Critical Commons has created its own entry in the great Hitler in the bunker remix meme. Steve Anderson sez, "The video is also promoting the fair use advocacy site Critical Commons, which is a fair use advocacy and media sharing site, funded by the MacArthur Foundation. This is currently the most radical media-sharing site on the open internet. Designed for media educators and students, Critical Commons makes high-quality, copyrighted media publicly available by placing it in a critical context and informing users about their rights under fair use."
Charles Phoenix writes:
This is not an art installation in a snooty, big city gallery or museum. (Although it could be and should be.) This is the perky polka dotted wall of a sunshine state souvenir stand dressed with dozens kooky characters. They are to coconuts what tiki gods are to palm tree trunks. Each is hanging there just waiting to be bought, bagged and taken to a new, more permanent home like a patio, tiki bar or rumpus room. Each one has been carefully carved, painted and finished by hand then imported from the exotic island it came from for our pleasure.Coconut heads on pegboard, Florida, 1960
Together on the wall they're certainly mesmerizing and nearly hypnotizing. They look at you every time you walk in the room. No two are exactly the same. Each has his, (or her) own personality. I'm not sure that today they would all pass the test of political correctness. Which one would you choose? Or do you just want them all?
Tempus fugit. Yes, it's been ten trippy years since Boing Boing became a blog. But it's been more than TWENTY since Mark Frauenfelder and Carla Sinclair created the first issue of the bOING bOING 'zine. In celebration of our mutant lineage on this happy day, here is an interview with Mark and Carla that ran in The Book of Zines (1996) by Chip Rowe. The book also included Bill Barker's "Emergency Personal Broadcast TV" and my "I'll Say Anything" from the bOING bOING 'zine. (I've been begging Mark to let me put bOING bOING's predecessor, Toilet Devil, online, but so far no dice.) From the interview:
When did you launch your zine? What inspired you to do so?Interview with Mark Frauenfelder & Carla Sinclair, bOING bOING
Mark: We launched bOING bOING in 1988. I was a mechanical engineer designed one of about 100 parts. It took months and months to design and test your assigned part. All the engineers knew each other by what parts they were designing. I was the motor guy. The engineer next to me was the flex lead guy. On Fridays we'd go to lunch with the actuator guy and the spacer ring guy and talk about sports and imported cars. I hate sports and I hate cars built after 1960, so even the meals were unsatisfying. I needed some kind of creative outlet, so Carla and I decided to start a zine. We decided to explore the coolest, wackiest stuff we could think of, and came up with the name bOING bOING. Bouncing through our crazy world.
Why publish a zine?
Mark: I love zines because one person can be responsible for all 100 parts. There's no money in it, but it can lead to paying gigs if you're good.
Carla: We publish to get "for review" freebies like records and books in the mail. Also, if you're a publisher you don't have to kowtow to anyone. You never have to query. You can say what you want, and talk about stuff the mainstream publications avoid either out of fear or ignorance.
Have you ever published any other zines?
Mark: Before we started bOING bOING, I did two issues of a mini-comic called Toilet Devil. I read an article about a gorilla they trained to use sign language. Whenever the gorilla was mad at one of the humans, she'd call them a toilet devil.
Happy birthday, Boing Boing! It's been ten years since Mark posted the first-ever Blogger-powered item to boingboing.net, and it's been a hell of a ride ever since. I literally can't imagine what it would be like to stop blogging today, nor what my life would be like if I hadn't had the chance to post tens of thousands of items here since I came onboard some nine years ago.
55,000+ posts later, I still feel like we've barely scratched the surface of the Internet's inexhaustible supply of "wonderful things." You know, you sometimes hear people talking about how crap everything on the net is (sometimes, they'll add "except all the 'stolen' professional content") and I wonder, "Are these people looking at a different Internet than the one that I get?"
