Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Schwarzenegger says Marijuana not a drug

Schwarzenegger says Marijuana not a drug: "Dan says: 'Here is a great story I found about Arnold Schwarzenegger telling a British journalist that marijuana is not a drug. He was trying to deflect suggestions that he had used drugs in the past by saying weed is 'not a drug. It's a leaf.' Then the PR machine began, predictably, to crank into full gear.'

Aaron McLear, Schwarzenegger's press secretary, said the governor made the comments in a lighthearted context, noting his interviewer was Piers Morgan, one of the judges on 'America's Got Talent.' Morgan is a former British newspaper editor.

'The governor was doing an interview with the host of 'America's Got Talent,' the newest version of the gong show,' McLear said. 'I think it's important to keep that quote in the context of the environment where it was said.'



(Via Boing Boing.)

Scissor spiders made from TSA confiscata

Scissor spiders made from TSA confiscata: "

Christopher Locke makes spider-sculptures out of confiscated scissors bought at TSA auctions ('The larger ones are made from barber scissors, and the smaller ones are made from cuticle scissors.')


(Thanks, Christopher!)

See also: California kleptocrats auctioning airport confiscata on eBay


(Via Boing Boing.)

Boing Boing tv: BAD FAIRIES

Boing Boing tv: BAD FAIRIES: "

In today's episode of Boing Boing tv:

Here's what happens when you take Halloween too far. A cautionary tale provided courtesy of Danny Diamond and a crew of video guerrillas who say: 'We dedicate this to the memory of Tim E Woodsman, 1972 - 2007. We miss you. -- Jason, Jolon, Glasgow, Martha, Brody, Danny & everyone who made CRAPtv possible.'



(Via Boing Boing.)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Funny gift boxes from The Onion

Funny gift boxes from The Onion: "200710261714




(Click on thumbnails for enlargement)

The Onion sells these funny fake-product 'gotcha' boxes -- which you can fill with real presents.

Wrap an otherwise forgettable gift in one of seven Gotcha Boxes from The Onion, and watch their faces fall when they realize there is no such thing as a USB-powered travel toaster or a 28-piece whisk set—just a crappy bric-a-brac inside you waited until the last moment to buy. Or feign enthusiasm for a surge-protected power strip that mounts on a car review mirror and plugs into the cigarette lighter.

Link (Thanks,


(Via Boing Boing.)

Friday, October 26, 2007


just saw this again - very fun to watch

Khan!: "

Ken Cancelosi on William Shatner and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan — without question the best Star Trek movie ever made. (Via Kottke.)


(Via Daring Fireball.)

The Future of the Music Business


The Future of the Music Business: "

In the age of the mp3, label musicians and the labels themselves are fighting for survival. As the cost of music is driven down to near zero, they’re doing everything they can to reverse that trend — and yet, the trend continues. I’ve been thinking about music costing effectively nothing and the future of the business and my musician friends for the past few weeks, and some half-assed ideas popped into my head.

Classical Music. Classical music is our future so take some time to consider it.

1. People rarely spend money on classical music itself. I bought a Bach or Mozart CD once when I was 19 when I needed background sound while studying. For the last few years, whenever I want to hear some classical, I just put on the one radio station that plays it or I pick any random classical listing in iTunes’ streaming music area and let it play. It’s basically free and plentiful.

2. Old classical music has no copyright, anyone can cover anything by Beethoven and not owe anyone a cut. You can remix sheetmusic from the 1700s all you want and call it your own. If you’ve got access to an orchestra and a recording device you can go nuts making music and never need a lawyer for any of it. Everything before 1923 is in the public domain: it’s like a Creative Commons wet dream.

3. Classical music fans are tech savvy and embrace the internet. The majority of them rip music, and a sizable chunk own iPods and pay for downloads.

Despite these doomsday notions, classical music remains an industry and there are tens of thousands of professional classical musicians worldwide that make a living from it. It’s not all glitz and glamor, but there are classical music labels that are doing alright and plenty of live events generate a decent amount of revenue even in modest-sized cities. There may not be crazy millionaire Kanye West platinum sellers (aside from maybe Yo Yo Ma?) in the classical set, but they’re not all starving artists.

