New Disruptors 46: 99% Indivisible with Roman Mars

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Roman Mars is a public-radio producer. But the definition of what public radio is has become malleable, especially with his show, 99% Invisible, which has enormously more listeners for its podcast version than the broadcast flavor. Read the rest

New Disruptors 45: I Want to Teach the World Wide Web To Sing with Jon Mitchell

The New Disruptors is new to Boing Boing! It's a podcast about people who make art, things, or connections finding new ways to reach an audience and build a community. Glenn Fleishman is the host, and he talks with new guests every week. Find previous episodes at the podcast's home.

​This episode is sponsored by PDFpen Scan+ from Smile Software! Take pictures of articles, document, and receipts on your iPhone or iPad and turn them into searchable text, PDFs, and more.

Jon Mitchell was a mild-mannered reporter at a major metro-webbian publication, Read Write. He left to pursue new ideas about how musicians could find new audiences. He wrote an extraordinary essay about the future of musician-led podcasts recently, and we discuss him, mindfulness, the importance of collaboration, and music. He co-hosts The Portal with fellow musicians and friends Kirk Benttinen and Rebecca Marcyes.

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The New Disruptors: RSS | iTunes | Download this episode | Listen on Stitcher

Interested in sponsoring one of Boing Boing's podcasts? Visit Podlexing! Read the rest

Everybody Knows You’re a Dog

Cartoonist Peter Steiner created The New Yorker's most popular gag panel. What happened after that?

New Disruptors 44: They're Coming to Make Him A Film Ha Ha

The New Disruptors is new to Boing Boing! It's a podcast about people who make art, things, or connections finding new ways to reach an audience and build a community. Glenn Fleishman is the host, and he talks with new guests every week. Find previous episodes, too.

This episode of The New Disruptors looks at crowdfunding the first stages of a documentary. Glenn talks with director Devin Lucas, who — along with his two partners in Meep Morp Studio, Christine McDonald and Scott McKenzie — are making a movie about a very favorite Happy Mutant: Under the Smogberry Trees, the true story of Dr. Demento and Mr. Hansen. They raised nearly $120,000 to get the film well underway and have lined up a large number of artists whose work became famous through the radio show to appear.

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The New Disruptors: RSS | iTunes | Download this episode | Listen on Stitcher

Interested in sponsoring one of Boing Boing's podcasts? Visit Podlexing! Read the rest

In a Time of Hugs and Kisses: XOXO 2013

Glenn Fleishman heads to Portland for the second XOXO festival, where a maker's heart can leave the body, be shared among kindred spirits, and know that it will be cared for.

Where in the Solar System Has Voyager 1 Wound Up?

Glenn Fleishman tracks humanity's vicarious voyage into the outer reaches of the solar system—and the strange, indefinite transition to the place beyond it.

Omni Reboot Boots Up

As promised by Jeremy Frommer, the financier who has assembled the largest private collection of Bob Guccione, Omni, Penthouse, and related stuff (a good portion of which is for sale), Omni Reboot is live. Edited by Claire Evans, a writer and editor (and part of the band YACHT), Reboot is starting life as a blog, but Claire tells us she has great hopes for expanding as time progresses.

But what a blog! Friends of Boing Boing Rudy Rucker and Bruce Sterling contributed fiction to the launch: "I Arise Again" and "The Landline," respectively. The premier also sports a feature on Ben Bova, one of the great science-fiction editors and writers, and a founding editor at Omni; and about what was learned in the "failure" of Biosphere 2.

Claire, also a friend of BB, writes in her introductory editor's note: "We will never be able to compete with your nostalgia." Instead, they're using our nostalgia as a scaffolding by which we will climb to the stars. Read the rest

The rebirth of Omni—and its vibe

Glenn Fleishman on the imminent reboot of the legendary science and science fiction magazine.

Who Owns Omni?

Glenn Fleishman on the legendary science and science fiction magazine's murky proprietorship.

Kickstop: how a sleazebag slipped through Kickstarter's cracks

Pick-up artists are, sadly, a community. It even has a handy three-letter abbreviation: PUA. It dates back to the 1970s and has been enabled and expanded, like all affinity groups, by the Internet's network effect. In the last week, I suspect that tens of millions of people, if not more, have become aware of the extent of the subculture due to a Kickstarter campaign for a book about applying PUA stratagems.

