Delightful set of Mondrian sticky notes

Designers Assia Quetin and Catherine Denoyelle created this ingenious sticky note desk accessory inspired by the beloved abstract artist Piet Mondrian. "Monde Riant" is €13.75 from PA Design.

Of course it reminds me of pastry chef Caitlin Freeman's wonderful Mondrian Cake below. (Recipe in Freeman's book Modern Art Desserts.)

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Decorative unicorn skull

Some unicorns chase; some are chased down. These splendid and totally real unicorn skulls [Amazon] are sourced from troll and ogre fairtrade collectives, are 8.5" long and 10.75" tall, and individually skinned and boiled for an odor- and insect-free presentation.

The horn of the unicorn skull is screwed onto the skull for safe shipping and handling. Brace yourself with this fossil skull phantom of a unicorn stallion. Display him at your desks, shelves or what have you and he will be a star at any hosting events! This unicorn skull will be a great conversation starter as well as an excellent ice breaker for you and your guests. Some of them will think unicorn did exist!

Don't know what they think they're trying to say with that last line there but it's thirty bucks a head. Read the rest

A century ago, two scientists exchanged fantastic microscope slides as Christmas cards

In the early 20th century, Arthur Earland and Edward Heron-Allen volunteered at what's now called the Natural History Museum, London (NHM). The two men spent their time researching fossils of single-celled organisms with shells, called Foraminifera, cataloging the various species, and creating microscope slides of the specimens. But each year when Christmas came around, they transformed their unique interest and skill into a fantastically fun gift exchange. From Smithsonian:

These Christmas-themed slides, which the two exchanged over their years of collaboration, had personalized greetings spelled out with microfossils (a term for fossils measuring under 1mm in size) that would be visible under a microscope. One from 1912 has Earland’s initials (“AE”), “XMAS,” and the year in an arrangement that measures about 1cm across.

Several examples of their Christmas slides are now in the collections of NHM. The 1912 slide is a part of the museum’s touring exhibition Treasures of the Natural World alongside birds studied by Charles Darwin and an Iguanodon bone described by Richard Owen. More humble than these illustrious objects, the slide is still an incredible work of art and science, with each small fossilized shell carefully selected and delicately attached to the slide using a fine paint brush and Tragacanth gum...

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Check out the 2018 Boing Boing Gift Guide

The Boing Boing Gift Guide has dozens of great ideas for stocking stuffers, brain-hammers, mind-expanders, terrible toys and badass books.

It comes in four easily-digestible parts, this time around: Books, Gadgets, Toys and Stocking Stuffers.

Happy holidays! Read the rest

How to wrap a gift without tape

The best part of this marvelous guide is the "draw the rest of the owl" moment halfway in where you must perform an act of origami with a single hand that must simultaneously hold a corner down—and then are told you must next do two corners simultaneously. That said, I'm going to practice it until I get it, because I hate tape. Frankly, I don't know why we've created a world so dependent in so many ways on thin, easily split sticky tape that desperately wants to coil in on itself. Read the rest

Trumpy Bear: 22-inch toy with US flag stuffed inside

Trumpy Bear [Amazon] is a thing this holiday season: an incredibly expensive teddy bear with a blond wig stapled on and a flag stuffed into a "hidden zipper". Wittgenstein's advice is recommended: "What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence." [via Snopes] Read the rest

The Art of Point-and-Click Adventure Games

As soon as I chanced upon The Art of Point-and-Click Adventure Games [Bitmap Books] today I knew what I wanted for Christmas: 460 pages of full-bleed screenshots from decades of computer gaming, with dozens of feature articles about the best and the more obscure alike.

A visual celebration of one of the most loved genres in gaming history, The Art of Point-and-Click Adventure Games is a sumptuous 460 page, hardback coffee table book packed with the very best pixel art and classic scenes from the most defining games of this genre. It will also contain extensive and exclusive interviews with the key developers, designers and artists behind some of the most beloved games and characters in the history of the medium. The book starts with a foreword by Gary Whitta (PC Gamer magazine/Rogue One: A Star Wars Story).

The book covers titles such as King’s Quest, Myst, Toonstruck, Discworld, Blade Runner, Gabriel Knight, Flight of the Amazon Queen, Simon the Sorcerer and of course other classics, such as The Secret of Monkey Island, The Dig, Maniac Mansion and Full Throttle. All of the most famous and iconic point-and-click adventures are going to be covered, as well as some lesser-known games and home-brew efforts.

Here's an interview with the editor, Sam Dyer.

What made you focus on a specific genre this time around, as opposed to a particular console or system?

