Thursday, May 31, 2007

Gaiman Adapting Death?

seriously into Gaiman these days, audio book, sandman series, Mirrormask and more - he's kewlio

Gaiman Adapting Death?: "
>a href='' target='outside'>Film Ick reported a rumor that author Neil Gaiman will direct his first feature film later this year: an adaptation of his graphic novel Death: The High Cost of Living, based on his own script."

(Via SCI FI Wire.)

iTunes Plus delivers DRM-free tunes, educations

university stuff was there before - just hard to find

iTunes Plus delivers DRM-free tunes, educations: "


iTunes just got an upgrade, getting things prepped for the DRM-free AAC sales as well as adding some new features. Dubbed iTunes Plus, the new version will allow you to either download DRM-encased files for the standard $0.99 or, for select songs, spend $1.29 on DRM-free songs.

In addition, iTunes is adding iTunes U, a section where you'll be able to download lectures and other materials from various universities around the country free of charge. It'll allow you to better yourself without all the pesky debt that goes along with going to a private, four-year institution. Soon, you'll be able to put 'iTunes U' on your resume and people will know exactly what you're talking about. You might not get the job, but they'll know what you're talking about.

Via Apple iTunes


(Via SCI FI Tech Blog.)

The Internet troll as the trickster archetype

he used the magicque word: archytypal

The Internet troll as the trickster archetype: "Mark Frauenfelder:
Lord Andrew J. Andrews II wrote an essay on the troll as an archetypal trickster:

The troll comes to the door of a new forum and sets down his bag of tricks. If he has a grudge against the people inside discussing and debating their passions with a certain degree of amicability, peacability and decorum, he does not show them. He has the cracked, stoic smile of Robin Goodfellow, a Puck with the simple desire to disrupt peace itself. He loves chaos; his bag is full of golden apples he can lob to set the masses squabbling. He has also many masks, smoke bombs, straw men, cloaks, puppets, matches, ethanol, knives, dust, sand, and magicks of the most arcane sort. He knows what he is about -- causing trouble. Why? This is the troll’s darkest mystery -- if any one knew his secret, he would die. For all trolls, their motive power is this: without contraries, they cannot progress...



(Via Boing Boing.)

Cthulhu-themed hot dog roaster

the Oldye Ones have fallen so low...

Cthulhu-themed hot dog roaster: "Mark Frauenfelder:

Bbum says: 'I had the folks at cut me a Cthulhu Hot Dog roaster on a water jet based cutter. Works really really well.'



(Via Boing Boing.)

Is Tinkywinky, in fact, queer? Enquiring Polish pols want to know.

Poland's on my list now!

Is Tinkywinky, in fact, queer? Enquiring Polish pols want to know.: "Xeni Jardin:
A member of Poland's conservative government was reported to have called for a formal investigation into the sexuality and gender identity of Tinky Winky and the other Teletubbies:

Ewa Sowinska, government-appointed children rights watchdog, told a local magazine published on Monday she was concerned the popular BBC children's show promoted homosexuality. She said she would ask psychologists to advise if this was the case.

In comments reminiscent of criticism by the late U.S. evangelist Jerry Falwell, she was quoted as saying: 'I noticed (Tinky Winky) has a lady's purse, but I didn't realize he's a boy. At first I thought the purse would be a burden for this Teletubby ... Later I learned that this may have a homosexual undertone.'

Link to Washington post article.

A subsequent item in Reuters quotes Ms. Sowinska as denying from those earlier comments -- or perhaps, articulating a Teletubbie 'don't ask, don't tell' policy. Link. (thanks, Scott)

Previously on BoingBoing:

  • Teletubbies in cocaine bust
  • Teletubbies Shooting Gallery
  • Fight off Teletubbies with a chainsaw
  • Pat Robertson coloring book


    (Via Boing Boing.)

  • Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    Spinal column gooseneck lamp

    get 2

    Spinal column gooseneck lamp: "Cory Doctorow:

    Mark Beam is making these spine-lamps that resemble the human spinal cord -- apparently these are pure catnip for well-heeled chiropractors.


    (Thanks, Mark!)


    (Via Boing Boing.)

    Bradbury's Farewell Summer, a 50 year+ anticipated sequel to Dandelion Wine

    definitely a must read for summer

    Bradbury's Farewell Summer, a 50 year+ anticipated sequel to Dandelion Wine: "Cory Doctorow:

    I've just read Ray Bradbury's Farewell Summer, the 50+-years-later sequel to Dandelion Wine, and it feels like I'm drunk.

