Boing Boing 

Carla Sinclair

Carla Sinclair is the co-founder of bOING bOING, the founding editor-in-chief of CRAFT magazine, and editor-in-chief of Wink. She has written several books, including Net Chick, The Happy Mutant Handbook, Signal to Noise, and Braid Crazy.

Watch: Toddler and baby gorilla play peek-a-boo through glass at zoo

Every parent knows that baby humans love to play peek-a-boo. But in this adorable video taken at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, a toddler finds an enthusiastic baby gorilla to play the game with him. It started when the 2 1/2-year-old boy, Isaiah, pounded his chest at the gorilla. According to the Columbus Dispatch:

That's when he caught the attention of the young gorilla Kamoli, who was born in 2013.

With Kamoli in his enclosure and Isaiah on the other side of the glass wall, the two played for the next five minutes. They stared at each other, ran back and forth and played peek-a-boo.

After five minutes, they were both pooped, and the boy waved goodbye as the two went their separate ways.

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Cute Wonder Woman lunchbox banned from school for being too violent

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Not sure if it's the scary-looking lasso or the ass-kicking red boots, but a school on Mainstreet, USA banned this dangerous Wonder Woman lunchbox from campus. Said school sent a letter to the lunchbox-toting owner's home, telling her parents that their daughter can't bring "violent images" onto campus. Sheesh. Here is the letter, brought to us by themarysue.com:

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Good thing my daughter chose a solid color for her lunchbox this year!

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Sinkholes swallowing people in China this month

If you're heading to China, watch where you step. Last month it was escalators pulling people underground in China, with three separate accidents, including one that killed a mother after she managed to save her son. Now it's sinkholes, including one that swallowed five people yesterday at a bus stop. And this is just two weeks after an entire street collapsed in Dongguan China, pulling over 3,000 square feet down below street level and killing at least one person.

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Sushi Go - know which sushi to keep and which to hand off with this cute fast-moving card game

Something about the name Sushi Go had me hesitant to take the game seriously. It landed in my game closet over a year ago and remained untouched. Then last week my family wanted to play something new, so I finally ripped open the Sushi Go’s plastic wrap and broke out the super cute cards. And good thing I did!

Sushi Go is a fun, fast-moving card game that keeps you on your toes as you choose a card from your hand and then pass the rest to the player on your left (receiving a new hand from the player on your right). The goal is to score the most points by strategically collecting groups of sushi (or a piece of sushi and a spot of wasabi to dip it in) while working to block your opponents from collecting what they need. Each type of sushi has a different value, which is listed at the bottom of the card. For instance, egg nigiri is worth one point per card, while sashimi is worth ten points for every three you collect. Make sure to collect as much pudding as you can, since the person with the least amount of dessert at the end of a round will lose six points.

Although two people can play, it’s much better with three to five players. And you can play a game (which consists of three rounds) in around fifteen minutes, making it perfect for anyone on-the-go who needs a quick game fix.

Sushi Go
by Gamewright
Ages 7-100, 2-5 players
$11 Buy a copy on Amazon

See more photos at Wink Fun.

Blokus takes 2 seconds to learn, but many games to master

Apparently Blokus is a popular game that’s been around since 2000, introduced by the French company Sekkoia before being sold to Mattel in 2009. But it’s new to me. I just bought it a few weeks ago after my daughter came home from her friend’s house raving about the game, and we’ve had many a summer Blokus evenings since.

Blokus is a strategy game that takes two seconds to learn, but many games to master. In a nutshell, each player picks a color and starts with a pile of Tetrus-shaped plastic pieces made of 1-5 squares. For instance, one piece is only one square, another is a line of three squares, another a four-square block, another a five-square L-shape, and so on. No piece is alike. Players start off by placing a piece of their choice in a corner of the gridded board. They then take turns connecting pieces to one of their own pieces already on the board. But you can only connect pieces by their corners – not by the edges (although your edges can connect with an opponent’s edge). As the board gets filled, the turns get more difficult, and after a few games you’ll realize how much strategy can make or break a game. The game ends when no one can make another move. The player left with the least amount of squares wins. Addictive and challenging, yet simple enough for a child to learn, Blokus is a great family game.

Note: The version above is 10" x 10", which is smaller than the original 13" x 13". They both have the same amount of pieces, but the one I got (the link above) is simply smaller in size and less expensive. Some commenters on Amazon prefer the larger size for its ease of use. Since I only know this version, it works perfectly fine for me.

