In the Guardian, Stephen Graham describes the militarized security that will transform the UK capital into "Lockdown London" for the Olympics. London is set to meet and exceed Beijing for civil liberties violations, violent suppression of dissent, and overwhelming surveillance during the games, from the rule that says you're not allowed to display anti-Olympics posters in your own home to the sniper-toting helicopters hovering over the town. "Security" trade magazines are buoyant about the enormous sums of money the industry stands to take out of "austere" Britain's tax-coffers to buy razor-wire, drones, and water cannons.
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In addition to the concentration of sporting talent and global media, the London Olympics will host the biggest mobilisation of military and security forces seen in the UK since the second world war. More troops – around 13,500 – will be deployed than are currently at war in Afghanistan. The growing security force is being estimated at anything between 24,000 and 49,000 in total. Such is the secrecy that no one seems to know for sure.
During the Games an aircraft carrier will dock on the Thames. Surface-to-air missile systems will scan the skies. Unmanned drones, thankfully without lethal missiles, will loiter above the gleaming stadiums and opening and closing ceremonies. RAF Typhoon Eurofighters will fly from RAF Northolt. A thousand armed US diplomatic and FBI agents and 55 dog teams will patrol an Olympic zone partitioned off from the wider city by an 11-mile, £80m, 5,000-volt electric fence.
Beyond these security spectaculars, more stealthy changes are underway.
"How can you be serious?" Not by wearing this T-shirt! The classic Mark Pawson T-shirt, updated for 2012. Sold exclusively in the Boing Boing Shop.
Demolish Serious Culture T-shirt Read the rest
Gramturismo sez, "A maker in Scotland has created an elaborate, steampunk style hand cranked corkscrew." It's quite an amazing gadget -- talk about thoroughly solving a problem!
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I'm a great fan of the (now 20 years old!) Joe Pesci/Marissa Tomei/Ralph Macchio movie My Cousin Vinny, and so, apparently, are a lot of lawyers. The Abnormal Use lawblawg has a great collection of articles commemorating the film's 20th anniversary, explaining why it resonates so much with the legal profession. On Friday, they're promising a scene-by-scene breakdown from a group of law professors.
“My Cousin Vinny – More Than A Movie.“ In this piece, writer Nick Farr explains how My Cousin Vinny changed both his life and the outcome of a 7th grade student council election. (Yes, you read that right.).
“Lessons Learned From Vincent L. Gambini.“ In this piece, our newest contributor, Rob Green, offer six practical lessons that lawyers can glean from watching the film. If you think about it, the film is its own continuing education course with many practice tips contained therein. In fact, we should probably all get CLE credit for watching it again, don’t you think?
“Review: Vincent LaGuardia Gambini Sings Just For You.” Did you know that years after the film’s release, Joe Pesci released an album in character as Vinny? Rob Green somehow found a copy of this long forgotten album and drafted a review. Spoiler alert: the album is not for the faint of heart. Or the faint of ears, for that matter.
20th Anniversary: “My Cousin Vinny” (1992)
(via Lowering the Bar)
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Topher Grace, star of "That 70s Show," created "Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back" by mixing down all 7+ hours of the three Star Wars prequels into one tight, punchy, 85-minute movie. The video is private on Vimeo, so I haven't seen it, but Peter Sciretta's detailed description on Slashfilm has me drooling for it.
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Grace’s version of the film(s) centers on Anakin’s training and friendship with Obi-Wan, and his relationship with Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman). Gone are Trade Federation blockades, the Gungan city, the whole Padmé handmaiden storyline, the explanation of midichlorians, the galactic senate and the boring politics, Anakin’s origins (a backstory which never really needed to be seen in the first place), the droid army’s attack on Naboo, and Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best) appears only briefly for only one line of dialogue, used as a set-up to introduce us to the Queen.
The first time we see Anakin, he is grown up and played by Hayden Christensen (Jake Lloyd never appears in this version). Kenobi and Skywalker are assigned to protect Amidala from additional assassination attempts. This leads us quickly into the chase to capture the assassin in the skies of Coruscant. Anakin is assigned to accompany Padmé to her home planet of Naboo. Unlike George’s version, Obi-Wan doesn’t discover an army of clone troopers on Kamino, but instead stumbles upon Count Dooku’s motives.
While the Clone troopers make a couple short appearances in this version of the film, the word “clone” is only used once, and the whole storyline is almost completely cut from the story.
I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with reveling in being drenched in a near-continuous stream of fresh, boozy urine, but if that's the way you're kinked, it seems rude to spirit away the yellow stuff without informed consent
: "Listen mate, this is gonna sound totally insane, but I’ve just gone for a piss in the urinal and I could’ve sworn I saw an eyeball looking up from the hole." (Thanks, Ben!
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In the San Diego Reader
, more on a bill passed last week by The U.S. House Judiciary Committee to help law enforcement crack down on illicit tunnels along the US-Mexico border: "The bill would allow law enforcement to prosecute landowners, prosecute those that fund the tunnels, and wiretap communications in suspected buildings that house tunnels. Previously wiretaps were only available with proof of drugs or contraband." Read the rest
The BBC airs an hour-long documentary tonight about "Interviews Before Execution," a hit talk show in China in which host Ding Yu interviews prisoners on death row. Some 40 million viewers in China tune in to the show each week.