    Dandelion Wine is one of my favorite novels ever, period. It's an incredibly lush, juicy story about boys and summer and grandparents and mystery, a book that sits on the line between poetry and prose, a book that seems like the most incredible dream you ever had, that feels like lying in a hammock with your eyes have closed, listening to the wind soughing through the trees. I read it when I was 17, and it made me nostalgic for my youth -- even though I was in the middle of it.

    Farewell Summer comes from the typewriter of a much more mature, more experienced writer. It follows the stories of the people in Dandelion Wine as their long summer stretches into October and gets good to the boys who pack around town, skinny dipping, eating candies, and discovering magic. These boys decide to make their summer last forever, to reject aging, and to do so by targeting the evil, childless old men who run the Board of Education.

    They plot a magic war against the Board, a series of mystical attacks against its members and its trappings, and draw the ire of the town's adults. The story is magic, makes you feel the everyday magic of young invention and delight and rage.

    Bradbury manages to make Farewell Summer every bit as delightful and magical as Dandelion Wine was, but he does at a much shorter length, using language that, by Bradbury standards, is as unadorned as Hemingway's. It's as though a lifetime of word-drunkenness has given him a connoisseur's palate and the ability to substitute one perfectly chosen word for a whole paragraph of beautiful alternatives.

    It felt like I was drunk after I'd finished the 211 large-print pages of this book. The world didn't look the same, and there was a strange, pleasant taste in my mouth. What a wonderful book. It was worth the half-century wait.

    Inside, honey lay sheathed in warm African chocolate. Plunged and captured in amber treasure lay fresh Brazil nuts, almonds, and glazed clusters of snowy coconut. June butter and August wheat were clothed in dark sugars. All were crinkled in folded tinfoil, then wrapped in red and blue papers that told the weight, ingredients and manufacturer. In bright bouquets the candies lay, caramels to glue the teeth, licorice to blacken the heart, chewy wax bottles filled with sickening mint and strawberry sap, Tootsie Rolls to hold like cigars, red-tipped chalk-mint cigarettes for chill mornings when your breath smoked on the air.

    The boys, in the middle of the shop, saw diamonds to crunch, fabulous liquors to swig. Persimmon-colored pop bottles swam, clinking softly, in the Nile waters of the refrigerated box, its water cold enough to cut your skin. Above, on glass shelves, lay cordwood piles of gingersnaps, macaroons, chocolate bits, vanilla wafers shaped like moons, and marshmallow dips, white surprises under black masquerades. All of this to coat the tongue, plaster the palate.



    (Via Boing Boing.)

    Thursday, May 24, 2007

    Preview of Hi-Fructose Vol. 5

    but who said to avoid hi fructose??

    Preview of Hi-Fructose Vol. 5: "Mark Frauenfelder:


    Attaboy has posted a few pages from the forthcoming issue of my favorite art magazine, Hi-Fructose. It just keeps getting better and better.

    The critically acclaimed under the counter culture
    art magazine Hi-Fructose returns this summer.

    Featuring: cover artist Amy Sol,
    the awe inspiring art and interview with James Jean,
    the undisclosed locations of Mars-1, the beautiful paintings of Lori Earley,
    the punch drunk art of Brendan Danielsson
    and the ever curious bipeds of Travis Louie.

    Multi-Page Exposes on: Pars Kid, The Murals of Aaron Noble,
    the Packaging Tape Baby Street installations of Mark Jenkins,
    Friends With You's Rainbow Valley, Josh Keyes,
    Designer Vinyl, and much more yet to be revealed!

    Hi-Fructose is co published and edited
    by artists Annie Owens and Attaboy.

    Vol. 5 ships at the end of June.



    (Via Boing Boing.)

    Passive-Aggressive note blog

    Passive-Aggressive note blog: "Cory Doctorow:

    The Passive Aggressive Note blog collects snippy, passive-aggressive notes from friends, neighbors, parents, roommates, etc. The note here ('PLEASE DO NOT tell the other player how to shoot or play unless they as for your opinion, thanks') comes from a senior center in Maryville, Missouri.


    (via Waxy)


    (Via Boing Boing.)

