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.
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]
Sai has "a neurological disorder that causes episodic muteness and muscle spasms" -- basically, he sometimes becomes mute and gets bad shakes. His doctor has advised him to have juice continuously available, and this helps control his condition. TSA rules allow him to bring any amount of juice through a checkpoint. Unfortunately, the TSA doesn't read its own rules. Instead, Sai is detained at checkpoints for endless, illegal questioning and searches of his personal papers, confidential business documents, etc. When he loses the ability to speak, he uses pen and paper to communicate, but the TSA takes the pen and paper away as soon as he cites language from a landmark legal case limiting their power to search him.
He's videoed one of these encounters, with the TSA and its private contractors at SFO, and he's filed grievances with various agencies over that incident and another at Boston Logan. The TSA is illegally refusing to follow its own administrative procedures, so he's getting ready to sue them (he needs an ADA and/or FOIA-specialized lawyer qualified for the bar in MA and/or CA and/or federally -- any takers?). He's also trying to force them to disclose their secret procedures.
The edited, subtitled video of his run-in at SFO is fantastically infuriating. The TSA and its private contractors are vindictive, lawless, brutal. But Sai is an inspiring example of calm under fire, a guy who knows his rights back and forwards, and doesn't let the fact that his physical condition is deteriorating -- you can see his tremors -- make him lose his cool (here's the unedited version, which runs to about an hour).
Sai's site has plenty of ways you can help with this, including a petition to Congress and a questionnaire to help him with his Freedom of Information suit. And by helping him, you help everyone who has to fly -- and everyone who cares about freedom in America.
On March 1, 2013, San Francisco TSA refused to allow me to travel with medical liquids. My liquids had been been tested clean by xray & explosive trace detection, and the official on scene specifically acknowledged reading the TSA's Special Needs Memo (including that juice is a medical liquid and that there's no volume restriction on medical liquids). This directly involved the most senior TSA officials at the airport, who detained me for about 50 minutes total.
This is only the most recent in a long string of personal incidents of harassment, denial, or direct refusal to obey TSA's medical liquids policy. This time, though, I got it all on video.
Zack sez, "Artist Brad McGinty (the "Xenomorph Anatomy" T-shirts) has a new website celebrating the fake history of Glorp Gum, best described as Bazooka Joe by way of Rat Fink. The site includes an elaborate narrative for Glorp Gum, tons of merchandise (including T-shirts, stickers and yes, actual gum) and this hilarious animated commercial that parodies the classic "Mr. Owl" spots for Tootsie Roll Pops"
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.
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)
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. So the local law gets to screw the neighboring county, threatening its one of its major source of economic activity and win points with the voters by harassing hippies.
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!)
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.
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 “Just got an 8 ball of beer and I’m ready to party.”
Is it possible that Joe Sly is a real Boston punk? Sure, though if so he’s the first Boston punk in history to brag about drinking lame St. Patrick’s Day green beer. As one of the many amused music fans who scoffed at the screencap as it was shared around on Tumblr pointed out, “he/she said concerts ... concerts.” Anyone who's ever been to a concert like this knows that it's not called a concert. It’s a show.
The Massachusetts band Do No Harm also tweeted about receiving an email from Joe this month. “whats the 411 for the show saturday?” he asked, apparently using some sort of slang-filter translator from the turn of the century.
Of course, there may be really good undercovers trolling Twitter for house parties that we don't know about because of their perfect ninja stealth. If only disproving a negative was possible!
Boston Punk Zombies Are Watching You! [Slate/Luke O'Neil]
* Though I have some sympathy with neighbors who don't like the late night noise -- when an illegal, unlicensed hotel moved in next door to me and started drilling into my bedroom wall all night, and jackhammering against the wall for 8 hours straight on Christmas, it made me totally bananas.
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. An investigation led by the Korean politician Choi Jae-Cheon showed that half of those suspended were involved in infringement of material that would cost less than 90 U.S. cents. And while the bill's backers claimed it would reduce piracy, detected infringement has only increased as more and more users are subject to suspensions, deletion, and blocked content.
This Wednesday, Korea's National Human Rights Commission recommended that the three strikes law be re-examined, given its unclear benefits, and its potential violation of the human rights to receive and impart information and to participate in the cultural life of the community.
Korea's three strikes rules are similar to the "Six Strikes" rules that America's leading ISPs have voluntarily adopted and just put into effect. If you want to see the future of American Internet policy, and its fallout, look at Korea.