Boing Boing 

Dear Abby: ice chewing and marital strife

From today's Dear Abby:
DEAR ABBY: My husband has ice water with every meal. During breakfast and dinner he loudly crunches all of the ice in his glass throughout the meal.

I have asked him not to do it at the dinner table, but he thinks I'm being unreasonable. At breakfast, I usually eat in another room and wear noise reduction headphones.

Read the rest (via Under The Weather)

William Gibson tries the Google Glass


Technically, lending Bill these particular shades is a terms-of-service violation -- wonder if Google will revoke them?

William Gibson, Google Glass

Then-and-now photos of Disney Parks from early days and today


A monster photo-post from Imagineering Disney compares vintage shots of the Disney parks with contemporary shots. The only thing more remarkable than the dramatic shifts in some of these shots is the total lack of change in others. I'm particularly relieved by the restraint showed in modding the Tiki Room, which was born in a state of near-total grace and has remained thus ever since.

THEN AND NOW Photo Collection (via The Disney Collector)

Prediction: success from Boston surveillance in bombing manhunt will lead to more spying everywhere

"The images captured in Boston are validation of a three-year project in St. Louis to link 150 surveillance cameras into a single security system throughout the city’s central corridor, from the riverfront to Forest Park," reports Doug Moore at stltoday.com. This despite a statement by Boston's police chief that facial recognition technology system did not help find the suspects. How much you wanna bet the "surveillance imaging solved this crime" argument will lead to more forceful pushes for expanded surveillance imaging in any number of other American cities? (HT: @kgosztola)

The Brothers Tsarnaev

"The digital era allows no asylum from extremism, let alone from the toxic combination of high-minded zealotry and the curdled disappointments of young men."—David Remnick in The New Yorker on the Boston bombing suspects.

What legal rights should Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have?

Modified version of image from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's account on Russian social network vk.com.

Below, an array of perspectives on what legal rights the 19-year-old American citizen suspected of co-executing the Boston Marathon bombings has, and whether law enforcement is obliged to honor those rights under the circumstances:

• "If captured, I hope [the] Administration will at least consider holding the Boston suspect as [an] enemy combatant for intelligence gathering purposes. If the Boston suspect has ties to overseas terror organizations he could be treasure trove of information. The last thing we may want to do is read Boston suspect Miranda Rights telling him to 'remain silent.'"—Republican senator Lindsay Graham, on Twitter.

• "There's no way an American citizen committing a domestic crime in the city of Boston could be tried as an enemy combatant. It could never happen. And that shows absolute ignorance of the law."—Alan Dershowitz, prominent defense attorney and Harvard law professor, speaking on CNN.

Read the rest

Covering the Coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings

In infographic form, Hilary "Chartgirl" Sargent breaks down the highs and lows of the media coverage of this week's attacks in Boston.

TSA finally seeks public comment on pornoscanners

From Slashdot submitter Trims: "The TSA is now in the public comment stage of its project to roll out Advanced Imaging Technology (i.e. full-body X-ray) scanners. The TSA wants your feedback as to whether or not this project should be continued or cancelled. Now is your chance to tell the TSA that this is a huge porkbarrel project and nothing more than Security Theater. You can comment at http:///www.regulations.gov and reference the docket ID TSA-2013-0004." You've got until Jun 24.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev remembered by Twitter friends as "cool bro, average dude" with whom to "smoke blunts"

Laura Griffin collected some tweets from apparent real-world friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev. The post-bombing tweets "from four people who know him, and old conversations they had with him" suggest that @J_tsar was a real Twitter account belonging to the 19-year-old suspect.

Background: Chechnya

A memorial for victims of armed conflict in Grozny, the Chechen capital. Photo: C.J. Chivers, 2008.

C.J. Chivers, New York Times reporter and author of THE GUN, a social history of the AK-47, co-wrote this "primer on the land from which the Tsarnaev family hailed."

As the NYT piece notes, current Chechen leader Ramzan A. Kadyrov wrote on Instagram (!) that any ties between the Boston bombing suspects and Chechnya were mistaken: “The roots of this evil are to be found in America.”