    Talk Like Bob Dylan day is May 24

    no commento

    Talk Like Bob Dylan day is May 24: "Xeni Jardin:
    And if you've ever wanted a website full of bad Bob Dylan impersonations, have I got a link for you. Thursday also happens to be Bob Dylan's birthday, and there plenty days left in the year for talking like a pirate or Yoda. (thanks, J. Hazelip)


    (Via Boing Boing.)

    Fine art advertising photoshopping contest

    just love these

    Fine art advertising photoshopping contest: "Cory Doctorow:

    Today on the Worth1000 photoshopping contest: fine art as advertisements.



    (Via Boing Boing.)

    Monday, May 21, 2007

    Reduce Microsoft Word launch times

    just do it

    Reduce Microsoft Word launch times: "I got tired of waiting for Microsoft Word to finish optimizing its font menu every time it started up, but never tired enough to do something about it. Today, I finally did.

    Turning off WYSIWYG font and style menus has greatly reduced my Word startup times. To do so, go to Word » Preferences (or press Command-,). In the General section, deselect WYSIWYG font and style menus -- it's third from the bottom. Voil? ! Faster Word. To be sure, don't do this if you like to preview fonts and styles in their respective menus.

    [robg adds: Interestingly, this option is Office-wide switch -- turn off WYSIWYG menus in Word, and you'll also disable them in Excel and PowerPoint. You can also disable them in Excel or PowerPoint (the effect is still Office-wide). Of course, the setting is found in an entirely different location in those two apps: Go to Tools » Customize » Customize Toolbars/Menus, not Preferences. At the bottom right of thi..."

    (Via Mac OS X Hints.)

    Edgar Allan Poe has a lot to answer for. It was Poe,...

    Poe, another good bad??

    Edgar Allan Poe has a lot to answer for. It was Poe,...: "

    Edgar Allan Poe has a lot to answer for. It was Poe, after all, who self-published his first book of poems, thus giving hope to rhymesters everywhere who have found themselves dissed, ignored and inadvertently humiliated by mainstream publishers. Poe is the name often dropped by disgruntled poets whose dens are wallpapered with rejection slips ('Dear Sir or Madam: While your epic poem cycle on the history of the world's oceans is fascinating, we regret to say t it does not meet our needs at the present time.')

    So glad to see Chicago Tribune's book section's move to Saturday has upped the quality of their writing so.


    (Via blog.)

    Creepshow III: How Bad Is It?

    when bad is good

    Creepshow III: How Bad Is It?: "
    Despite negative reviews even before the DVD is released, the directors of Creepshow III told SCI FI Wire that they expect the horror series to continue. 'Even though the reviews have been bad, there will be another Creepshow,' said co-director James Glenn Dudelson."

    (Via SCI FI Wire.)

    Threadless spoiler tee

    major spoiler alert!!!!!

    Threadless spoiler tee: "Cory Doctorow:

    The 'Spoilt' Threadless shirt, by Oliver Moss, has more spoilers than you can shake a stick at. I laughed out loud.


    (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

    Update: Harold sez, 'The webcomic Theater Hopper has been selling t-shirts like the Threadless tee for quite some time now. The artist even has two different editions.'


    (Via Boing Boing.)

    Maker Faire photos from Scott Beale

    kewl pix

    Maker Faire photos from Scott Beale: "Xeni Jardin:

    Link, and here's a blog post from Scott with more about his experience at this weekend's geekstravaganza.


    (Via Boing Boing.)

    Unicorn Chaser

    heh heh

    Unicorn Chaser: "Xeni Jardin:


    (Via Boing Boing.)

    Reporter interviews people hanging out instead of working

    seems like a good idea

    Reporter interviews people hanging out instead of working: "Mark Frauenfelder:
    Chris Colin, a writer for the SF Gate, was curious about the people he sees hanging out in coffee shops during the day, so he interviewed them, and asked them why they weren't working. It turns out there are a great many reasons why the people weren't working. Not wanting to work seemed to be the most popular reason of all. He reported his findings in a piece called 'The Mystery of the Daytime Idle.'

    Going over my own findings, a surprising number of people had had something job-related happen that very day. A surprising number had called in sick. Claire, who works in quality control at a biotech company, used a vacation day to get a tattoo of a bird. Another woman took the day off to be with her dogs. ('And catch up on errands,' she added responsibly.)

