Boing Boing 

Harrison Ford doesn't answer Star Wars questions on Kimmel

When Harrison Ford's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel switched to Q&A with the audience, Ford said that no Star Wars questions would be allowed. Whereupon Kimmel began (apparently) to troll Harrison rather hard. While it's clear that Harrison was in on the joke, it's got a pretty great finale.

Harrison Ford Meets an Old Friend and it Doesn’t Go Well on Kimmel

San Diego cop smashes phone & beats up suspect: "Phones can be converted to a weapon. Look it up online."

A San Diego cop beat up a man whom he was ticketing for illegal smoking, after the man refused to stop video-recording the experience. The cop told the man that he feared the phone might actually be a gun disguised as a phone, before smashing the phone and tackling the man and smashing his face into the boardwalk. He was taken away in an ambulance.

It all seemed pretty civil until the cop writing the citation told him to stop recording, which Pringle refused to do.

“Phones can be converted into weapons …. look it up online,” the cop told him.

Last month, a South Florida cop confiscated a man’s phone citing the same reason, so maybe this is a new trend.

When Pringle tried to talk sense into the cop, the cop slapped the phone out of his hand where it fell onto the boardwalk and broke apart.

The other cop then pounced on him, slamming him down on the boardwalk where he ended up with a laceration on his chin.

“Blood was everywhere,” Pringle said. “I was laying on my stomach and he had one knee on my back and the other knee on the side of my face.

“They kept telling me ‘to calm down,’ that ‘you’re making this worse for yourself,’ that ‘you have no right to record us.’”

He didn't get the cop's name, and the SDPD won't give it to him.

San Diego Police Attack and Arrest Man Video Recording Them, Claiming Phone Could be a Weapon (Updated) 294 (via Techdirt)

Rocket Robinson, a graphic adventure novel for kids set in Egypt in the 1930s

I loved Jonny Quest when I was a kid, and I think my 10-year-old (and I) will love Rocket Robinson, a graphic novel by Sean O'Neill, which reminds me of the 1960s cartoon. Get a taste of it by reading the webcomic, and then chip in to Kickstarter if you dig it.

Rocket Robinson and the Pharaoh’s Fortune (or RRPF for short) is a classic adventure story set in Egypt in the 1930s, and follows the exploits of 12-year-old adventurer Rocket Robinson as he tries to unravel the mystery of a hidden, ancient treasure, located somewhere in the city of Cairo. For the last three years, the story has been available online as a webcomic, but unlike many other webcomics, this story was always envisioned as a book. It is a single, stand-alone story, and—although many comic fans around the world have been enjoying reading one page a week—it’s meant to be read cover-to-cover as a book.

The Rocket Robinson Graphic Novel

Giveaway! 5 copies of Marijuanamerica

In honor of tomorrow'a 4/20 festivities, Abrams is giving away copies of Marijuanamerica: One Man’s Quest to Understand America’s Dysfunctional Love Affair with Weed, by Alfred Ryan Nerz (reviewed here) to five Boing Boing readers. If you are interested in getting a copy, please share your true dysfunctional-affair-with-weed story in the comments. I'll select five people and put them in contact with the publisher, who will mail out the copies. Deadline: 4/20 at 11:59 pm PT

Pac-Man hoodies

From IfIndustries, an (apparently?) unavailable but rather clever line of Pac-Man hoodies (one ghost shown, all ghosts in set).

Pac-man & Ghosts Hoddies (via Geeks Are Sexy)

How to hide small items inside a door

In the latest issue of MAKE (Vol 34) Sean Michael Ragan shows you how to create a fantabulous doorstop stash out of a cigar tube, so you can hide things that Obama wants to take away from you (bullets, tiny Bibles) or the next Republic president wants to take away from you (RU-486 tablets, tiny copies of Origin of the Species).

Craig Thompson interviews French cartoonist Blutch - a Boing Boing exclusive

Craig Thompson, the award-winning graphic novelist who wrote and illustrated Blankets and Habibi, recently interviewed Blutch, the award-winning Alsatian novelist whose work influenced Thompson.

Later this month PictureBox is releasing Blutch's So Long, Silver Screen, "a series of interlocking short comics that combine scholarly movie history with ribald romanticism, and feature a motley cast of actors and characters, including Claudia Cardinale, Jean-Luc Godard, Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Michel Piccoli, Tarzan and Luchino Visconti."

As much visual essay as graphic novel, a daydream and fantastic meditation on the other art of telling stories with images, So Long, Silver Screen is the finest work yet from an uncontested master of contemporary cartooning, as well as his first full-length work to be published in English. It is designed by famed cartoonist David Mazzucchelli.

