Cat poo parasite a "vast and underappreciated" public health problem

Tracy Miller, New York Daily News: "Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, can cause health problems in anyone, not just pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems, researchers warn in a newly published paper." Read the rest

Soviet space-race magazine covers

Norman sez, "When the space race raged in the 1950s, fantastical visions of the future of travel were everywhere. Magazines like Popular Mechanics ran speculative articles about the rockets and space stations that would take civilization to the stars, and the accompanying artwork blurred the line between fiction and plausible reality. This art had a real affect on the space race in both the United States and Soviet Union; where Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, and Disney's Tomorrowland set the tone for the US space program, the Soviet Union's most influential art may have come from the magazine Tekhnika Molodezhi."

They've collected more than 200 covers, some of them absolutely stonking. If this is your sort of thing, try our archive of sovkitsch posts, and including a couple space-themed ones.

The Incredible Space Art of Russian Magazine Tekhnika Molodezhi Read the rest

Bug-A-Salt: shoot pesky flies with a pinch of table salt

[Video Link] I ordered and received my Bug-A-Salt gun late last fall, pretty late in the fly season to really get to put it to serious use. Well, early spring in Western Washington and they are coming back. Over the years I became very proficient with rubber bands, hunting flies and yellow jackets – this takes it to a whole new level.

The Bug-A-Salt doesn’t “cream” the flies, leaves them pretty well intact, but it is quite effective. Non-toxic, environmentally friendly, it is spring powered and doesn’t eat batteries. Just table salt. Read the rest

"The Walking Dead meets Breaking Bad" - exclusive excerpt of a Fiend, a new zombie novel

Here an excerpt from Peter Stenson's new zombie novel, Fiend, which was selected as an Amazon Best Book of the Month, for July.

When Chase Daniels first sees the little girl in umbrella socks tearing open the Rottweiler, he's not too concerned. As a longtime meth addict, he’s no stranger to horrifying, drug-fueled hallucinations.

But as he and his fellow junkies soon discover, the little girl is no illusion. The end of the world really has arrived.

The funny thing is, Chase’s life was over long before the apocalypse got here, his existence already reduced to a stinking basement apartment and a filthy mattress and an endless grind of buying and selling and using. He’s lied and cheated and stolen and broken his parents’ hearts a thousand times. And he threw away his only shot at sobriety a long time ago, when he chose the embrace of the drug over the woman he still loves.

And if your life’s already shattered beyond any normal hopes of redemption…well, maybe the end of the world is an opportunity.

Fiend Read the rest

Sawbones, an enjoyable medical history podcast

Maximum Fun, the outfit that produces two of my favorite podcasts (Bullseye and Judge John Hodgman) has announced a new show. It's called Sawbones. Jesse Thorn says: "It's about the history of medicine, particularly the crazy bits. It's hosted by Dr. Sydnee McElroy & Justin McElroy. Justin's also one of the hosts of My Brother, My Brother & Me, one of our most popular shows. And they're married. Sydnee's a medical history nut, and Justin good at bothering his wife about things, so they are a good team."

Sawbones Read the rest

United States of New York map, 1978

(Click to embiggen)

Jim sez, "My sister and I helped my mom start cleaning out her basement yesterday, and this 1978 Tony Graham Graphics 'United States of New York' poster was one of the things we found. As a little kid living in Brooklyn, this definitely goofed up my ideas about geography. My parents didn't want to keep it, so I got to snag it. I need to re-frame it, but then it's going up on the wall, since I definitely remember it from when I was a kid. So I wanted to share a very very big copy of it for any New Yorkers out there that may be interested. Sorry for the blurry bits, there's only so much resolution you can squeeze out of your cell phone." Read the rest

Anti-D&D video warns of satanic Dungeon Masters

In "Dungeons and Dragons, Satan's Game," we learn that D&D is a gateway to Satanism and human sacrifice. I remember being a young gamer in the early 1980s and meeting people who'd warn me about the peril it presented to my immortal soul.

