Day: September 21, 2016

Moon and Bá's Daytripper is a masterful novel by any metric

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Daytripper

by Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon

Vertigo

2011, 256 pages, 6.7 x 10.2 x 0.5 inches (softcover)

$12 Buy a copy on Amazon

I don’t think it would be too hyperbolic of me to say Daytripper is one of the best graphic novels I’ve ever read. It’s a big story told in small moments. The epic, emotional core is powerful and life affirming, but brothers Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá get there through the lightest touch of character.

Without giving too much away (because there is so much to discover), the story is about Brás de Oliva Domingos, an aspiring novelist stuck writing newspaper obituaries. His life is both unique and unremarkable, and we meet Brás at a different age in each chapter. Theses ages are told in a non-linear fashion, and mostly feature life-changing moments. The twist is that these moments rarely seem life changing as they are happening, as is usually the case in real life. We live each day as if it is any other, only noting the important bits later.

For Moon and Bá, recognizing the personal is a matter of life or death. Brás spends most of the book pining for more in his life, always dissatisfied with where he is. It’s as if he’s constantly waiting for his “real life” to begin. Moon and Bá suggest that life isn’t the point when you finally find the success you’ve been craving, or when you finally meet the love of your life, or any number of other things. Your life is now, today, in whatever situation you happen to be in. Life is happening all around you, and it’s crucial that you not miss it.

The storytelling alone is incredible, but the art pushes the novel to even greater heights. Moon and Bá employ a realistic style that makes their São Paulo feel like the real city. This is crucial considering the more fantastic elements they periodically introduce into the book; they tiptoe across magical realism, and the art helps to keep you grounded. Their work is incredibly rich in detail, while the color has an almost sun bleached quality to it that appears lifelike. This is a masterful novel by any metric.

– Alex Strine

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Canadian man accused of smuggling $180k in gold in own arse

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An employee of the Royal Canadian Mint stands accused of smuggling $180,000-worth of gold out of the institution in his rectum, reports Kelley Egan of the Ottawa Citizen, “evading multiple levels of detection with a time-honoured prison trick.”

“Appalling,” was the conclusion of defence lawyer Gary Barnes, who described the Crown’s case as an underwhelming collection of circumstantial evidence.

“This is the Royal Canadian Mint, your Honour, and one would think they should have the highest security measures imaginable,” Barnes said in his closing submission.

“And here the gold is left sitting around in open buckets.”

Some crimes have a smoking gun. But this one had a coating gunge.

Investigators also found a container of vaseline in his locker and the trial was presented with the prospect that a puck could be concealed in an anal cavity and not be detected by the wand. In preparation for these proceedings, in fact, a security employee actually tested the idea, Barnes said. Lawrence did not take the stand — as is his legal right — and the Crown was not able to definitively establish how the gold pucks made their way out of the facility.

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Gorgeous pulp-fiction editions of Gaiman's Anansi Boys, Neverwhere and American Gods

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Now there are three: Neil Gaiman’s best-loved novels are being re-released with gorgeous pulp covers; back in August, it was American Gods, in a month you’ll be able to marry it up with the stupendous Anansi Boys, to be followed in November by Neverwhere (painted by Robert E McGinnis, lettering by Todd Klein). (via Neil Gaiman)

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The first VR film to be directed by an Indigenous person in North America

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Kickstarter to fund six VR films in the next six months, five of which are written and directed by women. She says:

One of them, Eagle Bone, directed by Tracy Rector has already been selected to screen at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (one of five pieces chosen from around the world!) Its the first VR piece to be directed by an Indigenous person in North America. And we are very proud to have been a part of its creation. Another one we are doing is a surreal comedy I have written and hope to direct, called Slow Moving Houses. In addition we are producing Lynn Shelton’s first VR piece, Power, Experience Pride by Dacia Saenz, Dom by Netsie Tjirongo and Arcadia Flats (a Werewolf horror) by Joe Jacobs. Its a pretty diverse slate of creative VR projects.

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast covers The Great British Bake Off Series 7

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This week, Boars, Gore, and Swords takes a break from the ASOIAF book club to watch the first two episodes of series seven of international baking sensation The Great British Bake Off. Ivan and Red discuss the art of sitting on cakes, how amazing Mel and Sue’s innuendos are, and who they think will go all the way. For more GBBO coverage, head over to the BGaS Patreon for more donor-exclusive episodes.

To catch up on previous television seasons, the A Song of Ice And Fire books, and other TV and movies, check out the BGaS archive. You can find them on Twitter @boarsgoreswords, like their Facebook fanpage, and email them. If you want access to extra episodes and content, you can donate to the Patreon.

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Get your whole house cleaned conveniently with Handy

Handy is the most convenient solution we’ve found for booking a house cleaning at the last minute, and they do a really great job. It’s as easy as heading to the site, selecting a date and time that works for you and the number of rooms in your home. We’ve even scheduled emergency cleanings as soon as the following day.

Every cleaner that Handy works with is experienced, friendly, background-checked, and insured, so you don’t have to worry about letting a new person into your home. They even have an app with booking management tools so you can book your cleaning on your way to work.

Right now, the Boing Boing Store is offering a special 2 Hour Home Cleaning from Handy for just $33 (and if you want a 3 hour cleaning, it’s just $49).

