Boing Boing 

Gweek 078: Joshuah Bearman and ARGO

I interviewed one of my favorite journalists, Joshuah Bearman, who wrote the 2007 Wired article that the movie Argo was based on. It was called "How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans From Tehran." Joshuah has also produced some of the best and weirdest episodes to appear on This American Life, including the mind-boggling full-hour piece called "The Incredible Case of the P.I. Moms." I talked to Joshuah about all the above and more.


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Gweek 077: Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Chef

Tim Ferriss is a broad-spectrum enthusiast, and his sense of curiosity drives him to learn about and participate in a dizzyingly large number of activities.

David and I interviewed Tim Ferriss, author of the new book The 4-Hour Chef. This is Tim's third book. He's also the author of: The 4-Hour Workweek, and The 4-Hour Body.

Tim is a broad-spectrum enthusiast and his sense of curiosity drives him to learn about and participate in a dizzyingly large number of activities. He’s developed a system of sorts to quickly pick up enough skills and knowledge to understand, participate in, and appreciate crafts and practices such as learning languages, game hunting, martial arts, body building, tango dancing, and startup investment. His latest book, The 4-Hour Chef, reflects Tim’s interest in the culinary arts, but more importantly, it describes how Tim goes about learning new skills in a way that others can use to pursue their own interests.

We talked about many things, including smart drugs, the Paleo Diet vs the Slow Carb Diet, and a strange experience in China.

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Gweek 076: I Want My Blackwing Dirt Candy

Discussion and reviews of comic books, science fiction novels, games, and apps

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

My co-hosts for this episode:

Michael Pusateri, a lifelong tinkerer and former television tech executive for Disney who blogs at cruftbox.com


Fred Van Lente, the author of the Comic Book History of Comics, Valiant’s Archer & Armstrong comic book series, the Marvel iOS game Avengers Initiative, and much more.


Here are some of the things we talked about:

Dirt Candy, by Amanda Cohen. "Shares the secrets to making flavorful dishes—from indulgent stone-ground grits with pickled shiitakes and tempura poached egg, to hearty smoked cauliflower and waffles with horseradish cream sauce, to playfully addictive popcorn pudding with caramel popcorn."


Leviathan Wakes: The Expanse, by James Corey. Michael: "Great space opera sci-fi with a mix of detective who-dunnit and realistic characters."


I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution. Mark: "A great oral history of MTV. Filled with amazing anecdotes about the improbable rise of a channel that almost didn’t happen."


The Secret History of DB Cooper, the recently-wrapped psychedelic spy series from Oni Press by Brian Churilla. Posits an early 1970s in which Soviet and American agents war in a trippy psychic realm, of which the famed “skyjacker” was one (but on which side)?


Blackwing/Palomino Kum Pencil Sharpener. Michael: "Great manual sharpener for pencil enthusiasts."


How to Sharpen Pencils: A Practical & Theoretical Treatise on the Artisanal Craft of Pencil Sharpening for Writers, Artists, Contractors, Flange Turners, Anglesmiths, & Civil Servants, By David Reese.


Perma-Proto Breadboards from Adafruit. Mark: "An easy way to make a permanent version of your solderless breadboard prototype."


Borderlands 2. Fred: "Because Borderlands 2, that’s why. Pretty much the perfect game (in my own, admittedly highly biased view) from a writing sense, and something I think a lot about these days, as I’ve started writing games."


And much more, including three excellent picks by Gweek listener Tyler Dewald: Write or Die, White Noise Lite, Law and the Multiverse.

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Gweek 075: Oliver Sacks' Hallucinations

Dr. Sacks books are fascinating explorations into the way the human mind works, usually through studying abnormal minds and surprising ways in which they give us clues about perception, consciousness, and behavior.

When I was living in London in my early 20s, I found a book in the hallway of a university in Hampstead. It was a nonfiction story about a group of people who had become literally frozen with Parkinson's disease from an encephalitis outbreak. The book was written by a doctor who treated the people with a substance called L–dopa. The drug was like magic. It gave the formerly paralyzed people the ability to move around, talk, dance, and do most everything they could do before they became sick. Unfortunately, the effect of the drug tapered off, and the patients needed greater and greater amounts of L-dopa to receive the benefits. Eventually, The dosage required to obtain positive results exceeded the toxicity threshold, and so the doctor had to stop administering L-dopa to them. And one by one, all the patients became frozen again for the rest of their lives.

