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Brain candy for Happy Mutants

Last Build Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2017 05:50:46 +0000


Portraits for the Women's March on Washington, by Clayton Cubitt

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 05:46:41 +0000


My friend Clayton Cubitt has taken a phenomenal series of portraits for the Women's March on Washington.


I rolled these hand-forged metal dice hundreds of times. How fair are they?

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 03:06:02 +0000


Rough metal dice, fresh off the forge! Dice so heavy and clunky and sharp you can ruin tables and kill cheats without brandishing a dagger. But is this ren-faire fun fair play? I decided to put them to the test and see how random they were. I'm not great at math, so I'll just show my method and results and you can do the judging. (more…)

Woodstock 40th Anniversary Limited Edition 3-disc Blu-ray for $5

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:11:16 +0000


You can be as happy as the people in this photo if you buy the Woodstock 40th Anniversary Limited Edition 3-disc Blu-ray. It's on sale for $5 on Amazon. It has 11 never-before-seen songs.

How to use a telephone

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 21:59:28 +0000


In ye olden days, a telephone user had to ask the operator to call the desired party and make the connection. Then the dial telephone empowered us all to, er, reach out and touch someone. This 1927 instructional film from the telephone company explains the basics: "The ringing signal is an intermittent burring sound telling you the bell of the called telephone is ringing." (via /r/obscuremedia)


Chelsea Manning to go free!

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 21:45:40 +0000


President Obama commuted whistleblower Chelsea Manning's remaining prison sentence. She will go free on May 17 of this year as opposed to 2045, the duration of her full sentence. From the New York Times:

The commutation also relieved the Department of Defense of the difficult responsibility of her incarceration as she pushes for treatment for her gender dysphoria — including sex reassignment surgery — that the military has no experience providing.

In recent days, the White House had signaled that Mr. Obama was seriously considering granting Ms. Manning’s commutation application, in contrast to a pardon application submitted on behalf of the other large-scale leaker of the era, Edward J. Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who disclosed archives of top secret surveillance files and is living as a fugitive in Russia.

Asked about the two clemency applications on Friday, the White House spokesman, Joshua Earnest, discussed the “pretty stark difference” between Ms. Manning’s case for mercy with Mr. Snowden’s. While their offenses were similar, he said, there were “some important differences.”

“Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing,” he said. “Mr. Snowden fled into the arms of an adversary, and has sought refuge in a country that most recently made a concerted effort to undermine confidence in our democracy.”

Neil Young catches a record store selling bootlegs of his music

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 21:24:50 +0000


In 1971 Neil Young went to a record store and discovered they were selling bootleg LPs of his music. Young asked the clerk why the record store was carrying the bootlegs. The clerk played dumb ("I don't listen to records, so I don't know. I listen to tapes.") Young didn't like it and called the owner and told him he planned to take the LPs without paying for them.

Tempered glass screen protectors avert 4 disasters in 2 months

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 21:23:40 +0000


About 2 months ago I wrote about trying a tempered glass screen protector. I'm going to say they work great. I'm a fan of the Omoton brand ones, they make them for almost every glass fronted device.

About 2 weeks into iPhone stewardship, my 9-year-old texted to report her first screen break. I was concerned and highly interested -- did just the protector break, or the phone's actual screen? The screen protector worked wonderfully, it shattered but stuck to the undamaged screen. The phone remained usable even with the protector cracked. When next I saw her, we replaced it with the 2nd in the 2-pack and off on her merry way she went.

I was actually putting the wrenches back in their plasti-form wrench box neatly for once. One slipped from my hand and struck my waiting iPhone midscreen. A small impact spot, like a bullet shot, had several spiderweb veins reaching across the protector. Screen undamaged.

Over the holidays my daughter was off on the east coast with her mother's family. I got call telling me she'd need a new screen protector but everything was OK. Seems her phone went down a flight of stairs. I went back to Amazon and splurged on another $7.00 set of 2 for her phone.

Not everything went wrong that could go wrong during my VW Vanagon Westfalia adventure to an oasis in the deserts of northern Baja Mexico, but a hell of a lot that didn't have to did. During a trip that involved as much bad judgement as beautiful vistas, I dropped my phone on more than a few rocks and only the FSM knows what else. 2 impact cracks on the very edges of screen protectors bezel worked to spare the screen 2 certain deadly cracks. The micro-pre-cracked glass construction really appears to work, the kinetic force of these strikes was redirected in what looked like miraculous ways.

