Boing Boing 

Sugru hits B&Q

Congrats to Sugru, the wonderful, maker-ish polymer fix-it clay, on the news that it's been picked up for distribution at 300 B&Q stores across the UK!

Dove sneaks revert-to-original Photoshop plugin into art directors' toolkits

Alan sez, "The makers of Dove have taken their 'Real Beauty' campaign against P-shopped models into the realm of hacktivism. As the video explains, they sneaked out a Photoshop plug-in (called an Action) that supposedly added a fake skin glow but in fact restored the initial appearance of a model prior to the usual sort of Photoshoppification."

Dove: Thought Before Action

Politely refusing to talk to DHS checkpoints

Hugh sez, "Apparently DHS checkpoints nowhere near the border are a new thing. This video cuts together recordings of such encounters and citizens' polite refusal to answer questions."

Top quote: "Am I being detained?"

Checkpoints (some would say illegal checkpoints) have been popping up quite frequently in the USA. As you see in this video, you DO NOT have to comply with their question's or demands. Don't forget, you have rights.

Top DHS checkpoint refusals (Thanks, Hugh!)

Vortex smoke rings created with 3D printed wings

Dustin Kleckner sez, "Scientists tie vortex rings (smoke rings, basically) into knots using 3D printed wings. Includes high speed video, also in 3D. In addition to being very cool, they are also related to knots and braids that appear in places like the sun's surface. Full disclosure: I'm one of the scientists that did the research."

The duo overcame their experimental difficulties by designing and fabricating various hydrofoils (wings used in water) on a 3-D printer. They tried approximately 30 different shapes before they successfully created the desired vortices. When accelerated in a water tank at more than 100 g, hydrofoils leave behind bubble-traced vortex loops, whose dynamics the researchers recorded with a high-speed camera.

“The bubbles are a great trick because they allow you to see the core of the vortex very clearly,” Irvine said.

Vortex loops could untie knotty physics problems [U Chicago Press Release]

Creation and dynamics of knotted vortices [Nature]

Richard Sherman and lucky disnephile sing "Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow"

It's the 50th anniversary of "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow," the theme from they Disney Carousel of Progress (which debuted at the 1964 World's Fair in NYC). Keith met Richard Sherman, part of the Sherman brothers songwriting team responsible for the song.

He sez, "Last month I had the great pleasure of singing 'There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow' with Richard Sherman at his home. After we were done singing, he said to me, 'That's the first time I did that since Walt and my brother.' And yep, I filmed it! Coolest moment of my life. Wanted to share it with the whole world, basically."

There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow 50th Anniversary (Thanks, Keith!)

Unicorn wigs


Etsy seller GimmCat makes multihued wigs with integrated unicorn horns (tails and assorted ponyana as well): "This sale is for the mischievous Snips style My Little Pony costume wig for cosplay, fantasy costumes, conventions, raves, Renaissance festivals, Brony costume or just because! This wig is especially suited for males wishing to take part in the My Little Pony fun!"

GimmCat (via Geekologie)

Houses carved out of blocks of books


"Built of Books" is a series of sculptures from Dutch artist Frank Halmans -- houses carved out of blocks of stuck-together books.

dutch artist frank halmans explores themes of domesticity and memory through his sculptural installations. his series 'built of books' employs vintage publications - the selected titles have no particular meaning and are not exceptional literary works - which he arranges into stacks. lining them up along shelves, he carving windows and doors through each, creating sets of imaginary buildings and interiors in each section of volumes. in a way these spaces which he slices through the books, stand as a metaphor and the idea of moving through something, whether it be a literary passage, or a physical expanse.

built of books [Andrea/Designboom]

(via Neatorama)

Petition demands an end to drone surveillance

Marc from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) sez, "The Electronic Privacy Information Center has published a petition to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, demanding the suspension of the drone program pending the development of privacy regulations for the use of drones in US airspace. Documents recently obtained by EPIC under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that the drones are equipped with technology for signals interception and human identification. The agency currently operates ten Predator B drones along the border region, an area that encompasses more than two-thirds of the U.S. population. EPIC is urging individuals and organizations to Sign the Petition before March 18. Under federal law, the agency is required to respond to public petitions."

