Boing Boing

El Paso taxi companies upset that city council loosened taxi regulations

Taxi companies and Uber are both awful, so it's fun to watch them fight each other. On Tuesday, El Paso's City Council voted to reduce regulations imposed on taxi companies, instead of increasing regulations imposed on Uber, as the taxi companies had hoped for.

From KVIA:

Joe Olivar, the owner of a local cab company Border Taxi, was disappointed with Tuesday's developments. He was pushing for stricter regulation of Uber drivers, including fingerprinting-based background checks.

"You guys are making a big mistake, no one operates with the same integrity. I hope the city council is accountable when something horrible happens," Olivar said, as he repeatedly brought up the issue of public safety.

"You wanted a level playing field, that's what we're doing," El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser replied. Most of the council agreed that adding regulations was not the answer. "How many blockbuster stores do we have left" asked City Rep. Peter Svarzbein. "Could you imagine regulating Netflix? How you do you regulate a technology," he said.

Olivar said the council's approach was "fullhardy."

Gym tells woman her breasts 'too large' for tank top

Jenna Vecchio says she was working out with her husband at Movati Athletic Club in Orleans, Ontario when a supervisor told her that she would need to change her tank top because other clients at the gym felt uncomfortable.

From Vecchio's Facebook post:

My tank top was no different than many other women's tank top at the club; except my chest size is much larger in appearance in comparison to my frame than many of the other women. After asking every woman at the club who I could find on the way out if my attire offended them and they responded no, it became clear that the only ones offended were the two women supervisors working at the club today. I pointed out to them that my shirt was no different than any other woman's shirt. They informed me that it did not matter that due to my chest size I could not wear a tank top.


Google patents an adhesive that sticks pedestrians to cars that hit them

Florida man has prior art!

From The Guardian:

The patent, which was granted on 17 May, is for a sticky adhesive layer on the front end of a vehicle, which would aim to reduce the damage caused when a pedestrian hit by a car is flung into other vehicles or scenery.

“Ideally, the adhesive coating on the front portion of the vehicle may be activated on contact and will be able to adhere to the pedestrian nearly instantaneously,” according to the patent description.

What its like to travel away from the sun at the speed of light

Riding Light from Alphonse Swinehart on Vimeo.

This video lets you hitch a ride on a photon emitted from the sun. It takes about 45 minutes to get to Jupiter.

In our terrestrial view of things, the speed of light seems incredibly fast. But as soon as you view it against the vast distances of the universe, it's unfortunately very slow. This animation illustrates, in realtime, the journey of a photon of light emitted from the surface of the sun and traveling across a portion of the solar system, from a human perspective.

I've taken liberties with certain things like the alignment of planets and asteroids, as well as ignoring the laws of relativity concerning what a photon actually "sees" or how time is experienced at the speed of light, but overall I've kept the size and distances of all the objects as accurate as possible. I also decided to end the animation just past Jupiter as I wanted to keep the running length below an hour.

Gadget promises electric shocks to people who spend "too much"

Pavlok is a wristband that one can use to deliver mild electric shocks to oneself, an experiment in Pavlovian self-conditioning. Intelligent Environments is a UK firm that has invented a "platform" to link it to your bank account, so it can shock you when you spend money.

No bank has yet announced that it will be offering the Interact IoT (Internet of Things) platform to customers but Intelligent Environments lists several British banks as clients for its existing online banking platforms.

Chief executive David Webber told the BBC the idea was about consumer choice.

"This is about reacting to changes in your financial well-being," he said.

A perfectly British combination of nannying, shame and unintended consequences.

Listen to your images with Pixel Synth

Olivia Jack's Pixel Synth turns images into music, scanning across the pixels horizontally and interpreting brightness values as notes. The results are peculiar, obviously, but also strangely melodic. You can edit your image, too, or simply start with a blank canvas. Click "invert" for a synthesized moment of Hammer Horror. Advanced trippers can also edit the synth parameters and the drawing tool.

Second Life's Trump army lays siege to Bernie Sanders's virtual HQ with swastika cannons

Bernie Sanders's fans in the venerable virtual world Second Life have established a HQ, "a Roman-themed hangout space in a peaceful meadow, where Bernie supporters often gather to share news of their favorite candidate," but their peace was shattered when Second Life's Donald Trump supporters laid siege to the building, firing virtual guns whose rounds exploded into swastika flags at Sanders central. (more…)

In her "capacity as a daughter," Ivanka Trump insists dad Donald doesn't "grope" women

Behold the Clan Trump, God's gift to women. Ivanka Trump, daughter of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, is speaking out on reports that her father is occasionally less than chivalrous with the ladies.

"I found it to be pretty disturbing based on the facts as I know them, and obviously I very much know them, both in the capacity as a daughter and in the capacity as an executive who's worked alongside him at this company for a decade," Trump told CBS' Norah O'Donnell. ... "It's largely been discredited, since most of the time when stories are inaccurate, they're not discredited. In this case, they went so far. They had a strong thesis and created facts to reinforce it, and I think that narrative has been played out now, and there's backlash in that regard," she said.

Come November, her fantasy world will be your reality.

Check out the Perpetual Motion Steampunk Ball, Riverside, CA this June 11th

The folks behind Riverside's Dickens Festival are putting on a steampunk ball!

If you are in the area, and so inclined, tickets are $33. The Paper Moon portrait you can take home, by one of my favorite photographers, Star Foreman, is worth the price alone!

Dancing is on a WOODEN DANCE FLOOR!

Every ticket holder get's a commemorative Paper Moon photo by Star Foreman in the photo lounge (7pm-9pm)

Strap on your cephalopod, fire up your dirigible, and steam your way to the Riverside Dickens Festival's first annual Steampunk Ball.

With free soda, crunchy snacks, and table games galore, you can while away the evening on our Airship Patio or just kick back with your pipe, your cigar, your favorite vape, or your papelate in our Steam-and-Smoke Engine Room.

The uniquely steampunk musical program will intoxicate you, as will our cohost bar featuring three wines, six beers, mixed drinks. (No outside alcohol is allowed.)

This is NOT your standard Victorian ball. This is a specially designed event featuring unusual period dances and actual steampunk-themed music. Our specially constructed, nine-piece steampunk orchestra will serenade you with forgotten 19th Century masterspieces. Gallop to Gottschalk, whirl to Strauss's Perpetual Motion, and step lively to the march that Wagner wrote for the 1876 American Centennial. Your heart will race to Acceleration Waltz and the Pirate Waltz will shiver your timbers.

Come early for instruction and rediscover the lost world of extinct dance forms like the minuet, the fandango, the cakewalk, and the tarantella.

Dance, dream, play, chat, or just sit and listen until the Time Portal closes at 11:11:11 POST MERIDIAN.

Bring your imagination and leave your inhibitions at home, because you have never been to a steampunk ball like this one.

The gateway to Victorian adventure swings open precisely at 6:54:32 PM. Dancing begins at 8:08 PM.

Tickets---a mere $33.33 each---are available at

Don't miss out on the RDF Steampunk Ball, June 11, 2016, at the historic American Legion Post 79, 2979 Dexter Drive, in Riverside's beautiful Fairmount Park.