Boing Boing (220)

Unboxing the ETCH, an axe designed for back-country self-rescue

Peter Biddle writes, "I get I myself into trouble. I don't claim that bad stuff happens to me more often than others - it's more that I find more ways to happen to bad stuff. I actually found a way to get severe hypothermia in 105°F heat."

The Oatmeal looks into our reality tunnels, the "backfire effect," and the nature of belief

Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal is at it again with a smart, funny, and very relevant look at how we construct our beliefs, build our reality tunnels, and why we react so forcefully when the core assumptions of that belief system are threatened. Read the rest of it. Nice touch that there are two ...

Interview about my Recomendo newsletter

I was recently interviewed about the weekly Recomendo newsletter I write with my Cool Tools colleagues, Kevin Kelly and Claudia Dawson. Here's an excerpt: What is the goal of your newsletter? To give our readers a weekly list of 6 things we love — travel tips, books, TV shows, clothes, tools, ...

Nabisco's X-rated toy scandal of 1971

Nabisco really screwed up in 1971 when they bought Aurora, makers of some really cool monster models. The problem was that Aurora also made a series of models called Monster Scenes that encouraged kids to torture a kidnapped "girl victim" by locking her in a cage, burning her with hot coals, and ...

What was inside Timothy Leary's stash box?

As part of the PROJECT:OBJECT "Illicit Objects" series, Doug Rushkoff writes about his friend and mentor Timothy Leary's silk drug stash box. Tim's own supply of drugs was minuscule. In addition to a couple of pills, a little paper-fold of cocaine, and maybe a hit of E, his little silk stash box ...

Last surviving witness of Lincoln assassination on 1956 TV game show I've posted this before, but it popped up again on Open Culture and it's still awe-provoking. On a TV game show in 1956 called I've Got a Secret, panelists had to guess what 96-year-old Samuel James Seymour's secret was. When Seymour was five years old, he saw John ...

How to draw a levitating cube optical illusion

Jonathan Stephen Harris explains how to draw this mindbending anamorphic illusion of a levitating cube in about 15 minutes. Materials used: 110lb cardstock, HB pencil, 2B pencil, Blue bic pen, red bic pen, black fine line pen, ruler, scissors.

Yes, Trump viewed #Eclipse2017 without glasses. 'Don't look,' an aide shouted.

Yup. He really did.

Dog digs up dope-filled geocache in backyard

Kenyon, a golden retriever, was digging in his Yamhill County, Oregon backyard when he uncovered what his owners thought was a "time capsule." Turns out, the container was packed with 15 ounces of black tar heroin. Yamhill County Sheriff Tim Svenson presented Kenyonwith an "official Yamhill County ...

My hand shadows looked weird during the eclipse

Here in Los Angeles we only saw a partial eclipse, but it was still interesting. My daughter and I were surprised to see circular bumps between our fingers in our hand shadows.

Watch a Blue Angel surprise the hell out of some folks

One of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels surprises the hell out of some people yesterday during the Chicago Air and Water Show.

Good deal on Amazon Fire tablet: $40

I've had my Fire Tablet for about a year, and have definitely gotten my $40 out of it. . I use it in the day to look at my Nest camera that's pointing at our driveway . I also use it to listen to audiobooks, read Kindle books, check email and Twitter, and stream Netflix and Amazon Prime videos. ...

'It was literally cold and dark': Total solar eclipse viewed throughout the U.S.

In the NASA image above, today's total solar eclipse is seen above Madras, Oregon. Photo by Aubrey Gemignani for NASA. Below, our moon blocks out the sun during the solar eclipse in Depoe Bay, Oregon.

British Airways forces man to sit in wet urine-soaked seat for 11 hours

Here we go again. Another airplane nightmare. It's as if the airlines are competing for the Most Horrific Flight award. British businessman Andrew Wilkinson boarded a British Airways plane from London to Johannesburg and found that his seat was wet. On further inspection he realized it was urine. He ...

Wolfgang Puck's pressure oven cooks stuff crazy fast

Toaster ovens are the perfect appliance for small things like toasted sandwiches and roasted garlic , but anything more involved usually requires a full-sized conventional oven.However, despite its small size, the Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven can handle anything from baked pastries to broiled meats. ...

