Al from Happy Days, RIP

Al Molinaro, most famous for playing Al Delvecchio, proprietor of Arnold's Drive-In on TV sitcom Happy Days (1974-1984), has died. He was 96. Yeppp, Yep, Yep, Yep, Yep... Prior to his role on Happy Days, Molinaro starred on The Odd Couple as Murray the Cop.

(The Hollywood Reporter)

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Hooray! I’m not the stupidest person at the 2015 Trivia Championships of North America

It’s day one of the 2015 Trivia Championships of North America (TCONA) and already there’s been an “incident.”

We’re oblivious to the unfolding disaster as we mill around the Havana Room of the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas. Approximately half of the 200 or so registrants have just finished playing the First Quiz of TCONA, a 100-question written exam covering everything from Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina cleaning regimen to French World War I flying aces.

But now we’re ready for 5x5, the Jeopardy style game that is a TCONA favorite. And there’s no 5x5 to be had.A couple of guys wearing sports caps and jerseys break unexpectedly into show tunes. The rest of us Monday morning quarterback the First Quiz.

We agree that the test’s biggest stumper was to name the most recent Mexican-born winner of an acting Oscar.

I had immediately thought of Anthony Quinn, who was born in Mexico and won two Oscars for Best Supporting Actor in the 1950s (for Viva Zapata! and Lust for Life). I eventually settled on the equally wrong Salma Hayek, who was nominated for Frida but didn’t win.

The correct answer was what we in the quizzing world call a YEKIOYD: you either know it or you don’t. As it turned out, almost no one knew that Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) was actually born in Mexico. For all the brain power in the room, there are still things even most of us don’t know.

Slowly the word gets around that during the night one of the event’s organizers quietly checked out of the hotel taking half of the game buzzers with her. Read the rest

A peek inside Iraq's most notorious weapons market

The fun-loving Chinese journalists in this segment manage to out-VICE VICE. 侣行 On the Road is billed as “a homemade outdoor reality show” featuring an "extreme couple" who love adventure. The pair and their team got some great footage of an open-air weapons market in Sadr City. Read the rest

How Jared Fogle lured child sexual abuse victims, in his own words

Trigger warning, obviously. Read the rest

Kinetic steampunk pub in Romania is boozily adorable

Enigma Café in Romania claims to be the first “kinetic steampunk” pub in the world. Read the rest

Fishbone performing "Lemon Meringue" live (1993)

A windless sail and a waterless sea, a rusted ship and a discontinued journey. Read the rest

Another fact-challenged week in the latest tabloids

[My friend Peter Sheridan is a Los Angeles-based correspondent for British national newspapers. He has covered revolutions, civil wars, riots, wildfires, and Hollywood celebrity misdeeds for longer than he cares to remember. As part of his job, he must read all the weekly tabloids. For the past couple of years, he's been posting terrific weekly tabloid recaps on Facebook and has graciously given us permission to run them on Boing Boing. Enjoy! - Mark]

George Clooney and Amal are headed for a "$220 million divorce," Lamar Odom's "suicide note" has been found, and Khloé Kardashian "breaks her silence."

It's another fact-challenged week in the latest tabloids.

Thankfully we have hard-hitting investigative reporters to tell us that Selena Gomez wore it best, Carrie Underwood's parents almost called her Stacy, Alanis Morisette carries dental floss in her handbag, and that the stars are just like us: they "text on the go," "share snacks," "take pictures" and "love to shop."

I feel better just knowing that.

So, what are the National Enquirer's "dark secrets that will destroy George & Amal"? Photos of Clooney's former E.R. co-star Noah Wyle giving George a kiss on the cheek. At a public movie premiere. Twenty years ago. And from the photos, George isn't even enjoying the playful peck. Two guys messing around for the cameras on a Hollywood red carpet two decades ago - sounds like grounds for divorce for me.

Has Khloé Kardashian broken her silence as People magazine's cover claims? Read the small print, and you learn that she gave the interview "just hours before Lamar Odom was found unconscious." So she couldn't even begin to comment on a tragedy which hadn't yet occurred. Read the rest

The 2015 Extra Life gaming marathon - play games, help kids

It's fall and my buddy Marcus is at it again. The Extra Life 2015 Video Game Marathon is just a couple weeks away and gamers across the country are preparing to play for 24 hours straight, raising money for Children's Hospitals in their hometowns.

Come on - it's the perfect excuse to pull an all nighter and finish exploring all the HALO5 content, or finally get your Guardian up to 300 Light level. Do that, get a couple sponsors and 100% of the funds go to your local Children's Hospital.

Join Marcus' team TH3 M0TL3Y CR3W here or sponsor Marcus. I'll likely join him for a few hours. Read the rest

Why Bob Ross is the perfect gamer hero

Could this gentle painting teacher have posthumously inspired a generation of gamers to try art?

The Today show hosts dressed in terrible, scary Peanuts costumes

This morning, the hosts of the TODAY show dressed as ridiculously bizarre and frightening interpretations of the Peanuts characters.

"I'm actually Charlie James Brown!" Al Roker said.

"TODAY goes nuts for Halloween: 'Peanuts'! See our Charlie Brown and the gang" (Thanks, Kelly Sparks!)

