Boing Boing 

There Goes the Galaxy by Jenn Thorson

There Goes the Galaxy

I loved Jenn Thorson's zany, absurdist space adventure There Goes the Galaxy. Join Bertram Ludlow as he negotiates what appears to be complete mental breakdown by saving the Earth.

With a wild sense of humor that is perfect for the genre, Jenn Thorson quickly sets up a hilarious, but oddly familiar, Greater Communicating Universe. After being kidnapped from Earth and taken to another planet, psychology doctoral candidate Bertram Ludlow is either going crazy or the Earth's sole defender from being redeveloped. Gruff sidekick nee abductor Rollie helps Bertram negotiate the wacky social and political atmosphere that stands in their way. They are a wonderful unlikely buddies pairing.

I'm looking forward to reading the second in this series, The Purloined Number.

There Goes the Galaxy by Jenn Thorson

Collapsible silicone kitchen strainer

Food Strainer / Food Steamer Combo Colander - The Magic Strainer - Collapsible to 1" Flat and Fits in Any Kitchen Space.

This silicone kitchen strainer is an absolutely awesome kitchen tool!

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Safety Tips for Living Alone by Jim Shepard

Safety Tips for Living Alone (Kindle Single) (Electric Literature's Recommended Reading Book 133)

Safety Tips for Living Alone is a true story of American service men and civilians sacrificing their lives during the cold war. Stationed on a precarious mid-Atlantic listening station, join the brave souls and their families as the end draws near.

This short kindle read was amazing. Jim Shepard tells a little known story from the Cold War expertly. The crew of Texas Tower 4, a poorly designed listening station in the middle of the sea, and their families, know death is likely on the way. How they approach this, and their last communications home, brought me close to tears.

Safety Tips for Living Alone (Kindle Single) (Electric Literature's Recommended Reading Book 133)

The Lost Starship by Vaughn Heppner

The Lost Starship

Vaughn Heppner's The Lost Starship is a high speed space adventure. Join Agent Maddux, and his team of lovable rejects, as they save one branch of humanity from another.

Forget aliens, humanity is still at war with itself. Centuries after self imposed peace, a divergent evolutionary branch, the New Men, return from deep space with a vengeance. Agent Maddux, who may or may not be half New Man himself, gathers his team and sets off in search of an ancient, alien battleship that be the key to 'humanity' surviving.

I enjoyed The Lost Starship. Heppner keeps a breakneck pace and the books 371 pages fly by.

The Lost Starship by Vaughn Heppner

BOOK: Incredible LEGO Technic: Cars, Trucks, Robots & More!

Technic_cover-front (1)

Pawel "Sariel" Kmiec's Incredible LEGO Technic: Cars, Trucks, Robots & More! is an inspiring gallery of amazing LEGO creations. Using the Technic system, and years of experience, Kmiec's work is stunning.

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Second Avenue Caper: When Goodfellas, Divas, and Dealers Plotted Against the Plague

In Second Avenue Caper: When Goodfellas, Divas, and Dealers Plotted Against the Plague, “Ray” recounts his brave, quixotic, tragicomic adventures as an experimental AIDS drug smuggler who funded his operation by selling weed out of his New York apartment, during the early years of the “gay plague.” It’s a strangely fitting subject for a graphic novel, and Joyce Brabner and Mark Zingarelli graphic novel make it work as a history book that’ll make you laugh and cry. Cory Doctorow reviews.

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In the Interests of Safety: using evidence to beat back security theater

“Health and Safety” is the all-purpose excuse for any stupid, bureaucratic, humiliating rubbish that officialdom wants to shove down our throats. In the Interests of Safety, from Tracey Brown and Michael Hanlon, is the antidote: an expert dismantling of bad risk-analysis and a call-to-arms to do something about it, fighting superstition and silliness with evidence.

