Anthropodermic bibliopegy: the grotesque history of books bound in human skin

On the Under the Knife show, Dr Lindsey Fitzharris elucidates the weird history of "anthropodermic bibliopegy," the weird practice of binding books in human skin, including the doctor who bound case histories in the skins of his dead patients, and the murderer who asked to have his biography bound in his skin and presented to the lawman who caught him after his execution. Other common ways to procure human skins for the practice included grave-robbing (Andrea wrote about the Burke and Hare editions back in 2016). (Thanks, Allen) Read the rest

Timelapse of the Milky Way with the sky held motionless and the Earth rotating

One of the smartest, most interesting people I ever knew once told me about a time when he got really interested in the problem of calculating the orbits of the planets based on the idea tha the Earth was stationary and everything was moving relative to it (this being one of the corollaries of the idea of a relativistic universe); I immediately thought of that project when I saw Aryeh Nirenberg's timelapse of the Milky Way where the sky is held stationary and the Earth is rotated -- such a simple and powerful way to illustrate relative motion! (via Kottke) Read the rest

Artist builds delightful, impractical Rube Goldberg machines for popping balloons

Jan Hakon Erichsen is a Norwegian artist whose Destruction Diaries series chronicles his creation of a series of bizarre, whimsical and delightful machines for popping balloons and undertaking other acts of minor mayhem. Read the rest

"Evermore": a short technohorror film about the struggle between gratification and equanimity

Victoria Hogan writes, "My fiancee and I made a short film about creativity, yearning, and the scary forces of technology that might interact with those desires. More than a few people have called this a ‘Three Minute Black Mirror Episode’ - though to me, it’s more about living with the difficulties of pursuing your passion vs. stepping out of those difficulties for less gratification but more equanimity. I wanted to leave the ending open-ended rather than provide an answer/solution to this subject, though I do think the topic doesn’t have a clear answer, and is worth discussing." Read the rest

Weird video of an entire day of security footage superimposed and compressed into two minutes

"A Busy Day in the Yard," superimposed security footage showing an entire day in two minutes.

(via Geekologie) Read the rest

Slime Tango: an inverse tug-of-war, played with blobs of slime

Anton Hecht writes, "Slime Tango is a new game, the cello is optional. It is an inversion of tug of war, as here the players work together, while going apart. So is also an inversion of dance where people are close. The slime is stretched while following the dance steps, till it touches the floor, or breaks. This one is on the streets of Farlington in the UK." Read the rest

Cookie Monster performs Tom Waits's "Hell Broke Luce"

7 years ago, I posted Cookiewaits's video mashup of Cookie Monster performing Tom Waits's "God's Away on Business," but I somehow missed that Cookiewaits followed it up the next year with this brilliant mashup for "Hell Broke Luce," which is something of a favorite around these parts. If that's your bag, don't miss the Sesame Street gang performing the Beasties' "Sabotage." (Thanks, Richard Callaghan!) Read the rest

Goreytelling: Animations to go with Edward Gorey's narration of his life

In the 1990s, student filmmaker Christopher Seufert talked his way into Edward Gorey's life and convinced him to record a series of memoirs and tales from his life; the project blossomed into a documentary, only to be derailed when Gorey died. Read the rest

Stephen Fry explains the vast superiority of UK healthcare to America's omnishambles, which Brexiteers hope to import

After Brexit, Tory leaders are hoping to strike a bilateral trade agreement with the USA that will begin the dismantling of the NHS, starting with a ban on price-controls for pharma and open doors for America's wasteful, cruel, useless health-care insurance mega-corporations. In this video, national treasure Stephen Fry explains how the UK and US systems compare, and how American media lies about the state of the NHS to credulous, mouth-breathing Fox News zombies. If you want to keep the NHS out of any UK-US trade deal, sign the petition here. Learn more about Brexit here. Read the rest

"It's easy to play the Nazi card"

This video from Bohemian Browser Ballett on Germany's public broadcaster Funk is absolutely genius: a comic dialogue between a literal uniformed Nazi officer outraged that someone had the temerity to call him a Nazi: "Just because someone doesn't share mainstream opinion it doesn't mean he's a Nazi. Maybe I'm a concerned citizen who is afraid of foreign domination!" (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

Footage from the Boing Boing Picnic, nine years ago today!

Billy Green writes, "This is video I shot at the Boing Boing Picnic in 2010. Music by Dr. Popular recorded live at the picnic." Such fantastic footage! Read the rest

Make: a machine-learning toy on open-source hardware

In the latest Adafruit video (previously) the proprietors, Limor "ladyada" Friend and Phil Torrone, explain the basics of machine learning, with particular emphasis on the difference between computing a model (hard) and implementing the model (easy and simple enough to run on relatively low-powered hardware), and then they install and run Tensorflow Light on a small, open-source handheld and teach it to distinguish between someone saying "No" and someone saying "Yes," in just a few minutes. It's an interesting demonstration of the theory that machine learning may be most useful in tiny, embedded, offline processors. (via Beyond the Beyond) Read the rest

Let's Play Permadeath Speedrun

Pippin Barr writes, "This is Season 2 of my video series Let's Play Permadeath Speedrun. In these videos I play various games trying to die (permadeath) as quickly as possible (speedrun). Beyond their entertainment value, I feel like they offer an interesting perspective on what playing videogames feels like, perhaps especially for people who aren't necessarily a part of the culture. For more experienced players, these runs can also help to raise question or suggest observations about how games are designed. (Mostly I just think they're kind of hilarious though.)" Read the rest

Ta-Nehisi Coates makes the case for reparations to Congress

It's been five years since Ta-Nehisi Coates's groundbreaking The Case for Reparations ran in The Atlantic; yesterday, Coates appeared before Congress to celebrate Juneteenth with a barn-burning statement that starts as a response to Mitch McConnell's dismissal of racial injustice in America, but quickly becomes more than that -- a Coatesian masterclass in understanding race, America, history and the present moment. Read the rest

Beyond lockpicking: learn about the class-breaks for doors, locks, hinges and other physical security measures

Deviant Ollam runs a physical security penetration testing company called The Core Group; in a flat-out amazing, riveting presentation from the 2017 Wild West Hackin' Fest, Ollam -- a master lockpicker -- describes how lockpicking is a last resort for the desperate, while the wily and knowledgeable gain access by attacking doors and locks with tools that quickly and undetectably open them. Read the rest

Boing Boing presents: Skeleton Boy, a moving short documentary about the life, death and afterlife of Harry Eastlack, star of the Mutter Museum

Philadelphia's Mutter Museum (previously) is one of my favorite museums in the world: built from the private collection of pathologist Dr Thomas Dent (who aggregated the collections of many other pathologists), it is a solemn and moving place to see the incredible breadth of human physiognomy and pathology. Read the rest

Investigating nozzle-wear in 3D printers (with excellent cross-sections!)

CNC Kitchen's 18-minute video on nozzle wear in 3D printing involves sending abrasive filaments (the abrasiveness comes from pigments and additives like carbon fiber, etc) through a variety of nozzles (mostly cheap ones from China), then measuring the results with a micrometer and by taking castings of their interiors -- but the best part is when the nozzles are clamped to the business end of a CNC mill and milled down into cross-sections. Man, I love cross-sections. (via Four Short Links) Read the rest

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