Boing Boing tv year in review: Galactic Super Funtime

(Flash embed above, and here’s a downloadable MP4.)

Happy Lazy-Time on Boing Boing tv! We’re slowing down for the holidays, and taking a few weeks to gloat over all the fun stuff we produced together in 2008. Come join us in the seasonal gloating! Right here, under the genetically engineered mistletoe, by the warmth of burning fuel cells.

Today’s installment: Remember when we flew out to the Mojave Spaceport to hang out with astronaut and American hero Buzz Aldrin, Virgin Galactic (and Virgin America, and Virgin everything) founder Sir Richard Branson, Scaled Composites founder Burt Rutan, and other space luminaries for the Virgin Galactic launch? Well, why don’t we just revisit that moment of glory here. It was a lot of fun. And we’re hoping a future episode of our video hijinks will actually take place on the spacecraft. That’s what we want for Christmas.

Original blog post here:
BBtv: Virgin Galactic and WhiteKnightTwo with Buzz, Branson, and Rutan.

Why revisit this episode today? Snip from a blog post on spacefellowship.com:

Earlier this week images were appearing on the internet showing that the WhiteKnightTwo craft had been doing some tests in Mojave, the earliest tests showed perhaps two of the engines being used, while a later test showed all the engines working and some further testing. Today we finally saw the four Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308A engines carrying the craft into the air and a huge milestone being reached by Virgin Galactic.

The maiden flight of the craft lasted just shy of one hour and happened today at around 08.15 at Mojave air and spaceport. Rumours suggest that a Beechcraft King Air was used for a chase plane. (…) This key event now leads us into an interesting 2009 when we should see the SpaceShipTwo craft being unveiled.

Read: Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Mothership Makes Maiden Flight.

And, you may also enjoy revisiting this related Boing Boing tv episode, another one of our faves from 2008: Xeni kicks the tech tires on Virgin America (Flash embed below, here’s the downloadable MP4 Link).

In case you’re joining the party late — you can watch Boing Boing tv while you’re on Virgin America airplanes, we think they’re about as awesome as an airline gets, and I believe the Galactic episode above is actually playing on seat-back rotation right now.

Unicorn Chaser: Diesel Sweeties Laser Robots

Happy Hols from Boing Boing tv! In this week’s Friday Unicorn Chaser episode, Sculptor Chris Yates creates laser-cut robots for the holidays, based on the Diesel Sweeties webcomic by R. Stevens.

Killing Capitalism With Christmas: Happy Holidays from BBtv + monochrom!

Longtime Boing Boing tv contributors monochrom have brought us Soviet terrorism training videos, improvisational urban fires, and highfalutin economic philosophy from the mouths of sock puppets.

Monochrom sock puppets Kiki & Bubu return to us today, for a very special holiday-themed episode: Kiki & Bubu & The Feelings. The yuletide song they perform for us is sure to be an instant classic — Killing Capitalism with Christmas. You can grab it from iTunes, on the 2008 album “Monochrom: Carefully Selected Moments”.

Bonus: Watch this behind-the-socks footage, from the secret filming location in the Austrian alps.

SYNOPSIS (some spoilers):

Yes, it is a time of crisis, but it is also a time of Christmas. Slovenian hackers crack CNN’s hologram thingie, and bring us the avatar of gender-ambiguous singing sensation Enron Hubbard. Enron sings a hypnotic call to reject holiday consumerism and replace malls with meaning. Or if not meaning, post-internet nihilism and the ironic use of MySpace smiley-gifs. Online porn monster shows up after Enron is finished singing his holiday song, then Kiki and Bubu scamper off for eggnog frappucinos.


(Special thanks to chief executive sock puppet overlord and awesome guy Johannes Grenzfurthner!)

Blip Festival 2008: Joel interviews Jellica, Mr. Spastic, and Nullsleep

(Flash video embedded above, here’s a downloadable MP4.)

Today’s episode of Boing Boing tv is an OFFWORLD feature — this time, Joel and Rob visit the annual chiptunes music gathering Blip Festival 2008, better known as “blipfest.”

