Win $1000 for your NSA Surveillance cartoon

From Global Voices Online: "The Web We Want invites cartoonists, creatives and artists to join The Day We Fight Back on February 11, 2014 by creating an original cartoon about online surveillance and the right to privacy. The cartoons should help increase awareness about the NSA and demand accountability for mass digital surveillance in a way that makes people want to click and share."

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Win a copy of the audiobook for Jeff VanderMeer's "Annihilation"

Jeff VanderMeer sez, "Want a copy of the awesome Blackstone audiobook for Annihilation, the first book in my Southern Reach trilogy? If you live in the United States, U.S. territories, or the Philippines you are eligible to win." Read the rest

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Another prime number down, infinity to go

There are 17 million digits in the largest prime number we know of, so far. Its discovery is part of an ongoing distributed computing project aimed at exposing the existence of ever larger prime numbers, largely because prime numbers are there — flagrantly going around, only being divisible by themselves and the number 1. We'll show them, won't we? The Electronic Frontier Foundation foundation, for instance, is currently offering a $150,000 bounty for the first folks to bring in a 100-million-digit prime. Read the rest

Iron Egghead: Explain biology using eight everyday items

Enter Scientific American's video contest!

Carlton Cuse wants fans to create a title sequence for Bates Motel

In case there are any artistically-inclined fans of A&E's upcoming Bates Motel interested in creating a piece of the show, executive producer Carlton Cuse has put out a call for an opening title sequence. Through January 3, fans can submit videos, graphics, and other ideas to the show's Facebook page. Cuse, who will ultimately choose the winner, says, "We want to give fans the chance to participate in the show. We're looking for an awesome 15-second title sequence that captures the feel of Bates Motel -- not as a slasher/horror show, but as a complex, character-based thriller." Considering the prevalence of fan art, plus the current Hitchcock fever we've been experiencing, this seems like a really great opportunity to rouse a fan base that might have its doubts about a Psycho prequel series by making them feel like a significant part of the production. Bates Motel is set to premiere on A&E in March. (via The Hollywood Reporter) Read the rest

Backyard Blockbusters: documentary about fan films

John sez,

Did you ever see that movie where Batman fought a Predator? Or where kids remade "Raiders of the Lost Ark"? What about the fourth season of classic "Star Trek"? If none of these are familiar to you, that's because they're not studio projects, but fan films - and I've just finished and started touring film festivals with a documentary about these kinds of projects called "Backyard Blockbusters" - it looks at the history, influence, and copyright problems these types of projects face, and includes nearly everyone from the most famous, popular, and/or notable fan films, as well as notables from the original properties and production companies.

There's a very cool screening opportunity coming up, but I need public help to get the film into it - the Arclight Cinema in Hollywood is holding a documentary film festival in November, and the selection process is being done online through public voting - and "Backyard Blockbusters" is one of the contenders.

They will be counting both the amount of views the competing trailers for the various films get on YouTube pages, as well as the amount of votes the films receive on a special Facebook page.

Backyard Blockbusters (Thanks, John!) Read the rest

Spider in the grass

This amazing photo, by Cambridge biological sciences professor John H. Brackenbury, is a highly-commended runner up in the British Wildlife Photography Awards.

Via Alex Wild, who thinks Brackenbury was robbed of first place. Can't say I disagree.

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