Boing Boing 

Boris Karloff's Monster Game

I'd be (pleasantly) amazed if the actual play in Boris Karloff's Monster Game was anything but tedious, but LOOK AT THOSE GAME TOKENS. DANG.

Boris Karloff's Monster Game

Hardships by Computer Jay

This video is beautiful.

I really love Computer Jay's work. The passion and effort he puts into his music, video and programming boggle my mind. The 8bit style game he wrote to stand beside Savage Planet Discotheque is a lot of fun too!

Previously on Boing Boing: Computer Jay's Omni Bent

Hugging robot

PhotoToday at Institute for the Future's Ten Year Forecast conference, my friend Kal Spelletich's "Huggerer" pneumatic robot is delivering free hugs. Here is a video of Kal demonstrating the machine. It's very satisfying.

28-geared, 3D-printed cube

Shapeways user Maundy created the Steampunk Geared Cube, a magnificent geared confection that came out of the 3D printed fully assembled!

The cube contains a total of 28 gears, all of which turn from manually rotating only one (though the designer notes that rotating two gears results in a smoother motion). The outermost gear on each side has handles for easy rotation, and each is linked to its adjacent gear in an interlocking pattern. Once one gear is spun, the others correspondingly spin along.

In addition to the fascinating pattern and mechanics, the cube has a tray in the middle for holding various small objects. The product also comes with a stand and a lockable lid, which is placed on top of the cube and can be locked and unlocked by rotating the gears.

3D Printed 28-Geared Cube

Amazing things to do with a Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi, the tiny, cheap and hackable computer for children of all ages, may be used as the heart of an Ambilight media center, a cat feeder, a Minecraft or MAME console, to pwn your foes' websites and serve torrents, or as the brains of a supercomputer cluster. Me, I've been recreating the magic of failing to learn to program in the 1980s, when every home computer challenged you with a code interpreter the moment you turned it on. You can make it pretty with a custom case, and check out a zillion other great Pideas at Pingbin, Ars Technica and the official homepage. (Previously)

The Guardian, a spooky free flash game

Nicole Brauer's The Guardian is a dreamlike adventure about a boy with a girl's name who feels compelled to leave the village where he is shunned. I love both the Shadow of The Colossus-inspired design and the fact that your sprite is a single pixel seen from afar—like my own TinyHack, but backed by beautiful artwork and effective storytelling. Kevin McLeod's ominous music ties the mood together.

New Yorkers: catch Molly Crabapple's new show this weekend

Shell Game, a new exhibition from artist Molly Crabapple (previously, previously, previously) opens Sunday in New York.

UPDATE: Molly's now released the solo show's work under a Creative Commons license.

BioShock, finis

The BioShock series, notable for the doomed libertarian dystopias into which the player is sent, took a startling turn in its latest outing, Bioshock Infinite. Taking place in a perversely patriotic theme-park echo of America, its spectacular world-building and storytelling generated critical acclaim, but its generic gameplay prompted second thoughts. Leigh Alexander puts it like so: "Infinite's is a sterile, mechanized system that could have been ripped from any other listless hyper-modern game like a bloody spine and grafted messily onto this vision, obscuring it. It doesn't even do it well; I wouldn't even say competently."

Making brains transparent


Stanford University researchers developed a process to make a mouse brain totally transparent. The brain has to be, er, removed from the mouse first but it's still an amazing process that enables scientists to see the entire brain in great detail, without chopping it up. Brilliant bioengineer, Karl Deisseroth, a pioneer in the field of optogenetics, postdoc Kwanghun Chung, and their colleagues have used the same technique, called CLARITY, to make fish and, yes, bits of human brains transparent as well. The process involves replacing the fatty molecules, called lipids, with a hydrogel. As a result, the brain can be studied with visible light and chemical markers with unprecedented clarity and resolution. Check out the stunning fly-through of the rodent's brain above.

"Getting CLARITY: Hydrogel process developed at Stanford creates transparent brain"

Twitter and information anxiety

"Sometimes at night I reach over and pluck my phone from my nightstand, press a little blue icon, and suddenly the whole world is in bed with me, talking," writes Mat Honan. "This is deeply unhealthy, of course, for my sleep patterns, my mental well-being, my marriage."

JOHN WILCOCK: Interview at the New Yorker

A visit to the New Yorker building in 1959, at its original location at 25 west 43rd street.Read the rest

Solving classic NES games computationally

Dr. Tom Murphy VII gave a research paper called "The First Level of Super Mario Bros. is Easy with Lexicographic Orderings and Time Travel . . . after that it gets a little tricky," (PDF) (source code) at SIGBOVIK 2013, in which he sets out a computational method for solving classic NES games. He devised two libraries for this: learnfun (learning fuction) and playfun (playing function). In this accompanying video, he chronicles the steps and missteps he took getting to a pretty clever destination.

learnfun & playfun: A general technique for automating NES games (via O'Reilly Radar)

Huge anamorphic sculpture of actor's face

NewImageArtist Bernard Pras built a room-sized anamorphic sculpture of Malian actor Sotigui Kouyaté's face from wood, branches, rugs, clothing, rubber scraps, and other odds and sods.

