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28 Jul 19:53

Marilyn Myller: A New Stop-Motion Animation Made with Styrofoam Puppets and Long-Exposure Light Effects by Mikey Please

by Christopher Jobson

Via Cooper

Marilyn Myller: A New Stop Motion Animation Made with Styrofoam Puppets and Long Exposure Light Effects by Mikey Please stop motion animation

Animator and director Mikey Please of Parabella Animation Studio just released his latest stop-motion animation project, Marilyn Miller. The film screened at numerous festivals like Sundance and SXSW over the last year, picking up plenty of accolades along the way, and is now available online for the first time. Marilyn Miller is a followup to Please’s BAFTA-winning animation The Eagleman Stag, and makes heavy use of tediously sculpted styrofoam models and complex long-exposure lighting to tell a story of creation and destruction. The film was photographed and animated by Mikey Please and Dan Ojari. And you can see a bit of behind-the-scenes footage here. (via Colossal Submissions)

Update: There’s a great writeup by Jason Sondhi about Marilyn Myller over Short of the Week.

28 Jul 08:25

Atheism Supreme

by jon


I had something important to say but I forgot what it was.

It’ll come back to me.


28 Jul 04:00

D.B. Cooper

'Why on Earth would someone commit air piracy just to finance a terrible movie decades later?' 'People are very strange these days.'
27 Jul 22:33

New York Times editorial board calls for marijuana legalization: "Repeal Prohibition, Again"

by Xeni Jardin


'Repeal Prohibition, Again' says the New York Times editorial board. It's high time to "let the states decide," they say--"Marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol." And they're holding a Facebook chat at 4:20PM (LOL, yup) on Monday, July 28.

It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.

The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana.

We reached that conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times’s Editorial Board, inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws.

There are no perfect answers to people’s legitimate concerns about marijuana use. But neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol, and we believe that on every level — health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues — the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization. That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs — at the state level.

Read the rest here, and there are more in this multi-part series to come.

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26 Jul 04:00

July 26, 2014

25 Jul 21:00

Well, Now We Have to Play Super Smash Bros

by Brad
24 Jul 22:50

Everything Is Better on Vacation

by Molly Horan

Rhett and Link explain how a vacation can make even the worst misfortune seem like good luck.

24 Jul 10:21

Sometimes, all people want is a little compliment

24 Jul 07:00

Back pain: Acetaminophen no better than placebos

by Cory Doctorow

A large-scale, rigorous study published in the Lancet found that the go-to, front-line treatment for back pain was no better than a placebo.

We did a multicentre, double-dummy, randomised, placebo controlled trial across 235 primary care centres in Sydney, Australia, from Nov 11, 2009, to March 5, 2013. We randomly allocated patients with acute low-back pain in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive up to 4 weeks of regular doses of paracetamol (three times per day; equivalent to 3990 mg paracetamol per day), as-needed doses of paracetamol (taken when needed for pain relief; maximum 4000 mg paracetamol per day), or placebo. Randomisation was done according to a centralised randomisation schedule prepared by a researcher who was not involved in patient recruitment or data collection. Patients and staff at all sites were masked to treatment allocation. All participants received best-evidence advice and were followed up for 3 months. The primary outcome was time until recovery from low-back pain, with recovery defined as a pain score of 0 or 1 (on a 0—10 pain scale) sustained for 7 consecutive days. All data were analysed by intention to treat. This study is registered with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry, number ACTN 12609000966291.

Efficacy of paracetamol for acute low-back pain: a double-blind, randomised controlled trial [Dr Christopher M Williams PhD, Prof Christopher G Maher PhD, Prof Jane Latimer, Prof Andrew J McLachlan PhD, Mark J Hancock PhD c, Prof Richard O Day MD, Chung-Wei Christine Lin PhD/The Lancet]

(Image: Hydrocodone, Guian Bolisay, CC-BY-SA) Discuss

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13 Jul 20:00

In honor of their maybe-possible return, 10 essential Strong Bad e-mails

by Ars Staff

Don't forget to hold TAB!

Surprise! Strong Bad, it's me! Homestar Runner! From school!

Homestar Runner co-creator Matt Chapman made a bunch of 20- and 30-somethings happy when he said earlier this week that the cartoon could be making a comeback later this year following a successful experiment on April Fools' Day. If you watched the cartoons during their heyday, the news probably sent you down a nostalgic rabbit hole where you spent two hours re-watching all of your favorite episodes.

If you happened to miss out on Homestar during its peak, here's what you need to know: creators Matt and Mike Chapman made a lot of different Flash cartoons for the site, but the most popular were Strong Bad E-mails, also called "sbemails." Every week, Strong Bad (the luchador-looking guy in the picture above) picked a different fan-submitted e-mail to answer, and hilarity ensued. The site was updated regularly throughout the early 2000s before becoming more irregular later in the decade, and updates mostly ceased in 2009 as the Chapman brothers moved on to other projects.