Machine of Death: the game -- blazing Kickstarter success looking working toward awesome stretch goals

David Wondermark" Malki ! sez, "We've taken the Machine of Death concept [ed: a wildly successful independent anthology of stories about a world where a machine can accurately forecast your date of death] and adapted it into a pretty wacky party game. You play assassins who know their target's death prediction in advance, and have to come up with creative ways of making it come true. It's a storytelling game that's kind of like Rube Goldberg meets a Roadrunner cartoon meets MURDER. We've already blown past our Kickstarter goal and are now fundraising to add more and more cool stretch goal cards by webcomics artists! We also have some handmade laser-cut deluxe game boxes that'll only be available during the Kickstarter. We've been thrilled by the response to the game so far and are really excited to see it become a reality!"

Machine of Death: The Game of Creative Assassination (Thanks, David!)

Gweek 084: Carrie Brownstein

This morning David and I spoke with with Carrie Brownstein: musician, writer, actor. She's a founding member of the bands Sleater-Kinney and Wild Flag, and the co-creator, co-writer, and co-star of Portlandia, the hit sketch comedy series on IFC, currently in its 3rd season.


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Previously:

Portlandia: A Guide for Visitors

Portlandia: Artisanal popcorn

Portlandia just keeps getting better

Portlandia holiday preview video: "Vagina Pillows"

SPOILER ALERT: New Portlandia preview clip is called "Spoiler Alert"

(Image of Carrie Brownstein: Wildflag - SXSW Music 2011 - Austin, TX, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from kk's photostream)

(Thanks, Rachel Maguire!)

Patter for magicians: 1945


A few excerpts from Harry Stanley's 1945 book The Gag Bag, which features suggested patter for would-be magicians:

Of course, I never dare let my people know I was a magician. It would shock them. They think I'm still in prison.

I used to be a wallflower, until I took up magic. Now everybody asks me out. The other night at a show, I had only done one trick, and I was asked out.

There are only two kinds of conjurer you can't trust – the ones with moustaches and the clean-shaven ones.

He is a magician. His brother doesn't work either.

[Spoonerist patter] – 'my next disaster piece' (masterpiece) 'my next misery' (mystery) 'I will now utter the tragic words' (magic words.)

Public house catches fire... 50 magicians homeless.

Will someone call out any number between 16 and 60? Thank you I only wanted to find out if anyone was still awake.

Magician's 'Patter' (Thanks, Nigel!)

Rapefruit: it's "good for every meal"

From the Mankato Free Press, of Minnesota. Oops. [Romenesko]

A boast

My latest novel Homeland just hit the New York Times bestseller list for the fourth week running. That is all.

Holder: US may use drones to kill US citizens on US soil but only bad people so don't worry

Attorney General Eric Holder won't rule out a scenario in which a drone strike could be ordered against American citizens on domestic soil, but says it has never been done previously and he could only see it being considered in an extraordinary circumstance, reports CNN, so guys, don't worry about it, everything's gonna be fine. [CNN.com]

Readings from Mauna Loa show increased greenhouse gas emissions

Bad news for all inhabitants of the planet from which you're reading this blog post: data gathered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, show that the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the air spiked in 2012, "making it very unlikely that global warming can be limited to another 2 degrees as many global leaders have hoped." The CO2 increase "reflects the world's economy revving up and burning more fossil fuels, especially in China." [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

Paleobiologists unearth camel remains in Canadian Arctic

When Canadian Museum of Nature paleobiologist Natalia Rybczynski dug up what turned out to be camel bones in a High Arctic ridge in Canada, she recalls thinking: “This is something kind of off the charts.” She was right. Those bones belonged to the first camel ever found in the High Arctic. "The humped creatures once roamed in forests that extended as far north as Ellesmere Island 3.5 million years ago during a global warm spell that the scientists say holds important lessons for the modern world." [National Post]

Pentagon's link to Iraqi torture centers revealed in new Guardian report

A major piece at the Guardian out today: recently-disgraced General David Petraeus and veterans of America's dirty wars in Central America are revealed to be behind Iraq commando units implicated in detainee abuse.

