AppAfrica: The Future Exists for Africa, Too

Nothing here in this post but a fanboy’s love for Mr. Jonathan Gosier‘s always interesting blog AppAfrica.  May I nudge you all to go and pick up one of the above t-shirts?  (Naturally, it’s on Zazzle so you can get it customized.) Appfrica facilitates, mentors and incubates entrepreneurs in software in East Africa. Entrepreneur projects are refined and prepped to help them secure funding and launch sustainable, profitable businesses. This project is loosely modeled after Paul Graham’s Y Combinator, providing small amounts of seed capital to startups. Appfrica Labs has also started an International Fellows Program which brings developers from all over the world to work alongside local Entrepreneurs as peers and mentors. That program can be learned about here. Combine that with Afrigadget and AfroCyberPunk and you’re .071% of the way to countering the mass media impression of Africa as a hopeless eternal backwater.  More on that thought coming […]

Robot A-10s, Just Chillin’

Your Countdown to Skynet news of the day: DARPA’s looking to wire up stock A-10s to fly by remote control to provide on-demand death from above. The Pentagon’s advanced research arm wants an aircraft 30 miles from a firefight to be able to attack within six minutes of a request by a JTAC. The airman would access the plane’s targeting sensors, enter coordinates to multiple targets and send ammo flying. Officials with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency expect to award a contract for the venture later this year; a live-fire demonstration is proposed for the last quarter of fiscal 2014. The contractor will modify an A-10 already in the fleet. Now I’m not saying that some AI will inevitably hack into the system and send squadrons of flying tanks hither and yon seizing power for the Roomba elite.  I’m just saying that we welcome our new robot overlords and […]

Opium for the Masses: DIY Dope for the Whole Foods Crowd?

“Yeah… I used to homebrew but then I got into moonshining.  But that’s such a scene and y’know, everyone’s doing it.  Now I raise organic poppies and make my own heroin suppositories.” Just wanted to jump on this before three dudes in Brooklyn do it and it all ends up in the New York Times Styles section.  Via Dose Nation and EarthRites I heard of a gentleman by the name of Jim Hogshire who wrote the book on making ones own opiates from the completely legal, wild-growing, Opium Poppy.  This book would be Opium For the Masses: Opium for the Masses was such a national phenomenon when first released in the early ‘90s that Michael Pollan wrote a cover story for Harper’s magazine about the book, in which he he expressed his amazement that a common plant, P. somniferum, or the opium poppy, grows wild in most states, and could […]

Get Your Secret Space Colony Fix in SciFi Video Form

With NASA’s budget constantly getting the axe wouldn’t it be fun if somone else had an established space colony? Well, what if they were Fascist or Communist? That’s the premise of this potential movie, this movie, and this potential series. This movie Iron Sky in the works from the people behind Star Wreck is a fan funded effort to make a comedy– about Nazis on the moon. These people have experience making movies with fan contributions alone from their Star Wreck series, but this is fairly ambitious. Iron Sky Trailer 1 Iron Sky Trailer 2 Also on the lighter side of Fascists-in-space comes this comedy from Italy based on a 2002 sketch comedy series. It’s about a band of Mussolini flavored Fascists roughing it on Mars with no food, no water, and no oxygen. Fascisti Su Marte (Part 1, English Subtitles) Most recently is the pilot episode for a series […]

Brands of the World

Wonder no more where you will be getting that vector image of BP’s logo.  Or Wal-Mart’s.  Or the Army of the 12 Monkeys.    Brands of the World has you covered. While by no means exhaustive, Brands of the World does provide a nice sampling of logos, mascots and trademarks from around the world.  It’s a good starting place for browsing around when you’re looking for branding inspiration or fodder for your next anti-corporate art action.  Files are provided in EPS or AI.  There’s a little trick to downloading though: it makes you click through the terms and conditions approval screen twice before you get to an actual download link. Go forth and détourne, you gangsters of Photoshop.

Animals at War

Following up on yesterday’s post about the Taliban’s dastardly plans to pit monkey mettle vs. the infidels, I got thinking about humanity’s tendency to enlist our animal friends in human wars.  While animals were absolutely vital to pre-modern combat–war horses, Hannibal’s elephant, pack mules, homing pigeons–the advent of mechanized warfare has made animal contributions to human conflicts somewhat more rare.  Still, the 20th century and the early 21st have seen their fair share of attempts to ace the enemy in hand-to-paw/flipper/wing combat.  Dig, if you will: The U.S.’s Bat Bombs – In the midst of WWII, someone got the bright idea to try to make a wide ranging cluster bomb out of hibernating bats, an empty bomb canister and small, bat-sized incendiary bombs to burn down Japanese villages.  Yeah.  Never got beyond the testing phase, due to it being a largely Rube Goldberg approach to a tactic that Curtis LeMay […]

Simians and Scimitars: The Taliban’s Alleged Monkey Soldiers

This is what we call Slow News Day Gold.  China’s People’s Daily Online reports: Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents are training monkeys to use weapons to attack American troops, according to a recent report by a British-based media agency. Reporters from the media agency spotted and took photos of a few “monkey soldiers” holding AK-47 rifles and Bren light machine guns in the Waziristan tribal region near the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The report and photos have been widely spread by media agencies and Web sites across the world. According to the report, American military experts call them “monkey terrorists.” What we have here, gentlemen, is a monkey gap.  And I for one won’t stand around waiting for these furballs to start shooting up Des Moines before I do something about it.  I am hereby requesting $25 million from the Defense Department for the training of patriotic anti-simian sloth soldiers.  Oh […]