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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  

Man may regret headbutting bus

After a dispute with its driver, a gentleman in Florida disembarked a bus and headbutted it. He was rendered unconscious by the attack, but not long enough to be arrested.

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Squirrel has a towel

Consider yourself warned, primates. [via Arbroath]

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Orphaned seal rescued from the cows "hassling it"

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Curious cows gathered around a lost seal pup led rescuers to find the orphaned, 5-day-old mammal, reports BBC Radio Lincolnshire.

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We had an unusual visitor to the RSPB Lincolnshire offices today. One of our regular visitors spotted some of the cows on the saltmarsh behaving strangely. Upon investigation it seems they'd found a lone seal pup and were hassling it. With the mother nowhere in sight, and for its own safety, we had to take the pup away. We then called Natureland Seal Sanctuary in Skegness, who came to take it away and look after it.

She's been named Celebration, and is being rehabilitated at Skegness Natureland And Seal Sanctuary before being released back to the wild.

[via Arbroath.]

Zoom in on Nix and Hydra, Pluto's irregular moons

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Last week, they were pixel art. Now, Pluto moons Nix and Hydra have taken shape—and what lovely shapes they are!

Pluto’s moon Nix (left), shown here in enhanced color as imaged by the New Horizons Ralph instrument, has a reddish spot that has attracted the interest of mission scientists. The data were obtained on the morning of July 14, 2015, and received on the ground on July 18. At the time the observations were taken New Horizons was about 102,000 miles (165,000 km) from Nix. The image shows features as small as approximately 2 miles (3 kilometers) across on Nix, which is estimated to be 26 miles (42 kilometers) long and 22 miles (36 kilometers) wide.

Pluto’s small, irregularly shaped moon Hydra (right) is revealed in this black and white image taken from New Horizons’ LORRI instrument on July 14, 2015, from a distance of about 143,000 miles (231,000 kilometers). Features as small as 0.7 miles (1.2 kilometers) are visible on Hydra, which measures 34 miles (55 kilometers) in length.

Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

Are remote-firing gun drones legal?

gundroneHere's a new second-amendment thing for America to fight about: drones equipped with remote-controlled firearms! Is it legal? Is it stupid?

"This is as stupid as loading a gun, getting it ready to fire, and handing it to your dog," says one attorney specializing in firearms law. Which isn't, of course, to say that its illegal.

The video above depicts the device—a handgun mounted on a quadcopter—shown to Hopes and Fears' panel of experts. It might not be very accurate, but hey: who needs accuracy if the target's a crowd? (Previously.)

Just how badly did that FIFA movie bomb?

Reuters

The Tim Roth-starring biopic of Sepp Blatter, president of comically corrupt soccer body FIFA, is shrouded in mystery. Partly, this is because no-one's watched it. But the movie, funded largely by FIFA itself, has done so badly that final numbers are hard to come by.

David Goldenberg tried to nail down its performance:

The math isn’t complicated so much as it is shrouded in blind spots. Here’s what we know: The movie made $918 — total — in its opening weekend … and maybe nothing after that. All the reporting and most of the databases2 show it finishing with that figure. Most movies make 70 percent of their sales during the weekend,3 which would make the real tally for “United Passions” slightly more than $1,310 if it followed that pattern.

But even if we give the movie the benefit of the doubt and assume it made $1,310, it still opened in way more theaters than the other movies that grossed this little.

However, it made a whopping $178,000 worldwide. It had a budget somewhere around $20,000,000.

Lifelock failed to protect user data, says FTC

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According to the Federal Trade Commission, the privacy-protecting firm Lifelock has failed to adhere to the terms of a 2010 settlement to improve its ability to protect personal data.

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Screen made of colored thread

threadscreen2-story-582x348 With dimensions of 80x80 pixels, the F21 Thread Screen won't be challenging 4K on the resolution front. But it looks beautiful, writes Tim Moynihan, scraping Instagram feeds, downsizing images, and rendering them in spinning spools of color.
…it uses 6,400 spools, nearly seven miles of fabric, and thousands of motors and gears. Each “pixel” is actually a 5.5-foot strip of threaded material, each of which can display 36 colors depending on what part of each multicolored strip is showing on the front of the machine.

