Disney's prized theme-park no-fly zone means it can't use drones in its firework shows

Disney won its war on overflights by planes towing advertising banners in 2003, winning the only no-fly zone over a theme-park in the USA. Read the rest

At least 5 killed in Saskatchewan, Canada school shooting

Five people were killed in a school shooting in the northern Saskatchewan community of La Loche, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said late Friday. Read the rest

Veteran transforms wheelchair into snowplow

In wintry Omaha, Nebraska, a local veteran is using his modded wheelchair to help neighbors with snow plowing. Read the rest

#Blizzard2016: Big-ass winter storm hits East Coast with big snow predicted

Washington, D.C., and New York City are under blizzard watches, and states of emergency have been declared in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina ahead of a blustery winter storm now slamming the U.S. East Coast with snow.

The storm threatens to dump nearly 3 feet of snow on the Middle Atlantic region, and slammed into Washington, D.C. this afternoon, threatening our nation's capital with record accumulations. The storm is now moving up the East Coast and causing all sorts of problems in New York, and throughout the region. Read the rest

Maori wedding haka moves bride to tears in New Zealand

Gave me chills! This epic wedding haka moved a New Zealand bride to tears, and is making everyone on the internet cry, too. Badass as hell. Read the rest

What publishers should do

You can’t work at a book publisher for more than five minutes without someone telling you what publishers should do. You know, “to survive.” “Be relevant.” Something.

Even literary agents, who should know better, will get in on this action. One of the most prominent agents in New York, seated next to me at an event a few years back, took the opportunity to lecture me through the appetizer course on how book publishers should band together and “build their own Amazon” to sell books. Digital disruption = solved.

“Ma'am, you may have a point. You don’t, for All The Reasons, but let’s say you did. The book publishing industry is made of book people. Book people as a class pride themselves on knowing about everything—except computers, with a vengeance. They still edit 100,000-word manuscripts with pencils. I could count on one finger the number of people in this business who could program a coffee-maker. How in the world would the people in charge hire a single competent developer? If you’d seen the technological boondoggles, the 7-figure white-label ‘content management systems,’ these rubes have fallen for…”

If you really enjoy unsolicited opinions about what publishers should do, go work at Amazon to help build a New York book publishing imprint from the ground up. The book people who still talk to you afterward will be happy to tell you what you’re doing wrong. (Guys, I'm not working at Amazon anymore. Can we be friends again?)

All that said: I know what publishers should do. Read the rest

Now's your last chance to get the Complete Arduino Starter Kit and Course Bundle for 87% off in the Boing Boing Store

Coding, programming and designing. Those are essential elements of the tech world we live in. But the foundation? The rock solid structures beneath it all? That’s what this starter kit wants to teach you. Using your hands, you can physically put together the elements that make up the computers we live in. For 87% off this is your last chance to get your hands on the wires, screws, circuit boards plus the instructions, diagrams and troubleshooting tips to hold your hand all along the way.

The world’s foremost electronics prototyping platform is right here. There are hours upon hours of courses and lectures here that will walk you through the basics principles of electronic design using all kinds of sensors and components. Advance your skills from fundamentals to fun when you unlock the course to build a remote controlled car to master communications between transceivers. Learn about battery types for mobile applications and even work on retrofitting an existing toy to fit your specs.

There’s a course where you’ll learn to make your own environment monitor system too, uploading sensor data and displaying it on an LCD screen. All in all, at 87% off the starter kit is a major deal to get you up and running on your way to becoming an electronics master programmer and now is your last chance to nab it. After tackling all thirteen of these tasks with the fully stocked beginner toolkit you’ll be ready for a whole new job, or at least a big, fat raise. Read the rest

Principal forces high school girl to kneel so he can check if her skirt is too short

One wonders what was going through the mind of Edmonson County High School Principal Tommy Hodges when he ordered a teenage girl to get on her knees so he could measure her dress length. The Kentucky school has a dress code requiring skirts to end no more than six inches above the knee.

Amanda said she felt “embarrassed” and “humiliated” by having to kneel on the ground, especially with her mom and dad watching.

“I didn’t really appreciate having to get down on my knees, especially while I was in a dress,” she said.

She said the first time Hodges measured her, she was in dress code, with 5 inches. However, she said Hodges then made her walk across the room with her hands up and kneel back down, to check if her dress would ride up. She said her dress was then 8 inches above the knee, and she went home because she was “technically” out of code.

[via] Read the rest

Kano Computer Kit – If kids can put together Legos, then why not a whole computer?

Confession: I know nothing – NOTHING – about coding. I’m still stuck in the glory days of the “if/thens” of my original Apple IIe, circa 1983. And I barely knew how to do anything past whatever I copied verbatim from Byte. I never got that right either. I don’t think. Ever. I remember staying up all night to do a Thundercats hi-res game. Tried to run it at 4am. Nothing. No Lion-O, no Cheetarah, no Snarf... NOTHING. Thus began a life of failure. BUT. I did not want my kids to suffer that same fate. Especially because it is now a presidential mandate that all kids must learn to code. And code they shall.