We've combed through the archive and assembled 10 Strong Bad e-mails that do a pretty good job of showing what this odd Internet cartoon could be at its best. It's impossible to call out all of the good ones, but if these hook you the complete collection is still available here.

Read 37 remaining paragraphs | Comments

25 Jul 00:50

Sorry Ubisoft, Nintendo Beat You To The Top (Of The Mountain)

by Luke Plunkett

Shared for the bit about the DS units. Nintendo seems to always make solid portables.

Sorry Ubisoft, Nintendo Beat You To The Top (Of The Mountain)

Ubisoft is spending a lot of money on a competition which promises to let one person become the first to ever play a video game on Mt Everest, using custom hardware built to withstand the "harsh conditions". It sounds amazing! Pity it's already been done.

As this epic thread bump on NeoGAF shows (the original Kotaku link is so old it doesn't even work anymore), back in 2005 we told you about an expedition to the summit of the world's tallest mountain undertaken by Neal Mueller.

Neal and his colleagues took a bunch of electronics up the mountain with them. And only one device withstood the conditions. As he explained at the time:

We totally had so much electronic equipment, and Id say the Nintendo DS held up the best of any of it. We were using a CB radio to stay in touch and that would consistently go bad then wed bring it back to life. It was because of the wind and the cold, we had a Dell computer that got fried, a Polytechnic screen that went out we had three of the four MP3 players go bad, but the Nintendo DS units keep hanging in there. And it was the Nintendo DS units that suffered the worst of it - they were constantly with us in our tents which were moist and cold the were right there in our packs so they suffered a lot of wind blasts, they were dropped. And the Sherpas would beat the (heck) out of them - theyd play with them in the kitchen where curry would get split on them, all these incredibly hot spices and they kept on performing.

Instead of going to all the trouble of building special hardware, I wonder if it'd be cheaper for Ubisoft to just port Far Cry 4 to the DS...

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25 Jul 02:04

Firefly's Whole Cast Will Reunite for Firefly Online

by Katharine Trendacosta on io9, shared by Luke Plunkett to Kotaku

Firefly's Whole Cast Will Reunite for Firefly Online

Announced today at Comic-Con: All of the original Firefly stars will reprise their characters for the online game! And Alan Tudyk is playing multiple roles. Also showing up will be Michael Fairman as the crime lord Niska, who is apparently hiring.

More details from the panel as we hear them!

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24 Jul 19:56

EU wants Google to extend "right to be forgotten" to global users

by Cory Doctorow

Right now, Google blocks "forgotten" articles on EU versions of its site.

But EU data protection regulators say that because Europeans can simply load the US version of Google and see the censored results that Google has not done enough. It's conceivable that they could demand that Google block "forgotten" results from searches originating on a European IP address, but that would also be trivial to circumvent. Ultimately, the only way to accomplish the European goal is to block the results worldwide.

This would be a policy disaster. If it's legit for the EU to dictate what Google can publish in Canada, the US, Saudi Arabia and Thailand, why not vice-versa? I'm sure the Thai monarchy would love to extend its lese majeste censorship of material critical of the royal family to the rest of the world; the Saudi Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice would like to use Wahabiism to filter the net; Putin would love to extend his ban on "homosexual propaganda" to the EU, and so on.

A dumbass Canadian judge embarrassed the land of my birth by ordering something on these lines recently. It's an attitude that's one part King Kanute, one part Lord High Executioner.

Google under fire from regulators over response to EU privacy ruling [Reuters]

(via Ars Technica)

(Image: Facebook: The privacy saga continues,, CC-BY-SA) Discuss

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21 Jul 00:37

Ocarina Of Time, Metroid Prime Speedrun Records Beaten

by Luke Plunkett

That is one impressive OoT speedrun.

Ocarina Of Time, Metroid Prime Speedrun Records Beaten

It's been a big few days for people who like to watch other people play video games real fast: the world records for both Ocarina of Time and Metroid Prime have been beaten, the former in almost perfect fashion.

T3's Metroid Prime run of fifty-five minutes is below.

And here's Cosmo Wright's Ocarina run, which he describes as "the best speed run I have ever done".

Or, try the best anyone has ever done, and may ever do (at least for a while). This is damn near perfect.

Note that he finishes the game in 18 minutes and ten seconds. The amount of time he's shaved off his own world records in just a few shorts months is insane.

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23 Jul 01:30

League Of Legends Testing New System For Banning Assholes

by Luke Plunkett

I like the idea of publishing chat transcripts. "You really think you weren't an asshole? Let's see what the community thinks."

