Boing Boing 

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



Varidesk - excellent adjustable standing desk

I've been using a Varidesk review unit for the past four weeks, and I love it. It's a platform that sits on your existing desk, and allows you to easily raise and lower your computer and keyboard, so you can sit and stand throughout the day.

I typically start my workday standing up, and I'll alternate between standing and sitting an hour at a time. I've been using the Pro Plus model ($350), which is the largest one they make, and I'm glad I didn't get the Single, because I like to keep notebooks, books, iPads, phones, etc. within easy reach. The Pro Plus has enough real real estate to hold that extra stuff on it. The Pro Plus has two platforms – one for the computer/monitor, and another for the keyboard. The Pro model ($300) has only one platform for the keyboard and the monitor, which means you'll have to tilt your head down to look at the display (or elevate your monitor with a stand).

As you can see in the above video, it's easy to raise and lower the platform. You grip the levers on either side and guide the desktop to one of several different locking positions. The hinged braces have springs to assist you, so it's pretty effortless. The fully extended position would probably work with a treadmill, which I want to get soon.

One thing that is a must with a standing desk is an anti-fatigue floor mat. I've been using Varidesk's branded mat ($50) and am pretty happy with it. But after an hour, my heels hurt and I'm ready to plop in a chair.

I've experimented with homemade standing desk contraptions for years, but I always abandoned them after a few months because I didn't like not being able to sit at my desk. The Varidesk solved this problem. I intend to use it for the rest of my life.

R.I.P. Negativland's Ian Allen

Ian Allen: Dec. 15, 1958 -  January 17, 2015

Ian Allen: Dec. 15, 1958 - January 17, 2015

Sad news from Mark of Negativland:

Past Negativland member, and long time friend of the group, Ian Allen, died on January 17, 2015 from unexpected complications and infections following heart valve replacement surgery at Stanford Hospital in California. We are extremely shocked and saddened by this news. He was with dear friends of his at the time of his death, and is survived by his brother, Pyke Allen.

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Tow strap kid learns expensive physics lesson

"Well, that's what you do with these straps -- you just go," says the young man who didn't pay attention to the Wooden Block Between Two Strings experiment in physics class.

Meet Eufrat Mai, the woman who was the vagina model for the FleshLight

The FleshLight is a masturbation device for men. In this video, we visit the FleshLight factory in Spain to meet Eufrat Mai, the woman whose vagina was molded to make the device.

WATCH: baby in speeding stroller saved from falling over edge of steep slope

A fisherman's lightning-quick reflexes saved the life of two-year-old Ali Ceyhan, whose stroller was speeding down a hill in the southwestern Turkish city of Bodrum and was just seconds from plunging over the side of a steep slope. Footage originally recorded Wednesday shows the man dropping his phone to run into the street to snatch the speeding stroller.

[via]

Company will mail glitter to "people you hate"

Ship Your Enemies Glitter is a service that will mail an envelope of glitter to anyone in the US for $10. The service is so popular that it's had to temporarily suspend purchases while it catches up with orders.

So pay us money, provide an address anywhere in the world & we'll send them so much glitter in an envelope that they'll be finding that shit everywhere for weeks. We'll also include a note telling the person exactly why they're receiving this terrible gift. Hint: the glitter will be mixed in with the note thus increasing maximum spillage.

UPDATE: 'Ship Your Enemies Glitter' founder sells company after begging users to 'stop'

[via]

I'm having fun with my $10 digital scale that has 0.01g readability

scale-1The AWS 100g x 0.01g Digital Scale ($10) is about the size of an iPhone. I needed a scale to weigh the powdered supplements I take (powders are cheaper than capsules). This scale measures up to a limit of 100 grams in 0.01 gram increments.

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Math puzzler: can you make a rectangle with one cut?

Presh Talkwalkar of Mind Your Decisions challenges you to "cut the shape into two pieces, using all the area, that can form a rectangle."

Which apocalyptic threats are most likely to wipe out Earth's population?

threats Will the human race be wiped out by honeybee extinction, nuclear armageddon, bioterrorism, loss of topsoil, a natural pandemic, a combo-pocalypse, overpopulation, nano-weapons, climate change, flawed super AI, underpopulation, a geo-engineering fail, a grey goo disaster, post-humanity, rising sea levels, a supervolcano, methane release, an asteroid impact, an alien invasion, the Venus syndrome, an unknown unknown, a gamma ray burst, the Matrix scenario, a rogue black hole, the death of the Sun, or the death of the universe?

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WATCH: Semi truck narrowly misses car

This fellow was in his car on the freeway, taking a video of two trucks in front of him that had crashed into each other and stopped traffic. The he heard a sound behind him, and turned his phone towards another semi truck, barreling towards him, out of control.

Mike Huckabee: Ted Nugent good, Beyoncé bad

huckabee

Former Arkansas governor and presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee defended his love for Ted Nugent (who wrote a song called "Jailbait" about raping a 13-year-old girl and asking a cop to handcuff her so the cop and the rapist could "share" her) on The Daily Show last night.

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Overspray – a book about the airbrush art that defined the druggy seventies

If you’re familiar with LP album sleeves and National Lampoon covers of the 1970s, Overspray will be your time machine to that era. If you are not familiar with them, you will be overwhelmed by these glistening, transrealistic, drugged-out, sexualized images, which incorporate elements from 1900s Art Nouveau, 1920s Art Deco, 1940s cheesecake, and 1960s psychedelia.

Overspray focuses on the top four airbrush artists of the time — Charles E. White III, Peter Palombi, Dave Willardson, and Peter Lloyd, and includes interviews and many examples of their painstakingly-produced work. No artist today can do what these guys did with stencils, liquid paint, and an air compressor.

The book jacket has two covers on one side, and two on the other. You have your choice of which cover to use on the front.

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

The best introductory Arduino book just got better

arduino-book

Arduino is on open-source electronics prototyping platform that lets you make interactive stuff without having a degree in electrical engineering. For about $25 you can buy a credit card sized circuit board that has input connections (for buttons, knobs, light sensors, microphones, humidity sensors, fart detectors, Internet signals, etc) and output connections (for servo motors, LEDs, buzzers, speakers, stepper motors, vibrators, etc). You write programs on your computer to tell the Arduino how to process the input signals and how to activate the output components. This program is uploaded to the Arduino's microprocessor, making it self-contained.

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People in northern Sweden say "yes" in an unusual way

It sounds like they are slurping the last noodle from a bowl of udon. [via]

Humans demonstrate how a cantilever bridge works (circa 1890)

"To illustrate the design principle behind Scotland’s Forth Bridge, engineer Sir Benjamin Baker offered a personal demonstration." [via]

Sir John Fowler (left) and Baker (right) each hold two wooden poles with outstretched arms, forming two diamond shapes. When construction foreman Kaichi Watanabe sits in the center, the diamonds are prevented from tipping inward because their outer ends are anchored.

It worked. The bridge, opened in 1890, held the record as the world’s longest single cantilever bridge span for 17 years.