The book is called Awakenings, and it was written by Oliver Sacks, a physician and professor of neurology at the New York school of medicine. Dr. Sacks is the author of twelve books, including Uncle Tungsten, The Mind's Eye, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, and most recently, Hallucinations, which was published earlier this month.

Dr. Sacks' books are fascinating explorations into the way the human mind works, usually through studying abnormal minds and surprising ways in which they give us clues about perception, consciousness, and behavior. Interestingly, Dr. Sacks himself has face blindness, Asperger's syndrome, is blind in one eye, and is slightly deaf, which might explain in part why matters of the human mind are of great interest to him. He's one of my favorite authors, and because my coeditor at Boing Boing, David Pescovitz, is also an ardent admirer, he joined me in the following interview with Dr. Sacks.

Here is our interview with Dr. Sacks.

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Gweek 074: Lost at Sea with Jon Ronson

David and I spoke with Jon Ronson about his new book, Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries. Jon is the author of several first-person narrative books that David and I love: Them: Adventures with Extremists, The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, and The Men Who Stare at Goats, (which was made into a movie by George Clooney). If you are unfamiliar with Jon's work I recommend that you get your hands on every book he's written.

Lost at Sea collects 22 Guardian articles Jon's written over the years, and they are fascinating portraits of people and groups a few standard deviations away from the middle of the normalcy bell curve.

Subjects include: Insane Clown Posse and their announcement that they are born-again Christians who have encoded secret messages in their songs for the last decade, the billionaire transgender woman who invented satellite radio and her attempt to create a lifelike robot of her partner, the culture of Indigo Children, a British pop star's fascination with UFOs and aliens abductions, the contents of Stanley Kubrik's archival boxes, the tiny town of North Pole, Alaska, where Christmas is celebrated 365 days a year and where a group of high school students were caught trying to duplicate the Columbine high school massacre, a profile of Neuro-linguistic Programming co-creator Richard Bandler, a Children of God offshoot that donates kidneys as part of their religious practice, a profile of psychic Sylvia Browne, and many more stories. I was enthralled by every one.

David and I spoke to Jon last year on Gweek. Listen to that episode here.

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Gweek 072: A History of Halloween

An interview with horror author and screenwriter Lisa Morton, author of Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween


Have you ever wondered about the origins of Halloween? Where does the word Halloween come from? What is the origin of the term trick or treat? Why do we carve jack-o'-lanterns? And how did costumes come into play? I don't know the answers to any of these questions. But luckily we have someone here who does know. Joining me today is the horror author and screenwriter Lisa Morton. Lisa’s novels and short stories have won numerous awards, including the Stoker Award. She’s written screenplays for feature films and television and has appeared as a Halloween expert on The History Channel's The Real Story of Halloween. And that’s what we are going to talk to Lisa about today because she has a book that just came out called Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween, published by Reaktion Books.

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Gweek 071: Adrian Tomine

My co-hosts are Adrian Tomine, author of New York Stories, and Joshua Glenn, co-author of Unbored.


Click here to play this episode. Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

My co-hosts for this episode:

Joshua Glenn, a Boston-based writer, publisher, and semiotician. He is co-author of Significant Objects, published by Fantagraphics, and Unbored, the kids’ field guide to serious fun coming from Bloomsbury this fall. He edits the website HiLobrow, which as HiLoBooks is now publishing classics -- by Jack London, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle, and others -- from what he calls science fiction’s Radium Age.


Adrian Tomine, a cartoonist and illustrator best known for his long running comic book series Optic Nerve and his stunning New Yorker covers. This month, publisher Drawn & Quarterly is releasing New York Drawings, a decade of covers, comics, illustrations, and sketches from the pages of New Yorker and beyond.


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In this episode, we talked about:

New York Drawings, by Adrian Tomine. This beautiful coffee table book published by Drawn & Quarterly includes every illustration Adrian has done for The New Yorker.


Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun, by Elizabeth Foy Larsen, Joshua Glenn. I wrote the introduction to Unbored, and it is the coolest kids' activity book I've ever seen. It's packed with how-to projects, activities, games, and other instructions for leading a varied and fulfilling life.


