As Japanese musician Masami Akita (aka Merzbow) performs live in Taipei in 2013, one concertgoer demonstrates that enjoying noise music does not preclude you from practicing good dental hygiene. Full clip below.
SpaceX's Starship SN4 prototype launch vehicle just exploded in a huge fireball during a static fire test in Boca Chica, Texas. While the Starship spacecraft is still early in development, the explosion doesn't feel great leading up to the SpaceX-NASA historic launch now scheduled for tomorrow. Scrubbed on Wednesday due to weather, it'll be the first time humans will launch to space from the United States since 2011 and the first time a private company will take humans offworld.
Miramar, Florida police arrested Matthew Crandall, 21, for allegedly breaking into Miramar High School and smashing up the place. He wore only a hat and headphones as he destroyed computers and TVs and apparently caused major flooding. The total wreckage is estimated at $100,000.
Crandall was identified from surveillance footage. According to the Associated Press, "it’s not known whether he has ties to the school."
(Thanks to our Florida bureau chief, Charles Pescovitz!) Read the rest
Tony Hawk first learned to ride a skateboard in 1979 when he was 11 years old. The board was the 1975 Bahne pictured above. Now, that board is in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. (Below, video of Hawk's last ride on the Bahne.) From Cole Louison's new interview with Hawk in Smithsonian magazine:
The first wave of skateboarding—when decks were wood, wheels were steel and “sidewalk surfing” was banned in 20 U.S. cities by August 1965—had ended by the time Hawk stepped on the board. Yet the sport enjoyed a major resurgence in the 1970s, thanks in part to new technology. The blue Bahne evokes an era when public outcry had driven skaters off sidewalks and into the first skateparks, where they rode plastic boards with polyurethane wheels higher and higher up the walls of in-ground pools that were capped at the top or extended with plywood[...]
“In its early days, skateboarding was considered a sport for misfits and outsiders,” Hawk tells me. “We didn’t mind the label, since we weren’t trying to fit in with mainstream culture anyway.” And even as mainstream culture prepares to embrace skateboarding more enthusiastically than ever before, Hawk says, “I believe our sense of counterculture and individualism will shine through.”
Seattle maker Brennen Johnston wanted his friends to play Animal Crossing with him but they couldn't get their hands on a Nintendo Switch, a scarce commodity amid COVID-19 lockdowns. Enraged by the prices scalpers were charging for a Switch, Brennen set out to build one himself from individual components. The Internet fell in love with the build notes he posted to Imgur and now he's released the above video documenting the project! Brennen writes:
The support I received from my original Imgur post has been overwhelming. I never imagined so many people were interested in my project or had thought of doing something similar. I with I was able to answer everyone's questions but I just couldn't keep up with all the requests.
Most of the private messages asked me to do a version for the Joy-cons so I went ahead and made you that you can find here:
Ford is testing new software for its Police Interceptor Utility Vehicles that heats the vehicle's interior to 133 degrees for 15 minutes to kill COVID-19. Ideally, this happens when nobody is inside the car. The new disinfecting technique–not unlike a kitchen oven's "self cleaning" feature–is based on research conducted with the Ohio State University Department of Microbiology. From a Ford statement:
Read the rest
Once activated, the vehicle’s powertrain and climate control systems work together automatically to elevate passenger compartment temperatures. The software warms up the engine to an elevated level, and both heat and fan settings operate on high. The software automatically monitors interior temperatures until the entire passenger compartment hits the optimal level, then that temperature is maintained for 15 minutes[...]
“Our studies with Ford Motor Company indicate that exposing coronaviruses to temperatures of 56 degrees Celsius, or 132.8 degrees Fahrenheit, for 15 minutes reduces the viral concentration by greater than 99 percent on interior surfaces and materials used inside Police Interceptor Utility vehicles,” said Jeff Jahnes and Jesse Kwiek, laboratory supervisors at The Ohio State University department of microbiology.
