Here's a first-person walk-through of "Machine," a steampunk horror show built by hobbyists in their garage. It's jaw-dropping awesomesauceular -- "real horrorshow," as Little Alex might say.
Here's University of Auckland engineering lecturer, Peter Bier riding a unicycle across his classroom with a juggling student on his shoulders, memorably demonstrating some key principles of physics.
University lecturer on unicycle with student on his shoulders - juggling!!! (Thanks, Tim!) Blind juggling robot High-speed Dance Dance Revolution kid juggling three pins Juggling monkey makes ape out of AACS The Self-Balancing Unicycle Gadgets Fast food table with unicycle wheels Steampunk Segway: the Legway Read the rest
xkcd Comic Wedding Cake (via Super Punch) Bakers make cake with image of flash drive instead of image in ... Resignation letter on cake Katamari Damacy cake kicks ass HOWTO bake a no-mess chocolate cake in five minutes Cthulhu cake! Funny cake decorating flub AT-AT wedding cake Read the rest
William Gibson's latest novel, Zero History, is his best yet, a triumph of science fiction as social criticism and adventure. Continuing on from 2007's Spook Country, Zero History features a reformed, dried out version of Milgrim, the junkie anti-hero from Spook Country. He's been rehabilitated at the expense of Hubertus Bigend, the shadowy power-broker whom we first met in Pattern Recognition. Bigend has got Milgrim hunting for the designer behind a mysterious line of fetish-denim, in the hopes of remaking it as the basis for a lucrative US military contract; this being Bigend's idea of novelty-seeking good times.
Joining Milgrim is Hollis Henry, the former pop star from Spook Country, still reluctantly in Bigend's employ, but even more conflicted, and missing her ex-boyfriend, a thrill-seeking nutjob whose idea of a good time in jumping off tall buildings in a glidersuit. Milgrim -- and later, Hollis -- track the secret denim from South Carolina to London to Paris and back to London again, and very quickly find themselves embroiled in an intrigue involving US spooks, experimental UAVs, rogue infosec specialists, and a palace coup at Blue Ant, Bigend's legendary design and branding firm.
What makes Zero History into Gibson's best so far is how absolutely perfectly he captures the futuristic nature of the present day. Milgrim -- a junkie dried out after a ten year fugue of living rough and stealing to buy pills -- is well-suited to this task, emerging as if from a time-machine into the 21st century in full swing, able to narrate its essential strangeness without seeming contrived. Read the rest
"We had an interesting morning bringing it in," Dean said. "It was quite a fight.""8-Foot Shark Caught in Potomac River" Read the rest
Once the shark was captured, the next question was: What the heck do you do with it?
"I am probably going to have it mounted, maybe the head," Dean said. "Right now, the shark's in the freezer."
The fiction prizes were especially sweet this year. Best novel was an almost-unheard-of tie between China Mieville for his brilliant, mind-bending The City and the City and Paolo Bacigalupe for his stellar debut novel The Windup Girl. Best novella went to my collaborator Charlie Stross for Palimpsest, from his wonderful, mind-bending solo short story collection Wireless. Best novelette went to Peter Watts for The Island, from The New Space Opera 2. Boing Boing readers will remember Peter as the SF writer who was beaten and gassed near the US/Canada border when he got out of his car to ask why US customs officers were searching his car; he spent tens of thousands of dollars fighting the charge and the potential two-year sentence; was found guilty but received a suspended sentence. SF fans raised money to bring Peter to Australia, and his acceptance speech in which he called this the "best and worst year of his life," was brilliant. Read the rest
This is the world's first frozen margarita machine, invented and built by Mariano Martinez in 1971 from parts of a soft-serve ice cream maker. His inspiration: A 7-11 Slurpee.
Today, it resides in the collection of the National Museum of American History, where a museum director once called it a, "classic example of the American entrepreneurial spirit."
What would you make of medieval historical records that prominently note the occurrence of large crops of acorns? It's a bit of a weird departure from the kinds of things these records normally care about, i.e. battles and the deaths of famous people. In fact, the people keeping these records didn't even eat acorns, and other, more useful, crops aren't mentioned at all.
But, sometimes, an acorn might be more than just an acorn, according to a 2003 paper by classicist David Woods. That's because the Latin word for "little nut" and the word sometimes used to describe the swollen lymph nodes caused by the Capital-P Plague are one and the same.
The Latin term glandularius is the root of our word for gland; etymologically, glandula means 'little nuts' because this is what they felt like when palpated. There is at least one other example of a plague record using glandulara as a descriptor. In c. 660 the Burgundian 'Chronicle of Fredegar' describes the 599 plague of Marseilles as a cladis glanduaria.
So "a spark of leprosy and an unheard of abundance of nuts", becomes the far more logical, "we've had some issues with leprosy and The Plague this year".