Here's to a decade of Boing Boing, to my co-editors, Mark, Xeni and David, to all our contributors, Rob, Lisa, Brandon and Maggie, our longtime business manager John Battelle, and especially to Ken, Dean and every other largely unsung techie who's gotten out of bed at two in the morning to kick our servers into submission.
And here's to a billion more years of glorious blogging!
Open Letter From OK Go, regarding non-embeddable YouTube videos
The catch: the software that pays out those tiny sums doesn't pay if a video is embedded. This means our label doesn't get their hard-won share of the pie if our video is played on your blog, so (surprise, surprise) they won't let us be on your blog. And, voilá: four years after we posted our first homemade videos to YouTube and they spread across the globe faster than swine flu, making our bassist's glasses recognizable to 70-year-olds in Wichita and 5-year-olds in Seoul and eventually turning a tidy little profit for EMI, we're - unbelievably - stuck in the position of arguing with our own label about the merits of having our videos be easily shared. It's like the world has gone backwards.
Let's take a wider view for a second. What we're really talking about here is the shift in the way we think about music. We're stuck between two worlds: the world of ten years ago, where music was privately owned in discreet little chunks (CDs), and a new one that seems to be emerging, where music is universally publicly accessible. The thing is, only one of these worlds has a (somewhat) stable system in place for funding music and all of its associated nuts-and-bolts logistics, and, even if it were possible, none of us would willingly return to that world. Aside from the smug assholes who ran labels, who'd want a system where a handful of corporate overlords shove crap down our throats? All the same, if music is going to be more than a hobby, someone, literally, has to pay the piper. So we've got this ridiculous situation where the machinery of the old system is frantically trying to contort and reshape and rewire itself to run without actually selling music. It's like a car trying to figure out how to run without gas, or a fish trying to learn to breath air.
This 1951 Mutual of Omaha duck-and-cover ad explains how to survive a nuclear attack, giving such wise advise as "resist the impulse to look toward the source of this burning brightness," "shield yourself from the flash of brilliance," and "be alert for the blast wave." Helpful stuff.
...and, maybe, just maybe, buy yourself a little life insurance. (Thanks, Copyranter!)
I am chairing a discussion on the place of video games and virtual worlds in modern society - the lessons we might learn from them, their dangers, and why the public debate needs to move beyond breathless accusations about violent, screen-addicted young people.Taking Video Games Seriously (via Wonderland)
(Image: Gaming Day, a Creative Commons Attribution photo from nickstone333's photostream)
Update: Joris adds, "The design was modeled by Shapeways Community member Dmitry Kobzar; He spent 13 hours and 7 minutes making it. He will be thrilled that you're happy with it. The reason I asked Dmitry to model it was so we could make Makers come to life just like the people in your book do."
We're going to release the model files under a Creative Commons license. Watch this space!
Ukrainian steampunk leatherworker Bob Basset continues to knock 'em out of the park with his "Raptor Pilot" series. Here's number 4.
In the video above, Kyle Glanville of Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea shows you how to make a really great cup of espresso (more here).
A to-be-published meta-analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition supports my view that animal fat is nowhere as bad as we’ve been told a thousand times. It says:I guess I'll keep frying my eggs in bacon grease!
During 5–23 y of follow-up of 347,747 subjects, . . . intake of [more] saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of CHD [coronary heart disease], stroke, or CVD [cardiovascular disease]. The pooled relative risk estimates that compared extreme quantiles of saturated fat intake were 1.07 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.19; P = 0.22) for CHD, 0.81 (95% CI: 0.62, 1.05; P = 0.11) for stroke, and 1.00 (95% CI: 0.89, 1.11; P = 0.95) for CVD.
Emphasis added. One aspect of the results suggested that studies that found an positive association (more fat, more disease) were more likely to be published than those that didn’t find an association or found a negative association. Which means these numbers may underestimate the good effects.
Supreme Court acquits two in cyber money game case
The two allegedly purchased "Aden," cyber money in an online multiplayer role-playing game "Lineage," worth 234 million won ($207,558), which was lower than market price, through game item-trading Web sites.
