Boing Boing 

Rubber-band shotgun Kickstarter

Bob Coulston, a woodworker and contractor, has a wildly oversubscribed Kickstarter for a laser-cut plywood "shotgun" rubber-band gun that fires tons of rubber bands at once. There are a couple different kits, and both look like good fun.

The Sheriff shotgun kit is 14 pieces of laser cut plywood stacked and held together with binding bolts (no glue required) to form an awesome one of a kind 10 shot rubber band shotgun kit with three methods of firing.

The 3 modes of shooting:

* "Single Shot" - Pull the trigger to launch a single shot and pump the actuator back to reload the next rubber band

* "Rapid Fire" - Hold the trigger back while pumping the actuator rapidly to launch an arsenal of rubber bands that nothing can escape.

* "Shotgun Blast" - Pump the actuator until all rubber bands are at the top and then pull the trigger to fire a scattered blast of rubber bands that will knock over about anything.

Worlds first, multi-action rubber band shotgun in an easy to build kit.

Gloriously illuminated orange


This beautiful image comes from Caleb Charland, who creates all his images in-camera.

Recently one Sunday I spent the day at the kitchen table playing with oranges, copper wires and galvanized nails. My hope was that I could make this on going project work with a single piece of fruit. I tried cutting it into slices and wedges but that ever present voice in my head reminded me the SIMPLER IS BETTER. It only seemed logical to use the orange’s natural wedges as the cells for the battery. The wedges are held up-right with an armature of small wooden skewers. The LED is nestled with in the bounds of the orange wedges. I’m still amazed this worked…though it did require 14 hours of exposure.

Energy from a single orange… (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

Attractive, simple table top radio: Sangean WR-11


After futzing around with various streaming radio apps and bluetooth speakers, my wife told me she wanted a real tabletop radio for the kitchen. Here were her requirements:

1. No buttons - knobs only.

2. Two knobs preferred. A maximum of three.

3. Pretty.

4. Easy to use.

I immediately thought of the Tivoli Audio Model One, but the $150 price tag kept me from getting it. Then I saw the wood-cased Sangean WR-11 for $85. Not quite as good looking as the Tivoli, but almost. Certainly attractive enough to be called pretty. No buttons: check. Three knobs: check (the third knob turns it on and selects AM or FM). Easy to use: It sure seemed like it would be. I bought it.

It arrived yesterday. The sound is rich and deep, even when the volume is turned up, and the tuning and volume knobs are pleasantly viscous when you turn them. Not much more to say about it -- my wife likes it, and so do I.

Sangean WR-11

Apple's Siri vs. Japanese-accented English

In this video, an increasingly frustrated native Japanese speaker discovers that Siri is unable to parse the spoken English word "work" when voiced with a typical Japanese accent. (kenjikinukawa via Joi Ito)

Interview with guy arrested at airport for wearing an elaborate wristwatch


Matthew says: "Geoff McGann tells his story about the watch, the TSA, and the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. Surprisingly, he blames the ACSO for their actions, not the TSA."

McGann said that he harbors no hard feelings against the TSA, the agency that initially stopped him at the security checkpoint. Instead, McGann said he has a problem with the way the Alameda County Sheriff's Department made him look like a terrorist.

"They treated it as if this incredible travesty was not a big deal to put me and my family through," McGann said. "To make it worse, they fed the press a story that they knew would paint a terrible picture of me so they could justify the false arrest," he said.

"My issue is never, and was never, with the TSA... They were doing their jobs," McGann continued. "My issue is with the Sheriffs Department and painting that picture... It is just irresponsible what they did."

McGann explained that after he was detained at the airport, he was able to show deputies photos of his watch collection on his phone to prove that they were art pieces, not detonators.

"They went and looked at the whole collection on my phone and then they realized I wasn't a threat," said McGann. "They were like, 'maybe we can let you go, but we don't think we can.'"

McGann said that he was arrested on suspicion of possession of materials to make an explosive device despite deputies telling him he wasn't a threat and his watch wasn't a bomb detonator.

McGann Tells His Story of Unusual Watch Arrest at Oakland Airport

Previously

Guys, someone made a funny ‘NYT On It’ Twitter account and the New York Times got their lawyers ON IT

Killjoy attorneys for the New York Times who are most likely paid many times more per hour than New York Times reporters asked Twitter to nix the “Times Is On It” Twitter account, which parodies NYT stories and is loved by many. Poynter.org is on it. A NYT spokesperson tells Poynter they were protecting the NYT trademark, not its copyright.

Photo biz ad, 1926: Take Thanksgiving snapshots, before everyone you love dies

Get a load of this print ad from the Master Photo Finishers of America, 1926.

