Boing Boing 

Pastor Jack Schaap demonstrates how to polish a shaft

[Video Link] Jack Schaap was the pastor at the largest church in Indiana until he was fired last week for having sex with a 17-year-old congregant (the FBI is looking into it). Here he is in 2010 at a youth conference showing the audience how to properly polish a shaft. (Via CN)

$49 remote control multicopter

Another fun toy from Brando of Hong Kong -- this time it's a $49 quadcopter with remote control unit. The manufacturer's description describes it much more clearly than I could:

NewImageSIX AXES GYRO, Super Stable UFO!! Special SOMERSAULT in the AIR!!

The Perfect Flying Object with this New Design Technology, The Most Stable (like the real?) Floating in the AIR. The Special Design of the One Press Button, which can make the UFO to Somersault in the Air. This RC UFO is powered by a Small piece Battery that is fueled with the USB External Dual Charging Box; therefore, UFO can Fly Never Stop with this Unlimited Power Supply!

Tiny 2.4GHz Rechargeable 6 AXES GYRO RC Somersault UFO

Ballad of Poisonberry Pete (short animated video)

I enjoyed this short animation called "Ballad of Poisonberry Pete," a western starring anthropomorphic pies and cakes. It's a film by Adam Campbell, Elizabeth McMahill, and Uri Lotan and was presented at Cartoon Brew's 3rd Student Animation Festival.

Making of "Ballad of Poisonberry Pete"

Errol Morris' quiz about killer asteroids was a secret experiment to find out how fonts affect our thinking

Remember Errol Morris' New York Times quiz about being an optimist or a pessimist about killer asteroids? It turns out the quiz wasn't really about being an optimist or a pessimist. It was about how fonts affect people's thinking. The quiz was presented in five different fonts, and the frequency of the answers were compared to the fonts in which the questions were asked.

We all know that we are influenced in many, many ways -- many of which we remain blissfully unaware of. Could fonts be one of them? Could the mere selection of a font influence us to believe one thing rather than another? Could fonts work some unseen magic? Or malefaction?

Don’t get me wrong. The underlying truth of the sentence “Gold has an atomic number of 79” is not dependent on the font in which it is written. The sentence is true regardless of whether it is displayed in Helvetica, Georgia or even the much-maligned Comic Sans. But are we more inclined to believe that gold has an atomic number 79 if we read it in Georgia, the font of The New York Times online, rather than in Helvetica?


Results from the asteroid quiz:



Morris concludes: "Comic Sans has the lowest rate of agreement, and one of the highest rates of disagreement."

Hear, All Ye People; Hearken, O Earth (Part One)

Short PBS documentary about Glitch Art

Heath says:

[Video Link] The latest installment of the “Off Book” series from PBS Digital Studios is now live. The newest video takes a look at Glitch Art -- how unintentional digital mishaps can become, in the hands of some artists, things of beauty.

Glitch art can be thought of as looking at the very soul of a machine. Modern day consumer electronics are marketed with an expectation of perfection. And yet it’s inevitable that there will be mistakes and unexpected results when so much data comes crashing together. Digital artists working today see beauty in the unexpected and work hard to recreate this unique experience through stills, installations and live events.

Love and Rockets 30th Anniversary Northeast Tour with Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez

Good news for fans of Love and Rockets: Gilbert and Jaime are going on tour to celebrate 30 years of making one of the world's best comic book titles.

NewImageSeptember 14th-23, the seminal Love and Rockets creators Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez will tour from Washington D.C. to Brooklyn as part of the 30th Anniversary of Love and Rockets. Signings and readings await the Northeast this fall.

First stop on the Love and Rockets train are signings at Politics and Prose Bookstore in D.C. Experience the plush bookstore and lush linework of the Hernandez Brothers starting at 7pm on Friday, September 14th.

Heading back to the small press scene, Jaime and Gilbert special guests at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Sept 15 and 16th, with several signings at the Fantagraphics table at the convention throughout the weekend.

The following Tuesday, September 18th, the Hernandez Brothers will be signing at Atomic Books in Baltimore. Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 features a letter from Atomic Books' Ringmistress, Rachel Whang, who is also available for signing.

