Art show curator euthanizes living leather jacket

Victimless Leather was, for its short life, a small jacket made up of embryonic stem cells taken from mice. The MoMA curator decided she had to remove the jacket’s life support when it started to grow too big.

In other news, vegans the world over were deeply confused.

A new low for Google

Playing scrabulous today, I stumbled across an… interesting ad, that appears to have been served up by Google. They generally do a good job of abiding by their motto (“do no evil”)–and you can call me old-fashioned–but I’m just not so sure about the ethics behind advertising for Chinese bride services. On the other hand, maybe I’m being over-hasty. Maybe is a perfectly legitimate and respectable business.

Young Billy seeks advice from notorious serial killers

In a strange and entertaining social experiment, in the late 90s Bill Geerhart “launched a letter-writing campaign to some of the most powerful and infamous figures in the country, posing as a curious 10-year-old named Billy.” These people included Donald Rumsfeld, Oprah Winfrey, Arnold Schwarzenegger — and also some more… evil celebrities, including Charles Manson, Ted Kaczynski and several other notorious serial killers.

In the May/June issue of Radar Magazine, Geerhart reports on the follow-up to this experiment.

Excerpt of Manson’s reply:

Scanned image of Charles Manson\'s crazy letter to Billy

Back when men were men, and calculators weighed five tons

Original Babbage Difference EngineCharles Babbage was a 19th century chap, credited with having invented the first mechanical computer, and was also the father of Ada Lovelace, considered by some to have been the first computer programmer (avant la lettre).

In 1991, London’s science museum created a working replica of his original Difference Engine (as it was called, a name which served as title for a decent SF/detective novel by Bruce Sterling and William Gibson), and now a model based on Babbage’s Difference Engine #2 is set to be unveiled in May.

The first recreation weighed 3 tons, and #2 is set to weigh in at a healthy 5 tons.

The guy in the photo is not Babbage, but looks sufficiently crazy to have designed a 5 ton calculator.