• Chuck Tingle's latest mocks those angry at bisexual Superman

    World's greatest author Chuck Tingle had a great response to the predictable right-wing backlash against the coming out of Jonathan Kent, son of Superman and Lois: he wrote a book about it.

    Here's the setup for the hit new Tingler It's A Bird. It's A Plane. It's The Physical Manifestation Of My Ridiculous Reaction To Canonically Bisexual Superheroes Who Freak Me Out Because I'm An Ignorant Emotionally Stunted Bigot:

    Rompo is a fanboy through and through, but while most can appreciate comic book culture in a fun, healthy way, Rompo is nothing short of a terrible person. Other than having very few friends, this hasn't affected his life much, but when Rompo discovers one of his favorite superheroes, Buckaroo Man, is bisexual, it all comes to a head.

    Rompo suffers a massive heart attack thanks to the news, but his life is saved by two caped crusaders. One is the physical manifestation of his ridiculous and fearful reaction to canonically bisexual superheroes which ignorantly freaks him out because he's an emotionally stunted bigot, who Buckaroo Man is based on, and then other is Ms. Meta, a T-Rex who can see through the layers of Rompo's reality and into the next.

    Now Rompo is changing his tune, but is coming to terms with his own bisexuality and learning to be a better person enough for Rompo to warrant his own erotica story? Or, will the meta reality of the Tingleverse come crashing down around them?

    This erotic tale is 4,400 words of sizzling bisexual T-Rex and living concept on human threesome action.

    I, for one, am just so glad we get to live on this timeline with a real American hero like Chuck Tingle.

    It's A Bird. It's A Plane. It's The Physical Manifestation Of My Ridiculous Reaction To Canonically Bisexual Superheroes Who Freak Me Out Because I'm An Ignorant Emotionally Stunted Bigot [Chuck Tingle]

  • Doom rendered as checkboxes

    Doom may be played in the web browser, of course, but now it may also be rendered in the web browser as a vast collection of checkboxes.

    You can play now (desktop Chrome/Edge only), view the source code, or read on for the how.

    This is the incredible achievement of Andrew Healey.

    In my project, DOOM runs via WebAssembly in a hidden <canvas>. I use HTMLCanvasElement.captureStream() to turn this into a MediaStream. A <video> element displays this MediaStream and is then consumed by renderVideo from Checkboxland. I experimented with a few different threshold values to get DOOM to render as clear as possible. A possible improvement here is to use some kind of dither filter.

    Optionally, the <video> element can be hidden as well. However, test users were unable to exit the main menu without the aid of the original hi-res DOOM.

    Our screen is a 160 by 100 grid of native checkboxes. Higher resolutions work but FPS drops off dramatically. The image at the top of this post is from an earlier version with a resolution of 320×200.

  • Free online deck of questions for an at-home date night

    Designer/developer duo Amanda and Hunter Loftis created a free deck of question cards to ask friends or significant others. The questions spark conversation (What did you want to be when you grew up? What's the worst date you've ever been on?) and the site's visually appealing design is the icing on the cake.

    Choose between the "for friends" deck ("funny, introspective, light") or the "for lovers" deck ("romantic, flirty, deep"). If your relationship status is complicated, choosing the deck may help you DTR.

    Programmer Hunter Loftis previously was featured on Boing Boing for a fractal terrain generation project built with just 130 lines of code.

  • Draw a picture and this AI matches it to a movie image Screenshot of Hugging Face

    Hugging Face, a company that makes AI language-and-image-processing tools, just released this little web toy "Draw To Search". You draw something and it attempts to recognize what you've drawn and match it to an image from a movie.

    It worked pretty well with the "car" I drew, above, but the results vary widely. My attempt to draw a sad face was recognized — with very low confidence — as "drums", a "camera", or an "airplane" …

    Drawing a star fared better …

    It's kind of fun! Though I wonder whether, as with AI projects trained on badly-masticated online material, there's some ghoulish form of prejudice lurking inside this toy.

