— FEATURED —
— FOLLOW US —
— POLICIES —
Except where indicated, Boing Boing is licensed under a Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution
— FONTS —
This 2006 gameshow clip shows contestants running back and forth atop a deep pool of non-Newtonian fluid -- ooblek -- without sinking in. They run, they skip, they hop, and maintain admirable aplomb atop the surface. It gets especially nice when the host stops in his tracks and sinks down into the mucky depths.
This tiny skeleton, just 6 inches long, was found a decade ago in Chile's Atacama Desert. Scientists now report that DNA and other test results prove that it is human. Fox Mulder believes otherwise. "Alien-Looking Skeleton Poses Medical Mystery" (Discovery, thanks Syd Garon!)
And here is more about this specimen's provenance and its unwitting participation in a new documentary about ETs visiting Earth, titled Sirius.
In this 1995 Independent article, you can read about the former CIA officer who admitted that the Agency secretly funded and promoted Abstract Expressionism as a way for avant-garde, lefty types to reconcile their worldview with American values, rather than Soviet-style Communism. They operated in secret to avoid "the public hostility to the avant-garde," and hid their actions from conservative Congressmen who hated that long-hair junk.
The decision to include culture and art in the US Cold War arsenal was taken as soon as the CIA was founded in 1947. Dismayed at the appeal communism still had for many intellectuals and artists in the West, the new agency set up a division, the Propaganda Assets Inventory, which at its peak could influence more than 800 newspapers, magazines and public information organisations. They joked that it was like a Wurlitzer jukebox: when the CIA pushed a button it could hear whatever tune it wanted playing across the world.
The next key step came in 1950, when the International Organisations Division (IOD) was set up under Tom Braden. It was this office which subsidised the animated version of George Orwell's Animal Farm, which sponsored American jazz artists, opera recitals, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's international touring programme. Its agents were placed in the film industry, in publishing houses, even as travel writers for the celebrated Fodor guides. And, we now know, it promoted America's anarchic avant-garde movement, Abstract Expressionism...
Until now there has been no first-hand evidence to prove that this connection was made, but for the first time a former case officer, Donald Jameson, has broken the silence. Yes, he says, the agency saw Abstract Expressionism as an opportunity, and yes, it ran with it.
"Regarding Abstract Expressionism, I'd love to be able to say that the CIA invented it just to see what happens in New York and downtown SoHo tomorrow!" he joked. "But I think that what we did really was to recognise the difference. It was recognised that Abstract Expression- ism was the kind of art that made Socialist Realism look even more stylised and more rigid and confined than it was. And that relationship was exploited in some of the exhibitions.
"In a way our understanding was helped because Moscow in those days was very vicious in its denunciation of any kind of non-conformity to its own very rigid patterns. And so one could quite adequately and accurately reason that anything they criticised that much and that heavy- handedly was worth support one way or another."
Modern art was CIA 'weapon' [Frances Stonor Saunders/The Indepedent]
My husband burns the hair out of his nose with a lighted match -- and he thinks I'm crazy because I voted for Goldwater!"And here's another nose-related annoyance from Abby's archives:
My husband has a problem. When we go out to a nice restaurant for dinner, he always orders a martini with 10 or 12 olives in it. Then he sticks the olives in his nose and sucks out the juice. He claims it clears up his sinuses. Abby, this is so embarrassing. What can I do?"Dear Abby: Are All Those Weird Letters for Real?" (Palm Beach Daily News, 11/16/74)
DC's "New 52" is a reboot of all its major superhero comics and several of its less-regarded ones. In the latter category is a silly Silver Age title called Dial H for Hero about a lad from Littleville, CO who can turn into a variety of randomly selected superheroes by dialling "H-E-R-O" on a weird telephone dial he found in a mystic cave.
The reboot of "Dial H for Hero" is called simply "Dial H," and is written by none other than New Weird chieftain China Mieville, whose prodigious imagination and wicked sense of humor are on fine display in the first collection of Dial H: Dial H Vol. 1: Into You. Mieville doesn't apologize for the fundamental absurdity of the premise. Instead, he turns it up to 11. And then he turns it up to 12.
Please enjoy this very serious, scientific Tumblr that posts exactly what it promises — pictures of the strange and fantastic creatures that live deep in the ocean ... with googly eyes photoshopped onto their bodies.
The specimen above is an animal known as the pigbutt worm. Yes, seriously. With the googly eyes in place, you can't quite get a full understanding of how weird looking this animal is, so please be sure to check out the "before" photo, as well.
The site is maintained by a deep sea ecologist (he's anonymous, but I've verified that this is true). So you can trust the information provided here. For instance, when readers ask how the heck a pigbutt worm counts as a worm:
The pigbutt worm, Chaetopterus pugaporcinus, is a very weird looking worm, for sure. All Annelid worms are segmented, and the pigbutt is no exception. If you look at an ordinary earthworm, you can see those segments, but in Chaetopterus pugaporcinus, the middle segments are super inflated compared to the rest of its body. The rear segments are visible in the area that looks like the anus on a mammal’s buttocks (although others have noted that this section of the pigbutt worm looks more like a disembodied vulva than a floating buttock).
Francesco sez, "A Japanese company has released a plastic figure of a tuna fish. The figure is 33cm long and features a working table and the traditional 'Maguro bōchō' knife to cut the tuna. This figure costs ¥29,000 (USD292) in Japanese hobby stores."
I love that it's themed for the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, which may be the most memorable place I've ever visited.
In one of the most memorable sections of the book, she describes how she got terrible food poisoning from tamarind, and thought she was going to die. She was writhing in agony when an elderly monkey, which she now calls Grandpa, led her to muddy water. She drank the water, vomited and began to recover. After that, she says, the young monkeys befriended her. Marina observed them closely, and learned from them: how to climb trees, what was safe to eat, how to clean herself. She soon discovered that if she stood underneath monkeys carrying armfuls of bananas, they would inevitably drop a couple, and if she was quick enough she could grab them for herself. Over time, she says, the monkeys allowed her to sit in the trees with them. When they were away looking for food, she'd become lonely and would anxiously await their return…
Marina is sure she wouldn't have survived without the monkeys – thought to be capuchins, which are known to be well disposed towards humans. It was only when they "adopted" her that she began to feel a sense of hope. Did they mother her? "They were just tolerating at first. They don't really love you. One day one of the younger ones landed on my shoulders, and if you've never been hugged in your life, and this animal climbs over your shoulders and puts their hands on your face, I tell you it's the nicest touch." She smiles.
"Was Marina Chapman really brought up by monkeys?" (The Guardian)