The U.S. just labeled Switzerland an internet piracy haven

http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boingboing/iBag/~3/YJiH7Gts2n4/the-u-s-just-labeled-switzerl.html

http://boingboing.net/?p=459746

piratzerland

Switzerland is a haven for internet piracy, the Obama Administration's global trade rep says. The European nation famous for Swiss Alps, Swiss Cheese, Fondue, and being a long-term U.S. political ally since WWII is now on America's annual intellectual property shitlist.

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Walt Whitman was into paleo and wrote a “Manly Health and Training” guide with sex tips

http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boingboing/iBag/~3/alO1hzpaJz8/walt-whitman-was-into-paleo-an.html

http://boingboing.net/?p=459701

It me, Walt Whitman.

Leaves of Grass? He probably ate them now and then.

A scholar at the University of Houston in Texas has discovered a 13-part, 47,000-word series by Walt Whitman, published by the New York Atlas in 1858, under the pseudonym Mose Velsor.

Under that most macho of aliases, “Manly Health and Training” amounts to a "part guest editorial, part self-help column," a “rambling and self-indulgent series” that reveals Walt Whitman's thoughts on a variety of manly-man topics. Including sex.

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That hospital we bombed in Afghanistan in 2015? Not a war crime, says Pentagon

http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boingboing/iBag/~3/1KsqgwKEDZg/that-hospital-we-bombed-in-afg.html

http://boingboing.net/?p=459702

msfbombing

U.S. forces bombed a Doctors Without Borders-run hospital in Afghanistan last year, destroying it and killing and injuring scores of medical personnel and patients. But the air strike didn't amount to a war crime because it was caused by "unintentional human errors, process errors, and equipment failures," and “other factors,” U.S. military authorities said today.

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Mean Girls Club – satirical social commentary or just flat out bonkers?

http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boingboing/iBag/~3/yAsNBXbTm50/mean-girls-club-satirical.html

http://boingboing.net/?p=459674

tumblr_o363ruX5d51t3i99fo3_1280

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Mean Girls Club
by Ryan Heshka
Nobrow Press
2016, 24 pages, 6.8 x 9.1 x 0.1 inches
$6 Buy a copy on Amazon

If your understanding of what a Mean Girls Club consists of is defined by the 2004 Lindsay Lohan film, then Ryan Heshka’s new release from Nobrow Press (as part of their wonderful 17 x 23 series) is going to blow your mind. In Mean Girls Club, Pinky, Sweets, Blackie, McQualude, Wendy, and Wanda aren’t the popular girls in an Illinois high school, rather they are a gang of sociopaths who revel in murder, mayhem, pill popping, and depraved dereliction. Heshka’s 1950s bombshells start their day with ceremonial insect venom transfusions, snake worship, a pill buffet, and a fish slap fight, then go on to wreck havoc in a hospital, movie theater, boutiques, and the streets, only to finish off by jacking a lingerie truck, kidnapping patients and nurses along the way.

In a nod to the pulps and pin-ups of the past and rendered in fluorescent pinks and inky blacks, Heskha upends the conventional idea of the B-movie Vixen by adding a layer of such over-the-top brutality and vehemence that it transcends the possible, bringing the trope into the post-ironic age where we have lost the ability to discern what we are meant to take seriously.

Is Mean Girls Club to be read as satirical social commentary? Is it just flat out bonkers? Or is it a combination of both? When viewed through various critical lenses, Mean Girls Club demands that the reader ask certain questions: issues of gender and power, fringe vs center, entertainment vs social order. But this sort of critical response probably misses the point of Heskha’s intent.

Heskha doesn’t seem to care how we approach his work; this book swings to its own pop-culture rhythm, flat and full of energy and horror – perhaps the perfect narrative for precarious times. The viciousness in this book stands starkly in contrast to the stylized elegance of Heskha’s lines and layouts. Its publisher, Nobrow Press, says it has “A vintage throwback appeal with modern sensibilities ... with appeal to an alternative subculture eager for art that continues to subvert the conventions of the old guard of comics.” It’s all this and more. But one thing for sure, in Mean Girls Club we have an artist making the art he wants to make. And although it may be a bit uncomfortable for some of us to read, it may just be the art we deserve. – Daniel Elkin

1944 memo from manager sick of "gobbledygook"

http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boingboing/iBag/~3/ijeZSjQO9ag/1944-memo-from-manager-sick-of.html

http://boingboing.net/?p=459669

2016-04-29-clear-purpose

From Futility Closet:

In 1944, manager Maury Maverick sent this memo to the workers at his government agency. This is the first known usage of gobbledygook to refer to obscure jargon. It wouldn’t be the last.(From the National Archives.)

