Day: November 2, 2016

I signed 2,800 copies of Walkaway, my next novel, and you can pre-order now!

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It took most of a week to sign all 2,800 “tip-in” sheets that are being bound into a special, limited-edition version of Walkaway, my first novel for adults since 2009, but it was worth it! You can pre-order one from the good fellows at Barnes and Nobel (hey, indie booksellers: there’s some left over for you — talk to your Macmillan rep!)

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Researchers trick facial recognition systems with facial features printed on big glasses

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In Accessorize to a Crime: Real and Stealthy Attacks on
State-of-the-Art Face Recognition
, researchers from Carnegie-Mellon and UNC showed how they could fool industrial-strength facial recognition systems (including Alibaba’s “smile to pay” transaction system) by printing wide, flat glasses frames with elements of other peoples’ faces with “up to 100% success.”

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The man who made millions selling fake plastic hillbilly teeth

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Jonah White made a fortune selling misshapen novelty teeth. He tells his story of how he did it in Mel Magazine:

The guy with the Billy Bob Teeth, Rich Bailey, was in dentistry school at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. Within a week, he gave me a lab coat, snuck me into the dental lab and taught me how to make Billy Bob Teeth. Over the course of the next semester, I made about 6,000 pairs of them.

We sold them at hundreds and hundreds of state fairs across the country — from Kentucky to Wisconsin to New York. Basically, we found that any outdoor family setting was conducive to good business and highly susceptible to our ruthless Billy Bob Teeth sales team. Our best single day performance was $17,000, but most of these events yielded at least $2,000 to $5,000 per day. Those were great times. Overall, four years after we started, we were earning $2 million a year in 1998. It helped, of course, that we got the deal to make Austin Powers’s teeth, and that later, Miley Cyrus started to wear them. We cut a licensing deal with her and split the profits.

See also:

Tour of a fake vomit factory

S.S. Adams invented over 700 practical jokes. Here’s a great book about them

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New Roku Premier is more of the same awesome

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My favorite set top box company continues to evolve with the Roku Premier.

I’ve written about the Roku a number of times. Every teevee in my house has one, I no longer pay for satellite and take all my video media streamed over it. Matched with Plex, Roku is unstoppable.

The new line of Roku units are faster, higher resolution versions of the old. The UI is the same, the same apps are available, everything is just a lot faster. I replaced a Roku 3 with this Premier unit.

The Premier is also 4k ready at 60 fps, although I have nothing that’ll display that currently.

Roku Premiere Streaming Media Player via Amazon

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Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Like most of you, my kitchen is a hectic place on Thanksgiving Day. There are dirty bowls and spoons everywhere and ten different dishes cooking at once. Every nook and cranny becomes prime real estate.

Making the mashed potatoes in the slow cooker helps relieve some of the anxiety.

This dish is incredibly low maintenance. Just cook the potatoes on high for a few hours, mash, season, and serve. That’s it!

Continue reading “Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes” »

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Sony apologizes after girl band poses in Nazi costumes

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Keyakizaka4, a Japanese pop duo, posed in Nazi-styled outfits at a 22 October concert. Sony, their label, has apologized; the youngsters themselves likely had no idea of the SS uniforms’ deeper significance, reports the BBC, despite having worn them for the Halloween event.

Keyakizaka46 went on stage in Yokohama on 22 October wearing black capes and caps resembling those of SS officers
Social media users were quick to point out similarities with the uniforms of Hitler’s brutal paramilitary force. The band is a sister act to the country’s popular AKB48 super group. Both are produced by Japanese hit-maker Yasushi Akimoto, an executive board member of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics committee.

Yasushi Akamoto posted his own apology as well. The machine translation is dubious but among the sentences it surely got right was “I’m terribly sorry.”

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If you ever want to bring an alligator to school, don't.

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When my kiddo really likes a book, she’ll ask to read it again and again and again, and she’ll only tire of it if something new comes along to replace it. The fact that my daughter has asked to read this book every night for the past two weeks – and still cracks up at the funny parts – speaks volumes.

If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t! is a wacky, colorful, and delightful tall tale for children ages 4-7. As Elise Parsley’s New York Times bestselling debut book, it tells the story of Magnolia, a unique girl who responds to her teacher’s request to “bring something from nature for show and tell” by – you guessed it – bringing an alligator to school. As one can guess, havoc ensues.

Magnolia tries to convince her teacher that alligators are “quiet and good” and that he “won’t eat anyone,” but then spends the rest of the story trying to avert certain disaster. The alligator draws funny pictures to make Magnolia laugh, creates paper-airplane origami that winds up in the teacher’s hair, almost eats a fellow student, gets chewing gum everywhere, and eats Magnolia’s lunch. In return, Magnolia gets her name written on the board, followed by several checkmarks and an underline, which guarantees a trip to the principal’s office after school.

If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t! is a delightful and silly read, especially for preschool or primary school children who have already experienced show and tell. Parsley does a magnificent job of capturing Magnolia’s frustration and exasperation with this misbehaving beast. The illustrations, which were digitally drawn in Adobe Photoshop and colored in with Corel Painter, are vibrant, imaginative, and spot-on funny. Magnolia’s exaggerated expressions, especially when she’s mad at the “innocent” alligator, are priceless and giggle-worthy…even if you’re a grown-up.