Volvo to launch alert-and-brake car system to spot bicyclists

Car maker Volvo will release a cyclist detection feature on new cars, to help prevent fatal accidents. Automobiles with the new system "will be able to detect threats including a cyclist suddenly swerving out into a car's path." BBC News has more.

Our lady of telephones

Image: Goddess of phone calls, from x-ray_delta_one's photostream. Artist: Alonzo Earl Foringer (American, 1878-1948) an illustrator based in New Jersey.

A quick Google reveals that this piece was known as (or was part of) "The Industry Series," an oil on board illustration (24" x 36") which was at one point owned by the Estate of Charles Martignette.

Who could she have been talking to? I have one idea.

shared under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike (2.0)

Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse

Chloe from Portland's Reading Frenzy sez,

Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse is the a documentary about a teenage boy who finds himself through punk rock, zines, and comics and loses himself to schizophrenia. Although he was able to manage his illness with medication, live independently, and make a life for himself -- a success story within the mental health community -- his story ends in tragedy. Six years ago he was confronted and apprehended by Portland Police, tackled, beaten and tased, refused medical treatment, and ultimately died in police custody. He had committed no crime other than to run when ordered to stop.

This is an important story to our local community (Portland, Oregon) because of James' early involvement in the punk scene, the fact that he was connected to so many people who have gone on to be successful musicians (Greg Sage), artists (Mike King), writers (Monica Drake), and filmmakers (Steve Doughton), and that he was a downtown Portland fixture for decades (also a Reading Frenzy customer). But his story has broader implications around the issues of police brutality and corruption, civil rights, and mental health issues. Of course it is especially near and dear to my heart because James found a vital outlet for his ideas and creativity through zines and comics.

Brian Lindstrom is a Portland filmmaker who has a number of compelling works under his belt. Lindstrom has created a very human portrait of James Chasse, someone the police and the media thought they could sum up in a few words and dismiss. He allows everyone -- family, friends, witnesses, and experts -- to speak for themselves, while he explores every angle of James' life and death. Any attempt to reason this tragedy away or blame the victim is almost effortlessly vaporized by the truth.

Chloe adds, "Also wanted to make sure you got the link for the free download of the zine we put out a few years ago. It's a nice supplement to the film.

Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse (Thanks, Chloe!)

Lamborghini's $3.9 million Veneno

NewImage

Unfortunately, all three of the new limited edition Lamborghini Venenos produced for sale have been pre-ordered, but I'm going to keep my eyes out at CarMax. (Motor Trend)

HOWTO roll a coin across your knuckles

Scot Nery sez, "Here's a quick fun video showing how to do the coin knuckle roll. Make your local magician respect and envy you."

How to roll a coin across your knuckles [TECHNICALITIES]

Nebula and cloud high-res t-shirts from Imaginary Foundation

Nebullll From our friends at surreal clothier Imaginary Foundation, Panel Tees with high-res sublimated graphics on the front and back! Imaginary Foundation

Random House launches ebook imprint that's run like a predatory vanity press

Writer beware. According to an email from the Science Fiction Writers of America, Random House has launched an imprint called "Hydra" with all the hallmarks of a sleazy, scammy vanity-press: no advance on royalties, perpetual, all-rights assignments of copyrights, and all production expenses charged to the writer before any royalties are paid.

SFWA has determined that works published by Random House’s electronic imprint Hydra can not be use as credentials for SFWA membership, and that Hydra is not an approved market. Hydra fails to pay authors an advance against royalties, as SFWA requires, and has contract terms that are onerous and unconscionable. Hydra contracts also require authors to pay – through deductions from royalties due the authors – for the normal costs of doing business that should be borne by the publisher. Hydra contracts are also for the life-of-copyright and include both primary and subsidiary rights. Such provisions are unacceptable. At this time, Random House's other imprints continue to be qualified markets.

