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Robert Anton Wilson talks at a Mondo 2000 event in 1988

As part of his Mondo 2000 History Project, R.U. Sirius uploaded a couple of Robert Anton Wilson recordings from a Reality Hackers Forum from 1988.

He writes:

I can’t remember if having RAW give a lecture titled “The CIA-Vatican-Cocaine Conspiracy” was his idea or ours. I think it was our idea based on the fact that he’d written about it somewhere and we thought it was interesting.

Although he was no longer really a staff member, Lord Nose was still a pal to us all and he somehow got the assignment to pick Bob up from the airport. Now, Nose didn’t tolerate anyone smoking in his car and Bob was a smoker’s rights militant (a fact that would later cause his column to be dropped from Mondo … not my idea, but that story is for later.) So Bob got into Nose’s car and lit one up and Nose asked him to put it out. I don’t recall how that standoff was resolved, but (like Nose’s lungs) I heard about it secondhand and that Bob was peaved.

But after he visited with some friends, it was a jovial RAW who showed up at Julia Morgan Theater for a talk that was at the top of his game. He didn’t follow the script very closely, but it didn’t matter — it was big mind-stimulating fun for all. Some fragments of the talk — which will be included on the Mondo 2000 History Project Website when it’s made public — are presented below.

Robert Anton Wilson Talks To Reality Hackers Forum

Crowdfunding exemption - WeFunder and other Senate nudging

Should non-millionaires be able to invest small amounts, like up to $100 or $1000, in small, local businesses or other ventures that they believe in, without the ventures having to spend tens of thousands (or more) on state or federal securities compliance?  I believe so, provided that the offerings can be seen and discussed openly, and have other requirements and limitations to prevent abuse.

I think this legalization of crowdfunded securities would create meaningful jobs and enable grassroots innovation on an enormous scale.  Maybe I'm overestimating, but I see it as a regulatory change comparable in importance to the revision of NSF's Acceptable Use Policy, which first allowed commercial traffic on the Internet.  That early 1990's policy democratized the flow of information the way a well-implemented crowdfunding exemption would democratize the allocation of human effort.

Largely under the radar, crowdfunding exemption proposals have progressed to a point now where the first bill, H.R.2930, overwhelmingly passed the House, with White House support, and is now under review by the Senate Banking Committee, along with two competing bills, S.1719 and S.1970.  Other countries are looking to the U.S. as an example on this issue.

Read the rest

On Booth Babes

Tech writer Glenn Fleishman doesn't mind attractive people trying to get him to pay attention to their products. But "companies that rely on models whose various assets are stress-testing spandex or exposed to air are trying so hard that they fail, he writes in an opinion piece at TidBITS today.

"Not all attention is good, since it highlights to women attending the show that these products are not for them, as well as driving off men who find being so blatantly manipulated distasteful.

Photo: Models pose with Nikon digital cameras during the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. (REUTERS)

Project Unbreakable

Grace Brown created "Project Unbreakable" in October, 2011, and the tumblog appears to really be gathering momentum. The idea: "Use photography to help heal those who were sexually abused by asking them to write a quote from their attacker on a poster and photographing them holding the poster."

So many stories from so many different people. Men, too, not only women. I was so moved by this post, which includes both a photograph and an audio narrative by an elderly woman who was sexually abused as a 12-year-old girl during World War II in Germany. Do listen to her story.

"You can never forget it. It is in your brain, marked like a stamp," she says. "I still suffer from it."

(via Jay Rosen)

Did a UK fashion marketer rip off logo for iconic punk band CRASS?

At left, the CRASS logo, first seen in the mid-1970s. Center and right, a recent design for the UK garment retailer "Hardware," which appears to have repurposed the CRASS logo after 35 years of prior use, and crassly so. Punk News says the band and their label are aware of it. More at exclaim.ca, and Cult Punk. As an aside: I used to own the vinyl 45 for the Crass release shown above. Almost got a tattoo for it. (via Doctor Popular)

Stereogranimator: transform historical stereographs from NYPL archives into animated gifs and 3d images

Above, "Dixon crossing Niagara below the Great Cantilever Bridge," U.S.A., 1895-1903. And you can make your own, with Stereogranimator, a new project from NYPL Labs. Stereogranimator is " a tool for transforming historical stereographs from The New York Public Library's vast collections into shareable 3D web formats."

