Alaskan baby walrus seeks bukkit in New York

Mitik, a 234-pound, 15-week-old, rescued baby walrus, travels from Alaska to NYC this week in a jumbo-size crate aboard a FedEx cargo jet, accompanied by a vet and a handler.

Court sets accused rapist free, arguing severely disabled woman who can't talk could still refuse sex

Your daily dose of rage: the state Supreme Court in Connecticut has decided to let a rapist go free in a case involving a severely disabled woman with limited mobility who cannot talk. Why? Because there was no evidence she could not communicate her refusal to have sex with the defendant." She cerebral palsy, cannot verbally communicate, and "is so physically restricted that she is able to make motions only with her right index finger."

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How to survive an atomic bomb: insurance company ad, 1951

"Whatever your attitude toward use of the atomic bomb, you must live with the fact that it exists," commands this ad. About the self-protection steps it details, "The wise citizen of this atomic era will memorize them so thoroughly that their use would be almost instinctive."

A vintage Mutual of Omaha insurance company advertisement from 1951, lovingly scanned and shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by v.valenti.

So, I'll need to look into this further, but did Mutual of Omaha offer "surprise atomic attack" coverage at the time? The ad doesn't make that clear.

(Update: Cory blogged this back in 2010.) Read the rest

Brightly colored Guy Fawkes mask-scarves

$15 a pop, in red, orange, blue, and violet, as well as the more traditional black. Hot Occu-Babe not included. Giant Eye/ I'm also feelin' the Kraken Loves Galleon - Laser Cut Paper Eyelashes and the Pedobear Earrings.

Update: Here's Cory modelling one! And here's a previous post about the black ones. Cory says, "They make several appearances in HOMELAND, the forthcoming sequel to LITTLE BROTHER." (The thing that's new here is the colors.) Read the rest

Shuttle Endeavour's California flyover, as seen from an FA18

This NASA video captures shuttle Endeavour's aerial view during its tour of Southern California on September 21, 2012.

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HOWTO make an Ewok bento box

Jenilanda's recipe for an Ewok bento box is delicious and cute as the dickens. Yub nub.

How To Make An Ewok Bento Box (via The Mary Sue) Read the rest

Cheesy video for AT&T's Frame Creation Terminal, a 1982 graphics workstation

The Bell Labs-produced Frame Creation Terminal (FCT) was an all-in-one graphics system designed to generate the types of pages used by the Viewtron system.

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The Beer Shuttle: Kirin ad, Japan, 1984

The Beer Shuttle. If NASA had used this sort of pragmatic ingenuity, perhaps the shuttle program would have lasted longer. Generously scanned and shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by v.valenti. Read the rest

Price discrimination without coercion: the Humble Ebook Bundle

My latest Guardian column is "Giving online customers the chance to pay what they want works," which describes the thinking behind the Humble Ebook Bundle, a bold name-your-price ebook promo that launches today:

What if the experience of purchasing electronic media was redesigned around making you feel trusted and sincerely appreciated? What if you knew that the lion's share of the money you spent on electronic media went straight to the creator? What if, in short, you knew your honesty would be rewarded with a fair deal for all parties?

Of all the ideas from the heady days of internet futurism, none is as fraught as "price discrimination," the practice of charging different rates to different customers for the same product. Price discrimination is a mainstay of the travel industry, where airlines and hotels try all manner of tricks to try and figure out who's willing to pay more and charge them accordingly.

For example, travellers who won't endure an overnight Saturday stay are presumed to be travelling on business, charging the ticket to someone else, and therefore less price-sensitive. So itineraries with Saturday stays are often much cheaper than those without.

Region-coding on DVDs is a crack at this: the cost of producing a DVD is very low, so the retail price is pretty much arbitrary. The studios thought they could offer goods at one price in rich countries, and a lower price in poor countries, and use region-codes to prevent the flow of cheap versions from the poor world to the rich world.

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Pirate Cinema, for your downloading pleasure

It took me a little while, but the Pirate Cinema website is finally up, with multiformat downloads and purchase links for the ebooks, print books, and audioboks. Have at it! Read the rest

Disneyland employee cafeteria, 1961

This pic from the Disneyland employee cafeteria in 1961 has got to be staged (the astronaut with his helmet still on is a bit of a giveaway), but it's still a great shot.