NewImageThe Philadelphia Free Library proudly hosts Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez for a presentation in the Free Library's Montgomery Auditorium starting at followed by a Q & A session. After the talk, fans and friends can get their Love and Rockets books signed in the Library Lobby from 8:30-10:30 at night.

Friday nights may never be the same especially after September 21st when the avid fans of punk, the Hernandez Brothers, bring the house down at The Rock Shop starting at 7pm.

The Love and Rockets East Coast Tour will end with a stop at the Brooklyn Book Festival on Sunday, September 23rd. Gilbert Hernandez will join many other creators on The Sex Panel: Taboo in Pictures featuring obscenity, art and the area between the two. Meanwhile Jaime Hernandez stars on a panel called Worlds Built Over Time: Panel to Page, Book to Series on world building and character development in the long term. Book signings will follow each panel discussion.

Love and Rockets 30th Anniversary Northeast Tour with Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez

Happy Mutant Congressman has at least two Boing Boing T-shirts in his wardrobe

Jared polis
It was great to see US Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) wearing my "Critter" Boing Boing T-shirt (Cory posted the photo here as an update to his post about Rep. Polis' epic takedown of the laughably disingenuous Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonhart). Now I have a photo of Rep. Polis in another Boing Boing T-shirt ("Unizilla" drawn by Adam "Ape Lad" Koford).

The photo was taken by John Maushammer when Rep. Polis came to The Boulder Hackerspace and signed up for membership. Wow -- a US Congressman who is against the War on Drugs and is also a maker -- I almost want to move back to Boulder so I could vote for him next time he's up for re-election.

Make yourself healthy: Searching for the cause of acne

Martha Rotter, a software engineer, grew up near St. Louis. She did not have skin problems in high school or college. After college, she spent six years in Seattle. Her skin got a little worse. In 2007, she moved to Dublin to work for an Irish branch of Microsoft. Six months after the move, she noticed her skin was worse than it had been in Seattle. In Seattle she would get a little acne or blemishes for a week or so and then they would go away. In Dublin, they weren't going away.

Her skin got worse. A year after moving to Dublin, it was always bad. The spots and sores were always uncomfortable -- "a headache on my face," she says. They were painful to touch. At one point Martha got a massage. Forgetting her warning, the masseuse rubbed oil on Martha's face. She screamed. "One of the most painful things ever," she says.

Is my job making my skin bad? she wondered. She was working a lot, taking clients out, losing sleep. She started to go out less so that she could get more sleep. She stopped working on weekends. This didn't help.

She tried many skin creams and face washes. "Neutrogena and Clearasil make a lot of products," she says. "On a bad day I could easily drop $50 on two or three things." For several months, she spent $100/month on creams, astringents, and soaps trying to find something that worked. Nothing did.

She tried fitness. She went to the gym four or five times per week. She took yoga. Maybe this would help her relax and improve her mood, she thought. Her skin stayed bad.

In the summer of 2008, she read The Acne Prescription (2003) by Nicholas Perricone. The book says that certain foods, such as salmon, blueberries, and spinach, will make your skin better. It had many before and after pictures. "Now people would be more cynical because of his skin care line and vitamins," she says. "Back then they weren't around or I didn't know about them." Perricone's advice didn’t help.

In December 2008, she went home for Christmas. She hadn't seen her family for nine months. "They were surprised by my face," she says. They asked about it. "When a family member mentions something, that makes you realize it's obvious to everyone." She had been pretending to herself that other people didn't notice. After her family's comments, she didn't want to leave the house or have any pictures taken.

Read the rest

Police pull over woman for rolling through stop sign then strip search her and "forcibly" pull tampon out of her, lawsuit alleges

"A passing cop pulled a u-turn, flashed the lights, and rolled up behind her. Tarantino claims that the cop immediately drew his weapon, pulled her from the car, and refused to explain why he pulled her over ... Then, in a gruesome twist, a female officer 'forcibly removed' a tampon from Tarantino." She's suing.

