Vending machine for gold bars

Gold to Go is a gold-plated vending machine that dispenses gold bars in various sizes and gold bullion coins. The first one was installed several years ago in the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The prices adjust based on market value via a Web connection. In the US, you can find a Gold to Go ATM in Manhattan, Atlantic City, and in Las Vegas's Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, natch.

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Crystal meth found in pawned Sega Genesis

A gentleman in Moultrie, Georgia pawned his Sega Genesis console but was arrested later after the pawn shop employees found a stash of crystal meth in the console's cartridge slot.

According to WALB, "There was no word on whether the Sega Genesis console was in working condition." Read the rest

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Princess Leia's bikini sells for nearly $100,000


One of Princess Leia's slave bikinis she actually wore in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi sold for $96,000 at auction yesterday. No news on who bought it. The costume came complete with the collar and several links in the chain Leia used to strangle Jabba the Hutt. A 16" model of Leia's Blockade Runner seen in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope went for $450,000, the highest auction price ever for Star Wars memorabilia ever.

Other items sold in the same Profiles In History auction include one of Indiana Jones's bull whips ($204,000) and George Reeves's Superman costume from the 1950s TV series ($216,000).


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PocketLab: a $100 scientific "Swiss Army knife"


The PocketLab is billed as a "Swiss Army Knife of science." Launched via Kickstarter, the small device contains numerous sensors to measure acceleration, force, angular velocity, magnetic field, pressure, altitude, and temperature and send that data to smartphones or laptops. According to inventor Clifton Roozeboom, it's a tool for students and citizen scientists who can't afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars on lab equipment and will get the data they need from this $100 gadget. From IEEE Spectrum:

“If you are doing a classic experiment in AP physics, you might have, say, a track and a pulley and you want to attach a sensor to a cart to measure acceleration, force, and momentum transfer,” says Roozeboom. “The typical gear available is wired, plugs into a specialized handheld gadget with a host of menus to navigate. The students spend a lot of time understanding how to use the gear instead of learning concepts.” In other traditional physics experiments, Roozeboom says, the device can be attached to a rocket to study projectile motion, stuck to a pendulum to look at harmonic motion, or placed inside a tube to measure changes in pressure with volume.

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Man fired for farting too much?


Louann Clem of Trenton, New Jersey, is suing her and her husband Rich's former employee, Case Pork Roll Co., claiming that he was fired for farting too much. Both the Clems complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), but her case was dismissed so she decided to sue while her husband's EEOC complaint is pending. According to the suit, Rich Clem had gastric bypass surgery that led to “extreme gas and uncontrollable diarrhea.” That was when the owner of the company, Thomas Dolan, began harassing them, she says. Some of Dolan's alleged comments that Louiann Clem references in the lawsuit:

“We have to do something about Rich. This can’t go on.”

“Why is Rich having these side effects?”

“Is Rich following his doctor’s recommendations?”

“We can’t run an office and have visitors with the odor in the office.”

“Tell Rich that we are getting complaints from visitors who have problems with the odors.”

The company's owner claims the Clems weren't fired but rather quit after refusing to take a pay cut when the company fell on hard times.

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NFL team traveled to England with its own toilet paper

Ah, the comforts of home. The New York Jets football team landed in London today with their usual equipment, plus 350 rolls of good ol' 'Murican toilet paper. Apparently the toilet paper in London is too thin for them.

"Some may say that’s a little over the top or whatnot, but it didn’t really cost that much, so why not?” Aaron Degerness, the team's operations manager told the New York Times. “We’re basically trying to replicate everything that we’re doing here over there.”

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Treasure Island Music Festival haiku contest finalists!


The winner of our annual Treasure Island Music Festival haiku ticket contest will see The National, Deadmau5, FKA Twigs, The War On Drugs, Chvrches, Father John Misty, Lower Dens, Jose Gonzalez, and many more artists at our favorite musical extravaganza taking place October 17 and 18 on the San Francisco Bay. As you'll recall, our friends at Noise Pop, co-promoters of the event with Another Planet Entertainment, gifted us a pair of VIP 2-Day Tickets (a $630 value) to share with a lucky Boing Boing reader! Last week, we launched our annual Treasure Island Music Festival Haiku contest, and now we reveal the finalists! The three happy mutants below all win Boing Boing t-shirts. We'll announce the winner of the VIP passes on Monday, October 5. Congratulations to these Haiku masters!

And if you'd like to purchase tickets to Treasure Island Music Festival, click right here.

Now then, here are our finalists:


Flying in from SEA 3 year anniversary 2 tix 4 us, plz


Chrvches vs. The War on Drugs: who has the least San Franciscan name?


Aargh, Matey. Avast! Treasure Island steer me mast Music be me wench

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Best alien hoax ever


In 1958, this glowing extraterrestrial appeared on rural Michigan roads, freaking out drivers before vanishing without a trace. According to witnesses, the "little blue man" was just two feet tall, except when he was ten feet tall. And he "ran faster than any human."

After a police investigation began, Jerry Sprague, Don Weiss, and LeRoy Schultz, confessed to the prank. They had made the costume from long underwear, combat boots, a football helmet outfitted with flashing lights, and a sheet. They spray-painted the whole thing glow-in-the-dark blue, in homage to Betty Johnson's wonderful song "Little Blue Man." (Listen to it below!)

Police let the pranksters off with a warning.