I'm a fan. I think 4 screen replacements would have cost me $400, these were around $30 all in. I'm fairly certain each break looked likely to have chipped or cracked the actual phone had the protector not been there. They've also saved us having the Phones actually worked on and potentially destroyed! Mark once told me it was easy to replace my own screen. I ended up needing a whole new phone when I was done.

OMOTON Tempered Glass Screen Protectors via Amazon

Jeff Greenberg and The Village Studios

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 20:19:20 +0000


The LA Times has featured our good friends at The Village Studios. Housed in a former Masonic temple, and once the west coast capital of transcendentalism, The Village Studios is a creative community workspace like no other, and the model of what creative spaces can and should be.

I especially enjoy that the Times spares no ink attributing The Village's amazing sense of community, and environment of creativity, to studio CEO Jeff Greenberg. We are big fans at Boing Boing as well, and have found the Village an amazing place to work, and a lot of fun to hang out in!

From the LA Times:

Greenberg believes the reason the Village has succeeded is simple: “Professionals like being around other professionals.”

Guitarist and songwriter John Mayer keeps a studio on the second floor, one of the most successful of a community of musicians who regularly book time at the Village. The Band’s Robbie Robertson has worked on and off at the Village since the 1970s, and Studio Ed is home to Grammy-winning producer and engineer Ed Cherney.

At their service are a few dozen engineers and gofers, many of them young musicians Greenberg has hired through a relationship with the Berklee College of Music.

On the third floor, in a former musical instrument storage space once occupied by, among others, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, pop songwriter Noel Zancanella is meeting with a few would-be collaborators. When Danny Elfman rented the space, he renamed it Muerte Surgical Instruments.

Zancanella, whose homey suite feels like a secret clubhouse, started as a Village coffee boy under Greenberg. He rose to assistant engineer, struck out on his own and has since co-written or co-produced hits for Taylor Swift, OneRepublic and Maroon 5.

After his success, Zancanella debated building a home studio at his place in Venice. He opted for the Village instead.

“It's just a whole different vibe,” he says, relaxing on his couch. “It's so much more epic, and people really take it seriously.” The bonus: “You just know that you're going to probably run into somebody weird.”

“I’ve had sex on the roof,” former Sex Pistol Steve Jones says matter-of-factly a few hours later in the Village kitchen, waiting for take-out soup to arrive before an audiobook session for “Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol.”

When he was recording his album “Mercy” at the Village in the late 1980s, Jones says he ended up in a 20-minute conversation with George Harrison. Jones’ takeaway? “He was a nice dude.”

“There’s something about these Masonic places,” Jones says. “I think they leave a spirit behind.”

Genderless Nipples account frustrates Instagram

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:53:16 +0000


Only men are allowed to show their nipples on Instagram. Poor Instagram, now they will have to use human or software-based nipple inspectors to determine the gender of the bodies attached to the nipples posted to genderless_nipples.

Water unaffordable for millions of Americans

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:47:29 +0000


"If water rates continue rising at projected amounts, the number of US households unable to afford water could triple in five years, to nearly 36 percent." That's the conclusion from a study by Elizabeth Mack, an assistant geography professor at Michigan State University, which looked at water consumption, pricing, and demographic, and socioeconomic data.

This map includes “high-risk tracts” (in black), which are areas with high concentrations of families with incomes below $32,000 that currently cannot afford water bills. The “at-risk tracts” (in gray) are areas with high concentrations of families with incomes between $32,000 and $45,120 that are at-risk of being unable to afford rising water rates in the near future.

Moby Dick's Restaurant lease blocked due in part to its "offensive name"

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:28:51 +0000


A building council in Vancouver, BC commercial building are reportedly refusing to allow one of the building owners to lease to Moby Dick's Restaurant, a fish-and-chips franchise, in part because of its name. According to a lawsuit, the building council claims that “that the word ‘Dick’ in Moby Dick was an offensive term" and "also claimed a Moby Dick sign would hurt the value of neighboring properties, and that the restaurant would bring increased litter and violate city laws on odor." From Courthouse News Service:

“It was clear by the end of August 2016 that the Strata intended to refuse any signage proposals belonging to Moby Dick which resembled its traditional trademark and brand,” the complaint states. “Instead, the Strata demanded that Moby Dick adopt a signage that was ‘minimalist’ both in color and design. As such, the Strata wrongfully denied Moby Dick’s use of its logo, brand name, and goodwill recognition at the commercial property.”

