Boing Boing 

Hugo nominees announced

This year's Hugo nominees are out -- congrats to all the great nominees! It's amazing to see great books like "Glasshouse," "Rainbows End," and "Blindsight" on the ballot, along with stories like Ian McDonald's "The Djinn's Wife," Bill Shunn's "Inclination," Geoff Ryman's "Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter," Ben Rosenbaum's "The House Beyond Your Sky" not to mention Neil Gaiman's "How to Talk to Girls at Parties," Tim Pratt's "Impossible Dreams" -- and the list goes on! An art book by Picacio, a bio of Alice Sheldon, a memoir by Chip Delany; badass movies like Children of Men and V for Vendetta, and a really top-flight list of Campbell nominees! Christ, it's going to be hard to pick favorites this year.
Michael F. Flynn, Eifelheim (Tor)
Naomi Novik, His Majesty’s Dragon (Del Rey)
Charles Stross, Glasshouse (Ace)
Vernor Vinge, Rainbows End (Tor)
Peter Watts, Blindsight (Tor)

“The Walls of the Universe” by Paul Melko (Asimov’s, April/May 2006)
“A Billion Eyes” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s, October/November 2006)
“Inclination” by William Shunn (Asimov’s, April/May 2006)
“Lord Weary’s Empire” by Michael Swanwick (Asimov’s, December 2006)
Julian: A Christmas Story by Robert Charles Wilson (PS Publishing)

“Yellow Card Man” by Paolo Bacigalupi (Asimov’s, December 2006
) “Dawn, and Sunset, and the Colours of the Earth” by Michael F. Flynn (Asimov’s, December 2006)
“The Djinn’s Wife” by Ian McDonald (Analog, July 2006)
“All the Things You Are” by Mike Resnick (Jim Baen’s Universe, October 2006)
“Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter” by Geoff Ryman (F&SF, October/November 2006)

Short Story
“How to Talk to Girls at Parties” by Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things)
“Kin” by Bruce McAllister (Asimov’s, February 2006)
“Impossible Dreams” by Timothy Pratt (Asimov’s, July 2006)
“Eight Episodes” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s, June 2006)
“The House Beyond Your Sky” by Benjamin Rosenbaum (Strange Horizons, September 2006)

Related Book
Samuel R. Delany, About Writing: Seven Essays, Four Letters, and Five Interviews (Wesleyan University Press)
Joseph T. Major, Heinlein’s Children: The Juveniles (Advent)
Julie Phillips, James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice Sheldon (St. Martin’s Press)
John Picacio, Cover Story: The Art of John Picacio (MonkeyBrain Books)
Mike Resnick & Joe Siclari, eds., Worldcon Guest of Honor Speeches (ISFiC Press)


Looking Real Good: fashion shots of normal people

Pete sez, "Last week my friends and I quietly launched our new project; the basic premise is that interesting people upload photos of themselves looking their best. Every day there's a new person to read about on the homepage/RSS for 24 hours. There's no profit motive, and no opportunity to comment or vote or any other cruft; it's just an opportunity to wake up and see a fresh new face." Link (Thanks, Pete)

MOG's automated music video collector

Mog-Tv Last year, my friend David Hyman launched MOG, a social networking site for music lovers that uses a downloadable app to scan your music library and automatically populate your page on the site with data. This afternoon, David told me about a cool new feature launching tomorrow called MOG TV. At its most basic level, MOG TV automatically locates the music videos on YouTube that correspond to the songs in your music library. David tells me that their algorithms and heuristics are really good at identifying the best match for the tune. And when the system inevitably screws up, MOG users are encouraged to flag the offending clip as bad quality or just plain wrong so the matches get better over time. The neatest thing though is that MOG TV doesn't just filter for the "official" promotional videos for each song. David tells me that "probably more than half of what you'll see on MOG TV is live footage." Hooray for bootleg concert video! Link

Previously on BB:
• MOG: social networking around music Link

Stasi chief was an Orwell fan, bent reality to get room 101

Erich Mielke, the head of the East German secret police, was a great fan of Orwell's novel 1984, and desperately wanted his office to be in Room 101 (the location of the torture chamber in the novel). His office was on the second floor. So he renamed the first floor the mezzanine.
"I’d long been fascinated by George Orwell’s work, but I resisted reading 1984 until I finished the manuscript for Stasiland. After that, I devoured it, and I couldn’t believe Orwell’s prescience. When I went into Mielke’s office, I saw it had the number 101, which in 1984 is the number of the torture chamber. 1984 was banned in the G.D.R. but of course, Mielke and Honecker had access to banned material. The guide told me that Mielke wanted this number so much that even though his office was on the 2nd floor, he had the entire first floor renamed the Mezzanine so that he could call his room 101."