The popular music industry of the future isn’t going to be anything like it is today, but if you’re an indie rocker in 2007 worried about what the future might bring, don’t listen to what the labels are saying, think more about the 2nd chair clarinet in the Berlin orchestra.

update: Andy was kind enough to send more evidence along: NYTimes, NPR, and The New Yorker all on how despite being plentiful and free like I mentioned, classical was the fastest growing segment of music sales last year, thanks in part to the tech savvy listeners paying for downloaded music.


(Via A Whole Lotta Nothing.)

Gold plated MacBook Pro begs to be stolen

stocking stuffers for the newly riche

Gold plated MacBook Pro begs to be stolen: "


If you are a true fanboy of everything Mac, and you are super-excited about the launch of Leopard (the latest operating system from Apple), then celebrate by purchasing a gold-plated MacBook Pro. Computer Choppers has upped the bling quotient with a gold and diamond-encrusted laptop for those with more money than sense. The computer itself is nothing special with a 2.2 or 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 802.11n Wi-Fi, 2GB of RAM and a 160GB internal drive, but it's the gold plating that makes you sit up and drool.

Two versions are available; a 24-karat gold-and-diamond version, with the diamonds filling the Apple logo, or the plain gold version sans shiny rocks. They'll set you back $9,000 and $6,000 respectively — it's just unfortunate it only comes in the 15-inch version instead of the more useful 17-inch line. I understand gold plating your tech is all the rage these days, but a big gold brick sitting on your desk is going to get stolen as soon as you turn your back.

Take the jump for another shot of this highly expensive, high-tech laptop.

Computer Choppers via Born Rich


(Via SCI FI Tech Blog.)

Tales of the Uncanny -- cool Alan Moore comic from mid90s

good one too

Tales of the Uncanny -- cool Alan Moore comic from mid90s: "200710231454

Again With the Comics has a scan from a mid-90s comic series called 1963. The third issue was called Tales of the Uncanny and featured a story written by Alan Moore, penciled by Steve Bissette, and inked by Chester Brown. The result is a brain bending homage to Marvel's 1960s Tales of Suspense. Link


(Via Boing Boing.)

Harper's Weekly excerpt

oh for heaven's sake!

Harper's Weekly excerpt: "An excerpt from my favorite weekly news update, Harper's Weekly:

James Watson, who won the Nobel Prize for his role in the
discovery of DNA, said that while he wishes everyone were
equal, 'people who have to deal with black employees find
this is not true.' Lynn Cheney announced that her husband
and Barack Obama are eighth cousins. 'Every family,' said
the Obama campaign, 'has a black sheep.' A New York man
was arrested after wearing a stolen Rolex watch to his
parole meeting, an Ohio woman stood accused of digging up
her ex-boyfriend's grave and stealing his ashes, and a
Virginia woman was fined for attacking a Comcast store
with a hammer after the company cut off her phone and
Internet connections. 'I smashed a keyboard, knocked over
a monitor and I went to hit the telephone,' she said. 'I
figured, 'Hey, my telephone is screwed up, so is yours.''
A New Jersey woman sent 80,000 cans of Silly String, which
can locate trip wires, to U.S. troops in Iraq; a military
spokesperson thanked her but admitted that soldiers don't
use as much Silly String today as they did at the
beginning of the war. Forty-nine percent of New Jersey
residents admitted they'd rather live somewhere else. Taku
the killer whale died unexpectedly at the San Antonio
SeaWorld, 5 of the world's 350 remaining Asiatic Lions
were found dead next to an electric fence in India, and
the curator of the Rotterdam Natural History Museum asked
the public to donate pubic crabs, claiming that their
population was dwindling as a result of Brazilian
waxes. 'When the bamboo forests that the Giant Panda
lives in were cut down, the bear became threatened with
extinction. Pubic lice,' he explained, 'can't live without
pubic hair.'

Link | Subscribe to Harper's Weekly email list


(Via Boing Boing.)

