Erik Otto art show in San Francisco

A new show of Erik Otto's mixed-media artwork opens tomorrow, January 5, at San Francisco's Gallery Three. Otto's captivating work draws from his experiences in graffiti, animation, commercial art, graphic design, and set production. The exhibition, titled "The Calm Before The Storm," runs until February 2. All of the pieces are also viewable online. Seen here, "What Lies Ahead" (mixed media on wood panel, 50" x 32").

Link to online gallery, Link to Gallery Three Read the rest

Funny tutorial: "You Sucjk at Photoshop"

If only all software instructional videos were as funny and useful as this one, called "You Sucjk at Photoshop." I hope the creator, Donnie Hoyle, makes more of them.

Link (Thanks, Gord!) Read the rest

The punishments of China: 1804 book

The NY Public Library has scans of an 1804 book from China that shows 22 engravings of common punishment methods of the day.

Shown here: a malefactor enduring the "punishment of the wooden collar." Can anyone translate the Chinese characters on the collar?

Link (Via BibliOdyssey) Read the rest

Czech art group to stand trial for putting mushroom cloud on TV

CNN Europe reports that members of a Czech art group are in trouble for hacking a television broadcast and inserting a phony video of a nuclear explosion.

On June 17, viewers of a Czech television channel watching a Web cam program monitoring weather in various Czech mountain resorts could see a nuclear explosion taking place in the Krkonose or Giant Mountains in the northern Czech Republic.

Link (Via Spluch) Read the rest

What would it be like to be the last person on Earth?

Every time I post a link to the Daily Mail, I get a bunch of email from UK readers telling me that the Daily Mail is a horrible fascist newspaper that would instantly putrefy any fish you wrapped in it, but I still enjoy some of the articles in it -- such as this speculative piece on what it would be like to be the last human on Earth.

Some areas of rural Britain would be worth avoiding, not least because a potent threat to our survivor would come from Britain's two dozen or so remaining nuclear reactors, mostly dotted around the northern and eastern coasts.

If their staff vanished, and as back-up power supplies failed, a real danger would be that one or more would go into meltdown as cooling pumps failed.

The equivalent of several Chernobyls could render big areas of the country uninhabitable. With prevailing winds as they are, it would perhaps be best to head for the westernmost parts of the country or even try to escape Britain altogether.

Assuming our survivor avoided this radiation fall- out, hygiene would be an issue - if he chose to remain in the city, he would find the lack of mains sewage and drainage a problem after only a few days, as the pumping stations failed, while rivers would probably be too polluted to bathe in.

The only hot water would come from a stove, and washing oneself and one's clothes would be a chore (fortunately the world's shops are full of many, many lifetimes' worth of clean clothing).

Read the rest

Kevin Kelly's True Films book, now a free ad-supported PDF

Kevin Kelly is giving away True Films, his must-have book of documentary recommendations as a free, ad-supported, PSD, using Adobe's new service that lets you embed Yahoo ads into Acrobat files.

This is the third version of a guide I have been developing for the past 5 years. It takes the 200 best documentaries I have reviewed on my website True Films and puts them into one handy book. For an explanation of why I bother to order the content of a website into a book see the previous entry.

In True Films, I cover only true films: documentaries, factuals, non-fiction, reality-based series, and some instructional how-to. You can get a sense of what I like from the site. I love documentaries that 1) surprise me, and 2) inform me.

Each review is a rave review; that is, I only review films I love and believe others will enjoy. Merely good films are left unmentioned. I also include what no other film review source does: I provide 4 to 5 screen shots from each documentary to give you an idea of what the texture of the film is. And I only review documentaries that can be seen easily on DVD or tape at consumer prices (either as Netflix rentals, legal downloads, or online purchase). Documentaries available only in theaters, or as high-priced "educational films" are regrettably ignored.

Earlier editions of this book have been available on Amazon, Lulu, and as a cheap download from my site. But with this new version 3.0

Read the rest

Skidoo airing on Turner Classic Movies

Joel Schlosberg says:

Otto Preminger's rarely seen, never-released-on-video psychedelic comedy Skidoo (previously on Boing Boing) will be airing on Turner Classic Movies on January 5 (late night January 4), as part of TCM Underground.

I've been waiting for years to see this.

Link Read the rest

Park visitors required to sit up straight on benches in Orlando

Here's my second post today about parks in Florida: a sign in an Orlando park erected to refresh visitors' memory of the City Code forbidding them to "lie or otherwise be in a horizontal position on a park bench."

Tacky Fabulous points out, "Somebody must have tried the 'I wasn't laying down - I was just positioned horizontally' excuse."

I know - you're saying to yourself, "But wait a second! Didn't Orlando hover near record high rates for murders in the year 2007? Shouldn't there be a sign, instead, that reads: "Please do not impale with bullets or otherwise inflict death blows on other beings?" The answer is yes, but people who commit homicides tend to start as people who recline on park benches. It's textbook.

I also like the part prohibiting people from "remaining" in "bushes, shrubs, or foliage."

