Disneyland fans have created many of their own theme days, some of which I've been lucky enough to happen upon or attend -- Bats Day (goths); Gay Days, and more. But I didn't know about Dapper Day, where 10,000+ people descend on Disneyland and Walt Disney World in natty outfits and style their way through the fun park. Just looking at the official gallery makes me want to mark this in my calendar for next year.
"People are looking for an excuse to dress up," said Justin Jorgensen, who started Dapper Day in 2011 and has organized five of the events, all at Disneyland. The latest Dapper Day — the same Sunday as the Oscars, Hollywood’s own dress-up day — drew an estimated crowd of 10,000 to the Anaheim park and about 1,000 more at Florida's Disney World.
"Everything, including the workplace, pushes this idea of being casual," said Jorgensen, 38, of Burbank. "When do I get to wear my great stuff?"
Most of those in attendance that day were in their 20s and 30s. They had come of age in a time of shoulder-padded power suits, windbreakers in neon colors and frizzy hair — not exactly a time that will be remembered for its classic elegance.
"I think people like history, people love nostalgia," said Heather A. Vaughan, a historian studying 20th century fashions. "People love imagining a time they didn’t live in."
Dapper Day at Disneyland, the nattiest place on Earth [LA Times/Rick Rojas]
(Photo: Christina House)
Sodajerker, a British podcast devoted to songwriting, produced a great one-hour episode with Disney songwriting legend Richard M Sherman, half of the Sherman Brothers team that gave us everything from "It's a Small World" to "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" (and lots more). Hearing Sherman talk about his work is fascinating.
As one half of The Sherman Brothers, along with his late brother Robert, Richard M. Sherman is responsible for co-writing the most memorable Disney songs of all time. From the Academy Award winning compositions for Mary Poppins such as ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’, ‘Feed the Birds’, ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, ‘Jolly Holiday’, ‘I Love to Laugh’ and ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’, to other landmark Disney works such as The Parent Trap, ‘It’s a Small World (After All)’, ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ (The Jungle Book), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Aristocats, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Winnie the Pooh, the Sherman Brothers have enchanted people of all ages for half a century. In this hour of conversation, Richard M. Sherman joins Simon and Brian to talk through the writing of many of these classics in his own inimitable style.
Episode 38 – Richard M. Sherman
(Image: "it's a small world" holiday, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from harshlight's photostream)
Last week, I put up a post asking BB readers to tell us (and each other) about their projects. You-all upvoted your favorites, and herewith presented is a list of some of the coolest things you're up to (there's plenty that didn't make the cut but still fascinate -- have a look).
There's so much awesome here that I'm going to split this into a morning and evening post. Here's this morning's bunch (for an unfiltered view, go read the totally awesome thread for yourself).
First in this batch: Matthew Heberger is translating "Where There is No Doctor" (an amazing book I relied on extensively when I was a volunteer school-builder in Central America) into Bambara for use in Mali:
Mali, in West Africa only has about 1,000 physicians for 14 million people, and has among the world's highest rates of infant mortality and lowest life expectancy. So we got together a group of volunteers to help coordinate the translation of the book "Where There is No Doctor" into Bambara, the country's most widely-spoken language. It is an amazing resource that can literally save lives! http://dokotoro.org/
Read the rest
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The entire editorial board of the Journal of Library Administration resigned en masse. Board member Chris Bourg wrote publicly about the decision, and an open letter elaborates on it, stating that their difference of opinion with publisher Taylor & Francis Group about open access, galvanized by Aaron Swartz's suicide, moved them to quit.
“The Board believes that the licensing terms in the Taylor & Francis author agreement are too restrictive and out-of-step with the expectations of authors in the LIS community.”
“A large and growing number of current and potential authors to JLA have pushed back on the licensing terms included in the Taylor & Francis author agreement. Several authors have refused to publish with the journal under the current licensing terms.”
“Authors find the author agreement unclear and too restrictive and have repeatedly requested some form of Creative Commons license in its place.”
“After much discussion, the only alternative presented by Taylor & Francis tied a less restrictive license to a $2995 per article fee to be paid by the author. As you know, this is not a viable licensing option for authors from the LIS community who are generally not conducting research under large grants.”
Pretty amazing that Taylor & Francis thought that they could convince authors -- who weren't paid in the first place -- to cough up $3000 for the right to use their own work in other contexts. Talk about being out of step with business realities of publishing!
My latest Guardian column is "Copyright wars are damaging the health of the internet" and it looks at what we really need from proposed solutions to the copyright wars:
I've sat through more presentations about the way to solve the copyright wars than I've had hot dinners, and all of them has fallen short of the mark. That's because virtually everyone with a solution to the copyright wars is worried about the income of artists, while I'm worried about the health of the internet.
