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Father and son send toy train into the stratosphere

Maker dad Ron Fugelseth and his 4-year-old son sent the boy's favorite toy train eighteen miles up into the stratosphere aboard a weather balloon outfitted with an HD camera and salvaged cell phone for GPS. Then he made this lovely video. (Thanks, Kelly Sparks!)

Fallout shelter necessities


From 1962, a sparkling set of electronics for your fallout shelter.

Equip your fallout shelter.

Gweek 068: Matthew Modine

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

My co-hosts for this episode are:

Jamie Frevele, Boing Boing's entertainment editor, comedian, and former editor of The Mary Sue.


Actor Matthew Modine, who has lent his voice talents to a new interactive book for kids called Punky Dunk and the Gold Fish, which is designed to make learning to read fun and something parents and kids can share. Matthew also recently released the Full Metal Jacket Diary app, which is an amazing iPad app that includes Matthew’s on-set photos and diary entries of his experiences during the time he was in the Kubrick movie.


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Here's a demo of the Full Metal Jacket Diary app:

FULL METAL JACKET DIARY iPad App Demo Video from Cinco Dedos Peliculas on Vimeo.


Gweek 068: Matthew Modine (MP3)

Past episodes of Gweek: 001, 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 007, 008, 009, 010, 011, 012, 013, 014, 015, 016, 017, 018, 019, 020, 021, 022, 023, 024, 025, 026, 027, 028, 029, 030, 031, 032, 033, 034, 035, 036, 037, 038, 039, 040, 041, 042, 043, 044, 045, 046, 047, 048, 049, 050, 051, 052, 053, 054, 055, 056, 057, 058, 059, 060, 061, 062, 063, 064, 065, 066, 067, 068

Kickstarter re-commits to ideas instead of pre-orders

Kickstarter updated its policies for product design today: a move that will cost the firm money but relieve tension caused by fast promises and slow delivery.

Read the rest

Video about New Dimension comic book store (featuring Ed Piskor!)


[Video Link] I was thrilled to see our pal Ed "Brain Rot" Piskor in this great video about a fantastic old-school comic book store on Pennsylvania called New Dimension that actually sells used comic books!

Ed says:

Hey Mark. I'm not too sure what the comic shops look like in Cali, but on the east coast, it seems like boxes and boxes of back issues, and real estate costs have been clashing with stores and a lot of shops have been relegated to selling collections, graphic novels, etc. Stuff that fits on the bookshelf.

I have a couple really great cartoonist friends in Pittsburgh, who brought me along to this store I've never been to, in the middle of farm country, where this guy seems to be buying massive collections from estates, and from shops that have gone out of business, and it looks like he's figured out a way to make selling back issues work for his business.

My pal Julie Sokolow thought it was worth filming and she cut a video together of our trip there. Thought you might dig the geek fest.

I do dig it!

Blanket that makes you look like you're cuddlng with Thor and Loki


Illustrator Pascalle Lepas created a design for a blanket that would make its user appear to be snuggling with Thor and Loki and had it custom printed. She's not sure if she'll sell them, but she certainly makes a compelling pitch for them in this photo!

This Loki & Thor Snuggle Blanket Puts You In The Middle Of A Norse God Sandwich

Confusing photo


Assuming this wasn't photoshopped, I'm still trying to figure out what's going on here. Is this a photo of three people? (Via Reddit)

Hand lettering the lyrics to Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues"

A wonderful homage to Bob Dylan's card-flipping film for "Subterranean Homesick Blues," by artist Leandro Senna.

Great Graphic Novels: Alan's War: The Memories of G.I. Alan Cope

GreatgraphicnovelsLast month I asked my friends to write about books they loved (you can read all the essays here). This month, I invited them to write about their favorite graphic novels, and they selected some excellent titles. I hope you enjoy them! (Read all the Great Graphic Novel essays here.) -- Mark

Alan's War: The Memories of G.I. Alan Cope, by Emmanuel Guibert

NewImageAs far as World War II stories go, Cope’s story is far from spectacular. Wonderfully so.

Expect none of the heroics or ego associated with traditional combat tales. Instead, welcome a sit down chat with a friend who will, frankly and intimately, carry you along through a soldier's attempt to find meaningful friendships and rich experience while navigating a tedious, banal, and rootless military career.

I know that may sound dreadful, but it is not.

Despite the limitless digital access that I have to folks, ideas and inspiration I find myself yearning for the same things Cope longed for 60+ years ago -- little bits of beauty and a good friend or two to share them with. This book is both beautiful and friendly. After a day of being hit from a million directions for hours on end with stimulus, it is soothing to retire into a world where aside from the rare letter, a man lives in simple engagement with his immediate and tactile environment and with his thoughts.

