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Sean Bonner

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Thierry Guetta, aka Mr. Brainwash sued for copyright infringement over Run DMC image

Run-DMC.jpg mbwinvite.jpg Above Top: Photo of Run DMC, taken by Glen E. Friedman
Above Bottom: Invitation Thierry Guetta, aka Mr. Brainwash used for his debut exhibition 'Life Is Beautiful'

Earlier this month I noted that Banksy had finally spoken about the artist Thierry Guetta (aka Mr. Brainwash) profiled in his now Oscar nominated film Exit Through the Gift Shop . Still, suspicions run fairly rampant that he either doesn't exist or is merely the latest prank creation by Banksy. Guetta has now given sworn statements that the artwork is his own, as he's the subject of a copyright lawsuit initiated by photographer Glen E. Friedman. The two Run DMC images above should make that fairly obvious (as well as several others after the jump).

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More white people rapping poorly: Icy Hot Stuntaz frontman "born again" as B-SHOC

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Yesterday I came across a website on the amusing phenom of white people rapping poorly. It was lulz. But when I posted it here, I could not have foreseen the amazingness that would soon manifest: 31 comments into a thoughtful discussion thread about how racist I must be for laughing at white people, commenter DSMVWL THS dropped a bomb.

Da Flame of the Icy Hot Stuntaz has been born again as B-SHOC, the Christan rapper.

If you are unfamiliar with the Icy Hot Stuntaz, they were a white boy rap brigade from Toccoa, Georgia (population over 9,000) that gained tens of fans circa 2001 when someone accidentally posted photos of them photoshop-bling'd-out and frontin' in front of their not-really-that-tricked-out-Civics online. In one moment, the entire internet united to point and laugh. It was a beautiful sight to behold, and many a related meme followed. You can read more about them on Know Your Meme, Urban Dictionary and Encyclopedia Dramatica (NSFW).

Luckily for those living more than one state road away from Toccoa, the attention span of the web is short and most people never heard of them again. Until now. Skip ahead 10 years and here comes B-SHOC. He's got a CD out that you can buy from him with tracks like "My Trunk Go Boom" and "The Jesus In Me." That's right, he now sings for Jesus.

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List of slang terms for police officers

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Cops, Feds, and the Fuzz are obvious, but according to this list of slang terms for law enforcement, that's just the tip of the nightstick. Did you know that in some parts of the world, and in some circles, police are also referred to as Nab Jones, Pandu, Soggies, Snut, Woodentops, City Kitties and The Mustached Pagoda? Thanks to the internet, now you do.

(Bomb ass police car photo by me, info ratted out by Luke.)

White people rapping poorly

white.jpg Oh yes, this is exactly what you are hoping it is. White people rapping poorly.

Sundance: Kevin Smith premiers new film, tells Hollywood to suck it

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Writer/Director Kevin Smith premiered his new film Red State at Sundance today—he'd led everyone to believe that after the showing, he'd publicly auction the distribution rights to the highest-bidding studio. Instead, he bought it himself and used the attention generated to note how broken the studio distribution system is (why spend $20 million on a film that cost $4 million to make) and how he was convinced he could a better job handling things on his own.

Fans of Smith may be surprised, but shouldn't be too shocked by this move: Smith has long bemoaned the "business" of making and releasing movies, and has been particulary vocal about it on twitter of late.

Personally, I'm really excited about this. There is so much under-appreciated talent out there, and we all know that the web really does make it so much easier to get the word out. Someone as established as Smith deciding not to play the game anymore, and to instead explore new options, may have far-reaching effects on the rest of the industry. I can't wait to see what comes from this.

Smith also announced he'll be making one more movie (after Red State), but that he will then retire from the director's chair with plans to focus on the distribution side of the business, presumably to the benefit of others opting to work outside of the studio system. Go Kevin!

For more information about how this film will be distributed or to help out, check out coopersdell.com

Clean, Soap-Free Living: Here Comes the Science

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(CC-licensed photograph by Flickr user fdecomite)

Comments are still active on my Boing Boing guest blog post from earlier this month about how I haven't used soap or shampoo for over a year. There is much debate in that comment thread on both sides of the argument (to suds or not to suds).

Commenter Emmalish just pointed out this UNC study [pdf] which would appear to back up my beliefs. The report states:

Effective hand hygiene for high levels of viral contamination with a nonenveloped virus was best achieved by physical removal with a nonantimicrobial soap or tap water alone.

Somewhere in the middle, it also states:

Of all the hand hygiene agents, the most efficacious at reducing MS2 was the handwashing with tap water alone, followed by the nonantimicrobial soap handwash, and the 0.2% benzethonium chloride handwash.

