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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  

Rubber chicken-wielding man sought after cannibal threat

Residents of Street, England, have been urged not to panic after a man, holding a rubber chicken, threatened to eat a local woman. The Central Somerset Gazette reports that the man is still at large.

A woman was putting her bins out at Brookleigh, around 8.30pm, when she was allegedly approached by a man waving what appeared to be ‘a long-barrelled weapon’ and a ‘fake chicken’.He pointed the weapon at the woman and told her he was going to eat her alive and he was going to eat her flesh, according to police.She ran inside and he chased after her.He started banging on the front door and broke a window as he tried to enter the property. He failed to get into the property and made off.

The man "is believed to be intoxicated," say police.

[h/t Abroath]

8-bit Philip Glass

Have the most serious Gameboy at school with this rendition of Prophecies from Koyaanisqatsi.

Vortexes in water

[video link]

Vomit Minecraft block


I found this perfectly cubic block of reconstituted foam. It immediately made me think of a) Minecraft, and b) William Gibson's description of recycled plastics from Communist-era East Germany.

They made, for instance, light-fixtures out of recycled plastics; the plastic was chopped up, melted and molded, but the various chopped bits retained their original color, resulting in a translucent solid that looks exactly like joke-shop vomit. Quite a lot of the infrastructural detail of East Germany, you see, looked as though it was made of solidified puke. The cruelty extended to the esthetic. Or perhaps it began there. Ugly. Unimaginably ugly.


Barrett Brown sentencing delayed

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Barrett Brown, the American Journalist accused of computer crimes after linking to material posted online by anonymous hacktivists, will have to wait a few more weeks to learn his fate. His sentencing was moved to January 22, 2015, according to court observers posting on Twitter.

The "court has too much to review to decide," wrote @FreeBarrett_, a supporter of Brown, from outside the ongoing hearing.

Brown originally faced more than a century in prison on a swathe of charges relating hacks targeting corporations. He admitted lesser crimes to reduce his possible sentence to 8½ years.

Published in Vanity Fair, The Guardian and elsewhere, Brown is often described as an "unofficial spokesperson" for the Anonymous collective, which he denies. He founded Project PM, a website intended to collate publicly-leaked information for use by journalists and activists.

Among the secrets exposed were collaborative efforts between the government and private contractors to monitor social networks, and to develop online surveillance systems.

Brown, 33, was arrested in 2012 after his and his mothers' homes were raided and he used "threatening" language toward FBI officers in a response posted to YouTube. He was subsequently accused of working with the hackers whose efforts yielded a huge tranche of embarrassing and revealing information concerning misbehavior and sleaze at U.S. government contractors.

Among the charges was the claim that merely linking to the leaked information was illegal—an alleged crime for which prosecutors sought decades in prison and which roused the interest of press freedom groups.

He ultimately signed a plea deal on three lesser charges: transmitting a threat, trying to hide a laptop computer during a raid, and to being "accessory after the fact in the unauthorized access to a protected computer." He spent a year awaiting trial in federal prison, and was subject to a 6-month gag order prohibiting him from discussing his case with the media.

Photo: Wikipedia (pd)

Earlier: Why you should care about journalist Barrett Brown's sentencing today

Nightmarish Christian birdsong album

Enjoy this genuinely nightmarish visit with Ralph Platt in God's great outdoors, where he joins the birds of the forest in giving song to the pipe organ music of Lorin Whitney.

The full album was recently posted online by Fuji Puzzle Box, who warns that a Volume 2 of this exists somewhere out there. album of pious Christian dirges so lugubrious they practically go all the way around and turn giddy. Made famous by the Firesign Theatre, who created so many dearly beloved batshit radio performances using this record as underscore.

UPDATE: "Hi Rob, Taylor here, archivist for Firesign Theatre and the guy behind Fuji Puzzle Box. Thanks for the post! There was indeed a volume two, and here it is" Bibles and Birds

The magazines in doctors' offices are old because you keep stealing the new ones


The British Medical Journal has published a paper investigating the lack of up to date magazines in the waiting rooms of medical practices. It's because the new ones walk out the door.

