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Susannah Breslin

I'm a writer and blogger.

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Fucking hell: Link

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Life saving HIV treatment: Three problems, one solution: Link (via @msf_uk)

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Scintillation: Link

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Put on a happy face: Link

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Mirrors soothe phantom limp pain: Link

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Lissy Trullie, "Ready for the Floor," Richard Kern: Link

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unofficial "Into the Wild" title sequence created by 21-year-old Dutch design student: Link

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Joy Division, "Transmission," steel drum bus thing: Link

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Antony and the Johnsons cover Beyonce's "Crazy in Love": Link

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Bye-bye, Boing Boing!

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

And so ends my guestblogging stint here on Boing Boing. Thank you so much to Xeni, David, Cory, and Mark for having me! It was a delight, an honor, and a thrill.

I leave you with this awesome video created by Lieutenant Commander Spencer Abbot, who shot this footage from the cockpit of an F/A-18 Hornet with a fiber optic camera stuck to his helmet.

This is a video of a Navy F/A-18 Hornet tanking from Air Force KC-10's and KC-135's (the KC-135 is particularly challenging-- pilots call it the "Iron Maiden"). In turbulent weather, especially at night, tanking can be even tougher than landing on the ship. The basket is heavy, and it can damage the plane if it strikes it, to include shattering the canopy. One can only imagine the amusement of the tanker crews (to whom we're very grateful) as they watch us flail around on a bumpy day.

More videos here, including "an amazing low-level through the Cascades that pilots call 'The Million-Dollar Ride.'"

As for me, you can find me here. Thanks, Boingers!

Rampaging toilet terrorizes children

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

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Apparently, Colorado's Denver Water is trying to get people to make sure that they don't overuse their toilets, or some such thing. No running toilets. No excessive flushing. No leaky toilets. That's what I gather, at least.

So, I guess they have some kind of toilet mascot? The "Running Toilet"? That pretty much amounts to a man in a toilet suit? Which sounds sort of unpleasant?

According to The Latest Word, Mr. Toilet got all crazy last weekend and bum-rushed a big water fountain where a bunch of kids were playing, spreading its "Use Only What You Need" toilet message hither and yon, while the kids were trying to play.

I don't think the toilet meant to scare them, but you have to admit that a giant toilet appearing out of nowhere and running through the fountain is a bit weird.

Agreed. Don't let the toilet terrorists win, kiddies, or we all lose. (Via Copyranter. Image via The Latest Word.)

Bonus link dedicated to Xeni "MJFan4RVR" Jardin: Toiletman moonwalking.

The Valley

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

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I took these photos on the set of an adult movie in the San Fernando Valley this April. It was April 10th, to be exact. Which is my birthday. Why I was on the set of an adult movie on my birthday is another story altogether. The story of my life.

The location was a hideous brown building in Canoga Park, not far from Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, where rocket engines are built and in front of which sits a giant rocket engine as if it has fallen out of the sky. Both sides of the soundstage were lined with themed rooms: a shower room, a weight room, a sex dungeon. That day's scene would take place on one of the ugliest adult movie sets that I have ever seen: pea soup-colored walls, a diarrhea-colored leather sofa, a faux wood floor. All the flowers were fake.

The name of the movie was "Interactive Sex with Tori Black." The director explained: "We were going to go with 'Existential Musings of a Porn Star,' but we thought we'd dumb it down. If you want to have sex with Tori Black and don't have chloroform, this is your next best option."

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Condition: Critical: Children of the Democratic Republic of Congo Speak

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

Condition: Critical is an amazing website that focuses on those affected by the ongoing war in eastern Congo. The site was created by Médecins Sans Frontières, otherwise known as Doctors Without Borders, an international medical humanitarian organization that works in 60 countries around the world to combat the tragic consequences of war, violence, and famine.

Condition: Critical turns the spotlight on war-torn North and South Kivu with videos, photos, and first-person testimonies from the men, women, children, and medical relief workers who are experiencing what is happening there firsthand.

Life isn't just hard in eastern Congo: this region is in critical condition. And things aren't getting any better. The destiny of everyone in this region is shaped by war and violence. The story of their struggle to survive needs to be told.

(Jeffrey Gettleman has been doing a remarkable job of chronicling the war for The New York Times. He reported on the use of rape as a war tactic in the DRC here and here.)

A new video series on Condition: Critical brings to life the tragedies being inflicted upon the region's children. In "Survive," "Express," and "Fight," we hear from children who are struggling to survive the conflict around them.

