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Boing Boing

Brain candy for Happy Mutants

Last Build Date: Mon, 05 Dec 2016 03:39:19 +0000


Peter Sellers recites the Beatles (in funny voices)

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 03:39:19 +0000


Robbo writes, "Peter Sellers recorded a series of performances, in a variety of voices, reciting the lyrics of popular Beatles songs. It is demented weirdness - and perfect in all its madness."

Army Corps of Engineers denies Dakota Access Pipeline permit

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 03:29:28 +0000


As things stand now, something nearly miraculous has happened: the protesters have won, indigenous people will not be forced at gunpoint to allow a danger to their drinking water that their settler neighbors had rejected, and the pipeline may die. Despite a media blackout and brutal suppression, native people have won an historic and just victory through bravery and humbling perseverance, and that victory has also struck a blow for a world where preventing climate change and preserving our common home takes precedence over enriching the tiny minority of investors in the oil industry. (more…)

Crooks can guess Visa card details in six seconds by querying lots of websites at once

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 15:21:53 +0000


In Does The Online Card Payment Landscape Unwittingly Facilitate Fraud?, a new paper in IEEE Security & Privacy, researchers from the University of Newcastle demonstrate a technique for guessing secruity details for credit-card numbers in six seconds -- attackers spread their guesses out across many websites at once, so no website gets enough bad guesses to lock the card or trigger a fraud detection system. (more…)

Bernie Sanders: Trump didn't win the election, the Democrats lost it

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 15:01:49 +0000


“I look at this election not as a victory for Mr. Trump, who wins the election as the most unpopular candidate in perhaps the history of our country, but as a loss for the Democratic Party." -Senator Bernie Sanders, speaking to a sold-out crowd in San Rafael, CA. (more…)

Global trumpism: how India's brutal leader manufactures reality with trumped-up "polls"

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 15:11:55 +0000


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an authoritarian war criminal who is part of the worldwide surge of trumpist leaders and hopefuls, including Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte; Hungary's Viktor Orbán; Russia's Vladimir Putin; South Korea's Park Geun-hye; France's Marine Le Pen; the UK's Nigel Farage, Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and others -- bound together by xenophobia, a lack of transparency, violent suppression of opposition, and savvy use of the internet. (more…)

Media Files:

2,100+ veterans pledge to build barracks to help Dakota Access Pipeline water defenders survive the winter

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 14:22:32 +0000


Yesterday, Wesley Clark Jr -- son of retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark -- met with North Dakota law enforcement officials on behalf of the 2,100 members of the Veterans Stand for Standing Rock group, who have pledged to come to the conflict site and build barracks to shelter the water defenders fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline. (more…)

Pirate Party invited to form Iceland's next government

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 14:01:10 +0000


Though the October polls that predicted a great showing for the Pirate Party in the Icelandic elections turned out to be wrong, that election did end with a deeply divided parliament that has been unable to find enough common ground upon which to form a new government. (more…)

Interview with James Gleick about his new book on the history of Time Travel

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 20:45:56 +0000


5 years ago, Boing Boing described James Gleick’s The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood as "a jaw-dropping tour de force history of information theory... The Information isn't just a natural history of a powerful idea; it embodies and transmits that idea, it is a vector for its memes (as Dawkins has it), and it is a toolkit for disassembling the world. It is a book that vibrates with excitement, and it transmits that excited vibration with very little signal loss. It is a wonder." (more…)

Media Files:

Congressional Science Committee tweets link to Breitbart climate denial by self-confessed bullshit artist

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 19:19:35 +0000


James Delingpole is an invective-hurling anti-climate science columnist who has candidly admitted that he doesn't bother to read scientific papers, calling himself a "an interpreter of interpretations." (more…)

Cat vs. Mailman

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 19:18:02 +0000


"How am I gonna get this in there? Gimme my glove back!"

