Boing Boing 

People of Burning Man [NSFW]

Julian Cash's The People of Burning Man is a beautifully produced photo-portrait book shot over many consecutive years at Burning Man, the giant, weird, delightful art and culture festival that takes place every summer in Nevada's Black Rock desert. Cash -- who's quite an accomplished and experimental portraitist -- does a wonderful job of bringing out the decadence and playfulness of Burning Man. There's plenty of the nudity that often comes to mind when people think of Burning Man (this is, after all, the home of the Critical Tits topless bicycle ride), but Cash manages the fantastic trick of allowing his nudes to be sensual and sometimes sexy without ever being pornographic or salacious. These aren't "tasteful" nudes -- but they are exuberant and above all, fun.

People of Burning Man is to be celebrated also for its admirable lack of text. There's very little narration here, because very little is needed. The pictures tell their own stories -- sometimes in a frozen snapshot, and sometimes over time, as we visit with the same Burners over consecutive years (including one woman who appears first in a very pregnant state, and then with a babe at her breast). What little text there is -- a bit of background on the art of shooting portraits in a harsh desert, a little bit of biography supplied by the subjects -- complements the images without upstaging them.

Cash was good enough to supply a gallery of (NSFW, naturally) photos that are included below. There's plenty more -- and lots more material, besides -- at his The People of Burning Man site. The book was independently published with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign, and it's both a beautifully made thing and a thing of beauty.

The People of Burning Man

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Alt Cartoonist Receives High Praise from Establishment

Stereotypes abound of the political cartoonists found in so-called alternative papers: the weeklies full of escort ads in the back and snarky commentary in the front. Matt Bors, on the surface, seems to embody the characteristics.

He's scruffy, doesn't own a suit, and lives in Portland. He expresses withering contempt at politicians, mainstream media, and what he views as hypocrisy. He's never made more than $15,000 a year from his cartoons, and supplements that income with illustration, freelance editorial jobs, and, possibly, blood plasma—at least he did in college; he has the scar to prove it.

The 28-year-old Bors was thus a bit surprised this year, and occasionally nonplussed, when he won the Herblock Prize for "excellence in editorial cartooning," was a finalist (with Oregonian newspaper staffer Jack Ohman) for the Pulitzer Prize, and received a Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Award.

Jesus Christ, Matt, when did you fucking sell out?

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Bones of Turkana: Meave and Richard Leakey on human ancestors and the Leakey legacy

The Leakey family is like the Kennedys, but for paleoanthropology instead of politics. Think about any hominin fossil or artifact you can name.

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A fatal lack of accountability

As long as secrecy and anonymity reign, public sector bureaucracies will be the hiding places for the incompetent, lazy and corrupt. Failures will be rewarded and successes stifled. It’s easier to lie when no one knows your name. It’s easier to do all sorts of unethical, if not criminal, things when you are promised anonymity. Read the rest

Anodyne Anonymity

When we think of journalists' anonymous sources, we think of the proverbial whistleblower. Company insiders, or civil servants, ready to violate their nondisclosure agreements to expose some wrongdoing, or perhaps to settle some score. On the other, sleazier, end of the scale, we might think of tipsters: a cash-strapped waiter at a restaurant who sells the story of a celebrity food-fight to a tabloid, a blabby nurse at a plastic surgery clinic who spills the beans on some captain of industry's chin-augmentation.

But the most commonly cited anonymous sources in the news today are the official, on-the-record spokespeople for corporations. And the anonymous speech that is protected by the journalists who quote them is the most bland, anodyne stuff you can imagine.Read the rest

Screenwipe on anonymous sourcing

In this segment from Charlie Brooker's Newswipe, Heather Brooke highlights the problems of anonymous sources in the UK media, where police spokespersons frequently mislead the public about suspects and investigations. [Video Link]

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Destroying stuff for science

How do engineers know that the pillars supporting a bridge can withstand the force of thousands of cars driving over them for decades?

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Reasons to love you, Game of Thrones

I became involved with the Game of Thrones TV series and books against all odds. After all, I don’t think of myself as a “geek” or a “nerd”, even if I am a video game journalist.

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Such a Long Journey - An Interview with Kevin Kelly

Photo: Michelle Gray

Kevin Kelly is a senior maverick for Wired magazine. Avi interviewed Kevin at his home in Pacifica.

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Modernizing Modesty: the Hijab and Body Image

Photo: Ranoush (cc) Illo: Rob Beschizza

Recent trends in Hijab fashion modernize a form of modest dress once defined by local traditions.

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Getting WET: on the magazine of gourmet bathing

Image: Imperfect Publishing, with permission

A magazine called “WET” is difficult to explain. Particularly when you have, as I do, a stack of them.

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The honeybees are still dying

The eerie mystery of the vanishing honeybees has not been put to rest.

In the last few weeks, three separate studies explored the effect of insecticides on honeybee and pollinator health.

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Happy Day Against DRM!

