At long last, here's video of the Cambodian bamboo railroad I wrote about in 2006; this being a homebrew railroad running at 40km/h off an electric motor, along decrepit and degenerating rails that only see one scheduled train per week. It's a pretty amazing ride.
Fine artist Angela Palmer takes CT/MRI scanner of people and animals, engraves the data onto thin glass sheets that are then combined into 3D sculptures. Recently, she's used the same technique to reproduce data from the Kepler telescope too.
"Angela Palmer: Life Lines"
"Kepler: Goldilocks" (NASA)
[Editor's note: I mentioned the arrest of technology editor David Mery in my recent Guardian column on Prism; he wrote in to correct some details and explain the astounding circumstances of how Britain's absurd war on terror caught him in its mesh for the crime of wearing a coat in the summer -CD]
I was observed directly when I entered Southwark tube station and then on CCTV. All the time it was by Met police officers. To my knowledge no computer algorithms were involved. In Naked Citizen, Patrick Hafner mixes the interview he did with me and some CCTV recognition algorithms, but the two are not directly related. The Met police officers at the entrance of the station were those who found my behaviour suspicious and decided initially to stop and search me under s44 of the Terrorism Act.
Who exactly took the decision to arrest me and the choice of legislation is less clear, as it appears that initially officers wanted to arrest me under the Terrorism Act but were overruled and decided on Public Nuisance (which can still carry a life sentence).
The Met and IPCC investigation files are still retained (until 2015 and 2014) but my police national computer record was deleted as well as my fingerprints and DNA, and I eventually also got the photographs back. The short version of the whole story is here.
That I let a tube train pass by without boarding it is the only important dispute in the police version of events and mine. That's the police version. Mine is that I tried to board the first train that arrived, but was then stopped by the police.
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Click to view large. Photo: Jeff Simmermon.
Boing Boing pal Jeff Simmermon sends us some wonderful snapshots of a local Jamaican artist who lives and works in Treasure Beach, "a very sparsely populated rural beach town in Southern Jamaica," where Jeff and his bride are celebrating their honeymoon (congrats, you two!). I saw these photos on Facebook, and asked Jeff if he wouldn't mind sharing them with Boing Boing, too.
Jeff obliged, and says, "This guy's sign painting business is somewhere near Black River, but nowhere near anything at all. He's got a lot of bible verses and wise sayings, and a few pieces that are INTENSELY anatomical."
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A woman who placed a big computer order at Amazon had her account frozen while they tried to verify her credit-card, a process that went horribly awry (they demanded that she fax them her bank-statement, which she did, eight times, but they never got it, and who knows where those eight copies ended up). As a result, she is no longer able to access her Amazon account, including her Kindle ebooks. She can still presumably read them on her existing devices (assuming they don't remotely wipe them), but can't activate any new devices and until and unless she resolves this bizarre situation, her books will disappear forever when her Kindle breaks or its battery wears out.
That's right: if you order too many computers from Amazon, they might take away your books.
Amazon Cancels My $6,000 Order Because It Doesn’t Know How To Use A Fax Machine
Over at National Geographic, Carl Zimmer reveals the wonder of vampire bats. "Of the 1200 or so species of bats, vampire bats are among the very few that can move quickly on the ground." Watch one run in the video above. Also, Zimmer delves into a new scientific paper with the fantastic title of "Dracula's children: Molecular evolution of vampire bat venom."
Trevor Timm wrote a piece for Freedom of the Press Foundation
about how much more we're learning not just from the NSA leaks themselves, but from the response to those leaks. "Both companies and the government have been forced into a corner where their only move is to release more information they previously fought to keep secret," Trevor says
. — Xeni
Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" (the movie) on speed. Er, even more speed. From 1A4 Studio who have done this with a number of movies, including Star Wars, Back to the Future, and The Matrix.
"Kristjan Loftsson, CEO of the the company Hvalur hf." Photo: News of Iceland.
Icelandic news outlets are reporting that an Icelandic whaling company, Hvalur hf, "caught its first fin whale yesterday evening," after sailing out yesterday with two boats, both due back in port today.
Fin whales are the second-largest whale, and are classified as an Endangered species.
From News of Iceland:
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Wade sez, "Wolfgang Baur, roleplaying game designer and publisher of the late, lamented Kobold Quarterly magazine (successor to Dragon) has launched the Deep Magic Kickstarter bringing 300 new spells to Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Deep Magic smashed through its $10k funding goal in six hours and less than a week later is about to hit $50k. Deep Magic contributors include Forgotten Realms creator Ed Greenwood and Pathfinder creator Jason Bulmahn, along with an array of other award-winning game designers and developers."
$35 is the minimum pledge for your own copy (normal crowdfunding caveat applies: you may get nothing for your money, though this one looks like a good bet for completion, given its principals' publishing experience).
Deep Magic is the ultimate sourcebook for new and variant magic in any fantasy setting, offering a bare minimum of 112 full-color pages. They feature:
* At least 12 new schools and styles of magic, including blood magic, clockwork magic, diabolism, dragon magic, grudge magic, ink magic, ley line magic, star & shadow magic, and several more
* 12 magic colleges and academies, each home to a magical style or tradition
* More than 300 new spells, including new ones for every spellcasting class in the Pathfinder RPG
* New spellcasting archetypes and new mythic spells
* And much more!
Deep Magic: A Tome of New Spells for Pathfinder RPG
More than 6000 people applied, eight were chosen
. And, for the first time, NASA has an astronaut class with gender parity — four men, and four women. — Maggie
There is nothing wrong with adding ice to scotch,
writes Kevin Liu at Serious Eats. In fact, a little water can change the flavor profile of the drink for the better. What's more, chilling your scotch won't dampen down the aroma. A chilled drink won't be flinging off scent molecules left and right, but it will warm up enough from your hot breath to get the chemistry of scent where it needs to go — and to give you the flavor experience you want. — Maggie
I snapped this photo of a popular medical marijuana dispensary storefront in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles last week. To me, it represents everything bone-headed about the way LA area pot shops (which operate in a legal gray zone in a conflicting patchwork of federal, state, and local laws) market themselves.
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It starts with lignin — a compound that makes up the cell walls of plants. Turns out, it's also closely related (chemical-structure-wise) to vanillin, the stuff that makes vanilla smell so vanilla-y. Given that books are full of the broken-down cell walls of trees, a big part of what we think of as "old book smell" is actually a scent similar to vanilla. — Maggie