Tinkertinker sez, "I am proud to have just finished this mechanical cocktail shaker, called The Post-Imperial Shaker. It is loosely based on a turn-of-the-century machine (the 'Imperial Shaker' of course), although mine is built as a horizontal unit so that it can be mounted on a bar-top. I built this machine for The Touring Pop-up Sideshow Saloon event organized by the Peerless Prodigies of P.T. Barnum. The first Saloon event is this Sunday, May 6th, at the General Beverage Co. in San Francisco. The Post-Imperial Shaker will be there and so will I."
The Post-Imperial Shaker
Disneyland's "secret restroom" is an isolated, disabled-accessible bathroom tucked away to one side of the castle in the Carnation Plaza. Very easy to miss, it is a refuge when all around the park is chaos. This site is a loving (and somewhat tongue-in-cheek) tribute to the toilet that Walt forgot.
The moment you open its door (assume it's unlocked), you will be overwhelmed by just how enormous the Secret Restroom is. As a point of fact, the Secret Restroom is not only larger than the average American home restroom, it's larger than the typical Anaheim apartment that can be afforded on a Disneyland castmember's starting salary.
Because the Secret Restroom is cleaned ever half hour, it is always in a state of perfection and readiness, and even a glance shows the luxuriance of its copious amenities and artistic touches (each of which is detailed elsewhere on this site).
Welcome to the Secret Restroom!
Ethan sez, "The personal archives of legendary Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Dave Arneson -- some 10,000 items -- were abandoned by his heirs and lost in storage facility in Minnesota. Now they've been found and catalogued, and they're being auctioned starting this Sunday. Here's a story about it and an exclusive preview of Sunday's auction."
“It was by pure chance that the new owner attempted to find the meaning of some of the boxes of paper rather than deciding that there was no gold or jewelry to be found, and just tossing it all into the nearest dumpster,” wrote Cox on his company’s website.
Cox contacted Stormberg, whose company specializes in handling and evaluating the collections of RPG game designers and artists. They teamed up to buy and save the collection. Cox made an offer to the local auction company. The company agreed and The Collector’s Trove took possession of the materials for processing and auctioning. In an interview with GeekDad, Stormberg would not put a price tag on the collection, but he did say, “it was a substantial amount of money” — more than Cox had ever paid for an entire collection in 18 years of buying and selling for The Dragon’s Trove, which has had its hands on many of the largest and highest quality collections in the world...
...Stormberg said that “About 30% of the items are what I call product: published games, game accessories, periodicals, and books.” The remaining 70% of the collection is “non-product”: all those letters and scribbled notes, maps, objects, and personal and family items. There is Arneson’s Smith Corona: Mark IV typewriter; a set of lead crystal goblets etched with Arneson’s family heraldry; and a model ship made of metal. “Dave loved the age of sail and all things to do with naval military history. Indeed, one of his first published games was Don’t Give Up the Ship which he co-wrote with Gary Gygax and Mike Carr in 1972.”
Among the highlights: unpublished manuscripts that did not make it into the final draft of Dungeons & Dragons that date as far back as 1973. There are even older items from 1971 and 1972 “dealing with the Blackmoor campaign and the Castle itself,” Stormberg said. These may reveal secrets about the game’s origins.
Domesday Book Newsletter, among the rarest and highly sought after collectibles by Dungeons & Dragons collectors.
GeekDad Exclusive: Auction Preview of D&D Co-Creator’s Personal Collection and Archives — Game’s Secrets to Be Revealed
Barry sez, "How awesome is this treasure trove of emails, documents, files et. all placed online by the NY Fed? Some of the emails between Lehman execs are laughable — naive, silly, hubristic, childish. But my favorite piece simply has to be the Morgan Stanley research report from June 30 2008 “Overweight Rating” on Lehman Brothers — 'Bruised, Not Broken, Poised for Profitability'. 60 days later, Lehman Brothers filed what was then the largest bankruptcy in the United States. This is (literally) what the category 'Really Really Bad Call' was invented for. Who was the author of this steaming piece of shit, and where is he today? Why, he is Patrick Pinschmidt, and he is a Senior Policy Advisor at U.S. Treasury Department! (You could not make up stuff this un-fucking-believable even if you tried)."
The Lehman Bankruptcy Docs (Buy LEH!)
