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Mark Frauenfelder

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



The Art of Ian Miller [exclusive excerpt]

Ian Miller is a fantasy illustrator and writer best known for his quirkily etched gothic style and macabre sensibility. Miller is noted for his book and magazine covers and interior illustrations, including SF fiction covers, a host of illustrations for the Realm of Chaos supplement and the first edition of Warhammer 40,000, work for Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and covers for Terror of the Lichmaster, Death on the Reik, andWarhammer City. Featuring over 300 pieces of artwork spanning decades of Ian’s work, The Art of Ian Miller is a treat for all lovers of great fantasy art – from Lovecraft novel covers to Tolkien bestiaries to Warhammer 40,000 concept art, through a veritable trove of gothic humour, fantasy battles, dragons, beasts and a world of nightmarish visions.

Read the rest

Beautiful steam-powered mechanical models on auction block

Leavitt Pumping Engine. Very finely built and presented vintage exhibition model of a massive American steam powered waterworks pump designed by Erasmus Darwin Leavitt circa 1895. Model has exceptional detail and is expertly finished with complex gearing operated by a central ship's wheel. Presented on wood stand with table base. Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000.

Check out the preview photos for this Heritage auction of magnificent mechanical models. Given the amount of time and skill that went into the construction of these hand-made machines, the estimated value seems ridiculously low. (If craftsmanship isn't your thing, you might be able to pick up a Cy Twombly masterpiece for under $1 million.)

Here are a few examples of models up for auction

Boars, Gore, and Swords: Game of Thrones recap: 4x02:

Boars, Gore, and Swords is hosted by stand-up comedians Ivan Hernandez and Red Scott. In each episode they break down HBO's Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. They also talk about movies, TV, science fiction, fantasy, and lots of other things. NSFW.

Season 4 Episode 2 of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” takes the fourth season to an entirely different level. Ivan and Red are joined by comedian and Business-man Sean Keane to discuss an episode that is certain to be a classic in this realm. We cover the most disturbing tv scene in television history, Joffrey’s dream woman, a refocusing on Bronn’s storyline, the insufficient bastard naming system, Theon going to Barber school, Skyler vs Shae, the lineage of Dragonstone, Joffrey’s wonderfully short wedding ceremony, new Tommen, Ser Loras vs Ser Jaime, Brienne vs Cersei, the indignity of the little person acting troupe, and reams and reams of comeuppance.

This episode is brought to you by:

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Read Boing Boing's other GoT S04E02 recap here.

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Monkey teaches man to crush leaves

[Video Link] Hopefully the monkey will teach him how to shoot video in landscape mode, too.

Colorful keyboard how-to

The process shots for Chica and Joe's colorful keyboard how-to are like photos from a candy factory.

DIY Colorful Computer Keyboard

Excellent 50+ song collection of late '70s punk

[Video Link] The Saints, The Scientists, The Simpletones, and even some 60s garage punk bands are in this excellent YouTube lineup.

See also: The Zombies and the Outer Limits are a good combination

77 fun ways to play fast-moving Tenzi dice game

A couple of weeks ago my friend Kent Barnes recommended a simple, fast-moving dice game called Tenzi. I bought it and my wife, 11-year-old daughter, and I had fun playing it. The rules are simple - everyone starts out with 10 dice and the goal is to roll your dice as fast as you can until all of them show the same number. Every time you roll, you are allowed to set aside any dice that match your desired number. When all ten of the dice show the same number, you shout "Tenzi!," throw your hands in the air, and gloat while the other players gnash their teeth. The game rules included a couple of variations on the basic rule set, which we also played and liked.

A few days later Kent told me about a $10 deck of cards called 77 Ways to Play Tenzi. I ordered the deck and last night my wife, 11-year-old, 16-year-old daughter (who doesn't like games and joined us reluctantly), and I tested the deck out. Ninety minutes later we decided that this deck takes Tenzi to a new level. The deck adds variety, surprise, and humor to Tenzi. It makes Tenzi so much more fun that I think the company shouldn't sell the dice without the cards. My 16-year-old daughter was surprised that she had such a good time.

77 Ways to Play Tenzi | Buy Tenzi cards and dice as a set See example cards

How airlines treat the one-percenters

Qantas A380's fully flat Skybed in business class

In the April 21 edition of The New Yorker, David Owen describes the luxuries of premium-class seating and visits the firms that design jet interiors.

Seven years ago, I flew business class on Qantas from Australia to California, a thirteen-hour trip. I hadn’t had much experience outside economy, but I didn’t want to look like a front-of-the-plane rookie, so I stowed my “amenity kit” without ripping it open, declined the first cocktail a flight attendant offered me, and tried to appear engrossed in a book while the passenger nearest me bounced around like a four-year-old at a birthday party. I didn’t begin to play with my own seat until after dinner, when I lowered it into its fully extended position, and stretched out -- not to sleep, which is something I hardly ever manage on airplanes, but to see how the thing worked. The concave back of the seat shell formed a domed enclosure over my head, like a demi-cocoon. Suddenly, I heard people speaking in loud voices and banging things around. I sat up, indignant -- and realized that the noise was the sound of breakfast being served. I’d slept for eight hours straight, something I never do even at home. In a little while, we began our descent into Los Angeles.

