Thursday, July 29, 2004

Evidently, Neil Jordan has a fear of...

Posted by MacDood

Evidently, Neil Jordan has a fear of growing up. According to the BBC, his movies and now Shade, his new novel, contain themes relating to the fear of adulthood.

Jordan told BBC World Service's Masterpiece programme that he remembered an alcoholic friend of his once saying, at the age of 50, "isn't it really terrible to be an adult."

"I understand exactly what he meant," Jordan added.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

( ( ( I N C I N E M A S C O P E ) ) )

Posted by MacDood
The title screens of hundreds of your favourite movies []

U.S. Congress attempts to nullify doctrine of judicial review

Posted by MacDood
So as of this Friday the media's reporting that the House has passed and forwarded to the Senate a bill, called the "Marriage Protection Act", that would "prevent federal courts from ordering states to recognize same-sex unions that took place in other states". Except, wait a minute, isn't that exactly what the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 did? So what's the point of this bill? Well, that's where things start to get interesting. If you go and look up this bill (H.R. 3313) on, you'll find it actually amends the Defense of Marriage Act. And, in fact, all it does is add a single clause to the end of the DOMA, saying:`No court created by Act of Congress shall have any jurisdiction, and the Supreme Court shall have no appellate jurisdiction, to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, section 1738C or this section.'.So, are you following this? This bill doesn't "prevent federal courts from ordering states to recognize same-sex unions that took place in other states", as Yahoo News puts it-- that's what the DOMA does. This bill does something much more interesting, and much more questionable: it bans the courts from ruling the DOMA unconstitutional. []

Cthulhoid casemod

Posted by MacDood
This lovingly detailed Lovecraft-inspired casemod is great -- it's the Necronomicase!

* Fully textured outer case

* Necronomicon Glyph window, with 114 cuts...

* ...Lit by two 12" CCFL tubes

* Elder Sign & Cthulhu Runes etched window, lit by...

* ...8 superbright green & 8 superbright yellow LEDs attached to...

* ...Hard Drive activity flasher circuit.

* Power button in monster mouth

* Reset button in right eye

* Light switch in left eye

* Sculpted tentacles set on left side around window.

* Textured fan cowling inside

* Front bezel eyes lit with 2 superbright LEDs

* Front lower part lit with two 4" CCFL tubes

* Fully textured CD & floppy bezels

* Decorated semi-clear pull-down front cover

* Two extra Stealth Fans

* Glow-in-the-dark rounded IDE cables

* Split sleeve & mesh wire covers


(Thanks, George!) [Boing Boing]

Comic book ad gallery

Posted by MacDood

Here's a well-documented gallery of comic-book miracle product ads, with high-res scans. Clip-art ahoy!


(via Waxy)

[Boing Boing]

Bush's lies about Castro plagiarised from undergraduate essay on Internet

Posted by MacDood
Bush recently characterised Castro's remine in Cuba as proud of the prostitution there, a bizarre charge that had no basis in fact: Castro simply never said what Bush accused him of saying ("This is his quote -- 'Cuba has the cleanest and most educated prostitutes in the world' and 'sex tourism is a vital source of hard currency.'"), and no one except Bush says that he did.

It turns out that Bush's speechwriters found the quote in an undergraduate paper for Dartmouth, and they plagiarised it out of context:

Three days after Bush's remarks, the Los Angeles Times reported that the White House found the comments in a Dartmouth undergraduate paper posted on the Internet and lifted them out of context. "It shows they didn't read much of the article," commented Charlie Trumbull, the author.


(via Fark) [Boing Boing]

Are TV Networks "Inducers" for airing JibJab Bush/Kerry spoof?