  • Top Boeing pilot indicted over 737 MAX scandal

    A now-former chief technical pilot for Boeing was indicted on fraud charges over his involvement in the 737 MAX scandal, which claimed the lives of hundreds of passengers when two of the defective jets crashed. Mark Forkner, 49, was in that role during the certification process for the jet and is accused of deceiving the Federal Aviation Administeration during that process in 2016 and 2017.

    Nadia Milleron, mother of Samya Rose Stumo, who was killed in the second fatal crash in March of 2019, said the indictment of one former executive doesn't go far enough."Forkner is just a fall guy. He and Boeing are responsible for the deaths of everyone who died in the Max crashes," she said. "The system within Boeing rewarded short term financial gain over safety, and Mark Forkner was operating within that system. Prosecutors can and should find quite a few other people who were also responsible for causing the crashes. Every single family who lost someone in the Max crash feels the same way: the executives and board of directors of Boeing need to go to jail."

    Not one executive knew what he was doing? This was the one guy?

  • At just $13, the Ecolighter BB is a rechargeable and eco-friendly lighter option

    There's nothing quite like the feeling of lighting your favorite candle and having the scent instantly uplift your mood. However, a broken lighter can be the ultimate mood killer. Instead of replacing gas lighters or resorting to complex lighter fluid hacks containing harmful substances, you can switch to a reusable and eco-friendly alternative. After all, using a lighter shouldn't feel like you need the skill sets of a mechanical engineer.

    Now discounted at 35% off its retail price of $19, the Ecolighter BB is on sale for $13, a great long-term investment for a reusable and sustainable product. The Ecolighter BB is an electric lighter that's easily rechargeable and provides up to 300 lights per charge. With the push of a button, you can comfortably turn on the flameless Arc light and avoid any troublesome or burning hot "wheels" that can take three or more tries to get going. 

    Probably the biggest advantage to the Ecolighter BB is that it eliminates the need for butane gas, which can be damaging and toxic to the environment. Butane gas is also highly flammable and reactive, something you shouldn't have to worry about when lighting a candle. 

    Plus, the Ecolighter BB is waterproof and windproof, making it usable during outdoor activities, harsher weather conditions, and even a weekly bathtub ritual — if that's your thing. Besides its functional advantages, an additional perk is the Ecolighter BB's modern look and style. The sleek body comes in both matte white and rose gold, which can pair nicely with your home decor.

    Why have multiple gas lighters hidden in your junk drawer that doesn't always work, when you can have one reliable lighter worthy of display? The Ecolighter BB is a convenient and safer solution for a lighter that positively impacts the environment — now on sale for only $13, or 35% off, give your favorite candle the partner in crime it deserves. 

  • The best pinto bean recipe is from Texas

    Between my work/writing schedule and my partner's returning to school, cooking dinner is no longer a daily occurrence. We're all about pan meals, roasts, Instant Pot oatmeal and sandwiches. As we haven't been able to drop down to Texas for the past two winters—nor will we now, as the culture has become, at least for us, untenable—I've been missing out on a lot of the foods that I love.

    The foods I love from down south are, typically, can be cooked in large quantities and noshed on for days.

    Take this recipe for pinto beans that the good folks at Texas Monthly whipped up. It's hearty enough to eat as a meal and tasty enough that it does well as a side to compliment other meals.

    From Texas Monthly:

    Memphis, Kansas City, and Boston have their sweet baked beans, but in Texas, we prefer pintos, and we prefer them savory and a little spicy. Pinto beans have become a pretty typical mainstay on barbecue joint menus, likely because the canned kind is cheap and easy to buy. And, even out of the can, they're pretty good, but it's hard to compare with a batch cooked from dry beans… These are barbecue beans, meaning they're made with barbecue (leftovers), barbecue sauce, and barbecue rub.