Then they allegedly resold those purchased items to some 2,000 other players and earned about 20 million won.
Aden is used to buy accessories, cyber weapons and other items that appear in the game so that players' avatars - characters living in the online virtual world - in the game can gain more power.
- Real-Money Trades: turning gold-farming into a game company profit ...
- World of Developmentcraft: academic paper on gold farming as a ...
- Gold-farming empire linked to dot-com child abuse scandal - Boing ...
- Gold farming makes the NYT - Boing Boing
- Radio show about gaming in China: propaganda, paranoia and gold ...
- Boing Boing: Gold farming makes the NYT
- In-game cash marketplaces and Napster -- the arbitrage of time ...
- How badly designed reputation systems create in-game mafias ...
- EVE Online's economist speaks -- economics as an experimental ...
- Massively Multiplayer economics -- good discussion thread - Boing ...
- Game economy credit-crunch: mismanaged bank freezes player ...
- What happens when you give gamers intellectual property rights ...
- Boing Boing: Economists obsessed with gamespace
On January 10, our friends at Improv Everywhere held their annual No Pants! Subway Ride. In New York City, more than 3,000 people participated. Another couple thousand rode pantsless in more than 40 other cities around the world. Above is the video evidence. No Pants Subway Ride 2010
A new slideshow on Treehugger takes you inside a hipster/foodie hog butchery workshop, via photos of dead pig parts that are not nearly as front-page friendly as the one posted above. The goal: Understanding where the meat you buy comes from and what the process of turning animal into meat looks like—at least, in the traditional one-guy-with-a-knife sense. It's an interesting bit of DIY food production + often-ignored reality, and I'm reminded of some favorite scenes from Little House in the Big Woods (head cheese! bladder balloon!).
The story also contains a link to a fascinating side article on 5 Things To Do With Leftover Bacon Fat—which involves both bourbon, and cookies. How could it be wrong?
A few minutes late, but man, this is good stuff.
YouTube - Public Enemy - By The Time I Get To Arizona (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
- Free MP3: folk cover of Public Enemy's "Bring the Noise" - Boing Boing
- Boing Boing: Public Enemy's Internet strategy
- Public Enemy's history of copyright in hip hop - Boing Boing
- Boing Boing: Mashup up of Flaming Lips, MLK and Public Enemy
- Crossed Genres cover art featuring MLK as Terminator, KKK as girl ...
- Rare MLK speech on civil disobedience - Boing Boing
- Lost 1965 MLK sermon from Hollywood Synagogue - Boing Boing
- Video: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" - Boing Boing
- Martin Luther King, Jr. playlist - Boing Boing
In the 1970s, William S. Burroughs lived in New York City's Lower East Side in a former YMCA locker room, a windowless room affectionally referred to as The Bunker. Of course, Burroughs spent his later years in Lawrence, Kansas, but after his 1997 death, Burroughs's friend and landlord, avant-garde poet John Giorno kept the writer's Bunker bedroom intact. Photographer Peter Ross took a lovely series of photos of Uncle Bill's belongings. From an interview with Ross in The Morning News:
How did you choose what articles you wanted to photograph?"Burroughs" by Peter Ross (Thanks, Xeni!)
Most of the items just jumped out at me. How could I pull a book titled Medical Implications of Karate Blows out of a stack and not photograph it? Or the typewriter with his name on it? The blow darts and board that hang on the wall in his bedroom?
Well, how did you decide on the angle for each photograph--why the bottoms of the shoes, for example, instead of the tops?
I challenged myself to try and find what was unique to the items. I was looking for something historical and specific to their owner, and short of that I was pushing for an off-kilter angle or placement.
Shoes are just shoes, but only one man wore the holes into the bottoms of this pair. Just think of where these shoes have been, the conversations they have witnessed. These shoes likely have met many of my heroes of New York's 1970s and '80s culture.
