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."
Imaginary Foundation's Nick Philip just IM'd me: "Would you turn your house into a billboard to be free of mortgage payments for a year?" He's referring to the marketing gimmick/PR stunt of Ad firm Adzookie, who are looking to pay people's mortgages in exchange for turning their homes into giant advertisements for the company. (Mock-up seen here.) They haven't painted a single home yet, but the campaign seems to be working anyway. (Ahem.) According to CNN, the company only has $100,000 budgeted for the whole thing, so I'd imagine chances of getting chosen are slim. Anyway, to answer Nick's question... No. I would not. "Turn your house into a billboard, get free mortgage"
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.
Photo: Justine Ungaro.
Curt Smith (of Tears for Fears) is playing is first solo residency in two years at the Whitefire Theater in Sherman Oaks, CA, beginning next Thursday. Vocalist on the original hit single Mad World -- a song recently remixed here at BB as a backdrop to a collection of game deaths -- Curt & co. liked our video so much they want more!
This is where you step in: if you create a video, animation or slideshow that would look good behind a classic Tears for Fears track on which Curt sings lead (such as Everybody Wants To Rule The World and Pale Shelter), or a favorite such as Fake Plastic Trees, Drive or Yellow, it might get featured in one of the dates (April 14, 21 and 28; May 18 and 25; and June 1), as part of a set list centered around Curt's own solo material. We'll feature anything that's selected and there will be FABULOUS PRIZES from the Boing Boing Dungeon of Stolen Review Loaners.
Following my post yesterday about Restoration Hardware's Jet Age-inspired chairs, a commenter pointed me to MotoArt's fun sculptural furniture fashioned from old airplane parts. The desk above is a wing flap and the bed headboard/armrest was made from a 747 engine nacelle. MotoArt
I decided to try my hand at gardening again after last having a vegetable garden in college 35 years ago (which I remembered involving a lot of work). After doing some research online I found Mel Bartholomew's squarefoot garden method appealed to my inner geekdom. Bartholomew's method relies on building and gardening in four-foot by four-foot plots/boxes. He then provides details on how to plan the optimal mixture of soil, fertilizer, and supplements to match whatever you want to grow in them. After using the method for three years I am a sold.
The method assumes you know nothing, does not require you to be very handy, is inexpensive, takes up a minimal amount of space and water, is very practical and detailed, can easily be entirely organic, requires minimal weeding, and, best of all, yields lots of fresh veggies. What more could you ask for? The other books I looked at required tilling, fertilizing and weeding rows or did not focus on the basics.
All New Squarefoot Gardening
2006, 271 pages
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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."
"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 previouslyfeatured 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