Boing Boing 

Former IBM Japan president questioned over upskirt filming

Japan Today:

A former president of IBM Japan has been questioned by police after allegedly filming up the skirt of an unsuspecting woman in a train station, local media reported Thursday. Takuma Otoshi, 63, used his iPod to take the illicit footage as the woman rode an escalator at a busy Tokyo station, the Yomiuri Shimbun and the Mainichi Shimbun reported.

TONX coffee, video shopping, and Pesco's wife

Joyusssss-1 Joyussssss

Joyus is an online retail start-up where the stories of the products (from a mix of smaller indie makers and larger brands) are told through videos. My wife Kelly Sparks is fashion director there. They focus on four categories -- fashion, beauty, home, and food. Last year on Boing Boing, Xeni posted about TONX artisanal coffee delivery service. Now over at Joyus, Emily Olson talks with TONX's Nick Griffith about brewing a great cup of coffee using an AeroPress: "Brew Your Best Cup of Coffee at Home"

And if you're into women's fashion, please check out Kelly's videos at the Joyus Fashion Channel!

Astonishing cigarette magic

Masterful cigarette magic by Cyril Takayama.

Troma Entertainment: 150 free films on YouTube

Legendary psychotronic film studio Troma Entertainment, maker of such cinematic masterpieces as The Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke'em High, and Redneck Zombies, has put 150 movies (including some classics that it distributes) on YouTube for free viewing. Above is the 1932 film White Zombie, starring Bela Lugosi. It's considered to be the first zombie film ever. There goes the weekend. Tromamovies (via Techdirt)

Rushkoff: Apply for a Codecademy Fellowship!

Our dear pal Douglas Rushkoff says:

 Assets Homepage Badges-11A3C93C0E7C7B625E88A82259Aec0A6

I've been at Codecademy, the free online code school, as "Codevangelist in Residence" for two weeks now, and I'm as inspired and future-focused as I was the first time I met David Pescovitz at Morph's Outpost On The Digital Frontier. They're just launching a fellowship program for college students looking to get a year of experience before they graduate. Winners get $80,000, relocation to NYC, mentors in engineering, education, and entrepreneurship, and (for me the best part) the chance to help the world become more code literate. Can't wait to meet up with whoever ends up here, and particularly hoping it is a fellow happy mutant, so I'm letting you know first.

Codecademy Fellowship

Fleetwood Mac: "Rhiannon" live, 1976

Continuing to fuel my rekindled love affair with Fleetwood Mac's California cocaine trilogy is this scorching version of "Rhiannon" live on The Midnight Special, June 11, 1976. Trust me, stay with it 'til the end. The original track is from the 1975 album Fleetwood Mac. (Thanks, Tristan Eldritch!)

"Ready Player One" DeLorean prize awarded

Author Ernest Cline was on G4's X-Play this week to give away a fully-restored DeLorean to Craig Queen, the person who won the Easter egg contest that was hidden in the print copies of his novel, Ready Player One.

In the video, X-Play host Blair Herter welcomes Ernest Cline, the author of game-heavy sci-fi novel Ready Player One for a full day at X-Play and to witness Cline handing over the keys to a Delorean to the winner of his Ready Player One Easter Egg contest. Cline sticks around to tell Blair all about his contest, and even comes back inside to take the X-Play Super Mario Bros. Challenge!


Ready Player One Author Ernest Cline's DeLorean Giveaway

Dominique Pruitt "To Win Your Love" music video


[Video Link] In July I posted a link to songstress Dominique Pruitt's "To Win Your Love." As I said, her work has a great 50s and 60s vibe. Here's a video for her song, "To Win Your Love," which will be on her upcoming album. I'm looking forward to hearing the other songs!

Yurei Attack! The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide


[Video Link] Here's the highly polished trailer for a very cool book I received this week, called Yurei Attack! The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide

Yurei is the Japanese word for "ghost." It's as simple as that. They are the souls of dead people, unable—or unwilling—to shuffle off this mortal coil. Yurei are many things, but "friendly" isn't the first word that comes to mind. Not every yurei is dangerous, but they are all driven by emotions so uncontrollably powerful that they have taken on a life of their own: rage, sadness, devotion, a desire for revenge, or even the firm belief that they are still alive.

