Boing Boing 

ADELE (Boing Boing TV, 2008)

I won't say Boing Boing TV *discovered* Ms. Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, but I will say that our old pal Russell Porter introduced her to many of our readers and viewers for the first time, in this classic Boing Boing TV episode from 2008.

The "heartbroken soul" sound captured in her debut album, 19, won her a Mercury Prize that year. Russell caught up with her backstage at the awards show.

One year later, she would take home two Grammys, then in 2012 she nabbed an unprecedented six, cementing Adele's role as one of the most powerful and famous female vocalists in contemporary popular music.

The video for her song "Chasing Pavement" excerpted in this BBTV episode was directed by Matthew Cullen.

Just a few days ago, by the way, the 24-year-old songstress gave birth to her first child—a beautiful baby boy.

Florence + the Machine (Boing Boing TV, 2008)

A classic Boing Boing TV episode from our vaults: Russell Porter interviews Florence Welch of Florence+the Machine at the 2008 edition of the Standon Calling festival.

Nobody in the US knew who these guys were in in 2008! Includes an interview and an impromptu, unplugged performance outside of their trailer.

All 6500+ pages of Elfquest comics online

The Beat comics blog reports that the complete archive of Wendy and Richard Pini's Elfquest comic book series is available online. The scan quality is excellent.
elfquest.jpgSpeaking of fantasy, one of the pillars of the fantasy comics genres is now available in its entirety to read online. ELFQUEST, Wendy and Richard Pini's saga of homeless elves and their passions and battles, first published in 1978, was one of the foundational hits of the emerging indie comics scene, and after many publishers, movie options and assorted dramas, it's still a good story. Very few indie comics have spawned such a devoted cult or influenced so many spin-offs and imitators. Wendy Pini really hit the right notes at the right time with a style equal parts Kelly Freas, manga, and Walt Disney. It wasn't for everyone, but for those whose wheelhouse it hit, it was THE thing, with spin-off RPGs, novels and filk songs. ELFQUEST is also one of the first American comics to really nail the urgency and drama of manga storytelling.
All 6500+ pages of Elfquest comics online

WikiWecaps

Joe Sabia offers this hilarious and appropriately instructive recap of the Wikileaks saga as it has unfolded over the last few weeks.

[YouTube video Link]

Rich Fulcher's Tiny Acts of Rebellion

Xeni Jardin caught up with comedian Rich Fulcher is well known for his multiple character roles on the hit BBC comedy series "The Mighty Boosh.Read the rest

Boing Boing Video: Revisiting TechShop, as Portland Site Launches


(MP4 download here). TechShop founder Jim Newton tells Boing Boing, "I'm very excited to tell you that TechShop Portland is now open!"

And that's great news for tinkerers, builders, and makers in Oregon. TechShop is an open-access public workshop that's kind of like a health club with heavy machinery and sparks instead of treadmills. Tinkerers, inventors, and hackers pay a membership fee, and in turn receive access to professionally-maintained gear, workshops, mentors, and a community of like-minded makers.

Above, a Boing Boing TV episode from 2008 in which we visited the first TechShop site in Silicon Valley, which has been open now for several years. Jim Newton, who is a lifetime maker, veteran BattleBots builder and former MythBuster, says they plan to open a number of locations around the US -- and eventually, the rest of the world.

Here's the original Boing Boing TV blog post, with more about TechShop.

Jim Newton and the TechShop folks explain:

TechShop is a 33,000 square foot membership based workshop that provides members with any skill level to have access to tools and equipment, instruction, and a creative and supportive community of like minded people so you can build the things you have always wanted to make.

TechShop is perfect for inventors, "makers", hackers, tinkerers, artists, roboteers, families, entrepreneurs, youth groups, FIRST robotic teams, crackpots, arts and crafts enthusiasts, and anyone else who wants to be able to make things that they dream up but don't have the tools, space or skills.

Here's more on the newly opened TechShop in Portland, Oregon.

RSS feed for new episodes here, YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.


Boing Boing tv: The Herd, "2020," music video by Mike Daly (buh-bye, 2008!)


(Video embed above, and here's a direct MP4 download.)

