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Skele-Gore skull


Spotted today at New York Comic-Con, "THE 17,000 SINS OF SKELE-GORE" from Scarecrow Oven. Sadly, it is sold out. Let us hope for a restock.

THE 17,000 SINS OF SKELE-GORE

Action Philosophers: philosophy of the ages in comic form


Action Philosophers is a delightful and educational comic created by Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey, presented as a series of vignettes that explain the biographies and ideas of the philosophers through the ages. I stopped by their booth today at New York Comic-Con after being struck by their very funny Karl Marx vs Ayn Rand poster and went back to my room to read the free preview. I'm sold!

Action Philosophers

Metal circle template


Tim from WindFired Designs writes,

We designed this specialized circle tool. We originally made it for ourselves as kite makers, but it was quickly clear that it should be available to everyone that likes to make things by hand.

There aren't any good metal circle templates out there. People that use heat for cutting synthetics often need to cut circles, but existing circle templates are plastic. We decided to design and make our own. At first it was for our own use, but as we went through prototypes, the object started to seem more and more seductive. We really needed this around our own studio, and we knew from working as designers for over 20 years, that there weren't any good commercial solutions. The tool shape we came up with has a number of innovative features. It's great for serious makers, but it's also really fun to hand them to children who love to draw.

WindFire Designs Circle Tool (Thanks, Tim!)

Bring-Your-Own-Puppet Million Muppet March planned


A group of public TV fans have announced a "Million Muppet March" on November 3 on the National Mall in DC. They are upset at Mitt Romney's vow to have Big Bird waterboarded. This will be a Bring Your Own Puppet event. More from Reuters:

Within 30 minutes of the end of the debate they were on the phone with each other, planning the march.

"I figured, why just make it a virtual show of support? Why not take this opportunity because it seemed like there was already a growing interest in it and actually make it an active, participatory event," Bellavia said. "I literally just said, 'It's happening.'"

Both men consider themselves fans of "Sesame Street," perhaps the best-known program on PBS, which received $445 million of $3.8 trillion in federal budget outlays in 2012.

Coming from rural Idaho, Mecham said he was aware how important public broadcasting was in sparsely populated areas that receive no other signals over the air.

"Million Muppet March" planned to defend U.S. backing for PBS (via Reddit)

Fiji Mermaids, shrunken heads, and other essentials from The Gemini Company


John Weisgerber's Gemini Company sells handmade replicas of sideshow gaffs, including Fiji Mermaids, shrunken heads, two-headed baby skeletons, and other essentials. I saw these up close and personal today at New York Comic-Con and they look good.

Gemini Company

Junkbot bug assemblage sculptures: The Litter bug 


Mark Oliver's Litter Bug series is a collection of assemble-sculpture insects made from urban found objects and laser-cut metal and wood. They're extraordinarily beautiful -- right up my street. They don't appear to be for sale, and more's the pity.

Arthropod sub-species of the Insecta class. A creature whose instinctual and physical qualities have adapted so uniquely to the modern urban environment that it has rendered itself, by nature of camouflage, virtually invisible in it’s normal habitat. When seen in isolation ‘Litter Bugs’ appear to be composed of everyday ‘found’ objects.

The Litter bug (via Neatorama)

Autumn: Spaghetti-harvest time

Some astute commenters in the Ukelele String Harvest video thread pointed out that this recent video is basically a re-creation/riff on this earlier, classic weird video, from a 1957 BBC show called "Panorama." From the Alexandra Palace Television Society, here's the whole story:

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Comic superheroes re-imagined as Ottoman Empire figures

"Ottoman was Geeky," a fanciful series of illustrations by Berk Senturk. Above, Justice League as Fevc-ül Adâlet.

The harvesting of ukelele strings

"Ever wondered where ukulele strings come from? This recently-discovered, hitherto-unseen archive film may date back decades, but is as true today as it's ever been." From Litmus Films. Update: as commenters have noted, it's a riff on this 1950s classic.

Caturday: I am a Cat.

By Camels and Friends, starring Pancake. Music by Kevin MacLeod.

