Beatnik poem from High School Confidential


[Video Link] “Tomorry is a drag man, tomorroy is a king-size bust.” Phillippa Fallon delivers a poem in High School Confidential (1958)


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Sponsor Shout-Out: Watchismo

Our thanks go to Watchismo for sponsoring Boing Boing Blast, our once-daily delivery of headlines by email.

Who makes your heart tick? Timing is everything and Watchismo has progressive savings in store with their Valen-Time Sale.

They’re offering BB readers three Valentines Day discounts for 10%, 15% or 20% off watches. Use code VDAY10 for 10% off any order over $100. Use code VDAY15 for 15% off any order over $500. Use code VDAY20 for 20% off any order over $1000. Start your shopping for your Valen-Time gifts at Watchismo.


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Anal fireworks lead to lawsuit

A student is suing his fraternity after a bottle rocket was inserted into him by a drunken acquaintance. Then ignited, the rocket failed to launch, instead exploding inside his anus. [Courthouse News]


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Tipster: MPAA astroturf group is buying signatures to beef up its numbers

CreativeAmerica is an astroturf group financed by the MPAA that pretends to represent everyday folks who want to see further-reaching, stricter copyrights, and it just happens to be run by a bunch of ex-MPAA staffers. An anonymous tipster claims that the organization has now resorted to paying people to get signups for its membership rolls:

the organization I am doing work for is Creative America, which is a grassroots organization that is working to stop foreign rogue websites from illegally distributing American content such as books, music, films, etc…. These specific websites costs the U.S. and the 2.2 million middle class industry workers $5.5 billion in wages and hundreds of thousands of jobs. Your job would be just collecting signatures from whoever is interested in signing up for updates. A newsletter may come once a month and anyone can unsubscribe if they don’t want it. We don’t care if they do; all I care about is getting initial signups.

The hours are flexible and we will pay you $1/signature, so if you collect 100 signatures a week, we would pay you $100/week. We will also pay for you to go to local film festivals in the area (SXSW, Austin Film Festival, etc.). We are also taking as many people as possible, so if you have some friends who are interested in doing it we can take them as well. Let me know your thoughts….

CreativeAmerica Literally Resorts To Buying Signatures


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John Whitney’s 1960s computer animation


But Does It Float has screenshots and links to videos (Catalog, Permutations, Matrix) of pioneer computer animation artist John Whitney. Whitney collaborated with designer Saul Bass to create the title sequence for Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958).

About the video above, titled Catalog (1961).

201202021032John Whitney was an American Animator during the mid-1900s. He created many animations and visual effects throughout his life. His animations were created using a mechanism from a World War II M-5 Antiaircraft Gun Director. His piece, Catalogue was a collection of all of the visual effects that he had created up to that point. — Archer Studios

“My computer program is like a piano. I could continue to use it creatively all my life.”

John Whitney’s 1960s computer animation


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HOWTO make aerogel


Aerogel.org is devoted to making open versions of aerogel, the super-strong, super-light new material. They provide recipes for several sorts of aerogel, testing protocols, and projects you can undertake with your homebrew miracle substances.

Warning!

Propylene oxide is a known carcinogen (exposure can cause cancer), and epichlorohydrin is probably too. If you plan on doing this procedure, take the proper precautions to prevent your exposure to the vapors of these substances by using a fume hood in lab, if possible, or at the very least a fitted respirator (gas mask) with the right organics cartridges and a well-ventilated space, on top of the usual splash goggles, gloves, long pants, and closed-toe shoes.

Look under Explore > Information About Chemicals to see where you can find health and safety information about these and other chemicals.

If you can’t use these substances safely, don’t use them until you can!

Aerogel.org » Make

(via Make)

(Image: A silica aerogel puck Rayleigh scatters light from a laser pointer like smoke.)


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"My Favorite Museum Exhibit": Awesome DIY transportation

“My Favorite Museum Exhibit” is a series of posts aimed at giving BoingBoing readers a chance to show off their favorite exhibits and specimens, preferably from museums that might go overlooked in the tourism pantheon. I’ll be featuring posts in this series all week. Want to see them all? Check out the archive post. I’ll update the full list there every morning.

I don’t have much information on this piece. I don’t know who made it, or when. But I do know that it is a hand-made wooden bicycle, produced by a clearly incredible everyday artisan somewhere on the continent of Africa. It’s also Mike Lynd’s favorite exhibit at the Birmingham, England, Thinktank Science Museum, where the bicycle is part of a larger section dedicated to transportation innovations.

A quick Google search tells me that a tradition of hand-made bikes with wooden parts exists in lots of African countries. I found a video of a man in Malawi riding a bike he built from recycled metal tires attached to a 2-by-4 frame; cart-like wooden bikes built in Rwanda and in the Congo to carry goods and belongings over long distances; and some stories on Jules Bassong, a wood sculptor who toured his native Cameroon on a wooden bicycle he made in 2008.