Posted by MacDood
Ernest Miller says,

BoingBoing noted yesterday that JibJab, the creators of the hilarious Bush/Kerry/Guthrie parody were facing threat of a copyright lawsuit by the current copyright holders for "This Land is Your Land." Now, the Home Recording Rights Coalition has issued a press release pointing out that when the television news broadcasts promoted the flash animation they were likely "inducing" people to violate copyright, assuming that the animation isn't fair use. Under the INDUCE Act, that could make the broadcasters liable for literally millions of copyright violations. Heh.
Link [Boing Boing]

Monday, July 26, 2004

The BBC : Killings by pirates on the rise

Posted by MacDood
Though to some modern pirates may seem to be anachronistic, absurd, and unimportant, the BBC recently reported that the International Maritime Bureau, the body that monitors pirate killings around the world, has observed a sharp and worrisome increase in the number of ship crews boarded and murdered by these very real and dangerous sea dogs. []

Stargate fan-site operator busted under anti-terrorism law

Posted by MacDood
The creator of an SG-1 fansite has been charged by the FBI with criminal copyright infringment, the result of an investigation that involved a USA PATRIOT Act warrant against the site's ISP to gather intelligence. The Feebs confiscated and then destroyed his personal computers, returning their remains months later. All this comes after several of the show's cast and creators have made a special point of saying how much they liked the site. The site owner lives in Ohio, but has been charged in LA and needs money to get to the coast and defend himself; they're raising money through t-shirt sales and could use your help.

Adam was first tipped off about the investigation when the FBI raided his and his fiancee's apartment in May of 2002 and seized thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment. Adam later received a copy of the affidavit filed in support of the search warrant, and was shocked to discover that this document, prepared by the FBI, contained significant amounts of erroneous and misleading information. For example, two social security numbers were listed for Adam, one of which is not his. References were made to a cease and desist letter sent by the MPAA to an email address that did not exist. His online friendship with other Stargate fans across the globe was portrayed as an international conspiracy against the MPAA. And perhaps most disturbing of all, it was later revealed that the FBI invoked a provision of the USA Patriot Act to obtain financial records from his ISP. The FBI's abuse of its powers did not stop there. When they seized Adam's computer equipment, he was given written documentation stating that it would be returned within 60 days. The equipment that they did return did not arrive until more than 8 months later, and only then after much prodding from his lawyer. Much of it was damaged beyond repair - one laptop had a shattered LCD screen, an empty tape backup drive was ripped apart for no apparent reason, his fiancee's iBook was badly damaged when it was pried apart with a screwdriver. The FBI's computer crimes staff is either incompetent (at least when it comes to Macintosh computer equipment) or else they just don't give a damn.


(via MeFi)

Matthew sez, "There's a press release on the US DOJ site from April 2004 describing
the charges. From this, you can learn the guy's name: "Adam Clark McGaughey".

The funny thing is that after searching google groups for "Adam
McGaughey", you find a bunch of people that seemed to have been ripped
off by him around 2002 on some SG-1 sites (as well as ebay) (make sure you sort by date to get more recent stuff).

I won't comment on any of the stuff here, but it's some interesting
extra information that adds to the story.
[Boing Boing]

See for yourself that the Earth isn't flat... it's hollow.

Posted by MacDood
River guide Steve Currey invites you to join him on a twenty-four day trip into the, er, hollow earth. Currey has chartered a Russian Nuclear Icebreaker ship to leave next summer and is accepting reservations for up to 100 passengers.

"The indigenous Eskimos believe there is a hole in the Arctic Ocean. Observations of several Arctic explorers of mirages of land in the Arctic indicate that the most plausible location for a north polar opening that leads into the interior of the earth is located at 84.4 N Latitude, 141 E Longitude.... Don't miss this chance to personally visit that paradise within our earth via the North Polar Opening and meet the highly advanced, friendly people who live there. We are of the opinion that they are the legendary Lost Tribes of Israel who migrated into the North Country over 2,500 years ago and literally became lost to the knowledge of mankind."

The trip runs $18,950 a head, but anyone adventurous enough to join Currey should note that:

"By joining Our Hollow Earth Expedition, expedition members agree that there are NO GUARANTEES that this expedition will reach Inner earth. The expedition will make a good faith effort to locate the North Polar Opening and enter therein, but worst case scenario is that we visit the geographic North Pole, explore the region, and continue on to the New Siberian Islands."

