Mark Frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the founding editor-in-chief of MAKE. He is editor-in-chief of Cool Tools and co-founder of Wink Books. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects



How to Be a Math Genius - Illustrated examples to show your kid the power, beauty, and joy of math

I enjoyed learning about statistics, probability, zero, infinity, number sequences, and more in this heavily illustrated kids’ book called How to Be a Math Genius, by Mike Goldsmith. But would my 11-year daughter like it as much? I handed it to her after school and she become absorbed in it until called for dinner. She took it to the dinner table and read it while we ate. The next day, she asked for the book so she could finish it. Loaded with fun exercises (like cutting a hole through a sheet of paper so you can walk through it), How to Be a Math Genius will show kids (and adults) that math is often complicated, but doesn’t need to be boring. (This book is part of DK Children’s How to Be a Genius series. See my review of How to Be a Genius.)

See sample interior pages at Wink.

The false idols of America's south seas fantasy

Ben Marks of CollectorsWeekly says: "Here's an interview with Tiki Pop author Sven Kirsten on the roots and shoots of Tiki culture in America. Have a Mai Tai-soaked, Hawaiian-bbq weekend!"

tiki Collectors Weekly: Where did the word “Tiki” come from?

Kirsten: Tiki was a mythological figure in Polynesia, a region defined by the Polynesian Triangle: There’s Hawaii in the north, Easter Island in the east, and New Zealand in the southwest. In the middle of that triangle are islands like Tahiti and Samoa. All of these islands share some common heritage and a similar language. They also had a religion based on ancestor worship, where their ancestors were deified in stories and myths and became their gods.

Tiki was like the Polynesian Adam, the creator of man, but he was sort of half-man and half-god. Eventually, all carvings and depictions that had human features became known as Tikis. The word “Tiki” was used in the Marquesas and by the Maori in New Zealand. In Hawaii, they’re called Ki’i, and in Tahiti they’re called Ti’i, because of the language variation. For example, the Hawaiian word for Tahiti is Kahiki (which was also a great restaurant in Columbus, Ohio), because the T becomes a K in Hawaiian. But that didn’t really matter to the Americans in the 1950s—basically all the different carving styles became members of the happy Tiki family, including the Easter Island Moai statues.

What the director of marketing at American Apparel carries on business trips


I asked my friend Ryan Holiday, director of marketing at American Apparel and author of The Obstacle Is The Way, to take photos and write about the stuff he takes on trips. Take a look at Cool Tools.

Jamaican earbuds, music for ADHD, and a hammer-proof iPhone screen protector

This week in Gadgets, Gareth Branwyn, author of Borg Like Me, joins Xeni and Mark to discuss Rasta-colored earbuds, a music-based brain app for increasing one’s attention/focus, a scratch-resistant iPhone protector, and a free reverse phone number lookup site.

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Giant Bubbles - let me show you how to make them

Jane and I made this tutorial to show you how to easily make Giant Bubbles. We're going to run a free live video workshop with a dozen other fun grown-up-and-kid projects on August 4 and 5. You can RSVP for the workshop at CreativeLive. (If you live in the SF bay area and want to be an in-studio participant, apply here.)

Make your weekends more awesome with activities you and your kids can get their hands on. Join Make Magazine editor-in-chief Mark Frauenfelder — and his daughter Jane — for a class on cool, simple projects you can do with your kids.

In DIY Projects for Dads to Do with Kids, you’ll get the blueprints you need to complete projects with the whole family. You’ll learn how to whip up a mixture that makes enormous bubbles, and how to get started with polymer clay — a medium you can use to create custom toys, shapes, and figurines. You’ll engage in a little trial and error learning by creating your own simple board and dice games. You’ll also learn the more advanced magic of constructing a Drawbot – a simple robot that can make abstract art all by itself.

This course will have even your most reluctant kid excited to get their hands dirty and experimenting, making, and creating, together.

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Bearded dragons devouring meal worms

My wife and I gave our kids a pair of tiny bearded dragons for Christmas. They are now probably 10 times heavier than when we got them 6 months ago. My kids aren't that interested in the beardies any longer, but I am.

They love to eat meal worms. I don't let them eat too many, because they need to eat their vegetables.

I like the beardies because they don't bite, they enjoy being held, they are active in the day, and they don't poop on me. As far as reptiles go, Link and Rosa are great pets.

All of Robert Crumb’s work from his fantastic Weirdo Years

Argue with me until you’re hopping mad. You won’t change my mind that Robert Crumb is the greatest living American artist. And this anthology of his comic book stories from Weirdo, the magazine that he founded in 1981 (only 13 years after creating Zap the title that launched the underground comic book revolution), contains some of Crumb’s finest work. Not only does Crumb plumb deeper than ever into the depths of his neurotic soul, he also lays bare the behavior of modern society with a keen eye and a bittersweet sense of humor. Most interesting to me are Crumb’s comic book versions of old books, such as Psychopathis Sexualis, and science fiction author Philip K Dick’s bizarre religious experience (which Dick described as a “vision of the apocalypse.”)

