Boing Boing 

Clive Thompson

Lava tubes on Moon could be huge enough to hold cities


We don't know if the moon actually has any subterranean lava tubes, but if they do exist, a new analysis suggests they could be enormous.

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A hand-drawn picture to illustrate spacecraft orbit


At Popular Science, Sarah Fecht uses some awesomely old-school dataviz techniques.

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Astronomers print 3D models of colliding solar winds

Solar wind models

The weird stellar winds of Eta Carinae are hard to visualize -- so astronomers used a Makerbot to create 3D models that they could hold in their hands.

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Genius recommends Iliad readers try Nicki Minaj

Iliad and Nicki 2 If you're on Genius reading Book V of The Iliad, the recommendation system has some suggestions for you.

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A 303-style synth in your browser

Acid music creator

Twiddle a few knobs and in about five minutes you're making thick, lovely bleepy sounds. Great for a) creating indie-game background music b) procrastinating. (Thanks to Mefi for finding this!)

China in pictures on one traveler's Instagram feed

Tricia Wang two phones My friend Tricia Wang is an amazing tech ethnographer who's crisscrossing China -- and recording her observations on an amazing Instagram feed.

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Tweet-length programs, written in Wolfram Language


Here's a gallery of programs written in the Wolfram Language, short enough to fit in a tweet -- and producing lovely results.

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Listen to some music created for cats

Cats vocalize at higher frequencies than humans, so they often ignore our music. Now two scientists have made songs specifically for cats. (Audio here.)

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An erotic novel about Clippy

Conquered by Clippy 2015-03-16 at 5.17.40 PM

It's called Conquered by Clippy. Rule 34 continues to bestride the Internet like a colossus, apparently. Oh, and there's more ...

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Study: Using metaphor helps us understand each other's minds

eyes Metaphor makes you more empathetic, it seems: When subjects in a new study read metaphors, they got better at identifing the emotion in pictures of people's eyes.

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Why video games are better without characters

Simcity Ian Bogost argues we need more games that focus not on characters, but on systems -- like cities, economies, language, or physics.

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Music made from the audio stripped out of an MP3

Check out "Ghost in the MP3," a eerie song made from the audio that was removed from "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega when it was turned into an MP3.

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Four satellites that fly in pyramid formation


Today, NASA is set to launch an array of four satellites that will fly in a pyramid-shaped formation -- to produce a 3D image of how the magnetic fields of solar winds collide with the magnetic field of earth.

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"The Rules for the Black Birdwatcher"

"Never wear a hoodie. Ever." (Thanks to Jeet Heer for pointing this one out!)

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Vivaldi, a browser to help you manage "tab chaos"

Vivaldi browser 2 2015-03-11 at 10.49.22 PM

Do you often have 83 open tabs on your browser? Can't refind the one you want? [RAISES HAND] Try out Vivaldi, a new browser with power-user features for managing tab chaos.

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"Hello, Barbie" eavesdrops on kids, sends what it hears to Mattel


Mattel's new "Hello Barbie" will "learn about its users over time." How? By recording what the child says and sending it to servers operated by ToyTalk (the company that makes the doll's voice-dictation technology), reports the Washington Post.

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The joy of a monthly book club: "My Book Hunter"


Mélanie Francès runs "My Book Hunter", a club where she picks one awesome work of fiction each month and sends it to you handwrapped. This month is "Almost Famous Women" by Megan Mayhew Bergman, which I'm loving.

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The "musical saw" is on the soundtrack to "The Jinx"


If you've been watching The Jinx, HBO's documentary miniseries on Robert Durst, that eerie, ethereal music occasionally in the background is the musical saw, played by Natalia Paruz, NYC's "saw lady."

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Rutgers' online course tracks your knuckles, face, browser history


Welcome to online learning at Rutgers!

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The cost-effective way to help the "chronically homeless" pay for their housing.

Homeless shelters are simply more expensive.

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How to type on an Apple watch

Behold Lunate, an intriguing swipe-based system for typing on an Apple watch. You can try it out yourself right now by downloading the Lunate app on an Iphone or Ipad.

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Why violin-makers adopted the f-shaped hole

violin flow velocity Why did violins slowly develop f-shaped sound-holes? Because it makes them more acoustically powerful than their ancestors, which had holes shaped liked a circle -- as a team of MIT scientists recently concluded.

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Waterlogue: App for turning photos into watercolors

I've recently become obsessed with Waterlogue, an Iphone-only app that takes photos and transforms them into watercolor-style images.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the next guestblogger


Hey folks! I'm Clive Thompson, and I'm a journalist who writes about the impact of technology and science on everyday life. I'm the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds For the Better, and a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and Wired. I also blog at The Message on Medium, and play guitar and harmonica in the DeLorean Sisters.

I'm going to be guestblogging here for the next two weeks, which I'm really excited about because Boing Boing was one of the early blogs that inspired me to start my own, Collision Detection, back in 2002!

Digital tools have a mind of their own: yours

Clive Thompson says that there are three principal biases that today's digital tools introduce to human thought. Read the rest