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Fun as Hell, a Kindle Single by LJ Kummer

Fun as Hell (Kindle Single)

LJ Kummer's Fun as Hell is a great kindle single. A fast read about a journalist and his girlfriend who take a training course intended to show civilians what war is all about.

Kummer share the tale of journalist coming to understand why he writes. As he and his surgeon girlfriend experience a rigorous military training program, the protagonist each exercise helps him understand why he has chosen his career.

Kummer doesn't leave you with a firm ending, but he manages to use the short story telling format well and leaves you thinking about what comes next.

Fun as Hell by LJ Kummer

Lens Pen, handy lens cleaner

AmazonBasics Lens Pen Cleaning System

I watch for cheap prices on Lens Pens, as I keep them on hand for cleaning eye glasses and cameras on the run. Anything in the sub $5 range catches my eye.

The lens pen sports a retractable brush at one end and a cap-covered, lint-free soft wiping element at the other. It is compact and protected enough to live in a pocket or glove box without collecting ruinous amounts of dust. Number of useful cleanings per pen varies on the size of and what I'm cleaning, but I tend to get quite a lot of careful use out of them. Grease and oil that gets picked up by the wiper don't get cleaned off, so over time you'll need to replace the pen.

I clean big lenses at home with a blower, lens paper and cleaning solution if needed. It'd be a waste to use one of these. In the field, however, this little guy shines.

Lens Pen Cleaning System

The Septic System Owner's Manual

The Septic System Owner's Manual

Nothing has fed my ridiculous, personal anxieties like moving to a house with a septic tank. Lloyd Kahn's fantastic The Septic System Owner's Manual helped educate me enough that I'm back to worrying about other things.

When I bought my home, back in 2008, the fiberglass septic tank was leaking. I got all sorts of advice from folks that seemed to involve a lot of voodoo and very little science. I found this book and have been able to confidently make good decisions ever since. I replaced the tank with a very basic concrete design.

Kahn is clear, his story telling is whimsical while at the same time pointing out construction or political tragedy. His solutions are always steering you towards the simplest solution and to avoid adding points that can break. Complications in this type of system are messy.

Now I'll go find something else to worry about...

The Septic System Owner's Manual by Lloyd Kahn

Kingmaker, by Christian Cantrell [review]

While no one can match the razor-sharp intensity of Neuromancer, there is plenty of room for writers to slot their books in the midst of William Gibson's later works, those multi-faceted stories that intertwine like a mutant caduceus to bring three tales to a head. Kingmaker by Christian Cantrell is one of those books.

The book, published last year by Amazon's 47North imprint, is a straight-ahead tale of a "heartless" assassin (his real heart is replaced by a mechanical one) named Alexei Drovosek. Drovosek's goal is to watch the old world burn and a new world take its place. With the help of an AI named Emma and a team of children he is training to take down the world's major business entities, he aims to bring freedom back to the planet.

It is, in short, a tall order. Does Cantrell pull it off? I think he does.

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Nomiku Sous Vide Immersion Circulator

Nomiku Immersion Circulator

I love my Nomiku Sous Vide Immersion Circulator! This Kickstarted kitchen tool quickly turns a standard pot or bucket into a sous vide cooker.

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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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The unthinkable blooms on Hannibal "Futomono" [s2,e6]

For those keeping track, futomono is the course in a Japanese kaiseki meal that consists of a lidded dish. Keeping the lid on Miriam Lass until the last minute of an episode that was already a feast of sadistic twists, morbid whimsy, and incredible food porn was a real treat.

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Starmark's 'Everlasting Groovy Ball,' a long lasting dog chew

I am always looking for dog toys that'll keep both a very large Great Pyrenees and a pretty small Cavalier King Charles happy. The Starmark Everlasting Groovy Ball is a winner!

The Groovy Ball is a big rubber chew with ridges to work your dogs gums. It has several holes that snugly fit the Everlasting treats. Dogs find the variety of treats delicious and work at the ball until its gone. Everlasting means 1-2 hours if your dog isn't a able to pop the treats out. Nemo, my Great Pyr, can remove the treat with ease while Pretzel the Cavalier enjoys a really long chew.