This book, the third in the authors' bestselling Attack! series, after Yokai Attack! and Ninja Attack! gives detailed information on 39 of the creepiest yurei stalking Japan, along with detailed histories and defensive tactics should you have the misfortune to encounter one.


Yurei Attack! The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide

How tracking down a stolen computer triggered a drug bust

Over at MAKE, we've got an interesting story about computers stolen from a MAKE employee's car during Maker Faire Detroit, which led to a drug bust.

Have you ever had something stolen? Your heart sinks, your mind races, and you become increasingly paranoid about the vulnerability of your personal property. I know because this is a picture of my coworker’s (let’s call him Steve) rental car, a Chevy Impala, after lunch at Slow’s Bar-B-Q in Detroit (amazing food, don’t park on a side street), the Monday after Maker Faire Detriot. There was nothing significant in the front of the car to entice thieves to break in, but we both had computers in backpacks in the trunk. One quick jab from a screwdriver unlocked the car, allowing the thief to pop the trunk and liberate the bags.

We didn’t see the hole at first, so we both thought we were crazy when we found the trunk empty at the hotel. We texted the rest of our team, who were on their way to the airport, and retraced our steps. When were the bags last seen? Who had access to the car? As I said, your mind races. Steve and I drove to the Henry Ford Museum, where the car had been most of the day, and parked in the same spot to see if it was in view of a video camera. The car was visible from two. After reporting this to Henry Ford Security and asking them to review the tapes for that day, we started examining the trunk for any telltale marks. That’s when we noticed the puncture under the driver’s door handle. That would have made noise. Noise we would have heard from the tent. Now what? Steve and I were planning to see Batman at the Henry Ford’s IMAX theater at 9:40pm. Reluctantly, at around 8pm, we headed back to Slow’s, a 25 minute drive. The trip was filled with talk about what was in the bags, and how screwed we were. “Screwed” was probably the most polite word uttered. Steve’s ThinkPad was locked and encrypted. My Macbook Pro was in hibernation and was wide open. Even then, my harddrive was not encrypted. Fortunately, I don’t save history, usernames, or passwords.

How tracking down a stolen computer triggered a drug bust

Controlled demolition of unexploded WWII bomb in Munich

During WWII the allies dropped millions upon millions of tons of explosives upon Germany, to halt German war production. Its not infrequent for German authorities to remove, destroy or incapacitate old ordnance. This bomb was found in Munich's lovely Schwabing neighborhood and could not be defused. It was decided to explode the bomb in place rather than risk an uncontrolled detonation.

Thanks Zac!

Toca Boca music video


A fun and infectious music video from our friends at Toca Boca, developer of apps for kids. It appears to be a teaser for an upcoming title.

Advice to the poor, from world's richest woman: "spend less time drinking"

Are you broke? Can't pay the bills or feed your family, despite holding down one or more jobs you hate? Can't get a job because there are no jobs to be gotten?

Australian mining tycoon Gina Rinehart, the richest woman in the world, has advice for you: "spend less time drinking."

The longer quote: "There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire. If you're jealous of those with more money, don't just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself -- spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working. Become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others."

Rinehart, it should be noted, inherited her wealth. Her current net worth is about USD$30 billion. (AFP)

Boing Boing Robots T-Shirt


The great cartoonist Tom Gauld (The Gigantic Robot, Goliath) designed our latest Boing Boing T-shirt. It's called "Robots."

Woman dies after police kick her in the genitals; LAPD now investigating 'Questionable Tactics'

A drug-addicted woman who dropped off her two children at a police station because she recognized that she was unable to care for them was tracked down by LAPD officers who reportedly told her to "get your fat ass in the car," threatened to stomp her genitals, then followed through on that threat.

35-year-old Alesia Thomas is reported to have been "combative." After being stomped in the groin, she suffocated while being taken into custody, and died.

