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Showing posts from 2007

Batman in the kitchen

Batman in the kitchen, originally uploaded by ExtraLife.

o! irony! china is outraged at unauthorized replicas!

The cultural heritage administration in Shaanxi province, home to the 2,000-year-old clay army, said it had been "outraged" because it had not sent any original terracotta warriors to Germany recently.

"All the items on show in Hamburg are reproductions," the administration said in a strongly worded statement on its Web site (www.wenwu.gov.cn).

"We were completely unaware of the exhibition. It is a very serious act of cheating the media and the public," the statement said, dismissing reports that the administration had been one of the sponsors.

The show should be immediately closed and the public told the truth to eliminate the "extremely negative impact" caused, it added.

"We will pursue legal liability against those who use reproduced items to hold exhibitions of Chinese artifacts."
from China slams German "warriors" show as fakefrom Reuters

machine girl

Ninjas. Yakuza. Sushi. Tempura. Watch the trailer for this outrageous movie. (benchilada)

sutiru araibu

On the verge of meta-ing myself into oblivion: geek wageslave-turned-geek minstrel, Jonathan Coulton, recently created a song for game developer Valve, which is used in The Best Game Ending Ever for their highly original game, Portal. If an internet-based, Creative Commons-friendly singer songwriter isn't futurismic enough for you, how about hearing said song as covered by a Japanese virtual idol in nearly unintelligible, katakana-accented English?

between you and me

PostSecret - I've posted about it before, but it bears revisiting:PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.

one-one-one - the blog is moving

NONTRIVIAL ADMINISTRIVIUM; the b l o g : it will be m o v i n g... to hosting at blogspot, as it affords better access to new Google tools. So find me here:http://brianwanamaker.blogspot.com/When i started my.bicycle, I wanted a simple tool to put text and links up on my private domain here. It seemed like a good safeguard against data loss: I'd have Blogger.com's copy on their servers, another copy on my personal domain's servers, and whenever I wanted to I could make a local copy as backup, or for editing, on any machine I currently used.

Good grief, times can change. Blogger was a single, somewhat dubious option in the blog tools field, and it was unclear what Google was going to do with their new toy. Just as when SixApart bought LiveJournal, there is a trepidation on the part of users that their efforts are going to be gobbled up by the whim of some corporate decision to "take their ball and go home."

At this point my desire to have local backup in addition to…

“for some reason...”

captain james t. kitty

Disney Rejection Letter, 1938

Disney Rejection Letter, 1938, originally uploaded by sim sandwich. My, how times change...

more boingo

Boingo sells out, and manages to make an unfailingly BOINGOESQUE Budweiser ad:

Best. Beer ad. Evar.

And here's a great video for an under-appreciated album, I think it may have been their last one; I'm posting this because it's got great images of Danny in it. According to my dear friend Boneyard/Darth Bobo the rocket-riding redhead in The Gong Show post, below, is Richard Elfman - Danny's brother, and the band' manager at one point, IIRC.

Cheese Vader

Cheese Vader, originally uploaded by mckibillo.

what if...

From The Magazine : Radar Online : Cory Doctorow imagines a world in which Google is evil in Scroogled.“Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him.” —Cardinal Richelieu

“We don’t know enough about you.” —Google CEO Eric Schmidt

Deunan and Breiarios from Appleseed...

APPLESEED_BEARBRICKS, originally uploaded by toysrevil2. ... as superdeformed, modular, bear figures.

Jack Black has his own coffee in Japan.

LOLtrek

We Has Troubles, originally uploaded by benchilada.

One More Paradigm: It's Just a Ride

The world is like a ride at an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think that it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly coloured, and it's very loud and it's fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question - is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us. They say 'Hey! Don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride.'

And we...kill those people. Ha ha ha. 'Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride. SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and family. This just has to be real.'

