Soul Train dancing to Curtis Mayfield



TuneUp's Gabe Adiv has been deep into the vintage Soul Train offered on-demand by his cable provider. Inspired to share the boogie, he found this great moment on YouTube. Here are the Soul Train dancers in 1971 getting down to Curtis Mayfield's "Get Down."

HOWTO defeat a sliding chain lock with a rubber band

Sliding chain lock, meet rubber band.

Defeating a sliding chain lock using a rubber band

1984, iPad edition

(Thanks, Al!)

Star Wars Sound Effects Quiz!

starwarsstormtroopersstefan.jpg Photo: Stéfan Le Dû We've isolated some distinctive--and not-so-distinctive!--audio snippets from the Star Wars flicks. Think you can identify them all? After you take the quiz, come on back and let us know how well you did. And if you have an idea for a future quiz, tell us your suggestion!

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Noteworthy Modern Occurences: the Digital Economy Bill

Britain is on the verge of adopting the Digital Economy Bill without debate or scrutiny by Parliament. Among other things, the DEB provides for disconnection of entire households from the 'net if any member is accused -- without proof -- of infringing copyright.

Jim Killock from the UK Open Rights Group sez, "On Thursday, our 'Police' visited the offices of the BPI, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties, and UK Music, and presented them with notice that the Digital Economy Bill is disconnected, from democracy, human rights, public opinion and sound business sense."

Disconnection notices served to UK Music, BPI and politicians

Digital Economy Bill: the last hours

With the dread Digital Economy Bill in its final days of the UK Parliament, this is our last chance to demand that the government hold it over until after the election and give it the full debate it deserves. Please share this Open Rights Group video with your friends and colleagues and get them to write to their MP and ask for support for full debate.

This Tuesday, the government will rush a law that could cut you off the Internet

Time lapse of Mark Ryden's Incarnation painting


I'm interested in finding out the different ways people create art, and this four-minute time lapse of Mark Ryden painting Incarnation is fascinating.

One to watch: new details on Superbrothers' iPhone adventure Sword & Sworcery EP

It gave me goosebumps. That's about the highest compliment I can pay the upcoming iPhone adventure game Sword & Sworcery EP, and just about all you need to know for now. They were significant, too, for not just being the goosebumps of that media moment where all elements suddenly align -- where pixel and music work in perfect concert -- but for the kind you get when a game anticipates your demands and provides you with an answer to a question you hadn't even asked yet. There's a sense in which the EP is being created just for me: not quite that literally, but it is the collective brainchild of designer Craig 'Superbrothers' Adams (who you'll remember from his just-featured Less Talk, More Rock speech), indie studio Capy (also featured here for their gorgeous Critter Crunch revamp and their Clash of Heroes handheld masterstroke), and musician Jim Guthrie, a long-time favorite both for his golden, harmonic pop solo work and his own collaborative output as Human Highway. I managed to get my hands on Sworcery as soon as humanly possible -- before the Game Developers Conference started proper, and away from the chaotic bustle of this year's crowded Indie Games Fest pavilion. It was a wise and fortuitous choice -- playing alone on a late night Mission district rooftop -- because Sworcery's magic demands quiet and careful attention to properly cast its spell. True to his own words in that Boing Boing feature, the game is about unspoken dialogue between itself and the player: responding to your own curiosity and whispering questions rather than shouting demands. Case in point: just watch that video at top, where a single non-reflected mark in its waters practically evokes more mystery and wonder than most scripted turns-of-events in the majority of the triple-A fantasies the games industry has given us in the past few years.

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Robot folds laundry



UC Berkeley Ph.D. student Jeremy Maitin-Shepard, working with Prof. Pieter Abbeel, has developed software that enables a robot to fold towels. From the abstract to their scientific paper:
The robot begins by picking up a randomly dropped towel from a table, goes through a sequence of vision-based re-grasps and manipulations-- partially in the air, partially on the table--and finally stacks the folded towel in a target location. The reliability and robustness of our algorithm enables for the first time a robot with general purpose manipulators to reliably and fully-autonomously fold previously unseen towels, demonstrating success on all 50 out of 50 single-towel trials as well as on a pile of 5 towels.
"Cloth Grasp Point Detection based on Multiple-View Geometric Cues with Application to Robotic Towel Folding" (Thanks, Ken Goldberg!)

