Boing Boing 

Great Moments in Pedantry: Parsing the language of porn


In a post that would be horribly NSFW were it not all just a block of text, linguist Arnold Zwicky blogs about how the vagaries of English allow you to interpret the same line from a gay porn in multiple ways.

The story begins with a young man crying out, (1) "Oh yeah, shoot my ass!," at the climactic moment of a segment in the gay porn compilation video A Bronco Named Brad (on the video, see here). The speaker is asking his partner to (2) "shoot [your cum] on my ass, ejaculate on my buttocks" [ONTO reading].

In other contexts, (1) could convey (3) "shoot [your cum] in(to) my ass, ejaculate in(to) my anus" [INTO reading]. Note the two different senses of ass here— 'buttocks' or 'anus', with the anus being the centerpiece of the buttocks, so to speak—related metonymically.

But now for the main linguistic point, shoot 'ejaculate' used, exceptionally, as a transitive verb ...

From there, the post rises to a level of technical language analysis that almost, *almost* distracts from the fact that we're talking about the use of language in a porn that seems to be targeted at Brad-fetishists.

Submitterated by Sam

Image: Some rights reserved by johntrainor

Google Doodle Quiz!

googdood.jpg Twaggies presents another difficult quiz that should leave even the most addicted netizens lacking results. Optimize your engines after the jump!

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Shopped. I can tell by the pixels.


(Download: PDF, THIS LOOKS SHOPPED. I CAN TELL FROM SOME OF THE PIXELS AND FROM SEEING QUITE A FEW SHOPS IN MY TIME. So say the indefatigable birthers, as evidenced by breathless headlines on countless blogs I won't stoop to link to here. But they have a point: if it truly came from Hawaii, it would be in a Hawaiian font. Also, WHERE IS THE PLACENTA?

RELATED: President Obama said in a speech not long ago that he reads Boing Boing, but only for the comments. Yes, seriously. But too bad he didn't learn an important internet lesson here, from our moderators: never feed the trolls.

Public Knowledge announces "Copyright School" video challenge

Mehan J. tells Boing Boing,
We at Public Knowledge were pretty upset when we saw YouTube's "Copyright School" educational video, which discourages remixing, dismisses fair use as overly complex and effectively tells users that only "original" content is suitable for upload. So we're challenging YouTube users to produce a better "Copyright School" video, one that explains both what you can and can't do with copyrighted content without permission from the rightsholder. The creator of the best video will win $1000!

FBI shuts down poker sites in online gambling crackdown


On Friday, the FBI shut down three of the world's most popular online poker sites, replacing their home pages with the message: "This domain name has been seized by the F.B.I. pursuant to an Arrest Warrant."

Former Boing Boing guest-blogger Joe Menn at the Financial Times nails the story first and best, and describes it as "the largest crackdown since Congress banned electronic gambling transactions in 2006." More:

In an indictment unsealed on Friday, the government accused the creators of Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and Absolute Poker of illegal gambling, money laundering and bank fraud.

The government also filed a $3bn civil suit seeking to recover profit at the companies, which are based in other countries but have the three largest shares of the US market. They seized bank accounts and the website addresses used by all three, replacing the latter with warnings that managing or owning a gambling business is a crime.

None of companies could be reached for comment. The disruption of their sites and the seizure of funds could make it hard for them to do business and might dissuade some people from playing cards online.

Read the full FT story here. The LA Times also has coverage here and here, and here is a response by the owners of Full Tilt Poker.

Russia: Cosmonaut's Day and Yuri Gagarin gala at the Kremlin (video)

As detailed in this Boing Boing post, I spent the last few days in Moscow with space journalist Miles O'Brien and his documentary crew.

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FBI releases files on Biggie Smalls murder; still no killer named


Fourteen years after his death, the FBI has released a set of heavily redacted documents on the murder of Christopher "Biggie Smalls" Wallace, (1972-1997), the rapper known as "Notorious B.I.G." The FBI closed the case in 2005 without determining who killed him. More at Time Magazine.

Legendary aerospace designer Burt Rutan is retiring

Aerospace legend Burt Rutan, whose aviation design career includes numerous firsts in flight—Voyager and SpaceShipOne are but two— is retiring. The be-sideburned engineer, 67, will be moving to Idaho with his wife. (LA Times)

GoDaddy CEO: Elephants are "a valuable source of protein"

[Video Link: GoDaddy chief executive Bob Parsons kills an elephant in Zimbabwe. Graphic content.]

Just now on CNN, blathering idiot GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons phoned in, Charlie-Sheen-style, to dig an even bigger hole for himself after the Zimbabwe Elephant Killing Debacle. The poor, starving African villagers he left the carcass to should be grateful, according to the CEO, because elephants are "a valuable source of protein." Well, by that logic, so are CEOs.