Today, May 4, is the International Day Against DRM, the day in which the Free Software Foundation's "Defective By Design" campaign urges you to celebrate DRM-free media and boycott DRM.

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The Tobacco Wars, Continued

On May 31st, the World Health Organization marks World No Tobacco Day. This year’s theme: tobacco industry interference. For evidence of that interference, we need look no further than our own backyard.

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The Six Degrees of Bacon

David Ng is a geneticist, writer, and creator of The Candy Hierarchy. Read more by him at McSweeneys and right here.

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Sober Is My New Drunk, by Paul Carr

Sometimes enough is enough, and memoirist Paul Carr exemplifies this maxim. His previous books - Bringing Nothing To The Party and The Upgrade - were tales told from the bottom of a champagne glass.

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The Driftless Area: Wisconsin's strange geology

Image: The Baraboo Range, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from crisp_air's photostream

On Wednesday, I traveled to Madison, Wisconsin, to give a talk based on my book, Before the Lights Go Out.

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The Investigative Dashboard: Hacking Crime and Corruption

Paul Radu is building a platform for the hacker community to collaborate with investigative journalists to expose the most vile, dangerous, and bizarre global corruption you never knew existed.

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[MP3] The Autumn Carnival, by The Dandy Warhols

Sound it Out # 26: The Dandy Warhols - "The Autumn Carnival" The Dandy Warhols have been a band since 1994.

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My Dinner with Marijuana: chemo, cannabis, and haute cuisine

Photo: Xeni Jardin

I went to a "cannabis dinner" in a loft in downtown Los Angeles on a day of great significance for potheads: 4/20.

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On Cost and Cancer in America

Photo, by Miles O'Brien: my chemo drip from last week.

Using Storify (hey, for the first time!) I rounded up a Twitter conversation with followers about the financial devastation that can follow a cancer diagnosis in the US.

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Apps for Kids 018: Got Cow?

Apps for Kids is Boing Boing's podcast about cool smartphone apps for kids and parents. My co-host is my 9-year-old daughter, Jane Frauenfelder.

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Helped by friends, cartoonist battles Parkinson's

Courtesy of Richard Thompson

Cartoonist Richard Thompson's voice was quiet and reedy when we spoke, although the traces of his Maryland upbringing are clear.

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A Season in Hell

 Features Hell 1

"From the "Obscure Pleasures of Medical Libraries" to the "Aphrodites of the Operating Theater," cultural critic Mark Dery is never one to turn a blind eye at our own gross anatomy. In 2006 though, Mark couldn't look away even if he wanted to. That year, the author of the new essay collection I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts, spent his summer vacation at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center suffering through the poisonous cure of chemotherapy before punctuating his year with hours under the surgeon's scalpel. Boing Boing is honored to publish for the first time Mark's intense, moving, and deeply personal account of his Season In Hell." — David Pescovitz

On the wall at the foot of my bed, a poster displays the Faces Pain Scale, a series of earless, genderless every men arranged, from right to left, in increasing degrees of agony.

“The faces show how much pain or discomfort someone is feeling,” the caption explains. “The face on the left shows no pain. Each face shows more and more pain and the last face shows the worst pain possible. Point to the face that shows how bad your pain is right NOW.” The blurb adds, helpfully, that your face need not resemble the cartoon visages in the Pain Scale.

It’s August 2011. I’m lying in a room at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, waiting to undergo surgery for a small-bowel obstruction, an intestinal blockage resulting from postoperative adhesions caused by my 2008 surgery for my first small-bowel obstruction, itself the result of my 2006 surgery for a rare and virulent cancer. Abdominal surgery begets scar tissue. Which gives rise to adhesions. Which sometimes cause bowel obstructions. Which may necessitate surgery. Which begets more scar tissue, which…

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Game Design with Kids: An Interview with Charley Miller

Charley Miller is a game designer and producer based in New York City.

Avi Solomon: Tell us a bit about yourself.

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The Mixtape Lost at Antikythera


The student of history who devotes his attention only to the most notable events and personae of the Hellenic tradition would imperfectly comprehend its true character. Though its Di Majores offers the pre-eminent claim upon the follower of the divine, it is always from mortal psychedelic machine music that surprises emerge.Read the rest

Haunted Mansion funnies: organist's origin

This little comic, written by me and drawn by Christopher in 2007, explains the origin of some of the Disneyland Haunted Mansion's most engaging ghosts: the ballroom organist and the screaming singers who fly out of his organ pipes.

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The Grammar of Happiness: An Interview with Daniel Everett

Daniel L. Everett is Dean of Arts and Sciences at Bentley University. He is the author of Language: The Cultural Tool and the subject of the documentary A Grammar of Happiness.Read the rest

Review - The Hunger Games

In a decadent future, The Hunger Games' child-on-child deathmatches entertain the mindless and cow the oppressed. Today, they're as dangerous as a PG-13 movie dares be.

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Gweek 045 - Extra Super Grab Bag: Cool Movies, Sites, Apps, Gadgets, and Other Neat Stuff

Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

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