Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at


The origins of the word "cosplay"

Brian Ashcraft interviewed Nobuyuki Takahashi, originator of the wonderful word: "In Japanese, English and other foreign words are often combined and/or shortened, for brevity's sake."

Incredible footage of gunfire in Canadian Parliament

At least one gunman and a soldier are dead today after exchanges of fire in and around Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Canada. This footage was taken by a Globe and Mail reporter at the scene.

Buildings in Ottawa’s downtown core are under lockdown after the crack of gunshots rang through the halls of Parliament Hill’s Centre Block and a gunman fired on soldiers guarding Canada’s main war memorial.

Ottawa police confirmed that they were investigating “several” shootings in downtown Ottawa. There are conflicting reports of how many shooters appear to be involved in the attack on the heart of Canada’s federal government.

USA Today reports that there were "multiple reports of shootings," followed by a pursuit into Parliament Hill "sending bystanders and members of Parliament scrambling for safety."

In Ottawa, police confirmed a man opened fire at the National War Memorial outside the government complex shortly before 10 a.m., hitting a soldier who was standing guard. Jason Kenney, an MP and Minister of Employment, Social Development & Multiculturalism, tweeted: "Condolences to family of the soldier killed, (and) prayers for the Parliamentary guard wounded," Kenney wrote. "Canada will not be terrorized or intimidated."

Ottawa police Constable Marc Soucy could not verify whether police were looking for multiple shooters, as some media outlets were reporting. He said only that the response was ongoing throughout Ottawa.

The Globe's Josh Wingrove on the lockdown:

Here's a statement from the Ottawa police:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 1:45pm

(Ottawa)—The Ottawa Police Service and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) responded to reports of shooting incidents this morning in the downtown area. Police can now confirm that incidents occurred at the National War Memorial and on Parliament Hill.

Contrary to earlier reports no incident occurred near the Rideau Centre.

One shooting victim succumbed to injuries. He was a member of the Canadian Forces. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his loved ones.

Next of kin notification is underway and as such, the victim’s identification will not be released.

One male suspect has also been confirmed deceased. There is no further update on injuries at this time.

This is an ongoing joint police operation and there is no one in custody at this time.

Ottawa residents are asked to stay away from the downtown area while the investigation continues. If you work in one of the downtown buildings, follow the instructions from the building management you are in.

A number of RCMP and Federal government buildings are also closed to the public; as is Ottawa City Hall and all Ottawa Police stations.

The Ottawa Police Service wants to speak to witnesses of today’s shooting incidents. Witnesses are to call Ottawa Police at 613-236-1222, ext 5493.

Those with tips regarding the shooting incidents, or those looking to report suspicious activity, can call 613-236-1222 or call 9-1-1.

Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477(TIPS), toll free at 1-800-222-8477 or by downloading the Ottawa Police iOS app.

Top Saudi cleric: "Twitter is the source of all evil"

Also devastation, lies, falsehood, etc., warns Abdul Aziz Al-Sheik. [BBC]

Microsoft puts Nokia brand out of its misery

"Microsoft Mobile's website is filled with words," writes Pete Pachal, "but one that you won't find is Nokia"

Apart from images and a single reference from a module powered by the Nokia Facebook page (which apparently hasn't yet gotten the message), the Nokia brand is entirely absent. ... After partnering with Nokia in early 2011, Microsoft paid $7.2 billion in 2013 to acquire the company's device business, a deal that closed in April 2014. Soon after, Microsoft announced it would lay off 18,000 workers, the majority because of the Nokia deal. Microsoft dropping the Nokia brand for its devices represents the end of an era.

I love that Microsoft has obliterated the Nokia marque, but still uses UMPC, its decade-old tablet branding.

Adobe walks into Gamergate, staggers around confusedly

Adobe is the second major US tech firm to blunder into Gamergate, the hashtag crusade aimed at female game developers, feminists, and the journalists accused of helping them ruin manly game culture.

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Thai friendship bracelets

B0jUtyMCUAA4YYG.jpg-large "Cheeky, sexy, English-language phrases sought for friendship bracelets at Thai market. Inevitable horror ensues," writes @sliderulesyou.

Best placeholder chyron text

B0gxcCJCAAANTJL 'the internship is going well,' quips Michael J Hudson.

Taylor Swift tops chart with accidental release of 8 seconds of white noise

It's the deluxe edition! "Sounds like an ocean," wrote one fan.

Far-right UK party releases excruciating, racist comedy song

Mike Read, a former BBC disk jockey, has recorded "UKIP Calypso", a song named for the British anti-immigrant party and a style of music stereotypically associated with the mid-century immigrants of his generation. Yes, complete with terrible "Jamaican" accent!

