Roller Girl: Newberry-honored coming of age graphic novel about roller derby and difficult tween friendships

Victoria Jamieson's 2015 graphic novel Roller Girl won the prestigious Newberry Honor Award and it's easy to see why: Jamieson's story of a young teen's interest in roller derby is the perfect vehicle to explore the difficult and even traumatic way that girls' friendships change as they become teenagers, while never losing sight of the core story, about personal excellence, teamwork, and hard-hitting, girl-positive roller derby.

"Bring Back Weird Epcot" and other unofficial retro Disney World tees

Foxxfur, proprietress of the outstanding Passport to Dreams Old and New Disney themepark design critique blog (previously) has opened a t-shirt store featuring designs celebrating the lost, lamented design-flourishes that lurked in the corners of early Walt Disney World: the crowning glory of the store is this Bring Back Weird Epcot tee that really tells it like it is. Read the rest

Knit mermaid blankets

Laghcat's $24 knitted mermaid tail blankets come in kids' (56"x28") and adults' (71"x35.5") sizes and 40 color schemes/styles; the thousands of positive reviews praise the construction as being robust and durable (and feature photos of "mermaids" lounging cozily around their homes in their tail-blankets), and the blankets can be machine washed and tumble-dried. (via Incredible Things) Read the rest

The Gridlock: learn to pick car-locks

Michael from Sparrows Lockpicks (previously) writes, "I am releasing the Gridlock today, a automotive lock teaching tool." Read the rest

Prosthetic elf-ears with built-in earbuds

If you're heading into the Council of Elrond disguised as an elf, but you're reliant on a kind of Elvish Cyrano to whisper advice in your (lily-white) ear so you don't blow your cover, look no further than the Twisted Melon Spirit E666 Elvish Ear earbuds, which cost about $10. Now I know what to get the Beschizzas for Xmas! (via Red Ferret) Read the rest

Wesley Crusher bomber jacket and Star Trek patches bomber

Thinkgeek's new Her Universe Star Trek collection includes a couple of standout pieces: first, the Wesley Crusher bomber with embroidered "Crusher" over the breast and the three-stripe sleeve piping; second, the Patches Paige bomber with Trekkie embroidery and a selection of Starfleet Academy patches. Read the rest

Nimona: a YA graphic novel that raises serious, unanswerable moral quandries with snappy dialog and slapstick

I first encountered Noelle Stevenson's work through her groundbreaking, brilliant comic Lumberjanes, but before the 'Janes, Stevenson was tearing up the webcomics world with Nimona, which was collected and published by Harper Teen in 2015.

My Sister Rosa: disquieting YA novel about loving an adorable psychopath

Che Taylor is 17 and his little sister, Rosa, is 10 -- and she's a psychopath. His itinerant parents are relocating the family -- again -- to start (another) social enterprise, this one in New York, and Che knows that when the plane from Bangkok touches down, Rosa will resume her secret campaigns of psychological torture and ghastly cruelty, and that he'll be the only one who can see through the cherubic, charismatic, ringleted facade to the monster underneath. If only he didn't love her so much...

Pirate Utopia: Bruce Sterling's novella of Dieselpunk, weird politics, and fascism

Between 1920 and 1924, the Free State of Fiume was a real-world "pirate utopia," an ungoverned place of blazing futurism, military triumphalism, transgression, sex, art, dada, and high weirdness. In Bruce Sterling's equally blazing dieselpunk novella Pirate Utopia, the author turns the same wry and gimlet eye that found the keen edges for steampunk's seminal The Difference Engine to the strange business of futurism.

Kickstarting "Bears vs Babies," a new game from the Exploding Kittens team

Elan Lee writes, "Bears vs Babies is a monster-building card game from the creators of Exploding Kittens, Elan Lee and Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal). Described as a game of 'strategic benevolent betrayal' it has already raised more than $2.5 million in funding on Kickstarter from 67,000 backers. Bears vs Babies completed the original $10,000 funding goal in less than 10 minutes after its launch. The game is set to join the ranks as one of the most successful crowdfunded gaming campaigns in history." Read the rest

Messy: a celebration of improvisation and disorder as the keys to creativity, play, and work

Tim Harford's Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives plays to Harford's prodigious strengths: the ability to tell engrossing human stories, and the ability to use those stories to convey complex, statistical ideas that make your life better.

A beautifully machined spinning top

Machinist/sculptor Chris Bathgate (previously) teamed up with Richard Stadler, who machines beautiful spinning tops, to create "sculpture TP53335144462," a gorgeous piece of work. Read the rest

Eyeball nipple tassles

Just the thing to pair with a Cthulhu ski-mask and a studded skull/eyeball bowtie for a bit of trypophic dress-up fun! It's $28 from Etsy seller Talulahblueburlesque of Leicester, England. (Thanks, Alice!) Read the rest

The Millennium Falcon makes a great quadcopter

The Millennium Falcon is pretty well shaped to fly as an RC quadcopter!

I'm a huge fan of Air Hogs RC toys, and have been destroying their boats in salt water for years and years. I was thrilled to see someone flying this giant 27" Millennium Falcon XL around the beach this weekend, and even happier to find out there is a smaller, 10" version that don't cost an arm and a leg.

The fine person flying the XL model on the beach said the big guy a little rough to control, however the smaller unit is a great indoor flyer. It doesn't surprise me, the XL model is pretty ambitious.

I know which nephew of mine is getting the smaller one for Hanukkah!

Air Hogs - Star Wars Remote Control Millennium Falcon XL Flying Drone 2.4GHz 4-Channel with Gyro via Amazon

Air Hogs Star Wars Remote Control Millennium Falcon Quad via Amazon (10" model)

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The Klok: a lovely, concentric, crowdfunded slide-rule-esque watch

The 44mm Klok watch started life as a crowdfunding campaign and has now graduated to full-fledged article of commerce, priced between €400-430. Read the rest

Cthulhu ski masks

With more than a hundred positive reviews, Amurleopard's $4.23 Cthulhu ski mask seems to represent a kind of triumph in a narrow but important niche. Order now and get it in time to wear to the post-election unrest! (via Interesting Finds) Read the rest

Eleanor & Park: a terrifying YA romance that has rescued its readers and frightened their parents

Last week, the National Coalition Against Censorship honored Rainbow Rowell for her refusal to be back down on the frequent challenges to her multiple-award-winning, bestselling 2013 novel Eleanor & Park. I was there, and got a copy of the novel, and have read nothing since, and now that I've finished it, I find myself profoundly moved.

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