Joel interviews several artists in this episode who create music inspired by the aural texture of old-schoold video games: Mr. Spastic, Jellica, and Nullsleep.


Join the conversation about this episode over on Offworld.

Previously: Blipfest 2008: Joel interviews chiptunes artist Bubblyfish.

(Special props to Beschizza for doubling as director of photography for these episodes! Holy Brother of Mario, what can’t that guy do. Seriously. )



The Road to CES: What do you want? (BBtv + Boing Boing Gadgets)



Watch video here, in Flash or downloadable MP4.


In just a few weeks, Boing Boing TV will be traveling to Vegas for The 2009 Consumer Electronics Show with the Boing Boing Gadgets guys — Joel, John, and Rob. We’re planning to broadcast video reports from the show floor. We’re also bracing ourselves for lots of casino umbrella drinks.

To get us started in planning our coverage on the blog in text, photos, and in video, we thought it might be cool to hear from you, our audience. So we asked BB commenters and peeps who follow us on Twitter — what do you hope or expect to see more of, or less of, at the world’s largest electronics show this year. What exactly do you want us to bring home from CES?

In this episode of BBtv, we share your responses. They include:

♦ Find weird things on the fringes — BE BOING BOING.
♦ OH WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN!!! (capture that on video.)
♦ Better netbooks, notebooks — mobile computing.
♦ The most impractically ginormous flatscreen television ever.
♦ mobile gaming! laptops and mobile devices that allow me to get my game on out in the world.
♦ What notebooks or a/v devices are attendees themselves using on the show floor?
♦ Do not cover gadgets at all. Cats are better than gadgets. Also, they are an emergency food source during times of economic crisis.




Sponsor shout-out: Boing Boing TV’s coverage of CES 2009 is sponsored by WEPC.com, in partnership with Intel and Asus. WePC.com is intended to be a site where users come together to “share ideas, images and inspiration about the ideal PC.” Participants’ designs, feature ideas and community feedback will be evaluated by ASUS and “could influence the blueprint for an actual notebook PC built by ASUS with Intel inside.”


BBtv: Bubblyfish at Blip Festival 2008 with Joel Johnson


(Flash video embed above, downloadable MP4 link here)

Today on Boing Boing tv, the first in a series of gaming/gadget features with Joel Johnson from an annual celebration of 8-bit/videogame-inspired music. Joel says:

Last week found us at Blip Festival 2008, the megalocus of live chiptunes music, where Game Boys met Atari STs with Amiga visuals for four evenings of square wave fun.

We were out in Gowanus in Brooklyn at the event, at least until Rob and I got tired and had to go home and rest our widdle heads. But until then, we got to speak to several of the artists just after their sets, and the BBtv crew is taking our drunken, blurry footage and actually making something worth watching out of it.

First up: Haeyoung “Bubblyfish” Kim

Here’s the comments thread over at Boing Boing Offworld.

BBtv Update: Best Viral Videos of 08, Susie Bright Sexblogs and Guestblogs, “Imaginary” Art, Cory’s Charitable Giving Guide.

In this week’s edition of our weekly Boing Boing tv update

♦ We take a sneak peek at the images in Imaginary Foundation’s gallery show, which opened this week in LA, and we watch their iconic “astronaut drummer” guy rocking out IRL.

♦ New BB guestblogger Susie Bright checks in with a video report! (NB: she consults Brian Eno and Eric Schmidt’s Oblique Strategy cards when in doubt — and she shows us the Mac desktop widget version here).

♦ We take a look at the groups featured in Cory’s “Boing Boing Charitable Giving Guide

♦ Boing Boing is blogging over at GOOD Magazine, and we preview Pesco’s first contribution — about the psychological impact of Twittering/vlogging/lifecasting/Facebooking everything you do.

♦ At the end of this episode, BBtv remixes the already-excellent “Best Viral Videos of 2008″ montage curated by our pals at Videogum. Enjoy. Crunk makes everything better.