How technology factored into the Boston bombing investigation

If you read one article on the role science and technology played in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, make it this one in today's edition of The Washington Post:
Quickly, the authorities secured a warehouse in Boston’s Seaport district and filled the sprawling space: On half of the vast floor, hundreds of pieces of bloody clothes were laid out to dry so they could be examined for forensic clues or flown to FBI labs at Quantico in Prince William County for testing. In the other half of the room, more than a dozen investigators sifted through hundreds of hours of video, looking for people “doing things that are different from what everybody else is doing,” Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said in an interview Saturday.

The work was painstaking and mind-numbing: One agent watched the same segment of video 400 times. The goal was to construct a timeline of images, following possible suspects as they moved along the sidewalks, building a narrative out of a random jumble of pictures from thousands of different phones and cameras.

Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev worked out, slept, partied after Boston Marathon attack

According to his friends, University of Massachusetts sophomore Dzhokhar Tsarnaev worked out, slept in his dowm room, and hung out with fellow students on the same day of the attack on the Boston Marathon, after the bombs went off. One student quoted in the Boston Globe who did not want to be identified said she saw Tsarnaev at a party on Wednesday night attended by some of his soccer team friends.

“He was just relaxed,” she said.

Depending on which acquaintance's quote you read, the 19-year-old either sounds normal or creepy:

Emily DeInnocentis, 23, said Tsarnaev stood out to her because of some odd behavior, like spreading messy string cheese all over her couch, and picking up her cat and carrying it upstairs for no reason.

“We just didn’t invite him over after that. How many people just pick up your cat and go upstairs?” she said.

More: "Bombing suspect attended UMass Dartmouth, prompting school closure; college friend shocked by charge he is Boston Marathon bomber." [The Boston Globe]

New privately-owned Antares rocket blasts off from Virginia, to space

Reuters:

"A privately owned rocket built in partnership with NASA to haul cargo to the International Space Station blasted off on Sunday for a debut test flight from a new commercial spaceport in Virginia. The 13-story Antares rocket, developed and flown by Orbital Sciences Corp, lifted off at 5 p.m. EDT from a Virginia-owned and operated launch pad at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island."

Here's the Orbital Sciences press release.

How crowdsourcing sleuths on Reddit searching for Boston bomber got the wrong guy

A subreddit titled "Find Boston Bombers" figured out that Sunil Tripathi, 22, was responsible for the deadly attack. Only he wasn't. This time, Reddit got it very wrong.

Massachusetts police: Tamerlan Tsarnaev was alive during shootout, until his brother drove over him

Boston Globe: "Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was alive and struggling with Watertown police early Friday morning, when his younger brother and alleged coconspirator drove over him in a stolen SUV, dragging him on the pavement and apparently inflicting the fatal injuries that killed him."

Thermal video and photos of Boston bombing suspect, hiding in boat

Massachusetts State Police (MSP) released this video shot from their airwing helicopter hovering over "The Slipaway II," the boat where 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the second Boston Marathon bombing suspect, was captured and arrested last Friday night. Below, photos taken from the State Police Air Wing during the Watertown manhunt, released through the MSP Twitter account.

The photos were captured with FLIR, "a forward-looking infrared device used to pick up a person's heat signature, combined with night vision technology."

Read the rest

Why armed lockdown in Boston after the Marathon Bombings was a bad idea

"A large percent of the reaction in Boston has been security theater," writes Popehat. "'Four victims brutally killed' goes by other names in other cities. In Detroit, for example, they call it 'Tuesday.'...and Detroit does not shut down every time there are a few murders. 'But Clark,' I hear you say, 'this is different. This was a terrorist attack.'

No, universal daycare doesn't destroy the national character

The Brit papers have been full of news about the Swedish daycare expert brought in to address Conservative MPs about the iron-clad, data-driven link between Sweden's universal daycare and the rise of teen mental health issues there. Jonas Himmelstrand was there to warn Britain that sending mothers to work and kids to daycare was bad for the family and the nation. Only one problem: he has no formal qualifications to speak on the subject, and the scientist whose research he cited says he got it all wrong.