Disneyland’s backstage cafeteria, 1961 Read the rest

Antifascist Greek protesters say they were tortured by police

Antifascist protesters in Greece who were arrested during a clash with members of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn party/gang say they were tortured by the police, who put out cigarettes on them, tased them, beat them, and threatened to provide their names and addresses to Golden Dawn revenge squads. The Guardian's Maria Margaronis reports:

Several of the protesters arrested after the first demonstration on Sunday 30 September told the Guardian they were slapped and hit by a police officer while five or six others watched, were spat on and "used as ashtrays" because they "stank", and were kept awake all night with torches and lasers being shone in their eyes.

Some said they were burned on the arms with a cigarette lighter, and they said police officers videoed them on their mobile phones and threatened to post the pictures on the internet and give their home addresses to Golden Dawn, which has a track record of political violence.

One of the two women among them said the officers used crude sexual insults and pulled her head back by the hair when she tried to avoid being filmed. The protesters said they were denied drinking water and access to lawyers for 19 hours. "We were so thirsty we drank water from the toilets," she said.

One man with a bleeding head wound and a broken arm that he said had been sustained during his arrest alleged the police continued to beat him in GADA and refused him medical treatment until the next morning.

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Occubaby is born!

Call it kismet. Last year police officers fenced in a peaceful young woman and pepper sprayed her in the face at an Occupy protest. She fell in love with the medic who came to her aid. On September 28 the couple had a baby: Tegan Kathleen Grodt!

Occubaby is born! Read the rest

Surreptitious recording of a stop-question-and-frisk in New York

The New York police department conducts 1800 stop-question-and-frisks every day. This video contains an audio recording of a couple of Officer Friendlies conducting a stop-and-frisk on a Harlem teen named Alvin.

Radley Balko says:

This video includes a surreptitious recording of a stop and frisk in New York. It also includes interviews with NYPD cops who say that what you’re hearing isn’t atypical.

The phrase “police state” is overused. But if you can’t merely walk on the sidewalk in your own neighborhood without enduring this kind of harassment on a regular basis, I don’t know of any term that’s more appropriate.

Stopped-and-Frisked: 'For Being a F***king Mutt' [VIDEO] Read the rest

The Verge profiles SRL robot artist Mark Pauline

Here's a beautifully shot video profile of our friend Mark Pauline, founder of Survival Research Laboratories. Mark has been creating explosive robotic art performances for over 30 years.

This is Mark Pauline, and for 34 of his 58 years he’s built robots. They are not practical robots, not servile room-sweepers or toadying floor-moppers, but multi-ton monstrosities, feral machines of metal and fire birthed from his idiosyncratic imagination. Everywhere he looks he sees machines yoked to the banal — a jet engine, a backhoe, a pair of industrial movers — everyday technologies bored by their routines. He sees their potential, then sets to liberating it; he digs deep into the machines to discover what they really want to be.
A couple of minutes into the video there's a scene where Mark is being questioned by a firefighter about the crazy fires and explosions involved in the show. It's hilarious.

What kind of machine is Mark Pauline? Read the rest

Cupcake appears to be topped with bloody glass shards

This completely edible Dexter-themed cupcake would go well with the Carrie cake I saw several years ago at a craft fair. Read the rest

High-flying financiers subscribe to high-ticket astrologers

According to Heidi N. Moore's report in Marketwatch, thousands of high-flying Wall Street traders secretly rely on advice from "financial astrologers" who tell them what the stars and planets predict for the market. One trader requests his newsletter in a plain brown wrapper so that his colleagues won't know his secret.

Financial astrologers like Karen Starich say traders know they're up against a lot of rich, smart people.

"They want to have that edge," she says. "They want to know what the future is."

Starich chargest $237 annually for her newsletter, which 300 traders subscribe to for news of what will happen to the stock prices of companies, or even bigger, to the Federal Reserve. She sees dark times ahead in the Fed's horoscope.

"They now have Saturn squared to Neptune, which is really bankruptcy," Starich explains.

Astrology guides some financial traders (via Lowering the Bar)

(Image: Astrological Clock, Torre dell'Orologio, Venice, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from spencer77's photostream) Read the rest

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