How to assault Cinderella's Castle


Finally an interesting Quora question: What are the optimal siege tactics for taking Magic Kingdom's Cinderella Castle?

Some of the answers are a lot of fun. A few include mapped-out battle plans, approximations of troop strength, function and tactics. You also may note that classic reference materials on the attack and defense of Disney theme parks, such as Cory's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, are employed.

Analysis of Swiper the Fox

My three-year-old daughter loves the TV show Dora. I find it mostly annoying but I do appreciate Swiper the Fox. In an effort to better understand the complex character's motivations, I consulted the Wikipedia. Tellingly, the section on Swiper totals 1,300 words compared to just 130 for Backpack or even the 300 words that Dora herself commands. From Wikipedia:

Swiper's motive for theft is patently childish; he never seems actually to want the object he takes, since he almost immediately throws it away to hide it from Dora, which prompts her to ask the audience to help her find it. Until recently, it was unclear if he swipes merely for the joy of swiping, or from a desire to annoy and frustrate Dora. Compounding the confusion is the fact that, given the right reason, for example, that the item in question is a present for Dora's puppy, he will return items he has taken, no matter how much effort he went through to get them. It is also shown that he rarely knows the full importance of what he has taken; for example, he had no idea the aforementioned gift was for Dora's puppy. In the episode Dora Saves the Mermaids, he revealed that he "liked swiping." He has some kind of New York accent, and lives in a burrow on top of Blueberry Hill.
Swiper the Fox

Cash-for-coverage chick lit site threatens critic

Chick Lit Girls, which publishes positive reviews for money, is threatening legal action against a writer who publicized that fact earlier this week.

Describing itself as "basically goodreads[sic] for women", Chick Lit Girls has the stated mission of not publishing negative reviews. To quote, "we're here to help authors, not destroy them!"

When author Michele Gorman offered her latest novel for review, however, they first requested a $95 fee, then accused her of "harrassing[sic]" them when she criticized the practice on Twitter and at her blog.

We have the ability to track IP addresses, so I would think twice before you begin to defame our name…That is illegal, and we will take action. Our attorney has been notified!

After Chick Lit Girls pointed out that they do disclose the fee—albeit in the fine print—Gorman removed remarks that suggested otherwise. Gorman also removed named references to "Chick Lit Girls" from her site, but did not remove her criticism of paid reviews.

At Popehat, Ken White describes the "barely-literate" threats as bumptious and doomed to failure:

People who issue thuggish legal threats to those who criticize them ... can't be trusted, should not receive your business or traffic, and deserve no respect. Ms. Gorman made a mistake — sort of, given ChickLitGirls' rather vague dislosure — which she corrected. But it's clear from the title, text, and follow-up to the ChickLitGirls' threat that what they are really attempting to do is chill and deter criticism of their business model. That's why they describe criticism as "harassment" and "threats." That's contemptible. Moreover, it's legally unsupportable. If they are foolish enough to push it, they will lose, badly.

Johnny Depp is doing a movie with Wes Anderson because the world loves pleasant surprises

Possibly realizing that he me have overstayed his welcome in a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie that was not well-received, Johnny Depp has signed on to appear in Wes Anderson's next movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which includes an illustrious cast of thousands and one Mr. Bill Murray. This means a couple of things: 1. There is a very good chance of seeing Johnny Depp walk in slow motion alongside people like Owen Wilson, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, and (maybe) Angela Lansbury. And 2. He may also have the splendid opportunity to be hilarious and touching in the most subtle way possible. This... this is excellent news.

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Afghan Whigs cover Frank Ocean

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My old friends in the Afghan Whigs, reunited and on tour, have released their cover of Frank Ocean's "Lovecrimes." It's dark, gritty, and oozing with soul, just like the Whigs. Listen above and download free from their site. The Afghan Whigs

You shake a pretty mean cape, Batman!

LIFE, 1966: The one true Batman

 2012 07 Post 01169908 LIFE has posted rare photos from the classic Batman TV show and spreads from this March 11, 1966 issue. "Mad New World: of Batman, Superman, and the Marqus de Sade." What a headline. And the first two sentences in this paragraph from the story resonate with me for obvious reasons.
The boom in bedlam springs, of course, from man’s old love of the bizarre and the fantastic. But it also reflects today’s restless, volatile spirit. Pop art and the cut of camp have turned Superman and Batman into members of the intellectual community, and what the kids used to devour in comics books has become a staple in avant-garde art. Any way you slice it, the new super madness is breaking the laws both of gravity and logic ad providing a useful escape hatch from the booby hatch. In a world that often looms confused and loony, it helps clear the air to see it portrayed that way.
"Behind The Scenes on the 'Batman' TV Show"

Video: Evolution of PC Games

On the heels of Reverse Enginears' "A Brief History of Video Games" comes this new one, "The Evolution of PC Games." Again, another nice complement to our Rob's epic "Game Deaths."

Man wrote his own funny confessional obituary

Val "Rocky" Patterson of Salt Lake City, Utah died last week of throat cancer at 59. The man whose motto was "anything for a laugh" has achieved post-mortem celebrity for the confessional obituary he left behind:

 Legacy Images Cobrands Saltlaketribune Photos Mou0017789-2 20120713 Now that I have gone to my reward, I have confessions and things I should now say. As it turns out, I AM the guy who stole the safe from the Motor View Drive Inn back in June, 1971. I could have left that unsaid, but I wanted to get it off my chest. Also, I really am NOT a PhD. What happened was that the day I went to pay off my college student loan at the U of U, the girl working there put my receipt into the wrong stack, and two weeks later, a PhD diploma came in the mail. I didn't even graduate, I only had about 3 years of college credit. In fact, I never did even learn what the letters "PhD" even stood for. For all of the Electronic Engineers I have worked with, I'm sorry, but you have to admit my designs always worked very well, and were well engineered, and I always made you laugh at work. Now to that really mean Park Ranger; after all, it was me that rolled those rocks into your geyser and ruined it. I did notice a few years later that you did get Old Faithful working again. To Disneyland - you can now throw away that "Banned for Life" file you have on me, I'm not a problem anymore - and SeaWorld San Diego, too, if you read this.

