Toddlepuff Game

Ilan Schifter, a recent graduate of NYU's ITP, came up with a inflatable game-space for toddlers called ToddlePuff. Here's how Ilan describes it:
ToddlePuff is an inflated interface that incorporates 16 proximity sensors and acts as a game controller for toddlers. It surrounds the child and encourages full body motion. It blocks the toddler's eye sight to create an immersive experience and is wider than a toddler's arm span to encourage movement. An animated children's story is displayed on a screen and told through the speakers. Images of characters from the story are placed on different locations inside the interface. When a character blinks on the screen, the child needs to find the matching image on the surrounding inflated walls and touch it to resume the story. The interaction inside ToddlePuff develops orientation, coordination and speed.
Here's a link to a video of two young sisters playing ToddlePuff. Even without the inflatable environment, kids may enjoy the "Flat for Rent" story, available, Read the rest

BBtv: Friday recap + Unicorn Chaser - Joel of Boing Boing Gadgets in "UHHHHHH."

As is our newly minted tradition, Boing Boing tv ends the holiday week with a Unicorn Chaser.

In today's edition, Boing Boing Gadgets' Joel Johnson, who trekked out into the wilderness for this previous episode, returns there to perform the nerdcore anthem embedded above -- UHHHH. (MP4 Link).

Not a single one of these grunts was repeated. All were taped in the order they appear in this remix, the morning after Joel was nearly bitten by a snake, doing a gadget review out in the wilds.

Perhaps you were too busy stuffing yourself with turkey this week to catch all of this week's BBtv goodness. I'll embed a recap below.

BBtv/Offworld: Status Report Edition, Brandon's Still a Death Gnome

Boing Boing Gadgets: Joel Reviews T-Mobile Cameo Picture Frame

Boing Boing tv Update: Virgin WiFi, Obfuscated Code, Comment Poetry, Downfall Housing Remix Read the rest

web zen: shopping zen 2008

shopsin's general store baby leo funkyzilla sumolounge demeter fragrance mudpuppy magnet monsters butter ny green chair press field notes: the kit bird song organ chicken bag krappy gun rack organizer elsewares global home previously on web zen: shopping zen 2007

Permalink for this edition. Web Zen is created and curated by Frank Davis, and re-posted here on Boing Boing with his kind permission. Web Zen Home and Archives, Store (Thanks Frank!) Read the rest

Cute turkey cupcakes

Now these are some cute turkey cupcakes, as seen in Bridgett Lee's Flickr stream.

turkey cupcakes (Thanks, Marilyn!) Read the rest

Boing Boing's Holiday Gift Guide part three: Gadgets and stuff

Here's part three of the ongoing BB holiday giving guide, where I round up the bestselling items from this year's reviews on Boing Boing. Today it's gadgets and stuff (basically, anything that's not a book or a DVD or CD) and Boing Boing Gadgets's Joel Johnson's kicked in some of his faves, too!

Don't miss part one: kids' books and books and media about kids and part two: fiction!

Uranium Ore Uranium ore for sale on Amazon Original Boing Boing post

Gloom Gothy card-game challenges your ability to create misery Original Boing Boing post

Fluxx Nomic card game Original Boing Boing post

Alice in Wonderland Tattoos Alice in Wonderland temporary tatts Original Boing Boing post

Gerber 22-41770 Artifact Pocket Keychain Tool Adorable Gerber pocket multitool Original Boing Boing post

Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX Multitool A full-featured Leatherman tool whose every non-essential surface has been swiss-cheesed with holes to lighten its weight to a mere five ounces. Original Boing Boing post

Nexcare Duct Tape Bandage Nothing butches up your wounds like an official duct tape band-aid. Original Boing Boing post

686 Original Snow Toolbelt Belt buckle with integrated toolkit Original Boing Boing post

MSI Wind U100 Netbook Most netbooks have about the same specs, but the Wind is a favorite for how easily it can be hackintoshed into running OS X. Original BBG coverage Lippi Selk' Bag 1 It's a sleeping bag you can wear around the house, footie PJs for adults. Original BBG review Sanyo Xacti VPC-CG9 Camcorder More functions than a Flip Mino, with replaceable flash memory and a real optical zoom.

Read the rest

Little Brother UK launch at Forbidden Planet tomorrow

A reminder that tomorrow is the UK launch and signing for Little Brother at Forbidden Planet in London -- 1PM! You can also pre-order signed copies through the Forbidden Planet site. Hope to see you there!
Saturday 29, November, 1:00PM - 2:00PM Forbidden Planet London Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR

Our Price: £6.99

Little Brother UK launch/signing at Forbidden Planet London, Nov 29 Read the rest

NYT on Guantánamo "Nothing has been more damaging to the United States than the violation of the legal principles at the heart of the American idea."

