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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  

Eric Shit is a portrait of Eric Schmidt painted in an unorthodox medium

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Google CEO Eric Schmidt, famous for weirdly off-kilter mockery of the privacy his company exploits for its billions, has been immortalized in shit.

Artist Katsu selected "Eric Shit" as the second in his series of portraits created using his own excrement. The first was of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Techcrunch's Kim-Mai Cutler interviewed Katsu, who explained that his process is born in a fascination with the artistic possibilities of human-produced materials…

… But it’s really about bio-data. These titans of the cloud, are like, basically in competition to control every bit of granular data about individuals. That’s what makes their companies so powerful. They understand that human data has this immense value and they’re shielding and hiding that from the public. Maybe feces is the last thing that they could possibly control.

Here's a video of the artwork (demonstrating its LED-flashing frame) posted by alexaspace (via The Verge's James Vincent). ericshit

Amazing sea floor maps reveal California's offshore depths

Offshore-and-Onshore-Geology-and-Geomorphology,-Offshore-of-San-Francisco-Map-Area,-California
Offshore and Onshore Geology and Geomorphology Offshore of San Francisco

The California Seafloor Mapping Program is the most extensive of its kind, initiated in 2008 and bearing fruit in a series of beautiful maps.

The CSMP has collected bathymetry (underwater topography) and backscatter data (providing insight into the geologic makeup of the seafloor) that are being turned into habitat and geologic base maps for all of California's State Waters (mean high water line out to three nautical miles). Although the CSMP was originally developed to support the design and monitoring of marine reserves through the Marine Life Protection Act, accurate statewide mapping of the seafloor has also contributed significantly to these efforts

Betsy Mason reports on the sensational underwater geography that the maps reveal. It's not just pretty: it will save lives.

This kind of information is critical because the magnitude of an earthquake is determined by the length of a fault that ruptures. Longer faults are capable of bigger quakes. If two smaller faults that were thought to be separate are actually connected, they could potentially rupture together to cause a bigger earthquake than previously thought. Discoveries of that sort could even change the USGS’s seismic hazard forecast for California.

cData Integration and Visualization, Offshore of San Francisco Map.

dartnellData Integration and Visualization, Offshore of San Francisco Map (detail)

detailAcoustic Backscatter, Offshore of San Francisco Map Area

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Benthic Habitats

tomalesMassive granitic seafloor outcrop extends north and west from Tomales Point.

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Benthic Habitats off Tomales Point

Check out California Seafloor Mapping Programthe rest of the maps, though be warned they are USDA Grade A CPU-roasting epic multilayer PDFs.

Ireland votes on same-sex marriage

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In conservative Ireland, homosexuality remained illegal until 1993. Even divorce only became an option in 1997. But times have changed. The first major international plebiscite on gay marriage is poised to deliver an overwhelming vote in favor of extending the institution to same-sex couples.

"If the Irish can vote “Yes,” the thought goes, anyone can," writes Amy Davidson in The New Yorker. "If they can see how a conservative belief in the institution of marriage and in the unity of families, and an atavistic desire to be present at the wedding of one’s own children, translate into support for same-sex marriage so can, say, Mississippians."

The campaigns, for and against, served to illustrate the broader divisions in Irish society. The No campaign, in particular, made sharp use of fear as a motif, identifying wholesome Catholics as the real victims of intolerance. But the church has paid a high price for its longtime abuses: polls have support for gay marriage at about 70%, though there is some question about the accuracy of polling.

Even if it's close, the pace of change in Ireland has been remarkable. A 2013 International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association map of local support for same-sex relationships put Ireland at only 36%, though it took into account factors other than public opinion. ILGA_2013_map

Here's a "Yes campaign" video:

At least 17 counties, and several U.S. states, have institutionalized same-sex marriage. In the U.S., the Supreme Court recently heart arguments in a case that may effectively settle the matter there.

The results of the Irish referendum are expected to be announced on Saturday.

Photo: Cathal McNaughton

Why Chrome uses all the RAM

nux-chrome

Whitson Gordon explains why Google's browser is such a resource hog.

Read the rest

Pixelkabinett is a beautiful arcade cabinet

pixelkabinett At $4,100, this handmade midcentury-style two-player furnishing is a very expensive limited edition (of fifty). It comes with a 19" LCD display, features a glowing planetarium, and folds down "when not in use."

Most people will likely put in a computer and use it as a MAME machine, but it comes with one Jamma board for purist action. If the design looks mysteriously familiar, it's because it's the creation of Love Hulten, whose tiny R-Kaid-R graced our pixels last year. [via Uncrate] 4325790_orig 4845904_orig

Human Centipede director proud of achievement

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The director of the Human Centipede series of films, wherein humans are surgically attached ass-to-mouth to—sigh, you know—is "very proud" of his work: "art should do something to people."

In an interview with Vice's Allison Van Siclen, Tom Six adds that everyone can relate to human centipede.

I think so many people have their own dark fantasies, but they never express them—[but] I'm a filmmaker, and a writer and director, so I find it absolutely thrilling to create my dark fantasies on the screen. A lot of people that I meet, they see the comedy in it, and that's what I'm really proud of. And everybody can relate to it—[everybody has someone] at work or somebody that they'd like to human centipede... that's basically what makes it so funny, the people that you hate or child molesters or whatever, or animal molesters, some deserve the fate of the human centipede, I think.