(thanks, Mikael Jorgensen!)

VA state senator attaches rectal exam amendment to anti-abortion bill

"To protest a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) on Monday attached an amendment that would require men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication." (thanks, Antinous!)

First World Cat Problems

I approve of this meme. (thanks, Antinous!)

Object Breast Cancer: visualizing tumors through art

Above, one of the bronze sculptures to emerge from the Object Breast Cancer project by art duo caraballo-farman. Snip from the project description:

1.3 Million women in the world are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. For most, the tumor has no image. It’s an invisible monster, an unseen malignancy.

OBJECT BREAST CANCER (OBC) is based on the conviction that artistic interventions can have important social and psychological effects. The project includes sculptural and installation work as well as jewelry.

I'm going through treatment for breast cancer right now, and man, this notion of an invisible monster within is something I can definitely relate to.

I don't know that I'd want to wear jewelry made from a model of the mass we're trying to eliminate inside me, but there is something primordially satisfying in the idea of being able to clearly see the contours, shape, size, and character of this thing.

I always ask for a copy of my data when I get medical scans related to my cancer treatment, and it would be really interesting to take the "before chemotherapy"/"after chemotherapy" scans and see if I could get a 3D printout of the cancerous mass, as it (science willing!) shrinks. Not that I'd want to look at it all the time, you know? But I really would like to just see the goddamned thing, and understand it, visually. Once.

The "worry bead" design is brilliant. I could sure use one of these to fondle and fret over during chemo.

(thanks, Chelsea!)

Crabby frog

[Video Link] Three happy Boing Boing readers and one troll. (Via Arbroath)

John Scalzi introduces his 13-year-old daughter to an LP

[Video Link] Apparently, so many people thought this was staged that Scalzi disabled the YouTube comments and asked Athena for a comment.

Junk-market door as a desk/table/streetdoor



This table, from Italy's Manoteca, is made from a junk-market door and a lot of style:

Made from a door found at a outdoor market in Modena, the table is outfitted with a custom steel frame and new hinges that enable the shutters to open and close at will. When flat, the table can accommodate up to 8 diners, while lifting the back panel open reveals an instant-work desk, complete with rawhide pockets to hold your empty leather-bound sketchbooks and drawers to keep that super 8 camera you’re planning to restore (never going to happen). In the words of the makers, “it’s a table, it’s a desk, it’s a streetdoor.” When it’s time for dinner just lower the top half and lock up.

A Table That’s Full of Surprises (via Crib Candy)

Dad and kids play Depeche Mode

Joel Johnson turns us on to Dicken featuring Milah and Korben performing "Everything Counts" by Depeche Mode. This is fantastic. I just can't get enough. (See what I did there?)

eBay: "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" vintage cover photo

Peregrinnsnap My friend Randall de Rijk, noted collector of vernacular photographs, shares with us this absolutely magnificent snapshot used on the cover of Ransom Rigg's young adult novel Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. It has just sold on eBay for $600. The photo is far more beautiful and weird stripped of its recontextualisation as a book jacket.

Canadians from all corners of industry, culture, education, law and civil society oppose Canada's SOPA

Michael Geist sez, "Throughout the fall, I ran a daily digital lock dissenter series, pointing to a wide range of organizations representing creators, consumers, businesses, educators, historians, archivists, and librarians who have issued policy statements that are at odds with the Canadian government's approach to digital locks in Bill C-11. While the series took a break over the Parliamentary holiday, it resumes this week with more groups and individuals that have spoken out against restrictive digital lock legislation that fails to strike a fair balance. Recounting the series to date, it illustrates that no amount of spin can disguise the obvious opposition from groups representing millions of Canadians to the Bill C-11 digital lock provisions. This includes leading business organizations, creators groups, consumer associations, educators, librarians, representatives of the visually impaired, civil liberties groups, archivists, and historians."