Mengfa seeks declaratory judgment and damages for interference with business relations.

Trump running Facebook ads asking people to attend inauguration

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:26:33 +0000


We knew President-elect Donald Trump was having trouble finding acts willing to perform at his inauguration, but now we know he's worried about public turnout too. How? Because he's running Facebook ads begging New Yorkers to attend. (more…) a fun way to watch YouTube videos almost no one has seen

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:20:47 +0000

(image) randomly plays new YouTube video that have close to 0 views. It plays a few seconds of each video before moving on to another random video. If a certain video catches your attention, click the dot below the video to see the whole thing. I could waste a lot of time here.

Today, you are an Astronaut. You are floating in inner space 100 miles above the surface of Earth. You peer through your window and this is what you see. You are people watching. These are fleeting moments.

These videos come from YouTube. They were uploaded in the last week and have titles like DSC 1234 and IMG 4321. They have almost zero previous views. They are unnamed, unedited, and unseen by anyone but YOU.

The Astronaut video stream starts when you press GO. Videos change periodically. If you wish to linger, tap the button.

Check out Adam Savage's far-out replica of an Apollo spacesuit

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:00:56 +0000


When most people commission a bespoke suit, they pay attention to the stitching and drape of the fabric. For MythBuster Adam Savage's latest custom tailoring job, he had some more esoteric details in mind. Here he is on Tested giving a tour of his Apollo A7L spacesuit replica, fashioned by Ryan Nagata. (Tested)



Robert Crumb interviewed about Donald Trump

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 16:59:46 +0000


It's always interesting to hear what Robert Crumb has to say about notable people, alive and dead. In the latest installment of "Crumb on Others," Alexander Wood asks Crumb about Castro, Lenin, and Trump.

Crumb: Yeah, but I would watch him and find him so offensive, so obnoxious and hateful. How could anybody just looking at him and watching his behavior think for one second that he’s anything but a sociopath!? I just couldn’t imagine how anyone could think he’s a viable candidate for the presidency. On the other hand, Bernie Sanders who was out actually speaking some truth – I thought he was great. You see that’s what happens when you get a politician who actually tells the truth— nope, can’t have him. The Democrats made sure he didn’t get nominated. They reaped what they sowed, the Democratic Party operatives, when they fixed it so Bernie would lose the primary votes in New York and California.

Alex: Also, a lot of people are just biologically wired to be really taken in by authoritarian people.

Crumb: That’s true, you’re right. You’re right. They just want a big, strong chief who will take care of everything, lead them into battle and provide the big feast afterward and parcel out the spoils. Yep.

Alex: And the weird thing is, it doesn’t have that much to do with education. You can be a very educated person but a very pro-authoritarian person and you’re really going to be sympathetic to Trump.

Crumb: “We’re going to take care of this.” Yeah. “We’re gonna get this straightened out and kick out all the parasites and lock some people up, etc.”

Alex: Some eggs are gonna be broken when you make an omelet, you know? And that’s just the way it is, and he’s gotta take charge. A lot of Americans like that. A no nonsense kind of guy, who’s just gonna take charge, because it simplifies their world. They just feel someone’s going to take care of the problems that are just too complicated for them.

Crumb: Yeah, that’s right. Hitler explains all that in Mein Kampf. He’s very straight forward about it. If you want to galvanize the population behind your political cause you’ve got to speak simply to them, you’ve got to keep it black and white and you’ve got to have an enemy that’s very obvious, that you can point to. Hitler was kind of a genius that way. I wonder how soon it’s going to be before the general run of the supporters of Trump start to feel betrayed. I wonder how long that’s going to take.

