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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Boing Boing's InsaneJournal:

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    Thursday, October 8th, 2015
    7:59 pm
    X-Men line-up decade-by-decade


    Ed Piskor drew this cool pin-up of an X-Men family tree (abridged). Each row represents a decade of the X-Men from 1963-1992. [Download]

    8:51 pm
    Mysterious walking banana tosses banana into business


    On Monday in Prescott Valley, Arizona, a banana-human hybrid opened the door of a business, yelled "Banana!," and tossed in a banana. Then he took off.

    According to police, the banana was male and wearing jeans and black shoes. They say it was a person in a banana suit, but we all know better.

    (The Daily Courier)

    7:10 pm
    PAUSE, a relaxation app from the studio that created Monument Valley


    The impossible architecture puzzle game Monument Valley is pretty soothing—it's inspired hours of ASMR videos, if that's your jam—but the newest iOS release from Monument Valley developer Ustwo takes things a step further with a straight up relaxation app.

    PAUSE, a collaboration between ustwo and Pausable, has a simple concept: You simply press your finger on the screen, and move it slowly to make a colorful, amorphous blob grows larger and larger. Stop moving (or move too fast) and the game will gently try to correct your pace; the idea is to stay present, calm, deliberate.

    Once the undulating blob fills the screen, the app will tell you to close your eyes, while still rotating one finger around the screen to the thrum of its ambient sounds. Eventually, a bell will ring after the appointed amount of time has elapsed, ideally indicating that at least some of your anxiety has dissipated.

    "Everything started with my own severe stress and depression," says Pausable cofounder Peng Cheng, who eventually became so incapacitated by stress that he couldn't work. After a six-month sabbatical, which included meditation and tai chi, he realized that what helped him most were activities that helped him focus on the here and now. "Most stress exists only in our head and absorb all our attention... to break this pattern I needed to focus on what is physical and tangible, and actively put my attention in the moment."

    While I can't speak to the scientific benefits of the app, Cheng is correct that there's something soothing and relieving about focusing on one thing at once, especially if your attention is typically fragmented into many tiny splinters by multiple tasks, demands, and pings from your smartphone. Just make sure you turn off notifications before you lose yourself in the supple embrace of the blob.

    7:47 pm
    Stunning video of whales swimming under the Aurora Borealis

    Harald Albrigtsen shot this beautiful footage off the coast of Norway. (YouTube)


    6:03 pm
    Compact 5000mAh USB charger for $8


    This smallish portable USB charger from Kmashi is rated at 5000mAh and is on sale now for $8.38 when you use promo code: PIRVWBWG on Amazon. I have a few different Kmashi chargers, and have used them for over a year with good results.

    5:50 pm
    Explore super-detailing, weathering, and finishing in this gorgeous, comprehensive modeling encyclop


    See sample pages of this book at Wink.

    I have always had a great attraction to obsessive hobbies. When I was a teen, I didn't just want to have model trains, I needed the fully detailed train board, with forests, a mountain and tunnel, a town, and a coal mine. I didn't just want to play tabletop wargames with salt shakers and napkin holders for obstacles  I had to build an entire terrain board, with homemade buildings, impact craters, command bunkers, and the like. And when I'm not dabbling in my own all-in hobbies, I'm frequently found online, looking at forums about other people's hobby obsessions. One of these is super-detailed scale modeling.

    Anyone who has done any military modeling is familiar with the AMMO brand of Mig Jimenez. Mig and AMMO are known for making the most amazing products for super-detailing models, paints, powders, and effects for painting, weathering, and basing, and high-end how-to books on model painting and finishing. Soon they will also be known for creating this incredible series, Encyclopedia of Aircraft Modelling Techniques.

    I got Interiors and Assembly Volume 2 in the five-part series because I was looking for inspiration for interior detailing of some tank models that I'm building for a tabletop wargame. I was not disappointed in what I found in this book. These volumes are crammed with hundreds of high-quality, close-in photographs showing many tried and true techniques for using aftermarket parts, making your own parts, and getting the most out of the parts that came in your model kit. There are also all sorts of tips and tricks that you won't find elsewhere. Even seasoned, award-winning modelers who've looked at these books have said they learned new techniques from them. I can't wait to try some of what I've learned on modeling my tank interiors.

    The other volumes in the encyclopedia include Cockpits, Painting, Weathering, and Final Steps. Each volume is $30-50 depending on which volume it is and where you buy it. If you think you might end up getting more than one (and you're likely to), I'd recommend buying the entire set on Mig Jimenez's website. There, you get all five volumes and a special subscriber-only sixth volume, all for $135.

