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$10 silicone oven mitts

Silicone oven mitts

I grab hot stuff with these $10 silicone oven mitts. They offer more grip and better dexterity than pot holders.

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The importance of glass, artificial cold and more

fqwfqwfwqfIf you're looking for a comprehensive explanation for modern life is how it is, there are probably other books to read. But if you're looking for something light, informative and fun, HOW WE GOT TO NOW is just the thing. There's also a PBS TV show that goes along with it.

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Grasshopper Jungle takes angst to its allegorical limit

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Not all young adult novels are for adults1, But this one is.

Grasshopper Jungle isn't Andrew Smith's first novel, but it is the one that's thrust him forward as one of the best voices in the genre

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I read Crime and Punishment so that you don't have to

Crime and PunishmentCrime and Punishment. Perhaps you're thinking, "maybe I should read that canonical novel!" I'm going to stop you right there.

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Understanding American football helps us understand America

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Radiolab can always be depended on for an interesting take on questions you never even knew you had. Their story on American Football is no exception.

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Ayn Rand's Harry Potter

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Fanfic can take you down some peculiar roads. But in Mallory Ortberg's imagined Ayn Rand fanfic of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the the tenets of ruthless self-interest are shouted to hilarious effect.

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The Babadook - the horrror flick that's on iTunes and in your nightmares

The Babadook is a forthcoming Australian horror movie that avoids the usual production clichés in favor of a literary sense of dread.

There's no gore, no loud, startling soundtrack, and there's no serial killers hiding in the corners of this horror flick. There's just an exhausted single mother living with her difficult son. Which is why this movie is so scary.

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Why we love Kumail Nanjiani's “The X-Files Files” podcast

This podcast is entertaining and awesome, but the episode featuring Darin Morgan is especially so. Don't miss, X-Files fans. xfiles

Kumail Nanjiani's The X-Files Files podcast is ubiquitously entertaining and awesome, but the episode featuring screenwriter Darin Morgan is especially so.

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Ghosts and Snow: Longest Night Lost Constellation

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Want to spend an hour doing something rad? Cool. I have a game for you, called Longest Night Lost Constellation

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Crayons shaped like Minifigs

48 Minifig Crayons by MinifigFansTM - Birthday Party Favors - 12 Sets of 4 Crayons

These Minifig/Crayons are fantastic party favors!

Yoda dog toy, also for kids

Yoda and Company

My daughter insisted that Nemo, our Great Pyrenees, needed this stuffed Yoda dog toy. My daughter likes it so much she now wants the Jedi master for her own.

A few days ago my daughter found this very nice quality Yoda for our dogs to play with. Today, when I suggested she let them have the doll, a giant fight broke out. It appears Yoda is so soft and snuggly that my seven year old wants him for her self. Yoda is inexpensive enough that I offered to buy a second one, but she now wants to try and share.

The stuffy feels well made and ought to last. I wouldn't give this to a puppy, for fear the stuffing will be everywhere, but my 2 year old dogs will not destroy it. The kid can share.

STAR WARS Yoda Plush Dog Toy, 10" L X 9" W

Runnur vs. Pacsafe: which compact sling bag is best?

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I prefer to be hands-free. So I bought the Runnur Hands free Carry-all and tried out the Pacsafe Venturesafe 150 Gll cross body pack. I prefer the Runnur due to its everyday utility, but the Pacsafe is more secure and better for those concerned about street theft.

runnur

Runnur

I love the multiple pockets: everything is easily-accessed, including items in the sling's back pockets, as it can quickly be cycled to the front. It looks cooler than the Pacsafe, too, and comes in a variety of colors and sizes. Wherever I wore my Runnur—airports, convention show floors, restaurants—I received compliments. The biggest drawback is that when you bend forward, it slides off the body. So you have to hold onto it whenever gravity can't do the work. It tends to slip around while cycling, too.

pacsafe

Pacsafe

Security is the main draw of this cross-body pack. In crowds, I've had people pull at my backpack's zippers to try and get stuff inside, and the Pacsafe's smart zipper-clips prevent this from happening. Another great anti-left feature are the RFID-blocking pockets, lined with a material that prevents the contents from being scanned. I felt more secure using this bag than with the Runnur, it fit more snugly, and it lacked the other product's slipping problem.