From Wikipedia:

The term gobbledygook was coined by Maury Maverick, a former congressman from Texas and former mayor of San Antonio. When Maverick was chairman of the Smaller War Plants Corporation during World War II, he sent a memorandum that said: "Be short and use Plain English. . . . Stay off gobbledygook language." Later, writing in the New York Times Magazine, he defined gobbledygook as "talk or writing which is long, pompous, vague, involved, usually with Latinized words." The allusion was to a turkey, "always gobbledygobbling and strutting with ridiculous pomposity."

Free will might be nothing more than a trick the brain plays on itself

http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boingboing/iBag/~3/Yi5OvFlb3bo/free-will-might-be-nothing-mor.html

http://boingboing.net/?p=459660

robots

We might only think we have free will, says Adam Bear, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at Yale. In this Scientific American article he offers the possibility that our belief that we make decisions is just a byproduct of our predetermined activity. "Perhaps in the very moments that we experience a choice," writes Bear, "our minds are rewriting history, fooling us into thinking that this choice — that was actually completed after its consequences were subconsciously perceived — was a choice that we had made all along."

In one of our studies, participants were repeatedly presented with five white circles in random locations on a computer monitor and were asked to quickly choose one of the circles in their head before one lit up red. If a circle turned red so fast that they didn’t feel like they were able to complete their choice, participants could indicate that they ran out of time. Otherwise, they indicated whether they had chosen the red circle (before it turned red) or had chosen a different circle. We explored how likely people were to report a successful prediction among these instances in which they believed that they had time to make a choice.

Unbeknownst to participants, the circle that lit up red on each trial of the experiment was

selected completely randomly by our computer script. Hence, if participants were truly completing their choices when they claimed to be completing them—before one of the circles turned red—they should have chosen the red circle on approximately 1 in 5 trials. Yet participants’ reported performance deviated unrealistically far from this 20% probability, exceeding 30% when a circle turned red especially quickly. This pattern of responding suggests that participants’ minds had sometimes swapped the order of events in conscious awareness, creating an illusion that a choice had preceded the color change when, in fact, it was biased by it.

Image: Shutterstock

Out-takes from the closing credits of the Peter Sellers' "Being There"

http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boingboing/iBag/~3/kTEpS69tlH0/out-takes-from-the-closing-cre.html

http://boingboing.net/?p=459666

being-there

Here are the best parts of Peter Sellers' Being There.

The series of out-takes behind the closing credits of 'Being There' -- the Peter Sellers classic -- must be one of the funniest sequences on film. I have included a couple of clips from the body of the movie to provide some context. The premise is that Sellers, a simple-minded gardener who has lived his life in his employer's mansion, is forced to leave when the employer dies. He has no experience of the world outside, other than television. (Note his attempt to use his TV remote to change the channel of reality.)

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How to become the biggest worm in Slither.io

http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boingboing/iBag/~3/vt0Bba_ekYI/how-to-become-the-biggest-worm.html

http://boingboing.net/?p=459661

slither.io

Joel Johnson describes An Aggressor's Strategy to Slither.io, the snake-meets-lightcycles game that everyone plays on the internet.

Using these tactics I can get over 5,000 almost every time I play within 1–2 minutes, regularly crest 10,000, and have touched the top of the leaderboard at least once a day. Of course, I die a lot with only 100 points, too, because of a bad turn or bad luck. The constant looming fear of death is what makes Slither.io a great respite from life’s worries. Oh, I usually name myself “Don’t Tread.” If you kill me, let me know, so I can hunt you down in another life.

I've made it to 50k, so can speak with some authority when I say that even advanced players would do well to learn "The Cross" or, as we call it in Snakefleet, the Johnson Maneuver.

Previously: What if Slither.io was a text adventure