If you'd like to donate to MSF, you can do so here. The MSF YouTube channel is here.

Condition: Critical.

Dan Witz' "Dark Doings"

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

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What are you doing this summer? Artist Dan Witz is creating a New York City street art series that he calls Dark Doings.

He tells Wooster Collective:

"I don't think I've ever been as excited as I am about this work I'm doing now... I'm calling it, "Dark Doings", inspired by my recent time in Amsterdam's red light district."

Dark Doings.

The art of horse puppetry

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

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The New York Times has a story on these beautiful horse "puppets" that appear in a play in London called War Horse: "Making Horses Gallop and Audiences Cry."

The horses are seven feet tall, and each requires three human puppeteers working within the body of the puppet to tell the story of an impoverished British boy who loses his horse to a British officer who rides the beast to battle in World War I.

The ears of the horses, for instance, are driven by bicycle brake cables and are capable of a 180-degree sweep. The tail is controlled by three cables acting as tendons, producing a movement based on the actual anatomy of a horse. And the curling of the lower leg and hoof, as the horse raises its leg, is controlled by so-called passive tendons, loose cables that are moved first by the puppeteers and then by sheer gravity.

What makes the horse puppets seem truly alive is the way they appear to breathe -- an accomplishment that Mr. Kohler described as "a complicated effect that ended in a simple solution."

"Because the spine of the horses is supported by backpacks worn by the puppeteers inside, the chest manipulator" -- the puppeteer handling the chest and front legs -- "simply has to bend and straighten his knees, allowing the torso of the horse to raise and lower," simulating breathing, Mr. Kohler said.

Making Horses Gallop and Audiences Cry. (Image credit: Andrew Testa/The New York Times.)

Major Lazer video for "Hold the Line," featuring Mr. Lexx and Santigold

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

Xeni, I see your laser portraits and raise you a Gunz Don't Kill People Lazers Do! Wacky video for "Hold the Line" directed by Ferry Gouw. (Maybe some NSFW language; hard to tell. Via Submarine Channel.)

Doll, haunted, $22.49

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

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The other day, io9 posted about Significant Objects, a project I wrote about here.

In the comments, one "eviladrian" wrote: "Try searching ebay for 'haunted dolls,'" and included this link.

Suffice to say, if you're in the market for a haunted doll, today is your lucky day.

This is one of the MANY dolls given to me by my Grandmother,her name is JENNA. JENNA IS THE LOVING POSITIVE SPIRIT OF A 9 YEAR OLD LITTLE GIRL. LITTLE JENNA HAD A ROUGH SHORT LIFE. HER FATHER RAPED, AND BEAT HER ON A DAILY BASIS. AS A VICTIM OF HER FATHERS TORTURE SHE HAD NO ONE TO TALK TO ABOUT IT. SHE WAS ALL ALONE, HER MOTHER PASSED AWAY DURING HER BIRTH, AND LEFT JENNA WITH HER FATHER A MONSTER. IF JENNA DIDNT DO SOMETHING TO HER FATHERS LIKING LIKE CLEAN HER BEDROOM, SHE KNEW WHAT AWAITED, SHE WOULD BE THRASHED SEVERLY THEN HANDCUFFED IN HER BEDROOM CLOSET WITH NO RESTROOM PRIVALAGES, NO FOOD, NOTHING. THE ABUSE BEGAN WHILE JENNA WAS ONLY 2 AND CONTINUED UNTIL THE DAY SHE PASSED. JENNA WAS COURAGEOUS AND WAS AFFRAID TO ESCAPE, HER FATHER WOULD TELL HER THAT SHE WOULD NOT BE BELIEVED AND THAT THEY WOULD ONLY TAKE HER AWAY TO A PLACE MORE HORRIBLE THEN WHERE SHE LIVED. JENNA BROKE DOWN, AND COULD NOT HANDLE THE ABUSE ANY LONGER. ON THE DAY AFTER HER NINTH BIRTHDAY, SHE TOOK AN OVERDOSE OF PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE HER FATHER HAD, SHE WENT TO SLEEP AND NEVER WOKE UP.~IF YOU FEEL A CONNECTION TO JENNA THEN YOU SHOULD BID, YOU COULD BE THE ONE DESTINED TO WATCH OVER HER AND KEEP HER SAFE FROM HARM!~

Prospective bidders, please note: "These dolls and their spirit hosts do not perform on command, they are the vessel of live spirits, from someone who lived and attached their spirits with the doll for some reason or another." Also? Her Aunt Celeste "read" the dolls. Finally, "Due to the fact that paranormal item or items are involved in this sale, I am 'forced' by Ebay's rules and regulations to make the following statement: this is for entertainment purposes only."

