Boing Boing 

Gainsbourg and Bardot's "Bonnie and Clyde" (1968)

Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot's "Bonnie and Clyde" from 1968. The lyrics (in French) are based on Bonnie Parker's poem "The Trail's End" that she wrote several weeks before she was killed. You can find the song on several releases, including Gainsbourg and Bardot's fantastic collaborative album "Bonnie and Clyde" and also on multiple Gainsbourg compilations, including Monsieur Gainsbourg: The Originals. (And yes, Mad Men viewers, it is indeed the tune playing at the Electric Circus in the "To Have and To Hold" episode.)

Final scene from Black Orpheus

Watching the video about Luiz, the adorable boy who explained why he didn't want to eat octopus, gave me the same feeling as the beautiful ending of Black Orpheus, which is one of the best movie endings ever. It's not really a spoiler either, so enjoy it then watch the entire movie when you can.

Ronald McJoker

This terrifying Ronald McDonald/Joker mashup cosplayer was snapped at San Jose's FanimeCon 2013 by David Ngo.

Ronald McDonald (via Neatorama)

Mouldering city built of bread is a metaphor for Earth without humans

Swedish artist Johanna Mårtensson created this installation depicting a cityscape made of bread in 2009, and photographed it as it decayed, creating a series of pictures representing the destiny of all human folly come the day that we make ourselves extinct and vanish from the face of the Earth:

I was inspired by an article about how well the earth would do without us. Within 500 years all buildings would be half fallen or fallen, perfect homes for animals and plants. The forrest would soon grow in cities. After hand buildings as well as pollutions would be taken care of by bacterias and micro-organisms. An ufo that came here in a couple of of hundred thousand years would not see many signs of that a gang of primates ones thought that they where the lords of the planet.

Decor Photoinstallation by Johanna Mårtensson (via Crazy Abalone)

Bomber enraged by spelling error can't blow up sign because his bomb instructions were riddled with typos

A 50-year-old man was upset that the sign in front of the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission read "Oregon Teacher Standards an Practices Commission" (the D had fallen off the sign or been worn away), so he resolved to explode it with a pressure-cooker bomb. But the bomb didn't work, an outcome the man blamed on the spelling errors and typos in the bomb-making instructions he'd downloaded from the Internet. So he took his bomb into the Oregon Teacher Standards an Practices Commission and gave them a piece of his mind, vis-a-vis bombs, standards, and education. And practices.

"He walked quite confidently into our office as though he had a mission," she said, "and I think that was what alarmed me right off the bat." (Because no one who wants to be a teacher comes in with a good attitude? My guess is that the pressure cooker with wires sticking out of it might have also played a role in her alarm.) The man explained that he was upset with their misspelled sign and had just tried to blow it up for that reason. Didn't work, and you know what else?

After discussing his failed attempt to detonate his bomb, the man complained that the instructions he downloaded to make the bomb also had misspellings. [According to the director, he] implied that [she] and her employees should be concerned about the level of education children receive, given that his [bomb-making] instructions were rife with errors.

I think that only follows, though, if these were official State of Oregon bomb-making instructions that he'd gotten hold of. Then it would be fair to worry that our children are not getting the kind of training in literacy and improvised explosive devices that they will need to be successful in today's competitive economy. But if these were just any old bomb-making instructions, then the state's not to blame. You always have to be careful with what you find on the internet.

Man Tries to Blow Up Misspelled Sign, Criticizes Misspelled Bomb Instructions [Lowering the Bar]

Real Stuff: Close Call

"Because the bartender is always on TV, I got laid a lot. There were plenty of free drugs and drinks. I lived out all my middle-class Idaho fantasies as quickly as possible." From Real Stuff #1 (Fantagraphics, December 1990).Read the rest

Disneyland dry-ice explosion: employee did it twice

More on the dry-ice explosion that triggered an evacuation of Toontown in Disneyland: it appears that the employee who put dry-ice in a sealed bottle in order to cause a loud bang and some water vapor did the same thing earlier in the day in another part of Disneyland. That seems like pretty authoritative proof that this was a premeditated attempt to cause alarm and not absentminded improper waste-disposal:

The Orange County district attorney's office says the first dry-ice explosion took place about 4 p.m. Tuesday outside Toontown shortly after Barnes was ending his shift and a colleague was taking over the vending cart with drinks.

