Barack Hussein Obama II

Clayton Cubitt tells Boing Boing,

Rachel Hulin (former photo editor at Nerve) is doing get-out-the-vote in battleground state Wisconsin, and documents this choice example of anti-Obama propaganda flyers being stuffed in mailboxes, in the guise of a letter directly from "Barack Hussein Obama II."

Wisconsin Day Two: Barack Hussein Obama II (rachelhulin.com) Read the rest

Korean acrobats jumping really high on a teeter totter

Joshua Gill says: "Last year I went to a Korean Folk village in Suwon, South Korea. I took some video and put it on Youtube, this one is my favorite but you're welcome to browse around. "

Korean kids jumping really high on a teeter totter Read the rest

Typewriter stays relevant in technology-saturated world

Alex Pham of the LA Times wrote a piece about a typewriter repair shop in Los Angeles that's enjoying a small resurgence.

The simplicity of the typewriter is alluring to writers who may be overwhelmed (or underwhelmed) by increasingly elaborate technology. A typewriter is also appealing in its transparency -- whack a key, and watch the typebar smack a letter onto a piece of paper. Try figuring that out with a laser printer. Many people also find typewriters charming ambassadors of a bygone era. One recent customer asked Flores to fix her mother's college typewriter so she could type letters home when she went off to college.

All that helps to keep U.S. Office Machine humming at its inconspicuous corner of Figueroa Street and Avenue 58. Watch the video to see how three generations of the Flores family have helped keep the typewriting tradition alive.

Typewriter stays relevant in technology-saturated world Read the rest

Black man dragged to death 200 miles from site of Byrd murder 10 years ago.

Brandon McClelland, 24, was dragged to death beneath a truck driven by two white men in Paris, Texas last month. McClelland was black. The site of his death is about 200 miles from the location where James Byrd was murdered in a similar manner ten years ago. (Image at left: Jacqueline McClelland, Brandon's mother; photo courtesy Jesse Muhammad.)

McClelland's murder took place on September 16, 2008. Parts of his mangled body were found strewn along the highway at great distance.

First responders treated the case as a hit and run. The county district attorney's office denied the possibility of racist motivations, and said comparisons to the Byrd lynching were "preposterous."

The incident was reported in the local newspaper, which later followed with this editorial.

Some bloggers and news sites associated with the Nation of Islam [ * ] have been discussing the killing as a hate crime for weeks, and claim local law enforcement ignored key forensic evidence at the crime scene.

Howard Witt at the Chicago Tribune, who has covered related stories about racial injustice and hate crimes in this region, wrote about the case as a possible hate crime earlier this month.

The story of McClelland's death -- and allegations the investigation by (white) local police investigators was botched -- seems to be gaining broader attention after having been picked up by AP today: Another Dragging Death In Texas (Associated Press).

Snip from a related story about racism in Paris, Texas, also from Witt at the Chicago Tribune:

The public fairgrounds in this small east Texas town look ordinary enough, like so many other well-worn county fair sites across the nation.
Read the rest

Typhon Vol. 1

Danny Hellman is a terrific illustrator who contributed a lot of work to bOING bOING, the print zine. He recently set me a copy of a comic anthology he edited and published called Typhon and I'm impressed by the quality of the large cast of contributors.

The stories in Typhon focus on some heavy themes, and aren't for the squeamish. On of my favorite stories is a near the front of this fat anthology, called "Hail Jeffrey" by Hans Rickheit. The seven-page comic is about a child dictator who takes pleasure in destroying the lives of everyone around him, and nobody dares stop him. In fact, they assist help him in his efforts to make others miserable. It's like an NC-17 version of The Twilight Zone's "It's a Good Life," only the Billy Mumy character gets all his power from the fear of everyone around him.

Of course, Hellman's contribution to the book is one of the best. Here's a sample page. (Click for full size). I have always loved his clean line work.

Typhon, Vol. 1 Read the rest

Serialization of The Deal, Chapter 21

My friend Joe Hutsko contacted with the intriguing offer to serialize his novel, The Deal, on Boing Boing. I jumped at the chance. I read The Deal when it first came out in 1999 and loved the thrilling story about a Apple-like company's undertaking to create an iPhone-like device.

Here's a link to Chapter 21 as a PDF or a text file. (Here's chapter 1 and an introduction to the book, and here are the previous chapters)

To buy a paperback copy of the book, visit JOEyGADGET or purchase directly from Amazon. Read the rest

Serialization of The Deal, Chapter 20

My friend Joe Hutsko contacted with the intriguing offer to serialize his novel, The Deal, on Boing Boing. I jumped at the chance. I read The Deal when it first came out in 1999 and loved the thrilling story about a Apple-like company's undertaking to create an iPhone-like device.

Here's a link to Chapter 20 as a PDF or a text file. (Here's chapter 1 and an introduction to the book, and here are the previous chapters)

To buy a paperback copy of the book, visit JOEyGADGET or purchase directly from Amazon. Read the rest

Tales of cranky book sellers

Bookride presents an enjoyable series of anecdotes about crabby booksellers.