Contagions: Plague among the nutsRead the rest
Hack Job/Brian Tellock (via Neatorama) Previously: Just look at this awesome banana Viking helmet. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome slow-moving performance artist whose face has been covered with exploding bananas. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome EU banana curvature regulation. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome anti-banana-ripening bag. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome Korean banana-ripening facility. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome banana peeler. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome banana peeling simulator. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome banana slicer. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome banana saver clip. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome banana bunker. Boing Boing HOWTO disassemble a banana - Boing Boing Robber uses banana as "gun" - Boing Boing Hemant "The Friendly Atheist" Mehta Interviews Ray "The Banana Man ... Peeling bananas from the other end is easier - Boing Boing Forlorn bananas of London - Boing Boing 11 students suspended for banana prank - Boing Boing Read the rest
The idea for Cannabis Catering came to (Chef Frederick) Nesbitt when he learned that his friend's diabetic mother had been diagnosed with cancer. "I would bring back edibles [from the dispensary], but they're so high in high-fructose corn syrup that she was high off sugar rather than being medicated," he says. So Nesbitt began experimenting with his own pot food--starting with mashed potatoes."Meet the Personal Chef of Pot" (Thanks, Mathias Crawford!) Read the rest
Club-footed rubber-band woman visits us from the French Connection dimension, Melbourne, Australia The criticism that Ralph Lauren doesn't want you to see! Photoshop retouching of model Searching for the skinny on Ralph Lauren ad (UPDATE: "We are ... Ralph Lauren opens new outlet store in the Uncanny Valley - Boing ... Odd Victoria's Secret image analyzed with Photoshop forensics ... Xeni on Rachel Maddow Show: Ralph Lauren's Photoshop of Horrors ... Read the rest
They started in the '90s, and they were spurred by the federal government's Safe and Drug Free Schools Act, which required schools to implement zero tolerance for certain things like weapons. What schools have done across the country in the last 15 years is to expand greatly what falls under zero-tolerance policies. So they extend to not just deadly weapons and drugs but sometimes fighting and prescription drugs and other types of substances. What they mean is that if you're caught violating this broad rule, there's no discussion and no elaboration of why you did this. No investigation. We just punish you with the one-size-fits-all punishment.Read the rest
We're teaching kids what it means to be a citizen in our country. And what I fear we're doing is teaching them that what it means to be an American is that you accept authority without question and that you have absolutely no rights to question punishment. It's very Big Brother-ish in a way. Kids are being taught that you should expect to be drug tested if you want to participate in an organization, that walking past a police officer every day and being constantly under the gaze of a security camera is normal.
Here's video of the triumphant success of an elaborate kids' Rube Goldberg machine, created at an "informal Rube Goldberg summer camp for kids ages 3-8." I know nothing about this summer-camp, but it seems like one of the great Good Things of our era -- especially judging from the awesome elation of the kids after the successful run!
How to Get a Beach Ball Into a Galvanized Bucket (the Hard Way) OK Go's Rube Goldberg music video Rube Goldberg rat-run sends a neutral balloon through dozens of ... RFID Rube Goldberg device Rube Goldberg Machine animation from Sesame Street Rube Goldberg Cream Egg killer Ideal toy commercials from 1963 Read the rest
Any ethical claim to ownership over a scan of a public domain work should be treated with utmost suspicion, not least because of all the people with stronger claims than the scanner! To be consistent with the ethical principle that one should never use another's work without permission (regardless of the law or the public domain), every scanner would have a duty to ask, at the very least, the corporations whose products are advertised in these old chestnuts (the very best of them are for brands that persist to today, since these vividly illustrate the way that our world has changed - for example, see the very frank Lysol douche ad). For if scanning a work confers an ownership interest, then surely paying for the ad's production offers an even more compelling claim!Read the rest
And the publishers of the magazines and the newspapers - to scan is one thing, but what about the firm that paid to physically print the edition that we make the scan from?
TipEx (a Commonwealth analogue for Wite-Out and other correction-tape products) has an ingenious and engaging YouTube marketing campaign: a video called "NSFW: A hunter shoots a bear," branches off into a kind of video-text-adventure, where you are invited to type verbs into a box and see what the bear and the hunter do with one another (you can get funny results out of "fuck," of course, and also "gets high with" and "dances" -- I'm sure there's more). It's a kind of next-generation Subservient Chicken, and the (no doubt blisteringly expensive) creative reworking of YouTube's familiar user-interface makes it even more click-trancey than its forebears.
This is how to use YouTube to sell a product. (Thanks, Copyranter!) Subservient Chicken's X-Rated Bits Exposed by Code Food Porn -- Burger King Subservient Chicken HPOA (HOPA?) girl "Jenny Whiteboard" is obvious troll LULZ - Boing ... Lego boulder threatens civilization. Update: ugh, "stealth" viral ... Motorola, could you please tell your viral marketer to get out of ... Cellphone popcorn hoax revealed as viral marketing scam - Boing ... Read the rest