Results: 47 of the 82 magazines with a visible date on the front cover were aged less than 2 months. 28 of these 47 (60%) magazines and 10 of the 35 (29%) older magazines disappeared (P=0.002). After 31 days, 41 of the 87 (47%, 95% confidence interval 37% to 58%) magazines had disappeared. None of the 19 non-gossipy magazines (the Economist and Time magazine) had disappeared compared with 26 of the 27 (96%) gossipy magazines (P<0.001). All 15 of the most gossipy magazines and all 19 of the non-gossipy magazines had disappeared by 31 days. The study was terminated at this point.

Conclusions: General practice waiting rooms contain mainly old magazines. This phenomenon relates to the disappearance of the magazines rather than to the supply of old ones. Gossipy magazines were more likely to disappear than non-gossipy ones. On the grounds of cost we advise practices to supply old copies of non-gossipy magazines. A waiting room science curriculum is urgently needed.

Lies. The first person to start selling 1990s-vintage issues of Readers Digest and Sports Illustrated in bumper packs of 20 will make a killing from the fast-growing healthcare sector.

Photo: tsmall

20 ways to describe Pantone's color of the year

The color of the quivering heap of liver your Mom won't let you leave the table without eating.

Summary of Torture Report released: Surprise! CIA tortured people and torture doesn't work

A summary of the long-awaited report into CIA torture has been released. CNN: "In its most graphic details, an executive summary of the report finds that conditions for detainees at top secret interrogation sites were much harsher than the CIA has previously admitted."

The CIA's harsh interrogations of terrorist detainees during the Bush era didn't work, were more brutal than previously revealed and delivered no "ticking time bomb" information that prevented an attack, according to an explosive Senate report released Tuesday.

The majority report issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee is a damning condemnation of the tactics -- branded by critics as torture -- the George W. Bush administration deployed in the fear-laden days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The techniques, according to the report, were "deeply flawed" and often resulted in "fabricated" information. The report is reigniting the partisan divide over combating terrorism that dominated Washington a decade ago. Democrats argue the tactics conflict with American values while leading members of the Bush administration insist they were vital to preventing another attack.

The torture was worse than previously admitted:

"In many cases, the most aggressive techniques were used immediately, in combination and non-stop," the report says. "Sleep deprivation involved keeping detainees awake for up to 180 hours, usually standing or in painful stress positions, at times with their hands shackled above their heads." ... In one facility, a detainee was said to have died of hypothermia after being held "partially nude" and chained to a concrete floor, while at other times, naked prisoners were hooded and dragged up and down corridors while being slapped and punched.

Reminder: The CIA also spied on the Senate panel that produced this report.

Dog knows how to deal with police

Bruno took out several police vehicles. Good boy, Bruno! [TV3 via Reddit.]

Rocket car may hit 1000 MPH

Bloodhound SSC aims to set the world Land Speed Record at 1,609 kph (1,000 mph) by 2016. Chief engineer Mark Chapman: "People ask me if Andy has an ejector seat. He doesn’t, because nobody has designed an ejector seat that can operate at Mach 1.4."

Relive Britain's home computer boom with the ZX Vega


The Vega console is not merely modeled on the classic ZX Spectrum, one of the more striking early home-computer designs.

Read the rest

1963 Batmobile sells for $137,000 at auction

The 1963 Batmobile is shown in this photo released by Heritage Auctions,
Photo: Heritage Auctions Though it didn't match the $4.2m fetched by a more famous later model, the 1963 Batmobile is the long-lost original, reports Reuters.

"This is a great piece of lost pop culture and Americana," said Margaret Barrett, director of entertainment and music at Heritage Auctions. "There is a lot of interest in it."