Curiosity transmits first full-color panorama back from Mars

Ain't it pretty? The first color panorama image of Gale Crater, the landing site for the Curiosity rover. Thumbnail versions of images taken by the Mast Camera were combined to form this 360-degree view. From NASA:

Scientists will be taking a closer look at several splotches in the foreground that appear gray. These areas show the effects of the descent stage's rocket engines blasting the ground. What appeared as a dark strip of dunes in previous, black-and-white pictures from Curiosity can also be seen along the top of this mosaic, but the color images also reveal additional shades of reddish brown around the dunes, likely indicating different textures or materials.

The images were taken late Aug. 8 PDT (Aug. 9 EDT) by the 34-millimeter Mast Camera. This panorama mosaic was made of 130 images of 144 by 144 pixels each. Selected full frames from this panorama, which are 1,200 by 1,200 pixels each, are expected to be transmitted to Earth later. The images in this panorama were brightened in the processing. Mars only receives half the sunlight Earth does and this image was taken in the late Martian afternoon.

Full size available here.

The Twenty-Year Death, a crime novel written in the form of three different period crime novels

The Twenty-Year Death by Ariel S. Winter is a 700-page hardbound crime novel that's written in the form of three separate crime novels (which are all tied together). The 1931 novel is in the style of Georges Simenon. The 1941 novel is in the style of Raymond Chandler, and the 1951 novel is in the style of Jim Thompson. I'm looking forward to reading this!

Below, an essay by the author that explains how he conceived of the novel. Following that, three short excerpts from each novel.

TwentyyeardeathIn the summer of 2007, I moved back to Baltimore after a year’s sojourn in New York City. I was in the grips of a crippling depression, spending my days immobile on the couch with a book, except for the two or three hours I managed to write at the library.

One of the books I read at that time was Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald, and I was once again enamored with Sebald’s first person narrator, a precise, ruminative stand-in for Sebald himself. I wanted to do something like it, so I began a book about an anguished, brooding man reading books on a couch. Sounds exciting, right?

In this book, the books the narrator read were going to appear in full: a mystery, a romance, a western, a history, a biography, sci-fi, everything. I described it as David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (another of my favorite books) as written by W. G. Sebald.

The first book I wrote within the frame narrative was a Georges Simenon pastiche set in 1931, Malniveau Prison, simply because I was reading a lot of Simenon during my long days on the couch. I moved on to the second book -- a quirky romance of sorts -- but I was quickly weighed down by the enormous task I had set myself, and abandoned the whole project. I knew, however, that Malniveau Prison was still quite good, so I sent it off to an agent. He was encouraging, pushing me to expand Malniveau Prison to a full-length book on its own, which I endeavored to do. As I was writing, I began to think: wouldn’t it be interesting if there were a series of mysteries in which, rather than following the detective from book to book, we followed a secondary character? And since I was writing in the style of one great crime writer, wouldn’t it be interesting if each of those novels was in the style of a different crime novelist? One of the characters in Malniveau Prison was an American writer, and it seemed natural that an American writer in France would next move to Raymond Chandler’s Hollywood of the 1940s. And if there were ten years between Simenon and Chandler, there should be a similar jump between the second and third books, and who was the premier crime writer of the 1950s? Jim Thompson. So, with the whole plan now before me, I began to re-read those authors over and over and over, and started to write what became The Twenty-Year Death.

Read the excerpt

Archer & Armstrong - comic book where the 1% are costumed supervillians

Todd Allen of Comics Beat reviews Archer & Armstrong, a brain-rotting propaganda comic book produced by the liberal media elite (and funded by George Soros, no doubt).


When the teasers for Archer and Armstrong #1 came out, there was a little bit of noise from the political parts of the web about what an awful liberal smear job the book was because of some villains billing themselves as the 1%. I’d gotten a good laugh out of villains calling themselves the 1% and wearing golden masks of bulls and bears (an obvious stock market joke) and I figured the usual noisy political types might be over-reacting. Come to find out, Archer and Armstrong is a much more political book than I was expecting. It’s also utterly hilarious. Unless you’re a dogmatic Republican with limited-to-no sense of humor. If you’re one of those, stay FAR away from this comic. It will set you off.