League Of Legends Testing New System For Banning Assholes

As popular as it is, League of Legends has always had an issue with its community, which to be polite can often be seen as "rude". And while developers Riot are trying some novel approaches to mending this the nice way, that carrot is being joined by a new, heavy stick.

Riot is currently testing a new combination of human review and "machine learning" to identify and punish players exhibiting "extreme cases of toxicity" (listed examples include intentional feeding, racism, death threats and homphobia). It's being tested so they can sort out how many false-positives it returns, but if it works, we can hopefully expect more bans for people who are dragging regular player's experiences into a negative space.

Players could be banned from a period of two weeks up to forever if busted engaging in this kind of talk.

In another break from current policy, Riot will also be tackling the issue of players complaining about their bans. If a player is caught by this new system attacking another player and they debate their innocence, Riot will be publishing chat transcripts so as to be "fully transparent".

Some players have also asked why we've taken such an aggressive stance when we've been focused on reform; well, the key here is that for most players, reform approaches are quite effective. But, for a number of players, reform attempts have been very unsuccessful which forces us to remove some of these players from League entirely.

Go get 'em, Riot.

If you are racist in soloQ get ready for a 14 day ban. [LoL Reddit]

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23 Jul 16:30

Show Us Your Favorite Batman Story

by Evan Narcisse

"Almost Got 'Im" from Batman: the Animated Series. Best batman episode ever.

Show Us Your Favorite Batman Story

According to DC Comics, it's Batman Day today. So let's talk about your favorite stories featuring the Dark Knight.

For me, like loads of other fans, it's really hard to pin it down from just one Batman story. I'm already on the record as a big fan of Venom, the 1991 story from the Legends of the Dark Knight anthology series. Also, this scene from Batman: Year One is a great example of just how much the Dark Knight's appearance upends the corrupt nature of Gotham City so that's up there in my personal favorites list.

But the Robin's Reckoning episode from the mid-1990s Batman: The Animated Series also make my best Batman list, too. It's a good illustration of how adding Robin to the mythos makes Batman better, by giving him someone to help and a way to connect back with emotional ties that were deadened after his own parents died.

Batman's celebrating his 75th anniversary this year. That's a lot of stories. Surely you have some that you think other people should know about. The Dark Knight Returns? The Laughing Fish? Return of the Joker? Damien Wayne's first appearance? A random issue from the old Brave and Bold comics? What are your favorite stories featuring the Dark Knight?

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24 Jul 07:34

Leaked manual shows how US agencies put millions on "suspected terrorist" list

by Cory Doctorow

The 166 page "March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance" was jointly authored by 19 agencies, and has been released in full on The Intercept.

As Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux point out in their analysis, the document is positively Kafkaesque, allowing agencies to add you to the watchlist if you are suspected of associating with a person who is suspected of being under suspicion of being a terrorist -- and "terrorist" has been redefined to include "people who damage government property," and people who seek to "influence government policy through intimidation."

This document -- and the millions who've been placed under suspicion as a result of it -- owes its existence to the Obama administration and its face-saving drive to expand the list of surveillance targets in the wake of the unsuccessful "underwear bomber" plot.

The criteria allow people to be put under suspicion without "concrete facts" and establishes thresholds as low as a single uncorroborated tweet or Facebook post. It also provides for adding whole "classes" of people to the list without any particular individual suspicion.

One interesting aspect of this document and the accompanying reportage: the accompanying article does not identify Edward Snowden as its source, and is deliberately vague about its provenance. This may be further evidence of a second NSA leaker -- a big deal, since Edward Snowden was the first person to ever leak NSA documents to the press. However, given the number of agencies involved in the document's creation, it may be that the leak came from another agency.

The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist [Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux/The Intercept] Discuss

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23 Jul 15:34

Department of Dirty will help Cameron depornify the Internet

by Cory Doctorow

Pam writes, "Open Rights Group has produced a new satirical film to raise awareness of internet filters - a spoof campaign by the 'Department of Dirty'."

Ever thought the internet was just too big? Want to help clean up online filth? Welcome to the Department of Dirty

Watch the Department stop one man try to get one over us with his 'spotted dick recipe'.

The Department of Dirty is working with internet and mobile companies to stop the dirty internet. We need you to help us take a stand against blogs, charities and education websites, many of which are thankfully blocked by filters.

Department of Dirty (Thanks, Pam!)

(Disclosure: I co-founded the Open Rights Group and am proud to serve as an unpaid volunteer on its advisory board) Discuss

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21 Jul 20:08

Facebook Creates Save Feature, Because You Really Do Want To Read That Article Later – Right?

by Ashlee Kieler

You mean, just now, Facebook is implementing a feature I've been using for years in my RSS reader?