Unfortunately, while the Pacsafe can be worn on the front or back comfortably, changing from one to the other with a quick swish isn’t possible. If I had it on my back, I had to remove it completely to get at my stuff.

Unlike Runnur, Pacsafe offers a wide variety of other travel gear and bags, but this one only comes in a handful of styles.

Have you tried any similar products? Tell us about them in the forums.

Why you have to make your own rules for love and sex

Author Sarah Mirk never tells readers what they should do in bed, writes Glenn Fleishman, only what they might do.Read the rest

Movies: 'The Fault in Our Stars' reviewed by young woman, 14, whose mom survived cancer

Naomi Horn, 14, reviews the film adaptation of John Green's best-selling book about young adults with cancer who find love. Naomi is no stranger to cancer: her mom is a survivor, and others in her family have died of the disease.Read the rest

Escape: The Curse of the Temple (game review)

Jon Seagull reviews a board game in which players must team up in a race against time to escape a cursed temple, grabbing as much treasure as they can along the way.Read the rest

Jo Walton's "My Real Children": infinitely wise, sad and uplifting novel

An ambitious and nuanced story that left Cory Doctorow in tears, the new novel from award-winner Jo Walton is about an elderly woman who remembers two lives.Read the rest

Afterlife With Archie: Archie Andrews, zombie hunter!


Back in March, I blogged the Afterlife with Archie comics, and suggested that you wait until the first collection of the series came out before digging into it (the singles were going for silly money). Today, Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale hits stores, collecting the first series of the comic in one paperback edition. Afterlife With Archie is more than a silly gag -- the creators really do play out a grim, tense, serious zombie story here, albeit leavened with some comeuppances for Riverdale's most annoying recurring characters.

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Zombie Dice expansion pack: the hunk, the hottie, and Santa

zombie-expansionMy family and I have been continuing to enjoy Zombie Dice, a "press your luck" game in which you play a zombie who wants to eat as many human brains as possible without getting shot in the head. We recently picked up the expansion pack, called Zombie Dice 2 Double Feature, which adds good complexity to the game.

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MK Wren's Shadow of the Swan

Enjoy the second part of MK Wren's new ebook, offered exclusively by Boing BoingRead the rest

The Oversight: conspiracies, magic, and the end of the world

The clever blendings of history and imagination in Charlie Fletcher's new novel are satisfying enough to make resolution of its loose ends worth waiting for, writes Cory DoctorowRead the rest

This One Summer [excerpt]

An excerpt from Jillian and Mariko Tamaki's brilliant graphic novel.Read the rest

Review: This One Summer

Cory Doctorow reviews Jillian and Mariko Tamaki's brilliant coming-of-age graphic novel for young adults.Read the rest

Tales of Pirx the Pilot, classic scifi by Stanislaw Lem

pirx

I can not help but root for Pirx the Pilot. Unfocused, day dreaming, and distracted at the drop of a hat, Stanislaw Lem's Pirx is a hero for all the wrong reasons. Also, I think Lem's books have amazing cover art.

It is pretty evident that Pirx is clueless. Starting as a cadet, we follow Pirx's rather successful career as a pilot and space adventurer. His commanders seem to understand his capabilities and assign him missions he can complete, but it always takes Pirx a while to figure this out. He imagines romantic scenarios around every simple mission. While he believes failure or death imminent, everything works out just fine. It isn't blind luck, Pirx puts in the effort but he doesn't trust himself. This is a very endearing read.

I've ordered a copy of More Tales of Pirx the Pilot. I bet they are just as much fun.

Tales of Pirx the Pilot by Stanislaw Lem

What Will You Miss Most? by Mark Ernest Pothier

What will you miss most? As soon as I heard Mark Ernest Pothier's What Will You Miss Most? was available, I had to read it. His stories grab my attention and his characters wrench my heart. Again, I was brought to tears.

What Will You Miss Most? is a story of coping with loss. Louise isn't dissatisfied with life, but things haven't been going her way for a while. When her father passes in a freak accident we are shown how sometimes a greater loss can put everything in perspective.

Mark's characters are so full and so excellently written I can not believe this is a short story. He is truly a gifted storyteller.

