Three-dimensional skull-cake

A reader writes, "For this year's Threadcakes cake contest, baker Chloe Bird rolled her own custom silicone skull mold and used it for a 3-dimensional skull cake."
I got an anatomical model of a human skull and a whole load of food grade silicone. After putty-ing up the fiddly details and finding suitable containers for the skull and jaw I poured the silicone around them and left it for 48 hours to set. After de-molding the originals I trimmed the molds down to make them more flexible. I cast the jaw and face out of milk chocolate and used dental tools to carve some of the detail back in.
Bitter Teeth by Chloe Bird Bakers make cake with image of flash drive instead of image in ... Resignation letter on cake HOWTO bake a no-mess chocolate cake in five minutes AT-AT wedding cake Steampunk wedding cake Jabba the Cake Pedobear on a child's birthday cake? Read the rest

The "flotilla video": Israeli troops storm boat with aid supplies bound for Gaza Strip

In the news today, worldwide controversy around an Israeli commando attack on a "Free Gaza Movement" flotilla carrying aid supplies to the blockaded Gaza strip. NYT story here. Varying reports on how many were killed: 10 according to Israel, and 19 or more according to the activists and some news organizations. Some 600 people were aboard the flotilla including a Nobel Peace Prize recipient and an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor. The attacked ship was some 100km (70 miles) off the coast, in international waters. Above, video of the event.

Analysis and reactions around the web: The Wikinews article is interesting, in part for the clash of perceptions from those who condemn and those who support the actions of Israel's military. This Jerusalem Post article touches on the resulting PR and media offensive out of Israel, and the government's rationalization for what it maintains was a justified and defensive event (and pointed to ties with Turkey and alleged "Islamist" groups). More reading: "Why the Gaza boat deaths are a huge deal," Blake Hounshell in Foreign Policy. Condemnation from South African Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. "A Lesson in Information Operations," Center for a New American Security. Ha'aretz: "Israel Lost at Sea." Top Israeli official when Gaza blockade was imposed several years ago: "The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet." (some links via @ggreenwald @ethanz @NickKristof @seanbonner) Read the rest

HOWTO bake a no-mess chocolate cake in five minutes

Instructables user scoochmaroo's recipe for five-minute chocolate scratch-cake (made in a microwave) looks like it would be deadly, molten, and delicious.

5-minute Chocolate Cake AT-AT wedding cake Jabba the Cake Dragon made of cake Polyhedral dice cake R2D2 cake Cthulhu cake! Read the rest

AT-AT wedding cake

Rebecca Dudeiros had her pastry chef friend Teresa Ulrich whip up this fantastic AT-AT wedding cake and matching Ewok cupcakes -- a sweetly nerdy way to begin a long and happy marriage, I'm sure.

Awesome Star Wars Wedding Cake (via Craft) Previously:Secret lives of AT-ATs Star Wars: Evolution of the AT-AT t-shirt AT-AT jungle gym from a lost and golden age AT-AT raceday Insanely detailed papercraft AT-ATs to download At-At Walker Boombox Homemade AT-AT loft bed AT-AT anatomy tee Read the rest

AT-AT jungle gym from a lost and golden age

This old AT-AT Walker jungle-gym looks like it would be so goddamned fun! I don't care how unsafe and overbalanced it is: plummeting to the cold hard ground is a small price to pay for something this wicked. Previously:Secret lives of AT-ATs Star Wars: Evolution of the AT-AT t-shirt AT-AT raceday AT-AT anatomy tee Insanely detailed papercraft AT-ATs to download Homemade AT-AT loft bed At-At Walker Boombox At-At Walker Boombox Read the rest

Derelict hotels around the world

Here's a collection of photos of 24 rotting, abandoned hotels around the world, some of them looking like horror movie sets, others like enormous follies, and still others like faerie palaces. Rotting stuff kicks ass.
Graham Hotel: You don't normally think of people seeking out gold in Georgia but that's exactly what happened in the town of Auraria before everyone started to head west. When the California gold rush happened, Auraria became a ghost town just like many western towns eventually became. There remain a few 19th Century buildings there today, including the abandoned Graham Hotel sometimes just called the Auraria Hotel.
Photos of 24 abandoned and decayed hotels from around the world (Thanks, Mr Jalopy!) Previously:Photos of derelict Japanese sanatorium Boing Boing Boing Boing: Derelict amusement park in Sichuan, China Derelict London photos - Boing Boing Boing Boing: Artists paint Detroit's derelict buildings ... Boing Boing: Carving a giant derelict building into a Star Wars AT-AT UK proposal to turn derelict buildings into gov't housing - Boing ... Gallery of 80s teens partying at derelict Long Island mental ... Boing Boing: UK proposal to turn derelict buildings into gov't housing Read the rest

