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

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    Thursday, March 30th, 2017
    1:00 pm
    Australia leads the world in selling housing to money-launderers

    A new Transparency International report ranks the world's most superheated urban property markets to find the most corrupt and finds that Australia is a playground for offshore criminals looking to launder their money, because "real estate agents are not subject to the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering and CounterTerrorism Financing Act 2006," thus, "70 per cent of Chinese buyers pay in cash and they represent the largest proportion of foreign purchases in the country." (more…)

    1:08 pm
    Chimeric china: plates, cups, dishes and vases that mashup Chinese and European bone china

    Seletti's Hybrid Collection "reflects on the historical production of Chinese and European Bone China and its influences between Western and Eastern aesthetics" -- they're made in Italy and they ain't cheap, but they really tickle my aesthetic sense. (more…)

    1:22 pm
    Verizon mandates pre-installed spyware for all its Android customers

    "Appflash" will come pre-installed on all Verizon Android handsets; it's a Google search-bar replacement, but instead of feeding telemetry about your searches, handset, apps and activities to Google, it will send them to Verizon. (more…)

    1:31 pm
    Self-study materials on the fundamentals of malware analysis

    Amanda Rousseau's self-learning materials for her Malware Unicorn workshop are a fantastic introduction to understanding and analyzing malware, covering the techniques used by malware authors, reverse-engineering tools, and three kinds of analysis: triage, static and dynamic. (more…)

    1:39 pm
    When should web designers use modal overlays?

    "This web page needs to be interrupted by a lightbox effect and a modal dialog asking me to sign up for a mailing list," said no one ever. (more…)

    1:59 pm
    Prison sentence for Spanish woman who tweeted jokes about the assassination of Franco's fascist succ

    Julio writes, "A Spanish woman was sentenced yesterday for tweeting jokes about the 1973 assassination of Carrero Blanco (the appointed successor or General Franco). She was 16 at the time of her tweeting." (more…)

    11:54 am
    Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer as a 50's rhythm and blues song

    This peppy little cover by Postmodern Jukebox turned out quite nicely. (more…)

    12:00 pm
    Apple finally allowed drone strike alert app, then removed it again

    Josh Begley doesn't give up easily. After 12 rejections, Apple finally allowed his app Metadata+ to be sold on iTunes. But what the App Store giveth, the App Store taketh away. (more…)

    12:15 pm
    Watch these tops spin at 12000+ rpm despite high centers of gravity

    YouTuber Latheman fired up his lathe and made these tops with the weight at the top. It's remarkable how long they can spin on a surface like glass or tile. (more…)

    12:22 pm
    Fascinating documentary on combat photojournalist Catherine LeRoy

    "The Hill Fights" is a clip from Jacques Menasche's film on the life and work of Catherine LeRoy, best known for covering the Vietnam War in all its unvarnished horror. (more…)

    12:39 pm
    Trailer for Stephen King's It (2017)

    Pennywise and his real-world imitators may be thanked for putting an early end to the Pokemon Go fad last year, but the real fruit of It's labor is the forthcoming TV film version of Steven King's classic horror book. Here's the trailer.

    There's a high bar to meet, but it's worth remembering that the original miniseries was pretty dull when Tim Curry wasn't on-screen.

    12:42 pm
    Laurie Penny blazes: Brexit is just the latest alibi for austerity

    Laurie Penny's red pen of justice (previously) is gouting unstoppable fire today in her column on the relationship of cruel austerity to Brexit: the decade during which Conservative ideologues gutted the nation to make the banks whole again after the financial crisis, creating a lost generation, quietly murdering disabled people, leaving the poor standing in breadlines not seen since the Victorian era -- all the while invoking the spirit of the Blitz and insisting that "we're all in this together." (more…)

    9:53 am
    Watch these cool shifting patterns, explained in detail by the creator

    This short animated confection exploring patterns is a charming diversion, but the director's notes are a fascinating glimpse into all the work it took: (more…)

    10:53 am
    Meet the self-taught coder exposing California politics to the sunlight

    Watch this inspiring summary of Rob Pyers' journey from laid-off grocery bagger to major player in following the money in California politics. (more…)

    3:35 am
    Ivanka Trump to take official position as "Assistant to the President"

    Ivanka Trump, daughter of president Donald Trump, is to take an official, unpaid job as his assistant. That's Assistant to the President, not Assistant President.

    In a statement, the White House said it was "pleased that Ivanka Trump has chosen to take this step in her unprecedented role as first daughter".

