I'm fascinated by these videos of animals having birthdays, started by this especially surreal video Xeni sent me of a skunk named Peaches celebrating her first birthday. Do the animals understand that it's their birthday? How, precisely, does one celebrate an animal's birthday? Sometimes it's a big party for the owners, but sometimes it's just throwing a cupcake to a pig in a driveway. There seem to be a lot of different animals having different kinds of birthday celebrations memorialized on YouTube, and I've collected a few in this playlist.
It's actually my birthday today, and in lieu of the usual wall posts I've asked my Facebook friends to send me videos of animals having birthdays. If you find any good ones, add them to the comments below!
I desperately want to believe that this horse mask Mentos commercial is actually from a 1992 episode of the Swedish Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as the description says, if only because this is just the kind of baloney that pushes crates of sugar pills. I'd also like to believe that this was made by Mentos's marketing department in a brilliant comeback to the top of the tubed candy industry. However, I think this is actually just some really brilliant independent filmmakers hitting me right in the nostalgia.
Best viewed in 240p.
Get your own horse mask, because seriously you guys.
Dan Wrexham throws down the gauntlet: "If you've seen a better picture than this picture of a dog dressed as two dogs carrying a present, I don't believe you." I can't think of anything better.
UPDATE: François Arias let us know in the comments that he took this photo! He even sent in a better angle of this excellent dog:
KaomojiApp adds a menu item to your Mac with a huge collection of Unicode emoticons that you can easily select and insert in any text area. The free version has a few basic samples in each emotion category, and you can unlock hundreds more for just $3.
Apple was recently ordered by a UK court to publicly display a notice that Samsung did not copy the iPad with their Galaxy tablet to undo the damage they've done by making that accusation. And like a scolded child, they're scuffling their feet and mumbling "sorry" to the ground.
It's no surprise that their apology is at the bottom of the page, or that you need to scroll to see it. What's sneaky about it is that the large image of the iPad on their homepage resizes automatically to force that text to always appear below the fold when you load the page. Apple's webmasters have written in code to figure out how tall your browser window is, then make the site's design just big enough to push the apology out of your view and make you scroll to see it.
I'm not much of one for energy bars, and I don't think I've ever had a Clif Bar before, but I just bought a Cool Mint Chocolate Clif Bar on a whim and let me tell you: Wow. It's basically a giant oatmealy crunchy Thin Mint. I realized that as soon as I cracked the wrapper, it smells so good. And apparently it has a little caffeine in it.
Get one. Then do what I'm doing and go on Amazon Prime and get two dozen.
9/7/2012: Updated with feedback from moot
4chan, the Internet's long-time dumping ground and butt of many a joke, is getting serious about software by making their biggest public-facing code change in nearly a decade, introducing an API and a bunch of new functionality.
Given its reputation, many commentators have already written this off with a shrug and a laugh. But 4chan is also one of the web's most popular and influential communities. It's the source of so many Internet-age cultural trends that even your grandma may be dimly aware that the clever picture she posted on her Facebook was trawled a thousand copies ago from the dark depths of /mlp/. Given that there's big money in all this, the API offers businesses a direct line to the heart of the machine.
As a professional software developer and long time 4chan user, I think this is a pretty interesting development. I talked yesterday afternoon to some of those who worked on 4chan's code over the years and know a little about why this is such an important development.
Unicorn Mountain is a collective of Pittsburgh artists that publishes anthologies of local art, comics, music and literature. Their third anthology, The Black Forest, takes a different tack from their previous collections by exploring much darker, stranger themes. My friend Tara Helfer did the layout and supplementary illustrations for The Black Forest and sent me a copy to check out.
The collection covers a broad range of styles, and is packed with more than twenty different artists' work. Some parts are creepy and scribbly. Others are intricate and mysterious. I've picked some samples of a few of my favorites here.
People are posting photos of their debit and credit cards on Twitter. Some of them are lightly blurred– such as the one above which has a fake tilt shift effect added to it –but most are just straight photos of the cards with all the information unobscured. Mostly these are new cardholders bragging about their newly-acquired financial freedom, a few people shared photos of cards they'd snapped in half.
They're all publicly available photos, and the Twitter account @NeedADebitCard dutifully collects them all in one place, ostensibly to teach people not to post their goddamned financial information all over the Internet. Why bother with ATM skimmers when you can just search the web?
Last weekend I sunk into the depths of chiptune music at Blip Festival. I quickly noticed that a lot of the bands had the same visualists managing the projected artwork behind the stage. It turns out that there's a substantial shortage of visualists for chiptune shows, so the best ones are highly sought after and hard to find. I grabbed three of the most interesting ones from the festival and asked them to tell me how they're making their images.
Read the rest
I'm at Blip Festival in New York this weekend checking out all the bleeps and bloops people are making. Blip Festival itself starts tonight, but last night NY Pulsewave had an open mic night and I decided to grab a few of the artists to photograph their instruments: mostly custom modified Game Boys. I've included a few highlights here, and the full set is on my Flickr.
