Maggie Koerth-Baker on meme culture’s most human failure–and the surprisingly awful injuries the real thing inflictsRead the rest
As previously mentioned, I’m doing a six-week stint with Disney Imagineering in Glendale, and today I got to spend the day hanging out at Disneyland for the launch of Disneyside, an initiative that asks Disney fans to share photos and videos of themselves having fun at the Disney parks.Read the rest
Grumpy Cat, Shocked Cat, Lil Bub – their images are the currency of the web, passed between friends, family, and co-workers.Read the rest
Laina, AKA "Overly Attached Girlfriend" (a YouTube comedian and memestar who trades on her ability to stare intensely while monologuing hilariously about her terrifying romantic attachment) has outdone herself with an Uncle Sam edition, commenting on Prism
Media companies have dirty hands when it comes to copyright infringement? Timothy B. Lee at Ars:
Warner Brothers is facing a federal lawsuit for using two feline-themed Internet memes in a video game without their creators' permission. The authors of "Keyboard Cat" and "Nyan Cat" have sued the media giant arguing that the game Scribblenauts, published by WB Games, infringes their copyrights and trademarks. The game's developer, 5th Cell, is also named in the lawsuit.
JWZ's law: "Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail."
Doctorow's law: "Every meme advances until it destroys white goods."
Best Harlem Shake EVER (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
Naturally, once a monkey in coat visited an Ikea in suburban Toronto, it was only a matter of time until the image was combined (to excellent effect) with Monkey Jesus by @Justin_Ling.
Here's a Monkey Jesus/restored icon cosplayer in full regalia. The identity of the person behind the mask is the source of controversy: it was posted to Reddit by OhioUPilot12, whose description implied that s/he was the creator of the costume. However, when Spinjump posted that this had been her/his Anime Weekend Atlanta costume, OhioUPilot12 backpedaled and claimed that the original description was an unfortunate misunderstanding.
Redditor DivineBaboon posted an unattributed photo of an espresso drink with a beautiful PSY (of Gangnam Style fame) portrait in the foam.
For the next 60 years or so—basically, until everyone roughly my age has died off—former Alaskan senator Ted Stevens will be widely remembered (and mocked) for once describing the Internet as "a series of tubes".
But here's the thing. It's easy to make fun of Ted Stevens. It's harder (much harder) to explain quickly and at a relatively simple level—for lay people with no tech background—what actually happens when they call up a web page.
That's why Greg Boustead and the nice folks at the World Science Festival put together this short video, explaining the basics of the Internet, specifically the basics of packet switching. The video should help the average person understand the Internet just a little better and it has been run by several experts for accuracy, Boustead says.
I have to admit that when I had to screen it for "father of the Internet" Vint Cerf, who invented this process, I was more than a little nervous, certain he would pick it apart. When he replied with "This is so good - can I please use it to explain the concept of packets at public lectures," needless to say, I was over the moon.
So, the Internet. It's not a big truck. It's not a series of tubes. It's more like a bus full of tourists.
Matt Scone and sculptor Sanden Henning offer this splendid Forever Alone sculpture. Despite there being only 30 in the limited edition run, they're only $79 each: "We learned a bunch on the whole process of making a toy and shipping it to the US from overseas. We invested about 2.5k into the project, in fact we're still losing money selling them. But we had fun working on the project so it's not all a lost."
Scone describes the development and manufacturing process:
1) We had a 3D render of the statue made
2) 3D printed it, which is really expensive but getting cheaper by the day
3) Cast a mould around the figure
4) Had 30 of them made in resin
5) Hand paint them
6) Custom packaging
7) Ship from China to the States
Zakkai from Fight for the Future (the folks who brought you the war on SOPA) sez, "Want to fight for Internet privacy with cute cat photos? CISPAcat is a new advice animal that wants nothing more than to spy on your internet activity. He's the child of the privacy-killing cybersecurity bill CISPA and the equally creepy ceiling cat. Check him out and submit your own. Curious why CISPA is so bad? Read about it at the EFF's website."
Last week, lost in a haze of book tour, I found myself at brunch with several friends who were talking about a YouTube meme I'd entirely missed—people attempting to eat whole spoonfuls of cinnamon and failing miserably. (Warning, the video ends in tears and heaving.)
While others wonder "why?" or, perhaps, "why not?", we here at BoingBoing prefer to ask, "No, seriously, how does that work?" Luckily, Jason Bittel at BittelMeThis had the answer. Turns out, humans are generally doomed to fail the Cinnamon Challenge for a very specific scientific reason—we need things to be lubricated in order to swallow them.
The spice that magically transforms dough and sugar into a sticky bun is actually ground up tree bark, which means we’re talking about a lot of water-resistant cellulose. And according to retired physical chemist Vince Calder, the rest is “a mixture of volatile organic compounds, a major component being cinnamanaldehyde, which is not very water soluble.”
If you want to see this in action without risking asphyxiation, put a tablespoon of cinnamon in a bowl and jostle it until the powder is level. Using a straw, allow a drop of water to fall on the surface. Instead of saturating the cinnamon – like it would with sugar – the water just beads up and rolls around like the liquid seed of a rusty T1000.
In a nutshell, all of this means that the Cinnamon Challenge can, in fact, be fairly dangerous.
Some game developers are raising Kickstarter money to fund a production run of For the Win, a fun-looking tile-game based on net memes. The developers have a good track-record for producing great games funded through Kickstarter:
For The Win is an abstract game at heart, with a solid theme of internet memes applied. Players control a host of characters, playing them to the board and using their powers in order to arrange a group of all 5 types. Each character has thematic abilities in this easy to learn and fast playing game:
* The Zombie turns non-zombies into zombies.
* The Pirate shoots people out of cannons, moving them wherever you want.
* The Ninja through the power of stealth can disappear and reappear wherever desired.
* The Alien utilizes its tractor bean to pull people next to it.
* The Monkey messes everything up and toggles all of her neighbors.
Be the first person to get one of each adjacent to each other, FOR THE WIN!