--Anna Funder, author of Stasiland


White House subpoena evaders put national security at risk (and waive exec privilege)

White House staffers have been using their own, non-governmental email (from off-the-shelf email providers) as a means of evading subpoenas. That means that critical, secret emails are being kept off the critical, secure servers that the US taxpayers bought, and are instead being managed on Crazy Ed's Discount House of Email and Subpoena Evasion.

It also means that there's no executive privilege for these emails.

A reader who has a security role at a federal agency writes, "On the issue of using outside/unofficial e-mail address from official sites, the CIO at [redacted] has expressly forbade the practice for security reasons as it is all too easy to put sensitive information in an e-mail. ... Needless to say, hearing that the WH does not mandate that practice and lets [Rove] do 95% of his e-mailing from a blackberry, presumably with access to an unofficial address, is quite shocking. Still find it absolutely amazing that his clearance has not been revoked."
Link (Thanks, Bill!)

Katamari craft-off

David sez, "My friend and I have been doing a Katamari Damacy Craft-Off back and forth for awhile now, and while we've only done a bit of work, we've sent each other some cool stuff. I show off the latest piece and the previous ones in this blog entry." Link (Thanks, David!)

See also:
New Katamari Damacy tees
Katamari Damacy phone-pouch
Katamari Damacy checks
Katamari Damacy earmuffs
Handmade magnetic wooly Katamari
Katamari Damacy radio-controlled toys
Katamari Damacy Hallowe'en costume
Katamari Damacy glass beads fundraiser
Hand-embroidered Katamari Damacy patch
Katamari crochet patterns
Katamari Damacy fans in costume
Katamari Damacy fan-cake of extraordinary coolth
Katamari Damacy nerd pride tee
Katamari Damacy homemade models
Katamari Damacy reenactment in Play-Doh
Katamari Damacy made from paper
Handmade yarn Katamari Damacy hats
Katamari Damacy hand-puppet
Official Katamari Damacy shirts
Katamari sushi
Katamari Damacy crocheted Little Prince rug
Wooly magnetic Katamaries for sale on Etsy

Danah boyd's ETECH talk: geeks should learn from "muggles"

Danah boyd's morning keynote at the O'Reilly Emerging Tech conference was called "Incantations for Muggles: The Role of Ubiquitous Web 2.0 Technologies in Everyday Life." Danah started with the premise that we treat techies as the people who understand technology best, but that maybe it's the naifs -- kids, disenfranchised people, techno have-nots -- who have the best insight into how technology should work. Raph Koster took exhaustive, great notes on the speech and posted them to his blog.
Tech companies have not taken up this model. We think it needs to scale to everyone. But this has a lot of cost. Facebook is frustrating me – it was a rite of passage: you talk to college kids who wanted the .edu address desperately because college life was all about Facebook.

Then it opened to high schools. And in the Princetonian we see an article about how he didn’t want to be on a site with his younger brother – that’s why he left home. College kids make posters like a banned sign over a “I facebooked your mom” t-shirt.

Expansion has costs. One of the costs is that you get people angry with you. The common response is lock-in: you have to stay even if you don’t want to, which goes against what people really value. Unhappy users do not make products stick, cf Friendster.

We talk about people and tech companies. When they come together amazing things happen. But you don’t see them in the tech industry. What does it mean for young kids in Iraq o communicate with their families via the web? They create communities of support. People create spaces (like Etsy) where they share the art they create. People find each other in meatspace – knitters, for example. With stage 3 folks it started, and now it is moving into stage 4. My grandfather was all excited over this technology which facilitated real life meetings. They can come together for different actions - - this weekend a rally for teens on politics of immigration, for example.

Link (via Wonderland)

See also:
danah boyd talks social networks - video
danah on Orkut
danah boyd on Facebook's "privacy trainwreck"
Danah boyd's Friendster papers, all in one place
danah boyd on a recent renegade party
Kids happy to lose MySpace passwords and start over
What social networks mean for friendship
Congresscritter wants to ban MySpace and social net sites in schools, libraries
Kuleshov effect: meaning is too contextual for metadata
Revenge of the User: Lessons from Creator/User Battles ETCON talk notes
boyd's social networks talk from ETCON

Raph Koster describes a "fun Amazon"

Alice from the Wonderland blog is at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology conference and she blogged her extensive notes from Raph "Theory of Fun" Koster's amazing talk on game design's lessons for web applications. Raph took us through what Amazon would look like if it was designed to maximize fun. It was mind-blowing.
If people don't care to come to it over and over, then it will fail.

