Boing Boing 

Gallery of monster toys

The Gallery of Monster Toys is a stupendous collection of kids' monster stuff from the 60s to the 90s. I actually had one of these glow-in-the-dark Mummy models -- though mine never looked half so good as this. Link (via Neatorama)

Using tape to repair plane wing -- video

Moustache writes about the time he saw some men repair a plane he was sitting in with some kind of tape.
Picture 2-24 I dug up this video I shot back in December ‘04 when I was aboard an Air Deccan flight from Bangalore to Mumbai. Looked out my window and what did I see, A group of guys repairing the wing with some sort of muthafcukin’ duct tape. There’s some more repairs to the left of the one they are working on with what seems to be the same technique. Crossed my fingers, tossed back a shot of Black Label, and stayed on the flight.
Link (Thanks, Phil!)

EFF accepts Barney's surrender

EFF has won a settlement out of the corporate owners of Barney the Purple Dinosaur -- a pack of legal bullies who use copyright law to threaten people who make fun of their character on the Internet:

The agreement settles a suit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in August on behalf of Dr. Stuart Frankel against Lyons Partnership, owners of the Barney character. Frankel received repeated, meritless cease-and-desist letters from Lyons, claiming his online parody violated copyright and trademark law. EFF's suit asked the court to declare that Frankel's parody was a noninfringing fair use protected by the First Amendment.

"We wish we hadn't had to file a lawsuit to finally get Barney's lawyers to stop harassing a man who was just expressing his opinion about a cultural phenomenon," said EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry. "Hopefully Lyons Partnership has learned its lesson and will have more respect for fair use in the future."


Plank + cheap mic = touch sensitive tablet

Matthew sez, "Some software and cheap microphones is all that is needed to turn a wooden board into a touch sensitive input device. The video is pretty impressive."

Two or more sensors are attached around the edges of the surface. These pinpoint the position of a finger, or another touching object, by tracking minute vibrations. This allows them to create a virtual touchpad, or keyboard, on any table or wall.

The system, called Tai-Chi (Tangible Acoustic Interfaces for Computer-Human Interaction), was developed by researchers from Switzerland, Italy, Germany, France and the UK. "We have made a system that can give any object, even a 3D one, a sense of touch," says Ming Yang, an engineer at Cardiff University, UK, who is coordinating the project.

Link (Thanks, Matthew!)

Bruce Lee themepark coming to China

A Bruce Lee themepark is under construction in Shanghai Shunde, which is close to Hong Kong:
...they are also planning a roller coaster that emits Bruce Lee’s signature squawks and grunts! The park will be patrolled by robot-mannequin Bruce Lees! And the whole shebang is controlled by a special secret control room housed in a giant statue! Yes!

The park is slated to be finished in three years and we can pretty much guarantee, without doing any research or talking to anyone, that there’s going to be a hall of mirrors of some kind in this thing.

Link (Thanks, Wei Qin!)

Cheap air travel via bulk cheese purchasing

Buy a wheel of Swiss Knights Fondue and Cheese and you get 500 AAdvantage air-miles -- that's like a trip to Australia for $1,100 -- a serious bargoon (if you can book far enough in advance to use your miles, of course).
This weekend I was handed an opened wheel of processed cheeses by a friend. He said that his brother-in-law had caught wind of a frequent flyer promotion whereby you get 500 miles for each purchase of this cheese wheel and had purchased 75,000 miles for ~$300, which also means he's got more opened cheese wheels than he knows what to do with.

Underpaid cosmonauts

Russian cosmonauts earn less than $800/month, and the program is having a hard time attracting would-be space-farers:
According to Space News, cosmonauts now earn $767 (20,448 Russian rubles) per month plus bonuses for spaceflights. That's far less than what they could attract in the private sector.

So the rocket company Energia has allowed university students to apply to be cosmonauts before they graduate. That didn't pan out so well. Only five of 20 students who volunteered for the programme in 2006 underwent medical tests. None of them passed.

Link (Thanks, Matt!)

Judge Richard Posner coming to Second Life

Wagner James Au sez, "He's upheld the First Amendment protections of video games and contemplated the future of law in online worlds, and early December, in an apt progression, monumentally influential Judge Richard A. Posner will take on avatar form, to discuss the US Constitution in the era of apocalyptic terrorism. (Event sponsored by Creative Commons.)"