SEARCH Database: Injuries reported by emergency rooms (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
(Image: 365 Days -- Attempt #2 -- Day 8 -- Mmmmm.... IV Painkillers really help!, a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike image from pmarkham's photostream)
John Ptak, a dealer in rare science books, has a post about pamphlets published by The Ladies Home Journal from the mid 20th century that are "social engineering how-to's for youngish girls." He says "they'll make your teeth hurt."
Perhaps it was the ["How to Rate Another Date"] pamphlet that caused most of my teeth to fall out --- it is sheer and painful, offering virtually nothing to the young women reading it and practicing its morality play but gender obedience and servility.What Goes into Making Human Robot Girls, 1941
"Did you give him all your attention?" "Did he run things?" "Did you give him a chance to impress you?" "Could you make him laugh?" It isn't until the final rating question (#25) that we get to something that opened the possibility of a two-way interest in the relationship, but only barely: "Did you find you liked the same things?" It's sad, really.
When I read some of this to my 17-year-old daughter, she just looked at me with an open mouth and eyebrow furrows: it was simply beyond listening to, for her, and certainly not anywhere near worthy of a response.
But CBS balked again, citing unspecified "issues" (presumably potential copyrights in the score or other materials). Basically, CBS has decided that it could cost too much to pay a lawyer to figure out if they can release these films -- or even turn them over to Benny's fans and family for release -- and so it has decided to simply abandon them, sealing them back up in the vault forever.
This isn't how it's supposed to work. In the Constitution's progress clause, Congress is empowered to "promote the progress of the arts" through copyright. When copyright creates these deadlocks that doom America's artistic heritage to history's scrapheap, copyright needs to change.
Late last week the International Jack Benny Fan Club got some very bad news: rather than allow the club with the Benny family's enthusiastic blessing to digitally preserve some unreleased public domain Benny show masters that CBS has in its possession, the network is giving a thumbs down to the idea -- thus sealing these shows' fate so they will never be seen again. In effect, it's a bullet through the head of this body of Benny work. And here is the most frustrating tidbit for comedy fans and those who study comedy: the Fan Club offered to do the preservation at no cost to CBS.Killing Comedic Heritage? CBS Reportedly Seals Some Classic Jack Benny Show Comedy Masters
Why does this matter? Benny invented the situation comedy on radio in the 1930s, had perfect timing, assembled a cast of zany characters who poked fun at him, could extend a laugh by the way he slowly panned around the room after a punch line and influenced comedians such as Kelsey Grammer and Johnny Carson. In his final years, he could literally read a page out of the phone book and get laughs. His final weekly series went off the air in 1964 but he continued to do specials until he died in 1974.
Den from Tokyo Times sends us this collection of photos from the ruins of the Higashi Izu-cho Hospital Isolation Ward: "A predominantly wooden structure that, due to its location in a relatively dense bamboo forest, is rapidly decaying -- the sanatorium's brave battle with mother nature now very much a long lost cause."
Bleak and abandoned isolation ward (Thanks, Den!)
- Derelict psych hospital buildings in photos Boing Boing
- Derelict London photos - Boing Boing
- N Ireland's notorious, derelict Maze Prison in photos - Boing Boing
- Photos of rotting, abandoned water park at Walt Disney World Boing ...
- Derelict amusement park in Sichuan, China - Boing Boing
- Haunting photo-essay on rotting buildings in Detroit - Boing Boing
Katherine sez, "This is a photo of the Tetris blanket I made for a friend as an Agnostica gift. It took me four months to make, and I wanted to show off a little."
Tetris blanket (Thanks, Katherine!)
- First-person Tetris: the whole screen rotates with the block Boing ...
- High-resolution Tetris - Boing Boing
- Hi-rez Tetris after two weeks - Boing Boing
- Tuper Tario Tros: Super Mario meets Tetris Boing Boing
- Game-themed Tetris cake Boing Boing
- HOWTO Make Tetris brownies - Boing Boing
- 3D Tetris in Flash - Boing Boing