This gem is written by Fred Van Lente and drawn by Clayton Henry. It opens with a straight forward scene of ancient Ur (as in Mesopotamia and The Epic of Gilgamesh) where a mysterious device is set off which destroys civilization. And if you’re a fan of the old Eternal Warrior comic, there’s an Easter egg in there for you. Flash ahead to modern times and a Christian fundamentalist theme park which teaches you how dinosaurs and cavemen lived together.

Review: Archer And Armstrong #1: Arch-Conservatives Will Hate This Comic

"Do things that have never been done before,” says guy who invented computer

Joel Runyon writes about "An Unexpected Ass Kicking," intellectually speaking, which he received in a Portland coffee shop from Russell Kirsch—the 80-year-old man who invented America's first internally programmable computer. Kirsch isn't a big fan of Apple products.

New virus targets online banking systems in Mideast

Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab claims to have uncovered a new "cyber-espionage toolkit" designed by the same people behind the state-sponsored Flame malware that infiltrated machines in Iran. The researchers claim this new malware has been found infecting systems in other countries in the Middle East, and targets online financial systems. More at Wired Threat Level and Reuters. They're calling this one "Gauss."

Earth Illuminated: Dazzling ISS time-lapse photography, from NASA (video)

John Streeter, who is a television producer with NASA at Johnson Space Center in Houston, sends this cool video and tells Boing Boing:

It is all real, all shot from the International Space Station and all beautiful. It is time-lapse photography that showcases stars, cities at night, lightning storms and the aurora all from the vantage point of the space station. Also, there is a link at the end where you can visit, download and create your own videos if you wish.

The station is a remarkable engineering achievement and this is just a small side benefit of being in orbit. I hope you enjoy. link, and here's the video on YouTube.

Father accused of waterboarding daughter

An 11 year old girl tells police her father has been waterboarding her as a bizarre and cruel form of punishment. The accused is pediatrician Melvin Morse, who was featured on CNN's The Larry King Show promoting his book about near-death experiences in children. The local newspaper has more upsetting details. (via Johannes G.)

Neil Armstrong, first human on moon, "doing great" after heart surgery

Astronaut and "first man" Neil Armstrong is "doing great" after undergoing cardiac bypass surgery. He and his wife live in the Cincinnati, Ohio area and he just celebrated his 82nd birthday this past Sunday (same day as me!). From NBC: "On Tuesday, surgeons bypassed four blockages in his coronary arteries. His wife reports that his spirits are high, and the doctors expect no problems with his recovery, Cernan told NBC News' Jay Barbree."

Epic American drought gets worse in key farm states, after hottest month on record

This does not bode well for food prices: the Plains states where corn and soybeans are produced in greatest quantities are receiving the worst of excessive drought conditions, in the wake of the hottest month ever recorded in the US. Welcome to the new Dust Bowl?

Whales: Surprise, the world's largest mammals produce the world's largest turds

Wired Science has a revealing post about a particularly notable plume of whale poop spotted by a scientist off the Southern California coast. From giant animals come giant poo. Marine biologists and oceanographers get to study stuff like this with their serious-face on.

Travis Louie paints the Thylacine

Odetothylacines 150Dpi

Behold Travis Louie's magnificent take on the Thylacine! Declared extinct in 1936, thousands of unconfirmed sightings have made the beautiful animal a darling of cryptozoology. Louie's painting is part of the Lush Life Four group show opening tomorrow evening at Seattle's Roq La Rue Gallery. The exhibition also includes work by BB faves Jessica Joslin, Camille Rose Garcia, Annie Owens, Glenn Barr, and more. Lush Life Four preview

Here's 70 minutes of Russian dashcam video showing car collisions

[Video Link] Joey deVilla says: "Here’s an interesting compilation: 70 minutes of (mostly) Russian car collisions, from mild fender-benders to all-out flip-the-car moments, most of which were shot using dashboard-mounted cameras. None of the video depict injuries; just car and other property damage, plus some exclamations in Russian."

