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Prank: Headless driver at the drive-thru

HOWTO sneak an accelerometer-triggered Tardis sfx box into an elevator

The Sparkfun folks have a sweet recipe for building an Arduino-based, accelerometer-triggered Tardis sound-effects box into the ceiling of an elevator, noting that care must be taken not to freak out riders and precipitate a bomb-squad visit.

As it stands, the contraption works well enough (much like the TARDIS itself). But for those looking for perfection, there could be a few improvements. These are left as exercises for the reader:

Improve battery life using sleep mode. Right now the Arduino is on all the time, using about 20mA of current continuously. We’re got a pretty big battery attached to it (6000mAh), which gives it a lifetime of about a week, but the battery could last for months if the project went to sleep between playings. The Arduino can indeed be programmed to go to sleep, waiting for an interrupt signal (a pin changing state) to wake it up. And the ADXL345 accelerometer can be configured so that it sends an interrupt when an acceleration threshold is reached, so this shouldn't be difficult to do. In practice you can’t get down to microamps with a full Arduino board, since it will always be burning some current in the voltage regulator, power LED, etc. But with a bit of software and hardware hacking, sleep mode would definitely improve the lifetime situation.

Stop playing when the elevator stops. Currently, the TARDIS MP3 was edited so that it is approximately the length of an elevator ride, and the code plays the MP3 to the end before listening for further accelerometer bumps. But you could also end a longer MP3 when you detect that the elevator stops (or, since the MP3 chip has a volume control command, you could even fade it out!)

Bigger and better! Bigger speakers, disco lights and music, black lights... you can really go in any direction. Make us proud. But remember...

Elevator TARDIS (Thanks, Bruce!)

Global No Pants Subway Ride 2012: gallery of photos larger than you might actually wish to view

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

A young boy looks up at a woman with no pants on while riding in the subway system during the annual No Pants Subway Ride in New York on January 8. The event is organized by Improv Everywhere, and involves participants who strip down to their underwear as they go about their normal routine. WTF and why?

The mission started as a small prank with seven guys and has grown into an international celebration of silliness, with dozens of cities around the world participating each year. The idea behind No Pants is simple: Random passengers board a subway car at separate stops in the middle of winter without pants. The participants do not behave as if they know each other, and they all wear winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. The only unusual thing is their lack of pants.

There are reports from participants on the Improv Everywhere website. More photos follow, below. NSFW-ish.

No Trousers Day participants on a flashmob ride in London. (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

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Portal Xmas tree


Some unknown genius (possibly redditor Tmyakal) created this insanely great Portal-themed Christmas Tree that presents the illusion of a tree being shoved through one of the interdimensional portals in the kick ass Valve game.

Update: Ryan Kelly sez, "I'm a big fan and can't tell you what a great Christmas present it was to see our Portal themed Christmas tree posted on Boing Boing. It was done by myself and my two business partners as a nice, stress-relieving break from working on a film we are making and was posted by a friend of ours on Reddit."

A Very Portal Christmas Tree (imgur.com) (via Super Punch)

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Occupy News Bins: miniature Lego OWS, complete with pepper-spraying cop

"No property was harmed during this installation," DocPop tells us about this hilarious teeny-tiny Lego Occupy. "From what I understand the piece has already been removed though I don't know by whom."

EXCLUSIVE: photos of BofA's new #OWS-themed ad campaign

I have no idea who shot these, or who is responsible. Update: here are some daytime shots, from the San Francisco Mission district.

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Hallowe'en mannequin prank

This 2009 video shows off a curiously effective Hallowe'en prank: the pranksters dressed a child-sized mannequin in a skeleton costume, then posed it, holding a candy-bag, in front of houses, rang the bell and ran off. The homeowners opened their door to find a silent, staring, motionless, costumed "child" -- creepily clever.

Funny Halloween Prank - Fake Trick Or Treater Prank - Trick Or Treat With Timmy (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

Mirror-ghost candid camera prank

This clip -- from some sort of Japanese candid camera show -- shows a guy having the bejeezus scared out of him by a woman dressed as a ghost hiding behind a half-silvered mirror.

Japanese ghost prank (via Super Punch)

Vintage gag ads


There's a proper treasure-trove of great old gag ads linked off this Vintage Ads group post, but get a load of that bow-tie (and get a load of that awesome type design and color scheme!)

A LAFF RIOT

Life Neutral: like carbon neutral, but for kids killed by arms dealers' products

Leah sez, "DSEi, the worlds largest arms fair, takes place in London every two years. This year, Life Neutral Solutions announced that it was using the event to launch a new 'life offsetting' scheme. The company claimed that it was working with the defense industry to balance the 'unfortunate side effects' of weapons use by sponsoring the costs of raising a child in the west. After causing a bit of a fuss, it turned to be just an activist prank. The BBC World Service ran the story, but got the hoaxers to reveal their intentions. The culprits were the Space Hijackers, who have harassed the arms fair a few times before. In 2007 they even bought and sold their own tank."
You’ve heard of the importance of being carbon neutral? Well, being Life Neutral is the same - but with people. For every* life lost as a result of the use of products from our member organisations, we make sure that a new life flourishes. Join today and your next child could be a Life Neutral™ child.

Life Neutral Solutions works with the defence industry to provide solutions for balancing the unfortunate side effects of weapons use. Through sponsoring the birth and care of children in North America, the United Kingdom and Europe, Life Neutral™ is committed to offsetting the collateral effects of defence operations in third-world conflict zones.

Life Neutral Solutions is interested in working with you. We are seeking potential parents who are committed to an ethical approach to weapons use and are excited by the possibility of an integrated package that would support you in bringing new life into our world.

Life Neutral - Life Beyond Conflict (Thanks, Leah!)

Polish Spiderman is kind of a dick

A slightly podgy fellow who dresses like a low-rent Spiderman terrorizes Warsaw with silly string and ill-advised climbing stunts.

Polish Spiderman Wreaks Havoc (via Neatorama)

Wrongulator: a gag calculator that gives the wrong outcome

The Wrongulator is a gag calculator that gives incorrect answers to calculations. I'm fascinated by the idea -- I wonder if they've just got a standard calculator controller in there, and then a secondary system that scrambles the results, or whether it's a pseudorandom number generator, or what. You'd want it to produce plausible outcomes (5 x 5 = 30; not 5 x 5 = 324527) but who knows if the manufacturer paid attention to this.
The Wrongulator is no ordinary calculator, its actually the world’s worst calculator as it never gives the right answer, ever! If your calculator has been exchanged for this one then every single calculation you’ve entered in it has been wrong. It is perhaps the cruelest practical joke you could inflict on your office colleague and the chances are, without being told, they’ll probably never guess….well not before it’s too late anyway! Mwhahahaha!
Wrongulator (via Red Ferret)

Own a piece of the Balloon Boy saucer

Screen Shot 2011-07-24 At 10.49.21 Am Remember the balloon boy hoax of 2009? Richard and Mayumi Heene claimed their 6-year-old son had floated away in the saucer-shaped contraption only to later be revealed hoaxsters trying to land a reality TV show. Soon, you'll be able to own a piece of the prank. Michael Fruitman of Mike's Stadium Sportcscards in Denver, Colorado paid Heene's attorney $2500 for the saucer at auction. He's putting it on display for a bit before chopping it up for "souvenirs." "Balloon Boy Saucer To Go On Display In Colo. Store"