D&D to a Fundie

(via Christian Nightmares) Read the rest

Poop donator explains the human side of fecal transplants

Marie Myung-Ok-Lee in the New York Times: "I delivered my first donation, in Tupperware, and Gene took it into the privacy of his bathroom. I stayed, just in case I was needed, and after about half an hour, he came out and told me, with a look of wonder, that he was feeling better already. Already? We checked with Dr. Shepard, who told us that, indeed, one can feel the effects that quickly." Read the rest

Tibetan monks shot by Chinese police for praying on Dalai Lama’s birthday

The International Campaign for Tibet reports that "Two Tibetan monks were shot in the head and several others seriously injured after Chinese police opened fire at a crowd gathered to peacefully celebrate the 78th birthday of the Dalai Lama in Nyitso, Tawu, eastern Tibet, on Saturday (July 6)." Read the rest

Building a 15-foot-tall brain-controlled brain for Burning Man and beyond

My cousin Katherine Leipper is part of a crew that's building a 15-foot-tall head and brain with interactive light and flame effects that will be controlled by a participant's brain waves.

Yup. Weirdness runs in our family.

She and her co-makers will take it to Burning Man, but the bigger plan is to take it around to schools after the festival, "to get kids excited about science, technology and fabrication."

Katherine and her brain-building buddies have a crowdsourcing campaign under way. They're well on their way, but if you love 15-foot-tall brain-controlled brains like I love 15-foot-tall brain-controlled brains, and you think America's children need more 15-foot-tall brain-controlled brains in their classrooms because SCIENCE, you should kick in a little to ensure this weird dream comes true.

Katherine explains the wild idea to Boing Boing, below: Read the rest

In confirmation hearing, FBI chief nominee makes interesting remark on whistleblowers

"I think whistleblowers are also a critical element of a functioning democracy." —FBI director nominee James Comey, during his confirmation hearing today. He wasn't talking specifically about Snowden or Manning. [WaPo] Read the rest

Climate change creating "heat islands" for blacks, Asians, Latinos in US

Writing at GRIST, Susie Cagle points to a new study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, which finds that "not all neighborhoods and racial groups are faring equally" as climate change raises temps in urban areas: "According to the research, blacks, Asians, and Latinos are all significantly more likely to live in high-risk heat-island conditions than white people." Read the rest

On the difficulty of patenting (or otherwise protecting) magic tricks

"In the field of magic, theft is rampant. Close-up magic wholesalers steal from close-up magic wholesalers. Parlor manipulators steal from parlor manipulators. Large-scale illusionists steal from large-scale illusionists. Why do they do it? Because they can." —Rick Lax at Wired.com. Read the rest

CIA Whistleblower, in letter from prison, describes being denied medical attention

A letter from jail: John Kiriakou describes breaking a finger in prison, and being denied medical treatment. [The Dissenter] Read the rest

3D printed open SLR camera

Bozardeux, a recent French graduate and Instructables user, has undertaken a project to make an open, 3D printed DSLR camera. All the parts and designs are licensed CC Attibution-ShareAlike.

The OpenReflex is an Open-Source analog camera with a mirror Viewfinder and an awesome finger activated mechanic shutter (running ~ 1/60°s). What's more, it's compatible with any photographic lens with custom mount ring.

All the pieces easily printable on any recent RepRap-like ABS 3D-printer without using support material ! Everything should print in less than 15h and anyone should be able to assemble it within 1h.

All parts are separate ( Film receiver, Shutter and Viewfinder ) to simplify builds and modifications. The source files are available under the CreativeCommon By-Sa license, fell free to modify them if you want a new feature, and don't forget to share your improvements on the web ;)

3D Printed Camera : OpenReflex by Bozardeux (Thanks, Gregory) Read the rest

In Afghanistan, some poor female carpet weavers feed their babies hashish

Author, proto-warblogger and former CNN and NBC correspondent Kevin Sites, with whom I worked to create what may have been the first war blog, is back in Afghanistan reporting for VICE.

It's really strong work. One of the pieces he's sent back so far is a fascinating look at a traditional practice among many poor, rural carpet loomers: feeding hashish to their young children. Think of the drug as a kind of babysitter, for impoverished women who are forced to labor at hard work for impossibly long hours in harsh conditions. Snip: Read the rest

Follow Boing Boing on Twitter, Facebook, and everywhere else the NSA's watching you

If you like what you read, hear, and view on Boing Boing, you'll love us on your favorite social media services, too. We're not on all of 'em, but pretty close. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Flickr (we have a pool where readers share photos), and YouTube. And of course, check out our fancy new BBS! Background here. Read the rest

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