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Replacement ear grown on an arm

A woman whose exterior ear was removed during her fight with cancer has grown a replacement ear made from starter-tissue harvested from her rib, which was cultured and scaffolded on her arm. Once the ear was ripe, it was removed from her arm and affixed to the side of her head.

“I thought of this exact strategy many years before and really was looking for the right patient to try it on,” said renowned plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Patrick Byrne.

Byrne used cartilage from Walters’ ribs to stitch together a new ear matching her right ear. He then implanted it under the skin of her forearm, where it grew for months.

..Byrne later surgically attached the ear and its blood vessels. Then surgery Tuesday added shape and detail to the ear.

Hopkins Doctors Grow New Ear On Woman’s Arm (via /.)

(Image: Johns Hopkins)

Sleight of hand, without hands

Here's a video of a Mahdi Gilbert card magic show at Magic-Con 2012. Madhi's a 20 year old magician from Toronto, whose arms and hands are affected by a congenital condition. His sleights and routines are rather novel, adapted for his anatomical quirks, and his mastery is indisputable. PeaceLove, the magician who sent in this video, notes that the second half is better than the first. There are plenty of other videos of his work on YouTube, including this interview.

Mahdi Gilbert performs miracle at Magic-Con 2012 (Thanks, PeaceLove)

Mind bending music mash up

Joshua Glenn says: "Singer-songwriter, music critic and theorist Franklin Bruno has discovered that if you play Terry Riley's pioneering minimalist song 'In C' (1964) at the same time as Marc Cerrone's influential 1976 disco song 'Love in C Minor,' the results are mind-bending!" Mark

WSJ trend story of the week: ending "jerky shame" by adding adjectives, increasing price of dried meat products

Meat jerky "is like Greek yogurt for men." Xeni

Gangnam Style as a "literal" music video, remixed without music (video)

[Video Link] by UK-based remixer Moto2h via Flux.

Howard Rheingold's Mind Amplifier ebook

Howard Rheingold sez, "I have been interested in mind amplifiers since I wrote my 1968 Reed College thesis on brain biofeedback and the future of consciousness. This short e-book contains all kinds of goodies I've always wanted to put in my books -- embedded videos, rollover definitions. And I've been wanting to connect the dots between McLuhan, Engelbart, Illich, and Ostrom. I'm using this 60 page ebook as a text for a course on Think-Know Tools. Here is the blurb on the TED books site:"

Instead of asking whether the Web is making us stupid, Howard Rheingold turns that question around and asks how designing and using digital media mindfully could make us smarter. What if humans could build tools that leverage our ability to think, communicate, and cooperate? Humans invented social learning, speech, writing, alphabets, printing, computers, and the Internet, which means we should be systematically directing the evolution of intellectual augmentation. Mind Amplifier: Can Our Digital Tools Make Us Smarter? examines the origins of digital mind-extending tools, and then lays out the foundations for their future. Rheingold proposes an applied, interdisciplinary science of mind amplification. He also unveils a new protocol for developing techno-cognitive-social technologies that embrace empathy, mindfulness, and compassion -- elements lacking from existing digital mind-tools.

New TED Book: Mind Amplifier

Dick Will Make You Slap Some Body

[Video Link via Sean Bonner] Alexyss K Tylor, Atlanta, GA-based public access cable television host and Vagina Power Coach.

Read the rest

Two cats just hanging out in a frying pan (video)

[Video Link] From Shironekoshiro.

Shocking: NBC series "Parenthood" nailed the experience of breast cancer

Jody Schoger, writing about a rare instance of a TV show getting the cancer experience right: "Most women diagnosed with breast cancer aren’t feeling sick to begin with.  They walk from the land of the well into the land of the bald, the nauseated, the medical record number, the breastless and the reconstructed. Then they are encouraged to stay positive about all this, as if failing to do so will somehow impede their survival. Think about that.  It makes no sense." Xeni

A website for elaborately handmade barrister's wigs

I was waiting in line in a coffeeshop recently, when I looked over the shoulder of a guy at a nearby table and saw this website: legaltailor.com. The Hong Kong-based company claims their primary clientele are legal professionals, but Judicial cosplayers and barrister fetishists can also plunk down hundreds to thousands of dollars for handmade wigs stitched from the finest Australian and Mongolian pony hair, with their name embroidered inside. The one shown above on the stand is about $2,500, and looks to me like a big old curly mullet.

Great Graphic Novels: Promethea, by Alan Moore

GreatgraphicnovelsLast month I asked my friends to write about books they loved (you can read all the essays here). This month, I invited them to write about their favorite graphic novels, and they selected some excellent titles. I hope you enjoy them! (Read all the Great Graphic Novel essays here.) -- Mark

Promethea, by Alan Moore (and others)

Alan Moore is a literary titan whose medium happens to be comic books: deal with it. The fact is, Moore is positively Joycean in the way he packs layers of meaning into words and, unlike Joyce—or Pynchon, or Wallace—he has the whole playground of image to play with as well.