It's just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn't matter because: it's just a ride. And…

expensive toys

It is sometimes said that a surprisingly tiny problem can ruin an otherwise sublime experience. A grain of sand in an oyster, a small amount of grit in some spinach, a smudge on a perfectly white wall,

While nowhere near as pricey as the Bose Quiet Comfort series of headphones, I'm pretty enamored of my pair of Er-6i Isolator earphones. Unfortunately they're somewhat fragile, it turns out. After a year of heavy use, staying plugged in to my iPod while traveling and bumping around in luggage, the wires at the jack became loose.

What's really stunning is that with as well as they isolate my ears, that feature just makes variation in sound quality that much more jarring and distracting. Here I was on a plane, getting ready for a 12 hour flight, and suddenly the music is cutting out in my right ear but not in my left. Wiggling the jack made it come back, but if I relaxed my hands, the position of the wire would change, and zzzap the sound would cut out again. Or cut in-and-out.…

saints row - cleared!

I finished Saints Row last weekend; I think it's the first game I've ever cleared to 100% completion, and I've scored all the Xbox Live Achievements except for the online ones.

Gameplay-wise, it really is the game that Rockstar should have produced as either of the sequels to GTA III. The crew at Volition managed to take what worked best in GTA III, then looked at the core actions a player engages in, driving, running, shooting, turret-gunning, managing wanted level (and divided that between law enforcement and rival gangs), item collection (cars, people, graffiti tags, and CDs) and went through all the permutations looking for compelling gameplay. I'm not sure how they managed to do it, but the difficulty curve seemed to follow a neat, flow-centric model.

Though the game is not without its problems:
Buggy Saints Row, The Musical

it's like an urban legend -- except that it's not.

Brain-Eating Amoeba Kills Arizona Boy - CDC: Cases Are Spiking In 2007
PHOENIX -- A 14-year-old Lake Havasu boy has become the sixth victim to die nationwide this year of a microscopic organism that attacks the body through the nasal cavity, quickly eating its way to the brain.
(...)
"This is a heat-loving amoeba. As water temperatures go up, it does better," Beach said. "In future decades, as temperatures rise, we'd expect to see more cases."
(...)
The amoeba destroys tissue as it makes its way up to the brain.
People who are infected tend to complain of a stiff neck, headaches and fevers, Beach said. In the later stages, they'll show signs of brain damage such as hallucinations and behavioral changes.
Once infected, most people have little chance of survival. Some drugs have been effective stopping the amoeba in lab experiments, but people who have been attacked rarely survive, Beach said.
"Usually, from initial exposure it's fatal within two weeks,"…

I HAZ A COLOR FROM BEYOND SPACE - LET ME SHOW U IT.

(Thanks go out to The Other Michael)

on aging

My friend Ken sends me wisdom on turning 40, from comics writer Alan Moore:When I was just about to turn 40 I was reviewing my options and I thought I could have a midlife crisis and just bore everybody senseless by going around saying "What's it all about? What's the point? What's the secret of life?" Or I could sort of just go spectacularly mad, which would at least be more entertaining for those around me. And more worrying. And that's good as well. So I started worshiping a snake and declared myself to be a magician. "I've decided to become a master sorcerer." You should have seen the look on their faces. Half of them were frightened because they thought I'd probably gone mad, and the other half were frightened in case I hadn't. It's been immense fun.

a lesson in 20/20 retrospection

But then, while you’re sitting on your googlechair in the googleplex sipping googleccinos and feeling smuggy smug smug smug, new versions of the browsers come out that support cached, compiled JavaScript. And suddenly NewSDK is really fast. And Paul Graham gives them another 6000 boxes of instant noodles to eat, so they stay in business another three years perfecting things.

(...)

And while you’re not paying attention, everybody starts writing NewSDK apps, and they’re really good, and suddenly businesses ONLY want NewSDK apps, and all those old-school Plain Ajax apps look pathetic and won’t cut and paste and mash and sync and play drums nicely with one another. And Gmail becomes a legacy. The WordPerfect of Email. And you’ll tell your children how excited you were to get 2GB to store email, and they’ll laugh at you. Their nail polish has more than 2GB.
Strategy Letter VI - Joel on Software

the real truth about “life hacking”

Condense Your Day With the Life-Hacking FAQK:
So why is it called life hacking?
Because a new name makes it sound like a new idea. Geeks can't admit that anything worthwhile was invented before 1981. Soon, "making cocoa" will be called "milk hacking."