Building Stories, by Chris Ware. Adrian: "This is the project Chris Ware has been working on for 10 years… it's a giant box, almost like a board game. You open it up and there's a big stack of booklets and books of different sizes… it's just an amazing package altogether."


The Hive, by Charles Burns. Adrian: "It's the second part of a series of his Tintin-influenced graphic novels and it's very much Charles Burns. It's quite a departure from his previous book, Black Hole. It's just gorgeous work as always and it's in color, too."


Barbarella: Queen of the Galaxy. Glenn: "A very cartoony science-fiction themed movie starring Jane Fonda, directed by Roger Vadim that was based on a French comic book. It's about a woman exploring her sexual power in a metaphorical way, having experiences as she goes around the galaxy."


Elenco AmeriKit Learn to Solder Kit


And much more!

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Gweek 070: John Hodgman returns

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

My co-hosts for this episode:

Glenn Fleishman. Glenn is a long-time tech reporter, a hacky perl programmer, and one of the writers of the Economist’s Babbage blog on technology and culture.


Kevin Mack. Kevin is a visual effects supervisor, an artist, and the true son of Tinkerbell. (Here's a video profile of Kevin and me.)


John Hodgman. Among other things, John’s the resident expert on The Daily Show and the judge on the Judge John Hodgman Podcast. The third and final installment in his trilogy of Complete World Knowledge -- called That Is All -- comes out in paperback and audiobook today. John and Jonathan Coulton are performing together Boston and Northampton on November 2nd and 3rd. Learn more about the events here.


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In this episode, we talked about:

That is All. John Hodgman brings us the third and final installment in his trilogy of Complete World Knowledge. The paperback is loaded with new material!


Skype is owned by Microsoft now, and the latest version stinks. Glenn: "Microsoft reengineered its security infrastructure to make it easier to tap Skype calls. I maintain and others maintain, and that process caused worse phone connections."


Postsingular, by Rudy Rucker.


Glenn: "Jo Walton’s Among Others just won Hugo. Terrific novel. Also recently read her Small Change trilogy (from 2006, 2007, and 2008)"


John recommends Reamde, by Neal Stephenson: "A thriller of international espionage but it puts the cliches of international espionage thrillers so far behind it."


How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, by Paul Tough


DenTek Slim Brush Cleaners: "Like tiny bottle brushes. Much better than dental floss."


Samsara. A non-narrative documentary shot in 25 countries.


And much more!

Past episodes of Gweek: 001, 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 007, 008, 009, 010, 011, 012, 013, 014, 015, 016, 017, 018, 019, 020, 021, 022, 023, 024, 025, 026, 027, 028, 029, 030, 031, 032, 033, 034, 035, 036, 037, 038, 039, 040, 041, 042, 043, 044, 045, 046, 047, 048, 049, 050, 051, 052, 053, 054, 055, 056, 057, 058, 059, 060, 061, 062, 063, 064, 065, 066, 067, 068, 069, 070

Gweek 069: Ned Vizzini, author of The Other Normals and writer for Last Resort

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.


My guest this week is Ned Vizzini, an award winning author and television writer with a new young adult novel called The Other Normals. He’s written for the New York Times, Salon, and the L Magazine. In television, he has written for Season 2 of MTV's Teen Wolf and currently writes for ABC's Last Resort. He is the co-author, with Chris Columbus, of the forthcoming fantasy-adventure series House of Secrets. (The drawing above is from Ned's Flickr account. It was drawn by his wife, Sabra Embury, and is in the set "Art from and Inspired by 'The Other Normals.'" Ned says: "This is a fish-monster (or batrachian) in the book drawn by my wife. In the book they actually have legs. My wife says, 'That was my attempt to help you visualize one of the characters.'")


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In this episode, we talked about:

The Other Normals, by Ned Vizzini. "It's about a 15-year-old role-playing game geek who goes to summer camp and falls into an actual fantasy world and has to put all his gaming knowledge to the test against monsters."


Be More Chill, by Ned Vizzini. "It's about a kid who gets a pill in his brain that tells him how to be cool all the time."


Stranger Magic: Charmed States & The Arabian Nights, "a new nonfiction overview of the 1,001 Nights. I took a lot from 1,001 Nights in writing The Other Normals. I love the John Payne translation which Sir Richard Burton is alleged to have plagiarized -- one of those cases where the flashier author who was better at self-promoting got the credit."