“I am very excited to have been asked to give a talk, via an avatar, in Second Life," Judge Posner tells me, via e-mail. "Virtual communities are an important social phenomenon with transformative potential, and I know that Second Life is in the forefront of this latest stage of the digital revolution." And I'm very excited to welcome such an august figure in-world, joining Lawrence Lessig, Thomas Barnett, and other great public intellectuals who're among the first to transmit their crucial ideas into the metaverse.
Link (Thanks, James!)

WorldChanging book launch in LA this Sat

This Saturday, December 2 will be the Los Angeles launch of the WorldChanging book, at Equator Books. WorldChanging: A User's Guide to the 21st Century is a huge, encylopedic tome on the novel ways that the technology and social movements are being used to make the world a better place, from the grass roots up. WorldChanging is based on the excellent blog of the same name, and is thematically organized with sections on "Stuff," "Shelter," "Cities," "Community," "Business," "Politics" and "Planet," each broken into a series of quickly digestable essays on subjects like "Healing polluted land," "Green marketing," "Movement building" and "Citizen science." (I contributed an article on the global copyfight and what expanding copyrights mean to the developing world).

Where: Equator Books, 1103 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

When: Sat, Dec 2, 7:30PM

Link (Thanks, Alex!)

Human sugar bowl -- 1960s street prank

200611272023 In the 1960s two underemployed young men named Mal Sharpe and Jim Coyle from the San Francisco Bay Area decided to have some fun by walking the streets with a tape recorder hidden in a briefcase to conduct surreal prank interviews with people.

On a recent episode of the terrific podcast, The Sound of Young America, Mal Sharpe was invited as a guest to talk about the movie Borat. The podcast's host, Jesse Thorn, said Coyle and Sharpe were spiritual grandfathers to Sacha Baron Cohen. Thorn also played a segment of an early Coyle and Sharpe bit, called the human sugar bowl, in which the pranksters entered a San Francisco restaurant and asked the owner if he would "be opposed to the idea of using an area of your head, which is currently not used for such purposes, to use this as a storage place for sugar?" I loved the fact that the restaurant owner actually had a conversation with the two pranksters, telling them they were crazy for thinking the idea would be a viable business, and explaining to them why he thought it was a bad business idea. Today, most restaurant owners who were approached by a pair of deadly earnest men spouting such insanity would reach for a gun, a can of pepper spray, or a phone to call the cops.

Here's a sample of the bit. You can buy a four-disc set of Coyle and Sharpe's work at

Reader comment:

Sound of Young America host Jesse Thorn says:

I must reflect credit elsewhere... that was actually an episode of Public Radio International's Open Source on which Mal Sharpe and I were guests. The host is Christopher Lydon. They're CC licensed, so I put it down my podcast chute since I was out of town this past weekend.

That said, here's an hour show I did a few weeks ago with Mal.

CBC prez: High-def TV has no business model

CBC president Robert Rabinovich has decried high-def TV as having no business model. This wouldn't be newsworthy except that the promise of HDTV is the excuse given for the Broadcast Flag, which says that paranoid studio executives should be in charge of what features TVs are allowed to have.

The idea is that if you don't give them their design-veto, they won't put movies on high-def, and then the money won't come in. But when the head of Canada's national broadcaster announces that there's just no way any broadcaster is going to make its money back on high-def, it makes you wonder if the Brits don't have the right idea.

In the UK, a digital TV system called "Freeview" gives the public 30 free standard-definition TV channels, for life, over the air, for one setup payment. Instead of trying to lure people into throwing away their old sets and buying all new, Hollywood-crippled ones, the Brits just created free cable for life. Amazingly, lots of people voluntarily switched -- and soon they'll be able to shut off the old analog towers and use that spectrum for better, more internetty things.

“There's no evidence either in Canada or the United States that we have found for advertisers willing to pay a premium for a program that's in HD,” Mr. Rabinovich said. “So basically they're saying if you want to shoot in HD, that's your business, we're not going to pay you more.”
Link (via /.)

New Democracy player, faster and more stable

There's a new, faster, more efficient version of Democracy Player out today. Democracy is the free and open Internet video player that can subscribe to easily-published video feeds. It automatically fetches new videos using BitTorrent (so the video-maker's server is never overwhelmed by sudden popularity) and it plays it no matter what video format it's in.