A special treat from Boing Boing tv for your New Year's eve revelry, we're gonna sneak this one last episode in before the clock strikes 2009 here! Enjoy this music video for Sydney, Australia-based band The Herd, directed by the phenomenally talented Mike Daly. More about the band's "glam/folk/tropical" music here. Every time we played this one in the BBtv editing bay, we all ended up dancing around the Final Cut windows. Mike Daly did incredible work here, there's not a frame of this I'd do differently, and it says so much about the year we're ending tonight, don't you think? Dig it, TRY not to dance, keep the faith my fellow mutants, and Feliz Año a todos ustedes, from all of us at the Boing Boing blogs, and the Boing Boing TV team! Peace.

Boing Boing tv faves from 2008: Mark's Tour of Intelligentsia Coffee


Another installment in our "faves from 2008" BoingBoing tv retrospective -- this two-parter in which Mark Frauenfelder gets an exclusive tour of Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea. Above, part one, below, part two, and MP4 links for download here:

* A Morning at Intelligentsia Part 1
* A Morning at Intelligentsia Coffee Part 2

Snip from the original post:

Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea is based out of Chicago, Illinois and has recently opened up a new store in the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Kyle Glanville, head of research and development at Intelligentsia and winner of the 2008 US Barista Championship shows Mark how they acquire and roast some of the finest coffee in the world.

The word intelligentsia derives from the Latin word intelligentia, meaning a group of people engaged in complex mental and creative labor directed to the development and dissemination of culture. Kyle Glanville has been laboring to promulgate a new coffee culture with Intelligentsia to combat the "get up and go" mentality, and Mark is along for the ride to learn the careful art of roasting coffee.

Intelligentsia is located at 3922 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90029 and is open 7 days a week.

And see also this related BBtv episode: Looking for the Perfect Bean: Kyle Glanville's World Coffee Tour, part 1 - Brazil (direct MP4 Link).


Danny Choo visits Afro Samurai Creator's Japanese Star Wars Art Collection


You may remember Danny Choo from an earlier Boing Boing tv episode this year -- the "prince of Akihabara" donned his Stormtrooper finery and led some of Silicon Valley's finest CEOS through a tour of Tokyo's famed otaku district, with Joi Ito. So, Danny is also the son of famed fashion designer Jimmy Choo, and he is very well-known in Japan as a web personality, and a curator of truly wonderful nerdy things. He's like a long-lost Boing Boing cousin! Anyway -- today, Danny checks in with some amazing snapshots.

"I was at the creator of Afro Samurai's house the other day and he dug up some Japanese style Star Wars art," Danny says. This stuff is incredible. Here's the photo set link for Danny's visit with Takashi Okazaki. And below, beneath the snapshot, the trailer for Afro Samurai, which I have yet to see. Thanks Danny!



Boing Boing faves from 2008: George Lucas in "The Boba Fett Mystique"


We're revisiting some of our favorite Boing Boing tv episodes during the holiday break, and while the one I'm embedding here (MP4 link here) is perhaps not going to win any Pulitzers, it was one of the most fun we had shooting anything ever. I won't spoil the surprise, but it involved making people in an office building very uncomfortable, and had absolutely nothing to do with George Lucas or Boba Fett. As for the bait 'n' switch title -- just work with me here, this was our April Fool's Day episode for 2008. And as for why it's worth posting today? If you're anywhere near an office park or an elevator with strangers in it, I strongly recommend you do this on New Year's Eve.

Boing Boing tv Best of 2008: TCHOcolate Magical Mystery Tour Trilogy


Continuing in our retrospective of favorite BBtv episodes from 2008, today's feature is an encore presentation of our three-part visit to the delicious, trippy, techy TCHO factory in San Francisco. The "chocolate for a new generation" startup was hacked together by a space shuttle technologist, Timothy Childs, and the founder of Wired, Louis Rosetto.

Part one is embedded above, parts two and three below, and here are direct MP4 links to all: one, two, three. Snip from the original post:

In part one of Boing Boing tv's multi-part exploration of Tcho, we begin in the lab, and learn about the origins of chocolate: it's a weird looking fruit with biological roots in faraway tropical lands. How this fruit is cultivated, harvested, and cured determines the flavor of the final product, and we learn about the hedonics -- the sensual nuances -- of this exotic and temperamental element.

Blog posts with more chocolicious background on all that we experienced there:


BBtv Favorites from 2008: TechShop, a Community Tinkering Space


(Flash embed above, downloadable MP4 link here.)