Link Read the rest

HOWTO Make a trashcan meat-smoker for less than $50

Brian figured out how to hack together a damned fine trashcan meat-smoker for less than $50:

So there you have it, a working smoker made from easily available parts.

Here's what I spent:

Trash Can w/ lid: $12.00 Electric Hot Plate: $13.00 Grating: $10.00 Wood Chip Box: $10.00 (actually, I already had this, but they are cheap if you need to buy one.) Temperature Gauge: $9.00

So for just over $50, you can build a smoker.

Link Read the rest

Vintage mapping photos

Andy Switky of IDEO shares these great vintage photos of a situationist prank waypoint mapping project. Andy writes:

I spoke at a conference in Wuxi about a month ago and hung out with great folks from the London College of Communication. We got to talking about GPS for some reason, and one of them remembered a couple pictures he picked up at the Ordnance Survey, the UK mapping equivalent of the USGS. The pictures are from the early 1950s and presumably show "waypoints".

Link to image 1, Link to image 2 (Thanks, Lyn Jeffery!) Read the rest

Man builds bowling alley in garage - video

TechEBlog says: "Tim converted his garage into a full-functional one-lane bowling alley (Brunswick A-2 pinsetter), complete with black lights for the 'cosmic' effect."

Link Read the rest

Architectually accurate gingerbread replica of home

Jeff's family got the plans for their 1950s ranch house and faithfully recreated it in gingerbread.

Using elevations from a recent renovation, my wife constructed the sides and the girls set out to decorate. I, being the professional photographer in a previous life, was tasked with documenting the finished model. As we are a multicultural family, matzot was used for the hipped roof and garage doors.


(Thanks, Jeff!) Read the rest

Scientists to make cows fart like kangaroos

Cow farts contain methane, a greenhouse gas. Kangaroo farts do not. So scientists in Australia are going to transfer intestinal bacteria of kangaroos into cattle and see what happens.

According to the government of Queensland, almost 14% of all greenhouse gas emissions from Australia come from cow farts, so this seemingly silly idea could actually make a big difference.

Link (Thanks, Marilyn Terrell!) Read the rest

What a world of truly "safe aviation" would be like

Inspired by the never-ending news of new and ridiculous restrictions on flying, Grig Larson has written a grimly funny little science fiction vignette about what a world in which flying was really "made safe" would be like:

When she gets to the counter, a uniformed woman takes her booklet, and compares it to her ID. She asks for a fingerprint scan. Uh oh! There's a problem. Jill can't remember what finger she used! But the lady helps her out, and within minutes, she's approved to go into the disrobing chamber. The lady gives her a neck tag, stamps Jill's forehead, and sends her on her way past the many guards down a hallway.

Jill knows what to expect. Helpful pictograph signs show her what she will be doing when she gets to the disrobing room. At the end of the hallway, she steps into a free closet, and strips down naked. Don't forget those earrings and hair bands, Jill! Jill remembered that the safety of her personal belongings could never be guaranteed, so she came wearing nothing she couldn't afford to lose. She puts her belongings in a plastic bag, and seals it nice and tight. She sees herself in the mirror. Oh my, Jill. You have been gaining a little weight, haven't we? Better lay off those desserts at the buffet when you're in Los Angeles, Jill!


(Thanks, Grig!) Read the rest

Results of kids' monster drawing contest at Guardian

The Guardian asked kids to send in monster drawings for a contest. Will the Cloverfield monster be as cool as these monsters?

"This creature lives down the plug hole and eats all the dead skin and soap from the bath. It has suckers to help it move and a sticky tongue. It is blind and comes out at night. If you happen to see it, it turns into gas and you will faint and won’t remember the next day." -- Saffron Summerfield, 9

Link (Thanks, Jason Louv!) Read the rest

Rain of iguanas in Miami

If you are in Miami, pop open your Charles Fort umbrellas before venturing into Bill Baggs park: it's raining iguanas there.

It was raining iguanas at Bill Baggs Thursday morning. There were a couple underneath buttonwood trees and a third beneath a sea grape. All were about 30 yards from the beach, in the coastal hammock.

"We have found dozens on the bike path after a major cold snap," said Yero. "When they warm up in the sun, they come back to life."

Link (Thanks, Rian Fike!) Read the rest

BBtv: Pop surrealist artist Tim Biskup / Diesel Sweeties sculptor Chris Yates

Today's Boing Boing tv episode: I take a trip into the alternate reality of pop surrealist artist Tim Biskup. And it's definitely a trip. Then, sculptor Chris Yates demonstrates how he makes a Diesel Sweeties wooden Red Robot from start to finish, slightly faster than normal.

Link to BBtv video and comments

Previously on BB and BB Gadgets: • Boing Boing hoodie by GAMA-GO with Tim Biskup artwork Link • Tim Biskup profile Link • Video of Tim Biskup painting the Helio Ocean mural Link

• Chris Yates's Katamari Damacy homemade model Link • Diesel Sweeties' R. Stevens Reviews the Wacom Cintiq 12WX Link • Diesel Sweeeties' Music Snob t-shirts Link Read the rest