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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in an NPR Tiny Desk concert

NPR's fantastic Tiny Desk concert by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis has me going back through the entire series as it looks so wonderful.

I only recently was introduced, but have listened to the duo's fantastic album The Heist several times today. Fun rap and a passion for their music and message that come through.

Also on Boing Boing:

Thrift Shop by Macklemore

"Same Love" - A Song for Marriage Equality

(Thanks Dave!)

The Return of the Best Damn Comics of the Year -- Boing Boing Edition

I realized that I promised you some stocking stockers for December, but then it occurred to me: why not just approach the whole thing Tom Sawyer-style, and get a few tastemakers from around the industry to help paint this year end fence by picking their top five books for 2012. We've got a couple of dozen folks, including cartoonists, writers, critics, educators, publishers, librarians and podcasters singling out some of the best pieces of sequential art the past 12 months had to offer.

No surprise that Building Stories, the latest masterwork from Chris Ware rated at the top of the top of the list. Tied for second place are Brandon Graham's Prophet and two Fantagraphics titles, Barack Hussein Obama and Heads or Tails, by Steven Weissman and Lilli Carre, respectively. Directly below, you'll find a list of those titles that scored multiple picks and further down, reviews from the panel members themselves, featuring more than enough comics to help you survive the holidays in mostly one piece.

Eight votes:

Building Stories, by Chris Ware

Four votes:

Prophet, by Brandon Graham, et al.

Barack Hussein Obama, by Steven Weissman

Heads or Tails, by Lilli Carre

Three votes:

Are You My Mother?, by Alison Bechdel

The Nao of Brown, by Glyn Dillon

Zegas #2, by Michel Fiffe

My Friend Dahmer, by Derf

By This Shall You Know Him, by Jesse Jacobs

The Hypo, by Noah Van Sciver

Two votes:

No Straight Lines, edited by Justin Hall

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: a Graphic Memoir by Ellen Forney

Suspect Device #2, edited by Josh Bayer

Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

Cleveland by Harvey Pekar, Joseph Remnant

The Voyeurs by Gabrielle Bell

Goliath by Tom Gauld

Read the rest

Norwegian hotel calls cops on man because they got his name wrong and thought he used an assumed name; police arrest him in the nude; hotel charges him for the room

Matt sez,

Sorry, this is in Norwegian but it's definitively a story that deserves more attention. In summary, Norwegian Dagfinn Bjelland visits Clarion Collection Hotell Atlantic in Norwegian town of Sandefjord. The reception spells his name wrong, which then makes them suspicious he checked in under a fake name, because apparently no-one goes by the name they typed in. They call the police, who show up and confronts him, and for good measure while he's naked in shower! After some clarification and searching his room they accept the wrong name and the police leave. However, the guest is of course furious and leaves. And does he get his money back? No - and the comment from the hotel director Kari-Ann Norén is "He had used the room and our facilities".

Not only is the story itself bad, but the attitude from the hotel and police is remarkably offensive. The hotel director just states "we have a lot of problems with prositution and drug dealers", while the police spokesman states that "we had our reasons to investigate the tip". According to the story he was neither charged for anything or there was any particular reason for the search than the name being misspelled. But regardless they all imply that the treatment is justified for reasons they can't or won't share.

Dagfinn (31) anholdt naken etter at hotellet stavet navnet feil

Buffalo Bill Dance Unicorn Chaser

Pursuant to this; as submitted by Boing Boing reader PhosPhorious.

Avi Solomon's Boing Boing interviews: the ebook

If you've enjoyed Avi Solomon's interviews here over the years, you'll be interested to hear that he's collected them in an ebook called MetaHacks: The Boing Boing Interviews. Though it's not an "official" Boing Boing publication, we surely wish him all the best with it!

Genderswapped, sexualized comic art

The Hawkeye Initiative is a Tumblr-wide fan-art genderswap extravaganza in which fan-artists redraw highly sexualized images of female superheros, swapping in male superheros and reproducing the original provocative pose (The Mary Sue has the backstory). There's some very good stuff here indeed.

The Hawkeye Initiative

Cards Against Humanity, Against Christmas

Cards Against Humanity, the snarky, funny card game, has done a name-your-price Xmas expansion pack, just in time to blunt the edge on your holiday cheer.

