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Over at Collectors Weekly, Lisa Hix has just written an incredibly in-depth history of the hula, from its roots as a sacred dance to its kitschy personification as a dashboard doll. For her piece, Hix spoke with Constance Hale, a hula dancer herself, whose new book, The Natives Are Restless, focuses on authentic, 21st-century expressions of the hula.
In his journal, Captain Cook described the Hawaiians’ hula: “Their dances are prefaced with a slow, solemn song, in which all the party join, moving their legs, and gently striking their breasts in a manner and with attitudes that are perfectly easy and graceful.”
In The Natives Are Restless, Hale explains, “To be sexually adept and sensually alive—and to have the ability to experience unrestrained desire—was as important to ancient Hawaiians as having sex to produce offspring. The vital energy caused by desire and passion was itself worshiped and idolized.”
Cook and his men—and the merchants, whalers, artists, and writers who followed—mistook the hula’s sexually charged fertility rituals as a signal the Hawaiians’ youngest and loveliest women were both promiscuous and sexually available to anyone who set foot on their beaches. In her 2012 book Aloha America: Hula Circuits Through the U.S. Empire, historian Adria L. Imada explains how natural hospitality of “aloha” culture—the word used as a greeting that also means “love”—made Hawaiians vulnerable to outside exploitation. To Westerners, the fantasy of a hula girl willingly submitting to the sexual desires of a white man represented the convenient narrative of a people so generous they’d willing give up their land without a fight.
Contrary to this fantasy, the people populating the eight islands of the Hawaiian archipelago weren’t so submissive. In fact, the chiefs reigning the islands of Mau‘i and Hawai‘i had been attacking and raiding each other since the 1650s. But contact with the Western world was something they were unprepared for, and the introduction of Western diseases like smallpox and measles began to weaken and decimate the islands’ native populations.
After an escalator malfunctioned and reversed its course at high speed, sending shoppers sprawling into a mall concourse, two engineers called in to investigate were themselves arrested and charged with tampering with evidence.
Why were the men arrested?
Officials had called in the two technicians, who work for Otis Elevator Company, to assist in investigations hours after the incident. The escalator had been shut down and all personnel involved in the investigation were ordered not to touch it. Late on Sunday night however, officials discovered that the escalator's auxiliary braking system had been reactivated, reported local media. Newspaper Apple Daily said the reactivation could have affected the escalator's computer data records. Officials ordered police to arrest the two men on the spot.
It's important that we realize there's nothing remotely funny about that video of screaming humans piling up at the foot of a haywire escalator.
Tourist Maykool Coroseo Acuña, 25, was lost in the Bolivian Amazon for nine days. He says that he was only able to survive thanks to "a group of monkeys, who dropped him fruit and lead him to shelter and water every day." And that isn't even the strangest part of the story surrounding Acuña. From Elizabeth Unger's fascinating article in National Geographic:
(Tour organizer Feizar Nava) had invited the tourists at the lodge to participate in a Pachamama ceremony—a tradition involving coca leaves, candles, and cigarettes—to thank Pachamama, or Mother Earth, for giving them permission to enter the forest.
When Maykool was asked to join the ceremony alongside the group, he had refused, Feizar said. And when a guide had returned to his cabin to check on him, he was nowhere to be found. The amount of time that had passed between when Maykool was last seen and when someone went back for him was only five minutes.
Panicked, Feizar and his guides checked every inch of the lodge. Maykool wasn’t there. The group headed out into the rainforest with flashlights. They searched until five in the morning, to no avail. Maykool seemed to have completely vanished.
“It’s because he offended the Pachamama.” Feizar said. “He didn’t want to participate in the ceremony.”
Funny: In Florida, it's unlawful to have sex with a porcupine. Sad: In Russia, it's illegal to tell minors that gay people exist. (Sam O'Nella)
Flag Waver accepts uploaded images or URLs and turns them into an on-screen waving flag. There are advanced options for wind and hoisting! Sadly, you cannot export or save animations.
This is presented on the viral internet as a clever 1991 cigarette commercial for "Sutaffu" cigarettes, but it appears to be from Topknot Detective, an Australian entry in the annals of Steve Oedekerk-style problematic remix humor. Note: includes child subjected to offscreen slapstick violence.
Here is an indisputably real Japanese cigarette commercial from 1991, introducing Sir Charles Sheen as himself:
KodyXO's video has everything going for it, from landscape-oriented 60fps footage to elderly ladies refereeing a wrestling match in a grocery store between a store manager and an alleged shoplifter. There's even an annoying photobomber!
EMPLOYEE: "You're shoplifting, you can't shoplift here!"
THE ACCUSED: "Yeah? Why not?"
EMPLOYEE: (momentarily baffled) "Wh.. Why not?"
The arrestee was reportedly charged with third-degree robbery.
Big retailers might let you walk off if the cops don't arrive in time, but stores can and do detain shoplifters. Rite-Aid's got its staffer's back, but one imagines there may be a chain-wide round of "why we just let them go" retraining days quite soon.
It's interesting to see how different media cast the events of the video. The local Hillsborough Tribune sticks to the facts, as it sees them...
The two fight over the purse, with the woman pulling, yanking and twisting in order to pry it from his grip. At one point the woman tries to punch the employee, and kicks him. He tells her that she is not allowed to shoplift in the store. Eventally the man wrestles her to the floor as she attempts to strike him.
"Ma'am, you need to chill out," a voice is heard on the video as the woman is on the ground. "You need to chill."
The woman screams "Let me go!" several times, but eventually relinquishes the purse to the employee as Washington County Sheriff's deputies arrive and arrest her. ... "You can use reasonable force to detain someone," Reimann said. "But that's a subjective thing. He's trying to hold onto her, and she gets violent, so he takes her to the ground. Those are hard situations to call."
... Whereas Britain's seething tabloids do what they do. The Daily Mail:
'I'm gonna take you down for that': Shocking moment Rite Aid employee bodyslams female 'shoplifter' as she tries to punch him
The best line: "She continues to writhe under his grasp!"
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.
Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer endless entertainment. With three included, you can get into some midnight shenanigans with your two best friends (or with kids if you're into sharing or whatever). Launch them through the air with the rubber band sling, or just toss them by hand to see who has the strongest aviator arms.
Each member of the fleet is complete with red-hot flame decals to ensure that you’ll be the reddest baron at the park. Pick up these LED Toy Planes for $19.99, reduced from $24.99.