Boing Boing 

Overly Attached Girlfriend at the American Music Awards

Laina Walker, aka Overly Attached Girlfriend, is quick on her feet at the American Music Awards.

North Korea reports "Lair of King Tongmyong's Unicorn Reconfirmed in DPRK"

Seems legit.

(via @chicoharlan, thanks, @klustout)

Weev: Hackers should keep security holes to themselves

Weev. Photo: Gawker

Andrew Auernheimer, aka “weev,” the hacker found guilty last week of computer intrusion for obtaining the unprotected e-mail addresses of more than 100,000 iPad owners from AT&T’s website and passing them to a journalist, has an opinion piece in Wired News today.

Auenheimer, who founded troll group Gay Nigger Association of American and once said "some big Jews" would love to serve him a summons, sees his conviction as an unjust way to AT&T punish the messenger, rather than owning responsibility for a weak system.

In the Wired op-ed, he argues that hackers should forget about disclosure, and keep what they learn of security holes to themselves.

Houston duo indicted for internet puppy torture videos

Wired Threat Level reports that a man and woman in Houston man and woman have been indicted for distributing snuff films online in which puppies and other animals were tortured and killed. "Federal authorities say the pair made eight videos — bearing titles like puppy 1, whitechick and crushblackluvsample — that depicted puppies, chickens, kittens and other animals being tortured and killed."

Arrested for punching psychic, Lindsay Lohan becomes instant Skepticism movement hero

Troubled famous person Lindsay Lohan was arrested this week for sucker-punching a Florida psychic inside a Manhattan nightclub where Lohan had once been banned. “I need space,” Lohan allegedly declared before slamming her fist into palm reader Tiffany Mitchell, who offered her a free “reading.” Admit it, you Michael-Shermer, Richard-Dawkins reader, you are secretly cheering her on.

At pre-trial hearing, Bradley Manning testifies of mistreatment in detention

"My world just shrank to Camp Arifjan and then my cage. I remember thinking: I'm going to die. I'm stuck here and I'm going to die in animal cage."— Bradley Manning, testifying at Fort Meade on Thursday. (Guardian)

Syrian internet blackout continues for second day

The Internet in Syria is effectively shut down for a second successive day, according to activists who spoke to the New York Times, "fanning speculation among opponents of President Bashar al-Assad about the government’s intentions in coming days." There are always workarounds, including satellite phones, but those alternatives make it easier for Assad agents to snoop on rebels.

Top Baby Names of 2012 include "Mac," "Siri," and "Mars"

Mac, Siri, Sky, Star, Luna, Skylar, Heaven, Stella, and Mars are among the baby names that grew in popularity in 2012, according to BabyCenter.

Victorian jargon watch: "a dictionary of heterodox English, slang and phrase"

The Internet Archive has a complete scan of James Redding Ware's wonderful 1909 treatise "Passing English of the Victorian era: a dictionary of heterodox English, slang and phrase," ganked from the University of Toronto's Robarts library. The Archive has OCR'ed versions, hi-rez PDFs of color and b/w scans, and every ebook format you're likely to need.

If you'd prefer a hardcopy there's a paperback reprint for sale, too. It's really something. Here's a few gems:

Enobs (Back slang). Bone, in ordinary plural. A very favourite inversion is a sort of rebus, bones showing affording a study of ' knobs '.

But he swallowed a box of matches one day which burnt away all the fat and left the mere enoba you see now.

Evening wheezes (Peoples'). False news, spread in evening half- penny papers in order to sell them.

Fairy (Lower Peoples). A debauched, hideous old woman, especially when drunk.

Fake a poke (Thieves'). To pick, or manipulate, a pocket. This phrase is a singular revival. Johnson has ' Fake amongst seamen a pile of rope,' and as to poke ' a pocket or small bag'. ' I will not buy a pig in a poke !' Camden.

He denied that when entering the music hall he was accused by a larty of picking her pocket, and further said that when called out he did not say he had never ' faked a poke ' in his life. People, 6th September 1896.

Fake pie (Straitened Soc., 1880). A towards -the-end-of-the- week effort at pastry, into which go all the ' orts ', ' overs ', and ' ends ' of the week. See Resurrection pie a term which this has superseded.

