The worst traffic jam you will hopefully never experience

Beijing, China. If this fascinates you, so long as you are not sitting in it, I highly recommend Tom Vanderbilt's fantastic book "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)."

Below, Tom's presentation at our Boing Boing: Ingenuity 2013 conference.

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The Garbage Pail Kids, 30 Years Later

Image: Bruton Stroube

If you're an '80s or '90s kid, you will remember the originals. Read the rest

Choppers overhead in LA Feb 21 2015

Audio link. Read the rest

Ancient speed-shooting archery technique revived by amazing LARPer whose videos will blow your mind

Watching live-action roleplayer Lars Andersen practice this unusual method of archery is utterly amazing.

Video: how raindrops release that fresh rain smell

MIT researchers used high-speed cameras to reveal raindrops' aerosol effect that releases petrichor, the earthy fresh smell of rain. Read the rest

NYPD ordered to disclose records of secret X-ray vans

After three years' worth of court battles, Propublica has won a court order forcing the NYPD to release details of its X-ray surveillance vans, whose radiation risk has never been independently studied or verified (much like the notorious pornoscanners, which were supposedly harmless, but which turned out to be sources of dangerous radiation). Read the rest

Make your own geometrical papercraft mask

Wintercroft's Etsy storefront is full of beautiful, downloadable plans for making geometrical animal- and horror-masks from recycled cardboard boxes. It's a great, simple way to make the perfect Hallowe'en costume. Read the rest

An arcade belt buckle that lights up

A quarter per play. “Made with genuine arcade parts.” Read the rest

Photos: A motherlode of vintage Halloween masks

This photo collection of vintage Halloween masks by Flickrer Brecht Bug is pretty overwhelming.

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CIA admits it improperly accessed Senate computers

"[S]ome CIA employees acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding reached between SSCI (Senate Select Committee on Intelligence) and the CIA in 2009," said CIA spokesman Dean Boyd. In other words, yes, the CIA did break into Sen. Feinstein's computers that her staff had been using to write a report of the CIA's torture program in secret overseas prisons.

Since it is highly unlikely that anyone in a position of power at the CIA will be held accountable, the incident will serve as a green light for the CIA to do this again and again with impunity.

CIA improperly accessed Senate computers, agency finds Read the rest

Gecko sex satellite "out of control"

The Russian space agency has lost control of a satellite containing geckos involved in sex orgy porn. Read the rest

After mass public shaming over crappy customer service, Comcast responds

"Comcast, after instructing its employees not to take 'No,' for an answer, is now throwing its representative under the bus because he refused to take 'No,' for an answer."

Video premiere: Luluc's "Small Window"

From Luluc, the Brooklyn-via-Australia duo of Zoë Randell and Steve Hassett comes "Small Window," a dreamy lullaby of exquisite indie folk from their album Passerby, produced by The National's Aaron Dessner. Read the rest

Elegant octopus hairpiece

Stunning cephalopod tresses, crafted by hand. Read the rest

The Web We Lost - Anil Dash on the social web's downside

Anil Dash, in an insightful and resonant long-form post: "The tech industry and its press have treated the rise of billion-scale social networks and ubiquitous smartphone apps as an unadulterated win for regular people, a triumph of usability and empowerment. They seldom talk about what we've lost along the way in this transition, and I find that younger folks may not even know how the web used to be. So here's a few glimpses of a web that's mostly faded away." The Web We Lost. Read the rest

Admit you lied, judge orders tobacco companies

Vintage add scanned by Mando Maniac

A federal judge this week ordered tobacco companies to publish corrective statements saying they lied about the dangers of smoking, and disclosing the health risks associated with tobacco use, which kills about 1,200 people a day.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ordered that each "corrective ad" be prefaced by a statement that a federal court has concluded that the defendant tobacco companies "deliberately deceived the American public about the health effects of smoking." Read the rest

How to survive an atomic bomb: insurance company ad, 1951

"Whatever your attitude toward use of the atomic bomb, you must live with the fact that it exists," commands this ad. About the self-protection steps it details, "The wise citizen of this atomic era will memorize them so thoroughly that their use would be almost instinctive."

A vintage Mutual of Omaha insurance company advertisement from 1951, lovingly scanned and shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by v.valenti.

So, I'll need to look into this further, but did Mutual of Omaha offer "surprise atomic attack" coverage at the time? The ad doesn't make that clear.

(Update: Cory blogged this back in 2010.) Read the rest

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