Continuing in our retrospective of favorite Boing Boing tv episodes, we revisit the fun we had checking out TechShop, an open-access public workshop that's kind of like a health club with heavy machinery and sparks instead of treadmills. Tinkerers, inventors, and hackers pay a membership fee, and in turn receive access to professionally-maintained gear, workshops, mentors, and a community of like-minded makers.

Currently there is only one site in Silicon Valley, and it opened in 2006. But founder Jim Newton (a lifetime maker, veteran BattleBots builder and former MythBuster) plans to open a number of locations around the US -- and eventually, the rest of the world.

John Todd, who you'll meet in this episode, wrote this article about the membership-based machine and fabrication shop in a recent edition of Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools zine. Snip:

I've been a member since before TechShop really even started, back when it was just some guys passing out flyers trying to gauge interest. For $100 a month, members can use any tool in the shop on which they've received training. MUCH cheaper than buying your own gear. The list of equipment is pretty extensive, too, and new items are arriving frequently (like a new hot-wire foam cutter).
John shares an additional note with BBtv about the company's business model:
TechShop is unusual in the way it's funded - community members are the financial backers. To date, TechShop has been funded by taking loans from members and repaying them at a nominal rate. Typically backers contribute $25k and up, and are then paid back over several years. There is an "A" round being raised now to fund the nationwide expansion, and the first funding source again is going to be the community instead of focusing on traditional VC sources. It's an unusual way to keep members excited about what they do at TechShop, and to keep them focused on making the whole experience better. Jim Newton (CEO) and Mark Hatch (COO) are looking for additional interested people who want to become members and funders - contact TechShop for details.
Do watch the second half of this episode. We take a joyride in a three-wheeled electric car, while wearing ridiculously inappropriate shoes. That's the little vehicle, above, with me (helpless passenger) and the guy who invented it (driver, going way too fast for comfort). It was a total blast, and all lulz aside, this guy's invention is pretty badass.

BBtv: David "Simpsons" Silverman's Holiday cards, and Tuba Carols


Happy holidays from Boing Boing tv! Continuing in our retrospective of favorite episodes from our first year:

Each year, David Silverman (director of the Simpsons Movie, and longtime director of the TV show) illustrates holiday cards for friends and family. Xeni visits him in his home studio for a re-enactment of the craziest years in holiday cheer, complete with tuba carols.
( Flash embed above, and here's a direct MP4 download link. )

Boing Boing tv: Christmas Cards from a K'iche Maya Pueblo.


(Flash video embed above, MP4 download is here.)

Christmas Cards from a Mayan Village in Guatemala This week, the Boing Boing tv crew is taking a week off, and we've been revisiting some of the episodes that mean the most to us over the past year.

For me, for many reasons, the three episodes we produced from a K'iche Maya pueblo in the Guatemalan highlands were the most personally important. I'll embed one above.

It's about taking a traditional sweat bath, which is something they might well be doing today there during the holidays, provided there's enough water -- that only comes every few days.

Here are all three:

(1) BBtv WORLD: Through the eyes of the pueblo.
(2) BBtv WORLD: Migration, and a Mayan Sweat Bath.
(3) BBtv WORLD: El Molinero.

And other episodes of "BBtv WORLD" about Guatemala are here. But I also wanted to take this opportunity to share something else that means a lot to me. Last night, I scanned some of the hand-drawn Christmas cards from participants in an international non-profit I work with there, and uploaded them to Flickr. These were private cards, sent from folks in the pueblo to project participants in the US (in other words, they weren't for sale or anything, they were just heartfelt communication from one person to another).

I'm sharing some of them here with permission. They're beautiful and very meaningful to me.

Some of the cards refer to the old Mayan gods (for instance, references to "Ajaw", or "Tzaq'ol and Bit'ol", primordial entities who were present at the creation of all things), other cards refer to to Christianity. Some were created by children, others by adults, and the one with the Mayan house and the big Christmas tree and the volcano, thumbnail above? That man is considered the best painter and illustrator in the town. Every one of the cards, all in a stack next to me on my desk here right now, every one reflects soul, kindness, and hope.

To really appreciate them, click on "all sizes" and look at the larger size. The one I received personally read, "Feliz Navidad, y Paz a Todas Las Naciones Del Mundo." I know the woman who drew it, and she's survived so much.

On behalf of the Boing Boing tv team, and my colleagues in the nonprofit that works in that village, I extend that greeting to each of you who reads this blog post today. Friends we know, and friends we do not.

