Listen to "Another Brick in the Wall" played on traditional Korean gayageum

Gayageum virtuoso Luna Lee's intense cover of "Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)."

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Street photographer's fantastic series of "then and now" photos

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Peterborough, England photographer Chris Porsz's Reunions photo series and book presents his remarkable street snapshots of myriad characters taken in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s juxtapozed with those same individuals at the location of the original photographs. See more: Reunions

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Hello Dad, I'm in Jail

Enjoy the delightful music video for the Was (Not Was) song "Hello Dad, I'm in Jail" (1987), directed by Christoph Simon. This clip was a favorite of many viewers of Liquid Television, MTV's fantastic animation showcase produced in the early 1990s by Boing Boing's pals at Colossal Pictures. (Thanks, UPSO!)

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This person designs alarm sounds to wake,warn, annoy, or otherwise alert you

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Carryl Baldwin, a professor of cognition and applied auditory research, designs and tests sounds for "use as alarms in household, aviation, medical, and automotive settings." Atlas Obscura explores the art and science of making sounds that convey a spectrum of urgency:

One of the main considerations is the annoyance factor. To test for annoyance in the lab, says Baldwin, “we’ll construct sounds and we’ll look at all of the different acoustic parameters, so we might vary, for instance, intensity, frequency, the number of harmonics, how fast it ramps up and down, the temporal characteristics—like whether it’s going d-d-d-d-d-duh rapidly or duhhhh-duhhhhh-duhhhh.”

The faster an alarm goes, the more urgent it tends to sound. And in terms of pitch, alarms start high. Most adults can hear sounds between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz—Baldwin uses 1,000 Hz as a base frequency, which is at the bottom of the range of human speech. Above 20,000 Hz, she says, an alarm ”starts sounding not really urgent, but like a squeak.”

Harmonics are also important. To be perceived as urgent, an alarm needs to have two or more notes rather than being a pure tone, “otherwise it can sound almost angelic and soothing,” says Baldwin. “It needs to be more complex and kind of harsh.” An example of this harshness is the alarm sound that plays on TVs across the U.S. as part of the Emergency Alert System. The discordant noise is synonymous with impending doom.

"An Alarm Designer on How to Annoy People in the Most Effective Ways" (Atlas Obscura) Read the rest

New show of Scott Albrecht's exquisite deconstructed typographical art opening in L.A.

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My friend Scott Albrecht, a Brooklyn-based artist and designer who creates fantastic typographical illustrations and hand-crafted, puzzle-like wood sculptures, has a show of remarkable new works opening on Saturday (11/19) at Shepard Fairey's Subliminal Projects gallery in Los Angeles.

"(Scott's) abstraction and deconstruction of type forms combined with his sophisticated color theory and surface treatments yield artworks that are immediate, yet command a deeper and closer look," Shepard says.

The exhibition, titled "New Translations," runs until January 7. Below is a preview of the show. Valley Cruise Press has also published a hardcover, full color book of Scott's work, available here. From the gallery:

The works are largely based in typography but have their legibility masked in a variety of techniques; bold color-blocking, varying depths, non-uniform grids, or a lack of spacing between words. This manipulation can make the work appear pattern-based at first glance; however, on further evaluation the viewer discovers there is no repetition. While his works are constructed from a literary idea, Albrecht's approach is mainly visual. In a series of new pieces for the exhibit, this process is underscored when he overlays two words on top of one another, and in some instances reverses the order of the characters. The end result renders the characters illegible with the exception of small moments or clues from the two words, visually presenting two ideas that are at odds with each other, hindering any idea from manifesting.

Albrecht's woodworks are the result of an extensive process that starts with a hand-rendered drawing and requires hours of precision production work.