This kind of rip-off is semi-standard with record deals, but it's unheard of in legit publishing, where the author typically receives an advance on royalties that is not refundable if it doesn't earn out; where authors traditionally assign a few, time-limited rights (English print/audio/ebook for a given territory, say); and where the production costs are wholly borne by the press in exchange for keeping the lion's share of any book revenue.

Hydra's deal is much, much worse than the one you'll get from a real DIY option like BookBaby or CreateSpace or Lulu, where you only pay for services you want, keep 100% of your profits, and assign no rights at all to the "publisher." It's got all the downsides of a DIY press, and all the downsides of a traditional press, and the upsides of neither.

Access files on locked, encrypted Android phones by putting them in a freezer for an hour


This is alarming, if true: according to a group of German security researchers at the University of Erlangen, if you put a locked, encrypted Android phone in the freezer for an hour and then quickly reboot it and plug it into a laptop, the memory will retain enough charge to stay decrypted, and can boot up into a custom OS that can recover the keys and boot the phone up with all the files available in the clear. The attack is called FROST: "Forensic Recovery Of Scrambled Telephones," and it requires a phone with an unlocked bootloader to work.

At the end of 2011, Google released version 4.0 of its Android operating system for smartphones. For the first time, Android smartphone owners were supplied with a disk encryption feature that transparently scrambles user partitions, thus protecting sensitive user information against targeted attacks that bypass screen locks. On the downside, scrambled telephones are a a nightmare for IT forensics and law enforcement, because once the power of a scrambled device is cut any chance other than bruteforce is lost to recover data.

We present FROST, a tool set that supports the forensic recovery of scrambled telephones. To this end we perform cold boot attacks against Android smartphones and retrieve disk encryption keys from RAM. We show that cold boot attacks against Android phones are generally possible for the first time, and we perform our attacks practically against Galaxy Nexus devices from Samsung. To break disk encryption, the bootloader must be unlocked before the attack because scrambled user partitions are wiped during unlocking. However, we show that cold boot attacks are more generic and allow to retrieve sensitive information, such as contact lists, visited web sites, and photos, directly from RAM, even though the bootloader is locked.

FROST: Forensic Recovery Of Scrambled Telephones

Antique chili powder tin with terrifically devilish illustration

TinpoddddAvailable from curiosity collector and reseller Invisible Brooklyn, this hotter than hell antique tin of chili powder. It's full too.

Carrie Fisher reportedly confirms reprise of Princess Leia

Carrie Fisher interviewed in Palm Beach Illustrated:
Fishhhh Disney is going to continue the Star Wars saga, producing movies set to hit theaters starting in 2015. Can you confirm whether you’ll reprise the role of Princess Leia?

Yes.

Dazed and Confused is 20!

"That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age."

Dazed and Confused is 20 years old! Esquire has a package of features tied to the anniversary. And if you're in Austin, there's a big screening, reunion, and cast party happening at the Marchesa Hall & Theatre!

Medieval Europeans knew more about the body than we think

Medieval Europe is generally known for its animosity toward actually testing things out, favoring tradition over experimentation and earning a reputation as being soundly anti-science. In particular, it's easy to get the impression that nobody was doing human dissections at all, prior to the Renaissance. But it turns out that isn't true. In fact, some dissections were even prompted (not just condoned) by the Catholic Church. The knowledge medieval dissectors learned from their experiments didn't get widely disseminated at the time, but their work offers some interesting insight into the development of science. The quest for knowledge in Europe didn't just appear out of nowhere in the 1400s and 1500s.

Scrub your brain of these "folk neuroscience" misconceptions

There is no such thing as "left brained" or "right brained". You really and truly cannot break down rationality and creativity in that way. And that's not the only thing we all think we know about the brain that turns out to be totally wrong. At the Guardian Vaughan Bell writes about the rise of folk neuroscience, why these misconceptions are actually problematic, and which bits of false information we need to stop repeating to one another.