What Will You Miss Most? by Mark Ernest Pothier

Previously on Boing Boing:

The Man Who Owns Little by Mark Ernest Pothier

The First Light of Evening by Mark Ernest Pothier

Austin Grossman's YOU, now in paperback

Austin Grossman's 2013 novel YOU was a brilliant, mystical science fiction novel about game development and simulation (two subjects that Grossman knows plenty about, being a somewhat legendary game dev himself). The book came out in paperback this month, which is cause for celebration and a good reason to re-run my original review:

YOU is the second novel from Austin Grossman, whose 2008 debut Soon I Will be Invincible marked him out as a talent to watch. Now, with his second novel, he confirms his status as a major talent.

You is the story of Russell, who tries to leave behind his nerdy, computer-game-programming high-school life to get a law degree, but by the end of the 90s, he's dropped out and come to work at Black Arts, a game studio founded by three of his school buddies -- the three who stayed true to their nerdy roots. Black Arts is famous for its brilliant simulation engine, which was written by Simon, Russell's old school buddy, who has just died under mysterious circumstances, leaving the company he founded in uncertain shape.

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Orikaso: folding, cheap, amazing polypropylene flat-pack dinnerware



Orikaso is a line of super-cheap, incredibly durable, brilliantly conceived flat-pack plates, cups and bowls, created by Jay Cousins (here's his blog). They're made out of super-durable, long-lived, environmentally sound polypropylene. Folding them takes bare seconds, and once folded, they stay folded and are perfectly water-tight. They unfold in seconds, and are (theoretically -- I haven't tested this) top-shelf dishwasher safe. My favorite piece is the cup, which has lots of grace-notes, like metric volume measurements on both side and imperial on the other, and a handle that's so clever I actually giggled the first time I used it. The whole thing is basically a magic-trick.

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Exclusive ebook offer: MK Wren's Sword of the Lamb


Since its release, M.K. Wren's acclaimed trilogy about life in the 33rd century has drawn much-deserved favorable comparisons to Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. Boing Boing and Diversion Books are pleased to offer Sword of the Lamb, the first book in the series, for $1.99. That's 60% off the regular price. And don't worry, we'll be offering deals on the rest of the fantastic series in case you get hooked. But get the first one here.

Click through below for an excerpt from the opening of Sword of the Lamb:

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Afterparty: neuro-technothriller


Afterparty is a new, excellent science fiction novel by Daryl Gregory, about drugs, God, sanity, morals, and organized crime. Its protagonist, Lyda Rose is a disgraced neuroscientist who once helped develop a drug that rewired its users' brains so that they continuously hallucinated the presence of living, embodied Godhead. Now Lyda is in a mental institution, where she is attempting to win over the therapists who oversee her -- as well as the angelic doctor that manifests only in her mind.

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'Orphan Black': Nature Under Constraint and Vexed [TV recap, S2E1]

It’s good to be back in the Clone Club. The return of Orphan Black quite literally hits the ground running and never lets up in this action-packed, clone-filled premiere. “Nature Under Constraint And Vexed” reintroduces almost every major player from season one, readjusts the show’s antagonistic forces, and ends with a bombshell reveal. I’m not convinced it’s a pace the show can maintain for the entire season, but it’s a hell of a fun way to jump back into the world of Orphan Black.

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Get ready for Orphan Black's return tomorrow night with this season one recap

What constitutes a family? Are they the people who give you life, the people who raise you, or the people you choose as your support network? Or are they your identical clones created by a mysterious organization seeking to advance human evolution to the next level? That last one might not be a question most family dramas are interested in asking, but Orphan Black isn’t most family dramas.

Like the best sci-fi shows, BBC America’s addictive Orphan Black uses its fantastical lens to explore realities of the human condition. Where Battlestar Galactica examined politics and terrorism using a fleet of spaceships and Buffy the Vampire Slayer depicted the struggles of adolescence through demons and witches, Orphan Black uses human cloning to explore the nature of family. That unifying central theme, a slew of fantastic characters, and an absolutely stellar central performance (well, performances) from star Tatiana Maslany combine to make Orphan Black one of the best shows of 2013 and one you should absolutely check out before it returns for a second season on April 19.

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