N.A.S.A.: "O Pato," feat. Kool Kojak + DJ Babao (BB Video)

(NSFW! Adults, watch this video: YouTube, Dotsub, or Download MP4)

Boing Boing Video presents "O PATO," featuring Kool Kojak and DJ Babão, from the NASA music project (North America South America). Directed by Didiu Rio Branco and Robson Minghini, this NSFW, raunchy romp features animated versions of NASA project founders Sam and Ze getting funky with their fine feathered homies in São Paulo, Brazil. Bonus: a moonwalking Michael Jackson cockroach. My, the bugs really are bigger in South America...

You can buy the project album here: N.A.S.A. - The Spirit of Apollo. Read the rest

Haiti Earthquake Update: AIDG's Catherine Lainé, live from Haiti (BB Video)

Watch on YouTube | Download MP4 | Dotsub (with foreign language translations)

In this episode of Boing Boing Video, I speak with Haitian-American blogger and sustainable tech development activist Catherine Lainé (photo at left from earlier this year). She was working in Haiti when the catastrophic earthquake struck earlier this week. Catherine spoke to us via Skype video from Cap-Haïtien, where she is working out of a space shared with AIDG (Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group) and a kindred nonprofit known as SOIL.

A number of her family members live in Haiti. At the time of this interview, all were safely accounted for, except for her brother, who resides in the devastated capital city of Port-au-Prince. He is currently still missing. Catherine is trying to get into the city to locate him, as I publish this blog post.

Among the observations she shares: aid groups are running out of body bags, and corpses are piling up so fast that the morgues have no space. The internet is a vital form of communication, as are cellphones—when they work—and she is seeing people in Haiti using social networking services as a means to try and locate missing loved ones within Haiti. The environment is so chaotic and roads so badly damaged that even in-country, mobile technology and web-based social networking services like Facebook are playing a vital role in the reconnection process. Don't assume that because Haiti is so poor, nobody's using the internet. She says cell service has been spotty, with certain carriers performing better than others. Read the rest

Elizabeth Pschorr: A Privileged Marriage (Boing Boing Video)

(Watch on YouTube, Dotsub, or download MP4)

On the eve of the Third Reich, a young woman of Jewish descent married an Aryan man. The Nazis would later classify that as a "privileged marriage," which saved her life while millions died. Her name is Elizabeth Pschorr, and today on Boing Boing Video, we present her story in her own words, with rare archival family photo and film taken as early as the 1930s.

A little backstory on how this episode came to be: Ms. Pschorr's grandson, Jason McHugh, has worked with us since the early days of BBTV as a field producer and cameraman. One day when we were on a shoot together, he told me about his grandma, and an autobiographical book she was writing. I asked if we could visit her and record some of her story, and this episode unfolded over the next two years. Jason scanned old photos, love letters, and copied black and white film reels tucked away in boxes at his grandma's home.

After the jump, more of those photos, and Jason (who's enjoying the holidays today with his grandmother) shares his thoughts about his family's story, and about the making of the video you'll see above. Read the rest

Swell Season on Boing Boing Video

Two years ago, Glen Hansard, singer/guitarist for the Irish group The Frames, and Markéta Irglová, a teenaged classical pianist from the Czech Republic, starred in a small independent film about a busker (like Hansard himself) and an immigrant flower seller on the streets of Dublin. Director John Carney made the film, titled Once, for just $160,000. Hansard and Irglová wrote all the songs for the soundtrack. The film became a surprise hit. Hansard and Irglová won a 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song, the hauntingly beautiful "Falling Slowly."

Cut to 2009: Hansard and Irglová, backed by The Frames, are playing sold-out shows under the name The Swell Season at legendary venues like Radio City Music Hall. The group recently released Strict Joy, their first album since the Once soundtrack. More complex and lush than their previous work but just as emotional and brutally honest, Strict Joy is an intimate, orchestral song cycle that brings them even further into the realm of the great singer-songwriters like Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and Joni Mitchell.

When Swell Season came to Oakland's Paramount Theater last month, I had the opportunity to interview Irglová and Hansard for Boing Boing Video. I found them both to be refreshingly grounded, humble, and incredibly gracious. They're the kind of people you want to invite home for dinner. I was thrilled that Glen and Mar agreed to perform several songs for our cameras, including an unreleased new song they wrote while on the road. Read the rest

Video: man in Japan weds anime game character

Video: YouTube, MP4 download, or Dotsub (subtitles)

UPDATE: Interview with the groom!

