Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Tuesday, July 26, 2005
09:21 PM
I've been reading his sandman series an just got his book American Gods

Neil Gaiman: "Neil Gaiman 1997 essay on the myth of artistic inspiration"

(Via metafilter.com.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005
09:16 PM
tweedledum & tweedledee

Shoot someone? Not Smith & Wesson's fault. Copy a movie? Grokster's fault: "Mark Frauenfelder:
Good stuff from Daily Koz.

Regarding Grokster:

'We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties,' Justice Souter wrote.

Regarding guns:

Senate Republicans on Tuesday moved the National Rifle Association's top priority ahead of a $491 billion defense bill, setting up a vote on legislation to shield firearms manufacturers and dealers from lawsuits over gun crimes.

'The president believes that the manufacturer of a legal product should not be held liable for the criminal misuse of that product by others,' said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

[Senator Larry] Craig said such lawsuits are 'predatory and aimed at bankrupting the firearms industry,' unfairly blaming dealers and manufacturers for the crimes of gun users.

Link (thanks, Earl!)"

(Via Boing Boing.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005
09:02 PM
what' your favicon?

Web Zen: pixel push zen: "Xeni Jardin:

map of washington, d.c. |

pixelgala |

pixelbot |

favicons |

alphabet of blog favicons |

pixel moon |

city creator |

what if |

a guide to pixel art |

web zen home, web zen store, (Thanks, Frank).

Reader comment: Paul Bragiel says,

gfxzone has some of the best pixel art from the demo scene going back from c64 through amiga onto the pc. Check out the 8bit galleries especially... some amazing stuff in there.

(Via Boing Boing.)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Karl Rove is fucked: "So you might have heard by now that Karl Rove was named by Newsweek as the source of the leak that outed undercover CIA agent Valerie Wilson Plame. As of now the internet is a flurry of speculation"

(Via Kuro5hin.org.)

Monday, July 18, 2005
11:32 PM
And why are Republicans always so corrupt-remember reagan's men?

Karl Rove is fucked: "So you might have heard by now that Karl Rove was named by Newsweek as the source of the leak that outed undercover CIA agent Valerie Wilson Plame. As of now the internet is a flurry of speculation"

(Via Kuro5hin.org.)

Monday, July 18, 2005
11:29 PM
Betcha my wife recognizes many of these

Blog-homage to '70s pinball cheeseball art: "Xeni Jardin:

On his blog, intergalactically famed illustrator Coop (father of all devil-babes) waxes poetic on pinball machine art he's collected over the years, including those designed by Dave Christensen.

Few outside the world of serious pinball maniacs would recognize Christensen's name, but I consider him a major influence on my own work, despite the fact that I only learned his name less than a decade ago. I grew up in the seventies, and I can distinctly remember playing machines designed by Christensen, and being mesmerized by the blinking tableaus of lowbrow decadence, images filled with lots of in-jokes, eyeball kicks and a heaping helping of big-boobed sexy girls that tantalized my adolescent libido.

Link to Coop's blog post, including lots of images of these machines and a kick-ass promo poster featuring Ann-Margaret circa Tommy. Best of all: a supremely kitschy NSFW image of the art for XXX-rated pinball game 'Big Dick.'"

(Via Boing Boing.)

Monday, July 18, 2005
11:24 PM
just not a banjo, PLEASE

Behold the iUke: "Mark Frauenfelder:
Andy Ihnatko presented a ukuele with a USB port at this week's Macworld. iGuitar built it for him. Andy promises to upload some sound samples soon.

Picture 12
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the iUke: a tenor-scale ukulele with an integrated USB port. Plug this uke into a Mac and GarageBand will see it as a standard digital audio device, without any additional boxes, adapters or special cables needed.


(Via Boing Boing.)

Monday, July 18, 2005
11:22 PM
going, going...

Plankton levels have dropped precipitously: "Mark Frauenfelder:
For reasons that mystify scientists, ocean temperatures are rising, which is killing off the plankton. As a result, animals higher on the food chain are facing mass starvation.

Picture 9

'Something big is going on out there,' said Julia Parrish, an associate professor in the School of Aquatic Fisheries and Sciences at the University of Washington. 'I'm left with no obvious smoking gun, but birds are a good signal because they feed high up on the food chain.'

This spring, scientists reported a record number of dead seabirds washed up on beaches along the Pacific Coast, from central California to British Columbia.

In Washington state, the highest numbers of dead seabirds - particularly Brandt's cormorants and common murres - were found along the southern coast at Ocean Shores.