And concludes:

In conclusion, our study shows that, at a short exposure time of 10 seconds, all agents with the exception of handwipes and a 60% ethyl alcohol handrub performed similar to nonantimicrobial and tap water controls with reductions of 1.15 to 2.01 log10 of Serratia marcescens. After 10 episodes, which evaluates the efficacy of agents following multiple episodes of contamination, handwashing agents with 0.75% CHG, 2% CHG, 4% CHG, 1% triclosan, 0.2% benzethonium chloride, nonantimicrobial soap hand-wash, and tap water alone were efficacious ($1.5 log10) in reduction of bacteria.

While this doesn't suggest that everyone should go throw out all their soap, it suggests that the idea soap is needed, required, or is playing an active role in keeping some crazy bacterial outbreak at bay is baseless. Using water alone appears to do the trick just fine - not just in my experience, but in the lab as well.

ID guns in movies better with IMFDB

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If you've spent the past 14 years wondering about the guns used by Nicolas Cage's character Castor Troy in the 1997 smash hit Face/Off, today just became the most important day of your life. Because I bet you never thought to look it up on the Internet Movie Firearms Database. Here, let me IMFDB that for you:

Castor Troy's (Nicolas Cage) weapons of choice are two gold titanium nitride plated Springfield Armory M1911-A1 V-10s fitted with custom gold inlaid grips, that he keeps in two small-of-the-back holsters. Among the obvious modifications to the guns include skeletonized hammers, beavertail grip safeties, ambidextrous slide stop safeties, target sites, moderately bevelled magazine wells, and V-10 ported slides/barrels.

Feel free to spend the rest of the day looking up any and every other gun you've ever seen on the silver screen. You're welcome. IMFDB [Thanks Siege]

El Guincho (music video, NSFW)

EL GUINCHO | Bombay from MGdM | Marc Gómez del Moral on Vimeo.

I can't really tell you what this music video is about, other than that it's totally rocking my world right now. Full warning, it's NSFW as it's got teh boobies, but they are gold painted and have sparklers, which I think makes them awesomer. There are subtitles for those of us who do not speak Spanish, but honestly I think it's better without knowing what's going on.

Banksy speaks about Exit, Thierry/Brainwash, and filmmaking

banksy.jpg When British street artist Banksy released his debut film Exit Through The Gift Shop it was interesting to see how much skepticism it met with among audiences and critics— many people instantly assumed it must be the punchline of a massive meta-prank. Understandable, given some of his history. But I knew many of the people in the film personally, and I knew it was completely legit.

(Backstory: I co-ran an art gallery and for many years worked closely with Shepard Fairey and Invader, and Thierry Guetta aka Mister Brainwash aka MBW was around frequently, camera in hand).

When talking to people about the film I constantly found myself trying to prove that Thierry really existed, which was amusing in its own right. Recently Banksy himself spoke with All These Wonderful Things about making the film, and some of the issues surrounding the project:

Thierry's entertainment potential wasn't difficult to spot - he actually walks into doors and falls down stairs. It was like hanging out with Groucho Marx but with funnier facial hair. Thierry arrived at a point when my world was becoming infested with hipsters and heavy irony, so his exuberant man-child innocence was fun to be around. Maybe I convinced myself Thierry was a good subject just because I liked him. I'd be lying if I told you the first time I met him I thought 'this man's life will deliver a good narrative arc'.

It's a great interview filled with some fantastic insight, well worth checking out. Story Link.

How To: Make a B-Boy Abe Lincoln out of a $5 Bill

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via i love charts

Jared Lee Loughner: social media footprints of Arizona shooting suspect

[Editors' note: Since this post was composed at 1230pm PT, additional reports have emerged about Jared Lee Loughner's web presence. Related reading: New York Times, Arizona Daily Star, Gawker, MSNBC. See also this related Boing Boing post with a full archive of Loughner's YouTube videos, and transcripts of the videos.]

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This is a screen shot of the "photos" page of Jared Lee Loughner's MySpace profile, which has since been removed from public view. Loughner has been identified as the suspect is believed to have shot Congresswoman Giffords and 9 others earlier today in a Safeway parking lot in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to the above photos, the MySpace account listed Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto as his favorite books. More screenshots are after the jump.

Loughner also recently created a YouTube Channel with several text-intensive videos. In this video posted in December, he specifically discusses terrorism around the 2:40 mark.

On Twitter, Caitie Parker of Oro Valley, AZ is claiming to have gone to high school and college with Loughner, and adds that she's been out of touch with him since 2007. She described his persona during high school as "left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy."