Stone tools with plastic handles


Israeli designers Ami Drach and Dov Ganchrow presented their modern stone and flint tools at the Budapest Design Week. The pair combined hand-chipped blades and axes with modern high-impact plastic handles, to make tools that are beautiful and functional. I'd love to have one of those knives around the office. Designboom has more pics, and commentary:

the set is a result of an experimental exploration of the realm of tool making. where stone and flint tools have been the means of our ancestors' survival for over a million years, they magnify our bodily (teeth, fingernails, fists etc.) capabilities of cutting and chopping, sawing and pounding. through a method of three-dimensionally scanning and printing, the ancient artifacts are digitally outfitted with custom-designed handles, encapsulating the rugged forms in a perfectly enclosed case. by juxtaposing the polarities of the manufacturing processes in computer generated forms, an intersection of material technologies and functionality coincide on a tangible scale.

modern stone + flint tools by ami drach + dov ganchrow (via Neatorama)

Afrika Bambaataa and Global Bass

How did Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock" (1982) lead to the digital dancehall that is Global Bass? Don't miss Marcus Boon's primer on the international Global Bass scene, from DJ/Rupture to M.I.A to the music of Saharan cellphones. This and Morissey, Aphex Twin, Bong, New Order, Neubauten, and much more are archived at the new Boing Boing Music page.

Crowdfunding a 10-year-old's cup design for her grandad, who's got Parkinson's; and her dad, who is a klutz

Lily is a ten year old girl who's into pottery. Her grandpa has Parkinson's disease and is prone to spilling his coffee due to his tremors, and so she invented the "Kangaroo Cup," a stackable, reusable cup that is hard to knock over or spill from (she modified it for her dad's use, so that he wouldn't spill coffee in his keyboard anymore, too). It's got a inward-curving lip to make it less spill-prone when you carry it, and its legs make it super-stable (you also don't need a coaster for it).

Lily's dad is a product designer who's brought other products to market successfully, so he and his daughter are raising funds on IndieGoGo for bulk manufacture (in JingDeZhen, China) and sale.

We are launching this project to fund our first production run of 1000 pieces. The samples pictured here and in the video are 1st production samples made at the same facility that will do the production run. The facility we've selected for this first run is not a mass production, low cost factory, but a high quality porcelain producer that generally makes decorative vases and tea pots and such. They make the kind of ceramics that JingDeZhen is famous for: "white as jade, bright as a mirror, and harmonic as a bell." In addition, because they are high temperature fired, they are stronger and less porous that standard ceramics. This makes them more hygienic, easier to clean and harder to stain.

We chose JingDeZhen for our source because of the high quality and the ability of the artisans there to help us work through our initial production issues. If the project is successful, we will likely need to move to more conventional manufacturing sources to reduce cost, but today, JingDeZhen China provides a nice reward for our early supporters.

No Spill Kangaroo Cup (Thanks, Alex!)

Gangster Computer God Worldwide Secret Containment Policy: the cult rants of Fracis E. Dec, Esq.

Schizovisionary cult radio ranter conspiracy theorist Francis E. Dec, Esquire (he insisted on the "esquire," even after having been disbarred from practicing law) was recorded by Los Angeles radio host "Doc on the ROQ" of KROQ-FM. The weirdo audio made its way around the world on cassette tape; later, fans digitized them and shared for all Kosher-Bosher mankind.

The Wikipedia article on Dec is really good. WFMU appreciates his work. Here's a fan club website. Here's a Flickr set of his flyers.

Dec died in 1996. He was mentally ill. While we don't know for sure, his material suggests that he was a "machine-influencing-delusional" schizophrenic. The recordings include much racist and misogynist material: the n-word, and explicit racial hate and sexual stuff. This disclaimer applies here, too.

PS: I'm fairly certain that Gangster Computer God Worldwide Secret Containment Policy is shorthand for "Google."

(thanks for the reminder, @rabite)

Some highlights from NY Comic-Con

I'm at Comic-Con for the Pirate Cinema tour. Here's some highlights from yesterday's brief excursion on the floor:


An Occupy Ankh-Morpork protester at Terry Pratchett's signing for Dodger.



Star Trek: TOS bathrobes! (Speaking as a serious loungewear enthusiast, I have this to say: PHWOAR). Available from Amazon and ThinkGeek.

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