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

Meteorite from asteroid leaves 39-foot crater in Nicaragua

An asteroid that passed by one-tenth of the distance from Earth to the moon is thought to have left a calling card yesterday: a meteorite that "caused an explosion and earth tremor, leaving a crater 12m (39ft) across and 5m deep near the city's airport."

Asteroid 2014 RC, which is 60 feet wide, "is expected to orbit near Earth again."

Police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 9.07.03 AMEncouraged by departments of Homeland Security and Justice police around the country make use of a private intelligence network to determine which motorists to rob, a Washington Post investigation found.

Black Asphalt Electronic Networking & Notification System [has] enabled police nationwide to share detailed reports about American motorists — criminals and the innocent alike — including their Social Security numbers, addresses and identifying tattoos, as well as hunches about which drivers to stop.

The article includes a few examples of motorists who have had their money seized as part of the war on terror:

A 55-year-old Chinese American restaurateur from Georgia was pulled over for minor speeding on Interstate 10 in Alabama and detained for nearly two hours. He was carrying $75,000 raised from relatives to buy a Chinese restaurant in Lake Charles, La. He got back his money 10 months later but only after spending thousands of dollars on a lawyer and losing out on the restaurant deal.

A 40-year-old Hispanic carpenter from New Jersey was stopped on Interstate 95 in Virginia for having tinted windows. Police said he appeared nervous and consented to a search. They took $18,000 that he said was meant to buy a used car. He had to hire a lawyer to get back his money.

Mandrel Stuart, a 35-year-old African American owner of a small barbecue restaurant in Staunton, Va., was stunned when police took $17,550 from him during a stop in 2012 for a minor traffic infraction on Interstate 66 in Fairfax. He rejected a settlement with the government for half of his money and demanded a jury trial. He eventually got his money back but lost his business because he didn’t have the cash to pay his overhead.

WaPo: Stop and seize

Graphite speeds up water desalinating

It takes a long time to desalinate water using a traditional solar still. But University of Houston engineer Hadi Ghasemi is using ordinary graphite to speed up the process.

"We took graphite and put it into the microwave for seven seconds," Ghasemi says. The gases in the mineral cause the outer layer to expand and pop. "It's exactly like a popcorn!"

The result is a thin, porous material that looks like a black sponge. It floats on the surface of water, like a sponge. But instead of soaking up liquid, the pores soak up the sun, Ghasemi and his colleagues reported in the journal Nature Communications back in July.

The graphite has holes in it with just the right shape to concentrate solar energy and create tiny hot spots in the graphite. Water creeps into the holes through capillary action (just as water moves up the stem of a plant to its leaves). The droplets then heat up quickly and evaporate.

NPR: Cheap Drinking Water From The Sun, Aided By A Pop Of Pencil Shavings

The Paleoart of Julius Csotonyi

Julius Csotonyi is an artist and scientist who creates award-winning depictions of life on Earth millions of years ago.

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Crap Taxidermy

Kat Su, founder of the Crappy Taxidermy blog, and taxidermist Daisy Tainton "spent an afternoon filled with stuffed mice, glue-on eyes, and uncanny creatures -- equal parts how-to, DIY runway show, and cabinet of curiosities."


Su has a new book out called Crap Taxidermy.

Using real sext message threads as short film scripts

Filmmaker Eileen Yaghoobian, who made an excellent documentary about the underground poster culture in North America called Died Young, Stayed Pretty, has been working a project for the last several months called "Send Me Your Sexts."

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WET – the 1970s magazine that pioneered new wave design

In 1976, WET magazine was launched in Venice, California by a young architecture school grad named Leonard Koren. During its 34-issue, five-year run, WET invented and refined a California new wave design aesthetic that spun modern graphic design in a new direction.

In his retrospective book Making WET: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing, Koren writes that he had “no skills in writing, editing, designing, art direction, advertising sales, publishing, or business generally” when he launched the magazine, “but didn’t consider this an impediment.” (This sounds like Carla and I when we started bOING bOING as a zine in 1988.)

Koren he was right. WET was innovative, playful, surprising, rule-breaking, and only occasionally about gourmet bathing. In this anecdote-filled retrospective, Koren describes the gestation, evolution, and demise of his little-known, yet powerfully influential magazine.

Making WET: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing, by Leonard Koren

Take a look at other beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

Strange Animals

@Strange_Animals is a recommended twitter feed for fans of Boing Boing's Delightful Creatures tag.

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Ice Bucket Challenge via air cannon

John Park says: "I built a remotely-triggered pneumatic air cannon to shoot myself in the face with ice cold water."

You can fly without an ID

I didn't think you could fly without an ID, but according to this 2013 TSA blog post, you won't necessarily be turned back.

You’ll be able to fly as long as you provide us with some information that will help us determine you are who you say you are.

If you’re willing to provide some additional information, we have other means of substantiating your identity, such as using publicly available databases. If we can confirm your identity, you’ll be cleared to go through security, and you may or may not have to go through some additional screening.

If we can’t confirm your identity with the information you provide or you’re not willing to provide us with the information to help us make a determination, you may not be able to fly.

TSA Travel Tips Tuesday – Can You Fly Without an ID?

Police not fooled by home made license plate

Despite her best efforts, a 20-year-old woman's home made license plate did not pass muster with a Massachusetts state trooper.

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A horror novel that looks like an IKEA catalog

Horrorstör is a classic old-fashioned haunted house story — set in a big box Swedish furniture superstore. Appropriately, the book itself is designed like an IKEA catalog.

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The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection

Soon enough, nobody will remember life before the Internet. What does this unavoidable fact mean? Mark interviews Michael Harris, author of The End of Absence.

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Tarzan comic with story by Real Stuff's Dennis Eichhorn


Tarzan and the Comics of Idaho comic book was produced to benefit the Friends of the Boise Public Library. It features a Tarzan story written by Dennis Eichhorn, author of the Real Stuff comic book from the 1990s that we've been serializing on Boing Boing.

If you would like to order a copy of Tarzan and Comics of Idaho #1 for your very own personal collection, please send us an e-mail at Each copy is $3 plus shipping and handling.


Pornographic Adventure Time parody

Pornographic video company Woodrocket announced a comedy web series called Sexy! Fun! Yes!.

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