The Dalai Lama Will Not Return to Lead Tibet (He Has Something Better in Mind)

Jason Louv reports on a surprising decision and what it means for Tibet’s uncertain future

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'Interstellar' VFX give new insights into black holes

interstellar2 Wired has an interesting look at how the science behind Interstellar helped Caltech astrophysicist Kip Thorne develop new peer-reviewed papers on the science of black holes.

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Get Oculus Rift VR feature 'Banshee Chapter' free today

Oculus Rift fans can download 'Banshee Chapter' free today from Jamwix. Released in 2013, the 3D horror film based on H.P. Lovecraft’s From Beyond has been repurposed as a virtual reality feature.

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Galactic Wheel of Life shines in new infrared space image from NASA Spitzer telescope

It might look like as spoked wheel or even a "Chakram" circular weapon wielded by television's fictional warrior Xena, but this ringed galaxy is actually a vast place of stellar life. A newly released image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the galaxy NGC 1291. Though the galaxy is quite old, roughly 12 billion years, it is marked by an unusual ring where newborn stars are still bursting to life.

In this spectacular image released this week, an older galaxy ignites with an outer ring of stellar life.

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15 tricks to appear smart in emails

At Medium, hilarious and true "15 Tricks to Appear Smart in Emails" by Sarah Cooper, of the equally brilliant "10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings."

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October, a photo shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool

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Photo: A lovely autumn study shared by Boing Boing reader Bill in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool.

Fallen Toronto: a calendar of Toronto's bleak sfnal future


Jim Munroe writes, "We've put our science fiction visions of Toronto's future together in a 2015 calendar called FALLEN TORONTO as a new Kickstarter reward for backing our neo-noir sci-fi webseries HAPHEAD. If you live here you can shiver in nameless dread all the year round, and if you live elsewhere you can revel in schadenfreude at the fall of our socialist den of iniquity."

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Cigar Box Guitars: the ultimate DIY guide for makers and players

As one of the founders of MAKE magazine, I’ve made quite a few physical objects. Nothing has been more fun than making guitars out of cigar boxes. The amazing thing about them is that they aren’t difficult to build, are fairly fault-tolerant, and yet sound good! David Sutton’s book is a perfect introduction to the world of cigar box guitars. He gives a history of them, profiles makers and museum curators, and provides step-by-step instructions on making three different types of cigar box guitars (including how to make your own pickups to electrify your homemade instruments). There are color photos on every page. Cigar Box Guitars: The Ultimate DIY Guide for the Makers and Players of the Handmade Music Revolution by David Sutton

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.

Music: "30 Days In The Hole," Humble Pie (1972)

Durban poison may indeed be the solution for urban noise.

Interviews with active people in their 80s and 90s

wilsonNYT Magazine has short interviews with a bunch of very old people who are still going full steam ahead. Inspiring, and beautifully photographed by Erik Madigan Heck.

Now that you’re 85, how do you see your future?
Edward O. Wilson, naturalist and author, 85: "I haven’t sensed anything, and I don’t think others have sensed yet that’s an obvious deterioration of what I’m doing. When I feel it I’ll stop. What I’ll do then is try to take more time in going back to the field with my butterfly net."

What has surprised you the most about being your age?
Christopher Plummer, actor, 84: "Well, the fact that there were no surprises surprised me. I don’t feel any older now or less flexible than I did when I was 60 or 55. It just goes on."

What do you know now that you didn’t know when you were younger?
R. O. Blechman, illustrator and author, 84: "It’s important to stay with a project and not give up because it doesn’t seem to be breaking for you. Whatever it is. I’m reminded of what a Russian scientist once said: 'Ice forms instantly, but the process of forming the ice is slow and invisible.'"

What has changed the most for you about your work since you’ve hit your 80s?
Frank Gehry, architect, 85: "Buildings take seven years from the time you’re hired until you’re finished. There’s always that pause in my mind now when we get a new project. And then I think about it for a few minutes, and I say: 'Ah, screw it! Full speed ahead.'"

Blogville, a virtual world where you can read blogs


Philipp writes, "In Blogville, you can read blogs... including Boing Boing! This is part of Manyland, the browser-based MMO universe where you can draw and script anything to build the world."

City maps with streets colored by orientation

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LA and Chicago are most uniform; San Francisco and New York look like patchwork; London and Tokyo look like explosions in a fuzz factory. [Datapointed via JWZ]

Denim maintenance thread

A raw denim aficionado, sick of trying to clean his deathless jeans by freezing them or washing them in seawater, developed an antibacterial odor neutralizer especially made for the blend of sweat, grime and bacteria found in pants. Please, wash your jeans.

10 years ago, a TV flub flattened a career

How a 'lip-sync debacle" (the bungled, recrimination-filled aftermath moreso than the even itself) ended Ashlee Simpson's career and became a metaphor for how modern media, not merely piracy, threw nails into the music industry's prefab production line.

Kickstarting a new edition of the classic game Paranoia


Eric writes, "Paranoia is a cult classic tabletop roleplaying game that has sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide, won the Best Role Playing Game of the Year award, and been inducted into the Origins Award Hall of Fame."

Paranoia is light-hearted game of terror, death, bureaucracies, mad scientists, mutants, dangerous weapons, and insane robots, which encourages players to lie, to cheat, and backstab each other at every turn.

Paranoia is a darkly humorous roleplaying game set in Alpha Complex, a dystopian underground city of the future, ruled by The Computer. Alpha Complex is, according to The Computer, a Utopian society, but one threatened by all kinds of real (and imagined) traitors: mutants, members of treasonous secret societies, and terrorists. The players are Troubleshooters, agents of The Computer, whose job it is to uncover these enemies, and, well, shoot trouble. Each player is a mutant, and a member of a treasonous secret society, so each has a reason to discover the treasons of their co-workers -- and execute them, the better to convince The Computer of their own fervent loyalty.

Paranoia, originally published in 1984, was a product of, well, Cold War paranoia, but it is even more relevant in an era when the NSA and GCHQ work tirelessly to ensure that we are all safe and secure against the pervasive threat of Commie mutant trai.... Uh, I mean, evil, crazed terrorists. When we are all subject to constant surveillance by both government and private entities -- and when the kind of hard AI that might lead to The Computer seems just over the horizon.

This new edition of Paranoia...

...will include cards, special dice, reusable character sheets and other devices to promote fast play, a Paranoia state of mind, and a minimum of 'old school' paper-and-pencil logistics a la Dungeons & Dragons.

...will double down on the original darkly humorous premise built around a 24/7 full-surveillance police state (e.g., the cover of the 1984 edition showed a low-level guy's every move being watched from several different angles by The Computer and several of its Internal Security troopers).

...is being developed under the auspices of Mongoose Publishing, Britain's largest RPG publisher, which has run several successful Kickstarters before. It is being designed by James Wallis, a World Famous Game Designer (Baron Munchausen, Once Upon a Time), with assistance from the original game designers (Eric Goldberg and Greg Costikyan), as well as Grant Howitt and Paul Dean.

All good Citizens should show their fervent loyalty to The Computer by pledging eagerly. Those who fail to do so may receive an all expenses paid vacation in the HEL Sector Recreational Gulag & Reeducation Center. Trust The Computer! The Computer is Your Friend!

Paranoia RPG

(Thanks, Eric!)