Chronicle's Dane DeHaan will play Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Harry Osborn will be besties/worsties with Peter Parker in a Spider-Man movie once again, but this time, James Franco simply could not build himself a time-turner to make himself available. Instead, for Marc Webb's sequel, Dane DeHaan will take over the role in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, set to begin shooting early next year. DeHann is best known for his superpowered role in Chronicle, but has also made appearances on HBO's In Treatment and, most recently, Lawless and Lincoln. The sequel, for which Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone will return, might also possibly feature Mary Jane Watson, and Shailene Woodley's name has been mentioned as a contender for the role.

And in case you didn't hear, the script will be written by the guys who brought back Star Trek, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. My fangirl heart is positively a-flutter!

Photo credit: IMDb

'Amazing Spider-Man 2' gets new Harry Osborn -- 'Chronicle' star Dane DeHaan [Inside Movies]

Los Angeles Makerspace: A Family Friendly Innovation Hub

Great news for LA-based families - Los Angeles Makerspace is here! I'm happy to be helping them in their Kickstarter campaign to get new equipment by conducting an Arduino workshop for the first 20 people who kick in $100 or more.

The Los Angeles Makerspace is a non-profit community space for makers and tinkerers of all ages to create and collaborate. Our mission is to provide a place where kids can learn alongside adults, maker parents can bring their children, and where people of all ages can join in making and learning through creating projects, participating in workshops and taking classes. Makers of all ages can take classes and receive mentorship in software, hardware, electronics, robotics, art, filmmaking, citizen science, bio-tech, eco-tech, wearable-tech, and more!

**Exclusive Class** by MARK FRAUENFELDER and assistant Qtechknow! 'How to Control Things and Make Noise with an Arduino.' Mark is editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine, and the founder of the popular Boing Boing blog. This rewards includes class instruction and all tools and materials. PLUS One Month Family of Four Pass in 2013. *Note: One Maker under 13 free with an adult.

Los Angeles Makerspace: A Family Friendly Innovation Hub

Mustache transplants on the rise

Turkish plastic surgeon Selahattin Tulunay is performing 50-60 mustache implants every month, helping Middle Eastern men achieve thick, full mustaches. The procedure costs about $7,000.

Pierre Bouhanna is a Paris-based surgeon who, for the past five years, has been performing increasing numbers of mustache implants. He says the majority of his patients come from the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Lebanon and Turkey, with men traveling to France to have the surgery performed.

"My impression is more and more they want to establish their male aspect," he said. "They want a strong mustache."

Mustache Transplants on the Rise in the Middle East [KTLA] (via JWZ)

(Image: James and Matthew, with fake moustaches, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from jonevans's photostream)

A museum of toilets at art museums

Fascinated with toilets as art, reader Ryan recommends checking out the Art Museum Toilet. This reminds me of the Happiest Potties on Earth.

This week's The Walking Dead recap is full of incredibly awkward reunions! [SPOILERS]

In the aptly-titled mid-season finale of The Walking Dead, "Made to Suffer" introduced us to a new group of survivors and reunited a bunch of familiar ones. But if you're thinking about giant, relieved hugs after a triumphant run across a grassy field, you are going to be sorely disappointed. In summary: a moment of manliness by Carl, a moment of insanity by Rick, a moment of power by Carol, and one million awkward moments between all the people who used to hang out together -- Andrea, Merle, Daryl, Michonne -- and no longer do.

As usual, plot spoilers are discussed after the jump, so you have been warned!

Read the rest

UK home secretary says Britain needs more data retention, cites an example where a corrupt cop gave murdered victims' details to crime boss

This morning saw the publication of an editorial in The Sun by Theresa May, the UK home secretary, defending her bulk Internet surveillance proposal, the Communications Data Bill, AKA the "Snooper's Charter."

In the article, May cites a submission by by Peter Davies (Chief Executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre) as an example of why all Internet communications should be stored and made accessible to police without a warrant. Davies told the story of a murder that had been difficult to solve, and suggests that dragnet surveillance would have made the police's job simpler.

But as the Open Rights Group points out, the case in question is anything but a defense of bulk data-retention. Indeed, it involves a corrupt police officer who improperly used retained records to find information to pass on to a crime boss about a couple who were subsequently murdered. In other words, logging and storing information made it possible for a criminal and a corrupt cop to track people down.

