Beautiful papercraft retrocomputing models to print and love and hang from your tree

Rocky Bergen creates gorgeous, downloadable papercraft models of retro PCs, from the Commodore 64 to the Apple ][+ to the Amstrad, with different screens to print celebrating classic 8-bit games, and accessories like tiny floppies in tiny paper sleeves. As Waxy points out, these would make stunning Christmas ornaments. Read the rest

Superb makeup transformation from young woman to elderly genius

Frustratingly, this video has no data about the identity of the incredible genius featured therein. Who is she? Read the rest

Haunted Mansion wallpaper, wrapping paper, and fabric!

Spoonflower's gorgeous selection of Haunted Mansion patterns can be printed on demand on wallpaper, giftwrap, or fabric: from the green strips of the maids' uniforms to the purple and black stripes of the butler's vests, to motifs picked up from the characters and decor (tightrope walker girl's floral print, hitchhiking ghosts, Leota's seance room), the variety is amazing. (via Disney's Haunted Mansion) Read the rest

Argentine hacker mods Furby so it quotes Borges, creates a "Borgy"

Argentine hacker [Roni Bandini] modded a 1998 Furby so that it responds to stimulus by rattling off a random quote from Jorge Luis Borges. He calls it "Borgy." Read the rest

Merry Mixmas! It's time again for DJ Riko's badass Christmas mashup

Every year, DJ Riko drops a longform "mixmas" of Christmas mashups; this year's mix is out (MP3 link), featuring everyone from Run DMC to Harry Belafonte to Eels (here's how to get all 16 installments in the series!). Read the rest

Cragne Manor, an 84-room horror "exquisite corpse" text adventure that's a tribute to the classic game Anchorhead

It's the 20th anniversary of Anchorhead, Michael Gentry's seminal horror text adventure; to commemorate the occasion, Ryan Veeder and Jenni Polodna worked with 84 developers to create Cragne Manor, a tribute, whose puzzles are ingenious, frustrating and amazing. Read the rest

Literal breadboarding, with toast and Vegemite

Vegemite has enough salt to be conductive, and is viscous enough to draw distinct traces with on suitable medium (say, toast that has been cooked such that most of the water has evaporated, making it a good insulator), as Luke Weston has ably demonstrated. Read the rest

Videos from the University of Chicago "Censorship and Information Control" seminar

This year, I helped University of Chicago science fiction writer and renaissance scholar Ada Palmer and science historian Adrian Johns host a series of interdisciplinary seminars on "Censorship, Information Control, & Revolutions in Information Technology from the Printing Press to the Internet."

Read the rest

San Franciscans! Come celebrate the launch of the EFF/McSweeney's special privacy issue with me on Dec 11!

I'm heading to San Francisco next week for a launch party on December 11th celebrating the release of The End of Trust, a collaboration between EFF and McSweeney's on internet surveillance and the future of the net; the event is at 7:30PM at Manny’s at 3092 16th Street (RSVP here), and I'll be on a panel with EFF exec director Cindy Cohn, moderated by the amazing Annalee Newitz! Read the rest

3D printable Walkaway bookmarks!

Joel Bonasera liked my novel Walkaway so much that he made a 3D-printable bookmark based on Will Stahle's amazing cover art! Read the rest

Every NSFWpocalypse sends users to small, indie platforms, who are threatened by the same factors that make no-platforming practical

Back when Livejournal purged its NSFW fanficcers and other text-based purveyors of delightful smut, users flocked to Dreamwidth, a small, indie, smut-tolerant community run as much as a labor of love as it is as a business. Read the rest

A guide to the Socialist Modernist Architecture of Romania and Moldova

The BACU Association -- the folks behind the incredible brutalist Socialist Modernism Tumblr -- have announced a limited run, 800-copy book collecting photos and details on 242 Socialist Modernist "objects" in Romania and the Republic of Moldova. Read the rest

Better Worlds: "a science fiction project about hope"

Boing Boing pal Laura Hudson is helming a new project at The Verge called "Better Worlds," an anthology of ten science fiction stories written by diverse authors; half of them have been adapted as animations and the other half have been turned into audiobooks; all are explicitly optimistic, inspired by anthologies like Hieroglyph (which featured my award-winning novella The Man Who Sold the Moon). Read the rest

Optician Sans: a font based on eye-charts

Since 1959, patients undergoing eye exams have stared at eye-charts whose limited set of characters was created by Louise Sloan; now, the typographer Fábio Duarte Martins has completed the font and released it for free: Optician Sans. (via Kottke) Read the rest

The third annual AI Now report: 10 more ways to make AI safe for human flourishing

Every year, NYU's nonprofit, critical activist group AI Now releases a report on the state of AI, with ten recommendations for making machine learning systems equitable, transparent and fail-safe (2016, 2017); this year's report just published, written by a fantastic panel, including Meredith Whittaker (previously -- one of the leaders of the successful googler uprising over the company's contract to supply AI tools to the Pentagon's drone project); Kate Crawford (previously -- one of the most incisive critics of AI); Jason Schultz (previously -- a former EFF attorney now at NYU) and many others. Read the rest

This Brady Bunch character actor invented an artificial heart

This morning David and I were texting each other about the Brady Bunch, which we often do because we love the show and so does every member of our families. We got to talking about the episode where the Bradys star in a laundry soap commercial. David texted me a photo of the director of the commercial, a middle-age faux-hipster dressed in cartoonish psychedelic clothes.

I got curious about who this actor was so I googled and learned his name was Paul Winchell (1922-2005). Boy, did he lead an interesting life! Here are some highlights (found on emmys.com):

He got polio at the age of six. His legs atrophied but through weight training he was able to build the muscles to full strength He stuttered as a child. He learned ventriloquism as a way to get over his stuttering, and became an accomplished professional entertainer. He had his own variety show in 1950 and his wife on the show was played by Carol Burnett. He was the voice of Tigger in Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. He also lent his voice talents to The Jetsons, Wacky Races, The Flintstones, and Yogi Bear. As an actor he appeared on The Lucy Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, Perry Mason, The Brady Bunch, and Nanny and the Professor. In 1963 he invented an artificial heart, which was the prototype for the mechanical heart Robert K. Jarvik used in a successful transplant in the early 1980s. He held 30 patents for inventions including a fountain pen with a retractable tip, a flameless cigarette lighter, and an invisible garter belt. Read the rest

On January 1, America gets its public domain back: join us at the Internet Archive on Jan 25 to celebrate

Timothy from Creative Commons writes, "In the US beginning Jan 1, 2019–after a devastating 20 year drought brought on by the infamous 1998 'Mickey Mouse Protection Act.' Creators, commons advocates, librarians, legal activists and others are celebrating in San Francisco at the Internet Archive on January 25, 2019 to mark the 'Grand Re-Opening of the Public Domain.' There will be keynotes (including from Cory Doctorow and Larry Lessig), panels with legal experts like Pam Samuelson and EFF, and lightning talks to showcase the important, weird, and wonderful public domain." Read the rest

More posts