Apollo 17 astronauts singing on the moon

El Zombre sends us this great video of Apollo 17 astronauts singing a silly song together on the moon surface. I dug in a little, and Wikipedia confirms that this is real footage!

Thanks El Zombre! [Video Link]


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Minecraft chunk error in real life

Minecraft’s defiantly unrealistic style notwithstanding, players appreciate the game’s internal consistency and get frustrated at certain failures of verisimilitude. Chunk errors, for example, are squared-off seams in the world caused by glitches in the landscape-generation algorithm. Right out of the annals of reality is unrealistic comes Roraima Mountain, a pleasing reminder that you are living in a simulation and Notch is God. [Speculative Nonfiction. Thanks, Michael!]


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White grandfather detained, cuffed in Austin while walking home with his black granddaughter

Scott Henson, “a former journalist turned opposition researcher/political consultant, public policy researcher and blogger,” recounts how he was repeatedly stopped and eventually cuffed and detained while walking his granddaughter home through a park in Austin, TX. Henson is white and his granddaughter is black, and the police said that they were responding to a “kidnapping” call. But their response terrified the little girl and humiliated her grandfather. And it’s not the first time it’s happened to them.

As soon as we crossed the street, just two blocks from my house as the crow flies, the police car that just passed us hit its lights and wheeled around, with five others appearing almost immediately, all with lights flashing. The officers got out with tasers drawn demanding I raise my hands and step away from the child. I complied, and they roughly cuffed me, jerking my arms up behind me needlessly. Meanwhile, Ty edged up the hill away from the officers, crying. One of them called out in a comforting tone that they weren’t there to hurt her, but another officer blew up any good will that might have garnered by brusquely snatching her up and scuttling her off to the back seat of one of the police cars. (By this time more cars had joined them; they maxxed out at 9 or 10 police vehicles.)

I gave them the phone numbers they needed to confirm who Ty was and that she was supposed to be with me (and not in the back of their police car), but for quite a while nobody seemed too interested in verifying my “story.” One officer wanted to lecture me endlessly about how they were just doing their job, as if the innocent person handcuffed on the side of the road cares about such excuses. I asked why he hadn’t made any calls yet, and he interrupted his lecture to say “we’ve only been here two minutes, give us time” (actually it’d been longer than that). “Maybe so,” I replied, sitting on the concrete in handcuffs, “but there are nine of y’all milling about doing nothing by my count so between you you’ve had 18 minutes for somebody to get on the damn phone by now so y’all can figure out you screwed up.” Admittedly, this did not go over well. I could tell I was too pissed off to say anything constructive and silently vowed to keep mum from then on.

To me, the point of this story is how “see something, say something,” fails. The police and some person or persons in the park believed that Henson and his granddaughter didn’t “look right” and “just to be safe” called in the report and responded in force. But “doesn’t look right” is culturally determined and informed by our conscious and subconscious biases. For people unaccustomed to mixed-race families, “doesn’t look right” means calling the police down on the innocent children and grandparents in your neighborhood. At its core, “see something, say something” isn’t about a war on crime, it’s a war on surprises, whose core premise is to mistrust and fear things you can’t understand.

Me, APD, and ‘Babysitting While White,’ Part Deux

(via Reddit)


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Mickey the firefighting cat

Thanks Frycook! via Submitterator


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New Boing Boing T-shirt: Unizilla by Adam "Ape Lad" Koford

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Our pal Adam “Ape Lad” Koford managed to capture the elusive unizilla and draw it from life. (He released it safely into the wild so it could get back to the business of destroying cities). The result: this astounding T-shirt. Supplies are limited to the the amount of matter in the universe that can be used to make T-shirts, so act fast!

Buy your Unizilla T-shirt in the Boing Boing shop!

Other hote kootoor in the BB Shop:






Boing Boing Beetle


$14.95





Boing Boing Critter – Baby Snapsuit


$8.95





Boing Boing Monkey


$14.95





Boing Boing – It Followed Me Home


$14.95





Boing Boing Critter


$14.95





Fnord


$14.95


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Privacyscore.com: learn about and manage privacy risks you take online

NYT: “PrivacyChoice, a company that has analyzed and indexed the data in hundreds of privacy policies across the Web, has developed a system to score Web sites on a scale of 0 to 100 based on how a site collects and uses personal data.”


