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city of sarajevo bans unsanctioned utterances of its name, threatens facebook groups

the proprietors of every facebook page containing the word "sarajevo" in its title reportedly received demand letters from the city government of sarajevo, the capital city of bosnia, threatening legal action unless the proprietors pay a royalty for permission to use the city's name in their pages. (more…)

comic-strip contracts, so no one argues they’re too confusing to be enforceable

university of western australia law professor camilla baasch andersen has helped businesspeople draft legally binding contracts that take the form of simple comic-strips, arguing that their simplicity not only promotes understanding, but also insulates companies from the risk of courts finding their contracts unenforceable because they were too confusing (an australian court has forced insurers suncorp and allianz to refund aud60m paid for insurance that was of "little or no value," but which australians purchased thanks to confusing fine-print that made it hard to assess). (more…)

racist authoritarians insisted that ending stop-and-frisk would increase violent crime, but the opposite just happened

for years, racist authoritarians in new york city defended the stop-and-frisk program in which primarily black and brown people were repeatedly stopped without any particularized suspicion and forced to turn out their pockets, empty their bags, even strip naked in public on frozen-street corners. (more…)

apple, google add 45 minutes to commuter-bus run to avoid 280 highway, where the buses' windows keep getting smashed

no one's sure how the windows on commuter buses between san francisco and silicon valley keep getting smashed on a stretch of the 280 -- maybe it's a pellet gun, maybe it's thrown rocks -- but apple and google have informed employees who use the service that their commute is about to get 45 minutes longer as they take alternate routes to avoid that highway. (more…)

doesn't awards season make you want to make a movie?

whether you aspire to be a filmmaker, youtube sensation, or some other media professional, understanding videography inside and out is a must, but it can be challenging for the uninitiated. thankfully, the web is a big place, and it's filled with a host of online tutorials for just about everything, including videography. take the aptly-named videography bootcamp for example. loaded with more than 30 hours of training, this 8-course collection can walk you through creating stunning content from start to finish, and it's on sale for $39.

this bootcamp covers videography in several mediums, including dslr video production, drone cinematography, and editing with adobe premiere pro and green screens. regardless of what you plan to produce, this collection will give you a strong foundation in all things videography as you dive into filmmaking hacks, create online content, and learn techniques from experts who have worked on big-name films like jurassic world and avatar.

you can catalyze your journey into the world of videography with the videography bootcamp, now on sale for $39.

self-destructing thumb drives with smoke loads, glowing elements, tiny explosives

mg's mr self destruct project takes the usb killer to new levels, combining a $1.50 system-on-a-chip with a variety of payloads: smoke bombs, "sound grenades," and little explosives, cleverly choreographed with keystroke emulation, allowing the poisoned drive to first cause the connected computer to foreground a browser and load a web-page that plays an appropriate animation (a jack-in-the-box that plays "pop goes the weasel" with the drive's explosive detonating for the climax). (more…)

to keep their bond-ratings, hedge-funds have to publicly demonstrate that they are the most ruthless of landlords

after the subprime crisis, vulture funds swept into the hardest-hit areas and bought thousands of foreclosed-upon homes at firesale prices and floated bonds based on the expected returns from the rents they'd be able to charge in an america with the lowest levels of home-ownership in modern history. (more…)

se ranking helps keep your website at the top of search rankings

the web may be a big place, but space is certainly limited when it comes to securing a spot on that first page of a google search. that's why investing in your site's seo is critical for staying relevant and ensuring the appropriate audience finds you. thankfully, doing so just got a bit easier with se ranking, and now you can sign up for a personal plan for $49.99.

se ranking delivers all the standard seo tools, like keyword position tracking and competitor research, while also loading in unique features like page changes monitoring and seo roi forecasts. you can audit as many pages as you need while receiving actionable recommendations on the go. plus, you can discover what keywords your competitors are using in their ads to give you an edge online.

you can net a lifetime personal plan of se ranking for $49.99 in the boing boing store.

facebook will ask its 2 billion users to rank their trust in news orgs for 'newsfeed' makeover

facebook today announced major changes to their 'newsfeed' which 2 billion people use monthly. now, facebook plans to begin asking each user to rank their trust in various news organizations.


russia: nearly nude putin dips in icy pool to celebrate orthodox epiphany in manly-man tradition

putin does the best manly-man propaganda of all global bad guys. it's a long-established internet truth.


the rotring 600: a classic mechanical pencil now made in japan

the legendary german rotring 600 mechanical penicl is now made in japan. i had to have one.

i once spent a day of wandering around london because my girlfriend had forgotten her .3mm architects pencil that she just neeeeeeded for whatever reason. she stayed in our airbnb, drank tea, and probably read books all day while i looked for mechanical pencils. when i finally found a shop that carried more than just pentel in plastic bubble wrap, i was given a lesson in the style and quality of automagic penciling -- evidently my autopoint is for low class americans and anyone with any taste or style uses a rotring 600.

the rotring 600 is all metal. it has an octagonal shaft, and a lovely, finely textured grip. the eraser holder has an indicator for lead hardness, much like an old camera did for asa. when you click it pencil lead comes out, and those clicks are precise. this is a well made mechanical pencil that will last for ages. the rotring is only $16 in .5mm.

you can find this model in lead thicknesses of .3mm, .5mm and .7mm -- .5 writes at about the same thickness as my autopoint .9, with my hand.

if you like the feel of a tiny, pencil making very precise scratches on paper -- the rotring 600 is for you. if you want a big honkin' american pencil, get an autopoint in .9.

the rotring 600 inspired one of my favorite two daily use fountain pens, the levenger l-tech 3.0 in stealth.

oh, and i got the woman a pentel p203. she is long gone, but left the pencil behind.