Out of 8 companies surveyed, only Twitter would rule out helping Trump build a database of Muslims

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 19:09:27 +0000


Trump's Muslim database promise was extreme, even by Trump's standards; worse news, the US tech industry has built out a surveillance capability that would let him do it. (more…)

This Loot Crate mystery box will make you feel like a kid again—$50 off

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 19:01:16 +0000


Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited edition mystery crates.

Each mystery crate is valued at approximately $70, and is packed with about 7-9 hand-curated items. Past boxes have included items such as a Deadpool Tacos T-shirt, a Halo UNSC Sling Backpack, and a Back to the Future Part II Hoverboard Replica. You won't know what you'll get until it arrives, and that's half the fun. 

This mystery box can be yours for just $20; that’s a serious steal, considering the value of the stuff you’ll get inside.  Just don’t wait too long to snap this deal up, these sell out fast!

Trump's pick to lead Treasury tried to kick woman out of her house over 27 cents

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:45:31 +0000


Steven Mnuchin, Trump's pick to lead the Treasury, worked for Goldman Sachs for 20 years. In 2008 Munchin and his partners founded a bank (funded in part by George Soros) that tried to evict a 90-year-old woman from her home because she underpaid a bill by 27 cents.

From Fusion:

After some confusion about her insurance coverage two years back, a subsidiary of OneWest sent Ossie Lofton, of Lakeland, Florida, a bill for $423.30. Lofton sent the bank a check for $423, and got another bill for the remaining $0.30. The woman–who, it’s worth emphasizing again here, is 90 years old–mailed in a check for $0.03.

The mix-up was enough to trigger foreclosure proceedings. Lawyers at the non-profit Florida Rural Legal Services asked the court for a jury trial.

Don't worry about Mnuchin's failure to successfully foreclose on the property. He reportedly received $11 million when his bank merged with CIT Bank last year.

From Politico:

That payout has been a lightning rod for OneWest critics, even though the bank and its successors absorbed $3.4 billion in losses that the FDIC didn’t cover.

Despite those losses, Mnuchin came out ahead. Last year, OneWest closed on a $3.4 billion, hard-won deal to merge with CIT Bank, overcoming challenges from fair-housing advocates, civil rights groups and homeowners. Mnuchin took a reported $10.9 million payout and remains on CIT’s board.

“Investors in the bank, including Mr. Mnuchin, profited handsomely at the expense of thousands of working people across our state,” said Kevin Stein, deputy director of the California Reinvestment Coalition.

How to block telemarketers

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:27:06 +0000


Erik Knutzen of Root Simple tried out two ways to block telemarketers from calling his mother: the Sentry Call Blocker and Nomorobo.

If you’re in possession of an AARP card, you also probably have a land line telephone. If, like me, you are taking care of an older relative it’s likely that your elder depends on a land line that rings every few minutes with offers and pleas from dubious charities, political parties and Elmer Gantry types. In my opinion, there’s a special level of Dante’s inferno for telemarketers who prey on the elderly, but I won’t be able to fix that problem in a blog post. Let’s just take care of those unwanted calls.

At my mom’s house I tested two solutions: the Sentry Call Blocker and Nomorobo.

Tumblr of tweets from Trump supporters who regret voting for Trump

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:05:06 +0000


Here's a Tumblr of tweets from Trump voters who are surprised that their President Elect is already breaking the promises he made to them. Some are angry that he is not prosecuting Hillary. Others are mad that he is going to take away their Medicare and Social Security. Still others are mad that he wants to hire someone from Goldman Sachs.

Boing Boing Gift Guide: Toys and more!