Several minutes later, Barnes is accused of taking a second water bottle from the cart and walking toward the employee break room. While passing through Toontown, Barnes allegedly placed a second water bottle with dry ice in a trash can before leaving the area.

They're charging him with a felony and he's facing six years in jail for a prank that would have barely rated being fired a decade or two ago.

Disneyland worker charged in dry-ice blast 'wouldn't hurt anyone' [Mike Anton and Andrew Blankstein/LA Times]

(via The Disney Blog)

(Image: ToonTown sign, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from bfurlong's photostream)

Arms folded: a study in local reportage

Local People, Arms Crossed: exactly what it sounds like. A Tumblr full of hometown heroes, posed by unimaginative newsies with their arms crossed for extra competence. (via Waxy)

This is what a hairless raccoon looks like

Delightful! (Via Reddit)

The Value in Fixing: Nat Geo's "World's Toughest Fixes" host Sean Riley in conversation with Xeni at Maker Faire

I had a great time interviewing Sean Riley at Maker Faire this year. Watch our conversation, here. (

Watch PBS NOVA on the science of the Boston bombing manhunt

Watch Manhunt—Boston Bombers on PBS. See more from NOVA.

Above, "Manhunt—Boston Bombers," a documentary for the PBS science program NOVA reported and directed by Miles O'Brien. The hour focuses on which technologies worked, and which didn't, in the race to track down the men behind the April 2013 Boston marathon attack. Watch online for free.

My contribution to this documentary consisted mostly of coffee runs, takeout food selection, and obtaining accurate sound effects for the Twitter screengrab sections. Hugs may also have been given.

Read the rest

Grainy sonar image may or may not be new clue to Amelia Earhart's plane wreckage

A sonar image taken hundreds of feet below the surface of the Pacific may help solve one of the greatest mysteries in the history of aviation: What happened to Amelia Earhart, and where is her plane?

TIGHAR, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, has a website dedicated to the search and the new data.

Northern Ireland builds a Potemkin Village for the G8

The G8 Summit is coming to Fermanagh, a county in Northern Ireland that has been devastated by austerity. To spruce things up and maintain the fiction that austerity will get us out of the global economic depression, the county has spent £300,000 giving local businesses "a facelift" -- including installing a fake butcher-shop window full of imaginary meat in a derelict storefront.

Two shops in Belcoo, right on the border with Blacklion, Co Cavan, have been painted over to appear as thriving businesses. The reality, as in other parts of the county, is rather more stark.

Just a few weeks ago, Flanagan’s – a former butcher’s and vegetable shop in the neat village – was cleaned and repainted with bespoke images of a thriving business placed in the windows. Any G8 delegate passing on the way to discuss global capitalism would easily be fooled into thinking that all is well with the free-market system in Fermanagh..

The butcher’s business has been replaced by a picture of a butcher’s business. Across the road is a similar tale. A small business premises has been made to look like an office supplies store. It used to be a pharmacy, now relocated on the village main street.

Elsewhere in Fermanagh, billboard-sized pictures of the gorgeous scenery have been located to mask the occasional stark and abandoned building site or other eyesore.

Recession out of the picture as Fermanagh puts on a brave face for G8 leaders [Dan Keenan/Irish Times]

(via The Atlantic)

First-ever high-res photos of chemical bonds breaking

About this groundbreaking photo from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley:

"Almost as clearly as a textbook diagram, this image made by a noncontact atomic force microscope reveals the positions of individual atoms and bonds, in a molecule having 26 carbon atoms and 14 hydrogen atoms structured as three connected benzene rings."

