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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

Patent troll is killing networked sex toy industry


Thanks to a patent troll, dildos won't be allowed to have sex with fleshlights! Annalee Newitz at Gizmodo delivers the bad news:

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Ray-Ban Wayfarer knock-off reading glasses


A couple of weeks ago I bought a 4-pack of normcore reading glasses, which are fine, but I just found out about these Ray-Ban Wayfarer knock-off reading glasses. I've been wearing Ray-Ban Wayfarer knock-off prescription glasses since the 1980s, and I love them, so I also bought a 5-pack of these reading glasses on Amazon for $18.

Why magenta doesn't appear in the rainbow

Steve Mould's colored flashlights (sometimes called "coloured torches" in distant lands) are useful props in this excellent 5-minute lecture on color mixing. I learned that magenta is not a color. Rather, it is the absence of green.



How your feet help you sleep

The bottoms of your feet contain blood vessels right below the skin surface. When exposed to cool air, this will lower your body temperature, making you sleepy. So stick a foot (or both) out of the covers and sleep better.

But, as one YouTuber points out, "what if the monster eats my foot away? feet

How to finish a conversation at a party

Chris Colin, co-author of What to Talk About: On a Plane, at a Cocktail Party, in a Tiny Elevator with Your Boss's Boss has simple suggestion for extricating yourself from a small-talk conversation you no longer what to have. From Atlas Oscura:

"Whether you’re having a lovely conversation or a crappy one, I think that the way to get out of either is identical," he says. "My approach is to look them in the eye with a big smile and say, 'It’s been so nice talking with you.' And then you just do a hard pivot and you walk away."


If you are hereby emboldened to try Colin's approach, note that the technique needs to be deployed with appropriate warmth and congeniality.

"What has to go with it is being a nice and decent person," says Colin. "When you say ‘It’s been nice talking to you,’ you should probably mean it, and you should communicate that with your eyes and your smile and all that stuff. If you do that, then I think it’s okay."

Jet passengers cooperate to tie-up drunken, disruptive jackass

When a drunk man on Siberia Airlines Flight 546 from Hong Kong to Vladivostok began loudly insulting other passengers, a group of men knocked him to the ground and tied him up with seat belts and tape.

According to news reports he repeatedly threatened and lunged at a female flight attendant and slapped another passenger. He also "walked down the aisle randomly pointing at strangers and telling them he’d kill them."

He was greeted by cheerful police when the planed landed in Vladivostok.

Fabulous fan video for William Shatner's cover of Pulp's "Common People"

In 2004 William Shatner released a sprechstimme album called Has Been, which included a cover version of Pulp's "Common People," with backing vocals by Joe Jackson. It's an excellent rendition, and it inspired LordRicco666 to edit a video to accompany it that consists of clips from Star Trek that are timed and themed to match the rhythm and lyrics. Great job!

From Dangerous Minds:

What makes this edit truly incredible is the attention to detail in matching shots with the lyrical content, even nailing specific lines of the song to lines spoken by Kirk in the show. Check twenty-seven seconds in where “I want to live,” or forty-seven seconds in where “I’ll see what I can do” sync perfectly. The amount of work that went into this is apparent and astounding.


Federal court rules that air fresheners and pro-cop stickers are a reason to pull you over

Air fresheners, rosaries, and pro-police car stickers give cops a justifiable reason to pull over a car, ruled the Fifth Circuit US Court of Appeals. The ruling was based on a 2011 Texas case in which a police officer pulled over a car that had those items on display. The officer suspected the occupants were transporting drugs. The officer search the car and didn't find drugs, but he found cash, which he confiscated. The driver was sent to jail.

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Quick and easy DIY juggling balls


Mike is a good juggler, and when his kids expressed an interest in learning how to juggle, he made some kid-size juggling balls out of balloons and rice. The results look excellent!

Instead of buying smaller balls or hacky sacks, I used plans from to make several kid-friendly balls. This worked perfectly because I wanted to practice with them while their interest and excitement was high, and together we were able to crank out several balls in about 15 minutes.


Japanese show: bear attacks person in a plastic cube


According to Boing Boing reader Malcom Bell: "ItteQ is a travel show and this is a one-off. The woman in the box is Imoto Ayako."

Imoto Ayako

The show is called Sekai No Hate Made Itteq! (translated: Riddles at the Ends of the Earth!)


Fruit of the Loom Men's 4-pack of pocket T-shirts


My taste in clothes is simple. I usually wear blue denim Levis, Native Jefferson rubber shoes without socks, and plain T-shirts. Since I love ion Southern California, I can pretty much get away with wearing this outfit year round.

I used to buy Calvin Klein T-shirts, but earlier this year I bought a 4-pack of Fruit of the Loom pocket T-shirts for $11 and decided I liked them better than the Calvin Kleins (which cost at least $20 each). The Fruits are 100% cotton, and made of thin fabric, which I like more than thick fabric, and they hold up well over time. The pocket is perfect for storing a deck of cards or flat magic tricks, too!

Voice actor's wonderful tour of US regional accents

A classic from 2011: the entertaining Amy Walker demonstrates regional accents in the US from east-to-west, plus a few job-related accents.


In 2010, Amy produced a videos series of accent tips for international accents:

British Accent Tip

Italian Accent Tip

French Accent Tip

Australian Accent Tip

Russian Accent Tip

US Deep Southern Accent Tip

How Ayn Rand and L. Ron Hubbard came up with their big ideas

Funny 2012 video from Cracked. (Thanks, LDoBe!)


New and better adrenaline autoinjectors for people with life-threatening allergies

Good news for people with life-threatening allergies who need to carry around EpiPen injectors. A new auto-injector is coming that is smaller and has a longer shelf life. It's called Abiliject.

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Spitting armadillos have given leprosy to 9 people in Florida


Authorities are asking people in Florida to refrain from shooting and eating armadillos, and to resist the urge to handle them or keep them for pets, because they are responsible for a leprosy outbreak in the state.

Armadillos are believed to be the only animal able to carry leprosy – which some scientists believe they contracted from humans hundreds of years ago – and are common across Florida. “We catch more armadillos than we do any other species,” wildlife trapper Kyle Waltz told Action News Jacksonville. “If they’re trying to get out of a cage they can spit on you.” Residents have raised concerns that the critters may bite domestic pets, resulting in bacterial infections akin to those transmitted by rodent bites.

Image: Shutterstock

Oklahoma officials fight for their right to steal money and property for personal use


Authorities in Oklahoma are fighting new legislation designed to address abuses of civil asset forfeiture. And for good reason – the authorities enjoy the money and property they steal from innocent people and are angry that someone is threatening to yank their snouts out of the trough.

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Town official criminally charged for repainting faded crosswalks

George Simolaris, a selectman in Billerica, Massachusetts, is in trouble with the law for repainting six faded crosswalks in his town. He said his constituents kept asking him why nothing was been done about it so he took matters into his own hands, by purchasing green paint and refreshing the crosswalks.

"All I've heard for months is: 'When is this going to get done?'" Simolaris said. "I got sick of it."

Police and town officials said painting the street without authorization was illegal and charged him with two counts of destruction of property, according to Billerica police spokesman Roy Frost.


Town Manager John Curran (above, right) defended the charges, saying Simolaris had "no respect for the governmental process," adding that Simolaris would be charged $4,000 for the cost of cleaning up his paint job, which smeared across the road.