The neuroscience of changing your mind

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 16:52:45 +0000

This is the first of three You Are Not So Smart episodes about the "backfire effect." In it, I interview a team of neuroscientists who put people in a brain scanner and then challenged their beliefs, some political and some not, with counter-evidence and then compared which brain regions lit up for which beliefs. The crazy takeaway was that for political beliefs, but not for others, people seemed to react as if their very bodies were being threatened by the challenging evidence. We don’t treat all of our beliefs the same. If you learn that the Great Wall of China isn’t the only man-made object visible from space, and that, in fact, it’s actually very difficult to see the Wall compared to other landmarks, you update your model of reality without much fuss. Some misconceptions we give up readily, replacing them with better information when alerted to our ignorance. For others constructs though, for your most cherished beliefs about things like climate change or vaccines or Republicans, instead of changing your mind in the face of challenging evidence or compelling counterarguments, you resist. Not only do you fight belief change for some things and not others, but if you successfully deflect such attacks, your challenged beliefs then grow stronger. The research shows that when a strong-yet-erroneous belief is challenged, yes, you might experience some temporary weakening of your convictions, some softening of your certainty, but most people rebound and not only reassert their original belief at its original strength, but go beyond that and dig in their heels, deepening their resolve over the long run. Psychologists call this the backfire effect, and this episode is the first of three shows exploring this well-documented and much-studied psychological phenomenon, one that you’ve likely encountered quite a bit lately. In this episode, we explore its neurological underpinning as two neuroscientists at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute explain how their latest research sheds new light on how the brain reacts when its deepest beliefs are challenged. By placing subjects in an MRI machine and then asking them to consider counterarguments to their strongly held political beliefs, Jonas Kaplan’s and Sarah Gimbel’s research, conducted along with neuroscientist Sam Harris, revealed that when people were presented with evidence that alerted them to the possibility that their political beliefs might be incorrect, they reacted with the same brain regions that would come online if they were responding to a physical threat. “The response in the brain that we see is very similar to what would happen if, say, you were walking through the forest and came across a bear,” explains Gimbel in the episode. “Your brain would have this automatic fight-or-flight [response]…and your body prepares to protect itself.” According to the researchers, some values are apparently so crucial to your identity, that the brain treats a threat to those ideas as if they were a threat to your very existence. “Remember that the brain’s first and primary job is to protect ourselves,” explains Kaplan in the show. “The brain is basically a big, complicated, sophisticated machine for self-protection, and that extends beyond our physical self, to our psychological self. Once these things become part of our psychological self, I think they are then afforded all the same protections that the brain gives to the body.” How does the brain take something that is previously neutral and transmutate it into a value that it then protects as if it were flesh and bone? How do neutral, emp[...]

Media Files:

Shepard Fairey's inauguration posters: We the People

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 16:51:01 +0000


Shepard Fairey's updated his iconic Obama HOPE poster with a set of inaugural posters featuring women of color and slogans of solidarity. (more…)

"It's-a Him, Mario!" This man was the voice of Mario and Luigi

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 16:40:17 +0000


Charles Martinet has been the voice of Nintendo's Mario, Wario, and Luigi for 26 years. (Great Big Story)

Posters for Saturday's women's marches

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:43:56 +0000


Andrea Aidekman writes, "I'm a cartoonist and graphic designer from New York. I was asked by a few friends to make some posters for the women's marches on Saturday. I made this little vagina/eye logo and I really got on a roll and designed 10 posters. I want everyone to have a chance to have a well designed and provocative poster so if you need one you can download and print your favorite, or all of them!" (more…)

We Are Zogg

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:11:14 +0000


I learned that Boing Boing seems never to have linked to one of my favorite things on the internet: Zogg, the Cuddly Menace. Jason Yungbluth's brilliant remix of My Little Golden Book About God is as wonderful as it was 478 glorns ago, so I thought it would be fun to perform a dramatic reading to celebrate the impending arrival of the star tankers.

Yungbluth (@IAmDeathRay) is a cartoonist and "all around sexy beast" living in Rochester, NY. His comic books include Deep Fried, PEEK and the Weapon Brown graphic novel. You can read Jason’s work in the pages of MAD magazine too.

Weapon Brown in particular is getting great reviews lately, such as the following from Total Nerd. A parody of Peanuts sent in a grim dystopian techno-future, it was originally published in 2002 but has recently been collected in Omnibus form.

Do not fail your species.

Trump tweets at wrong Ivanka, who tweets back

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 14:39:43 +0000


Millionaire president-elect Donald Trump tweeted at @Ivanka, but that ain't his daughter. Even better, Ivanka Majic smacked him down for good measure.