"Nobody has ever taken direct, single-bond-resolved images of individual molecules, right before and immediately after a complex organic reaction," said Felix Fischer of the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

(via physorg, James McInerney)

Seattle Pot-trepreneur plans $100 Million chain of weed stores throughout America

Get ready for the Walmart of weed. Even Mexican President Vicente Fox thinks it's a good idea. The Stranger reports on a Seattle entrepreneur's plans to launch a $100 Million chain of marijuana stores throughout the US.

Verizon to NYT reporter: No, we won't tell you if we gave your phone records to the Feds

Verizon won't tell Charlie Savage and the New York Times if it gave the Feds phone records for Times reporters. "We regret... that we cannot indicate whether we have previously received legal process in a criminal matter for either telephone number." Document here. (via Tim Karr)

The Society Of Glass Enthusiasts, an informal group of Google fans, walks into a bar...

"What Happens When Google's Biggest Fans Get Drinks," Huffpo asks, about a meetup of the Google+ (duh) group known as "The Society Of Glass Enthusiasts," who do not actually own Google Glass? Well, spoiler. They sit around drinking and talking about what they'll do when Google sees fit to sell or give them Google Glasses.

Phonetic description of annoying noises teenagers make

James Harbeck created this video to demonstrate various vocalizations that young adults make, to express emotions that are endemic to teens. From an accompanying article at The Week:
The next time you find yourself wondering about the highest use of linguistics, or enduring the insulting grunts and groans of petulant adolescents and wondering how such noises could even be described, bring the two worlds together. Clearly, linguistics exists just so we can give a technical description of those hard-to-spell sounds that erupt from callow youths. Here are seven examples (with three bonus variations).

Renowned voyaging crew launches greatest journey yet in Hawaiian canoe: four-year, worldwide trek

The Polynesian Voyaging Society famed traditional Hawaiian sea vessel Hōkūle’a began the first portion of a planned worldwide voyage this week with a "Malama Hawai'i" sail around the islands of Hawai'i. Of the 22 total portions of the canoe's trip around the world, the first and last are in Hawai'i.

The trip is expected to take four years, and will cover over 45,000 nautical miles, 26 countries, and stops at more than 60 ports.

Follow the journey at

In keeping with Polynesian tradition, they will orient themselves with no man-made tools. Only their natural surroundings. No GPS, no compass, not even a paper map. Just stars, clouds, land masses, wind and water currents, and a keen ability to read that data.

Read the rest

Star Wars logo history

StarwwwlogoOver at Tenth Letter of the Alphabet, a fascinating history of the Star Wars logo. Above left, a decal created during the film's pre-production, to be used on film cans and other early materials. "This was how we first pictured Han Solo," production designer and artist Ralph McQuarrie explained in The Star Wars Scrapbook: The Essential Collection. "It could be a sort of Luke character, but I think it’s more like Han. Anyway, George decided that Han Solo should be a more relaxed character, and his costume was changed. But this decal was designed before the change.” Above right, the early corporate letterhead after "The" was dropped. The lettering, based on the Precis font, was by concept artist and SFX tech Joe Johnston. "Anatomy of a Logo: Star Wars"

Freelance archivists raising funds to preserve precious manuscripts rescued from fundamentalists in Timbuktu

Tony sez, "In 2012, under threat from fundamentalist rebels, a team of archivists, librarians, and couriers evacuated an irreplaceable trove of manuscripts from Timbuktu at great personal risk. The manuscripts have been saved from immediate destruction, but the danger is not over. A massive archival effort is needed to protect this immense global heritage from loss. That's why we launched an Indie-go-go campaign."

Libraries in Exile is sponsored by T160K, an international initiative forged in the evacuation of these treasures from Timbuktu and dedicated to protecting and preserving them until they can be returned to their home. It is the center of a growing global family who have pledged to this urgent effort.

Funds contributed to this project will be used to purchase moisture traps, archival boxes, and the additional footlockers required to safely store these manuscripts, as well as to cover the significant labor effort required to unbox and re-pack the manuscripts for preservation.

