Hudson's Bay blankets, a centuries-old tradition

The Hudson's Bay 6 Point Blanket is a centuries-old Canadian classic of comfort and wool and stylish stripes, and, as I discovered, it's kind of a pain in the ass to source from outside of Canada. Now there's a US distributor (based in the UK!) that's selling them on Amazon, at a price that's competitive with Ebay and other non-official (and sometimes unreliable) sources. Warning, that price is high: $437 (but Prime shipping is included). There really is no blanket like it.

Hudson Bay 6 Point Blanket

(via Canopy) Read the rest

The oldest living things in the world

"The Oldest Living Things in the World is an amazing hybrid," says Carla Sinclair, "part traditional coffee table book displaying gorgeous photographs, and part memoir of Rachel Sussman’s journey trekking around the world to photograph the oldest living things that she could find."

Randomly weird stock photo of the day: Hamburger Hell-hole

Two remarkable stock photos by Evgeny Atamanenko for Shutterstock. Above, "diet concept. frightened girl in the stress and flying around the burgers on a red background." Read the rest

Uber launches in Saudi Arabia, where women can't drive

Uber, the San Francisco-based smartphone app that links people with cars for hire, today launched in the Saudi capital Riyadh after three months of beta testing. In Saudi Arabia, there is effectively no public transportation, and women aren't allowed to drive. "Many of the regular cabs available in big cities are in poor conditions, with broken meters and foreign drivers who cannot read street signs written in Arabic." More at the WSJ. Read the rest

Notable objects in 9/11 museum, and why one reporter was kicked out

The most tasteless thing inside the just-opened September 11 museum in New York City is probably this commemorative cheese plate. One of the most profound and moving objects may be this telephone, from the Pentagon. They're just two of many items on display in some 10,000 square feet of exhibit space. Read the rest

Interfictions: A Journal of Interstitial Arts

Ellen Kushner writes, "The editors of Interfictions Online are happy to announce the birth of the journal's latest issue, the third in the past twelve months of the trailblazing journal of the weird, the interstitial, and the uncategorizable. Interfictions: A Journal of Interstitial Arts is published online by the Interstitial Arts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit devoted to giving border-crossing artists, academics, critics and the general public a forum and a focus to discuss and create works of art that defy categories and confound boundaries. Read the rest

Felted anatomical brooches

Etsy seller Yourorgangrinder, from Brisbane, Australia, made this delightful felted anatomic heart-brooch, which sells for $25; she also does ovaries, teratoma tumors, and eyeballs.

(via Geeky Merch) Read the rest

What happened to the man who made canned rattlesnake?

It was on this date in 1931 that the Floridian Products Corporation made its first sale of canned rattlesnake. The company’s founder and chief “wrangler” was George Kenneth End; a Columbia journalism graduate unable to find a job, he and his family moved to Arcadia, Florida (near Tampa) to make a living at farming. But as End put it, “the rattlesnakes were more prolific than the crops I planted.” First he tanned them; then he tasted them. Surprised to find them palatable, he wrote to the The Tampa Tribune about the delicacy -- and received a stream of requests.

End made a business of supplying adventurous restaurateurs and gourmets until 1944, when he died of a rattlesnake bite.

Be sure to visit Lawrence's (Roughly) Daily website! Read the rest

Must-see: Michael Geist on the state of surveillance in Canada

Here's a riveting talk by Michael Geist on the state of Canadian surveillance. Geist broke the story that Canadian telcos hand over personal information to government agencies every 27 seconds, without a warrant. Canada is one of the "Five Eyes" countries that participated in the NSA's surveillance build-out, and the Canadian government is once again considering a massive expansion of warrantless surveillance powers for police, government agencies, and even private companies working for the government. Read the rest

Brick wall collapses to reveal giant beehive

A brick wall at the Penn Brewery, not far from where I work, collapsed today during an attempt to get to a beehive said to have occupied space behind it "for years." No-one was hurt, and the local news reports that the bees are fine, too. Some of their honey may even find its way into a brew, if it's found to be of sufficient quality. I walked over and grabbed these photos of their handiwork.

The wall will be rebricked after a beekeeper removes the hive on Friday.