Link (Via RealityCarnival) [Boing Boing]

No one at BlogOn presentation is using Explorer

Posted by MacDood
At the BlogOn conference, a Microsoft presenter asked his audience how many of them used Internet Explorer:

Probably 99 times out of 100 when he asks that question all the hands go up, right? Well first there was a pause and then a giggle and then a whoop of laughter as the audience looked around and realized that NO ONE had raised a hand. The presenter was thrown off his mark, but he recovered and said, "Wow! Okay how many of you wish we'd fix IE so you could use it?"

Still no hands....

Informal survey afterwards said the Windows users in the crowd were all using the latest Firefox. Wouldn't it be amazing if Mozilla ended up winning in the end?

(via Waxy) [Boing Boing]

ACLU - Pizza

ACLU - Pizza

Gallery of retro science book covers

Posted by MacDood
Boy I remember these all so well, a seeming world of info, pre-internet of courser...
howandwhyThis gallery of "How and Why" book covers makes me want to go straight to eBay. Link (via The Cartoonist) [Boing Boing]

w w w . p r o s p e c t - m a g a z i n e . c o . u k - Europe's lost stories

w w w . p r o s p e c t - m a g a z i n e . c o . u k

Sunday, July 25, 2004

9/11 PDF cleaned up

Posted by MacDood
Glenn Fleishman sez: "Sid Steward is a PDF guru that I've turned to in the past to bookmark and clean up my electronic books. He forwarded a link to a site he's created where he has the 9/11 Commission's report optimized for faster download, and including bookmarks and other PDF add-ons. His site offers a fast full text search of the PDF with links that will open the file and hit those bookmarks." Link [Boing Boing]

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

J-Walk Blog

J-Walk Blog

Cameraphone hysteria recapitulates portable camera hysteria of 1888

Posted by MacDood

round and round we go...round and round and round and round and ...
Amazing PBS piece traces the history of the reaction to the portable camera -- eerily familiar to the reaction today to the phonecam.

The appearance of Eastman's cameras was so sudden and so pervasive that the reaction in some quarters was fear. A figure called the "camera fiend" began to appear at beach resorts, prowling the premises until he could catch female bathers unawares. One resort felt the trend so heavily that it posted a notice: "PEOPLE ARE FORBIDDEN TO USE THEIR KODAKS ON THE BEACH." Other locations were no safer. For a time, Kodak cameras were banned from the Washington Monument. The "Hartford Courant" sounded the alarm as well, declaring that "the sedate citizen can't indulge in any hilariousness without the risk of being caught in the act and having his photograph passed around among his Sunday School children."


(via Kottke) [Boing Boing]

Bipedal monkey

Posted by MacDood
uprightmonkeyIt's a weird day for non-human primates. Natasha, a black macaque at the Safari Park zoo in Israel, became exclusively bipedal after surviving a near-deadly stomach disease. Natasha's veterinarian says that brain damage may be to blame (thank?) for her new ability. Pierre Boulle, your meme is ready.
[Boing Boing]

Bill O'Reilly enjoys ordering his guests and others to "shut up"

Posted by MacDood

More lying liars...sigh
This video commercial starts out with a quote from talk show host Bill O'Reilly making the claim that he has told a guest to "shut up" only one time in six years. The rest of the commercial shows clips of Mr. O'Reilly telling people to shut up. Link (Via Horkulated) [Boing Boing]

Orange Prize for Fiction

Orange Prize for Fiction

Monday, July 19, 2004

eBay item 5508453273 (Ends Jul-22-04 13:39:56 PDT) - Rubber Ducky, Unbelievable story, Haunted? Possesed?

eBay item 5508453273 (Ends Jul-22-04 13:39:56 PDT) - Rubber Ducky, Unbelievable story, Haunted? Possesed?