Timbuktu Libraries in Exile

E. coli engineered into an analog computer

Synthetic biology researchers at MIT are creating simple analog computers in living cells, complete with fluorescent "displays." Rahul Sarpeshkar and Timothy K. Lu engineered genetic circuits in E. coli so that the bacteria glows with a brightness determined by the amount of certain chemicals surrounding it. From Science News:
NewImageBy making bacteria glow more or less brightly depending on the number of different chemicals around, the new circuit can compute answers to math problems, Lu’s team reports May 15 in Nature. To add 1 plus 1, for example, the circuit would detect two chemicals and crank up the bacteria’s glow to “2.”

"Analog circuits boost power in living computers" (Science News)

"Cell-Based Computing Goes Analog" (The Scientist)

"Synthetic analog computation in living cells" (Nature)

Billboard: "Gay Marriage = Gay Clutter"


"It's funny cause it's true," says my pal Jason Tester who posted the photo to his Instagram feed @guerrillafutures.

DIY crosswalk painter arrested

Matthew says: "A Vallejo man wanted to easily cross the street in front of his house, so he painted his own crosswalk. He was arrested for felony vandalism Thursday morning."

Limor "ladyada" Fried profiled by MIT


MIT is rightfully proud of alumna Limor Fried, the superhero hardware hacker behind AdaFruit Industries, creators of fantastic DIY, open source electronics components and kits. We're proud of Limor too! From MIT News:

Apart from selling kits, original devices and providing hundreds of guides online, Adafruit works around the world with schools, teachers, libraries and hackerspaces — community technology labs — to promote STEM education, designing curricula in circuitry and electronics, among other initiatives.

The company has released an online children’s show called “A is for Ampere.” On a weekly Saturday night program, “Ask an Engineer,” anyone can ask Fried questions online or show off their original devices.

One of Fried’s favorite stories, from a young viewer of “Ask an Engineer,” illuminates what she sees as the growing diversity of engineering. “A parent emailed us after watching the show with his daughter,” she says. “I had another engineer on the show with me — my friend Amanda — and this parent’s daughter asked, ‘Dad, are there boy engineers too?’”

"Meet the maker"

Why young Luiz doesn't want to eat octopus

This thoughtful, articulate young fellow explains why he doesn't want to eat octopus. (Thanks, Sean Ness!)

3D printed, 28-geared cube gets motorized, additional awesome

Alex sez, "You recently did a blog post of a 3D printed cube with 28 gears which was 3d printed fully assembled -- which I designed. However since this post, the cube has improved greatly, lubricated with a PTFE lubricant; I have also created a motor attachment to allow the geared cube to run autonomously.

Steampunk themed 28-Geared Cube (Thanks, Alex!)

Buy my Green Man T-Shirt

The creators of ElfQuest liked my artwork for our interview with them so much, they put it on a T-shirt! You should buy this t-shirt now: secrets from the lost decade will be conferred upon anyone I meet wearing one of them. It's available in coffee, cream and olive (pictured), from S to XXXL. Close-ups of the design (in the form of desktop and tablet wallpapers) are after the jump.

Read the rest

Asus readies 4K "ultra HD" monitor

Asus is readying a 31.5-inch display with 3840x2160 pixels, four times the pixel count of a standard HD display.

The panel uses Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide ("IGZO") instead of silicon, which allows for smaller transistors and, hence, the greater pixel density. Asus claims a 176-degree viewing angle and 8ms response times.

The PQ312 has displayport and dual HDMI connectors, stereo speakers, and 3.5mm audio i/o. It weighs 13kg and is 35mm thick.

Read the rest

Court rules police must give Kim Dotcom his stuff back

Kirtsy Johnson:

A judge has ordered the police to sift through all digital material taken illegally from Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and to return anything irrelevant to their investigation- at their own cost.

By "at their own cost", she presumably means "at the New Zealand taxpayer's expense."