    Ms Trump said in her statement that she had been "working in good faith with the White House Counsel and my personal counsel to address the unprecedented nature of my role".

    Ethics experts cried foul when it emerged last week that Ms Trump was to be given a West Wing office and security clearance, without formally joining the administration.

    You're wondering where the bottom is. There is no bottom.

    Wednesday, March 29th, 2017
    11:07 pm
    Anarchist bitcoin hacker flies to Syria to join a 4-million person anarchist collective the size of

    Amir Taaki is a well-known anarchist bitcoin hacker whose project, Dark Wallet, is meant to create strong anonymity for cryptocurrency transactions; when he discovered that anarchists around the world had gone to Rojava, a district in Kurdish Syria on the Turkish border, to found an anarchist collective with 4,000,000 members "based on principles of local direct democracy, collectivist anarchy, and equality for women," he left his home in the UK to defend it. (more…)

    6:20 pm
    On "Eastern European Women"

    A Serb makes a good wife: she can pull the cart out of mud.

    That old Serbian proverb, its genius author has no name. Its like the earthy quip from a hospital that I once heard in real life; after her severe car crash, the emergency doctor told her worried husband: Dont you worry man, those Herzegovinian vipers are hard to kill!

    Im personally half Serb and half Herzegovinian, so I take these attitudes to my heart, half proud and half offended. But my American friend said: what about the Serbian and Herzegovinian husbands? Are they pleased about their mud-carting vipers? Is that the kind of proper home-girl that a local guy just has to have?

    Good questions! If enough years go by, a man gets used to the woman of the house, muddy viper or not. But what about the opinions of the rest of the world?

    Our world is a big place, so maybe a Serbian Herzegovinian woman is considered just one regional sub-class of East European womanhood. I might be called Balkan, from that mountain region of many fractured grooves, or a historical, fossilized ex-Yugoslav. I was never Warsaw Pact, although that arrangement meant Eastern Europe in the eyes of the Cold War West. Im from a shatter-belt, a corner cushion among conflicting empires, a little regional federation that has vanished like the Austro-Hungarians and often resembled the modern European Union. It broke up in blood, but thats been the fate of most European alliances, eastern or western, northern or southern.

    These days, though, in the fractious nation of Italy, a minor scandal has broken out. A female TV talk-show host on the RAI national network suddenly recommended, more or less out of nowhere, that Italian men ought to marry Eastern European women. She offered six good reasons, or rather six sexist stereotyped points, about how these foreign easterners made much better wives than Italian women.

    They may be foreign, yes, but they stay in the kitchen and cook. Theyre women who clean the house. They forgive adultery. They become mothers but dont get fat. They always dress decently. They dont whine, nag and complain. And they obey a husbands commands. These six female virtues make them great wives.

    To tell the truth, Ive been hearing these myths and traditions for decades now. I grew up in Italy and can pass for Italian, although when Italians hear that my name is Tesanovic, they often assume that I must be a Slav off the factory-line or collective farm. I was offended by that, but more as an East European than as a woman.

    Its annoying to hear that we non-Unionized Europeans are supposed to be poor, desperate and therefore obediently at the feet of the West. After all, arent Italians aware that this same stupidity, ignorance and machoism is also applied to Italian emigrants? If anybodys women have the reputation of scheming gold-diggers, its those seductive, Machiavellian Italian women, and not us meek and lowly Balkan creatures, so blandly pretty and matrimonially faithful. Were wholesome. Were naively honest. Were tiresome and boring, were no trouble at all!

    However, the traditional Eastern European concept of us kerchief-headed creatures has clearly changed a lot since Yugoslavia split up, the Soviet Union fell and the EU fortress hastily erected its own walls in response. New prejudices always arise with new walls. Nowadays, instead of being a communal peasantry, were becoming world-class sultanas and empresses. Slovenian model Melania Knauss Trump is the First Lady of the USA!

    Most of the current American Presidents harem women have a Balkan air about them, even American-born Ivanka, the daughter / heiress who seems to be managing the Washington palace while the current wife keeps her head down in her gilded skyscraper in New York. Were witnessing a modern psychological drama that closely resembles the intrigues of Hurrem, the abducted Ukrainian concubine, who became the Ottoman Empress of Suleyman the Great. Why her, why Eastern European Hurrem? Because Hurrem was a viper, and she could pull that muddy cart, and also because Suleyman the so-called Great didnt have any other real friends.