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TV-B-Gone jacket by Becky Stern

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Brooklyn based Becky Stern was invited to contribute to a fashion show at CES 2011, so she whipped up this jacket with a built in TV-B-Gone.

Wearable tech is cool to begin with, but when that technology is performs a function you'd actually want to use, it's even better— and if that function is turning off TVs in public, that's like a high-tech hat trick.

I'm going to try to make a version of this at the next eTextiles event at CRASHspace.

More pics of Becky's jacket are on Flickr.

Scott Blake's September 11th Flipbook

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Artist Scott Blake, best known for his Bar Code Art (featured previously on BB here and here), has been working on a new project inspired by the events of 9/11. From his site:

Scott Blake's 9/11 Flipbook, which allows viewers to watch a continuous reenactment of the attack on the Twin Towers, is undoubtedly frivolous and provocative. But the artist's intention reaches beyond mere provocation by hurting peoples' sensitivities or debasing their memories. Rather, Blake is interested in conducting research on the disparity of opinions and attitudes towards terrorist acts - a fact that is never discussed in the mainstream media. By recording the polyphony of voices in a book, the artist aims to unravel the dominant narrative surrounding this dramatic event.

Scott has provided the materials on his site for anyone to print out their own, but he's offering to send free copies to people who contribute essays or YouTube videos to the project. For people who don't want to contribute, he's also selling hand made, numbered and signed copies for $25 with a portion of the proceeds going to support Twin Towers Orphan Fund, Fire Department of New York, and International Red Cross.

Black Flag bassist Kira Roessler's custom bass guitar stolen

163031_10150369920610137_789110136_16747558_1651436_a.jpgThe Studio City, CA home of legendary bassist Kira Roessler (Black Flag, Dos) was broken into yesterday. Among the belongings reported stolen: her custom bass guitar. While losing any of one's possessions to theft is a huge bummer, this is *really* sad. According to The Groove Music Life:
The bass is a three-quarter-scale instrument custom-made by California-based luthier Mark Garza with a Rickenbacker-style body and Telecaster-style headstock with the name "Garz" on it; according to Kira there is also a small nick in the headstock. It is the only model of its kind in existence; it has been Roessler's main instrument for the past several years.

Hopefully, the uniqueness of this instrument will aid in identifying it if it turns up somewhere, and the odds of its return to Roessler are greater. If any Boing Boing readers happen to see it or have any leads, they're welcome in the comments.

WikiLeaks: cables indicate Japan asked USA for help fighting Sea Shepherd

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The Wall Street Journal notes that cables released by WikiLeaks show the Japanese government repeatedly asked the US for help against anti-whaling activist organization Sea Shepherd (covered many times on BoingBoing in the past). These repeated requests for assistance included asking the US to revoke the group's tax-exempt status as a nonprofit organization.

"Yamada inquired about an investigation into the tax status of the U.S.-based NGO Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and repeated Japan's request for the U.S. to take action against the organization, which he said created a very dangerous situation on the seas," according to the cable written by U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos in reference to Shuji Yamada, the vice minister of international affairs in the ministry of agricultural affairs, forestry and fisheries.
...
Japan has drawn international criticism for continuing whale hunting missions despite a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling set by the International Whaling Commission. Japan has said it is conducting "whale research," a crack in the ban that allows whales be caught for research purposes. Japanese whaling fleets depart for annual whaling hunts in the Southern Ocean in mid-November citing scientific research purposes. Critics say the real motive is to sell whale meat. The Japanese vessels kill over 500 whales each season.

Link to Wall Street Journal blog post
(via vegan.com)

I haven't used soap or shampoo in a year, and it's awesome: a personal experiment

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I stopped using soap a year ago. It was easily one of the best moves I've ever made in my entire flippin' life.

About this time last year I read an article (which Mark mentioned here as well) extolling the virtues of a soap-free bathing experience. TL;DR version: Your body is designed to regulate itself. Smearing chemicals all over it wrecks its own built-in processes, and screws with naturally balanced pH levels. This made sense to me and I thought I'd give it a shot for a month.

At the beginning of February 2010, I blogged about the results I'd seen so far. I didn't stink at all (confirmed by friends, family and random people I ended up sitting next to on various forms of public transit), my skin felt better, oily and dry patches had all but disappeared and the light dandruff I'd had my entire life was almost gone. I was pleased with the results of my month experiment and decided I'd run with it for a while longer. As of January 1, 2011: it's been a year now, and I can't imagine ever going back.

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Cute, friendly, non-threatening bear hat

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Adorable! Wait... O_o

Get your hands all over one from CatchaKuma for $24.99.