Penny puzzle (Street, 1883). Sausage because it is never found out. (See Bag o' mystery.)

Wingers sometimes called Flanges (Colloquial about 1865). After the Crimean beard, which meant all the hair growable on the face, had lasted in fashion about ten or twelve years, the chin came to be once more shown, and the whiskers were thrown back, or pulled away from the cheeks, and allowed to grow as long as nature decided. The name was obtained from their streaming and waving character.

Passing English of the Victorian era : a dictionary of heterodox English, slang and phrase. [archive.org]

Passing English of the Victorian era : a dictionary of heterodox English, slang and phrase. [Amazon]

(via Making Light)

The basketball court inside the summit of Disneyland Matterhorn

The first time I went to Disneyland was in 1966. I was five years old. My parents, who were in their 20s, drove our Volkswagen Beetle from Boulder, CO to Anaheim, CA in the middle of summer.

I remember four things from the trip:

1. A motorcycle cop pulling over my father for speeding. When my father produced his driver's license, the cop looked at it and did a double take. The cop said that his last name was Frauenfelder, too. And since they must be sixth cousins or something, he was duty-bound to let my father go.

2. My mother putting a wet towel on my face as we drove through the Arizona desert in the non-air conditioned Volkswagen.

3. Seeing live mermaids and feeling water drip on my face on the Submarine Voyage ride.

4. Seeing climbers in lederhosen climbing the artificial Matterhorn.

Read the rest

Art for Tibet IV: auction in NYC to benefit Students for a Free Tibet, Dec. 1st, 2012

Kylin, "Dtsi Legomandala," combining the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual practice of creating and ritualistically dismantling ornate sand mandalas with the contemporary medium of LEGO.

On December 1st, 2012, 6pm-9pm, Tibet House in New York is hosting a silent art auction featuring live music performances, and bidding on art by a number of different artists to benefit Students for a Free Tibet.

Ryan McGinness, Mark Borthwick, Sasquatch 23, Michael Avedon, Bwana Spoons, Kenji Hitara, Cody Hudson, Rostarr, Kiino Villand, and Shepard Fairey (work shown at left) are among the artists represented.

For those who can't attend in person, you can participate via the online auction. Online bidding is now open.

Read the rest

California pot decriminalization correlated to lowest youth crime rate in recorded history


California Youth Crime Plunges to All-Time Low, a paper from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, analyzes recent data from the California Department of Justice’s Criminal Justice Statistics Center, and concludes that decriminalizing marijuana was correlated with an unheard-of 20% drop in the youth crime rate. The California youth crime rate is now the lowest it's been in recorded state history.

A large proportion of the drop in youth crime is directly attributable to a drop in arrests for possession of small amount of marijuana, but the rest seems to be a dividend from keeping kids out of the criminal justice system. That is, if you stop jailing kids for holding a little weed, they won't go to juvie and become career criminals.

California is still jailing some kids for holding, though, thanks to the provision in law that makes possessing marijuana in or near a school into a special offense.

Males said he suspects that many of the 5,831 marijuana arrests of juveniles in California last year may have occurred on school grounds. He doesn’t have data yet to check his theory, however.

In his police briefing, Males also notes that juvenile arrests in California were the lowest ever recorded since statewide statistics were first compiled in 1954. The decline, Males said, wasn’t due just to fewer marijuana arrests.

Drug-related juvenile arrests overall fell by 47 percent between 2010 and 2011. Violent crime arrests fell by 16 percent; homicide arrests by 26 percent; rape arrests by 10 percent; and property-crime arrests by 16 percent. Nationwide, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, arrests of juveniles for all offenses decreased 11.1 percent in 2011 when compared with the 2010 number; arrests of adults declined 3.6 percent.

Marijuana Decriminalization Drops Youth Crime Rates by Stunning 20% in One Year [Alternet] (via Reddit)

UK record lobby wants Pirate Party to shut down its Pirate Bay proxy

The BPI -- the UK version of the RIAA -- got the courts to order the UK's ISPs to censor requests to The Pirate Bay. The UK Pirate Party set up a proxy in anticipation of the order. Now the BPI has demanded that they shut it down. Word is that the news of the national censorship of TPB drove titanic amounts of UK traffic to the site. Will the current round do the same?

