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Giant infographic reveals TSA to be the worst thing ever made by humankind

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Two clippings from an attractive infographic that presents a great deal of damning information about the TSA.

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Thank goodness the authorities have busted these hardened front-yard garden criminals

Illegal garden
High-tech kitchen garden evangelist Roger Doiron says: "If this garden is deemed illegal, we're in deep you-know-what."

Earlier this year, Josée Landry and Michel Beauchamp of Drummondville, Quebec planted the front yard of the future: a gorgeous and meticulously-maintained edible landscape full of healthy fruits and vegetables. Now they're being ordered by town officials to remove most of their gardens (town code states that a vegetable garden can't occupy more than 30% of the area of a front yard) in the next two weeks to make their yard conform with newly harmonized town code. Front yard kitchen gardens are not the problem; they're part of the solution to healthier and more sustainable communities.

PETITION: Stop the War on Front Yard Vegetable Gardens

This list of Satan's hobbies closely matches Boing Boing's interests

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[UPDATE: This page is from a Jack Chick tract parody about Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal] I just learned that Boing Boing is the Devil's playground. The following subjects are considered "doorways to demonic possession": Illuminati, Scientology, Remote viewing, Cyberpunk culture, Vegetarianism, Lord of the Rings, Lycanthropy, Postmodernism, Alt "comix", Marihuana & Pot parties, LSD/shrooms, Video games, Harry Potter, Dungeons & Dragons, Halloween, Fornication, Skull & Bones, Rock Music, Burning Man, Twilight films, and Goth culture, among other happy mutant interests.

LSD, cyperpunk culture, vegetarianism, Burning Man, heavy metal, and dozens more as doorways to demonic possession"

"Same Love" - A Song for Marriage Equality

 Music for Marriage Equality

Music for Marriage Equality is working with Washington musicians to approve R-74, a referendum that will put same-sex marriage to the popular vote on Washington's state ballot in November.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis recorded this lovely song, which includes vocals by Mary Lambert, to benefit Music for Marriage Equality. The cover art (above) for the single is a photograph of Macklemore’s uncles, who served as inspiration for the song and were a model of a committed and loving relationship while he was growing up.

Here's Macklemore on the process of writing the song:

 This song, which I wrote in April, is a response to what I have observed and experienced, and is also an act of personal accountability. It was not easy to write, and I struggled with how I, as a straight male, could genuinely speak upon this issue.

Initially, I tried writing from the perspective of a gay, bullied kid, but after getting some feedback, I felt it wasn’t my story to tell. What I do know, and where I wrote from, is my own perspective growing up in a culture where “that’s gay” was commonplace, with a huge stigma on those who identified and were perceived as gay.

Growing up in the Catholic Church, I saw first-hand how easily religion became a platform for hate and prejudice. Those who “believed” were excused from their own judgments, bypassing the stark issue of basic civil rights.

But, more influential to me as a kid than the church was hip hop, my cultural foundation that influenced my worldview.

Unfortunately, intolerance of the gay community in hip hop is widespread. The best rappers will use homophobic language on albums that critics rave about, making hip hop and homophobia inextricably linked. We have sidestepped the issue entirely, become numb to the language that we use, and are increasingly blinded to our own prejudice.

The consequence and impact of what we say, and the culture of shame and abuse it creates, has very real, sometimes deadly impacts upon LGBTQ young people looking for acceptance and belonging.

You can hear the song now for free (below), buy it on iTunes next week or pick up a limited 7" vinyl single to support marriage rights for everyone.

You can also stay in touch with Music for Music Equality on Twitter and Facebook

 

Well-endowed man questioned by TSA

Jonah Falcon, who is known for having a very large penis (9.5 inches flaccid, 13.5 inches erect), says he was stopped by the TSA at San Francisco International Airport last week. “They wanted to know if I had something in my pockets, and when I said no, they asked if I had some sort of growth,” he told SF Gate. They were professional, he says, and quipped that “It was probably harder on them than it was on me." David

Whining Bat-fans cause Rotten Tomatoes to shut down comments on The Dark Knight Rises review page

Hey, have you heard that there's a Batman movie coming out this Friday? That Christopher Nolan made? And it's the last one he's going to make, and everyone is all psyched about it? Well, some people have seen it and have written reviews for The Internet, and some "members" of The Internet are not happy about some of these reviews being less than 100 percent stellar. A barrage of angry, angry comments (which would be a really interesting spin-off game for Hungry, Hungry Hippos) has caused the review site Rotten Tomatoes to shut down its comments section completely. Outage due to outrage. By a bunch of bratty, bratty babies. (Yet another excellent spin-off idea.)

Come inside, hear more about the insanity that took place at Rotten Tomatoes and see why its editor-in-chief Matt Atchity made the call to shut it all down.

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Whale shark eats all the fishes

Clever whale sharks have figured out that fishing nets contain a lot of tasty fish. More importantly, they've figured out that they can suck those fish out of the net through holes in the net material.

The downside: When the sharks swim into fishing areas, looking for nets to suck, they can end up caught in the nets themselves. Conservation International took this video, showing why the sharks are hanging out around nets to begin with, as part of a series of videos documenting new net designs that can keep the fishies in and the whale sharks out.

Check out the rest of the video series

Via Charles Q. Choi

Crowdfunding rare disease research – one family at a time

NewImageIf one of your loved ones was sick, what would you be willing to do to help? For millions of Americans in the US, even though they would give up anything and everything, there is no way for them to help. For many rare diseases, because they are so rare, there are no therapies or even diagnostics. What is needed is research. However, very few people have the funding and the access to the technology needed to perform such a study. Non-profits and foundations have been a major force in pushing forward research, but for many rare diseases, no such groups exist. Rare Genomics Institute (RGI) is hoping to change that, especially for children such as Maya.

