Frankenstein 200: America's science museums celebrate the bicentennial of Mary Shelley's Frankestein with a free, amazing transmedia experience

Joey Eschrich from ASU's Center for Science and Imagination writes, "To celebrate the official 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (previously) on January 1, 2018, we’ve launched Frankenstein200, a free, interactive, multiplatform experience for kids. Developed in partnership with the award-winning transmedia studio No Mimes Media (cofounded by the hyper-talented Maureen McHugh), with support from the U.S. National Science Foundation, Frankenstein200 is a digital narrative paired with hands-on activities happening in January and February at museums and science centers across the United States." Read the rest

Public library's card catalog and books linked by scent

In 1974, Upper Arlington, Ohio public library launched a program to link their card catalog and shelved books by odor. The project was called: "Stick Your Nose in the Card Catalog." From Weird Universe:

The idea was that the card in the catalog would have a scent, and then the book on the shelf would have a matching scent. So you could find your books by smell. There were about 60 scents in total, including apple, chocolate, garlic, lemon, roses, root beer, leather, pizza, orange, strawberry, candles, pine, cheddar cheese, clover, and smoke.

The library says that they "aren't sure what exactly happened to the scented catalog, but we guess that the cards eventually lost their scent over time, but remained part of the catalog until it was decommissioned" for a digital system in 1989. Read the rest

Make: a secret, rollaway bookshelf

Glue the spines from an old encyclopedia set to slats of wood, back with a piece of fabric (a "tambour") and top with woodscrews as makeshift rollers that run along a routed track, and voila, you've got a hidden stashbox that slides aside to reveal whatever you want to hide there. Read the rest

A Monster Manual-inspired zine and art show

Secret Headquarters, Los Angeles's best comics shop (previously, has published "Monster Manual," a limited-run, 64-page zine collecting the art from their show of the same name, in which artists were challenged to create their own rue and satirical entries for a notional Dungeons and Dragons bestiary from an alternate timeline. Read the rest

Anyone who claims that machine learning will save money in high-stakes government decision-making is lying

danah boyd (previously) writes enthusiastically about Virginia Eubanks's forthcoming book, Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor, which she calls "the best ethnography I’ve read in years," "on par with Barbara Ehrenreich’s 'Nickel and Dimed' or Matthew Desmond’s 'Evicted.'" Read the rest

Harry Connolly's amazing Twenty Palaces series is back with 'The Twisted Path'

Harry Connolly's Twenty Palaces series is one of my favorite new storylines in science fiction. After a several year hiatus Harry has brought back Ray Lilly, and all the magic in The Twisted Path.

The Twenty Palaces series tells the tale of Ray Lilly, a former convict turned into a magician's decoy, or Wooden Man. It is Lilly's job to distract evil creatures from the deep and dark, while his master Annalise burns them with primal green fire. They keep on saving the world from some pretty nasty demons that have crossed over.

Wooden Men aren't supposed to last more than one mission, but somehow Ray keeps on surviving. The Twenty Palaces Society has taken notice and calls Ray and Annalise to Europe, this does not bode well.

Connolly's Lovecraft-ian/Geiger-style lore and world building is amazing. I have enjoyed all of his novels and novellas, but none have been as anticipated as The Twisted Path. If you are new to this series, I highly recommend starting with Child of Fire, the which was also Harry's debut novel.

Ray and Annalise' return is every bit as exciting as I'd hoped.

The Twisted Path: A Twenty Palaces Novella by Harry Connolly via Amazon Read the rest

Donald Trump is suing my publisher, and its response is magnificent

Henry Holt is a division of Macmillan (owners of Tor Books, who publish my novels); they're the folks who published Michael Wolff's bestselling Fire and Fury, which has so thoroughly embarrassed Donald Trump that the President of the United States has threatened to sue them. Read the rest

Soonish: exciting technologies on the horizon, with excitement-preserving nuance

Kelly and Zach Weinersmith's Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything is an exceptional science book: it concerns itself with ten(ish) coming technologies that hold enormous, potentially world-changing promise (and peril), and it delves into each of those subjects with admirable depth, including all the caveats and unknowns, and still keeps the excitement intact.

Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums

Maryam Omidi crowdfunded a photographic tour of Soviet-era sanatoriums, and the resulting book, Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums is like a weird 1970s sci-fi catalog. Read the rest

The excellent Standards Manual design series announces next title

Standards Manual is one of the greatest recent projects in archival graphic design. Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth painstakingly recreate notable graphics standards manuals from NASA, the EPA, the American Bicentennial, and the New York Transit Authority. Next up is Identity: Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, an overview of the iconic design firm behind many logos still in use today. Read the rest

Charming papercraft reimagining of book covers

Kate Kato repurposed the popular Observer's Book series to include lovely paper sculptures of each book's subject. Above is The Observer's Book of Fungi. Read the rest

Beautiful photos of Japanese vending machines in the elements

For his "Existence of" project, photographer Eiji Ohashi captured lonely-looking vending machines out in the weather around Japan. Read the rest

Fire and Fury, explosive book behind this week's war between Trump and Bannon, released early

Michael Wolff's book about Trump, featuring treason accusations from former ally Steve Bannon and reports of the president's dementia, is being released early. Fire And Fury: Inside The Trump White House can be bought immediately at Amazon.

"Due to unprecedented demand," the book about President Trump's White House by Michael Wolff will be released Friday, four days ahead of schedule, according to the book's publisher. The announcement comes hours after President Trump's personal lawyer issued a cease and desist letter over "Fire and Fury: Inside Trump's White House" to Wolff and Wolff's publisher, Henry Holt and Company. Wolff, too, confirmed the early on-sale date on Twitter.
Wolff provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office. Among the revelations: -- What President Trump’s staff really thinks of him -- What inspired Trump to claim he was wire-tapped by President Obama -- Why FBI director James Comey was really fired -- Why chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner couldn’t be in the same room -- Who is really directing the Trump administration’s strategy in the wake of Bannon’s firing -- What the secret to communicating with Trump is -- What the Trump administration has in common with the movie The Producers

Evidently, Trump's threats were to no avail.

Previously: Bannon: Trump Jr and Kushner meeting with Russians was "treasonous" Read the rest

Ignoramus watch: Designers really want you to decorate your room by shelving your books backwards

What's more revolting than buying color-matched books by the yard to class up your room like you were some kind of Trumpish dumbass who wants people to think you read but never actually read anything? Read the rest

Liartown: the First Four Years, a tour-de-force of killer shooping and acerbic wit

Sean Tejaratchi's amazing Liartown, USA (previously) is a bottomless well of astoundingly good photoshops from a parallel universe of bitter, ha-ha-only-serious sight gags, minutely detailed, lovingly crafted and often NSFW; Tejaratchi's new 248-page color, 8.5"x11" anthology, LiarTown: The First Four Years 2013-2017 is a powerful dose of creepypasta in its purest form.

Facsimile editions of the "Negro Motorist Green Books" from 1940, 1954 and 1963 are selling briskly in 2017

In 1936, Hugo Green, a postal worker in Harlem, published his first "Negro Motorist Green Book," a guide to the places that black travelers could eat, sleep, gas up, and be physically present and alive without being discriminated against, harassed, threatened, beaten or murdered. Read the rest

The Way of the Shadow Wolves, a novel by Steven Seagal

I can't quite believe this is real: a novel by former movie star and Putin pal Steven Seagal, with a foreword by racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio, titled "The Way of the Shadow Wolves", with a cover that looks like a photoshopped parody of itself.

This is the story of an Arizona Tribal police officer who stumbles onto one of the of the biggest cases in the history of the Southwest. He is a member of an elite group within the Native American communities known as The Shadow Wolves. What comes with his discovery is the uncovering of massive corruption in places where he once had placed his total trust.

It's $0 on Amazon Prime and 236 pages long. It's 11 p.m. and I have a freakish suspicion that if I start, I won't stop. So I won't.

Here's the first paragraph, which is also, of course, the first page:

Behold the reviews:

Read the rest

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