I caught up with him on a Venice Beach rooftop to discuss the release of his very funny new book, Tiny Acts of Rebellion, and to roast s'mores beneath the stars. The resulting Boing Boing Video episode includes gutbusting fits of laughter, and melted marshmallows coated with gravel and cat-hair. Fulcher's a lot better at comedy than he is at cooking campfire treats.
A special treat from Boing Boing tv for your New Year's eve revelry, we're gonna sneak this one last episode in before the clock strikes 2009 here! Enjoy this music video for Sydney, Australia-based band The Herd, directed by the phenomenally talented Mike Daly. More about the band's
"glam/folk/tropical" music here. Every time we played this one in the BBtv editing bay, we all ended up dancing around the Final Cut windows. Mike Daly did incredible work here, there's not a frame of this I'd do differently, and it says so much about the year we're ending tonight, don't you think? Dig it, TRY not to dance, keep the faith my fellow mutants, and Feliz Año a todos ustedes, from all of us at the Boing Boing blogs, and the Boing Boing TV team! Peace.
Another installment in our "faves from 2008" BoingBoing tv retrospective -- this two-parter in which Mark Frauenfelder gets an exclusive tour of Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea. Above, part one, below, part two, and MP4 links for download here:
Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea is based out of Chicago, Illinois and has recently opened up a new store in the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Kyle Glanville, head of research and development at Intelligentsia and winner of the 2008 US Barista Championship shows Mark how they acquire and roast some of the finest coffee in the world.
The word intelligentsia derives from the Latin word intelligentia, meaning a group of people engaged in complex mental and creative labor directed to the development and dissemination of culture. Kyle Glanville has been laboring to promulgate a new coffee culture with Intelligentsia to combat the "get up and go" mentality, and Mark is along for the ride to learn the careful art of roasting coffee.
Intelligentsia is located at 3922 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90029 and is open 7 days a week.
You may remember Danny Choo from an earlier Boing Boing tv episode this year -- the "prince of Akihabara" donned his Stormtrooper finery and led some of Silicon Valley's finest CEOS through a tour of Tokyo's famed otaku district, with Joi Ito. So, Danny is also the son of famed fashion designer Jimmy Choo, and he is very well-known in Japan as a web personality, and a curator of truly wonderful nerdy things. He's like a long-lost Boing Boing cousin! Anyway -- today, Danny checks in with some amazing snapshots.
We're revisiting some of our favorite Boing Boing tv episodes during the holiday break, and while the one I'm embedding here (MP4 link here) is perhaps not going to win any Pulitzers, it was one of the most fun we had shooting anything ever. I won't spoil the surprise, but it involved making people in an office building very uncomfortable, and had absolutely nothing to do with George Lucas or Boba Fett. As for the bait 'n' switch title -- just work with me here, this was our April Fool's Day episode for 2008. And as for why it's worth posting today? If you're anywhere near an office park or an elevator with strangers in it, I strongly recommend you do this on New Year's Eve.
Continuing in our retrospective of favorite BBtv episodes from 2008, today's feature is an encore presentation of our three-part visit to the delicious, trippy, techy TCHO factory in San Francisco. The "chocolate for a new generation" startup was hacked together by a space shuttle technologist, Timothy Childs, and the founder of Wired, Louis Rosetto.
Part one is embedded above, parts two and three below, and here are direct MP4 links to all: one, two, three. Snip from the original post:
In part one of Boing Boing tv's multi-part exploration of Tcho, we begin in the lab, and learn about the origins of chocolate: it's a weird looking fruit with biological roots in faraway tropical lands. How this fruit is cultivated, harvested, and cured determines the flavor of the final product, and we learn about the hedonics -- the sensual nuances -- of this exotic and temperamental element.
