Occupy Dagobah

A little bit of Star Wars-meets-Occupy street art, snapped near my flat in Hackney, London.

Occupy Wall St The 99% We Are, Yoda stencil, Great Eastern Street, Hackney, London.jpg Read the rest

Inadvertent art-photos of the Soviet-era Czech secret police

In 2010, Vice Magazine commemorated the publication of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes' "Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police" with a set of photos taken by the Soviet-era Czech secret police. As noted, these photos, shot blindly with hidden cameras, are actually pretty good art-photography.

They were spying full-time on average citizens, hoping to catch them in a situation that could lead to a swift arrest and a lengthy incarceration in some dank, hidden cell. With their cameras secreted in a suitcase or under a coat, the agents had no idea what was being captured while they were taking these pictures. Their negatives, in which one finds brilliant snatches of street life from a time that few outsiders were able to see, are full of unexpected gems. Total art from a bunch of Communist lackeys and thugs. Who would have thunk it?

State-Sponsored Voyeurism (via How to Be a Retronaut) Read the rest

Shredding company's awesome logo

Snapped yesterday near my flat in east London, this Irish shredding company's logo on the back of their truck. Talk about "does what it says on the tin!"

Awesome logo on hard-drive-shredding service's lorry, Brunswick Place, Hackney, London, UK Read the rest

Anonymous set of photos labelled "Pics from a Chinese gangsters phone" show torture, cars, puppies, piles of money

An unattributed, anonymous set of images on Imgur purports to be an album of photos recovered from a "Chinese gangsters phone." They show a heavily tattooed man lounging with enormous piles of money, hanging out with a series of luxury cars, and participating in the torture of an unnamed man. They also show a pile of luxury goods, and the man hanging out with a cute dog. ABC's Karson Yiu notes that one of the man's cars has a Beijing number plate, another a number plate from Tianjin, and that the recurrence of "8888" in the plates is an indicator of status within the system, as "All 8 license plates are usually reserved for the especially privileged whether by power, fortune or connections."

Viral Pics Show Chinese ‘Gangsta’ Fondling Porsches, Puppies and Purse (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

Just look at this mutant triple banana.

Just look at it.

I see your double banana, and raise you another banana... I introduce MUTANT TRIPLE BANANA! (i.imgur.com) Read the rest

X-rays of flowers

Avi sez, "Brendan Fitzpatrick has made a beautiful series of x-ray photographs of flowers." And he's selling prints!

Floral X-rays (Thanks, Avi!) Read the rest

Sax-playing gorilla at your party

There's little provenance for this photo and the distinctive service offered therein (just a note that it was "donated" by Andrew Wightman), but it appears to date back some while. I don't suppose musical gorillas are still on offer in this hurly-burly modern age.

My kind of party. Donated from Illustrator extraodinaire and friend of the waves Andrew Wightman. Read the rest

Kim Jong-Un got a Gun

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un aims a rifle at the Sporting Bullet Factory, built in 1996 at the order of the North's late leader Kim Jong-il. The factory produces "sporting bullets" for developing military sports. Its exact location is undisclosed. Undated picture released by the North's KCNA news agency in Pyongyang, on February 23, 2012. Wonder what sort of computers those are, and what they're running? (REUTERS/KCNA) Read the rest

Ambiguously ironic superfluous grocer's apo'strophe

Alice spotted this coffee cart from the (above average) London coffee chain Apostrophe, which includes a superfluous apostrophe. It's either ironic or too clever by far.

Oh the irony. Read the rest

RFID blocking at the point-of-sale

Spotted by the cash-register at London Drugs, a giant discount pharmacy-cum-big-box-store in downtown Vancouver, these cheap RFID-blocking credit-card sleeves.

RFID-blocking wallet, point of sale, London Drugs, Vancouver, BC Read the rest

Italian Isaac Asimov graffiti

Chrisperfer sez, "I randomly came upon this Isaac Asimov graffiti when attending a birthday party in Rome for my 4 year old daughter's friend."

Isaac Asimov Read the rest

When the sky crashed in Odessa

This 2009 image captures the scene on a foggy night in Odessa, Ukraine, when a digital billboard crashed and displayed a floating error warning in the night sky.

Windows Error Box Floating in the Air (5 pics) (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

Caturday: Alfalfa Haz a Hungry

Image: Alfalfa, a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike (2.0) image contributed to the Boing Boing Flickr pool by photographer David W. Oliver. Read the rest

Alaskan town has 176 inches of snow on the ground

Hey, guys, I figured out where all of Minnesota's winter snow went. It's in Cordova, Alaska.

Since Nov. 1, storms have dropped 176 inches of snow and more than 44 inches of rain on the town, about 150 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Temperatures warmed overnight, and residents awoke to standing water because of stopped-up drains. The rain also made the existing snow heavier.

The warmer temperatures - about 35 degrees midday Wednesday - brought another hazard to the Prince William Sound community of 2,200 people: avalanche danger.

There's one road leading out, and it was closed though it could be opened for emergency vehicles.

"We have the National Guard right now using the standard shovel, and they're getting pretty trashed every day - not the shovels but the Guardsmen themselves," he said.

That's from an AP story in the San Francisco Chronicle. Read the whole thing to learn about the intricacies of snow shovel design, and why a standard shovel just ain't enough to deal with 176 inches of snow. Better ones are being airlifted in.

The image above—taken by the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management—gives you an idea of what it's like to dig out of a snow pack like this. I will admit, as much as I realize what a disaster it would be to live in Cordova, Alaska right now, there is a part of me (the part that is approximately 5 years old) that just looks at this photo and thinks, "I will build the most AWESOME fort EVER!" Read the rest

London, eerily empty on Christmas morning

Every year, Ian takes to the streets of London early on Christmas Morning to photograph the normally thronged streets in their state of eerie emptiness. The project was inspired by the scenes of empty London in the film 28 Days Later. He's posted his third set, from this year's Christmas.

Photos of an Empty London on Christmas Morning (via MeFi) Read the rest

London cops apologise to young photographer who was told that shooting Armed Forces Day parade was "anti-social," "gay," "stupid" and an offense under the Terrorism Act

Back in 2010, I blogged the video of Jules Mattsson, a 15-year-old freelance photographer who was stopped by police while shooting an Armed Forces Day parade in London. The police inspector took down his details, told him it was an offense under the Terrorism Act to take pictures of soldiers, told him that the police could stop public photography without recourse to any law, and then told him that photographing soldiers was "gay," "anti-social behaviour," "silly" and "stupid."

Finally, Mattsson has gotten justice: the police have paid him an undisclosed settlement and issued an apology.

"The inspector told [Jules] he was a public hazard and said that photographing in public was 'anti-social behaviour'," he said.

"He described the act of taking photographs as 'silly' and 'gay' and 'stupid'," said the spokesman.

"When [Jules] continued to state the lawfulness of his behaviour, the inspector declared it was 'dangerous' as he was 'likely to be trampled on by soldiers' from the parade."

Ms Cotton, head of the police misconduct department at the law firm, said: "The treatment of the police towards our client, a 15-year-old, was shocking. The inspector's comments were designed to belittle."

Metropolitan Police compensate parade-ban photographer Read the rest

An octopus, in need of sunscreen

Floating just below the surface of the water near Italy's Mt. Vesuvius, an octopus suns its head lump in this National Geographic Picture of the Day.

Thanks Maggie Fitzgibbon!

Read the rest

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