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

Suffragette on a scooter (1916)


Florence Priscilla, an English socialite and activist, received this Autoped as a birthday present from her husband. She used it to commute to her office in London. From Mashable's gallery of vintage scooter photos.

Medical marijuana does not boost teens' weed use: government-supported study


"Our findings, consistent with previous evidence, suggest that passage of state medical marijuana laws does not increase adolescent use of marijuana" says a study published this month in the medical peer-review journal The Lancet.

Read the rest

People who take tiny doses of LSD and other psychedelics every day say it's wonderful


A strong dose of LSD is 500 micrograms. Some people are taking daily microdoses of 10 to 15 micrograms, which is not enough to feel trippy, but provides a sense of well-being and mental clarity. A typical microdoser says these tiny doses "increase my focus, open my heart, and achieve breakthrough results while remaining integrated within my routine."

One 65-year-old Sonoma County, California ... told AlterNet she microdosed because it made her feel better and more effective.

"I started doing it in 1980, when I lived in San Francisco and one of my roommates had some mushrooms in the fridge," said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous. "I just took a tiny sliver and found that it made me alert and energized all day. I wasn't high or anything; it was more like having a coffee buzz that lasted all day long."

This woman gave up on microdosing when her roommate's supply of 'shrooms ran out, but she has taken it up again recently.

"I'm very busy these days and I'm 65, so I get tired, and maybe just a little bit surly sometimes," she admitted. "So when a friend brought over some chocolate mushrooms, I decided to try it again. It makes my days so much better! My mood improves, my energy level is up, and I feel like my synapses are really popping. I get things done, and I don't notice any side-effects whatsoever."

Beverly Hills 90210 - upcoming TV movie about behind-the scenes drama coming

Pesco, Jason, Carla, and I loved Beverly Hills 90210 and remain fascinated by the show, which ran from 1990 to 2000 on Fox. We can't wait for Lifetime's upcoming Unauthorized Story treatment, which will cover the first four seasons of the series. Whoever is playing Shannen Doherty will have her work cut out for her.

"I do magic tricks and hammer nails up my nose" - the life of a magician/sideshow performer

magic"There was a whole line of women in my dating life who refused to date me because I was a magician."

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Make an Arduino puzzle box

"This is my first foray in the world of interactivity," says Grady Hillhouse. "It's an arcade-style puzzle box mini game. Powered by an Arduino with completely custom wooden enclosure and components, the goal was to make it look like something your parents told you not to play with when you were a kid. The object of the game is to adjust the knobs so each needle points at its respective LED, but it's not as easy as it sounds (or is it!?)." [via]

Hand-craft your own beautiful sweet potato dolls

sweet-potato-dolls25 easy-to-staple projects!


USB Microscope — a zoom function for the real world


I had the earlier version of the Plugable USB Handheld Digital Microscope and liked it a lot. The second version just came out and I love it. Smaller than a prescription pill bottle, the microscope has a USB cord that can be plugged into any computer. Download the software here and start looking up close at money, leaves, circuit boards, bugs, skin, hair, and anything else.

The scope has a built-in, adjustable-brightness LED for illumination. The brightest setting is not always the best - try different levels of illumination and let the software auto-adjust the contrast. I also learned that in order to see things at the maximum 250X magnification you need to follow the instructions in the FAQ.

The scope comes with a suction-cup gooseneck mount that is very stable, and a plastic board with a grid pattern, which helps you align and locate the thing you are looking at. You can also simply hold the scope against things. The software takes still photos and movies, and hasn't crashed on me yet (the earlier version was buggy).

At this price, the microscope is an amazingly entertaining device and I find myself grabbing it to check out all sorts of things, including splinters, skin cuts, bugs, and playing card designs.

Plugable USB 2.0 Handheld Digital Microscope with Stand
By Plugable
$35 Buy one on Amazon

Top row (left to right): One black whisker and many white whiskers on my chin, strawberry seed, George Washington’s eye on a $1 bill at 250X
Middle row: Snap blade knife at 250X, pixels on an iPhone 6 Plus display, seal from $1
Bottom row: Nickel, George Washington’s eye on a $1 bill at 50X, Snap blade knife at 50X,

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Rock solid car mount - will not budge, droop, or wobble


The folks at Winner sent me the Montar universal car mount to try out. I was already happy with my air vent mount, but I was willing to see how it compared. As soon as I started using it, I realized I would never go back. This thing sticks to my windshield and simply won't budge, no matter how much torque I apply while inserting/removing my phone with one hand.

The suction cup is coated with a very sticky rubber. It reminds me of those toy octopuses that stick to the wall when you throw them. It adheres well to the textured surface of my standing desk. It does not stick to the dashboard of my Prius, but it comes with a plastic disk that you can stick on the dashboard, which will stick to the suction cup. (I'm not going to use the disk because I am concerned it will mar the dashboard.)

The rubberized spring loaded jaws grip the phone so firmly that there's no chance it'll pop out should you drive over a speed bump or pothole. The jaws open wide enough to hold my iPhone 6 Plus in its case.

Check out the video below for a demonstration of this excellent car mount.

Montar Universal Car Mount ($30) on Amazon




Listen to Isaac Asimov read his favorite short story "The Last Question"


Isaac Asimov wrote "The Last Question" in one sitting. It appeared in the November 1956 issue of Science Fiction Quarterly and Asimov said it was "by far my favorite story of all those I have written."

It's fun hearing Asimov read it in his energetic Brooklyn accent. But if you listen to Leonard Nimoy's magnificent reading (below), you'll understand why it is usually much better to have a trained actor read a story, instead of the author.