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 9.35.29 AM

If nothing else, it's a reminder of the talentless mediocrity of 20th century Britain's light entertainment monoculture; the lyrics, as transcribed by Us vs Th3m, are posted below.

Note the cover of the song proves that UKIP leader Nigel Farage is approximately 3 feet tall.


Tax payers money where does it go?
Not even George Osborne knows
When we’re in power and we engage
There will be no tax on minimum wage

Our leaders committed a cardinal sin
Open the borders let them all come in
Illegal immigrants in every town
Stand up and be counted Blair and Brown

Oh yes when we take charge
And the new Prime Minister is Farage
We can trade with the world again
When Nigel is at number 10

The British People have been let down
That’s why UKIP is making ground
From Crewe to Cleethorpes to Outer Hendon
They don’t believe Cameron’s referendum

Coalition could be a fact
With any party we could make a pact
Stop telling lies about us too
And we’ll stop telling the truth about you

Though our pension scheme is in a mess
We need money for the NHS
With Jean-Claude Juncker we’re giving away
55 million every day

Oh what a farce, he won the vote
This is my favourite Juncker quote
He looked the reporters straight in the eyes
“When things get serious it’s time to lie”


The EU live in wonderland
Tried to ban bent bananas and British jam
We don’t want jam the EU way
Jam yesterday, tomorrow and never today

The daily polls suggest somehow
UKIP are the third party now
In the Euro elections we were so immersed
We weren’t the third party, we were the first


When the government’s sitting on the fence UKIP policies make more sense Get out of Europe, is our target Common wealth and not common market

Other parties please take note
UKIP is not a protest vote
So mark your cross and by word of mouth
Tell them what to do in Thanet South


With the EU we must be on our mettle
They want to change our lawnmowers and our kettles
Our hairdryers, smartphones and vacuum cleaners
But UKIP is wise to their misdemeanours

Farage he likes his fags and beer
But there’s one thing I want to get clear
Now I like Nigel he’s a friend of mine
He appears on Dimbleby on Question Time


The other parties will count the costings
In Eastleigh, Thurrock and Bow they’re lost in
Labour and Tories shaking in their boots
When UKIP kick them up the grassroots

Meanwhile down on Clacton-on-Sea
UKIP are making history
Douglas Carswell is quite adamant
Will be the first MP in parliament


Man convicted over "illegal" cartoons


A man in Middlesborough, England, was jailed for possessing "prohibited images of children" -- even though the images in question were cartoon drawings.

His barrister Richard Bennett said: “These are not what would be termed as paedophilic images. These are cartoons.”

And Mr Bennett revealed that such banned images were freely available on legitimate sites.

He said: “This case should serve as a warning to every Manga and Anime fan to be careful. It seems there are many thousands of people in this country, if they are less then careful, who may find themselves in that position too.”

Police found the images when they seized Hoque’s computer from his home on June 13, 2012, said prosecutor Harry Hadfield. He said officers found 288 still and 99 moving images, but none were of real people.

The judge made clear that no victim was harmed, and that this fact was immaterial to his conviction:

“It is important to emphasise that there were no actual children or perpetrators involved. ... This is material that clearly society and the public can well do without. Its danger is that it obviously portrays sexual activity with children, and the more it’s portrayed, the more the ill-disposed may think it’s acceptable.”

Do you live in England? The anime schoolgirl at the top of this post has hidden somewhere in your computer. Can you find her before the thought police do?

Correction: An earlier version of this article's headline said Mr. Hoque was jailed; his sentence was suspended.

Clowns menace France

Coulrophobia and chaos in Sin-le-Noble, where "a girl told police she was chased by an armed person in a clown costume", among other unsettling incidents [Previously].

Gimp suit accidentally bought

mer A 71-year-old Rotary Club president planned to appear in costume as a mer-man to raise money for an Air Ambulance, but ordered a BDSM costume by mistake. His wife hacked it into shape, however, resulting in the sexiest Merman tail ever to grace a Rotarian charity event.

First sex happened "in Scottish lake"

Lots of great sex happens in Scotland, but it is also possible that the first sex happened there, too. Microbrachius dicki--yes, that is its name--was a primitive "bony" fish--yes, that is how the BBC describes it--that was apparently first to reproduce by having sex, not by spawning.

How comic conventions came to have so little room for comics

Comic conventions have been colonized and overwhelmed by mainstream movie, TV and game marketing, a surprisingly rapid process that has finally left comics so marginalized that the fandom despairs. Chris Butcher explains how barren the landscape is--and just how fucked you are if you are dependent on original book product.

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Bears would just eat zombies right up

"Zombies are just walking meat," says David Mizejewski, who explains in this video just how many they'd get through daily as part of Team Nature's cleanup operation. Check back next week to see how another type of beast would deal with the walking dead, and support the National Wildlife Federation to make sure they're around when the next major outbreak occurs . Previously.