Crumb’s output seems to have slowed to a trickle in recent years, which is alarming to a fan like me. Fortunately, Crumb’s work is usually so rich and dimensional that it can stand up to repeated readings, which I have done over the years.

R. Crumb: The Weirdo Years includes not only every comic book story that he wrote and drew for Weirdo, it also includes all 28 covers he illustrated. If you already are familiar with’s Crumb’s comics, this is a convenient way to reread all of his Weirdo stories. If you don’t know Crumb, this is probably the best introduction to his work.

See sample interior pages at Wink

Tour of Adam Savage's Cave

Somewhere in San Francisco is a hidden workshop of wonder. A place where iconic characters, creatures, and props from cult favorite movies are pulled from the screen into reality. Adam Savage's Cave is the Mythbusters host's personal sanctum, the place he goes not only to build his painstaking creations but where he displays a lifetime's collection of oddities, eclectic memorabilia, and film props. It's the well that's at once the source of Adam's inspiration and a reflection of his obsessions. And Tested.com is pleased to invite you in for an exclusive tour of Adam Savage's workshop.

(Thanks, Laila!)

Useful kitchen tools from the previous homeowner

Author of the new book, Borg Like Me, Gareth Branwyn tells Cool Tools about the set of household tools he inherited from the former occupants of his house that have proven their usefulness and longevity over the years. In this episode of the Cool Tools Show he talks about what makes these tools so special and how we all can prepare to pass on our household’s best suited tools to the next generation of homeowners.

Sneak peek at cover for Daniel Clowes' "The Complete Eightball" anthology

Can you recognize all the characters on the cover for Daniel Clowe's upcoming Complete Eightball 2-volume set?

This is a two-volume, slipcased facsimile edition of the Daniel Clowes comics anthology; it contains the original installments of Ghost World, the short that the film Art School Confidential was based on, and much more. Before he rose to fame as a filmmaker and the author of the best-selling graphic novels Ghost World, David Boring, Ice Haven, and The Death Ray, Daniel Clowes made his name from 1989 to 1997 by producing 18 issues of the beloved comic book series Eightball, which is still widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential comic book titles of all time. Now, for the 25th anniversary of Eightball, Fantagraphics is collecting these long out-of-print issues in a slipcased set of two hardcover volumes, reproducing each issue in facsimile form exactly as they were originally published. Included are over 450 pages of vintage Clowes, including such seminal serialized graphic novels/strips/rants as “Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron,” “Ghost World,” “Pussey,” “I Hate You Deeply,” “Sexual Frustration,” “Ugly Girls,” “Why I Hate Christians,” “Message to the People of the Future,” “Paranoid,” “My Suicide,” “Chicago,” “Art School Confidential,” “On Sports,” “Zubrick and Pogeybait,” “Hippypants and Peace-Bear,” “Grip Glutz,” “The Sensual Santa,” “Feldman,” and so many more. Full color illustrations throughout

Bitcoins.com being sold at auction by Mt. Gox founder Mark Karpeles

Mt. Gox lost $600 Million in Bitcoins, but it hopes to make good by giving half the proceeds from its upcoming auction sale of the Bitcoins.com domain to people impacted by the Mt. Gox bankruptcy. The current high bid is $185,000.

"We are hoping, with the sale of Bitcoins.com, to provide some relief to the people impacted by the Mt. Gox bankruptcy,” said Mark Karpeles, founder of the failed Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, “and will be putting at least half of the sale amount toward that purpose.”

Heritage Auctions is expecting the high bid to be at least $750,000. Let's be generous and assume Karpeles gets $1,200,000 and gives half of that to former Mt. Gox customers. They would get 1/10th of a cent for every dollar they lost. For example, someone who lost $100,000 would get $100.

Business Week's Dov Charney cover channels Andy Warhol

How the cover for Business Week's Dov Charney story was made. (And here's the story behind Esquire's 1969 cover.)

Happy 100th birthday to Superman co-creator Joe Shuster

Superman artist Joe Shuster would have turned 100 today. Artist Drew Friedman celebrates the occasion by unveiling a new portrait of Siegel and his partner Jerry Shuster.

My new portrait of artist Joe Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel, circa 1939 in Cleveland, shortly after they signed away all the rights to their new character Superman to National/DC comics for the total sum of $130. The check they endorsed was actually for over $400, padded out with other payments due them, no doubt to make the signing more enticing.

Pizza vs. Bitcoin - which is better?

Pizza wins!

Why I love IDW: Dave Stevens, Wally Wood, Jack Kirby, Darwyn Cooke

In this episode of Gweek, I spoke with Ted Adams the head of IDW, which publishes high-quality reproductions of original comic book art by greats such as Dave Stevens, Jack Kirby, Wally Wood, and Frank Frazetta. Brought to you by Stamps.com — get a $110 sign-up bonus with the offer code GWEEK!

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