It's nothing short of bizarre for Theresa May to cite this as a reason to retain more information, on more people, and to give access to that information to more agencies.

Tales of the Unexpected: the Communications Data Bill

The Buffalo Bill Dance

Welcome to YouTube, the stuff of nightmares. A sampling follows; the criteria are "video includes Q Lazzarus's Goodbye Horses" and "subject appears alone."

Read the rest

South Korea's toilet culture museum

The fantastic story of Mr. Sim Jae-duck will not end here, but having his former home turned into a park honoring the hygienic history of toilets is certainly impressive! Reuters shares the story and lovely photos...

The park, located about an hour outside of Seoul in the city of Suwon - otherwise known as the home of Samsung Electronics - centers around a toilet-shaped museum building that was once the home of Sim Jae-duck, founder and first president of the World Toilet Association.

Legend has it that Sim, a former Suwon mayor who made his fortune with a metal products business and was dubbed "Mr Toilet," was born in his impoverished grandmother's outhouse.

"He is a man whose life literally began in a toilet and ended at a commode-shaped house," said Lee Yeun-sook, manager of planning at the "Mr Toilet Sim Jae-duck Foundation".

Sim, who died in 2009 at the age of 70, shot to fame in South Korea when he provided loos for soccer fans when the country hosted the 2002 World Cup.

Bluetooth stickers help you find things when you lose them

StickNFinds are Bluetooth location stickers the diameter of a quarter (but thicker than a quarter). You attach them to television remote controls, pets, children, or other things that you need to locate. The batteries last about a year. The StickNFind smart phone application helps you find your missing items and life forms. It is also advertised as a kind of early warning system: "stick the Stick-N-Find on your wife’s car. Once she pulls in the driveway, you get a notification, clean your mess, and go wash dishes before she comes in." That is some fast dishwashing.

The company that makes StickNFind is seeking $70,000 on Indiegogo. So far they've received close to $40,000 with 42 days left in the campaign.


Ambulance given Denver boot during emergency response

A New Orleans ambulance was booted by a convenience store worker for parking in their space while responding to a call. WWLTV also reports the gent responsible has been issued a ticket and lost his job. Apparently the flashing lights were in the wrong language.

Sidi Aleywa was fired for booting the ambulance, a worker at Mr. Quicky's told WWLTV. Others were still booting cars Monday morning.

According to the police report, Aleywa didn't realize it was an ambulance that he booted, and added that he doesn't speak any English

(Thanks Leo!)

Atari Flashback 4 console


AT Games has released the new Atari Flashback 4 console, this time with wireless joysticks. It's loaded with Asteroids, Missile Command, Space Invaders, Jungle Hunt, Centipede and 70 more classics, but not E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Here's the menu:

3D Tic-Tac-Toe, Adventure, Adventure II, Air·Sea Battle, Aquaventure, Asteroids, Backgammon, Basketball, Battlezone, Black Jack, Bowling, Breakout, Canyon Bomber, Centipede, Championship Soccer, Circus Atari, Combat Two, Combat, Crystal Castles, Demons to Diamonds, Desert Falcon, Dodge 'Em, Double Dunk, Fatal Run, Flag Capture, Football, Frog Pond, Front Line, Fun with Numbers, Golf, Grand Prix, Gravitar, Hangman, Haunted House, Home Run, Human Cannonball, Jungle Hunt, Maze Craze, Miniature Golf, Missile Command, Night Driver, Off The Wall, Outlaw, Polaris, Realsports Baseball, Realsports Basketball, Realsports Soccer, Realsports Volleyball, Return to Haunted House, Saboteur, Save Mary, Sky Diver, Slot Machine, Slot Racers, Solaris, Space Invaders Space War, Sprintmaster, Star Ship, Steeplechase, Stellar Track, Street Racer, Submarine Commander, Super Baseball, Super Breakout, Super Football, Surround, Tempest, Video Checkers, Video Chess, Video Olympics, Video Pinball, Warlords, Wizard, Yars' Revenge
Atari Flashback 4 (Thanks, Charles Pescovitz!)

Time magazine: the GOP is "full of it" and the press won't call them on it

A stirring editorial in Time by Michael Grunwald calls out the US press for failing to report on contradictions in the GOP's platforms (for example, condemning Obama for not cutting Medicare enough while also telling people to vote against him because he wants to cut Medicare). Grunwald cites many examples of this, and says that the press is so anxious to appear nonpartisan that they're simply unwilling to state the obvious: the party's strategy is based on saying whatever is convenient at the moment.

