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

Serial-inspired vigilante app will help the Internet investigate unsolved crimes

An Indiegogo campaign inspired by the Serial podcast is underway to develop a platform for crowdsourcing crime solving.

CrowdSolve will supposedly provide a home for the public documents, a forum for debating theories and visualization tools for making presentations and videos. The money from Indiegogo will pay for the construction of the app and for the fees used to acquire the public documents, which Mr. Heilbut estimates is about $10,000 per case.

Serial-inspired vigilante app will help the Internet investigate unsolved crimes

WATCH: How a nearly-blind woman cooks for her family

"Gordon Ramsey would probably be angry, but he doesn't have to eat my food."

Licia Prehn has congenital cataracts and sees about 2% of 20/20 vision. [via]

Snail named after The Clash singer Joe Strummer

“Because they look like punk rockers in the 70s and 80s and they have purple blood and live in such an extreme environment, we decided to name one new species after a punk rock icon,” said Shannon Johnson, a researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

The name A. strummeri honors Joe Strummer, the lead singer and a guitarist of the British punk rock band The Clash.

Here's the video for "Keys to Your Heart," recorded by the 101ers, Strummer's pre-Clash band, in 1976:

Deemed punk rock, snail named after The Clash singer Joe Strummer

Image: Shannon Johnson -- Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

The ruble is sinking almost as fast as bitcoin

The falling price of oil is causing problems for Russia's economy, says Matt O'Brien of the Washington Post. The ruble is down 50% against the dollar this year. The Russian central bank raised interest rates from 10.5 to 17 percent in an attempt to prop up the value of the ruble, but this move will "send Russia's moribund economy into a deep recession."

The only asset, and I use that word lightly, that's done worse than the ruble's 50 percent fall is Bitcoin, which is a fake currency that techno-utopians insist is the future we don't know we want. And this is only going to get worse. Russia, you see, is stuck in an economic catch-22. Its economy needs lower interest rates to push up growth, but its companies need higher interest rates to push up the ruble and make all the dollars they borrowed not worth so much. So, to use a technical term, they're screwed no matter what they do.

Sorry, Putin. Russia’s economy is doomed

Sitting in radioactive dirt was a thing in the 1950s

No wonder so many comic book superheroes got their superpowers from radioactivity. In the 1950s. some people thought uranium dirt was good medicine. Uranium dirt houses in Texas would charge sick people $2 to sit or lay down in the stuff. They also sold uranium dirt to go.

This 1955 Life magazine article has some great dirt house photos, including signs for the "uranitoriums"


Engadget co-founder Ryan Block's favorite gadgets

Our guest this week on the Cool Tools Show podcast is Ryan Block. He’s the co-founder of gdgt, and the co-founder and former editor of Engadget. These days he is VP of Product at Aol, and is co-host of MVP, a show about technology products. He recommends Amazon Prime, the Bruer cold brew coffee maker, the KitchenAid Stand Mixer, and an iOS calculator called Tydlig.

Silicone spoon spatula: essential kitchen tool


When I need to scoop, scrape, or stir, I reach for my silicone spoon spatula. It's got a steel interior to make it rigid (but springy), and is covered in silicone, which can handle 600 degrees F without burning. The surface is slightly textured so it doesn't slip out of my hand when I'm scraping out precious morsels of buttery pressure-cooked sweet potatoes from the cooker.

Also: it's skinny enough to fit in most jars, and cleans up with hot water and a wipedown.

It's the best $10 I've spent equipping my kitchen.

iSi Basics Silicone Spoon Spatula ($10)

Xmas tree: symbol of joy or blazing death torch?


For sheer excitement value I'm going with blazing death torch.

WATCH: Life hacks for kids

Our family friend Sunny is a great ukulele player and project maker. Here's here new web series, Life Hacks for Kids.

What happens when you shoot a ball from a cannon in the back of a moving truck?

"Mythbusters fire a soccer ball at 50mph out of a cannon on a truck driving at 50mph in the opposite direction." [via]

Artist turns the world into a museum


Among other pranksterish activities, Artist Miguel Marquez creates works of art simply by adding signage to things that are already there.

WATCH: Make a cool spinning pencil toy

Arvind Gupta, master of making toys from trash, shows you how.

Blue Estate - a dirty, gritty graphic novel about organized crime

One of my favorite comic book series in recent years is Viktor Kalvachev’s Blue Estate, a hardboiled crime series that takes place in modern day Los Angeles. It’s got a sleazy action hero actor with a passing resemblance to Steven Seagal, the Russian Mafia, the Italian Mafia, a geeky fanboy private eye in his 40s, a B-movie actress, drugs, alcohol, strippers, hookers, and seedy establishments.

Read the rest

WATCH: What Is Life? Is Death Real?

What Is Life? Is Death Real? Neither of this questions are answered in this video, but the narrator has an appealing authoritave voice, and the animation is fantastic.

WATCH: Dog frightened by pineapple