If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t!

by Elise Parsley

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

2015, 40 pages, 9.5 x 12.2 x 0.5 inches (hardcover)

$12 Buy a copy on Amazon

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

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Actually make America great again by wearing 3D Eagle Crotch underwear

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3D Wolf Crotch Underwear makes your man “sexy and wild,” but does it honor the founding principles and ideals of the Union? No, it does not. Fortunately, there is also 3D Eagle Crotch Underwear, allowing you to bring justice and the American Way with you wherever you tread.

Wear it to work, to school, or to court… or (caution: true Americans only!) the only thing you wear to vote other than the Stars and Stripes, draped majestically across your shoulders.

Best of all, they’re only $3.95 a pair: as cheap as a drive-in movie theater burger, and guaranteed to contain more meat.

O.K. I’ll get my coat.

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Do You Have an Antisocial Personality Disorder?

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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Brain.fm uses sound and science to help you focus

Brain.fm is an innovative new product that claims to help you focus, relax, and even sleep better with music. My first question was, obviously, does it actually work?

It turns out Brain.fm is the result of in-depth scientific research and the hottest thing in tech: artificial intelligence. Using an impressive combination of artificial intelligence and deep neurological research, Brain.fm allows you to stream music created specifically for whatever you’re trying to do: whether it’s working, sleeping, coding, or writing a novel.

The music essentially produces musical rhythms that sync with your brain’s rhythm to help you better reach your goals. I found it worked super well in helping me get through hours of work without turning to Facebook or Instagram.

For just $19, you can get a one year subscription to Brain.fm and access to special premium-only content. You can also purchase a three year subscription in the Boing Boing Store.

Also explore the Best-Sellers on our network right now:

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A tragically beautiful retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears

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Tumblr user Earthsong9405 posted this gorgeous storyboard with the following message:

For my Screen Design class, we had to take a fairytale and retell it in however we wanted in storyboard form. I chose the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Just as a heads-up, I’ve replaced the bears with Ursa Major/Ursa Minor, the constellation based on a bear.

I could always tell the story myself, but I figured I should let the art do the talking and only answer questions if you’re curious about it. The only hint I’ll give is to pay attention to the faces of the characters.

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A tragically beautiful retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Screen Shot 2016-11-01 at 8.12.37 PM

Tumblr user Earthsong9405 posted this gorgeous storyboard with the following message:

For my Screen Design class, we had to take a fairytale and retell it in however we wanted in storyboard form. I chose the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Just as a heads-up, I’ve replaced the bears with Ursa Major/Ursa Minor, the constellation based on a bear.

I could always tell the story myself, but I figured I should let the art do the talking and only answer questions if you’re curious about it. The only hint I’ll give is to pay attention to the faces of the characters.

tumblr_of948tb4dj1se0w0bo1_500tumblr_of948tb4dj1se0w0bo6_500tumblr_of948tb4dj1se0w0bo7_500tumblr_of948tb4dj1se0w0bo4_500tumblr_of948tb4dj1se0w0bo3_500tumblr_of948tb4dj1se0w0bo5_500tumblr_of948tb4dj1se0w0bo2_500 …read more

Ballistic gel "farts" after a bullet passes through it

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Ballistic fart

This Imgur video shows a bullet of unknown caliber passing through a block of ballistic gelatin, “a testing medium scientifically correlated to swine muscle tissue”) followed by a mysterious explosion within the gelatin (one Imgur commenter says it’s just “the fire tetrahedron of, oxygen, fuel & heat” trapped in the gel) which produces the most satisfying little fart when it’s done. (via JWZ)

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Nebraska's billionaire governor couldn't preserve the death penalty through the law, so now he's buying a ballot initiative

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Nebraska’s hereditary billionaire GOP governor Pete Ricketts is furious that the state legislature keeps overriding his vetos — that is, the elected lawmakers pass laws, he tries to block them, and they overturn him — so he’s made an election issue of the state’s dormant death penalty, spending $400K to put it on the state ballot next week.
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Anti-vaxx conspiracy leaders back Donald Trump, claim it's mutual

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Donald Trump has a long history of promulgating anti-vaccine conspiracy theories (contrary to received wisdom, the anti-vaxx movement draws most of its support from the political right, not hippie liberals), and the tireless leaders of the anti-vaccine movement now claim to have met with Trump and received his promise to ban the most efficient and effective vaccination techniques (nevermind that the president doesn’t have the authority to do this).
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How to help shape a future that is more sustainable and equitable for everyone

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https://youtu.be/1IK3tRsJVUQ

Together, we can shape a future that is more sustainable and equitable for everyone! If you are interested in joining together with creative technologists, social inventors, policy experts, and thought leaders for a two-day event in Palo Alto where we will tease out the thorny challenges of the evolving on-demand economy and prototype real solutions tell us here.

Institute for the Future’s Positive Platform Design Jam

November 30–December 1, 2016

8:30am-5:30pm

Institute for the Future

Palo Alto, CA, USA

The IFTF Workable Futures Initiative is a call-to-action for policymakers, platform developers, corporate strategists, activists, and of course other workers of all kinds, to join us in blueprinting these positive platforms for the future of work. The time is now to grapple with the challenges ahead, develop sustainable solutions, and create a future of work that is workable for everyone.

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