Previous Weekly Boing Boing Updates from BBtv:
* Boing Boing tv Update: Econopocalypse, Julie Amero, Holiday Gifts, Mumbai.
* Boing Boing tv Update: Virgin WiFi, Obfuscated Code, Comment Poetry, Downfall Housing Remix
* Boing Boing tv Update: OFFWORLD, YES MEN, and THIS IS THE FIRST.

(BBtv + Witness) A Massacre Remembered in Guatemala.

(Flash video embedded above, MP4 Link here.)

Today is the final installment of Boing Boing tv‘s three-day special series in partnership with the video network WITNESS commemorating the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

In this episode: the story of Jesus Tecu Osorio, a Maya Achí man who witnessed one of the most horrific massacres of Guatemala’s 36-year internal conflict, when he was a child — and what he is doing to preserve the memory of victims, and the rights of survivors.

Here is a snip from the Wikipedia article about that massacre:

In 1978, in the face of civil war, the Guatemalan government proceeded with its economic development program, including the construction of the Chixoy hydroelectric dam. Financed in large part by the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank, the Chixoy Dam was built in Rabinal, a region of the department of Baja Verapaz historically populated by the Maya Achi. To complete construction, the government completed voluntary and forcible relocations of dam-affected communities from the fertile agricultural valleys to the much harsher surrounding highlands. When hundreds of residents refused to relocate, or returned after finding the conditions of resettlement villages were not what the government had promised, these men, women, and children were kidnapped, raped, and massacred by military officials. More than 440 Maya Achi were killed in the village of Río Negro alone, and the string of extra-judicial killings that claimed up to 5,000 lives between 1980 and 1982 became known as the Río Negro Massacres. The government officially declared the acts to be counterinsurgency activities.

This video is narrated by REM frontman Michael Stipe, and is presented with the music of composer Philip Glass. For more on WITNESS, and how they are using video to draw world attention to human rights abuses throughout the globe, visit the recently launched Witness HUB website.

Related: earlier here on Boing Boing, I shared a report I filed for National Public Radio about the group that conducted the exhumations mentioned in this WITNESS video. The Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala (FAFG) are technologists, anthropologists, and archaeologists who unearth these mass graves. They work to identify the dead and return the remains to their families for dignified reburial. The process begins with the hard work of the exhumation itself, but they also use DNA forensics and software they develop themselves, so they can identify a greater portion of the remains, and preserve evidence that could be used in criminal trials. FAFG staff routinely deal with death threats from those who do not support their work. Listen to “Group Works to Identify Remains in Guatemala ,” and here is the entire NPR special series, “Guatemala: Unearthing the Future.(Image below: Xeni Jardin)


Unicorn Chaser: The Goofy Truth Behind BBtv’s Presence at a Certain Music Festival.

BBtv presents this week’s Friday “Unicorn Chaser” — the goofy truth behind Xeni and BBtv’s UK music correspondent Russell Porter‘s reports from the SF Outside Lands music festival. Summer concert season is long gone, and the gaffer tape that once spelled “Boing Boing tv” on our tour bus has long since faded, along with our concert sunburns. So we figure it’s safe to reveal how much dorking out took place between story tapings and band sessions. Besotted joyrides on stolen Segways, the snatching of sunglasses from complete strangers, and improvised pickup lines like “I’m the drummer from Radiohead. Really.” Russell? You really are “special.” We love you, man, and we miss “working” with you.

(BBtv + WITNESS) A Duty to Protect: Child Soldiers in the Congo

More than 20,000 children have been abducted and forced into armed service by warring factions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1996. Many of these children are sexually exploited; many are forced to participate in or witness atrocities, as a way of life.

In day two of Boing Boing tv‘s three-day special series in partnership with the video network WITNESS commemorating the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, we present this special feature on the lives of the child soldiers in DRC.

In this episode, we’ll hear from Bukeni Waruzi of the Child Soldier Project (AJEDI-Ka/PES), who are working to demobilize the boys and girls and provide them with protection, rehabilitation, and psychological care.

If you’d like to support the work of the Child Soldier Project, here’s more info on how to assist (they are accepting donations, but there are other ways to help, too).

For more on WITNESS, and how they are using video to draw world attention to human rights abuses throughout the globe, visit the recently launched Witness HUB website.



 

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