John Baichtal of MAKE says:
Minneapolis letterpress printer Todd Thyberg received a Jerome Book Arts grant to write and illustrate his own 3-color graphic novel, then print it on a 90-year-old Vandercook letterpress in his studio. I had a chance to visit Todd in his his studio and checked out the huge stacks of prints and watched as he pulled prints off the Vandercook. He was outputting 400 of each page, with the expectation that he’d end up with 250, counting mistakes. One of the challenges he faced was trying to faithfully letterpress QR codes, which Todd believes may never have been done before. The final books will be sold as chapbooks or fancier, hardbound editions.The Airship: A DIY Graphic Novel Read the rest
Here's Brent Spiner (Star Trek's Data) doing his greatest party trick: a pitch-perfect imitation of Patrick "Captain Picard" Stewart, including hilarious anaecdotes about how he used this power to sow mischief. Patrick Stewart got his revenge later.
What has the TSA done to protect America from rogue cancer terrorists this week? This: A woman with leukemia who was making an end-of-life journey to Hawaii was humiliated en route by a revealing TSA pat-down.
[Michelle] Dunaj says nothing went right at the security checkpoint. A machine couldn't get a reading on her saline bags, so a TSA agent forced one open, contaminating the fluid she needs to survive. She says agents also made her lift up her shirt and pull back the bandages holding feeding tubes in place. Dunaj needs those tubes because of organ failure.
With other passengers staring, Dunaj says she asked for privacy and was turned down. "They just said that it was fine; the location we were at was fine," she said.
They messed with my fellow cancer traveler Lori before, too.
(thanks, David Calkins, vido still via KOMO NEWS)
Comedian and writer Tig Notaro was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. On the Oct. 2 "Professor Blastoff" podcast, she announced that she has undergone a double mastectomy, and there is currently no known cancer in her body. She also spoke about her experience on "Fresh Air" this week.
I note that a number of news outlets are reporting about her post-treatment (?) phase as "cured," or "cancer-free," and wince at that language because the disease is never that simple, and those terms imply something that we hope for but cannot guarantee. But it sounds like her course of treatment was successful and that she is in an excellent place.
I am not glad Notaro has cancer. But I am glad people with cancer now have someone like Tig to point to all that is laughable, and all that is darkly humorous, about the experience of being a person with cancer. Read the rest
Pretty much everyone — including, probably, you — thought that the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics would go to the people who discovered evidence of a particle that meets the description of the theoretical Higgs Boson.
But, it didn't.
Instead, the winners are Serge Haroche and David Wineland, two physicists whose work is all about the way that photons — the tiniest pieces of light, which simultaneously behave as both shifting waves and packaged particles — interact with everything else in the Universe.
I really dig this video put together by Brady Haran of Sixty Symbols, because it captures both the surprise associated with today's announcement (turns out, a lot of physicists thought the Higgs Boson would win, too) and does a good job of explaining what Haroche and Wineland do, and why it's important.
Quote of the day: "Have you tried to capture a single atom?" Read the rest
The Mythbusters team did the math on the actual size and fit for two bodies on a door of the Titanic, and shared their findings with James Cameron: yes, Jack and Rose could totally have survived together on that door. As some commenters point out via Twitter, however, there's an argument to be made that it's not just the surface area of the door that's in question, but the buoyancy. (thanks, Tara McGinley!) Read the rest
Photographer Dennis Stock (1928-2010), a legend of the Magnum Photos cooperative, is most famous for his 1955 shot of James Dean in Times Square. Following that, he made stunning photos of the era's jazz greats -- Louis Armstrong, Gene Krupa, Billie Holiday -- and compiled those into the classic monograph Jazz Street. In 1967 though, Stock paid a visit to the Planet of the Apes. (via death_watlz_records) Read the rest
I'm delighted to announce that the Humble Ebook Bundle is live! Based on the wildly successful Humble Indie Bundles for distributing video games on a name-your-price basis, the Humble Ebook Bundle is a name-your-price collection of awesome entertainment that also helps you support three great charities.
The Humble Ebook Bundle boasts eight science fiction and fantasy books by Neil Gaiman, John Scalzi, Lauren Beukes, Kelly Link, Paolo Bacigalupi, Mercedes Lackey, and me (!). Name your price for these great books (you'll need to pay more than the average to date for the Scalzi and Gaiman) and then choose how much of your payment to divert to our chosen charities: Child's Play (games for children's hospitals), EFF (defending your digital rights) and the Science Fiction Writers of America Emergency Medical Fund (saving sf writers from medical ruin). The books come in a variety of formats for all ereaders, and there is no DRM!
The previous Bundles have raised over $7,250,000 for charity, and also demonstrated that creators and their audiences can cooperate with one another, eschewing digital rights management and trusting one another to do the right thing.
I'm especially excited that my latest novel, Pirate Cinema, is part of the Bundle. Tor Books were fantastic about giving me permission to add a new release title -- it's only been out for a week! -- to this experimental Bundle. Tor is also donating its share of the proceeds to the SFWA medical fund. There is no better way to reward Tor and these authors for saying no to DRM and restrictive user-agreements, and no better way to support the writers you love, than to buy this Bundle. Read the rest
(Video link) In non-entertainment news, I am a huge nerd for a cool t-shirt. Sometimes I buy them (usually from Busted Tees or Headline Shirts), and sometimes they find me. The latter shirts are generally men's sizes -- too big and shaped like a rectangle, but so groovy that I don't have the heart to throw it away. Fortunately, there are people out there who know how to fix such things! One of those people is Megan Nicolay, author of Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt (Workman Publishing) and its sequel, as well as the companion blog. Megan and I hung out in the Workman Publishing office recently to put together a instructional video on how to alter a gigantic potato sack of a shirt into something acceptable to wear in public. After the jump, a quick walk-through of another design.
T-shirts ahoy! Read the rest
Over at my sister-in-law Heather Sparks's new Science Sparks Art tumblog, selections from Richard Misrach and Kate Orff's book Petrochemical America, a collection of Misrach's photos and Orff's "ecological atlas" documenting Louisiana's "Chemical Corridor," aka "Cancer Alley." Above, Taft, Louisana's Holy Rosary Cemetery purchased by Dow Chemical. Petrochemical America Read the rest
Joshua Glenn, co-author of the great new kids' activity book, Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun, and I are talking in a Google hangout right now.
Unbored is the guide and activity book every modern kid needs. Vibrantly designed, lavishly illustrated, brilliantly walking the line between cool and constructive, it's crammed with activities that are not only fun and doable but also designed to get kids engaged with the wider world.With contributions from a diverse crowd of experts, the book provides kids with information to round out their worldview and inspire them to learn more. From how-tos on using the library or writing your representative to a graphic history of video games, the book isn't shy about teaching. Yet the bulk of the 352-page mega-resource presents hands-on activities that further the mission in a fun way, featuring the best of the old as well as the best of the new: classic science experiments, crafts and upcycling, board game hacking, code-cracking, geocaching, skateboard repair, yarn bombing, stop-action movie-making-plus tons of sidebars and extras, including trivia, best-of lists, and Q&As with leading thinkers whose culture-changing ideas are made accessible to kids for the first time.Just as kids begin to disappear into their screens, here is a book that encourages them to use those tech skills to be creative, try new things, and change the world. And it encourages parents to participate. Unbored is exciting to read, easy to use, and appealing to young and old, girl and boy. Parents will be comforted by its anti-perfectionist spirit and humor.Read the rest