Boing Boing

Disney movies head exclusively to Netflix starting in September

“Netflix will become the exclusive US pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar,” Netflix announced today in a blog post. The blockbuster Netflix/Disney deal from 2012 goes into effect this fall.

From September onwards, Netflix will become the exclusive US pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar. And we’re excited to be bringing you new and exclusive Netflix Original movies including Mascots from the master of low-key comedy Christopher Guest (Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind) and War Machine, from acclaimed Australian director David Michod and starring Brad Pitt, in the serio-comic tale of the U.S. military adventure in Afghanistan.

Get Ready for Summer on Netflix US [netflix.com]

Disney and Netflix giveth, and they taketh away. In the long list of titles Netflix will be adding and removing next month, one noticeable loss is some really great ‘90s Disney movies. From E Online:

Hercules, Mulan, Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hunchback of Notre Dame II (actually from 2002) will all be gone off Netflix in June. Hercules, an underrated classic if you ask us, will no longer be available come June 1. On the plus side, you still have time to enjoy the Hunchback of Notre Dame series and Mulan until June 24. Not every Disney animated movie will be off Netflix next month, so this situation could be worse. Tarzan, Robin Hood, Lilo & Stitch and Emperor's New Groove will still be around for your viewing pleasure. For now…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h37iuBD4azI&feature=youtu.be

Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast recaps Game of Thrones S6E05, "The Door"

Season six of HBO's Game of Thrones continues as we bid a tearful farewell to the kindest and purest soul given unto this series. Each week following the show, Boars, Gore, and Swords recaps everything that goes down in the world of Westeros. For this week's "The Door," Ivan and Red are joined by the hilarious Lydia Popovich to discuss the Iron Islands' applause-based political process, theatrical dingdongs, the consequences of grabbing root, and the loss of our dearest, biggest friend.

To catch up on previous seasons, the A Song of Ice And Fire books, and other TV and movies, check out the BGaS archive. You can find them on Twitter @boarsgoreswords, like their Facebook fanpage, and email them. If you want access to extra episodes and content, you can donate to the Patreon.

Three modern media inventions predicted by 20th century authors

Stanislaw Lem predicted ebook readers in his 1961 novel, Return from the Stars.

I spent the afternoon in a bookstore. There were no books in it. None had been printed for nearly half a century...

The bookstore resembled, instead, an electronic laboratory. The books were crystals with recorded contents. They can be read the aid of an opton, which was similar to a book but had only one page between the covers. At a touch, successive pages of the text appeared on it... Thus all my purchases fitted into one pocket, though there must have been almost three hundred titles. My handful of crystal corn - my books.

Also in 1961, William Burroughs predicted social media in his novel The Soft Machine:

"Posted everywhere on street corners the idiot irresponsibles twitter supersonic approval, repeating slogans, giggling, dancing...”
(Thanks, Jacques Vallée!)

And in 1926, French Symbolist poet Saint-Paul-Roux predicted streaming media: [I]n possession of an evocation device ... these images will come at our call, the Chaplains and Pickfords of the day, and we will receive them anywhere, in the living-room or in the wood or on the terrace. Each one of us, solitary or not, will be able to receive the images at home, tonight we will have Cleopatra, Danton, or Madam Du Barry, and these shadows, alone or in numbers, will people our homes and vanish at a click... Animated images generated by electric current or by the sun...

Any other examples of authors foreseeing 21st century media technology?

Enormous Smallness – Work hard and you can become a poet (not a message kids often hear)

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Enormous Smallness: The Story of E.E. Cummings
by Matthew Burgess
Enchanted Lion Books
2015, 64 pages, 8.4 x 11.5 x 0.7 inches
$12 Buy a copy on Amazon

Enormous Smallness, written by Matthew Burgess and illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo, details the life of poet E.E. Cummings for fans of all ages. From Cummings’s fairly ordinary childhood in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to his adventures in Europe and New York City, the book spans the decades of writing, working, and experiencing the world that made Cummings an extraordinary artist.

The story that emerges is one of a boy who loved observing the world as much as he did participating in it — a boy who said “yes” to everything. As Burgess writes, “Yes to the heart and the roundness of the moon, to birds, elephants, trees, and everything he loved.” But the story doesn’t shy away from the good or the bad, including both the praise and support young Cummings got from his parents and teachers, as well as the negative criticism his first book of poems received.

