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.

Jig for making paracord bracelets

Paracord bracelets (or survival bracelets) are a popular, fun-to-make fashion accessory, and can also come in handy if you suddenly need to unravel the bracelet and use the cord to make a tourniquet, secure a tent, tow a lifeboat, make a pair of snowshoes, or… fill in the blank here (choose from hundreds of emergency situations in which paracord saves the day). And making these bracelets is really easy, especially if you’ve got a jig to keep your cord taut while working the knots.

I just got this EZzzy-Jig ($14), which comes with 12mm and 15mm attached buckles to plug your own buckles and cord into, as well as an adjustable ruler on its side to help you make the exact length you want. If you’ve made these bracelets before, the instructions for the jig should make perfect sense. But if you’re a newbie like me, you might also want to check out Beadaholique’s How to Use the EZzzy-Jig Bracelet Maker on YouTube. The instructions that come with the Paracord Planet cord (which you will need since the jig does not come with any cords or buckles) will get you started on a basic cobra braided bracelet. Once you get the hang of it you’ll be able to whip one of these bracelets up in 10 minutes flat.

See more photos at Wink Fun.

Suspend – hang rods from a balancing sculpture without letting the pieces fall

suspend

Suspend is a fun, simple yet challenging game in the same family as Pick Up Sticks or Jenga, except you don’t pick up and you don’t remove and stack. Instead, you hang. Players divide metal grooved rods with colorful rubber tips between each other and then take turns balancing them, creating an attractive Calder-style sculpture in the process. With each hang the player must be careful not to disrupt the balance of the swaying sculpture and send rods crashing to the table, otherwise they must add all of the fallen rods to their pile. The first player to get rid of all of their rods wins the game.

After a few games everyone in my family mastered the balancing act, making the game less challenging, until we realized we were playing it the easy way, allowing each rod to hang from two of its grooves (lying across two other rods) instead of one. Once we modified this rule the game became more challenging and impossible to outsmart. Suspend comes with beginner, intermediate (uses a die) and advanced (uses die and points) rules, making Suspend an entertaining game for both kids and adults.

See more photos at Wink Fun.

The Doll Scene: crazy, cool, custom-designed dolls

Dolls aren’t only for kids, especially when we’re talking about Blythe, Pullip, Monster High and other super cute, mostly Japanese-inspired dolls. Artists from around the world use these ball-jointed dolls (flexible and made to be customized) as canvas to modify with paint, hand-sewn clothing, wigs, props, accessories and new (exchangeable) body parts. Some of these modified dolls pop with color and cuteness, while others rattle with horror or haunting sadness. These artists also create spectacular worlds in which the dolls live, such as the meticulously ornate, gothic dioramas of Rebeca Cano (Cookie Dolls) from Spain, or the groovy candy-colored backdrops created by Sheena Aw (Caramelaw) from Singapore. The results can be exquisite and dramatic, as we see in The Doll Scene, which highlights 25 of the world’s best doll customizers. With a short bio and many glossy, high-quality photographs dedicated to each artist, this book might just impel you to buy your own doll and a set of paints.

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Wink Fun - reviews of the best games, toys, and puzzles

what-is-wink-fun

Wink Fun celebrates stuff that is fun, and we mean the kind of fun that's made from atoms – not bits. We mean putty you can bounce, slime you can squish, cards you can shuffle, forts you can build, skateboards you can race, water guns you can squirt – fun that matters, made of matter.

Every weekday Wink Fun reviews one entertaining item: the latest robot kit, a fast-moving dice game, a cool vintage board game, an astonishing magic trick, a role-playing card game, a brain-busting puzzle, a hilarious party game, extreme equipment for high-action fun, and so much more.

As part of the merriment, we're awarding a GIVEAWAY Perplexus (cool maze ball!) to a lucky reader. Simply find the word "Perplexus" that's hidden in one of the reviews and you'll be able to enter.

So pick a square, any square, click and have fun!

For more information about us, go to our about page.

Vegetables in Underwear

Vegetables in Underwear, released today, wins first place for the cutest and most original book for toddlers learning to shed their diapers. Jared Chapman’s adorably bright and bold illustrations of vegetables like broccoli and radishes showing off in their big kid underwear are as whimsical as the book’s title, and makes the transition from diapers to undies seem like a fun and playful event rather than some stressful chore. For anyone currently acting as potty trainer (or trainee!), this handy book should sit prominently on top of your powder room bookstand.

