3D printed Goatse ear-plugs

The final item from today's Shapeways rummage is Artfulshrapnel's "GOATSEarring," a goatse.cx tribute ear-plug: "The worst ear plug the internet has to offer."

GOATSEarring Standard Gauges Read the rest

Infringe-a-licious Tokyo tee: best Star Wars shirt ever?

Writer and comics creator Brian Michael Bendis (Twitter) is in Tokyo, and tweeted a series of infringment-spotting snapshots today. The Stormtrooper/Star Wars shirt he found and photographed, above, makes me weep with desire. Read the rest

Olbermann sues Current TV for $50-70 million

Wow, wow, wow, wow. If you'd like to read the court documents, here's a 43-page PDF. Read the rest

Well-dressed children

Izismile has collected 19 unsourced photos of extremely well-dressed children. Does anyone know where young Joker here comes from? TinEye search came up blank.

So Young, Yet So Hip (19 pics) (via Geisha Asobi)

Update: Here's the source: it's Redditor H1Ben1's young fellow (thanks, HarshLanguage!) Read the rest

Net censorship and pro-ana: How should social media sites deal with self-harm culture?

Antonio A. Casilli at BodySpaceSociety, a "blog for recovering social scientists," has an interesting post on understanding "pro-ana"/"pro-mia" on social media sites like Pinterest and Tumblr. Snip:

On February 23rd, 2012 Tumblr announced its decision to turn the screw on self-harm blogs: suicide, mutilation and most prominently thinspiration – i.e. the ritualized exchange of images and quotes meant to inspire readers to be thin. This cultural practice is distinctive of the pro-ana (anorexia nervosa), pro-mia (bulimia) and pro-ED (eating disorders) groups online: blogs, forums, and communities created by people suffering from eating-related conditions, who display a proactive stance and critically abide by medical advice.

A righteous limitation of harmful contents or just another way to avoid liability by marginalizing a stigmatized subculture? Whatever your opinion, it might not come as a surprise that the disbanded pro-ana Tumblr bloggers are regrouping elsewhere. Of all places, they are surfacing on Pinterest, the up-and-coming photo-sharing site.


Twitter sues spammers

Twitter, on its blog, declares legal war on companies providing tools to spammers.

This morning, we filed suit in federal court in San Francisco against five of the most aggressive tool providers and spammers. With this suit, we’re going straight to the source. By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services at their disposal. Further, we hope the suit acts as a deterrent to other spammers, demonstrating the strength of our commitment to keep them off Twitter.

Good for them. Read the rest

Livestream of Dan Clowes event at Meltdown

Video chat by Stickam.com UPDATE:Here's the recorded video.

If you would like to see my interview with Daniel Clowes, along with the Enid Coleslaw cosplay contest and other festivities that are being held to tonight to celebrate the release of Daniel's monograph, The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist, then watch it on the livestream above! The stream will be live from 6-10pm. Read the rest

Snarky and funny illustrated account of a day at the New York Toy Fair

Writer and illustrator Lisa Hanawalt snuck into the New York Toy Fair and wrote/illustrated a very funny, very snarky account of it for The Hairpin. My wife used to go to Toy Fair every year for work, and she always made it sound like a cross between a season in hell and Willy Wonka's toy factory.

The Toy Fair isn't for kids. The show's held yearly at the Javits Center, Manhattan's main convention facility (a.k.a. massive gray box), and it's full of serious adults in business suits with corporate accounts. It's not supposed to be fun. We'll see about that!

Toy Fair badges are only available for pros, so my boyfriend's mom generously registered me and my friend Tim as employees of her chia seed company. My badge says "CHIA POWER/Assistant Buyer." We'll avoid walking by chia products for fear of having to hold our own in a chia conversation.

I want to pretend we're here for legitimate reasons, so Tim and I work out a cover story, "we distribute chia products, but we're looking to branch out into toys and athletics." That totally sounds like a thing, right?

The Toy Fair Read the rest

New book shows you how to make Lego guns

[Video Link] Jack Streat, the 17-year-old boy who made the AK-47 out of Lego pieces in the video above, has landed a book deal. LEGO Heavy Weapons will be released in May by No Starch Press.
From LEGO guns mastermind and 17–year-old YouTube sensation Jack Streat comes LEGO Heavy Weapons, a collection of complete building instructions for four truly impressive, 1:1-scale replicas of the world's most iconic firearms. LEGO Heavy Weapons will show you how to build brick-based models of: - A massive Desert Eagle handgun, with working blowback action - The compact but deadly AKS-74U assault rifle with folding stock - A bolt-action Lee Enfield sniper rifle (a.k.a. Jungle Carbine) with bipod and scope - A pump action SPAS combat shotgun Each set of instructions includes a complete parts listing, so you can find (or special order) any hard-to-find bricks. The book's illustrated, step-by-step building instructions will be clear to anyone who's ever played with LEGO bricks, and the biggest models will challenge and delight even the most serious builders.
LEGO Heavy Weapons Read the rest

Podcast: Neil Gaiman's "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains"

Starship Sofa has just podcasted Neil Gaiman's novelette "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains," which won this year's Locus Poll Award for Best Novelette. Here's the text of the story, and above is a video of Neil reading from it.

You ask me if I can forgive myself? I can forgive myself for many things. For where I left him. For what I did. But I will not forgive myself for the year that I hated my daughter, when I believed her to have run away, perhaps to the city. During that year I forbade her name to be mentioned, and if her name entered my prayers when I prayed, it was to ask that she would one day learn the meaning of what she had done, of the dishonour that she had brought to my family, of the red that ringed her mother’s eyes.