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Altruistic people have more sexual partners

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Research suggests that people who do nice things for others, often at a cost for themselves, are more sexually attractive. From an evolutionary perspective, this might be because altruism indicates that a potential mate is more cooperative and caring. Evolutionary psychologists Steven Arnocky, at Nipissing University, and Pat Barclay, at the University of Guelph, conducted a fascinating study to explore whether altruistic people really do have more sexual partners. From Scientific American:

This theory suggests that altruism may serve, in part, to convey one’s value as a mating partner, including one’s concern for others and likelihood of cooperating with future mates. Research has shown that we prefer altruistic partners, all else being equal; especially for long-term mating (the evidence for altruism being preferred in short-term mates is mixed). Not surprisingly, then, the pull to demonstrate one’s altruism can be strong. Some research has shown that men will actively compete with one another (termed competitive altruism) by making charitable donations to women. Interestingly, these charitable donations increase when the target of one’s altruism is physically attractive...

Previous findings from hunter-gatherer populations have shown that men who hunt and share meat often enjoy greater reproductive access to women. But do these links hold up in other cultural and contextual arenas, such as in contemporary North American society? To find out, we conducted a set of two studies. In our first study, undergraduate men and women completed an altruism questionnaire (involving questions like “I have donated blood”), along with a sexual history survey. Participants also completed a personality inventory, given the possibility that those with certain personality characteristics (such as being extroverted) might happen to engage in both more altruism and more sexual activity.

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Wonderful guitar cover of Super Mario World music

Samuraiguitarist Steve Onotera created this fantastic cover of the Super Mario World music including sound effects made on his guitar. (via Laughing Squid)

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Adam Savage visits Peter Jackson's startling cabinet of movie prop curiosities

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Boing Boing pal Adam Savage (MythBusters, Tested) tours the incredible prop collection of Peter Jackson, producer of The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, District 9, and the forthcoming The Adventures of Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun. One of his favorite pieces? An original Hal 9000 faceplate! That is quite the wunderkammer, Mr. Jackson! (Tested)

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Metallica and The Roots play "Enter Sandman" on toy and classroom instruments

On The Tonight Show last night, Metallica, promoting their new album "Hardwired...to Self-Destruct," played their old ditty "Enter Sandman" in an entirely new way. We're off to never never land.

James Hetfield - Vocals, Toy clarinet Jimmy Fallon - Vocals, Bass Drum, Casio Keyboard, Kazoo Lars Ulrich - Fisher Price Drum, Toy Cymbals Kirk Hammett - Melodica Robert Trujillo - Baby Electric Axe Questlove - Hand Clappers, Kazoo Kamal Gray - Xylophone James Poyser - Melodica Captain Kirk - Ukulele Tuba Gooding Jr. - Kazoo, Banana Shaker, Apple Shaker Mark Kelley - Kazoo Frank Knuckles - Bongos Black Thought - Tambourine, Brown Hat

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Han Solo and Princess Leia had an affair, for real

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In Carrie Fisher's new memoir The Princess Diarist, she writes that she had an affair with Harrison Ford while they were filming Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977). From CNN:

"It was so intense," Fisher told People magazine. "It was Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend..."

Fisher was 19 when she landed the breakthrough role of Princess Leia for the 1976 filming. Ford, then 33, was married to Mary Marquardt, with whom he had two children.

Fisher writes that she and Ford spent their first night together after a birthday party for director George Lucas.

"I looked over at Harrison. A hero's face -- a few strands of hair fell over his noble, slightly furrowed brow," she wrote. "How could you ask such a shining specimen of a man to be satisfied with the likes of me?"

"I was so inexperienced, but I trusted something about him," she added. "He was kind."

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher (Amazon) Read the rest

Donald Duck is a quite effective and surreal math teacher

"Donald in Mathmagic Land" was released in 1959. As Walt Disney said, "The cartoon is a good medium to stimulate interest."

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Amazing animated GIF of a skull drawing

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The artist Sangoma writes, "Anamorphic drawing- for anyone curious about the style. This piece is a combination of graphite, pan pastel, charcoal, and exacto knife (to trim the top of the page)."

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What people with "calendar synesthesia" reveal about how our minds deal with time

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Synesthesia is the fascinating neurological phenomenon whereby stimulation of one sense involuntarily triggers another sensory pathway. A synesthete might taste sounds or hear colors. Now, leading synesthesia researcher VS Rakmachandran at the University of California, San Diego is studying "calendar synesthetes" who see very clear images of calendars in their mind's eye when they think about months that have passed or are in the future. For example, according to New Scientist, one participant in the research "sees her months as occupying an asymmetrical “V” shape. Along this V, she sees each month written in Helvetica font." From New Scientist:

The idea that calendars are literally laid out in space for some people suggests that we are all hardwired to some extent to map time in space.