AT-AT raceday

Artist Franco Brambilla is selling this sweet AT-AT race-day painting ("AT-AT Lido Cup") as a post-card on Zazzle.

At At Lido Cup! Postcard (via Superpunch) Previously:AT-AT anatomy tee - Boing Boing Secret lives of AT-ATs - Boing Boing Boing Boing: Star Wars AT-AT stroller mod Painting of kid riding an AT-AT - Boing Boing AT-AT homebrew Hallowe'en costume - Boing Boing Read the rest

Awesome card flourishes

PeaceLove sez, "Dan and Dave (the Buck Twins), who pretty much single-handedly created the current craze for extreme card flourishes, have teamed up with clothing design firm English Laundry. They know how to make card flourishes cool, as this spot demonstrates."

English Laundry + Dan and Dave // MAGIC (Thanks, PeaceLove!) Previously:Keith Barry's "brain magic" on TED Talks Boing Boing Nature Neuroscience article on neurological basis for magic, co ... Procedural-code-as-magic trilogy goes Creative Commons - Boing Boing How to Cheat at Everything - Boing Boing Read the rest

Derelict psych hospital buildings in photos

Chris sez, "I recently visited Spring Grove hospital center in Catonsville, MD. Established is 1797, it is one of the country's oldest psychiatric facilities and it is still (at least partially) in use today. It is a fairly large campus with a variety of buildings (including its own museum). These photos are from one of the buildings that is no longer in use and has become a time capsule of sorts... storing odd relics from the site's long history. Hair dryers, exercise bikes and a variety of furniture."

Spring Grove Hospital (Flickr) (Thanks, Chris!)

Spring Grove Previously:Artists paint Detroit's derelict buildings Tiggeriffic Orange ... London's derelict cinemas - Boing Boing Derelict amusement park in Sichuan, China - Boing Boing Carving a giant derelict building into a Star Wars AT-AT - Boing Boing Boing Boing: N Ireland's notorious, derelict Maze Prison in photos Read the rest

Science-fiction science: How long could you survive inside a Tauntaun?

Applying Earth science to science-fiction scenarios might not be easy (or particularly necessary) but it sure is fun. Here, fans take the cutting-open-a-furry-beast-and-using-its-carcass-as-an-emergency-blanket scene from The Empire Strikes Back and attempt to deduce how long Luke Skywalker could have actually survived on the sweet, sweet warmth provided by Tauntaun entrails.

In a normal environment, a carcass gets cold in 8 to 36 hours losing an average rate of 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit per hour. However, the ice world of Hoth is not an average environment. The Star Wars database lists that Hoth reaches nightly temperatures of -60 F. In a frigid, sub-zero environment, body heat can be lost almost 32 times faster. This means a Tauntaun's body heat could drop almost 51.2 F every hour.

The initial estimate is probably off, as it looks like the author is using human body temperatures to figure how warm the Tauntaun would be when it died and how fast it would lose heat, but some of those issues get hashed out in the comments.

Wolf Gnards blog: How Long Could Luke Survive in a Tauntaun?

Previously:Life-sized walking Tauntaun costume - Boing Boing Tauntaun groom's cake - Boing Boing Homemade AT-AT loft bed - Boing Boing Read the rest

HOWTO use con-games to improve information security

"Understanding scam victims: seven principles for systems security" by Cambridge University's Frank Stajano and Paul Wilson is an excellent look at the principles involved in "short cons" (confidence games that only take a few minutes to "play") and how they can be applied to information security. The authors examine the mechanics of scams demonstrated in the BBC show "The Real Hustle" and then extract the principles that drive them and show how they are also used in online ripoffs:
This illustrates something important. Many people feel that they are wise to certain scams or take steps to protect their property; but, often, these steps don't go far enough. A con artist can easily answer people's concerns or provide all sorts of proof to put minds at ease. In order to protect oneself, it's essential to remove all possibility of compromise. There's no point parking your own car if you then give the valet your keys. Despite this, the mark felt more secure when, in actual fact, he had made the hustler's job easier....

