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.

The 'profanity pop' paintings of Rodolfo Loaiza

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Artist José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros is best known for his dirty remixes of Disney iconography.

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Kim Dotcom promises to 'abolish mass surveillance' with his NZ political party

Kim Dotcom (Reuters)


Kim Dotcom (Reuters)

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom tells the Guardian "governments want to engage in mass surveillance and have total citizen control." The political party he founded to contest New Zealand's September 20 elections, the Mana Internet party, promises to "abolish mass surveillance."

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Practicing life on Mars, on a Hawaiian volcano

Photo: Ross Lockwood, via Twitter.

Photo: Ross Lockwood, via Twitter.

A team of researchers has been living in a simulated Mars habitat on a Hawaiian volcano for the past four months, practicing what it would be like to live on Mars. They're "returning to earth" today.

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'Hawaii by Air' opens at Smithsonian Air and Space: history of air travel to the islands

Continental Airlines travel poster for Hawaii, featuring a stylized image of a surfer in front of a volcanic island.


Continental Airlines travel poster for Hawaii, featuring a stylized image of a surfer in front of a volcanic island.

A new exhibition on the history and evolution of air travel to the Hawaiian Islands opens today at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

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First Ebola victim in Sierra Leone capital on the run, officials ask for help finding her


A health worker with disinfectant spray walks down a street outside the government hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone, on July 10. Reuters.

Ebola virus.


Ebola virus.

Officials in Sierra Leone are asking the public to assist in finding the first known resident of the capital to contract Ebola.

Her family forcibly removed her from a hospital in Freetown after she tested positive for the deadly virus. On radio stations around the West African nation, appeals for help in locating the 32-year-old.

"Saudatu Koroma of 25 Old Railway Line, Brima Lane, Wellington," read the broadcast announcement. "She is a positive case and her being out there is a risk to all. We need the public to help us locate her."

A scientist separates blood cells from plasma cells to isolate any Ebola RNA in order to test for the virus at the European Mobile Laboratory in Gueckedou April 3, 2014. Reuters.


A scientist separates blood cells from plasma cells to isolate any Ebola RNA in order to test for the virus at the European Mobile Laboratory in Gueckedou April 3, 2014. Reuters.

And related news today, the health minister for Nigeria confirms that a Liberian man died of Ebola in the Nigerian capital Lagos.

He collapsed on arrival in Lagos on Sunday and was taken from the airport and put in quarantine at a hospital in the Nigerian city. Since February, more than 660 people have died of Ebola in West Africa - the world's deadliest outbreak to date. The virus kills up to 90% of those infected but if patients receive early treatment, they have a better chance of survival. It spreads through contact with an infected person's bodily fluids.
This report means what is already the worst Ebola outbreak in history has now reached Africa's most populated country.

Ebola virus disease has killed 632 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since an outbreak began in February, 2014.


Sheik Umar Khan, head doctor fighting the deadly tropical virus Ebola in Sierra Leone.

Also this week, a doctor who has done "heroic" work to fight Sierra Leon's Ebola outbreak has himself become infected with the virus.

"Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan is being treated by the French aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres -- also known as Doctors Without Borders -- in Kailahun, Sierra Leone," reports CNN.

The Sierra Leonean virologist is credited with treating over 100 Ebola victims. The president's office reports that he is receiving treatment in a ward run by the international medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres.

Video report here.

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Remembering 'the Barnaby Jack few knew' on anniversary of hacker's death

iDTzahtt4VJYBloomberg has a profile of legendary hacker Barnaby Jack, who died a year ago. "Recent interviews with Jack's family and longtime friends portray a much different person" than the one publicly portrayed, "one who was uncomfortable with being in the spotlight at the annual Black Hat and DefCon conventions, events that will miss his showmanship when they begin next week in Las Vegas."

Fruit fly and zebrafish brains may help unlock secrets of our human minds

"The fruit fly has a very long and distinguished career in science. At a facility considered a Nirvana for scientists, researchers pursue greater understanding of biomedical processes, using test subjects like dragonflies and zebrafish." PBS News science correspondent Miles O’Brien reports on how the Janelia Farm Research Campus supports groundbreaking basic research. Here's the YouTube link.

Doomed Russian lizard sex rocket full of bonking geckos produces week's best headlines

A Madagascar day gecko sits on a perch. Image: Reuters


A Madagascar day gecko sits on a perch. Image: Reuters

"Ground control commands do not reach Russian satellite Foton," reports the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS dryly, revealing not even a hint of the sexual tension that lies beneath:

Satellite Foton-M4 was launched on July 19, 2014 with five Gecko lizards, Drosophilae flies, plant seeds and microbes onboard was scheduled to land in southern Ural’s Orenburg region in two months. 22 sets of research equipment developed by leading Russian research organizations were mounted on the satellite. Several experiments and research are planned on board.

By research, they mean lizards fucking.

The geckos were up there to mate. And mating means sex. And tiny space lizards fucking on a satellite means an opportunity for bored news headline writers to write publishable jokes about sex. In their headlines. On the internet.

Let's review.

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On Google campus, a dinosaur is forever in battle with hordes of flamingos

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Making the rounds online this week, but without identifying information: these two photos of a T-Rex dinosaur beset upon by flamingos.

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Japanese artist Makoto Azuma launches beautiful plants into stratosphere

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For his project 'Exobiotanica,' artist Makoto Azuma of Japan headed to the Nevada Black Rock Desert to launch a 50-year-old Japanese white pine bonsai into the stratosphere.

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Air Algerie Flight AH5017 crashes in Africa, carrying 116 from Burkina Faso to Algeria

A screengrab of the homepage of the Ouagadougou airport's Internet site (http://www.aeroport-ouagadougou.com) shows a map displaying AH5017's last contact zone, July 24, 2014.


A screengrab of the homepage of the Ouagadougou airport's Internet site (http://www.aeroport-ouagadougou.com) shows a map displaying AH5017's last contact zone, July 24, 2014.

A Boeing MD-83 passenger jet carrying 110 passengers and 6 crew people disappeared while flying over the Sahara from Burkina Faso to Algeria. Reports from aviation officials in the region confirm the plane has crashed, though the site of the crash and the fate of the people on board are yet to be confirmed.

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Dad and son attempting around-the-world flight crash in Samoa, feared dead

Babar Suleman and his 17-year-old son Haris.


Babar Suleman and his 17-year-old son Haris.

The LA Times reports that an Indiana father and his teen son who were attempting to fly around the world together are believed to have crashed in American Samoa.

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Want to fly a drone at Burning Man this year? Better read this first.

Camera-equipped drones, like the one that shot the video above, are a wonderful tool for photography at the annual Burning Man festival. But "if you're planning on flying a drone at Burning Man this year," says BB pal Eddie Codel, "You'll need to register and follow a ton of new rules."

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Why don't ice cream sandwiches melt anymore? Because they're full of weird crap

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Area Mom grossed out to discover that ice cream she bought her kids contains so much artificial junk in it, it won't melt in the hot sun. This is a local television news segment of greatness. [via @nextdraft]

YouTube makeup vlogger sued by record label for $150K per song

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Makeup vlogger Michelle Phan, who's huge on YouTube, is on the receiving end of a copyright lawsuit over the background songs in her videos.

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