Flickr set: Christmas cards from a K'iche Maya Village in Guatemala



Christmas Cards from a Mayan Village in Guatemala

Christmas Cards from a Mayan Village in Guatemala

Christmas Cards from a Mayan Village in Guatemala

Joel Johnson on the Road to CES: Film Noir Edition (BBtv + BB Gadgets)


Continuing in Boing Boing tv's "Road to CES" series, Joel Johnson at Boing Boing Gadgets sez:

Although we didn't bother with CES last year, this year the Boing Boing team will be out in the cold Las Vegas desert, sifting through piles of sadness incarnate to find the precious products that might actually make our lives – if not truly better – a little happier in the coming year.

I'm more excited about going to CES as I have been in a long time. (Thanks in large part to your suggestions.) We try to keep it positive around here, but sometimes that's easier to do when everyone else seems so down in the dumps.

At least that's how I think it'll be at this year's show. Perhaps the convention won't be quite as bleak as I imagine in this "Road to CES" video we've put together.

Join the discussion thread with Joel, Brownlee, and Beschizza over at Boing Boing Gadgets.

Flash embed over there, and here's a direct MP4 link if you'd prefer to download.

Previously -- here was Xeni's video installment: The Road to CES: What do you want? (BBtv + Boing Boing Gadgets)


Sponsor shout-out: Boing Boing TV's coverage of CES 2009 is sponsored by WEPC.com, in partnership with Intel and Asus. WePC.com is intended to be a site where users come together to "share ideas, images and inspiration about the ideal PC." Participants' designs, feature ideas and community feedback will be evaluated by ASUS and "could influence the blueprint for an actual notebook PC built by ASUS with Intel inside."


Best of BBtv in 2008: Xeni Flies in Zero Gravity


(Flash embed above, here's a downloadable MP4 link)

Continuing in our retrospective of favorite Boing Boing tv episodes from 2008, we return to zero gravity today.

With me on the Zero-G weightless flight featured in this episode are Intel Chairman Craig Barrett; my friend Sean Bonner from metblogs; and a bunch of science teachers from grade schools and high schools throughout the United States who were on board to conduct microgravity experiments for the kids back home.

As you watch, keep an eye out for the floating lego robot, a flying pig, and the barfing guy who is totally barfing for reals -- the rest of us did not, btw, I don't get sick in space.

What you see in this episode is what it really feels like, and it feels awesome.

(Special thanks to Peter Diamandis, and George and Loretta Whitesides)

Boing Boing tv year in review: Galactic Super Funtime


(Flash embed above, and here's a downloadable MP4.)

Happy Lazy-Time on Boing Boing tv! We're slowing down for the holidays, and taking a few weeks to gloat over all the fun stuff we produced together in 2008. Come join us in the seasonal gloating! Right here, under the genetically engineered mistletoe, by the warmth of burning fuel cells.

Today's installment: Remember when we flew out to the Mojave Spaceport to hang out with astronaut and American hero Buzz Aldrin, Virgin Galactic (and Virgin America, and Virgin everything) founder Sir Richard Branson, Scaled Composites founder Burt Rutan, and other space luminaries for the Virgin Galactic launch? Well, why don't we just revisit that moment of glory here. It was a lot of fun. And we're hoping a future episode of our video hijinks will actually take place on the spacecraft. That's what we want for Christmas.

Original blog post here:
BBtv: Virgin Galactic and WhiteKnightTwo with Buzz, Branson, and Rutan.

Why revisit this episode today? Snip from a blog post on spacefellowship.com:

Earlier this week images were appearing on the internet showing that the WhiteKnightTwo craft had been doing some tests in Mojave, the earliest tests showed perhaps two of the engines being used, while a later test showed all the engines working and some further testing. Today we finally saw the four Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308A engines carrying the craft into the air and a huge milestone being reached by Virgin Galactic.

The maiden flight of the craft lasted just shy of one hour and happened today at around 08.15 at Mojave air and spaceport. Rumours suggest that a Beechcraft King Air was used for a chase plane. (...) This key event now leads us into an interesting 2009 when we should see the SpaceShipTwo craft being unveiled.

Read: Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Mothership Makes Maiden Flight.

And, you may also enjoy revisiting this related Boing Boing tv episode, another one of our faves from 2008: Xeni kicks the tech tires on Virgin America (Flash embed below, here's the downloadable MP4 Link).