    I mean, vegetarians aside (and I'm sure the recipe can be tweaked to accomodate them as well,) who could resist that?

    Image via PXfuel

  • Texas school administrator tells teachers to provide "opposing perspective" to books about the Holocaust

    A school administrator at the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, Texas, "advised" teachers there that books about the Holocaust they have in their classroom should be balanced by books taking an "opposing" perspective. The district also reprimanded a teacher who had an anti-racist book in her classroom.

    Gina Peddy, the Carroll school district's executive director of curriculum and instruction, made the comment Friday afternoon during a training session on which books teachers can have in classroom libraries. …

    "Just try to remember the concepts of [House Bill] 3979," Peddy said in the recording, referring to a new Texas law that requires teachers to present multiple perspectives when discussing "widely debated and currently controversial" issues. "And make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust," Peddy continued, "that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives."

    "How do you oppose the Holocaust?" one teacher said in response. 

    "Believe me," Peddy said. "That's come up."

    It's remarkable how quickly "anti-CRT laws only target a narrow class of activist literature that's blatantly inappropriate for children" turned into "we must put David Irving in their christmas stockings"

  • Robert Durst, who confessed to murder on a hot mic, sentenced to life imprisonment

    Real estate heir Robert Durst, famous for inadvertantly confessing to murder while being interviewed for a documentary, was sentenced to life in prison.

    Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Windham handed down that punishment one month after jurors convicted Durst, 78, of first-degree murder for the Dec. 23, 2000, death of Susan Berman. Berman was shot at point-blank range in the back of the head inside her Benedict Canyon home.

    Durst was long-suspected of the killing (itself preventing Berman from talking to police about the suspicious death of his wife) but it took a long time to nail him.

    in a 2015 HBO documentary series, "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst," Durst appeared to confess to the slayings. He went to the bathroom while still wearing a hot microphone, which recorded him whispering to himself: "You're caught! What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."

    After killing Berman, Durst vanished and "disgused himself as a woman" in Galveston, Texas, for some time, and later killed another person and dismembered their body. In that case, he was acquitted on grounds of self-defence.

    In some apperances (such as the cover of The Jinx embedded above) Durst appears to be wearing fast-fashion or scleral contact lenses with large dark pupils, commonly associated with anime cosplay and edgy music videos and such. The speculation is that he believes it makes him look innocent and doe-eyed, but in the context of his face they have quite the opposite effect.

  • Someone made an elaborately detailed IMDB page for a fake SCREAM sequel

    This week saw the release of the trailer for Scream 2022, the fifth film in the Scream movie franchise after a decade away (although there was also a TV series that was only slightly connected). According to the Internet Movie Database, however, there already was a fifth Scream film released in 2018 under the title Scream 5: The Return of Ghostface. Here's the plot description:

    Now that Jill is deceased, the killer is back! When will he die? Discovering secrets of the past, and trying to defeat the killer. Sole survivors always live, eh?

    That sounds vague enough to be plausible.

    In addition to returning cast members Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, and David Arquette, this non-existent movie also stars Hayden Panetierre, and Anne Hathaway, and Uma Thurman, and Emma Watson, an Emma Stone, and Henry Cavill, and Patton Oswalt, and … honestly, the ambition of the casting and fake plot details for this fake movie are pretty impressive:

    Scream 5: The Return of Ghostface (IMDB)

  • Survey finds 22% of scientists who do media interviews about COVID get violent threats Microscope image of coronavirus

    Nature surveyed 300 scientists who've done media interviews about COVID. The results had some surprisingly positive notes — 85% said "their experiences of engaging with the media were always or mostly positive, even if they were harassed afterwards".

    But as you might expect, a significant chunk described some ghastly abuse. Fully 15% got death threats, and 22% "received threats of physical or sexual violence."