See you at the auction!

*HAUNTED DOLL~JENNA~9 YRS OLD~VERY ACTIVE SPIRIT~L@@K!*

Do the robot

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

R. U. Sirius sends word of the latest on going cyborgian. Whether you're a newly manufactured robosupermodel or a goth with a technofetish, man-made parts are the new black.

It turns out that the human body may adapt well to such Borg-like accessorization. A recent study in Current Biology by Alessandro Farné and Lucilla Cardinali of the University of Claude Bernard in Lyon, France suggests that the brain can incorporate cyborg additions -- a cyborg arm or other body part -- into its body schema.

"Since the origin of the concept of body schema, the idea of its functional plasticity has always been taken for granted, even if no direct evidence has been provided until now," says Farné. "Our series of experiments provides the first, definitive demonstration that this century-old intuition is true."

Using a mechanical grabber that extended their reach, subjects behaved as though their arms really were longer. What's more, they perceived touches delivered on the elbow and middle fingertip of their arm as if they were farther apart after using the grabbing tool.

"Strike a Pose, Cyborg!" (Thanks, RU!)

Storefronts of a fading New York

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

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From Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York by James and Karla Murray. Selections from the series will be on view at Clic Bookstore & Gallery, July 15 through August 30, 255 Centre Street, New York City.

Hmm. Maybe that wasn't such a good idea after all.

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

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UFC fighter Frank Mir exhibits the unfortunate consequences of what happens when you step into the ring with six-foot-three, 265-pound human monster Brock Lesnar after last night's UFC 100 heavyweight bout.

If UFC 100 represents mainstream, the world has changed.

Brock Lesnar, the former World Wrestling Entertainment fighter and current UFC heavyweight champion, battered Frank Mir in a second-round knockout to set aside a festering year of bitterness.

With a likely million more watching on pay-per-view, Lesnar gave the 11,000-plus a doubly obscene hand gesture and stood firm as the disdain continued.

"Lesnar, St-Pierre claim victories at UFC 100." (Image credit: John Locher/Associated Press.)

In the eye of the beholder

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

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From "Eye of the Beholder" by Anton Kusters:

I'm in the front seat, riding with Soichiro in his car on his way to Shinjuku. "One cuts off one's finger to make a point", Soichiro explains while driving. "Usually to show the sincerity of an apology after doing something wrong."

"You cut off a single digit of your own finger in a ceremonial way, while facing your boss, and then you present the severed finger on a folded napkin to him. It reinforces the power of your apology. It shows that you're serious about what you're saying."

Somehow, i don't feel like questioning that.

"Eye of the Beholder," "Meet Soichiro," "As Light Shines on Thy Thigh." (Image credit: Anton Kusters. Via This Isn't Happiness.)

The Significant Objects project

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

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A while back, I received an email from Rob Walker, a friend, the author of Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are, and the guy who writes the "Consumed" column for the New York Times Magazine. With a friend of his, Joshua Glenn, who wrote Taking Things Seriously: 75 Objects with Unexpected Significance, he was working on a new project: Significant Objects.

The idea is this:

A talented, creative writer invents a story about an object. Invested with new significance by this fiction, the object should -- according to our hypothesis -- acquire not merely subjective but objective value. How to test our theory? Via eBay!

Each writer, Rob explained, would choose from a variety of "junk" objects bought by the curators at garage sales and thrift stores. A smiling mug. A Sanka ashtray. A JFK bust. Then, we would write a short story about the object. Whatever we liked. A fiction. Thereby, at least as I saw it, imbuing this seeming "worthless" object with a greater value, sentimental or otherwise. The story and a photo of the object would be posted on the website and put up for auction on eBay. Readers would be invited to bid on the item. If they won the auction, they would win the object and a printout of the story. No one would be "deceived" into believing the stories about the objects were true, as their fictional relationship would be made clear, and the proceeds of the auction would go to the author, who would retain the rights to the story. Or, as Rob puts it: "Voila! An unremarkable, castoff thingamajig has suddenly become a 'significant' object!"

I chose the All-American Official Necking Team button that you see here. The story I wrote about it has bits of truth and fiction mixed together. My paternal grandfather did die on the IRT and my father was a tall man, but I am not a boy and, so far as I know, my father was never on a "necking team."

