Why PLAY pie-anna when you can VAMP?

As far back as the 1920s, smart musicians have known that your ability to hit the notes isn't nearly so important as your ability to vamp.

Vamping Read the rest

HOWTO turn a dead hard-drive into a cotton candy machine

Here's an unexpected use for a dead hard-drive: use its motor to power a candy-floss machine:

A Chinese engineer who operates a data recovery and hard drive repair center is being hailed as a genius after inventing a DIY candy floss machine made from a used hard disk. According to the instructions, all that is needed to create your own candy floss maker is a hard drive that can still power up, a round flat metal tin, six bicycle spokes, an aluminum can and a plastic basin. A series of photos demonstrating how to create this candy floss machine have made some sensation across China internet …

The key to the improvised cotton candy maker is the hard drive’s rotating platter. Most commercial cotton candy machines spin at around 3,450 rotations per minute, while modern hard drives operate at 5,400 rotations per minute or higher. We’re really admired this kind of DIY creation from a technical nerd …

Turning an Old Hard Disk Into a Candy Floss Machine [English, MicGadget]

技术宅拯救世界:用旧硬盘自制棉花糖机(图) [Chinese, tt.mop.com]

(via Neatorama) Read the rest

TSA routinely violates own rules and the law to discriminate against people w/disabilities

I have a neurological disorder that causes episodic muteness and muscle spasms. The TSA has a de facto program of violating the rights of disabled travelers like me.

Just look at this liquid nitrogen-dipped banana being shot with a steel bearing.

Just look at it.

I Broke my Banana (Thanks, Philip!) Read the rest

Imaginary Glorp Gum becomes a reality! Sort of!

Artist Brad McGinty has a new website celebrating the fake history of Glorp Gum, best described as Bazooka Joe by way of Rat Fink.

Disney World Luau bowl

Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily designed this beautiful Polynesian Luau Bowl for an upcoming Walt Disney World special event. It'll sell for $35, but the on-sale date isn't announced yet.

Summer's coming... Read the rest

2013 Hugo nominees announced

This year's Hugo Award nominees have been announced, and it's a great slate! Congrats to all the authors, artists, fans and editors who are up for the award in San Antonio, Texas this Labor Day weekend.

Best Novel (1113 nominating ballots cast) * 2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit) * Blackout, Mira Grant (Orbit) * Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen) * Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas, John Scalzi (Tor) * Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (DAW)

Best Novella (587 nominating ballots cast) * After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, Nancy Kress (Tachyon Publications) * The Emperor’s Soul, Brandon Sanderson (Tachyon Publications) * On a Red Station, Drifting, Aliette de Bodard (Immersion Press) * San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats, Mira Grant (Orbit) * “The Stars Do Not Lie”, Jay Lake (Asimov’s, Oct-Nov 2012)

2013 Hugo Award Nominees Announced

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Nevada State Legislature poised to take regulation of Burning Man away from state and local cops

M Otis Beard sez, "A bill gaining support in the Nevada State Assembly would make Burning Man hands-off for state and county law enforcement officials, and subject only to Federal authority."

Each year, the local sheriff has been jacking Burning Man for increasing per-head fees, and the county's conservative lawmakers have been passing silly-season unconstitutionalities, like a law prohibiting a man from being naked in the presence of a child. It's combination of revenue generation and garden-variety harassment, and there had been rumbles about the festival taking up local native groups on an invitation to move it to Paiute land where the county wouldn't get a say.

“Earlier this morning, the Chamber supported AB 374 in the Assembly Government Affairs Committee. This bill, pushed by Assemblyman David Bobzien, came about because of threats by some rural counties to start charging local permitting fees and increasing costs for the Burning Man festival that comes to the Black Rock Desert every summer. This bill would prohibit any local government from interfering with a federally-licensed event on federal land. We strongly support this concept because of the enormous positive economic impact that Burning Man attendees have on our region.”

Some of the problem stems from the fact that Burning Man is held just over a county line; all the on-the-way spending done by burners takes place in Washoe county, but once you turn off to head to the playa, you're in Pershing county, and that's also when the ban on (most) commerce begins. So the county doing the legislating has no real financial stake in the festival continuing. Read the rest

Assyrian Dalek, ca. 865 BCE

From Wikipedia: "English: A large wheeled Assyrian battering ram with an observation turret attacks the collapsing walls of a besieged city, while archers on both sides exchange fire. From the North-West Palace at Nimrud, about 865-860 BC; now in the British Museum."

