[Video Link] My new book came out today. It's called Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects.
The books is focused on teaching girls lifelong skills -- like computer programming, musicality, and how to use basic hand tools -- as well as how to be creative problem solvers. The book’s twenty-four projects include:
• Drawbot, a lively contraption that draws abstract patterns all by itself
• Ice Cream Sandwich Necklace
• Antigravity Jar
• Silkscreened T-Shirt
• Retro Arcade Video Game
• Host a Podcast
• Lunchbox Guitar
• Kite Video Camera
Above, a video about the Friendstrument, an electronic musical instrument girls can play with friends. Tomorrow, I'll run the complete step-by-step instructions for building it here on Boing Boing. If you can't wait that long, you may purchase the entire Maker Dad book with all 24 projects as a Kindle ebook right now for $5.99.
Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects
(Thanks to Eric Mittleman for directing and editing the video!) Read the rest
Hillary Clinton made her first extended public remarks about Edward Snowden late last week, and unfortunately she misstated some basic facts about the NSA whistleblower and how events have played out in the last year. Here’s a breakdown of what she said and where she went wrong:
Clinton: "If he were concerned and wanted to be part of the American debate, he could have been… I don't understand why he couldn't have been part of the debate at home."
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about Snowden that even NSA reform advocates have furthered. Edward Snowden could not be part of this debate at home, period. Read the rest
The Wall Street Journal was first to report that The Federal Communications Commission will propose new open Internet rules this Thursday that will allow content companies to pay Internet service providers "for special access to consumers."
Under the new rules, service providers may not block or discriminate against specific websites, but they can charge certain sites or services for preferential traffic treatment if the ISPs' discrimination is "commercially reasonable."
Bye-bye, Net Neutrality, and the internet as we know it. Hello, greater connectivity gap between rich and poor in America. Read the rest
'Animal Architecture," by Ingo Arndt and Jürgen Tautz, with a foreword by Jim Brandenburg, is a beautiful new science/photography book exploring the mystery of nature through the "complex and elegant structures that animals create both for shelter and for capturing prey."
Arndt is a world-renowned nature photographer based in Germany, whose work you may have seen in National Geographic, GEO and BBC Wildlife.
Above, a grey bowerbird's bower in Australia's Northern Territory. "The grey bowerbird goes to extreme lengths to build a love nest from interwoven sticks and then covers the floor with decorative objects. The more artful the arbor, the greater the chance a male has of attracting a mate." Read the rest
Novelist Gabriel García Márquez, whose One Hundred Years of Solitude "established him as a giant of 20th-century literature," died today at his home in Mexico City. He was 87. Read the rest
I am grateful to the committee for their recognition of the efforts of those involved in the last year's reporting, and join others around the world in congratulating Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Barton Gellman, Ewen MacAskill, and all of the others at the Guardian and Washington Post on winning the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
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It was never really about the Crowes, or Ava going to prison, or the trip south of the border, or the gangsters in Detroit. This season of Justified, and by extension the entire series, has all been one long road to a final showdown between Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder. Read the rest
Characters are dropping like… well, like characters on a televised serial killer drama, I suppose.
