In the Boing Boing store: Zombie Sleep Masks. One of these is going in my "most comfortable man in the sky" airplane kit -- a carry-all with a tiny two-temperature sleeping bag, hot water bottle, fuzzy sleep socks, freshly pressed cotton pyjamas, and a sleep mask.
Apple's newest iPad, (R) and its predecessor, the iPad 2, are pictured with a thermal camera in Berlin March 22, 2012.
Consumer Reports effectively launched "heatgate" hysteria this week, when it reported test results showing that the new iPad reached temperatures of 116 degrees Fahrenheit (47 degrees Celsius) after 45 minutes of running an intense action game, or up to 13 degrees F (8 degrees C) hotter than the previous iPad under similar conditions. Consumer Reports, of course, was central to the earlier iPhone 4 "antennagate" storm.
(All images copyright 2012 The Topps Company, Inc., used by permission.) My kids and I have become deeply engrossed with the book Garbage Pail Kids, a fond look at the Topps bubblegum trading cards that were art directed by Art Spiegelman 25 years ago. This book, published by Abrams ComicArts, has all 206 images from the Garbage Pail Kids stickers produced in 1985 and 1986.
Below, a gallery of some of our favorites along with an excerpt of the great artist John Pound's essay about the creation of the cards. Incredibly, he painted one per day!
Popping Out Garbage Pail Kids, by John Pound
The early 1980s saw punk rock, personal computers, Rubik’s Cubes, Star Wars sequels, video games, Reaganomics, and AIDS.
In California I was painting lurid underground comix covers, heavy metal–style art prints, and fantasy book covers. Meanwhile, in New York, while creating comix, Art Spiegelman was also art directing Topps Wacky Packages stickers, which parodied products sold in stores. In 1984, Art called and asked if I could paint a few Wacky Packages. I loved humor art, so it sounded great. I did nine paintings from their gag roughs.
One idea, sketched by Mark Newgarden, was “Garbage Pail Kids,” a parody of Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. But that image was never printed when Topps decided to do a whole series of Garbage Pail Kids stickers. They asked several artists to each draw some idea sketches plus a color rough to show how the cards might look. I got carried away, doing about fifty pages of loose sketches, with lists of ideas and names. I planned to redraw the six best ideas to look more professional, and send those in. But my wife, Karen, said, “Don’t redraw. Send them everything. They already know you can paint.” Wise words. Topps liked the ideas and sketches I sent in, and the color example, so they asked me to paint forty-four stickers for Garbage Pail Kids (only forty-one were used). Art said having all the paintings done by one artist would give the set unity.
On TechDirt, Glyn Moody reports the outrageous news that the Australian government refuses to release any substantive information on the secret copyright enforcement meetings it held, redacting nearly the entirety of the documents before releasing them to a Freedom of Information request. The government also claims that it can't release a list of attendees because it doesn't have such a list -- that is, the government doesn't know who was invited to its secret, eyes-only copyright meeting. Most orwellian is this, though, from the Attorney General's office: "Disclosure of the documents while the negotiations are still in process, would, in my view, prejudice, hamper and impede those negotiations to an unacceptable degree. That would, in my view, be contrary to the interests of good government -- which would, in turn, be contrary to the public interest."
What this really means is: "All hell will break loose when the public finds out what is being discussed behind closed doors. So what we're going to do is to come up with an agreement in secret, and then present it as a fait accompli, without offering citizens any options to change anything substantive. By contrast, to release the documents, and allow the public to have a say in how they should be allowed to use a critical 21st-century technology, would be contrary to the interests of this very good government, which by definition is identical with the public interest."
Actor William Shatner celebrates his 81st birthday today. He is best known for his role in the Star Trek television series and films, but has had a long and wildly varied career that... continues to... boldly go where no man has gone before, one might say.
Captain James T. Kirk was a constant presence in my home, growing up—my dad was a huge Trekkie. I think it's fair to guess that many Boing Boing readers also consider this character, and Shatner's broader body of work, a formative part of their lives as nerds.
I recently attended his one-man-show, "Shatner's World," in Hollywood. It was a hoot. You should catch it when it comes to your town. The fate of Star Trek: The Original Series was closely linked to that of the American space program in the late 1960s, and Shatner tells some wonderful anecdotes about the historic ties to NASA in his touring performance. My favorite? His visit to Kennedy Space Center to see the Apollo LEM up-close, and a funny prank the astronauts and engineers played on him. But I won't blog any spoilers, go see it yourself.