Last Resort "It's about a nuclear submarine captain who gets questionable orders to fire Pakistan. When the captain asks to have those orders clarified he is fired upon. He has to take his nuclear submarine to a South Pacific island and take refuge there and set himself up as the world's smallest nuclear nation."


"One of the books we have in the 'Last Resort library': The 48 Laws of Power. Really scary must-read for anyone who wants to get ahead -- or understand sociopaths. (Last Resort is a political thriller, so it helps)."


Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms


"I got Johnny Ramone's Commando on Kindle (released this year) and I think it's an interesting example of a book that some claim MUST BE enjoyed as a hardcover which is actually just fine on digital."


Slash, by Slash


And much more!

Past episodes of Gweek: 001, 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 007, 008, 009, 010, 011, 012, 013, 014, 015, 016, 017, 018, 019, 020, 021, 022, 023, 024, 025, 026, 027, 028, 029, 030, 031, 032, 033, 034, 035, 036, 037, 038, 039, 040, 041, 042, 043, 044, 045, 046, 047, 048, 049, 050, 051, 052, 053, 054, 055, 056, 057, 058, 059, 060, 061, 062, 063, 064, 065, 066, 067, 068, 069

Gweek 068: Matthew Modine

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

My co-hosts for this episode are:

Jamie Frevele, Boing Boing's entertainment editor, comedian, and former editor of The Mary Sue.


Actor Matthew Modine, who has lent his voice talents to a new interactive book for kids called Punky Dunk and the Gold Fish, which is designed to make learning to read fun and something parents and kids can share. Matthew also recently released the Full Metal Jacket Diary app, which is an amazing iPad app that includes Matthew’s on-set photos and diary entries of his experiences during the time he was in the Kubrick movie.


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Here's a demo of the Full Metal Jacket Diary app:

FULL METAL JACKET DIARY iPad App Demo Video from Cinco Dedos Peliculas on Vimeo.


Gweek 068: Matthew Modine (MP3)

Past episodes of Gweek: 001, 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 007, 008, 009, 010, 011, 012, 013, 014, 015, 016, 017, 018, 019, 020, 021, 022, 023, 024, 025, 026, 027, 028, 029, 030, 031, 032, 033, 034, 035, 036, 037, 038, 039, 040, 041, 042, 043, 044, 045, 046, 047, 048, 049, 050, 051, 052, 053, 054, 055, 056, 057, 058, 059, 060, 061, 062, 063, 064, 065, 066, 067, 068

Gweek 067: Eugene Mirman, the world's greatest podcast co-host

Co-hosted by Glenn Fleishman. Our guest is comedian, actor, writer, and filmmaker Eugene Mirman. He played the character Eugene in the HBO television series, Flight of the Conchords. He currently plays a Russian hit-man/comic in the Adult Swim Series Delocated and does the voice of “Gene” on Fox’s animated series Bob’s Burgers, which has a new season launching on September 30.

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

My co-hosts for this episode are:

Glenn Fleishman. Glenn is a long-time tech reporter, a hacky perl programmer, and one of the writers of the Economist’s Babbage blog on technology and culture.

Our guest is comedian, actor, writer, and filmmaker Eugene Mirman. He played the character Eugene in the HBO television series, Flight of the Conchords. He currently plays a Russian hit-man/comic in the Adult Swim Series Delocated and does the voice of “Gene” on Fox’s animated series Bob’s Burgers, which has a new season launching on September 30. Eugene was named Best New York City Comedian by the Village Voice and one of the 10 best comedians of the last decade by Paste Magazine. Rolling Stone calls him a “Hot Twitterer,” and he created, curates, hosts, and performs at the hugely popular Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, now in its 5th year! It took place in Brooklyn Sept 13-16.


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In this episode:

Eugene time warnerStudio 360 Live: Eugene Mirman vs. Time Warner Cable


CancelwizardUsing CancelWizard.com to cancel SiriusXM's impossible-to-cancel subscription


Flaming carrot Glenn says: "Flaming Carrot is back! Sort of. A Kickstarter project by Bob Burden and his cohorts will bring the early stuff to digital form, and he’s also offering a limited-edition hard-cover of a collection of semi-early stuff."