Rad Rap Photoshop Tutorial from CMY KILLA

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Suck at photoshop? No worries, CMY KILLA is about to drop some science on you with a little help from his crew Masta Bevel, Lens Flare, Filter Phil, DJ Dodge, MC Burn, Rastorvizer, and the rest. They have more filters than a T-Pain album and will have your mock ups bangin' in no time.

What's that? You have a question? Yo, shut up fool, no talkin when I'm shoppin' that's the number one rule!

Video Link (Thanks Luke)

Welcome to 2011. You have 5 months until the end of the world.

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If you are one of those crazy people who believes the world will end in 2012, you've been sucked in by dumb Hollywood propaganda. Or so says civil engineer Harold Camping, who has done a bunch of math with calculators and The Bible, and has determined that the world will actually end on May 21, 2011. If you haven't been to Graceland yet, better step up those travel plans!

Spokeo may know more about you than you realize

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Spokeo is a new site that claims to not be your "grandma's phonebook." This is because it pulls a ton of info about you from all over the web into one place. And I mean a ton. More than you might be comfortable with, in fact.

But luckily, it appears you can "remove your Spokeo listing from public searches for free" by following these simple instructions.

Also!: If you visit spokeo.com for any reason, you may want to delete any browser cookies from "spokeo" afterwards. It seems they install a grip of them. (Thanks for the heads-up, Chris Hardwick)

Partnership for a Drug Free America Straight Edge TV Spots

Here are two long-lost Partnership for a Drug Free America produced video spots about Straight Edge. I'm not sure when these were made, but judging by the band logos in some of the shots, I'm going to guess mid to late 90's. This is noteworthy because until 1997, most of PDFA's funding came from Alcohol and Tobacco companies. After '97, they distanced themselves from those companies, but continue to receive much funding from pharmaceutical companies.

While anything spreading the word about Straight Edge is good, this is amusing because the legal and socially acceptable drugs SxE is most associated with being outspoken against (alcohol and tobacco) are the same drugs PFDA spent so many years ignoring while trying to make the public think of "drugs" as only the illegal stuff. Of course, once the major cash from those companies got cut off, so did the PFDAs public profile. When was the last time you saw one of those "this is your brain on drugs" ads?

[ Video Link #1 | Video Link #2 ]

UPDATE: My friend Guav was apparently involved with this and I didn't even notice. Some friend I am. Anyway, he writes...

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Breathtaking photo essay of the Paris Metro

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Over at Sleepy City, an absolutely amazing photo essay of the Paris Metro including all the stations you probably know about, many you don't, and some that have not been accessed by the outside world for more than 50 years. The gallery includes shots of vacant trains sitting at many of these unused stations, including some of the original 1903 Spragues. I could look at photos like this all day long. (Thanks Harold!)

Vice Guide to the Business of War

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My longtime friend Jason Mojica (Director of Christmas in Darfur) has been working with Vice Magazine on their video series "Guide to Everything." Together, they recently checked out the world's largest trade show for selling military-grade weapons. You know how video game people flock to e3 to find out how bad ass and realistic the new 'Call of Duty' is going to be a year before it's released? That's like this, but for bombs that really explode, and really kill people. He writes:

"We all know that the international arms trade exists. We know that people manufacture, buy, and sell military-grade weapons with the blessing of our respective governments. But until you've seen the eerily cordial nature of an arms fair up close, you'll never understand just how far removed from the reality of war the industry is. In this segment Vice magazine's founder Shane Smith heads to SOFEX (Special Operations Forces Expo) in Jordan, where you could mistake the mustachioed men nibbling on teacakes for a group of anesthesiologists at a medical conference... if their chests weren't covered in medals and they weren't debating which weapons system to spend their "foreign aid" checks on."

Good news is the episode is online. Bad news is it's flash-only and not embeddable, so you'll have to go to MTV.com to watch it. But you really should, at least the first segment about SOFEX because it's totally nuts and more people need to know how this business works. Also, if you are the kind of dude who wants to pimp out your Jeep with some missile this is relevant to your interests.

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Freeman Transport Pouch Set: spiffy bags from hand-built bicycle makers

bagsdetail.jpg Earlier this year I ordered a new bike from Freeman Transport - I really dug their style, and figured the compact-ability would match my travel-dense lifestyle better than a one-piece frame—without having to resort to a folding bike. My frame is still being custom built (I'll write about it here when it's delivered!), but since ordering it, I've been in touch with the guys at Freeman Transport and am increasingly impressed with the classic, understated style in everything they produce.

