A young cartoonist takes her very old grandparents on a cruise, and finds it exhausting


I'm pretty bad at keeping up with new cartoonists. I'm stuck in the world of artists who emerged in the 80s and 90s: Daniel Clowes, Mary Fleener, Julie Doucet, Carol Tyler, Lynda Barry, Los Bros Hernandez, Jim Woodring, Roberta Gregory, Peter Bagge, Chris Ware, Dori Seda.

Lucy Knisley is one of the rare younger cartoonists that I've gotten hooked on. (I interviewed Lucy on my podcast Gweek in 2013.) I'm a fan of the "ligne claire" drawing style, which Lucy exemplifies, and her sense of page composition is clean but with the perfect whimsical touch. She also colors her drawings with watercolors, not Photoshop, so they have a nice texture.

Her work is mostly autobiographical. Her 2008 book, French Milk, is an illustrated journal about living (and eating) in Paris with her mother. Her next book, Relish, is about growing up in the food industry.

In 2015 she wrote Displacement, a comic book travelogue about taking her frail grandparents on an ocean cruise. Lucy does not have children, and was not familiar with taking care of dependent people, so she was stunned by how exhausting the "vacation" was. Her 91-year-old grandmother had dementia and didn't really know who Lucy was, and her 93-year-old grandfather had an incontinence problem that he didn't care about. Lucy ended up having to wash his trousers every evening when she was able to convince him to take them off.

In between the diary entries about things like waiting in line for 3 hours to board the ship, calling her father asking for help (he wasn't helpful), and putting up with the bossy ship's crew, Lucy included excerpts from her grandfather's WWII journal, which shows him to be an excellent, observant writer, much like Lucy herself. Read the rest

Man arrested with 51 turtles in his pants


Kai Xu was arrested attempting to cross into Canada from Detroit, Michigan with 51 live turtles down his pants, mostly strapped to his legs. He was apparently smuggling the turtles he had bought to resell outside the US at much higher prices. From the Associated Press:

The investigation had started after a courier company in Detroit tipped the wildlife service to a package that had been shipped from Alabama addressed to Xu.

According to the court documents, agents watched as Xu allegedly opened various boxes in the rear of his SUV, took out several round clear plastic containers, and placed their contents into plastic baggies. He also had packaging tape and scissors.

“Special Agent (James) Fuller noticed irregularly shaped bulges under Xu’s sweatpants on both his legs,” the document states.

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Check out the hot women in the 2016 Pirelli Tire Calendar


For 50 years, the Pirelli Calendar has featured mostly naked models captured by famed photographers in exotic locales. Not this year.

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by famed "dot" artist Yayoi Kusama


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

You must have some trepidation when you set out to illustrate a story as iconic as Alice in Wonderland. What effect can you offer that isn’t already achieved by the classic words themselves? From the myriad images contained within the story, how do you choose what to illustrate and what to leave out? And when everyone’s idea of Alice is already so wrapped up in the Disney version, can you really expect anyone to embrace your vision instead?

Thankfully, Yayoi Kusama doesn’t shy from the task and in the process has accomplished something beautiful and thoroughly undisneyfied. The illustrations aren’t designed to help you visualise Alice’s world as if it were real, but rather to exhibit it in all its un-realness. Kusama’s dreamy polka dots pattern each page while bold colors and abstract mosaics challenge everything you thought you knew about Lewis Carroll’s story. Frequently the illustrations require a double take: are you looking at something that’s close and microscopic, or far away but gargantuan? Even the text of the story is welded into Kusama’s artistic vision, growing and shrinking, hiding amid the illustrations, getting eaten by fish and winding around mushrooms. The book just gets curiouser and curiouser.

"Begin at the beginning," the King tells Alice in the story, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop." Easier said than done, King – because with such lush illustrations on display, reaching the end isn’t a guarantee of anything. Read the rest

Black Friday fist fight supercut


Black Friday shoppers were treated to a spectacle of violent struggles over the possession of flat screen TVs, tablet computers, toaster ovens, and other highly prized items. Read the rest

Crack nuts with Bowie, Lemmy, Ozzy, and Joey Ramone!

Samurai White handcrafts custom rock and roll nutcrackers.

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Filmmaking teacher makes a mini documentary about a cigar connoisseur


The Cigar Connoisseur from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Philip Bloom is a filmmaker who teaches 3-day documentary making workshops. He went to a cigar shop in New York and shot this short profile of one of the customers, who turned out to be interesting and charming. Bloom says, "As students took what they had learned on day one and made a mini documentary for themselves in NYC I also did the same thing. This is the end result, which we found and shot within two hours." [via] Read the rest

State driving laws on US map


It is legal to drive while texting in Montana and Arizona. It is legal to drive while drinking alcohol in Mississippi. It is illegal to drive with a dog in your lap in New Jersey and Hawaii. It is legal to drive for Uber in all fifty states, but illegal to drive for an escort service in all fifty states. See a visual representation of these laws and other driving laws at JustPark.