Days, hours, or minutes before they are killed, the host talks inside prison to those who have been condemned to die. The BBC doc combines clips from the show with "never-before-seen footage of China's death row," and includes an interview with a local judge who questions the future of the death penalty in China.
More about the documentary, from the BBC website:
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Hannah Haworth found herself in the enviable position of having to knit 50 life-sized bees, which she did, and celebrated their completion with detailed notes and lovely photos.
Remember when I mentioned that I had to knit 50 life size bees? Well I finally finished them!! woop woop! I may have gotten a little obsessive with the detail, but I kinda always do. It was weird for me doing such a small scale project after the huge pieces Im used to making, but I enjoyed it a lot, I think I learned quite a bit from it.
These bees are made form 100% baby merino wool from Malabrigo. I especially love the way they dye their colours, they are pretty much iridescent
Making the bees was certainly a process. I began by knitting the body from the back to the head, then I picked up stitches to make the wings which I used a simple lace stitch pattern for.
(via Making Light)
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Michael Geist points us to "A critique
of how the collecting agency behind the 'bone stupid' copyright deals
signed by U of Toronto and Western U is poised to have its wishes ensconced in Canada's soon-expected Copyright Modernization Act, Bill C-11, with provisions that 'override the copyrights of others, monopolize markets and collect a de facto 'Education Tax' [that] is inefficient, immoral, and likely unconstitutional.'" Read the rest
Here's a one-hour BBC documentary on Moebius, the French comics artist whose passing we lamented this weekend. The doc, "Moebius Redux: A Life in Pictures," includes interviews with Stan Lee and Jodorowsky.
Moebius – a life in pictures
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The Guardian reports that Juan Mendez, special rapporteur on torture for the United Nations, has "formally accused the US government of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment towards Bradley Manning, the US soldier who was held in solitary confinement for almost a year on suspicion of being the WikiLeaks source. PDF of the report is here.
Snip: "The special rapporteur concludes that imposing seriously punitive conditions of detention on someone who has not been found guilty of any crime is a violation of his right to physical and psychological integrity as well as of his presumption of innocence." Read the rest
Just one month ago, the Manhattan District Attorney's office subpoenaed the Twitter account of Occupy Wall Street participant Malcolm Harris, aka @destructuremal. Today, Jeff Rae received word of the same. He has published a copy of a notice he received from Twitter, which was accompanied by a copy of the DA's subpoena. A cover letter from the DA's office indicates that Rae was one of five total accounts subpoenaed. Who are the other four? And why? Read the rest
[Video Link] My friend and MAKE columnist Bob Knetzger is a toy designer and creates the Doctor Dreadful line of food toys. He recently emailed me about the latest creation in his line of Doctor Dreadful toys: the Edible Alien Autopsy
The coolest thing arrives in store in the fall--the Doctor Dreadful edible Alien Autopsy. It's the "oobleck" effect made edible. The alien's vibrating belly brings the chewy non-Newtonian blob to life as it rises and forms and squirms and squiggles--and then you eat it. Cookies and cream flavor--yum! Read the rest
On Ars Technica, Tom Connor does a great job producing a taxonomy and history of rage-faces, showing how they evolved from a set of proscribed, orthodox uses on 4chan to a wider set of uses and meanings in several online communities.
Rage faces slowly migrated from 4chan into other communities. There, they gained popularity and expanded their numbers as artists introduced new faces, and particularly humorous comics went viral in their communities. Though the faces were no longer exclusive to any single forum, they stayed true to the originals in style.
More people got involved, the cartoons mutated and evolved, and like any successful species, they adapted to fit into a wide variety of habitats. "You can trace back the origins to 4chan so you can say [the faces are 4chan's] baby, but it's evolved on such a wide scale that it's gone beyond anyone's single ownership," Swanson said. "Mostly the original faces are from 4chan, but a lot of the newer faces have come out of F7U12, or other places like FunnyJunk."
Fffuuuuuuuu: The Internet anthropologist's field guide to "rage faces"
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To kick off Sunshine Week, Catherine Shreve, the librarian for public policy and political science at Duke University's Perkins Library lists her five favorite declassified documents.
3. Bay of Pigs: Military Evaluation of the Central Intelligence Agency Para-Military Plan, Cuba. This memo from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defense McNamara in early 1961 foreshadowed the humiliating failure of President Kennedy's Cuban invasion. It reads in part: "The amphibious assault should be successful even if lightly opposed; however the personnel and plans for logistic support are marginal at best. Against moderate, determined resistance logistic support as presently planned will be inadequate."
4. Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction: Senate Report 109-331 "Postwar Findings about Iraq's WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How They Compare with Prewar Assessments (unclassified version)". This 2006 report refuted President George W. Bush's reason for invading Iraq -- that it was developing weapons of mass destruction.
In part, it says: "Postwar findings support the assessment...that claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are 'highly dubious.'"
5. John Nash letters to National Security Agency. A find that made me smile, remembering the movie "A Beautiful Mind" based on the brilliant but schizophrenic mathematician John Nash. In this handwritten letter, he proposes an enciphering-deciphering machine he has invented. "I hope my handwriting, etc. do not give the impression I am just a crank or circle-squarer."
Top 5 Formerly Top Secret Documents
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