Witchy woman on the cover of Black Sabbath's eponymous first album finally identified

It is kind of hard to imagine that it's taken until 2020 for the identity of the woman on the cover of Black Sabbath's heavy metal masterpiece, Black Sabbath, to finally be known. The woman has been identified as Louisa Livingston. The image was shot by photographer and album designer, Keith "Keef" Macmillan.

The photographer opted for Oxfordshire's Mapledurham Watermill because it fit the band's sound in his opinion. Louisa told Rolling Stone:

"I remember it was freezing cold. I had to get up at about 4 o'clock in the morning. Keith was rushing around with dry ice, throwing it into the water. It didn't seem to be working very well, so he ended up using a smoke machine.

"It was just, 'Stand there and do that.' I'm sure he said it was for Black Sabbath, but I don't know if that meant anything much to me at the time."

As a teenage headbanger, I spent countless record-spinning hours poring over every inch of this haunting cover, completely enthralled by the creepy building and the beautiful green-skinned witch in front of it. It is probably a good thing that I (and every other pubescent teen listener) was ignorant of this fact:

"She wasn't wearing any clothes under that cloak because we were doing things that were slightly more risqué, but we decided none of that worked.

"Any kind of sexuality took away from the more foreboding mood. But she was a terrific model. She had amazing courage and understanding of what I was trying to do."

Read the rest

From Page to Screen: Joseph Delaney on The Last Apprentice Series

Some people think that being a writer is glamorous. I know that I once did. I dreamed of finally getting published and all the amazing fun that would follow. I imagined traveling to distant countries, staying in city hotels and seeing the sights.

Most of these dreams came true and I do enjoy it, but sometimes it can be hard work: having to grab a coffee and manage without breakfast to be in time to travel to some school event; attending a bookshop when hardly anybody turns up; spending a night alone in a strange town on a wet Monday; visiting a big city but seeing only the inside of your hotel room. So when you actually do live the life of a writer, it’s not as glamorous as some people might believe.

The same is true of filmmaking. In the spring of 2012, I visited Vancouver, Canada, to watch the movie version of The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch (published in the UK as The Spook’s Apprentice) being made. The film is called Seventh Son, and the name is a good choice. After all you have to be a seventh son of a seventh son just to be eligible to become a spook’s apprentice.

They have created some amazing sets, designed by Dante Ferretti, winner of an Oscar for his work on Hugo. I was shown the preliminary models and artworks, then the sets themselves. They are very big and very convincing. I saw a walled city set in a huge muddy field. Read the rest

New Commemorative Edition of Neil Gaiman’s Newbery Medal Winner THE GRAVEYARD BOOK

In commemoration of more than 1 million copies sold, this special paperback edition of The Graveyard Book features a gorgeous metallic gold cover, new content from Neil Gaiman, and sketches by illustrator Dave McKean.

Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book graphic novel!

Celebrate Neil Gaiman's Newbery Medal Winner The Graveyard Book with a Two-Volume Graphic Novel Adaptation. Read the rest

Content Vs. Technology: What’s Your Story?

When it comes to storytelling, where are design and technology taking us? “Whatever is next in storytelling, design, and technology, it will always be about rendering emotional transportation—capturing attention and converting it into intention,” says Hollywood producer Peter Guber, CEO of Mandalay Entertainment. “Every story has a call to action.” Guber is one of 14 leaders in the entertainment industry who will decode the DNA of storytelling, design, and technology at the second annual Envision Symposium in Monterey, California.

Boing Boing Happy Mutant Mobile: Thank you!

Thanks to all of you and our sponsors at Ford who enabled us to create the Happy Mutant Mobile, a heavily-mutated 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon into what we (and you) imagined for a Boing Boing road machine.

Boing Boing Happy Mutant Mobile, unveiled!

Boing Boing's Happy Mutant Mobile delighted onlookers at its unveiling during the recent Maker Faire Bay Area 2014! As we've posted, our sponsors at Ford agreed to support the customization, modification, and transformation of a 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon into what we (and you) imagined for a Boing Boing road machine.

Jameson Stories: Ireland is a magical place

ADVERTISER MESSAGE: As we celebrate with all of our friends who make St. Patrick’s Day great, we raise a glass to Jameson for sponsoring this story.

Ireland is a magical place. Everyone I met was wonderful and the beautiful terrain and sheer history of the island awed me. From the green countryside around Cork to Dublin's charming model of an ancient city living in modern times, I fell for Ireland over and over. Read the rest

Jameson Stories: a fifth generation master cooper and his tools

ADVERTISER MESSAGE: As we celebrate with all of our friends who make St. Patrick’s Day great, we raise a glass to Jameson for sponsoring this story.