In case you're joining the party late -- you can watch Boing Boing tv while you're on Virgin America airplanes, we think they're about as awesome as an airline gets, and I believe the Galactic episode above is actually playing on seat-back rotation right now.


BBtv Unicorn Chaser: Diesel Sweeties Laser Robots


(Flash embed above, or download an MP4 video here.)

Happy Hols from Boing Boing tv! In this week's Friday Unicorn Chaser episode, Sculptor Chris Yates creates laser-cut robots for the holidays, based on the Diesel Sweeties webcomic by R. Stevens.

Killing Capitalism With Christmas: Happy Holidays from BBtv + monochrom!


(Flash video embed above, downloadable MP4 here.)

Longtime Boing Boing tv contributors monochrom have brought us Soviet terrorism training videos, improvisational urban fires, and highfalutin economic philosophy from the mouths of sock puppets.

Monochrom sock puppets Kiki & Bubu return to us today, for a very special holiday-themed episode: Kiki & Bubu & The Feelings. The yuletide song they perform for us is sure to be an instant classic -- Killing Capitalism with Christmas. You can grab it on iTunes, on the 2008 album "Monochrom: Carefully Selected Moments".

Bonus: Watch this behind-the-socks footage, from the secret filming location in the Austrian alps.

SYNOPSIS (some spoilers):

Yes, it is a time of crisis, but it is also a time of Christmas. Slovenian hackers crack CNN's hologram thingie, and bring us the avatar of gender-ambiguous singing sensation Enron Hubbard. Enron sings a hypnotic call to reject holiday consumerism and replace malls with meaning. Or if not meaning, post-internet nihilism and the ironic use of MySpace smiley-gifs. Online porn monster shows up after Enron is finished singing his holiday song, then Kiki and Bubu scamper off for eggnog frappucinos.

(Special thanks to chief executive sock puppet overlord and awesome guy Johannes Grenzfurthner!)

(BBtv) Blip Festival 2008: Joel interviews Jellica, Mr. Spastic, and Nullsleep


(Flash video embedded above, here's a downloadable MP4.)

Today's episode of Boing Boing tv is an OFFWORLD feature -- this time, Joel and Rob visit the annual chiptunes music gathering Blip Festival 2008, better known as "blipfest."

Joel interviews several artists in this episode who create music inspired by the aural texture of old-schoold video games: Mr. Spastic, Jellica, and Nullsleep.


Join the conversation about this episode over on Offworld.

Previously: Blipfest 2008: Joel interviews chiptunes artist Bubblyfish.

(Special props to Beschizza for doubling as director of photography for these episodes! Holy Brother of Mario, what can't that guy do. Seriously. )



The Road to CES: What do you want? (BBtv + Boing Boing Gadgets)


(Embedded Flash video above, and here's a downloadable MP4)

In just a few weeks, Boing Boing TV will be traveling to Vegas for The 2009 Consumer Electronics Show with the Boing Boing Gadgets guys -- Joel, John, and Rob. We're planning to broadcast video reports from the show floor. We're also bracing ourselves for lots of casino umbrella drinks.

To get us started in planning our coverage on the blog in text, photos, and in video, we thought it might be cool to hear from you, our audience. So we asked BB commenters and peeps who follow us on Twitter -- what do you hope or expect to see more of, or less of, at the world's largest electronics show this year. What exactly do you want us to bring home from CES?

In this episode of BBtv, we share your responses. They include:

♦ Find weird things on the fringes -- BE BOING BOING.
♦ OH WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN!!! (capture that on video.)
♦ Better netbooks, notebooks -- mobile computing.
♦ The most impractically ginormous flatscreen television ever.
♦ mobile gaming! laptops and mobile devices that allow me to get my game on out in the world.
♦ What notebooks or a/v devices are attendees themselves using on the show floor?
♦ Do not cover gadgets at all. Cats are better than gadgets. Also, they are an emergency food source during times of economic crisis.




Sponsor shout-out: Boing Boing TV's coverage of CES 2009 is sponsored by WEPC.com, in partnership with Intel and Asus. WePC.com is intended to be a site where users come together to "share ideas, images and inspiration about the ideal PC." Participants' designs, feature ideas and community feedback will be evaluated by ASUS and "could influence the blueprint for an actual notebook PC built by ASUS with Intel inside."