Good job this didn't happen during Oktoberfest. Read the rest

Visualizing inspiring quotes about privacy

Kevin writes, "With the Privacy is a right project I try to visualize the global privacy debate by using quotes on the subject and turn them into large (in real life) visuals. I started out with key figures in this debate (such as Edward Snowden, Kirsty Hughes and even Cory Doctorow) but now everyone can react and share their view on the subject by submitting a quote on the site. Any inspiring quote will then be turned into art by me. Some of the visuals will be part of my graduation exposition (25th - 29th of June) for the Willem de Kooning Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences in Rotterdam, the Netherlands." Read the rest

The highest quality garden watering nozzle

I can’t count how many cheap watering implements we’ve gone through since we bought this house fifteen years ago. Big box store watering widgets seem to last just a few weeks before heading to the landfill.

I think I’ve found a solution. During the Garden Blogger’s Fling I attended back in June there was a demo by a Dramm Company representative. What impressed me most at the demo was Dramm’s simplest products, the Heavy-Duty Aluminum Water Breaker Nozzle combined with their Aluminum Shut-Off Valve.

The breaker nozzle provides a gentle shower, much like a Haws Watering Can and would be appropriate to use on seedlings and vegetables. The shut-off valve is extremely durable. Neither item has plastic parts. They are sold separately.

While a lot more expensive than those plastic watering wands at the big box store, I have a feeling that these two high quality Dramm components will last a lot longer. -- Eric Knutzen

Dramm 82342 400AL Heavy-Duty Aluminum Water Breaker Nozzle: $16

Dramm 22373 Aluminum Shut-Off Valve: $17 Read the rest

US Navy develops world’s worst e-reader

A sad tale from NavalTechnology.com:

It is an unspoken rule of military procurement that any IT or communications technology will invariably be years behind what is commercially available or technically hobbled to ensure security. One case in point is the uncomfortably backronymed NeRD, or Navy e-Reader Device, an electronic book so secure the 300 titles it holds can never be updated. Ever...

Developer Findaway World began development of the bespoke devices for the Navy two years ago, and now 365 of them are being rolled out to ships and submarines, with each vessel initially receiving about five. The company has already delivered similar gadgets to members of the US Army and other military personnel.

The brainchild of the Navy's General Library Program, the electronic ink Kindle-alike has no internet capability, no removable storage, no camera and no way to add or delete content. This is to prevent it being used to smuggle secret military data ashore, take illicit photos, introduce computer malware or record covert conversations.

The books have been selected to keep the average sailor happy. But if readers' tastes extend beyond bestsellers like the Game Of Thrones and Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series, authors deemed popular with Navy readers like Tom Clancy and James Patterson, American classics, and naval history, they could become a little bored...

US Navy develops world’s worst e-reader

Be sure to visit Lawrence's (Roughly) Daily website! Read the rest

Brandalists replace 365 outdoor ads in 10 UK cities with hand-printed works of art

Last week, in a coordinated attack by guerrilla artists across the UK, 365 outdoor ads were replaced by hand-printed works of art. It was a project of Brandalism, and they hit 10 cities, using hi-viz vests and steely nerves as camouflage while they did their work. Read the rest

More in US die from prescription narcotics than car crashes, guns, suicide

More than 100 Americans die each day from prescription drug overdoses, mostly painkillers. That's more daily deaths than from car accidents, gunshot wounds, or suicides.

In California, two county District Attorneys are suing five of the biggest drug companies in the world, and the lawsuits include the same kind of arguments once used against big tobacco industry, demanding "public protection."

Warren Olney's "To the Point" radio show has a segment on the topic today:

The companies are accused of a "campaign of deception" to persuade doctors that narcotic painkillers are safer than they really are. But the narcotic painkillers involved have been approved by the FDA. Is a government agency helping create a "population of addicts?" What's the role of physicians who write the prescriptions? Are they ill-informed, poorly trained or trying to make money?

More on the case at advocacy group harmreduction.org, and there's a Los Angeles Times writeup here. Read the rest

Lingering (Disneyland at night)

A wonderful photo of Disneyland, without humans, shared in our Boing Boing Flickr pool by reader "Dreggs." Read the rest

NFL cheerleaders live miserable lives of silent degredation

Man, I had no idea how rotten the contract language for professional sports cheerleaders could be. Check out this Mother Jones explainer, and the accompanying sample document. The labor agreements some of them sign control every imaginable aspect of their lives, from sex to body weight to underwear to tampons to mandatory Facebook friendings, and the requirement that they submit to creepy contact with men in certain situations while maintaining silence and a smile. Also, many end up doing a ton of work for free. Who knew? Read the rest

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