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

100 Years of Beauty - Episode 8: Russia

Episode 8 of the "100 Years of Beauty" series looks at Russian hairstyles and make up from the 1910s to the 2010s.

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Is it legal to insult a cop?


If you insult someone in public, they can ignore you, insult you back, or react with violence. If the person you are insulting is a cop, they can also arrest you, even though the charges are almost always thrown out of court. The Marshall Project looks at six cases in which people hurt a cop's feelings and were arrested for it.

The middle finger

State: Connecticut Case: State of Connecticut v. Anonymous (Superior Court of Connecticut, 1977)

Summary: A school bus, taking high school students home, stopped at an intersection. A police cruiser stopped behind the bus. A Connecticut court describes what happened next: “The defendant (a student in the back of the bus) wiped the condensation off the rear window of the bus and, upon seeing the trooper, waved a school chum over to him and then proceeded to make a gesture toward the trooper in which the middle finger of the defendant's right hand was held in an upright position with the palm of the hand toward the defendant.” The trooper hit his siren, boarded the bus, and arrested the student, who was charged with and convicted of making an obscene gesture.

Finding: On appeal, a court threw out the conviction, writing: “To be obscene the expression must be, in a significant way, erotic. … It can hardly be said that the finger gesture is likely to arouse sexual desire. The more likely response is anger.”

Image: Shutterstock

Interview with Ben Krasnow, the guy who made his own electron microscope

Every week on the Cool Tools Show podcast, Kevin Kelly and I interview an interesting person, and ask them about four of their favorite tools. Our guest this week is Ben Krasnow. Ben works at Google[x], Google’s semi-secret technology development facility, where he creates advanced prototypes. Ben previously developed virtual reality hardware at Valve. After work, he spends time on various projects that usually involve circuit design, machining, and chemistry. Ben makes things that usually require a lot of money and sophisticated equipment: an electron scanning microscope, silica aerogel, and freeze-dried astronaut ice cream (I’ve tasted it, and it’s spectacular). You can follow Ben’s projects on his youtube channel, Applied Science.

3000mAh Mini Portable Charger for $6


This is the best price I've seen on the RAVPower Luster 3000mAh Mini Portable Charger ($6). It has enough juice to give most phones a full charge.

Couples asked to have more sex become less happy


Studies have shown that there is a strong link between having sex and being happy. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University asked 64 married heterosexual couples to double the frequency of their sexual relations. On average, the volunteers were able to manage a 40 percent increase. It did not make them happier.

From Gretchen Reynolds from The New York Times:

In fact, their well-­being declined, especially in measures of energy and enthusiasm, as did the quality of the sex. Both men and women reported that the additional intercourse wasn’t much fun. The results surprised the researchers — but they probably shouldn’t have, according to George Loewenstein, a professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon, who led the study.

"It seems that if you’re having sex for a reason other than because you like and want sex," he says, you may undermine the quality of that sex and your resulting mood.

Image: Shutterstock

Jeb Bush's business experience: "My daddy is the president of the United States"

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 10.31.17 AM

Jeb Bush is telling Americans about his business acumen. But he's leaving out the part where five of Bush's business associates have been convicted of crimes.

Here's the story about the time he reminded Nigerian officials over and over again that his dad was President, so he could land an $80 million deal for water pumps:

"My father is the president of the United States, duly elected by people that have an interest in improving ties everywhere," Bush told a group of Nigerian officials, while trying to secure an $80 million deal for water pumps financed by the federal U.S. Export-Import Bank. "The fact that you have done this today is something I will report back to him very quickly when I get back to the United States." He did, and President George H.W. Bush wrote a letter to Nigeria's president thanking him for hosting his son. MWI [the company Jeb Bush was working with] got the deal, and was later convicted on U.S. civil charges related to the Nigeria business. Jeb's speech was recorded, and The Post features it in this video on Bush's dealings:

The Washington Posts has an article that shows just how terrible a businessman Jeb Bush really is.