Blokus
Mattel
Ages 7 and up
$20 Buy a copy on Amazon

See sample images at Wink.

Spend a summer afternoon with a Fantastic Cities coloring book and Tutti Frutti rainbow-colored pencils

Last week on a particularly hot summer day my 12-year-old daughter and her friend decided to avoid the outdoors and spent the afternoon coloring the pages of Fantastic Cities. Not wanting to interrupt their chatter and flow as they filled in the intricate lines of artist Steve McDonald’s amazing urbanscapes, I waited until after dinner, then spent an hour coloring my own page. Fantastic Cities is a beautiful book of detailed pen-and-ink drawings of cities from around the world, including London, Paris, Toronto, Tokyo, San Francisco, New York, Istanbul and many others. And including some slivers of real places mixed with imaginative cityscape mandalas. With books like this, coloring is as much fun for adults as it is for kids!

The colored pencils I used come from Tutti Frutti, with a box design inspired by Italian packaging. The set comes with 12 double-sided pencils with a total of 6 colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple). I’m not sure why they repeat colors rather than give us 24 different shades, but the feel when pressing color to paper is wonderfully smooth and buttery. Unlike a jumbo box of Crayola crayons, Tutti Frutti doesn’t supply you with a pencil sharpener, so make sure you have your own (an automatic sharpener works best).

Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined
by Steve McDonald
Chronicle Books
2015, 60 pages, 11.5 x 11.8 x 0.4 inches (paperback)
$11 Buy one on Amazon

Tutti Frutti Pencils
by Princeton Architectural Press
12 double-sided pencils, 6 colors
$13 Buy one on Amazon

See more sample pages from this book at Wink.

Wink Fun is looking for reviewers

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Calling all writers! Wink Fun is looking for reviewers. Reviews should be 1-3 paragraphs, and need to include 5-9 photos of the Fun item. If you have something fun to review (board game, lawn game, toy, magic trick, puzzles (3D or traditional), craft or modeling kit, building set, cool electronic, sporty item, etc) email me at carla@well.com to let me know what you’re thinking of reviewing. If it’s a good fit for Wink I will give you more details on what we need. Please no unsolicited reviews, and please look at the site before contacting us. Reviews pay $25 on the day they run.

Watch: Elephant taking swigs from a toilet

If you're using the loo at the Elephant Sand Lounge in Botswana, beware! Smart elephants in the area know where the clean water is, and you're sitting on it. Watch as a thirsty elephant uses the toilet as its water bowl rather than the nearby salty water hole outside. trunk

Gigantic 40-feet-tall spiderwebs found in Dallas

dew-and-spiderwebs-725x544A strange phenomenon is happening in Dallas, TX. Drivers commuting through the neighborhood of Lakeside Park have spotted a massive canopy of webs that runs the length of a football field. The canopy is draped over trees and bushes and reaches 40-feet high. Any driver curious enough to step out of their car will see thousands of spiders working together to create this web. Of course this is highly unusual, since spiders are known to normally work alone.

Scientists suggest the webs are strung in cooperation in order to take advantage of rare influxes of insects, a hatch of midges or other water-borne insects from the nearby lake.

Although unusual, it's not the first time spiders have spun a communal web in Texas.

A similar web was found inside Lake Tawakoni State Park in 2007. The appearance of that web surprised many arachnologists, who had never seen or studied such a phenomenon.

The spiders are pretty harmless to humans and should be simply admired for their amazing handiwork.

Watch: Robot customer pranks fast-food drive-thru employees

Watch as fast-food employees shriek with terror (and laughter) while running for cover when a glowing blue robot rolls up to their drive-thru window. "Hello! I am IO!" it shouts. Not all employees flee from the window. One fellow takes the robot's money, but yells, "This confuses me! I don't like change!" Not sure if he meant financial or reality change. The best is when IO does a "body scan" of a few employees and then states their name, shocking since they aren't wearing name tags. Apparently the prankster, Rahat, aka MagicofRahat, had a friend order food earlier to get their names on the receipt. This isn't the first drive-thru prank, but it's as good as all the rest.

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London pub owner jailed for 7 years after killing rich American who looked "homeless"

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Rostam Notarki is being sentenced to seven years in prison for shoving a shabby-looking man out of his pub with an ironing board. The man was then hit and killed by an oncoming van. Apparently, Notarki, owner of The Cardinal Wolsey pub in south-west London, didn't take kindly to the man, who came into his pub carrying blue plastic bags and talking to his two toy mice. When the man, 53-year-old Charles Hickox, who happened to be a wealthy American gambler and drifter, ordered three bottles of expensive Italian wine, Notarki served him cheaper bottles. He then kicked Hickox out of the pub without returning his credit card.

