Boing Boing 

Yoda dog toy, also for kids

Yoda and Company

My daughter insisted that Nemo, our Great Pyrenees, needed this stuffed Yoda dog toy. My daughter likes it so much she now wants the Jedi master for her own.

A few days ago my daughter found this very nice quality Yoda for our dogs to play with. Today, when I suggested she let them have the doll, a giant fight broke out. It appears Yoda is so soft and snuggly that my seven year old wants him for her self. Yoda is inexpensive enough that I offered to buy a second one, but she now wants to try and share.

The stuffy feels well made and ought to last. I wouldn't give this to a puppy, for fear the stuffing will be everywhere, but my 2 year old dogs will not destroy it. The kid can share.

STAR WARS Yoda Plush Dog Toy, 10" L X 9" W

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!

Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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. Read the rest

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.Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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

'Animal Architecture," by Ingo Arndt and J├╝rgen 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."

Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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