Fender guitar factory video tour includes new axes made from Hollywood Bowl's old wood seats

LA Weekly did a nice piece on the new Front Row Legend Esquire guitars made of reclaimed wood benches from the Hollywood Bowl. They also toured Fender's Corona factory.

Formula for making a movie blockbuster trailer

This nails it.

Art made from intricately hand-cut leaves

Kazakhstani Instagrammer Kanat Nurtazin creates whimsical art that he superimposes onto outdoor scenes. What's especially cool is that the art is often hand-cut from leaves.

AR and VR poised to climb out of the "trough of dillusionment" on Gartner Hype Cycle

The Gartner Hype Cycle places emerging technologies on a rising-falling-rising curve.

Hate groups expose the cynicism of social media platforms

Those praising social media for turfing out white supremacists , are missing a deeper problem, writes John Herrman: that these commercial simulations of liberal public discourse are broken replicas of it, ultimately ruled by fiat. But what gave these trolls power on platforms wasn't just their ...

Beach Boys perform acapella version of "Wouldn't it Be Nice"

This is from the vocals-only version of Pet Sounds released in 1997, called Stack-O-Vocals. Here's the original version with instruments. I love both versions.

Watch: Gas pump keeps charging after nozzle is removed

Here's a guy recording a gas pump that keeps charging after the nozzle is removed. Perhaps it was just a faulty pump, but it's not the first time this has happened at a gas station. Last month, driver Garry McAllister in Texas had the same problem. He took the nozzle out of the pump, but the ...

Coming to Seattle: fact-checking workshop with legendary researcher Lisa Gold

Lisa Gold is the extraordinary researcher who is perhaps best know for her work with Neal Stephenson, particularly on the Baroque Trilogy.

Watch flower-hat jellies float around like fluorescent creatures from Avatar

The Tennessee Aquarium recently welcomed some new arrivals: fluorescent flower-hat jellies.

You Can Look Directly At This Totaled Eclipse

Warp your mind for a minute or twenty with this interactive ribbon animation

Turn out the lights, put on some trippy tune, and have fun moving around in Zhouyuan Li's color-shifting 3D matrix of undulating ribbons.

A Twitch subsidiary has created an official D&D digital toolset

Dungeons and Dragons Beyond is an official digital companion to D&D, with a free character-generator and a bunch of paid additions, from access to hyperlinked editions of the rulebooks , and a $3/player, $6/DM subscription service that lets DMs share their books with players.

RIP, science fiction legend Brian W Aldiss

Brian W Aldiss died at his home in Oxford, England on Saturday morning at the age of 92.

The half life of facts

In medical school, they tell you half of what you are about to learn won't be true when you graduate , they just don't know which half. In every field of knowledge, half of what is true today will one day be updated with better information, and it turns out that we actually know when that day will ...

Watch this robotic eel swim about measuring water pollution

Swiss researchers have unleashed a robotic eel in Lake Geneva, and their Envirobot successfully detected where the researchers had poured salt along the shore.

Ellen Pao on Silicon Valley sexism

Ellen Pao, a former Reddit chief and partner at Kleiner-Perkins , explains How Sexism Works in Silicon Valley.

Watch a chef try valiantly to make military MRE rations appear gourmet

New York chef Chuck George gathered up military MRE rations from different countries, then tried to present them as gourmet meals. Videographer Jimmy Pham and photographer Henry Hargreaves recorded his efforts.

Search YouTube for " brawl"

Googling " the hedgehog" is a classic trick revealing the abyssal depths of Sonic the Hedgehog fanart. More entertaining, I find, is searching YouTube for " brawl". Hours of fun! Previously: Brawl at Chuck E. Cheese's set to hardcore metal

Jack Stauber's trippy Pop Food

Hailing from near the Pennsylvania shores of Lake Erie, musician Jack Stauber has released a couple of trippy VHS-inspired videos to support his album Pop Food, and if you like interesting outsider music, check it out!

Watch hard candies get made on a candy press from 1871

Producing hard candy in bulk still required a lot of skill in Victorian times, as Lofty Pursuits demonstrated by making cinnamon hearts on this hard candy press from 1871.