Blutch has published over a dozen books since debuting in 1988 in the legendary avant-garde magazine Fluide Glacial: among his books are Mitchum, Peplum and Le Petit Christian, and his illustrations regularly appear in Les Inrockuptibles, Libération and The New Yorker.

Read the interview

Maslow XXI C.

Take that, Maslow.

Basic Human Needs Pyramid: Fixed [Pic]

Guatemala: "Dictator in the Dock," video updates from Rios Montt genocide trial

Skylight Films, the team behind "Granito" and "When the Mountains Tremble," have been filming the trial of General Efraín Rios Montt since day one, and they're posting video updates from here in Guatemala City.

"We want the world to be present during this important time in Guatemalan history," they say. Above and below, the first three episodes of their "Dictator in the Dock" series: ANTICIPANDO LA JUSTICIA, UNSPEAKABLE CRUELTY, and ORDER IN THE COURT.

Also, check out their "Granito Memoria" online testimony project, gathering the stories of armed conflict survivors.

Read the rest

Don't miss Love & Rockets' Gilbert Hernandez's slideshow tour

Love & Rockets co-creator Gilbert Hernandez is on tour to promote his sublime Marble Season graphic novel (it's an all-ages story). Peggy Burns of Drawn & Quarterly (the book's publisher), had this to say:

As soon as Gilbert sent us his list of images for his MARBLE SEASON tour slide show, it took EVERYTHING in us to not immediately blog or tweet to tease all the great comics. And since Gilbert is half way done with his tour, and I got to see him do the slide show last night, I'll tease you this Little Archie page. Why? Because Gilbert made the astute point that "old ladies were running it in those days, and where are the old ladies now [in pop culture]?" And he remarked, can you imagine a kids comics with two old ladies on the same page? As someone who will admit to worrying about how comics will treat her when she is an old lady, I loved it.

Gilbert Hernandez's Marble Season tour schedule

Sushi tuna model that decomposes into individual delicacies

Francesco sez, "A Japanese company has released a plastic figure of a tuna fish. The figure is 33cm long and features a working table and the traditional 'Maguro bōchō' knife to cut the tuna. This figure costs ¥29,000 (USD292) in Japanese hobby stores."

I love that it's themed for the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, which may be the most memorable place I've ever visited.

Maguro Figure: il modellino perfetto per gli amanti del Sushi! (Thanks, Francesco!)

PopSci's Drug Week stories

It's Drug Week at PopSci! They've reported on a 1884 PopSci writer's "dramatic first-hand account of marijuana overdose," a reporter's description of an LSD trip in 1967 ("He notes that under LSD, the sunset looks gorgeous, and bemoans the likelihood that he'll never see a sunset that stunning again."), and more.

I especially enjoyed Paul Adams' report about Green Dragon - a powerful tincture of cannabis created by a New York Bartender dubbed "Jon."

"Ten years ago, I had gotten my hands on this ungodly amount of hash. We couldn't smoke it all. So we started putting it into neutral grain spirit, and it dissolved in, but the thing was, we couldn't get as high. So we gave up and forgot about it for a week, and meanwhile it sat in the car in the 120° sun for a week. The next time, we took a couple of drops and it destroyed us."

"What happened? THC [the main active ingredient in cannabis] normally has a carboxyl group that's attached to it. In order for it to fit into the lock-and-key mechanism of our bodies' cannabinoid receptors, you have to break off the carboxyl group. That takes 30 years--or heat."

The carboxyl group starts breaking off as the temperature gets higher, so Jon heats his Dragon as part of the infusing process. Toasting the cannabis before infusing can drive off some of the delicate aromatics, giving it a cooked flavor, and also runs the risk of vaporizing the THC itself. So Jon heats his only to 100°C (212°F), which gives the infusion a delicate flavor and just the strength he wants, no more.

Nitrous Green Dragon

Here's how Jon does it:

  • a one-liter whipped-cream whipper
  • two nitrous oxide chargers
  • a double boiler large enough to accommodate the whipper bottle
  • 750 ml mezcal at room temperature (Jon uses Vida or Sombra)
  • 3.5 grams (1/8 ounce) of cannabis (Jon uses "indoor high-grade sativa")
  1. Roughly break up the cannabis.
  2. Put the cannabis and the mezcal in the whipper bottle.
  3. Close the canister and charge it with two charges of N2O according to the instructions.
  4. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Vent out the pressurized gas. NOTE: you are venting aerosolized ethanol with THC dissolved in it, as well as laughing gas. Jon says "Probably nobody would want to inhale this."
  6. Stir the liquid and let it sit until the gas boils off.
  7. Place the sealed canister in a double boiler and let it simmer for an hour.
  8. Strain the solids out of the liquid and discard them or dry them for other uses. The liquid is nitrous green dragon.