Text: "Save the day with snap shots. Thanksgiving, the day of the year which brings most families together, is a splendid opportunity to take snap-shots of the entire family, both singly and as a group. Next year may be too late. Have your camera and a few extra film ready."

Scanned and Flickr'd by Alan Mays, whose photo stream is full of wonderful vintage weirdness.

Camel cigarettes help with Thanksgiving digestion

A vintage ad for Camel brand cancer-sticks, scanned and Flickr'd by SA_Steve. Remember, folks, "Camel Cigarettes aid with your Thanksgiving Digestion!"

Tila Tequila exposes The Illuminati

Richard Metzger at Dangerous Minds alerts us to Tila Tequila's latest incarnation, possibly hastened by a drug overdose and/or brain anyeurism. The former MySpace pinup now posts videos to YouTube in which she exposes the secret machinations of the all-powerful Illuminati. Really, a perfectly logical sequence of events, if you think about it.

Africa for Norway: raising money in Africa to help poor Norwegians struggle through the frozen winter

Ntwiga wries, Who says Africa can't contribute: Radi-Aid has Africans singing and working together to send radiators to our cold brethren in Norway in this their time of Christmas need. Choice tidbit: 'It's kind of just as bad as poverty if you ask me... Frostbite kills too.'"

Africa For Norway - New charity single out now! Official christmas video

CDZA's "European Odyssey" (a multinational musical experiment, in video)

CDZA, the YouTube weekly music experiment video project led by Joe Sabia, went to Europe "with no real plan for creating experiments."
As a result, all four experiments [in this video] were inspired spontaneously by circumstances and surroundings in four cities along the trip: Paris, Berlin, Salzburg, and Prague. Which experiment do you like the most? Obviously #3 for us. Special thanks to Leo Heubach and Peter Man Peterson for making the grand tour possible. Also, visit that guy's music shop in Prague. Radek Bubrle's shop: HUDEBNI NASTROJE. Michael is playing a bass from NS Design.

Oh nothing, just rare video of a polar bear mom nursing her cubs

Chris Thonis, writing to Boing Boing on behalf of explore.org, sends along this video of a mother polar bear in Churchill, Manitoba nursing her two cubs. Chris explains:

This is a behavior rarely caught on camera, and is the result of three live cams set up by explore.org, Polar Bears International, Parks Canada, and Frontiers North Adventure to capture the annual polar bear migration this year (the point being to get people to think more about how climate change is impacting the north, and inspire an annual event similar to Earth Day (or Groundhog Day).

For the children of Gaza and Israel

The Velveteen Rabbi wrote a beautiful piece, in the form of a psalm, for The Children of Abraham / Ibrahim. Snip: "For every toddler in his mother's arms / behind rubble of concrete and rebar / For every child who's learned to distinguish / "our" bombs from "their" bombs by sound..." (via @ethanz)

Please advise.


(Via Lawrence Wilkinson)

Dremel's EZ Drum sander mandrel -- about damn time


I have the Dremel tool drum sander mandrel on the left. I don't think the design has changed since 1962, and it sucks mightily. Sanding drums get stuck on it and new ones don't fit on it (at least not for me). I just read Stuart Deutsch's post on Make about the EZ Drum Sanding Mandrel, which sounds like a game-changing improvement on the black rubber mandrel.

Dremel has introduced a couple of new “EZ Lock” rotary tool accessories in recent years that allow for tool-free bit/disc/pad changes. The newest EZ-change addition, a sanding mandrel, has quickly become one of my favorites. With the old-style sanding mandrel, you must toil with a small screw before and after swapping in a fresh sanding sleeve, but with this one you just push and pull.

I have been quite pleased with the direction Dremel has been headed. They dominate the rotary tool and accessories market, so they don’t really need to upgrade little things like mandrels, but they have been doing it anyways. Recent models, such as the 3000 and updated 4000 series rotary tools, feature a built-on collet wrench, and it looks like the upcoming Dremel 4200 will feature a new completely tool-free collet-lock mechanism.

Tool Review: Dremel EZ-Change Sanding Mandrel

The tech secrets behind advertising food porn

How do they capture slow-motion footage of beer as it sensually swirls in a glass? Where do videos of liquid chocolate splashing in dark ripples come from? Smithsonian has an answer, with a long video about a company that builds the high-speed cameras (and fake stage food) behind the commercials that make you thirsty and hungry.

