Children's Fairyland, the mid-century storybook theme park that inspired Walt Disney and where Frank Oz got his start

Oakland, California is home to a real gem of a storybook theme park. Located next to Lake Merritt, Children's Fairyland has been delighting families of young children since 1950. As the story goes, Walt Disney himself visited Fairyland in 1955 and soon after built Disneyland, incorporating ideas he learned at the park. He also hired Fairyland's first director, as well as one of its puppeteers, to work at his new amusement park in Anaheim.

While Disney's parks went the commercial route, Fairyland turned into a nonprofit after many years of being managed by the city. It remains the charming, lakeside mid-century park where no adult is allowed in the park without a child** and no child is allowed without an adult.

How do I know all of this? Well, I'm excited to share that I've started working with Fairyland. When I first moved to the Bay Area in the mid-1990s, I lived across the street from Lake Merritt and, as a childless young person, I often wondered what was going behind the giant (Old Lady in the) shoe. I remember devising ways to get in, eventually waiting until I had a baby to pass through its gates for the first time. When my daughter (who's now a teenager) was little, she and I visited many times together. Believe me when I say that it's a great thrill for me to be on the "inside" of this Bay Area institution.

Bert, Fairyland Master Puppeteer Lewis Mahlmann, and Frank Oz in August of 1970. Read the rest

Watch Yoda say "hmmm..." over and over and over

YouTube commenter Steve Kurtics-Lentinello: "They get more depressing over time.. poor Yoda :("

Hmmmm.

Video by Jason Scanlon. (via Laughing Squid) Read the rest

This Yoda bookend, strong the Force is

It appears that Jedi Master Yoda is holding up the books using the Force, but it's really just a strategically-placed metal bar which holds up the first book that gives that illusion.

You can buy this Yoda bookend for $19.95 from Hallmark, of all places.

(The Awesomer, reddit) Read the rest

Diamond Yoda pendant to be auctioned

This Yoda pendant listed by Heritage Auctions "features full-cut yellow and near colorless diamonds weighing a total of approximately 9.00 carats, set in 14k gold." The estimated value is $2,500 - $3,500. will a lucky Boing Boing reader place the winning bid?

An avatar for all time, Yoda, the wise can be with you always. Instantly recognized as one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars narrative, this custom made pendant is whimsical and fun. It can be worn on a cord or chain or easily modified by a jeweler to wear as a brooch. Appropriately, Yoda is covered with diamonds, an ancient gemstone that can take billions of years to form. His robe is made of white and yellow diamonds totaling approximately 9.00cttw. A single round brilliant cut diamond held in Yoda’s outstretched hand has a known carat weight of 0.46ct.

Could this single diamond represent a kyber crystal? Or symbolize the Force? To quote Yoda, “Long ago in forgotten times, when the Sith and Jedi fought for control of the galaxy, weapons there were, of unimaginable power. Always at their heart, a kyber crystal was.” Gem quality diamonds are cut to exact proportions to accentuate their ability to reflect light. The dispersion of white light into spectral colors is diamonds’ primary gemological characteristic. Since Yoda lost his light saber in his legendary duel with Darth Sidious, and the lightsaber reflects the Force of the Jedi who holds it, a diamond is the perfect replacement.

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Congress reintroduces YODA, a bipartisan bill that protects your right to treat devices as your property

The You Own Devices Act (YODA) was first introduced by Reps Blake Farenthold (R-TX) and Jared "Happy Mutant" Polis (D-CO) in 2014: it's a bill that limits the enforceability of abusive EULA terms, preserving your right to sell, lease, donate, and access security fixes on devices you buy, even when they have copyrighted software within them. Read the rest