Steve Wozniak wants you to support Mayday.US and get money out of politics

Apple co-founder, nerd legend, and all-round Good Guy Steve Wozniak has recorded an excellent video explaining why he's supporting Larry Lessig's Mayday.US super PAC, which is raising $5M to elect lawmakers who'll promise to vote to abolish super PACs and effect major campaign finance reform.

Wozniak draws the connection between big money in politics and the overall corruption that gave us SOPA, NSA surveillance, cable company fuckery, and other horribles that arise when the only way to get elected is by sucking up to a tiny elite of the zottarich.

I am not a US citizen and I can't contribute to Mayday. If you are, I hope you will consider giving to the campaign, and throw in a couple extra bucks for me.

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Greenhouse: browser plugin that automatically annotates politicians' names with their funders

Greenhouse is a browser plugin created by Nicholas Rubin, a 16-year-old programmer. It seeks out the names of elected US officials on any web-page you load in your browser and adds a pop-up link to their names listing the major donors to their campaigns. It uses 2012 election-cycle data drawn from Opensecrets's repository.

I've long suggested something like this as a way of improving political coverage. Indeed, you could imagine it going both ways -- any time the name of a company or individual who had made some big campaign contributions shows up in a webpage, you get a list of their political beneficiaries. Ideally, this would be an open framework to which data from any political race could be added. Read the rest

Judy Blume: parents shouldn't worry about what their kids are reading

Judy Blume -- whose books have been frequently challenged in schools and libraries -- is skeptical of the idea that parents need to be worry about whether the books their kids read are "appropriate". Bloom says that any book a kid is captivated by is, by definition, "appropriate": "[Kids] are very good, I think, at monitoring what makes them feel uncomfortable. If something makes them feel uncomfortable they will put it down." Read the rest

Jive Talkin', the Bee Gees

Leavin' me lookin' like a dumbstruck fool

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Microbe cross-stitches for germy decor and hobbyists

Alicia Watkins's Microbe cross-stitches are an absolute treat (and part of a deep and impressive collection of nerdy cross-stitches running the gamut from The Princess Bride to Star Trek). You can get them in five-packs, as well as in patterns you can complete yourself. Read the rest

Google's Nest Labs drops $555 million on Dropcam

Nest Labs, a division of Google, announced late Friday that it will acquire video surveillance startup Dropcam for $555 million "as part of a push to become the dominant operating system for connected devices in and around the home." Read the rest

Ukuleles: Everyone's playing them. Ads from the great uke craze of the 1910s-20s.

In the mainland United States, everyone went nuts over ukes in the late 1910s and early 1920s.

News orgs seek to declassify Gitmo force-feeding videos

"A group of 16 news organizations is asking a federal judge to make public a batch of videos of a hunger-striking Guantanamo Bay prisoner being forcibly removed from his cell and force fed," reports Josh Gerstein at Politico. "Thirteen of the videos were filed in U.S. District Court earlier this month, but they're currently under seal because the Defense Department has classified the videos as "secret" national security information. In an order signed Thursday, Judge Gladys Kessler approved the filing of 15 more videos with the court." Read the rest

A modern-day Amelia Earheart (that's her name) launches 'round the world flight next week

In The Magazine, writer Liana Aghajanian has a feature on the Amelia Rose Earhart—yep, that's her name—who plans to fly across the world next week, like the famous aviator after whom she was named.

Snip:

Amelia Rose Earhart’s family always told her she was distantly related to Amelia Mary Earhart, the aviation and women’s rights pioneer who disappeared during a journey around the world. Speculation about precisely what happened persists. Expeditions are still organized to find her plane, and teams have claimed to have found its remnants.

Now, Amelia Rose is sitting in a nearly pitch-black garage, just a year before she planned to embark on her own round-the-world flight following the same route as her name-alike, something she announced at the aviation world’s premier event, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in Wisconsin. She spends so long in the garage with her tears and her shoes that the small motion light fails to sense anyone in the enclosed space. The light goes off.

In many ways it feels as if the light is going out on her life too. Has she built her budding aviation career on a misunderstanding, a genealogical error, a falsehood she had believed to be real? How was she supposed to continue with this flight, continue with her job as “Denver’s own Amelia Earhart.”

"Amelia Reincarnated: A young pilot retraces her namesake’s journey." [The Magazine]

You can follow Amelia on Twitter, and check out her website: flywithamelia.org.

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Photography: 'Love Letter,' a series by Beijing-based Xiao Yang

Images from "Love Letter" parts I and II, by Xiao Yang, a photographer based in Beijing, China. Read the rest

Public opinion of Congress reaches a new low

A new Gallup poll on Americans' attitudes towards their institutions finds the nation in a massive crisis of confidence, with low levels of confidence in many institutions. Congress's public perception continues to fall, reaching an all-time low of 7%. Read the rest

What’s in My Bag? James Altucher

Author James Altucher doesn't really have a bag. Instead, he puts his stuff in a doctor's coat: $2 bills, a waiter's pad, and an iPad Mini. Read all about it on Cool Tools. Read the rest

David Cronenberg exhibition in Amsterdam

This weekend, David Cronenberg: The Exhibition lands at Amsterdam's EYE Film Institute. Celebrating one of my favorite contemporary directors, the show features props from the movies, original costumes, set photos, and screenings of all his films, from Shivers and Videodrome to Naked Lunch and Scanners (animated GIF below!).

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'IMF,' Seun Kuti and Egypt 80: predatory international aid agencies as zombies

[Video Link]

"IMF," which stands this time not for International Monetary Fund, but International Motherfuckers, by Seun Kuti and Egypt 80.

Super bangin' track from his new record, "A Long Way to the Top." Read the rest

Betabrand line of space-themed streetwear

Our friends at crowdfunded clothier Betabrand held a hack day to design a line of space-themed streetwear called Mission Control! A slew of space enthusiasts participated, including BB contributor Ariel "Spacehack" Waldman. The crowdfundable prototypes include the Voyager Gold Record Tee above, Galactic Carry-On and Dopp Kit, a sweatshirt with the Arecibo message (which would be a great complement to our own Boing Boing Areciboing t-shirt), and other far out designs! Betabrand Mission Control Read the rest

Korean kids give each other backpacks made of junk food

A popular birthday gift among Korean schoolgirls is a rucksack made by taping together packaged junkfood -- cookies, chocolates and chips -- with strips of wrapped junkfood for straps (the packs are also filled with junk food). They're pretty inventive and absolutely adorable, as well as bad for your health and blood-sugar. Read the rest

Sherman T. Botter: Jason makes a simple twitter bot

In an homage to one of televisions finest leaders, I humbly introduce Sherman T. Botter. Periodically spitting out a quote from the the 4077th M*A*S*H's veteran leader, this twitter bot is what happens when I get bored. Read the rest

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