Boing Boing 

Glorious juvenile moment of Dragon's Lair heroism

Steven Frank recounts the sweetly obnoxious story of how he became a ringer at playing the classic, cutting-edge arcade game Dragon's Lair, and how, one day, he blossomed into the nerd rock-star he was born to be: "Like the nerd version of the world’s greatest hip-hop act dropping the mic and walking off stage, I just walked away from the game."

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Prints that peer into 8-bit game characters' lurking anxieties


Christopher Hemsworth's Dear Inner Demons -- Retro Video Game Edition is a series of prints (8"x8", $16) in which we learn about the deep insecurities of our favorite olde fashioned video-game characters.

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Harpo Marx as Sir Isaac Newton

Dooley writes, "In 1957, Irwin Allen (The Towering Inferno) produced The Story Of Mankind featuring a star-studded cast showcasing centuries of history. Who better to play Sir Isaac Newton than Harpo Marx?" Harpo in color!

Buddy Holly's unstoppable punk

Dooley writes, "Introduced on national TV by Arthur Murray's wife... 'And now we have some young singers who are creating a great deal of excitement in the Paramount Theater here in New York... Now if you haven't heard of these young men, then you must be the wrong age...' After that apologetic introduction, Buddy Holly, his drummer Jerry Alison and his bass player Joe Mauldin perform the new hit single 'Peggy Sue' and blow away the TV audience and the remainder of all recorded time." Further essential reading: Buddy Holly Is Alive and Well on Ganymede. Further essential listening: Buddy Holly Was the First Ramone.

Space-age refrigeration, 1968


Frigidaire's commitment to modernism waned in the product-development phase, as can be seen from the wood-grain on this "space-age refrigerator."

Imagineer Rolly Crump on the 1964 NY World's Fair: audio memoir


Jeff writes in with wonderful news: the release of Disney Legend Rolly Crump's More Cute Stories, Volume 4: 1964/65 New York World's Fair. This high-quality recording includes sixty minutes of all new stories about Rolly's involvement with the legendary 'Billion-Dollar Fair'. It is available on CD and as a digital download.

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Glorious sf movie posters of the heroic age


Obviously, many things are better now than they were in the 50s and 60s, but clearly science fiction movie posters have fallen from glory. Here's Dark Roasted Blend's gallery of amazing and gorgeous sf movie posters and lobby cards from the great, lost heroic age.

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HOWTO make turtle-shaped Koopa Troopa Mario burgers


Christy writes, "I made an amazing, horrible, wonderful thing: behold, the Koopa Troopa Bacon Turtle Burger, complete with animated gif. It had to be done, for the good of humanity. Side note: I was appalled to discover that turtle-shaped burgers are irresistible to small children: my 4 year old was so excited about turtle-shaped food that she ate an entire burger in one go."

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Lost Warhol originals extracted from decaying Amiga floppies

Golan Levin writes, "My lab (in collaboration with Cory Arcangel, the CMU Computer Club, The Andy Warhol Museum, and the Carnegie Museum of Art) has announced a major dead-media discovery. We have recovered previously unknown, pure-digital artworks by Andy Warhol -- extracted from decaying Amiga floppy disks from 1985."

Warhol created the works with Graphicraft, and the disks needed a lot of love and coaxing to get the files off them (to my mind, the story of the technical heroics is a lot more interesting than the pictures, but I'm not much of a Warhol fan). A documentary film about the file recovery called "Trapped" will premiere on May 10 at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall in Pittsburgh.

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Phone phreakers' anthem

Brad sez, "A few decades ago, phone phreaks spent all of their free time learning about the Bell telephone system and making free phone calls to each other. This song by Bonecage attempts to capture that era, and the footage for the video was contributed by phone phreaks (and ex-phone phreaks) around the world."

Spotters' guide to UFOs, 1967


Found in Bruce Sterling's tumblr: UFO typologies, 1967

Renaissance Space Invaders art


Artist Dan Hernandez painted a gorgeous series of frescoes depicting Space Invaders and other vintage game screengrabs as Renaissance and Byzantine art. They're hanging in a show called "Genesis" at the Kim Foster Gallery in NYC.