    Melanija Knauss is an ex-Yugoslav, just like me. She and I both sang patriotic hymns to Tito in our primary schools, with red kerchiefs around our necks. Nowadays those Communist adornments are more ragged and forlorn than Janis Joplins dirty red bandanna: freedom is just another word for losing your entire nation. We thought Marshall Tito was our family more than our leader. The school song was: Comrade Tito, we vow we will not go astray. Now far-straying Melania is decked out in Ottoman jewels as an offshored one-percenter bride of a mogul. Still, this is modernity, so, presumably, that fate had to happen to somebody.

    Hell has no fury like someones national womanhood scorned, so TV mayhem broke out over this Italian RAI TV talk show. The commentator got promptly fired from the focussed social-media rage of vengeful Italian netizens, and even her boss was purged and her show was cancelled. Italian women certainly dont care for invidious comparisons. But theres nothing new about people making them.

    Back in Italy in the 1970s, it was the Swedish girls who were cast as the ideal exotic brides. These Swedes were blonde and not dark, tall and statuesque and Nordic, un-Catholic and sexually emancipated, ready to hop fully-clothed right into the Trevi Fountain, dolce-vita style. But Italy survived that female threat somehow.

    Now the entire RAI programme has been blown off the air scorched-earth style, as if Italian bachelors were in desperately short supply and all the girls have to scrabble. Why are Italian women protesting about an Italian female talk-show? Wouldnt it make more sense if the women directly confronted their men?

    And for that matter, why arent the Italian men complaining about their possible prospect of having to court and marry Poles, Ukrainians, Belarusians and whomever?

    Plus  what about the grievances of us East European women who happen to be in Italy? To think that we never complain and lament is absurd  weve got enough daily grievances to fill the Roman Colosseum. Were the women of a soulful people with vast intellectual conceptual fields of grief, sorrow and historical disappointment, and the near-infinite spectrum of the sorrows of a Russian woman is, in fact, shockingly different from the handwringing of any Polish one. Right now the Ukrainian women are bitterly upset about Russia. What if youre an Eastern European woman from one of those small and awful frozen conflict zones, where your ethnicity doesnt even have any proper nation for foreigners to get stereotypical about?

    But, well, who cares about all that mess? RAI certainly doesn't. The network has only one concept for all of us splintered ethnics, mostly because their TV programs are never about the many sorrows of women of the world, theyre mostly about young, prancing, pretty Italian women who are half nude and seem available. Berlusconi used to be the master-of-ceremonies for that kind of regional showgirl parade, but it goes on with him or without him.

    Italian TV culture ranks with the most blissfully vulgar TV in the world, because it really knows what sells on a glass screen. RAI is second to none in kitsch, misogyny and casually racist sexism, but those values go unchallenged because Italian national TV is a closed moral universe. Its by no means all about us East European women in Italy, were merely the occasional collateral damage off their NATO airwaves.

    Besides, there remains the primal source of the real anxiety in this little scandal, which is that foreign people really, truly are alluring. Theyre hot. Nobody mentioned this prospect: but what about the Italian woman in bed with the Eastern European guy? How scary could that be, really? What if this intimate encounter with the Other turns out to be incredibly fun?

    You never know what the night may bring to a woman, as my Mom used to say. But you see, I really can pull a cart out of mud, I am a Serbian woman all right, for better or worse. Plus I am a feminist pacifist who is always, Always Disobedient!

    (Image: Cautious Matryoshka, Bradley Davis, CC-BY-ND)

    5:49 pm
    A rare class-action victory over Wells Fargo's fake accounts proves binding arbitration sucks

    Wells Fargo got caught ripping off millions of customers by setting up fake accounts in their names, then billing them for "services" related to those accounts, sometimes tanking their credit-ratings, costing them jobs, even their houses -- but the company says you're not allowed to sue them because their employees fraudulently signed your name to a "binding arbitration" agreement that forces you to take your case to a fake judge whose salary they pay. (more…)

    5:56 pm
    Famous Monsters of Filmland's 1965 guide to home monster makeup

    The Do-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook is a 1965 classic: Famous Monsters of Filmland founder Forrest Ackerman tapped movie makeup legend Dick Smith to create guides for turning yourself into any of three Martians, two kinds of werewolf, a "weird-oh," a "derelict," a ghoul, a mummy, Frankenstein's monster, Quasimodo, Mr Hyde, "split face," and more. (more…)

    6:04 pm
    The Army is using quack "battlefield acupuncture" based on junk science

    The exciting field of "battlefield acupuncture" involves training soldiers and medics to perform what amounts to a "theatrical placebo" involving jamming glorified thumbtacks into fellow soldiers' ears and leaving them there until they fall out. (more…)

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