Drug Week

Vito Acconci's 1971 instructions in case he should die in a plane crash

(Via The Museum of Modern Art Library)

Saturday is Record Store Day 2013!

NewImageTomorrow (Saturday 4/20) is Record Store Day! Support your local independent record shops and score special Record Store Day exclusive releases! Here's the full list of special releases and guide to participating shops.

Great free reading of Robert E Howard's "Conan and the Queen of the Black Coast"

I often listen to audiobooks when I'm falling asleep, and my favorite go-to for these is Librivox, the incredible collection of volunteer-read public-domain texts (I used to buy a lot of Audible titles, but the fact that they use DRM even when publishers and authors beg them not to has meant that I no longer use the service). Last night, I stumbled on Phil Chenevert's reading of the Robert E Howard classic "The Queen of the Black Coast," one of the great Conan stories, available on Project Gutenberg, in the anthology The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian: The Original Adventures of the Greatest Sword and Sorcery Hero of All Time!, and in a smashing graphic novel adaptation by Brian Wood (!).

This is the Ur-stuff, the sword-and-sorcery material that turned me into a stone Conan freak when I was 12 years old. It's all mighty thews and straining jaws and blood-drenched swords -- and pirates and sinuous dances and so on. Chenevert gives a great reading of the material, sounding like the voice that I heard in my head when I was falling in love with that stuff. I was reminded of the revelation I experienced when I read John Clute's marvellous Robert E Howard book, that the young Howard used to shout the words aloud as he typed them, in his small-town Texas home, while his mother lay dying of TB in the bedroom above him; and the fact that Howard wrote all this incredible material between the age of 22 and 29 (he killed himself at 29, after his mother finally died). The idea of a 22-year-old Howard producing this amazing, mythic stuff makes it all the cooler.

Queen of the Black Coast by Robert E. Howard

Vrillon Transmission: 1977 pirate TV message from space alien

Over at the Daily Grail, a post pointing out the similarity between a Man Of Steel viral video and the utterly fantastic "Vrillon Transmission" of November 26, 1977, when a representative of the Ashtar Galactic Command hijacked a UK television transmitter during the nightly news to share the above message from our space brothers and sisters. I'm not sure why people say that the source of this pirate transmission has never been identified when he clearly says that his name is Vrillon.

"General Zod & the Ashtar Command"

Ra Chand Citrus Press squeezes every last drop of juice from fruit

Living in Southern California, we have an abundance of citrus nearly year round — lemons, limes, kumquats, grapefruits, and more. I also have a household of beverage enthusiasts, from my kids who love to make lemon-, lime-, etc. -ades, or “kid drinks” as they call them, to my wife and I who are crazy about cocktails, flips, fizzes, and sours. This is why I graduated from my fine, but slow, hand juicer, to the monstrous, restaurant-calibre Ra Chand J210 Bar Juicer. It makes quick, efficient work of juicing tons of citrus. Rather than dread all the labor, I’m now happy to juice enough fruit to make a full pitcher of Ginger Limeonade with my kids to sell in their DIY juice stand.

The Ra Chand is dead simple. No motors or fragile plastic parts to break — in fact it only has six parts, made of cast aluminum, plus a wire return spring and a few bolts. The mechanical advantage it provides is tremendous. With its long lever and offset pivots, even my six-year-old daughter can use it to easily squeeze a half-lemon dry. The Ra Chand is big enough for me to juice a medium grapefruit — when I have a larger-sized one to contend with I quarter it (and secretly wish I had the even-larger model, the J500).

The straining cone (which looks like a half beehive) allows juice and the occasional small seed through, but very little pulp. This is also due to the fact that pressing (rather than twisting like a motorized juicer) bursts the cells of the fruit, but doesn’t shred the membranes.

If I have one complaint it is that the juicer can be tipped forward easily until you get the hang of pulling the lever down, not down-and-toward-yourself. I’ve gotten used to this, but I do hold onto the base when my kids use it to avoid a mess.