Bad Driving’s Greatest Hits

A moveable mosque: One young Muslim woman's daily photoblog (video)

The "30 Mosques" guys are producing some wonderful "30 Days Ramadan" videos this year that really give you a sense of what it's like to be a Muslim person in America. I enjoyed this one, featuring a young woman named Deena who loses her job, then decides chronicle her life through a photoblog. More about the project here. Subscribe to their video channel here. Deena's photoblog is here, and full of beautiful things. (thanks, Bassam Tariq!)

Sideshow banner art show in Texas

Waxahachie, Texas's excellent Webb Gallery is hosting an exhibition of more than a dozen vintage sideshow banners! Titled "The Greatest Show On Earth," it runs until September 9 and can be browsed online too. Above left, "Crime Wave" by an unknown artist, circa 1930; right, "2 Face Man" by famed sideshow artist Snap Wyatt, circa 1940s.

The story of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" (video)

My friends Richard Metzger and Tara McGinley of Dangerous Minds re-sparked my interest in early Pink Floyd the other night, when I visited their home: they were playing a quadrophonic version of Wish You Were Here on their excellent quad-compliant speaker system, while some of the experimental films the band played during the tour for that album ran on a nearby monitor. It was a great night. Today, Richard shares word of "The Making of Wish You Were Here" (2012), a really cool documentary film about the making of that album, and that era in the band's evolution.

Read the rest

An "extremely rare anti-masturbation device"


I'm sure this didn't cause any psychological issues in the Catholic boys forced to wear this.

The rare 19th century item is made of copper and was designed to be worn by boys so they could not commit the 'sin'. Attached to a belt it would have encased the genitalia. The bizarre antique dates back to around 1880 and was used in Catholic France. It is being offered for sale on auction website eBay with a starting price of £750.

Seller David Burns, of Curious Science, says that during a quarter of a century dealing in medical curiosities he has never had one for sale... "This is the first example we have offered for sale in 24 years. The condition is excellent. Three and half inches top to base."

An "extremely rare anti-masturbation device"

Previously: Antique anti-masturbation device

Man with Parkinson's arrested at Olympics event for not smiling

"The man was positioned close to a small group of protesters and based on his manner, his state of dress and his proximity to the course, officers made an arrest to prevent a possible breach of the peace," Surrey police said in a statement.

Cat-loving teen with cancer gets a "cat immersion" tent at hospital

I've been spending rather a lot of time in the cancer ward at a hospital lately, and I think this is a fabulous idea: a "cat immersion tent."

The teen girl in this video, Maga, is a cancer patient at Seattle Children's Hospital. She loves her cat—actually, she loves all cats— and has had to be isolated in the hospital with no cat contact, for health reasons. "During her stays what she misses most is her own cat Merry," the Seattle Children's Hospital folks say.

We asked our Facebook fans to share their favorite cat photos with us, and got an awesome response -- 3,000+ photos! We used these pictures to create this "cat immersion" for Maga -- an audio/visual experience to bring thousands of "virtual" cats to Maga's room.

More of the photos they received on this Facebook page. This is the same hospital that produced the viral "Stronger" video. Sounds like a really cool environment for pediatric cancer patients.

More at Laughing Squid.

33 Quips for Queers (video)

[Video Link] Joe Sabia, our Boing Boing video on Virgin America collaborator, directed this absolutely fabulous video for Montreal's "Queer of the Year" contest.

Most epic slow-speed police chase ever (video)

[ Video Link] This video has it all: a giant truck carrying tons of lumber, a manic suspect, a maudlin news narrator (added after the fact) intoning cliches, cops shooting guns, and lots of fire and 'splodey stuff.

It's weird how something like this would be terrifying and tragic if you were there or someone you loved was affected, but it's the stuff of lulz in YouTube form now. So surreal.

(via Joe Sabia)

Golf balls stuffed into holes of lava wall

NewImageIt's been a few years since I thought about these photos I took of golf balls stuffed into lava rock holes in Hawaii. They were brought to my attention again by the group administrator for the Flickr group Golf Balls: Bad Lie.