It has to involve skill. You need to be able to do it better or worse. Purchasing on eBay is compelling - you figure out tricks! Sniping. Evaluation. In order to learn, you have to feel like you're growing more competent.

Fun comes from a growth in competence.

As you come to accomplish it, there need to be variant challenges. Connecting to a CEO on LinkedIn vs. connecting to the pr dude = different.

What you want is for the game to acknowledge the fact that it's tougher to get on Reed Hoffman’s linkedin rather than someone who sells ads.

Social media is about cooperation, but the core of games is competitive. As soon as you give people a ladder to climb, they'll climb it.

Ratings. Metrics of contribution. Other people need to see it to measure against it.


See also:
Koster's amazing "What are the lessons of MMORPGs today?"
Koster's keynote from Game Developers Conference
Areae: online world startup from "Theory of Fun" Koster
Mudflation: inflation in virtual worlds
Destiny of Games: what will become of fun?
Theory of Fun PDF - UPDATED
Theory of Fun: Understanding Comics for games
Civil liberties in gamespace
Star Wars Galaxies economy laid bare
What would an MMORPG about healing be like?

Review of Mark's book: The Computer

ArsGeek gave my book, The Computer: An Illustrated History (which just came out in the United States) a nice review.
200703281444 The Computer is an overview of the history of computing, from tabulation sticks which appeared 35,000 years ago straight through to a few years in the future. Mark Frauenfelder has compiled a massive collection of interesting pictures, wonderful historical tidbits and a solid background in what makes computers what they are – from ancient, gear driven devices to the dense microprocessors of today...

This book is the kind of book I love to get my hands on. Give me a good technology book or a good history book and I’m happy. Chock it full of amazing and hard to find pictures, bits of trivia and quotes from the great minds featured in the book and I’m in heaven...

I really perked up however once the book hit the early 40’s. Seeing over the course of a few hours reading how technology changed so rapidly over such a short amount of time – pretty much from the day my Dad was born until this moment, it’s amazing. In less than one lifetime we’ve gone from clunky, vacuum tube driven behemoths to the razor sharp, tiny computers of today. If you’ve read any of my previous thoughts on where we’re headed, you’ll know I think that this is just the beginning! To see this all in detailed photos and descriptions. To live through the heady days of Apple, Atari, IBM PCs and Microsoft once again is very cool...

It’s easy to tell that Frauenfelder loves this stuff even more than I do. He’s put a lot of time and effort into crafting a book that I’m eagerly putting on my coffee table. I know that my friends and colleagues will head right for it when they come over!


Japanese punk rock fishing lures

200703281434 Coop says: I never cease to be amazed at the ways that the Japanese recombine and reconfigure completely foreign elements in ways that are alien to western sensibilites, yet still manage to create new hybrids that are completely droolworthy in their coolness. Example? Limited-edition, handcrafted punk rock fishing lures. My brain hurts. Link

Mark on Moldawer in the Morning

David Moldawer, host of the Moldawer in the Morning podcast (one of my top 5 favorite podcasts) interviewed me in his latest episode.
“I feel like every television show had a blackout, and in the blackout, there’d be multiple stories, one of which was there was a woman is trapped and is pregnant and one of the characters has to help her give birth, and they’re always asking for hot water and I don’t know what the hot water is for, and then it’s a way for a tough, masculine character to show his sensitive side to the love interest?”
“And the woman is, like, trapped in an elevator, right?”
“Right. Exactly. You’ve seen the same thing.”

On today’s show, I’m joined by co-founder of Boing Boing and editor in chief of MAKE magazine, Mark Frauenfelder. We discuss fast babies, slow magicians, and mutant mice.

* Associated Press: Wis. Couple Have Baby at Nearly 100 Mph
* Associated Press: Houdini Kin Wants Body Exhumed, Tested
* Scientific American: Now You See It: Expanding the Visible Color


Reverse video of accidents happening

Picture 5-24 Here's a video of mishaps, presented in reverse, turning tragedy into comedy. Link (Thanks, Rizoto!)

Tattoo of text under peeling skin

Picture 4-22This gentleman's tattoo makes it look as if he's got a bunch of handwriting under his skin. Link (Thanks, Chanel!)