Mike from Mother Jones sends us a link to the magazine's coverage of yesterday's May Day protests: "Mother Jones reporter was close at hand, and got disturbing photos and video of Oakland Police officers tackling a girl on a bike who didn't seem to be doing anything provocative. He then got a nice taste of OPD attitude: 'Fuck, I just got teargassed,' he tweeted. The video clips are about halfway down, but lots of good photos and bicoastal coverage, too."
"#$#! I Just Got Tear Gassed!" and Other MoJo Tales From Occupy May Day
Southlandification and his brood perform a high-Wayne's-World orthodox Bohemian Rhapsody ceremony every day on the way to school:
It has become a morning habit to sing Bohemian Rhapsody on the way to school in the morning. Depending on traffic, we can usually start the song as we pull out of the driveway, and pull into the school just as the song ends.
Bohemian Rhapsody On The Way To School
(Thanks, Mojo Texas!)
Fairmariner from the band Matteo writes, "Our band has been invited to go to China for 6 weeks as musicians-in-residence at Sichuan University! We still can't quite believe this is happening to us. We're going to record an EP while we're there, and we have a Kickstarter for that project.
That's Matteo above, performing my all-time favorite Talking Heads song, "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" on traditional Chinese instruments, and doing a whiz-bang job of it, too.
MATTEO covers Talking Heads - This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)
Hugh sez, "Check out Eric Drooker's latest May Day poster -- he has a bunch that can be downloaded here as well. I've got one as well on my Flickr page.
Omer Petti is a 95-year-old USAF veteran with artificial knees and a heart condition. Madge Woodward, his partner, has an artificial hip. They recently flew home to Detroit from San Diego, and were humiliated and robbed at the San Diego airport TSA checkpoint. The metal in their bodies set off the TSA magnetometer, and Petti was instructed to put his $300 in cash in a bin. Then he was further detained when a swab detected the nitroglycerin residue from his heart pills. He and Woodward were subjected to humiliating patdowns, and then discovered that their $300 had gone missing. When Petti asked where his money had gone, the TSA agent required he and Woodward to remove their shoes again and empty out their pockets, and asked if they were "refusing his request" when they objected. The TSA manager checked the security footage, but reported that it was "too blurry" to see what had happened to the money. The two elderly people were loaded into their wheelchairs and taken to their plane at full tilt, barely making it. They never got their money back.
"Can you imagine an 85-year-old lady and 95-year-old retired Air Force Major in wheelchairs being treated like terrorists?" Petti asked recently sitting in the kitchen of the Bloomfield Township home he shares with Woodward.
On March 29 Petti and Woodward arrived at the San Diego International airport at 10 a.m. for a flight scheduled to leave at 11:36 a.m. As usual, Petti and Woodward removed their shoes, jackets and sweaters and put these along with their other belongings — belt buckles, carry on bags, purse and jewelry, including Petti's money clip — into a total of four rubber bins.
Petti says a security officer asked him to remove Kleenex and $300 in folded bills that he had in his pocket and send it through the detector. "I hesitated and said: 'You really want me to put my bills in there?' " Petti said. The officer said yes, so Petti put the cash into a fifth bin. Then he and Woodward proceeded through the metal detector.
Seniors get the TSA runaround, lose $300
Here we see the traditional dance of the Missouri riot police, performed for three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly and her friends as they gathered at the Whiteman Air Force Base to protest the escalation of drone warfare. The rhythmic shuffle and banging makes for an impressive display, especially when accompanied by the dancers' ancestral garb and clubs.
Trifecta Resista at Whiteman AFB.m4v
Rob sez, "Elephants Dream, the original open movie directed by Bassam Kurdali, proved that it is possible to make high quality 3D animated films using free tools in a studio setting. The Tube Open Movie is a new experiment in distributed collaboration using cutting-edge tools for independent film-making. The Tube Open Movie is inspired by the ancient Gilgamesh poem, which comes down to us as an incomplete, conflicting set of fragments and variations, the clay tablet remnants of more than a few ruined libraries. The epic centers on the Sumerian king who ruled Uruk, in ancient Iraq, who for his tyranny the gods teach friendship and loss, and through them, the fear of his own death. In the end, the immortality he achieves is different to the one he first seeks. Nearly five thousand years later, Gilgamesh, a woman and a soldier, rushes into a station in pursuit of a fragment of paper blown about by the passing of trains. In an ever-accelerating vortex, her hero's journey becomes the animation's own frames."