Today's NYT has an op-ed by Roger Cohen giving thanks that our next president is a constitutional lawyer.
Of the 770 detainees grabbed here and there and flown to Guantánamo, only 23 have ever been charged with a crime. Of the more than 500 so far released, many traumatized by those “enhanced” techniques, not one has received an apology or compensation for their season in hell.

What they got on release was a single piece of paper from the American government. A U.S. official met one of the dozens of Afghans now released from Guantánamo and was so appalled by this document that he forwarded me a copy.

Dated Oct. 7, 2006, it reads as follows:

“An Administrative Review Board has reviewed the information about you that was talked about at the meeting on 02 December 2005 and the deciding official in the United States has made a decision about what will happen to you. You will be sent to the country of Afghanistan. Your departure will occur as soon as possible.”

That’s it, the one and only record on paper of protracted U.S. incarceration: three sentences for four years of a young Afghan’s life, written in language Orwell would have recognized.

We have “the deciding official,” not an officer, general or judge. We have “the information about you,” not allegations, or accusations, let alone charges. We have “a decision about what will happen to you,” not a judgment, ruling or verdict. This is the lexicon of totalitarianism. It is acutely embarrassing to the United States.

Read the rest

Freakin' Friday's Silver Lining

Mark posted on Boing-Boing last year this article on Fake News that I wrote, which examined the retail numbers cited by the National Retail Federation about sales over Thanksgiving, and so-called Black Friday. I made the point that this news is fake news, coming from a press release generated by a retail trade organization and then spoon-fed to us by uncritical reporters. While the stories credit the source, the headlines give the impression that the retail industry wants, using numbers they provide. (Reporters like a story with specific numbers, no matter how contrived they are. Independent backup for the numbers is never provided.) There's every reason for NRF to present numbers that favor their view that consumers will be buying more. It's like asking the fox to count the eggs in the hen house and report on the health of the chickens.

This is the post-Thanksgiving weekend story last year, written almost whole-cloth from the NRF press release.

Blockbuster Black Friday Weekend Sees Sales Near $28 Billion 145 Million Shoppers Hit Stores and Internet, Up From 133 Million in '04

Washington, DC, November 27, 2005--The ceremonial kickoff to the holiday season began with a great deal of fanfare as 145 million shoppers flooded stores and the Internet hunting for popular electronics, clothing, and books. An NRF survey conducted by BIGresearch found that the average shopper spent $302.81 this weekend, bringing total weekend spending to $27.8 billion, an incredible 21.9 percent increase over last year's $22.8 billion.

A year later, the retail outlook is a little different with a little less fanfare. Read the rest

Happy Thanksgiving from BBtv: "Hazy Day" music video fave

Today, the Boing Boing tv crew takes the day off for time with family, friends, and food. We revisit one of our favorite good-vibe animation episodes, a lovely video from Bill Barminski. Perhaps you missed it? Do watch now.

Butterflies, wah-wah pedals, and one-eyed yeti, ahoy! The Boing Boing tv crew is proud to return to the work of one of our favorite multi-media savants, Bill Barminski of Walter Robot Studios. The filmmaker, composer, illustrator and animator shares this new video work, a hypnotic flight of fancy for his music project, the Subatomic Nixons. Enjoy the "Hazy Day," and happy weekend, everyone. Special thanks to Barminski and Christopher Louie, and all of the Walter Robot team. Here are previous BBtv episodes featuring their work. Read the rest

India: Mumbai Attacks, Day Two; tech speculation

This post is an open thread for folks who'd like to share coverage, insight, or first-person accounts of the attacks in Mumbai. Some Boing Boing readers in yesterday's comment thread had friends or loved ones in the area at the time -- I hope all are well.

Global Voices has special coverage of the ongoing events -- a very comprehensive feature with links is here, and Sameer has an update here.

Looking through coverage last night, I noticed some speculation about an email said to have been sent to news organizations in India identifying the attackers as "Deccan Mujahideen" -- specifically, there are reports that this email was traced back to an IP address in Russia. Apparently, some state officials in India are saying that this is one of the pieces of evidence that suggests foreign involvement, but I don't know enough to judge whether that's likely (and I haven't seen the email). The fact that email evidence and IP analysis are now part of the story is an interesting new development, though. 24 hours after the first attack, the identity of those responsible has not been confirmed, and the crisis is ongoing.