Law enforcement will have multiple ways to monitor progress. Hazard lights and taillights will flash in a pre-set pattern to notify when the process has begun, then will change at the end to signal completion. The vehicle’s instrument cluster will also indicate progress. A cool-down process brings the temperature down from its highest points.
Today, Trump will announce his executive order against social media companies, the day after Twitter added a fact-checking note to two of Trump's misleading tweets. Surprising nobody, Trump's draft order goes after Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 that is an essential protection for free speech on the Internet. (Here's the EFF's explanation of Section 230.) From CNN:
Read the rest
"In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand-pick the speech that Americans may access and convey online," the draft order says. "This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic. When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power."
Under the order, the Commerce Department would ask the Federal Communications Commission for new regulations clarifying when a company's conduct might violate the good faith provisions of Section 230 -- potentially making it easier for tech companies to be sued.
That is consistent with a draft order whose text CNN first reported last summer -- and which prompted FCC officials to push back on the plan privately.
The draft order instructs the Justice Department to consult with state attorneys general on allegations of anti-conservative bias. It bans federal agencies from advertising on platforms that have allegedly violated Section 230's good-faith principles.
Finally, the draft order would direct the Federal Trade Commission to report on complaints about political bias collected by the White House and to consider bringing lawsuits against companies accused of violating the administration's interpretation of Section 230.
On Tuesday evening, the night before NASA astronaut Bob Behnken was set to launch into orbit about a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule, he launched his own rocket from Florida's Atlantic Coast. Read the rest
During Passover last month, I posted about The Ten Commandments, Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 epic silent film version of the biblical Exodus story (plus a related modern story that I never bothered to watch.) As part of tomorrow night's DAWN online celebration of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips, Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, and drummer Scott Amendola are premiering a far out new score for the film! Watch the excerpt above. Organized by the Jewish arts and culture organization Reboot, DAWN is sure to be a wild program of music, conversations, comedy, and performances. My pal and Boing Boing contributor David Katznelson, the head of Reboot, orchestrated the new Ten Commandments musical collaboration. From Rolling Stone:
Read the rest
Reboot CEO David Katznelson — who signed the Flaming Lips to Warner Bros. years ago — said of the project: “Watching this film score come together, with three amazing artists forced to work remotely and yet completely in flow with each other as they composed such an incredible piece of music was inspirational. Using the greatest artists of the day to bring something like The Ten Commandments to life for new generations to connect with… that is exactly what Reboot was created to do.”
Along with Drozd, Berlin and Amendola, the DAWN lineup will feature appearances from Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, Michaela Watkins, Gaby Moskowitz, Tiffany Shlain and Kasher vs. Kasher, a new podcast from comedian Moshe Kasher and his brother Rabbi David Kasher. The event kicks off May 28th at 10 p.m.
In Chayanta, Bolivia, three brothers, ages 12, 10 and 8, came upon a black widow spider while herding goats. They poked at the spider until it bit each of them. Why? They hoped to become Spider-Man. According to a report in Telemundo, their mom found them very upset and took them to a health center that moved them to a hospital. From the New York Post:
The would-be Peter Parkers were transferred a third time, taken to the Children’s Hospital in La Paz the next day with fevers, tremors and muscle pains, according to the report.
There, they were treated and discharged last Wednesday, almost a week after they were bitten, the report says.
No word on whether they can now sling webs.
(Thanks, Rick Pescovitz!)
UPDATE: Launch scrubbed due to weather just a few minutes before launch. See you Saturday for another try!