Unicorn Pasties


Only $8, from (thanks, Susannah Breslin!)

Human remix: Amazing transgender performer on "Thailand's Got Talent" (video)

Video Link. A version with English subtitles is here.

Above, Bell Nuntita, or in Thai, Nuntrita Khampriranon, on the "Thailand's Got Talent" TV show.

I will refrain from including any spoilers in this blog post, but just stay with it. The performance is clever and beautiful. Thailand is a country with many problems, but it's pretty awesome that a moment like this can happen in popular culture there, with applause and acceptance.

Make sure you see her message to her father, the last 45 seconds or so of the video clip. And you just *try* not to cry while you're watching that.

(Via Andrea James)

All you need to know about the Great Bronx Zoo Cobra Honey Badger Twitter Invasion


Recently, the Bronx Zoo announced on Twitter that their Egyptian Cobra had escaped. Also recently, a video of a creature known as the Honey Badger, who happens to enjoy feasting on cobras, went viral.

Tweets were twatted, fake accounts sprang up like so many perky daffodils in springtime, and a series of memes crashed into each other, causing LOL fission of unprecedented magnitude. Boom!

Sean Bonner breaks it all down for you.

UPDATE: The Bronx Zoo cobra has been captured, according to a local news station.

Father of "Jessi Slaughter," girl in "You Dun Goofed" video, arrested for child abuse

Gene Leonhardt, 53, better known as the father of "Jessi Slaughter" of viral video and internet bullying news headlines, was recently arrested for child abuse. His 12 year old daughter told Florida police that she was arguing with her father when he "punched her, causing her to have a bloody and swollen lips" [sic]. Originally reported on TSG, link dead as I post this, also reported on a local TV news site. (via Sean Bonner)

Libya: Operation "Turd Sandwich"

"NBC White House reporter Savannah Guthrie told her viewers that sources had heard the president label the military action in Libya a 'turd sandwich' in a closed-door meeting." (, via Sean Bonner)

B-Boy ブンガク: sublimely dope vintage Japanese rap mixtape


Via Jay Smooth, Andrew MonkOne Mason, and egotripland, this wonderful mix of Japanese hip-hop at Names You Can Trust Radio: "B-Boy Bungaku, an hour's worth of solid nipponese rap heat straight from the shelves of Cisco, Manhattan, DMR and other long-gone Shibuya record shops of the '90s, mixed with love."

Listening and loving it. #ganbarenippon

(art by egotripland)

Not so much cellphones as tracking devices: a surveilled day in the life of German politician Malte Spitz


"Green party politician Malte Spitz sued to have German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom hand over six months of his phone data that he then made available to ZEIT ONLINE. We combined this geolocation data with information relating to his life as a politician, such as Twitter feeds, blog entries and websites, all of which is all freely available on the internet."Interactive map here, article here, in Die Zeit (English). A related New York Times item is here.

Time's "140 best Twitter feeds" list includes a @boingboing editor

Time "picks the 140 Twitter feeds that are shaping the conversation," and this @boingboing editor is among them—not that a happy mutant stands a chance against Palin, Bieber, or Lord Voldemort, who by the way totally cheats. Also: captcha umlaut vote-rigging!

Music video with simulated special effects

[Video Link] Ayahiko Sato, a member of visual design unit in Japan called rakudasan wrote to me about this cool music video they directed for a 16-piece band called Gaka. The song is called Tsuchinoko. She said: "Now, as you know we are in critical situation by earthquake. However we think that what we can do is to get more attention for Japan and Japanese creativity. We need positive news to get energetic power, because we are showered with negative news."

This music video is called pantomime music video created with a help of performer called maimuima.

Theme of this song is man powered techno music, so we decided to use pantomime to depict fun of man powered expression.

We shot with a fixed camera and angle. Performer themselves' movement change angles, speed and distance. Without using wire and CG, we succeeded shooting action scenes.

About rakudasan: We do VJ in an unique style called Surrealistic Synchronization. It is the style that we select unrelated movie with music, but this makes unique and unusual togetherness and atmosphere in clubs.

Gaka's jam music and pantomime are not related, but we combined them to create this music video. This is our style.

Happy 80th birthday, William Shatner! (and happy Talk Like William Shatner Day, everyone else!)

[Video Link]. Happy 80th Birthday, William Shatner!

(Thanks, Paul Camuso)

Video of 6 main Japanese TV channels, as the quake hits

[Video Link].

Via Time Out Tokyo, which tweets, "This is why we watch NHK."

Qaddafi. Qazzafi. Qadhdhafi. Qaththafi. Gadhdhafi. Khadafy. Gazafy. Hizzafizzle. Schlebaffi. LOLdaffy.