The Church of the Long Now

Posted by MacDood
July 02004 I believe that the folks over at the Long Now project are onto something, although they don't seem to quite realize it. They point out that civilization has a "pathologically short attention span" and are addressing this problem by building a 10,000 year clock that "ticks once a year, bongs once a century, and the cuckoo comes out every millennium". They have a charming way of prepending a zero onto the date (so that 2004, for example, becomes 02004) to emphasize this point of view. Their goal is an admirable one - to focus humanity's attention on timescales that extend beyond a single life, but they don't seem to have thought very deeply about the underlying philosophy. I propose that the Long Now has profound implications for our species - implications that range from the mundane to the practical to the spiritual. What better way to organize and direct such implications than to form a new religion? All rational thinkers, hear me: Welcome to the Church of the Long Now. []

Waterproof iPod/discman cage with powered speakers for the shower

Posted by MacDood

The Boom Boom Multibox is a waterproof box containing a pair of battery-powered speakers and a stereo minijack. Just drop your iPod or discman inside it, plug in the speakers and snap it shut, and you've got a waterproof sound-system you can hang up in the shower. Next time I'm stateside, I'm ordering one of these -- I love having music in the shower (it'd also be cool for hotel rooms and the like).


(via Gizmodo)

[Boing Boing]

1961 Horror Monsters Non-Sport Trading Cards

1961 Horror Monsters Non-Sport Trading Cards

Call in the cryptozoologists

Posted by MacDood
hyoteThis mystery animal is traipsing around the Baltimore suburb of Glyndon.
"The beast is not shy, and visits most often under bright sun. While no one here knows what it is, they do have a name for it -- the hyote, a combination of a hyena and a coyote."
Link (via Fark) [Boing Boing]

ScienceMatters @ Berkeley

ScienceMatters @ Berkeley

Friday, July 16, 2004

Differences between WorldCon and DNC

Posted by MacDood
This year's World Science Fiction Convention is in Boston, and accordingly, the URL for the con is By a funny coincidence, the Democratic National Convention is also in Boston, and its URL is The inevitable confusion is quite humorous -- the organisers of the WorldCon have compiled a list of ways in which the WorldCon is unlike the DNC:

# We're not $10 million over budget. We don't even have a $10 million budget.

# Our promises for the future are supposed to be fiction.

# You don't have to donate thousands of dollars to us (though we wouldn't complain)—we'll give you a high-level appointment to work for us for free!

# The media will not outnumber the attendees.

# Thoats and banthas are more interesting animals than donkeys and elephants.

# The folks wandering around with walkie-talkies are likely to be helpful and friendly.

# The slogans on our buttons are actually funny, and many of them are about cats.

# No one will be kissing babies except their immediate families and friends.

# When we talk about "skull and bones" it's probably in a discussion about paleontology.

# When we sling mud, it's probably in a workshop on making alien pottery.

Link [Boing Boing]

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Ken Kesey

Posted by MacDood
"Take what you can use and let the rest go by." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]

Cancer causes visualised as a subway map

Posted by MacDood

This is a really cool visualisation of the causes of cancer from Nature magazine, in which a faux subway map is dotted with cell types required for malignancy that are joined by the molecular pathways that generate these behaviours.


[Boing Boing]

Friday, July 9, 2004

Alien in 30 seconds with bunnies.

Alien in 30 seconds with bunnies.

Big Thunder Mountain is b0rked again

Posted by MacDood
Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain has jumped the tracks again (last year it killed someone) -- there are plenty of first person accounts and photos.


(via Waxy) [Boing Boing]

Monday, July 5, 2004

Rising Sun has Risen

Posted by MacDood
Michael Crichton predicted in Rising Sun that digital imaging technology would make photographs and video irrelevant in court cases. It took 11 years for his prediction to come true. []

Michael Moore Makes the Same Movie Again

Posted by MacDood
Something few people seem to have noticed about Michael Moore, whether they love him or hate him, is that he keeps making the exact same movie over and over. And surprisingly, it gets better every time. []

Disease trading cards from CDC

Posted by MacDood

The US Centers for Disease Control offer print-and-clip collectable disease trading cards.


