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



I hate DVDs so I bought a $13 DVD player

I watch videos on Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, and MacBook Air. None of these play DVDs. (I hate DVDs but sometimes it's the only way to get a video.)

I rip the DVDs I buy using RipIt on my iMac, the only machine I have with a DVD drive. But the drive is failing. It spits out 90% of the discs I put in it.

Instead of fixing the DVD drive in the iMac, I bought a USB-powered "Generic USB External DVD Combo CD-RW Burner Drive" on Amazon for $12.82 (free shipping with Prime). It has worked like a charm with every disc I've tried. It's quiet, too. It does not burn DVDs but I have no reason to burn DVDs. If I need to give someone a large file I will either put it on a thumb drive or upload it to cloud storage.

Smut Peddler, the Money Gun, and home-made ant poison

Our guest for this episode of Gweek is Veronica Belmont, new media / TV host and writer.

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WATCH: Horse regrets disturbing snapping turtles in flagrante delicto

Did General Southern Storm learn anything from this?

WATCH: Truck barrier test looks deadly for drivers

This Texas A&M Transportation Institute Crash Video is a real-life implementation of the Trolley Problem.

WATCH: Quacks and Nostrum

"Quacks and Nostrums" is a 20-minute film from 1959. We meet a woman who purchases a "South Seas" herbal tea with alleged powerful healing properties. The woman's son becomes concerned and visits the family doctor to ask him what he thinks. The doctor, who has all the time in the world to chat, recommends that he visit the local branch of the Food and Drug Administration to learn more about what the government is doing to crack down on snake-oil paddlers. He does, and a gentleman from the FDA invites him into his office for a chat, and he is shown a number of bizarre quack remedies confiscated by the FDA.

Unfortunately, the man's mother doesn't listen to her son's pleas to seek legitimate medical help and develops a serious gall bladder problem that is unaffected by the tea she bought from Alooka Ka'humana. I won't spoil the ending for you.

(Via Weird Universe)

If you have US$18,400 you can fly like this, too

When a billionaire's private jet is in the repair shop, Singapore Airlines' Suite Class will do in a pinch.

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With this video, Apple's Jony Ive never needs to record another product pitch

Rob Walker says this Jony Ive Supercut "builds a kind of faux pitch for … well, every Apple thing ever, and all of those to come. To quote Ive himself (from this supercut), it's 'instantly familiar.'"

1950s radio program: Incredible, But True

Thanks for alerting me to this old radio program, electricdisk!

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LEDs on pentagonal tiles for creating dynamic light sculptures

Matt Mets has a Kickstarter for something he calls BlinkyTile.

It's a fun little set of pentagonal LED circuit board tiles that you can solder together to make geometric shapes, and then program to make dazzling light shows. It's unique because the LEDs are all connected in parallel, but each one has it's own address, so you can make any kind of structural topology and still control each light individually. I would of course appreciate any attention I could get for it!

Cartoonist Ed Piskor visits his decrepit childhood home

Ed Piskor says: "Pittsburgh magazine followed me around for a few weeks and put together a little piece on me and the Hip Hop comic. The highlight is going through my decrepit boyhood home for the first time in like 18 years and seeing artwork on the walls that survived."

I loved seeing Ed in this 8-minute film, which was produced by Dave Cole. Favorite quote: "There's not enough money in comics to listen to anybody. You should just do what the heck you wanna do."

Art Spiegelman: "Despite the rumors, I am not the Jew in charge of all comics media"

In the latest RiYL podcast, Brian Heater interviews Art Spiegelman. (And don't miss Brian's previous interview with John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.)

An insider’s guide to boosting your kid’s IQ

I asked my friend Rick Rosner for some IQ boosting tips, and wrote about it for Credit.com.

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Ten worst opening lines in novels

stack_of_books

The American Scholar presents a list of the ten worst opening lines in novels. I don't agree with all their choices, but I agree that most are awful enough to make me abandon the book after reading the first sentence.

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Book of supercute crochet patterns for Sanrio Friends

A couple of days after I received a review copy of Hello Kitty Crochet I read an article in the LA Times about the 40th anniversary of Sanrio’s iconic character. The most surprising fact I learned is that Hello Kitty is not a kitty. She is a British girl named Kitty White who “lives in London with her mama (Mary White), papa (George White), and her twin sister Mimmy.” Also, she has a pet cat named Charmmy Kitty, which is kind of like Goofy having Pluto for a pet, I guess. Many Hello Kitty fans were outraged by the revelation, but I loved it. Hello Kitty is more charming and mysterious than I thought!

Hello Kitty Crochet, by Malaysia-based blogger Mei Li Lee (her name is so adorable that Sanrio should create a character called Mei Li Lee), has complete instructions for making 18 Sanrio characters, from Kitty White herself to the devilishly mischievous tomboy Kuromi (who reminds me of DC comics’ Harley Quinn). Mei Li Lee does a great job of retaining the cuteness of the characters in their transubstantiation into yarn, which is an impressive feat. I just might have to learn to crochet and try my hand at making these.

Hello Kitty Crochet ($9)
by Mei Li Lee
Quirk Books
2014, 96 pages, 7.3 x 7.3 x 0.5 inches, Hardcover

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Beatles Pancakes

There are some talented people out there! (Via Twisted Sifter)