The Null Device


A 1939 magazine article about the censorship of animated cartoons, and exactly the sorts of things the Hays Office (which handled film censorship in the U.S. at the time) demanded cut from cartoons. For example, a cartoon cow was made to wear a skirt covering its udders, a sombrero-wearing bandit is required to end up in jail (crime, you see, must unambiguously be seen to not pay), and a scene with a stereotypical black (as in African-American) angel placing pushpins on a globe labelled "Harlem" and mentioning "De Lawd" had to be altered, not because of the racial stereotypes (which, in 1939, were perfectly fine) but because it was considered too sacrilegious.

It's interesting to note that the article states at the beginning that animated cartoons were subjected to stricter censorship regulations than live-action films because it was assumed that anything animated was for children, who needed to be protected. Similar justifications were used for comic books (with the Comics Code, which was in force until publishers started ignoring it in the 1960s or so, and had similarly puritanical scope), and in current video game censorship in Australia.

(via Boing Boing) animation authoritarianism cartoons censorship culture history media 0

Nanotechnology researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed the blackest material ever, which reflects virtually no light. The material is comprised of silica nanorods at precisely 45 degrees, and appears like a black void, no matter how much light one shines on it.

Metalheads, goths and emo kids are eagerly awaiting news of clothing applications of the discovery.

(via /.) black nanotechnology science tech 2