BBtv: Bubblyfish at Blip Festival 2008 with Joel Johnson


(Flash video embed above, downloadable MP4 link here)

Today on Boing Boing tv, the first in a series of gaming/gadget features with Joel Johnson from an annual celebration of 8-bit/videogame-inspired music. Joel says:

Last week found us at Blip Festival 2008, the megalocus of live chiptunes music, where Game Boys met Atari STs with Amiga visuals for four evenings of square wave fun.

We were out in Gowanus in Brooklyn at the event, at least until Rob and I got tired and had to go home and rest our widdle heads. But until then, we got to speak to several of the artists just after their sets, and the BBtv crew is taking our drunken, blurry footage and actually making something worth watching out of it.

First up: Haeyoung "Bubblyfish" Kim

Here's the comments thread over at Boing Boing Offworld.

BBtv Update: Best Viral Videos of 08, Susie Bright Sexblogs and Guestblogs, "Imaginary" Art, Cory's Charitable Giving Guide.


(Flash video embedded above, Direct MP4 Link here).

In this week's edition of our weekly Boing Boing tv update...

♦ We take a sneak peek at the images in Imaginary Foundation's gallery show, which opened this week in LA, and we watch their iconic "astronaut drummer" guy rocking out IRL.

♦ New BB guestblogger Susie Bright checks in with a video report! (NB: she consults Brian Eno and Eric Schmidt's Oblique Strategy cards when in doubt -- and she shows us the Mac desktop widget version here).

♦ We take a look at the groups featured in Cory's "Boing Boing Charitable Giving Guide"

♦ Boing Boing is blogging over at GOOD Magazine, and we preview Pesco's first contribution -- about the psychological impact of Twittering/vlogging/lifecasting/Facebooking everything you do.

♦ At the end of this episode, BBtv remixes the already-excellent "Best Viral Videos of 2008" montage curated by our pals at Videogum. Enjoy. Crunk makes everything better.



Previous Weekly Boing Boing Updates from BBtv:
* Boing Boing tv Update: Econopocalypse, Julie Amero, Holiday Gifts, Mumbai.
* Boing Boing tv Update: Virgin WiFi, Obfuscated Code, Comment Poetry, Downfall Housing Remix
* Boing Boing tv Update: OFFWORLD, YES MEN, and THIS IS THE FIRST.

Boing Boing tv Week in Review

Perhaps you missed an episode or two of Boing Boing's daily original video programming this week? Here's a recap, so you can watch while you pretend to be productive at work for what's left of this fine Friday.


♦ MONDAY: In our Weekly Update, we caught up with the people behind the BB post "Donate Your Used Digital Camera to LA's Skid Row Photo Club. BB readers donated used gadgets to the Skid Row Photo Club, and project participants join us from the heart of Skid Row. Then, we LOLled as Mark's chickens dance to Yakety Sax, and watched some gory splatterpunk claymation videos from Japan. WATCH IT. Here's a direct MP4 Link.



♦ TUESDAY: In our weekly Boing Boing Gadgets Video feature, Joel reviewed the Philips Norelco Bodygroom ($50) a shaver for men. Strategic kitteh were deployed as figleafs to shield our viewers' eyes from inadvertently exposed people-parts. WATCH IT. Here's a direct MP4 link.



♦ WEDNESDAY: Brandon Boyer, editor of Boing Boing Offworld, updated us on iPhone games and arty Wii avatars. WATCH IT. Here's a Direct MP4 Link.


♦ Also on Wednesday, we began a three-day commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in partnership with WITNESS. First episode: this video about the treatment of mentally disabled youth at a hospital in Paraguay, and proof of the power in video to stop human rights abuses. WATCH IT. Here's a Direct MP4 Link.



♦ THURSDAY: I interviewed WITNESS digital archivist Grace Lile, and she spoke about the importance of preserving and making available video that documents human rights abuses -- here in the US, and around the world. WATCH IT. Here's a Direct MP4 Link.


♦ Also on Thursday, we aired a WITNESS video feature about the lives of child soldiers in the Congo, and a man who works to demobilize, rehabilitate, and protect them. WATCH IT. Here's a Direct MP4 Link.


♦ FRIDAY, today -- we aired our final WITNESS feature in this week's series. This video told the story of a Mayan man who witnessed the Rio Negro Massacre in Guatemala. WATCH IT. Here's a Direct MP4 Link.

♦ And finally, today -- we ended the week with a Unicorn Chaser at a music festival, featuring our old pal from London, Russell Porter. WATCH IT. Here's a Direct MP4 Link.

