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

Amplified speaker for smartphones doesn't need pairing


My sister gave me the BoostPlus Near Field Audio speaker for Christmas. I was happy for the kind thought, but since I already have three or four Bluetooth speakers, I wasn't overly excited about getting another one.

But when I used it I learned that it is not like a Bluetooth speaker. It doesn't need to be paired via Bluetooth. You just set your phone on it and it starts playing. This feature makes it a great kitchen gadget. When I'm cooking or washing the dishes, I use it to listen to podcasts and to Spike Priggen's excellent Pop-Psych, Garage & Freakbeat playlist on Spotify. When it's my wife's turn for KP duty, she listens to her podcasts on her phone (she can't be bothered with Bluetooth pairing and so before we got this thing she would just crack up the volume on the phone and listen via the built-in speaker).

The downside is that the audio quality is not as good as a Bluetooth-paired amplified speaker, but for podcast and garage music, I don't care - the convenience factor makes up for the low-fi sound.

iFrogz IF-BSP-GRN BoostPlus Near Field Audio Speaker for Smartphones and Digital Music Players ($23)

Gentleman tries to bite tortoise, but tortoise bites first

turtleThe Austrian Times says Bao Yu was inebriated when he picked up a tortoise in a market stall so he could eat it alive. The tortoise bit him on the lip and did not let go until security guards put the tortoise "still attached to his lip in the water of a tank reserved for terrapins."

Tortoise Puts The Bite On Boozer That Tried To Bite Off Its head [via]

WATCH: Woman who can bark like a dog uses her skill to surprise people


Here's how to decide whether to keep a book or get rid of it

I own more books than I can read in a lifetime. I need to try out Erik Knutzen's system for cleaning his bookshelves.

The book was released to the universe if:

  • I had read it and absorbed the information
  • The library has a copy
  • It does not give me joy
  • I don’t think I’ll ever read it
  • My interests have changed
  • I read part but don’t think I’ll read the rest

I kept the book if:

  • It’s a volume I refer to for reference on a regular basis
  • It gives me joy
  • It’s especially beautiful as an object (only one or two books actually ended up in this category — I’m not a book collector)
  • I really intend to read it
  • I want to re-read it

Former TSA officer reveals widespread misery there

Being a TSA officer is a dream job for sadistic sociopaths, but for people who are able to sympathize, it's a nightmare. "I hated it from the beginning," writes former TSA officer Jason Edward Harrington, in an essay published in Politico Magazine. He recounts the daily shame of having to confiscate nail clippers from pilots (to prevent the pilots from using them to "hijack the very planes they were flying"), jars of homemade apple butter ("on the pretense that they could pose threats to national security") and a bottle of champagne from some Marines returning home from Afghanistan who wanted to share it with a young soldier who'd lost his legs to an I.E.D.

Read the rest

Zine and DIY publishing fest at Meltdown in LA, Jan 31

zineMELT is coming to celebrate the world of DIY and independent publishing. On January 31st, 2015 zineMELT will bring together artist, writers, crafters, zinesters from around Los Angeles to gather at Meltdown Comics to display and sell their goods. Please mark your calendars and come out to support your local artist.

If you bake, you need a non-stick silicone baking mat

baking-sheetFor the last few months, Cory, Jason, and I have been writing about how much we love silicone cookware. I was joking with Jason that we could start a Silicone Enthusiast podcast. Maybe we will. In the meantime, here's another silicone thing I love: my non-stick silicone baking mat.

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The Mills Brothers: Swing It, Sister (1934)

Donald Mills, Harry Mills, Herbert Mills, and John Mills: The Mills Brothers perform "Swing It, Sister" in the 1934 film Strictly Dynamite.

Note the excellent mouth trumpet action, a jazz-era vocal technique that imitates the sound of a trumpet. Try it!


Bill Cosby made a joke about his rape accusations during stand-up routine

Bill Cosby performed his stand-up routine in Canada last night, and made a joke about his widely-alleged propensity to drug women and rape them while they are unconscious.

According to tweets from Richard Warnica, a reporter with the Toronto-based newspaper National Post who was at the show, Cosby told a woman getting up for a drink that "you have to be careful about drinking around me."

The audience first gasped and then, according to Warnica, applauded Cosby.

That's not surprising, considering this audience willingly paid money to be entertained by Cosby.

Foie gras ban in California ruled unconstitutional

A federal judge on Wednesday lifted California's ban on the sale of foie gras, a delicacy made from fatty duck or goose liver. He said the law was unconstitutional because it interfered with existing federal poultry regulations.
The plaintiffs argued that states can't interfere with federally approved poultry products because they're already covered by the Poultry Products Inspection Act. That law gives the federal government exclusive powers to determine what ingredients belong in poultry. The plaintiffs said it was therefore illegal for California to require foie gras to be made from birds that weren't force-fed.

"California cannot regulate foie gras products' ingredients by creatively phrasing its law in terms of the manner in which those ingredients were produced," [U.S. District Judge Stephen V.] Wilson wrote in his ruling.

Foie gras is traditionally made by sticking a tube into a fowl's throat and force feeding it corn, which causes its liver to accumulate fat deposits.

Foie gras ban is overturned

To-do lists are evil. Schedule everything.

Cal Newport is the author of the excellent career advice book, So Good They Can't Ignore You (Read Kevin Kelly's review). Eric Barker of Barking up the Wrong Tree interviewed Newport to find out how he schedules his time.

Read the rest

Perpetual motion device unveiled at CES

I was sad that Steorn stopped boasting about its Orbo perpetual motion machine a few years ago. But I'm happy now that AuroraTek announced its perpetual motion machine. Unlike Orbo, which used fickle "delayed magnetic field propagation" to bend the laws of thermodynamic, the AuroraTek device uses the much more sensible "negative time domain" to output more energy than it uses. Shut up and take my money!

Hair-raising knife throwing performance nearly ends in death on live TV

Digg's highlights: "1:17 — slightly cuts a finger, 1:30 — almost hits another one, 3:15 — 1-2cm from death, 4:45 — trying to clean blood with shoe."

Maybe the knife-thrower always does it this way to make the performance more thrilling?

Lottery ticket with $500,000 prize was a "misprint"

John Wines was pleased when the scratch-off lottery ticket he bought at a New Mexico gas station turned out to be worth $500,000. But when Wines tried collect his prize, an employee of the New Mexico Lottery robbed him of his pleasure:

“We did find a flaw in that particular pack of tickets and it’s been reported to our printer. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I did complete a reconstruction of your ticket and it was not a winner.”

The New Mexico Lottery offered Wines $100 in lottery tickets as a token of their sympathy.

This might be the nicest gas station restroom on earth

It's in Bohol, Philippines.