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Race and justice in America: inspiring TED talk

Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer who defends poor African-American people caught in the US justice system. In this incredible, moving, inspiring TED talk, he discusses the way that race and injustice are entwined in the US legal system:

In an engaging and personal talk -- with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks -- human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America's justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country's black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America's unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness.

Bryan Stevenson: We need to talk about an injustice (Thanks, @gnat!)

Toy Shining: Toy Story meets The Shining


Illustrator Kyle Lambert set out to create a storyboard for a mashup of Toy Story and The Shining, calling the result Toy Shining.

Earlier this year I began following Lee Unkrich, the director of Toy Story 3) on Twitter (@leeunkrich). As well as his journey to the Oscars with Toy Story 3, Lee often tweets about his passion for Stanley Kubrick and the movie The Shining which inspired him to pursue a career in filmmaking. Having seen both The Shining and Toy Story 3 for the first time recently myself, I thought it would be cool idea to mash the two movies together as a fun side project.

It started off with a few notes on a post-it describing how the two movies could be combined and quickly grew into a 25 panel storyboard. Once I had sketched each composition I set about painting the panels with my iPad using the Brushes app. The project took around 2 months to complete in my spare time from idea to the finished storyboard.

Coincidently, towards the end of the project I was invited to visit the Pixar Studio for the day by one of their artists Don Shank and thought it would be a great opportunity to deliver a printed version of the project to Lee in person.

Kyle Lambert | Gallery | Toy Shining (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

Rush flushes Rush!


[Video Link] Rush's attorney sent a cease and desist letter to the The Rush Limbaugh Show. From the letter:

According to media reports, Rush Limbaugh, Premiere Radio Networks and The Rush Limbaugh Show have been using Rush’s recorded music as part of what is essentially a political broadcast.

The use of Rush’s music in this way is an infringement of Rush’s copyrights and trademarks. The public performance of Rush’s music is not licensed for political purposes and any such use is in breach of public performance licenses and constitutes copyright infringement. There are civil and criminal remedies for copyright infringement, including statutory damages and fines.
Bob Cesca: Rush Pulls Music from Limbaugh Show

Nomskulls - skull cupcake mold

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From the Boing Boing shop: Nomskulls - silicone cupcake molds. Includes recipe for brainy frosting.

Nomskulls - Set of 4 Skull Cupcake Molds - $11.95

Ralph McQuarrie, Star Wars concept artist, RIP

 Images 2012 03 06 Arts Mcquarrie12-Obit Mcquarrie12-Obit-Articlelarge

 Img News Ralph Mcquarrie Remembered Ralph Mcquarrie Xltout Ralph McQuarrie, the concept artist behind Star Wars, Radiers of the Lost Ark, the mothership in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and many other films, died on Saturday. He was 82.

"Ralph McQuarrie, Artist Who Helped Bring ‘Star Wars’ to Life, Dies at 82" (New York Times)

"Ralph McQuarrie Remembered" (StarWars.com)

The Man From Primrose Lane audiobook on 8-track tape


[Video Link] The publicist for the James Renner's novel, The Man From Primrose Lane, sent me an old 8-track tape cartridge player along with a few different tapes, including one with the first chapter of the novel. My kids were fascinated by the device, and I enjoyed pressing the spring-loaded lever to switch programs on the tape. The clunking sound it makes when it switches programs is deeply satisfying.

The Man From Primrose Lane

This Thursday is Wear Your EFF Swag to Work Day


The Electronic Frontier Foundation would like you to know that this Thursday, Mar 8, is "Wear Your EFF Swag to Work Day" -- the day when you discover which of your co-workers are already clued in to the need to keep the Internet free and open and ensure that civil liberties make the jump from the physical world to the digital one. Kellie from EFF sez, "All day on March 8th, we'll also be watching #EFFatWork and retweeting notable EFF gear photos."

Wear Your EFF Swag to Work Day!

