"There's something special about writing by hand, writing with a fountain pen, and there's something special about writing into a book, to take a blank book and turn it into an actual book. I guess there's a sort of superstitious or mystical aspect to it," Haldeman said. "I like the physical action of writing down by hand, and I don't just use it for writing my fiction. I carry a notebook and write down things to do, and I write out thoughts and stuff like that."Science fiction writer Joe Haldeman discusses unplugging to create Ridley Scott to adapt Haldeman's Forever War Joe Haldeman's excellent online diary Photos of science fiction writers' nests Read the rest
He added, "I think it goes way back to when I was a teenager, and I guess it's just a habit of thought that you either have or don't have. If I had had a thing like an iPad when I was a kid, then I never would have gotten into the habit of writing things down by hand."
Taping for the Blind is a Texas non-profit that does exactly what it says—turning printed material that isn't available in audio book format into custom-made tapes and CDs. They also do audio descriptions of live events, like the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and various theater performances. Volunteers read and describe publications by request, and one of the publications requested turns out to be Playboy. NPR interviewed Suzi Hanks, a radio DJ who took over Playboy duty after the guy who used to read it got married, and his wife asked him to stop.
Hanks reads the articles ... and describes the pictures. But that latter task is more than just titillatingly talking about tits.
"Basically I'm their eyes. All I'm doing is providing accessibility to what's there on the page," she says. "I don't have to try to be sexy when I'm describing the pictures. I'm just a woman reading it, and it comes out sexy whether I want it to or not."
It's more than just body parts, she says. "That would get boring. You're painting a picture. She's conveying something through her eyes, through her facial expressions."
Hanks will look for details in the photos like nautical sheets on the bed, or make observations like, "interestingly enough, in the centerfold, it looks as if the tattoos have been airbrushed out. The tattoos are gone."
With help from his friend Jake Keen -- an expert on ancient metal-making techniques -- the author dug up 81kg of ore and smelted it in the grounds of his house, using a makeshift kiln built from clay and hay and fuelled with damp sheep manure...Terry Pratchett creates a sword with meteorites (Thanks, Eric!)
He said: "It annoys me that knights aren't allowed to carry their swords. That would be knife crime."
(Image: Terry Pratchett, Powell's, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from firepile's photostream) Pratchett's Discworld: a reading-order guide Match it For Pratchett! Raising £500000 for Alzheimer's research ... Terry Pratchett: Doctor Who isn't science fiction Terry Pratchett has rare, early-onset Alzheimer's Terry Pratchett's "Making Money" -- economic comedy Terry Pratchett gets a knighthood Terry Pratchett fan-afghan -- the Pratchgan Pratchett donates $1 million to Alzheimer's research Read the rest
Laura Jernegan: Girl on a Whaleship (via IZ Reloaded) Stealthy anti-whaling powerboat Anne Frank's complete diary on display for the first time - Boing ... Secret Diary of a Specialist in Developmental Neurotoxicology and ... Bob Harris' photo diary of a trip to the North Korea border ... Diary of a UK journalist being hassled by goons at the Bilderberg ... Read the rest
Zombies Zombie meat beef jerkey Zombie at Tiffany's Threadcake Zombie/NPR fanfiction Lawn zombie sculpture Hand printed poster: DANGER. ZOMBIES. RUN. in Bazaar ... Typographic mustaches -- handy identification poster Hot Pocket Ingredients poster in Bazaar Read the rest
In Smallab sessions, students hold wands and Sputnik-like orbs whose movements are picked up by 12 scaffold-mounted motion-capture cameras and have an immediate effect inside the game space, which is beamed from a nearby computer onto the floor via overhead projector. It is a little bit like playing a multiplayer Wii game while standing inside the game instead of in front of it. Students can thus learn chemical titration by pushing king-size molecules around the virtual space. They can study geology by building and shifting digital layers of sediment and fossils on the classroom floor or explore complementary and supplementary angles by racing the clock to move a giant virtual protractor around the floor.Read the rest
As new as the Smallab concept is, it is already showing promise when it comes to improving learning results: Birchfield and his colleagues say that in a small 2009 study, they found that at-risk ninth graders in earth sciences scored consistently and significantly higher on content-area tests when they had also done Smallab exercises.
