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Marshall home stereo

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Marshall Headphones & Amplification have launched their first home audio product, an active loudspeaker that (surprise) looks just like a guitar amp. The Hanwell, named for the London location of Jim Marshall's first shop, has a wooden cabinet with the iconic Marshall vinyl wrapping and black/gold grill cloth. No word on pricing, or whether it goes to eleven. "Hawnell Revealed"

CNN suppresses its own award-winning doc on human rights abuses in Bahrain; has commercial ties to the regime

CNN sent its investigative correspondent Amber Lyon to produce an expensive documentary on the Arab Spring, including human rights abuses in Bahrain. Lyon and her crew were violently detained by Bahraini security forces, but soldiered on and made "iRevolution: Online Warriors of the Arab Spring," which went on to win awards and acclaim after its sole airing on CNN.

But CNN International, "the most-watched English-speaking news outlet in the Middle East," has never aired the doc. While cutting the doc, Lyon was pressured to include statements from the Bahraini government that she knew to be lies. And CNN itself under-reported the ongoing abuses in Bahrain. Now, CNN has threatened Lyon with sanction for her continued work to uncover the reason that her doc was blackballed by the international arm of her former employer. CNN itself has been remarkably friendly to the Bahraini regime, with which it has close financial ties.

Here's more from Glenn Greenwald in The Guardian:

On 16 August, Lyon wrote three tweets about this episode. CNNi's refusal to broadcast "iRevolution", she wrote, "baffled producers". Linking to the YouTube clip of the Bahrain segment, she added that the "censorship was devastating to my crew and activists who risked lives to tell [the] story." She posted a picture of herself with Rajab and wrote:

"A proponent of peace, @nabeelrajab risked his safety to show me how the regime oppresses the [people] of #Bahrain."

The following day, a representative of CNN's business affairs office called Lyon's acting agent, George Arquilla of Octagon Entertainment, and threatened that her severance payments and insurance benefits would be immediately terminated if she ever again spoke publicly about this matter, or spoke negatively about CNN.

Why didn't CNN's international arm air its own documentary on Bahrain's Arab Spring repression? (via Reddit)

At sea for science

The Joides Resolution is a large boat—more than 450 feet long and almost 70 feet wide. That’s small compared to a lot of cruise ships, but big enough to house and feed and provide work space for 126 people. It’s a floating city, with a movie theater, helipad, hospital, cafeteria, laboratories, and a giant drilling rig. But even a big boat can start to feel small when you have nowhere else to go, and no land in sight, for two whole months.

Read the rest

Update: Jim Carrey has reportedly accepted the role of Colonel Stars in Kick-Ass 2

In an update to a previous story, Jim Carrey is definitely going to play Colonel Stars in Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall. Apparently, according to Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar, informal talks with Carrey started about two years ago, and as a good friend of Nicolas "Big Daddy" Cage as well as a fan of the first movie, he was ultimately won over. Millar also mentioned something about how Steven Spielberg would have totally cast him as Brody if he was making Jaws today. But I choose to think that in the end, it was because I begged and pleaded and prayed for this to happen. Yeah, that's probably it. My magical superfan prayers. (via I Heart Chaos) Jamie

Del Close tribute in Los Angeles on Saturday

This Saturday, September 8th 8PM, at the Fanatic Salon, Betty Thomas seeks to answer one of the enduring questions of improv: "Who was Del Close?"

Every student of Del, myself included, has their share of stories about working with one of the greatest minds in comedy. Del, a member of the Compass, director of the Committee, Second City and countless improv troupes, helped form the basis upon which modern improvisational theater stands. He was colorful, brilliant, inspired and inspiring. See the embedded video for a bit of Del describing his work and the improv form he created, called the Harold.

Accompanied by the musical genius of Fred Kaz, Thomas has gathered together an incredibly talented group of improvisors: Rob Janas, Dan Bakkedahl, Dan Antonucci, Joe Canale, Kevin Fleming, Matt Craig and Jay Leggett, Jean Villepique, Celeste Pechous, Molly Erdman, Carrie Clifford and Shulie Cowen -- all of whom have worked or trained with Del.

This insanely talented group will perform two Harolds, both formed around their own experiences and the audiences answer... "Who was Del?"

Burning Man's Temple of Remembrance


Ian Alexander Norman contributed his long-exposure pic of this year's Temple of Remembrance at Burning Man to the Boing Boing Flickr pool. The Temple is a huge, ornate structure that burners fill up with their regrets, grief, memorials and testaments to their dead, their lost, and their sorrows. Last Sunday night, we burned the Temple in near silence (one jackass in an art car broke up the silence by repeatedly blasting Freebird), and watched the sorrows go up in flame. I wrote a remembrance there for my good friend Possum Man, and it was cathartic to see it all burn, surrounded by tens of thousands of other people watching their own fires.

