"I Fucking Love Science" and "Lost Wormhole" t-shirts

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Scienceeee

…and I fucking love these new t-shirts from our friends at the Imaginary Foundation. Also available in this "Bonkers Collection" is a Charles Darwin "Chuck D: Natural Selecta" design. IF has kindly offered Boing Boing readers 20% off any of those three shirts in the Bonkers Collection until midnight PT tomorrow. (Discount code: BOING20) Imaginary Foundation

Travesty of the Day: The straight-to-DVD sequel to A Christmas Story

So, I don't like to make a career out of snarking on things. I prefer to focus on things that don't make me want to break an expensive piece of technology or kill the entire internet with fire. And it's not even the internet's fault, this thing I'm about to show you. It is a trailer for an "official" sequel to the 1983 cult holiday marathon classic, A Christmas Story. It never had to exist, and yet here it is. Existing. It's not coming to theaters, but it is still asking you to spend your hard-earned money (or imaginary money aka credit) on a movie that should have never made it further than a fan-fiction web site.

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New record for quantum teleportation

"Physicists at the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences have achieved quantum teleportation over a record distance of 143 km. The experiment is a major step towards satellite-based quantum communication."

Man's Search For Happiness

[Video Link] Philosophy departments around the world are throwing their ontology books away, replacing them with this video, which answers all questions about existence and the meaning of life. (Via CN)

Water bear hunter (video)

[Video Link] If Boing Boing had a mascot animal, it would probably be the tardigrade. As you aware, tardigrades (the scientific name is water bear) came to Earth from outer space.

Spaced Out is Vice's show about space on Earth. In the new episode, Motherboard travels to the Virginia wilderness to visit self proclaimed naturalist Mike Shaw on his hunt for the tardigrade, a "water bear" that can survive in situations that almost no other living organism can... and could have totally come from another planet.

Vice: First Animal to Survive in Space

Ransom & Mitchell's phantasmagoric photo narratives, San Francisco show

I've posted many times about the genius of Stacey Ransom and Jason Mitchell whose phantasmagoric photo illustrations are like pages from a living comic book. Stacey builds incredibly-elaborate sets, essentially from scrap, flea market finds, and duct tape, and Jason takes photos (and makes films) with the eye of a master painter. The results are noir narrative images that, for me, convey the feelings of the surreal reality I inhabit in my dreams. Ransom and Mitchell have their first solo show of photographs opening this Saturday, September 8, at Varnish Fine Art in San Francisco. The exhibition, titled "Smoke & Mirrors," includes images from their ongoing series of artist portraits in which they worked with underground and pop surrealist creators and other fringe characters like Scott Musgrove, Mike Davis, Jess "Bloodmilk" Schnabel, Greg "Craola" Simkins (top), Charmaine Olivia (above left) to bring alive these subjects' inner visions. I was deeply honored when they invited me to be part of this series and created the magickal portrait above right. From Stacey's blog post that includes a preview of the exhibition, behind-the-scenes photos of the shoots, and the transformed gallery space:

Through a combination of cinematic lighting, theatrically-designed sets, and an illustrative approach that is inspired by the Italian and Dutch Master painters, we aim to create worlds that cannot exist (and quite possibly shouldn’t).

In our show “Smoke & Mirrors,” we are presenting two unique bodies of work, consisting of fourteen cinematically themed tableaus, twenty seven artist portraits and two short films. For our narrative pieces, we have combined epic scenes of lush grandeur with uncomfortable emotional themes that address issue of obsession, consumption and longing.

For our portraiture, we have sought to tell personalized stories about each artist and filled their scenes with clues about their inner truths.

Preview "Ransom & Mitchell's Smoke & Mirrors" (Ransom Notes)

More images below...

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Cheetah robot runs 28.3 mph


[Video Link] Eric Weinhoffer says: "Boston Dynamics have improved their Cheetah bot. It can now run faster than 28 mph, and still doesn't have a head. They push it to the limit at the 55 second point."

An interesting moment from Kate Bush's œuvre

The last two minutes of Get Out Of My House, from Kate Bush' 1982 album The Dreaming, clearly rank among the finest moments of her work. [via @dogboner of Your Kickstarter Sucks]

Videos from H2K2 hacker convention online

Emmanuel Goldstein from 2600 Magazine sez, "H2K2 was an historic hacker conference that took place in 2002 in New York City. It happened a mere 10 months after 9/11 shook the city and changed the country. The threat of the PATRIOT Act was one of the main themes here, along with visions of future technology being used to suppress freedom worldwide. This really is an incredible time capsule that shows how hackers understood from the beginning the implications of increased government power, and the use of fear to drive new policies that would wind up affecting the world. There are 67 videos now restored and online for the first time, discussing everything from crypto for the masses to airport security to steganography."

H2K2 VIDEO ARCHIVE NOW ONLINE (Thanks, Manny!)

Seattle's mystery hum

Residents of West Seattle are reporting on the return of a mysterious hum that was first heard several years ago. Apparently, the hum shifts in frequency, goes away and then returns. The West Seattle Blog, that first mentioned the intermittent hum back in 2009, has posted a recording of it. The site is investigating whether it's industrial noise from a nearby plant. So far though, the source is unknown. Perhaps the West Seattle hum is participating in a hum symphony with the Taos Hum, New Zealand Hum, and the Bristol Hum. "Is ‘the hum’ industrial noise? Many reports, few complaints – so far"

US Rep. Jared Polis's DNC speech


[Video Link] Here's Boing Boing T-shirt owner Rep. Jared Polis giving a great speech at the Democratic National Convention about respecting diversity.