The New Yorker has a small and edifying gallery of his postal experiments.
Perhaps most remarkably, he posted himself, becoming the first man to send a human through the mail in 1900, and then, through registered mail, in 1903. Tingey's book includes a picture of Bray being delivered to his own doorstep--presumably the sort of package likely to please the lady of the house.The Eccentric Englishman (Thanks, Fonsecalloyd, via Submitterator) UK government wants to secretly read your postal mail Britain's postal-code database online at Wikileaks: produced at ... Read the rest
And Bray did not stop there. He sent postcards crocheted by his mother. He made out address fields in cryptic verse, or to the inhabitants of empty caves, or describing only the latitude and longitude of the destination, or with a picture of the location to which the article was meant to be delivered (see, in the slideshow below, the postcard made out to "The Resident Nearest This Rock," for example). He threw messages into bottles and solicited the world's largest collection of autographs, including ones from Gary Cooper and Laurence Olivier, Charlie Chaplain and Maurice Chevalier. The image that emerges from this antic and visually arresting volume is of a blithe English rogue, testing the system, stretching its limits--an experimenter, playing the most relentless, and amusing, of pranks.
Banana 2010 (Thanks, Knutmo!) Previously: Just look at this awesome banana boat. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome banana skateboard. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome banana Viking helmet. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome slow-moving performance artist whose face has been covered with exploding bananas. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome EU banana curvature regulation. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome anti-banana-ripening bag. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome Korean banana-ripening facility. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome banana peeler. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome banana peeling simulator. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome banana slicer. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome banana saver clip. Boing Boing Just look at this awesome banana bunker. Boing Boing Read the rest
Here's MIT Media Lab prof Mitch Resnick talking about "Lifelong Kindergarten," a one-hour talk on "how new technologies can help extend kindergarten-style learning to people of all ages, enabling everyone to learn through designing, playing, and sharing."
In a recent Boing Boing guest post, I talked about Neo-Minimalism and the rise of the Technomads. Both terms describe a wide array of practices relating to reducing the stuff you own and becoming more mobile.
In what is potentially the most minimal "technomadic" experiment ever, Rolf Potts (author of one of my favorite travel/lifestyle books Vagabonding) has set out on 6-week, 12-country, round-the-world trip without a single piece of luggage.
His trip is sponsored by ScotteVest (covered frequently here in the past), and yes, it's kind of a stunt. But it's also a super interesting experiment in travel minimalism. Exactly how much do you need to bring with you to get by on a trip like this?
I've written before about how travel is a great way to help you pare down and figure out what you truly need.
This no-baggage adventure will be more than a stunt to see if such a thing can be done: At a time when intensified travel-stresses and increased luggage fees are grabbing headlines, it will be an experiment to determine how much we really need to bring along to have the trip of a lifetime. What items, if any, are essential to the enjoyment of a journey to other countries? How does traveling light make a trip cheaper, simpler or easier (or more difficult)? What lessons from this no-baggage adventure might apply to day-to-day life—both on the road and at home?The trip started in New York City, and Rolf has already made his way through Europe. Read the rest
CC-licensed photo by Stefan MunderThe Royal Canadian Mounted Police in British Columbia have issued a warning about LSD-laced gummi bears . Apparently they found a bag of the psychedelic bears during a drug raid. From CANOE:
"While the police don’t want to create panic, because most persons who would purchase such an item want it for personal use, they do want parents to be aware of the presence of these gummi bears in the Cranbrook area," police said in a release."Gummi bears laced with LSD a new trend: RCMP" Read the rest