Congressman concerned about Guam capsizing



If Guam had too many people on it, could it tip over? Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) is concerned about that. Seriously. (Thanks, COOP!)

Gallery: First images, details of Ubisoft's Scott Pilgrim game

As if this week’s teaser trailer premiere of Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World — the film adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s cult hit comic series (which I have already watched about a thousand times) — wasn’t enough, the first images and details of Ubisoft’s game adaptation have come via games culture shop AttractMode.

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Pirate Radio documentary

Matt "Pirate's Dilemma" Mason teamed up with VICE/Palladium to shoot a short documentary on the current state of pirate radio in London (with an excursion to an old sea fort). Lots of climbing on roofs, setting up bootleg electronics in parking garages, loud music, and running away from radio cops. Nice work.

Exploration #6 - London Pirate Radio (Thanks, Matt!)

Homebrew Turing Machine

Mike Davey, a maker from Wisconsin, built a classic Turing Machine with a 1000 foot instruction tape that holds up to 10k. Though Turing's machine was just a thought experiment, the paper in which it is described has enough detail to create it in real life. The machining is absolutely lovely, and when it's in motion, it's a thing of beauty.

A Turing Machine (Mike Davey)

DIY Turing Machine (IEEE Spectrum))

(Thanks, Erico!)

Documentary of Austin musician Kimberly Freeman on YouTube


davidjr says: "I just filmed and released for free on YouTube my entire feature length documentary [One-Eyed Doll]. Didn't think the festival circuit would garner that many views, didn't want it to be in limbo, didn't think people would buy a DVD about a band they never heard of. I wanted to show my talents & the bands."

Punk rock meets poetics in an intimate view of Austin, Texas underground rock star, Kimberly Freeman, a beauty with an irresistible voice, magnetism and moves, who delivers a range of soulful original songs that reflect on her personal story and have a transforming influence on her fans.

Filmmaker davidjr.com, aka David Bruce Bates, Jr., creates a portrait of Kimberly Freeman and her One-Eyed Doll band with one camera in this on-the-scene 'gonzo' style tour through back roads, basement rock houses and clubs from Austin to Harlem. One-Eyed Doll is the 2010 & 2009 Austin Music Awards winner for Best Punk Band.

The trailer is above. Here's the full (1.5 hour) documentary

Hot Tub Time Machine

hot-tub-time-machine-th.jpg John Cusack, who will soon be joining us here at Boing Boing as a guestblogger, has a new movie out tomorrow, Friday March 26: Hot Tub Time Machine.

Ebert likes it, and that's about all I need to know. Those of you, both men and women, who are old enough to have enjoyed "electroclash" back when it was called "new wave" and came out on vinyl will likely find much to enjoy. It's sort Hangover meets H.G. Wells meets 80s nostalgia, meets a dude in a bear suit and sex jokes.

Cusack, as Ebert writes in his review, pretty much rules in everything—even goofy escapist fare such as this. As the Village Voice headline aptly explains, "The Delorean's a jacuzzi and the 80s are back." Snip from a Chicago Sun-Times interview:

Q. With a name like "Hot Tub Time Machine," you have a lot to live up to.
Cusack: I sort of thought it was the other way around. If you have a title like "Hot Tub Time Machine," that's a stupid title. Maybe people are going to think the people who made it have lost their mind completely. When they go in and see it, they're going to be so pleasantly surprised ... [Laughs] It's pretty hard for people to say "Hot Tub Time Machine" does not live up to the artistic expectations we had.

Q: Why did you decide to produce this movie?
Cusack: Grace [Loh, his production partner] and I thought this would be ... very smart, post-modern and very dumb. Post-modern in the way that you have a movie within a movie. You have actors who were in these '80s movies going back to movies that, it's almost like Crispin [Glover] and I and Chevy [Chase] kind of being trapped into a version of film youth. We thought that mixture could be a pretty fun ride for a comedy if you get it right.

Boing Boing readers and internet continuity extremists will note that the comedy contains a few elements of historical fudging with regard to when the internet and email were invented, and by whom. And that is why FSM invented comment threads, my children.

Hot Tub Time Machine.