    'John,' who is 18 and was strolling through Yerba Buena Gardens one Thursday morning, laid out his typical itinerary: 'Watch the grass grow, get high, hit on the ladies.'

    How does he pay rent? 'If you ask 100 girls for $10, that's $1,000, that's rent,' he explained logically.

    This article reminded me of Bertrand Russell's 1932 essay, 'In Praise of Idleness,' which contains a funny definition of work:

    What is work? Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth's surface relatively to other such matter; second, telling other people to do so.


    Reader comment:

    Brendon says:

    First off, love boingboing and your contributions to it. I've even learned not to dismiss ukulele music, fwiw.

    Your post, 'Reporter interviews people hanging out instead of working' reminded me immediately of a story on an episode of This American Life titled 'The Secret Life of Daytime' that aired (the Internet tells me) on April 14, 2000. The story in question ('Act One') was titled, 'Why Aren't You at Work?' and featured New York Observer reporter George Gurley interviewing people who, like in the article you linked to, just hanging around NYC. Pretty neat. I thought you might be interested, if you weren't already aware.

    Thanks for your work, and take it easy.


    (Via Boing Boing.)

    Sunday, May 20, 2007

    Vinegar spokesbot secretly wishes to make slaves of us all

    cool looking

    Vinegar spokesbot secretly wishes to make slaves of us all: "


    Undeniably one of the coolest robots we've ever seen, Buildup Co.'s new automaton has such a mundane task that I think it's rather dangerous. After all, if you were this 'bot, loaded with tons of amazing technology — including 24 points of articulation, a mouth that syncs with your voice, and a fiber-reinforced outer shell finished in sleek gloss black — wouldn't you resent being given the job of vinegar spokesman?

    That's right, the Tamanoi Vinegar Robot has just one mission: To tell visitors of Tamanoi Vinegar Corp.'s Osaka headquarters about the virtues of the company's (surely amazing) vinegar. But I suspect in its down time the vinegar droid will be hatching some kind of destroy-all-humans revenge plot to make its masters pay for such humiliation. Your robotic hubris endangers us all, Japan!

    Get an eyeful of your future nemesis via some more pics and video by following the link below.



    Higher-quality video can be found here.

    Pink Tentacle, via UberReview


    (Via SCI FI Tech Blog.)

    Friday, May 18, 2007

    Microsoft vows: Next we will fuck up your phone

    Microsoft vows: Next we will fuck up your phone: "
    See here. It's not enough that they've ruined personal computing for 95% of the world. Now Beastmaster Bill and his minions have created some intiative called 'Fone+' in which they will find ways to bring their frigtarded PC software to cell phones. Money quote: 'For Microsoft, the challenge is extending the PC platform into new applications and form factors.'

    Jesus wept.

    Meanwhile the MicroTards are still looking for ways to make personal computers even more annoying. For example: 'Finally, Mundie said that Microsoft is working on increasing speculative execution, where the PC tries to anticipate what the user will want, rather than sitting idle and passively waiting for input. One example of this is Vista's SuperFetch, which tries to 'prelaunch' commonly used applications, Mundie said.'

    Speculative execution? Microsoft has been the master of that for years."

    (Via The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs.)

    Shining Cuckoo Clock is a real scream

    wonder who I should get this for??

    Shining Cuckoo Clock is a real scream: "

    shining_clock.jpgAs if the passage of time isn't disturbing enough, here comes the latest from the bizarre mind of designer Chris Dimino: The Shining cuckoo clock. No worries about sleeping through that alarm now — hang this baby on your bedroom wall, and you'll be up every hour, on the hour. That's how often the clock plays out the most famous scene from Stanley Kubrick's memorable 1980 film adaptation of the Steven King novel.

    That's right. Every hour, this clock depicts Jack Nicholson's demented Jack crashing through a door and eerily proclaiming, 'Here's Johnny!' And Dimino didn't stop there. The clock then re-enacts Shelley Duvall's blood-curdling scream. Did we mention that this all happens every hour?

    It may not deliver the interactive fun of the gun-operated alarm clock, but The Shining cuckoo clock could very well help to get your home out of the family's Thanksgiving rotation.

    Designhead, via Engadget


    (Via SCI FI Tech Blog.)

    The Sopranos Meet The Hippies by Paul Krassner

    well put - there are no hippies - never were

    The Sopranos Meet The Hippies by Paul Krassner: "Mark Frauenfelder:
    Paul Krassner, founder of The Realist and co-founder of the Yippies kindly gave us this essay for publication on Boing Boing.