In all, the Ra Chand is hands-down the best citrus juicer I’ve used. I appreciate its size, speed, power, ruggedness, and simplicity. I imagine it’ll be in our family for many years, hopefully providing juice for generations. -- John Edgar Park

Ra Chand Citrus Press $194

World's Strangest Flowers

Sierra magazine selected "7 of the World's Strangest Flowers." Above is video of the Touch-Me-Not, native to Central and South America but now growing many other places:

You might easily overlook this herb, with its dainty pink flowers and delicate, fern-like leaves. The mimosa pudica doesn’t just look demure, though. Barely touching its leaves causes them to fold inward and droop downward—hence the flower’s species name, pudica, Latin for “shy, bashful, or shrinking,” as well as its nicknames, “touch-me-not” and “shy plant.” The leaves usually reopen in a few minutes. Other stimuli, including warming and shaking the plant, produce the same phenomenon. The leaves fold and wilt in the evening, too, but they stay that way until sunrise…
"7 of the World's Strangest Flowers" (Thanks, Orli Cotel!)

Yodel-Oh! Math Mountain - fun math drill exercise disguised as a carnival game

My 10-year-daughter Jane and I love Yodel-Oh!, an iOS target tapper game where you have to keep a Swiss mountain climber from falling off the edge of a cliff. The developer, Spinlight, just announced a spin-off, called Yodel-Oh! Math Mountain (iPad, iPhone) that adds the challenge of having to solve arithmetic problems.

The game is gorgeous, and one of the best things about it is that is free of the annoying crap that many iOS games are larded with: 3rd party add-ons, social network links, location tracking, and in-app purchases. Thanks, Spinlight!

Sound of Oblivion

I love hearing about sound effects in films and the work of foley artists, soundtrack composers, and sound designers. Back in 1997, I interviewed David Cronenberg for the bOING bOING print 'zine, and we mostly talked about the squishy oozy sounds he likes to use in his movies. Here's an excellent SoundWorks Collection interview with Oblivion director Joe Kosinski and the sound of his new movie. Some of his collaborates included composer Joseph Trapanese, Anthony Gonzalez (M83), re-recording mixer Gary Rizzo, and re-recording mixer Juan Peralta.

Teaser for documentary "Aspie Seeks Love"

Julie Sokolow, who directed the excellent video about the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum that I posted yesterday, is making a documentary called Aspie Seeks Love. The teaser looks great!

David Matthews can’t get a date. He is a writer and artist with a great sense of humor and impeccable dry delivery. He has scored solo art shows around Pittsburgh, readings at coffee shops and acting gigs in a few short films. He’s got a nice job, house and car, and could even treat a lady to dinner. So what’s the problem?

At 41 years of age, David was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. This late-in-life diagnosis and lack of treatment in childhood has left David with a lot of catching up to do. Although David is highly intelligent, he has a major blind spot: empathy and understanding of the human, especially female, psyche.

Aspie Seeks Love follows David’s journey to understand his Asperger’s, improve as a person, writer, and artist, and find a meaningful relationship. We’ll watch David explore the world of online dating and we’ll also see his attempts to break out of his shell and connect with women in person. David’s quest for self-improvement will culminate in the Pittsburgh release party for his debut book Meltdown in the Cereal Aisle.

Aspie Seeks Love by Julie Sokolow

Artist Gus Harper at work

A few years ago David posted this incredible timelapse of Gus Harper at work. Recently photographer Isaac Rodriguez made this beautiful video of Gus in his studio.

I've known Gus most of my life and it is wonderful to see him doing what he loves.

A cat-meme I can get behind

My feelings about cat memes are on record. But then there's this: a cat in a shark-suit riding a Roomba chasing a baby duck.

Abandoned websites

Vestigial corporate barnacles too insignificant to warrant the effort of deletion, these immortal websites offer nostalgia and not a little humor. [Wired]

Naturalist posing as cactus, snaps desert animals

Popular Science, 1931 (Via Mostly Forbidden Zone)

Brian Eno designed hospital room

Brian Eno designed a chill-out room at the private new Montefiore Hospital in Brighton and Hove, UK. It's meant to be a spot for patients to "think, take stock or simply relax." Ortopaedic surgeon Robin Turner orchestrated the collaboration apparently after he saw his mother-in-law finally relax while checking out an Eno installation at a local festival. From The Guardian:
NewImageTurner said they intended to examine any physiological changes to people in the Eno room – pulse, blood pressure, anxiety and so on – and there was anecdotal evidence this week when a cancer patient came out and began telling Eno, not recognising him, how wonderful it was. "He wanted a copy of that room at home," said Turner. "The scientist in me says that's not very scientific but the human in me says that makes it all worthwhile."
"Surgeon prescribes Brian Eno to patients"

(above: Brian Eno, 1974, Wikimedia Commons)

What happened to Waxy was terrible, but fair use works better than he thinks it does

Earlier this week, I blogged Andy "Waxy" Baio's speech on fair use, called "The New Prohibition." Andy got hit with a legal threat for making a limited edition 8-bit remix of a famous photo and ended up paying $35,000 to settle the claim, even though he thought he had fair use on his side. As Andy explained, he thought that winning the court case would cost so much that it was cheaper to lose for a mere $35k.

