HOWTO make a kids' jetpack

Last September, Moosie made a kick-ass soda-bottle toy jetpack for a flight-obsessed toddler:

Step 1: Spray plastic bottles with plastic primer (I used Krylon Fusion). Let dry.

Step 2: Spray bottles with your favorite silver spray paint (doesn't have to be plastic specific.) Let dry.

Step 3: Adhere bottles to a piece of cardboard, approximately the width of the bottles next to each other. Let dry.

Step 4: Use ribbon to create backpack-like straps. Adhere. (I used duct tape. That shiz works for everything!)

Step 5: Cut crepe paper strips to create flames. Glue the tops of the strips to another piece of crepe paper. Let dry.

Step 6: Accordion fold the top strip of the flames. Glue to the inside of the bottle tops (which are actually the bottom of the jetpack.) Let Dry.

Step 7: Run around the house making flying sounds with your mouth (or let your kid handle this step)

Jet Pack (via Neatorama)

All the finest blips and bloops: Kubbi's "Sleet" release listening party

If you like electronic music, there's a great listening party for Kubbi's new album "Sleet" going on right now. The album drops after the listen through finishes at Kubbi's BandCamp page where you can also pick up his two previous (excellent) albums at your own price. Kubbi's one of those catchy musicians I just can't stop listening to. Update: It's over! Go get the album!

Homemade R2D2 shorts

The aptly named Productiveslacker (with a kick-ass bio! "a seasonal cast member at WDW and I aspire to become an Imagineer. I am a painter and a t-shirt designer") made these boss R2D2 shorts herself.

They don’t sell R2D2 shorts so I painted my own :) (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

7' fire-breathing, flying dragon built by RC airplane hobbyist

Franceso sez, "Rick Hamel, an American RC airplanes builder, created the Mythical Beast, a radio controlled fire-breathing dragon. It's powered by a Jetcat P80 Kerostart turbine, is over 7 feet long and has a wing span of 9 feet. Beside flying, this scratchbuilt dragon is able to breath fire thanks to a liquid propane and a stun gun circuit. Mythical Beast won Best of Show at the Weak Signal event held in Toledo a few weeks ago."

Drago Volante Sputafuoco Radiocomandato - RC Dragon (Thanks, Francesco!)

Event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the mysterious Voynich manuscript

On her wonderful page of "Famous Unsolved Codes and Ciphers" the game developer and recreational code-cracker Elonka Dunin describes the Voynich Manuscript, which is written in an as-yet uncrackable cipher:

201204301635At least 600 years old, this is a 232-page illuminated manuscript entirely written in a secret script. It is filled with copious drawings of unidentified plants, herbal recipes of some sort, astrological diagrams, and many small human figures in strange plumbing-like contraptions. Carbon-dated to the early 1400s, it was brought to modern attention in 1912 when it was purchased by Wilfrid Voynich from the collections at the Villa Mondragone, near Rome. Color images of all of the pages can be seen at and Yale's Beinecke Library website (the current owner of the manuscript). The script is unlike anything else in existence, but is written in a confident style, seemingly by someone who was very comfortable with it.

On Friday, May 11, a celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of the re-discovery of the Voynich manuscript will take place in Rome. The program includes a number of presentations about the history of the Voynich manuscript, forensic investigations, word structure and statistical analysis, and an interpretation of its unusual drawings.

If any Boing Boing readers are attending, we'd love a report!

Conference: VOYNICH 100 -- A Hundred Years from the Re-discovery at Villa Mondragone

New Aesthetic eruption

A New Aesthetic eruption I caught yesterday off Brick Lane in east London: this LCD adverscreen displaying rotating, chiding public safety messages beneath a CCTV camera, nestled among the graffiti-daubed old buildings above the cobbled and thronged street.

CCTV and LCD adverscreen with anti-booze PSA, a New Aesthetic Eruption, Brick Lane, Hackney, London, UK.jpg

Liar - Thief - Cheat - Selfish - Unsharing - Unloving - Unkind - Disloyal - Dishonorable - Unfaithful

201204301518I hope Bernard wasn't upset by the addendum to his grave marker.

MAKE interviews bunnie Huang

Phil Torrone interviewed Andrew (bunnie) Huang about the end of his company Chumby, and what he's working on now.

201204301514What are you currently working on? I recently saw an open-source hardware radiation detector and HDMI “hack” that’s full shipping product.

Since the end of chumby, I’ve been continuing to produce open source reference designs. One of the wonderful parts of living in Singapore is that even though I made no money from the exit at chumby, I am able to choose a lifestyle where I can engage in non-profit, community-oriented design work. Although Singapore has a reputation for being an expensive city to live in, I’ve found the public housing to be reasonably priced, and combined with a solid public healthcare system, $60/month 100-Mbit home broadband connections, and ubiquitous hawker centers featuring $3 dishes celebrated by Anthony Bourdain, I have everything I need to geek out on a shoestring budget.

A personal goal of mine is to spend a year building things that I care about, as opposed to things that could make investors rich.

MAKE’s Exclusive Interview with Andrew (bunnie) Huang – The End of Chumby, New Adventures

Car hits girls sunbathing in road

Impromptu tanning salon
Two 13-year-old girls sunbathing in a rural road were struck by a car Sunday. Police in Beaver County, PA., said that the pair were in fair condition at Pittsburgh's Children's Hospital. The driver was one of the teens' cousins; he was questioned and released by authorities. "They were upset," another relative told WTAE-TV. "It was like the worst thing I've ever seen... I was like crying real bad. Shaking."

Building covered in old clothes

The Guardian's Deborah Orr is probably right that the Marks and Spencer "shwopping" initiative is "an ugly word for a dubious enterprise", but I am rather taken with this promotion for the program. M&S is encouraging shoppers to "shwop" -- swap their old clothes for discount vouchers when they buy new clothes at M&S, with the old clothes going to charity -- and to promote the affair, they covered this large Truman Brewery warehouse building off Brick Lane with used clothes, to great effect.


Mitt Romney beatboxing

[Video Link] Special effects are used here in an attempt to artificially enhance the credibility of candidate Mitt Romney. I hope the public isn't fooled into taking him more seriously because of this video.

Rules for chess

The Olympics are still months away, the surface-to-air missiles are still tucked safely in their beds, but already our talented signwriters are practicing night and day for the 100m passive-aggressive signmaking event, judging by this sweet number I photographed yesterday.

Passive aggressive chess advisory, community centre, London, UK.jpg

Kitchen Kong Gorilla Whisk in Boing Boing shop


"When I was a child I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things, except for my Kitchen Kong Gorilla Whisk." -- 1 Corinthians 13:11

Available in the Boing Boing Shop!

UK judge orders Pirate Bay block

A British court ordered that internet service providers must block access to link-sharing site The Pirate Bay. [BBC]

The tech press remembers nothing

Anil Dash on why you can't trust the tech press to tell you about the tech industry. The primary example: rumors of a Google-based blog commenting system as if such a thing had not already lived and died.