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At some point, it all has to end. NBC's Community will close up shop, whether it’s later this spring when NBC announces its fall schedule, after six seasons and a movie, or after it somehow incomprehensibly surpasses The Simpsons for longest-running sitcom and everyone complains even louder how the show isn’t as funny as its earlier golden years. But Community isn’t like other shows. It staved off cancellation due to low ratings thanks to a fervent fan base; it survived the departure of creator Dan Harmon and a creatively tepid fourth season; and now it sits a half hour away from yet another uncertain future after Harmon’s return. Community wants everyone to know that no matter how many stays of execution it earns, the end of a show is ultimately inevitable. Read the rest
Kevin McFarland reviews the premiere of HBO's new series "Silicon Valley
Many of the episodes in Community’s fifth season have been modified sequels to previous fan-favorite from previous seasons. “Cooperative Polygraphy” echoes bottle episode “Cooperative Calligraphy.” “Bondage And Beta Male Sexuality” has strains of “Mixology Certification.” “Repilot” and “Advanced Dungeons And Dragons” have easily identifiable equivalents. “G.I. Jeff” is this season’s attempt at a storyline similar to “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas,” the second-season standout that takes place entirely inside Abed’s rattled mind as he grapples with his mother’s absence. Read the rest
In the late 1940s, avant-garde filmmaker, artist, and mystic Harry Smith scoured his massive collection of 78 rpm blues, country, cajun, jazz, and gospel records to compile what would become one of the most important collections of recorded music in history. The Anthology of American Folk Music, a six-album set with extensive liner notes was released in 1952 by Folkways Records. It was essentially a bootleg and the complete licensing of all the tracks wouldn't be worked out until 1997 when Smithsonian Folkways Recordings reissued the material on CD. The original LPs were kindling for the mid-century folk and blues revival and brought artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Mississippi John Hurt, The Memphis Jug Band (above), and countless other pioneering roots musicians to the ears of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Dave Van Ronk, Jerry Garcia and so many more.
"We all knew every word of every song on it, including the ones we hated," Van Ronk has said.
The 1997 CD box set is fantastic, but now, after decades out of print, the vinyl has been reissued in four limited volumes by Mississippi Records, a glorious tiny record label (and store!) in Portland, Oregon. If you dig wax (200 gram, baby!), this is an absolutely essential addition to your collection.
I purchased mine directly from Mississippi Records but they may be out of stock already. If so, try your local independent record shop or perhaps one of the Amazon third party sellers. And if you really search, you might still locate one of the complete sets that comes in a wood slipcase! Read the rest
Xeni and I had a great time talking with Carrie Brownstein, star of IFC's Portlandia sketch comedy series, which she co-created with Fred Armisen. We chatted about the different characters she and Fred play on the show, what it was like working with the Dead Kennedy's Jello Biafra on a recent episode, Carrie's upcoming memoir, and what it's like to have a TV show that's more popular on Google than the town it's based in.
The video was directed by Eric Mittleman and shot at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood, California. In the keyframe above, Carrie proudly wears the Boing Boing Jackhammer Jill pin that we award happy mutants when we meet them. Read the rest
Gibby Haynes, best known as the frontman for the great Texas experimental psychedelic-hardcore band The Butthole Surfers, appeared on The Daily Show With John Stewart last night. Author Yates Wuelfing was on to promote her new book, "No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens." Stewart revealed that he once bartended at the famed NJ punk club. It was "a place you could play between New York and Philadelphia," said Gibby, who wore the word GWAR on his forearm as an homage to the late Dave Brockie. Read the rest
BB mascot Jackhammer Jill in 3D-printed ABS glory! This 9" model of Jill will get hand-painted and rigged with advanced bubble-blowing technology before being mounted in a place of honor on the hood of our Happy Mutant Mobile!
Tomorrow night, San Francisco's pioneering contemporary dance company ODC will premiere a new work inspired by famed sculptor/environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy with live music by experimental cellist and loop musician Zoë Keating, likely familiar to Boing Boing readers from previous BB posts, or her appearances on Radiolab and Who Killed Amanda Palmer. For this piece, titled "boulders and bones," ODC artistic directors Branda Way and KT Nelson took choreographic inspiration from the ever-transforming landscapes of art and nature. The visual context of the dance comes from a time-lapse film by RJ Muna shot during the seven-month installation of a Goldsworthy sculpture at private location north of San Francisco.
Performances of "boulders and bones," along with several other works, will be held through March 30. Tickets are available here. Boing Boing is delighted to share the special video below from a "boulders and bones" rehearsal, along with another stunning photograph of dancer Natasha Adorlee Johnson by RJ Muna.
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Above, video evidence of my short presentation "Just Say Know: A Cyberdelic History of the Future" at the recent Lift Conference 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. Albert Hoffman first synthesized LSD in 1938 in Switzerland so this felt like the right set and setting to share stories about the intersection of psychedelic culture and computer technology from the 1960s to the present and beyond! Read the rest