The message to kids is twofold and clear: one, making art is hard work that requires the same dedication and persistence that any other job does for success. And two, so long as you put in the work, you can be a poet or an artist, too. It’s not a message kids hear often but it’s important. As Cummings said in his Harvard graduation speech, we need artists to challenge the way we see and think. And those artists have to start somewhere. This book is a brilliant beginning. – Sara Distin at Tinybop

Scientists make transparent wood

Scientists at the University of Maryland, College Park, have developed see-through wood by removing the material that gives wood its yellowish color and then injecting the wood with epoxy to strengthen it. From CNN:

The "invisible" wood -- as Dr. Liangbing Hu of the University's Department of Material Science and Engineering describes it -- is sturdier than traditional wood, and can be used in place of less environmentally friendly materials, such as plastics.

What happens when you stuff 2000 match heads into a stress pig and light the fuse

https://youtu.be/p4RLi2EWmkU

PyroGirl took one of those rubber squeeze toys with the popping eyeballs, put 2000 match heads in it, and ignited them.

2000 matches chain reaction - match bomb fail. Stress-Pig volunteered that I could experiment by stuffing 2000 match heads into him, some filler material, a fuse and that I could seal him off well. Why? Stress-Pig wanted to demonstrate what can happen if you don't manage stress well and vent your emotions in positive ways. Bottling things up can eventually or (in this case, due to intense stress for Mr. Pig... understandably), quickly lead to an uncontrollable breakdown and catastrophic release of tension. We are really grateful for Stress-Pigs contribution and hope he's recovering well (though we doubt it).

US releases Guantánamo prisoner after 14 years and no conviction

A man who goes by the single name of Obaidullah was never convicted of of a crime, yet remained in Guantánamo for 14 years, even after charges against him were dropped in 2011. From The Guardian:

US forces captured Obaidullah during a raid in Afghanistan in July 2002 when he was about 19. They found about 20 unactivated land mines buried in a field near his home. Authorities later concluded he was part of a bomb cell linked to al-Qaida, an allegation his lawyers have denied.

He was charged in the military tribunals in September 2008 with conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism, which appeals courts have said cannot be pursued as war crimes at Guantánamo for conduct that occurred before 2006. The government dismissed the charges in 2011 and his lawyers have been pressing for his release ever since.

Of the 80 remaining prisoners being held at Guantánamo, 28 are cleared for release.

Gaze controller for humanoid robots

https://youtu.be/pNIvdmJUlVE

Developed at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Genoa, the iCub robot resembles a baby or a drunk trying to track a moving ball.

Our humanoid robot, the iCub (I as in “I robot”, Cub as in the man-cub from Kipling’s Jungle Book), has been specifically designed to support research in embodied artificial intelligence (AI). At 104 cm tall, the iCub has the size of a five-year-old child. It can crawl on all fours, walk and sit up to manipulate objects. Its hands have been designed to support sophisticate manipulation skills. The iCub is distributed as Open Source following the GPL/LGPL licenses and can now count on a worldwide community of enthusiastic developers. More than 30 robots have been built so far which are available in laboratories in Europe, US, Korea and Japan (see http://www.iCub.org). It is one of the few platforms in the world with a sensitive full-body skin to deal with safe physical interaction with the environment.

High school football coach bit heads off live frogs for good luck

Weird Universe shares the tale of Larry Canaday, the 1970s football coach at Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, Florida, who would bite the heads off live frogs to psych up his team before games.

"Our kids love it," Canaday told the Associated Press in 1977. "They say 'Look how wild the coach is, let's get wild, too!'"

Canaday said he started the practice when trying to fire up one player. "I looked down and saw this little frog and just reached down and bit it. The boy's eyes got big as saucers and he became a real go-geter."

After several years of the ritual, school officials told him that the "frog-biting must cease."

"Last year we were winning," he said in the 1977 article. "But now we're losing, and certain intellects will use this as an excuse to pick on football."

Watch sharks in a frenzied whale feast

Impressive drone footage of more than 70 tiger sharks chowing on a whale near Shark Bay in Gascoyne, Western Australia. Eco Abrolhos Cruises posted the video to the company's Facebook page: Passengers on our 14-day Geraldton to Broome and everywhere in between were treated to an unexpected phenomena while cruising inside Dirk Hartog Island. Something to show and tell the grandchildren.