Bill griffithBill Griffith: Lost and Found: Comics 1969-2003


NewImageFables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile


Astro cityAstro City


NewImageSuper Scratch Programming Adventure!: Learn to Program By Making Cool Games. Mark: "Scratch is a drag-and-drop programming language for kids that was developed at MIT. My 9-year-old daughter loves it because she can create interactive cartoons. Scratch also hooks up to the Picoboard, which has various controls and sensors on it."


EconomixEconomix: How and Why Our Economy Works (and Doesn't Work), in Words and Pictures


And much more!

Past episodes: 001, 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 007, 008, 009, 010, 011, 012, 013, 014, 015, 016, 017, 018, 019, 020, 021, 022, 023, 024, 025, 026, 027, 028, 029, 030, 031, 032, 033, 034, 035, 036, 037, 038, 039, 040, 041, 042, 043, 044, 045, 046, 047, 048, 049, 050, 051, 052, 053, 054, 055, 056, 057, 058, 059, 060, 061, 062, 063, 064, 065, 066, 067

Gweek 066: Happier at Home, by Gretchen Rubin

Gweek 066 600 wide


Click here to play this episode. Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

NewImageMy guest today is Gretchen Rubin, author of the brand new book called Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life. It’s published by Crown and it’s a followup to her 2009 runaway bestseller, The Happiness Project, in which Gretchen spent a year conducting experiments to find out if doing certain things made her happier or not/ The experiments were based on folks sayings, advice from famous thinkers, and scientific studies.


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Past episodes: 001, 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 007, 008, 009, 010, 011, 012, 013, 014, 015, 016, 017, 018, 019, 020, 021, 022, 023, 024, 025, 026, 027, 028, 029, 030, 031, 032, 033, 034, 035, 036, 037, 038, 039, 040, 041, 042, 043, 044, 045, 046, 047, 048, 049, 050, 051, 052, 053, 054, 055, 056, 057, 058, 059, 060, 061, 062, 063, 064, 065

Gweek 065: Super Tight

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

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Gweek 064: Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

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Gweek 063: Fanboys vs Zombies

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

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Gweek 062: The Paleo Solution with Robb Wolf

Click here to play the podcast. In this episode of the Gweek podcast I interviewed Robb Wolf. He’s a research biochemist, a powerlifting champion, the co-owner of a strength and conditioning gym, and the author of the New York Times best-selling book The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet.

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Gweek 061: Trust Me, I'm Lying

Click here to play the podcast. In this episode of the Gweek podcast I interviewed Ryan Holiday. Ryan’s the author of Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator.

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Gweek 060: Superman is a Happy Mutant; Batman is Jerk

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

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Gweek 059: The $8 Billion iPod

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

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Gweek 058: Wizzywig -- Portrait of a Serial Hacker

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is a podcast where the editors and friends of Boing Boing talk about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, TV shows, music, movies, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.Read the rest

Gweek 057: Promethea = good, Prometheus = bad

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is a podcast where the editors and friends of Boing Boing talk about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, TV shows, music, movies, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.Read the rest

Gweek 056: Kevin Kelly's Silver Cord

Click here to play this episode. (Link has been updated to point to correct episode!) Gweek is a podcast where the editors and friends of Boing Boing talk about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, TV shows, music, movies, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

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Gweek 055: Rainn Wilson's Soul Pancake

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is a podcast where the editors and friends of Boing Boing talk about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, TV shows, music, movies, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

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First portal passed in Ready Player One DeLorean contest!

NewImage
That was fast! It looks like Tom B has passed the first of three portals on his way to winning a restored DeLorean in the Ready Player One competition. To find out more, listen to today's Gweek podcast.

Gweek 054: Win a DeLorean!

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In this episode of Gweek our special guest is Ready Player One author Ernest Cline.

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Gweek 053: Fitness for Geeks

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

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Gweek 052: Mystery in Space

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

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Gweek 051: Blair Butler of G4's Fresh Ink

My co-hosts for episode 51 of Boing Boing's podcast are Michael Pusateri, a lifelong tinkerer and former television tech executive for Disney, and Blair Butler, a writer, comedian, and G4's resident comic book expert.Read the rest

Gweek 050: Robot Movies, Stupid Fun, and Zombie Boobs

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

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Gweek 049: "I'm the son of Tinkerbell"

[Click here to play episode] Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

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