Most importantly the Groovy ball, as are all the similar Starmark toys, is quiet. This is a go to treat when I need to focus.

Triple Crown Everlasting Groovy Ball
Everlasting Treat for Dogs, Chicken, Large, 2-Pack

Previously on Boing Boing:
Treat Triad dog puzzle
KONG Extreme dog toy

Muppets Character Encyclopedia

Bios and trivia on all your favorite Muppets! The Muppet Character Encyclopedia appears to be the perfect guide to introduce young children to the entire cast and crew of the Muppets.

This would have come in very handy when I introduced my daughter Hannah to the Muppet Show, last year.

The Muppets Character Encyclopedia

Pecard, an incredible leather dressing (review)

Pecard leather dressing completely transformed my favorite, beat-into-the-ground motorcycling jacket. My old Triumph jacket went from well faded and dried-out to beautifully worn-in, in one treatment.

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True Detective barrels into the darkness of new cross-genre territory. TV recap: 'The Secret Fate of All Life,' S1 Ep. 5

Kevin McFarland reviews episode 5 in season 1 of HBO’s crime drama “True Detective,” starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. If you’re new to the show, start with our introduction here. This post contains spoilers.

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'The Mason Williams Reading Matter,' phenomenal poetry from 1969

Inside this plain covered, weathered old paperback is something that I think might approach late sixties period poetry perfection. I was shocked into a state of joyful awe when I first read The Mason Williams Reading Matter.

This is a stream-of-consciousness tour de force. Doodles, photographs, poems, anecdotes, short stories and odd items coat the pages of this mind-bendingly awesome work.

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The Millennium Falcon Owner's Workshop Manual

Is your YT-1300 no longer making the Kessel Run in anything close to 12 parsecs? Maybe you need The Millennium Falcon Owner's Workshop Manual.

The diagrams are excellent and the book is far too full of fun facts about one of the greatest all-time movie spaceships. It'll be on my coffee table for a long while.

The Millennium Falcon Owner's Workshop Manual by Haynes

Lego R2D2 timelapse

Via @CaldwellOne comes this great timelapse by Reed Stoner of the R2 unit we shared over the weekend.

LEGO Ultimate Collector Series R2D2

A masterful long take brings True Detective to its midpoint [Recap: “Who Goes There,” S1 Ep4]

Kevin McFarland reviews the fourth episode of HBO’s crime drama “True Detective,” starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Contains spoilers. If you’re new to the show, start with our introduction here.

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Here’s what you’ve been missing on HBO’s True Detective

What separates HBO’s crime drama True Detective from other series that obsessively catalogue dead female bodies or attempt to find the human side of serial killers is the show’s ambition in style and scope.

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'H.R. Pufnstuf,' the complete 1969 television series

Sid and Marty Krofft brought us some of the best television ever. While we can debate which of their fantastic, trippy, off-beat explosions of color should be regarded as 'best,' H.R. Pufnstuf remains at or near the very top of any list.

Gullible 11 year-old Jimmy ignorantly gets in a strange boat with his magic flute. Lo and behold, who sent that boat his way? None other than that wacky old witch, Witchiepoo, that's who! With a wave of her wand, Jimbo's pleasure cruise is over, and the boat attacks him! Luckily, H.R. Pufnstuf, fashionable Mayor of the Living Island, is on the scene. With his reliable deputies Cling and Clang, Pufnstuf rescues Jimmy and a famous friendship is born.

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Body hacking review: this cheap, high-density foam roller literally saved my ass


The gluteus maximus, with surrounding fascia. Skin covering area removed. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

I work from home at a treadmill desk that also doubles as a standing desk. Whether your work-day body position involves motion, as mine does, or you sit in a chair most of the time, your butt is probably the most neglected part of your body. I'm talking about your gluteus maximus, baby; the hard-working and chronically under-appreciated muscles that with so many of us, can be chronically tight; altering our gait and limiting the flow of energy through our back and legs.