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

The Age of Selfishness

A graphic look at Ayn Rand’s life, libertarianism, the financial crisis of 2008, and where the financial world is headed nowRead the rest

The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook

At first glance, I thought The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook might be too gimmicky to take seriously – recipes by top mystery authors, including Mary Higgins Clark, Gillian Flynn, James Patterson, Lisa Unger, and dozens of others.

But its thick textured pages and beautiful photographs drew me in, and before I knew it I was eating a bowl of zucchini pasta-less pasta from a recipe that First Blood author David Morrell offers (my dish is pictured above). The green ribbons of “pasta” were simple to make and absolutely delicious.

I’ve now got Post-it notes stuck on all the recipes I want to try, including Hallie Ephron’s simple potato pancakes, Mary Higgins Clark’s “Game Night Chili,” Adrienne Barbeau’s stuffed grape leaves, and for when I’m feeling extra decadent, James Patterson’s “Killer Chocolate Cake” (which has butter listed as its first ingredient!).

Along with each entry, the author writes a fun backstory on his or her recipe. This original cookbook is perfect for all food and mystery fans.

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Write for Wink - and get paid!

Calling all writers! Wink needs reviewers! Wink is launching a new site, Wink Fun, which will feature daily reviews of games, toys, puzzles, kits, extreme sports gear, dolls, and anything else that is purely for FUN.

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The art of the Soviet propaganda poster

After the Russian Revolution in 1917, the Soviet Union was flooded with striking posters spreading communist propaganda.

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Mysteries of the Criminal Mind is a fascinating read, but not for the light-hearted

Focusing on historical and modern-day crime, mostly in the United States, Mysteries of the Criminal Mind takes a look at the social environment, upbringing, genetics, DNA, and other factors that comprise the minds of kidnappers, rapists, murderers, and large-scale thieves and scammers.

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An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments

When I was 8 years old I was the only girl in a backgammon tournament of almost all older men. The gray-haired gentleman I was playing in the first round made a mistake when taking his turn and therefore beat me. I told him he made a mistake.

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Relae – Michelin-star chef offers recipes and inspirational bite-size essays

Relae: A Book of Ideas is marketed as a cookbook, but it’s so much more.

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An encyclopedia of how keys, scissors, pianos, telescopes, self-winding watches, and hundreds of other things work

The New Way Things Work, published in 1998, was an updated version of the original 1988 The Way Things Work edition. Although technically not “new” anymore, this wonderfully illustrated encyclopedia of how things work is as captivating now as it was almost two decades ago.

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Stiffs, Skulls and Skeletons – Over 400 medical portraits taken in the 1800s and early 1900s

Dr. Stanley Burns has collected over 1-million medical photographs from the 1800s and early 1900s, when posing for a professional portrait in the style of a painting was trendy.

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History of the World in 1,000 Objects

History of the World in 1000 Objects opens up with a simple stone handax for cutting and digging made around 1.65-million years ago and ends, 999 artifacts later, with satellites and smart phones.

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The Graphic Canon of Children’s Literature

Imagine Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer told in Family Circus comic strip style, Alice in Wonderland’s Alice as a rude fat brat with a Valley-girl accent, Little Red Riding Hood as a young woman who climbs into bed with the Wolf, or Harry Potter told as a comic without words, except for some exclamations and sound affects. Although these mega-popular “children’s” stories have already been recreated by illustrators, artists and filmmakers throughout the years, Graphic Canon presents them and 46 others with a fresh and twisted take by contemporary artists such as Dame Darcy, Lucy Knisely, Roberta Gregory, and World War 3’s Peter Kuper. From Aesop fables and Brothers Grimm tales to The Little Mermaid, Mark Twain’s “Advice to Little Girls,” The Oz series and Watership Down, this fourth volume of Graphic Canon brings us household children’s literature as we’ve never seen it before. This book of children’s literature might not be suitable for children! I would rate it PG-13.

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

To the Village Square – a photojournalist’s collection of anti-nuke images that span the last 40 years

Although the No Nukes slogan hearkens back to a louder, more passionate era of demonstrators of the 1970s, To the Village Square is a stark reminder that nuclear disasters are still happening, and that it still takes a village of voices – and images – to raise awareness.

Photojournalist Lionel Delevingne, who moved from France to the US in the 1970s, has been documenting the “No Nukes” crusade for almost four decades through his raw and striking photographs. His candid images of passionate demonstrators and disaster-stricken regions and their victims have been published in Vanity Fair, Newsweek, The New York Times, National Geographic, and many other publications. From the protestors of the Seabrook Station in Massachusetts to the disasters of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, Delevingne has captured the emotions, devastation and unity brought about by the anti nuclear movement.

See sample pages from this book at Wink.