Boing Boing 

Light-up steampunk watch


Thinkgeek's $60 Tesla Steampunk Watch has it all: clock-winding key, silvery vacuum tubes (they light with an elaborate switch), brass housing, steam-pressure dial second-hand, and a sturdy leather strap.

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Indianapolis launches literacy-promoting "Big Free Libraries"


Chris writes, "Indianapolis has just launched a great new series of art installations intended to promote both art and literacy."

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Commercial for Banksy's Dismaland

The sold-out installation at Weston-super-Mare is a carnival of dark delights and clearly fun for the whole family. (via JWZ) yNB645

Final Pratchett novel is out: The Shepherd's Crown

Well, The Shephed's Crowd (a Tiffany Aching book) is out in the UK, anyway -- (idiotically) the US release will be Sept 1.

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R.I.P. Randy Stickrod, great friend of Wired and Boing Boing

I just learned that Randy Stickrod died in late July, and I'm in shock. He was 71. Randy was one of the kindest and most generous people I've ever met, and he was a great friend to many people in the early 1990s San Francisco publishing world.

Randy had an enormous open room on the ground floor at 544 Second Street in South Park, San Francisco and he gave nearly rent-free office space and free publishing advice to a bunch of small publishers. Wired started in Randy's giant room. When Wired moved upstairs, bOING bOING (the zine) moved into the corner that Wired occupied. In the corner next to us was Dave Egger's Might magazine. There was also Just Go! (a travel magazine), and Hum (a magazine for young South Asians), and a bunch of other magazines I can't remember any more. Randy also shared his expertise in publishing to Mondo 2000.

Randy was gentle, calm, and one of the healthiest-looking 50-year-olds I'd ever met (he's 66 in this photo - learn about his workout and diet here).

He was an inspiration to me and I'm sad he's gone.

Randy's wife Catherine LaCroix and his friend Kathleen Maher wrote a remembrance of this fantastic person, who was loved by everyone who came into his circle.

Podcast: Effective Altriusm interview with the author of "Doing Good Better"

Rick Kleffel talks to William MacAskill, the core of Effective Altruism, discussing EA and his book about it. It's much more pragmatic and entirely reasonable, not about extreme statistics and speculations."

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EFF announces the 2015 Pioneer Award winners


Caspar Bowden, Citizen Lab, Anriette Esterhuysen and the Association for Progressive Communications, and Kathy Sierra will be awarded the EFF's prestigious prize recognizing the leaders who are extending freedom and innovation on the electronic frontier.

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Austin Grossman's CROOKED: the awful, cthulhoid truth about Richard Nixon

Austin Grossman's first-person secret memoir of Richard Nixon sounds like a Lovecraftian gag, but Crooked is a brooding, bitter Cold War novel that gets deep into the psyche of "the funniest president that ever lived." Read the rest

PIFcamp: Slovenian art+technology in nature hackercamp

PIFcamp 2015 hikeMost hacker camps feature seminars, experimentation, and collaborative hands-on making—but very few integrate their natural environment as well as PIFcamp did.  Located in the lush mountainous beauty of Slovenia's national park, intense making was interspersed with walks, hikes and swims.  A prototype time-lapse camera documented the edible-food tour.  Once back at camp, plants that had been collected were chemically deconstructed in a makeshift bathroom biotech lab.  Experimental sounds were recorded as electric wires strung through wood heated it to a crackle.  Lynne Bruning has been working on speakers made from living plants.  So many other projects that I missed, but it's definitely on my calendar for next year!

Makery has a great report, and the official website has lots of pictures, too, and eventually should have more information on the projects.

Photos copyright 2015 by Katja Goljat, CC BY-ND

Exclusive preview: Jeff Lemire's Descender Volume 1: Tin Stars

Jeff Lemire -- creator of the epic apocalyptic graphic novel Sweet Tooth and the dreamy, Twilight-Zonish Underwater Welder -- returns with a new graphic novel, Descender, with Dustin Nguyen -- we're proud to present the entire first issue below!Read the rest

Cthookie Monster tees


They're designed by Beastpop and sell for $20 in the Neatoshop, which also has some other great Beastpop designs, such as the Flying Spaghoofy Monster and Mickthulhu Mouse (and the farting Bambi!).

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Worldcon attendees: silent auction today at the SFWA booth!


If you're at the World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane today, swing by the SFWA booth (W5 in dealers' room) to bid on tuckerizations from Annie Bellet, Jenn Brozek, Cory Doctorow (!), Greg Bear, Larry Niven, Mike Resnick, John Scalzi, and a critique from Nancy Kress.

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Cory at Reno's Grassroots Books this Friday!


I'm doing a Q&A and signing at Reno's Grassroots Books -- a local, indie store with an emphasis on affordable reading for all -- this Friday, Aug 28 at 6:30PM -- just a quick stop on the way to That Thing in the Desert. I hope you'll come by and say hello!

Assemblage under glass


30" tall! By the always-great Roger Wood of Klockwerks, from today's newsletter.

Free six-part course on encrypting email and securing your network sessions against snooping


Jeff sez, "Tuts+ has made my six part introduction to PGP encryption, email and networking privacy available to readers for free."

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EFF-Austin panel commemmorating the 20th anniversary of the Steve Jackson Games raid

The Secret Service raid on Austin's Steve Jackson Games started the fight over freedom and privacy online, and resulted in the founding of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and EFF-Austin.

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Amazing DIY computer control panel

Esaxc8a

If only all computer interfaces were as gloriously sci-fi as this excellent "DIY Overhead Control Panel" hand-built by a maker called Smashcuts. It features a slew of LEDs and 100 programmable buttons and switches that activate shortcuts on his PC, open apps, control volume and screen preferences, etc.

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