Why are there so many different spellings for the Libyan dictator's name? An AP Stylebook post explores:

Starting on the pronunciation front, the spelling is complicated by a perfect storm of issues: Arabic letters or sounds that don't exist in English, differences in pronunciation between formal Arabic and dialects, and differences between transliteration systems.
(via Jodi Ettenberg, 'shoop by Xeni, photo: the variously-spelled leader in Tripoli, March 8, 2011. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah )

Die Antwoord: "Rich Bitch" (video)

[Video Link], more about the band.

Dalai Lama announces plans to retire as political leader of Tibetan government in exile

In Dharamsala, India today, His Holiness the Dalai Lama announced plans to step down as political leader of the exiled Tibetan government, and cede power to an elected representative.

This will not come as news to those who have followed the exiled government's progress in recent years, which has trended towards popular elections for positions previously designated by appointment. Nor will it come as news to those close to the spiritual leader's activities: he has hinted in the past of plans for what should come when his time passes.

"As early as the 1960s, I have repeatedly stressed that Tibetans need a leader, elected freely by the Tibetan people, to whom I can devolve power," the Dalai Lama said in a prepared speech. "Now, we have clearly reached the time to put this into effect."

The Dalai Lama has long seen himself as "semi-retired" from political leadership with an elected prime minister already in place in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala. He remains Tibet's spiritual leader.

Image: The Dalai Lama gestures before speaking to students during a talk last month in Mumbai. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui)

Mardi Gras in New Orleans (big photo gallery)

A mask of a member of the Mondo Kayo Social and Marching Club is seen as they march down St. Charles Avenue on Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans, Louisiana March 8, 2011. (photos: REUTERS/Sean Gardner)

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The Charlie Sheen Browser Blocker: "Tinted Sheen"

Thank you, Greg Leuch and, for providing us all with a tool for blocking Charlie Sheen from the Internet: Tinted Sheen.

"Download the plugin for Firefox or Chrome, and never again worry about seeing his name or face."

Now that's what I call #Winning!

Happy Mardi Gras!

[Video Link] In honor of one of the great American holidays, we present to you an encore post of "Mardi Gras 1956: Through my father's lens," a Boing Boing Video episode originally published in 2010.

(Special thanks to Mar Doré, and Dr. M.X. Quetzalkanbalam)

Libya: The revolution will be Photoshopped

Anti-Gaddafi demonstrations continue in Libya today, amid ever-increasing reports of violent response by pro-government forces. In the photo above, protesters prepare caricatures depicting Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, inside a burnt state security building in Benghazi. (REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)

The Hathaway Effect

Dan Mirvish: "When [actress] Anne Hathaway makes headlines, the stock for Warren Buffet's Berkshire-Hathaway goes up."

Dear Oprah: Some thoughts on your credibility.

shutterstock_40765456.jpg (Image: Shutterstock) Now that we're half way through the university semester, I'm finding myself inundated with a lot of marking. Sometimes, I try to tackle this work at home, but being the skilled procrastinator that I am, this will inadvertently lead me into the land of daytime television. It was here the other day that I caught a few minutes of Oprah, and noted that in that short timeframe, I found my reaction changing from a sort of admiration to a feeling best described as a prolonged wince. The reason for this abrupt change of heart was essentially the appearance of Jenny McCarthy in what looked like a correspondence role - she of the celebrity ilk, noteworthy for being a very powerful advocate of some very shaky medical advice. I won't go into too much detail here about her travails, since they've been covered extensively here at Boingboing and elsewhere in the media, but suffice to say, both the medical and scientific communities overwhelmingly take issue with her claims regarding linkage between the MMR vaccine and Autism. Indeed, her opinion has not changed, despite recent studies that showed that much of the data in the Wakefield paper (the scientific article that laid the media groundwork for this linkage) was actually fraudulent in nature.

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Julian Assange™

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is currently fighting extradition from the UK to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault, has applied to trademark his name, the Guardian reports:

The 39-year-old computer hacker - who will shortly be extradited to Sweden to contest the charges unless he wins an appeal on Thursday, 3 March - wants to protect his name for use in "public speaking services" and "entertainment services", it has emerged. Assange becomes the latest high-profile figure seeking to trademark his name. Sarah Palin, who famously likened Assange to an al-Qaida operative, has applied for similar protection for both herself and her daughter, Bristol Palin. Assange applied for the trademark on 14 February through his London-based law firm Finers Stephens Innocent. If granted, he will own the trademark to his name for the purposes of "news reporter services", "journalism", "publication of texts other than publicity texts" and "education services".
(via BB Submitterator, thanks Andy Booth)

Photo: Toby Melville / Reuters