Boing Boing 

TOM THE DANCING BUG: Scientists Agree - It's the Shortest Summer on Record

Support Tom the Dancing Bug and receive BENEFITS and PRIVILEGES by joining the INNER HIVE right now!

“I used to spend 20 dollars a year on TOM THE DANCING BUG collections… Happy to support him and pass the word.” -Neil Gaiman, Inner Hive member

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Trailer for "Lawless" - movie about prohibition-era rural bootleggers


I'll watch anything with Guy Pearce in it. (NSFW: boobies)

Lawless (hitting theaters nationwide August 29) is the true story of the infamous Bondurant Brothers: bootlegging siblings who made a run for the American Dream in Prohibition-era Virginia. In this epic outlaw tale, inspired by true-life tales of author Matt Bondurant's family in his novel The Wettest County In The World, the loyalty of three brothers is put to the test against the backdrop of the nation's most notorious crime wave.
Lawless

Maggie speaking in Kansas City and Lawrence

I'm excited to be back on my old home turf next week, with two speaking events in Kansas City, Missouri, and Lawrence, Kansas.

Both events are centered on Before the Lights Go Out, my book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy.

Thursday, August 30, 7:00 pm — The Raven bookstore in Lawrence
I'll be back in my college town to talk about the weird, messy history of electricity, and the ways that writing online can help build a better book. Join me at 6 East 7th Street, Lawrence, Kansas.

Friday, August 31, 7:00 pm — Prospero's Books in Kansas City
My event at Prospero's will cover a lot of the same ground as The Raven event, but will get more in-depth on the engineering of how our electric grid works and why this flawed system affects what we can and can't do to solve our energy problems. RSVP for the Prospero's event (and get address info) on Facebook.

Image: Electricity, a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivative-Works (2.0) image from elycefeliz's photostream

Psygnosis promotional video from 1996

Then the biggest development house in Europe. Let's go!

Sony shutters Psygnosis studio for good

Sony's Studio Liverpool, originally stylish game house Psygnosis, is closing after 28 years. Kyle Orland at Ars:

Studio Liverpool got its start in 1984 ... releasing moderate PC hits like Obliterator and Shadow of the Beast throughout the '80s before achieving much greater notoriety in the '90s for publishing DMA Designs' Lemmings titles. Sony Publishing's acquisition of Psygnosis in 1993 would help secure some key franchises for the new and unestablished PlayStation ... The developer was fully folded into Sony Computer Entertainment and renamed as Studio Liverpool in 1999, maintaining a focus on Wipeout and Formula One titles in the years since.

I'd say it was a second death for the Amiga, but I think at this point the Amiga has died rather a lot of times.

Climate science, climate change, and denial

CONvergence, Minneapolis' great big science fiction and fantasy convention, also has a whole series of panels based on hard science—Skepchickcon. This year, I was invited to speak on a few of the panels, including two that dealt with climate science. The best bits of those panels—"The Chilling Effects of Denialism,” and “Who Will Save the Polar Bears"—have been edited up and published online as this week's Skeptically Speaking podcast. Besides myself, the panels included engineering professor John Abraham, science advocate and writer Shawn Otto, and biological anthropologist Greg Laden. We had some great conversations! Take a listen.

Complaint against online adver-game dismissed

Advertising regulators in the UK have dismissed a complaint aimed at a game developed by candy company Haribo.

The side-scrolling adventure, posted at its corporate website, was called "Haribo Super Mix Challenge" and sent players on a surreal quest to collect as much "smooth, squidgy and soft" candy as possible. Britain's Children's Food Campaign objected, claiming that it encouraged excessive consumption of unhealthy food and should be banned.

In response, Haribo's parent company said that the intention was not to promote "excessive consumption", but simply to promote the different varieties of candy that it produces.

The Advertising Standards Authority agreed, pointing out that the surreal game presented the act of consumption in an "abstract" manner, with a bear in a car driving around the countryside, and lacked high score charts and other game design elements that encourage repetitive play: "We therefore considered that the game neither condoned nor encouraged excessive consumption of the product or poor nutritional habits in children."

ASA Adjudication on Dunhills [asa.org.uk]

Super Mario Bros. for Atari 2600

Sprybug at the Atari Age forums published an Atari 2600 version of Super Mario Bros. with 16 levels, world bosses, pipes and even flagpoles.

The collision detection with the playfield blocks isn't 100% perfect, but it's close. Still something I have to work on if I have the cycle time to. So, have fun, and yes I included music and sound effects.

An amazing feat of economy and skill — also check out Halo 2600. [via Indie Games]

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Awkward stock videos

The ultimate collection. [via Waxy & Yewknee. Previously.]

Chartwell font turns numbers into graphs

FF Chartwell, designed by Travis Kochel, is a typeface that represents sequences of numbers graphically.

Driven by the frustration of creating graphs within design applications (primarily Adobe Creative Suite) and inspired by typefaces such as FF Beowolf and ­­FF PicLig, Travis saw an opportunity to take advantage of OpenType technology to simplify the process.

Before the True/OpenType era, Beowolf used postscript hacks to render slightly differently every time, creating a uniquely convincing aged effect; PicLig is a pixel font which uses OpenType ligatures to turn certain character pairs into useful symbols.

Chartwell is a more ambitious project than either, and comes in 7 different "weights", each producing a different kind of graph. $130 for the lot, they're $25 each if, say, you only like pies. A web version is under development.

Introducing FF Chartwell [via DF]

Epic doggerel about bad blog-comment behavior

Inspired by some of the more pathological behaviors on display in the comment section of John Scalzi's blog Whatever, author Steven Brust has created a doggerel epic entitled "John Scalzi’s Blog." Here's a sample:

I’ve done my work for the day,
I’ve twittered random shit.
I’ve whined about immigration;
And I’m sure I displayed my wit.
I’ve drunk my supper, watched some porn,
And even fed the dog.
Now it’s time to be an idiot on John Scalzi’s blog.

He’s the president of SFWA
His comment strings are long.
Lots of people pay attention,
SO I HAVE TO PROVE HIM WRONG!
He wouldn’t dare delete my words,
Or the comment chain I’ll clog.
So I’m free to be an idiot on John Scalzi’s blog.

John Scalzi’s Blog