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:00:04 +0000

Enjoy the third and final part of this year's gift guide: toys! Also included are everything else that doesn't quite fit into our picks among the books and gadgets to enchant and enwonderize us in 2016. What cool and weird objects of fascination did you find this year? Mark FrauenfelderMakey MakeyIt’s easier to understand what Makey Makey is by watching this video of it in action than by describing it, but I’ll give it a shot. Makey Makey is a printed circuit board that you connect to any computer with a USB cable (included). You don’t need to install any software. Your computer thinks Makey Makey is a keyboard. And it is a keyboard of sorts. But it doesn’t use standard keys. Instead, you connect wires from Makey Makey to anything that conducts electricity: a piece of fruit, a bowl of water, a cup of soup, a scrap of aluminum foil, blobs of Play-Doh. When you touch the object with your finger, your computer will think you are pressing a key on a standard keyboard. You can assign the object to be a spacebar key, an arrow key, or a letter key. And you can connect several objects to Makey Makey at the same time, so that you can create game controllers, musical interfaces, and other button-controlled devices.It might not sound like much fun, but the possibilities are endless, and Makey Makey’s ease of use encourages quick-and-dirty experimentation. My 12-year-old was instantly transfixed by Makey Makey and she started making all sorts of things with it, including a drum machine triggered by apple slices, and a game controller out of a cardboard box and bits of foil.Makey Makey also works with Scratch, the excellent kids’ software development platform. Check out the Makey Makey games people have created using Scratch. BUY Cory DoctorowGiant Meteor 2016We told you to vote for it, but did you listen? Noooooo. BUY Jason WeisbergerA Silly Putty 6 pack6 Eggs of Silly Putty, just as you remember it. I almost bought a print newspaper to lift some comics, and then remembered it just ruins the stuff and isn’t so impressive.BUY Rob Beschizza3" Glass PyramidMade of "optically clear crystal" and three inches tall, Amlong's Crystal Pyramid is the best Crystal Pyramid. My bacon is fresh, my airspace dangerous, and my undertakings favored. BUY Cory DoctorowWelcome to Night Vale Creepy Baby OnesieThey say "Creepy" because they come from Night Vale, where "creepy" is a superlative.BUY Jason WeisbergerA Rube Goldberg-ian good time for allFun for the whole family, Mouse Trap is a game that never gets old and rarely works as intended. BUY Rob BeschizzaMini Steel SafeThe Schylling mini steel bank helps kids "learn the value of saving while keeping it safe," and, ultimately, the value of patience. Also comes in pink. BUY Jason Weisberger2016 LEGO Star Wars Advent CalendarThis years Star Wars Advent Calendar does not end on Wookie Life Day, but I like the minifigs. BUY Mark FrauenfelderMoog Werkstatt-01A 100% analog synthesizer kit based on the Moog units of yore. Drool-worthy video here. BUY Rob BeschizzaBulk Generic LegoYou can get 1000 random pieces of off-brand building bricks for $30, guaranteed to "fit tightBUY Rob BeschizzaBlank Playing CardsMake your own games! Or just stare at them. Whatever. BUY Rob BeschizzaWolf Crotch UnderwearWith a "convex design, large space and breathable," the 3D Wolf Head Crotch Underwear "make man looks sexy and wild" and can be yours for as little as five American dollars. BUY Cory DoctorowBeasts of BalanceKickstarted in 2016, Beasts of Balance is a smart-phone enable tabletop game that[...]

Florida atheists pair public nativity scene with a combustible Trump-themed Distrestivus pole

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:45:22 +0000


Every year, the Religious Liberty Project puts Festivus poles on the lawns of public buildings that sport Christian religious holiday symbols; this year, RLP's Chaz Stevens put a "Distrestivus" pole adjacent to a nativity scene on Deerfield Beach, Florida public land. (more…)

Why does long-term zero-g hurt astronauts' eyes? Mystery solved

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:25:10 +0000


Turns out that long stints in outer space affect levels of cerebrospinal fluid. That explains why many astronauts who had 20/20 vision before space missions needed glasses upon return, according to a paper presented this week. (more…)

This 61-year-old potato farmer won an ultramarathon in 1983

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:21:26 +0000


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Australia's Westfield ultramarathon had a surprising entrant in 1983: a 61-year-old potato farmer named Cliff Young who defied all expectations to win the 500-mile race against a field of professional runners. In today's show we'll learn about Cliff's unorthodox style and the remarkable strategy that carried him to victory.

We'll also learn the difference between no and nay and puzzle over a Japanese baby shortage.

Show notes

Please support us on Patreon!