(Thanks, Abby!)

[Boing Boing]

Sunday, July 4, 2004

Web Zen: Retro Video Game Zen

Posted by MacDood
quest for the crown


tron lightcycles

atari noise

cory arcangel

nes buckle

space invaders stickers

space invaders invasion


Links to web zen home, web zen store, (Thanks, Frank). [Boing Boing]

F is for Photoshopped

Posted by MacDood
baddayResearchers at Dartmouth University College have developed an algorithm to automatically detect when a digital photo has been manipulated. Their statistical technique is based on the fact that altering an image messes with the hidden mathematics inside the photo.
"There is little doubt that counter-measures will be developed to foil our detection schemes," says Farid. "Our hope, however, is that as more authentication tools are developed it will become increasingly more difficult to create convincing digital forgeries."

Difficult, but not impossible, hopes the Weekly World News.

Link [Boing Boing]

"Lion Sleeps Tonight" creator's Zulu heirs sue Disney

We'll send Mickey around to wish you Merry Christmas
Posted by MacDood
Heirs of the Zulu composer who wrote the song "Mbube" -- aka "The Lion Sleeps Tonight, used in The Lion King -- have sued Disney in South Africa for royalties. link (Thanks, Denise Howell) [Boing Boing]

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Curious mathematics

Posted by MacDood
Jen has posted an excerpt of a book she's reading, but unfortunately the author's math knowledge is poor. I feel obligated to correct some of the misstatements.

1. This is how you work out what prime numbers are. First you write down...

I have an easier way to show what a prime number is. A prime number is a natural number greater than 1 whose only positive divisors are 1 and itself. The author's method of determining prime numbers is a clumsy version of the Sieve of Eratosthenes, and it doesn't really define the notion of primality.

2. The rule for working out prime numbers is really simple, but no one has ever worked out a simple formula for telling you whether a very big number is a prime number or what the next one will be. If a number is really, really big it can take a computer years to work out whether it is a prime number.

This is completely incorrect, though it was partially correct before 2002. Today we have the AKS primality test and its variants, which can determine whether a number is prime or composite in a reasonable amount of time. However, the problem of factorizing a number into its prime factors is still unsolved and very difficult, and can take many computer years using existing methods.

3. Prime numbers are useful in writing codes and in America they are classed as Military Material and if you find one over 100 digits long you have to tell the CIA and they will buy it off you for $10,000. But it would not be a very good way of making a living.

I have never heard of this before. I suspect it is complete bullshit, but if you have a source to back it up, I'd love to see it. []

DOJ: Our Database Would Collapse!

Posted by MacDood
Wired is running an AP article that explains why the United States Justice Department refused a request for info from their foreign lobbyist database. According to them they can't copy information from the database because it would crash their entire computer network. []

10 Internet patents that are going DOWN

Posted by MacDood
EFF has picked its list of ten dumb-and-bustable Internet patents after a public competition, and we're saddling up to gather invalidating prior art we can submit to the US Patent and Trademark Office to have them struck down:

1. Acacia Technologies' digital media transmission patent, which the company defines as covering "the transmission and receipt of digital content via the Internet, cable, satellite and other means." The EFF is worried that Acacia, which has already sued several large communications companies, is unfairly targeting small audio- and video-streaming websites.

2. Clear Channel's Instant Live patent, which covers technology used to produce instant recordings of live concerts. The media giant recently bought the patent and is now going after artists who choose to give fans CDs of their shows.

3. Acceris Communication's voice over IP technology patent. Schultz said Acceris is targeting smaller VOIP players. "They're sending (the) patents to investors," said Schultz, "trying to intimidate the investors."

Link [Boing Boing]


Posted by MacDood
hard core

Boingboing reader ticotek says, "Adam and Kinsley Mull got married last week, and their weding cake was designed after his green Ipod Mini." Link [Boing Boing]