80s Drug Czar William Bennett – yep, still an asshole


Moral scold/problem gambler William "Ram" Bennett co-wrote an op-ed for the LA Times complaining that people have come to the realization that legalizing marijuana isn't such a bad idea after all. Bennett longs for the good old days, when white patricians called the shots:

Over the years, others who have opposed legalization include Republicans Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer and Jack Kemp, and think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute and the Claremont Institute.

Remember when marijuana prohibition resulted in racist policies, violent drug cartels, widespread government corruption, pot laced with dangerous chemicals, an untaxable black market, a militarized police, a massive for-profit prison industry, an economy-draining and useless drug war, and children being lured into the drug trade? I remember it, and it sucked. Please go back to Fox News where people believe your bloviating bullshit, Mr Bennett.

RELATED: Don't miss Jacob Sullum's brutal takedown of Going to Pot, a new book co-written by Bennett. Sullum gives many examples from the book that reveal it as a "rambling, repetitive, self-contradicting hodgepodge of scare stories, misleading comparisons, unsupportable generalizations, and decontextualized research results."

Image: Wikipedia. Original photo by Gage Skidmore.

Chris Ware's "Minecraft Playdate" cover on New Yorker

minecraftDid Chris Ware sneak into our house to draw this? That's my daughter on the beanbag.

Excellent Mars Attacks! face paint

Mars Attacks! was a lurid, horrifcally gory series of Topps bubble gum cards produced in the 1960s. Makeup artist Marla Malone created this wonderful face painting tribute to the genius of artist Norm Saunders, who painted the Topps Cards. Watch the video below.

For that college student who wants to ban non-Batman comics: we've got your Batman comics right here

"I expected Batman and Robin, not pornography." For Crafton Hills College student Tara Shultz who was expecting to bone up on Batman and Robin instead of being forced to read four award-winning graphic novels that offended her, we are happy to provide this cheat sheet of some of the Dynamic Duo's finest moments!

Another quote from Tara Shultz: "At most I would like the books eradicated from the system. I don’t want them taught anymore. I don’t want anyone else to have to read this garbage."

Suspected animal abuser in Brooklyn park was just man roasting guinea pig at barbecue area


Police responding to a report of a man abusing a guinea pig in Brookyln's Prospect Park were met by a friendly man from Ecuador who was roasting the animal for breakfast on a 4-foot skewer in a designated public barbecue grill. Roasted guinea pig is a popular dish in parts of Central and South America.


Image: "I left my heart, and several other internal organs, in Park Slope." Shutterstock

Iowa Supreme Court rules that residents have a right to be drunk on their front porch


In 2013 Patience Paye called 911 to report a domestic violence incident that took place in her home. When police arrived, Payne stepped on her porch to talk to them, because she didn't want to disturb her kids, who were in the house. The police gave her a breath test, determined she was intoxicated and arrested her for being drunk in public.

At her trial, the judge ruled that a person's front porch is indeed a public place because it is “plainly accessible and visible to any passer-by.” The Iowa Supreme Court disagreed:

If the front stairs of a family home were always considered a public place, it would create “absurd results” and make it a “crime to sit there calmly on a breezy summer day and sip a mojito” or even grill with “bourbon-infused barbecue sauce,” the court concluded.

The case was sent back to District Court for dismissal.


Image: "Set a spell, until the cops come to bust you." Shutterstock

College student wants graphic novels banned: "I expected Batman and Robin, not pornography"

persepolisTara Shultz, 20, of Yucaipa, CA along with her parents and friends are protesting the inclusion of four award-winning graphic novels that are taught in an English class at Crafton Hills College because they feel they are too violent and pornographic to be read by college students. On Thursday they assembled outside the campus administration building to express their outrage. The four graphic novels are Fun Home by Alison Bechdel; Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1 by Brian Vaughan; The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll’s House by Neil Gaiman; and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.

I expected Batman and Robin, not pornography,” Shultz told the Redland Daily Facts Newspaper. But Shultz was provided with complete information about which books would be covered in the class. Because Shultz did not pay attention to the syllabus, she and her parents and their friends now want to prohibit everyone from reading the books at the college.

From the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund:

Shultz, who is working towards an Associate of Arts in English at the public community college, signed up for English 250: Fiction because it fulfills one part of her degree requirements. She was apparently aware that the specific focus of the class was graphic novels, but she told the newspaper that “I expected Batman and Robin, not pornography.” Shultz says that Associate Professor Ryan Bartlett, who has taught the course for three terms without any other complaints, failed to adequately warn students about the books’ content. Her father Greg Shultz said that “if they (had) put a disclaimer on this, we wouldn’t have taken the course.” Tara Shultz agreed, saying that Bartlett “should have stood up the first day of class and warned us.”

Of course, Shultz and her parents did have complete information about which books would be covered in the class – the school requires instructors (p. 20) to distribute a detailed syllabus on the first day of the term – and ample time to withdraw with no effect on her grade. Fourteen other courses offered at Crafton Hills fulfill the same degree requirement as English 250. The college’s online calendar shows that the Spring semester began on January 12, and the last date to drop a course with no grade penalty was January 30. Shultz apparently brought up her objections to four out of ten books covered in the class after that date, when her only options were to complete the assigned work or withdraw with a 0.

Bonus stupidity: Tara Shultz' father wants these books yanked from the college bookstore, because “there are under-aged kids here at this campus.”

Shultz quote from the Crafton Hills College website.

Shultz quote from the Crafton Hills College website.