Chevy's 200-mile electric car could be $2.5k more than Tesla Model 3

General Motors is moving up the on-sale date for its Chevrolet Bolt electric car to 2017, or maybe even sooner than that. It'll cost $30,000 (after tax breaks) about $5,000 less $2.5k more than the upcoming Tesla Model 3, which will offer a similar 200 mile range on a charge.

Woman charged with making false report about rape after her FitBit revealed inconsistencies in story


A 43-year-old Florida woman has been charged with making a false report about being raped to police after an analysis of her Fitbit data.

According to the criminal complaint, the device showed the woman "had been awake and walking around the entire night, not sleeping as she had claimed," ABC 7 News reported. Police also said there were no footprints in the snow outside the house or any other signs of an intruder.

Along with the false reporting charge, ABC 7 News noted that the woman was charged with making false alarms to public safety and tampering with evidence.

False rape claims are rare (2% to 8% of rape claims are later proven false, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center).

Brothers enjoyed stolen restaurant meals, but disliked being captured

dineanddashIs this the cover of an obscure James Chance and the Contortions LP? No. It's a photo of one of the Gareau brothers being pinned down by an Ohio restaurant manager after the duo allegedly consumed $160 of food and drinks and attempted to flee without paying the bill. Owner Stephen Schimoler posted the photo to Facebook with the caption, "One down one to go. Caught fleeing Johnny's." The Cleveland brothers allegedly dined and dashed at five other restaurants during a three-day gastronomical spree.

A bartender at Red, the Steakhouse said the brothers had come in for dinner the night before, ordered and consumed $284 worth of food and drinks and went outside to smoke. They never returned, the bartender said. Schimoler said that employees believe the men did the same thing at Bar Cento minutes before going into Crop Bistro. The brothers are scheduled to appear in court at 8:30am on July 10.


Here's what happens when you touch one of the UK's Queen's Guard

The Tower of London is a wonderful Disneyland-esque attraction, and tourists sometimes confuse the Queen's Guard as fun-loving cast members in costume. But this video, and many other like it in on YouTube, show that the Queen's Guard is best enjoyed from a respectful distance.


Road rager drops phone, tries to punish other driver for it

After dropping his phone out the window while trying to take a photo of the car next to him, this irate gentleman did other dumb things.


This $11 car gadget can save you money


Have you ever neglected to sufficiently tighten the gas cap after refueling your car? If you have a car built after 1996, it's likely to have triggered the "Check Engine" dashboard idiot light, even though nothing is wrong with your car.

Read the rest

$8 microscope clips to smartphone


I have one of these tiny inexpensive microscopes, and it is surprisingly good. But it didn't come with a clip to attach it to a phone camera, like this. It has a white LED and an ultraviolet LED so you can illuminate your specimen.

KingMas 60X Clip-On Microscope Magnifier with LED/UV Lights for Universal SmartPhones ($8) on Amazon

Here's a video of a Russian guy unboxing it and trying it out:

The voice of Siri explains the art of the voiceover

Voice actor Susan Bennett was the original voice of the iPhone assistant Siri. It's fun to hear her use different voices in this video, made by Vox. Here's the full article.

Siri needs to be able to say just about everything in the English language, and that took a lot of hard work.

"I recorded four hours a day, five days a week for the month of July," Bennett says. For a voice actor, that workload causes a lot of strain. "That's a long time to be talking constantly. Consequently, you get tired."

The original Siri "was to sound otherworldly and have a dry sense of humor," Bennett says. She added that to her take on the character, even as she focused on staying consistent and clear.

Teenage magician's mind-blowing coin magic

Teenage sleight-of-hand artist Moritz Mueller performs the One Coin Routine.


Traffic wardens gave two parking tickets to car with a dead man in driver's seat


Mamadou Barry, 47, racked up two parking tickets in New York while sitting in his car. He was dead at time. "Officials said they were investigating why wardens had failed to give Mr. Barry a third ticket," reports Biebuzz.

Image: Shutterstock

Man who illegally parked gets big surprise

This gent was madder than a mosquito in a mannequin factory when he discovered that his car was heavily coated with Post-It notes after he illegally parked it in a disabled spot. A crowd jeered as he frantically tried brushing off the blue and white sticky notes, which were cleverly applied to create the iconic disabled sign.