Version 0.92, released today, fixes a ton of performance issues, mostly in the Windows version (Democracy is available for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux). If you've tried Democracy before and had problems with it, this is the version to get. Link

(Disclosure: I am a proud member of the Board of Directors of the Participatory Culture Foundation, the charity that oversees Democracy)

HOWTO suggest links for Boing Boing

A reminder: please don't ever email any of us suggestions for things to post to Boing Boing. The only way to suggest a link for Boing Boing is using the suggest-a-link form. We never blog things sent by email -- even from friends and loved ones and (especially) PR people. The form's the way to go. Link

Video of the Bantams (kid musicians) from the 1966

Picture 1-34
Skinny Robbie has a video a trio of boys called The Bantams who are pretending to play Twist and Shout on a TV show called Shivaree. Link

In 2005, Robbie wrote about this group of entertaining tots. And here is Fritz Bantam's homepage (on Geocities!). From his site:

200611271744 The youngest of 3 brothers, that were a music phenomenon in the late 60's and early 70's, Fritz Bantam has continued his music career to the present day. Graduating from playing maracas, to playing bass guitar, Fritz continues to wow audiences with his musical talent.Fritz currently resides in the Inland Empire of California with his wife and two children. A recent surge in the interest of 60's and 70's music culture,and a notable demand for Bantam memorabilia,prompted the development of this site.

Thomas Jefferson's art collection copyrighted?

My pal and Institute for the Future colleagues Mike Love writes:
 119 308034030 5C43C38223 After Thanksgiving my family visited Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville, Virginia. Before entering, the tour guide told us that we couldn't take any photos inside because they "don't own the copyright for some of the works of art." This peeved me in light of the copyright-restricted space post I had read recently about misusing the language of copyright to intimidate people.

In protest I tried to take a no-flash picture of Jefferson's engraved copy of the Declaration of Independence, but was politely told to stop - and reminded that the Thomas Jefferson Foundation doesn't own the copyright to some of his works of art. If they don't own the copyright to his nearly 200 year-old art then who does!?

UPDATE: Jennifer Michaels, a former Motincello tour guide, writes:
I was a tour guide at Monticello from 2002 to 2004, and I can answer Mike Love´s question of, "If they [Monticello] don't own the copyright to his nearly 200 year-old art then who does!?" It´s a great question, and I was always happy to answer it for my own tour groups.

The reason that photographs are not allowed inside Monticello itself is because the home itself is owned by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, a non-profit organization that upkeeps the home, but more than half of the furniture inside the building does not belong to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. When the non-profit organization bought the house in the 1930´s, there was no furniture in it at all. Thomas Jefferson died over $100,000 in debt and the vast majority of his private property was sold at dispersal auction in the 1830´s to recover his debt, which was a huge burden on his surviving family. The TJF curators spend an enormous amount of time just trying to find the furniture, which is literally scattered to the four winds.

When they do manage to find a furniture or piece, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation would obviously prefer to buy it when possible for their own collection. But the TJF can´t afford to buy it all outright, and understandably, some pieces aren´t even for sale, either because the private owners don´t wish to part with it or because it´s part of another museum´s collection. Consequently, the majority of furnishings in Monticello are on permanent contractual loan to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, with the private (or other museum) owners retaining all rights--including reproduction copyright--to the items themselves. So prohibiting photography in the house is actually done to protect private property that belongs to a slew of other people. That´s a very different situation than what´s going on at Victoria and Albert, where the artwork truly is in the public domain.

Furthermore, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation is understandably concerned that if they did allow non-flash photography in the home, visitors would inevitably forget to turn off their flashes and misunderstand the rules and take flash photography anyway. Most of the items in the home are extremely light-sensitive due to their age, to the point that all of the home´s windows are covered with a protective UV film. Imagine if just one out of every 1,000 visitors forgot the rules and took a flash picture in the house; with about half a million visitors to the home each year, that would expose the house to approximately 500 photography flashes a year, which is plenty enough to do damage.

If the Jefferson Foundation were so anti-film, they wouldn´t allow photographs everywhere else on the grounds except inside the house. Because they own the entire outdoor property and have only allowed replica furniture to ornament the outside of the house, there is no copyright conflict with people taking pictures outside the home itself. I always reminded my tour groups as soon as we got back outside that they should turn their cameras on and start snapping away.