( via Reddit)

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The weird story behind Warhol's portrait of Barbie

In 1986, the year before his death, Andy Warhol painted a portrait of Barbie in the style of his famous paintings of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, and so many other celebrities. But in Warhol's mind, it wasn't a painting of the doll but rather his dear friend BillyBoy*, a 23-year-old jewelry designer who had a collection of tens of thousands of Barbies. For an art exhibit, BillyBoy*'s dolls were dressed by famous fashion designers and he also designed two dolls for Mattel, "Le Nouveau Theatre De La Mode" and "Feelin' Groovy Barbie."

Warhol had asked to paint a portrait of BillyBoy*, who always declined, until one day he said, "Well if you really want to do my portrait, do a portrait of Barbie because Barbie, c'est moi." So Warhol did.

Last year, BillyBoy* sold his Barbie portrait at Christie's for more than $1 million. He's also turned his back on Barbie.

"I think Barbie is no longer touching on the zeitgeist of the moment," he told the BBC News. "If I had a daughter I would not give her Barbie dolls. I wouldn't want my child to be constantly obsessed with getting something, and that immense preoccupation with high-heeled shoes and clothes." Read the rest

San Francisco: Killer intimate shows at new music venue (Milo Green tonight!)


San Francisco's Swedish American Hall, a beautiful 1907 building on Market Street, has been totally renovated while maintaining its historic detail, and now our friends at Noise Pop are curating a marvelous lineup of intimate performances from some great indie and artists. Tonight is Milo Greene (video below), tomorrow is Widowspeak, Saturday is Villagers, and next week is a terrific show with The Mynabirds, The Dead Ships, and Bad Bad Hats. Lots more in the coming month as well, and I'm particularly stoked to see Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo on Friday, November 6!

Built in 1907, the Hall was designed by noted Swedish architect August Nordin, who designed over 300 buildings in San Francisco. This building has been used as a meeting place for many generations of Swedish Americans. After a year of renovations and a nomination to become a landmark by the city of San Francisco, the Swedish is back! Noise Pop will be selecting all programming at the Swedish in 2015 as the official curator of the venue. The bar and newly redesigned Café du Nord will be curated by The Bon Vivants of Trick Dog. The brand new street level restaurant Aatxe is programmed by the Ne Timeas Restaurant Group, of Central Kitchen & flour + water.

Swedish American Hall

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Mesmerizing slow motion beauty of tennis racket annihilating Jell-O


The Slow Mo Guys smash Jell-O with a tennis racket and the super slow motion footage is beautiful.

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Margaret Cho and Bob Mould in email conversation

As part of California Sunday's "The Thread" series, I asked comedian/actress Margaret Cho and punk pioneer Bob Mould, who are old pals, to have an email conversation about whatever's on their mind. They talked about the changing face of San Francisco, marriage equality, and THC sex lube! From California Sunday:

From: Margaret Cho To: Bob Mould

Hi Bob! Spending every major holiday together at the end of last year made me think that we’d continue into 2015 — but I realize I haven’t seen you at all! Let’s see, we did Thanksgiving and Christmas at your beautiful home in San Francisco — both occasions where I ate far more than I ever intended — then a fabulous New Year’s Eve show together in Chicago. It’s said that whatever you do on New Year’s Eve is what you’ll do for the entire year, and so I just assumed my year would include you, but it hasn’t!

I must say, I spent much more time with you in 2014, when our friend Jim Short made an animated film of Fred Armisen and me doing our best Bob Mould impressions and you giving your impressions of our impressions — and when we played “See a Little Light” in front of the Larkin Street Youth Center as part of my homeless outreach project #berobin, which celebrated Robin Williams, his philanthropy, and his love of street performance.

I didn’t see you in 2015, but I did see your band, Jason Narducy and Jon Wurster, whom I brazenly stole to back me for my new Showtime special, psyCHO.

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Strategies for nodding during meetings


You know those people who nod a lot in meetings, appearing interested even when they are either bored to death or have no idea what the hell is being said? Sarah Cooper has "9 Nodding Strategies for Your Next Meeting."

Above: The Slow Nod Followed by a Fast Nod The slow nod followed by a fast nod is great to let the person talking know that you didn’t get it at first, but you totally get it now, even if you still don’t agree.

Below: Let Me Write That Down Nod This is the nod you use when you’re pretending to write that down.

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"Squeeze the butt, squeeze the legs, breathe..."


Depending on whether your sound is on or off, this fellow is either painfully enduring or tremendously enjoying high G-force training. (YouTube) Read the rest

World's largest collection of coffee cup lids

Architects Louise Harpman and Scott Specht own the world's largest collection of disposable plastic coffee cup lids, a seemingly simple product that raises myriad design questions and challenges.

From their 2005 Cabinet magazine essay:

Although the earliest examples of drink-through lids were designed for cold beverages, the true efflorescence in drink-through lid design and production can be traced to the 1980s, when we, as a culture, decided that it was important, even necessary, to be able to walk, or drive, or commute while drinking hot liquids. A quick survey of the US patent registry reveals nine patents for specialty drink lids in the 1970s, jumping to twenty-six individual patents in the 1980s. 

We began our collection during college in 1984 when the purpose-built cup lids began to appear with some frequency. Up until that time, coffee drinkers who wanted a drink-through lid had to go DIY: beginning from two points along the outer edge of any flat plastic cup lid, the drinker would peel back the plastic rim along two radial axes toward the centerpoint of the lid, creating a jagged wedge of an opening. This operation yielded a reliable aperture, but also a triangular bit of garbage which design writer Phil Patton (RIP - ed.)

calls the “guitar pick.” The strategy was serviceable, but inelegant. Some degree of improvement was surely mandated, though not the “dizzying array” of lid designs that we now see. “There is no coffee lid that occupies the same status as the paper clip,” agrees Patton. Read the rest

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