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Leaked, unreleased Die Antwoord track: "Money and Da Power"

Well look what just spilled onto the internet. An unreleased Die Antwoord track, performed live on the current tour, but not included on TEN$ION. The leaked track, “Money and Da Power,” features a sample that will be familiar to fans of the movie The Godfather.

Download MP3, or listen on Soundcloud. Uploaded by a user named Lemmiwinks.

Photo: An iPhone snap I took in LA this January of Die Antwoord’s Ninja and Yo-Landi goofing around on the trampoline of David Choe, whose life recently changed.


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Excerpt of One Model Nation, a graphic novel by Courtney Taylor-Taylor of the Dandy Warhols

Screen Shot 2012-02-13 At 11.00.36 AmDonovan Leitch and I were together during the holidays of the year 2000, I think it was. We had been discussing the Hip-Hop movie trend where musicians were having shoot-outs with cops and/or other Hip-Hoppers, drug dealers, gangs and whatnot. We thought it would be interesting to invent a story where this was happening to a rock band. As the night progressed we discovered that we had both been into the Krautrock/German art scene as teenagers, so it evolved into a German electronic band. Well, one that dresses like Laibach. We discussed what scenes would be “awesome” and “rad” and that maybe they should all dress alike and be incredibly resourceful computer and electronic geeks. Then at some point during the night we dropped it and that was that.

Several months later Donno had run across the Baader-Meinhof gang on the internet and began sending me pictures and stories of their exploits of the late ’60s and the ’70s. It got us interested in the story again so we began putting together an outline, employing the classic Greek “hero’s journey” as our narrative structure. Pretty much every story you’ve read, or movie and TV show you’ve seen, uses this structure because it just makes sense to the human condition. We began plugging in events from German history as well as inventing drug lords and rival bands and developing the world in which our band would play out their thing.

I was touring with my band at the time so it gave me an opportunity to be in Germany and interview and research those people who were living back then and in that actual world. While in Hamburg (I think), I met with Karl Bartos from Kraftwerk, and he was the one who suggested that the Germany in which the story played out should be fictionalized into a hyper-reality and that it would help make it more interesting than it really was.

We had very nearly finished our first draft when we began pitching it to writers and filmmakers whom we knew and without really being told so, we began to realize that it pretty much sucked. One very successful director/producer whom I was friends with hasn’t called me back since. Really.

Well, Donno became a husband and a father and so had absolutely no time for anything else and the whole thing got dropped. It was a couple of years later that I started it up from scratch again in the wee hours of my regularly jet-lagged mornings. I incorporated stories from my own band’s experiences and based the four members of One Model Nation on real people with whom I was very familiar and the idiosyncrasies which make them odd and interesting. It took me a few years but eventually I had a full blown tale which fit nicely into a classic structure and was apparently exciting and satisfyingly epic to the people whom I gave it to read.

Buy One Model Nation on Amazon

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© 2009-2012 Courtney Taylor-Taylor.


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Trophy heads of fanciful Seussian creatures



On DeviantArt, thebiscuitboy showcases his “zoological nonsense” creations, trophy-heads of fanciful creatures inspired by Dr Seuss. These are really fantastic (if a little disturbing).

Walrus,

Baffler Bird II,

Seuss Da Moose

(via Super Punch)


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Baltimore police can’t arrest people who record them, so they bust them for "loitering" instead

[Video Link] A fellow named Scott Cover noticed a group of Baltimore Police standing over a man handcuffed on the ground. He remembered reading that morning that the Baltimore Police department had told its officers they couldn’t arrest people for taking photos or videos of them while they worked, so Cover pulled out his cell phone and began taping. One of the officers spotted Cover and order to him to leave, because he was “loitering.” He argued with her a bit, but started to walk away, taping the officers has he left. That wasn’t good enough for the officer, so she stopped him and asked for his ID. The video ends there.

The new rule says that citizens have an “absolute right” to photograph or video record the enforcement actions taking place in public view. The chief legal counsel for the agency called it “an extension of the citizen’s right to see. [An officer] wouldn’t go up to a citizen at a crime scene and tell them to close their eyes, so the officer can’t tell them they can’t film.”

But the rules also says that the person recording may not “violate any section of any law, ordinance, code or criminal article” – such as loitering – while doing so. The officers on Cross Street seemed aware of that fine print.

The police union says the officers acted appropriately and professionally; the ACLU says it shows there’s more work to be done.

In Federal Hill, citizens allowed to record police – but then there’s loitering.. (Via The Agitator)


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