Finally, if it makes Mike feel any better, I am almost certain that the engraved, framed copy of the Declaration of Independence that he was attempting to photograph didn´t actually belong to Thomas Jefferson. There are two engravings of the Declaration in the home, and while both are contemporary to Jefferson´s time period, Jefferson´s own engravings of the Declaration no longer exist. So Mike was actually looking at a very similar engraving by the same engraver, but not the one that Jefferson actually owned.

Jonathan Lethem on Philip K. Dick

Novelist and MacArthur "genius grant" recipient Jonathan Lethem has frequently written and spoken about the influence surrealist science fiction author Philip K. Dick had on Lethem's noir SF works like Amnesia Moon and Gun, With Occasional Music. Indeed, the DVD release of A Scanner Darkly, based on Dick's novel, will feature Lethem's commentary as a bonus feature. The new issue of The Virginia Quarterly Review includes Lethem's imaginations of Phil's strange life shortly after the publication of his first novel. From Lethem's piece, titled "Phil In The Marketplace":
The Lucky Dog Pet Shop is where the writer of Ubik goes to buy ground horsemeat, ostensibly for his dog, actually for himself and his wife to eat. It’s not so bad, horsemeat. In the Pyrenees they smoke it into jerky and serve it with hard cheese and casks of good red wine. What’s bad is the shame. The writer of Ubik has come to suspect that the woman who runs the cash register at the Lucky Dog Pet Shop knows he’s buying the horsemeat for himself, that there is no dog. In a world where the FBI has already visited the writer’s house–they were dapper and polite, fine figures of men, a little older than he’d expected; they reminded him of Hollis, they took him for a drive, he sort of liked them–the woman is one of his foremost looming authority figures. She might turn him in. She might tell his mother.

Yet when the writer of Ubik gets to the cash register he finds not the dreaded woman but instead a substitute clerk, a young man with a small beard like a Beat. When the writer approaches, the substitute clerk greets him in a voice conditioned by cigarettes and bearing traces of an accent. The writer understands without knowing how he understands that the substitute clerk is from France. More than just from France. The substitute clerk is a Marxist literary critic. The writer feels relief. Here is someone who certainly must grasp the eating of horsemeat. The writer’s going to get away with it, at least today.

“You are Philip?”


“You will write Ubik?”

“I don’t know, I guess so.”
Link (Thanks, Dave Gill!)


Over at Cryptomundo, Loren Coleman takes an interesting look at "blobsquatches," blurry indistinct objects in photos that could either be a real, live Bigfoot or, well, a branch, a shadow, a rock, a tree stump, a smudge on the lens, etc.
 Wp-Content Blob1...(The) first known public lecture appearance of the word ("blobsquarch" was) on September 14, 2003. On that date, Alton Higgins, at the Willow Creek Symposium, flashed the term up on a screen and spent several minutes analyzing various blobsquatch images.

Higgins expanded what he presented at Willow Creek, and published his March 21, 2004 revised paper, which can be found online here: "Evaluating Purported Sasquatch Photographic Evidence".

Higgins wrote within that paper: "Any photo requiring equal parts interpretation and imagination (photos sometimes characterized as ‘blobsquatches’) should be discounted."

WATCH list of the year's ten most dangerous toys

WATCH (World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.) has issued its 2006 list of "10 Worst Toys," playthings "with the potential to cause childhood injuries, or even death." Included on this year's danger roster are the likes of Heelys, the skate shoes that Cory is fond of, Sky Blaster all-in-one rocket and launcher, and the Fisher-Price Lil Snoopy. From the WATCH description of the dangers of Fear Factor Candy Challenge products:
 Images 2006 150 Toy2 W.A.T.C.H. OUT! ! These "Fear Factor" pouches containing "spine-chilling spiders", "mystery meat", and a "buzzard buffet", pose a "candy challenge" to children, asking: "[I]s fear a factor for you?" The grotesque buffet, available in the toy aisle, is based upon the television series which sometimes features contestants competing to eat as much as possible in the shortest time. Toy aisles should not be used to encourage food-eating competitions, which invite potential choking and ingestion injuries, particularly for young children.
Link (Thanks, Paul Saffo!)

Exxon kills free classroom copies of "Inconvenient Truth"

Odiyya sez, "Laurie David, a producer of An Inconvenient Truth, reports that the National Science Teachers Association has rejected 50,000 free classroom copies of the movie, citing 'unnecessary risk upon the [NSTA] capital campaign, especially certain targeted supporters.' One of those supporters turns out to be Exonn-Mobil." Link (Thanks, Odiyya!)