    You'd expect that vaccines would be the source of a lot of the threats, but in talking to individual researchers, the reporter for this Nature story found that some of the hottest abuse came after scientists did media interviews debunking the bogus "cures" for COVID — like the anti-parasite drug ivermectin.

    As Epidemiologist Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz said …

    "I think I've received more death threats due to ivermectin, in fact, than anything I've done before," he says. "It's anonymous people e-mailing me from weird accounts saying 'I hope you die' or 'if you were near me I would shoot you'."

    Andrew Hill, a pharmacologist at the University of Liverpool's Institute of Translational Medicine, received vitriolic abuse after he and his colleagues published a meta-analysis in July. It suggested ivermectin showed a benefit, but Hill and his co-authors then decided to retract and revise the analysis when one of the largest studies they included was withdrawn because of ethical concerns about its data (A. Hill et alOpen Forum Inf. Dis. 8, ofab394; 2021). After that, Hill was besieged with images of hanged people and coffins, with attackers saying he would be subject to 'Nuremberg trials', and that he and his children would 'burn in hell'. He has since closed his Twitter account.

    The same thing goes for researchers who question the claim that COVID was created in a lab in China …

    Virologist Danielle Anderson, now at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity at the University of Melbourne in Australia, received intense, coordinated online and e-mail abuse after writing a fact-checking critique in early 2020 of an article suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 might have leaked from China's Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). At the time, she was based at the Duke–National University of Singapore Medical School in Singapore, but had collaborated with the WIV since the epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002–04. "Eat a bat and die, bitch," one e-mail read.

    The story notes several caveats to the Nature survey, including the fact that it includes only info from scientists who chose to respond. The findings here are thus suggestive but not conclusive; the real incidence of abuse could be lower than this study found (if people who'd been harassed were more likely to respond) or higher (if the inverse were true).

    (CC-2.0-licensed image of coronavirus courtesy Yuri Samoilov's Flickr feed)

  • English baker caught using illegal sprinkles smuggled from the US

    A customer at the Leeds-based bakery Get Baked recently reported the business to the West Yorkshire Trading Standards regulatory body for violating sprinkle laws with their best-selling Birthday Bruce biscuits and raspberry glazed donut cookies.

    Yes, really.

    As the BBC explains:

    Trading Standards said the E127 food colouring, also know as Erythrosine, is only approved for use in the UK and EU in cocktail cherries and candied cherries.

    The ingredient has been linked to problems with hyperactivity in children and effects on their mood and behaviour.

    "[The inspector] said they'd had reports of us using illegal sprinkles and I actually laughed by mistake, then realised he was being serious," [Get Baked owner Rich] Myers said.

    "To whoever reported us to Trading Standards, all I have to say is: 'Dear Lord, what a sad little life Jane'."

    Mr. Myers expanded on his frustrations in a viral Facebook post that turned "Sprinklegate" into a national controversy:

    We have heard back from Trading Standards, and have been told that we must cease use of our sprinkles with immediate effect.

    Obviously, we will be following the rules, and removing them as of now.

    Whilst this might seem like it's not a big deal, it's actually very fucking annoying, as A LOT of people ask for Birthday Bruce's and Rasperry Glazed Donut Cookies are not only our best selling cookie, but they're utterly sensational.

    It is HIGHLY unlikely that we will find any legal sprinkles that we will use as a replacement. British sprinkles just aren't the same, they're totally shit and I hate them.

    I am extremely passionate about sprinkles.

    Mr. Myers added that, "My daughter, who is now 7 months, has to live with the fact that daddy can't take her to Disneyland, because man can't sell any fucking cookies."

    Sadly, the company has been bombarded with negative reviews about their willing involvement with confectionary contraband. Several former winners of the Great British Bake-Off have come to Mr. Myers' defense, however, echoing his complaints that the compliant British sprinkles actually do kind of suck.

    Anecdotally, as someone with ADHD, I feel pretty fucking confident that the American sprinkles I consumed as a child had absolutely fuck-all to do with the chemical regulatory dysfunction of my dopamine receptors. I do wonder, however, if UK regulations are different for jimmies.

