker, because the team failed in their "ideological struggle" to succeed at the World Cup in South Africa.

Kenneth Anger for Missoni

Richard Metzger: "Rather astonishing news from the fashion and film world. Dangerous Minds’ fave filmmaker Kenneth Anger has released a two-and-a-half-minute film dealing with the fall/winter collection of the Varese-based house of Missoni, produced by filmmaker/Anger manager/Dangerous Minds pal Brian Butler and scored by French composer Koudlam." Watch the video here.

Sea No Evil: Sea Shepherd benefit art show in CA

Opening Saturday July 31 (tomorrow night): The Sea No Evil art show benefitting the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Above, a piece by Gary Baseman from the show. The donating artist list is pretty incredible.

The opening night event features Captain Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and focus of Animal Planet TV series "Whale Wars," who will give an update on the state of affairs in the world's oceans.

The Crystal Method and artist-DJ Shepard Fairey will both perform sets.

(thanks, Gary Baseman)

Markets of Britain, a short film by Lee Titt

A touching reminder of Britain's fast-vanishing rural heritage from the archives of the great and underappreciated documentary filmmaker, Lee Titt.Read the rest

How Tettix tried to design a T-shirt and ended up with a remix album


Electronic musician Tettix just released A New Challenger, a remix album featuring tracks from his earlier T.K.O.E.P.. Alex Mauer, Derris-Kharlan, Disasterpeace, Hélas Techne and Minusbaby worked with him to create it.

How did it come together?

Well, it's a funny story.

Read the rest

High Design

In the world of design, urban mobility is much more than how you get from point A to point B. Urban mobility operates at the intersection of myriad innovation freeways, from architecture to infrastructure, technology to transportation, city planning to style. It's about feet, fashion, bikes, busses, automobiles, and yes, even cars that fly. Just ask Jens Martin Skibsted, co-designer of Terrafugia's new Transition Roadable Aircraft, aka flying car.Read the rest

The 100 best magazine articles ever

 Images 00Ralph Kyderby Kyderby1 Kevin Kelly has compiled a list of the 100 greatest long-form magazine articles ever published. He has found links to the text of each article, and says: "I'd like to have folks start to vote up the best (although they can still add). There's a Top Five that has emerged. Maybe we can get a top 10."

Here are the top 5 (based on the number of people who have recommended them to Kevin):

David Foster Wallace, "Federer As Religious Experience." The New York Times, Play Magazine, August 20, 2006.

David Foster Wallace, "Consider the Lobster." Gourmet Magazine, Aug 2004.

Neal Stephenson, "Mother Earth, Mother Board: Wiring the Planet." Wired, December 1996. On laying trans-oceanic fiber optic cable.

Gay Talese, "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold." Esquire, April 1966.

Ron Rosenbaum, "Secrets of the Little Blue Box." Esquire, October 1971. The first and best account of telephone hackers, more amazing than you might believe.

My contribution to the list is Susan Orlean, "Orchid Fever." The New Yorker, January 23, 1995.

The Best Magazine Articles Ever

Girls Like Boys With Skills - new song from Rocky and Balls

Rocky and Balls's "Girls Like Boys With Skills" is probably the dirtiest double-entendre ukulele ditty since George Formby sang "With My Little Ukulele In My Hand."

Burmese protesters using "Team America" likeness of Kim Jong-Il on posters

South Park Studios

Team America lives on.

Jeff Koyen sends this along and asks, "Anyone remember Evil Bert spotted alongside Osama in Bangladesh?"

Indeed. At left, a snapshot of the original Kim Jong Il puppet from the Team America movie. I shot the photo during a visit earlier this year to South Park Studios. The little guy does get around.

Wikileaks source suspect Manning transferred from Kuwait to Quantico, VA

A press alert received by Boing Boing from the U.S. Army Public Affairs Office reports that PFC Bradley Manning— who is believed to have provided Wikileaks with a trove of classified data including the "Collateral Murder" video and the recent "Afghan War Diaries" archive— was today transferred from the Theater Field Confinement Facility in Kuwait to the Marine Corps Base Quantico Brig in Quantico, Virginia. Snip:

Manning remains in pretrial confinement pending an Article 32 investigation into the charges preferred against him on July 5. Manning was transferred because of the potential for lengthy continued pretrial confinement given the complexity of the charges and ongoing investigation. The field confinement facility in Kuwait is designed for short-term confinement.

The criminal investigation remains open. Preferral of charges represents an accusation only; Manning is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The case will be processed in accordance with normal procedures under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

With this transfer to Quantico, Manning is now under the General Courts-Martial Convening Authority of Maj. Gen. Karl Horst, the commander of U. S. Army Military District of Washington. Manning will remain in pre-trial confinement as the Army continues its investigation.

An Article 32 investigation is similar to a civilian grand jury hearing or a preliminary hearing. The investigating officer will make findings and recommendations that the chain of command considers in determining whether to recommend the case be referred to trial by court-martial.

Earlier today, an announcement that investigators had found evidence linking Manning to the Wikileaks material, and Wired reported of previous conflicts Manning may have had with Army higher-ups, over YouTube videos the 22-year-old uploaded containing information about classified facilities.

Read the rest

Report: Army admonished Manning for YouTube uploads referencing classified facilities

"An Army private suspected of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks was admonished as a trainee in 2008 for uploading YouTube videos discussing classified facilities, according to an Army official with direct knowledge of the incident." Wired News has more.

Google computer and Western media report China outage, actual humans in China beg to differ

Rebecca MacKinnon reports: "Numerous major American and European news outlets are reporting that Google is blocked in China, based on the information appearing on Google's Mainland China service availability page. However no journalist has actually confirmed with a human being at Google that this information is correct. What's more, I've heard from several dozen people all over China who say that Google isn't blocked for them when they access it on their Internet connections from Beijing to Shanghai to Sichuan to Hunan."

DIY Kitty Crack: ultra-potent catnip extract

Screen Shot 2010-07-29 At 4.19.16 Pm

In this Instructable, talbotron22 shows how to make "Kitty Crack," an ultra-potent catnip extract containing nepetalactone, catnip's active ingredient. One pound of catnip yielded 143mg of nepetalactone.

A note about safety. Yes, it is safe to use this extract on cats. I have looked into it, and there are a number of studies (very interesting in their own right) using pure nepetalactone on cats in experiments trying to figure out why it causes them to go bonkers. The upshot is that it's pretty safe. In the last of the references below, the LD50 of nepetalactone was determined to be 1550 mg/kg (about the same as aspirin), meaning you would have to force feed your average 5 kg cat ~8 grams in order to cause it any harm. So as long as you are reasonable with the extract it should pose no harm.
DIY Kitty Crack: ultra-potent catnip extract