Trailer for Naomi Novik's new Temeraire novel, Crucible of Gold

Charles sez, "Naomi Novik's new Temeraire novel, Crucible of Gold, arrives in bookstores this week, accompanied by a stylish video trailer designed to get readers' curiosity piqued and pulses racing. Is that a glimpse of the Inca Empire, you wonder? Why, yes -- yes, it is."

Novik is a wonderful writer and her Temeraire series is a delightful and inventive re-imagining of the Napoleonic Wars, fought with a dragon air-force.

Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik: book trailer (Thanks, Charles!)

Solving the mystery of "Degenerate Art" in Berlin


[Video Link] Is anyone surprised that when the Nazis rose to power, they burned a bunch of interesting paintings and other art? (For a taste of pre-Nazi German erotically-tinged art, check out the book Voluptuous Panic).

Recently, construction workers dug up some ash deposits during a subway excavation in Berlin. Dr. Stadelmann of the HTW University of Applied Sciences in Berline used x-ray spectroscopy to look for trace elements that would indicate whether the ashes were from paintings or photographs.

Museum Secrets TV team caught up with Dr. Stadelmann where he looks under a microscope to determine what properties the paint contains. With this he is able to determine exactly what they’re made of and what era they are from. The video is part of our web series on www.museumsecrets.tv, where we feature 14 episodes at the world’s best museums and over 90 objects in our object navigator – with mysteries revealed from different geographic locations and time periods.
Solving the Mystery of 'Degenerate Art' in Berlin

iPad 3 launch looms

Mat Honan on what to expect at tomorrow's iPad 3 event: "We, the Press would rather sit in a dark room, unable to ask tough questions or actually touch and test an Apple product, than do our job. We would rather serve as a gateway for Apple's live action press releases." Also, iPad 3. Rob

Tiny library raises money with tiny uke and awesome video

Blackbeltlibrarian sez, "The Shutesbury Public Library in Shutesbury, Massachusetts is seeking funding in order to build a new building to replace their charming but woefully inadequate current one (which features no running water!). In order to get the word out staff and patrons created this cute little video in order to show the shortcomings of their current location, as well as what they could do with a new building."

Where would you be without your library?

Netflix flushes Rush

Joris Evers of Netflix emailed me to say:

Spotted your tweets and wanted to let you know that Netflix has not purchased and does not purchase advertising on the Rush Limbaugh show. We do buy network radio advertising and have confirmed that two Netflix spots were picked up in error as part of local news breaks during the Rush Limbaugh show. We have instructed our advertising agency to make sure that this error will not happen again.
I'm going to re-activate my Netflix account now.

Where the "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster came from

Here's the backstory behind the iconic "Keep Calm and Carry On" posters. Though 2.5 million were printed, they were never officially issued as they were reserved for crisis or invasion. 50 years later, Barter Books of Northumberland discovered a copy of the poster in a box of books from auction, and framed and hung it. They started selling copies a year later, and the rest is history.

The Story of Keep Calm and Carry On (via Kottke)

YouTube's TheReplyGirl interviewed

Gawker's Max Read talks to Alejandra Gaitan, known to a legion of YouTube hater-fans as TheReplyGirl. "It's a decent amount of money. Am I a millionaire? No. Not at all. If I had all the money in the world I probably wouldn't be freezing here in winter in Canada. I would most likely be somewhere in a tropical island." Rob

Paula Deen accused of racism, harassment

According to a lawsuit filed in Georgia, butterwitch Paula Deen used a racial slur beginning with "n" to describe the perfect wedding.

"I want a true southern plantation-style wedding. ... What I would like is a bunch of little n****** to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around. Now that would be a true southern wedding, wouldn't it? But we can't do that now, the media would be on me."

Posted by Radar Online, the suit (PDF) was filed by a former employee, Lisa T. Jackson, over claimed harassment and other rights violations.

Other allegations include boorish behavior from Deen's brother, Bubba Hiers, such as "the styrofoam cup poured almost full with whisky" alleged to be in his possession at 10 a.m. many days. Also, Deen is said to frequently use the word "massaging."

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this blog post referred to Paula Deen as the Batterwitch. Ms. Deen is in fact the Butterwitch. Betty Crocker is the Batterwitch.