Junkbots with French backstories


Gille Monte Ruici makes wondrous junkbots. I mean, totally great. He writes adorable little French fairytales about them, too. He sells them in Paris's Brauer Galerie.

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France kills three-strikes copyright disconnections

After years of controversy, millions spent, and nothing to show for it, the French government has backtracked on HADOPI, the "three strikes" law that made it possible for entertainment companies to demand the termination of Internet accounts implicated in illegal downloading accusations. People whose routers are said to have been used for piracy may still face fines -- even if they can prove they didn't personally download anything illegally -- but no one will lose their Internet connection over piracy accusations in France: "the panel concluded that the three strikes mechanism had failed to benefit authorized services as promised." Cory 4

Bookstore in a train-car


Here's a mouth-watering set of photos from La caverne aux livres, a bookshop in Auvers-Sur-Oise, north of Paris. The store is in a converted train-car, and appears to be a magical wonderland. The pics were taken by the Gallifreyan Detective, and the whole set is wonderful.

An old train transformed into a book shop in Auvers-sur-Oise (via That Book Smell)

Raging Heroes: kickstarting all-woman armies of RPG miniatures


Raging Heroes is a spectacularly successful new Kickstarter to produce 150 female warrior miniatures divided into three armies. They were looking for $12,000 and hit that in 30 seconds. Now they're over $300K and still rising, with over 1,400 backers. The minis are very beautiful, and the studio, based in France, has a textbook-example, perfectly structured KS. But 30 seconds. Wow.

Raging Heroes - The Toughest Girls of the Galaxy (Thanks, Alice)

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Laxative ad promises tiny poop-scrubbing people for your colon


This 1919 French laxative ad promises that it will set lose a cadre of tiny sewage workers who will personally scour your colon of impacted poop.

Butt Pirates

Artist finds the faces lurking in maps


Artist Ed Fairburn selective colors in maps, revealing faces lurking in potentia in their many lines, contours and shapes. He sells prints. These are gorgeous. Shown here: Paris.

Ed Fairburn (via Neatorama)

Homemade laser pops 100 balloons

Scott A. Stevenson modded a Blu-ray laser flashlight to run at 500mW and used it to pop 100 black balloons. For science!

100 black balloons vs. Blu-ray laser! It is all over in under 8 seconds. The sound they make as they pop is a bit mesmerizing! Note: The laser used in this video is custom made from a flashlight body and the laser diode from a 12X speed Blu-ray burner drive and not purchased in a store or online.

Laser Videos by WorldScott.com (via Geekologie)

Bras useless, says science

"A little-known French sports doctor who spent 16 years studying the busts of about 300 women sent a scare through a country known for its love of lingerie this week when he suggested bras were useless." [Reuters]

Clever, 130sqft Paris apartment


Inthralld showcases a 130 square-foot apartment in Paris, where a set of insanely clever design decisions allows for a full apartment's worth of amenities to be jammed into a teeny weeny space. I love the drawers in the steps, but of course I really love the hiding bed/sofa. Basically, I want to live in a Murphy apartment and/or houseboat.

What was once a master suite of an apartment in the Montparnasse neighborhood is now a 130 square foot micro apartment that houses all of the necessities. There’s even an extremely creative way to house the mattress-slash-sofa. The bed doubles as seating space for lounging and entertaining, which rolls away discreetly underneath a set of steps on the floor. The Magis One stools add some much needed contemporary pizazz to the inner environment, while the storage really looks like art and functions just perfectly.

130 Square Foot Micro Apartment in Paris (via Core77)

France remains America's copyright crash-test dummy: about to ditch HADOPI, poised to adopt the dregs of SOPA instead

France is on the verge of killing its ill-starred HADOPI system, whereby people who are accused of multiple acts of copyright infringement are disconnected from the Internet, along with everyone in their homes. After two years, HADOPI has spent a fortune and has nothing to show for it. HADOPI was enacted thanks to enormous pressure from American entertainment companies and the US Trade Representative, and was the first of the "three strikes" rules to make it into law (New Zealand and the UK also both capitulated to Pax America shortly after).

But the new president Hollande is determined to continue to have France play the role of crash-test dummy for America's failed copyright policy. As a condition of dismantling HADOPI, his government has proposed enacting the worst provisions of SOPA, the US copyright proposal that America roundly rejected last year. Under SOPA.fr, the French government will make intermediaries (payment processors, search engines, web hosts) liable for infringement, with broad surveillance and censorship powers.

French Hadopi Scheme Gutted; Other Bad Ideas To Be Introduced Instead

Catfish beaches itself to gobble up pigeons

The above video showing a freshwater catfish stalking pigeons and beaching itself in order to gobble them up accompanies "'Freshwater Killer Whales': Beaching Behavior of an Alien Fish to Hunt Land Birds," a paper in PLOSOne written by a group of French researchers who recorded the images on an island in France's Tarn river. The researchers hypothesize that the pigeons aren't adapted to watch for predators from below, and that the catfish are able to sense the pigeons' presence by the aquatic vibrations made by their drinking.

“Freshwater Killer Whales”: Beaching Behavior of an Alien Fish to Hunt Land Birds (via As it Happens)

Hanging tree forts: Cocoon Tree


Cocoon Tree is a 60kg hanging tree-fort. You can gang up multiple, special-purpose cocoons (bathroom, bedroom, dining room) to build a little treetop house, with a safety net beneath. Each cocoon is supported by six guy-wires rated to 1.6 tons each, and is framed in aluminum.

COCOON TREE - dormir dans les arbres (warning: autoplays [terrible] music) (via Geekologie)

French family enjoys its consumer durables, invokes Talking Heads

This French family is certainly pleased by its exciting gadgets!

Deuxième leçon: la question & le washmatic

Bees make blue honey by harvesting waste from M&Ms manufacturing


Beekeepers in Ribeauville, France discovered blue honey in their hives. When they investigated further, they discovered that their bees were harvesting M&Ms manufacturing waste from a biogas plant that processes the industrial runoff from a Mars chocolate factory. The blue honey will not be offered for sale. From the BBC:

The plant operator said it regretted the situation and had put in place a procedure to stop it happening again.

"We discovered the problem at the same time [the beekeepers] did. We quickly put in place a procedure to stop it," Philippe Meinrad, a spokesman from Agrivalor, the company operating the biogas plant, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

The company, which deals with waste from a Mars chocolate factory, said it would clean out the containers, store all incoming waste in airtight containers and process it promptly, according to a company statement published in Le Monde newspaper.

French beekeepers in Ribeauville abuzz over blue honey (via IO9)

(Image: M&Ms, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from gcourbis's photostream)

Modified pop culture Virgin Mary icons


French artist Soasig Chamaillard turns damaged icons of the Virgin Mary into popular culture figurines, to great effect. The pieces themselves are for sale individually, and you can buy beautiful catalogs of the whole set from 2011 and 2012 at €25 each.

Soasig Chamaillard | Détournement Statue Sainte Vierge | Plasticienne Sculpture | Nantes et Paris (via Geisha Asobi)