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


City maps with streets colored by orientation


LA and Chicago are most uniform; San Francisco and New York look like patchwork; London and Tokyo look like explosions in a fuzz factory. [Datapointed via JWZ]

Denim maintenance thread

A raw denim aficionado, sick of trying to clean his deathless jeans by freezing them or washing them in seawater, developed an antibacterial odor neutralizer especially made for the blend of sweat, grime and bacteria found in pants. Please, wash your jeans.

10 years ago, a TV flub flattened a career

How a 'lip-sync debacle" (the bungled, recrimination-filled aftermath moreso than the even itself) ended Ashlee Simpson's career and became a metaphor for how modern media, not merely piracy, threw nails into the music industry's prefab production line.

Twitpic to vanish, taking 800 million images with it

Imagine you live in a big town, in the pre-internet era. For years, a local newspaper has provided a neat service: it'll process your photos, so long as you let it publish them and keep the prints in its permanent archive.

Of course, most people throw away the negatives. But that's OK: the archive is right there.

Now, say you wake up one day and find that the newspaper's shutting down and has been keeping this fact pretty quiet. The archives will be destroyed. You're lucky to have found out at all! The proprietor ignores pleas to change course, and especially any offers to take possession of the set: to the furnace it will go. You call, and are assured they'll send you your prints, at least. But all that arrives in your mailbox is an empty envelope--or perhaps one containing a rag soaked in cat piss.

This is what's about to happen with twitpic, for years the go-to service for posting photos to Twitter, and the people in charge appear to be doing what they can to prevent the Internet Archive preserving the database and to deny users functional archive access to their own uploads.

"For this group of digital librarians," writes Pierre Chauvin, "saving a bunch of stranger’s pictures is about keeping alive a key piece of our digital culture."

Browser game: Late Night Driver

toy A fun, free racing browsertoy with a cool night-driving aesthetic; the song gets annoying. [via]

Retro game fonts

spac Patrick H Lauke, AKA Redux, recreates fonts from classic arcade and computer games.

Alvin Stardust, 1942-2014

1414060559583_Image_galleryImage_FEMAIL_SCANNED_BY_PCD_FOR In that weird liminal Britspace between glam rock and parody, he was a great. Alvin Stardust was due a comeback -- his first studio album in decades is due out in weeks, according to the BBC -- but will not be with us to enjoy it.

This 1974 performance of My Coo Ca Choo, on BBC1's Top of the Pops, is your primer.

Dino Deinocheirus Deemed Derpy


Read the rest

Hitler coffee creamer for people who like theirs even whiter

B0iCeMvCEAACU_r.jpg-large "Migros, Switzerland’s largest grocery and cafe retail chain, is apologizing after consumers discovered images of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini on their coffee creamer packages."

Ikea Halloween ad sets The Shining in a store at night

The terrifying symmetries of an Ikea warehouse are the setting for this sinister recasting of The Shining's most famous Steadicam scene.

High winds blow waterfall back up

The River Kinder, in England's peak district, meets such high winds the flow is blasted back into the plateau. On better days, the Kinder Downfall drops 80 ft. Wikipedia:
Although usually little more than a trickle in summer, in spate conditions it is impressive. In certain wind conditions (notably when there is a strong west wind), the water is blown back on itself, and the resulting cloud of spray can be seen from several miles away. The Pennine Way crosses the River Kinder above Kinder Downfall.
waterfall-2 waterfall [via Reddit and This is Colossal]

Dyson Humidifier


The pitch: it kills bacteria, instead of breeding it, and adjusts automatically to maintain a specific relative humidity in the room. Also, it looks cool.

Silicon Valley's outsourced moderator army

Adrian Chen reports on the campuses abroad where people are paid a few hundred dollars a month to "determine what Americans find offensive." [Wired]

The origins of the word "cosplay"

Brian Ashcraft interviewed Nobuyuki Takahashi, originator of the wonderful word: "In Japanese, English and other foreign words are often combined and/or shortened, for brevity's sake."

Incredible footage of gunfire in Canadian Parliament

At least one gunman and a soldier are dead today after exchanges of fire in and around Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Canada. This footage was taken by a Globe and Mail reporter at the scene.

Buildings in Ottawa’s downtown core are under lockdown after the crack of gunshots rang through the halls of Parliament Hill’s Centre Block and a gunman fired on soldiers guarding Canada’s main war memorial.

Ottawa police confirmed that they were investigating “several” shootings in downtown Ottawa. There are conflicting reports of how many shooters appear to be involved in the attack on the heart of Canada’s federal government.

USA Today reports that there were "multiple reports of shootings," followed by a pursuit into Parliament Hill "sending bystanders and members of Parliament scrambling for safety."

In Ottawa, police confirmed a man opened fire at the National War Memorial outside the government complex shortly before 10 a.m., hitting a soldier who was standing guard. Jason Kenney, an MP and Minister of Employment, Social Development & Multiculturalism, tweeted: "Condolences to family of the soldier killed, (and) prayers for the Parliamentary guard wounded," Kenney wrote. "Canada will not be terrorized or intimidated."

Ottawa police Constable Marc Soucy could not verify whether police were looking for multiple shooters, as some media outlets were reporting. He said only that the response was ongoing throughout Ottawa.

The Globe's Josh Wingrove on the lockdown:

Here's a statement from the Ottawa police:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 1:45pm

(Ottawa)—The Ottawa Police Service and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) responded to reports of shooting incidents this morning in the downtown area. Police can now confirm that incidents occurred at the National War Memorial and on Parliament Hill.

Contrary to earlier reports no incident occurred near the Rideau Centre.

One shooting victim succumbed to injuries. He was a member of the Canadian Forces. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his loved ones.

Next of kin notification is underway and as such, the victim’s identification will not be released.

One male suspect has also been confirmed deceased. There is no further update on injuries at this time.

This is an ongoing joint police operation and there is no one in custody at this time.

Ottawa residents are asked to stay away from the downtown area while the investigation continues. If you work in one of the downtown buildings, follow the instructions from the building management you are in.

A number of RCMP and Federal government buildings are also closed to the public; as is Ottawa City Hall and all Ottawa Police stations.

The Ottawa Police Service wants to speak to witnesses of today’s shooting incidents. Witnesses are to call Ottawa Police at 613-236-1222, ext 5493.

Those with tips regarding the shooting incidents, or those looking to report suspicious activity, can call 613-236-1222 or call 9-1-1.

Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477(TIPS), toll free at 1-800-222-8477 or by downloading the Ottawa Police iOS app.