Blog posts with more chocolicious background on all that we experienced there:
Continuing in our retrospective of favorite Boing Boing tv episodes, we revisit the fun we had checking out TechShop, an open-access public workshop that's kind of like a health club with heavy machinery and sparks instead of treadmills. Tinkerers, inventors, and hackers pay a membership fee, and in turn receive access to professionally-maintained gear, workshops, mentors, and a community of like-minded makers.
Currently there is only one site in Silicon Valley, and it opened in 2006. But founder Jim Newton (a lifetime maker, veteran BattleBots builder and former MythBuster) plans to open a number of locations around the US -- and eventually, the rest of the world.
John Todd, who you'll meet in this episode, wrote this article about the membership-based machine and fabrication shop in a recent edition of Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools zine. Snip:
I've been a member since before TechShop really even started, back when it was just some guys passing out flyers trying to gauge interest. For $100 a month, members can use any tool in the shop on which they've received training. MUCH cheaper than buying your own gear. The list of equipment is pretty extensive, too, and new items are arriving frequently (like a new hot-wire foam cutter).
John shares an additional note with BBtv about the company's business model:
TechShop is unusual in the way it's funded - community members are the financial backers. To date, TechShop has been funded by taking loans from members and repaying them at a nominal rate. Typically backers contribute $25k and up, and are then paid back over several years. There is an "A" round being raised now to fund the nationwide expansion, and the first funding source again is going to be the community instead of focusing on traditional VC sources. It's an unusual way to keep members excited about what they do at TechShop, and to keep them focused on making the whole experience better. Jim Newton (CEO) and Mark Hatch (COO) are looking for additional interested people who want to become members and funders - contact TechShop for details.
Do watch the second half of this episode. We take a joyride in a three-wheeled electric car, while wearing ridiculously inappropriate shoes. That's the little vehicle, above, with me (helpless passenger) and the guy who invented it (driver, going way too fast for comfort). It was a total blast, and all lulz aside, this guy's invention is pretty badass.
Continuing in our lazy-time retrospective of favorite Boing Boing tv episodes from the past year, we revisit an animated music video gem by Kristofer Ström of Ljudbilden & Piloten, based in Sweden. Here's their blog. Snip from the original BBtv blog post:
This short work is a music video he created for the Swedish electronica band Minilogue. The track is "Animals," and the video features colorful critter-blobs wreaking hyperfun havoc all over an urban real-life-scape.
We asked Kristofer to tell us a little about how this came together, and he explains:
In late 2007 we (me and the band Minilogue) started talking about making a followup to the very popular "hitchhiker's choice" video. At the same time I was doing some VJ-ing for them and found that those little animations i made for that could be characters in their next video. So I started producing a lot of loops of creatures. I hooked up with bart yates, nicholas wakeham and erik buchholtz, and our first thought was to put them all in an animated world... but i didn't really feel it. Then Erik showed me a test of my characters motion-tracked onto some footage -- and there it was. So he went out shooting some spots, rough cuts without the creatures, then we added those little fellas in the footage. Voilá! A longer version will be found on the minilogue DVD, coming this fall, finally! The longer version of "hitchhiker's choice" will be on there too. Some other stuff can be found on our temporary web site: http://varelsen.com.
Link to Minilogue's YouTube features. (Special thanks to Claire Jones, and to Cocoon.)
Happy holidays from Boing Boing tv! Continuing in our retrospective of favorite episodes from our first year:
Each year, David Silverman (director of the Simpsons Movie, and longtime director of the TV show) illustrates holiday cards for friends and family. Xeni visits him in his home studio for a re-enactment of the craziest years in holiday cheer, complete with tuba carols.
And other episodes of "BBtv WORLD" about Guatemala are here. But I also wanted to take this opportunity to share something else that means a lot to me. Last night, I scanned some of the hand-drawn Christmas cards from participants in an international non-profit I work with there, and uploaded them to Flickr. These were private cards, sent from folks in the pueblo to project participants in the US (in other words, they weren't for sale or anything, they were just heartfelt communication from one person to another).