The substantial success Moore attained with his scripts for Watchmen, From Hell, V for Vendetta, and other titles—and the substantial disappointments he suffered as those graphic masterpieces were translated to the screen—both allowed him and drove him to focus on more insular, idiosyncratic work… one can almost hear him muttering, ‘make a movie of this you effing bastards,’ as he completed his pornographic masterwork Lost Girls, or the swirl of Cabala, sex magick, metaphysics, and superhero mythology comprising the work I extol here, Promethea.

Read the rest

Origami TIE Fighter


Martin "starwarigami" Hunt made this lovely TIE Fighter origami piece for London's MCM Comic Expo and contributed it to the Boing Boing Flickr Pool, along with several other marvellous creations. The photo notes state: "Folded from a 2 by 1 rectangle cut from a sheet of 150gsm A1 craft paper. For a B.O.S. display at the 2012 MCM Expo in London."

TIE Fighter

eBook Review: Warm Moonlight

Warm Moonlight is the second Kindle Single I've read by Joseph Wurtenbaugh. I really like his style!

Warm Moonlight reveals a former 20's gun moll turned grandmother, sharing a supernatural story of their family past with her granddaughter. While the story isn't the most original and you've heard it before, Wurtenbaugh does a wonderful job of drawing you in. Do not, however, expect a repeat of Old Soul, which was told from the pov of a microscopic parasite/symbiote, this story is very different.

Joseph Wurtenbaugh's Warm Moonlight

Star Wars meets Rushmore meets Breakfast Club: Jedi High

Vincent sez, "A hard-working group of film students from Oak Park High in Winnipeg, Manitoba made this intergalactic cinematic mashup, which is an homage not only to Star Wars, but also The Breakfast Club and Rushmore."

Jedi High (Thanks, Vincent!)

Thomas Jefferson, enthusiastic, brutal slaver

Update: Be sure to read Annette Gordon-Reed's rebuttal to Wiencek's biography.

Marilyn sez, "My historian friend Henry Wiencek was distressed when he found, halfway into his research on Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves a new book about Thomas Jefferson, that generations of historians had been covering up Jefferson's dark side: he wasn't the lenient, soft-hearted, reluctant slave owner that he'd been made out to be. He found he could make money by raising slaves and selling them, and he allowed the littlest boys who worked under miserable conditions in his nail factory to be beaten if they were disobedient. Preview of the book in this month's Smithsonian Magazine."

We can be forgiven if we interrogate Jefferson posthumously about slavery. It is not judging him by today’s standards to do so. Many people of his own time, taking Jefferson at his word and seeing him as the embodiment of the country’s highest ideals, appealed to him. When he evaded and rationalized, his admirers were frustrated and mystified; it felt like praying to a stone. The Virginia abolitionist Moncure Conway, noting Jefferson’s enduring reputation as a would-be emancipator, remarked scornfully, “Never did a man achieve more fame for what he did not do..."

Once, a missing bundle of rod had started a fight in the nailery that got one boy’s skull bashed in and another sold south to terrify the rest of the children—“in terrorem” were Jefferson’s words—“as if he were put out of the way by death.” Perhaps this very bundle was the cause of the fight.

...The critical turning point in Jefferson’s thinking may well have come in 1792. As Jefferson was counting up the agricultural profits and losses of his plantation in a letter to President Washington that year, it occurred to him that there was a phenomenon he had perceived at Monticello but never actually measured. He proceeded to calculate it in a barely legible, scribbled note in the middle of a page, enclosed in brackets. What Jefferson set out clearly for the first time was that he was making a 4 percent profit every year on the birth of black children. The enslaved were yielding him a bonanza, a perpetual human dividend at compound interest. Jefferson wrote, “I allow nothing for losses by death, but, on the contrary, shall presently take credit four per cent. per annum, for their increase over and above keeping up their own numbers.” His plantation was producing inexhaustible human assets. The percentage was predictable.

In another communication from the early 1790s, Jefferson takes the 4 percent formula further and quite bluntly advances the notion that slavery presented an investment strategy for the future. He writes that an acquaintance who had suffered financial reverses “should have been invested in negroes.” He advises that if the friend’s family had any cash left, “every farthing of it [should be] laid out in land and negroes, which besides a present support bring a silent profit of from 5. to 10. per cent in this country by the increase in their value.”

...And this world was crueler than we have been led to believe. A letter has recently come to light describing how Monticello’s young black boys, “the small ones,” age 10, 11 or 12, were whipped to get them to work in Jefferson’s nail factory, whose profits paid the mansion’s grocery bills. This passage about children being lashed had been suppressed—deliberately deleted from the published record in the 1953 edition of Jefferson’s Farm Book, containing 500 pages of plantation papers. That edition of the Farm Book still serves as a standard reference for research into the way Monticello worked.

...It was during the 1950s, when historian Edwin Betts was editing one of Colonel Randolph’s plantation reports for Jefferson’s Farm Book, that he confronted a taboo subject and made his fateful deletion. Randolph reported to Jefferson that the nailery was functioning very well because “the small ones” were being whipped. The youngsters did not take willingly to being forced to show up in the icy midwinter hour before dawn at the master’s nail forge. And so the overseer, Gabriel Lilly, was whipping them “for truancy.”

The Dark Side of Thomas Jefferson [Smithsonian]

Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves [Amazon]

(Thanks, Marilyn!)