Custom portrait of you as a zombie

Canadian illustrator Rob Sacchetto has opened a business selling zombified portraits of his customers. Email him a picture of yourself and he'll mail you back a hand-drawn cartoon of you as a horrible zombie. He got the idea after doing a couple friends' zombie portraits for Hallowe'en -- now he's charging US$85, including shipping. Link (via Neatorama)

Video of cocaine making in Colombian jungle

Picture 1-33 Picture 2-23 Picture 3-19 Picture 4-15 Filmmaker Matthew Bristow went to the Colombian jungle to document a cocaine manufacturing process. They use gasoline, sulfuric acid, ammonia, quicklime, and caustic soda to turn coca leaves into the white powder. Link

EFF Staff Technologist free talk in LA tomorrow!

A reminder: I'm hosting Seth Schoen, EFF's Staff Technologist, at a free talk at USC in Los Angeles tomorrow night.

Seth is a polymath geek, who created the job of Staff Technologist at EFF. He makes it possible for EFF's lawyers to understand the technological implications of the law and the legal implications of technology. He's an engineer who fights for freedom, and has taken part in such exciting adventures as ferreting out the secret codes hidden in color laser printouts. He maintains a Linux distribution, wrote the DeCSS Haiku, and testifies in court. Most importantly (from my perspective), he is the world's leading expert on the threats and promises of trusted computing -- and the creator of Owner Override, a proposal that will leave trusted computing's privacy benefits intact, but defang its threats to liberty.

As always, we'll podcast the audio within a day or two of the event, but I hope to see you there! This is the last speaker of the year, so it's your last chance in 2006!

Where: University of Southern California main campus (LA), Annenberg School for Communications, room 207

When: Tuesday, November 28, 7PM-9PM


Johnson's Ghost Map: Earth's largest organism and its smallest

I just finished Steven Johnson's excellent new book "The Ghost Map," a popular science book about the London cholera epidemic of 1854, and the extraordinary new science that emerged from its punishing violence.

In 1854, London was a city with millions of residents and no sewage system. It was the first time a city had grown so big, and while it had a rudimentary idea of a public health system, this system was based on the "miasma" theory of disease: that illness was the result of smelling bad smells. So it was that London was drowning in its own shit, and so it was that thousands of Londoners were in the business of harvesting, cleaning, moving, exploring and scavenging in shit. Johnson quotes journals and accounts of the day describing unimaginable filth, residents dipping buckets into open, running sewers, then letting the "water" separate out of the excrement, skimming it off and drinking it.

Cholera epidemics are the inevitable outcome of such a situation. One such outbreak took Soho -- a poor, overcrowded neighborhood -- by storm, killing one in ten in the space of a week. In that week, two very different men (a cleric and a scientist) who were both local to Soho pounded the streets, working to extinguish the disease's flames. They struggled against the miasma-obsessed public health administration (whose idea of sanitation was to order all the basement cesspools emptied into the Thames, London's main source of drinking water).

The cleric, Reverend Henry Whitehead, had intimate knowledge of Soho's streets and families, and the scientist, Dr John Snow, had a history of challenging establishment superstitions with empirical research. Together they worked on a map that showed the disease's course through London, and ran the cholera back to the well where it originated. The combination of data-visualization and local knowledge revealed the microbial nature of cholera, years before anyone managed to connect the actual bug with the disease.

Johnson's got a gift for telling human stories in science -- and a healthy respect for cities, humanity's most complicated and magnificent inventions. He's characterized this as the story of the world's largest organism -- the city -- locked in struggle with one of the world's smallest -- a bacterium. That's as good a strapline as any -- it's a dramatic story of a key evolutionary moment in our history, a moment when we could have destroyed ourselves or brought ourselves to the future. Link

See also:
Steven Johnson's new book The Ghost Map
Steven Johnson's fave books about plagues
Steven Johnson launches
BoingBoingBoing podcast 006: Steven Johnson

Update: Jeff sez, "John Snow published a book on his investigation into the cholera epidemic. His account is a pretty interesting read."

Bollywood-star mudflaps

Flickr user Meanest Indian has a lovely gallery of Indian mudflaps depicting stars of Bollywood movies. So much cooler than the US zaftig silhouette. Link (Thanks, Avi!)

Kirby Dick and This Film is Not Yet Rated, Thu in LA

This Thursday, I'll introduce director Kirby Dick and his movie "This Film is Not Yet Rated" at a free screening at USC. The screening is sponsored by the USC Free Culture club, a campus organization dedicated to promoting liberty, openness, and access to information.