This LEGO Addams Family Mansion needs to happen

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:20:47 +0000


LEGO is reviewing this nifty Addams Family mansion as a possible box set. It even has Morticia on her rattan chair with a black fan. (more…)

DDoS attack on Finnish automated buildings disabled heating controls

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:20:36 +0000


When the heat goes out during Finnish winter, it's a matter of life and death, so when two automated buildings controlled by Valtia systems suffered DDoS attacks that shut off the heat, Finns were understandably alarmed about the new threat. (more…)

Marina Abramovic describes her harrowing 1974 performance of Rhythm 0

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:11:08 +0000


What happens if you allow a group of onlookers to do anything they want to you for six hours? Marina Abramovich found out in 1974 when she laid out dozens of items on a table, including a gun with one bullet, and allowed strangers to use the items on her however they saw fit. (more…)

Science fiction vintage Japanese matchbox art mashup prints

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:07:31 +0000


Etsy seller Chet Phillips sells his amazing science-fiction/vintage Japanese matchbox art remixes as 5"x7" signed prints with mats and backing boards at $12 each. (via Kadrey) (more…)

30-year satellite image timelapses of notable places

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:00:06 +0000


Google's Earth Outreach just published a series of nifty decades-long views of how world landmarks of changed, like this one of the Aral Sea from 1984 to present. Some of them are like watching slime molds grow: (more…)

Homophobe-in-chief Mike Pence rented a house in DC, so his new neighbors are flying rainbow flags

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 15:58:39 +0000


VP-elect Mike Pence's political career has consisted of a series of attacks on the rights of LGBTQ people and women, and his new neighbors in the navy blue precincts of DC know it, and they want him to know that his medieval views are considered aberrant by good people, so they've festooned their homes with rainbow flags that he'll have to pass during the transition -- until he gets to move into the new VP's residence in the basement of Trump Tower. (more…)

China's We Chat "shadow-bans" messages with forbidden keywords, but only for China-based accounts

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 15:49:12 +0000


The University of Toronto's Citizen Lab (previously) continues its excellent work, this time with a deep investigative piece on a sneaky form of censorship in China's popular We Chat service, where messages posted to group chats that contain words on a government blacklist are made invisible to other participants in the chat, while the original poster still sees it, giving the illusion that everyone's read the controverial message but no one found it worth commenting upon. (more…)

Bernie Sanders: Trump just used your taxes to reward Carrier for offshoring American jobs

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 15:22:34 +0000


Last February, Carrier announced that it was offshoring its US air-conditioner manufacturing jobs to Mexico, despite having made a $7.6B profit that year, despite having received more than $6B in US military contracts, despite having recved a $50M tax-break, despite having paid its retiring CEO a $172m bonus, despite having spent $12b on stock-inflating accounting tricks. (more…)

Air plants in sea urchin shells

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 15:05:15 +0000


Hinterland's Pink Sea Urchin Jellyfish are a $13 set of three air plants (Oxacana, Scaposa, Medusa) set in 2-3.5" sea-urchin shells that you hang in a way that simulates jellyfish -- keep 'em misted and they'll remain jauntily decorative! (via Interesting Finds)

Washington data scientists: a chance to figure out how to use your skills for good

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:56:18 +0000


A pair of data-scientists in Washington State are convening a meeting of "Data Scientists, Data Science Enthusiasts, and Advocates for Civic Liberties and Social Justice" who want to figure out how "Data Scientists & IT Professionals use their expertise to help answer the current human questions which social and policy-based organizations are currently struggling to address?" (more…)

Hamilton's eerie relevance to this moment in America's terrifying political journey

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:46:38 +0000


Lin-Manuel Miranda's smash Broadway musical Hamilton -- which recounts the events of 240 years ago -- keeps looming large in our very current political discourse, from Hamilton's role in the establishment of the Electoral College to Mike Pence's night at the theater and the ensuing Trumpian call for a safe-space for vulnerable politicians who have only their status as the second-most powerful man on the planet to defend themselves from the terrifyingly mild petitions delivered by actual, globe-striding singing fellows. (more…)