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Animated cartoons inspired by tweets

Twaggies--cartoons made from peculiar and noteworthy tweets--have been running since 2009. Now they're animating them, and here's the rather violent first episode! "Today's theme is grammar nazis," writes Twaggist-in-chief David Israel, "for all you smart folks who hate when people make ridiculous grammar mistakes."

The visual history of April O'Neil

Chasing Sheep posted part 2 of its visual history of Turtle-loving reporter April O'Neil; read part 1 first. One key issue: is April O'Neil a whitewashed person of color? Apparently, her ethnicity was never definitively settled in the original comic. Then the TV show happened, and that was that.

Scurvy contributed to failure of town founded by Columbus

The first European settlement in the Americas was founded in what is now the Dominican Republic. That is, to say, it was founded on a warm, fruit-growing island. And, yet, scurvy was apparently a major reason that settlement failed. Maggie 2

New Disruptors 71: Bike Activist and Publisher Elly Blue

Elly Blue is a bike activist, writer, and publisher, and has run more Kickstarter campaigns than nearly any other person or group.

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JOHN WILCOCK: Ladies and Gentlemen, Lenny Bruce!

JOHN WILCOCK returns to Boing Boing for Chapter Six, with the first of two installments on Lenny Bruce.

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Neurological differences don't necessarily mean impairment

There's a new study out that's being touted as proof that marijuana makes you dumb. But, while the results do show differences in the brains of people who smoked pot, the conclusion about what that means is seriously flawed, writes Maia Szalavitz at The Daily Beast.

Most of the time, it's difficult to explain why scientific research or a conclusion about research results is flawed. That's not the case here. You only have to understand two concepts: "normal" and "healthy".

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The rings of Saturn are either giving birth to a moon, or destroying one

In a series of photos dating back to May 2012, NASA scientists have identified a bright object at the edge of Saturn's outermost ring. Nicknamed "Peggy", the object is a kilometer across and could be a moon about to calve off the rings. Or, alternately, it could be a moon that got too close to the rings and is in the process of disintegrating. Maggie 0

Eccentric axe uses physics to make splitting firewood easier

If you've ever tried to split your own firewood, you know it's kind of a pain in the tookus. Swinging the axe with enough force to drive the wedge into the wood and also split said wood (rather than just getting the axe head stuck) is not easy. That's why lumberjacks have big arms.

So Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä redesigned the axe. Instead of working as a wedge, his axe is a lever. And it's sort of mesmerizing to watch.

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Video: Bart Gellman and Cory opening for Ed Snowden at SXSW

Last month, Barton Gellman and I opened for Edward Snowden's first-ever public appearance, at the SXSW conference in Austin. The kind folks at SXSW have put the video online (the Snowden video itself was already up). I think we did a good job of framing the big questions raised by the Snowden leaks.

UK Tory MP who helped kill Legal Aid is wiped out by defending himself against sexual assault claim

Alan sez, "At least he's got the sense to own up and say he's sorry. Nigel Evans used to be in Parliament. While there he helped cut legal aid. As a result, people who are charged by the government but found innocent can't recover costs. Mr Evans is now looking at a (UKP) 130,000 legal bill (plus VAT) after defending successfully against an allegation of sexual assault. Of course, were he in the US he'd be in the same or worse shape."

He's been wiped out, and has pledged to try to undo the damage he's done to Legal Aid if he gets reelected. Meanwhile, the real victims of this are poor crime victims, especially women in abusive relationships, who are grappling with a system where only rich people get lawyers.

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‘X-Men’ director Bryan Singer accused of raping teen boy in 1999; case mentions sex offender Marc Collins-Rector of DEN


'X-Men' director Bryan Singer. Photo: Reuters


A 2007 mugshot of sex offender Marc Collins-Rector, former chairman of DEN. He is mentioned in the 2014 lawsuit against Singer.

Bryan Singer, the director of the forthcoming film “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is accused in a lawsuit filed today in Hawaii federal court of drugging and raping a teenage boy in 1999.

Also mentioned in the lawsuit is Marc Collins-Rector, sexual predator and founder and chairman of Digital Entertainment Network (aka DEN or <EN), an early internet video startup. Collins-Rector is a registered sex offender who fled to Spain, and was arrested there in 2002. In 2004, Collins-Rector pled guilty to charges he lured minors across state lines for sexual acts. The allegations of sexual abuse involving Collins-Rector and other DEN executives shocked the web startup world in 1999, and led to the collapse of DEN's IPO.

Variety reports on the charges against Brian Singer filed today:

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Miyazaki beer label


I could (and probably will) write an essay about all the ways in which the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo is amazing and totally different from the usual museum (shortlist: limited capacity managed through waiting lists instead of price-hikes; exhibits that are intended to be handled, even the fragile ones; no cult of personality for founders; emphasis on both wonder and production; modest and beautifully stocked shop; overall non-commercial emphasis; quirkiness that is commensurate with the actual films), but for now, I'll leave you with this: the beautiful Miyazaki-esque beer-labels from the hot-dog and ice-cream stand.

Miyazaki beer label, Ghibli Museum, Tokyo, Japan

RiYL podcast 048: 3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental

Recommended if You Like is Boing Boing's weekly podcast of Brian Heater's cafe conversations with musicians, cartoonists, writers, and other creative types.

When 3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental swung by New York to address the Inside 3D Printing conference in Manhattan, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to discuss the technology. The company has been at the forefront of the space since 1986, when co-founder Chuck Hull invented the process of stereolithography, which gave rise to the world of industrial additive manufacturing. The company’s been a player on the business side since then and has also spent the last several years developing a consumer facing arm for the quickly growing world of desktop 3D printing. We covered the viability of consumer technology, the on-going patent wars, and the recent controversies surrounding 3D printed weapons.

RiYL: RSS | iTunes | Download episode | Listen on Stitcher

A tumblog of Greatness: Time is a Flat Circus

True Detective + The Family Circus = timeisaflatcircus.tumblr.com

(thanks, @sfslim!)

Sword and Laser Podcast 169: Sneaking Peeks and Swapping Sleeves

The Sword and Laser (S&L) is a science fiction and fantasy-themed book club podcast hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. The main goal of the club is to build a strong online community of science fiction / fantasy buffs, and to discuss and enjoy books of both genres. Check out previous episodes here.

From a debate on whether we should read early chapters from George R.R. Martin's Winds of Winter to the usefulness of Asimov's three laws, to our wrap-up of Altered Carbon, this is an episode that should contain a lot of wisdom. Who knows? It might!

Read show notes here.

Sword and Laser is not just a podcast; we’ve also been a book club since 2007! Each month we select a science fiction or fantasy book, discuss it during kick-off and wrap-up episodes of the podcast, and continue that discussion with our listeners over on our Goodreads forums. So come read along with us, and even get a chance to ask your questions to the authors themselves!

Sword and Laser: Subscribe RSS | iTunes | Download this episode