Kirby Dick has graciously agreed to present the screening of his movie, which I reviewed in September. This Film is Not Yet Rated is the best documentary I've seen all year, the kind of thing that inspired outrage and sympathy. It tells the hidden story of the MPAA's rating board, and its systematic discrimination against sympathetic portrayals of gay sexuality and sex in general, and its tacit support for ultra-violence.

The ratings board is shrouded in secrecy, and exists, supposedly, to forestall Congressional censorship of the film industry (an eventuality as unlikely as it is unconstitutional). The board's membership is secret, as are the names of the appeals committee that is meant to watchdog the organizing. The whole, secretive mess was established by Jack Valenti in his capacity as head of the MPAA, and so it bends over backwards to help filmmakers from the major studios (while shafting indies).

Dick's documentary revolves around his efforts to unmask the identity of the secret censor board. He hires a private eye and sets her to work (the CSI elements of the film are really juicy -- it's fun to see how private eyes really work). Threaded around this are interviews with filmmakers who've had run-ins with the board, and, as a climax, Dick's own Orwellian adventures in submitting his documentary to the censor board whose identities he has uncovered.

I can't wait to meet him -- one viewing of This Film is Not Yet Rated turned me into an instant, lifelong fan. I hope to see you there!

Where: University of Southern California, Los Angeles: University Park Campus, George Lucas Instructional Building, 108

When: Thursday, November 30, 2006 : 7:00pm to 9:00pm


Altair 8800 replica kit

Check out these amazing replica Altair 8800 kit, composed all new (or new-old stock) parts, with the original instructions for assembly. The Altair 8800 was the microcomputer ancestor of the PC -- the computer that inspired the PC revolution. It was -- to some approximation -- the first useful computer that you could build and run in your home workshop. Regrettably, these kits are only sold on eBay, making them a pain to acquire, but the idea is just fantastic, and it sounds like the build-quality is terrific. Link (via Make)

VICTORY! UK recording copyrights won't go to 95 years! (?)

Glyn sez,
The BBC are reporting that there will be no copyright extension for songs in the UK. The official review commissioned by the Treasury on all IP law in the UK has not yet been published but it is highly likely the BBC have managed to get a sneak peak.

Sir Cliff Richard and Jethro Tull had been among artists lobbying for copyright to last 95 years, rather than the present 50.

The Open Rights Group had been amongst the groups lobbying against this possibility with their release the music campaign and their submitions to the review. When the report actualy comes out we will see if they have had similar success with their request to create a new exception to UK copyright law that would give individuals the right to create a private copy of copyrighted materials for their own personal use, including back-ups, archiving and shifting format. Sign the petition if you're in the UK.

Link (Thanks, Glyn!)

How to make your urine blue

200611261954 How to ingest methylene blue to make your pee blue. Link (Thanks, Phil!)

Reader comment:

Russell says:

I've been an avid reader of the Boing Boing blog for some time, it's good stuff.

I saw the 'turn urine blue' post and remembered seeing something about methylene blue on an MSDS that would probably be worth mentioning with this - it may have had a hand in some birth defects when injected amniotically. Fairly harmless stuff unless you're pregnant though, and probably not to dangerous when ingested even then, but for more info there's a report here.

Boing Boing Boing podcast 008: Merlin Mann

200611261938 Episode #8 of the Boing Boing Boing podcast is ready for downloading. Our guest for this edition is Merlin Mann of the personal productivity blog

Xeni, Pesco and I talk with our guest about a slew of recent Boing Boing topics, and about things going on in Merlin's busy life, including his fabulously funny "Phone Guy" videos.

LISTEN: Podcast Feed, Subscribe via iTunes, Direct MP3 Link (64K), other MP3 file download options from Link, enhanced podcast with images, or listen at Odeo (with archives of previous shows): Link.

Future Salon: alternate reality games

Tomorrow's Future Salon in Second Life is, appropriately, on the topic of alternate reality games and pervasive gaming. Participants include 42 Entertainment's Elan Lee (BB pal Jane McGonigal's collaborator on projects like ilovebees), Tony "Clickable Culture" Walsh, and Adrian and/or Dan Hon of Mind Candy , creators of Perplex City. The in-game salon takes place tomorrow, Monday 11/27, at 4pm PST. Link