rotring 600 0.5mm silver barrel mechanical pencil via amazon

plane lands safely

even by the standards of "storm-buffeted planes landing without incident", this is astounding: a small jet turboprop all but spinning in circles as it comes in, only to plop perfectly onto its wheels at the last moment. according to the video, there were 110 km/h (68 mph) crosswinds.


becoming a mother in a rohingya refugee camp

this was her third baby. she was accustomed to the harsh realities of motherhood in a life in poverty. but i wasn’t.

i’m a midwife. i was volunteering at one of the camp clinics when i was called to visit rojinessa on the morning after her baby was born. i walked about half a mile into the sprawling refugee camps to her tent and stepped inside. the tent was smoky and very dark. i could hardly breathe. i asked one of the bangladeshi midwives who came with me to open the flap of plastic sheeting that served as a door.

rojinessa was sitting on the concrete floor on a thin woven mat. the remains of a small fire was inches from her “bed.” she and her husband and her now three children live in a one bedroom tent in the middle of what used to be a rice field. cows bathe in the small polluted stream that bubbles twelve feet from the structure.

i don’t know what happened during the birth because i wasn’t there. all volunteers are required to leave the camps by 5 pm every day. most babies are born at night, so even as trained medical personnel, we are cold comfort to the mothers giving birth in the camps. plus, i don’t speak the rohingya dialect. and neither, it seems, do many others. the chittagong dialect of bangla, i’m told, is somewhat similar, but miscommunications are all too common as we play “telephone” from english to bangla to rohingya.

rojinessa’s blood pressure and pulse were normal. she didn’t have a fever. she complained of weakness, dizziness, fatigue. no kidding. she hadn’t eaten anything but rice in days. her family could not afford to buy one of the live chickens sold at the pop-up market by the road. we had nothing to give her but a few biscuits and… you guessed it, more rice, with a few lentils mixed in. she had no menstrual pads to catch postpartum bleeding. we were able to bring her some from the clinic.

her baby was vigorous and hungry. good signs. she popped him on her breast to nurse like she had done it hundreds of times before. fantastic.

pregnant women in ukhia sometimes walk miles to receive care at one of the women’s-only clinics sprinkled throughout the camps. the clinics themselves are tents. only a few of them have electricity. most of them lack the equipment to provide the most basic prenatal and postpartum care. running a routine lab test is out of the question, much less listening to a fetus on a heart rate monitor or ordering an ultrasound. we have to use our hands, our ears and eyes, and hope for the best.

if there is a true emergency, we can refer a patient to the red crescent or msf hospital tents a few miles down the road, where they have some more capabilities. but there are a number of reasons a woman might not go. maybe her husband won’t give her permission. or he can’t give her permission because he’s out working in the fields. or she doesn't have anyone to watch her other children.

rohingya mothers grow small babies. they often have trouble producing enough milk for their babies because they don’t have enough food themselves. all of the people in the camps are malnourished. they have been trapped in a state of abject poverty since long before they fled their homes. at the clinic we give each mother a small package of high-calorie cookies and a fist-sized bag of rice with lentils at every visit – which is about once a month. the food is encouragement to come and get care. but it isn’t anywhere near enough.

rojinessa and her baby survived birth in the camp. not all do. hopefully they will continue to survive and her baby boy will grow into one of the many children running and playing everywhere in the camps. they play soccer with empty plastic jugs and make kites out of bamboo sticks and plastic bags. but survival is about all they can hope for. without a home and without access to education, without the legal right to work, her family, as well as the other hundreds of thousands of families in the camps, continues to face a desolate future.

firen jones is a midwife from texas who has found her home in san francisco. she spends her time catching babies, running her midwifery practice, and occasionally getting to travel the world and volunteer. you can find her through her website, blog, or on medium.

a page of architectural screw-ups

stairs that lead nowhere. toilets that get in the way of doors. balconies you can't stand on. pfusch am bau is a pinterest page with delightful examples of building boo-boos.

facebook will ask its 2 billion users to rank their trust in news orgs for 'newsfeed' makeover

facebook today announced major changes to their 'newsfeed' which 2 billion people use monthly. now, facebook plans to begin asking each user to rank their trust in various news organizations.

ceo and founder mark zuckerberg today said the social media platform will prioritize “trustworthy” news outlets on your facebook stream, in an effort to counter “sensationalism” and “misinformation.”

that's a wiggly way to say they're doing yet another goofy thing to address the fact that everyone now knows our elections could totally be stolen again, even though zuckerberg never admitted any culpability for facebook, and that came after he denied many a time that such a wacky thing was possible. what? that's crazy! only it happened, and he was warned, and he let it happen anyway, because profit.


a review of starbucks' fancy $80 mug

youtuber dave lee starts off his video review by saying that he went into starbucks during the holidays to get a cup of coffee and was soon persuaded by their heavy advertising to buy an $80 ember mug*.


science paper's abstract has one word

do large (magnitude ≥8) global earthquakes occur on preferred days of the calender year of lunar cycle?


siri embarrasses a woman by sending a text to her crush

looking for relationship advice? if so, stay away from siri.


sicko parents who tortured their children renew their vows in this creepy 2015 video

david and louise turpin, the monsters who starved and tortured their 13 children, had a cheesy renewal wedding in 2015, which featured a bad elvis imitator as their poor children, all dressed in matching church fashion, are forced to watch and then dance on stage in mock joy. this video has the same effect as a david lynch movie, except it's real.

listen to a ragtime piano medley of super mario bros. music


pianist scott bradlee gives the old ragtime treatment to super mario bros. it's as if the music was always meant to be played that way.

here's the obligatory death metal version from the bowser castle music: https://youtu.be/nbgmk4x9mza