Today I was pleasantly surprised when the mailman delivered a holiday gift from them: their recently back-in-stock pouch set. Now, admittedly, I may be biased because I didn't have to throw down any cash for these. But holy crap they are so much nicer than the photos on their website suggest. And those photos really make them really look nice.

The waxed canvas outside and hickory lining makes each bag feel sturdy enough to carry anything you can fit inside. At the same time, they're gentle enough to protect electronics and things you might worry about scratching or getting banged around. The largest size bag is *just* a little too small to fit my 13" MacBook Air (bummer), but would probably be perfect for the 11" model (or one of the older 12" PowerBooks if you happen to still rock one of those) or any number of other smaller notebooks. The smallest size is certainly big enough to hold a small digicam. For an organizational freak like me, these are total crack. They are definitely going into my main travel bag setup right away. And if you see me in person anytime in the next few weeks let me apologize right now for however much of your time I waste talking about how cool these are.

More photos follow.

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Life-sized Patrick Swayze wax figure: Dalton from "Road House"

wax.jpgIf you've spent the last 20 years wishing every day you had a life sized (6' 2") wax figure of Dalton, Patrick Swayze's dashing character from the 1989 smash hit Road House then you might want to stop reading this and step away from the computer for a while so your whole world doesn't come crashing down because you found out you missed your chance.

That is— unless you are the lucky duck who won just such a figure at auction recently. Logan Fleming made it, and according to the listing, this bad boy "sports his famous flowing 1980s hair style, khaki pants, and short sleeve black polo shirt." It's worth noting that shoes were not included, so if you bought this figure, the shoes must be obtained separately—the listing doesn't specify what shoe size the figure requires. No word on the final selling price, either.

[Thanks Agent M]

Harry Potter actress in hiding after death threats

afshanazad.jpgAfshan Azad, the 22 year old actress who played Padma Patil in the Harry Potter series, has gone into hiding after receiving death threats from her family.

According to BBC News, her older brother recently admitted physically attacking her - though CBS (via UK tabloid The Daily Mail) notes that at the time, he seemed to be more concerned with how the arrest would make his family look in public. The court cleared him and his father of the charges of making death threats. Apparently, Ms. Azad is dating a Hindu fellow, and this has angered her conservative Muslim family, and most notably her brother.

AOL News has more details about the attack and death threats, as well as why Ms. Azad is refusing to testify against them.

My son sucks at Drop 7

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I know it's bad form to brag and all, but I can totally kick my son Ripley's ass at Drop 7. Sure you could argue that he's only 10 months old, but then you'd just be trying to steal my glory. Jerk.

Andy Rash's Iotacons are pixelated awesomeness

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Brooklyn-based illustrator and author (of classics like the fantastic "Ten Little Zombies: A Love Story") Andy Rash has been making super low res portraits that are short on pixels but packed with awesome. He's calling them Iotacons (with an "i," as in "iota," in case you're reading this in a sans serif font). Subjects include pop culture characters, like all the main figures from the Star Wars trilogy (empire pictured above), the Indiana Jones films, TV shows like Star Trek, individual portraits like Sacha Baron Cohen and Roger Moore and politicos such as The Supreme Court (below) and the entire freakin' senate. Nice work Andy!

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To do tonight in LA: WikiLeaks Wednesday at CRASH Space

wikileaks.jpgTonight, at 8PM, the Los Angeles hackerspace CRASH Space (of which I'm a member) will be hosting the first WikiLeaks Wednesday. This will be part symposium, part round table discussion, part open forum. Anyone interested in this topic who wants to talk about it or ask questions about it in person, to others who are also interested and possibly more familiar with some aspects of the issues, should come out. If you think Wikipedia is the same thing as WikiLeaks and they both hate Mastercard and the guy behind it all is already in jail for it, then you should definitely come out. This event is open to the public, but space is limited so if you want a seat inside (away from the rain), get there early. It may be live streamed as well, stay tuned to the space's twitter stream for updates.

CRASH Space is located at 10526 Venice Blvd, in Culver City, CA 90232. Admission is free but donations of $10 are encouraged as CRASH Space is entirely membership/donation funded and relies on the support of visitors to keep the doors open.

Little clip is brilliant solution to "pocket bulge"

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I hate carrying stuff around in my pockets, and am obsessed with EDC and making sure the few things I do carry are multipurpose/functional/awesome enough to justify the pocket space they take up. I also have one of those stupid giant car key thingys in the above photo which never fit nicely in a pocket and always result in bulging. Unless of course you get one of these handy P-7 Suspension Clips. Also works for big giant bulky keychains. You could probably fashion one on your own out of an old metal ruler or some over sized paperclips, but for $12 this is a simple solution to a major headache.