    Sprinkles: Leeds Get Baked bakery bins best-seller in topping row [BBC]

    And Now, Some Drama Over Sprinkles [Mia Mercado / The Cut]

    Image: Public Domain via PxHere

  • You can finish these crime novels in a single day

    I was once told by an English teacher that long books are strong books. It kind of smacked of bullshit, It tastes like a mouthful of it now.

    Don't get me wrong: there's nothing wrong with a good, long read. I needed to pack a month's worth of provisions to climb to the top of Alan Moore's Jerusalem or just about any book written by James Ellroy. The payoff, for me, is almost always worth the amount of time I've sunk into a book. That said, when something I'm reading doesn't quite scratch the itch in my brain that I'm looking for, I tend to know it, early on. There's no shame in putting down a thick book that isn't doing it for you.

    Much of what I enjoy reading is short and sweet: typically under 400 pages. Pulp crime novels, chief among them. So, when I saw that Crime Reads had put together a list of 25 classic crime novels that most folks can devour in an afternoon, I couldn't click the link to find out what they were recommending fast enough.

    I already owned a number of the books on the list. The Postman Always Rings Twice, Playback, The Getaway and The Friends of Eddie Coyle have all been in my collection, for years. But man, there's a ton of great reads in here that I've either never heard of before or had completely forgotten about. I just finished Fuminori Nakamura's The Thief and will be moving on to Cotton Comes to Harlem, just as soon as I finish reading a couple of books for work.

    Check it out: Maybe there's something on Crime Read's list that you'll enjoy as well.

    Image via Wikipedia

  • The wait's almost over! Volume 6 of the Complete Tom the Dancing Bug is coming out soon

    Boing Boing's own Ruben Bolling has two new Tom the Dancing Bug books coming out next month.

    Clover Press's Complete Tom the Dancing Bug program continues with Volume 6: Tom the Dancing Bug Awakens, which collects every one of Ruben's weekly comic strip installments (plus other material) from 2012-2015.

    The book is full of the whole array of Tom the Dancing Bug's cast of characters, formats and tropes, like Chagrin Falls, Lucky Ducky, God-Man, and Super-Fun-Pak Comix.

    Ruben says, "This book covers the years of a Democratic president grappling with openly destructive Republicans in Congress, plus racism, climate change, and the looming threat of a Donald Trump candidacy. So it's got nothing to do with today."

    (more…)
  • Three talismans from Italo Calvino

    Most of my intellectual heroes are now ghosts; one way to keep them alive is to remember their birthdays. Today marks the natal day of Italian literary treasure Italo Calvino, widely admired writer and journalist who left us groundbreaking works, as the wildly imaginative Invisible Cities, the experimental postmodern novel If on a Winter's Night a Traveller, the combinatorial machine The Castle of Crossed Destinies, and his unfinished Harvard Norton Lectures Six Memos for the Next Millennium.

    During an interview in 1981, Calvino has been asked by the TV host to share "Three keys, three talismans, for the year 2000". His reply is still relevant, resonant, and beautiful:

    1. Learn poems by heart. Lots of poems. As kids, as adults, even when you get old. Because poems will keep you company, you can repeat them in your head. Besides, cultivating one's memory is very important.

    2. Also, learn to do calculations by hand: divisions, square roots, and other complicated things. Fight the abstraction of language with very precise things.

    3. Know that everything we have can be taken away from us, at any moment. Enjoy things, of course, I'm not saying to renounce to anything. But being aware that everything we have can just disappear, in an instant, in a cloud of smoke.

    Although the interview is in Italian, you might still enjoy watching Calvino's extraordinary mind operating in real time: his absorbed look and the long pauses make him sound hieratic and oracular.

    Happy Birthday to Italo Calvino!