A woman from Brighton who was mistaken for Ivanka Trump on Twitter by none other than the US President-elect himself has told the BBC it has been a surreal start to the day. Ivanka Majic, a digital consultant, said she and her husband were woken at 06:00 by calls from the media.



Just imagine the wonderful mistakes he'll make as president!

Trump has a habit of manually quoting praise on Twitter rather than simply retweeting it like a normal narcissist would. The result is that Twitter's system presents the quote as being authored by Trump himself, allowing his account to benefit from whatever systematic and organic propagation occurs. So while he didn't write the original mistake, he manually repeated it out of ignorance or plain disinterest in fixing it.

Ivanka Trump is @IvankaTrump on twitter.

This man sang “America The Beautiful” in every National Park in America

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 14:21:33 +0000


During the course of 2016, CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Conor Knighton visited all 59 National Parks in America, and he filmed himself singing “America The Beautiful” in every one of them. You can learn more about Knighton’s journey in this CBS Sunday Morning segment:

Three-year search for missing flight MH370 called off

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 14:17:48 +0000


Malaysia Airlines flight #MH370 pitched somewhere in the vast oceans west of Australia three years ago, the only evidence washing ashore thousands of miles away. The search for its remains, and those of hundreds of missing passengers and crew, has been called off.

Families of the victims of flight MH370 say a decision to halt the search for the Malaysian airliner that vanished in March 2014 is "irresponsible". ... More than 120,000 sq km (46,300 miles) of the Indian Ocean has been searched with no results. Pieces of debris have been found as far away as Madagascar. But only seven have been identified as definitely or highly likely to be from the Boeing 777.

It's 2017 and they still dress airline pilots up like commodores and let them turn off the transponders.

Lazy cat has no interest in playing

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:55:30 +0000


We’ve all been there, Mo.

[via The Laughing Squid]

Why the Emoluments Clause Does NOT Apply to Donald Trump...

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:22:18 +0000



FOLLOW @RubenBolling on the Twitters and a Face Book.

NOW MORE THAN EVER, join Tom the Dancing Bug's subscription club, the Proud & Mighty INNER HIVE, for exclusive early access to comics, extra comics, and much more.

AND FOR NO PARTICULAR REASON, GET Ruben Bolling’s new hit book series for kids, The EMU Club Adventures. (”A book for the curious and adventurous!” -Cory Doctorow) Book One here. Book Two here.

More Tom the Dancing Bug comics on Boing Boing! (more…)

Mark Hamill was reunited with his lightsaber from Return Of The Jedi

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:21:45 +0000


In this sneak peek from an upcoming episode of Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest series, Hamill gets the chance to reunite with his old lightsaber thanks to prop collector Brandon Alinger.

How to get your baby to help you wash your car

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:21:40 +0000


This is the latest in a series of “instructional” videos from New Zealand dad Jordan Watson. Here’s another:

And one more:

Reminder: if you have one penny, your net worth is equal to the combined wealth of the world's poorest 40%

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:21:28 +0000


Every year, Oxfam publishes a headline number about global wealth inequality that takes this form: "The richest X people own more than the poorest Y billion people on Earth" (some examples: 2014, 2016, 2017, UK edition). (more…)

Astronaut: watch YouTube videos with no views

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:09:45 +0000


Most YouTube videos have at least a few views: the uploader making sure it works and applying basic edits. But zero views? That's a special class of film: automated, forgotten, mistaken, baffling, beautiful. Astronaut will show them to you. [via MeFi]

Today, you are an Astronaut. You are floating in inner space 100 miles above the surface of Earth. You peer through your window and this is what you see. You are people watching. These are fleeting moments.

These videos come from YouTube. They were uploaded in the last week and have titles like DSC 1234 and IMG 4321. They have almost zero previous views. They are unnamed, unedited, and unseen by anyone but YOU.

I can't stop watching. It seems almost too perfect, like a montage in a movie about the wonderful, unbeknownst things humans were doing before the Orange Death held sway.

National Women’s Law Center fights unfair school punishment for black girls

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 11:21:29 +0000


This new campaign from the National Women’s Law Center centers on the fact that black girls are suspended 5x more than white girls, despite not committing more serious offenses. The #LetHerLearn campaign aims to end the school pushout by educating school leaders about bias and discrimination. You can learn more and support the campaign on the NWLC website.