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'Animal Architecture,' an awesome new photo book about the structures critters create

'Animal Architecture," by Ingo Arndt and Jürgen Tautz, with a foreword by Jim Brandenburg, is a beautiful new science/photography book exploring the mystery of nature through the "complex and elegant structures that animals create both for shelter and for capturing prey."

Arndt is a world-renowned nature photographer based in Germany, whose work you may have seen in National Geographic, GEO and BBC Wildlife.

Above, a grey bowerbird's bower in Australia's Northern Territory. "The grey bowerbird goes to extreme lengths to build a love nest from interwoven sticks and then covers the floor with decorative objects. The more artful the arbor, the greater the chance a male has of attracting a mate."

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Gabriel García Márquez, Nobel laureate novelist, 1927-2014

Novelist Gabriel García Márquez, whose One Hundred Years of Solitude "established him as a giant of 20th-century literature," died today at his home in Mexico City. He was 87.

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A Vindication for the Public: Guardian and Washington Post Win Pulitzer Prize (A statement from Edward Snowden)

I am grateful to the committee for their recognition of the efforts of those involved in the last year's reporting, and join others around the world in congratulating Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Barton Gellman, Ewen MacAskill, and all of the others at the Guardian and Washington Post on winning the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

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Justified circles back to old friends and enemies to close out its fifth season [TV Recap: season 5, episode 13]

It was never really about the Crowes, or Ava going to prison, or the trip south of the border, or the gangsters in Detroit. This season of Justified, and by extension the entire series, has all been one long road to a final showdown between Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder.

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Hannibal's design takes shape in 'Yakimono' [TV Recap, Season 2, Episode 7]


Hugh Dancy as Will Graham in “Hannibal” Season 2 Episode 7, “Yakimono”

Characters are dropping like… well, like characters on a televised serial killer drama, I suppose.

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Community is here to let you know everything will keep going when the show ends [TV Recap: season 5, episode 12]

At some point, it all has to end. NBC's Community will close up shop, whether it’s later this spring when NBC announces its fall schedule, after six seasons and a movie, or after it somehow incomprehensibly surpasses The Simpsons for longest-running sitcom and everyone complains even louder how the show isn’t as funny as its earlier golden years. But Community isn’t like other shows. It staved off cancellation due to low ratings thanks to a fervent fan base; it survived the departure of creator Dan Harmon and a creatively tepid fourth season; and now it sits a half hour away from yet another uncertain future after Harmon’s return. Community wants everyone to know that no matter how many stays of execution it earns, the end of a show is ultimately inevitable.

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Silicon Valley is Mike Judge’s incisive, hilarious return-to-form [TV Recap: season 1, episode 1]

Nearly everyone who sees the Game Of Thrones title sequence praises it for its sheer stylistic audacity, introducing the epic scope of the show with a booming theme song and sweeping summary of the world’s geography. Silicon Valley, Mike Judge’s return to television, accomplishes the same feat with a 10-second title sequence. The camera pans across a SimCity-esque landscape of Silicon Valley, dotted by corporate headquarters for Twitter, HP, and Oracle. Napster pops up as a hot air balloon, and then quickly descends out of sight. AOL topples off a building that becomes Facebook. It’s the proliferation of the tech companies throughout the south peninsula and Santa Clara Valley in microcosm, representing the present moment in the corporate climate where companies pop up and disappear, with major projects existing in a digital realm.

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'Community' knows Jeff Winger’s real age, and knowing is half the battle [TV recap: season 5, episode 11]

Many of the episodes in Community’s fifth season have been modified sequels to previous fan-favorite from previous seasons. “Cooperative Polygraphy” echoes bottle episode “Cooperative Calligraphy.” “Bondage And Beta Male Sexuality” has strains of “Mixology Certification.” “Repilot” and “Advanced Dungeons And Dragons” have easily identifiable equivalents. “G.I. Jeff” is this season’s attempt at a storyline similar to “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas,” the second-season standout that takes place entirely inside Abed’s rattled mind as he grapples with his mother’s absence.

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Seminal "Anthology of American Folk Music" reissued on vinyl!

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In the late 1940s, avant-garde filmmaker, artist, and mystic Harry Smith scoured his massive collection of 78 rpm blues, country, cajun, jazz, and gospel records to compile what would become one of the most important collections of recorded music in history. The Anthology of American Folk Music, a six-album set with extensive liner notes was released in 1952 by Folkways Records. It was essentially a bootleg and the complete licensing of all the tracks wouldn't be worked out until 1997 when Smithsonian Folkways Recordings reissued the material on CD. The original LPs were kindling for the mid-century folk and blues revival and brought artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Mississippi John Hurt, The Memphis Jug Band (above), and countless other pioneering roots musicians to the ears of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Dave Van Ronk, Jerry Garcia and so many more.

"We all knew every word of every song on it, including the ones we hated," Van Ronk has said.