If you're not hip to anamorphosis, it means that the sculpture looks deformed unless you are looking from a very specific angle. (via Juxtapoz)

Prank: Headless driver at the drive-thru

The Man Who Owns Little

Mark Ernest Pothier is a Kindle Single author I have been watching. Since reading his story The First Light of Evening I've been waiting for his next. The Man Who Owns Little was released a few days ago and I read it last night.

Pothier has mastered the skill of allowing your past experience and memories to fill in blanks and flesh out his characters. The Man Who Owns Little is simply a conversation between two long term friends, via post, analyzing how their relationship has changed and perhaps why. I really enjoyed how there are no judgements and there is no right or wrong. The story is about friends who think and experience life so differently trying to understand one another. Pothier leaves it up to the reader to determine what really happened.

I'm waiting for your next story, Mark.

The Man Who Owns Little by Mark Ernest Pothier

Laser on ship shoots down drone

NewImageAbove is a US Navy demonstration of a high-energy laser on a moving ship shooting down a drone. The Office of Naval Research just announced that they plan to deploy the system next year. "Our conservative data tells us a shot of directed energy costs under $1," Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder said. "Compare that to the hundreds of thousands of dollars it costs to fire a missile, and you can begin to see the merits of this capability." (

Power Glove's Tumblr of 1980s vidgame/tech/action movies/etc.


Musical group Power Glove have a fun Tumblr of ads and images that would be right at home decorating a teenage boy's school locker in 1984 or so. Power Glove Tumblr

Documentary about magician Ricky Jay

The new documentary about esteemed magician, magic historian, and actor Ricky Jay opens next week at New York City's Film Forum with screenings in many other cities to follow in May and June. Jay is a fantastically curious and entertaining fellow and I can't wait to see this film. "Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay"

C3PO junkbot

This spectacular C3PO junkbot assemblage was made by junk artist Gabriel Dishaw, and sells for $800. Worth every penny, too. Mr Dishaw's got plenty of other wonderful pieces for sale, too.

C3PO "Woody" (via Neatorama)

Guatemala: photos from the Rios Montt genocide tribunal

Fredy Peccerelli of the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation (FAFG) testifying Wednesday, April 10; Rios Montt at the defense table in the background.

I'm in Guatemala with Miles O'Brien, working on a report for the PBS NewsHour on the genocide trial of Jose Efrain Rios Montt, who ruled Guatemala from 1982-1983, and Jose Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez, his chief of military intelligence. They are being tried here in Guatemala City for genocide and crimes against humanity.

Above and below, some stills from the video we've been shooting inside the courtroom. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for snapshots throughout the day. And if you're interested in monitoring the trial, listen here, watch here, or follow this Twitter list I threw together.

All photos: screengrabs from video shot by Miles O'Brien.

CC license: Non-commercial sharing with credit is okay. For commercial use, ask.

Read the rest

Reddit co-founder calls Larry Page to get Google to join the anti-CISPA fight -- your help needed too!

Evan from Fight for the Future sez, "In the hours before the House Intelligence Committee's secretive, closed-door markup on privacy killing bill, CISPA, we had to unleash our secret weapon. CISPA threatens to invalidate every privacy law on the books and give companies full legal immunity when they share our private data with the government. That's why the tech giants that stood with us during SOPA (Google, Facebook, and Twitter) haven't said much about CISPA. Our chief Internet Defender, Reddit-Cofounder Alexis Ohanian, helped us make this video of him calling Google and asking to speak to CEO Larry Page about that fact that if CISPA passes, every privacy policy on the web will be a total joke."

Sign the petition, kill CISPA, save the Internet (again!).

Google, Twitter, & Facebook: What's your privacy policy? (Thanks, Evan)

Cancer, the internet, and identity: my talk with Kevin Sites' Hong Kong Univ. Journalism and Media class

My old friend Kevin Sites, with whom I collaborated on one of the earliest "war blogs" when he was an Iraq war correspondent for CNN in 2003, is now teaching a Journalism and Media studies class at Hong Kong University, "Internet, Media, and Society."

Kevin asked me to join the class via Skype to talk about identity and the internet, and we ended up focusing on my sharing the experience of cancer diagnosis and treatment over the last couple of years.

The video quality isn't great—it was hotel internet on my end—but I enjoyed the opportunity to share with this bright group of young people. Thanks, guys, and thanks, Kevin.

Read: "Boing Boing’s Jardin Discusses Cancer, the Internet and Identity with JMSC Class"

Video Link


Gloppy syrups gotta glop. Here's why.

Honey, maple syrup, all those delicious gooey, gloppy things have some really interesting physics behind them, says Adam Becker at New Scientist. Viscosity alone can't explain the way strands of syrup stretch and drizzle as you pour them. Instead, when we see a difference between pouring honey and pouring water, what we're really seeing is the effects of tiny ripples in the honey.

The fish with clear blood

Ocellated icefish live deep underwater in the cold oceans surrounding the Poles. They have clear blood. If you remember your childhood biology classes, you should remember that this kind of makes no sense. After all, blood is red because of hemoglobin — the iron-rich protein that carries oxygen around in your blood stream. No hemoglobin, no oxygen. No oxygen, dead fishies. Right? Popular Science explains how ocellated icefish get around this little conundrum.