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

LA sushi chef who served illegal whale meat sentenced


A Santa Monica sushi chef arrested in a 2013 sting operation for selling whale meat has been sentenced to two years’ probation, fined $5,000 and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service. The Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits importing selling whale meat.

The chefs admitted that in 2007, Ueda got approval from the restaurant’s owner and manager to order several pounds of whale from Ohira, prosecutors previously said. Yamamoto then served the whale meat on at least two occasions in early 2010.

The order included about three kilograms of whale akami, or red meat; about two kilograms each of whale bacon; and whale onomi, or tail, according to the plea agreement.

Image: A shop at Tsukiji Market in Japan selling whale meat. Photo taken at Tsukiji Market in Japan April 11, 2015. Brady Barrineau /

Hear Benedict Cumberbatch read Kafka’s The Metamorphosis (free for a limited time only)


The BBC is offering Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis as a free streaming audiobook, read by Benedict Cumberbatch.


Cat eats ice cream, gets brain freeze



Sketch comedy team performs all-new episode of Seinfeld, and it's pretty good!

Thanks to the fine acting talent of the wonderful sketch team Bellevue, Susan is back!

A debt collection agency that hassled a woman for $1,000 must award her $83,000,000: Jury

One of the the biggest debt collectors in the United States was ordered to pay Maria Guadalupe Mejia $83 million for "maliciously" suing her for a $1000 credit card debt that she didn't owe. The debt was actually owed by a man with a similar-sounding name.

“[Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC] has gained a reputation for take no prisoners, ‘If you mess with us we’re going to take you all the way, you’re going to have to spend a lot of money on this litigation, you’re going to have to go all the way to trial,’” said Gina Chiala, one of Mejia's lawyers. “And so, among consumer lawyers, they are known to be very aggressive in litigation and to not stop; even when they’re wrong, they’re just not going to stop.”

A spokesman for the company, Michael McKeon, called the verdict “outlandish” and said it “defied all common sense.”

Researchers develop yeast that converts sugar into morphine


Scientists have developed type of yeast that can turn glucose into morphine. It will soon be possible to homebrew opiates just as one homebrews beer.

In principle, anyone with access to the yeast strain and basic skills in fermentation would be able to grow morphine-producing yeast using a home-brew kit for beer-making. If the modified yeast strain produced 10 grams of morphine, users would need to drink only 1–2 millilitres of the liquid to obtain a standard prescribed dose. (Current strains are not this efficient, but titres in this range and even tenfold higher have been achieved for other commercially relevant metabolic products.)

Image: Shutterstock

Is this a missing piece to Jodorowsky's Dune?

Grady Runyon owns a used record store in Ventura, CA. In this video by Rossangeles, Runyon tells a wonderful story about how a stranger asked to meet him in a parking garage to show him a mysterious artifact: an illustrated handbound manuscript with the title "Screenplay by Alexandro JODOROWSKY / Adapted from " DUNE" / by frank HERBERT."

The color pencil drawings in the book are highly detailed outsider art scenes of weird sex, monsters, outlandish costumes, and exotic weapons. When Jodorowsky caught wind of the book, he tweeted that the artifact was a "fake script with idiotic drawings." The book sold for over $6,000 when it was auctioned on eBay. I'm not doubting Jodorowsky -- the manuscript could very well be fake. I think the illustrations are wonderful, however. Again, I'm not arguing with Jodorowsky -- I'm an idiot!

Grady's Jodorowsky's Dune Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 2.01.33 PM dune11 dune10 dune09 dune08 dune07 dune06 dune05 dune04 dune03 dune02 dune01

Man sells machine to make your wishes come true

"Millions of people over the decades will tell you 'Yes, it may be the holy grail of technology.' A proper name eludes us, so we will call it simply, The Wishing Machine." Only $195.

Also, available: a "Money Science Kit for for $9.88 plus $4.88 shipping and handling anywhere in the world."

The inventor writes:

Is this a scam? No. Some people think any offer to do with money is a scam, yet we all need money. In this time of economic strife, let's face the truth. Is making honest money a crime? Please give me the benefit of the doubt for now.

Doubts put to rest!

I recently sold a rag doll on eBay for $138. Personally, I wouldn't have paid $1 for it, but it had VALUE to someone else. VALUE is something that is always, and has always been, determined by humans. That is why money is a subjective energy field.

Because of net porn, Hustler's circulation has dropped 97%

The entire magazine industry has been hurt by the web, but pornographic magazines have been hit the hardest.