Your name in monster sticker font

I like it! arrgh

Your name in monster sticker font: "Picture 7-19

I-Mockery will generate 1970's monster sticker versions of any word you care to enter. Link


(Via Boing Boing.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Neuroscience of Alice in Wonderland

Neuroscience of Alice in Wonderland: "Mind Hacks located a fascinating article about Alice In Wonderland that appeared in a 2005 issue of the scientific journal Advances in Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation. The author, neurologist Andrew Larner, examines the variety of unusual neurological conditions seemingly exhibited by the characters in the books of the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll). From the article (John Tenniel's 1865 illustration taken from Wikimedia Commons):

 Wikipedia Commons D Dd Madlhatterbytenniel

‘Mad Hatter syndrome’

The consequences of poisoning with inorganic mercury include a mild sensorimotor peripheral neuropathy, a syndrome which may resemble motor neurone disease, tremor (often circumoral), stomatitis, skin rash, and a neuropsychiatric syndrome characterised by timidity, seclusion, easy blushing, irritability, quarrelsomeness and mood lability (erethism). Hatters were liable to such problems because of the use of mercury in the felt hat industry as a stiffener of rabbit fur, leading to the expression ‘as mad as a hatter’. Hence it might be assumed that Carroll’s Mad Hatter is ‘mad’ because of mercury exposure. However, as Waldrom pointed out, odd though his behaviour certainly is, the Mad Hatter displays none of the typical features of mercury poisoning, either at the mad tea party (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, chapter 7), or during his appearance as the King’s Messenger Hatta in Through the looking-glass (chapters 5 & 7). Tenniel’s illustration of the Mad Hatter/Hatta is said to resemble one Theophilus Carter, a furniture dealer near Oxford, who was known to Dodgson, and known in the locality as the Mad Hatter because he always wore a top hat and was prone to eccentric ideas.

Link to PDF (via Mind Hacks)


(Via Boing Boing.)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Jeff VanderMeer and the weird art he inspires

good pix

Jeff VanderMeer and the weird art he inspires: "Matt sez, 'Cool arts and culture site Dark Roasted Blend offers this exclusive interview with New Weird fantasy author Jeff VanderMeer. The article is accompanied by about a dozen of the weirdest illustrations culled from Jeff's books and stories.'

New Weird is a type of urban, secondary-world fiction that subverts the romanticized ideas about place found in traditional fantasy, largely by choosing realistic, complex real-world models. It creates settings that may combine elements of both science fiction and fantasy. New Weird has a visceral, in-the-moment quality that often uses elements of surreal or transgressive horror for its tone, style, and effects - in combination with the stimulus of influence from New Wave writers or their proxies (including also such forebears as Mervyn Peake and the French/English Decadents).

New Weird fictions are acutely aware of the modern world, even if in disguise, but not always overtly political. As part of this awareness of the modern world, New Weird relies for its visionary power on a 'surrender to the weird' that isn't, for example, hermetically sealed in a haunted house on the moors or in a cave in Antarctica. The 'surrender' (or 'belief') of the writer can take many forms, some of them even involving the use of postmodern techniques that do not undermine the surface reality of the text.


(Thanks, Matt!)

(Image credit: Back cover of Vandermeer's book The Situation, by Scott Eagle)

See also:

Urban spaces and sf: interview with Jeff VanderMeer

Economics in fiction with Stross, VanderMeer, et al

Photos of you acting dead needed for indie film

Thackery T. Lambshead Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases


(Via Boing Boing.)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

10/10/2007 - Toon #1091

10/10/2007 - Toon #1091: "

Toon #1091


(Via PC Weenies - RSS2.)

Counterfeit $1 million bill

ha ha ha ha

Counterfeit $1 million bill: "A man tried to change a US$1 million bill at a Pittsburgh convenience grocery store this week. Problem is, the biggest bill in circulation is a $100. After the cashier pointed out that the bill was obviously fake and refused to return it to him, the man became very angry. He was nabbed by police but refuses to give his name. From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

The largest bill ever printed is the $100,000 gold certificate, which was made in 1934 and 1935, and used only for transactions between Federal Reserve banks.

The $1 million bill seized Saturday might have originated from a Dallas-based ministry, which last year distributed thousands of religious pamphlets with a picture of the bogus bill, police said.




Ethan Persoff says, 'The bogus million dollar bill you're describing is also notable for having Reagan's face on it. I found one on a bridge a year or so ago.' Link

 Ee Images Forumuploads Millionbill
UPDATE: BB reader Robert points out, 'It sounds like there are different types of bogus $1,000,000 bills floating around. If you do a Google image search for 'million dollar bill,' you see lots of variants on this theme. (Including the Statute of Liberty, Grover Cleveland, and Santa Clause).' The bill in question supposedly featured a portrait of Grover Cleveland, not Ronald Reagan, according to the original article you linked to. It was probably this one: Link


(Via Boing Boing.)