Oh, sure, I worry about the income of artists, too, but that's a secondary concern. After all, practically everyone who ever set out to earn a living from the arts has failed – indeed, a substantial portion of those who try end up losing money in the bargain. That's nothing to do with the internet: the arts are a terrible business, one where the majority of the income accrues to a statistically insignificant fraction of practitioners – a lopsided long tail with a very fat head. I happen to be one of the extremely lucky lotto winners in this strange and improbable field – I support my family with creative work – but I'm not parochial enough to think that my destiny and the destiny of my fellow 0.0000000000000000001 percenters are the real issue here.
What is the real issue here? Put simply, it's the health of the internet.
Copyright wars are damaging the health of the internet
A TSA screener at JFK pepper-sprayed five of his colleagues at Terminal 2 on Tuesday, according to the New York Post. The screener, Chris Yves Dabel, found a pepper-spray cannister on the floor and believed it was a laser-pointer, so (for some reason), he aimed it at five other screeners and pressed the trigger. The six were sent to Jamaica Hospital.
The screener sprayed five other TSA agents around him, sending all six to Jamaica Hospital and halting security checks at Kennedy for at least 15 minutes, police said.
No passengers reported injuries. Dabel refused medical attention.
TSA officials scrambled to keep the embarrassing incident under wraps yesterday — until The Post began inquiring about it, a source said.
Oops, TSA guy goes spray-zy! [NY Post/Josh Margolin]
(Image: Pepper Spray Cop - White background, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from donkeyhotey's photostream)
The parliament's justice committee is concerned that inmates in Scotland's jails "have unlimited opportunity to watch television
," and say "a reasonable amount of time to watch television is fair as part of a prisoners' relaxation time," but warns of the importance of establishing "guidelines regarding the appropriate amount of television viewing." [BBC News]
8.5 million geolocated tweets.
Above: a map created by James Cheshire, Ed Manley, and John Barratt, who collected 8.5 million geo-located tweets between January 2010 and February 2013.
Fast Company Design reports: "To build the image itself, they placed a point every 50 meters across the city. Tweets falling in close proximity were translated into a grid that you see here."
Among the revelations: Midtown is massively multilingual, "like a someone spilled a jar of confetti across the island."
More: Infographic: The Languages Of New York, Mapped By Tweets
Lindsay Scallan of Newnan, Georgia took photos on her Canon PowerShot during a vacation on Maui in 2007, and lost her new camera (in its waterproof case) during a night scuba dive. "The seas were really rough. There was a lot of sand stirred up. It was hard to see," she told HawaiiNewsNow. Over the next 6 years, it floated thousands of miles to Taiwan, where an employee of China Airlines discovered the camera on a beach in February, 2013. "The airline asked Hawaii News Now to help find the owner seen in many of the pictures." The story went viral, and Scallan has been reunited with her gadget, and her memories.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill psych professor Barbara L. Fredrickson had an interesting recent piece in the New York Times
on what she and research colleagues argues is a concerning downside of "the instant electronic access" provided by smartphones and tablets and the like: "one measurable toll may be on our biological capacity to connect with other people." The theory isn't new, but the science she points to seems to be.
Anil Dash has got ten dynamite top tips for people hoping to run a successful startup, based on his wide experience:
1. Be raised with access to clean drinking water and sanitation. (Every tech billionaire I've ever spoken to has a toilet!)
2. Try to be born in a region that is politically and militarily stable.
3. Grow up with a family that is as steady and secure as possible.
4. Have access to at least a basic free education in core subjects.
5 Avoid being abused by family members, loved ones, friends or acquaintances during the formative years of your life.
The other five are just as great!
Ten Tips Guaranteed to Improve Your Startup Success
Participants on a "Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari
" off the coast at Dana Point, CA (I've been on a few of them, they're great) witnessed an emotionally moving form of bottlenose dolphin behavior this week: a deceased dolphin calf was being carried around on the back of an adult bottlenose dolphin. To onlookers, it felt like a kind of funeral procession, in the sea.
"I believe this calf has been dead for many days, possibly weeks," said Captain Dave. "You can see the flesh is decaying. In my nearly twenty years on the water whale watching I have never seen this behavior. Nor have I ever seen anything quite as moving as this mother who refuses to let go of her poor calf."
More video, and background, here.
It'd be interesting to hear how marine biologists explain the science behind this apparent mourning behavior. Because it could also be a tasty fermented treat.
