Lisa Katayama's Urawaza: Secret Everyday Tips and Tricks from Japan is a perfectly charming, utterly 21st century household hints book that is sure to surprise you at least five times, in a most delightfully useful way.
The household ingenuity captured herein really caught fire in the post-war period, when Occupied Japan's poor economy made a virtue out of frugal and clever homebrew products. The name Urawaza comes from gamer slang, referring to the programmers' back-doors that let players gain points, levels and advantage by doing something unexpected, and it's the perfect appellation for the surprisingly satisfying knowledge that you can keep your cut flowers longer by dropping a copper penny in the water, carry a heavy box more readily if you stack it atop a lighter one, and so on.
Each of these Urawazas comes with a technical explanation of why it is believed to work, and the book itself is framed as a kind of commentary on the dying away of ingenuity in our era of cheap, specialized products. The writing is great, and Joel Holland's infographic-style illos are the perfect complement to the text.
I’m a huge fan of the fantastically rude improv/current affairs/high fantasy podcast Hello From the Magic Tavern, I’ve enjoyed it ever since I binge-listened to the first season halfway through.
It started when an anonymous Imgur user found an “old Integra cylinder head laying around the shop, collecting dust,” which they “dis-assembled and decided to put it to use again.”
Zachary Zmith writes, “A Kickstarter is funding beautifully-designed and illustrated editions of classic stories, with illustrations from Paul Pope, Yuko Shimizu and Bill Sienkiewicz. They have already met their initial goal to fund a version of Algernon Blackwood’s ‘The Willows’ with art by Paul Pope. If they reach $100k, Bill Sienkiewicz will illustrate H.G. Wells’ […]
If you are camping during rainy season, or just want a TSA-approved lighter, these plasma torches make perfect travel companions. These gas-free lighters create a small plasma beam that’s safer than butane to use and more environmentally friendly. It creates a super-hot, splashproof flame so you can get a campfire going, or have a smoke […]
If you don’t want to get stuck footing the bill for a hit and run, this dashboard-mounted camera offers up to 2K resolution to make sure you always have a reliable witness, and it’s available in the Boing Boing Store for 30% off it’s usual price.The PapaGo mounts unobtrusively to your windshield to see everything […]
While some people still maintain that everything in Apple’s walled garden “just works” and is immune to the rampant malware of the Windows world, the reality is different. The Mac’s growing market share has made it a much more viable target for malicious actors, and its built-in tools aren’t always enough to fix things. Drive […]