File:Assyrian battering ram.jpg (Thanks, Justin!) Read the rest

New Bob Basset mask with added angularity

A new piece from Ukrainian steampunk leather mask-maker Bob Basset. I like the angular forms here -- there's something a bit Roman in it, to my eye at least.

DW new. Steampunk Art Leather Mask Read the rest

Embarrassingly obvious undercover cops take to Twitter looking for house shows

Internet-savvy indie musicians organize "house shows," which are pretty much what they sound like: a fan lets the band use her or his house for a performance, and other fans come by and hear it. The shows aren't legal, but they're pretty fun*.

Boston cops have taken to Twitter, posing as punk kids, trying to get bands to tip off the location of their house shows. As Slate's Luke O'Neil points out, though, they're really bad at it, totally tone-deaf. It's created something of an Internet sport of "spot the undercover," which is almost as much fun as the house parties.

“Too bad you were not here this weekend,” “Joe Sly” wrote. “Patty's day is a mad house I am still pissing green beer.  The cops do break balls something wicked here. What's the address for Saturday Night, love DIY concerts.” He might as well have written “

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South Korea lives in the future (of brutal copyright enforcement)

The US-Korean Free Trade Agreement came with a raft of draconian enforcement rules that Korea -- then known as a world leader in network use and literacy -- would have to adopt. Korea has since become a living lab of the impact of letting US entertainment giants design your Internet policy -- and the example that industry lobbyists point to when they discuss their goals.

One of the laws that Korea adopted early was the infamous "three strikes" rule, where repeated, unsubstantiated accusations of copyright infringement leads to whole families being punished through restriction of, or disconnection from their Internet connections. Now the Korean National Human Rights Commission has examined the fallout from the country's three strikes rules, and called for its repeal due to high costs to wider Korean society.

Here's the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Danny O'Brien with more:

The entertainment industry has repeatedly pointed to South Korea as a model for a controlled Internet that should be adopted everywhere else. In the wake of South Korea's implementation, graduated response laws have been passed in France and the United Kingdom, and ISPs in the United States have voluntarily accepted a similar scheme.

But back in Korea, the entertainment industry's experiment in Internet enforcement has been a failure. Instead of tackling a few "heavy uploaders" involved in large scale infringement, the law has spiraled out of control. It has now distributed nearly half a million takedown notices, and led to the closing down of 408 Korean Internet users' web accounts, most of which were online storage services.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-Eun is a Mac Guy

As Anthony DeRosa of Reuters points out, Li'l Kim appears to be using Apple computer products in the most recent round of state propaganda photo campaign. Stop laughing, says The Atlantic. Read the rest


"That's the stuff: Ralph The Cat," a photo by Darren Sethe of Portland, Oregon, shared in the Boing Boing Flickr pool. Read the rest

Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours," depicted in crayon

Boing Boing reader @ayleph tweeted at us: "Fleetwood Mac's Rumors album cover, depicted in crayon. Found at Sonic Boom in Ballard." [that's Seattle, WA]. Click pic to grande-fy. Read the rest

UFO memo the FBI's most viewed

An unconfirmed report of a UFO over New Mexico is the most popular item in the FBI's online reading room, the agency reports. Russell Contreras with the AP:

Vaguely written, the memo describes a story told by an unnamed third party who claims an Air Force investigator reported that three flying saucers were recovered in New Mexico, though the memo doesn't say exactly where in the state. The FBI indexed the report for its files but did not investigate further; the name of an "infomant" reporting some of the information is blacked out in the memo.
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Mr Unpronounceable Adventures, spectacularly weird graphic novel in a Lovecraftian/Burroughsian vein

Mr Unpronounceable Adventures is a book of comics by Australian New Zealand surrealist artist Tim Molloy in a Lovecraftian vein. But that only scratches the surface here. Molloy is incredibly fucking weird, and not always in a funny-ha-ha way (though there's plenty of that). The story loops around and around, almost making sense, almost following a narrative, returning to themes, to iconic panels, full of menace and hectic hilarity. It's really good. It's really strange.

Here's what the publisher says about it:

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