Why do we know about this, and why are five LAPD officers now under internal and criminal investigation in her death? The altercation in front of her apartment was captured by a patrol car's video camera.

Read the rest

Passing the Drum (video)

[Video Link] The 30 Days Ramadan guys have put out a wonderful new short film in their series of profiles on Muslim life in America. This one was directed by Zeshawn Ali, and focuses on a father-son legacy of music, in Brooklyn. Snip:

Mohammad Boota walks the streets of NYC walking Muslims up with a dhol drum during Ramadan - a rich tradition he inherited from his family in Pakistan. He came to America in 1992 and spent 9 years saving enough money to bring the rest of his family over. Now, fully reunited with his family, he rekindles the bond he has with his son over their love for drumming.

As you watch, remember that these are the regular people the NYPD and DHS want to surveil all the time, every day, solely because of their heritage.

You can subscribe to the 30 Days Ramadan YouTube channel for more great videos like this.

Things that almost make you want to go back to school

A new trend: Colleges offering chemistry cooking classes as an undergraduate science course.

The shape of your beer mug might help explain why you get drunk so fast

In a recent study at the University of Bristol, young people drank beer faster when it was served to them in a curved, fluted glass. It's a small study, but the researchers think it could be a first clue toward understanding why we sometimes get more drunk than we meant to do. Researchers found it was difficult for people to judge volume of liquid in a curved glass, which might mean it's also harder to pace drinking. (Via Noah Gray)

Bikram Choudhury, yoga's biggest asshole, squares off for a copyright showdown

I missed this great piece in the LA Weekly from a few weeks back about multi-millionaire yogi blowhard Bikram Choudhury. We've covered his antics before, but his copyrighty litigiousness just got interesting again.

Short version: Bikram is basically the Walter White of yoga. And I'm talking Breaking Bad Season 5 episode 6 Walter White. The "hot yoga" kingpin isn't in the yoga business or the money business, he's in the empire business, and he's suing his former apprentice and right-hand-dude Greg Gumucio for intellectual property infringement.

But now, the US Copyright office says it may have issued all protection related to yoga sequences in error, including the one Choudhury's suing over.

Random tech world connection: Choudhury was introduced to his now-nemesis by John McAfee, the software billionaire turned yoga teacher.

Read the rest

Building an indoor hurricane at the University of Miami

This is how Hurricane Isaac looked on Tuesday, as it made landfall on America's Gulf Coast. If you've never been to the Gulf of Mexico, here is a key fact you should know: The water there is warm. While Pacific coastal waters might be in the 50s during August, and the central Atlantic coast is pulling temperatures in the 60s and 70s, the water in the Gulf of Mexico is well into the 80s.

And that makes a difference. We know that water temperature affects hurricane strength. But we don't understand the particulars of how or why at a detail level. To learn more about this (and other factors that make each hurricane an individual), researchers at the University of Miami are building a simulation machine. When it's complete, it will be a key tool in improving forecasts.

Peter Sollogub, Associate Principal at Cambridge Seven, says the hurricane simulator is comprised of three major components:
The first is a 1400-horsepower fan originally suited for things like ventilating mine shafts. To create its 150mph winds, it will draw energy from the campus's emergency generator system, which is typically used during power outages caused by storms.

The second part is a wave generator which pushes salt water using 12 different paddles. Those paddles, timed to move at different paces and rates, can create waves at various sizes, angles and frequency, creating anything from a calm, organized swell to sloppy chaotic seas.

The third aspect of the tank is the tank itself, which is six meters in width by 20 meters in length by two meters high. It's made of three-inch thick clear acrylic so that the conditions inside can be observed from all sides.

Read more about the hurricane simulator at Popular Science

Shit White People Do, part umptybillion: "Les Indes galantes—Les Sauvages" (video)

[Video Link]

BB Community moderator Antinous (the person who nukes your comments at Boing Boing when you act like a dick) plucked this gem from the jaws of YouTube and says,

I could watch this a hundred times and find something new to be horrified at every time. I love Rameau's music, but who thought that it was a good idea to have the singers doing the chicken dance in front of a giant turkey cloaca while clenching corncob pipes in their teeth?