Today, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule is scheduled to shuttle two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. This will be the first time humans will launch to space from the United States since 2011 and the first time a private company will take humans offworld. Intrepid science journalist Nadia Drake is at the launchpad reporting on the mission for National Geographic and ABC News. Tune in above for Nadia's live reporting. Liftoff is set for 4:33pm ET, weather and technology permitting. From Nadia's coverage at National Geographic:
Read the rest
The Demo-2 mission is slated to lift off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A—the same pad in Florida that hosted Apollo 11 and STS-135, the last flight of a space shuttle. However, next week's mission represents a new way of getting humans to orbit, in which agencies including NASA purchase rides to space from private companies. For astronauts [Doug] Hurley, 53, and [Bob] Behnken, 49, the Demo-2 flight also presents a rare opportunity: to be the first people to fly in a new type of spacecraft. Behnken and Hurley were specially selected for NASA’s commercial crew program back in 2015. Both men are former military test pilots—Hurley in the Marines and Behnken in the Air Force. Both are married to fellow astronauts, and the two have been colleagues since joining NASA in 2000 as part of Astronaut Group 18.
Pop-Up Magazine is the beloved "live magazine" of eclectic spoken word pieces, storytelling, comedy, and musical performances that exists only on the stage. Tonight though, Pop-Up Magazine takes its show off the road and onto your screen with their first ever online event, "Spring Issue: At Home." It premieres tonight (May 27) at 6pm PT. Teaser above. Longtime Boing Boing pal and Pop-Up Magazine president/publisher Chas Edwards says, "Part of the fun (???) was figuring out how to produce a show when all of us -- contributors, band members, producers, et al -- are holed up in our respective homes. The end result is like a mashup of our live show with a graphic novel made for YouTube." Watch it on YouTube, for free. From the description:
Read the rest
In this issue, our storytellers and musicians perform from their homes across the country in an all-new lineup of true, never-before-told stories paired with an original score, art, animation, and film. It’s the Pop-Up Magazine you know and love, presented in a creative new split-screen experience (we like to think of it as a cross between a live performance, a video, and a graphic novel).
The stories are timely, surprising, and emotional — a medical student graduates early and becomes a doctor in the midst of the pandemic; a high school varsity mariachi band competes against 80 other teams to defend their elite title in South Texas; office comedy unfolds inside a giant corporate greeting-card company; legends of the stage and Instagram alike interpret social distancing in one minute of dance; and much more.
In 1981, Damaskas (Daniel E Hollomb) of The Dr. Demento Show recorded this wonderful parody of DEVO's "Mongoloid" about the arcade game Asteroids. According to Dr_Deirdre_Airlines who posted it in r/ObscureMedia, Damaskas has said "he never played the game, but instead watched people playing the game failing miserably at it."
Damaskas was most cult famous for his rollicking ditty "Making Love In A Subaru" (1977), below:
The money, which was not washed or bleached, was printed from a high-end printer on regular paper.
Officers say the currency number was the same for every bill, and on the back of the bill there was foreign writing in the location where one of the security features would exist.
Translated, the "foreign writing" read: Made in China.
Just kidding on that last part. I think.
(Thanks, Charles Pescovitz!) Read the rest
To my disappointment, North Korean state media stated that Kim Jong Un did not use his family's mastery of magic to teleport or time travel out of the public eye.
“In fact, people can’t disappear and reappear by folding space," stated a report in the Rodong Shinmun, the newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea. From Mysterious Universe:
Chukjibop, literally a “method of shrinking the earth,” is described as the ability to quickly move towards the blind spot of an enemy at a speed so fast that the attacker seems to temporarily disappear. The mythical version of a concept in East Asian martial arts has been attributed to several figures in Chinese and Japanese mythology, and more recently depicted in Japanese animation, or through the use of special effects in Chinese Kung Fu movies.
According to myth, [Kim Jong Un's grandfather] Kim Il Sung was able to use the chukjibop technique to win a battle against imperial Japanese soldiers during the time when Korea was a colony of Japan (1910-1945), when he was purportedly leading Korean guerillas in exile[...]
[Last week's] report marked the first time that state media flatly denied that a Kim family myth was true, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said.
“We need to pay attention to the current leader’s denial of the mythification of his predecessors, including his criticism of them in October, at Mt. Kumgang,” a ministry official told reporters.