Also, his most recent book, Shatner Rules (2011), might help you make sense of the universe. To the extent that the universe really makes any sense, that is.
[Video Link] Our MythBusting pals, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, have a new series on the Discovery Channel called Unchained Reaction. It airs Sundays at 10PM (the new season of MythBusters is on Sundays, too). Here's an exclusive peek at the upcoming episode, which features a team of engineers from NASA vs. a team of Special Effects & Prop Animators. The theme is "Fire & Ice".
Each week's episode pits two teams from different backgrounds (rocket scientists, special effects masters, construction workers, engineers, among others) to build a wild and elaborate chain reaction contraption. The teams receive identical materials and five days to complete their journey before series judges Jamie and Adam, and a guest judge each week decide the winner. The guest judges range from Academy Award winning special effects make up artist Rick Baker to engineering professor Adrian Hightower from Harvey Mudd College. The program also features Charles Haine who serves as a mentor to the contestants.
It's a fun show that will not disappoint anyone interested in math, science, engineering, special effects, fire, technology, construction, design, explosions, and bigger than big chain reaction machines.
Via the New York Times: In Chile, a judge who lost custody of her daughters in 2004 because she is a lesbian will now receive damages, after an Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling. Karen Atala will get $50,000, and $12,000 to reimburse court costs. Not much comfort after being separated from your kids by the state for 6 years, but the ruling sets an important precedent in the region.
Via The Associated Press, news that two men on a cruise from Palm Springs through the Virgin Islands were arrested Wednesday in Dominica, where sex between two men—"buggery"— is a crime. According to their lawyer, the couple was enjoying the cruise, had downed a few cocktails, and were swept up by the beautiful scenery... so they spontaneously got it on in clear view of folks on land.
Police Constable John George said police boarded the cruise ship and arrested the two men on suspicion of indecent exposure and "buggery," a term equivalent to sodomy on the island. The cruise was organized by Atlantis Events, a Southern California company that specializes in gay travel. President Rich Campbell, who is aboard the cruise, said in a phone interview earlier that he thought the two men would be released. He later said in an email that the company has organized many trips to Dominica and would "happily return."
Last summer, TED film director Jason Wishnow and I went to Japan to visit a small fishing village destroyed by the tsunami. We'd heard from a friend that something unique was happening there -- in the absence of official aid from the government and NGOs, a team of young surfers was spearheading reconstruction efforts and teaching fishermen how to make a living now that they couldn't fish. We decided to film these surfers and fishermen as they went about their everyday lives. And when we left, we gave them digital waterproof cameras so they could continue to document their own experiences from their own point of view.
We started releasing the resulting footage online on 3.11.2012 (the 1-year anniversary of the earthquake) on our website, WeAreAllRadioactive.com. We're working with a team of top editors and sound designers to produce each episode professionally, and we're only unlocking new episodes only as they're funded.
The characters in the film -- who are living with this reality every day -- are following this film via Facebook and are among our biggest supporters.
We're just about $6000 away from reaching our crowdfunding campaign goal, and we're also looking for private donors or sponsors that can fund an episode in exchange for some major credit love.
Willoughby, Ohio's StPaulAtTheEndOfTheWorld slows down FM radio classics like Boston's "More Than A Feeling" and Alan Parsons Project's "Eye In The Sky" into lush, orchestral drone. He calls it "Cock Rock Ambient." You can join the fun too by using the open source Paul's Extreme Sound Stretch software.
Abercrombie & Fitch (It's a rogue reseller!) should think of a better name for these pants.
UPDATE: Xeni says "Network Solutions Whois reveals that the abercrombie-and-fitchoutlet.com domain is owned by bizcn.com, a Chinese company. Abercrombie & Fitch Inc doesn't control any of the content."
Thomas Kuebler's sculptures are a little bit Bosch, a little bit Jaffee, a little bit Wolverton, and a little bit EC Comics -- and a whole lot of awesome.
After two and a half decades of working in the corporate world of toy design prototypes and bringing robots to life in the animatronics field, Thomas Kuebler opted to explore his full creative potential as a freelance artist. Armed with the tools of his trade, a supportive wife, and the odd inhabitants of his own personal fiction, he set forth on a new mission to bring the world inside his head to life. His award-winning silicone character sculptures range in venue from museums to private collections to the offices of DC Comics and have been featured in publications such as Spectrum and Rue Morgue. Kuebler and his wife currently reside in North Carolina.