HappySmurfday has dug up and scanned some printouts of the login screen from Penn and Teller's circa-1987 BBS, Mofo Ex-Machina. They are nerdgasmic and glorious.
- Penn and Teller make thousands of bees appear out of "nothing ...
- Penn & Teller's Invisible Thread: lost comedy magic special ...
- Teller and the neuroscience of magic
- A tour of magician Teller's house
- Penn Jillette's video rant show
- Penn Jillette on artistic satisfaction and magic
- Long-lost Penn and Teller videogame for download
From Wired's Raw File, a gallery of a creepy Ukrainian salt mine that has been converted into a convalescent home for recovering asthmatics. It's something called Speleotherapy: breathing in salt-saturated air as a means of soothing respiratory problems: "Kuletski describes the atmosphere among patients as 'calm and relaxed' despite the 'appallingly unsafe conditions. ... The presence of kids wearing safety helmets and cheap plastic sheets to protect them from dripping water from the ceiling makes being there even more surreal,' says Kuletski."
(Image: Kirill Kuletski/Wired)
Here's a service that takes Google maps satellite views and converts them into print-and-fold envelopes you can use for your correspondence, creating a kind of handsome, 21st-century stationery.
Here's University of Auckland engineering lecturer, Peter Bier riding a unicycle across his classroom with a juggling student on his shoulders, memorably demonstrating some key principles of physics.
Pink Cake Box made this custom XKCD wedding cake for one of their customers in New Jersey: "The top of the cake includes cutouts of the comic characters with a red heart on a wire between them. The entire cake is covered in white fondant with black thin bands at the base of each tier. Equations inspired by this comic decorate the remaining tiers."
Joining Milgrim is Hollis Henry, the former pop star from Spook Country, still reluctantly in Bigend's employ, but even more conflicted, and missing her ex-boyfriend, a thrill-seeking nutjob whose idea of a good time in jumping off tall buildings in a glidersuit. Milgrim -- and later, Hollis -- track the secret denim from South Carolina to London to Paris and back to London again, and very quickly find themselves embroiled in an intrigue involving US spooks, experimental UAVs, rogue infosec specialists, and a palace coup at Blue Ant, Bigend's legendary design and branding firm.
What makes Zero History into Gibson's best so far is how absolutely perfectly he captures the futuristic nature of the present day. Milgrim -- a junkie dried out after a ten year fugue of living rough and stealing to buy pills -- is well-suited to this task, emerging as if from a time-machine into the 21st century in full swing, able to narrate its essential strangeness without seeming contrived. But all of Gibson's characters are in the business of understanding how we got to this futuristic present, and on every page, there is a jolt of pleasant dissonance as Gibson does the conjurer's trick of making you look at your surroundings with fresh eyes.
Here is a book that is both contemporary, and futuristic -- and anachronistic, filled as it is with characters who long for simpler times, who fetishize antique computers and vintage memorabilia. It's a book that doesn't so much feel written as designed, cunningly filled with trompe d'esprit effects that fool your brain into staring at your own life from the objective distance of a Martian.
And moreover, here is a book that is a novel, filled with people having exciting adventures and romance, developing as characters, chasing mysteries. An even better trick: to make something so smart that is nevertheless enormous fun as well. What a treat.
- William Gibson bags and coats
- William Gibson's Spook Country
- William Gibson explains why science fiction is about the present ...
- William Gibson interviewed on IO9
- William Gibson answers questions
- William Gibson: The Rolling Stone interview
- William Gibson on NSA wiretapping
- Original proposal for William Gibson's Spook Country
- Timothy Leary and William Gibson promoting a Neuromancer film ...
- William Gibson WashPo interview "one of the best ever"
- William Gibson's playlist
- BoingBoingBoing #15: William Gibson
- William Gibson on writing in the age of Google
- William Gibson explains how Molly's mirrorshades work
- Gibson's self-destructing poem Agrippa: screen-movie
- How William Gibson discovered science fiction
"We had an interesting morning bringing it in," Dean said. "It was quite a fight.""8-Foot Shark Caught in Potomac River"
Once the shark was captured, the next question was: What the heck do you do with it?
"I am probably going to have it mounted, maybe the head," Dean said. "Right now, the shark's in the freezer."