Does life hacking have any uses unrelated to the freshness of my appliances?
Oh, sure. You can apply the term "life hacking" to nearly anything to make it sound clever and hypermodern! In fact, that last sentence was itself a life hack! You know how sometimes you just eat the ramen out of the pan instead of pouring it into a bowl? Using the same fork you stirred it with? You're life hacking, bunky!

this is the future? where's my steam-powered dogsbody?

Most looks at the future seem to be from the 1950s, when we expected autogyros and jetpacks. How about a look at the year 2000 from the perspective of 1910? Robot tailors? Reprimanding the groundskeeper while sky carriages flow past your roof garden? Grinding books into electrically delivered impulses at school? Much like the Gernsbackian future, I'm kind of glad this one didn't come to pass, either. I think I'd prefer Tex Avery's version.

now playing: Saints Row

I'm about 12 hours in on Saints Row, THQ's entry into the Action/Driving genre. It's really good; if you've got a 360 and are jonesing for a Grand Theft Auto fix because GTA IV has been pushed to next year, it's a must-have. In short, it's got a lot that's a direct lift from its inspiration, but there are numerous additions to gameplay, more personalization of your character, and ability to customize and keep your cars, and many of the missions are actually pretty damned challenging. Oh, and it's got online multiplayer.

hard, boiled

art.blogging.la: I Touched a Brick of Coke
I experienced my first experience last night (since I was out of town for two experiences and I wasn't quite ready to be buried) with monochrom at Machine Project. That's me touching the brick of coke - which, of course, I received a certificate for doing. Many liters of Coke, one ruined pot, and one tough art group created this "brick of coke" that looked like an oil blob or those microwavable brownies that never come out right. The smell wafted of burnt Coke (not to mention something that probably shouldn't be cooked) through the gallery space and both the beginning and end of the experience commenced with the global-loving coke song.

It's good to be back in LA!

holy creative use of putty, batman!

The ever-fabulous Scott Rogers is interviewed in Wired's look at user-modified custom figures:If you're like most people, you're aching for a Batman action figure carved with the sharp angles and noir feel of the masked vigilante's 1939 debut. Or a Rorschach or Comedian doll ripped from the pages of the classic 1980s graphic novel Watchmen -- slated for big-screen treatment in 2009, but still nowhere to be found on toy shelves.

Fortunately, what Mattel and DC Comics withhold, a thriving custom action-figure underground provides.

more Gibson interview, in the run-up to Spook Country

Q&A: William Gibson Discusses Spook Country and Interactive Fiction:Wired: One of the details that leaped out at me was the Adidas GSG9, named for the German counterterrorism squad. I felt certain you'd invented the shoe, but then I Googled it.

Gibson: The Adidas GSG9s were the obvious choice for the thinking man's ninja. Nothing I could make up could resonate in the same way. There's code in name-checking the GSG9 history — esoteric meaning. Something that started with Pattern Recognition was that I†discovered I could Google the world of the novel. I began to regard it as a sort of extended text — hypertext pages hovering just outside the printed page. There have been threads on my Web site — readers Googling and finding my footprints. I still get people asking me about 'the possibilities of interactive fiction,' and they seem to have no clue how we're already so there.

brazilian gamers make american gamers look tame sane

An armed gang of four kidnapped one of the world's top RPG gamers after one criminal's girlfriend lured him into a fake date using Orkut, Google's social network. After sequestering him in Sao Paulo, they held a gun against the victim's head for five hours to get his password, which they wanted to sell for $8,000. And yes, the story gets even better. (full story at Gizmodo; thanks, Kev!)