What about Tamerlan Tsarnaev's wife?

Turns out, suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev really did have a child with a woman from Rhode Island. They might have been married. Both the woman and the child are alive and physically healthy. The woman doesn't seem to be a suspect. Other than a brief statement by her parents, the family isn't talking to the press. (Thanks to Michele Banks for the link. The lack of follow-up on offhanded mentions that he may have had a wife had me worried that she might have been one of his victims.)

HOWTO pose in your cosplay


Cherazor's "Guide: Posing in Cosplay" was a fascinating look at the thought that goes into showing off your cosplay with well-thought-through body-language that takes into account your own morphology, the depiction of your chosen character, and the line between playful and sexualized posing.

Guide: Posing in Cosplay

Grassy field in Florida was once secret CIA base from which Guatemalan coup was launched

There's a fascinating article in the Miami Herald today about a grassy field in Opa-locka, Florida which was the site of the secret CIA base where the US-led coup of Guatemala was launched in 1953.

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New Farmer's Almanac for 2013


Rick Prelinger sez, "Our friends at The Greenhorns, a national organization of young farmers, just published the first (and hopefully not the last) edition of their New Farmer's Almanac, which they call "an entertaining collection of practical advice for farmers and other patriots." Its 300 pages are full of surprises -- field notes from new farmers in city and country, archival tidbits from 200 years of agricultural bulletins and magazines, deep thoughts on land use in America, puzzles, meat-cutting charts and reproducible labels for your own homemade cheese. It's much more than a patchwork, though -- this book is at once radical and traditionalist, a generous handful of dispatches from the DIY movement that aims to fix our broken food system and relocate the center of innovation and idea-making from city to country. Ben Franklin would love this book. Purchase it, if you like, and increase the chances that it will become an annual publication as regular as the seasons.

"Quote from page 30: 'An almanac is a little book hiding an encyclopedia within its covers. Its job is to offer proverbs that turn into projects, household hints that help harvests flourish, facts that keep animals healthy and plants straight on their stems.'"

Almanac - Greenhorns (Thanks, Rick!)

Report: Russia warned FBI in 2011 about Boston bombing suspect Tsarnaev

The Boston Globe is among many media outlets to report this weekend that Russia was surveilling suspected bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011, and "warned the FBI of the alleged bomber’s radical shift" towards "suspicious activities." The FBI acknowledged Friday that it has investigated him in 2011, after that prompt, but "did not find any terrorism activity" in the behavior they observed online and in person, when they interrogated him at his home. The 26 year old was killed early Friday morning during a firefight with police in Watertown, MA. Bonus: The name of the boat his brother Dzhokhar was found hiding in, on Friday? "The Slipaway II."

Che café, Guatemala City (Guatemala snapshot)

A little eatery we walked by in Guatemala City, with Che Guevara photos and flags outside. The Cuban revolutionary lived in Guatemala City for some time during the early 1950s, when the democratically-elected leftist president Jacobo Arbenz was implementing land reform, and sticking it to international corporations like American-owned United Fruit Company.

And in fact, Guatemala appears to be the place where Che became known as Che.

From Wikipedia:

Read the rest

Café cash register cat (Guatemala snapshot)

Above: Misha, the manager of Fernando's Kaffe, my favorite place for coffee in La Antigua, Guatemala. Seriously, she runs the joint. After the barista made me my espresso, the barista pushed keys next to the creature's paws and tail to ring up my drink without moving Misha; the cat sleeps right through everything.

* Taken with a crappy local loaner phone, which I carry on the street instead of my fancy smartphone to discourage thievery

Issuing an apology on behalf of the New York Post

Andy writes, "As you guys know, the New York Post made some pretty terrible editorial decisions following the Boston Marathon attacks, including putting two innocent kids on the cover. Someone wrote a fake letter of apology from the paper's editor and inserted it into a bunch of papers around NYC, and ANIMAL made a video about it. Take a look!"

The Apology the New York Post Should Have Issued - ANIMAL (Thanks, Andy!)

Read the rest