While visiting Ben "Bad Science" Goldacre's flat in London recently, he played me some fantastic cuts off a compilation LP titled "London Is The Place For Me: Trinidadian Calypso In London, 1950-1956." This incredible music hit the global scene during the massive Caribbean migration to the UK starting around 1948. I know next-to-nothing about Calypso, but one signer I was somewhat familiar with is the famous Aldwyn Roberts, aka Lord Kitchener. (Indeed, the record Ben played me was named for Kitchener's best-known song.) Kitchener emigrated to London from Trinidad, via Jamaica. Amazingly, just as Kitchener's boat, the Empire Windrush, pulled into the British harbor on June 22, 1948, a journalist interviewed him about his fledgling career as a singer. As Ben said when he sent me this clip, "It's such a great and improbable thing to have on film. Some guy, getting off a boat, who is shortly to become massively famous, singing into your BBC microphone."
Comedy genius and true-born nerd Chris Hardwick (@nerdist) invited me to join him as a guest on his very popular and very funny podcast. Here it is! Chris and his friendly LOL-sidekicks and I talked about what would happen if NPR and E! Television got married; the origin of Boing Boing; and the mainstreaming of geek culture.
And here's his touring schedule. His live shows are incredible.
Friday Freak-Out: Donovan peforms "Hurdy Gurdy Man" at L'Olympia, Paris, 1970.
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Designer Christophe Gowans created book jackets inspired by rock albums. "What If Your Favorite Album Was a Book?" (Mother Jones)
Access Main Computer File is a marvelous celebration in images of (mostly phony) computer user interfaces from Hollywood. Once there, mouse over the pictures to see the movie name and year. Notably absent is the instant messaging screen from Pretty In Pink's library scene. Above, Weird Science (1985) and Tron (1982). (Thanks, Jess Hemerly!)
And in a similar vein, there's the classic "Let's enhance" montage of faux image enhancement scenes in movies.
Senator Al Franken has proposed a "Pay for War" resolution that would require Congress to raise taxes and/or cut spending before authorizing new acts of war, so that American foreign adventures can't contribute to the national debt.
"We have to ensure that Iraq and Afghanistan remain anomalies in American history," Franken said on the Senate floor Wednesday. "And that's what my resolution seeks to do. It will ensure that future wars don't make our deficit and debt problem worse. It will ensure that Congress and American citizens must face the financial sacrifice of going to war. And it will force us to decide whether a war is worth that sacrifice."Franken wants wars to be paid for (via Reddit)
"In the last ten years our wars have been paid for by borrowing," Franken said. "The Iraq War was accompanied by a massive tax cut. That failed fiscal experiment created the impression that war requires no financial sacrifice. We know that is just not true. The question is who will bear the financial sacrifice, the generation that has decided to go to war or its children and grandchildren?"
Jon sez, "We've designed a bicycle seat clamp with a little bottle opener on the back. We love biking, and wish more people would commute this way. We also love beer- especially Utah's microbrews. We thought it would be a fun project to combine our two loves into a single awesome project. Enter the Nectar and Elixir. These are clean little seat clamps for your bike. Nectar is fixed, and Elixir is quick release. On the back, though, is a little nub that works perfectly as a bottle opener."
They're 70 percent of the way to their Kickstarter goal.
Belgian 3D printing shop i.materialise has teamed up with GrabCAD for a service called Sketch 3D. For $80, you can have your napkin doodles and other designs converted into 3D models, suitable for printing at i.materialise or any of its competitors. It's a great way to open up the possibilities for 3D printing to people who don't know how to use 3D modelling software.
Opening at Seattle's Roq La Rue Gallery tonight, Travis Louie's astounding new daguerreotype-influenced paintings of Victorian folk "and their pets" Also in the show, the insanely-detailed "post-industrial rococo" sculptures of Kris Kuksi, who we've also previously featured on BB. Above, Louie's "The Family Yeti" (acrylic on board 26" x 20"). Left, Kuksi's "Ode to Herculaneum" (detail). The art is also viewable online. Travis Louie and Kris Kuksi at Roq La Rue Gallery
Etsy seller Voodoorabbit's AUD35.00 throw pillow is made from custom-printed, eye-wateringly fabulous "Space Invaders gingham."