here’s hoping the napkin doodles aren't actively protected

On 10/19/05, the daughter of one of my MIT friends shadowed me for a day at work as part of a school project. One of the good things about spending time with children is that it forces you to explain things in simple terms. That day, I drew lots of drawings.Copyright as described via simple napkin doodle. (boingboing)

apple captures the zeitgeist once again

“I think this is going to be a really exciting feature for our customers,” Jobs said. “And I’d love to show it to you now.”
Taking a sip from a bottled water, Jobs sat down at a keyboard and monitor and brought up .Mac.
“We’ve got some standard, pre-built lolcats text you can see here in this pull-down menu. Let’s say I want to add ‘I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?’ to this picture. First, I select the picture… then I select ‘I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?’ from the list of pre-defined lolcats texts… and then it’s just one click.
Clicking a button, Jobs created an image of a clearly uncomfortable-looking iPod product marketing manager Stan Ng dressed up in a crude cat suit with “I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?” emblazoned on it in sans serif text.
“Boom. It’s that easy.”
Apple Announces Lolcats Strategy

“On Wrinkling”

i've noticed that this age-freakiness has been seeping and poisoning
some of my decision-making, or at least creating an added level of
neurosis.
the downward spiral goes something like this:
ok, if i finish the record this fall i can put it out my march. but
maybe i should take more time with it so i can relax. but if i take
more time with it, it'll need to come out next fall. then i'll tour
it in the spring. i'll be 33. holy shit, i'll be 33 when i'm touring
on my solo record. that's when jesus died. fuck. let's not even get
started on the beatles. they had BROKEN UP by the time they were in
their late 20s. fuck. i'm doing nothing with my life.
(...)
When I was a girl, my life was music that was always getting louder.
Everything moved me. A dog following a stranger. That made me
feel so much. A calendar that showed the wrong month. I could
have cried over it. I did. Where the smoke from a chimney
ended. How an overturned bottle rested at the edge of a table.
I spe…

HOWTO Make a $15 Mont Blanc pen

...or “Your Hippie Moneysaving Ways Will Doom Us All!”transform a $3 pen into a $200 pen in just seconds. Mont Blanc pens are the worlds finest writing pens but they make specialized refills so you must buy their $200+ pens to use their amazing ink...until now. This is the easiest hack/adaptation to give anyone the king's writing ink. (boingboing)

god speed you! black emperor

Seeqpod is a search amalgamation tool; put in the band you like, or song title, and it searches the web for publically available sources, scrobbles together a list of those songs, and lets you put together a playlist. The playlist can be saved for later reference. The songs' URLs are also shown, but appear to need to be hand-copied because the Flash interface doesn't permit right-clicking to copy, and the URL itself doesn't launch a new window, copy the URL, or do anything at all apparently. (minor gripe)

There's also an autodetected iPhone specific interface if accessed through the iPhone's Safari browser.

And I still miss Pandora.

Edit: I love it when people respond to inquiries - I wrote:I'm curious: The URL of each MP3 found is displayed with each found track,
but there's no apparent way to copy it to the clipboard or launch a new
browser window or tab. Why is there no easy link to the URLs of the MP3s
that Seeqpod finds?Emma at SeeqPod wrote back:Thanks for …

why we commit criticism: it’s not that i’m full of hate, it’s just that everything sucks

::thisismattfractiondotcom::: But tonight I read this, from an absolutely excellent interview with your friend and mine, and summer movie hero to children everywhere, Mr. Patton Oswalt, that sums it up better than I’ve ever been able to articulate:
“Certain friends of mine are big film buffs who love to write. They don’t hate movies. Everyone thinks, ‘You guys are movie snobs—you fucking love to hate movies.’ No, no, no. We’re actually disappointed all the time, because we love movies and want them to be better. We want them to all be great.”

cover your radio head

stereogum presents...OK X: A Tribute to OK Computer: To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Radiohead’s OK Computer we’ve asked some of our favorite musicians to participate in a song-by-song covers compilation. Indicative of the album’s continued importance, each invitee jumped at the chance; the results are personal, intense, tellingly various. Slow down, dig in, enjoy. But note: we did this all legal and everything, so we can’t keep these up forever...get ’em before someone else does. Ambition makes you look pretty. (thanks, the other michael)

“NO ONE RIDES FOR FREE”

Friend of this blog, social rocket scientist, ass-kicker, and all-around badass, Sean Demory is launching his comic, THUNDER ROAD:

World War III started on Christmas Eve, 1954 when the MacArthur administration ordered an A-bomb strike on Leningrad. It ended with a tense peace treaty signed aboard the locomotive-city Stalin 1 as it roared across the tundra.