Bird surveyors in May typically find an average of one dead Brandt's cormorant every 34 miles of beach. But this year, cormorant deaths averaged one every eight-tenths of a mile, according to data gathered by volunteers with the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, which Parrish has directed since 2000.

'This is somewhere between five and 10 times the highest number of bird deaths we've seen before,' she said.


Reader comment: Antoine Charvet says: 'You should read this Wired article that describes this 'Ecohacker' Michael Markels who proposes dumping iron filings into the world's oceans to create plankton blooms and sequester CO2 as well as provide food for the world from the resulting fish that feed on this stuff!'"

(Via Boing Boing.)

Monday, July 18, 2005
11:20 PM
I've come to like this show too-has the weekly grossout

JG Ballard on CSI: "David Pescovitz:
Our friends at RE/Search, publishers of the excellent 'JG Ballard: Quotations' and the forthcoming 'JG Ballard: Conversations,' point me to Ballard's take on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, from the Sydney Morning Herald:

Television today is an ageing theme park, which we visit out of habit rather than in hope of finding anything fresh and original. At times I think the era of television is over, but then it suddenly comes up with something rich and strange.

A few years ago, I began to linger over a series called CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. After only a few episodes, I was completely hooked, for reasons I don't understand even today...

The series unfolds within an almost totally interiorised world, a clue to its real significance. The crimes - they are all homicides - take place in anonymous hotel rooms and in the tract housing of the Vegas and Miami suburbs, almost never in a casino or a druglord's gaudy palace.

A brutal realism prevails, the grimmest in any crime series. Suburban lounges and hotel toilets are the settings of horrific murders, which thankfully are over by the time each episode begins. Gloves donned, the cast dismantle u-bends and plunge up to their elbows in toilet bowls, retrieving condoms, diaphragms and bullet casings, syringes, phials and other signs of the contemporary zodiac. Faecal matter and toilet paper are never shown, perhaps reflecting American squeamishness, though evidence of anal intercourse and vaginal bruising is spoken of like tennis scores.

If the crime scene is brightly lit, the outdoor world is always dark. A car crash or street shooting always takes place at night, when the city seems deserted and dead. Light and safety are found only in the crime lab, among its high-tech scanners and its ruthless deconstruction of human trauma.
Link (free reg. may be required)

UPDATE: Thanks to all the readers who informed me that this originally appeared in The Guardian last month, no registration required. Link"

(Via Boing Boing.)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Sunday, July 10, 2005
10:45 PM

No destructive fishing allowed in Hong Kong: "Mark Frauenfelder:

Picture 3
Beau says: 'An advisory sign in Hong Kong warning people not to detonate, electro-shock, vacu-suck, drug or dredge the fish.' Link"

(Via Boing Boing.)

Sunday, July 10, 2005
10:40 PM
we need insurance against insurance

Insurance against Loch Ness Monster attacks: "David Pescovitz:
Triathletes participating in Scotland's biggest triathlon will swim in Loch Ness as part of the competition. Fortunately, each of the 100 participants will be insured for £1m against bites from Nessie. From The Guardian Unlimited:

 Wikipedia En 7 79 Lochnessmonster

'With so many top athletes in the water of Loch Ness at one time, we couldn't take the risk of one of them being attacked by Nessie,' said David Hart of the (insurance) firm Nova International.

'The competitors will all be very psyched up and very driven, so there's going to be a lot of noise and a lot of splashing going on, just the sort of thing that might annoy a prehistoric lake monster. Or even worse, give it an appetite...'

Not everyone welcomes the insurance deal, though. The official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club took exception to the suggestion that Nessie would attack anyone - however much they splashed.

The club's chairman, Gary Campbell, said: 'Everyone knows she is friendly; she has been present in the loch for centuries and never hurt a soul in all that time...'

Link (Thanks, Loren Coleman!)"

(Via Boing Boing.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Wednesday, July 06, 2005
09:53 PM
crazy frogs

Sexually explicit McDonalds billboard in France: "Xeni Jardin:

In the birthplace of pommes frites land that inspired the term 'Freedom Fries,' we find this public ad for les golden arches. Featured: two puppies humping, a shocked child, and a bored father, presumably around dinnertime. The French tagline, translated: 'I'll explain that to you at McDonalds.' Yeah, I know the snapshot is a couple of years old. Link (thanks, Cate)

Correction: Reader Dan astutely says, 'You called France the home of french-fries. French fries actually originated in Belgium.' Oui, c'est vrai."

(Via Boing Boing.)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005
09:49 PM
I say amen

Gibson on remix culture: "Cory Doctorow:
William Gibson comes out in favor of remix culture in a brilliant, pithy essay in this month's Wired magazine: go Bill!

