Unmaking a home: A story of life, death, Christmas and trash bags

[I'm a huge fan of Bill Barol's podcast, HOME: Stories From L.A. It's the first podcast Bill has produced, and he knocked it right out of the park. HOME is one of the best narrative podcasts I've ever listened to. If you haven't listened to the six episodes from the first season yet, you are in for a treat. I'm very excited that for its second season, HOME has found a home in the Boing Boing podcast network. Thanks for sharing your work with Boing Boing's audience, Bill! – Mark]

HOME: Stories From L.A. asks the questions: What do we mean when we talk about home? And what does it mean to be at home on the edge of the American continent? In Season 1 we looked at the midcentury house on a hill where a forgotten genius from Hollywood's Golden Age lived out his last years; the empty spot on a Hawthorne street where Brian Wilson first dreamed of the harmonies that would make The Beach Boys great; the chicken magnate who's trying to keep a desert town on the old Route 66 from vanishing; the wandering that led an ex-Buddhist monk to the tech sector of Venice Beach; what it means, and what it meant, to grow up in the San Fernando Valley; and the fight to keep a venerable old Hollywood apartment building weird. 

This week, to kick off Season 2: 

When an elderly parent dies after a long life of lovingly acquiring things, she leaves behind more than memories for her kids. Read the rest

Home, a dystopian adventure by Tom Abrahams

Tom Abrahams' Home introduces us to a prepper nightmare. His vision of life in a post-plague America is worse than I'd imagined.

Former military expert and super prepper Battle has spent the last few years doing nothing but readying his 50 acres, wife and son for the impending doom of society. He has years of supplies, all the guns and ammo you could want, a special mineral rights deal with someone to supply never ending power to his fortress, he thought of every contingency! Sadly, his wife lets a plague ridden neighbor in for some tea.

Battle has to cope with this odd failure, while pretty much kicking the shit out of everything that gets even remotely intrudes on his home. While completely out of his control, Battle is fueled by this failure and sets out to save a stranger's son from an unknown fate. A lot of bullets fly, people get killed.

The action, motivations and organization of post-plague, Cartel run America felt right to me. Bad guys are not so cut and dry bad, unless they are at the very top, and the evolution of post-collapse society painted a scarily realistic picture. I'm looking forward to seeing where Abrahams takes this story next, and if the fallible prepper, Mr. Battle grows.

Home: A Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian Adventure (The Traveler Book 1) via Amazon Read the rest

3M Gel Wrist Rest $(removed)

The bones in the heel of my hand start aching after a few minutes if I don't have support under them. Ive tried several different pads, and the 3M Gel Wrist Rest is my favorite. It has just the right amount of squish to it. It's on sale at Amazon for just $(removed) Read the rest

Released today! Beverly – Six intertwined stories that show the underside of suburban life

See sample pages at Wink.

Nick Drnaso’s Beverly, released today, is a brilliant set of six intertwined stories that show the underside of suburban life. Each story starts off with a smile, while pretty pastel colors and manicured lawns are plentiful. The art is crisp, geometric, simple and orderly. But scratch just a bit underneath the astroturf and horrific, heart-breaking details emerge. Broken-down parents cut their family vacation short after walking in on their sexually-repressed son in the middle of a cringe-inducing act. A teen girl who disappears from the diner she works at isn’t as innocent as her xenophobic town first thinks. A lonely housewife has stars in her eyes when she takes part in a sitcom focus group, only to find out she’s been duped.

With a structure like Richard Linklater’s Slacker and the temperament of Daniel Clowes’ Ghost World, each story of bored, angst-filled teens and desperate adults features at least one character from one of the other stories, and yet each is its own separate tale. I was completely taken in, thinking at times that I was right there sharing the same stifled air as these folks, and now they exist in my mind as memories, rather than pieces of a graphic narrative.

Beverly

by Nick Drnaso

Drawn & Quarterly

2016, 136 pages, 7.5 x 9.5 x 0.4 inches (softcover)

$17 Buy a copy on Amazon Read the rest

How to make a primitive cord drill and pump drill

YouTuber Primitive Technology says, "I made a cord drill and then upgraded it to a pump drill. A cord drill is basically a spindle with a fly wheel attached so it looks like a spinning top. the middle of a piece of cord is then put into a notch at the top of the spindle. The ends of the cord are then wrapped around the spindle and then pulled quickly outwards causing the drill to spin. The momentum of the fly wheel causes the cord to wrap back around the spindle in the other direction. When it stops the cords are pulled outwards again and the drill spins in the other direction.

[via] Read the rest

Nude statues at Rome museum covered to not embarrass Iranian president

Classical nude statues at Italy's Capitoline Museum were covered up this week in anticipation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's visit. Some politicians and art critics called out the stupidity. From The Telegraph:

The president’s aides were also reportedly anxious that he not be photographed too close to a giant bronze statue of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius on horseback.

The Iranians objected to what one Italian newspaper delicately described as “the attributes” or genitalia of the huge horse, which dates from the second century AD.