Figured it out, yet? Another clue: the trailer for Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence advertises it as "politically incorrect" and "just what America needs." Previously.

The best criminal defense lawyer in Pittsburgh and America and The World

"You keep your trap shut," says Daniel Muessig, who is absolutely a real lawyer, " and I'll keep your trap open."

Dan will defend you for everyday offenses such as murder and burglary, but also "funny throwback crimes such as moonshining."

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Is this the biggest asshole in Germany?

Despite blaring sirens and an open road, a driver forces a fire truck to wait, excruciatingly, at an otherwise lightly-trafficked intersection. Eventually, a car in an adjacent lane pulls into the intersection simply to give the truck space to maneuver around the obstacle.

In other places (below: Montreal, Canada) fire trucks get to ram even other emergency vehicles out the way; in the UK, however, you may well want to confidently remain an arsehole, as they will fine you if you break the traffic code to make way for emergency vehicles.

Google Maps promises to stop racist trolls messing with maps—but how?

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Struck by a succession of abusive scrawlings going live on its popular maps service, Google has apologized and promised to retool the service to prevent it from happening in future.

"This week, we had some problems with Google Maps, which was displaying results for certain offensive search queries," wrote Jen Fitzpatrick, a Vice President of Engineering and Product Development, explaining how Google's system slurped up the offensive terms because of how it incorporates "online discussions" of particular places. "… This surfaced inappropriate results that users likely weren’t looking for."

Earlier this week, it was found that when given offensive search terms, Google would return inappropriate locations. Queried with "nigga house," for example, Google would offer the White House.

Howard University, reported one internet user, "shows up as ‘N***er University’ on Google Maps."

The benefits of algorithmic changes will be seen soon, Fitzpatrick promised, and Google will continue to refine its software over time: "Simply put, you shouldn’t see these kinds of results in Google Maps, and we’re taking steps to make sure you don't."

Maps, like much in the Googleverse, is comprised significantly of information added by users or algorithmically incorporated into its dataset—unvetted and often dependent on community reporting when something goes awry.

Google recently shuttered another crowdsourced component of Google Maps due to repeated addition of naughty and offensive landscape features that were not, in fact, there.

Ad bad

I'd love to read The Next Web's article titled "Ad-blockers aren’t ‘immoral,’ but maybe you’re using them wrong", but it is impossible because of the hilariously broken full-screen ad superimposed upon it.

The truth about cavemen

GEICOCAVEMEN Is that they only lived in caves seasonally, "maybe a couple of months a year at the most." At Nautilus, Jude Isabella interviews anthropological archaeologist Margaret Conkey, who sets the record straight.
Archaeologists are influenced by their culture, not surprisingly. We can’t be totally neutral—we’d be like a blob—but it’s important to recognize what biases we bring to our work. My colleagues and I are suggesting that we have certain biases about what constitutes a “home” and that mobile people didn’t think of home as a stationary physical structure. A “homeless” archaeologist would have a different perspective. Only instead of using the term “homeless,” which in our culture has a negative connotation, I use the term “spatially ambitious.” Clearly, based on what we found, our ancestors were way more spatially ambitious than the cavemen we had thought them to be.

Could you quit working full-time?

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"Life is too short for a full-time job," writes Mohit Satyanand. "Time unwatched is its own treasure, gracious host to conversations that drift and swoop, afternoons that stretch into evenings, dinners that slur into a last coffee." Good if you can hack it, I suppose.

Read the rest

Show off your painted miniatures!

miniature My nephew, Joshua Smith, is graduating high school this week and will soon be off to the U.S. Coast Guard. In his free time, he's learning to painstakingly paint miniatures, and is starting to get pretty good! Here's a current WIP. Show us your own best work, for great justice.

Taylor Swift video rotoscoped into complete insanity by 49 animation students

Each were given 52 frames of Shake it Off, and the result is "2767 frames of lovingly hand-drawn rotoscoped footage." Come for the tentacles, stay for the surrealist dragon kin.

Redrawing Taylor Swift - Shake it Off Rotoscoped

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 reviewed

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Brett Howse says the ultra-thin model from Lenovo—up to 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD with a 14" 1440-line display, i7 CPU opion and several USB ports—is "likely the fastest ultrabook yet." At $2000 as tested, it better be.

Man happy after cheap smartphone downgrade

When his fancy, high-end Sony smartphone died, Abhishek Anand decided to replace it with a cheap $75 model. He's much happier, not least because it actually lasts a day on a charge.
If my ₹ 5000 Moto E lasts even for 6 months, it would have a much better ROI than my previous phone. Now that I have used both phones for a bit, with my usage patterns, it is simply not worth it to buy an expensive phone. Also, in pure economic terms, money invested is better than money spent on a depreciating asset ☺, so the gap between the two prices widens even more.

Texas plans to loosen gun laws proceed

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Investigators still aren't clear on the details of what went down over the weekend between biker gangs in Waco, Texas, that killed 9, but politicians know what needs to be done: more guns!

On Monday, deliberations over a bill that would allow for the open carrying of handguns in Texas went on as scheduled in the state’s Senate. Lawmakers offered support for the measure, which has already passed Texas House. “This bill does not have anything to do with what went on yesterday," a state senator remarked. This sentiment was echoed by others, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who told the AP on Monday: "The shootout occurred when we don't have open carry, so obviously the current laws didn't stop anything like that.”

Dont mess with Texas: please mop up the blood.