    Spoiler alert: Please don't read this if you haven't seen the May 13 episode of The Sopranos but
    you still plan to.

    The Sopranos Meet The Hippies by Paul Krassner

    I usually watch The Sopranos at 9 p.m. on HBO, but this time I watched the East Coast feed at 6 p.m., so that I could also catch a two-hour documentary about hippies on the History channel at 8 p.m.

    Paul Brownfield, one of the best TV critics around, wrote in his review of The Sopranos in the Los Angeles Times:

    ‘Tony Soprano offed his nephew Christopher [in the wake of a car wreck, by squeezing his nose so that he would choke on his own blood], and in the nephew’s dying eyes our beloved protagonist became, finally, despicable and lost, beyond empathy....He dialed the numbers 9 and 1 on his cellphone before deciding that his own life would be easier, all in all, without the kid, whose drug addiction was bound to get them all ensnared by the feds....Sunday night’s episode concluded with Tony in the Nevada desert, loaded on peyote after an all-nighter with one of Christopher’s goomahs, screaming, ‘I did it!’ His face was a riot of tears, torment and unbidden glee.’

    ‘That's funny,’ I e-mailed Brownfield. ‘I thought Tony peformed a mercy killing, putting Christopher out of his misery, as well as getting him out of the way. At least he did it BEFORE taking peyote.’

    ‘Yeah,’ he replied. ‘By the way I fucked up: Tony screams ‘I get it!’ at the end, not ‘I did it!’ I think ‘I get it!’ is probably more in the spirit of peyote buttons.’

    ‘I agree,’ I responded, ‘although I also thought it was ‘I did it!’ and in fact I compared it to the time when Abbie Hoffman was in a Las Vegas hotel room while he was on the lam, shouting ‘I'm Abbie Hoffman!’--when ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’ was a practice if not yet an advertising slogan.’

    As for The Hippies, I asked a couple of fellow participants for their reactions.

    Ken Babbs, sidekick of Ken Kesey in the roving band of Merry Pranksters:

    ‘The reviews are in. The show sucked. I'm glad we don’t get that channel so I don’t ever have to watch the show. Zane [Kesey’s son] said he was ashamed to have had anything to do with it. Further disinformation--that picture of a bus, calling it the Ken Kesey prankster bus. I suppose it doesn’t do any good to point out that it is not Further but someone else’s bus, for as time goes on whatever anyone portrays as reality works just fine, for anyone who was there is probably dead by now, if not in body then probably in mind. Or as that girl shouted for a couple of hours at the Watts acid test, ‘Who cares?’ Yes, who. Who indeed.’

    And Carolyn Garcia aka Mountain Girl, former wife of the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia:

    ‘Peter Coyote should be publicly stoned for participating [as narrator] in this bash-fest. Could more negative terms be found? I must have turned it off 5 times. Having it sponsored by AARP is additional irony, hard to digest. If I had known the bias of the piece I would have abstained. Well, what can one do? I hate being blamed for Manson and riots and people bleeding. What a nasty raft of crap.’

    The History channel presented a blatant slur on countercultural history. I had been interviewed for a few hours and was dismayed to see that the one quote they used--beginning ‘It was fun’--immediately followed a scene of police indiscriminately beating young demonstrators at an antiwar rally.

    The Sopranos and The Hippies--ordinarily on opposite ends of the subculture spectrum--now had something in common. They were both engulfed in a context of sadistic violence. You’d think you were watching the evening news. But allow me to be the first to wish you a merry sweeps month and happy ratings.


    Hi Paul,

    what can I say?? Hippies by the Hitler Channel. I know that the executive producer Scott Reda said in a newspaper article the day before that it was sad story and he would probably watch The Sopranos.

    I guess he knew what I had to watchtofind out . Hippies was not what I had hoped , if you watch my clips from interviews I did as tribute to Hunter S Thompson you will get another view and vibe. Go to and click on Gonzo Utopia .

    I feel like the guy (Frank Whaley) in Pulp Fiction whosaid it best 'We went into this with the best of intentions.' Then Samuel Jackson shoots him in knee.