I’ve written a lot about the GOP’s defiance of reality–its denial of climate science, its simultaneous denunciations of Medicare cuts and government health care, its insistence that debt-exploding tax cuts will somehow reduce the debt—so I often get accused of partisanship. But it’s simply a fact that Republicans controlled Washington during the fiscally irresponsible era when President Clinton’s budget surpluses were transformed into the trillion-dollar deficit that President Bush bequeathed to President Obama. (The deficit is now shrinking.) It’s simply a fact that the fiscal cliff was created in response to GOP threats to force the U.S. government to default on its obligations. The press can’t figure out how to weave those facts into the current narrative without sounding like it’s taking sides, so it simply pretends that yesterday never happened.

The next fight is likely to involve the $200 billion worth of stimulus that Obama included in his recycled fiscal cliff plan that somehow didn’t exist before Election Day. I’ve taken a rather keen interest in the topic of stimulus, so I’ll be interested to see how this is covered. Keynesian stimulus used to be uncontroversial in Washington; every 2008 presidential candidate had a stimulus plan, and Mitt Romney’s was the largest. But in early 2009, when Obama began pushing his $787 billion stimulus plan, the GOP began describing stimulus as an assault on free enterprise—even though House Republicans (including Paul Ryan) voted for a $715 billion stimulus alternative that was virtually indistinguishable from Obama’s socialist version. The current Republican position seems to be that the fiscal cliff’s instant austerity would destroy the economy, which is odd after four years of Republican clamoring for austerity, and that the cliff’s military spending cuts in particular would kill jobs, which is even odder after four years of Republican insistence that government spending can’t create jobs...

Whatever. I realize that the GOP’s up-is-downism puts news reporters in an awkward position. It would seem tendentious to point out Republican hypocrisy on deficits and Medicare and stimulus every time it comes up, because these days it comes up almost every time a Republican leader opens his mouth. But we’re not supposed to be stenographers. As long as the media let an entire political party invent a new reality every day, it will keep on doing it. Every day.

I'm all for pointing out this sort of thing whenever it arises -- including pointing out that Obama's "most transparent administration in history" is the most secretive in history. It's the press's job to hold politicians to account for their public utterances and to point out contradictions. If the press committed to calling out BS whenever it arose, we could, in fact, produce a who-lies-most scorecard, without letting anyone off the hook for lying less than the other guy.

Fiscal Cliff Fictions: Let’s All Agree to Pretend the GOP Isn’t Full of It

Songs in the Key of Hanukkah

Songs in the Key of Hannukah by Erran Baron Cohen is one of my favorite holiday albums. Baron Cohen, brother of Sacha, blends rap, reggae, rock, klezmer, electronica and more into a beautiful collection of songs about judaism's struggle against the Seleucid empire.

Wonder Woman action figure from 1976

NewImage This is Wonder Woman from Mego's Comic Action Heroes line of 1976. The strangely masculine head on the left was quickly replaced by the one on the right. The unfortunate body style remained unchanged. You can purchase the original mint-in-packaging for around $150 to $200 on eBay. (via SuperPunch)

Spike TV renews Tattoo Nightmares because it also renewed Ink Master

Spike TV has renewed its two tattoo-related shows, the competition show Ink Master, and Tattoo Nightmares, which chronicles a shop that specializes in coverups of bad tattoos. Considering how the "stellar" work by the artists on the former show basically provides subject matter for the latter, they should really just produce a spinoff called Tattoo Nightmares: Ink Master Edition. It's the inky circle of life! (via The Wrap)

CD of conservative folk music from the early 1960s

Omni Recording Corporation has pressed a fascinating CD compilation of conservative folk music called "Freedom is a Hammer: Conservative Folk Revolutionaries of the Sixties." (Song above is Tony Dolan's "New York Times Blues.")