Struggling with global developmental delays, Maya has not been able to speak, has had problems hearing, and has undergone many surgeries. However, after many genetic tests, there still was no answer. Then Maya’s mother found out about RGI and how they are helping children with rare diseases. With RGI’s help, Maya’s mother was able to connect with researchers and design a custom research project just for her daughter.

Using RGI’s crowdfunding platform, Maya’s family sought to raise the amount needed. The response was overwhelming. Within 6 hours, donors from all over the US gave to their cause in small amounts of $5 - $50 to raise the funds necessary for whole exome sequencing. With the funding available, the scientists were able to start the research study.

In less than a year, there was a promising result. The researchers reported a novel genetic variant in Maya that caused a failure to produce a protein related to fetal development. This may be the very reason Maya is sick. Researchers are now confirming this finding and possibly finding a therapeutic that may help Maya. What is amazing is that this entire line of research, including this new discovery, would not have existed if not for Maya’s mother’s persistence and the generosity of those that donated.

While more studies are needed to analyze the exact function of the gene, this is definitely a major success for rare disease patients. This model shows great promise in complementing existing efforts in rare diseases For the many diseases and patients that current funding and research cannot cover, this model may be a solution for a diagnosis or even a cure.

At RGI, we strongly believe that all diseases should be studied. No matter how few affected. No matter how rare. Ask Maya.

Newly discovered gene may explain 4-year-old's rare disease

Happy birthday, air conditioning!

Yesterday was the 110th anniversary of air conditioning. The building pictured above—1040 Metropolitan Ave. in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York—was the first building in the world to enjoy the luxury of cold air blowing on a blisteringly hot day.

A junior engineer from a furnace company figured out a solution so simple that it had eluded everyone from Leonardo da Vinci to the naval engineers ordered to cool the White House when President James A. Garfield was dying: controlling humidity.

The junior engineer who tackled the problem was Willis Carrier, who went on to start Carrier Corporation. The solution he devised involved fans, ducts, heaters and perforated pipes ... Carrier’s plan was to force air across pipes filled with cool water from a well between the two buildings, but in 1903, he added a refrigerating machine to cool the pipes faster.

It's a neat technological story, and as the New York Times piece points out, Carrier's invention wasn't just about making people comfortable. In the beginning, it was about allowing a specific job to get done even when the weather was hot. In fact, air conditioning is still the tool that makes things like computers possible, by creating dust-free, low-humidity clean rooms where the parts can be manufactured.

Read the rest of James Barron's piece in the New York Times City Room blog

YouTube announces face blurring feature

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Good idea -- YouTube announces a way to blur faces in videos. I hope they add a feature that puts Guy Fawkes masks on people, too.

Whether you want to share sensitive protest footage without exposing the faces of the activists involved, or share the winning point in your 8-year-old’s basketball game without broadcasting the children’s faces to the world, our face blurring technology is a first step towards providing visual anonymity for video on YouTube.

YouTube is proud to be a destination where people worldwide come to share their stories, including activists. Along with efforts like the Human Rights Channel and Citizentube that curate these voices, we hope that the new technologies we’re rolling out will facilitate the sharing of even more stories on our platform.

Face blurring: when footage requires anonymity

Sam Raimi drops out of World of Warcraft movie, dashing hopes of a spectacular summit of nerdpeace

It was revealed that Sam Raimi will not be directing a movie based on Blizzard's World of Warcraft after all, perhaps because while doing research, he could not be torn away from his computer after becoming hopelessly addicted to the game. Or he just was too busy making Oz the Great and Powerful. And so the geeks wept. (via The Escapist)

Jamie

Hilarious 50 Shades of Grey review

Katrina Lumsden's review of 50 Shades of Grey on Good Reads has me laughing out loud. Her choice of GIFs are master-class. "At one point, she thinks putting her hair in pigtails will keep her safe from Christian's lusty advances. Fuckin' really?" Jason

TOM THE DANCING BUG: Super-Fun-Pak Comix, featuring "Physics for the Ladies"

FOLLOW @RubenBolling on Twitter. Further: Support Tom the Dancing Bug by JOINING its proud and mighty INNER HIVE and receive untold BENEFITS and PRIVILEGES!

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TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman is loving Michael Bay's movie - will fans?

Hmmm, maybe it is time for us Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans to chill out? Kevin Eastman, who co-created the TMNT comic with Peter Laird, seems to be very involved in the movie Michael Bay is producing (and apparently co-writing) that has devotees riled because of the altered origin story. And now he's saying that this movie, to be directed by Jonathan Liebesman, is "easily the best 'Turtles' movie yet." My soul feels torn in half, pulled in one direction by Eastman and another by Michael freaking Bay.

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Defunded - a heartbreaking look at the state of oceanic research

This week, I'm reporting from the Aquarius undersea research base in Key Largo, Florida. The habitat is the world's last undersea research base. Because NOAA is pulling funding from the 22 year old facility in September, this week's mission is its last scheduled one.

This is a video of oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle that was taken a day or two ago. She's being filmed on Aquarius a Red Camera that is in a waterproof housing tethered to an internet connection in the base. Sylvia's helmet, which is a custom variation of a helmet that working divers use, is equipped with a point of view camera and audio comms. The entire thing was streamed over Ustream a few days ago. This section of the video is of her answering the broad and simple question--Why should we care about the ocean?

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