Here's what the new Save feature looks like on Facebook's mobile app. (Facebook)

Here’s what the new Save feature looks like on Facebook’s mobile app. (Facebook)

Have you ever happened across your high school bestie’s highly anticipated new baby-filled photo album on Facebook, but didn’t have time to scan through 200 photos? But, alas, when you went back to peruse the site later you forgot all about that album, essentially depriving yourself. Apparently, that’s a problem (if you can call it that) the engineers at Facebook have found a solution to.

The social media site recently announced on its blog a new feature called Save that lets you, ahem, save all those interesting things you see floating around your News Feed.

Users can save links, places, videos, music and other things to a “for your eyes only” tab on the site for later investigation. If you really feel the need to show others what you’re putting off, you can share your saved items with your friends.

The items can be viewed at anytime by simply going to the “More” tab on the mobile app or by clicking the link on the left hand side of Facebook’s site on a computer.

The list of saved items is organized by category and can be archived once you’ve had your fun.

And don’t worry about forgetting you saved something, either. Facebook will periodically show users a reminder of their saved items in their News Feed.

The new feature will be available on iOS, Android and the web in the next few days.

Introducing Save on Facebook [Facebook]

23 Jul 17:34

EarthBound - Not Your Typical JRPG

by Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

Pretty glowing, considering it's Yahtzee reviewing.

If you or a friend has ever considered playing a JRPG, this is the one I recommend.

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews EarthBound.
23 Jul 05:31


22 Jul 21:46

Honest Trailer: Pokémon Red and Blue

by Don

Screen Junkies teams up with Smosh in this honest trailer for the original 1996 Pokemon Gameboy games.

22 Jul 13:20

High Level Starcraft II Play Starts Here

by Gergo Vas

High Level Starcraft II Play Starts Here

StarCraft II might be off the radar nowadays, but that doesn't mean the pros stopped getting better and better at the game. One highlight was a recent match between two Koreans, Parting and Byul, where the Protoss veteran basically destroyed the Zerg with perfect control of only a few units.

Here's the full match below. After both players set up their bases in the first few minutes, things get intense with Parting's crazy Warp Prism and Immortal micro. It's totally one of those chilling moments, seeing someone warping the two immortals back and forth so easily during the entire game, giving the Zerg units no chance to attack.

Code S Ro32 Group F Match 1 Set 2 2014 GSL Season 2 [GomTV, YouTube]

To contact the author of this post, write to:

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21 Jul 16:20

How to perfectly load a dishwasher

by Matthew Inman
20 Jul 14:53

North Korea most upset with Chinese viral video mocking Kim Jong-Un

by Xeni Jardin

[Video Link] The song playing in this viral video mocking North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is a Chinese pop hit by the Chopstick Brothers, which was pretty amazing in its own right.

"The clip was made by a Chinese man surnamed Zhang from Suzhou who reportedly studied at Kyonggi University in South Korea," reports Chosun Ilbo:

North Korea has asked China to stop the spread of a video clip lampooning leader Kim Jong-un.

According to a source in China on Tuesday, the North feels the clip, which shows Kim dancing and Kung-Fu fighting, "seriously compromises Kim's dignity and authority."

Beijng was unable to oblige.

The video depicts Kim fighting and dancing. In one scene U.S. President Barack Obama knocks him out. In another, a bucket is placed on his head and he falls into a swimming pool. At one point, he dances through a field hand in hand with Osama Bin Laden.


Related Boing Boing posts:

• "'Little Apple,' new viral hit from China's Chopstick Brothers"
• "North Korean Denunciation Generator"
• "North Korea files UN complaint over James Franco/Seth Rogen film" Discuss

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19 Jul 13:35

Cosplay level: Perfect

18 Jul 21:06

Video proof of Verizon throttling Netflix

by Dean Putney

In this infuriating video, Colin Nederkoorn records his computer streaming Netflix's test video over his Verizon FiOS connection. Then, via a VPN on the same home network, he receives a nearly ten-times faster stream.

Get out of town. Forcing your internet traffic through a VPN should slow your connection, not speed it up. But here, something (presumably Verizon) is preventing Colin from getting normal speeds without hiding his traffic usage from his provider. So much so that he's installing a router to run all his traffic at home through the VPN.

Read Colin's full post on his test, then go swear vengeance on something. [Video Link, via Waxy] Discuss

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19 Jul 11:00

How a Glock works

18 Jul 04:45

Captain ManGuy

by jon


Captain ManGuy

Captain ManGuy

He’s got massive pecs

Captain ManGuy

Look out

Here comes Captain ManGuy*


*sung to the tune of the Spider-man theme song


17 Jul 16:22

Colbert & Stewart's Star Wars Battle for Charity

by Molly Horan

The Comedy Central news hosts fought to see who is the truest Star Wars fan to support UNICEF Innovation Labs, which is offering supporters a chance to be in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII film.