Chuck Berry, Rock Music Legend, Dies at 90

The great Chuck Berry, “who with his indelible guitar licks, brash self-confidence and memorable songs about cars, girls and wild dance parties did as much as anyone to define rock ’n’ roll’s potential and attitude in its early years,” died on Saturday, the New York Times and others reported Saturday. He was 90. Read the rest

Gorgeous and expensive wooden wireless keyboards, touchpads and mini-speakers

Oree makes wooden computer peripherals, and not just the usual keyboard and iPhone cases: also offered are matching touchpads (with optional numpad engraving) and "pebbles"--a gadget that combines a speaker and a wireless phone charger. Everything's offered in maple and walnut, with various engraving options.

The keyboard alone isn't unreasonable at $150, but a set seems terribly expensive: you're looking at $500 shipped! Read the rest

Chew resistant leash for dogs who need a chew resistant leash

Oh, Nemo! My Great Pyrenees has yet to chew through this $15 rope leash.

I tell my housesitters to never leave Nemo tied up to anything. Ignoring the obvious risk he'll pull whatever you've tied him to apart, Nemo only takes a few seconds to chew his way free of most fabric and some braided metal cables. This leash holds up better than most.

The woven "mountain climbing rope" takes a bit more mastication and chewing on than a normal ribbon style one. This extends the time you can turn your back from approximated 90 seconds to perhaps 4 minutes. If I go for 5 minutes, I will usually find a Great Pyrenees wandering close to the nearest source of food.

The rope is moderately reflective. The handle comfortable. The clip heavy duty. This is a pretty good leash for big dogs.

Best Soft reflective Dog training Leash- Chew resistant 4ft. bright nylon increased safety for night walking - for Medium and Large breeds via Amazon Read the rest

Review: Zelda Art & Artifacts is an enormous art book for Hyrule explorers

The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts is a mammoth book containing art and errata from practically every Zelda title ever released. Having spent a mere afternoon with it, I feel I've experienced an adolescence-worth of missed gameplay.

I've never gotten around to immersing myself in the Zelda games, but was always struck by the their' precision and economy, a world crafted more than built. There's a mysticism, even a darkness to Zelda that seems out of place in Nintendo's cutesy-poo lineup.

A heroic cycle, with a eternally-recurring hero and nemesis, every generation of the mythos is a strange echo of another, and the star is a stoic mute boy defined by his tools and under fate's control. Hyrule and its hero are less standard RPG fantasy than a uniquely Japanese new wave murmur, an Elric in Arcadia who brings sunshine rather than storm and never has a single brooding thought and gets to live silently ever after.

Published by Dark Horse Books, it's 424 pages long and weighs 6 pounds. It's 12.3 x 9.3 inches long and wide and two inches thick. Notes and other documentation are translated by Aria Tanner, Hisashi Kotobuki, Heidl Plechl and Michael Gombos.

Organized roughly by release date (the canonical continuity seems rather murky), there's early animation-style cels, box art, instruction booklets, and even some work from the latest title, Breath of the Wild, released a couple of weeks ago.

It goes from exquisitely painted concept art right down to detailed sprite sheets from classic 8-bit outings, and the print quality is outstanding. Read the rest

Master the Adobe Creative Cloud here and become a meme factory

Adobe has long been the industry leader in creative software. Its enduring popularity might be due to the relative ease of pirating Photoshop and the internet proliferation of amateur editing, but more likely it's the result of outstanding interoperability between its professional apps. Mastering every entry into their ever-expanding roster of image-making tools may be overkill if you're not a design professional, but getting up to speed with their most common offerings is not just doable, but a valuable resume point and genuinely useful skill.

To gain expertise in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere, take a look at this Training Bundle. With the Photoshop course, you’ll dive into the monolithic image editor and learn a full set of photo retouching and digital painting techniques. Once you understand the depth of graphics manipulation, you can discover Illustrator’s powerful vector-editing capabilities to make infinitely scalable artwork, edit typography, and craft clean icon and logo designs. Finally, you can explore professional video editing and color correction using Premiere.

With this trio of programs under your belt, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a multimedia production powerhouse. Learn them all in the Adobe CC Essentials Training Bundle—just $29. Read the rest

Watch skateboarders skate on frozen sand

Norway is one of the few places cold enough to support the seasonal sport of frozen sand skateboarding. Worth a watch just for the gorgeous vistas with the sun on the horizon. Read the rest

Sobering look at how the poor are denied American justice

American penitentiaries, in idealized Quaker imaginings, were to be a place for reflective penitence followed by forgiveness. That's not how it worked out, especially for the poor. And the problem goes far beyond prison reform: Read the rest

How tardigrades survive extreme conditions

Tardigrades, the tiny creatures also known as water bears, are a house favorite at Boing Boing. Able to survive in the most extreme conditions, from alcohol immersion to empty space, their resilience poses difficult scientific questions. Scientists believe they've found the answer, and have published their findings in Molecular Cell.

Wired's Matt Simon writes:

...researchers claim they’ve found an exclusively tardigradean protein that the creature produces, forming it into a glass bead. It’s in this state that the water bear can pull off such extreme feats of survival—which might be very convenient for human medicine one day.

The problem with the [earlier] trehalose theory, as it turned out, was that while many other organisms like nematode worms and brine shrimp use it to survive desiccation, not all water bear species produce the sugar under stress. Some of those other organisms produce enough trehalose to make up 20 percent of their body weight. The water bear? Only about 2 percent.

This doesn't explain why tardigrade plushies thrive on my couch. Read the rest

Bruce Sterling's SXSW 2017 keynote: what should humans do?

Every year, Bruce Sterling closes the SXSW Interactive Festival with a wide-ranging, hour-long speech about the state of the nation: the format is 20 minutes' worth of riffing on current affairs, and then 40 minutes of main thesis, scorchingly delivered, with insights, rage, inspiration and calls to action. Read the rest

New York 2140: Kim Stanley Robinson dreams vivid about weathering climate crisis

In 2012, Kim Stanley Robinson published 2312, imagining how the world and its neighbors might look in 300 years, loosely coupled with the seminal Red Mars books, a futuristically pastoral novel about the way that technology can celebrate the glories of nature; in 2015, Robinson followed it up with Aurora, the best book I read that year, which used 2312's futures to demolish the idea that we can treat space colonization (and other muscular technological projects) as Plan B for climate change -- a belief that is very comforting to those who don't or can't imagine transforming capitalism into a political system that doesn't demolish the planet. Now, with New York 2140, Robinson starts to connect the dots between these different futures with a bold, exhilarating story of life in a permanent climate crisis, where most people come together in adversity, but where a small rump of greedy, powerful people get in their way.