Pictured above is Andrew Gould's (AKA andaruGO) GBM1 Game Boy Classic. It's a great example of the two most popular mods: He's got a custom backlit screen that helps him see the music in the dark, and a wiring modification called Prosound which bypasses the standard headphone jack and wires directly into the device's audio chip for better quality sound. He's using the LSDJ cartridge, pretty much the standard for the Game Boy Classic performers. There's also a custom blue screen protector he received as a gift from an internet friend.
Read the rest
Read the rest
I'm in New York this week and today I dropped in on Boing Boing pal and co-curator of Boing Boing's Virgin America in-flight channel Joe Sabia. Joe's in the middle of directing a series of short musical thank you note videos for people who request them online as a promotional campaign for AT&T's Facebook fan page. They're short and sweet, but I was surprised by how much there is going on behind the scenes here.
These guys are making about 30 videos an hour, it's a pretty impressive production line. Netziens request a song through a form on AT&T's Facebook page, then the staff here reads through them all and writes them on whiteboards for the band to perform in the sound booth. The music is prepared in advance with a few different variations, and the lyrics are all ad libbed by UCB comedians. Immediately afterwards, the videos are edited together and uploaded to YouTube. There are about forty people in the whole production line. Yesterday they made about two hundred videos, and today they'll probably make three hundred more. Silly songs are serious business!
They'll be making videos for a few more hours, so send one in if you want them to make one for you. Thanks Joe!
The Artisans Asylum in Somerville Massachusetts is holding a class called Project Hexapod. Their mission is to build this car-sized two-person hexapod robot and ride it through town in about four months. They've just posted the first set of schematics and named the robot "Stompy".
I'm putting this on my "potential overlords to welcome" list.
Stompy is coming - Project Hexapod Thanks Joe!
Now go out there and scroll to your heart's content.
Creative Commons licensed image courtesy of the awesome Hyperbole and a Half
I think one of them freaked and set the rest of them off, like a field of shrieking land mines. The howling combined with poor old Mr. McFeely trying to console the kids is haunting. Speedy Delivery!
I would also like to take this opportunity to make you aware that there are a ton of Mister Rogers episodes up on the PBS Kids website. Have fun, kids.
Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell, who was involved in the making of the Kony 2012 video, was detained in San Diego yesterday morning after being found masturbating in public, vandalizing cars, running through traffic and screaming in his underwear. NBC San Diego reports:
Several people attempted to calm him down and when officers arrived they said he was cooperative.
"He was no problem for the police department however, during the evaluation we learned that we probably needed to take care of him," said [Lt. Andra] Brown at a press conference. "So officers detained him and transferred him to a local medical facility for further evaluation and treatment."
The SDPD suspects Mr. Russell was under the influence of something.
The TSA has announced a new program rolling out at a few airports that allows selected customers to skip the security lines by checking in at a kiosk and going through a nominal screening, but only after they've paid a $100 application fee and been approved through a background check. The Wall Street Journal reports:
The Transportation Security Administration is rolling out expedited screening at big airports called "Precheck." It has special lanes for background-checked travelers, who can keep their shoes, belt and jacket on, leave laptops and liquids in carry-on bags and walk through a metal detector rather than a full-body scan. The process, now at two airlines and nine airports, is much like how screenings worked before the Sept. 11 attacks.
To qualify, frequent fliers must meet undisclosed TSA criteria and get invited in by the airlines. There is also a backdoor in. Approved travelers who are in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's "Global Entry" program can transfer into Precheck using their Global Entry number.
I can't quite decide whether this is the TSA finally getting their shit together to put things back to normal with some intelligent screening practices that inexplicably can't be covered by the same budget that bought all those scanners, or if it's boldly admitting to the world that it's all been a horrific charade. Let's see what the TSA blog has to say about it:
Are you all "rararar why is this gif here i don't understand humor"? Here's a thorough explanation.
Last year I had 250 business cards printed up with :) printed on them and nothing else. Since then I've been finding handy uses for them: writing notes, flirting with girls on the bus, propping up the occasional table, whatever. A nearly-blank business card is a surprisingly useful thing to have around.
The best thing I've been using them for is to make meeting lots of people more interesting. I'm normally very nervous about meeting new people, I'm regularly thrust into intimidating situations, and I meet so many different kinds of people that it's often hard to come up with something to talk about immediately.
Now I ask them to play my game: I hand them a pen and one of these cards and ask them to complete the drawing. No time limit, no wrong answers, do whatever you want. You just have to give it back to me so I can take it home and scan it. Your reward when you're finished is that you get to see the whole collection of what other people have done. And once a couple of people have done one, that stack grows quickly.
I've been collecting these for a while (you can see the full collection on my blog), but last night I stumbled upon Sketch Tuesday (on Wednesday) at the 111 Minna Gallery where dozens of artists from local museums and elsewhere came to draw. This was a particularly fruitful evening for the game, and I've put all of the cards I collected after the jump.
Thanks to Christian, Willa, Tim, Paul, George, Rick, Mae, Kimberly, Jim, Andrew, Lonnie, Adam, Drew, Brandon, and whoever else did one of these for me!
Over at Submitterator, anelson sends us this surreal video of a child playing with a huge pack of Saint Bernards in a temperate rainforest in British Columbia. I love the idea of being surrounded by these panting, gallumphing beasts.