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



Bill Gates' summer reading list

Book lover Bill Gates made a video of suggested summer reading.

Hyperbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh.

The Magic of Reality, by Richard Dawkins.

What If?, by Randall Munroe.

On Immunity, by Eula Biss.

How to Lie With Statistics, by Darrell Huff.

Should We Eat Meat?, by Vaclav Smil.

Lego Simpsons Kwik-E-Mart Building Kit

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Since I've never seen a complete episode of The Simpsons (let me know in the comments if it's a good show) I can't vouch for this Lego Kwik-E-Mart Building Kit's verisimilitude. But it looks cool!

Reflection makes chimp appear to be wearing a dress

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The evolution of our Jackhammer Jill logo

I'm glad Stephen Coles of Fonts in Use wrote about the creation and evolution of our Jackhammer Jill mascot and logo, because I forgot most of the details!

Read the rest

How free software activist Richard Stallman surfs the web

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I'd rather go completely dead-tree than have to surf like Stallman does, but if it works for him, great!

Read the rest

LA sushi chef who served illegal whale meat sentenced

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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 / Shutterstock.com

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

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

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Cat eats ice cream, gets brain freeze

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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

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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 LiveJasmin.com.

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.

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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.