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1916 ad chides Congress for not investing in pneumatic tubes for first class mail delivery

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Scott Edelman writes, “An ad in the December 1916 issue of The Scoop, a magazine ‘written by newspaper men for newspaper men,’ decries the fact Congress appropriated funds for continued mail delivery by pneumatic tubes in New York City, but failed to do the same for Chicago, and insists the loss of that technology ‘would be calamitous.’ At the time, 10 miles of two-way, eight-inch tubes running under Chicago delivered 8,000,000 pieces of mail daily. To the suggestion that mail should instead be delivered by trucks rather than pneumatic tubes, the question is asked, ‘If we are going backward, why not get a wheelbarrow?'”
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Please support the "Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition" on Kickstarter

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Today, I’ve launched a very special Kickstarter with two friends, Timothy Daly and Lawrence Azerrad. A year in the making (and many more years on our minds), the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition is the first vinyl release of the stunning golden phonograph record launched by NASA in 1977 aboard the Voyager spacecraft, one of which is now traveling through interstellar space.

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The original Golden Record was a gift from humanity, an introduction to our civilization for any extraterrestrials who might encounter the spacecraft, perhaps billions of years in the future. But it was also a gift to humanity. And if we meet our goal, you’ll be able to experience it the way it was meant to be played.

The Voyager Golden Record contains the story of Earth expressed in sounds, images, and science: Earth’s greatest music from myriad cultures and eras, from Bach and Beethoven to Blind Willie Johnson and Chuck Berry, Senegalese percussion to Solomon Island panpipes. Dozens of natural sounds of our planet — birds, a train, a baby’s cry, a kiss — are collaged into a lovely sound poem. There are spoken greetings in 55 human languages, and one whale language, and more than one hundred images encoded in analog that depict who, and what, we are. Etched on the record’s gold-plated aluminum jacket is a diagram explaining where it came from, and how to play it.

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Astronomer and science educator Carl Sagan chaired the visionary committee that created the original Voyager Golden Record forty years ago. Astronomer and SETI pioneer Frank Drake was the technical director, writer Ann Druyan was creative director, science writer Timothy Ferris produced the record, artist Jon Lomberg designed it, and artist Linda Salzman Sagan organized the greetings.

Voyager I entered interstellar space in 2013. It’s almost 13 billion miles away from Earth, and in about 40,000 years it will be within 1.6 light years of a star in the constellation of Camelopardalis. Voyager II is right on its tail.

The creation and launch of the Voyager Golden Record was a testament to the power of science and art to ignite humanity’s sense of curiosity, delight, and wonder. That is the mindset with which as we approach this effort to publicly release the Voyager Golden Record as actual phonograph records for the very first time. It is as relevant now as it was in 1977. Perhaps even more so.

An exquisitely-designed objet d’art, our limited edition Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition box set will only be available through this Kickstarter. It is the ultimate album package of the ultimate album package.

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The LPs will be complemented by a beautifully-designed hardbound book of the captivating images from the original interstellar message, glorious images of the planets returned to Earth from the Voyager probes, compelling essays, and ephemera from the project’s history.

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Included in each set is a color, plastic digital download card with a code …read more

The True Story of Trump's Birther Investigator in Hawaii

FOLLOW @RubenBolling on the Twitters and a Face Book.

JOIN Tom the Dancing Bug’s subscription club, the Proud & Mighty INNER HIVE, for exclusive early access to comics, extra comics, and oh, so much more.

GET Ruben Bolling’s new hit book series for kids, The EMU Club Adventures. (”A book for the curious and adventurous!” -Cory Doctorow) Book One here. Book Two here.

More Tom the Dancing Bug comics on Boing Boing!
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Lickspittle consigliere: how the super-rich abuse their wealth managers as loyalty tests

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Sociologist Brooke Harrington got her Trust and Estate Planning certification in order to study the super-secretive world of the wealth managers who are in charge of hiding the $21 trillion controlled by the world’s super-rich from tax authorities, feckless descendants, religious leaders, tax justice activists, kidnappers and extortionists.
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What yesterday's hilariously awful testimony by Wells Fargo's CEO portends for his future

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Yesterday, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf addressed the Senate Banking Committee about his bank’s years of fraud, driven by threats of firing for low-level employees if they didn’t meet unrealistic sales-targets, overseen by an executive who was given a $125m retirement bonus when she quit last summer, just before the scandal broke (though the bank had known it was going on since 2011).

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Here's the giant "$20,000 portrait" Donald Trump commissioned of himself with charity money

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The WaPo’s David Fahrenthold exposed incredible self-dealing by millionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump, who settled lawsuits to the tune of $258,000 using his own charity’s money. More amusingly, he spent $20,000 of charity cash on a giant portrait of himself.

Thanks to a helpful anonymous traveler, the portrait can now be revealed: it’s apparently this one, at Trump’s own private resort. I’ve crudely corrected the perspective, and the original is below.

That it’s a paintover of an overexposed publicity photo makes it even better:

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The anonymous photo as originally shot:

UPDATE:

Here’s another angle, showing the exquisite detail of Liquitex Basics acrylic paint slapped over a gigantic inkjet print of a gooogled mugshot.

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Old school speech synthesizers perform Monty Python's "Argument" sketch

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John Cleese is played by the Intex Talker, Michael Palin is played by the Dectalk Express (“Perfect Paul modified to sound more like Stephen Hawking”), and the video was made by Per Kristian Risvik, who is an evil genius. I could watch the entirety of the Python oeuvre conducted like this, and in so doing perhaps put behind me John Cleese’s shameful support for Brexit. (via Kottke)

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Grace Potter rocks out with NASA in new video on the women of America's space program

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Share this inspiring video with every kid or teen you know who dreams of space. John Streeter of NASA Television has sent us some wonderful NASA TV videos over the years. I love this new one with Vermont-born rock and roll star Grace Potter, about some of the amazing women in the history of the American space program. I hope it inspires a little girl out there to become an astronaut.

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