Read the rest

Dashcam captures Oregon cop violently kicking motorcyclist

If you're a cop in Oregon, I guess the way to get promoted is to rear end your unmarked patrol car into a motorcycle and then violently kick the nonresistant rider with enough force to break his collarbone. It'll cost taxpayers $180,000 to settle the lawsuit against you, but that not your problem! Read the rest

Teller explains how performance and discomfort make education come alive

The trend of making schools "safe places" to protect students from feeling uncomfortable is a bad idea, says Teller, the silent member of the magic comedy duo Penn and Teller, and a former schoolteacher. Here's a snip from an essay in The Atlantic:

And if Shakespeare (or Catullus or Vergil) makes students uncomfortable? That’s a good thing, Teller said. Learning, like magic, should make people uncomfortable, because neither are passive acts. Elaborating on the analogy, he continued, “Magic doesn’t wash over you like a gentle, reassuring lullaby. In magic, what you see comes into conflict with what you know, and that discomfort creates a kind of energy and a spark that is extremely exciting. That level of participation that magic brings from you by making you uncomfortable is a very good thing.”

As we were on the subject of discomfort I asked Teller what he thinks of schools’ efforts to protect students from discomfort as they learn through censoring teachers’ content and requirements for trigger warnings. For the first time in our conversation, Teller illustrated the power of his trademark silence, and the line went quiet.

Just as I’d begun to think we’d been disconnected, he replied,

“When I go outside at night and look up at the stars, the feeling that I get is not comfort. The feeling that I get is a kind of delicious discomfort at knowing that there is so much out there that I do not understand and the joy in recognizing that there is enormous mystery, which is not a comfortable thing.

Read the rest

Ben and Jerry's Bernie Yearning flavor exists -- sorta

Earlier this month, Ben "and Jerry's" Cohen spitballed with an MSNBC reporter about his idea for a Bernie Sanders ice-cream flavor: "Bernie's Yearning," a pint of mint with a disk of solid chocolate on the top, representing the fortunes of the 1%. Before you eat it, you use a spoon to smash the wealth and distribute it evenly through the pint. Read the rest

Man converted his electric wheelchair into a snowplow

Omaha motorcycle mechanic Justin Anderson, an Iraq war veteran, converted his electric wheelchair into a snowplow that he uses to clear his neighborhood sidewalk and the school across the street from his house.

"I want to help inspire other veterans with mobility issues," Anderson told KMTV. "There are still things you can do that you thought you might not be able to do after your injury."

Read the rest

Gorgeous 3D printed trilobites

D. Allan Drummond, the University of Chicago biologist who recently 3D printed and cast a fascinating model of a yeast cell dividing, also creates exquisite bronze sculptures of trilobites, marine arthropods that went extinct 250 million years ago. Images and video below.

See more at Professor Drummond's Instagram feed.

(via SciAm)

Read the rest

Kitten fails to impress tortoise

[via] Read the rest

“Pretty Maids All in a Row”: Roger Vadim’s outrageous early 70s sex-and-murder black comedy

Nightflight has a great article about the weird and wonderful cult exploitation 70s movie, Pretty Maids All in a Row, with a screenplay by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry!

Pretty Maids would end up being Roddenberry’s first — and only — feature film writing credit during his impressive and long career. He transformed the problematic first draft of Pollini’s original story completely, deepening the dark comedy (it’s pretty black, actually) and softcore semi-misogynistic erotica of the original story — about a high school guidance counselor and football coach who sleeps with a lot of his foxy female students and then murders some of them (the ones who fall in love with him, and ask him to leave his wife, and daughter) — and turning the story into a whodunit that one writer later described as “an episode of ‘Kojak’ written by the staff of Penthouse Forum.“

I also like the opening song by the Osmand Brothers, called "Chilly Winds."

Read the rest

"The Chickening," a deeply weird remix of The Shining

The Chickening, directed by Nick DenBoer and Davy Force:

It is a theatrical trailer for a fictional film in which Stanley Kubrick’s classic film T​he Shining​has been artfully transformed into a new, poultry­infused comedy adventure by digitally altering the film to create a new narrative. This new style of filmmaking is a hilarious collision of classic films with modern day visual effects; “Cinegraffiti” — the ultimate neo­nostalgic visual feast for this digital age.

Read the rest

Inventorying a $5 garage sale score

John Edgar Park picked up some great stuff at a garage sale a couple of weeks ago, and took photos. He gave me one of the pencils!

The Eagle #314 “Chemi-Sealed” DRAUGHTING pencils are excellent, highly coveted pencils among illustrators. This style was made from 1950-1980. More info here.

Read the rest

Meet the composer of "Schoolhouse Rock!"

Conjunction Junction, what's your function? That iconic tune (below) and others from the "Schoolhouse Rock!" cartoon were the work of composer Bob Dorough, now 92-years-old and still playing music. (Great Big Story)

Read the rest

To do in LA: '30/90,' photo essays by Star Foreman, Jan. 29

Star Foreman is one of our favorite photographers. She recently embarked on a mission to shoot 30 photo essays in 90 days. With so many different shoots to imagine and arrange, Star never ran out of ideas. In the resulting body of work are amazing portraits, some of familiar faces, and fantasy scenes from a life spent in and around Hollywood. Star's work is painstakingly beautiful. Read the rest

More posts