Hickox became irate.

When the victim realised the Visa card he used to pay for the wine was missing, he went back with a tennis racquet in each hand to demand it back, having told his companions he might “have to crack some ribs to get it”.

The victim pushed the landlord using one of the racquets and then ran off, pursued by Notarki carrying an ironing board, and his son Kian wielding an iron bar.

Once outside, Hickox was "jabbed" with the ironing board, which pushed him into the traffic.

For more details click here.

 

Disabled chicken will receive a 3D-printed prosthetic leg

Shutterstock


Shutterstock

Cecily is a hen who was born with a bum leg due to a damaged tendon. The options were to put her down or make her a new leg. Her owner, Andrea Martin, who rescues chickens in Clinton, MA, opted to pay $2,500 to have the hen's leg replaced with a new 3D-printed version.

Read the rest

Woman suing Starbucks for allegedly serving drink with cleaning solution

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Cheryl Kingery of Davis County, Utah says she ordered a cup of coffee from Starbucks, but was given a serving of Urnex cleaning solution instead. This caused esophagitis, as well as nerve damage, Burning Mouth Syndrome, loss of taste and more. The incident occurred at the Clinton, UT location in 2012 and has cost her over $186,000 in medical expenses and lost wages so far. She expects that "future economic damages will exceed $1.3 million." Starbucks is investigating, saying "The safety of our customer is our highest priority."

Watch: Clinton's amusing parody of GOP climate change deniers

Starring the lot of GOP 2016 contenders, Hillary adds a bit of entertainment to her campaign with this parody of climate change deniers in the form of a classic monster movie.

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Fugitive caught after being spotted in horror film photos

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I imagine most fugitives would want to keep a low profile, but not so for Jason Stange, of Olympia, WA, who was found guilty of armed bank robbery in 2006. Rather than show up for probation, after a 117-month sentence, he was busy playing the part of a deranged Planned Parenthood doctor in the low-budget horror film, Marla Mae. Then last week, an article ran in The Olympian about the movie with lots of photos of 44-year-old Stange. Finally his days in the spotlight caught up with him. According to The News Tribune:

Brandon Roberts, the film’s producer, called Stange a talented actor who was well-liked by the cast and crew. He said the film was rewritten to suit Stange, who had “really nailed the audition” and brought a different element to the role than what the film’s creators originally sought.

Filming had just ended, and everyone was checking out the article in Friday morning’s newspaper when Stange headed out in his costume to buy cigarettes, Roberts said. Agents arrested Stange and allowed him to return the costume to the filming location.

Stange's leading role will remain in the film, which is scheduled for release in 2016.

OgoSport Discs let you play volleyball, Frisbee, or paddle ball

My daughter got a Mini OgoSport Discs set as a gift last March and we finally broke it open last week. It has quickly tied first place with bocce ball as our new favorite outdoor summer game. Like miniature portable trampolines, these 12-inch discs can send the “ball” (a rubber stringy pom) bouncing higher than a hundred feet and are perfect for a game of Ogo-style volleyball (volleying without a net or formal rules). You can also throw a disc like a Frisbee, or play it like paddle ball without the attached elastic string. Lightweight and small enough to toss into a backpack, I look forward to packing it up the next time we head for the beach.

See more photos at Wink Fun.

Mini OgoSport Discs
by Ogo Sport
Ages 4-99
$28 Buy one on Amazon

Robot-staffed "Weird Hotel" in Japan unveiled today

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Imagine checking into a hotel with a robotic dinosaur receptionist behind the front desk. You then hand your bags over to the bell-bot, or trolley robot that takes them to your room. Welcome to the Weird Hotel, or Henn na Hotel in Japanese. Unveiled today to reporters, the hotel will open to the public on Friday in Sasebo, Japan (a part of Nagasaki). The dinosaur receptionist mentioned above, who speaks English, will share the front desk with a female humanoid who blinks and speaks Japanese. The hotel also uses facial recognition instead of keys, and has a "doll-like hairless robot" working as concierge to answer simple questions about the goings-on in the area. There are a few human employees, including the bed-makers and some hidden security folks monitoring the cameras. At $80 per night, and no tips, it seems like quite the bargain for Japan. For more details, click here.