The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter: The Series To Date

Ken Hollings lectures on John Cage

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My friend Ken Hollings is a master at connecting the dots between avant garde art history, outré culture, weird science, and basically everything that interests me. You might recall that Ken is the author of the absolutely fantastic radio series and book "Welcome to Mars," about the "fantasy of science in the early years of the American Century" involving nuclear war, LSD, flying saucers, the occult, B movies, and the space age. Here he is talking about John Cage and many, many other things. This was part of the 2011 "Off the Page" music criticism and audio culture literary festival that takes place in the seaside town of Whitstable in Kent, England. This year's festival is February 24 - 26 and will feature the likes of Simon Reynolds, Gavin Bryars, and BB pal Mark Pilkington! Off The Page 2012

Psychotronic generators, pi-rays, Egyptology, and orgone accumulators

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Toys And Techniques posted several wonderful scans from Christopher Hills' fantastically-titled "Rays From The Capstone: The story of the psychotronic generator of the pi-ray and the incredible coffer." It was published in 1976 by the University of the Trees press. According to Amazon, Hills has written several books, including "Secrets of the Life Force," with a terrific eye-in-the-pyramid cover illustration, and "Supersensonics: The Science of Radiational Paraphysics." I like the design and illustration of Rays From The Capstone. It looks like a mix of Whole Earth Review, 1980s 'zines, and the occult weirdness that New Falcon books used to publish. "Rays from the Capstone"

Dog delivers receipts to customers at vet's office (video)

[Video Link] (thanks, Joe Sabia!)

Meet Mexican tattoo diva "La Mujer Vampira," Maria Jose Cristerna

Mexican tattoo star Maria Jose Cristerna, better known as "La Mujer Vampiro" (Female Vampire), poses during the Venezuela Tattoo Expo in Caracas, January 27, 2012.

She is a 35-year-old attorney. 98 percent of her body is covered in tattoos. She also has prosthetic fangs, and platinum implants in her forehead.

"The 'Vampire Woman' was not something I thought of, it was a name that one of Mexico's major television stations baptized me with," she tells ABC News in one interview from the tattoo expo. "It doesn't necessarily bother me because it has helped me transcend to a new level. Yes, I do like vampires but they are only a dream, a fantasy."

She says the body modification project was a form of self-expression she sought after being the victim of domestic violence in a former marriage.

There's a fun video interview with her on Telegraph TV here, ABC News has another here, and ITN News has a segment from the con here.

(REUTERS/Jorge Silva)

Young woman can say any word backwards, instantly (video)

"Alyssa Talking Backwards." (thanks, Joe Sabia!)

Rupert Murdoch’s Mind, 140 at a time

NYT's David Carr, on the News Corporation CEO's foray into Twitter: "The rules of effective tweeting for business leaders are no different from the ones for us mere mortals who want to both express ourselves and remain employed: Don’t be boring, don’t curse, and for heaven’s sake, don’t always be shouting about how some junior executive is really knocking it dead. Being interesting is the key to going viral, and on that score, I’d give Mr. Murdoch decent marks."

Strange blue gelatinous balls fall from sky

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Weird blue gelatinous balls, about 3cm in diameter, rained on Steve Hornsby, of Dorset, England during a hailstorm last week. He collected them in a jam jar and put them in his refrigerator. From the BBC:

Josie Pegg, an applied science research assistant at Bournemouth University, speculated that the apparently strange phenomena might be "marine invertebrate eggs".

"These have been implicated in previous 'strange goo' incidents," she said. "I'd have thought it's a little early for spawning but I suppose we've had a very mild winter.

"The transmission of eggs on birds' feet is well documented and I guess if a bird was caught out in a storm this could be the cause."

"Bournemouth resident mystified by 'blue sphere shower'" (via Fortean Times)

Patrick Farley is back: "The First Word" webcomic explains language's origin


Patrick Farley is one of the greatest and most maddeningly irregular webcomics artists working today. We've been covering his work for a decade, and a new Farley is always cause for celebration. His latest, "The First Word," is no exception -- a fine, odd, beautifully realized story about the invention of language, one that tries to invent a new user interface and visual language for live, animated comics that is, by and large, very successful.

The First Word | nsfw | an electric sheep comic (Thanks, Jetse!)