Reader comment:

Brandon says:

BTW, that tat was done by Anil Gupta. His stuff is really amazing.

Reader comment:

Brandon says: "That photo reminds me of MY tattoo on my back."

Hotmail users deemed too dumb for employment at firm

Pete says:
A guy, who works in the department of a Human Resources consultancy company, says they made a selection process in which, among other things, they asked for a person with ample experience in using the internet (navigation, searches, formats...).

They received 50 candidacies, from which 30 came from Hotmail-directions, all of them erased as they entered.

The reason: You can't pretend being an internet expert and use a Hotmail account at the same time.


Donald Trump billboard hacked in Toronto

Picture 3-27 I was not aware that Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell were sparring. They probably aren't really sparring, but are pretending to dislike one another for the sake of free publicity. Nevertheless, some folks in Toronto have hacked a billboard with Trump's cartoonish mug on on to read, "Rosie, will you marry me?" Link

Tallest man gets married

Congratulations to the world's tallest man, Bao Xishun, 7-foot-9-inches, on his marriage to Xia Shujjian, 5-foot-6-inches. Xishun is a herdsman in Mongolia. From the Associated Press:
TallmarryBao's 28-year-old bride is half his age and hailed from his hometown of Chifeng, even though marriage advertisements were sent around the world, (according to the Beijing News)...

Bao was in the news in December after he used his long arms to save two dolphins by pulling out plastic from their stomachs.

Previously on BB:
• World's tallest man saves two dolphins Link

Hexagon on Saturn

Just a few months after the Cassini spacecraft imaged an eyeball-shaped storm at Saturn's south pole, the orbiter has captured new images of this bizarre hexagon-shaped weather pattern at the north pole. It's approximately 15,000 miles across and has held its shape since astronomers first discovered it 26 years ago via the Voyager space probe.
 F 52 827 1D Www.Space.Com Images 070327 Saturn Hex 02
"This is a very strange feature, lying in a precise geometric fashion with six nearly equally straight sides," said Kevin Baines, atmospheric expert and member of Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "We've never seen anything like this on any other planet. Indeed, Saturn's thick atmosphere, where circularly-shaped waves and convective cells dominate, is perhaps the last place you'd expect to see such a six-sided geometric figure, yet there it is."
Link to, Link to more images and movie at

UPDATE: Thanks to all the readers who pointed me to this relevant News@Nature article about geometric whirlpools Link

Is William S Burroughs haunting a supermarket? -- UPDATED

William Gibson writes, "Cory, who the heck is this guy? If you don't know, maybe BB readers do?"

Mystery solved! Bill sez, "It's Marcel Duchamp, by Irving Penn!"

See this picture. Is it W.S Burroughs? Strange location, it is a painting or colorized photo hanging in a local supermarket called Treasure Island. It is alongside a wall where they keep the shopping carts, and the only other photo of anyone is one about five or six feet away on same wall, of Elvis!
Image link, Message board link (Thanks, Bill!)

Katinka Matson's latest flower scan art

 Documents Anemone Images Anemone850-1
This magnificent image, titled Red Anemone, is artist Katinka Matson's latest flower portrait created not with a traditional camera but rather a high-resolution digital scanner. I encourage you to click the image to see a larger version that is so rich with detail and texture you can almost feel it through the screen.
Link (via Edge)

Previously on BB:
• Katinka Matson's Scanner Photography Link

Jen Stark's hypnotic construction paper cuts

Sculptor Jen Stark makes beautiful, hypnotic statues by precisely cutting patterns out of layers and layers of bright-colored construction paper. Link (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

MRI porn -- detailed coital anatomy pictures

Dutch researchers recruited several couples (including a pair of street acrobats) to have sex in an MRI. They produced highly detailed pictures of human anatomy during coitus, and found that Da Vinci's early illustrations of coitus in cross-section made some critical mistakes.

We did not foresee that the men would have more problems with sexual performance (maintaining their erection) than the women in the scanner. All the women had a complete sexual response, but they described their orgasm as superficial. Only the first couple was able to perform coitus adequately without sildenafil (experiments 1 and 2). The reason might be that they were the only participants in the real sense: involved in the research right from the beginning because of their scientific curiosity, knowledge of the body, and artistic commitment. And as amateur street acrobats they are trained and used to performing under stress.
Link (via MeFi)

See also: Sex in an MRI scanner

Update: Lucas sez, "They won the 2000 Ig-nobel price for medicine!"