That peace lasted eight months, until a mushroom cloud appeared over Wichita and the first Mobile Expeditionary Force made its beachhead in Siberia, leaving the ground blackened under the wheels of their warcycles. (continues)

Just in time for summer: Azuki Frapuccino!

Just in time for summer: Azuki Frapuccino!, originally uploaded by chronovore. Japan gets strange items in the menus of western franchises that set up shop here. Teriyaki McBurger is one. Starbucks' Azuki (red bean) Frapuccino is another.

Tortelvis says, "Put it on 'frappé,' that's my favorite setting."

Happy 750th, USA!

The special anniversary tribute refutes many myths about the period and American history. According to the entry, the American Revolution was in fact instigated by Chuck Norris, who incinerated the Stamp Act by looking at it, then roundhouse-kicked the entire British army into the Atlantic Ocean. A group of Massachusetts Minutemaids then unleashed the zombie-generating T-Virus on London, crippling the British economy and severely limiting its naval capabilities.
Wikipedia Celebrates 750 Years Of American Independence | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

“oh, hai.”

i can haz flashbeck now?

oh, sometimes the leaf falls pretty far from the tree

DM of the Rings I: The Copious BackstoryLord of the Rings is more or less the foundation of modern D&D. The latter rose from the former, although the two are now so estranged that to reunite them would be an act of savage madness. Imagine a gaggle of modern hack-n-slash roleplayers who had somehow never been exposed to the original Tolkien mythos, and then imagine taking those players and trying to introduce them to Tolkien via a D&D campaign. (apologies; I can't recall where I first saw this)

Promo image by James Jean

Promo image by James Jean, originally uploaded by Foxtongue. because liked The Fountain a lot, and I still reallly want to see it. With three Ls, even.

it is to LOL

LOL Feeds presents RSS/Atom feeds as those charming cats with the bad grammarz. Here is my long-love, recently neglected Waxy.org Links presented thusly, with the links intact. It's funnier than it sounds, if you're into meta humor.

productivity hack

Kinkless Desktop 1: The "No Mercy" Cleanup | Kinkless
So we have an undifferentiated mass of stuff on the desktop. This is the point at which a lot of organization self-help tells you to sort through it file by file. I am not going to tell you this. Why? Because I am lazy and realistic. You are just not going to clean up your desktop right now. Why? It’s overwhelming. So we’ll use a trick I call the “No Mercy Cleanup”:The No-Mercy CleanupGet rid of your hard disks, CDs, and network shares. you can bring these back later, but for now we want an empty desktop.Make a folder called “To Delete on Monday March 7” (using a date one week from today)Select all items on your desktop (Command-A), command-click unselecting the “To Delete” folder.Drag and drop everything on your desktop into this new folder.Brush hands together, lean back, bask in the glory of your new clean desktop.“But! I have! stuff! I need! in there!” I hear you say with too many exclamation points. Yes, you do. You a…

the odd couple

Mac Rumors: Bill Gates and Steve Jobs Interviewed at All Things Digital: It's stunning to see these two on stage together. Bill Gates' memory about programming he did for the early Mac is surprisingly detailed and rings of nostalgia on his part. Steve Jobs' ability to make the autocrat of the OS world look small is uncanny. And the final joke which stymies Bill so badly is worth watching the whole interview.

rocket mail

June 8, 1959: They'll Never Complain About Slow Postal Service AgainThe missile was fired shortly before noon from a launcher aboard the submarine USS Barbero, cruising off the coast of Virginia. Twenty-two minutes after launch, the missile struck its target at the Naval Auxiliary Air Station in Mayport, Florida.

The mail was retrieved, sorted and routed in the usual way from a post office in nearby Jacksonville.

