Biohacker Josiah Zayner suffered from persistent digestive problems so he decided to undertake an extreme self-experiment: He isolated himself in a hotel room, took massive doses of antibiotics, and then gave himself a fecal transplant to transform his own microbiome. Mark Frauenfelder and I interviewed Josiah about biohacking, cheap genetic engineering kits, and, of course, his own full body microbiome transplant in this episode of For Future Reference, a new podcast from Institute for the Future:
It takes more than eight wooden planks to build a real-life Minecraft chest; it also takes longer than a click. But the results seem worth it, so I know what I'll be doing next weekend! [via r/DIY]
Redditor dan2907 explains:
I made this minecraft chest as a gift for my neice, and since I probably wouldn't have attempted this if it wasn't for the other examples I'd seen when searching google images, I wanted to post it here in the hopes that if anyone else ever wants to give it a try, they might learn something from my attempt, or at least see it's possible even if you're not experienced.Read the rest
William Powell, author of the iconic counterculture how-to guide The Anarchist Cookbook, died last year of a heart attack. His death was just made public. As a teen, I learned many important things from The Anarchist Cookbook: mixing iodine crystals with ammonia is indeed explosive, smoking banana peels won't get you high (contrary to the book), and Rikers Island is to be avoided. Powell wrote the book when he was 19 and disavowed it later in life after becoming a Christian. The Anarchist Cookbook remained in print, much to his chagrin. “The central idea to the book was that violence is an acceptable means to bring about political change,” he wrote on the book's Amazon page. “I no longer agree with this.” From the Los Angeles Times:
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“The Anarchist Cookbook,” which has sold at least 2 million copies — printed, downloaded or otherwise — and remains in publication, was originally a 160-page book that offered a nuts-and-bolts overview of weaponry, sabotage, explosives, booby traps, lethal poisons and drug making. Illustrated with crude drawings, it informed readers how to make TNT and Molotov cocktails, convert shotguns to rocket launchers, destroy bridges, behead someone with piano wire and brew LSD.
The book came with a warning: “Not for children or morons.”
In a foreword, Powell advised that he hadn’t written the book for fringe militant groups of the era like the Weathermen or Minutemen, but for the “silent majority” in America, those he said needed to learn the tools for survival in an uncertain time.
It's no secret that Boing Boing (along with over 4 million other netizens) loves the Primitive Technology channel on YouTube. We've covered this channel numerous times (about a guy making primitive tech in the wilds of Far North Queensland, Australia with nothing but the gym shorts on his ass). I anxiously await each episode and am like a kid at Christmas when I get the alert that a new one is up.
But this month, thanks to one of the reader comments, I made a cool discovery. The videos are without narration. The un-named survivalist, who some have dubbed "Prim," is really good at showing you what he's doing so that you can understand it without explanation, and he writes up decent notes that are published along with the videos. But then I saw the comment: "[Turns on captions] That clever bastard has been talking to us the entire time!!" Whoa.
The captions and the notes are pretty similar, but you do get extra content in the captions and you get to see them in situ. I've been using closed captioning on my TV recently and have been delighted to see how much additional information you actually get: background conversations you would never hear, song titles and lyrics, and wonderful sound descriptions like "sexual gasping." So, it's great to discover another instance of CC being useful. Read the rest
In celebration of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Allen Pan built a wonderful home automation system where the interface is an ocarina as seen in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. (Thanks, Lux!)
This is dekotora (デコトラ), the Japanese maker culture that started in the 1970s of tricking out large trucks with garish lights, Gundam-inspired chrome mods, and eyeball-spanking paint jobs.
William Pennings built this wonderful machine that automates the arduous but necessary task of sorting M&Ms and Skittles by color. (Insert Van Halen joke here.)
"It's pretty quick and sorts about 2 pieces of candy per second" Pennings says. "It uses Arduino microcontrollers and stepper motors for quick and precise movement. A TCS34725 color sensor performs the measurements. Furthermore, the device is equipped with LEDs in several spots which nicely complement the overall look of the machine."
Brock and Bowdy were doing what toddlers do: being stupid. In the process of trying to climb their dresser via the drawers, they tipped it over, pinning Brock. Luckily Bowdy was able to free his twin brother, but these incidents are common. Ikea recently recalled several dressers for the same problem that led to fatalities. If you know or care for seniors, you need to senior-proof their living spaces, too. Read the rest