It was made by design agency Breakfast for retailer Forever 21. Here's some videos that goes into its creation and show how it does its thing.

When moderators attack

redditThe New York Times's Adrian Chen reports on what happens when websites rely on unpaid labor to police their communities: trouble, such as Reddit becoming useless for days as the landscape of control shifts and cracks.
The moderator class has become so detached from its mediating role at Reddit that it no longer functions as a means of creating a harmonious community, let alone a profitable business. It has become an end in itself — a sort of moderatocracy in which the underlying logic of moderation has been turned on its head. Under the watch of its moderators, Reddit has become a haven for extremists: The Southern Poverty Law Center recently called it the new ‘‘home on the Internet’’ for white supremacists, and it also functions as the central organizing point for the dubious ‘‘men’s rights’’ movement. For years, a moderator with the handle Violentacrez presided over an empire of execrable content on the site, including a hugely popular subreddit that shared sexualized photos of under-age girls, and another that glorified violence against women.

Boing Boing is moderated by supernatural creatures, which complicates matters.

Twitter removes wallpaper images from profiles

Laptop with glowing screen. Here's something nice to be angry about! Twitter just took away everyone's background wallpaper, leaving only the blinding absence of color. Your wallpaper was ugly and they didn't like it.
"We’re removing background images from the home and notifications timelines on web for all users," a Twitter spokesperson told Mashable Monday. "Now, background images are only available where logged-in users will see them publicly (Tweet pages, list pages and collections pages). You can find help center content about customizing your design and where it’s visible on Twitter here."

Once again we see #FFFFFF privilege at work on social networks.

Almost every Reddit comment as a single massive download

redditalienSome 1.6 billion of them are yours, courtesy of Archive.org.

This is an archive of Reddit comments from October of 2007 until May of 2015 (complete month). This reflects 14 months of work and a lot of API calls. This dataset includes nearly every publicly available Reddit comment. Approximately 350,000 comments out of ~1.65 billion were unavailable due to Reddit API issues.

You'll be needing about 5Gb, just for the compressed dataset.

Sandra Bland death to be investigated as murder

sandra bland Sandra Bland was pulled over for failing to signal a turn in Waller County, Texas. She was arrested and taken to the cells, where she died three days later.

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Cat widow to marry dog

Dominique Lesbirel, 41, is to marry Travis, a stray of uncertain ancestry, reports Richard Hartley-Parkinson for Metro.

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Sex offender prohibited from wearing shorts

shortsSophie Brownson of Barry & District News reports that a registered sex offender was spared jail after wearing shorts, which he is forbidden from doing.

Fifty-seven-year-old Ian Watkins of Major Close, Ty Canol, was handed a ten week suspended prison sentence for breaching his order by wearing shorts which cut above the knee at Morrison’s in Cwmbran.

Newport Crown Court heard on May 28, Watkins was buying beers when he was stopped by a Gwent Police officer, who recognised Watkins and knew he was in breach of his order by his clothing and arrested him.…

“He must not wear any short trousers or shorts in any public area that fall above the knee in breach of the Sexual Offences Order.”

Watkins told the court he owned two sets of shorts; one set of short shorts above the knee and a Sexual Offences Prevention Order approved pair.

[via Arbroath.]

Films with aliens

Digg takes a journey through time and space and all the aliens to grace celluloid, accompanied by Radiohead's Subterranean Homesick Alien.

From their earliest cinematic appearance in Georges Méliès's "A Trip to the Moon" in 1902, our conception of life beyond Earth has changed to reflect our hopes and fears, the technology we've mastered, and our growing knowledge of the universe. Watch our depictions of extraterrestrial life change over nearly 100 films and 112 years.

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The magic of Swarovski crystals

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Their use as cheap diamond substitutes by showy rich people belies the world of beauty found in lead glass—and a versatility you might not expect.

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High-resolution, deliberately "inaccurate" maps

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Project Linework posts maps in a variety of loosey-goosey styles, for people who want things almost right.

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