The fiction prizes were especially sweet this year. Best novel was an almost-unheard-of tie between China Mieville for his brilliant, mind-bending The City and the City and Paolo Bacigalupe for his stellar debut novel The Windup Girl. Best novella went to my collaborator Charlie Stross for Palimpsest, from his wonderful, mind-bending solo short story collection Wireless. Best novelette went to Peter Watts for The Island, from The New Space Opera 2. Boing Boing readers will remember Peter as the SF writer who was beaten and gassed near the US/Canada border when he got out of his car to ask why US customs officers were searching his car; he spent tens of thousands of dollars fighting the charge and the potential two-year sentence; was found guilty but received a suspended sentence. SF fans raised money to bring Peter to Australia, and his acceptance speech in which he called this the "best and worst year of his life," was brilliant. The best short story, which I presented, went to Will McIntosh for "Bridecicle," a lovely story.
Net-based media was a big winner this year: the podcast Starship Sofa (often presented here) won for Best Fanzine. And of course, there was Fred Pohl's Hugo for Best Fan Writer for his excellent blog The Way the Future Blogs.
Other categories whose winners made me especially glad include the Best Editor prize for my editor at Tor, Patrick Nielsen Hayden (this was his second prize in the very new category, and he has taken his name out of the running for next year). The graphic novel category went to Phil and Kaja Foglio's steampunk comic Girl Genius. The Campbell Award for best new writer to Seanan McGuire, whose heartfelt acceptance speech made me burst into tears.
Tor.com has the full list of nominees and winners here.
This is the world's first frozen margarita machine, invented and built by Mariano Martinez in 1971 from parts of a soft-serve ice cream maker. His inspiration: A 7-11 Slurpee.
Today, it resides in the collection of the National Museum of American History, where a museum director once called it a, "classic example of the American entrepreneurial spirit."
What would you make of medieval historical records that prominently note the occurrence of large crops of acorns? It's a bit of a weird departure from the kinds of things these records normally care about, i.e. battles and the deaths of famous people. In fact, the people keeping these records didn't even eat acorns, and other, more useful, crops aren't mentioned at all.
But, sometimes, an acorn might be more than just an acorn, according to a 2003 paper by classicist David Woods. That's because the Latin word for "little nut" and the word sometimes used to describe the swollen lymph nodes caused by the Capital-P Plague are one and the same.
The Latin term glandularius is the root of our word for gland; etymologically, glandula means 'little nuts' because this is what they felt like when palpated. There is at least one other example of a plague record using glandulara as a descriptor. In c. 660 the Burgundian 'Chronicle of Fredegar' describes the 599 plague of Marseilles as a cladis glanduaria.
So "a spark of leprosy and an unheard of abundance of nuts", becomes the far more logical, "we've had some issues with leprosy and The Plague this year".
Contagions: Plague among the nuts
Just look at it.
- 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
- HOWTO disassemble a banana - Boing Boing
- Robber uses banana as "gun" - Boing Boing
- Hemant "The Friendly Atheist" Mehta Interviews Ray "The Banana Man ...
- Peeling bananas from the other end is easier - Boing Boing
- Forlorn bananas of London - Boing Boing
- 11 students suspended for banana prank - Boing Boing
Sanka: because your old man beats you when he's got the jitters.
Cannabis Catering offers gourmet meals laced with pot. The delivery service isn't cheap, around $100/person, but damn those pot-atoes look tasty. And yes, you need a medical marijuana card to order. From Fast Company:
The idea for Cannabis Catering came to (Chef Frederick) Nesbitt when he learned that his friend's diabetic mother had been diagnosed with cancer. "I would bring back edibles [from the dispensary], but they're so high in high-fructose corn syrup that she was high off sugar rather than being medicated," he says. So Nesbitt began experimenting with his own pot food--starting with mashed potatoes."Meet the Personal Chef of Pot" (Thanks, Mathias Crawford!)
As seen tonight in the casino across from the Melbourne Convention Centre: a boneless, clubfooted French Connection model.
- The criticism that Ralph Lauren doesn't want you to see!
- Photoshop retouching of model
- Searching for the skinny on Ralph Lauren ad (UPDATE: "We are ...
- Ralph Lauren opens new outlet store in the Uncanny Valley - Boing ...
- Odd Victoria's Secret image analyzed with Photoshop forensics ...
- Xeni on Rachel Maddow Show: Ralph Lauren's Photoshop of Horrors ...