The concepts of time and numbers are something we acquired relatively recently in our evolutionary history, says Ramachandran, but the brain wouldn’t have had time to evolve a specific area to deal with it.

“Given the opportunistic nature of evolution, perhaps the most convenient way to represent the abstract idea of sequences of numbers and time might have been to map them onto a preexisting map of visual space, already present in the brain,” he says.

Indeed, imaging scans show connections between areas of the brain involved in numbers and those involved with mapping the world, memories and our sense of self. The team suggest that when these areas act together, they enable us to navigate mentally through space and time, while being firmly anchored in the present.

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"Post-truth" is the Oxford Dictionaries word of the year

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Also in the running was "coulrophobia," the fear of clowns, and "hygge," a Danish concept meaning "a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being." From The Guardian:

Defined by the dictionary as an adjective “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”, editors said that use of the term “post-truth” had increased by around 2,000% in 2016 compared to last year. The spike in usage, it said, is “in the context of the EU referendum in the United Kingdom and the presidential election in the United States”...

Contenders for the title had included the noun “alt-right”, shortened from the fuller form “alternative right” and defined as “an ideological grouping associated with extreme conservative or reactionary viewpoints, characterised by a rejection of mainstream politics and by the use of online media to disseminate deliberately controversial content”. First used in 2008, its use “surged” this spring and summer, said the dictionary, with 30% of usage in August alone. Brexiteer was also in the running for the crown, along with non-political terms including coulrophobia, the fear of clowns, and hygge, the Danish concept of cosiness.

But the increase in usage of post-truth saw the term eventually emerge ahead of the pack. “We first saw the frequency really spike this year in June with buzz over the Brexit vote and Donald Trump securing the Republican presidential nomination. Given that usage of the term hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, I wouldn’t be surprised if post-truth becomes one of the defining words of our time,” predicted Oxford Dictionaries president Casper Grathwohl.

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How to draw your hand in 3D

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I know what my kids will be doing after school today. (Handimania)

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Ten Commandments tablet up for auction

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Tomorrow, you can bid to own the earliest known stone tablet carved with the Ten Commandments. The two-foot-square, 115 pound marble stone was discovered in 1913 near Yavneh, Israel. The inscription is dated circa 300-830 CE and the tablet is in one piece, so unfortunately it's probably not the original Ten Commandments delivered by God on Mount Sinai and promptly smashed by Charleston Heston. Opening bid is $220,000. From Heritage Auctions:

The details of the Yavneh Stone's discovery are related in an article by Y. Kaplan and Yitzhak Ben-Zvi in the 1947 Journal of the Jewish Palestine Exploration Society. According to Mr. Kaplan's account, this extraordinary artifact was rediscovered in 1913, during the excavation of a railroad line along the southern coastal plain of Palestine. The discovery was made near Yavneh, an historic city called Jabneel in the Hebrew Bible. The workmen who found it did not recognize its importance and either sold or gave it to a local Arab man of some means, who set the stone into the threshold of a room leading to his inner courtyard, with the inscription facing up. Due to foot traffic, several words on the center left side of the tablet were blurred over time.

In 1943, thirty years after his father acquired it, the man's son sold the stone to Mr. Kaplan, who immediately recognized its importance as an extremely rare "Samaritan Decalogue," one of five such extant stone inscriptions dating to before the Muslim invasion of the seventh century CE...

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) granted export approval for this piece in perpetuity to the Living Torah Museum in a letter dated 20 March, 2005.

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Interview with far-out music video artists from 1984

From a 1984 episode of the fantastic USA Network series Night Flight, an interview with pioneering digital video artists John Sanborn and Dean Winkler about their latest pieces, "Act III," with music by Philip Glass, and their music video for Adrian Belew's "Big Electric Cat." Watch them both below.

(r/ObscureMedia, thanks, UPSO!)

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