One of the missing characters from The Walking Dead comics is coming to the show [SPOILERS]

Exciting news for Walking Dead fans who have been crossing their fingers for characters from the comics to show up, because that is exactly what is going to happen. I'll keep the name of said character until after the jump, but what I will say is that there have been two characters on the show from the beginning who had, up until this announcement, seemed like the logical "replacements." But deep down, we all knew there was a missing piece. Follow us inside to find out who is finally joining the survivors!

Read the rest

Sauropods might have had trunks, but probably didn't

Imagine an apatosaurus with a long, elephant-like snout. Plenty of people have. That's because the nostril placement on sauropod dinosaurs is, in some ways, remarkably similar to that of trunked animals that live today. In both cases, the nostrils are large, and they're located up around what we'd call the forehead, kind of smack between the eyes.

On the one hand, this is one of those things that it's really hard to ever know for certain. We don't have preserved soft tissue, so when we make models of what dinosaurs might have looked like we're really going on clues from the bones and comparisons to living animals with similar bone structure. Because of that, it is somewhat reasonable to suggest that hey, maybe, sauropods really did look like grumpy diplodocus in the image above. It's fun to speculate.

But not all speculations are created equal. In a fascinating post at the Tetrapod Zoology blog, Darren Naish explains why a superficial similarity to trunked animals isn't enough to counteract the much-more prevalent evidence against sauropod trunks. One of the more interesting lines of evidence he points out is the fact that dinosaurs apparently lacked the facial which form the trunk in living animals. We know this partly because muscles leave their signature on bone, and Naish says there's no evidence sauropods had the right facial muscles. It's further bolstered by the fact that the animals most closely related to sauropods don't have those facial muscles, either.

Naish's piece reminds me of the last time we talked about sauropod biology here. That, too, dealt with the fact that superficial similarities aren't enough to infer that two animals must have identical biology. Only, in that case, we were talking about the differences between the long necks of giraffes and the long necks of sauropods.

Make: Talk 018 - Isaiah Saxon of DIY.org

Our maker this week is Isaiah Saxon (@isaiah_saxon_). He's the co-founder of DIY.org, an organization that encourages kids to make stuff and is a film director at Encyclopedia Pictura, which has made videos for the musician Bjork and others (the image above is from Bjork's "Wanderlust" video).

He's also working on an animated feature film about a group of DIY kids who have to rebuild civilization. Above, a gallery of screenshots of concept art for the movie (Click on the images to enlarge them.)

Here's a time-lapse video that shows how Isaiah creates his amazing artwork.

Here's Isaiah's answer to a question that he didn't get to answer fully during my interview with him. My question was about DIY.org. Was he planning on making it a nonprofit organization or a for-profit company? Here is his answer:

We decided to structure DIY.org as a for-profit startup because we know that if we create a tool that boosts kids' creativity, that will be of tremendous value to parents. Rather than being a non-profit and begging wealthy donors to fund us, we aim to build a great service that parents are excited to pay for. We'll never sell information about our users to advertisers and we'll never allow advertising on the site. Membership to DIY.org will include embroidered skill patches that come in the mail once earned, and potentially a kit service as well. Using a majority of the site's features will remain free for non-members. Also, we use a very flexible Creative Commons license for all the content uploaded to the site, and our team releases much of DIY's platform as open source on a nearly weekly basis.

MAKE profiled Isaiah Saxon and his partners at Encyclopedia Pictura in MAKE volume 30. Here's a PDF of the article.

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Nonprofit game outfit aims to kickstart 30 games

LA Game Space is a new nonprofit center for video game art, design and research taking up occupancy in a downtown warehouse space. Their first objective is to finance 30 games in one fell kickstarter, and they have design luminaries such as Hotline Miami's Cactus, Adventure Time's Pen War and QWOP's Bennett Foddy ready to get started if they reach their target. Adds director and co-founder Adam Robezzoli: "Though we are based in LA, we will be livestreaming all our events, and will have a moderator on our end to make sure those participating online are able to ask questions, make comments, and be as much a part of the experience as local attendees. Also, online participation in all events will be free".

999 Happy Haunts from Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, illustrated within letters spelling out ROOM FOR A THOUSAND



Aaron Alexovich sez, "I was a character designer on Invader Zim many years ago, and recently I drew all 999 ghosts in Disney's Haunted Mansion."

Holy crap, did he EVER! This is amazing. And putting them inside letters spelling out ROOM FOR A THOUSAND? Genius. Please say you're making a print? Pretty please?

999 HAUNTS (Thanks, Aaron!)

Not-exactly-near-death experiences

In 1990, researchers investigated the stories of 58 people who had had a near-death experience during surgery. Turns out, 30 of those people were never actually near-death, at all. They just thought they were.

