THE BUREAU: Part Twelve, "Conclusion" — with My Experience Giving Up Alcohol (and Kickstarter for a Print Copy)

The Bureau concludes! — with a summoning of The President and a performance of "Ignore Him (The More You Say His Name)" by the Aloha Aryan Fellows.

Last Minute Valentine's Day Gift Picks For Forgetful Lovers

Gifts for lovers

THE BUREAU: Part Eleven, "Your Supervisor Disintegrates" — with a Gysin Dream Machine, an Altman Brain Machine, and Other Hallucinatory Hardware

Week Eleven for The Bureau has you returning back to the office. The HR Video Terminal has a few exit questions, as this will be your last day. While you're completing that, be sure to plug on a Brain Machine and get the Gysin DM spinning.

THE BUREAU: Part Ten, "Your Death" — with a Turing Machine, Bouncing Ball Envelope, and Other Randomized Voltage

Welcome back to The Bureau. It’s the tenth installment, with two remaining installments until your day is complete. You've found your way to a bar, and it's a comfortable view of the train. You may have just died.

THE BUREAU: Part Nine, "Your Sandwich Speaks!" — with SBaGen-based Digital Drugs for New Year's Eve

Welcome back to The Bureau. It's the ninth installment and it looks like that sandwich you found in your pocket contains a bossy talking slice of Brain. And man, it's feeding you some gab!

THE BUREAU: Part Eight, "The Bombing of Building Number Four"

Welcome back to The Bureau.

The Bureau is a complete soundtrack of a nine hour day at your job, beginning at 8:55am. Each music track is paired with a comic book panel. If new to story, a few highlights from the first seven installments:

A Buzzing Supply Cabinet at 9:19 An Introduction to Your Job Responsibilities at 10:32 A Peaceful Napkin Dispenser at 11:26 A Bold Clarinet Performance at 11:47 Revelry at 12:38 Rainfall at 1:27 Psychic Brain Attack at 2:25 Today: A Helicopter Ride at 3:42

Here's today's playlist:

View all Bureau installments

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK (Wednesday, December 26, 4:08pm) Read the rest “THE BUREAU: Part Eight, "The Bombing of Building Number Four"”

THE BUREAU: Part Seven, "Lockdown in the Building, News of an Active Shooter Near the Cafeteria" — with Mr Quintron's Circuit-Bent Guitars

Welcome back to The Bureau. This week will be a holiday segment. Read the rest “THE BUREAU: Part Seven, "Lockdown in the Building, News of an Active Shooter Near the Cafeteria" — with Mr Quintron's Circuit-Bent Guitars”

You can buy death row inmate's art at the San Quentin gift shop

Never know what to get the person who has "everything"? It's pretty unlikely they'll have anything crafted by death row inmates, and that's where San Quentin State Prison's Handicraft Shop (aka the Hobby Shop) comes in.

This unusual Marin County, California store is located right outside the penitentiary's gate and offers a wide assortment of prisoner-made artwork and crafts. That is, if you can get in.

No, you don't have to go through security or be related to an inmate or anything like that to shop there. It just always seems to be closed, despite the posted hours.

I first heard about the shop in the late 1990s and tried several times, unsuccessfully, to get in.

Then, on one late December day some 11 years ago, I caught the attention of the then-new director of the prison's art program as he was closing up shop. He said couldn't let me in that day but promised if I emailed him, he'd get me in soon. Game on.

On Christmas Eve day in 2007, myself and two friends got access.

At the time, I didn't have the money to buy the bigger art (some of which was painted on the back of blue-and-white-striped mattress ticking). Instead, I bought a couple of inexpensive "Jailhouse Rocks," one for myself and one to use as a Yankee Swap gift I was attending that night. From what I gather, inmates can buy kits inexpensively that they can assemble and then sell for a small profit. The kits for the "Jailhouse Rocks" need actual stones from the prison's yard to complete which I found oddly charming. Read the rest “You can buy death row inmate's art at the San Quentin gift shop”

This is what 'going viral' looks like

Sometimes I blog about something and it goes nowhere, much like this girl's domino:

Sometimes I blog about something and it continues to weave its way to the many corners of the internet, much like this:

But, sometimes I blog about something and it starts a chain reaction that looks more like this (I looked for a domino video that featured fireworks and confetti but came up short):

via

In other words, it goes viral. Now, on November 11, I blogged about Tim Klein's "puzzle montages" and I believe it's the most-viral post I've written in my over-seven-year professional blogging career. While I don't have the exact numbers, I have been watching it quickly spread across the planet and I feel certain that it is. Today, I thought it would be fun to pull back the curtain a little to show you what "going viral" looks like from "backstage."