...Much of systems security boils down to "allowing certain principals to perform certain actions on the system while disallowing anyone else from doing them"; as such, it relies implicitly on some form of authentication--recognizing which principals should be authorized and which ones shouldn't. The lesson for the security engineer is that the security of the whole system often relies on the users also performing some authentication, and that they may be deceived too, in ways that are qualitatively differ- ent from those in which computer systems can be deceived.

Read the rest

Homemade AT-AT loft bed

This video documents the creation of a fabulous homemade Star Wars AT-AT walker loft bed, built by a father for his son. It's made from everyday, easy-to-source materials and includes a hide-hole loft (in the AT-AT's body) with trap-door access. This fills me with feelings of fatherly inadequacy and makes me start plotting something equally elaborate for Poesy once she's big enough to enjoy a trap door.

Star Wars Imperial Walker Loft Bed (Thanks, Stagueve! Previously:AT-AT anatomy tee - Boing Boing Secret lives of AT-ATs - Boing Boing Boing Boing: Star Wars AT-AT stroller mod Boing Boing: Painting of kid riding an AT-AT AT-AT homebrew Hallowe'en costume - Boing Boing Boing Boing: Insanely detailed papercraft AT-ATs to download Read the rest

AT-AT anatomy tee

Roger sez, "My new tee features an x-ray image of an At-At walker. 'Since the Dark Side started using genetically modified walkers, they found many had to visit the Imperial Veterinary Clinic of Osteology suffering with acute pain in their hip joints. X-rays revealed their skeleton structure was just not strong enough to manoeuvre wearing those heavy boots. No amount of Cod Liver oil would ease their pain.'"

AT-AT Anatomy T-Shirt (Thanks, Roger!) Read the rest

Funny homemade Star Wars costumes

Holy Taco posted a collection of what they've deemed "The Worst Homemade Star Wars Costumes." The costumes may be pretty silly, but I think they look kinda fun too. (Thanks, Kirsten Anderson!) Previously:ComicCon's best Star Wars costumes - Boing Boing AT-AT homebrew Hallowe'en costume - Boing Boing Pet costume: slave girl Princess Leia - Boing Boing Read the rest

Secret lives of AT-ATs

FIickr's NickIsConfused has a great set showing the secret lives of Star Wars AT-ATs, reminding us that these adorable little critters aren't just for Xmas.

AT-ATs: not just for xmas Previously:Star Wars AT-AT stroller mod - Boing Boing Insanely detailed papercraft AT-ATs to download - Boing Boing Carving a giant derelict building into a Star Wars AT-AT - Boing Boing Painting of kid riding an AT-AT - Boing Boing AT-AT homebrew Hallowe'en costume - Boing Boing

Update: Bonnie sez, "I interviewed the photographer over on the Blog last week" Read the rest

Star Wars/Dalí tattoo

Paul at Old School Tattoo in Bellingham, Washington inked this tattoo, adding a bit of Salvador Dalí's "Elephants" to a Star Wars AT-AT Walker. has the wearer's story. Star Wars/Dalí tattoo (Thanks, COOP!) Read the rest

Today at Boing Boing Gadgets

• Guest blogger Mat Honan told us about Ramune and the Mystery of the Codd Stopper Bottle. • Samsung went retro with its latest point-and-shoot camera: analog dials! • We learned that Power Factor correction is a scam. • An office chair's hydraulic column reportedly exploded, killing its occupant in horrible fashion. • There was an At-At Walker that was also a Boombox. • A googly-eyed clock demonstrated awe-inspiring simplicity. • The NYT reported that the plasma TV is dead. • You took a look at our new office. • Rob took a closer look at Arthur C. Clarke's hard drive. • A reader told us of a new Mac Mini with 8,474,255 USB ports. And yet it's never enough! • Review! We found the Xperia X1 to our liking, if not its price. • Joel found a striking "Adult Fantasy Album." • There was video of the purported new Mac Mini. • You fixed the nib of that old fountain pen in the drawer. Read the rest

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