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Wearable computing breakthrough

An image from the future past.

(via via @stevenf)

British science fiction pulp covers: Gernsback continuum from an alternative universe


Here's a smashing gallery of British science fiction and science pulps from the golden age of sf. These are recognizably of a piece with the American pulps of the era, but are also distinctive in every way: line, color-choice, subject, typography, composition and character design. They are a divergent, parallel universe to the American Gernsback continuum, and all the more striking for it.

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Pinterest board full of nostalgic D&D art


Brad sez, "Trusty Sword, an Olympia, WA-based RPG developer, has posted hundreds of scanned D&D cover art from dndclassics.com [a site where you can buy all the classic D&D modules and books as ebooks, though some are larded with DRM] to Pinterest. It's awesome."

D&D 1.0 (AD&D) Cover Art on Pinterest (Thanks, Brad!)

Mary Blair gallery show at Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco


San Francisco's Walt Disney Family Museum is running an exhibition on the art of Mary Blair, one of the all-time greats of Disney history and modernist illustration and color. I've covered her work here before (for example, there's a gorgeous collection of Blair's Golden Books, and, of course, the amazing Alice in Wonderland edition featuring the rejected concept art she produced for Disney's psychedelic Alice in Wonderland animated film), and I've been lucky enough to see some of it in person while I was working at Disney, but this exhibit, called "MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: the world of Mary Blair," looks extraordinary.

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Beautiful, illustrated vintage Wisconsin postcard


Phil Are Go has done the world the kind service of posting a hi-rez scan of a gorgeous, vintage souvenir of Wisconsin postcard, lavishly and wonderfully illustrated with everything the state has to offer.

Wisconsin, your post card is here.

Star Wars cup ad, 1977: you like laser swords, right?

Matt sez, "The Danny Devito-like schlub in this ad feigning excitement for 'Stah Woiz' and its 'layzah swoids' in order to pawn off some collectible cups has had me laughing all evening."

Star Wars Cups (1977) - Majik Market Commercial (Thanks, Matt!)

Play the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy text adventure online


In honour of the 30th anniversary of the brilliant (and incredibly frustrating) Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy text adventure game, BBC Radio 4 Extra have recreated the game in an online edition. I remember playing this for endless hours, with my Peril Sensitive Sunglasses perched on my forehead, repeatedly typing "look." The R4 version allows for saved games, so you can come back to it. You can also play the 20th anniversary edition.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Game - 30th Anniversary Edition (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

Child's illustrated garden of Satanic ritual abuse


In 1990, in the middle of the moral panic over Satanic ritual abuse (an almost entirely imaginary phenomenon), Doris Sanford published "Don't Make Me Go Back, Mommy," which was "based on months of intensive research into the nature and practice of satanic ritual abuse." Sanford claimed that "Any child who has been ritually abused will recognize the validity of this story."

The story is a lurid, freakish illustrated tale ripped from tabloids and sensationalist memoirs, which was supposed to help parents, teachers and social workers help kids who'd been victims of this nonexistent epidemic.

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How to open a book

Here's a lovely old advisory from William Matthews Bookseller, explaining how to open a book for the first time, which was a major operation in the age of hand-sewn hardcover bindings.

Unfortunately, Mr Matthews did not include any notes on how to close the books, which was a bit awkward for his customers.

(via That Book Smell)

New old-timey Twilight Zone action figures announced


Zack sez, "Submitted for your approval -- Bif Bang Pow! has a new line of action figures inspired by the classic TV series done in the scale and style of such 1980s figure lines as Star Wars. Personal favorites include the Invader from 'The Invaders' and Burgess Meredith as Henry Bemis in 'Time Enough at Last,' who is getting a permanent space on my bookshelf where he can finally enjoy some good literature without worrying about breaking his glasses."

These are in addition to the existing line of Bif Bam Pow Twilight Zone toys which include some real standouts like the Mystic Seer bobble-head and the Eye of the Beholder Nurse.