[TL;DR version (and, warning, this post IS entirely TOO LONG): The post I wrote about Tim Klein's puzzle montages went nuts! Media outlets from around the globe picked up the story (digital, print, TV), some linked back to Boing Boing, some didn't. Tim got TONS of fan mail, all of his art sold, and now he's being offered gallery shows. Well... he and I talked and we plan to take it to the next level together (note: we didn't know each other before all of this). We first want to build a community of people who love puzzle mashups. Want to learn more? Read the rest “This is what 'going viral' looks like”

THE BUREAU: Part Six, The History of Telepathic Infant-Based Mind Control of U.S. Presidents

From the weekly series The Bureau. Brought to you this week by the U.S. House of Representatives and InjectoCortex, Proud provider of INF-based Brain Transistors for Elected Officials (IBTEOs) since public disclosure of their existence in 1952.

THE BUREAU: Part Five, "The President Has Been Shot!" — with an RF Nomad Shortwave Radio Receiver

From the weekly series The Bureau.

THE BUREAU: Part Four, "The Appearance and Assassination of President Jung Thug"

From the weekly series The Bureau.

THE BUREAU: Part Three, "Assessing Others" — with a Metasonix D-2000 Vacuum Tube Drum Machine

Your supervisor would like to speak with you today at 10:53am. Good thing you have a great tasting sandwich to deal with that unreasonable feedback.

THE BUREAU: Part Two, "The President Is Visiting at Noon!" — with Soma's Lyra-8 Organismic Synthesizer

THE BUREAU by Ethan Persoff - with the Lyra-8
Welcome back. This second installment of The Bureau has you out of your Morning Meeting. It is now 10:03am.

Listen carefully to the AB6700 Broadcast System for an important announcement, followed by instructions for administering your compulsory joy to the GB12-B Sincerity Monitor.

The College of Extraordinary Experiences transforms you in the most mind-blowing way

The world is full of places of wonder. Some of them are physical places; others are places of the imagination. The College Of Extraordinary Experiences is both. Once a year, the Czocha Castle in Poland (a real 13th century castle), becomes a most unusual and peculiar college, much like Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. Only this one is real — and it’s not for kids. In order to try to convey the nature and the spirit of such a one-of-a-kind place, allow me to provide a bit of framing and context.

Welcome to the Experience Economy

In 1998, consultants and authors B. Joseph Pine and James H. Gilmore published an article in the Harvard Business Review, introducing the term "Experience Economy" for the first time. The following year, the authors expanded their ideas into a successful and widely influential book of the same title. Thus the Experience Economy was officially born, and the word “experience” gained new meaning in the business world.

Broadly retracing the history of economy, Pine and Gilmore identified four main developmental stages of “economic offering.” This progression goes from early human societies, mainly concerned with "Commodities," to the Industrial Revolution and large-scale production of consumer "Goods," followed by a steadily increasing demand for "Services," and finally, in the present day, the latest form of economic offering: "Experiences." Amply corroborated in the past two decades, the book’s thesis is that in a world saturated with largely undifferentiated goods and services, the greatest opportunity for value creation (and revenue growth) lies in staging experiences. Read the rest “The College of Extraordinary Experiences transforms you in the most mind-blowing way”

Welcome to THE BUREAU - A Story Told in Comics and Electronic Music. PART ONE: "Clocking In and Sitting Down"

THE BUREAU by Ethan Persoff
Welcome to your new job. Please do not be late on your first day.

America, Compromised: Lawrence Lessig explains corruption in words small enough for the Supreme Court to understand

Lawrence Lessig was once best-known as the special master in the Microsoft Antitrust Case, then he was best known as the co-founder of Creative Commons, then as a fire-breathing corruption fighter: in America, Compromised, a long essay (or short nonfiction book), Lessig proposes as lucid and devastating a theory of corruption as you'll ever find, a theory whose explanatory power makes today's terrifying news cycle make sense -- and a theory that demands action.

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