    Encyclopedia of Aircraft Modelling Techniques: Interiors and Assembly
    by Diego Quijano
    Mig Jimenez
    2015, 160 pages, 8.25 x 11.5 x 3.75 inches
    $50 Buy one on Amazon

    5:33 pm
    Parody of sexy halloween costumes: sexy tampon, sexy fetus, and more


    Artist Rebecca Cohen posted her interpretation of six sexy halloween costumes on Deviantart: a sexy cockroach, a sexy frying pan, sexy poo, a sexy tampon, a sexy fetus, and sexy late-stage syphilis.

    5:41 pm
    Court tells millionaire yoga troll Bikram Choudhury that poses can't be copyrighted


    Bikram Choudhury, the millionaire accused serial rapist who popularized hot yoga in America, sued other hot yoga studios in 2003, including "open source yoga" practicioners, asserting that he held a copyright over the sequence of poses conducted in his class. (more…)

    5:45 pm
    Insanely frenetic 1944 comic book cover


    Alex Schomburg's cover for Speed Comics #35, published by Harvey Comics, November 1944, has a lot going on: bondage, sadism, racist depictions of Japanese soldier, gunfire, and a scantily clothed woman.


    5:16 pm
    Woman shot dead by drug gang after following Waze app's directions to wrong destination


    In Brazil, a 70-year-old woman was killed when directions she followed from the driving app Waze led her and her husband into a neighborhood controlled by a violent drug gang. The destination they meant to go to? A beach area popular with tourists, which was in the opposite direction. (more…)

    3:45 pm
    Spongebob sings Black Sabbath


    This is an incredibly cool edit of the trippiest episodes of Spongebob Squarepants cut to accompany "Warpigs" by Black Sabbath.

    (Thanks, Matthew!)

    4:13 pm
    Women In Espionage trading card set


    Mary Yordy made a set of 16 cards called Women In Espionage. You can buy them through Etsy. (more…)

    4:28 pm
    Hyperreal scale model of the famous CBGB punk rock club


    CBGB, the iconic punk rock venue in New York's East Village that launched the careers of The Ramones, Blondie, Richard Hell, and Patti Smith, shut its doors in 2006. This year, hyperrealist sculptor Randy Hage is exhibiting his 1/12 scale model of the club, along with several other famous New York facades. Check them out at on October 10th, 2015 at Flower Pepper Gallery in Pasadena, California.

    Previously: Amazing dioramas of NYC storefronts


    (Thanks, Andreas!)

    4:42 pm
    It's been ten years since Sony Music infected the world with its rootkit


    Oct 31 2005: Security researcher Mark Russinovich blows the whistle on Sony-BMG, whose latest "audio CDs" were actually multi-session data-discs, deliberately designed to covertly infect Windows computers when inserted into their optical drives. (more…)

    4:42 pm
    Taiwanese Animators tackle Obama's apology for bombing a Doctors Without Borders hospital

    Oh, Taiwanese Animators, you rarely disappoint.


    4:50 pm
    Adorable little Star Wars desserts offered at L.A. restaurant


    The Star Wars merchandise machine is in full death-march, and we're already sick of the Force-sploitation. But this offbeat little gimmick has us smiling--and jonesing for some sweets.


    2:41 pm
    'Dracula fish' and snub-nosed monkeys among 200+ new species discovered in Himalayas

    Bompu litter frog,  newly discovered in India. [Sanjay Sondhi]

    A sneezing monkey, a walking fish and a jewel-like snake are just some of a biological treasure trove of over 200 new species discovered in the Eastern Himalayas in recent years, reports the World Wildlife Foundation today.


    3:01 pm
    Boy, 11, asks girl, 8, to see her puppies. She declines. He shoots and kills her.

    McKayla Dyer [family photo]

    Authorities in Tennessee say an 11-year-old boy has been detained on first-degree murder charges after shooting and killing an 8-year-old neighbor with a shotgun because she would not show him her pet puppies.

    The gun belonged to the boy's father. The two kids went to the same school.

    Neighbors interviewed by local news reporters identified the victim as Maykayla Dyer.

    "Wanting to see a puppy, the little girl laughed and told him no... and that was it," said neighbor Chasity Arwood.

    "Watching the Tennessee football game, heard the bang," Arwood said. "And then everybody screaming that he shot her baby girl."


    3:30 pm
    Who exactly is the audience for the Steve Jobs movie?

    fassbender jobs

    The biopic, starring Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs, is getting good writeups: "brilliant, when not breaking your heart," is Time Out's summation of both man and movie.