    Photo: public domain

  • Enjoy a lifetime of premium cloud-based web hosting for $100

    For any online business, blogger, or website owner who wants a smoother, more established connection to the world wide web, a cloud-based web host is the way to go. You won't get far connecting to your online audience without the use of a host that has unlimited bandwidth and storage, and a secure connection. Luckily, it won't cost you an arm and a leg anymore to achieve this, and it's easier than ever.

    iBrave Cloud Web Hosting is now offering a lifetime subscription, plus an additional $20 credit that you can use in the Boing Boing Store with your purchase. iBrave comes with an entire host of features that will take your online presence into the stratosphere. You can host websites using iBrave's fast servers, each of which is connected to the company's ultra-secure data centers.  You'll also enjoy a user-friendly control panel that comes with 80+ one-click install apps and one-click WordPress installation. Additionally, if you already have some websites set up, iBrave makes it a breeze to migrate them into their server space.  

    iBrave offers users unlimited monthly bandwidth to host unlimited websites and subdomains, so their reach on the internet will never be impeded. You'll enjoy unbeatable load-balanced cloud hosting through a global Content Delivery Network (CDN), meaning there's no single point of failure, and your website performance will never be affected by other users' websites, visitors, or activity. However, if you do happen to have any trouble, you'll even have friendly support seven days a week.

    If you're a current website owner who's looking to make a bigger mark with your digital footprint, you need a service that gives you the most from your hosting. iBrave's premium features and cloud hosting will give you what your after at a fraction of the cost.

    Right now, you can get unlimited iBrave Cloud Web Hosting for only $99.99. This deal is the lowest price available for enterprise-class hosting, and don't forget that it comes with a $20 credit that you can use in our store.

  • Brendan Fraser's personal website is like an early 2000s time capsule

    Get ready for a blast from the past.

    The last announcement on brendanfraser.com is from 2005, and most of its updates happened around 2001. The flash website contains the actor's writing and photos— including a mirror selfie by Fraser with a film camera— over a puke-green backdrop. The website it a relic of a different internet.

    The "curiosities" section features a hand-written welcome note ("Greetings Netizens!") and the "bookmarks" section has Brendan's favorite places on the web. Few of the links still work, though the link to Google, included "just because…" does.

    The "photo" section contains a few dozen original photos that open in a new tab when clicked. Some pictures are from a 2001 trip to Vietnam, another album is "Quiet American," and yet another album documents Fraser's 1998 trip to Morocco. One Morocco photo shows a young Rachel Weisz.

    Moving along, the "work" section yields an scrollable timeline of Fraser's acting credits between 1998 and 2001, and "about" has yet another mirror selfie and a personal introduction. The writing is split into four acts— but really three, because Act IV is "coming soon." Any day now!

    Here's an excerpt of Act 1:

    Along the way, Brendan developed insatiable curiosities for creating imagery (he has become an accomplished amateur photographer), going to new places (he is an ardent world traveler who recently needed extra pages added to his passport) and keeping current with new forms of artistic expression (his limited free time is frequently spent in Museums, Theatres and Galleries, or, yep…online.)

    brendanfraser.com

    Perhaps Fraser keeps it up to hold onto the domain name— or maybe he really is going to add to finish Act IV.

  • Lauren Boebert tries to disprove she's dumb by tweeting #LaurenBoebertIsSoDumb

    #LaurenBoebertIsSoDumb, she decided she's not "going to bother entertaining the haters who put this out" by entertaining the hashtag with this entertaining video (I prefer it via @RonFilipkowski's tweet, but you can also see the video –– and dumbly added hashtag –– in Boebert's own tweet at the bottom of this post):

    This is a hashtag that keeps on giving, or trending. Such as the boost it enjoyed last March, when the Congresswoman (Q–CO) again tried to disprove #LaurenBoebertIsSoDumb by putting it right in her post, a sure-fire way to make it a star in the Twitterverse. Such is the science of hashtags.