On the current episode of Bullseye with Jesse Thorn I recommended two "culture picks" --
This week's recommendations come from Boing Boing founder and Gweek host Mark Frauenfelder. His first suggestion is Bunk!, a game for iOS that makes good use of your vocabulary, your friends, and your ability to convincingly make stuff up. Looking for something to read? He also suggests Marijuanamerica [reviewed on Boing Boing], a new book about a man who tours the US to understand America's love/hate relationship with pot.
I am a huge fan of Chris Metzler's documentaries. He co-directed the unforgettable Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea and the amazing documentary about Fishbone, Everyday Sunshine. He's getting ready to make his next documentary, Rodents of Unusual Size, about 20-lb swamp rats. I can't wait!
When we first heard about the nutria, we couldn't believe it. Why were they here? What did they want? And why did they insist on eating up the entire Louisiana bayou?? The more we heard, the stranger the story got.
Their webbed hind feet and enormous orange teeth were quite peculiar. We learned about the state bounty program that pays hunters and trappers $5 a tail to keep the pests under control. We also found recipes for nutria gumbo and pictures of fashion shows featuring their "environmentally friendly" fur. And then there was the story of the man out on Delacroix Island who raised a pet albino nutria who was "as smart as a dog but held a grudge."
The nutria gnawed its way into Louisiana culture and folklore. Its appetite has moved coastlines. And now the humans are fighting back by turning this invasive species into a resource and starting to eat and wear these rodents for the benefit of a healthy ecosystem.
It’s only fair that this notorious and lovable rodent get its own feature documentary!
Lisa Wade of Sociological Images posted her comments on a recent Pew survey that explains why the "the majority of Americans are in favor of extending marriage to same-sex couples."
People offered a range of reasons for why they changed their minds. The most common response involved coming into contact with someone that they learned was homosexual. A third of respondents said that knowing a gay, lesbian, or bisexual person was influential in making them rethink their position on gay marriage. This is consistent with the Contact Hypothesis, the idea that (positive) experiences with someone we fear or dislike will result in changes of opinion.
As I've said before, I've been a fan of Bob Staake's illustration ever since David and I stumbled across his ABC and 123 books at SF Moma in 1998. Bob's art is appealing in its simplicity, but it's also sophisticated and wry. No surprise that he has illustrated quite a few New Yorker covers. He does all of his illustration work using a pre-OS X version of the Macintosh operating system and Photoshop 3. He doesn't use a stylus, and instead does everything with a mouse.
It's with great pleasure that Boing Boing gets to premiere the trailer for Bob's new book, Bluebird. He's been working on it for 10 years, and it's a mind-blowing story aimed at 4-8 year olds. It's told without words, and it's about a boy, a bird, and some bullies. I don't want to spoil the story so I'll stop there. I agree with Kirkus Reviews assessment: "Like nothing you have seen before." Is it Bob's magnum opus? I'd say "yes.. so far." Who knows what he'll do next?
This is episode 5 of Boing Boing's newest podcast, Tell Me Something I Don't Know. It's an interview podcast featuring artists, writers, filmmakers, and other creative people discussing their work, ideas, and the reality/business side of how they do what they do.
Jesse Schell is the CEO of Schell Games - a video game and transformational game design company, a Professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center, and the author of The Art of Game Design. He is a prolific speaker, well-known for his 2010 DICE talk, "Beyond Facebook", which has had over 1 million views online. His resume also includes stints as a juggler, comedian, and Creative Director for Walt Disney Imagineering.
Tell Me Something I Don't Know is produced and hosted by three talented cartoonists and illustrators:
Jasen Lex is a designer and illustrator from Pittsburgh. He is currently working on a graphic novel called Washington Unbound. All of his art and comics can be found at jasenlex.com.
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Michael Geist sez,
Months after the Supreme Court of Canada delivered a stinging defeat to Canadian copyright collective Access Copyright by ruling for an expansive approach to fair dealing and the government passed copyright reforms that further expanded the scope of fair dealing, Access Copyright responded yesterday with what amounts to a desperate declaration of war against fair dealing. Access Copyright has decided to fight the law - along with governments, educational institutions, teachers, librarians, and taxpayers - on several fronts. Most notably, it has filed a lawsuit against York University over its fair dealing guidelines, which are similar to those adopted by educational institutions across the country. While the lawsuit has yet to be posted online, the Access Copyright release suggests that the suit is not alleging specific instances of infringement, but rather takes issue with guidelines it says are "arbitrary and unsupported" and that "authorize and encourage copying that is not supported by the law."
Most of Access Copyright's longstanding arguments were dismissed by the Supreme Court this past summer. To suggest that a modest fair dealing policy based on Supreme Court jurisprudence and legislative reforms is "arbitrary and unsupported" is more than just rhetoric masquerading as legal argument. It is a declaration of war against fair dealing.
Their findings, which they presented yesterday at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Atlanta, were that many of the pills, powders and ointments tested had beneficial ingredients like calcium and zinc—but that others had toxins such as lead, mercury and arsenic."What’s in Century-Old ‘Snake Oil’ Medicines? Mercury and Lead" Read the rest
Back in the day, this was a very trial-and-error kind of field,” (chemist Mark) Benvenuto said in an interview. “The stuff that we think of as dangerous now, though it was dangerous, was as cutting-edge as they had at the time.”
Seen here is "Hemi-Powered," a new fine art print collaboration by our pals COOP and Pressure Printing's Brad Keech! COOP's model for this beaut was a Dodge 426 Hemi engine (aka "The Elephant") with a Cragar blower. The relief print is 38.5" x 30", available in a limited edition of 25 signed and numbered for the price of $666 (natch). More details on the Pressure Printing blog here. Read the rest
"At over 90 miles per hour, he had his penis out [the window]... he was masturbating... and that's when it got really, really bad. I wouldn't look over any more, and I wrote his tag number down on my hand, which I believe he noticed, and he exited very quickly."
I've never heard the euphemism "exited" before, but hey, Tennessee's a pretty weird place. [Talking Points Memo] Read the rest
Cookie Monster was arrested Sunday after allegedly shoving a child in New York's Times Square when his mother did not tip him for posing with the boy.
Monster, 33, was charged with endangering the welfare of 2-year old Samay Katkar, who had wandered over to the blue-furred beast when his parents ventured into town for a weekend trip. "The next thing I know, Cookie Monster had already picked up my son and was like, 'Come on, take a picture!'", Kurada told the New York Daily News. Read the rest
The Origami is a "radical new condom" inspired by paper-folding techniques and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Designed to slip on more comfortably than easily-torn rolled latex prophylactics, Origami comes in male and female forms, and there's even a special model for anuses of either sex. The creators are testing the designs in clinical trials, and hope to have them available by
Police leveling a homeless campsite outside of Kansas City discovered a "hidden community" of transients living in an elaborate series of tunnels, reports KMBC. Read the rest