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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 besc...@gmail.com  

Russian government backs down on Wikipedia censorship

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"Because the Wikimedia Foundation uses HTTPS-encrypted connections for all of its sites," reports Parker Higgins, "the government was left with only the option of ordering the entire site blocked, or leaving the offending page accessible."

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Poster shows 121 types of American house

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Pop Chart Lab: THE ARCHITECTURE OF AMERICAN HOUSES [via]

Chrissie Hynde blames self for being raped

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The Pretenders singer, 63, told the Sunday Times that women who dress immodestly and get raped are at fault, and should take responsibility for "putting it out."

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Director Wes Craven dies at 76

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Famous for horror productions such as Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, and his 1972 debut The Last House on the Left, Craven died Sunday of brain cancer in Los Angeles.

Though dream-demon Freddy Krueger is his most famous creation, Craven's cinematic talents ranged from comedy to crime thrillers, with 2005's Red Eye among his biggest hits. He was also a birdwatcher, serving on the board of California Audubon.

He is survived by his wife, Iya Labunka, and two children, Jessica and Jonathan Craven.

The BBC collected some early tributes posted online by colleagues and collaborators.

Reflecting on his career, he once said in an interview: "I tried to make movies where I can honestly say I haven't seen that before and to follow my deepest intuitions and in some cases literally my dreams."

Actors posted tributes on social media including actress Courtney Cox, who starred in Craven's 1996 Scream and appeared in the franchise's three subsequent films.

She said: "Today the world lost a great man, my friend and mentor, Wes Craven. My heart goes out to his family. x" Rose McGowan, who also featured in the original Scream, said:

"Thank you for being the kindest man, the gentlest man, and one of the smartest men I've known. Please say there's a plot twist."

News of Craven's death was posted to his twitter account late Sunday night.

Justin Wm. Moyer wrote a long obituary, for The Washington Post, which traces the origins of Craven's art.

Born in 1939 in Cleveland, Craven’s childhood came with the trauma necessary to an artist obsessed with the macabre: death and religion. The director-to-be lost his father, an alcoholic factory hand, in his youth, and was raised by a strict Protestant family.

“I came out of a very religious background,” he said in 1984. ”As fundamentalist Baptists, we were sequestered from the rest of the world. You couldn’t dance or drink or go to the movies. The first time I paid to see a movie (‘To Kill a Mockingbird’) I was a senior in college. … My whole youth was based on suppression of emotion. As they say in psychological circles, my family never got in touch with their rage. So making movies — these awful horror movies, no less — was, I guess, my way of purging this rage.”

Director Edgar Wright remembers what it was like to be young in the VHS slasher era: "Rest In Peace, Wes. We willingly give you full permission to haunt our waking dreams forever."

Like many film fans who grew up in the 70’s and early 80’s, Wes Craven’s name became to me synonymous with cutting edge horror. When I grew up in a VHS less house, I really could only dream of the horrors behind the forbidding posters or video box art of movies like ‘The Last House On The Left’, ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ and ‘Deadly Blessing’. These were films I was not really allowed to see, but as a young horror obsessive I needed to know everything about them.

Trump mocks Asians

The New York Daily News reports on a campaign rally where the real estate mogul and TV star spoke in the broken English often used to mock, as Trump puts it, "those people."

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Ancient tomb replaced by picnic table

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The ancient neolithic tomb pictured above was destroyed and replaced by the monolothic concrete park bench pictured below.

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Creepy caravan auction goes viral

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Described as "suitable for affairs or murders" before it was removed from eBay, this grotty little trailer home is loathed by its present owner.

"Apparently I owned this utterly crap caravan for three weeks before actually setting eyes on it.

"My husband drunkenly bought it on Ebay, and neglected to mention that one day he’d taken the day off work and driven halfway across the country to pick it up, deposit it around the back of our office, and failed to declare it as technically a marital ‘asset’ until recently.