Ger Buckley is the master cooper for Jameson. He is a fifth generation cooper and I think oak sap may run in his veins. While I met a number of incredibly dedicated crafts people on site, both at Jameson's Midleton and Dublin's Old Jameson distilleries, Ger is, I think, a role model. Read the rest

Jameson Stories: leaving for Ireland

ADVERTISER MESSAGE: As we celebrate with all of our friends who make St. Patrick’s Day great, we raise a glass to Jameson for sponsoring this story.

I'm sitting at my local bar, the Pelican Inn, enjoying a whiskey and remembering the many wonderful experiences I've had in Irish bars around the world. It is the folks behind an Irish bar that make it such a comfortable place. I find them ubiquitous and have for most of my adult life, seeking out the Irish pub as an island of calm and safe normalcy, regardless of where my travels take me. Read the rest

Holiday gifts for the budget audiophile

SPONSORED: This post is brought to you by Best Buy.

The sounds and music of the holidays are as much a part of the experience as great food and time with your loved ones. These gifts show the ones you love that you're listening: Read the rest

Holiday gifts for the bath!

SPONSORED: The following post is brought to you by Kohler.

Bathroom enhancements for the discerning restroom aficionado with a penchant for high technology, deep geekery, and wet whimsy:

Kohler Moxie Showerhead and Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Music to accompany even the most accomplished shower-singer! This showerhead packs bluetooth connectivity to an embedded speaker!

Crayola Bath Dropz Make bathing a bright and colorful experience, add color to your bath water!

• Adventure Time Fleece Bathrobes Perfect for wearing around the treehouse early in the morning. Wearing one of these, you'll always turn out perfect bacon pancakes.

Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale The Fitbit tracker gives you a wonderful idea of how much energy you burn. This wifi enabled scale syncs your weight with your activity data and makes fitness 'smarter.'

Temperature Sensitive Color Changing Tiles Touch the tiles to make them change color!

Happy holidays! Read the rest

The Velvet Underground: White Light/White Heat 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition

"No one listened to it. But there it is, forever – the quintessence of articulated punk. And no one goes near it." - Lou Reed, August 2013

“Cited by nearly every group in punk's long lineage and by more than a few arty types, the Velvets defined New York rock, poised between street-level grit and literary irony, rock simplicity and minimalistic drones, clarity and noise.”– The New York Times

The Velvet Underground’s White Light/White Heat is one of the most confrontational and inspirational second albums ever made by a rock band. Read the rest

Sponsor shout-out: American Apparel and classic calculator watches!

Special thanks to our longtime sponsor American Apparel where you can now find a fantastic range of eclectic watches, from vintage Swatch to Citizen to these killer classic calculator models by Casio! American Apparel Read the rest

Holiday gifts for the kitchen!

SPONSORED: This post is brought to you by Best Buy.

Every holiday, someone spends a lot of time in the kitchen preparing all the amazing things we eat. These gifts are handpicked by us to help make spending time in the kitchen a little more joyful: Read the rest

A conversation with Terry Pratchett, author of The Carpet People

Deep among the Carpet fronds, where the wild snargs prowl, the Munrung tribe has known peace for decades. But now the old order is unraveling, and a new story is in the making. A story of Fray, sweeping a trail of destruction; of villainous mouls, hungry for power; and of two noble brothers on the adventure of a lifetime.

It’s a story that will come to a terrible end—if someone doesn’t do something about it. If everyone doesn’t do something about it . . .

This special edition of Sir Terry Pratchett’s hilarious and wise first novel The Carpet People features his own illustrations, including never-before- published art, and revised text. Also included is an exclusive short story written by Terry at age seventeen, before he went on to create the phenomenally popular Discworld series and become one of the world’s most beloved storytellers.

Cory Doctorow and the famed author discuss building worlds, the legitimacy of authority, and the future: Read the rest

Boing Boing launches model rockets at NASA Ames

SPONSORED: This post is presented by the Toyota RAV4 EV. Because innovation can be measured in miles, kilowatts and cubic feet. Learn more at toyota.com/rav4ev

When asked what we are here for, Beat writer William S. Burroughs famously answered, "This is the space age, and we are here to go." We can't easily grab a seat to orbit but model rocketry is an excellent space age maker hobby that's stood the test of time. For a good time, call the LUNAR hotline! LUNAR is the Livermore Unit of the National Association of Rocketry, the northern California hub for model rocketry enthusiasts. Every month, LUNAR hosts a legal "sport launch" at NASA's Ames Research Center on the Moffett Federal Airfield in Silicon Valley. Everyone is invited to bring their model rockets, engines, and get ready for lift-off! It's a wonderful, supportive scene for new and old rocket buffs and families. One recent weekend, our sponsor Toyota loaned us a Toyota RAV4 EV and we decided the LUNAR launch was the perfect destination for a new electric car. And we're counting down... Read the rest

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