Attorney General set to destroy tens of millions of users' legitimate MegaUpload files

An attorney for MegaUpload -- which was shut down by the US government earlier this month, and whose assets have been frozen, following copyright complaints from the entertainment industry -- says that the US Attorney General is planning to destroy all its user data within a week. With its assets frozen, MegaUpload can no longer pay to host its data with its service provider, and so the AG will cooperate with the erasure of tens of millions of users' personal files -- backups, family photos, personal videos, financial records, and even movies and music in production by independent artists who used MegaUpload as a file-locker while their produced their work. TorrentFreak characterizes this as the destruction of evidence, and I think that's right.

Rothken explains that MegaUpload is determined to protect the interests of its users, but that its hands are tied without help from the authorities. The looming data loss is linked to unpaid bills at Cogent Communications and Carpathia Hosting where MegaUpload leased some of its servers.

“We of course would like to think the United States and Megaupload would both be united in trying to avoid such a consumer protection calamity whereby innocent consumers could permanently lose access to everything from word processing files to family photos and many other things that could never practically be considered infringing,” the lawyer told TorrentFreak.

“Megaupload’s assets were frozen by the United States. Mega needs funds unfrozen to pay for bandwidth, hosting, and systems administration in order to allow consumers to get access to their data stored in the Mega cloud and to back up the same for safekeeping.”

MegaUpload has contacted the US Attorney’s office with a request to unfreeze assets including money and domains so users can get access to their personal data. If this doesn’t happen, the consequences for many MegaUpload users and the future of other cloud hosting services will be disastrous.

MegaUpload User Data Soon to be Destroyed (Thanks, thatanonymouscoward!)

Game clones swarm Facebook

Dean Takahashi on the relentlessness machinery of Zynga's game-cloning operation, whereby it minimally modifies others' work and sues those who treat it likewise.

Nimblebit drew some blood last week when the developer of Tiny Tower cast a stone at Zynga, via an infographic, for copying Tiny Tower in an upcoming mobile game called Dream Heights.

Buffalo Studios is using the same tactic tonight as it calls out Zynga Bingo for being a copycat of Buffalo’s popular Facebook game Bingo Blitz. In the infographic at right, the company points out the similarities in graphics, layout, and game play between Zynga’s recently unveiled Zynga Bingo game and Bingo Blitz.

"Zynga rips off game" is the tech journalism equivalent of "Plane lands safely".

Ex-LAPD deputy chief wins Ask Obama contest with pro-drug-legalization question

Tomangell sez, "A question advocating marijuana legalization from a retired LAPD deputy chief of police won twice as many votes as any other video question in the White House's 'Your Interview with the President' competition on YouTube this weekend. President Obama is slated to answer some of the top-voted questions on Monday."

Cop's Marijuana Legalization Question Gets 1st Place in White House Video Contest

"Worlds Largest Emerald" fails to attract bid at auction

Who would pay $1.15m for a 57,500-carat emerald from a guy in an Ed Hardy shirt who admits dying the stone green, and who was arrested last week on unrelated fraud charges? No-one. [Vancouver Sun via Brendan Koerner]

Oh Shit! images of overmatched, imminent failure


Safwat sez, "'Oh Expletive!' is a series of clever illustrations by graphic designer Safwat Saleem, each depicting that 'Oh $@#!' moment familiar to anybody who's ever had the odds stacked against them. Except in this case, the odds are represented by awesome things like zombie attacks, unicorn swarms, 8-bit creatures, epic knife fights and more. The related Kickstarter project is now fully funded but you could still get in on the action if you want an 'Oh Expletive' t-shirt or hand-pulled screen print."

Oh Shit! (Thanks, Safwat!)

Gweek 037: Donald Duck is High on Arrival

Gweek is a weekly podcast where the editors and friends of Boing Boing talk about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

Read the rest

3D printed Hilbert curve as scrunchie


Wagner James Au writes in with novel uses for a 3D printed Hilbert curve like the one I blogged last week: "Mathematician Henry Segerman creates copies of a 3D printed Hilbert curve he originally made in Second Life which, thanks to its twisty material, can also be worn as a geekily fashionable hair accessory!"

Fractal Cube Originally Made in SL Now on Sale in RL (Thanks, James!)