7-11s to be re-made as Kwik-E-Marts

11 7-11 stores are going to be refurbished as Kwik-E-Marts to coincide with the Simpsons movie:
If all goes as planned, the convenience store chain plans to refit 11 stores across the U.S. -- Richmond is an unlikely choice -- to resemble the front of the Kwik-E-Mart, the convenience store that Homer and other characters frequent in the classic cartoon TV series.

Customers also will be able to buy products inspired by the nearly two-decades-old show, including KrustyO's cereal, Buzz Cola and iced Squishees (the cup says Squishee, but the contents will be Slurpee).

The chain also will use pictures of Simpsons characters to promote 7-Eleven's line of fresh foods, such as placing the face of Homer and his classic "Mmmm . . . sandwich" quip on sandwich wrappers.

Link (Thanks, JMT!)

Ruined Russian gangster's towering log cabin

This record-breaking, 13-storey log cabin was hand-built by a ruined Russian gangster as a summer place in Arkhangelsk. The towering fire-hazard is all that remains from his life of crime, and the city is threatening to tear it down on the basis that it threatens to take the whole suburb with it if it goes up in smoke.
While in prison, he claims his rivals destroyed his equipment, stole his money and threw his five cars into the Dvina river - a similar fate to that which befell many of Russia's rich in the chaotic years of the 1990s.

"When I went to prison I was a millionaire," he said. "Now I'm penniless." Sutyagin, 60, lives in four poorly heated rooms at the bottom of his wooden skyscraper with his 32-year-old wife Lena.

What is left of his fantasy is slowly decaying around him. Even so, it remains a remarkable architectural feat - especially given the fact that Sutyagin built much of it himself - that defies easy description.

A whimsical jumble of planking, from a distance it bears a resemblance to a Japanese pagoda, but draw closer and it seems more like a mix between a Brobdignagian tree house and the lair of a wicked fairytale character.

Link (via Neatorama)

Update: Jeff sez, "This reminded me of Olympia bank robber Scott Scurlock who had built a treehouse with his ill-gotten funds." (gallery of treehouses)

Warner Music, Universal Music, EMI & Sony-BMG voted worst companies in the world

Consumerist's readers have voted the RIAA the worst company in the world. The RIAA narrowly beat out Halliburton in the finals.

It's important to note that one of the RIAA's functions is to take the heat off its member-companies, and here's an example where it works in spades. The RIAA isn't the worst company in the world: Sony-BMG, Warner Music, EMI and Universal Music are the worst companies in the world. Focusing on the RIAA lets those firms -- who fund and direct the RIAA's efforts -- off the hook. Link, Wikipedia list of RIAA member labels (Thanks, Jeff!)

Update: Consumerist's Meghann Marco sez, "We thought you might be interested in our follow-up post, Faces of the RIAA. We felt the same way about RIAA winning the contest, so we tried to put a face on each of the major members. Why should Steve Jobs get all the press?"

Made to Stick: sticky ideas book has awesome cover

Chip and Dan Heath's new book "Made to Stick" (about what makes some ideas sticky) looks like a great read (I love that Tipping Point stuff), but what really caught my attention was the cover. Now that's great cover design. Duct tape: is there anything it can't do? Link (via Memex 1.1)

Update: OW sez, "Jim Marrs's Rule by Secrecy not only has a very similar cover but, it's also textured as well."

Record company drops suit after sternly worded lawyer-letter

A California man got out of his music-sharing lawsuit by having his lawyer send a sharply worded letter to Sony Music, the plaintiff (music lawsuits aren't brought by the RIAA, but by individual record companies -- like Warners, who are suing a paralyzed man for his disability check). The letter threatened to sue Sony for malicious prosecution, citing the crummy evidence used by record companies in other suits, and on receipt the letter it, Sony chickened out and withdrew the suit.
The Evidence Code sections are quite clear: settlement negotiations of all kinds may not be used to prove the validity of any claim or defense. Mr. Merchant has and had no more duty to respond to attempts to "sell" him one of your clients' boilerplate, non-negotiable $3750 settlements than he has to return cold calls from pushy life insurance salespeople. If your client (and your law firm?) are seeking probable cause shelter in a settlement negotiations house of straw (as suggested by your March 23 letter), all of you should consider the prevailing winds of the Evidence Code before making yourselves too comfortable. Straw will burn.