See also: Happy Mutant Congressman has at least two Boing Boing T-shirts in his wardrobe, Top US drug cop can't tell the difference between marijuana and heroin, "The Internet is For Porn" entered into official SOPA debate record

Patrick Warburton has provided some deliciously vague non-hints about the upcoming season of The Venture Bros.

Be still my Venture-fan heart -- Patrick Warburton, who voices career assassin-slash-bodyguard Brock Samson on Adult Swim's The Venture Bros., was approached at an event promoting the syndication of his sitcom Rules of Engagement about what was going to happen to his character in the upcoming fifth season of the show. And then he said a group of words that amounted to just about nothing:

“Something happens with S.P.H.I.N.X. [Ed. note: S.P.H.I.N.X.!] Something happens. You like that? And I’m not holding back. That’s all I know. I know something happens. I’m not sure what it is.”

There you have it, folks! Warburton isn't talking. At least he's not talking details. At least not any details that he knows about. But we'll know a teensy bit more next month when the Halloween special airs, and in the meantime, co-creator Jackson Publick released some stills from that special that we can all gaze upon. And honestly, who isn't happy to hear any kind of news from Venture-town, even if it contains exactly zero new information?

Patrick Warburton Teases Brock’s Storyline in Venture Bros. Season 5 [Spinoff Online]

Screenshots from season 5 in glorious extra-color [The Mantis-Eye Experiment]

4chan gets real about software

Illustration: [Pixiv]

9/7/2012: Updated with feedback from moot

4chan, the Internet's long-time dumping ground and butt of many a joke, is getting serious about software by making their biggest public-facing code change in nearly a decade, introducing an API and a bunch of new functionality.

Given its reputation, many commentators have already written this off with a shrug and a laugh. But 4chan is also one of the web's most popular and influential communities. It's the source of so many Internet-age cultural trends that even your grandma may be dimly aware that the clever picture she posted on her Facebook was trawled a thousand copies ago from the dark depths of /mlp/. Given that there's big money in all this, the API offers businesses a direct line to the heart of the machine.

As a professional software developer and long time 4chan user, I think this is a pretty interesting development. I talked yesterday afternoon to some of those who worked on 4chan's code over the years and know a little about why this is such an important development.

Charlie Stross and Cory at Brooklyn's MakerBot BotCave TONIGHT!

Hey, Brooklynites and assorted New Yorkers! Charlie Stross and I will be at MakerBot's BotCave TONIGHT at 7PM (MakerBot Headquarters, 314 Dean Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217)! There are party favors, exciting transhuman humor, and books! And 3D printers!

There's two more stops on this tour: we'll be in Brookline, MA tomorrow night, and at RIT in Rochester this weekend.

Tell your friends!

Awesome Authors To Speak At MakerBot

Immortal Lycanthropes: Required reading for budding happy mutants and their grownups

Hal Johnson's Immortal Lycanthropes is a YA novel unlike any other. It's the story of Myron Horowitz, a horribly disfigured amnesiac orphan whose nice adoptive parents can't protect him from the savage beatings administered by the school bully every day. But then the bully is found bruised and battered and hurled through shatterproof glass, and Myron is found on the floor of the cafeteria, naked, with no sign of his clothes anywhere. And the adventure starts.

You see, Myron is an immortal lycanthrope, part of an ancient mythic race of human/animal hybrids -- one for every species of mammal -- who date back to the dawn of humanity. Nothing can kill him save another immortal in animal form, and there are plenty of those around, as it turns out. They have all come out of the woodwork to attempt to kidnap/kill/rescue/brainwash/claim/manipulate him, because he appears to be the first newborn immortal lycanthrope since the dawn of history.

Myron is off on a madcap trip across America, variously beaten and nearly killed and tricked and conned and even worshipped as he discovers the true nature of his race, and speculates about what animal might lurk within him.

Johnson has taken a slight idea -- his editor says that the book's genesis was a sarcastic remark about writing YA fiction, as in, "What, you want me to write about immortal lycanthropes or something?" -- and made something perfectly wonderful and wonderfully perfect out of it. A few chapters in, I flipped to the beginning of the book looking for an "about the author," only to notice that he'd dedicated the book to Daniel Pinkwater, who is the all-time world champion of weird amazing mind melting brilliant YA fiction. I knew then that I had found a writer who was going to pierce me like a very funny, very weird arrow.

And pierce me he did. Take one part Lemony Snicket, one part Boy's Life adventure, three measures of Daniel Pinkwater, a dash of Tex Avery mixed with Carlos Castenada, and you'd get something like Immortal Lycanthropes.

When I was twelve years old, my brain was blown clear out of my skull and into an erratic orbit by a Daniel Pinkwater novel called Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy From Mars. If I wanted to have the same effect on a bright 12 year old proto-mutant today, I might just hand her or him a copy of Immortal Lyncathropes. For the win.

Immortal Lycanthropes