This video first hit the internets last year—but it's no less cool now. From the description:
Father and Son team launch an iphone into space. The iphone along with a HD camera were lifted up to an altitude of 100 000ft above New York using a helium filled balloon. At this atitude the weather balloon burst and sent the iphone, camera and burst container hurtling towards the earth at 150mph even with the parachute open! Thanks to the iPhones internal GPS, the capsule and its contents were located intact in a tree 30 miles north of the liftoff site!
Unfortunately it's covered with crappy ads and has a mountain of keyword spam on YouTube, but it's still a great video. (Thanks Glen)
(inside captions, left image: "If I had a heart I'd give it to you." Right image: "Another step closer to the grave")
My hunt for the perfect greeting cards has come to a triumphant end. Dark & Somber Greeting (Etsy shop) is pretty much everything I could have ever hoped for. Valentines and Birthday cards shown above.
Toby Morse, singer for the NYC Hardcore band H20 has spent the better part of the last year or so building up his One Life One Chance project. Inspired by the creativity and positivity he experienced in the punk / hardcore scene over so many years, Toby decided to create a vehicle to share that message with school age children across the country. Adopting the Bad Brains' PMA (positive mental attitude) as his slogan, he spoke at schools and spread the word in 2010, and plans to do the same and more in 2011.
His message is largely his own story about being straight edge and being in the band H2O. While he does talk about the upside of sober living, the bigger point seems to be the power of positive thinking and accepting people even when they are different than you. I think this is such a better approach than the old "Just Say No" or DARE campaigns. If you work at or with a school, check this out and consider having him come speak to your kids!
RJD2 has just released his new album 'we are the doorways' as his alter-ego The Insane Warrior. As he explains in this blog post, the album was inspired by endless hours on Netflix watching 1975-1984 era scifi and horror movies; in a sense, this new album is the soundtrack to a movie that was never made.
And that's where you fit into this equation.
Tara Brown (aka my wife) was inspired by his post idea, so she set up a fan/submission site where anyone can send in cool things they've done with the album. Visual, audio, whatever. You can make the movie for which this album is the soundtrack. Or make a video for one of the songs, or make anything, really. RJ thought this was rad too, and offered to, some point in the future, will pick his favorite submission(s) and dish out a bunch of prizes. You can submit stuff here.
This project is completely fan-made, but has the endorsement of the artist. That is pretty cool. I wish more artists would be open to collaborating like this instead of just dishing out the cease and desists.
Duke University has a digital library of vintage television commercials spanning some three decades, from the 1950s to the 1980s. The body of work in this collection includes ads for once-classic and now obscure brands like Super Bravo, Fluffo, Byrrh, Heart of Oats, Klean n Shine, Virex, Ansco and others, as well as brands still common today: Avis, Bounce, Charmin and something weird called Maxwell House.
You can browse the collection online and watch the commercials right in iTunes, and even subscribe to a specific brand and pull down every commercial they aired during those years. Check out Duke's AdViews. (Thanks Tara)
Google and other search engines track what users search; over time, the data collected can be pretty revealing, so much so that the DOJ wants access. For the most part, privacy policies are only as good as the lawyers backing them, and "law of the land" can trump anything. And all of that adds up to worrisome prospects for all of us.
That's the approach Starting Page is taking. Starting today, they claim to serve as a sort of middle-man between you and Google that keeps no records or data on their own at all. So even if they were subpoenaed by, say, the DoJ, they'd have none of your search data to hand over. And all Google knows is someone made a search from Starting Page, but there's no way for them to know whose searches are whose. Starting Page even has a Firefox plugin that uses HTTPS for the browser search bar.
If you've ever purchased a Swiss army knife, you know the hardest part of choosing your knife is just figuring out which one fits your needs best.
Do you need this blade or that saw? A magnifying glass or a USB stick? Corkscrew or scissors?
Well, what if you didn't have to choose? Quirky is selling an interesting take on this idea with the Switch:
Switch is the ultimate modular pocketknife, with 17 different attachments so you can mix and match your most frequently used tools. Customize your Switch's width by swapping out the inner axles, or group your tools into different "themes" — home, office, outdoors, etc.
It's not dirt cheap, but then again, a quality Swiss army knife isn't either. I'd be interested to see one in person, the concept images are nice, but a real photo would be a bit more informative. Check it out here.
This is a fantastic mini-documentary (about 8 minutes) about vegan straight edge tattoo artist Maneko from Brazil. Some great thoughts about appreciating the good things in life to help you get through the bad times.
As unrest continues to grow in Egypt, so, too, does the number of people who are missing and unaccounted for. Samer Karam and Dara Mouracade have put together a shared spreadsheet with information about missing people and when/where they were last seen (as well as links to their online profiles and accounts). If anyone has any information about these folks please reach out to Samer or Dara and help update the list, or help pass it on so that it hopefully ends up in the hands of someone who does have info.
On Thursday Jan 27th at 22:34 UTC the Egyptian Government effectively removed Egypt from the internet. Nearly all inbound and outbound connections to the web were shut down. The internet intelligence authority Renesysexplains it here and confirms that "virtually all of Egypt's Internet addresses are now unreachable, worldwide." This has never happened before in the entire history of the internet, with a nation of this size. A block of this scale is completely unheard of, and Senator Joe Lieberman wants to be able to do the same thing in the US.
This isn't a new move, last year Senators Lieberman and Collins introduced a fairly far-reaching bill that would allow the US Government to shut down civilian access to the internet should a "Cybersecurity Emergency" arise, and keep it offline indefinitely. That version of the bill received some criticism though Lieberman continued to insist it was important. The bill, now referred to as the 'Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act' (PCNAA) has been revised a bit and most notably now removes all judicial oversight. This bill is still currently circulating and will be voted on later this year. Lieberman has said it should be a top priority.
Mother Jones has a fantastic play-by-play explaining the situation right now in Egypt, and there are reports that some people using Tor are able to skirt around the governmental blocks.
This is something Americans should be paying very close attention to. Think about your daily life and how big a role the internet plays in it. Now think about what it would be like if one person had the authority to turn that off completely. If you can't imagine what that would be like you aren't alone. A week ago this was a hypothetical scenario. Now, you can just ask an Egyptian citizen what that feels like. Pay close attention to what happens with this bill.