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
The Flux chair is a $130, 12lb “origami-style” polypropylene lounge chair designed by Douwe Jacobs; it sets up in minutes and is stable and lovely (there’s also a $65 kids’ version and a whole range of furnishings including a bar, coffee table, countertop, end-table, etc). (via Yanko Design)
The first time Merle Rasmussen played Dungeons & Dragons, he thought it was a Halloween game.
“It was October 1975, and I was an 18-year-old freshman at Iowa State University. My roommate got this game filled with skeletons and undead monsters. I had no idea.” The role-playing bug had bitten him, but fantasy wasn’t his genre. So that same year, he started writing a game set in a modern world, the spy game that would become Top Secret.
Janelle Shane trained a recurrent neural network with a data-set of more than 2000 ancient proverbs and asked it to think up its own: “A fox smells it better than a fool’s for a day.”
Learning a new language will give your resume an upgrade, sure, but it will also provide a huge cognitive boost for mental tasks outside of translation and conversation. Bilingual brains have been shown to be better at handling multiple concurrent tasks, and gaining fluency in a new tongue is an amazing way to improve memory, […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]