I'm sharing some of them here with permission. They're beautiful and very meaningful to me.
Some of the cards refer to the old Mayan gods (for instance, references to "Ajaw", or "Tzaq'ol and Bit'ol", primordial entities who were present at the creation of all things), other cards refer to to Christianity. Some were created by children, others by adults, and the one with the Mayan house and the big Christmas tree and the volcano, thumbnail above? That man is considered the best painter and illustrator in the town. Every one of the cards, all in a stack next to me on my desk here right now, every one reflects soul, kindness, and hope.
To really appreciate them, click on "all sizes" and look at the larger size. The one I received personally read, "Feliz Navidad, y Paz a Todas Las Naciones Del Mundo." I know the woman who drew it, and she's survived so much.
On behalf of the Boing Boing tv team, and my colleagues in the nonprofit that works in that village, I extend that greeting to each of you who reads this blog post today. Friends we know, and friends we do not.
Although we didn't bother with CES last year, this year the Boing Boing team will be out in the cold Las Vegas desert, sifting through piles of sadness incarnate to find the precious products that might actually make our lives – if not truly better – a little happier in the coming year.
I'm more excited about going to CES as I have been in a long time. (Thanks in large part to your suggestions.) We try to keep it positive around here, but sometimes that's easier to do when everyone else seems so down in the dumps.
At least that's how I think it'll be at this year's show. Perhaps the convention won't be quite as bleak as I imagine in this "Road to CES" video we've put together.
Sponsor shout-out: Boing Boing TV's coverage of CES 2009 is sponsored byWEPC.com, in partnership withIntelandAsus.WePC.comis intended to be a site where users come together to "share ideas, images and inspiration about the ideal PC." Participants' designs, feature ideas and community feedback will be evaluated by ASUS and "could influence the blueprint for an actual notebook PC built by ASUS with Intel inside."
Happy Lazy-Time on Boing Boing tv! We're slowing down for the holidays, and taking a few weeks to gloat over all the fun stuff we produced together in 2008. Come join us in the seasonal gloating! Right here, under the genetically engineered mistletoe, by the warmth of burning fuel cells.
Earlier this week images were appearing on the internet showing that the WhiteKnightTwo craft had been doing some tests in Mojave, the earliest tests showed perhaps two of the engines being used, while a later test showed all the engines working and some further testing. Today we finally saw the four Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308A engines carrying the craft into the air and a huge milestone being reached by Virgin Galactic.
The maiden flight of the craft lasted just shy of one hour and happened today at around 08.15 at Mojave air and spaceport. Rumours suggest that a Beechcraft King Air was used for a chase plane. (...) This key event now leads us into an interesting 2009 when we should see the SpaceShipTwo craft being unveiled.
And, you may also enjoy revisiting this related Boing Boing tv episode, another one of our faves from 2008: Xeni kicks the tech tires on Virgin America(Flash embed below, here's the downloadable MP4 Link). In case you're joining the party late -- you can watch Boing Boing tv while you're on Virgin America airplanes, we think they're about as awesome as an airline gets, and I believe the Galactic episode above is actually playing on seat-back rotation right now.
Monochrom sock puppets Kiki & Bubu return to us today, for a very special holiday-themed episode: Kiki & Bubu & The Feelings. The yuletide song they perform for us is sure to be an instant classic -- Killing Capitalism with Christmas. You can grab it on iTunes, on the 2008 album "Monochrom: Carefully Selected Moments".
Yes, it is a time of crisis, but it is also a time of Christmas. Slovenian hackers crack CNN's hologram thingie, and bring us the avatar of gender-ambiguous singing sensation Enron Hubbard. Enron sings a hypnotic call to reject holiday consumerism and replace malls with meaning. Or if not meaning, post-internet nihilism and the ironic use of MySpace smiley-gifs. Online porn monster shows up after Enron is finished singing his holiday song, then Kiki and Bubu scamper off for eggnog frappucinos.