Who knows, though -- the whole "Deccan Mujahideen" thing may be smoke. This Foreign Policy article is worth a read, on that note.

One must always be suspicious when a "new" terrorist organization crops up. Today's horrific attacks in Mumbai were claimed by a previously unknown group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen. But one India journalist claims the pattern of the attacks suggests that Lashkar-e-Taiba, a nasty Islamist organization based in Lahore, Pakistan, and with a significant presence in Kashmir and links to al Qaeda, may be to blame.
Read the rest

Turkey-shaped Jell-O® Mold: 2008 Competition

Boing Boing buddy Danielle Spencer points us to the winners of the "Turkey-shaped Jell-O® Mold: 2008 Competition," which we've posted here on Boing Boing for several years. My favorite is the S'Mores Turkey, above, because I can imagine myself eating it and rather enjoying it. Danielle's lofty writeups make the list even more fun. Behold, her appreciation of "Bubby's Matzoh Turkey."

In this stunning mis-en-matzoh-ball-soup, we are brought back to the original site of sustenance: the womb. Floating, trussed, lulled in a warm bath of chicken broth, we experience the original state of undifferentiated oneness, of satiety. Grand Prize Winner [by popular election] for "Best Overall Turkey" By Satya K. & Frank H.
Below, another outstanding entry, showcased in video: Turkey Festorama From Nepal!, by Michael Daube and William Purcell.

Previously: Ceci n'est pas un turkey. - Boing Boing (2007) Turkey-shaped Jell-O Mold Competition - Boing Boing (2006) Jell-o turkey facsimile - Boing Boing (2005) Read the rest

Boing Boing's Holiday Gift Guide part two: Fiction

Here's part two of my Boing Boing Holiday Gift Guide -- wherein I list the bestselling items that have been reviewed here in the past twelve months. Today, it's fiction. Don't miss yesterday's Kids' stuff and stuff about kids post, too! (Note that some of these titles appeared on yesterday's kids' list -- I wasn't sure how to handle cross-referencing for items that qualified for more than one list, so I just duplicated them for people who wanted to dive straight into the fiction list -- say -- rather than picking through the kids' list too)

Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology (John Kessel and James Patrick Kelly) Post-Cyberpunk Anthology shows how sf has changed since the Mirroshades era Original Boing Boing post

Halting State (Charles Stross) Halting State: Heist novel about an MMORPG Original Boing Boing post

Interface (Neal Stephenson) Neal Stephenson's underappreciated masterpiece Original Boing Boing post

Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse (John Joseph Adams) Anthology of apocalyptic fiction Original Boing Boing post

Futures from Nature (Henry Gee) 100 short-short sf stories from Nature Magazine Original Boing Boing post

The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent (James Morrow and Kathryn Morrow) A chance to read sf from outside of the Anglo Bubble Original Boing Boing post

Little Brother (Cory Doctorow) My bestselling young adult novel about kids who hack for freedom Original Boing Boing post

The Starry Rift (Jonathan Strahan) Science fiction anthology for teens Original Boing Boing post

Steampunk (Ann and Jeff VanderMeer) Steampunk: the anthology Original Boing Boing post

Distraction (Bruce Sterling) Bruce Sterling's visionary novel Distraction: still brilliant a decade later Original Boing Boing post

The Yiddish Policemen's Union: A Novel (Michael Chabon) Wonderful blend of hard-boiled and Yiddish ironies Original Boing Boing post

Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales Of The Here And Now (Cory Doctorow) A six-edition series of comics adapted from my short stories by an incredibly talented crew of writers, artists, inkers and letterers Original Boing Boing post

Goodnight Bush: A Parody (Gan Golan, Erich Origen) A Goodnight Moon satire for the electoral season Original Boing Boing post

Saturn's Children (Charles Stross) Stross's robopervy tribute to the late late Heinlein Original Boing Boing post

Crooked Little Vein: A Novel (Warren Ellis) Comic net-perv novel that would make Goatse blush Original Boing Boing post

Random Acts of Senseless Violence (Jack Womack) Unflinching, engrossing, difficult coming-of-age story Original Boing Boing post

Boy Proof (Cecil Castellucci) A compassionate young adult novel about a weird, smart, angry girl Original Boing Boing post

Cycler (Lauren McLaughlin) Smart YA novel about sex and sexuality Original Boing Boing post

Anathem (Neal Stephenson) A great story, set in an alternative reality where people take long-term thinking seriously Original Boing Boing post

The Armageddon Rag (George R.R. Read the rest

Tony Benn's inventions

Yesterday, I blogged about the audiobook of the latest volume of Tony Benn's diaries, an inspiring look at the life of a passionate, brilliant retired politician who refused to accept the invasion of Iraq as necessary or inevitable.

