Wim Wenders: Looking back on the road ahead

Photo: Aaron Stewart-Ahn

“If at a certain point you were into arthouse movies when you’re young, Wim Wenders was your best friend,” my friend Bilge Ebiri tells me the other day, and I can put it no better way. The German filmmaker secured a legendary reputation early on for the successive one-two hit of his widely regarded masterpieces Paris, Texas and Wings of Desire. Even now, having just celebrated his 70th birthday, he was recently Oscar-nominated for his documentaries Pina and Salt of the Earth, and continues to take photographs & write essays about art and film, with a new volume yet to be translated into English. Read the rest

The Dwarven Lord of Kickstarter

How sculptor and Dwarven Forge founder Stefan Pokorny raised $6.5 million—and gave you the dungeon of your dreams

Interview with Alexander Rose, contestant on the ABC series Battlebots


Alexander “Zander” Rose is the executive director of The Long Now Foundation, which was founded in 1996 to become the seed of a very long-term cultural institution that fosters very-long-term planning. He was hired to build their clock that lasts 10,000 years. He’s also the founder of the Robot Fighting League, and a contestant on the ABC series Battlebots (airing Sunday nights). In this episode of the Cool Tools Show podcast, Andrew recommends several tools I've never heard of: Knipex Parallel Plier Wrenches, Gear Drive Case Ball End Hex Keys, Bafang Mid Drive eBike kit, Yuba Boda Boda Family Cargo Bike, Chinese High Power Bike Lights, Water Activated Resin Cast Material, and a Skin Stapler (for "people who are not good at suturing"). See the show notes here.

Image: Alexander Rose (r) and Reason Bradley (l) with Bronco. Read the rest

"I do magic tricks and hammer nails up my nose" - the life of a magician/sideshow performer


"There was a whole line of women in my dating life who refused to date me because I was a magician." Read the rest

A Conversation with John Cleese

Ethan Gilsdorf talks to the Monty Python's Flying Circus alum about his career, his new autobiography, and his limbs.

Reddit AMA now in app form

Reddit launched its official Ask Me Anything mobile app for iOS and Android. Read the rest

A horror novel that looks like an IKEA catalog

Horrorstör is a classic old-fashioned haunted house story — set in a big box Swedish furniture superstore. Appropriately, the book itself is designed like an IKEA catalog.

Dan Kennedy, host of The Moth

In the latest episode of the RiYL podcast, Brian Heater interviews the host of the long-running true-story live performance and podcast, The Moth.

Peter Kuper, cartoonist

In the latest episode of the RiYL podcast, Brian Heater interviews the author of multiple Kafka adaptations and a sketchbook diary chronicling his time in Mexico.

Meet the man who remade Middle‑earth

Ethan Gilsdorf interviews John Howe, Tolkien Illustrator and Conceptual Designer of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Movie Trilogies

The Atlantic's Olga Khazan (Gweek 147)

Our guest is The Atlantic associate editor Olga Khazan. We talk about cool smartphone apps, shin splint prevention, a groovy crime novel, and the best portable cell phone charger.

The Setup interviews John McAfee

"My accessory tools are mostly extremely strong espresso and research chemicals from China that are classed as "Smart Drugs". They allow me to solve 2nd order partial differential equations in my head and to spontaneously create 4 dimensional images of software structures that I can mentally manipulate." Previously. Read the rest

RiYL podcast 042: Hospitality's Amber Papini and Nathan Michel

Recommended if You Like is Boing Boing's weekly podcast of Brian Heater's cafe conversations with musicians, cartoonists, writers, and other creative types.

Come spend 45 minutes in the Red Hook living room shared by Hospitality's singer and percussionist a day after the launch of their sophomore record. The expectations are elevated this time out, after the healthy amount of buzz generated by the band's self-titled indie-pop debut. You wouldn't know it from outward appearances, however. All is calm in the Brooklyn band's apartment. Dinner is on the stove and Michel is halfway through Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung. The tour, after all, is still a few months away.

RiYL: RSS | iTunes | Download episode | Listen on Stitcher

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Incredibly Interesting Authors 006: Encyclopedia of Early Earth author Isabel Greenberg

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Isabel Greenberg is a writer and illustrator who lives and works in North London. In her graphic novel The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, Greenberg combines art, mythology, and humor to tell a story of star-crossed love. It takes readers back to a time before history began, when another—now forgotten—civilization thrived. The people who roamed Early Earth were much like us: curious, emotional, funny, ambitious, and vulnerable. In this series of illustrated and linked tales, Greenberg chronicles the explorations of a young man as he paddles from his home in the North Pole to the South Pole in search of a missing piece of his soul. There, he meets his true love, but their romance is ill-fated. Early Earth's unusual and finicky polarity means the lovers can never touch.

Buy a copy of The Encyclopedia of Early Earth on Amazon.

Read Cory's review of The Encyclopedia of Early Earth.

Incredibly Interesting Authors: RSS | iTunes | Download this episode

You can listen to Incredibly Interesting Authors and other Boing Boing podcasts on Swell, a cool streaming smartphone app. Visit swell.am to download the free app. Read the rest

Incredibly Interesting Authors 004: Greg Ross of Futility Closet

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For nine years the popular website Futility Closet has collected arresting curiosities in history, literature, language, art, philosophy, and mathematics. This book presents the best of them: pipe-smoking robots, clairvoyant pennies, zoo jailbreaks, literary cannibals, corned beef in space, revolving squirrels, disappearing Scottish lighthouse keepers, reincarnated pussycats, dueling Churchills, horse spectacles, onrushing molasses, and hundreds more. Plus the obscure words, odd inventions, puzzles and paradoxes that have made the website a quirky favorite with millions of readers -- hundreds of examples of the marvelous, the diverting, and the strange, now in a portable format to occupy your idle hours.

Here's my interview with Greg about his new book and his new career as a full-time curator of curiosities.

Buy a copy of the Futility Closet book on Amazon.

Incredibly Interesting Authors: RSS | iTunes | Download this episode

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A conversation with Terry Pratchett, author of The Carpet People

Cory Doctorow and the famed author discuss building worlds, the legitimacy of authority, and the future.

Gweek 116: The policeman who turned into a flea

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This episode is brought to you by HostGator, offering premium web hosting at low costs, and 24x7x365 phone, chat and email support. Use coupon code WEEK to get an extra 25% off and support Gweek!

In this episode of Gweek we talked with Toby Barlow, the author of the novel Sharp Teeth, which was notable for being an epic poem about werewolves in LA. We discussed his new novel, Babayaga, which takes place in 1959 Paris. It's got a CIA-funded literary magazine, weaponized LSD, a disenchanted American advertising executive, Russian witches, and a police detective who doesn't let the fact that he's been turned into a flea stop him from solving a gruesome murder case. We also discussed Slap Shot, an overlooked 1977 movie about a down-and-out hockey team starring Paul Newman, international mobile Internet cost-saving tips, the joy of playing Bridge with people in the same room, and how losing an iTunes password obliterated Toby's desire to listen to music.


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