Sam: A book focussing on point-and-click adventure games has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I was surprised that not many books existed on the genre and saw an opportunity to do something.

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Lowpoly black skull candle

Perfect for all your Voodoo 3D needs. [Amazon] Read the rest

Lil' Cake Toppers customized for your special day

Lil' Cake Toppers makes beautiful, custom wooden figurines for placing atop cakes, but they're so versatile that they'd work for any occasion or simply as decorations. Discounts are available for sets.

Every (wooden) person is different and unique. So before you get started, ask yourself: what makes this person SO them? Design is in the details and small things like hairline, ear shape and eye placement make a big difference in ensuring your cake toppers are two-of-a-kind. After all, wedding toppers donʼt have to be a gown and tux, thereʼs a whole world of outfits, accessories and expressions to choose from!

Creator Esther Mun, co-founder of a NYC design studio, describes her inspiration:

I’d had enough of gifting pots & pans or donating cash to friends through impersonal wedding registries. So, I started customizing wooden cake toppers I discovered at a designersʼ fair and gifting them instead. People loved them, and the more I made, the more I experimented with different topper designs, looks, accessories and occasions.

There's an inexpensive DIY Topper Kit too for people who think they're crafty. Read the rest

Moist mug

"Moist" is assuredly the worst word in the English language, a conclusion backed by science. And now you can have it inscribed in delightful mock gold on this handsome 16-oz unisex mug from Amazon.

"I absolutely love this mug, the flowers and gold leafed 'Moist" are kind of amazing, if not really weird and slightly creepy," wrotes verified Amazon customer Eric Byers, "but that's kind of the point." Read the rest

Meat-scented candles

With Father's Day around the corner, the folks behind A.1. Sauce have rolled out (what they consider to be) the greatest gift for dad's ever: meat-scented candles.

The three "meat scents" are Burger, Backyard BBQ, and Original Meat (which they write, "pairs well with dad jokes"). Each candle costs $14.99.

(bookofjoe) Read the rest

Learn how to wrap ten unusual shaped items

Most of us are pretty good at wrapping a cube or cuboid box, but this handy video shows how to wrap a bunch of weird shapes, including pyramids, cylinders, and those annoying cardboard-backed blister packs for things like tools and action figures.

I needed to wrap a popcorn tin the other day, and this was very handy. It looked way better than my gifts usually do! And as for opening the package itself, that's another matter.

How to Wrap 10 Challenging Shapes! (YouTube / Paper Guru) Read the rest

Shot glass with a real bullet in it

Lucky Shot's .308 Real Bullet hand-blown Shot Glass (Amazon), we are assured, "does not contain gunpowder or lead residue," making them safe to drink from. Described as the "ultimate gift," not without unnerving connotation. They also make tumblers and pint glasses, but, come now... shot glass.

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When gifts are for the receiver

More Christmas fun with the British middle class!

Previously: When gifts are for the giver. Read the rest

When gifts are for the giver

This video encapsulates every British middle-class family's Christmas since at least the 1960s. Read the rest

Movie and TV memorabilia at Collector's Shangri-La

This holiday season give the gift of history.

My friend Kevin Segall runs the greatest movie and TV memorabilia shop around, Collector's Shangri-La.

Kevin has some amazing additions to his collection of signed movie posters, as well as scads of collectables from all our favorite shows.

Check out Collector's Shangri-La! Read the rest

Reasons to keep a personal journal or sketchbook

In the age of omnipresent keyboards and computers and the internet lurking behind all of them, the idea of a handwritten journal might seem quaint or pointless. But there are good reasons to keep one, writes Alan Henry.

Writing can do wonders for your health. Beyond keeping your creative juices flowing—a separate topic we'll get to shortly—regular writing can give you a safe, cathartic release valve for the stresses of your daily life. We've discussed some of those mental and emotional benefits of writing before, from the angle of creative writing—but you don't have to write fiction to get them. For example, we've mentioned that keeping an awesomeness journal can do wonders for your self-esteem. Not only does regular writing make you feel good, it helps you re-live the events you experienced in a safe environment where you can process them without fear or stress.

Using a brightly-lit, internetworked, general-purpose consumer computer for everything puts everything you do just a single decision away from being in the same place as everything else.

So I strongly recommend a paper journal over an app, at least for those looking at journaling as a way to shake free of the spell of life spent constantly reading and writing online.

Skip Moleskines, at least the expensive ones, if you're just starting out. Cheap is the freedom to experiment. You can buy a box of 25 notebooks for about $30 shipped at Amazon.com, and they're just fine. Heres a box of ruled ones. Upgrade to a nice hardbound A4 journal as a reward for getting through the first set! Read the rest

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