Senator Joe Manchin delivered a grandstanding, technologically clueless, facepalm-inducing request to the Treasury Department to ban Bitcoin. In response, Rep Jared Polis (who proudly wears Boing Boing tee-shirts in his spare time, and rocks some snazzy duds on the floor of Congress) wrote a mock-serious request for dollar bills to be removed from circulation, pointing out that practically every objection that Manchin raised over Bitcoin applies equally well to paper money.
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Sheer hilarity. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
See also: Black metal meets Benny Hill
Earlier today, I reviewed a new book by Kevin "Lowering the Bar" Underhill called "The Emergency Sasquatch Ordinance and Other Real Laws That Human Beings Have Actually Dreamed Up, Enacted, and Sometimes Even Enforced." Kevin kindly provided us with an excerpt from the book, a series of weird-but-true German beekeeping laws:
My swarm of bees has
fled! What shall I do?
If you own a bunch of bees (known to bee experts as a “swarm”), and it flies away one day and ends up on somebody else’s property, who owns it?
It’s too bad they don’t teach bee law in school anymore, because this would be a great bar-exam question.
Turns out that the German Civil Code has a set of rules about bee ownership in this situation that seems to cover the gamut of possible outcomes. Most importantly, the first rule of fleeing-bee procedure is that you must pursue the bees immediately. Otherwise any claim to swarm ownership will be waived:
Loss of ownership of bee swarms:
Where a swarm of bees takes flight, it becomes ownerless if
the owner fails to pursue it without undue delay or if he gives up the pursuit.
Bees are not really considered “domesticated” in the full sense of the word, given that they have a habit of picking up and moving whenever they want to and there isn’t much you can do about it, unless you thought ahead and took the time to make a shitload of bee leashes. As is the general rule with captured wild animals, if they get away they are considered to revert back to the wild and to unowned status. As long as you’re still pursuing them, though, there is hope.
German Civil Code § 960–61.
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Kevin Underhill, the very funny lawyer behind Lowering the Bar, a very funny law-blog, has published a book of weird laws through the ages, called The Emergency Sasquatch Ordinance and Other Real Laws That Human Beings Have Actually Dreamed Up, Enacted, and Sometimes Even Enforced. It's a genuinely funny and extremely weird tour through the world's dumbest rules, starting with the Babylonians (who had a trial-by-ordeal through which you could prove you weren't guilty by jumping into the river and not drowning) up through the Hittites (who had a whole set of rules about whether it was OK to steal your neighbor's door); the ancient Greeks and Romans (who were allowed to go into their friends' houses to search for their stolen property, provided they did so in nothing but a loincloth, to ensure they didn't plant any goods while searching) and modern times, including the notorious "Pi=3.2" state law.
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Timeholes, a two-minute, CC-licensed science fiction movie by Ben Mallaby, explores the future of obnoxious behavior and drunkenness in a world where time-travel is a given.
The Deadpool pencil cup
is a delightfully silly and gross bit of office-candy, in which the wisecracking, unkillable merc from the pages of Marvel comics is presented for your gleeful brain-skewering pleasure. It comes with shuriken-shaped erasers and an arrow-cap for your favorite writing implement.
If you're new to Deadpool, try Deadpool Dead Presidents, the reboot of the comic from Walking Dead co-creator Tony Moore.
Gentle Giant Studios Deadpool: Pencil Cup Accessory
There's nothing wrong with using placeholder text. It's hard to imagine design without it. But it creates the unique danger that you forget your text and leave it behind. Here's a rather good roundup of forgotten placeholders in contexts ranging from newspaper headlines to error messages to bottles of wine. Alas, the images appear to be uncredited ganks from around the Web (the headline above, from Cape Town, may have come from this 2011 article, though that credits a tweet as its source).
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You've likely seen pet shaming -- pictures of dogs with signs round their necks bearing Cultural Revolution-style admissions like "I eat my own poop." But you haven't lived until you've seen poultry shaming. Textile artist Amy L Rawson's got you covered.
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In Frequency, the latest XKCD cartoon, Randall Munroe has assembled a grid of animated GIFs representing various events in the universe, each keyed to blink in the frequency in which they occur in reality. As with the best of Munroe's work, it's a mix of the trenchant and the silly, and the juxtapositions are smart and provocative. There's real genius in putting "50,000 plastic bottles are produced" and "50,000 plastic bottles are recycled" next to each other, the former blinking much more often than the latter -- but the best part is "A Sagittarius named Amelia drinks a soda," just above them, mixing up the alarming and the humorous.
The other juxtapositions are just as delicious -- one birth/one death; China builds a car/Japan builds a car/Germany builds a car/US builds a car/someone else builds a car; someone buys "To Kill a Mockingbird"/someone's cat kills a mockingbird -- and so on. This being XKCD, you can be sure that Munroe has an absurdly well-thought-through process for establishing and documenting his numbers, too.
The tool-tip notes that he wanted to include pitch-drops in the chart, but "it turns out the gif format has some issues with decade-long loops."
Nigel, a Scottish forensic artist, did this facial reconstruction job on a bottle of Crystal Head Vodka, yielding up a glimpse of how the grotesque crystalline monsters whose skulls are harvested by the Crystal Vodka people might look.
Crystal Head Vodka Forensic Facial Reconstruction
Personalthreatlevel lets you create your own custom DHS-style threat-level that will serve you well as a means of frightening the people in your life with nebulous, ill-defined scariness. Here's Bruce Sterling's Tumblr version.
The Current Threat Level is...
This is the only footage from Sochi that you really need to watch: when the AT-ATs of Russia attacked the skiers, it was sheer, Olympian magic. Watch it now before the IOC exercises its right to humorlessly obliterate anything that interferes with the corporate integrity of its celebration of human potential and indifference to human rights.
Star Wars OL
Laurie Penny writes, "What do you give your single friends and ex-partners on Valentine's day?
Cult online journal The New Inquiry has released a product line to help them keep on paying their writers and staff. Their exclusive misandrist totebag, with a design by Imp Kerr, is aimed at all those who want to smash the romantic industrial complex in style."
Limited Edition Valentine's Day Tote
McGruff the Crime Dog was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Monday for possession of 1,000 pot plants and more than two dozen weapons, including a grenade launcher. John Russell Morales, 41, an actor who once played McGruff, was arrested in 2011. (NBC News)
YouTuber ktjaynexd combined "Crybaby Goes For A Swim" with footage of the desert rain frog "because I've been watching them over and over."
The frog is now the seal's brutal, demanding swim coach.