New FCC rules will let a single company own a town's ISP, newspapers, 2 TV stations and 8 radio stations


Josh from Free Press sez, " FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski wants to gut existing rules that limit media consolidation. This is bad news for people who care about the effects of too much media in too few hands. Genachowski's proposed plan would make our media less diverse, create local media monopolies and ultimately mean less news. This rule would allow ONE company to own a daily newspaper, two TV stations and up to eight radio stations in your town. And that one company could be your Internet provider, too. Scary."

No More Media for Murdoch [Petition to FCC]

Greenpeace's anime video about hazardous chemicals and fashion

Brian from Greenpeace sez, "They say you can tell what next season's hottest trend will be by looking at the colour of the rivers in China and Mexico due to the dyes and hazardous chemicals used by the fashion industry. An animated collaboration between Greenpeace and Free Range studios (creators of such activist classics as Meatrix and Story of Stuff) exposes the trail of hazardous chemicals from factories in the developing world to the clothes the developed world buys. Greenpeace claims some of the chemicals present in trace amounts in those clothes are banned in European and the US, making your washing machine a potential source of illegal hazardous waste."

TOXIC IS SO LAST SEASON (Thanks, Brian!)

Staples to get in-store 3D printers

Some Staples stores in Belgium and the Netherlands will have MCOR color 3D printers that will print out model-files uploaded to a store website for in-person pickup. MCOR printers use plain pulp paper as build material, so the resulting models will be essentially cellulose, dye and glue, and should be easy to recycle.

Staples’ Easy 3D will offer consumers, product designers, architects, healthcare professionals, educators, students and others low-cost, brilliantly coloured, photo-realistic 3D printed products from Staples stores. Customers will simply upload electronic files to the Staples Office Centre and pick up the models in their nearby Staples stores, or have them shipped to their address. Staples will produce the models with the Mcor IRIS, a 3D printer with the highest colour capability in the industry and lowest operating cost of any commercial-class 3D printer.

The press release promises that this technology will be made available in other Staples stores around the world.

Mcor Technologies and Staples division launch 3D printing service

Makie doll in a Minecraft sweater


This adorable Makie doll went to MineCon, a Minecraft convention in Paris, with its owner MoggyMoo and her son, a Minecraft enthusiast. In honour of the occasion, Moggymoo knit a tiny custom Minecraft creeper jumper for it to wear.

Meena is going to MineCon (Thanks, Alice!)

(Disclosure: My wife is the founder of MakieLab)

Story Dice: app for storytelling fun


Last week, my nine-year-old daughter Jane and I were interviewed on NPR about some of our favorite apps for the family. One of our picks was Story Dice. This attractively-designed iOS app lets you roll virtual dice that have a number of different symbols on their faces. You can select the number of dice per throw (from 1 to 10). Every time you shake the phone or tap the screen you get a new throw of the dice. I'm not sure how many different symbols there are, but I see new ones all the time, and we have played with this app quite a bit.

Read the rest

Demdike Stare's "Hashshashin Chant" (music video)

NewImageA fantastically-psychotronic and insane video for "Hashshashin Chant" by Demdike Stare, available on their out-of-print Voices of Dust LP or the Triptych box set compiling all three of their essential 2010 albums.

Floppy Table made from rolled steel, with hidden compartment


Neulant van Exel's Floppy Table is made from rolled steel, and its dust-guard slides aside to reveal a cavity for storing your TV remote. No pricing info, so I assume this is one of those, "If you have you ask, you can't afford it" deals.