[petethomasoutdoors.com via Brian Lam]
At the New York Times, Mark Mazzetti
reports on the promotion of a C.I.A. officer "directly involved in the 2005 decision to destroy interrogation videotapes and who once ran one of the agency’s secret prisons."
Research In Motion today reported a surprise profit and "a comfortable cash pile for its fiscal fourth quarter
," after strong first sales of its new BlackBerry Z10 smartphone. Also: Co-CEO Mike Lazardidis will be stepping down from the troubled mobile device maker's board. [WSJ]
Bad girl group The Shangri-Las, best known for "Leader of the Pack," perform the far superior tune "Out in the Streets" on a 1965 episode of Shindig! For all you ever wanted to know about these talented young ladies, look no further than right here. (via Ben Gibbard)
Ruth from the UK Open Rights Group sez:
ORGCon North is the first regional conference to build on the success of the national sell-out event, ORGCon, which takes place in London every year.
On Saturday 13th April Open Rights Group, the UK digital rights campaigning organisation, will be running ORGCon North at the Manchester Friends' Meeting House.
The event is a great introduction to digital rights issues that affect every internet user - like freedom from surveillance and free speech on Twitter and Facebook.
The event runs from 11am till 5pm and is hosted by ORG-Manchester, the local campaigning group.
ORGCon North gathers experts from many technology fields and civil liberties groups across the country debating some of the big issues like: Will copyright eat the internet? Do we have a right to be offensive?
There will be a keynote speech from John Buckman, chair of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and founder of the independent record label Magnatune. He will be talking about upcoming challenges to digital rights, drawing on his experiences in the UK and US.
Open Rights Group are also offering an 'unconference track' with room for anyone to lead sessions or pop up a debate, to build to the conference they want.
Individual tickets are priced at £11 or £6 for ORG supporters. Tickets are free if you join ORG this month.
ORGCon North 2013
I used to carry a Parker 51. I'll never let that pen go, but like many fountain pens it was too risky to take on a plane. Pressurized cabins seem the perfect environment to cause a leak. I've tried and tried but many a jacket or shirt pocket bear the stains of my forgetfulness.
Several years ago, I found the Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen. It is a well-balanced and well-sealing writing instrument that has never let me down. A truly modern take on a the classic fountain design.
The Vanishing Point has a retractable nib, like clicking a Bic. Uniquely, for a fountain pen, when the pen is closed it is closed! The ink and nib are surrounded in a sealed chamber. This has resulted in several hundred thousand miles flown without a single leak.
But how does it write? I like a fine nib and the Pilot comes with a beautifully flexible 18 carat gold one -- it is super fine. The pen is really well balanced and feels solid in my hand. It is heavy but in the best way. Writing is a joy! I find Pilot's cartridge ink to be fast drying and the black is dark enough for me (I'm a long time Quink fan but we can discuss ink all day...)
It is perfect for writing in a Boing Boing moleskine!
The Pilot Vanishing Point retractable fountain pen
The Egyptian military claims it caught saboteurs in a small boat trying to sever one of the country's main undersea Internet cables. No word yet on who the guys were and what their motive might be:
Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali said in a statement on his official Facebook page that divers were arrested while “cutting the undersea cable” of the country’s main communications company, Telecom Egypt. The statement said they were caught on a speeding fishing boat just off the port city of Alexandria.
The statement was accompanied by a photo showing three young men, apparently Egyptian, staring up at the camera in what looks like an inflatable launch. It did not further have details on who they were or why they would have wanted to cut a cable.
Egypt: Naval forces capture 3 divers trying to cut undersea Internet cable [AP]
"Police say they are trying to determine how a medical box containing a pair of eyeballs ended up in a trash bin
at a gas station in Kansas City," reports the Associated Press.
From bodices made of green beetle wings to a skirt studded with embroidered-on bits of meteorite, the clothing of designer Mathieu Mirano draws inspiration from the natural world and the obsessions of science. Popular Science
's Susannah Locke went to the designer's show and has a gallery of photos that you should really check out
In 1979, starving artist Jean-Michel Basquiat painted murals all over the walls of his biology student girlfriend Alexis Adler's apartment in New York City's East Village. The couple split up around 1980 but Adler held on to the apartment and eventually bought it. She had left Basquiat's wall art alone and also kept piles of his work, from notebooks to photos to drawings. Adler, a New York University embryologist, is now working with a team of experts to catalog the chaotic collection for an upcoming book, exhibition, and, of course, a sale. According to Artinfo, one of the contributors to the effort, Gracie Mansion gallery director Sur Rodney Sur "credits Basquiat’s sometime depiction of scientific formulas and compounds to his time with Adler, who was a biology student in those days. He said Basquiat was fascinated by her textbooks and copied much of the imagery." Basquiat's Ex-Girlfriend Reveals Major Trove of Unseen Works
" (via Science Sparks Art)
Peter Stanford reviews Matt Kaplan's new book, an investigation into what's so intriguing about spooky, scary beasties of the night: Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite: the Science of Monsters.