Our culture no longer bothers to use words like appropriation or borrowing to describe those very activities. Today's audience isn't listening at all - it's participating. Indeed, audience is as antique a term as record, the one archaically passive, the other archaically physical. The record, not the remix, is the anomaly today. The remix is the very nature of the digital.

Today, an endless, recombinant, and fundamentally social process generates countless hours of creative product (another antique term?). To say that this poses a threat to the record industry is simply comic. The record industry, though it may not know it yet, has gone the way of the record. Instead, the recombinant (the bootleg, the remix, the mash-up) has become the characteristic pivot at the turn of our two centuries.

We live at a peculiar juncture, one in which the record (an object) and the recombinant (a process) still, however briefly, coexist. But there seems little doubt as to the direction things are going. The recombinant is manifest in forms as diverse as Alan Moore's graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, machinima generated with game engines (Quake, Doom, Halo), the whole metastasized library of Dean Scream remixes, genre-warping fan fiction from the universes of Star Trek or Buffy or (more satisfying by far) both at once, the JarJar-less Phantom Edit (sound of an audience voting with its fingers), brand-hybrid athletic shoes, gleefully transgressive logo jumping, and products like Kubrick figures, those Japanese collectibles that slyly masquerade as soulless corporate units yet are rescued from anonymity by the application of a thoughtfully aggressive 'custom' paint job.


(Thanks, Michelle!)


(Via Boing Boing.)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005
09:42 PM

Darwin stickers: "Cory Doctorow:

Swarthmore students are selling these CHARLES DARWIN HAS A POSSE vinyl stickers that you can sport to show your support for Enlightenment, reason, and the separation of church and state.


(Thanks, Bren!)


(Via Boing Boing.)

Sunday, July 3, 2005

Sunday, July 03, 2005
10:39 PM

Female mannequin falling animation: "David Pescovitz:
BB pal Jim Leftwich says: 'This is cool, but also disturbing! A physics-obeying interactive female mannequin falling through an infinite sky of spheres...' (If the mannequin gets stuck, you can help her along with your cursor.)

UPDATE: BB reader Kimberly McKinnis points directly to the SWF of 'Never Ending Fall.' Link

(Via Boing Boing.)

Sunday, July 03, 2005
10:31 PM
I'm waiting for the all american chili dawg

Hotdog Man on eBay: "David Pescovitz:
 04 I 04 4A D5 38 1 B
Our eBay oddity scout Michael-Anne Rauback spotted this weird 'Hotdog Man' on eBay. The 34' x 21' x 19' statue is made of resin. Starting bid is $125. I like the 'description' of this fellow: '2.5' Hot Dog Hotdog Man All American Ketchup Mustard'

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who sent in details about the Hot Dog Man, apparently a restaurant magnate who is represented by statues of multiple sizes. Here's a link to a site with a short film titled Hot Dog Man: A Case Study. Link


(Via Boing Boing.)

Sunday, July 03, 2005
10:30 PM

Web Zen: Radio Zen: "Xeni Jardin:







radio 1190

little radio




web zen home, web zen store, (Thanks, Frank)."

(Via Boing Boing.)

Sunday, July 03, 2005
10:27 PM
be afwade, be very afwade

Sub-$20 Wonder Weapons: "Xeni Jardin:
For less than one Andrew Jackson, you too can own any number of wack-ass scifi defense tools. Shown here, the dreaded Hypnodisk, guaranteed by its manufacturer to 'Produce Weird and Bizarre Effects.' Defense technology reporter Noah Shachtman says:

I believed all those government and scientific reports that laser rifles and hand-held force fields were decades away from reality -- if they were possible at all. Cloaked in the dull skepticism of a flat-earther, I naively thought that advances like 'Electro-Hypnotizers' and 'Ion Ray Guns' were the stuff of science fiction, or merely hoaxes. (...) Not only are these items for real, but a helpful Internet retailer -- 'Information Unlimited,' out of Amherst, New Hampshire -- has been thoughtful enough to sell them all under one electronic roof. Huzzah!

My only question is what to buy first. Should it be the 'Telekinetic Enhancer'? The 'Sonic Nausea Device' Or maybe I should go with the 'Magnetic Cannon.' Luckily, the plans for most of these projects are only $20. So I can afford to make some mistakes.


(Via Boing Boing.)

Sunday, July 03, 2005
10:25 PM

Astrobiology Magazine looks at Mars in...: "

Astrobiology Magazine looks at Mars in the history of literature.


(Via blog.)