(BBtv + Witness) A Massacre Remembered in Guatemala.


(Flash video embedded above, MP4 Link here.)

Today is the final installment of Boing Boing tv's three-day special series in partnership with the video network WITNESS commemorating the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

In this episode: the story of Jesus Tecu Osorio, a Maya Achí man who witnessed one of the most horrific massacres of Guatemala's 36-year internal conflict, when he was a child -- and what he is doing to preserve the memory of victims, and the rights of survivors.

Here is a snip from the Wikipedia article about that massacre:

In 1978, in the face of civil war, the Guatemalan government proceeded with its economic development program, including the construction of the Chixoy hydroelectric dam. Financed in large part by the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank, the Chixoy Dam was built in Rabinal, a region of the department of Baja Verapaz historically populated by the Maya Achi. To complete construction, the government completed voluntary and forcible relocations of dam-affected communities from the fertile agricultural valleys to the much harsher surrounding highlands. When hundreds of residents refused to relocate, or returned after finding the conditions of resettlement villages were not what the government had promised, these men, women, and children were kidnapped, raped, and massacred by military officials. More than 440 Maya Achi were killed in the village of Río Negro alone, and the string of extra-judicial killings that claimed up to 5,000 lives between 1980 and 1982 became known as the Río Negro Massacres. The government officially declared the acts to be counterinsurgency activities.

This video is narrated by REM frontman Michael Stipe, and is presented with the music of composer Philip Glass. For more on WITNESS, and how they are using video to draw world attention to human rights abuses throughout the globe, visit the recently launched Witness HUB website.

Related: earlier here on Boing Boing, I shared a report I filed for National Public Radio about the group that conducted the exhumations mentioned in this WITNESS video. The Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala (FAFG) are technologists, anthropologists, and archaeologists who unearth these mass graves. They work to identify the dead and return the remains to their families for dignified reburial. The process begins with the hard work of the exhumation itself, but they also use DNA forensics and software they develop themselves, so they can identify a greater portion of the remains, and preserve evidence that could be used in criminal trials. FAFG staff routinely deal with death threats from those who do not support their work. Listen to "Group Works to Identify Remains in Guatemala ," and here is the entire NPR special series, "Guatemala: Unearthing the Future." (Image below: Xeni Jardin)



BBtv Unicorn Chaser: The Goofy Truth Behind Our Presence at a Certain Music Festival.


(Flash video embedded above, MP4 Link here.)

BBtv presents this week's Friday "Unicorn Chaser" -- the goofy truth behind Xeni and BBtv's UK music correspondent Russell Porter's reports from the SF Outside Lands music festival. Summer concert season is long gone, and the gaffer tape that once spelled "Boing Boing tv" on our tour bus has long since faded, along with our concert sunburns. So we figure it's safe to reveal how much dorking out took place between story tapings and band sessions. Besotted joyrides on stolen Segways, the snatching of sunglasses from complete strangers, and improvised pickup lines like "I'm the drummer from Radiohead. Really." Russell? You really are "special." We love you, man, and we miss "working" with you.

(BBtv + WITNESS) A Duty to Protect: Child Soldiers in the Congo


(Flash video embedded above, downloadable MP4 Here.)

More than 20,000 children have been abducted and forced into armed service by warring factions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1996. Many of these children are sexually exploited; many are forced to participate in or witness atrocities, as a way of life.

In day two of Boing Boing tv's three-day special series in partnership with the video network WITNESS commemorating the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, we present this special feature on the lives of the child soldiers in DRC.

In this episode, we'll hear from Bukeni Waruzi of the Child Soldier Project (AJEDI-Ka/PES), who are working to demobilize the boys and girls and provide them with protection, rehabilitation, and psychological care.

If you'd like to support the work of the Child Soldier Project, here's more info on how to assist (they are accepting donations, but there are other ways to help, too).

For more on WITNESS, and how they are using video to draw world attention to human rights abuses throughout the globe, visit the recently launched Witness HUB website.



Machine Project's FRY-B-QUE is this weekend in LA


Machine Project, a wonderful little alt/tech gallery and event space in Los Angeles where we've shot many a Boing Boing tv episode, is hosting another one of their annual holiday season Fry-B-Ques.