Update: Xeno Evil sez, "I just wanted to say that the rendition of Freebird that you heard was not a jackass. It was a tribute to a dear friend and solid DPW member who used to always play the song before he was killed a couple months ago in Austin. His name was Joey Jello and he was an exemplary human being, he actually made most of DPW take stock and try to be better people. He had 'Never Betray' tattooed on his neck backwards so that whenever he looked in the mirror, he'd be reminded of his commitment to live by his moral standards. When we play freebird (and I, personally, HATE the song) it's not to bother other people, it's to remind us to be better people because Joey was better than all of us, he was amazing, weird and great. His absence has left a void of awesome that all of us in DPW feel needs to be filled. Working DPW is weird and hard and it takes a certain punk rock lifestyle... it takes its toll and we all die a little too soon. Joey's not the first of us to die, but I'd like you to know why Freebird was playing,

The Temple

Model boats will explore contaminated New York City waterway

The Newtown Creek Armada preview from Newtown Creek Armada on Vimeo.

Nathan Kensinger is an artist "whose work explores hidden urban landscapes, off-limits structures, and other liminal spaces." He told me about a project that he, Laura Chipley, and Sarah Nelson Wright are working on called The Newtown Creek Armada:

It's a public art installation that is using remote control boats and underwater cameras to explore the Newtown Creek, a federal Superfund Site in New York City.

The installation opens this weekend, when we will be inviting the public to pilot our fleet of nine miniature boats, and to film their own voyage on the Newtown Creek. We will also be presenting several videos of our voyages that document the more polluted parts of the creek, which is home to the second largest oil spill in the United States, and has been used as a dumping ground for heavy industry and raw sewage for over 150 years. Despite this history, nature is slowly returning to the area, as we discovered on our voyages.

The Newtown Creek Armada

Trailer for Dead Europe

[Video Link] Dead Europe, a new movie by Tony Krawitz, is premiering at the 2012 Toronto International Film on Friday.

Dead Europe, from the producers of Shame and Animal Kingdom, is a tense and moody mystery set on the turbulent streets of contemporary Europe. The film follows a young photographer named Isaac (Ewen Leslie in a breakthrough performance) who -- while taking his deceased father's ashes from Australia to Greece -- comes to learn that something sinister happened in his family's past involving a young Jewish boy. Despite an effort to distract himself with a mix of random sex and drugs, Isaac's world begins to unravel as he realizes that he cannot escape the ghosts of the past.

Help Anil Dash give a whole village clean water

It's Anil Dash's 37th birthday, and he's asking his friends and fans to donate $37 to charity:water, to provide clean water for a whole village. His post gives the background on this: he grew up playing with cousins in India, and later in life discovered that the entirety of a neighboring village was wiped out by cholera, with 100 percent mortality.

* I'm running a charity: water campaign to raise $5000 to provide a clean water for an entire village. charity: water is well-known, reputable, efficient, trustworthy and effective in delivering new water wells to areas of the world that need them. I've sponsored wells before, and this is the most meaningful thing we can do. Your entire donation will go to funding water projects, not overhead.

* You should give $37. It's my 37th birthday, and that makes for a nice number. But it's also enough that you'll feel your gift. I don't want this to be a $10 pledge you absentmindedly send to a Kickstarter campaign, or a $5 gift that's "as much as you'd pay at Starbucks". I want you to make a choice, to spend enough money that you have to think about it and compare it to how much you pay for your own water bill. I know you are generous.

* I tell you the story of how the lack of clean water impacts people a part of the world where I have loved ones because I need you to understand that this isn't some abstract threat that happens to "those people over there" living some exotic life you only see in TV specials. People who die, or have their lives dramatically affected, by the lack of fresh water are exactly like me. Their family is from where mine is from, they speak English as well as I do, they use smartphones to communicate, they are like me in every way except their parents didn't get on a jet and come around the world. And as a result, they can be put in mortal danger by having a glass of water to drink.

I've just donated. Will you?

Water and Giving: Leaving a Mark

Explorer Ed Stafford chronicles deadly journey of Walking the Amazon (excerpt)

Here's an exclusive excerpt from Walking the Amazon: 860 Days. One Step at a Time. by Ed Stafford.

NewImageIn April 2008, Ed Stafford embarked on a journey to become the first person to walk the entire length of the Amazon River. In what was supposed to be a year long journey, Stafford followed the Amazon River from its known source in the Peruvian Andes to its end off the coast of Brazil 860 days later, which eventually led to a two-part documentary on Discovery Channel.