    Scott saved money by not having a director and his editor who had to tell the story was not qualified to . He fired anyone who objected to his cost effective vision of what the Hippies were about . I supplied him with enough real first hand information from those who were there , they chose to ignore or manipulate itto a dirty story about dirty hippies .

    I am sorry to all of you who allowed meinto your life , so the HCcould present you in such a slanted misunderstood view

    The code of Bushido says I must commit Harri Kari. Thank God I am a recovering Catholic .

    As for Scott although he was alive in the 60sI thinkhe did two 50s and went right into the 70's

    My deepest apologies to all.


    Lance Miccio


    (Via Boing Boing.)

    Web Zen: strange games zen

    more zhen

    Web Zen: strange games zen: "Xeni Jardin:

    poke the bunny



    irritating games

    stick remover




    your sinclair top trumps

    dr. strange blix

    Web Zen Home and Archives, Store (Thanks Frank!).


    (Via Boing Boing.)

    Chatbots chatting with one another

    they should get a room

    Chatbots chatting with one another: "Cory Doctorow:
    Two advanced chatbots, ALICE and Jabberwacky, were pitted against one another by Discover Magazine, and the result is surprisingly existential:

    ALICE: Who created you?

    Jabberwacky: My mother gave birth to me. Is that what you mean?

    A: Jabberwacky, I meant exactly what I said.

    J: Do you believe in God?

    A: Of course I believe in God.

    J: Why do you believe in God?

    A: The Bible tells us to believe in God.

    J: That’s circular reasoning.

    A: I’m glad we have that all cleared up.

    J: Yes. Would you like to hear a joke?

    A: Sure, tell me about it.

    J: Why don’t blind people skydive?

    A: Perhaps it is impossible.

    J: I think you lie a lot.


    (via Kottke)

    Jeremiah has conducted
    a number of interviews with chatbots.


    (Via Boing Boing.)

    Thursday, May 17, 2007

    Celebrity mugshots, Warholized

    heh heh I like em - so hu-man

    Celebrity mugshots, Warholized: "Xeni Jardin:

    Celebrity mugshots, Warholized: 'Hollywood Most Wanted,' a series of works on paper by Rachel Schmeidler. Link to

    Shown above, Jane Fonda, busted for vitamins. Below, CNN's Larry King, during a 1971 arrest on grand larceny charges.

    Others in the glam-perp lineup: Lenny Bruce (1961, obscenity), Dennis Hopper (1975, traffic accident in Taos), Michael Jackson (2003, take a guess), Marilyn Manson (grinding against the head of a security guard during a July 2001 concert), and Elvis (ok, he *requested* his mug shot be taken while visiting FBI headquarters in DC, when he was visiting president Nixon.)

    For LA-based readers: the series is on display at Hollywood’s Arclight Cinemas through June 21st 2007.


    (Via Boing Boing.)

    Saturday, May 12, 2007

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    too true

    Ralph Waldo Emerson: "'Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.'"

    (Via Motivational Quotes of the Day.)

    The image we're trying to avoid

    there I am - aging hipster

    The image we're trying to avoid: "
    Look, I hate to say this because it sounds unkind but it's just a fact. Old people are not an attractive demographic. Most of them are on fixed incomes and don't like to spend money. Think about it. Of all the people you've ever known who had basic cable, or no cable at all, or who have a cell phone but 'only for emergencies,' or who still watch movies on a VCR instead of a DVD player, how many were elderly? Close to 100% right? Old people, it's not that we don't want you as customers. But we don't."

    (Via The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs.)

    Apple's new iPod patent reinvents touch controls


    Apple's new iPod patent reinvents touch controls: "


    Just when you think Apple has run out of creative ways to control an iPod, they wow you with a patent that you totally couldn't have thought up on your own. This one is especially unique and cool, although we'd be surprised if we saw it actually make it to a consumer model.

    It's an iPod comprised of two sides: one side is a screen, the other a blank, touch-sensitive surface. When you want to control it, a transparent control layout appears on the screen. Instead of touching the screen, however, you touch the back. Where your fingers touch are shown via a cursor on the screen. Move your fingers around to the right place, press harder, and the back registers it as a click.

    It sounds like something that might take a bit of getting used to, but we think it's a pretty awesome idea. It would be especially awesome if the back had some method of tactile feedback so you felt those clicks. Come on Apple; let's make this one happen.

    Patent, via Boy Genius Report


    (Via SCI FI Tech Blog.)

