In Institutionalizing delay: foundation funding and the creation of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations, a scholarly article published in the current Climatic Change , Drexel University's Robert J. Brulle documents a billion-dollar-per-year climate-change denial network, underwritten by conservative billionaires operating through obfuscating networks of companies aimed at obscuring the origin of the funds.
Among the recipients of the funds are several charitable groups that are supposedly neutral on climate change, including the American Enterprise Institute (the top recipient of the funds) and the Heritage Foundation. Brulle was unable to uncover the origin of 75 percent of the funds, much of which were routed through Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund. Read the rest
From Robyn Miller, co-creator of Myst and Riven, comes The Immortal Augustus Gladstone, the story of an eccentric southerner who claims to be 150 years old. While squatting in an abandoned hotel, Augustus tells outrageous tales of befriending Andy Warhol, living with French counts and mingling with vampires.At last Augustus set off in search of a lost descendant in an attempt to bring meaning to his immortal existence. Boing Boing, the directory of wonderful things, is proud to present this feature film! Visit The Immortal Augustus Gladstone website to download the movie.
In this video, I interviewed Robyn about the origins and making of the movie. Read the rest
In each episode of Gweek, I invite a guest or two to join me in a discussion about recommended media, apps, and gadgets. My guests were Boing Boing’s software developer Dean Putney and Rob Reid, an entrepreneur and author of the science fiction novel Year Zero. We talked about Dean's Kickstarter-funded book, the Walter Koessler Project; Sony RX-100, which Rob finds to be "an absolutely amazing pocket camera (see these fantastic Rolling Stones photos he took using the camera);" Starship Century, a fascinating compendium of scientific essays focused on considering the neari-ish term plausibility of interstellar travel; the Basis self-tracking watch (the first one that takes your pulse 24/7); a stunningly beautiful comic book biography called The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story; the newly redesigned Reddit.tv; and a new cartoon series by Adventure Time's Rebecca Sugar, Steven Universe.
Today, Ars Technica reports on RSA's statement issued Sunday, denying-but-not-actually-denying Friday's Reuters exclusive that the security software firm received $10 million from the NSA "in exchange for making a weak algorithm the preferred one in its BSAFE toolkit." [Ars Technica] Read the rest
In Los Angeles, a woman who called 911 more than 400 times in the past three years received a 180 day jail sentence, plus three years of probation and mandatory psychological counseling.
Linette Young, 43, made the 911 calls starting in 2011, sometimes calling as many as six times a day. And from Jan. 1 to Sept. 13, 2013, she called 911 for paramedics 220 times, according to the Los Angeles city attorney's office. Each time she was helped by paramedics, they found no medical issues.
Country music subject matter 2013: Truck fetishism, old dirt roads, ordering women to climb into trucks, tight blue jeans fetishism, driving women to riverbanks, sunsets, moonlight, getting drunk, saying "girl."
There seems to be a new talking point from government officials since a federal judge ruled NSA surveillance is likely unconstitutional last week: if Edward Snowden thinks he's a whistleblower, he should come back and stand trial.
National Security Advisor Susan Rice said on 60 Minutes Sunday, “We believe he should come back, he should be sent back, and he should have his day in court.” Former CIA deputy director Mike Morell made similar statements this weekend, as did Rep. Mike Rogers (while also making outright false claims about Snowden at the same time). Even NSA reform advocate Sen. Mark Udall said, "He ought to stand on his own two feet. He ought to make his case. Come home, make the case that somehow there was a higher purpose here.”
These statements belie a fundamental misunderstanding about how Espionage Act prosecutions work. Read the rest
Douglas Rushkoff is a terrific speaker. His lectures about life in the digital age are lively and thought-provoking. I always come away from a Rushkoff talk with a better understand of what's happening in the world. If Rushkoff comes to your town, go see him. In the meantime BetterListen! has put together a 201-minute collection of his talks based on his books, Present Shock, Life Inc, and Program or Be Programmed.
The United States began phasing out the use of tetraethyllead in gasoline in the mid 1970s (though it's still used in aviation and race car fuel). The pollution from TEL-enhanced gas, however, continues to linger in the soil, especially in cities, where concentrations of tailpipe emissions were higher. A recent study of New York City chickens found that lead from the soil was showing up in detectable levels in the chickens' eggs. The dose is low (though you probably don't want young children eating lots of those eggs), but it's a great example of how the effects of pollution don't vanish just because the pollution ends. Read the rest