Bill Geerhart of Conelrad compiled this collection, and wrote well-researched liner notes. He conducted interviews with many of the living conservative folk revolutionary heroes of the 1960. Here's an excerpt:

BOTH SIDES NOW: The Other Music Revolution of the Sixties

Conservative folk music. This strangely dissonant term calls to mind, if anything, a couple of American comedy films from the recent past. Specifically, Tim Robbins’ titular right-wing Republican folkie, Bob Roberts (1992) and, to a lesser extent, Christopher Guest’s A Mighty Wind (2003) featuring the Up with People-esque New Main Street Singers. But decades before these mockumentaries were even conceived there was a real, if little noticed, subgenre of music rebutting the liberal nineteen-sixties protest songs of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Until now the recorded evidence of this hopelessly obscure political art form could only be found by scouring thrift stores, yard sales and eBay…for years. But thanks to the esoterica-obsessed people at Omni Recording Corporation, the listener holds in their hands a convenient, single volume of the most interesting output of the stars of conservative folk: Janet Greene, Tony Dolan and Vera Vanderlaan!

Read the rest

Handmade Gravity Falls figurines


NewImageRebekka crafted these absolutely fantastic figurines of characters from my favorite "kids" show, Gravity Falls! "Gravity Falls figurines"

Mind-blowing animated GIF

Mind-blowing. (via Imaginary Foundation)

Composited, time-accelerated video of airport traffic

Filmmaker Cy Kuckenbaker composited four and a half hours of San Diego International Airport traffic into 25 seconds. "With an even blue background it’s fairly easy to key out each airplane and put them together. The bridge in this shot is an added time lapse under the 1st Street bridge in San Diego." Kuckenbaker was inspired by Ho-Yeol Ryu’s incredible composite photo of airplanes at Hannover Airport. "All Landings at San Diego Int Airport Friday Nov 23 from 1030am to 300pm" (via Colossal)

Bob Ross autotuned

For over a decade, artist Bob Ross had an instructional painting television show on PBS called The Joy of Painting. Bob was well-known for his gentle personality and tendency to say "happy little clouds" and "happy little trees." His paintings were just a little corny, but he was technically skilled and I would watch in wonder at his magical ability to make a scene come alive with a single stroke of a brush (or more often, a palette knife loaded with $5 worth of alizarin crimson). Bob died in 1995. Earlier this year, PBS paid tribute to Bob with this autotuned remix of The Joy of Painting. (David posted this previously.)

Here's a 3-hour DVD of Bob Ross painting instruction that shows you how to paint lots of happy little things. It has received rave reviews on Amazon.

Krampus: The Devil of Christmas greeting cards

A hundred year ago, Santa Claus didn't bother with keeping track of bad children who deserved coal lumps in their stockings. He had a devilish pal named Krampus who took care of the kids on the naughty list. With his red skin, shaggy black coat of fur, obscene pointed tongue, cloven hooves, pointed tail, and sharp horns emanating from his forehead, Krampus carried a switch to beat young miscreants senseless, after which he'd toss them in his backpack and drag them to his uncomfortably warm subterranean lair.

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, “Grüß Vom Krampus” (Greetings from Krampus) cards were popular in Europe. The evening of December 5th was Krampusnacht, when Krampus would descend upon villages to terrorize youngsters who wondered with horror whether their transgressions over the past year warranted a one way trip to hell in a hand basket.

By the mid-1930s the legend of the Krampus was on its way out. What remained of Krampus was sanitized and santa-ized (think of The Grinch, who undergoes a Fonzie-like metamorphosis from a misanthropic menace into a lover of humankind). But Krampus has been making a comeback. Check out this video of a Krampus attack in an Italian village, where drunk young men in costume are given free reign to beat the heck out of townspeople with long sticks.

What better to way to celebrate the return of the Krampus with this set of Krampus greeting cards from Last Gasp? With art selected from Monte Beauchamp's historical postcard book, Krampus: The Devil of Christmas, the set comes with 20 cards (two each of ten designs) in a metal tin. My daughter Jane was fascinated by the cards, and she had a great time sorting them in order of scariness.

Amazon pre-order: Krampus Greeting Cards: Gruss vom Krampus! (Available now directly from Last Gasp.)

See more Krampus cards

Great opening sequence: the Prisoner

Oh, just one of the best shows EVER.

"Cult" sunglasses great for leaders of new religions

No prospective cult leader wants to be seen dead without an appropriate pair of 1970s-esque gradient shades, and Iris Optical's "Cult" sunglasses just happen to nail that exclusive and challenging David Koresh look. At $300 or so, indulgence always comes at a high price.