I cannot afford to hire a masseuse to hang around my home all day periodically massaging my body (I know! So unfair!), so I researched foam rollers online at the advice of my cancer physical therapist. I tried a few, and ended up falling in love with one of the cheaper ones I found on Amazon. If you're a runner, walker, jogger, or swimmer, you'll want one of these bad boys, too. And they're a miracle worker tool for much more than just your ass.

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Home-hacking review: Charlie's Laundry Soap


This shit is so dope.

I started using Charlie's Soap laundry powder about a year ago. After my cancer diagnosis, I started looking at the chemical contents of my household products, and wanted to reduce the amount of unnecessary exposure to perfumes, possible carcinogens, and the like. Yes, science smartasses, I know even "natural" things contain chemicals, but I wanted to reduce the amount of man-made petrogarbage in my home, and keep things as simple, clean, and pure as possible. Going through chemo did weird things to my sense of smell: it made me really sensitive to the smell of bleach or strong kitchen and bathroom cleaners, and I could smell fake fabric softener smells a block away. It just grossed me out.

So I was looking around on Amazon for laundry soap alternatives, and found Charlie's Soap. I bought a tub, and fell in love. It's a super duper cost-effective and very simple laundry detergent you purchase in concentrated powder form.

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'Land of the Lost,' the complete 1974 television series

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3Qehtte0bQ

Xeni and I are both freaking out about how much we loved this series as kids. Sid and Marty Krofft's Land of the Lost is truly a classic that provides even more entertainment now than it did as a child.

Join the picture perfect American Marshall family. Adventuring somewhere in the wildness are Marshall, his son Will and daughter Holly. When a random dimensonal portal opens up they are dramatically transported to THE LAND OF THE LOST. Here, they struggle amongst the wackiest looking dinosaurs, including one named Dopey, a small gaggle of awesome Pakuni and the fearsome yet mindless Sleestak.

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Space Battleship Yamato 2010, anime come to life

I think I may have been waiting all my life to see Space Battleship Yamato done just like this. The movie is so true to the feel of the 1974 Starblazers I adored as a child, I really got to enjoy both the film and the trip down memory lane.

If you are a fan you will want to check this out!

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'The Amber Chronicles' by Roger Zelazny, a classic fantasy series

I've re-read Roger Zelazny's 'The Amber Chronicles' series more times than I can recall. I've worn out two copies of this complete collection, and lost countless individual copies of the component books. This fantasy series begins with Nine Princes in Amber, and is one of my favorite fantasy series.

When the story opens neither we nor our hero, Corwin, know what's going on. He is lost in a coma and awakens with amnesia, which we are led to understand is the result of a recent car accident that should have left him dead. Corwin goes on to discover who he is by threatening pretty much everyone he meets. It works.

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Battle of the Planets, classic campy sci-fi anime film

Five incredible young people with super powers!

Battle of the Planets is a late 70s/early 80s reworking of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, and was one of my earliest introductions to anime and sci-fi cartoons. With classic in its camp, we join the adventures of Mark, Jason, Princess, Key-op, Tiny and the incredible 7-Zark-7 as they defend space from things beyond space.

It's one of the first US adaptations of a Japanese anime series that I am aware of (Robotech is my favorite in this genre). Sandy Frank Productions draws on all the popular sci-fi memes of the day and brutally rips off R2-D2 to create a fast, fun and confusing series. Five young and highly-trained agents who dress like birds and fly like gravity doesn't exist gather to defend the Earth from Zoltar, the Luminious One, and planet Spectra.

Science Ninja Team Gatchaman has been recut several times over the years, not just into BotP but G-Force and the Eagle Riders as well. 7-Zark-7 and 1-Rover-1 make Battle of the Planets my favorite.

Battle of the Planets, a Sandy Frank Production

Video Link