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The first robot in cinema

Mastery Mystery Poster Featuring Q

Harry Houdini thought he was a superstar, but there was one medium he was unable to conquer: movies.

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The Elf on the Shelf is a surveillance-normalizing little creep


Important reminder, happy mutants! The Elf on the Shelf, the cherubic, round-eyed toy with a faux-traditional backstory, is yet another manifestation of the surveillance state. It watches you 24/7, then reports your behavior to an old white man with unaccountable authority who judges you and manipulates you with largesse or neglect.

Laura Pinto, a technology professor:

The gaze of the elf on the child’s real world (as opposed to play world) resonates with the purpose of the panopticon, based on Jeremy Bentham’s 18th century design for a model prison… What is troubling is what The Elf on the Shelf represents and normalizes: anecdotal evidence reveals that children perform an identity that is not only for caretakers, but for an external authority (The Elf on the Shelf), similar to the dynamic between citizen and authority in the context of the surveillance state. Further to this, The Elf on the Shelf website offers teacher resources, integrating into both home and school not only the brand but also tacit acceptance of being monitored and always being on one’s best behaviour--without question.

By inviting The Elf on the Shelf simultaneously into their play-world and real lives, children are taught to accept or even seek out external observation of their actions outside of their caregivers and familial structures. Broadly speaking, The Elf on the Shelf serves functions that are aligned to the official functions of the panopticon. In doing so, it contributes to the shaping of children as governable subjects.

The Washington Post asked her if she's serious. Read the rest

Why wouldn't Reader's Digest remove malware from its website?


For nigh on a week, the internet hollered at Reader's Digest to remove malware from its website, to no apparent response.

The attack consists of a malicious script injected within compromised WordPress sites that launches another URL whose final purpose is to load the Angler exploit kit. Site owners that have been affected should keep in mind that those injected scripts/URLs will vary over time, although they are all using the same pattern (see IOCs below for some examples).

The website of popular magazine Reader’s Digest is one of the victims of this campaign and people who have visited the portal recently should make sure they have not been infected. The payload we observed at the time of capture was Bedep which loaded Necurs a backdoor Trojan, but that of course can change from day to day.

Dan Goodin got exasperated: Hey Reader’s Digest: Your site has been attacking visitors for days.

Reader's Digest has been infected since last week with code originating with Angler, an off-the-shelf hack-by-numbers exploit kit that saves professional criminals the hassle of developing their own attack scripts, researchers from antivirus provider Malwarebytes told Ars. People who visit the site with outdated versions of Adobe Flash, Internet Explorer, and other browsing software are silently infected with malware that gains control over their computers. Malwarebytes researchers said they sent Reader's Digest operators e-mails and social media alerts last week warning the site was infected but never got a response. The researchers estimate that thousands of other sites have been similarly attacked in recent weeks and that the number continues to grow.
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Meet the only micro HD-camera drone in the world that can fly upside down

The Micro Drone 2.0+ is truly in a league of its own, offering a new perspective on aerial photography, and a world of technological capabilities that make flying ridiculously fun. Simply throw it in the air at any angle and its self-correcting algorithm will stabilize for smooth sailing in no time. You’ll stay entertained with flips, rolls, 720p HD videography, and much more.

Performs 360-degree flips w/ the pre-programmed algorithm Captures HD video from upside down w/ a flick of a switchStabilizes to its horizontal flying position w/ self-righting algorithm & sensorsDesigned to be durable & extremely fun to flyPerfect for flying indoors & outside (doesn’t suffer stability issues in wind)Easily recharges via USBIncludes a range up to 400 ft & an 8 minute flight time per charge

Get the Extreme Micro Drone 2.0+ for 42% off ($99.99) in the Boing Boing Store today. 

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Secret National Security Letters demanded your browsing history


Thousands of National Security Letters are sent annually, don't need a judge's signoff, and it's illegal to tell anyone you got one. What do they demand? Web browsing history, the IP addresses of everyone corresponded with, all online purchases, and more.

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Molly Crabapple's memoir DRAWING BLOOD: preview and a giveaway


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The Soviet Union came perilously close to launching a nuclear strike on the U.S. in 1983


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Scholars and activists stand in solidarity with shuttered research-sharing sites


This week, the scholarly publishing giant Elsevier filed suit against Sci-Hub and Library Genesis, two sites where academics and researchers practiced civil disobedience by sharing the academic papers that Elsevier claims -- despite having acquired the papers for free from researchers, and despite having had them refereed and overseen by editorial boards staffed by more volunteering academics. Read the rest

Empowered female heroines work hard


A classic Mallory Ortberg humor column sets out a day in the life of an "empowered female heroine," a fictional staple on whom society (and literature) project a huge amount of aspirational demands. Read the rest

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