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Piracy vs the MPAA: yet another box-office record smashed

The movie studios continue to demand Lord High Internet Executioner status because "piracy is destroying the film industry," even as box office records are smashed anew: Straight Outta Compton put its studio over the $2B mark in record time.

Podcast: Ian McDonald talks about Luna: New Moon (also coming to CBS!)

Science fiction titan Ian McDonald's forthcoming novel Luna: New Moon is the subject of the latest installment of the always-great Coode Street podcast (MP3).

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Soda Pop Soldier, a novel of what is far too likely to come, by Nick Cole

Soda Pop Soldier

I remember the Cola Wars, I lost so many friends. Nick Cole offers a fantastic look at the future of advertising.

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Some books that helped me with Surf Guitar

Surf Guitar

I wanted to play like Dick Dale. These books help me pretend. They are quite good.

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Nomad, Matthew Mather's frightening take on the apocalypse

Nomad

In Matthew Mather's new novel, Nomad, an anomaly 100 times more dense than the sun is headed directly for the Earth. There is nothing we can do, no where to hide, humanity grasps at straws at the end draws near.

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Stephen Harper will use 12-18 year old junior rangers to fight the Russians

The largely aboriginal youth club -- historically called upon to fight forest fires and volunteer in parks -- is now part of the Canadian Prime Minister's "arctic soveriegnty" plan.

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Transgenic mouse company pays academics who cite them in papers

Cyagen also makes stem cells and other bio-research materials: they'll pay academics $100 in vouchers per citation, multiplied by the impact factor of the journal in which the paper is published. -

Australian court hands copyright trolls their own asses

The studio behind "Dallas Buyers Club" will be able to demand that people caught downloading the movie without permission pay for the cost of a legit download, plus a small surcharge to cover the cost of getting their details through a court.

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Obama is reading these books this summer

The White House has released the list.

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Simple physics and machine building via LEGO for my 8 year old

LEGO Chain Reactions

Combining useful physics lessons, building cool machines, and LEGO is always win in my household. This book has my daughter back to building!

LEGO Chain Reactions: Design and build amazing moving machines arrived as a gift the other day. This very clever book easily walks you through building Chain Reactions, simple LEGO machines that are designed to modularly fit together, they can function individually or as a unit. There are 10 models that you can build and link together.

In addition to each module being a interesting mechanical construct, the book explains the physics that allow the "chain reactions" to occur in a way my 8-year-old gets it. There is also a useful progression through the book in a "Now that you've built an onager, meet the trebuchet!" sort of way that I found helpful and entertaining.

At first I was worried that our vast tub of LEGO would not have the right pieces. If you have 2-3 sets worth of LEGO detritus, you should be fine and able to build everything here. The included pieces are all specialized, but if you follow the books instructions, and don't care about color matching, you'll get there.

IF you want to build some fun RubE Goldberg machines with your kid, LEGO Chain Reactions is a great book.

LEGO Chain Reactions: Design and build amazing moving machines

The Pop Up Art Book

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The Pop Up Art book mixes street, comics and fine art with insane paper craft! Amazing artists works are re-imagined in 3D, and explode off the page!

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Smash the State: a 1971 Ladybird book


A image from the Boing Boing Flickr pool by Flamenco Sun.

Inside the Machine: a visual history of electronics, technology and art

Archivist Rick Prelinger writes, "It's been a long wait, but Inside the Machine, my spouse Megan's visual history of electronics, technology and art is finally out and propagating throughout the world, and we're having a release party in San Francisco at the McRoskey Mattress Factory on Monday, August 24!"

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Scalzi's latest Old Man's War novel hits shelves today!

It's called The End of All Things, and it's book six in the series (here's my review of book one); he's touring it all over the USA.

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Cthulhu pint glasses


Jeffery Woods is a glassmaker who sells his custom-etched/painted glassware on Etsy, including these Cthulhu-inpsired tentacle pint glasses, $65 for four.

Felicia Day's "You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)"

Felicia Day's memoir You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) starts off as a cute, snarky story about how a quirky upbringing turned Day into a nerd superhero; by the end, it's become an illuminating, frank look at the commercial realities, injustices and insecurities that everyone trying to earn a living online must confront.Read the rest

Alien creature hunt (1963)

House of Mystery (No.130, Jan 1963)

Cover art by George Roussos

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