(The Australian)

Today in 1934: the death of Bonnie and Clyde, chronicled in song by Serge Gainsbourg

On this day, May 23, in 1934, police killed infamous outlaw couple Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow outside of Sailes, Louisiana. Several weeks before they were killed, Parker penned a poem titled "The Trail's End" that became the basis for "Bonnie and Clyde," a beautiful French-language song that Serge Gainsbourg wrote and performed with Brigitte Bardot in 1968. Here's Bonnie's original poem:

The Trail's End

You've read the story of Jesse James
of how he lived and died.
If you're still in need;
of something to read,
here's the story of Bonnie and Clyde.

Now Bonnie and Clyde are the Barrow gang
I'm sure you all have read.
how they rob and steal;
and those who squeal,
are usually found dying or dead.

There's lots of untruths to these write-ups;
they're not as ruthless as that.
their nature is raw;
they hate all the law,
the stool pidgeons, spotters and rats.

They call them cold-blooded killers
they say they are heartless and mean.
But I say this with pride
that I once knew Clyde,
when he was honest and upright and clean.

But the law fooled around;
kept taking him down,
and locking him up in a cell.
Till he said to me;
"I'll never be free,
so I'll meet a few of them in hell"

The road was so dimly lighted
there were no highway signs to guide.
But they made up their minds;
if all roads were blind,
they wouldn't give up till they died.

The road gets dimmer and dimmer
sometimes you can hardly see.
But it's fight man to man
and do all you can,
for they know they can never be free.

From heart-break some people have suffered
from weariness some people have died.
But take it all in all;
our troubles are small,
till we get like Bonnie and Clyde.

If a policeman is killed in Dallas
and they have no clue or guide.
If they can't find a fiend,
they just wipe their slate clean
and hang it on Bonnie and Clyde.

There's two crimes committed in America
not accredited to the Barrow mob.
They had no hand;
in the kidnap demand,
nor the Kansas City Depot job.

A newsboy once said to his buddy;
"I wish old Clyde would get jumped.
In these awfull hard times;
we'd make a few dimes,
if five or six cops would get bumped"

The police haven't got the report yet
but Clyde called me up today.
He said,"Don't start any fights;
we aren't working nights,
we're joining the NRA."

From Irving to West Dallas viaduct
is known as the Great Divide.
Where the women are kin;
and the men are men,
and they won't "stool" on Bonnie and Clyde.

If they try to act like citizens
and rent them a nice little flat.
About the third night;
they're invited to fight,
by a sub-gun's rat-tat-tat.

They don't think they're too smart or desperate
they know that the law always wins.
They've been shot at before;
but they do not ignore,
that death is the wages of sin.

Some day they'll go down together
they'll bury them side by side.
To few it'll be grief,
to the law a relief
but it's death for Bonnie and Clyde.

What the NSA's assault on whistleblowers taught Snowden

Investigative journalist Mark Hertsgaard's new book Bravehearts: Whistle-Blowing in the Age of Snowden tells the story of modern intelligence community whistleblowing; in a fantastic longread excerpted from the book, he recounts how the US military's program of punishing whistleblowers, and the officials charged with protecting them, convinced Snowden that he should take a thumbdrive full of documents directly to the media.

(more…)

The Barbie Doll Illusion experiment gives you an out-of-body experience

Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet demonstrate the Barbie Doll Illusion experiment. In this experiment participants experience ownership of a tiny (30cm and 80cm) or a huge (400cm) body. Participants look at the artificial body through a set of head-mounted-displays. They see the body from the perspective of the doll with 3D vision. To induce the illusion of owning the artificial body, the experimentator strokes the participants body and the doll's body at the same place and at the same time. These synchronous strokes cause the brain of the participant to interpret the felt touches to be caused by the rod that they see touching the doll. This makes makes it seem as if the doll's body is the participants body. Next, participants see a cube and their task is to show the size of the cube with their hands. Having the illusion of owning a tiny body causes the world to appear gigantic, and owning a huge body makes the world appear smaller. Importantly, disruption of the Barbie illusion (by asynchronous stroking of the participant and the doll) also diminishes the change in perception. Thus, our OWN body serves as a fundamental reference in perceiving the world around us.

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