Anna Rexia Halloween costume

in a pro priate

Anna Rexia Halloween costume: "Bucky says: 'Check out this actual Halloween costume inspired by Anorexia. Although we first saw it on, they've taken it down. But we did find it on this other Halloween costume selling site.'

200710081256This year adds to the old standards of slutty nurse, slutty catwoman, and slutty police officer with slutty eating disorder by introducing the ‘Anna Rexia’ costume. We doubt they grasp the irony of stuffing a busty model into a costume that invokes anorexia nervosa much less the idea that this costume whips up more female body issues than every season of Baywatch combined. But they are an equal opportunity offender. The get up is available in a plus size just in case big-boned chicks want to get in on the screw-with-the-mentally-afflicted Halloween action.



(Via Boing Boing.)

Inside Loren Coleman's Cryptozoology Museum

let's all go here

Inside Loren Coleman's Cryptozoology Museum: " Wp-Content Uploads Intlczmusuem1

Our pal Loren Coleman's Portland, Maine home-office doubles as the International Cryptozoology Museum, a literal cabinet of curiosities devoted to 'hidden animals' and oddities related to his Fortean passions. The Lewiston Sun Journal's Kathryn Skelton paid a visit to the museum and documented the experience with a wonderful article, photos, and audio clips. From the article (photo by Amber Waterman):

Sometime next spring, Loren Coleman's getting a 12-foot-long replica of Canada's Ogopogo lake monster. It'll probably have to stay on the porch, near his 8.5-foot-tall, oxen-haired Bigfoot.

Coleman is a little pressed for space indoors. There's already a 9-foot latex pterodactyl camouflaged by an avocado tree and a cabinet of skulls with surly looking cuspids in the living room.

The International Cryptozoology Museum runneth over.

He's tried to contain it, so far, to a single floor in his Portland home, and it makes for a sort of cryptid wild kingdom. There's a busy brick wall in particular that TV and documentary crews love to pose him against when he talks about sea serpents and Bigfoots and Dover Demons.

Link to Sun Journal article, Link to Cryptozoology Museum,
Link to Loren's clarifications and artists' credits at Cryptomundo


(Via Boing Boing.)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Spider Baby: Special Edition

saw this on TCM one night incredibly badly good

Spider Baby: Special Edition: "

Reviewed by Tom Becker
Quote: 'Shot in black-and-white on an almost non-existent budget, Spider Baby looks a bit like an episode of The Munsters by way of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.'


(Via DVD Verdict.)

The New B Movie

The New B Movie: "Why your video store stocks ‘‘mockbusters’’ alongside the blockbusters."

(Via NYT > Movie Reviews.)

Get Your War On on Blackwater

Get Your War On on Blackwater: "

Get Your War On's trenchant commentary on Blackwater makes a good point -- if you're gonna call your savage private army of war criminals 'Blackwater,' why not go whole hog and call it 'Deathfang's Midnight Posse of Merciless Skull Warriors?'



(Via Boing Boing.)

New GOP logo is funny

appropriate tho

New GOP logo is funny: "200710050936

Daily Kos readers are commenting on the GOP's new 'wide-stance' logo. I think this one nails it: 'It look[s] like an elephant that just got ran over by a truck and is now splattered and dazed on the ground, covered in skid marks.'


(Via Boing Boing.)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss

lol n

The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss: " Images Deep3

This extraterrestrial spacecraft Benthocodon jellyfish was spotted near undersea mountains. The photo is in a new book titled The Deep that features more than 200 photos of the insanely strange and beautiful denizen of our oceans. It was edited by Claire Nouvian, a French documentary filmmaker. Smithsonian has a feature on the book and a sampling of remarkable photos from it. From the Smithsonian article:

The more than 200 photographs—most taken by scientists from submersibles and ROVs, some shot for the book—show just how head-shakingly bizarre life can be. The scientists who discovered the creatures were apparently as amused as we are, giving them names such as gulper eel, droopy sea pen, squarenose helmetfish, ping-pong tree sponge, Gorgon's head and googly-eyed glass squid.

Nouvian herself made two dives in a submersible, to 3,200 feet. The first thing she noticed, she says, was that 'it's very slow. You can tell that all their laws are different.'

Link to Smithsonian article, Link to slideshow, Link to buy The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss


(Via Boing Boing.)