Boing Boing 

David Pescovitz

David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner and Medium's head of creative services. On Instagram, he's @pesco.

Tales of cocaine disco excess

Over at Cuepoint, the cocaine-fueled history of Casablanca records, the 1970s label that embodied decadence, debauchery, and disco, where Donna Summer, George Clinton, and the Village People reigned supreme. From Cuepoint:
1*ktT5TVOfSEjDSpyRCgTDTw By the late 1970s, Casablanca Records had reached an era of unrivaled gluttony. Says (label co-founder) Larry Harris: “There was blow everywhere. It was like some sort of condiment that had to be brushed away by the waitstaff before the next party was seated. Cocaine dusted everything. It was on fingertips, tabletops, upper lips, and the floor.”

Indeed, such rampant substance abuse seemed to fuel the label’s overall aesthetic and ethos. Harris claims George Clinton and his “assistant” Archie Ivy would frequent the Casablanca offices, meeting with executives and rambling “for hours about how they were going to develop Parliament’s stage show into an otherworldly display of pageantry and pomp and how they needed half a zillion dollars to do it.” On one occasion, Clinton showed up with “some uncut and very potent coke, declaring that anyone who tried it would speak Spanish, as the stuff ‘hadn’t cleared customs yet.’” The P-Funk frontman, insists Harris, “would ramble on, giving voice to every thought that came into his head, stream-of-consciousness style, like William Faulkner gone jive.”

"From Cocaine Disco to Electronic Dance: the Loaded Legacy of Casablanca Records"

Marijuana vending machine

zazzz

Next month, American Green will debut its ZaZZZ Marijuana Vending Machine at the Seattle Caregivers dispensary.

Read the rest

Climbers scale frozen Niagara Falls

On Tuesday, ice climbers Will Gadd and Sarah Hueniken climbed up a frozen portion of Niagara Falls. According to National Geographic, Gadd said the hardest part of the climb was getting the permit to do it.

Flowers in ice

ICED-FLOWERS-3

Azuma Makoto's "Iced Flowers" is a time-based installation of flowers in frozen blocks that "change themselves over time."

Read the rest

Supermarket spaceships from the 1950s

luer_rocket_1955-1.jpg__800x0_q85_crop

(Space Age Museum)

In the 1950s, massive model spaceships sponsored by food brands traveled the highways and byways of America between grocery stores and state fairs to delight a public excited about our spacefaring future.

Read the rest

Temporary tattoos from your Instagram

screenshot

Picatoo is a new service that turns your Instagram images into temporary tattoos. According to the site, they last about seven days. It costs $15 for 12 tattoos.

If Facebook is down, don't call 911

facebook-thumbs-down

When Facebook went down on Monday, five people (FIVE!!!) in the Easy Bay Area alone called 911.

Read the rest

Stick-on inflatable motors for future robots (and today's origami!)

MIT and University of Tokyo researchers devised stick-on "pouch motors," simple inflatable actuators that can be used to move things by pumping air in and out.

Read the rest

Drones based on birds

Once again, engineers are taking cues from nature to build the next generation of robotics, in this case drones inspired by birds.

Read the rest

Testing subliminal advertising (again)

As part of a BBC Radio 4 documentary, producer Phil Tinline looks at the controversial and weird history of subliminal advertising, and with social psychologists devises an experiment to test its efficacy.

Read the rest

Jiz Lee on "Ethical Porn"

"Ethical porn" starts with porn that you pay for, says Jiz Lee.

Read the rest

Video: How footballs are made

I found this video about how footballs are made, and a woman who worked in the Wilson Sporting Goods factory for 50 years, to be more interesting than most football games I've watched.

Leatherman's new wearable multi-tool

Tread2_zps85aa58d6

Available this summer, the Leatherman Tread is a bracelet or wristwatch with steel links that double as box wrenches, screwdrivers, and other tools.

Read the rest

LEGO Movie soundtrack on vinyl!

SL9-200912_LEGOimg

Next month, the LEGO Movie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack comes to vinyl in a special double LP package including a color booklet with liner notes by soundtrack composer (and DEVO co-founder) Mark Mothersbaugh.

Read the rest

Music video: retro-'80s hallucination for new Marie Davidson track

A strange, 1980s-esque hallucinatory video, directed for Montréal synth-punk chanteuse Marie Davidson's "Balade aux USA."

