Country Mike's Greatest Hits: when the Beasties recorded a C&W album

In 1999, the Beastie Boys privately recorded a gag country and western album called "Country Mike's Greatest Hits": as C&W albums go, it's pretty good!

Country Mike's Greatest Hits is the legendary full-length country album recorded by the Beastie Boys. Never officially released, it was originally only given out to family and friends of the Beasties as a Christmas gift back in 1999, and bootlegs started showing up a few years later. It has proven to be a very hot collectible, supposedly fetching as much as $400 on eBay.

The only official reference to the album appears on the Beastie Boys compilation The Sounds of Science, which also includes two songs, "Railroad Blues" and "Country Mike's Theme". In the liner notes, Adam Yauch explains:

"At some point after Ill Communication came out, Mike got hit in the head by a large foreign object and lost all of his memory. As it started coming back he believed that he was a country singer named Country Mike. The psychologists told us that if we didn't play along with Mike's fantasy, he could be in grave danger. Finally he came back to his senses. This song ("Railroad Blues") is one of the many that we made during that tragic period of time."

(via Neatorama) Read the rest

Vacuum chamber vs giant gummi-marshmallow

Youtube has democratized the practice of using expensive industrial and scientific apparatus to torment inanimate objects, giving us all a peek into the world of the lucky few who happen to have a hydraulic press gathering dust; but if you thing compressing things is fun, wait until you've seen recreational decompression in action; as with this giant gummi-bear-shaped marshmallow, being subjected to hard vac in the name of science-adjacent fun. (via Neatorama) Read the rest

Water-cooled 72,000 lumen LED flashlight

Last spring, Samm Sheperd created this amazing overclocked, water-cooled LED flashlight that pumps out 72,000 lumens, using about $700 worth of parts. Read the rest

Award-winning robot rappers perform "Robot's Delight"

These Japanese robots' performance of "Robot's Delight" -- an extended, braggadocios riff on the state of AI learning-through-imitation research, with break-dancing -- won Best Video at the 2017 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction. (via 4 Short Links) Read the rest

How the EU's imaginary "value gap" would kill user-generated content online

One of the music industry's dumbest, most pernicious talking-points is the "value gap" (AKA the "value recognition right") which is code for, "Online platforms should employ an army of copyright lawyers to assess everything that users share for copyright compliance." Read the rest

Solid State: Jonathan Coulton's album/graphic novel against nicey-nice fascism

Jonathan Coulton is known for a myriad of distinct accomplishments. The tech professional-turned-musician once conducted a Thing a Week experiment, in which he recorded and published a new song every Friday for a year, produced a cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" infamously adopted by the Fox series Glee, regularly contributes to the NPR quiz show "Ask Me Another" as its very own one-man band, and runs his own fan cruise aptly called the JoCo Cruise.

Two long-lost Mister Rogers episodes appeared for a hot second

Over the weekend, two episodes of Mister Roger's Neighborhood "Conflict" series unexpectedly appeared on YouTube after being unavailable for three decades. YouTube quickly removed them, but to many, the timing felt related to Trump's plans to defund PBS. Read the rest

What's a neutrino?

Ariel Waldman writes, "Neutrinos are tiny particles spit out by supernovas that were rumored to travel faster than light. Even though we still don't have FTL spaceships (sigh), I share with you why neutrinos are still freaking amazing." Read the rest

Desperate John Deere tractor owners are downloading illegal Ukrainian firmware hacks to get the crops in

John Deere is notorious for arguing that farmers who buy its tractors actually "license" them because Deere still owns the copyright to the tractors' software; in 2015, the US Copyright Office affirmed that farmers were allowed to jailbreak their tractors to effect repairs and modifications. Read the rest

Amy Goodman narrates a gorgeous animation about Chomsky's "Manufacturing Consent"

In this gorgeous video produced by Al Jazeera's media literacy show The Listening Post, Amy Goodman from Democracy Now narrates an explanation of the "5 Filters of Media Manipulation" set out by Noam Chomsky and Edward S Herman in their 1988 classic Manufacturing Consent, brought to life by Pierangelo Pirak's spectacular animations. You could hardly ask for a more timely intervention in our current media and political landscape. (via JWZ) Read the rest

How license "agreements" interfere with the right to repair

States across America are considering "Right to Repair" legislation that would guarantee your right to choose who fixes your stuff (or to fix it yourself); but they're fighting stiff headwinds, from the motorcycle makers who claim that fixing your motorcycle should be a crime to Apple, who feel the same way, but about phones. Read the rest

Muppet with autism plays Boing Boing tag!

Julia is the new muppet with autism who's joined Sesame Street and she's off to an amazing start with this delightful game of "Boing Boing tag." We love you too, Julia! (Thanks,Sam Borgeson!) Read the rest

Open source hardware, IoT motorcycle kit you assemble in a weekend

Fictiv is a rapid prototyping company that can take concepts or finished designs and farm them out to a network of CNC and 3D printing companies to have your design fabricated, finished and delivered within 24 hours; to demonstrate their new open IoT platform, they've announced an open-source hardware IoT motorcycle kit that you're meant to be able to assemble in your garage in a weekend, and drive off on by Monday. Read the rest

If Leo Kottke's "Rings" doesn't put you in a good mood...

...maybe you should have a talk with someone. (No relation) Read the rest

How to resist: lessons on "movement learning" from the Albert Einstein Institution

Jamila Raqib is a research affiliate at the MIT Media Lab and is Executive Director of the Albert Einstein Institution, founded by Gene Sharp, who literally wrote the book on successful nonviolent resistance. Read the rest

Interlocking wood "bricks" that can assemble into a nail-and-glue-free house

In 1987, Skid Roper and Mojo Nixon posed the musical question: What happened to my Lincoln Logs? At last: an answer! Read the rest

Why choose between Nixie and Edge-Lit, when you can have a LED Lixie?

Lixie is an open-source hardware, LED-based edge-lit display that combines the look of Nixie tubes with the techniques invented for their distant ancestors, the edge-lit display. Read the rest

More posts