Tube is the experimental production of a 3D animated short about the dream and failure and achievement of immortality. It's also a love letter to free software and open culture that marks their convergence with independent filmmaking.
Your support will enable us to finish a movie in which a passionate volunteer team has invested years of hard labor.
The finished product will be CC Attribution-ShareAlike, meaning that you can do anything with it, including commercial remixes, but you're required to allow others to remix your work on the same terms.
The Tube Open Movie
mama_faelynn writes, "My husband and I made an Epic Minecraft CaseMod for our 8 year old. 1200 1/2" blocks, weeks of time, flashing harddrive creeper eyes, our kid is over the MOON!"
Etsy seller NickelandDimeStore produces "concept art" in the form of junky-looking toys packaged with frank labels ("choking hazard," "boring game," etc). The seller says, "Handmade toy from an alternate 1950's universe. A world where the packaging told you exactly what you were getting. Yes, the toy is handmade by me along with the package design. It's meant to be concept art, but you can gag gift it to a friend."
Rob sez, "Do you like classic game graphics? Do you support free culture and free software? Can you see where this is going? Creative Commons, the Free Software Foundation, and OpenGameArt have launched a free-as-in-freedom game design competition, the Liberated Pixel Cup:"
Liberated Pixel Cup is a two-part competition: make a bunch of awesome free culture licensed artwork, and program a bunch of free software games that use it. Hopefully many cool projects can come out of this… but that will only happen if people like you get involved! Liberated Pixel Cup is a great opportunity for the commons in many ways! Right now it’s hard to find free culture content to bootstrap games that match a consistent style and hard for artists to collaborate on such. We’re also very interested in areas where free software and free culture directly intersect, which we don’t always see enough of (and which sometimes can even get a bit complex, so it’s good to have opportunities to think about them when we can), and games are a great example of this overlap. We hope you’ll participate!
Announcing the Liberated Pixel Cup: an epic contest for gaming freedom
(Image: Liberated Pixel Cup example outdoor artwork / Lanea Zimmerman / CC BY-SA 3.0)
Nat sez, "You're on a racing yacht, 650 miles from the finish line of the fifth leg of an around-the-world race. Your mast breaks, you send a team member up to cut free the sail. He slashes at the rigging but also himself, and blood drips down the mast. He comes down white with blood loss and with a massive wound. What do you do? 'After talking to our team doctor we decided to staple him together. We took out the staple gun and put five staples in him and now he's as good as new, I think.' Nope, that's not what I would have reached for either. I wonder whether the team doctor is also the ship's carpenter?"
Groupama completed leg 5 last night with 20 points for third place, ensuring they remain in contention for the overall prize.
The French boat leapfrogged leg 5 winners Puma into second place overall, 20 points behind Telefonica, who are facing a hearing into allegations they carried an extra sail on leg 4 into Auckland.
Yachting: NZ sailor aboard Groupama seriously injured
Craig sez, "This is a music video I've edited for the song 'Down Today' by Jonathan Coulton (from his 2011 album, 'Artificial Heart,' produced by John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants) using footage from public domain films mostly found on Archive.org. 'No! No! A Thousand Times No!! - a 1935 Fleischer Studio animated short film, starring Betty Boop, 'Voyage à Travers l'Impossible' (The Impossible Voyage) (1904) directed by Georges Méliès, 'Le Voyage Dans la Lune' (A Trip to the Moon) (1902) directed by Georges Méliès, 'Le Dirigeable Fantastique ou le Cauchemar d'un Inventeur' (The Inventor Crazybrains and his Wonderful Airship) (1905) directed by Georges Méliès, L.T.A. History of Balloons (1944). More music videos I've edited for songs from Jonathan Coulton's excellent 'Artificial Heart' album. Stream or buy the album 'Artificial Heart' at Jonathan Coulton's website.
Jonathan Coulton - "Down Today" unofficial music video (Thanks, Craig!)
There's not much detail in the description for this video, but the performance speaks for itself.
The Professional Tea Boy (Thanks, myiosprinter!)