After he had passed away, my mother and I had stood over the dining room table upon which sat a large box that contained what was left of him. Cremains, the man had called them. My father, I had longed to correct him. Thankfully, my mother had been willing to share what remained of him with me, his only son. My father was a skyscraper of a man -- six-foot-five, Ozymandias hands, a brooding forehead -- a great man, really -- and so, he had left a great deal of himself behind.

Other writers with story objects include Luc Sante, Ben Greenman, Stewart O'Nan, Kurt Anderson, and there's one coming from Boing Boing's own Mark Frauenfelder.

Check out Significant Objects here, read about the project here, and see all the items on eBay here. You can read my story here and bid on it here. More coverage here: The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The New Yorker.

Guinea pig hair comb and other taxidermied accessories

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

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Nothing says you are at the height of fashion like a dead, taxidermied guinea pig hair comb, I always say. UK-based dead animal designer Reid Peppard has created an entire line of no longer living beastly accessories and jewelry. Among my favorites: the pigeon wings headdress, the mouse and rat's head cuff links, and the jewel-encrusted hissing white rat clutching a silver skull headband. (Via the always awesome Refinery 29 Pipeline)

Transformer Chewy

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

An MTV International promotional spot created by Universal Everything starring a Mister Furry with whom I would like to cuddle. (Via Copyranter)

An interview with Sarah May Scott

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

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(Self-portrait by Sarah May Scott)

At Mayday Productions, blogger Sarah Scott writes about life with a spinal cord injury. Her writing is searingly honest, brutally revealing, and wickedly self-aware.

The after is where it really gets grand, gets epic, gets to where one memoir could never be enough. Truly epic shit doesn't start to go down until the very moment you decide to start living again, to start crawling your way back into the light and out of the darkness. I know enough to know now I'll never fully leave the darkness completely, but the reprieves at this point seem to be enough to keep me going for now. sometimes. But no one wants to hear about the after, because it doesn't arc as much as it shakes and shudders in fits and spurts until eventually you recognize an ersatz normalcy has filled the void you left somewhere in all the fallout.

I interviewed her for Boing Boing about life in a wheelchair, if she considers herself a cyborg, and her plans on becoming a female Hardiman.

SB: Tell me your story.

SS: The story that everyone wants to know from the start is why I use a wheelchair. I was 29, one minute racing my road bike, and the next "tits up in a ditch" and a paraplegic. That was nearly four years ago. Prior to that, I was your basic hot mess, but that's a longer story than there is room for here. I will say that PTSD has figured in for a longer time than I ever realized until I was injured. For once in my life, and this always sounds crazy, but after everything I've been through I actually like who I am for the first time in my life, chair and all.

I am a small-town girl from State College, PA, though I spent some time in NYC and Philadelphia before returning after my accident. These days I live in a very rural area with my crazy mutts.

SB: Are you a cyborg?

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Hello, space rendezvous

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

I'm not sure what this video about, but I'm pretty sure it has to do with astrophysics. "Docking," by Mato Atom, who describes himself as a "hobby astronomer without a telescope." (Thanks, Matt!)

Sci-fi couture on the runway

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

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A little "Blade Runner," a little "Metropolis," a little "Coneheads," things got science-fiction-inspired on the Jean Paul Gaultier runway yesterday during the Fall 2009 Paris couture shows. (Image credit: Left and right: Monica Feudi; center: Simone Manzo)

Watch out for that lampshade!

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

If you liked "RoboGeisha," you'll love "Hausu"! I don't know anything about this movie, except that it was made in 1977, it involves a murderous lampshade, and you should probably not watch it if you don't like blood fountains, disembodied body parts, light fixtures, screaming cats, screaming cat paintings, or screaming cat paintings spewing blood. Maybe in the comments somebody would like to tell us what they're hollering about? Probably NSFW due to some disembodied boobs. (Via Buzzfeed)

Man, our president is cool.

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

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The Big Picture takes a big pixel look back at President Obama's first 167 days in office. He looks cool in pretty much every picture. Well played, Barry, well played. (Image credit: Samantha Appleton)

Fun times for the Bicycle Film Festival

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

Sure, it's a tad Bat for Lashes, but who's keeping track? This delightful promo spot for the Bicycle Film Festival, a "celebration of bicycles through film, art, and music" underway in Minneapolis as of today through July 12, was brought to you by this isn't happiness, one of my favorite blogs.