Submit a link Features Reviews Podcasts Video Forums More ▾

“I F*cking Hate @RuPaul”

Filmmaker, writer, and trans activist Andrea James on the current state of post-disruption journalism and its unhealthy addiction to Twitter, and LGBT brain drain.

Read the rest

Ancient Aliens, modern obsessions

I'm really enjoying Jason Colavito's reviews of The History Channel's hilarious/infuriating hit show Ancient Aliens. What makes them better than the average blog? Colavito is an author who has written extensively about the anthropology of pseudoscience, and the connections between pseudoscience, religion, and science fiction. So his recaps are less about debunking the claims made on Ancient Aliens (because, really, that's just too damn easy) and more about exploring where those claims come from, pop-culturally, and what makes them so appealing, to begin with. Fascinating stuff. Maggie 44

Tesla vs. Edison vs. The Great Men of History

Whether you think Tesla > Edison or Edison > Tesla, perhaps you’re missing something important. In reality, technology isn’t shaped by one guy who had one great idea and changed the world. Instead, it’s a messy process, full of flat-out failures and not-quite-successes, and populated by many great minds who build off of and are inspired by each other’s work.

Read the rest

Does the Loneliest Whale really exist?

The 52 Hertz Whale is the cetacean equivalent of a pop-culture phenomenon — a strange creature, known only through recording of whale songs picked up in the Pacific Ocean, who seems to not be a part of any identifiable whale group. Also known as The Loneliest Whale in the World it is a source of pity and fascination among the general public. At PLOS Blogs, Hannah Cheng has a three-part feature on what we do and don't know about the Loneliest Whale. Why, despite 20 years of tracking this thing in sound recordings, do we not have any direct observation of the Loneliest Whale? She's got the answers. Maggie

The pop poster art of Kii Arens

A friend of Boing Boing introduced me to the work of artist Kii Arens this weekend. We visited his studio for a karaoke party. It was great. I love his work. You can buy it in reasonably affordable poster form, through his website: lalalandposters.com. I would like one of everything, please. Kii is on Twitter and Facebook. (Thanks, Alex!)

Read the rest

Hollywood gets science wrong — and that's okay

A gap separates people who do science and the people who make science fiction, but that’s no problem, thanks to the people who bridge the two.

Read the rest

BargainBinBlasphemy: a tumblog of greatness

At "BargainBinBlasphemy," vinyl album covers of pop-rock icons are upgraded into Black Metal. (Thanks, Sean Bonner!)

The dangers of being a 19th-century x-ray fiend

X-Ray Specs — the cheap glasses that ostensibly allow you to see the bones in your own hand and/or ladies' undergarments — are instantly familiar to anybody who read comic books in the 20th century. Last week, The Onion AV Club shared a fascinating video showing that immature gags about x-ray vision began long before the Marvel Comics' advertising department was even a glimmer in somebody's eye.

"The X-Ray Fiend" was a short film produced in 1897 — just two years after William Rontgen gave x-rays their name. It's basically an X-Ray Specs gag writ large, with the aforementioned fiend checking out the insides of a necking couple. You can watch it at The Onion.

That video sent me toodling around through some of the fascinating history surrounding x-rays in pop culture. Rontgen wasn't the first to discovery x-rays, but he was the first person to really study them in depth and his x-ray photograph of his wife's hand kicked off a public sensation. To give you an idea of how into x-rays everybody was for a while, the AV Club story actually includes a link to a 19th century Scientific American how-to that promised to teach the reader to make their own x-ray machine at home. You know. For funsies.

It's kind of crazy how popular x-rays became, considering how dangerous they can be. The Scientific American piece, for instance, now comes with a 21st century disclaimer warning that "Many operators of the early x-ray systems experienced severe damage to hands over time, often necessitating amputations or other surgery." Which brings us to Clarence Dally ...

Read the rest

IT Crowd Rap, by Superpowerless (music video)

[Video Link]

A parody of the theme song from The IT Crowd (a fantastic Channel 4 TV series which you can buy here). "This is a collaboration between Superpowerless, Sparkles* (From Area 11), MC Wreckshin, B-TYPE and Happi."

(thanks, Tara McGinley!)

Paris struck by le Food Truck

A style piece in the New York Times about a trans-Atlantic trend: "Artisanal food trucks have been making inroads in Paris, adding a new twist in culinary culture to a city where diners rarely eat on the go, much less with their hands." Xeni

Like “Kardashians,” but dumber: Gay-hating Evangelical gun nut ‘reality’ TV

Richard Metzger at Dangerous Minds introduces us to Call of the Giles, which he describes as a "gun-totin’, Bible-quotin’, homo-hatin’, and obviously over-compensating for sumpthin’ macho, macho man douchebag Doug Giles and his “kickass” Christian family’s low-brow version of Keeping Up With the Kardashians." Xeni

Gothurday

REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Revellers attend the Wave and Goth festival in Leipzig, on May 25, 2012. The annual festival, known in Germany as Wave-Gotik Treffen, features up to 150 bands and musicians playing Gothic rock and other styles of the "dark wave" music subculture attracting a regular audience of up to 20000, according to organizers. The festival runs through May 28.

Lady Gaga, Queen of Demon

Muslim women hold posters during a protest objecting to U.S. singer Lady Gaga's Indonesian concert, at Jakarta's business district May 24, 2012. Pop star Lady Gaga has been refused a permit to perform in the Indonesian capital on June 3 over security concerns, police said last week. Three Islamic groups have expressed their opposition to the concert, demanding it be stopped, national police spokesman Saud Usman Nasution said by telephone. More on the controversy: WSJ, AFP, Washington Post, NYT, AP, Jakarta Post. (REUTERS/Supri)

Read the rest

Japanese "Lolita fashion" anime subculture in Mexico

REUTERS/Daniel Becerrill

Above, Alin Nava (C) stands in a checkout line at a supermarket in Monterrey April 5, 2012. Nava, 25, is dressed in the so-called "Lolita" fashion style (ロリータ・ファッション Rorīta fasshon), a fashion subculture from Japan influenced by clothing from the Victorian or Rococo eras. The basic style consists of a blouse, petticoat, bloomers, bell-shaped skirt and knee-high socks. Nava is the co-founder of the "Lolitas Paradise" club in Monterrey and for members of the club, the Lolita style is not only a fashion statement but also a way to express their loyalty, friendship, tolerance and unity.

Read the rest

Sad Schlitz Beer Clown is Sad (vintage ad)

Image Link. From the excellent Flickr collection of MewDeep (lots of '60s-'70s ad scans), via BB Flickr Pool.