Rocket mail, which has a whiff of theatrics to it, still exists and still has advocates around the world. Since the end of the cold war, a number of surplus missiles culled from the Soviet nuclear arsenal have been used to fire mail around Russia, including a few experimental launches from nuclear subs.

sukiyaki western - no joke

The funny thing is, I've been wanting to make a game or novel about this for some time now. The parallels between samurai movies and westerns is not only a source of historic cinematic greatness, it's heaps of fun. I look at the way Yojimbo was turned into Fist Full of Dollars, Seven Samurai into The Magnificent Seven... I wonder what happens when Takashi Miike of all people takes it in mind to drag some back. (synaesthesiaJP)

brian finds a clue

I've become so used to Microsoft and Yahoo's conscious efforts to block out every non-first-party client from using their Instant Messaging protocol that I've just assumed that there was an irrefutable business reason for it. Surprisingly, I find this not necessarily to be the case. Google Talk cooperates beautifully with the standard Apple IM application, iChat.

See how, here: Google Talk Help - How do I configure iChat for Google Talk?

two-decade-old Mac kicks AMD Dual Core’s silicon ass

Bloat. If you think that Americans are getting fatter, take one good look at the operating system (OS) your computer is running right now. It gets larger and more weighed down with every update. We are in the third decade of global personal computing, and have we really progressed that far?
Let’s go back to the dawn of personal computing and grab an old sentimental favorite, the Apple Macintosh Plus. The Mac Plus is an icon of the ’80s along with padded shoulders, big hair and Devo. It seems that we all had a little Mac, either in our college dorm room, in the upstairs bedroom, or on our office desk at some time. With its tiny 9-inch black & white screen and all-in-one packaging, the Mac Plus is a computing relic in the days of widescreen LCD monitors and dual- and quad-core systems. (full article) (tokyopia)Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff that’s not considered thoroughly here, like just how much more crazy stuff you can do on computers. Try running any 3D application on a Mac Plus, …

calling librarians and web-heads

From the advance readings of Cory Doctorow's upcoming book, Little Brother, it promises to be an important and timely book

While I love reading Cory's work, I prefer to read it digitally on my PDA. But I'd like to get as many paper-versions (dead-tree, FTL) into the hands of impressionable young readers as possible. Ideally this would help Cory set up a service on the page to enable library donations. It seems like this would be easy enough to pull off, if there is a publicly available list of libraries, and then a connection to a web-enabled bookstore that would execute the order. As a book is ordered for a particular library, it could be removed from the list.

However, I don't know if such a list exists, and I've got no programming ability at all. So I have two questions:
Is this the best way to execute this plan, or are there ways to improve it?Does anybody want to help with it?Please respond in Comments, or mail me directly through the address in my blogger profil…

anda’s game

Cory Doctorow’s craphound.com ~ Sam Kieth cover for Anda’s Game comic
My favorite short story by Cory Doctorow, and one of my favorite short stories ever, is Anda’s Game. A comic book adaptation is planned, along with several other of his stories. Mine is on order already through Atlantis Fantasyworld in Santa Cruz, California!

As with Cory’s other works, it is available for free, online. There is also a fantastic reading of the work available through his podcast, and at the story’s official page, here.

hoopy sidebar addition

I'm abandoning Bloglines, an online Feed Aggregator where I followed my RSS/Subscription feeds. Though I prefer NetNewsWire Lite, there was no guarantee that I'd be following RSS feeds while in front of my Mac. Bloglines, being a web-based service, allowed me to check from any computer, but had trouble updating many feeds, couldn't find feeds, and stoped paying attention to some without further explanation. Even so, being able to have something that was mostly consistent across any computer I use is pretty great.

Now I'm using Google Reader, which is also web-based, works across all my computers, and is so far a simpler, more elegant UI to browse through. It also provides a widget for sidebar integration in my blog (Look! Over there!), allowing me to simply and easily propagate articles that are interesting into this blog's sidebar. There's no editing, publishing, or massaging of the data (and no easy way for me to add a Comment on it). On the other hand, it…

“...and they lived happily ever after.”

on the movie of the book

Myself, I'll be willing to entertain the idea that Neuromancer is really "headed for the big screen" when I'm watching it being shot

As the old saying goes, I'll believe it when I see it.