In Walking the Amazon Ed Stafford recounts his thrilling, yet often dangerous, expedition across Peru and the Andes including:

- Drug trafficking trails of Colombia

- Navigating the densest parts of the rainforest in Brazil

- Near mental breakdown in the final stretches of the trek

- Threat of machete-wielding indigenous tribes

- food shortages, poisonous animals, injuries, tropical storms

Despite it all, Stafford was able to use his expedition to successfully connect with schools and raise awareness on environmental issues in result of the deforestation of the Amazon. Currently working with Discovery Channel on a new project, Stafford currently holds the Guinness World Record for completing the longest jungle expedition, named European Adventure of the Year and nominated as one of National Geographic’s “Adventurers of the Year” for what was previously thought of as an impossible feat.

Exhilarating from start to finish, Walking the Amazon is a true account of a world-first expedition that takes readers on the most daring voyage along the world’s greatest river and through the most bio-diverse habitat on Earth.

Buy Walking the Amazon

Read Excerpt

The secret history of the St. Louis Post Office and its amazing pneumatic tube

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In 1905, the St. Louis post office built a two-mile pneumatic tube system to deliver mail between the train station and the post office. It was expensive to maintain ($17,000 per year per mile of tube) and ruined a lot of mail.

From Aimee Levitt's article in the Riverfront Times:

St. Louis's tubes ran a little less than two miles; by contrast, New York's system, the largest in the U.S., was 27 miles, not counting the tube that ran under the East River to Brooklyn. It was also the least efficient: Most of the time, the tubes, which were open from 4 a.m. to midnight six days a week, ran at only 26 percent capacity, except between 7 and 9 a.m. when the two big mail trains arrived. Then it was overwhelmed and the mail would be delayed for as long as 20 minutes. That was about five times as long as it took normally for the capsules to whiz their way from the train station to the main post office.

The tubes themselves were eight inches in diameter. The capsules were seven inches in diameter and 22 inches long; they could each hold about 600 letters. They didn't look much different from the capsules that are still used in banks. (Why mess with good technology?) Underground, they traveled at 30 miles per hour, propelled along by a system of fans and pumps that would either blow them forward or suck them backward.

Here's USPO's pro/con list of the system:

Read the rest

Michael Jai White gets his own action franchise

Have you ever seen Black Dynamite? Even if you haven't, just trust me on this. (And also see Black Dynamite.) While that movie was a spoof of blaxploitation films, its star, Michael Jai White, legitimately rocked it (and wrote it). Before that, the career martial artist (he holds eight black belts) starred in a variety of films that let him show off his skills, including 1997's Spawn, which made him the first African American comic book movie superhero, and Exit Wounds with Steven Seagal, plus the title role in HBO's Tyson and mobster Gambol in The Dark Knight. Now, finally, White will take the lead in his own action franchise, Codename: Falcon, about a former Marine who gets into some scuffles in Brazil while avenging his sister's death. The first of the series, Favela, is set to start shooting with director Isaac Florentine later this year, which is right around half past "about freaking time" for Michael Jai White to get his own action series. (via Action Flick Chick) Jamie

HOWTO protect yourself from ATM skimmers

Brian Krebs, who has written many excellent investigative pieces on ATM skimmers, spent several hours watching footage seized from hidden skimmer cameras, and has concluded that covering your hand while you enter your PIN really works in many cases -- and that many people don't bother to take this elementary step.

Some readers may thinking, “Wait a minute: Isn’t it more difficult to use both hands when you’re withdrawing cash from a drive-thru ATM while seated in your car?” Maybe. You might think, then, that it would be more common to see regular walk-up ATM users observing this simple security practice. But that’s not what I found after watching 90 minutes of footage from another ATM scam that was recently shared by a law enforcement source. In this attack, the fraudster installed an all-in-one skimmer, and none of the 19 customers caught on camera before the scheme was foiled made any effort to shield the PIN pad.

Krebs goes on to note that this doesn't work in instances where the skimmer includes a compromised PIN pad, and it seems likely that if covering PINs became more routine that crooks would take up this technique more broadly. But for now, covering your PIN with your free hand is a free, effective means of protecting yourself from ATM skimmers.

A Handy Way to Foil ATM Skimmer Scams

Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique recreated and remixed

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Musicians DJ Food, Cheeba, and Moneyshot spent three years recreating the Beastie Boys masterful Paul's Boutique from "all the original samples plus a cappellas, period interviews and the Beasties’ own audio commentary from the reissued release." This is a sequel-of-sorts to Cheeba and Moneyshot's "Beastie Boy Beats: Check Your Head." DJ Food's post on the project includes a full tracklist with source material references. "Caught In The Middle of A 3-Way Mix – a tribute to The Beastie Boys‘ ‘Paul’s Boutique’ album"


Woman arrested four times in 26 hours

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This is Joyce Coffey who was arrested four times in 26 hours last week. Reportedly, the first three times were for playing loud music, including AC/DC's "Highway to Hell." The final time was after she threw a frying pan at her nephew. "Police: Woman arrested 4 times in 26 hours" (AP, thanks, Rick Pescovitz!)