You need to see it on a proper monitor to appreciate the full cavalcade of racialist nuances.

The opera-ballet shown, "The Noble Savages" is by French Baroque era composer Jean-Philippe Rameau. More about its history here, and you can buy the music on Amazon if you're so inclined. I can maybe give the dude a break, seeing as how it was all, like, 1725 when he wrote it and stuff, man. But there can be no forgiveness for any of the contemporary humans involved in this production.

Seed artists support marriage equality

I've written here before about seed art at the Minnesota State Fair. Every year, Minnesotans glue thousands of tiny seeds to heavy backing material to create some surprisingly elaborate examples of portraiture and political commentary. Oddly, given that this is folk art at a state fair in the Midwest, most of that political commentary is solidly liberal.

I wasn't able to make it to the Minnesota State Fair this year, but Minnesota Public Radio's Nikki Tundel was there. At least four different entries in this year's seed art competition feature marriage equality themes—responses to the coming election when Minnesotans will decide whether or not to enshrine discriminatory marriage laws into our state constitution. It's safe to say: Minnesota's seed artists want you to vote "No".

You can see all the marriage equality seed art at the MPR News Tumblr blog

Via the Stuff About Minneapolis blog, and Andrew Balfour

Meet your face mites!

"Everything you never wanted to know about the mites that eat, crawl, and have sex on your face". How can you say, "No", to that headline?

Ed Yong has a great post up today at Not Exactly Rocket Science about Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis, two species of mites which spend their entire lives on human skin. Humans aren't born with these mites. But by the time you are 40 years old, it's almost guaranteed that you are playing host to a few of them.

The bad news: They are having sex on your face.

Their favourite hook-up spots are the rims of your hair follicles. After sex, the female buries into the follicle (if it’s D.folliculorum), or into a nearby sebaceous gland (if it’s D.brevis). Half a day later, she lays her eggs. Two and a half days later, they hatch. The young mites take six days to reach adulthood, and they live for around five more. Their entire lives play out over the course of two weeks.

The good news: They don't poop—in fact, they don't even have an anus.

The bad news again: All that waste just builds up in their bodies. Demodex are, by nature, chronically constipated. Only after they die, and their bodies disintegrate, do they finally get to let it all go. All over your face.

Read the rest of Ed Yong's piece

Insane, true energy fact of the day

Exit signs are so ubiquitous that they're almost invisible. Every public building has them. In fact, they are so common that, taken together, these little signs consume a surprisingly large amount of energy.

Each one uses relatively little electricity, but they are on all the time. And we have a lot of them in our schools, factories, and office buildings. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that there are more than 100 million exit signs in use today in the U.S., consuming 30–35 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually.

That’s the output of five or six 1,000 MW power plants, and it costs us $2-3 billion per year. Individual buildings may have thousands of exit signs in operation.

To put this into a bigger context: This is just one small part of what makes buildings, in general, incredibly energy intense. In the United States, we use more energy powering our buildings—from the lights, to the heating, to the stuff we plug into the walls—than we use to do anything else. Because of that (and because of the fact that electricity is mostly made by burning coal or natural gas) buildings produce more greenhouse gas emissions than cars.

Read more about the energy consumption of exit signs and how we can use less energy, while still getting the same services, at Green Building Advisor

Take a look at some stats on energy use in buildings at the Architecture 2030 website

Via Jess McCabe

Image: Exit Sign, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from mtellin's photostream

Indie Capitalism relies on crowds—and you can do it too

Dan Provost and Tom Gerhardt are enthusiastic fellows. The makers of the Glif iPhone tripod adapter and Cosmonaut stylus for capacitive touch screens, you can't help but get a contact high from the joy they get out of designing stuff and running a company. I've met and spoken to them several times, and I always end up feeling pumped up about charting one's own course in life.

Glif famously started as a Kickstarter project when the two guys still had full-time day jobs. It was an early success story of crowdfunding, raising far more than they'd set as a goal, and led to them starting a company called Studio Neat, which now has a four-product line-up.

Read the rest