I *do* believe, though, that Peter Weir will not be going forward with Pattern Recognition. That is one utterly solid little factoid of film news, alas.

I no longer get very wrought up over the liminals, myself, except to be annoyed by people who seem to assume that feature films are the ultimate stage of novelistic creation, thereby relegating the book to the status of dull gray chrysalis.
William Gibson, from “I’ve Forgotten More Neuromancer Film Deals Than You've Ever Heard Of” (boingboing)

differences in culture: online personas, Japan vs. US

The hiddenness of the online Japanese face:
In Asian societies, says Peng (who worked at University of Beijing before coming to California), ’self-identity is more socially-diffused across important others rather than strictly bounded with the individual... We might crudely characterize the slogan of collectivism as “my in-group is important” while an interdependent self might be described as “my in-group is who I am.”
Imomus, Click opera

arg

Can you imagine a world without oil? It's likely to happen at some point, but what if it happened tomorrow? What would you do? That's the question central to the ARG, World Without Oil:WORLD WITHOUT OIL is an alternate reality event, a serious game for the public good.

It invites everyone to help simulate a global oil shock. People participate by contributing original online stories, created as though the oil shock were really happening.

The game's masters rank the participants (“players”) according to their contributions to our realistic portrayal of the oil shock. The game also places value on player-created communities, collaborative stories, and collective efforts.

Each contribution helps the game arrive at a larger truth. No team of experts knows better than a given individual what effect an oil shock would have upon that individual's life, or what action he or she will take to cope. Personal reactions to our simulated oil shock, placed in context with many other poi…

10 miles per Alpo™ can

super win now

LOLTrek ooot Live Granades

Edit: Didn't realize that this site was blocking outside links to their images. It’s The Trouble with Tribbles episode of Star Trek TOS, as rendered in I Can Has Cheezeburger / Meme Cat style dialog.

New Baby Deep One

New Baby Deep One, originally uploaded by Bugmaker. From the "Creatures" set. Lovecraftian goodness you can hold in your hand!

“In understand that Doktor Sleepless is a work for Mature Readers and that I am old enough to not go blinde from reading it.”

keep pandora’s box open

Excellent Web 2.0 music recommendation service, Pandora, is in danger -- again; along with every other US-based internet-radio site, thanks to the lapdogs in DC rimming the rear portals of the MAFIAA. This was in my Inbox today:
Hi, it's Tim from Pandora,

I'm writing today to ask for your help. The survival of Pandora and all of Internet radio is in jeopardy because of a recent decision by the Copyright Royalty Board in Washington, DC to almost triple the licensing fees for Internet radio sites like Pandora. The new royalty rates are irrationally high, more than four times what satellite radio pays and broadcast radio doesn't pay these at all. Left unchanged, these new royalties will kill every Internet radio site, including Pandora.

In response to these new and unfair fees, we have formed the SaveNetRadio Coalition, a group that includes listeners, artists, labels and webcasters. I hope that you will consider joining us.

Please sign our petition urging your Congressional…

reasons why i like uncle warren

The other week, someone showed me something called “Hobo With A Shotgun” on the Engine. But I was tired and bleary-eyed, and misread it as 'Hobo Shogun.’ I was, for a moment, happy that there was such a thing as “Hobo Shogun” in the world.

