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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.

Caturday: Al Jazeera Cat, Doha

In the Boing Boing Flickr Pool, BB reader Willis the Wonderer shares this photograph of a kitty cat outside Al Jazeera's offices in Doha, Qatr.

To do in LA: Nathan Ota at Giant Robot (Art)


"Makes it Rain." 6x6". GR2: Nathan Ota - Scrambled Eggs and a Side of Collectables.

Eric Nakamura of Giant Robot says, "This Saturday, at Giant Robot 2 we are proud to have Nathan Ota in the house. He's quite an incredible artist in high demand. His paintings are amazing and detailed. He's as nice and humble as can be. He'll also be showing some figures, a sneaker, book, print and more! Do take a look at his works. Here's the event page on Facebook."

Show runs through March 12, 2014. A few more images below, and lots more here.

Read the rest

A Steve Jobs postage stamp is coming in 2015


Photo: Wikipedia

The Washington Post got their hands on a leaked copy of the USPS stamp plans for the next few years. Steve Jobs is getting his own stamp in 2015.

He's in good company: Elvis Presley, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Harvey Milk, Johnny Carson, and Charlie Brown's Peanuts gang will be honored, too.

Here's the full list.

Ukraine: President and opposition sign deal; Parliament votes to free rival Tymoshenko


Arguments broke out in the Ukrainian Parliament on Friday. Maks Levin/Reuters

Ukraine president President Viktor Yanukovych signed a deal with opposition leaders today committing to early elections and reducing some of the president's authority. Russia has not endorsed the deal, and many protesters want Yanukovych to resign. Andrew Kramer and Andrew Higgins, reporting in the New York Times:
In a further sign of the president’s diminished influence, Parliament voted to allow the release of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who has been imprisoned for more than two years. In a 310-to-54 vote that is veto-proof, lawmakers decriminalized the actions for which she was incarcerated.

Related Boing Boing posts today:

Conservative western bloggers: Ukraine strongman's pay-for-play useful idiots
I am a Ukrainian: powerful, viral video about Euromaidan
Scenes from a hotel near #Euromaidan

Obama to meet Dalai Lama today at White House. China pissed.


His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Reuters.

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.

True Warrior Cats: Warriors x True Detective (video)

"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 launches deforestation watch website

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]

Cambodia's creaky, funky bamboo trains: like riding 'a bat'


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]

Liam Lynch, 'Cookies for Later' (music video)


Liam Lynch.

[Video Link]

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.

Lyrics:

Read the rest

Sows at US factory farm fed blended flesh of baby pigs to guard against viral outbreak


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.

Read the rest

This is the best opening paragraph in any news story ever


Phil Toledano for The Atlantic magazine.

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]

The most concise explanation yet for why Facebook's paying $19 billion for WhatsApp

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].

Prepare yourselves. Dr. Steve Brule's television show is returning for a third season.


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.

Read the rest

How to not get raped (video)

Trigger warning.

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. Video Link.

(HT: Syd Garon)

Dog of the day (a photo from the Boing Boing Flickr Pool)

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!