What he has grasped is that, however much the rational and sane majority airily dismiss tales of fire-breathing dragons, strange creatures from outer space or beasts that inhabit the depths, there is still buried in most of us that reflex that can't help, on a dark night, walking along a lonely country lane, wondering, “What if there’s something out there?” And when we do, the collective cultural baggage of these tales of ghosts, ghouls and griffins is usually sufficient to make us put our hands over our eyes to block out what may just be lurking out there. But, then, we still peep.
Reuters' Joe McDonald informs us of a new hands-free gaming technology: "Play doesn't need to stop for sports fans taking a bathroom break at a Pennsylvania minor-league baseball stadium that has installed video games in men's room urinals
You can have a go yourself at Lehigh Valley IronPigs' Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.
Leila Schneps and Coralie Colmez have an interesting piece at The New York Times about DNA evidence in murder trials, the mathematics of probability, and the highly publicized case of Amanda Knox
. What good is remembering the math you learned in junior high? If you're a judge, it could be the difference between a guilty verdict and an acquittal.
In 1978, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Lawrence Kasdan had early brainstorming sessions around Lucas's outline for "Raiders of the Lost Ark." They recorded the conversations and had the tape transcribed. Here it is (PDF). Over at the New Yorker, Patrick Radden Keefe provides a summary and excerpts some choice bits.
The hero, Lucas explains, is a globe-trotting archaeologist, “a bounty hunter of antiquities.” He’s a professor, a Ph.D.—“People call him doctor.” But he’s a little “rough and tumble.” As the men hash out the Jones iconography, they refer, incessantly, to other films, invoking Eastwood, Bond, and Mifune. He will dress like Bogart in “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” Lucas says: “the khaki pants…the leather jacket. That sort of felt hat.” Oh, and also? “A bullwhip.” He’ll carry it “rolled up,” Lucas continues. “Like a snake that’s coiled up behind him.”
“I like that,” Spielberg says. “The doctor with the bullwhip.”
"Raiders of the Lost Ark: Story Conference Transcript
" (Mad Dog Movies)
"Spitballing Indy" (The New Yorker)
This article at Lapham's Quarterly by Peter Foges has me rethinking my biases against rose champagne — a drink I tend to associate with undergrads and poorly conceived 7-Up cocktails. Turns out, the history (and the chemistry) of rose are totally fascinating
. Traditionally the quaff of queens (and really, really, really high-class hookers), real rose is surprisingly difficult to make, relying on a process that could, with just a small error, go wrong and leave you with a drink that is red, brown, or even blue.
Sam Biddle writes that this week's epic, internet-shaking DDOS was a lie
. Spamhaus was indeed under a record-size denial-of-service attack, but the protection company it hired, Cloudflare, turns out to be the only source of the bigger story that went with it: that the internet at large was significantly affected.
Last week, we put up a post asking BB readers to tell us (and each other) about their projects. You-all upvoted your favorites, and herewith presented is a list of some of the coolest things you're up to (there's plenty that didn't make the cut but still fascinate -- have a look).
There's so much awesome here that I'm going to split this into a morning and evening post. Come back at 5PM Pacific to see the second half (or go read the totally awesome thread for yourself).
First up, Josh Zisson wrote:
I've made "the safest bike on the road." It's painted with a patented retroreflective coating, so the entire bike is reflective at night. When headlights hit it, it glows bright white. Check it out on my website. We're currently working with manufacturers to make this coating available on commuter bikes (and much more).
Next, Alison Jardine told us about her paintings:
I am using traditional oil-on-canvas techniques to render digitally distorted and filtered images of nature. Trees with pixel leaves, forests in infrared, pixel snowstorms across fractal branches...
I sometimes think of my process of creating art as scavenging from nature, a kind of ‘found art’ but where the object found is visual. I begin with a photograph that I take on my digital camera, and manipulate that image (now just a collection of pixels, after all) until I have a work on which I can base an oil painting.
When this painting is completed, I take a photograph of the painting, and digitally alter and manipulate it until, by both chance and planning, I create an image that will form the basis of the next painting. This feedback loop continues towards a gradual, entropic dispersal of color and light.
Read the rest