Despite strong opposition from the Chinese government, Barack Obama will meet with the Dalai Lama today at the White House. NYT:
The Chinese government considers the Tibetan spiritual leader a separatist, and bans open displays of his photograph in Tibet. In an article published in November, the top Communist Party official in Tibet signaled how China was planning to clamp down on the Dalai Lama’s ability to get his message out.
“Strike hard against the reactionary propaganda,” Chen Quanguo, the party chief in Tibet, wrote in the party journal Qiushi. He said the government would confiscate illegal satellite dishes, heighten monitoring of online content and take other measures to prevent the dissemination of the Dalai Lama’s message in areas with Tibetan populations so that “the voice and image of the enemy forces and the Dalai clique are neither seen nor heard.”
Update, 10am PT
: The meeting happened
. It was closed to photographers, and the Dalai Lama departed without speaking to reporters.
"What if Warrior Cats
was a Southern American detective drama? This is a Warriors
version of opening to the HBO series True Detective. Maybe that combo doesn't make much sense, but I loved this opening so much I needed an excuse to reproduce it." Video Link
. Original True Detective open is here
And that lovely song is the Handsome Family's "Far From Any Road," from the 2003 album Singing Bones.
(Thanks to all who suggested!)
Google today launched Global Forest Watch, a new website that lets you see how the forests of the world have been cut down over the past 14 years. They partnered with the World Resources Institute and other organizations to create the map, which allows you to track deforestation around the world. [Los Angeles Times]
A norry being operated by Doak Khemra moves down the tracks at the village of Stung Touch. Jesse Pesta/The Wall Street Journal.
Jesse Pesta has a wonderful, colorful piece in the Wall Street Journal about a form of transportation unique to Cambodia: bamboo trains, known locally as "norry." Snip:
In Cambodia, real trains are almost as rare as bamboo trains anywhere else. The impoverished country has a network of tracks left over from French colonial days, but there are hardly any actual trains running anymore. Only one line is in service. The railway never recovered from the horrors of Khmer Rouge murder and war decades ago.
Don't miss his great photos and videos accompanying the article online A six-year-old girl photographed just before her first norry ride is told by her mom that it would be like riding "a bat."
"Creaky Trains Made of Bamboo Still Rule the Rails in Cambodia" [wsj.com]
Crazyman Liam Lynch has a new funnyjam, and it's all about cookies.
A question: when exactly does it start being "later"? When can I eat the cookies?
Subscribe to the Lynchland channel here, and buy the song here.
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Still from undercover video released this week by The Humane Society of The United States shows a pig in a gestation crate at Iron Maiden Farms in Owensboro, Kentucky.
The Humane Society of The United States has released a video [warning, graphic] shot secretly at Iron Maiden Hog Farm in Owensboro, Kentucky which shows evidence of humans doing something really gross to pigs: feeding them "piglet smoothies," as the Humane Society puts it. The sows at this farm are fed a blended slurry of dead baby pigs' flesh in an effort to stem the spread of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or PEDV. More than 2 million piglets in 25 US states have been killed by that disease since April 2013, and it is spreading fast.
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This has got to be the best lede of all time. And a great article, too. Caitlin Flanagan, writing about fraternities, law, liabilities, and corruption in the Atlantic magazine
One warm spring night in 2011, a young man named Travis Hughes stood on the back deck of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house at Marshall University, in West Virginia, and was struck by what seemed to him—under the influence of powerful inebriants, not least among them the clear ether of youth itself—to be an excellent idea: he would shove a bottle rocket up his ass and blast it into the sweet night air. And perhaps it was an excellent idea. What was not an excellent idea, however, was to misjudge the relative tightness of a 20-year-old sphincter and the propulsive reliability of a 20-cent bottle rocket. What followed ignition was not the bright report of a successful blastoff, but the muffled thud of fire in the hole.
"The Dark Power of Fraternities" [The Atlantic]
As I wrote in my post when the news broke, it's all about growth.
Read Parmy Olson's Forbes story out today, which she began reporting long before the acquisition announcement: "The Rags-To-Riches Tale Of How Jan Koum Built WhatsApp Into Facebook's New $19 Billion Baby"
[Via]. [Previously on Boing Boing].
Dr. Steven Brule, local cable news personality.
[Video Link]. Here are some clips from the upcoming third season of Check it Out! with Dr. Steve Brule, starring John C. Reilly, and created by Tim and Eric. The new season premieres on Adult Swim Feb. 27, at 12:30 a.m. ET / PT.
Buy seasons 1 and 2 here, if you're not already hip to it. This show is not for everyone, but it is for everyone who is cool and knows what is truly funny. That is why it is my favorite funny show. If you do not agree, you are a dummy.
There's a longer version of the preview here. And for those truly obsessed, Eric Wareheim has been posting other little video snippets to Instagram and Vine and Facebook.
For those in Los Angeles, there's a free season 3 premiere and screening on Sunday, Feb. 23rd, 10pm at the Vista Theater.
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A satirical film in which a woman tries to follow all of the completely serious tips offered to women by the likes of Cosmopolitan, WikiHow and University of Colorado on how to avoid being raped. One of them is "fight like a psychotic cat." Another, "don't give a guy blue balls."
Directed by Cat Del Buono.
(HT: Syd Garon)
Boing Boing reader Benjamin G. Levy shot and shared this photograph in the Boing Boing Flickr pool, where you can also share your images.
"This Bulldog in Amoeba Records showed very little interest in the Jazz section," says Benjamin. Awesome shot, man!
Rolling Stone's loss is Pierre Omidyar's gain. Matt Taibbi is joining First Look Media
, the same organization where Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, and Laura Poitras are on the masthead at The Intercept
-- but Taibbi will lead his own publication focused on financial and political corruption. The new magazine does not yet have a name or a precise launch date.
Ravi Somaiya was first with the scoop today at the NYT:
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Facebook will buy the mobile messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion dollars in cash and stock. Yep, that's 19 buh-buh-billion with a "b." The company launched in 2009, founded by former Yahoo employees Brian Acton and Jan Koum.
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A slide from the NSA document on psychology tactics to be used against Wikileaks and supporters suggests the extent to which LOLcats have entered the zeitgeist: they're even used by America's top spies. Also note that on this slide, the word "psychology" is misspelled.
The Intercept today published documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden which show that the NSA and Britain's GCHQ targeted WikiLeaks with an array of surveillance tactics and spied on supporters.
From the report by Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher:
The efforts – detailed in documents provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – included a broad campaign of international pressure aimed not only at WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but at what the U.S. government calls “the human network that supports WikiLeaks.” The documents also contain internal discussions about targeting the file-sharing site Pirate Bay and hacktivist collectives such as Anonymous.
ACLU deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer, responding to the report:
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A still from the video shot undercover at an Idaho dairy by animal rights group Mercy For Animals. Under a proposed law, filming scenes like this would become a crime.
In Idaho, the dairy industry has successfully lobbied lawmakers to propose a new law that would make it a crime for animal rights advocates or journalists to lie about their backgrounds to applications at dairy farms, for the purpose of documenting criminal activity or animal abuse.
Striking back at this proposed legislation that would curb free speech, Los Angeles-based nonprofit Mercy for Animals today released video of a dairy worker sexually abusing a cow at Dry Creek Dairy (owned by Bettencourt Dairies) in Idaho.
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