YMCA commemorative table made from 100+ "significant objects"

The Dressler brothers created this amazing commemorative table for the YMCA of Canada, integrating more than 100 "significant objects" donated by nationwide YMCA associations into its design. I really dote on this kind of assemblage of sentimental stuff -- it makes the whole thing feel like the product of some kind of spell. Compare with the wonderful Six-String Nation.

Commemorative Table for YMCA Canada by Brothers Dressler (via CribCandy) Read the rest

Pythons reunite for animated adaptation of Graham Chapman's Liar's Autobiography

The surviving members of Monty Python's Flying Circus have reunited to voice an animated adaptation of Graham Chapman's incredibly funny, very weird memoir A Liar's Autobiography. The film will include recordings of Chapman reading from the book as well. Regrettably, the movie will be in 3D, but with luck I'll be able to find a screen where it's showing without the need for dark, greasy, migraine-inducing prosthesis.

Monty Python members reunite for Graham Chapman film (via /.) Read the rest

Mobile home with a mobile lawn

Back in 1930, Modern Mechanix reported on Charles Miller, of Portland, OR, who was rambling around the nation in a homemade mobile-home that included a plot of grass from his beloved hometown.
WHEN Charles Miller, of Portland, Oregon, found the wanderlust too much for him in spite of his love for the old home, he decided to see the world and carry his home right with him, too. So he built a complete bungalow on the chassis of his car--not even forgetting to put in a nice bit of lawn. Then he started out and since starting he has traveled over 200,000 miles and isn't through yet. Mr. Miller claims to have the only motorized house and lot in the country. The "lot" consists of a narrow strip of earth and turf.
Carries Own Grass 200,000 Miles (Feb, 1930) Read the rest

Odd innovations from 1960

The "It's New" section from the Jul, 1960 issue of Mechanix Illustrated featured a particularly and delightfully demented grab-bag of innovations of the day, from a French electric monorail to a gas machine of anesthetizing large mammals.
FIRST successful gas machine for anesthetizing large animals is demonstrated on nag by Dr. E. Wynn Jones. U. of Okla.

ROTOCRAFT and ducted fan test bed is flatbed trailer towed by a truck tractor at 60 mph at Cornell Aeronautical Labs.

WATER SKIS. German-made, are propelled by aquatic version of ski poles with end discs.

TIRE-INFLATING machine, a French device, above, makes certain front tires receive equal pressure--for improved steering. Two tires are connected. below, and columns of mercury show when equal pressure is obtained. Can also be used for rear set.

IT'S NEW! (Jul, 1960) Read the rest

Overburdened Finnish army recruit

Redditor Oskario uploaded this image of himself, armed to the teeth and beyond ("Context: Myself in conscript training in the Finnish Army, 2007"). A top-rated comment from afnj: "You are over encumbered and can not run."

Lurker's first post. Armed to ward away the downvotes. (i.imgur.com) (via Super Punch) Read the rest

Video: Boing Boing Google+ accidental chiptunes dance party

[Video Link]

Rob, Dean and I from Boing Boing were out with various friends in Google+ video chat ("Hangout") for the first time this evening. A number of Boing Boing readers and random internet people also popped in and out of the hangout. Dannel Jurado from Etsy rocked out to some dance music. David Ulevitch from OpenDNS ran Tor. Everyone was in different cities around the US and other countries.

We are all wearing sunglasses to ensure privacy. This whole thing is very serious business.

We captured a little video, above.

Related: Here's a way to import your entire Facebook graph, if you're so inclined. Read the rest

How to ensure total privacy in Google+

Wear sunglasses at all times while using it. We're all in a [hangout] right now having a transcontinental chiptunes dance party. Come join us until it breaks. We figured out how to upgrade it to 3D. Read the rest

Lytro's fancy and focus-free camera explained

At The Economist, Glenn Fleishman reports on Lytro's first-to-market implementation of computational photography. The result: you can refocus the shot after taking it.
a novel approach to photographic imaging is making its way into cameras and smartphones. Computational photography, a subdiscipline of computer graphics, conjures up images rather than simply capturing them. More computer animation than pinhole camera, in other words, though using real light refracted through a lens rather than the virtual sort. The basic premise is to use multiple exposures, and even multiple lenses, to capture information from which photographs may be derived. These data contain a raft of potential pictures which software then converts into what, at first blush, looks like a conventional photo.
I still don't quite get the talk about ray tracing. The part that makes sense to me, however, seems to explain it all: the camera has a wide-open aperture and an infinite depth of field on the main optics, but a bubble-wrap like plane of different lenses in front of the sensor, which thereby ends up capturing a fly-eye myriad of differently-focused fragments of the same scene. The software assembles a final composite depending on which of these you later focus on in post. It improves upon established focus stacking techniques because every image is taken simultaneously as a single exposure, at the cost of dividing up the sensor's megapixelage between them. Something like that, anyway. I'm going to play Minecraft. Previously: Lytro promises focus-free shooting Read the rest

Thaitanium: Gangsta Rap straight outta Phuket, Thailand

"What's Up," by Thaitanium. This is the country that invented Muay Thai boxing, so have no doubt that there are indeed genuine badasses among the citizenry. (thanks, Alex Ringis!) Read the rest

Talking about science at Netroots Nation: Fact versus fear

There were two things I learned watching the Netroots Nation panel on Science Policy in Unexpected Places.

First, more science communication is happening, in more ways. Scientists are taking initiative to talk to the public and to journalists, helping to make sense of the flood of information so that people come away educated, instead of overwhelmed. And advocates are finding fun ways to bring basic science—the stuff that isn't fresh news, but sure does help when you need to actually understand the news—to people who have traditionally been overlooked by science education programs. Sports fans, for instance. That's the good stuff.

The bad stuff: Turns out, it's frustratingly easy for science to become as polarized as politics, with a mentality that divides the world into the Smart People (who already know everything) and the Idiots (who won't ever know anything). Read the rest

Biz Stone on Twitter's relationship with US gov: "You don't want it to look like you're in [their] pocket"

Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic has a snippet of Biz Stone's talk at the Aspen Ideas Festival in which he seems to express some unease about Twitter's cozy relationship with the US State Department.
The thing we're facing now is that, you know, the State Department is suddenly really cozy with Twitter because they are like, "Oh wow, we were trying to get this done with AK-47s and you guys got it done with Tweets. Can we be friends?"
Read the rest

JFK runway closed due to turtles all the way down

New York's JFK airport had to shut down a runway today because more than 150 diamondback terrapin turtles were hanging out and gettin' it on. Read the rest

Every Ray Harryhausen stop-motion monster ever, in one video

[Video Link]. As Mark explained in a prior BB post, "Ray Harryhausen is a stop-motion-animation wizard who is widely regarded as the master of old-school special effects."

(via Aaron-Stewart Ahn) Read the rest

Brooding, beautiful black-velvet tiki paintings

Jfrancis sez, "If you've written off black velvet paintings, give these a look. The artist's handling of light and mood is excellent."

The artist in question is Robb Hamel, and I fully concur. This is the sort of thing that makes me regret not having more wall-space.

BLACK V E L V E T A R T T H A T E M B R A C E S T H E D A R K S I D E O F T I K I (Thanks, Jfrancis!) Read the rest

Science-based running

Ooooh. Dave Munger, the co-founder of ResearchBlogging.org, has a new blog—Science-Based Running. Coverage includes topics like the connection between marathoning and heart disease, and the evidence (or lack thereof) behind ideas like carbo-loading. Read the rest

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