One must not forget the Birmingham dealer, who on being asked for a discount for books would tear them in half in front of the customer. What particularly irked him was the phrase 'What can you do on this?' A red mist would descend and he would reply 'I'll show you what I can do on this...' and tore up the book. One imagines that this was selective, possibly only books under £20. Not a wise business stratagem but probably quite satisfying...

This bookdealer reminds me of my beloved friend Loretta. About 10 years ago she had a garage sale. Carla and I were there and we watched as some guy tried to talk her into selling an ashtray, priced at 25 cents, for a dime. Loretta wouldn't budge, and the guy kept pestering her. Finally Loretta whacked the ashtray on a table, breaking it in two. "I said no!" she told the guy. The expression on the guy's face is one of my fondest memories.

Yet more Bastards with Bookshops Read the rest

USB flash drive skull ring

Solid Alliance has introduced a USB flash drive in the form of a skull ring. It has a capacity of 2GB, sells for $150 from Geek Stuff 4 U, and comes in a variety of fashionable colors. Skull flash drive (Thanks, Kirsten Anderson!)

UPDATE: Previously on BB: • Lucky Charms Leprechaun Goes Goth Read the rest

Caligula for President: It's Time for a Tyrant

Here's a funny video for Cintra Wilson's brilliant new book, Caligula for President.

Previously on Boing Boing: • Read chapter 1 of Caligula for President Read the rest

John Hodgman: A brief digression on matters of lost time

Here's a video of our guest blogger John Hodgman giving his wonderful presentation at TED in February 2008.

John Hodgman: A brief digression on matters of lost time Read the rest

Wassup 2008

Wassup 2008: A brilliant parody short from 60frames. If this means nothing to you, go here, then here, then here. Update: apparently this is the original cast, reunited. Wow, cool. (via Clayton Cubitt, via @brianoberkirch) Read the rest

Scary Radio Shorts on Weekend America

John Moe, host of American Public Media's Weekend America radio show, tells Boing Boing:

For Weekend America's Halloween show this year we invited some writers to come up with scary stories that last no longer than half a minute. We did it last year too and it was lots of fun. I figure scary stories are fun but honestly who has time for the whole "he walked down the hall, step...by...step" nonsense, GET TO THE ACTION, I always say.

So this year we have an interesting crew: David Rakoff, Dana Gould, comics creator Richard Sala, a children's book writer, a horror writer, all adhering to the strict 30 seconds or less rule.

It's on the air tomorrow or found online here: Tales of Terror. Here's last year's edition, which featured Neil Gaiman among others.

(photo: peasap, via weekendamerica.publicradio.org) Read the rest

Barack Obama Crop Circle (ok, sort of) in Pennsylvania

BB pal Nate Tyler has been working on the Obama campaign in Pennsylvania for the last few weeks. He's in Scranton, and he shares this with us:

We just came across this amazing artist in rural PA who, with a group of local artist friends, painted a large-scale replica of the Obama Hope poster in his field. I was just out there and it's pretty amazing.

Field of Hope (my.barackobama.com) Read the rest

HOWTO make a Cylon pumpkin

The latest MAKE: Weekend Project video guides you in the creation of an old-school Battlestar Galactica Cylon pumpkin complete with the scanning LED eye. Cylon Jack O' Lantern Read the rest

WHEN WEIRD, SPACE MIME WAS STILL POPULAR AT AMUSEMENT PARKS

LAST NIGHT, I was talking to some people in our nation's capital about THE BATTLE OF GALACTICA.

(I was talking to them the way I normally talk to people, BEHIND A PODIUM, USING A MICROPHONE.)

As I trust you recall, this was a dark ride on the Universal Studios Tour in the early eighties that was ENTIRELY NON FICTIONAL, and which I visited when I was a human child. The ride was a BSG 1.0 tie-in in which your Universal Studios tram is captured by Cylons who apparently are attempting to invade the San Fernando Valley. They then hold your tram hostage in a makeshift space station, shooting their lasers around until you are rescued by two Colonial Warriors.

(WHY do these trams get into so much trouble? The answer is unknown.)

As I stressed to the people of Washington, it is important to know that the Colonial Warriors were not animatronic -- they were played by ACTUAL HUMAN ACTORS. (The Cylons, by contrast, were indeed animatronic, which I guess is another way of saying they were played by ACTUAL INHUMAN ROBOTS).

BUT: what I did not discover until years later, as I was piecing together my strange memories of this attraction via internet, was that these actors NEVER SPOKE. Instead, their lines were pre-recorded years before, presumably by other, better actors, and played over a loudspeaker -- a weird kind of torture which makes the ride now seem much more scary.

RECENTLY I discovered some amazing behind the scenes videos of the ride, presumably shot by these very actors, including one in which you actually follow along behind a Colonial Warrior as he runs through the ride doing his weird space mime, gesturing his head as though he were speaking. Read the rest

Paranoid delusions of Angelina Jolie's great uncle

Bill Geerhart says:

Pamphlet review of 1948's "Behind the Lace Curtains of the YWCA" written by Joseph P. Kamp, an uncle of Jon Voight and a great uncle of Angelina Jolie.

Scroll all the way down to see the insane cover.

Paranoid Delusions of Angelina Jolie's Great Uncle Read the rest

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