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Understanding Google’s new privacy policy: your YouTube activity will now be linked to your searches

When Google changed its privacy policy last week, they made a strong effort to ensure that everyone knew that a change had occurred, but if you tried to figure out what had actually changed, you had to wade through a lot of buzzwords and legalese. Now the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Rainey Reitman explains it in simple language:

Here’s what you need to know about the substantive changes in the new policy:

1. Up until March 1, 2012, the data Google collected on you when you used YouTube was carefully cabined away from your other Google products. So, in effect, Google could use data they collected on YouTube to improve and customize the users’ YouTube experience, but couldn’t use the data to customize and improve user experience on, say, Google+.

2. The same siloing took place for your search history. Previously, Google search data was kept separate from other products. Even when users were logged in, Google promised not to share the information they gathered about you from your Google search history when customizing their other products. Considering how uniquely sensitive user search history can be (indicating vital facts about your location, interests, age, sexual orientation, religion, health concerns, and much more), this was an important privacy protection.

The new privacy policy removes the separation between YouTube, Google search, and other Google products. By describing the change as “treat[ing] you as a single user,” Google intends to remove the privacy-protective separations from YouTube and Google search.


I used to have Firefox plugin that turned off my Google cookie unless I was visiting a service where I wanted to be logged in — that is, I could automatically log in to Gmail and Google Docs, but I wasn’t logged in for searches, YouTube, and BlogSpot. It disappeared a few versions back. Does anyone know of a contemporary equivalent? Post it in the comments.

What Actually Changed in Google’s Privacy Policy


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"My Favorite Museum Exhibit": Controversial history

“My Favorite Museum Exhibit” is a series of posts aimed at giving BoingBoing readers a chance to show off their favorite exhibits and specimens, preferably from museums that might go overlooked in the tourism pantheon. I’ll be featuring posts in this series all week. Want to see them all? Check out the archive post. I’ll update the full list there every morning.

Daniel Schneider wrote in to tell me about a series of exhibits at the Ohio Historical Society that force people to confront the uncomfortable bits of history.

The Ohio Historical Society had an exhibit titled “Controversy” last year. They included items form Ohio’s past that were objects of controversy of one time or another. The exhibit included KKK robes and Ohio’s electric chair & control panel. 2 of the stranger items were an 1860′s condom (found in an accountants notebook?!!?) and a adult crib bed\prison from an asylum in Cincinnati. The are having a new Controversy exhibit this year.

It feels weird/wrong to say that exhibits like this are fascinating, but there’s definitely a lot of value in bringing modern museum goers face-to-face with things we might prefer to collectively forget.

The condom, obviously, is pictured above. It’s worth noting that, at this point in history, condoms were meant to be reusable. Daniel also sent me a photo of the “crib-bed”, which is really more of a cage, but it is disturbing in a way the condom shot is not and I’m choosing to put it under a cut here.


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"My Favorite Museum Exhibit": The relics of a scientific saint

“My Favorite Museum Exhibit” is a series of posts aimed at giving BoingBoing readers a chance to show off their favorite exhibits and specimens, preferably from museums that might go overlooked in the tourism pantheon. I’ll be featuring posts in this series all week. Want to see them all? Check out the archive post. I’ll update the full list there every morning.

Most Americans probably associate the collecting of relics with the Catholic Church, and particularly with the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages—a time when shards of saints’ bones and pieces of the true cross were big business, basically creating the West’s first tourism industry.*

But hoarding and gawking at pieces of dead heroes is a human hobby with far older roots and a much broader appeal. It’s been done all over the world, certainly since antiquity if not before, and it’s not even exclusively associated with religion. This is one of those weird urges that just seems to be somehow intrinsically linked to how humans do culture.

Which brings us to these fingers. They belong not to a Catholic saint, but to Galileo Galilei, father of astronomy and (at the time of his death) condemned Catholic heretic. Because of the whole heresy thing, Galileo had to be buried in a back corner of the basilica where his family graves were. But, a hundred years later, after his reputation had considerably improved, fans disinterred his body and reburied it in a much more prominent spot. And, while they were at it, they cut off three fingers and removed a tooth. And started displaying all four bits in reliquaries like this.

Previously, Pesco told you about how two of the fingers actually went missing for 100 years, before turning up in 2009 when an anonymous donor turned them over to the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy. Today, you can see all the relics of this secular saint on display there.

Thanks to Lauren Kinsman and Karen Ackroff who both submitted this exhibit separately. The photo I’ve used here, showing two of the fingers, was taken by Lauren Kinsman.

*In regards to true cross relics, there’s a great John Calvin quote about there being enough pieces of the true cross in circulation that, if you brought them all together, you could build Noah’s Ark. This is probably the only time John Calvin was ever funny. And I’m sure he felt bad about it.


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