But as Pat Aufderheide from American University's Center for Social Media writes, "Andy Baio's a brilliant geek, and an artist, but I'm afraid he's inadvertantly generating a chilling effect all his own, with fair use misinformation. Ouch! Here's why."

Andy warns ominously that “anyone can sue you for anything, always, and even without grounds.” Yup. That is true, and just as true for obscenity, libel, or treason charges, and in a million other places in life. If someone slips on the sidewalk in front of your house after a snowstorm, or chokes on an appetizer at your dinner party, or objects to your choice of lawn furniture, they can sue you. Copyright trolls like Prenda are suing people who have done nothing at all. But we somehow conduct our lives and even have dinner parties knowing this ugly reality.

He warns fellow remixers everywhere, “fair use will not save you,” and “nothing you have ever made is fair use.” Whoa. Neither of these statements is true.

Fair use is riding high in the courts. The fair uses of "Jersey Boys," who used clips from "The Ed Sullivan Show," were forcefully vindicated just a few weeks ago, and the litigious rightsholders were ordered to pay the defendants’ costs and fees. Georgia State University successfully defended a copyright lawsuit brought by greedy publishers, and got a court order for the publishers to pay over $3 million in attorneys’ fees and costs. Fair use even saved Luther Campbell, aka Luke Skywalker from 2Live Crew, when the Supreme Court held that Campbell could sample all of Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman” for use in a parody song.

But mostly fair use just gets used without a darn thing happening. Virtually everything you have ever made—including Andy’s own video presentation (check out the “Harlem Shake” clips!)--employs fair use. Fair use is practiced so routinely that it’s a nearly invisible part of our daily life. Every front-page newspaper article; every student paper with a footnote in it; every newscast is laced with fair use, and nobody is suing for the millions of fair uses every day of others’ copyrighted material. Fair use lawsuits in fact are extremely rare, and vanishingly rare in comparison with the ubiquitous practice of fair use. Even cease-and-desist letters are extraordinarily rare.

Pat's piece goes on to give a lot of chapter-and-verse on the ins and outs of the current fair use landscape.

Fair Use Fearmongering, from Friends? (Thanks, Pat!)

Book about woman raised by monkeys

Last fall, I posted about Marina Chapman of Braford, England who claims that as a young girl she was raised by monkeys. Chapman says that when she was four-year-old, she was kidnapped from her Colombia home and dumped in the jungle where she spent five years in the care of capuchin monkeys. Eventually, hunters found her and swapped her at a brothel for a parrot. Chapman, now in her early 60s, has written a new book about her experience. It's titled "The Girl With No Name: The Incredible True Story of a Child Raised by Monkeys." From The Guardian:


In one of the most memorable sections of the book, she describes how she got terrible food poisoning from tamarind, and thought she was going to die. She was writhing in agony when an elderly monkey, which she now calls Grandpa, led her to muddy water. She drank the water, vomited and began to recover. After that, she says, the young monkeys befriended her. Marina observed them closely, and learned from them: how to climb trees, what was safe to eat, how to clean herself. She soon discovered that if she stood underneath monkeys carrying armfuls of bananas, they would inevitably drop a couple, and if she was quick enough she could grab them for herself. Over time, she says, the monkeys allowed her to sit in the trees with them. When they were away looking for food, she'd become lonely and would anxiously await their return…

Marina is sure she wouldn't have survived without the monkeys – thought to be capuchins, which are known to be well disposed towards humans. It was only when they "adopted" her that she began to feel a sense of hope. Did they mother her? "They were just tolerating at first. They don't really love you. One day one of the younger ones landed on my shoulders, and if you've never been hugged in your life, and this animal climbs over your shoulders and puts their hands on your face, I tell you it's the nicest touch." She smiles.

The Girl With No Name: The Incredible True Story of a Child Raised by Monkeys (Amazon)

"Was Marina Chapman really brought up by monkeys?" (The Guardian)

Vine video competition

The Tribeca Film Festival is hosting a competition for the best six-second films. Previously: Six-word memoirs by writers famous and obscure.

Siri keeps data for "up to two years", but only anonymously

Robert McMillan explains what happens to the data generated and stored with Siri queries: "Once the voice recording is six months old, Apple “disassociates” your user number from the clip, deleting the number from the voice file. But it keeps these disassociated files for up to 18 more months for testing and product improvement purposes." [Wired]