Read the rest

Incredible LEGO Pompeii model

image-20150116-5206-1u6dd9c

This incredible LEGO model of Pompeii is on display at Sydney, Australia's Nicholson Museum.

Read the rest

Ballsy fashion designer's dick move on the runway

At Paris Fashion Week, Rick Owens's menswear line featured flaps and openings strategically-located to reveal his models' penises as they strutted down the runway. NSFW images below.

Read the rest

"R is for Robots" coloring book

screenshot

Our friends at Adafruit have published their delightful coloring book "R Is For Robots!" You can buy a print copy for $9.95 or download the CC-licensed digital file for free!

King Tut's mask crappily repaired with epoxy

Screen shot 2012-02-15 at 8.39.55 PM

After the beard on King Tutankhamun's iconic burial mask was knocked off during cleaning (or removed because it was loose), it was quickly glued back on with epoxy, resulting in a crappy and permanent fix to the 3,300 year-old artifact.

Read the rest

Turing's journal on the auction block

imagegeg

One of Alan Turing's journals, written while he was hacking away on the German Enigma Code, will be up for auction in April.

Read the rest

History of NYC's drinking fountains

screenshot

At Re:form, Makalé Cullen reveals the design history of the drinking fountain in New York City.

Read the rest

Elliott Smith, animated interview

Elliott Smith, animated, talks depression, freaks, Elvis Costello, and Paul Simon. (Blank on Blank)

Traveling exhibition of original Star Wars costumes

3.jpg__1072x0_q85_upscale

Later this month, the Smithsonian Institution's new exhibition “Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Wars and the Power of Costume" will open at Seattle’s EMP Museum. A collaboration with the Lucas Museum and Lucasfilm, the exhibit includes Jedi robes, Princess Leia’s slave bikini, Chewbacca's pelt, and many other costumes and related art and ephemera.

Read the rest

Meet an icicle farmer

6435870_G

Cory Livingood of Stratton, Vermont, is an icicle farmer. He and his team grow and harvest massive numbers of icicles to build magnificent ice constructions at ski resorts. Livingood works for a firm called Ice Castles that constructs ice archways, caves, slides, and other installations.

Tamey-Brown-TMP_9908-1

From WCAX:

There's an art and science to Livingood's work. He and his team grow more than 5,000 icicles a day, and then carry bags of fragile spears into the castles cementing them in place with slush.

"We use vertical ones to make it taller and horizontal ones to fill in the places between them," said Livingood.

Sprinklers close the gaps coating and strengthening the ice until its supports human weight. Each completed ice castle gives visitors 10,000 tons of ice to explore.

"I just want you to feel like you are in a different place. You know an ice wonderland," said Livingood.

Odd Jobs: Icicle Farmer (WCAX)

Very big thinkers ponder: "What do you think about machines that think?"

era_drum_memory_large

Over at BB pal John Brockman's Edge.org, nearly 200 very smart people, like Daniel C. Dennett, Brian Eno, Alison Gopnik, Nina Jablonski, Peter Norvig, and Rodney Brooks, ponder the EDGE Annual Question of 2015: What do you think about machines that think?

Read the rest

Video: "How Electric Light Changed The Night"

KQED's Deep Look on "How Electric Light Changed The Night" (for better and perhaps worse).

Moog brings back its famed 1973 modular synthesizers

System_55

Moog Music has reproduced a limited edition of its three iconic 1973 synthesizers including the System 55 (seen above with optional keyboard) that can be yours for just $35,000. Video below.

Read the rest

Stan Lee on "To Tell The Truth" game show (1970)

Here's Stan Lee on a 1970 episode of To Tell The Truth, a fun game show where a panel of celebrities had to identify an individual with an unusual profession (in this case, comic book creator) among a group of impostors.

Read the rest

School bus has "Satanic" brake lights

6404952_G

Some Memphis, Tennessee parents are outraged at what they perceive to be Satanic symbols in the brake lights of a public school bus. From WMC:

(One) parent snapped a photo when she noticed the shape of an upside down, five-pointed star outlined in the brake lights of a school bus that was stopped in Cordova.

"Anyone who fears a God, if not God and Jesus Christ, should be outraged," she said...

On social media, parents are arguing both sides of the debate. Some say the brake lights are a subliminal pagan message, while others say it's just an unintentional design.

Neither Durham School Services nor the school district would answer any questions about the bus' brake lights.

"Parent outraged over possible pentagram symbol on Mid-South bus"