"Luckily, I’m the trusting type, and despite appearances I don’t think he bought it solely for the purpose of having a sordid extra-marital affair or taking up dogging, however as you might be able to see from the pictures, it would be PERFECT for both." …

In a later edit she adds: "It has been brought to my attention that the "caravan" would also be suitable for use as a rolling meth lab. Apologies for the omission."

Stephen King on productivity

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"There are many unspoken postulates in literary criticism," writes the legendary author, "one being that the more one writes, the less remarkable one’s work is apt to be." And yet…

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The "transactional love economy"

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"Do you ever see a super-old guy…with a super-young girl…and wonder, how the hell did that happen?" Here's what we're calling it now.

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Potato salad attack on mom lands Florida man in jail

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Jonathan Smith, 34, was charged with misdemeanor battery after "pelting his mother with grub," reports The Smoking Gun.

“Jonathan grabbed a hand full of potato salad and threw it,” striking his mother in the face, reported cops, who noted that the woman had “food all over her and in her hair” when they arrived at the residence. Though his mother yelled for him to stop, Smith “continued to throw food at his mother,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

Via Arbroath.

Are square photographs as bad as square books?

SQUARE Instagram is ditching its insistence on square photographs. Jenna Garret writes on the troubled history of the cool but unwieldy format and its inevitable, eternally-recurring defeat by rectangles. Tell us your favorite shape in the comments.

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71 migrant bodies recovered from truck in Europe

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Hungarian police have arrested four people on suspicion of human trafficking after the bodies, thought to be Syrian refugees, were found locked in an abandoned, airtight container truck in Austria.

Mars colony planned

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Space sailor Buzz Aldrin and the Florida Institute of Technology are planning to colonize Mars within 25 years.

More specifically, he’s shooting for 2039, the 70th anniversary of his own Apollo 11 moon landing, although he admits the schedule is “adjustable”.

He envisions using Mars’ moons, Phobos and Deimos, as preliminary stepping stones for astronauts. He said he dislikes the label “one-way” and imagines tours of duty lasting 10 years.

“The Pilgrims on the Mayflower came here to live and stay. They didn’t wait around Plymouth Rock for the return trip, and neither will people building up a population and a settlement” on Mars.

Chaos in England as ornamental wheelbarrow tipped over

wheelbarrow A manhunt is on in Oxfordshire after an old wheelbarrow being used as a planter was upset by forces unknown, reports The Henley Standard.

Caroline Langler, a member of the Henley in Bloom committee, who had planted up the two barrows, said: “Obviously it’s annoying someone has knocked it over because I had enormous pleasure doing them both.

“When I was doing them people were stopping to ask about them and telling me how wonderful they were. People really appreciate them.” Mrs Langler, of Queen Street, said she was just thankful the barrow wasn’t pushed into the road.

If you or anyone you know was involved in the vandalism of Mrs. Langler's wheelbarrow, do the right thing. [via]

Ashley Madison planned a "What's your Wife Worth?" app

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Avid Life Media is full of genuinely nasty people. Good luck with your next thing, gentlemen.

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Who, exactly, is asking Facebook to censor things for us?

facebook-10-big1Today in Betteridge headlines: "Should Facebook Block Offensive Videos Before They Post?"

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Mystery twitterer linked to Ashley Madison dump

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Security blogger Brian Krebs is among those hot on the trail, and he "may have a new lead," according to the New York Times.

On Wednesday, Brian Krebs, the well-known security blogger posited a new theory about who may have hacked the site, which helps arrange extramarital affairs. Mr. Krebs zeroed in on a Twitter user named Thadeus Zu (@deuszu), who posted a link to Ashley Madison’s stolen, proprietary source code before the information was made public this month.

Some apparent problems with this hypothesis have already been noted, but the operator of the @deuszu account is doing his or her best to look guilty.

Reminder: the site was probably just a scam with only a handful of legitimate female participants. Little can be implied about its users beyond stupidity.