Arizona State U’s Emerge: what does it mean to be human?

Aisling sez, “Emerge is an exciting 3 day event of active workshops, thoughtful conversation and keynotes about what it means to be human, hosted at Arizona State University. Featured speakers and active participants include Bruce Sterling, Neal Stephenson, Bruce Mau, Sherry Turkle and Stewart Brand. Workshop leaders include Julian Bleecker, Stewart Candy, Julie Anand, Gretchen Gano and Brian David Johnson. The Emerge event will culminate in an afternoon festival and a spectacular performance on Saturday, March 3rd.”

Ten stone baby teased with chocolate

Entertainment in 1935. “The trouble is nowadays he refuses to be weighed at all so we don’t really know if he’s solid or hollow.”

[Video Link]

Ten Stone Baby, a British Pathe newsreel from 1935.

Despite the newsreel’s original title “Ten Stone Baby”, the boy Leslie Downes is actually 3-years-old. Seen with his parents in a kind of pen, Leslie is sat in an armchair. Somebody then dangles a bar of chocolate into the pen and he immediately sets to work at fetching it.

We also see Leslie playing with bricks.

Sleep as science fiction

In the current issue of Time Out London, Sue Townsend (one of my favourite authors, creator of the marvelous Adrian Mole books) describes her view of sleep: “I’ve only just learned to like being in bed. I used to think it was so strange to go to a specified room, lie down and go into a state of unconsciousness. It sounds like science fiction to me.”

Winged, kinetic rings that flap

Jeweler/metalworker Dukno Yoon makes beautiful, animated kinetic winged rings, sculptures and towers that flap when you flex your finger.

The contrast between metal structural form and natural feather, together with the repetitive and whimsical movements of fragile wings, provokes the imagination and evolves the intimate relationship between work and viewer/wearer.

Although the recent series, segmented wings have been focused on the formal challenge to engineer an intricate movement that simulates bird wings,

these works are intended to be a series of poems in which I develope my own formal language, interpret the nature of wings, create various structural forms with movements, and share the metaphor, imagination, humor, with viewer/wearer.


(via Craft)

Michael Geist’s magisterial ten-minute ACTA takedown

Michael Geist sez, “As protests in Europe against ACTA have grown, skeptics have argued that most criticisms are based on misunderstandings or incorrect information about the treaty. This week, the European Parliament held its first public workshop on ACTA. I appeared on the lead panel and received ten minutes to demonstrate why the agreement raises major concerns on process, substance, and likely effectiveness.”

Michael Geist at the European Parliament INTA Workshop on ACTA 01.03.2012

(Thanks, Michael!)

Reba reveals painful past, lessons in OWN special (AP)

AP – More than 20 years after a plane crash killed seven members of her band and her tour manager, Reba McEntire can still clearly see the hotel room she was in when she got the news.

Island of Guersney moots becoming a "libel haven" where rich & powerful can sue & silence critics

Former MI5 agent and Guernsey native Annie Machon sez, “In the teeth of all the anti-SOPA and -ACTA demos, the Channel Island of Guernsey is proposing it become an offshore libel tourism haven for image control. The lawyers see this as a potentially huge revenue stream, much as the tax haven laws have been or the island over the last 3 decades.”

The idea is that rich people could register their perpetual “image rights” in Guernsey, and sue people who hurt their feelings. I’m not clear on how they enforce their judgments — does anyone know what sort of reciprocal arrangements Guernsey has with other territories for collecting on civil judgments from its courts?

Jason Romer is the managing partner and intellectual property specialist at the large “wealth management” legal firm Collas Crill. According to his firm’s website, he also, coincidentally, sits on the island’s Commercial IP Steering Group and the Drafting Sub-Committee, and is thus conveniently on hand to ease the new legislation through the States.

Also coincidentally, he appears to be an enthusiastic advocate of Eady’s infamous “super-injunction” regime which has had such a chillingly expensive effect on the British media in the last decade.

So, if this law is passed, anyone, anywhere around the world will be able (if they can afford it) to register their “image rights” in Guernsey. These rights can even last indefinitely after the original owner’s death.

This means that anyone, anywhere, who feels that their “image” has been inappropriately reproduced/copied/traduced/pirated – the correct legal terminology is hazy – can then sue through the Guernsey courts for redress. This could potentially be a powerful new global tool for the suppression of free speech. As public outcry swells internationally against the US IP laws, SOPA and PIPA, and across Europe against the utterly undemocratic ACTA, this new law is a giant leap precisely in the wrong direction.

A new threat to media freedoms

(Thanks, Annie!)

Weird but true

These dumb crooks should have just drawn a map to their hideout.
Cops caught diesel thieves in St. Augustine, Fla., who had left behind a trail of leaked fuel drops because the container they had used to carry their load of pilfered petrol had a hole in it.
The trail…

Winfrey to interview Houston’s daughter, family (AP)

AP – Oprah Winfrey has landed an interview with Whitney Houston’s daughter and other family members for a TV special that will air on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Make: Talk 007 — Charles Platt, Electronics Fun & Fundamentals


Here’s the 7th episode of MAKE‘s podcast, Make: Talk! In each episode, I’ll interview one of the makers featured in the magazine.

Our maker this week is Charles Platt. He writes the Electronics Fun and Fundamentals column in every issue of MAKE. He’s also the author of the book, Make: Electronics which, in my admittedly biased opinion, is the best introductory electronics book ever written. He has a knack for clearly explaining what so many other people cannot express without using a lot of incomprehensible mumbo-jumbo.

Charles is also a science fiction author and a designer. Here’s a fascinating interview with Charles about his work as the art director and graphic designer of the groundbreaking British science fiction magazine New Worlds in the 1960s and 1970s.

Charles has many talents and I am a huge fan of his.

In this episode, I also talk a bit about TED2012, which I attended this week. I was a happy to see a lot of makers on the stage, including Gregory Gage of Backyard Brains, Ayah Bdeir of littleBits, and Bre Pettis of MakerBot. Go team!

Here’s are some projects Charles has written for MAKE:

Plastic Desk Set
Screen Shot 2012-03-02 At 5.19.36 Pm

Anti Dog-Bite Siren

Crystal Nightlight

Extreme Zap-a-Mole