The 1997 CD box set is fantastic, but now, after decades out of print, the vinyl has been reissued in four limited volumes by Mississippi Records, a glorious tiny record label (and store!) in Portland, Oregon. If you dig wax (200 gram, baby!), this is an absolutely essential addition to your collection.

I purchased mine directly from Mississippi Records but they may be out of stock already. If so, try your local independent record shop or perhaps one of the Amazon third party sellers. And if you really search, you might still locate one of the complete sets that comes in a wood slipcase!

Portlandia's Carrie Brownstein chats with Xeni and Mark (video)

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Xeni and I had a great time talking with Carrie Brownstein, star of IFC's Portlandia sketch comedy series, which she co-created with Fred Armisen. We chatted about the different characters she and Fred play on the show, what it was like working with the Dead Kennedy's Jello Biafra on a recent episode, Carrie's upcoming memoir, and what it's like to have a TV show that's more popular on Google than the town it's based in.

The video was directed by Eric Mittleman and shot at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood, California. In the keyframe above, Carrie proudly wears the Boing Boing Jackhammer Jill pin that we award happy mutants when we meet them.

Butthole Surfers' Gibby Haynes talks '80s punk on Daily Show; wears homage to GWAR and Dave Brockie

Gibby Haynes, best known as the frontman for the great Texas experimental psychedelic-hardcore band The Butthole Surfers, appeared on The Daily Show With John Stewart last night. Author Yates Wuelfing was on to promote her new book, "No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens." Stewart revealed that he once bartended at the famed NJ punk club. It was "a place you could play between New York and Philadelphia," said Gibby, who wore the word GWAR on his forearm as an homage to the late Dave Brockie.

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Building Boing Boing's Happy Mutant Mobile

This post is brought to you by Ford.

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Above, our lovely mascot Jackhammer Jill in 3D-printed ABS glory! This 9" model of Jill will get hand-painted and rigged with advanced bubble-blowing technology before being mounted in a place of honor on the hood of our Happy Mutant Mobile! As we've posted, our sponsors at Ford agreed to support the customization, modification, and transformation of a 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon into what we (and you) imagine for a Boing Boing vehicle. (Original announcement here and check out all the posts here!)

Theresa Contreras and her talented team of makers at L&G Enterprises in San Dimas, California are tirelessly tricking out the vehicle with a cabinet of curiosities behind the rear door, 'zine/comix library behind the side door, projection screen for viewing psychotronic films, a mobile video blogging studio, and numerous amenities like a 3D printer and cold drip coffee maker. Oh, and just wait until you see the mindbending exterior artwork from our hyper-talented friends at We Buy Your Kids. Below, rough blueprints and in-progress shots of the woodwork and the interior.

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A new dance: ODC, Andy Goldsworthy, and Zoë Keating (San Francisco)

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Tomorrow night, San Francisco's pioneering contemporary dance company ODC will premiere a new work inspired by famed sculptor/environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy with live music by experimental cellist and loop musician Zoë Keating, likely familiar to Boing Boing readers from previous BB posts, or her appearances on Radiolab and Who Killed Amanda Palmer. For this piece, titled "boulders and bones," ODC artistic directors Branda Way and KT Nelson took choreographic inspiration from the ever-transforming landscapes of art and nature. The visual context of the dance comes from a time-lapse film by RJ Muna shot during the seven-month installation of a Goldsworthy sculpture at private location north of San Francisco.

Performances of "boulders and bones," along with several other works, will be held through March 30. Tickets are available here. Boing Boing is delighted to share the special video below from a "boulders and bones" rehearsal, along with another stunning photograph of dancer Natasha Adorlee Johnson by RJ Muna.

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Pesco on LSD, computers, and the counterculture

Above, video evidence of my short presentation "Just Say Know: A Cyberdelic History of the Future" at the recent Lift Conference 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. Albert Hoffman first synthesized LSD in 1938 in Switzerland so this felt like the right set and setting to share stories about the intersection of psychedelic culture and computer technology from the 1960s to the present and beyond!

Boing Boing's Happy Mutant Mobile now under construction!

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We are thrilled to announce that work on the Boing Boing Happy Mutant Mobile has begun! As we said, our sponsors at Ford agreed to support the customization, modification, and transformation of a 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon into what we (and you) imagine for a Boing Boing vehicle. (Original announcement here. Check out all the concept designs here!) Theresa Contreras and her talented team of makers at L&G Enterprises in San Dimas, California have already started building out the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon. Above, a glimpse of the open side door revealing the rough rack design for our zine, book, and comix library! And here's a shot of the unfinished framing for the cabinet of curiosities behind the rear door. So beautiful. Photo 4

We will post more images as the Happy Mutant Mobile magic continues to unfold. We're also thrilled that in the coming month, longtime BB reader Ryan Powers will join us in visiting L&G Enterprises to see Ryan's idea for a bubble-blowing Jackhammer Jill hood ornament come to life! Also on the customization list: exterior art, a roll-down projection screen, tricked-out coffee station, and of course a mobile blogging/video studio inside the vehicle! Plus more. Much more. Below, additional photos of the rear and the in-progress interior.

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