    An early dissent, from Rex Reed, is equally unsurprising to anyone who has followed the narratives of Jobs: " Cold, obnoxious, neurotic, selfish, indifferent toward everything but his computers & worth $441 million when his wife and daughter were living on welfare". (And, postscript, Fassbender "looks nothing whatsoever like Jobs.")

    At Wired, Jason Tanz writes about Steve Jobs and "Tech's god complex".

    Chris-Ann Brennan, Jobs ex-girfriend and Lisas mother, likens him to a figure in a Ram Dass book: When someone goes into a state of enlightenment but does it while still attached to their ego, they call that the golden chain. And thats what I feel happened to Steve. He went into magnificence and enlightenment but he, he just blew it.

    Roll your eyes all you want, infidels, but I think theres something to it.

    His argument is that the new movie, "Steve Jobs", is like an anti-biopic. Most set about mythologizing and narrating their subjects, whereas this one aims to demythologize a man lionized and charicatured to absurdity by the time he died.

    In this way, its more like one of those postmodern WesternsMcCabe & Mrs. Miller or Unforgivendeconstructing Americas self-image by poking holes in the stories it tells about itself. Yeah, Jobs may have made good computers, this movie says, but that hardly matters, becausewhatever Jobs might believemachines are secondary to our work as humans, not extensions of it.

    The movie, directed by Danny Boyle, is earning preliminary frowns from the legacy-keepers: it's based on Walter Isaacson's disappointing biography, Laurene Powell Jobs tried to prevent it being made and reportedly persuaded Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio to turn down the role, and Apple design chief Jony Ive suggested that it's hijacking his legacy.

    Ive said he hasn't seen the films, but knows others who have. "There are sons and daughters and widows and very close friends that are completely bemused and completely upset," he said. "Were remembering and celebrating Steve Jobs' life and at the same time there is this perfectly timed movie and I dont recognize this person." Ive said Jobs "had his triumphs and his tragedies like us all," but now he his having his "identify described, defined by a whole bunch of other people and I think thats a bit of a struggle personally."

    When Apple CEO Tim Cook made his own displeasure known, scriptwriter Aaron Sorkin responded contemptuously.

    "If you've got a factory full of children in China assembling phones for 17 cents an hour, you've got a lot of nerve calling someone else opportunistic."

    The New York Times's A. O. Scott reviews it and finds it a credible character study in what sounds like a lot of Sorkinized mundanity.

    Jobs was a minimalist and a control freak, a proponent of closed systems, streamlined construction and conceptual simplicity. Mr. Boyle and Mr. Sorkin, in contrast, are fervent maximalists, prone, respectively, to busy, breakneck visual effects and roiling torrents of verbiage. & At times the camera seems agitated to the point of distraction because its trapped in a movie that consists almost entirely of rushed conversations in enclosed spaces. But this antsiness helps create an atmosphere of nervous, almost absurd suspense. & You hold your breath waiting to see whats going to happen, even though you know exactly what is in store. A guy is going to come out onstage and show you a new gadget.

    Returning to Tanz, what he means by "Tech's God Complex" is how the film challenges the Kevin Kelly-esque notion that there is some quasi-magical technological force at work in Jobs' genius. The movie offers a traditional torn-genius story instead: good old internal doubt, darkness and manipulation as the driving forces of creation.

    Jobs has daddy issues and daughter issues, problems with authority and problems with intimacy. It hammers home the idea that Apples philosophy of end to end control emerged from Jobs own adoption trauma. Battling over how many ports to put into the Apple II, Seth Rogens Wozniak finally throws up his hands. Computers arent supposed to have human flaws, he says. Im not going to build this one with yours. This is another way of looking at technological progress as a wholenot as divinely-inspired evolutionary advancement but as a kind of enslavement, locking consumers inside the fallible psyches of its creators.

    Articles (and movies) about Jobs are more often than not really about the people who are inspired by him. If you want a word to understanding their take on the world, forget "fanboy" or "Technium" or any of the other resentful or abstract things. A better word is "taste." This is often a tool of intelligent men of little emotional maturity or technical ability, in search of proof that such shortcomings just don't matter. Jobs (fairly or not) represents those things well enough to make him a perfect avatar.

    I suspect the movie won't do very well. The people who care enough about Steve Jobs just aren't buying what it's selling.

    3:36 pm
    States enjoy kickback from prison phone gougers


    Prisoners families often must pay $12.95 for 15-minutes of phone time to stay in touch with an incarcerated spouse, child, or parent. Global Tel-Link Corp. and Securus Technologies are the two main prison phone service providers, and they make a fortune charging poor people over 100 times the typical rate for a phone call. They reason they can get away with it is that they give generous kick-backs to state and local governments for giving them contracts to be the exclusive phone service providers for prisons under their control. (more…)

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