I hate myself for that, and nothing will ease that, not even what happened that night, on the side of the mountain.

I had searched for nearly ten years, although the trail was cold. I would say that I found him by accident, but I do not believe in accidents. If you walk the path, eventually you must arrive at the cave.

StarShipSofa No 232 Neil Gaiman, MP3 link (Thanks, Tony) Read the rest

Dave Pell's NextDraft: great daily e-newsletter

You're probably familiar with Dave Pell's excellent Tweetage Wasteland essays about online culture that appear with some frequency at Gizmodo, NPR, and his own site. Dave recently started a terrific daily email newsletter called NextDraft, a roundup of news links (far beyond just tech) that strike him as curious, important, or freaky. As a diehard news addict, Dave has a very Boing Boingy curatorial eye and mind. And thankfully his writing is witty without being snarky. NextDraft is more proof for me that there's still a bright future for smart, pithy email newsletters with a distinct voice. Here are just a few bits from today's NextDraft:

* Many worried that the digital writing on the wall spelled doom for the book industry. Well, it turns out that some of us are actually reading more now than we did in the past. That's certainly true for the 21% of Americans who have read an e-book in the past year. According to the latest numbers from Pew, those who consume books digitally are among the most voracious readers, read more now than they did before, and still read printed books as well

* Eighteen years after his death, The Hollywood Reporter looks at Kurt Cobain by the numbers. + Please observe a moment of loudness for Jim Marshall. The "Father of Loud" and man behind the Marshall Amp has died at 88.

* If you buy a hybrid, how long will it take before your gas savings equal the extra dough you paid for the car?

Read the rest

3D printed Sierpinski tetrahedron

The second item of note from my rummage on Shapeways this morning is Wahtah's Sierpinski tetrahedron, a fractal pyramid with 499,994 faces.

Sierpinski tetrahedron Read the rest

What was your first book crush?

What books do you cringe at having loved? Nadia Chaudhury collects the teen-age literary crushes of 30 popular writers.

The feelings are so strong and obsessive. The books seem smart, sophisticated, cool; the characters in them say and do such great things, they seem like guides sent to teach you how to be that way too. But then the crush goes, and the object of one's former affection becomes an embarrassment—or at least the memory of you quoting them so seriously does.

It's heartwarming to realize that no matter how cheesy Dragonlance/Forgotten Realms books are, they insulated me from Ayn Rand at a most vulnerable age. Read the rest

Flaming muscle-car stroller

Kaiser21 and child show off this flaming tailfined auto-stroller at the 2010 June 5 Monthly Muscle Car Show in Plano, TX. Papa Kaiser notes, "This little stroller won first place in the Open Car class. It has air-ride, lights under the car, and even fire out of the tailpipes!"

Brady Cash Custom Cadillac Baby Stroller (via DVICE) Read the rest

Dropbox ups free bonus space to 16GB

Dropbox just made it so that  I  you can get up to 16GB of storage by referring new users to the awesome, life-changing free-of-charge cloud service. Noobs also get the same bonus for being referred, too. Let's get this pyramid scheme rolling, people. Update: I'm maxed out. Scroll down to the comments and give your fellow readers some. Read the rest

Cancelled student loan debt creates tax nightmare

When Kim Thompson was diagnosed with a tumor that resulted in "the removal of most of her small intestine, a pulmonary embolism, and 12-hour-a-day IV feeding sessions" she had to quit her job and go on total disability. Her $91,000 student loan was forgiven, but the IRS hit her up with a $26,000 tax bill. From an article at credit.com:

As a former social worker with a Master’s degree, Thompson says she’s not intimidated by government forms. She filled out all her paperwork to file for disability on her own, for example. However, even though she spent hours researching the rules surrounding cancellation of debt income, she found no relief for her situation. She tried calling the IRS for assistance. The first time she called, she says the IRS representative hung up on her. The second time, she says she waited on hold for over an hour and was then told to call back [after] she filed her tax return. She claims that ultimately she was warned that if she couldn’t pay the amount due, the IRS would put a tax lien on her house and report her to the credit reporting agencies. (We’ve reached out to the IRS a number of times on this and other issues relating to the 1099-C, but to date haven’t gotten a response.)
Cancelled student loan debt creates tax nightmare Read the rest

Report: Mac trojan claims 500k machines

A trojan horse has emerged to take control half a million Macs, according to Russian antivirus company Dr. Web. Exploiting a vulnerability in Java, the naughty software connects to a remote host and modifies web pages displayed in your browser. Jacqui Cheng at Ars Technica:
Variations of the Flashback trojan have reportedly infected more than half a million Macs around the globe, according to Russian antivirus company Dr. Web. The company made an announcement on Wednesday—first in Russian and later in English—about the growing Mac botnet, first claiming 550,000 infected Macs. Later in the day, however, Dr. Web malware analyst Sorokin Ivan posted to Twitter that the count had gone up to 600,000, with 274 bots even checking in from Cupertino, CA, where Apple's headquarters are located.

At Daring Fireball, John Gruber wonders why there's so little news about it:

The weird thing to me is that if true, this sounds like the worst malware problem Mac OS X has ever seen — yet there doesn’t seem to be any hysterical media coverage about it. Hypothetical Mac security problems often get hysterical coverage; now we apparently have an actual security problem and it’s no big deal?

If this is for real, perhaps it's simply taken news media by surprise. Traditional "Mac virus" stories—the ones that turn out to be bullshit—are fed to us in readily-publishable form by analysts or the sort of researchers who help Symantec with its press releases. Read the rest

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