On Sunday, a man named Sal9000 married the love of his life. Her name is Nene Anegasaki, and she lives inside of a Nintendo DS video game called Love Plus. The wedding took place during a Make: Japan meet-up held at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. In attendance were a live audience, an MC, the bride's virtual video game girlfriend — who made a speech — and a real human priest.

The event was livecast on Nico Nico Douga, a popular video sharing web site that I wrote about in Wired Magazine back in 2008. (Watch this clip of hot shot Wired folks making total fools of themselves on Nico Nico Douga.)

Nico Nico Douga is home to thousands of video projects by anonymous users — mashups of original art, pop music, anime, and web memes that only an insider to Japanese web geek culture can completely decipher. Sal9000 is an active member of the Nico Nico Douga community, so it was important to him that his offbeat wedding ceremony was broadcast on the site. The footage seen here of Sal and Nene tying the knot between real and virtual is a highly imaginative, multimedia project orchestrated by a guy determined to officiate his devotion to his video game, and to pay homage to the otaku subculture that nurtures this type of creativity. Enjoy!

Man to marry his video game girlfriend this Sunday Love in 2D (New York Times Magazine) Advisor: My husband has a virtual girlfriend Read the rest

N.A.S.A. feat. Tom Waits + Kool Keith: "Spacious Thoughts"

Watch video: Download MP4, YouTube, subtitles at Dotsub.

Boing Boing Video proudly debuts a new piece from the "great god almighty could it get any more awesome?" N.A.S.A. music project, this one from two personal music heroes: Tom Waits, and Kool Keith. The track is called Spacious Thoughts, and you can pick it up on the project's debut album, Spirit of Apollo (Amazon link.)

NASA, short for "North America South America," is a music collaboration project assembled by Squeak E. Clean (aka Sam Spiegel, brother of film director Spike Jonze) and DJ Zegon (Ze Gonzales, professional skateboarder).

The music video embedded above was created by Montreal-based Fluorescent Hill, and I asked collaborators Mark Lomond and Johanne Ste-Marie a few questions about how all that crazy magic came together. Below, and after the jump, are their replies.

BB: Tell me a little about Fluorescent Hill? Who are you guys, where are you, what do you do?

Fluorescent Hill: Well, we're a very small collective of artists, basically myself (mark lomond) and johanne ste-marie. we started working together while in school here in Montreal, along with some other friends. So we've been together for almost eight years. We do design, illustration, animation, live action, basically anything artistic, but with a primary focus on film.

BB: How did the NASA video project come together, and what were your first thoughts when you learned what track and what musical artists would be involved? Read the rest

Nouveau Oldtime Jam: Blind Boy Paxton, Dom Flemons (of Carolina Chocolate Drops), and Frank Fairfield

(Watch video: YouTube, Dotsub, or download MP4.)

A quick little goodie from Boing Boing Video. Last night, I sat in on a live recording session at Santa Monica's Village Studios with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, described as "African-American string band revivalists." They were amazing: I have never been so emotionally moved by someone playing a musical jug (and banjos, fiddles, cow bones, and kazoos). Their performance was witnessed by a handful of music biz folks and oldtime music enthusiasts, and made me feel deeply homesick for Appalachia (I'm also craving cornbread and butterbeans today - there's a song for that).

The Chocolate Drops have a new record coming out in 2010, and Boing Boing will be all over it like gravy on grits. If you dig R. Crumb, Smithsonian Folkways recordings of pre-blues and pre-bluegrass banjo music, and love folks who bring new life to authentic American music, you will flip out.

So, the video above: after the Drops' performance and recording session ended, Dom Flemons (of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, seated in center in the video), Blind Boy Paxton (seated at left in the video), and Frank Fairfield (seated far right) sat down together and jammed pure, sweet magic for a spell. I wasn't prepared with a proper camera or crew, but I grabbed my iPhonetraption out of my pocket and got to shootin'. I hope you enjoy it as much as everyone in the room did. Pure magic, these guys. Read the rest

Test-driving the Electrobite, a trilobite-shaped DIY vehicle (BB Video)

Watch: MP4 download, YouTube, Dotsub (with captions/text translations).