Bif Bang Pow! Enters a New Dimension (Thanks, Zack!)

DJs plunder Raymond Scott's archives and remix rarities: Raymond Scott Rewired!


The Raymond Scott estate turned over 50 years' worth of the composer's archives to three DJs -- The Bran Flakes, The Evolution Control Committee, and Go Home Productions. The archives contained "jazz, orchestral, electronic, experimental, studio chatter, never-heard rarities," which the DJs remixed into six tracks each, as well as a collaborative remix of Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse," perhaps his best known work (and much beloved of classic Warner Brothers' cartoons fans).

The Raymond Scott Rewired CD came out on Feb 18, and there's also an MP3 version.

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Nothing: Seinfeld supercut with no people

Nothing is a supercut of scenes from Seinfeld in which no humans appear, creating a show that's not only about nothing, but also about no one. It's pretty great, especially once you get into the interior shots around 4:40.

BTW, I just checked and the Seinfeld box-set is still $59 on Amazon -- all 33 discs' worth.

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Photos from the Rothschilds' 1972 surrealist ball


Hang the Bankers has a set of photos from 1972 surrealist ball hosted by Marie-Hélène de Rothschild at the Château de Ferrières, with Salvador Dali in attendance. Hang the Bankers cites this as evidence of "the underlying ideology and the mind state of the occult elite," which sounds like hogwash to me. I mean, I'm all for reflexively condemning the hyper-rich, but if you're a weird shadowy billionaire aristo, better you should be spending your unimaginable riches on cool dress-up parties than tacky mega-yachts or sabotaging health care bills.

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Cyberpunk retrofest at SXSW: Saturday night!

Jon Lebkowsky writes, "EFF and EFF-Austin, working with the amazing Maggie Duval, put together this celebration of the 90s Internet and cyberpunk memes. On stage: Gareth Branwyn, Bruce Sterling, Cory Doctorow, William Barker (Schwa), Chris Nakashima-Brown, Aaron Jue from EFF, and yours truly. Thomas Fang is DJ, and Jasmina Tesanovic will sing her Hacker Hymn. We'll have a cyberpunk scifi genre panel and a talk by Gareth, along with the release of his successful Kickstarter memoir book project, Borg Like Me. We'Cll also have projected visuals, memories of Mondo 2000, Boing Boing, Fringeware, 2600: The Hacker Quarterly, Schwa, etc. Event is open to SXSW badgeholders. Hang out with EFF at their event table, praise their great work, give them your money!"

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Incredibly dirty R&B: gloriously filthy music from the 30s-50s

Glenn sez, "R&B music was pretty bawdy before its entered the era of white appropriation and radio play. Leah Reich, an ethnographer by training and a music lover and singer by love, takes a stroll through some of the filthiest, wonderful era before all this stuff was cleaned up. Tons of links to Youtube videos and other sources."

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Learn to write with William S Burroughs

In 1979, William S Burroughs delivered a series of lectures on creative writing (though he insisted that he was teaching creative reading -- that is, analyzing the writing process by reading, because everyone can be taught to read, but only some will be able to write) at Naropa University. Three of these lectures, running to over four hours, are up on Youtube, covering writing exercises, Brion Gysin, Aleister Crowley, science fiction, General Semantics, and cut-ups. These are excellent listening, and are licensed Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivs-NonCommerical (as is the rest of the Naropa collection.)

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Forgotten Foods: reviving weird old food and figuring out what should be brought back


Meg Favreau writes, "I thought you guys might be interested in this column I've been writing for the last year-ish -- I scour old cookbooks for once-popular recipes that have fallen out of favor, explore the (often weird) history of the food, and provide a recipe. Favorites include Welsh rarebit (the OG bachelor food, cooked in proto-microwave chafing dishes, and known for causing dreams so batshit that Little Nemo creator Winsor McCay did a long-running strip just about rarebit nightmares), beef tea (the chicken soup of its day, which tastes like hamburger water in the best way), and a Halloween about a booklet that juxtaposes candy recipes with testimonials about feminine ills (That ended up being posted on Table Matters' non-food sister site).

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