A guy not involved in that community spotted the project and raised an objection in a blog post in its closing hours due to what he said was material intended for the book but not posted on Kickstarter that advised forms of sexual assault. Kickstarter declined to halt the campaign; it funded; Kickstarter then apologized and made changes. Was the writer correct about sexual assault? Are PUAs misunderstood? Did Kickstarter under-, then overreact? Read the rest

The Princess Can Save Herself, Thank You

The Princess Who Saved Herself [MP3]

The "Code Monkey Saves World" project is about to stretch itself into the world of kickass princesses. Troubadour Jonathan Coulton and filmmaker and comics writer Greg Pak teamed up a few weeks ago to launch a crowdfunding effort to raise $39,000 to create a series of comic books based on the villains and other characters from Coulton's songs. On their way to blow past $200,000 in pledges, the dynamic duo added more pages to the future comics, promised JoCo would record an album of newly recorded acoustic versions of the songs referenced in the comics, and provided other rewards, most of which existing backers get added without having to increase their pledge.

Pak and Coulton have at least one more rabbit to pull out of their jointly worn hat: a children's book created from "The Princess Who Saved Herself," the title of which explains the song. Read the rest

How Ophira Eisenberg slept her way to monogamy

Photo: Matt Bresler

Whatever you do, don't call Ophira Eisenberg a comedienne. That's an outdated, patronizing term from an era when men patted women on the head (or, unsolicited, on the ass) and called Amelia Earhart an aviatrix.

If only her fiancé, now husband, had known that before he compiled a spreadsheet of every woman he had slept with before meeting Eisenberg, a list she discovered by accident and couldn't resist examining, and which listed her as the latest entry with the unfortunate label comedienne in the cell next to her name. She was furious. But Jonathan is a remarkable man, and, in one of the best parts of her new memoir, manages to explain himself credibly. (Spoiler: She marries him.)

Eisenberg is a professional comedian, thank you very much. She tours, she hosts the NPR quiz show Ask Me Another (with the Internet's Jonathan Coulton as the regular musical sidekick), and recently came out with a memoir: Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy. You can hear a half-hour conversation she and I had about the book, her life, and her husband's beautiful, piercing eyes in the podcast in this post.

It's a Bildungsroman, like many memoirs, dealing largely with the period from when she came of age and sexual maturity as a teenager through moves from her hometown of Calgary to Toronto and then New York, and her shift from IT support to full-time funny lady.

Read the rest

Greg Pak and Jonathan Coulton Kickstart Everything

Jonathan Coulton and Greg Pak launch a crowdfunding campaign to create a series of comic books based on characters from Coulton's songs

Vinyl Vault lights fuse on copyright time bomb—but is it armed?

Amoeba Records' new out-of-print music service proves a deep knowledge of the industry it cherishes. But the much-loved music store's archive of obscure classics is also a potential time bomb, ticking away inside a bizarre legal tangle that few in the business are inclined to unravel.

Setting the record straight on Aaron Swartz's contributions

I don't have more to say about Aaron Swartz's death; I knew him a little, but felt his loss keenly. As coverage appeared, however, I found myself concerned about his legacy. Aaron did so much in such a short period of time, but several of his accomplishments have been glossed over in a way that distorts his contributions. Read the rest

The Sound of Silence in the National Library

The Library of Congress occupies three massive and ornate buildings in the center of Washington, D.C. But those edifices house just part of the collection, which spans hundreds of miles of shelves across many less-interesting buildings, and extends to media beyond books.

To find the heart of the nation's audiovisual memory, I took a lovely drive in October along ever smaller highways heading southwest from Washington, D.C., to Culpeper, Virginia, where sound recordings, films, and video reside in temperature-controlled vaults beneath Mount Pony.

Passing historical sites like Manassas (where Bull Run is located) , and watching the landscape shift rapidly from government buildings and commercial high rises to strip malls to farms and antique stores, it felt as if I traveled through time as well as distance on the 75-mile trip.

But the library's Culpeper facility is firmly rooted in the 21st century, and its existence owes much to the latter half of the 20th. While the focus is on what's buried inside, it's hard to ignore the beauty of the setting, its landscaping, and the building's architecture; it's the best use of concrete that I've ever seen in interior design, and I say that completely unironically.

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What it's like to be on Jeopardy

A spam filter almost scotched my chance to be on television. I was scanning through the usual detritus of offers in July 2011 to enhance body parts and transfer large sums of money from people in distant lands, and spotted this subject line: "Jeopardy! Contestant Audition in Seattle"

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