From an essay in Quartz by Lee Quarnstrom, former editor of Hustler:

In a January 2014 interview with Erin Moriarty of CBS, Flynt announced that he didn’t expect Hustler, the heart of his porn empire, to last more than two or three years. He added that the magazine’s monthly circulation had dropped from a high of 3 million readers to about 100,000. But the truth is, even Flynt’s onetime high of 3 million monthly readers can’t compare to the 32 million visitors now recorded monthly on adult website

Prankster Magic – fake box labels, awesome card tricks, and other tomfoolery

Prankster Magic includes some excellent card and coin tricks that kids can quickly learn. The illustrations are clear and appealingly cartoonish. Some of the tricks are “self-working,” while others require mastering basic sleight-of-hand.

The prank section is fun, too. The book comes with a fake piece of chewed-up pink bubblegum, with suggestions on where to put it for maximum entertainment value (like the screen of your big sister’s mobile phone).

Prankster Magic also includes two pages of phony labels that you can apply to food product boxes. I put a “98% Free of Small Bugs” sticker on a box of Cheerios and freaked out my 12-year-old daughter, wife, and sister-in-law. “Take it back to the store!” my wife said, alarm in her voice. Hahaha!

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Oberto Applewood Smoked Bacon Jerky

baconIt's hard to find food at an airport that I want to eat. Food on planes is usually even worse. So I either fast (which I don't mind) or bring my own food - usually macadamia nuts and super dark chocolate. Last week in North Carolina I found Oberto Applewood Smoked Bacon Jerky in a supermarket, and I'm going to make sure I have a bag of it whenever I travel, so I added it to my Amazon Subscribe & Save. The only ingredients are pork, water, salt, sugar, and natural flavoring. And it is very low in sugar - only 2.5 grams for the bag. It isn't tough like jerky. It basically tastes like delicious cooked room-temperature bacon.


Easy hippy speedball: cannabis-n-coffee K-Cups

A K-Cup of cannabis infused coffee beans from Fairwinds costs about $10.

Marrying two complex plant products (coffee beans and cannabis) provides a tremendous and enjoyable experience to the consumer. Combing the complex art of coffee bean selection & roasting along with cannabis strain selection and advanced premium cannabis oil extrications pure bliss to the consumer The best device for a single serving of infused coffee from a packet is an aeropress. This device is very effective at extracting the maximum amount of flavor and oils from the coffee without leaving valuable oils behind. The next best device is a French press. Common drip coffee makers work well but typically leave more active ingredients behind due to the large exposed surface area of the filter, especially if you are only brewing a small amount of servings. For making a large batch of coffee, the countertop dripper is great. For all processes, hot water should be used as cannabis extraction does not work as well with cold brewed techniques.

Wil Wheaton and Ernest Cline reunite for Armada audiobook

You heard it here first: Wil Wheaton, who did a memorable job reading the audiobook version of Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, is teaming up with Ernie again to read the audiobook version of his upcoming science fiction novel, Armada.

wilWil says: “Performing audiobooks -- bringing the world and the characters to life, remembering all the character voices I chose and keeping them straight in my head, getting all the pronunciations right -- is both a challenge and a privilege for me. It's also physically grueling to talk without stopping for hours a day, days at a time. When I worked on Ready Player One, I never wanted those days to end, and I couldn't wait to get back in the studio to start back up again when they did. Ernie is a clever and talented writer. His words are as easy for me to perform as Scalzi's are, and I am so excited to get back in the studio with his imagination and bring Armada to life.”

ernieErnie says: "As with Ready Player One, Wil Wheaton was my first and only choice to narrate the audiobook for my second novel, Armada. Wil has always been one of my favorite actors, and it was a huge honor to have him bring Ready Player One to life. Listening to Wil's performance of RPO is like listening to a one-man radio play of my novel. I'm equally honored and excited to have him perform the audiobook of Armada. Wil and I are the same age, and we grew up watching, reading, listening to, and loving a lot of the same stuff, so he's uniquely suited to bring my pop-culture savvy characters to life. "

(By the way, the Kindle format of Ready Player One is $3.99 right now.)

Fellow gets out of parked car a second before it's crushed by rolling truck

I think the driver of the car seen rapidly backing out of the lot knew what was about to happen. y432gR

Hello, Twitter! It's Barack.

President Obama's first tweet. I was hoping for some surprises in the list of accounts he follows, but it's pretty bland.

Researchers create time lapse videos by mining online photos

Researchers from the University of Washington and Google have synthesized time-lapse videos by mining large community photo collections.

We introduce an approach for synthesizing time-lapse videos of popular landmarks from large community photo collections. The approach is completely automated and leverages the vast quantity of photos available online. First, we cluster 86 million photos into landmarks and popular viewpoints. Then, we sort the photos by date and warp each photo onto a common viewpoint. Finally, we stabilize the appearance of the sequence to compensate for lighting effects and minimize flicker. Our resulting time-lapses show diverse changes in the world’s most popular sites, like glaciers shrinking,


First look trailer for Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs

Directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin, this one minute teaser for Steve Jobs is enough to make up for that Ashton Kutcher thing that came out a while back.