Your client take the position that my middle-aged, conservative clients should speculate regarding the identity of persons your clients' claim used their AOL account to download pornographic-lyric gangsta rap tracks as predicate to possible case resolution. In an age of Wintel-virus created bot-farms, spoofs, and easily cracked WEP encrypted wireless home networks (among other easy hacks), the only tech-savvy response to such a request is, "You've got to be kidding." The extensive press that has been generated over computer security (and the insecurity of Windows XP and its predecessors) underscores the complete absence of facts on which probable cause to sue my clients could be established and your clients' willingness (even insistence) that others be implicated in Big Music's speculative, "driftnet" litigation tactics. Sorry: Mr. Merchant cannot and will not expose himself to still more litigation by speculating.

Link (Thanks, JMT!)

Which PK Dick story are we living in today?

"Palmer Eldritch" is the pseudonym of a blogger who runs a regular feature called "Which Philip K Dick Story Are We In Today?" in which he connects the day's headlines to classic PKD stories:

Vulcan's Hammer - "Just like in the real world it can take 20 to 30 thousand generations before the system finds the perfect design to solve the problem, but this will happen in just a few seconds..."

Sales Pitch - "But there is something incredibly boring and sad about giant companies who constantly chase the fleeing tailcoats of the latest Internet trends."

A Scanner Darkly - "The state tells its people that the cameras are there for their benefit and to prevent crime, but the crime they are preventing is insurrection."

Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said - "The way in which the list is being used goes far beyond contexts in which it has a link to national security."

Solar Lottery - "These 3D models would be physical entities, not holograms. You could touch them and interact with them, just as if the originals were in the room with you. "

The Simulacra - "In order to prove to us you are not a robot, select the three hot people..."

1984 copyright holders threaten over anti-Hillary Clinton ad

The company that licensed the US rights to Orwell's 1984 doesn't really understand copyright, so they're threatening the people who made the now-infamous Hillary Clinton/Apple 1984-ad mashup. Apparently, these people weren't paying attention when the carpetbaggers who bought out the Woody Guthrie estate tried to shut down Jib-Jab's "This Land" parody, and got their asses handed to them.
"The political ad copies a prior commercial infringement of our copyright," said Gina Rosenblum, president of Rosenblum Productions Inc. "We recognize the legal issues inherent under the First Amendment and the copyright law as to political expression of opinion, but we want the world at large to know that we take our copyright ownership of one of the world's great novels very seriously."

Rosenblum purchased rights to "1984" from the Orwell Estate and Sonia Orwell in 1981 and the Orwell novel is still under copyright, at least until the year 2044. The company has utilized these exclusive rights to produce a number of products based on the novel. "We produced Richard Burton's last film, '1984', which opened that year to great critical acclaim," Gina Rosenblum said. "We also authorized a number of related products such as videos and soundtracks, and later released the film for television viewing and an '1984' Opera. Currently, we are in discussions with major Hollywood companies to make a new motion picture of the classic novel."

Link (Thanks, Micah!)

Get Illuminated Podcast episode 6: William Gurstelle

200703272157 On the latest episode of Get Illuminated, I interviewed William Gurstelle, a contributing editor to MAKE magazine and the author of five fun-filled books, including:

Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices

Adventures from the Technology Underground: Catapults, Pulsejets, Rail Guns, Flamethrowers, Tesla Coils, Air Cannons, and the Garage Warriors Who Love Them

The Art of the Catapult: Build Greek Ballistae, Roman Onagers, English Trebuchets, and More Ancient Artillery

Building Bots: Designing and Building Warrior Robots

and most recently, Whoosh Boom Splat: The Garage Warrior's Guide to Building Projectile Shooters.

In the interview William talks about how he approaches problem solving, how he escaped from a life of designing pay phones, and how to get free delicious food in almost any city in the country.

MP3 Link | Podcast feed

Previously on Boing Boing:
Whoosh Boom Splat video

1000 Journals Project spawns a book

Lucas sez,
I wanted to alert you to a new book that just came out from a friend (goes by the art name Someguy) called the 1000 Journals Project.

Six years ago, Someguy sent one thousand blank journals out into the world. Those who found them added stories and drawings before passing them along in an ongoing, collaborative art form.

The journals have come to rest in hostels, cafes, and law offices; they've been lost and found, forgotten and remembered. They've been the subject of treasure hunts (#354), brought to remote mountaintops (#323), abandoned at airports (#001), left in the lost-and-found (#300), and stolen at gunpoint (#949). In journal #587, someone wrote a heartfelt apology and then sent the journal to they friend they had wronged. Unfortunately, the apology wasn't accepted.

Link (Thanks, Lucas!)