Review: Kommissar, the cold war board game

Deanna Dahlsad escapes Soviet Russia, sends her friends to Siberia, and braves the wicked Kommissar in this 1960s-era board game.

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Dumb anti-drug hysteria forced McDonalds to stop giving away decent coffee spoons

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 2.53.46 PM McDonalds used to include this perfectly utilitarian spoon with coffee--perhaps the company's only genuine claim to a design classic. Because it could be used to measure out drugs, though, it was removed from the market at the demand of lobbyists seeking a symbolic victory over drug "paraphernalia."

Plus-Plus, new building bricks from Denmark

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Plus-Plus building bricks become popular in Denmark, where the toy began.

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The ultimate iPhone 6 and 6 Plus unboxing video by Andy Ihnatko (with Robert Goulet)

You do not need another unboxing video. This is the one unboxing video you need.

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Rubber band ball

badballI know this rubber band ball is durable because my wife ran over the box with her car without damaging the rubber bands. The manufacturer claims it has at least 270 rubber bands in it.

Rubber band ball ($5)

Man stabbed with spear while robbing medieval weapons enthusiast

Valiant SCA member Jimmy Morgan Jr. fended off burglar Thomas McGowan with the spear he keeps by his bed. (VIA)

Accidentally on Purpose – The beauty of jazz-like improvisational quilting

There are a handful of other books about African-American quilts, particularly quilts from Gee’s Bend; each have beautiful quilts to show, but this obscure exhibition catalogue remains my favorite. Whereas other books tend to position the quilts in the context of modern art and abstract painting, scholar and collector Eli Leon focuses on the connection with West and Central African textile traditions.

Leon’s thesis is that African-American quiltmakers, much like jazz musicians, were drawing on the aesthetic traditions of Africa when they began to make quilts to keep their families warm. “[Afro-traditional quiltmakers] favor ‘flexible patterning,’ in which the design is conceived as an invitation to variation; rather than repeat, the pattern may materialize in a sequence of visual elaborations.”

This contrasts sharply with the standard American quilt-making tradition and its attention to precise measurement and exact pattern repetition. Instead, afro-traditional quilters “maintain a generous attitude towards the accidental.”

What makes the essays so great is that Leon is a passionate observer of process, using diagrams to describe variations on a single block pattern and exploring at length the design choices used in specific quilts.

With the help of extensive interviews with African-American quilt makers, Leon creates a language to describe these design techniques. Subtitles like “accumulative creation,” “bimodality,” and “integration of accidentals” hint at what this book has to offer to designers and improvisers of all stripes.

Also worth checking out is Talking Quilts, a series of conversations between Eli Leon and quilter Sherri Lynn Wood about his collection. – Reanna Alder

Accidentally on Purpose: The Aesthetic Management of Irregularities in African Textiles and African-American Quilts
by Eli Leon
2007, 176 pages, 9.4 x 9.5 x 0.5 inches (paperback)

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.

Amazon pays $4.6m for .buy domain suffix

Amazon beat Google to the new .buy top-level domain, and will be able to sell on domains under it (such as, say, boingboing.buy) to others. The .tech suffix, though, went for $6.7m...

New UK flag revealed

1280px-Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg Scotland votes 'No' to independence [BBC]

First person to buy iPhone 6 drops it

Perth, Australia. The first in-store pickup of the long-awaited new iPhone. The glare of the new day. The crush of the crowd. The crack of metal on concrete.

drop

The phone was fine.

Discovering Cuban Sci-fi

Ilan Stavans did some literary exploring in Cuba, and he’s sharing with us the fruits of his (and many others’) labors.

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Down in the dark matter lab

Lewis Dartnell descends a kilometer underground to visit a laboratory where scientists have spent twenty years searching for the elusive particles that hold our galaxy together.

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Freaky baby clothes and accessories by Mitch O'Connell

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Artist Mitch O'Connell recently had a baby. After making a pipe pacifier for his infant, he started a line of baby clothing featuring sideshow characters!

Step right up! The Fair has come to town!

From "The Prince of Pop Art," artist Mitch O'Connell introduces "Lil' Sideshow," a tent full of adorable carnival cutie characters ready adorn all your baby wear needs!

Have your wee one look fashionable on the midway as they turn over a prize winning plastic duck or ride high on the Ferris Wheel!

A circus parade of choices, including the cute "Lil' Mermaid" to mighty "Lil' Strongman" or the even spookier "Lil' Spidora" and mischievous "Lil' Devil Child" on everything from diaper bags to onesies!

Alive! Real!

If your heart can take it, see them all by clicking on the link

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Maker Mayhem: Low Moments in How-To History, Part 7

Automobile-Sized Refrigerator: When a cooler just isn’t cool enough. By Matt Maranian

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World's finest soundtrack reissue labels merge (and 2001's lost score!)

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My two favorite soundtrack reissue labels, Death Waltz Records and Mondo, have united, and the vinyl gods are pleased.

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