Now iRoy reminds us that Benn isn't just Britain's longest-serving parliamentarian -- he's also an inventor, the creator of the "backbencher" ("a rucksack with stool attached") as well as a car-mounted easy-chair, a totally bad-ass pocket-protector, a briefcase that turns into a lectern, a magnetic map for logging your parking spot, and the "seat-case," a suitcase that turns into a chair.

Tony Benn's world of invention (Thanks, iRoy!) Read the rest

"A fruitfull and liberall harvest"

Pilgrim's blog -- 1623.

[I may not here omite how, notwithstand all their great paines and industrie, and the great hops of a large cropp, the Lord seemed to blast, and take away the same, and to threaten further and more sore famine unto them, by a great drought which continued from the 3. weeke in May, till about the midle of July, without any raine, and with great heat (for the most parte), insomuch as the come begane to wither away, though it was set with fishe, the moysture wherof helped it much. Yet at length it begane to languish sore, and some of the drier grounds were partched like withered hay, part wherof was never recovered. Upon which they sett a parte a solemne day of humilliation, to seek the Lord by humble and fervente prayer, in this great distrese. And he was pleased to give them a gracious and speedy answer, both to thier owne and the Indeans admiration, that lived amongest them. For all the morning, and greatest part of the day, it was clear weather and very hotte, and not a cloud or any signe of raine I to be seen, yet toward evening it begane to overcast, and shortly after to raine, with shuch sweete and gentle showers, as gave them cause of rejoyceing, and blesing God. It came, without either wind, or thunder, or any violence, and by degreese in that abundance, as that the earth was thorowly wete and soked therwith. Which did so apparently revive and quicken the decayed come and other fruits, as was wonderfull to see, and made the Indeans astonished to behold; and afterwards the Lord sent them shuch seasonable showers, with enterchange of faire warme weather, as, through his blessing, caused a fruitfull and liberall harvest, to their no small comforte and rejoycing.
Read the rest

Record labels are b0rked

In a barn-burner of an interview, academic Bethany Klein of the University of Leeds discusses the fundamental broken-ness of the record industry and the growing acceptance of acts that license their work for commercials. Klein's just finished a book, As Heard on TV: Popular Music in Advertising, which explores the subject in depth.
Major labels function with the assumption that 90 percent of artists they sign are going to fail – that should have been a red flag for everybody. I mean that’s a bizarre business model in any arena. But particularly in the cultural arena, the idea that the system through which culture is transmitted is dictated entirely by profit should concern us, because that’s going to narrow the types of culture that are transmitted. And then, on top of that, the alternative venues of distribution are stuck in the shadows of these major labels. So it’s not like there’s a viable alternative, necessarily, for artists who don’t fit into this very narrow range that can become the 10 percent that are profitable and popular.
ROCK STAR! (Brought to You by HUGE ADVERTISER!) (via Anil Dash) Read the rest

Pie hat!

Now here's a festive holiday crochet project: a hat shaped like a scrumptious pie! They will see you in the street and they will shout, "Delicious head, delicious head, delicious head!" but you will only smile to yourself and think, "Yes, and the zombies love me too, for my brains are wrapped in a tasty layer of pie."

Holiday Pie-rets (via Neatorama) Read the rest

Disabled boy to lose his tiny pony because the neighbours don't like the smell

A disabled boy in a rural Ontario town may have to give up the miniature pony that he rides as part of his therapy and for his basic mobility. The family's neighbours (who border on a friggin' cow farm) have complained about the smell.
The boy can’t walk or crawl, and Emily is part of his therapy regime.

“When we take him off the pony he cries. Even if he’s tired he doesn’t want to leave her,’’ his mother, Antonia Spiteri, said today.

But at the end of July, the town notified the Spiteris the pony had to be removed due to the complaints...

‘‘The cows go right up to their property too. We thought, ‘You’re kidding – seven cows to one miniature pony?’ We were quite shocked by what we thought was a joke at first.”

Caledon bylaw enforcement manager Glenn Blakely said the Spiteris’ one-acre property is zoned as rural residential and is too small to house a miniature pony.

Town threatens to evict disabled boy’s pony (via Mighty God King) Read the rest

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