Material:

Hot-rolled steel (welded)
Stainless steel (welded)

Measures:

27.56" width x 25.59" height x 17.72" depth
70cm width x 45cm height x 65cm depth

Extras: Secret space

Floppy Table (via JWZ)

3D printing with moon-dust

Researchers from the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Washington State University have built a 3D printer that can use sorted (simulated) Lunar regolith (moon dust) to print out "crude" objects. This is the premise of a novella I'm working on, so it's pretty exciting to see:

Amit Bandyopadhyay and Susmita Bose, using simulated lunar regolith that are analogies to moon rocks, have used 3D printing to create a number of crude objects. The simulated regolith, found on Earth and supplied by NASA, contains silicon, aluminum, calcium, iron and magnesium oxides but behaves like silica when melted by a laser. Once the regolith is melted, a 3D printer creates objects out of it layer by layer.

Using moon rocks shaped by 3D printers as building material or simple spare parts and tools would vastly decrease the expense of building and maintaining a lunar settlement. 3D printing also has considerable promise for Earth bound construction.

Researchers build objects with 3D printing using simulated moon rocks [Examiner] (via /.)

Gigapixel images of Charles Babbage's Difference Engine #2


Greg sez, "This project is using a number of computational photography techniques to document Charles Babbage's 'Difference Engine No 2' for the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. There are interactive gigapixel images for the four cardinal views of the device available to view."

Babbage Difference Engine in Gigapixel (Thanks, Greg!)

Joss Whedon's extracurricular Much Ado About Nothing gets a release date

That Shakespeare movie that Joss Whedon shot in 12 days (during some spare time while shooting The Avengers) has gotten an official theatrical release date: June 7, 2013. Filmed in glorious black and white, Much Ado About Nothing features several Whedon favorites, like Fran Kranz (The Cabin in the Woods) as Claudio, Alexis Denisof (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Benedick, Amy Acker (also Buffy) as Beatrice, and Clark Gregg (The Avengers) as Leonato. Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions stepped up to give this movie a chance in theaters so people could actually see it, because poor Joss Whedon is going seriously unrecognized for his cinematic efforts these days. (photo via Ginsberg Libby)

Cartoonist group photo in Toronto restaurant


A gaggle of devastatingly handsome cartoonists pose for a group portrait in a Toronto restaurant. Left to right: Chris Ware, Charles Burns, Seth, Chester Brown, Anouk Ricard, Peter Birkemoe, Adrian Tomine. (photo: Nathalie Atkinson)

Make editors and contributors in a Google Hangout at 2pm PST

Join the editors and contributors of MAKE in a Google Hangout right now. We'll be talking about 3D printers and content in the latest issue.

Ad for freelance Russian bank-robbers


Brian Krebs has published an ad from "Foreign Agents," a notorious Russian crime service. They're advertising the availability of foot soldiers in the USA who can help cash out hacked bank accounts and credit cards. Unlike traditional bank-fraud mules, who don't know that they're part of a scam, these "associates" are "неразводные" ("nerazvodni" or "not deceived").

The proprietors of this service say it will take 40-45 percent of the value of the theft, depending on the amount stolen. In a follow Q&A with potential buyers, the vendors behind this service say it regularly moves $30,000 – $100,000 per day for clients. Specifically, it specializes in cashing out high-dollar bank accounts belonging to hacked businesses, hence the mention high up in the ad of fraudulent wire transfers and automated clearinghouse or ACH payments (ACH is typically how companies execute direct deposit of payroll for their employees).

According to the advertisement, customers of this service get their very own login to a remote panel, where they can interact with the cashout service and monitor the progress of their thievery operations. The service also can be hired to drain bank accounts using counterfeit debit cards obtained through ATM skimmers or hacked point-of-sale devices. The complicit mules will even help cash out refunds from phony state and federal income tax filings — a lucrative form of fraud that, according to the Internal Revenue Service, cost taxpayers $5.2 billion last year.

Say what you will about their criminal tendencies, those bank robbers have excellent art direction.

Online Service Offers Bank Robbers for Hire

Alec Baldwin sends the saddest tweet ever about 30 Rock

Guys, it's really going to be ending soon. Alec Baldwin sent this profoundly monumental message (at least for 30 Rock fans) this afternoon, reminding everyone that there is, indeed, a limited amount of episodes of NBC's 30 Rock left. But before we mourn, tonight is the episode in which Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) gets married to Criss Chross (James Marsden). Visit Flavorwire if you will be throwing a cocktail party, because they have some fancy mixed drinks just for the occasion! (via Alec Baldwin on Twitter, Flavorwire)

How to make surprise balls


Erica at Honestly…WTF has a nice tutorial on how to make pretty "Surprise Balls," which are balls of brightly colored and decorated crepe paper that contain multiple goodies in the layers of wrapping. I want one filled with dark-chocolate covered coffee beans.