Last year, BBtv attended, and we shot the episode above. You're not actually supposed to fry gadgets, and now that a year has passed, fine, I can reveal that we did not really fry a cellphone. It's all Final Cut magic. Fake. Fakefakefake. You cannot fry cellphones, or gadgets, or bailed-out automobile manufacturers, or credit default swaps, or anything non-edible at the Fry-B-Que. There, that's over with. I feel so much better.

Now, then. If you go, here is my advice: do not eat anything for like 48 hours beforehand. Here's the blurb from Machine Project:

Fry-B-Q is here! Please join us on Sunday, December 14th at 8pm. This year there's a new twist – Pie-B-Q! Head to Machine for the fried food extravaganza and live music by Emily Lacy & friends, and then go next door to our neighbors the Echo Park Film Center for screenings of new videos from the Machine Project Field Guide to LACMA, rare Machine home videos and pies. Pies! Starts at 8pm. Admission to the event is free, pay $5 for all you can fry privileges, and $5 for all you can pie privileges. Things to do:

1) Arrive between 8 - 11 pm Sunday Dec 14th.

2) Bring something edible to fry. Our trained fryolater technicians will be standing by, eager to batter and fatify your soon to be delicious snacks. Our extensive testing suggests that almost any item will bring great fried satisfaction - potatoes, fish, vegetables, onions, twinkies, etc. Just in case we bought extra fire extinguishers.

3) prepare for eating pie.

4) Bring cash or checks (or credit cards) small and large and become a friend of Machine Project. We need your help to keep doing what we do, and your membership fee is fully tax deductible. Details on our support page.

Incidentally, Machine Project was written up in the NYT recently, and hey! Look at that. Boing Boing was also mentioned in the article.

BBtv: Xeni interviews WITNESS.org digital archivist Grace Lile on video and human rights


Boing Boing tv is commemorating the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights this week in partnership with WITNESS. Founded by musician and activist Peter Gabriel in 1992, the group uses video and online media to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations.

Today, we present this interview with the organization's digital archivist, Grace Lile about video as a tool to fight human rights abuses at home and abroad. She tells us about how WITNESS gathers videos from human rights activists and "citizen eyewitnesses," and why collecting and preserving this footage matters.

Grace also tells us about the recently-launched hub.witness.org, which is a sort of gathering place for people who want to get involved.

(Special thanks to Yvette Alberdingkthijm, Sameer Padania, Martin Tzanev, Matisse Bustos Hawkes, and Bryan Nuñez of Witness, and BB Patron Saint Joi Ito.)

BBtv WORLD + WITNESS.org: 60 Years of Declaration of Human Rights, and Rights of The Mentally Disabled


(Warning: the video embedded in this post contains graphic content that viewers may find disturbing.)

Boing Boing tv commemorates the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights this week in partnership with WITNESS. Have you read the declaration lately? You can do so here. It is as timely and essential to our world today as it was on December 10, 1948, just after the end of World War II.

WITNESS was founded by musician and activist Peter Gabriel with other human rights groups in 1992. They use video and online media to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations. We'll be airing reports from the WITNESS archives this week, and tomorrow Boing Boing tv will present an interview with the organization's digital archivist, Grace Lile. She spoke with us about how WITNESS gathers videos like the one I'm embedding here, and why collecting and sharing this footage matters. She also tells us about the recently-launched hub.witness.org, which is a sort of gathering place for people who want to get involved.

Today, as a special edition of BBTV WORLD, we present a video from WITNESS that was produced by Mental Disability Rights International (MDRI) and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL). With this video, they sought to "prevent continued unlawful acts that threaten the rights to life, liberty and personal security of two boys, Jorge, age 18, and Julio, age 17, and 458 others detained in the Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital of Paraguay." The two boys were detained in approximately six-by-six feet isolation cells, naked, and without access to bathrooms. Hospital staff said the boys have been detained in these conditions for the past four years.

The video is deeply disturbing. I found it very painful to watch. But the producers, and the people behind WITNESS, hope that by documenting these abuses and making the documentation available to the world in this explicit form, we will be inspired to stop the abuse -- in this case, and in others around the world.

Here is a direct MP4 link, if you prefer to download. Below, a video from WITNESS commemorating the Declaration of Human Rights, and what it means to us today.


(Special thanks to Yvette Alberdingkthijm, Sameer Padania, Martin Tzanev, Matisse Bustos Hawkes, and Bryan Nuñez of Witness, and BB Patron Saint Joi Ito.)