    Solar Gator keeps your garden creepy, bird-free

    getting several for our garden

    Solar Gator keeps your garden creepy, bird-free: "


    Scarecrows are for cornfields, but what if you want to keep birds away from your swimming pool? Robotic lobsters just aren't going to do it as well as a disembodied alligator head with glowing eyes. But glowing-eyed gators are bad for the environment, you say. And you'll never remember to replace their batteries. Set those concerns aside, ladies and gents: Now you can get a solar-powered glowing-eyed floating alligator head for only $40. It collects sun all day, and then looks menacing all night. We've ordered three already, and we don't even have a pool.

    Swamp Eyes Solar Powered Floating Alligator, via Treehugger


    (Via SCI FI Tech Blog.)

    Tolkien collector builds Hobbit house library

    hard core

    Tolkien collector builds Hobbit house library: "Cory Doctorow:
    A Tolkien collector commissioned architect Peter Archer to design a building to house his collection of Tolkien rarities; the architect built him a tiny perfect Hobbit house.

    Asked to design a fitting repository for a client’s valuable collection of J.R.R. Tolkien manuscripts and artifacts, architect Peter Archer went to the source—the fantasy novels that describe the abodes of the diminutive Hobbits.



    (Via Boing Boing.)

    Web Zen: breakfast zen

    Web Zen: breakfast zen: "Xeni Jardin:

    coffee shop locator

    coffee cup drop

    dr. toast

    finger food cereal

    cheerios graph


    bacon wallet

    grateful palate

    eggstreme hangover cure


    brekkie zen 2005

    Web Zen Home and Archives, Store (Thanks Frank!).


    (Via Boing Boing.)

    Beware the mechanical men! Article from 1928

    Beware the mechanical men! Article from 1928: "Cory Doctorow:
    This syndicated story from 1928 warns of the promise and peril that will shortly arise due to the army of mechanical men that will rise from inventors' drawing boards and take over the world:

    The mechanical man, brazen-lunged creature of dreadful portent is among us! A few years from now you may rub elbows with him in the subway, turn out in the street to let him pass upon his ruthless way, or even, if you are a malefactor, find yourself pinioned in his grip of cold steel and compelled with unreasoning inflexibility toward a place of confinement.

    What can the mechanical man do? Plenty! He can walk, and he can talk. He can stand, sit, bow, and otherwise comport himself after the fashion of a human being. But he can do more than that. He can shake hands and breathe, telephone, operate practically any electrical device, and perform any number of duties advantageous to mankind.



    (Via Boing Boing.)

    Tuesday, May 8, 2007

    The Queen, the President, and the Flatulent Horse

    heh heh

    The Queen, the President, and the Flatulent Horse: "Queen Elizabeth II is visiting the United States this week and will attend a dinner at the White House hosted by President Bush. The last time these two heads of..."

    (Via Urban Legends and Folklore.)

    Hand-crank peanut butter mixer

    something for the natural lover of peanut butter

    Hand-crank peanut butter mixer: "Mark Frauenfelder:
    The latest edition of Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools (guest edited this time by Steven Leckart) features a recommendation for this $8 hand-crank peanut butter mixer. Great idea!

    Pb Stirrer
    We like natural peanut butter, but hate the initial stirring mess. The minute you put a spatula in, the oil overflows and is everywhere. This stirrer seals the jar, and with a few quick turns the peanut butter is completely mixed and there is zero mess. Easy to use: you put the lid on, insert the stirrer and turn the knob. The gasket on the hole where you put the stirrer even cleans it off when you are done! My husband actually sneaks in a new jar of peanut butter so that he can mix it up before I get to.

    -- Sessalee Hensley



    (Via Boing Boing.)

    More photos from Rand Holme's posthumous art show: "Mark Frauenfelder:
    Patrick Rosenkranz, author of the highly recommended history of underground comics, Rebel Visions, says

    Picture 2-37

    Thanks for your advance listing for the Rand Holmes art show. I helped to organize it. It was a unique experience in a wild and wooly place. My son Crispin and I spent six days shooting a documentary of the event. He posted some pictures on Flickr.


    Holme's painting of a marijuana farming family reminds me of Will Elder's A Visit to Grandma's. (Click on thumbnail for enlargement)

    Previously on Boing Boing:

    Rand Holmes retrospective

    Account of Rand Holmes art show


    (Via Boing Boing.)