In this episode of Boing Boing Video, we test-drive "Sarriugarteis (Odontochile) trilobiteis," also known as The Electrobite.

This trilobite-shaped DIY vehicle was created by "Oilpunk" enthusiasts Kyrsten Mate + Jon Sarriugarte, with help from fellow makers Amy Jenkins and Tansy Brooks.

Pesco previously blogged about the little bugger here -- it's even been to Burning Man, where it no doubt terrified some trippin' hippies. Read the rest

BB Video: "Man in the Sand," by Gordon "Violent Femmes" Gano

WATCH: MP4 Download, YouTube, or Dotsub.

Boing Boing Video proudly presents "Man in the Sand," from Gordon Gano and the Ryans' new record "Under the Sun." Video directed by famed illustrator, photographer, and filmmaker Matt Mahurin. Read Cory's review of the album: Gordon "Violent Femmes" Gano's solo album "Under the Sun" is out! Read the rest

Digital Open Winners: Australian Teen Crafts "Sneaky" Games


Institute for the Future teamed up with Sun Microsystems and Boing Boing Video to co-host the Digital Open, an online tech expo for teens 17 and under around the world.

We're publishing an 8-part series of videos profiling the winners. Today, meet 16 year old Harry Lee of Melbourne Australia. He talks with us about his "Sneaky Card" game concept, which explores social interactions between people. He was inspired by ARG and indie projects like "Bite Me," by Gamelab, and Jane McGonigal's Top Secret Dance-Off, both of which we've covered previously on Boing Boing.

"I love index cards," says Harry, "And I was thinking -- hmm, how can I incorporate them into a project?" So he designed and printed these game cards, and "spread the seeds of sneakiness and espionage" into the unsuspecting pockets, math books, binders and bags and jackets of his schoolmates.

I tracked most of the cards and found, with much satisfaction, that a majority of them had been passed down at least three times. The most successful story is of the card passed from student to student three times before ending up in a math teacher's jacket. The teacher found it and gave it to another math teacher, who inserted it into a student's corrected test before giving it back to him. The card passed hands once again before I lost track of it.

Below, some sample cards in Harry's game. (Link to PDF). More after the jump.

Read the rest

Digital Open Winners: Teen Designs Eco-Home of the Future

Institute for the Future teamed up with Sun Microsystems and Boing Boing Video to co-host the Digital Open, an online tech expo for teens 17 and under around the world.

We're publishing an 8-part series of videos profiling the winners. Today, meet 15-year-old Ferran Rovira Bosca, of Spain. He created a concept for an "Eco Self-Sustaining House" -- architecture of the future that captures its own renewable energy, and operates off the grid. Ferran believes technology can help us come up with new ways of protecing the environment and saving money in our households at the same time. He says he learns a lot about what's possible in this realm from exploring sustainable technology websites online.

Here's more about his "Casa Ecologica Autosuficiente."

Read more about the youth competition in IFTF's press release announcing Digital Open winners.


Digital Open Winners: From pocket-sized Altoids tin hack, big dreams emerge Digital Open Winner: A Living Diorama, to Change the World. Digital Open Winner: teen creates a robot shop Digital Open Winners: "Hybrid Airship," by teen robotic blimp builders. Digital Open Winners: A student website by and for teens. BB Video: IFTF, Sun, and Boing Boing Launch Digital Open Youth ... Digital Open: online tech expo for young people - Boing Boing Digital Open tech innovation expo for global youth: 10 more days ... Read the rest

Digital Open Winners: From pocket-sized Altoids tin hack, big dreams emerge

Digital Open: Teen Altoid-hacks his way to tech glory

Digital Open Winner: A Living Diorama, to Change the World.

Teen dreams of a kinder future.

Digital Open Winner: teen creates a robot shop

Teen creates winning robot shop

Digital Open Winners: "Hybrid Airship," by teen robotic blimp builders.

Teens build hybrid airship

Digital Open Winners: A student website by and for teens.

Youth and open innovation

Boing Boing Video: Coachella Time-Lapse (dir. Ray Klein, music by Hawke)

Coachella Time-Lapse

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