The translation from French is highly conversational and Guibert’s technique of painting the page with water and allowing ink to bleed through the wet fibers result in illustrations that are loose yet elegant, cloudy and clear at the same time. Like memory.

Here’s a video of Guibert crafting a portrait of Alan Cope.

[Cory also reviewed this in 2008! -- Mark]

Alan's War: The Memories of G.I. Alan Cope

Tree dollhouse

Meg Allan Cole says: "Maddie Chambers created this amazingly detailed and beautiful tree dollhouse she dubbed Mad’s Mouse House and it is something to see. It even has electricity and a teeny tiny Oriental rug."

Mad's Mouse House

Sneak peek at Preservation Hall Band live at Carnegie Hall album


Here's a hell of a way to start the weekend: a couple of outstanding tracks from the upcoming album St. Peter & 57th St, from the Preservation Hall Band, the very sound of New Orleans. The album was recorded live in Carnegie Hall, and ships on September 25th.

* It Ain't My Fault, featuring Yasiin Bey (a.k.a. Mos Def), Trombone Shorty, Allen Toussaint

* Careless Love, with a horn section that'll make you weep and a singer that'll make you wail.

St. Peter & 57th St.

Open source brick machine: the evolution

Tristan sez, "Open Source Ecology is a social enterprise based in Missouri. We develop open source machines that can be made for a fraction of commercial costs, and share our designs on the Internet for free. We've just designed version 4.0 of our compressed earth brick press, the Liberator. With this machine, anyone can make solid, 'dirt cheap' structures from the earth beneath their feet. This linked video shows the evolution of the CEB press from 2007-2012."

The CEB Story 2012 (Thanks, Tristan)

In case you need to be impressed today, here is the cast of Les Misérables performing all their musical numbers live

You might be a cynic when it comes to movies adapted from Broadway musicals, and that's fine. They're not for everyone. But no matter what you might think of Les Misérables or its cast -- Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, among others -- you will undoubtedly be impressed by the approach taken by director Tom Hooper and the other filmmakers. Because they had their cast perform all the songs from the musical tragedy live on set, as opposed to being pre-recorded in a booth and then cleaned up later for a lip-sync on-set. It brought the actors to a different emotional place than a lip-sync ever could. (For example, let's just give Anne Hathaway her Oscar now.) But mostly, it makes this musical make sense.

Go ahead -- let this extended preview of Les Misérables shake your Grinchy core. You might need this today.

(via YouTube -- Thanks, Jess!)

Incredible lava lake video

Filmmaker Geoff Mackley captured this insanely hot footage of Marum Volcano on Ambrym Island, Vanuatu. Check out the incredible photos on Mackley's site too. (via Dave Pell's NextDraft)

Art textbook with no art: school trying to fix it

Earlier this week, I wrote about a custom textbook for a course in art history from prehistory to 1800 that had been assigned to students at the Ontario College of Art and Design at a price of $180, which was to be delivered without any artwork in it, thanks to a dispute over copyright clearances.

After an uproar from students and parents, the school met with students and is revisiting its decision to publish and require this book. Sarah Mulholland from OCAD writes that "Dean Shailer has sent an update letter to students this morning with some very good news as a result of her meeting with the publisher yesterday afternoon, which followed the student forum discussion."

The dean's letter is on the school's website (PDF). Here's an excerpt:

I met later in the afternoon with reps from Pearson – including the President of the Higher Education Division of Pearson Canada, Steve O’Hearn – and from the U of T/OCADU Bookstore, as well as a number of other OCAD U faculty and staff. We laid out the concerns and asked for solutions. Pearson was highly responsive and proposed offering:

• Guaranteed end-of-term buy-back of the custom text (dollar amount to be announced next week); they want to take it out of circulation.

• Provision (free) of print copies of the Stokstad text (which contains the vast majority of missing images) to all students who have purchased the reader, to use as a print-based cross-reference; these would be the relevant volumes of the portable version of Stokstad (much easier to carry) – details on how this will roll out next week.

For next semester (LBST 1B05), we will have two possible scenarios that we’d like to poll students on. In any case there will be NO EMPTY BLOCKS OF WHITE SPACE. And for future offerings (next year and beyond): we will wait until March and further feedback from all of you before making any decisions. We’d like to present all this to interested students as soon as possible and are scheduling a second meeting for next Tuesday afternoon. If you cannot attend, please get in touch and let me know your thoughts.

Here's the notice of the followup meeting.

(Thanks, Sarah!)