Weeks later, I am still inexplicably saddened that there is not a film out there called “Hobo Shogun.”
Warren Ellis

an interesting differentiation in terminology

Regarding Magic: The Gathering:Richard Garfield prefers the name 'Trading Card Game' as opposed to 'Collectable Card Game.' 'I feel it emphasizes the playing aspect rather than the speculation aspect of the game,' he's said. He added: 'Good games last forever -- collectables come and go.' Of course, the collectable nature of the game drove up prices early on, which had the designers worried. It wasn't until the 'Fallen Empires' Magic expansion that enough cards were produced that the speculative market collapsed.
FilePlanet Spotlight: Ten Things You Never Knew About Magic: The Gathering

how a train for the north pole got stuck in the uncanny valley

In my opinion it's always been a fallacy, the notion that human characters have to look photo-realistic in CG. You can do so much more with stylized human characters. Audiences innately know how humans move and gravity works, so if a human character doesn't feel right, they'll feel something's wrong. But if the weight works for stylized characters, the audience doesn't question it - like the Dwarfs in SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, which were so cartoony and stylized. In THE INCREDIBLES, the characters are cartoony heroes but they can be hurt and they have this family dynamic that makes them believable.' Ralph Eggleston, Artistic Director for THE INCREDIBLES "
The Ward-O-Matic: The Polar Express: A Virtual Train Wreck (conclusion)

get your bootleg on...

Bootie NYC - New York City's all-mashup bootleg party

Get your bootleg/mashups on with Bootie in NYC, or just scope the top ten mashies, available as MP3 download at the site! (Thanks, Sean!)

spelunk!

In April 2000, brothers Juan and Pedro Sanchez were drilling a new tunnel when they made
a truly spectacular discovery. While Naica miners are accustomed to finding crystals, Juan and
Pedro were absolutely amazed by the cavern that they found. The brothers immediately informed
the engineer in charge, Roberto Gonzalez. Ing. Gonzalez realized that they had discovered a
natural treasure and quickly rerouted the tunnel. During this phase some damage was done
as several miners tried to remove pieces of the mega-crystals, so the mining company soon
installed an iron door to protect the find. Later, one of the workers, with the intention of
stealing crystals, managed to get in through a narrow hole. He tried to take some plastic bags
filled with fresh air inside, but the strategy didn't work. He lost consciousness and later was
found thoroughly baked.The Fortress of Solitude found “for reals”? Check out this ginormous freaking crystal cave. (thanks, TimK!)

wikipedia never ceases to impress

Towers of Silence: Zoroastrians consider a dead body - as also cut hair and nail-parings - to be nasu, unclean. According to tradition, the purpose of exposure is to preclude the pollution of earth or fire (see Zam and Atar respectively). Corpses are therefore placed atop a tower and so exposed to the sun and to birds of prey. Bodies are arranged in three rings: men around the outside, women in the second circle, and children in the innermost ring. The ritual precinct may only be entered by a special class of pallbearers. Once the bones have been bleached by the sun and wind, which can take as long as a year, they are collected in an ossuary pit at the center of the tower and/or are eventually washed out to sea.

words of advice

Wired News is providing help for the masses with a new The High-Def FAQK:Is HD equipment expensive?

Oh, heavens, no, not compared to other forms of entertainment. For instance, renting out an entire movie theater so you can watch Scary Movie 4 with a couple of your friends would cost nearly a third of what it costs to set up a decent high-definition home theater, and that's only for one movie! And a trip into near space may be fun, but it costs appreciably more than replacing all your home theater equipment. Have some perspective!

anthropo-moe-phizing your gear

Kotaku’s got several articles up that cover the anime-styled characters that are the personification of gaming hardware, and the epitome of fanboy lust. There’s PSP-tan, above. Also Xbox-tan, Wii-tan, and PS3-tan (not for the feint of heart), and even a chubby little DS-tan (maybe based on the non-Lite model?). Now they can join the ranks of the Mac girl and Win-tan. Moe-moe.

get your historical engineering research on

The BBC series, The Secret Life of Machines:The Secret Life of Machines is a television series created by Tim Hunkin and presented by himself and Rex Garrod. In it they explain the inner workings and history of common household and office machinery. According to Hunkin, the series was developed from his comic strips The Rudiments Of Wisdom which he researched and drew for the Observer newspaper over a period of 14 years.Everyday things we take for granted, and which may largely be considered confusing or unknowable, are explained in entertaining, comprehensive and comprehend-able detail. There are currently several episodes for viewing at YouTube/Google Video. Some of them can be downloaded for iPod/PSP viewing, to boot. (gregg tavares)