The car was put up for auction by Toy Car Exchange LLC, an online marketplace for collectible cars, which bought it and had it restored to pristine condition, Barrett said.

It was the creation of Forrest Robinson, a Batman fan who spent three years customizing a 1956 Oldsmobile 88 with a 324 Rocket engine to resemble the single-fin vehicle depicted in DC's Batman Comics from the 1940s and 1950s. He finished in 1963.

Emoji-based diary app wants to know how you feel

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Emojiary is a diary app that asks you how you feel, once a day. You answer with emoji. James Hamblin writes that in this simple exchange is an access point to the best part of writing about oneself: self-awareness.

The original dot-com busts were "actually fantastic ideas"

Robert McMillan makes the case for, WebVan and Flooz: "The world is ready to cash in on the worst ideas of the 1990s."

Ketogenic diets


The Guardian looks at the latest diet sensation, which takes high-fat to an extreme: anything more than a handful carbs a day is forbidden, because the point is to put your body in a state of ketosis. I hope you like meat, eggs, greens and nuts!

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Rottweiler loves cat

Do you like being licked? I'm not convinced that this extremely tolerant cat is, despite its passive demeanor. YouTube via Reddit. Previously.

Police officer charged, tried and sentenced for unlawful killing


His victim was an elk. "Sending a cop to prison is a very tricky thing," said Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett.

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Horrid Christmas suits


Shinesty offered a full collection of eye-popping Christmas suits to enchant your friends and family with this holiday season, but made a critical mistake: none of them are three-piece. Alas, they're all sold out. Maybe next year!

Labrador opens fridge door, dines

12-year-old yellow lab Allie is an expert at tipping trashcans, but she knows where the good stuff is kept. [via Arbroath]

Demonically-possessed giraffe toy

Sometimes a toy with a cheap sound chip will seem, vaguely, to be saying something bad or naughty. Not this one! [via]


Queen's chemistry and Freddy Mercury's indefatigable work ethic


Alan Light interviews Brian May and Roger Taylor and asks about what made the band tick, and about Freddy Mercury's final days.

May: …When he couldn’t stand up, he used to prop himself up against a desk, at the mic here, down a vodka…

Taylor: Have a big Stoli!

May: And do a blinding vocal. He just loved it, he absolutely loved it—I’ll sing it till I fucking bleed! I remember doing the demo for “The Show Must Go On,” with the guide vocal, some of it in falsetto because I couldn’t reach the top notes, and I said, Fred, I don’t know if this is going to be possible to sing. And he went, I’ll fucking do it, darling, vodka down, and went in and killed it…

German pedestrians play Pong on traffic light controls

Streetpong is the name of the game: a concept art installation that radically improves the experience of waiting to cross the road. Created by Sandro Engel and Amelie Künzler, with Holger Michel at the HAWK Hildesheim, it is, alas, "not a permanent installation." [Vimeo via This is Colossal]


Duck hunts dog

2:46 of the tables turned—or, perhaps, unrequited love. [via]

The NYPD's chokehold problem

The Atlantic's Conor Frierdersdorf looks at the historical context behind this police department's unceasing deployment of the lethal restraint.

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North Korea praises Sony hack

Though North Korea denied involvement with the humungous hack that brought electronics giant Sony low, it described it as a 'righteous deed' that may be the work of sympathizers. Here is a fake press release.

Ralph Baer, 1922-2014

Ralph Baer, the developer of the first commercial video game console, has died at 92.

Aussie science chief touts "80% accuracy" for dowsers

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that the incoming chief of Australia’s leading scientific research agency suggests public money should be used to investigating dowsing and divining: "I’ve seen people do this with close to 80% accuracy, and I’ve no idea how they do it"

Puppies with guns calendar

23813_111234288898457_8255117_n Yours for $20.

Road safety campaign donkey killed by car

The BBC reports that a foal who helped teach youngsters to drive safely in England's New Forest has been killed by a car.