Game of Thrones: How airlines woo the one per cent

Kandu: kids' app development program on iPad

[Video Link] Kandu is an iPad based app for kids that lets you make apps and games. Here's co-founder David Bennahum demonstrating it at New York Tech Meetup earlier this month.

Jimmy Slonina lipsyncs The Guess Who's "Laughing"

[Video Link] I've posted Jimmy Slonina's entertaining lipsync videos before. Here's another great one, with fancy production values!

Cloak - iPhone app to avoid enemies, bores, and jerks

I don't like using apps like Foursquare that let acquaintances know where I am. Cloak is an anti-Foursquare, and I'm eager to try it.

Cloak bills itself as the "antisocial network." Just sync it with Instagram and Foursquare so Cloak knows where your "friends" are, all the time.

Finally, let Cloak know which relatives/coworkers/"psycho hose beasts" you don't want to see. It'll then alert you when you're entering their vicinity. Or, if you're feeling reclusive, have it notify you when anybody you know is around. It's a fantastic way to dodge the dreaded "stop and chat."

Avoid Enemies, Bores, Jerks, and Exes with Cloak

High school science teacher suspended for teaching science

The LA Times reports that Greg Schiller, a popular high school science teacher, was suspended because two of his students made projects that "appeared dangerous to administrators."

One project used compressed air to propel a small object but it was not connected to a source of air pressure, so it could not have been fired. (In 2012, President Obama tried out a more powerful air-pressure device at a White House Science Fair that could launch a marshmallow 175 feet.)

Another project used the power from an AA battery to charge a tube surrounded by a coil. When the ninth-grader proposed it, Schiller told him to be more scientific, to construct and test different coils and to draw graphs and conduct additional analysis, said his parents, who also are Los Angeles teachers.

A school employee saw the air-pressure project and raised concerns about what looked to her like a weapon, according to the teachers union and supporters. Schiller, who said he never saw the completed projects except in photos, was summoned and sent home. Both projects were confiscated as "evidence," said Susan Ferguson, whose son did the coil project.

One of the most important lessons kids learn in public schools is that school administrators are usually autocratic imbeciles.

Science teacher's suspension spurs petition drive (Thanks, John!)

One day only sale: become a glasshole for $1,500

Google Glass, without the glass. In much of its marketing materials, Google has been careful to position its users as the opposite of creepy male glassholes.

Ben Marks of Collectors weekly says: "Next Tuesday, for one day only, Google Glass will be available for purchase by the great unwashed masses, which means anyone with 1,500 bucks will have a chance to be a glasshole. To mark this momentous occasion, we spoke to Steve Brown from Intel, David Maidment of ARM, Matthew Woolsey of Barneys, and Jim Wolf of Heritage Auctions about the past, present, and future of wearable technologies, and whether consumers will ultimately make their decisions about Pebbles, Fitbits, and Jawbones based on the functionality of these devices or simply whether they are considered fashionable."

A self-described futurist, Brown looks backward when tackling the fashion-versus-function question. “Wearables are not new,” he says flatly. “What is new is that wearables are now smart and connected. That’s what’s different about them. But people have worn wearable technology—whether it was a sword and shield, a suit of armor, a chatelaine, or a crucifix—for millennia. And they have always been about more than just the utility they provide. A piece of armor, for example, doesn’t just protect you in battle. It also conveys something about your status and who you are. They were fairly ornate pieces of art.”

More recently, in the late 19th century, another ornate wearable technology emerged in the form of the wristwatch. “The first target audience for wristwatches in the late 19th century was women,” says Jim Wolf, who is the director of Watches and Fine Timepieces at Heritage Auctions. The first wristwatch was a Patek Philippe, made in 1868 and sold to Countess Koscowicz of Hungary in 1876. Soon, women of means across Europe wanted a wristwatch of their own. “The reason behind its popularity was fashion,” Wolf says. “Ladies wristwatches were small, delicate, and could be worn on the wrist without a problem. It was really a dress piece of jewelry, like a bracelet.”

Men favored pocket watches. “In the early 1900s, there was a stigma in the eyes of men about wristwatches. They didn’t believe the small timepiece in a wristwatch could be as accurate as a large pocket watch, and the precision of a timekeeping device was important to them. The only reason to have a watch was to be punctual. Also, because of the popularity of ladies wristwatches, some men considered it effeminate to wear a watch on the wrist.”

Google Glassholes: High-Tech Visionaries or Fashion Victims?

xkcd explains how the Heartbleed bug works

Here's a larger version. And here is a literal explanation.

Documentary about the only penis musuem in the world

[Video Link] The Final Member "follows the aging curator of one of the world's only penis museum as he races against his own mortality to complete his comprehensive collection." He needs a human penis.