Kano is built on a simple idea: If kids can piece together Legos, then why not a whole computer? So they not only have a tactile experience in the building of the thing, but more importantly, they take ownership. Have a hands on experiece with their computer, and know it inside and out. My kids opened the cleverly packaged Kano box and had their machines up and running in about 45 minutes. The directions are sort of similar to Lego directions. Very simple, very easy to understand, and I’ll be damned... these boys, ages 7 and 9, were coding within the hour.

The computer itself comes with a Rasberry Pi brain, all the necessary cables, a keyboard, instructions and stickers to personalize the experience. It comes loaded with a bunch of different apps: Minecraft, Scratch, hack old school Pong, hack Snake, and many other great things, all with an eye towards hacking, coding and exploring. Read the rest

She of the Mountains: a Canadian youth’s search for social and sexual identity

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

The body is a tangle of sensations. It’s both a source of pleasure and a confusing amalgamation of parts that don’t quite seem to function in concert. Teeming with desires and repulsions, the physical self forms the centerpiece of She of the Mountains. The protagonist is unnamed in this slender, poetry-drenched novella by award-winning author Vivek Shraya. He’s keenly aware of his brown body in the sometimes hostile, sometimes indifferent world of Edmonton, Alberta, as he tries to discover what it means to be gay, then falls in love with a woman, and finally begins to establish a life for himself that feels honest.

A Canadian youth’s search for social and sexual identity would be fascinating enough in Shraya’s thoughtful hands, but by braiding his tale with a personalized vision of Hindu mythology, he casts it into timeless territory. The goddess Parvati describes herself as “the mother of the universe. … I am life itself, the spark that makes a heart pump, that keeps a tree alive for centuries, green and reaching.” But she isn’t immune to sorrow; a terrible error causes her beloved consort Shiv — Destruction himself — to decapitate her newly born son Ganesh in a fit of rage. Only the substitution of an elephant’s head for Ganesh’s own lets him escape death. In her own lyrical, searching words, Parvati describes her evolving love for Ganesh and Shiv, the wisdom that comes to her through incarnation in a mortal body, and even her newfound empathy for Kali’s destructive powers. Read the rest

My Friday Jam: "Everything She Wants," Wham! (1984)

“Somebody told me.”

This is my Friday jam. "Everything She Wants," from 1984 by British pop duo Wham!. This is a perfect pop song, and you can buy it on vinyl.

It gives me wiggly dance-chills every time I hear it, and I was around when it first became a solid gold hit in 1984. Read the rest

Taco Bell exec is suing the Uber driver he beat up for $5 million

Remember Benjamin Golden, the former Taco Bell executive who beat up his Uber driver? Golden is now suing the driver for $5 million for recording the violent attack.

From the Orange County Register:

As a result of the overwhelming media coverage, Golden says he suffered severe emotional distress, humiliation, anxiety and the loss of his job.

The lawsuit claims invasion of privacy, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and battery. He is seeking damages in excess of $5 million.

Read the rest

Deluxe Snorting Kit is not for cocaine

Described literally as "Deluxe Snorting Kit - Not For Cocaine," this olfactory equipment will enable hours of snorting pleasure.

But not, however, if you are snorting cocaine.

Mike Wehner found this and several more items on Amazon that are certainly not for snorting cocaine. Read the rest

Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers is a delightful book of recreational math

When I was a kid one of my favorite books was George Gamow's One Two Three . . . Infinity: Facts and Speculations of Science. (It's a pity that the current edition has such a crappy cover. Here's the cover to the copy I own, which is much cooler looking). This book taught me about huge numbers, infinity, and the fourth dimension. I loved Gamow's hand-drawn illustrations, too. If you don't have this book, I suspect you will enjoy it.

Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers, by Ian Stewart, reminds me of One Two Three . . . Infinity. It's missing the charming hand-drawn illustrations, but it has many of the same topics in Gamow's book (like the Towers of Hanoi, and the Four Color Map Theory), plus quite a few other fun number-related items that Gamow didn't cover, such as fractals, the Birthday Paradox, and the Sausage Conjecture.

When I told my 12-year-old about the Four Color Map Theory, she immediately went to work with colored pencils and paper to prove me wrong. I can't find the fantastically complex maps she came up with, but if I locate them, I'll post them here. She eventually came up with an intuitive understanding of why any map you draw only needs four colors to ensure no two bordering shapes have the same color.

UPDATE: I found Jane's maps:

Read the rest

Listen to 911 call of very stoned drivers turning themselves in

These two gents were allegedly transporting 20 pounds of marijuana from Las Vegas to Montana. When they were driving through Idaho, they suspected that police were tailing them and they called 911 to turn themselves in. They were arrested, and when one of the men showed up in court to plead guilty, he tested positive for marijuana.

Here's an equally weird call that David posted in 2007 about an epically stoned police officer from Dearborn, Michigan who made pot brownies with his wife and called 911 to report that he and his wife had died. Read the rest

Bad supercar driver compilation

Millions of dollars went into the making of this supercut, starring Bentleys, Lamborghinis, Maseratis, Ferraris, and their terrible drivers. Read the rest

What's inside a fire alarm

I was hoping for a little firefighter homunculus.

[via] Read the rest

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