Xeni Jardin

Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: xeni@boingboing.net.

Europa, extreme shrimp, and the search for alien life

NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab just published two interesting new videos about the search for life beyond Earth.

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Rare Samurai Swords and Arms up for bid in online Christie's auction

blue-laced domaru gusoku (armor) HELMET SIGNED TAKAYOSHI, MUROMACHI PERIOD (16TH CENTURY) MOUNTED EDO PERIOD (17TH CENTURY)


blue-laced domaru gusoku (armor)
HELMET SIGNED TAKAYOSHI, MUROMACHI PERIOD (16TH CENTURY) MOUNTED EDO PERIOD (17TH CENTURY)

The auction house Christie’s has announced its first online-only 'Samurai Sale.'

This collection of Samurai swords dates from around 1400 to the late 19th century, and includes the rare and important work by Tadahiro of Hizen province shown above: a ceremonial sword made in 1632.

Also included: suits of armor, helmets and tsuba (sword guards) that feature finely inlaid and carved designs depicting figures from legend, history, and popular culture.

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Along with the online auction, there's a great interview with Victor Harris. He is former Keeper of the Department of Japanese Antiquities at the British Museum in London, and author of such books as Shinto: The Sacred Art of Ancient Japan, and Cutting Edge: Japanese Swords in the British Museum. Harris is also the translator of A Book of Five Rings by Musashi Miyamoto (c. 1584–1645), the master swordsman and legendary strategist.

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And don't miss the related interview with Japanese film legend “Lone Wolf” Tatsuya Nakadai, who discusses sword fighting and how he learned to play some of the greatest Samurai roles of all time.

A rare and important Hizen katana (sword) SIGNED HIZEN KUNI NO JU FUJIWARA TADAHIRO (TADAYOSHI I; 1574 -1632),


A rare and important Hizen katana (sword)
SIGNED HIZEN KUNI NO JU FUJIWARA TADAHIRO (TADAYOSHI I; 1574 -1632),

A suji kabuto (helmet) and menpo (face mask) HELMET SIGNED MYOCHIN KI (NO) MUNEKATA, MENPO SIGNED MYOCHIN KI (NO) MUNEHO, EDO PERIOD (C. 1845)


A suji kabuto (helmet) and menpo (face mask)
HELMET SIGNED MYOCHIN KI (NO) MUNEKATA, MENPO SIGNED MYOCHIN KI (NO) MUNEHO, EDO PERIOD (C. 1845)

A round shakudo tsuba SIGNED GOTO MITSUTAKA (1721-1784) WITH KAO (CURSIVE MONOGRAM), EDO PERIOD (18TH CENTURY)


A round shakudo tsuba
SIGNED GOTO MITSUTAKA (1721-1784) WITH KAO (CURSIVE MONOGRAM), EDO PERIOD (18TH CENTURY)

A rounded oblong iron tsuba SIGNED AND DATED KAEI ROKU MI MOSHUN KORE KOKU (CARVED IN THE SPRING 1853) ...BUTSUSAI SHUNKYO


A rounded oblong iron tsuba
SIGNED AND DATED KAEI ROKU MI MOSHUN KORE KOKU (CARVED IN THE SPRING 1853) ...BUTSUSAI SHUNKYO

Jupiter's moon Europa, as you've never seen it before

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NASA has issued a new image of Jupiter's moon, Europa.

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Snowpocalypse 2014 in photos: Wow, much snows. Many cold.

Tom Wilczak shovels snow from the roof of his home following a storm in Buffalo, New York November 20, 2014.   REUTERS/Aaron Lynett


Tom Wilczak shovels snow from the roof of his home following a storm in Buffalo, New York November 20, 2014. REUTERS/Aaron Lynett

Western New York is buried in much of the snows. Here are photos. At least 8 people have died due to the intense wintry blasts burying Buffalo and neighboring areas in layers of cold.

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Blood-thieving bandits mistakenly steal samples infected with Ebola

Ebola Virus at 108,000 Magnification. The Los Angeles bus passenger is not believed to have actually contained this virus within his person.


Ebola Virus at 108,000 Magnification. The Los Angeles bus passenger is not believed to have actually contained this virus within his person.

Bandits in Guinea robbed a taxi and ran off with blood samples believed to be infected with the deadly Ebola virus.

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California couple arrested on drug charges after feds trace their IPs as having accessed Silk Road

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Marijuana_free Department of Justice officials say a couple in Northern California couple have been indicted on federal drug charges related to the Silk Road 2.0 “dark Web” drug market after agents traced their internet activity.

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Meet Feminist Hacker Barbie, avenger of girl nerds

So great: Feminist Hacker Barbie, a viral response to the total sexist disaster that was the Barbie “computer engineer” book. Follow the hashtag.

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Can e-cigs give you cancer? Maybe. Can e-cigs give you malware? Maybe.

Dude inhaling the intoxicating vapor of malware from a sneaky vector for ill-intentioned code. [Reuters]


Dude inhaling the intoxicating vapor of malware from a sneaky vector for ill-intentioned code. [Reuters]

The Guardian has a fear-inspiring piece up today about electronic cigarettes as a vector for malware. The e-cig devices are typically charged by USB, and overwhelmingly made in China, so it was only a matter of time before this question was raised. And besides, someone on Reddit says it happened to some guy so it must be real.

Silicon Valley Job Title Generator

shinggg Wish we'd thought to do this one: siliconvalleyjobtitlegenerator.tumblr.com.

Follow Friday: @LosFelizDayCare

This parody account [by @JDShapiro] is the best thing ever for those of you who are hip moms and dads, or for those of you who like to sneer at hip moms and dads.

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That's quite a bowel movement.

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GIF: Care Bear Care Package

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“Care Package,” by James Curran, 2014.

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GIF: cross-section of human body, top to bottom

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GIF of this video from Touch of Life Technologies: cadaver imaged head to toe with MRI and CT-scan on August 5th, 1993, for The Visible Human Project. [via Asylum Art]

Dad riding motorcycle suspended from a rope: Either an idiot or best dad ever

This video is a good example of why men tend to have shorter lifespans than women.

[via Reddit]

Georgia to execute man whose actively alcoholic lawyer botched his case

Robert Wayne Holsey during a death row visit with nieces and a nephew.


Robert Wayne Holsey during a death row visit with nieces and a nephew.

Mike Mechanic from Mother Jones says,

Georgia just set a date (Dec. 9) to execute a prisoner named Robert Wayne Holsey, whom Philly death penalty lawyer and essayist Marc Bookman describes as "a low-functioning man with a tortured past." Yeah, we've heard that before, but here's the thing: Andy Prince, the lawyer the court appointed to represent Holsey was a fucking unbelievable mess--a chronic, severe alcoholic who was stealing from his clients and had been arrested for threatening a black neighbor with a gun, saying, "Nigger, get the fuck out of my yard or I'll shoot your black ass." (Prince was white, and Holsey is black.)

It gets worse. Prince hired an inexperienced co-counsel and gave her no direction whatsoever. He failed to hire a mitigation specialist for the sentencing. That's the person who digs up evidence to support the argument that the client, although guilty, deserves to live. The court provided money for this, but Prince was unable to account for where it went. He failed to do even the most basic gumshoe work. And then, during the trial, he knocked back a quart—a QUART—of vodka every night. He botched it badly.

In this meticulously written essay, Bookman holds our hand through Prince's downward spiral and demonstrates just how hard it is for a person to win a resentencing—even under jaw-dropping circumstances such as this.

We first published this in April, but given the update, totally worth reading.

This Man Is About to Die Because an Alcoholic Lawyer Botched His Case” [Mother Jones]