Val Patterson, Obituary

Listen to Kiefer Sutherland wistfully grumble about a high school crush in an ad for Axe

Axe, purveyor of men's shower products, is not known for their subtlety in their commercials. Kiefer Sutherland is similarly not known for being a gentle and romantic type of person. But now, both have subverted their usual respective approaches to advertising and acting and the result is Kiefer "WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME, DAMNIT" Sutherland reminisce about a girl named Susan Glenn, a fictional crush from years past. And unlike other Axe ads, she's not sexually unhinged over shampoo. Prepare yourself, because your day is going to be thrown off completely. This is a bizarro commercial. (via Gawker)

Attention Tolkien fans: There might be a third Hobbit movie (maybe)

Don't get too excited yet, but Peter Jackson is talking about possibly turning the two Hobbit movies he just completed filming -- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again -- into a trilogy. Why? Because 1. Warner Bros. has the rights to the additional notes from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, which has all this groovy stuff in it that relates to The Hobbit, and 2. Jackson has all this extra footage lying around, just waiting to be seen. He spoke with Collider, warning that all of this is only in the earliest of stages:

Well, it’s very, very premature. We have got incredible source material with the appendices. There’s the novel, but then we also have the rights to use the 125 pages of additional notes where Tolkien expanded the world of The Hobbit. We’ve used some of that so far, and just in the last few weeks, as we’ve been wrapping up the shooting and thinking about the shape of the story, Philippa [Boyens], Fran [Walsh] and I have been talking to the studio about other things that we haven’t been able to shoot and seeing if we could possibly persuade them to do a few more weeks of shooting. We’d probably need more than a few weeks, actually, next year. The discussions are pretty early, so there isn’t anything to report, but there are other parts of the story that we’d like to tell, that we haven’t had the chance to tell yet. We’re just trying to have those conversations with the studio, at the moment.

I have a question: How hard would it be, really, for Peter Jackson -- a person who is Peter Jackson -- to "persuade" Warner Bros. that he can give the studio yet another epic Tolkien trilogy? Because that other one did fairly well, doncha know... (via Geek Tyrant)

Google execs: our technology can be used to fight narcoviolence in Mexico

In a Washington Post op-ed, Google's executive chairman (and former CEO) Eric Schmidt and Google Ideas director Jared Cohen argue the case for technology as a tool to aid citizen activists in places like Juarez, Mexico. Schmidt and Cohen recently visited the drug-war-wracked border town, and describe the climate of violence there as "surreal."

In Juarez, we saw fearful human beings — sources — who need to get their information into the right hands. With our packet-switching mind-set, we realized that there may be a technological workaround to the fear: Sources don’t need to physically turn to corrupt authorities, distant journalists or diffuse nonprofits, and rely on their hope that the possible benefit is worth the risk of exposing themselves.

Technology can help intermediate this exchange, like servers passing packets on the Internet. Sources don’t need to pierce their anonymity. They don’t need to trust a single person or institution. Why can’t they simply throw encrypted packets into the network and let the tools move information to the right destinations?

In a sense, we are talking about dual crowdsourcing: Citizens crowdsource incident awareness up, and responders crowdsource justice down, nearly in real time. The trick is that anonymity is provided to everyone, although such a system would know a unique ID for every user to maintain records and provide rewards. This bare-bones model could take many forms: official and nonprofit first responders, investigative journalists, whistleblowers, neighborhood watches.

I'll be interested to hear what people in Juarez, and throughout Mexico, think of the editorial. The notion that crypto, Tor, or other anonymity-aiding online tools might help peaceful observers is not a new one, and not one that activists in Mexico need outsiders to teach them about. There are plenty of smart geeks in Mexico who are well aware of the need for, and usefulness of, such tools. But Google execs speaking directly to the conflict, and how widely-available free tools might help, is a new and notable thing. Red the rest here. (thanks, @martinxhodgson)

Kathe Koja's The Cipher, brilliant horror novel, back as an ebook

I've mentioned Kathe Koja's fantastic, erotic, terrifying debut novel The Cipher before, and celebrated her recent return to horror after a long stint of writing amazing YA novels.

Now I'm delighted to report that The Cipher is back in print as a $3.99 DRM-free ebook, thanks to the good folks at Roadswell, a new ebook imprint.

The Cipher

Hacker Dojo, a hacker space in Silicon Valley, is raising funds to save their space

David Weekly says, "Hacker Dojo is doing a kickstarter. We have $250k we have to raise in the next few months to get the building brought up to code so we can have classes again." I visited Hacker Dojo a few years ago when they first opened, and I witnessed the wonderful community and projects that emerged. They're the real deal. More about the fundraising effort here.

Breaking Bad street art in Canada

Boing Boing reader Peter Schwagly sends in the photo of Breaking Bad street art above and below, and says,

I'm a super fan of Breaking Bad and Boingboing as well.... is there something to the shared alliteration? I thought you might like this stencil I found in Vancouver a few months ago. Someone did a whole series of Mr White. They were fantastic.

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