Intricately layered laser-cut plywood sculptures

These amazing plywood art pieces are created in a small work area by Gabriel Schama and his laser cutter Elsie. His work really took off after a successful Kickstarter a few years ago.

Foo Fighters rickroll audience with a very special guest

Benjamin Milne: Dave Grohl invited Rick Astley onstage to play an awesome rendition of his hit single 'Never Gonna Give You Up'. As many commentators have pointed out there is a healthy dose of Smells Like Teen Spirit in this especially the Drum intro and the guitar solo - perhaps the best / only ...

Gorgeous x-ray area maps show how street-level entrances connect to NYC subway stations

Getting to a subway platform from the street often involves navigating stairs as well as a labyrinth of corridors. Architect Candy Chan created remarkably detailed and accurate diagrams of New York City's noted subway entrances and exits, overlaid with transparent parks and buildings.

Watch this lovely primer on America's transgender rights movement since the 1960s

The American Civil Liberties Union has released a brief overview of the transgender rights movement, focusing on the 1960s and 1970s, beautifully illustrated by Molly Crabapple.

How the Voyager Golden Record happened

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 2, the first of the two spacecraft that carried the Golden Record on a grand tour of the solar system and into the mysteries of interstellar space. Science journalist Timothy Ferris produced this enchanting phonograph record that tells a ...

Compare tiny PC cases with this useful online spreadsheet

Looking for a tiny PC that still has space for a gaming-quality video card? SFF PC Cases is a remarkably detailed spreadsheet listing dozens of models, complete with cost, dimensions, volume and even important build tips. The very smallest are not practical for powerful builds, but the critical ...

Crocheted pigeon costumes for dressing them up as extinct birds

Laurel Hope Roth, a former park ranger turned artist, has spent parts of the last decade creating intricate crocheted Biodiversity Reclamation Suits for Urban Pigeons.

Watch people whiz down this steep Swiss alpine slide

On the toboggan run overlooking Oeschinen Lake near Kandersteg, Switzerland, some people go in summer for the breathtaking view. Others go for the speedy thrill. Either way it looks like fun!

2017 EFF Pioneer Award winners: Chelsea Manning, Mike Masnick and Annie Game

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has announced the winners of the 2017 Pioneer Awards, "which recognize leaders who are extending freedom and innovation on the electronic frontier." They are whistleblower Chelsea Manning, Techdirt editor Mike Masnick and free expression defender Annie Game.

This paper notebook is completely reusable after a trip to the microwave

Digital devices still have a long way to go before they can match the instant feedback and flexibility of paper. Even the low-latency touch screens found on the Microsoft Surface or iPad Pro still need expensive stylus peripherals to take advantage of handwritten notes and drawing features, and can ...

Watch: Pole-dancing T-rex

Why simply work the pole when you can work the pole in a T-rex costume? Well, one unnamed Gong Show contestant did just that. Previously: Watch this Jewish surf band rock the new 'Gong Show'

Stop worrying: Pets aren't interested in staring into the sun

No need to get a pair of protective eclipse glasses for your dog or cat, experts say they don't normally look at the sun. In today's NASA briefing about Monday's solar eclipse, co-chair of the National Solar Eclipse Task Force Angela Speck remarked, "It's no different than any other day. On a normal ...

Why we often choose to keep useful information out of our heads

The cyberpunks, the Founding Fathers, the 19th Century philosophers, and the Enlightenment thinkers , they each envisioned a perfect democracy powered by a constant multimedia psychedelic freakout in which all information was free, decentralized, democratized, and easy to access. In each era, the ...

Carpet is disgusting

This is your regularly scheduled important reminder that carpet is bad. I have it in just one room of my house and no matter how often I clean it, the rinsewater looks like this. Carpet: Mattress of Filth. I won't even recommend a steam cleaner. It's just so nasty, all of it. Don't buy one. Instead, ...

These intricate hand-painted mandala stones reveal the cosmic beauty of math

San Francisco-based artist Lina West creates these beautiful hand-painted mandala stones covered in gorgeous fractal patterns.