Prepare the supplies by cutting the fine crepe paper, lengthwise, into three 1″ strips per color. When picking out the toys, candy, and surprises, be sure to select an assortment of sizes from larger round shaped items to small flat items. Start by wrapping the largest item. Work in a criss cross pattern to cover as much surface area as possible.

Visit her site for the complete step-by-step

Some planets are harder to leave than others

At his Psychology Today blog, Michael Chorost delves into a question about exoplanets that I've not really thought much about before — how easy they would be to leave.

Many of the potentially habitable exoplanets that we've found — the ones we call "Earth-like" — are actually a lot bigger than Earth. That fact has an effect — both on how actually habitable those planets would be for us humans and how easily any native civilizations that developed could slip the surly bonds of gravity and make it to outer space.

The good news, says Chorost is that the change in surface gravity wouldn't be as large as you might guess, even for planets much bigger than Earth. The bad news: Even a relatively small increase in surface gravity can mean a big increase in how fast a rocket would have to be going in order to leave the planet. It starts with one equation — SG=M/R^2.

Let’s try it with [exoplanet] HD 40307g, using data from the Habitable Exoplanet Catalog. Mass, 8.2 Earths. Radius, 2.4 times that of Earth. That gets you a surface gravity of 1.42 times Earth.

... it’s amazingly easy to imagine a super-Earth with a comfortable gravity. If a planet had eight Earth masses and 2.83 times the radius, its surface gravity would be exactly 1g. This is the “Fictional Planet” at the bottom of the table. Fictional Planet would be huge by Earth standards, with a circumference of 70,400 miles and an area eight times larger.

Does that mean we could land and take off with exactly the same technology we use here, assuming the atmosphere is similar? Actually, no. Another blogger, who who goes by the moniker SpaceColonizer, pointed out that Fictional Planet has a higher escape velocity than Earth. Put simply, escape velocity is how fast you have to go away from a planet to ensure that gravity can never bring you back. For Earth, escape velocity is about 25,000 miles per hour. Fictional Planet has an escape velocity 68% higher. That’s 42,000 miles per hour.

Read the full story at Psychology Today blogs

Thanks to Apollo 18, who also helped with the math for Chorost's post.

Image: Vintage ad via Christian Montone

Lost nearly had a completely different leader, who probably wouldn't have grown a beard

Remember the Bad Jack Beard from Lost? The one on Matthew Fox's face that kept insisting that everyone had to go back to the island? If the show's creators had gone with their original plan, that beard would have never existed. In an excerpt of The Revolution Was Televised (featured on Grantland), Alan Sepinwall's new book about the making of ABC's cult hit, it's revealed that despite his early, leaderly standing among the castaways, Jack (Fox) was almost offed and replaced by Kate (Evangeline Lilly).

In the vein of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (or even the pilot of Oz), they planned to pull the rug out from under the audience by killing Jack midway through the first episode, forcing Kate to take charge. After this sudden demise, viewers would realize no one was safe. [Damon] Lindelof says Steve McPherson, then the head of the ABC studio, made a convincing counter-argument that it would teach viewers not to trust the show, and the writers ultimately agreed with him.

In the end, it was decided that the character of Kate wasn't dynamic enough to lead the show; in fact, she had not originally been written as the fugitive she turned out to be. Instead, she was one half of a couple who had been separated in the plane crash. (Those roles ultimately switched over to Rose and Bernard.) Switching from Kate to Jack may have been the best course if her character hadn't been completely decided on. But it's kind of a bummer, especially when you consider that the show's creator, J.J. Abrams, had such great luck with his other two female-led shows, Felicity and Alias.

Photo credit: Tumblr

Who'd have been Lost's leader if they'd killed Jack in the pilot [Blastr]