Giant Origami Fractal

A three-dimensional, modular origami fractal has taken form for the first time in the history of the world—and perhaps the universe—at the USC Libraries in Los Angeles.

Led by the libraries’ Discovery Fellow Margaret Wertheim, USC students, faculty, staff, students from nearby middle schools, and other volunteers built the level-three Mosely Snowflake Fractal out of 49,000 folded business cards. The fractal takes its name from engineer and mathematical origami artist Jeannine Mosely, who designed the construction process. The snowflake is a relative of the famous Menger Sponge, which Mosely also built from business cards in 2006.

Read the rest

Russell Brand interviews two members of the Westboro Baptist Church

https://youtu.be/2JAErHl7lZ4 Russell Brand is polite to these awful people.

Combat Kitchenware: a frypan with a sword hilt


The Combat Kitchenware Kickstarter has set out to create sword-handled skillets. At $27 you get a handle you can stick on your own pans, $45 gets you a sword-handled teflon skillet. It's from James Brown, who runs Morlock Enterprises, which makes a wide variety of cool nerdstuff, so I've got a reasonable degree of confidence that backers will get their premiums -- though, of course, making a pan that works for long-term cookery is a pretty specialized endeavor.

All of the parts are carefully manufactured by the fine people of Morlock Enterprises (if you consider subterranean cannibalistic evolutionary offshoots of humanity people). Milled and cast in the USA, by us.

All steps of production will be managed by us in our shop in Herndon, VA. Our machine shop is set and ready to handle a job of this magnitude. We just need the funding to jumpstart production. Everyone here takes great pride in having our geeky hands on all parts of the project directly, from design to production. One pan is easy. However, enough pans to indulge the epic needs of our fellow culinary warriors takes a bit more. To that end, I am hoping to use this kickstarter to help fund the molding and tooling to make this project a reality, and get this epic culinary craziness into as many hands as possible.

It is my fervent hope that this is but the vanguard of a host of epic culinary implements.

Combat Kitchenware (via Crave)

The Visible Gummi

Artist Jason Freeny designed this anatomical Gummi Bear for Fame Master Toys. See many more examples of his cool sculptures on his DeviantArt page. (Photo by Sherri Damlo)

Big news from Mars coming soon, maybe

The Curiosity rover comes complete with a mini chemistry lab. It's designed to analyze the composition of Martian soils and Martian air. And, right now, that particular piece of equipment is at the center of a giddy storm of activity. Curiosity has turned up something important — big enough for Curiosity's principal investigator to tell NPR, "This data is gonna be one for the history books."

What is it? NASA's not telling just yet. Right now, researchers are in the process of verifying said exciting data, in order to make sure they aren't deceiving themselves into thinking they've spotted something that isn't really there. That's pretty good policy, given the recent flap around over-hyped studies about Earth-like planets and arsenic-based life.

On the other hand, if you're trying to avoid overhyping something, might I suggest that "We have groundbreaking, world-changing data that we can't tell you about yet," is maybe not the best way to do it.

Stay tuned.

Pictured: A 360-degree view of Mars, taken by Curiosity on October 5th, from the location where it first started collecting samples of rocks and dirt. NASA/JPL

Huge, detailed WHO NEEDS DONUTS print


Zack Smith sez, "I was looking around the online store for Brooklyn's Desert Island Comics -- they have James Stokoe's insane giant Galactus drawing as a print. THat's amazing enough, but they also have a huge, magnificent print from Mark Alan Stamaty's gigantically detailed children's book WHO NEEDS DONUTS? that is a bargain at $60."

Desert Island Internet Web Shoppe (Thanks, Zack!)

Sandy damaged NYPD evidence facilities

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said today that some facilities used for storing evidence in criminal cases flooded during Hurricane Sandy. “In some of our storage locations we have evidence that has been damaged,” Mr. Kelly told reporters Tuesday morning. “Significant flooding has taken place, no question about it.” More in the NYTimes. (via Michael Roston)

Steampunk Dalek

About this spectacular wearable steampunk Dalek, BB reader Mark Dumont writes:
Electronics are contained in box at back waist containing arduino uno, 2 nine volt batteries, and small amp. Speakers are in ends of tube around neck and mic is on an earpiece. Arduino board powers eye stalk and dome lights as well as handles dalek voice modulation. I found the arduino sketch (source and circuit diagrams) can be found here, kudos to Andy Grove for the sketch. Originally created for my wife (the only dalek I will ever love) for the Time Traveler's Ball held at the Redmoor in Cincinnati 11/17/12
Photo Link. (Shared in the BB Flickr Pool)