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Craptastic Bluetooth smartwatch for $(removed)

Who can resist an $(removed) bluetooth smartwatch with a touch screen display, even if it is an utter piece of junk? Not me! I just ordered one on Amazon. It will supposedly pair to an iPhone.

Features

1.48" Capacitive Touch Screen TFT LCD Time/Date/Week/Battery state display Ringing reminder when you receive a call Ringing reminder once your mobile phone disconnected Display the number or name of incoming calls Answer or Dial calls from watch Support hands-free calls, phone book Play the music in your phone Sync SMS/call history(only for android phone, you need download apk) Ring reminder when your smart phone receive a message (including Wechat, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Skype, and so on. Only for android phone.) Anti-lost alarm function: When cellphone left watch alarm automatically, after a certain distance to avoid lose the phones Remote taking photo function: You can control your cellphone to take photo from the watch.(only for android phone) Stopwatch, Altitude Meter, Passometer, Photograph, Barometer, Vibration Read the rest

The Coolest Tin Toy from the Sixties: Hootin’ Hollow Haunted House

Watching TV as a little kid in the early 1960s, I yearned very deeply— an insatiable craving sucking at my guts — for a Hootin’ Hollow Haunted House, a tin toy produced by Louis Marx. I saw this commercial on our small black and white TV (I was between four and six years old at the time) and immediately began pestering my parents:

It was probably too expensive, but Robot Commando from Remco cost just as much and that showed up under the Christmas tree although I didn’t ask for it. I think my father really wanted to play with it and that’s why I got it. But he didn’t care about ghosts, witches, and haunted houses, and so my desire was doomed.

What is so special about the Hootin’ Hollow Haunted House? To a six-year old boy it was probably the coolest thing on earth. There are eight typewriter style buttons on the right side of the house, each neatly labeled with the effect that is produced when you push it down. And it was like they took every neat spooky thing a kid could wish for and stuffed it into this beautifully lithographed tin house—an example of great toy design. The sides of the house are not straight verticals, but splay outward from the bottom up, as if viewed in a foreshortened image; the roof and windows are a-kilter, all influenced by German Expressionism in the art design of films like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Of course, I didn’t know crap from Caligari as a little kid, but damn I wanted a Hootin’ Hollow Haunted House so badly it seemed like my life could not continue without it. Read the rest

1960s-style cover of Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Give It Away"

Postmodern Jukebox covers Red Hot Chili Peppers' 1991 hit, "Give It Away." Read the rest

Spooks everywhere: EFF's Hallowe'en guide to street-level surveillance

If you really want to be scared this Hallowe'en, spare a moment to ponder six ways that the state engages in widepread and indiscriminate surveillance, from social media monitoring to license plate and toll-transponder readers to IMSI catchers, biometrics and more. Read the rest

Remember the perpetual motion machine called Orbo? It's back!

I've been following news about a company called Steorn for many years now. They claim to have developed a technology that generates more energy than it consumes. Every time they've had a public demonstration, it doesn't work. I'm not surprised.

I thought they'd given up, but they are back. And they have a new video, which appears to be a webinar for investors. Michael Ferrier, who runs a blog about Steorn, has a good recap:

Description of the Orbo PowerCube internals

[Steorn CEO Shaun McCarthy] showed the internal components of a PowerCube, described how the energy generating Orbo power pack works, and even demonstrated the process of manufacturing a simple device of this kind.

The Orbo battery (or power pack) is made up of three components: two dissimilar metals and a layer of chemical gel that sits between them. The two metals can be sheets, or "basically any physical format". Shaun compares the resulting combination of components to a galvanic cell. However, in a galvanic cell, the chemical agent would be chemically eroding the other components; but in the Orbo battery, the chemical layer is completely inert and has no chemical interactions with the magnets.

The process of producing an Orbo battery involves taking these three layers, two dissimilar metals separated by a chemical (the formula of which is "not that simple"), heating them up to just beyond the melting point of the chemical, and then very slowly cooling them, which allows the chemical gel to retain an electric field that is impressed up it.

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Sex message on Chipotle cup

"My son's Chipotle cup says 'reproductive sex' on it," wrote a mom who posted this photo to Reddit. It also looks like the cylindrical object is penetrating something. The text below it reads, "Who wants to feel so small?"

Confused? I was, too, until I learned that it's part of Chipotle's "Cultivating Thought" series. The cup was illustrated by James Gulliver Hancock, and is inspired by something Anthony Doerr wrote for Chipotle:

Tattoo Earth’s 4.5-billion-year timeline onto your arm, shoulder to fingertip, and your upper arm will get nothing but geologic mayhem: meteorites, magma, acid rain. Life won’t begin until your bicep, and from there to your wrist it’s all single-celled, oceangoing stuff. Reproductive sex won’t show up until your wristwatch, and creatures that are finally big enough to see—tubes and fronds and weird Precambrian plant-animals—will crisscross the back of your hand.

Actually, I'm still confused. But I eat at Chipotle about four times a week, and I am excited they've added dinosaurs and sex to the good music and tasty food. Read the rest

FHTAGN: Silver tentacle rings and earrings

The jewelry looks just as good as these pieces but their production doesn't harm any octopuses; they're made from high-quality Sterling and the rings come with three different finishes. The earrings are $20 and are through-the-ear/wrap around; the $40 rings can be easily adjusted for different-sized fingers. Both get top marks from reviewers.

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