Day: November 4, 2016

Master prop fanatic Shawn Thorsson shares his shop secrets

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While at Make: for many years, I had the pleasure of working with and getting to know Shawn Thorsson, author of Make: Props and Costume Armor. Shawn was one of the first serious amateur prop builders that we featured. He and one of his Space Marine costumes even made it onto the cover of the magazine. When Shawn launches a project, he’s like a torpedo in the water. You either get out of the way or you prepare for impact. You can feel this passion for what he does (and how he does it), in person, on his project blog, and thankfully, in the pages of this wonderful new book from Make:.

I love the way Make: Props and Costume Armor is organized. There is an amazing set of sci-fi costume armor and a prop gun (from a comic book called The Final Hunt) on the front cover and a Wolf Warrior costume on the back. The bulk of the book is taken up with each chapter detailing one of the elements of each costume. If you make all of the projects from the book, you will end up with these two very different types of weapons and armor, one sci-fi, one fantasy.

Each chapter examines a different prop-making technique, from vaccumforming to 3D modeling using Pepakura software, to working with EVA foam, and finally, finishing, painting, and weathering. While the book is an amazing introduction and beginner’s guide to prop construction, the text is peppered throughout with enough expert tips and tricks to make this relevant to prop makers and cosplayers of any level of expertise. And Shawn’s trademark snarky and quick-witted sense of humor perfectly leavens the writing, making this book as fun to read as it is educational.

Make: Props and Costume Armor

Shawn Thorsson

Maker Media

2016, 296 pages, 8 x 9.7 x o.5 inches (softcover)

$18 Buy Astronomy on Amazon

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

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Cubetto is a programmable robot for pre-schoolers

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I had a chance to play with a Cubetto recently. It’s a little, wooden, happy face robot on two wheels. You can control which way it goes by inserting colorful plastic chips on programming board (which also has a wood top). There are four kinds of chips: turn clockwise, turn counterclockwise, move forward, and call subroutine. You unfold a mat with a grid of colorful squares and illustrations and set the robot on top of it. An included booklet presents challenges to move the robot from one square on the grid to another.

My wife, 13-year-daughter, and I are not the intended users of Cubetto, but we spent a very fun hour going through the challenges in the booklet and then coming up with our own challenges. My guess is that a kindergartner or pre=schooler would love this and learn a lot from it.

The overall product design is gorgeous, too. I wish the manufacturer, Primo, made consumer technology for grown-ups.

Cubetto costs $225 and can be purchased directly from the manufacturer.

https://youtu.be/iVd4abtmT38

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Design and the future of the music industry

My hypertalented friend Lawrence Azerrad, who is designing the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition and has created packaging for Wilco, Esperanza Spalding, Silversun Pickups, and many other artists (images below), is leading a new effort to explore and cultivate the historical link between design and music. It a fantastic new initiative within the AIGA, the professional associate for design, that will begin with a rich Web site, workshops, and educational programs. Beautiful album artwork and package design isn’t the past of the music-listening experience. Rather it’s essential to its future. From AIGA:

Azerrad says designers need to help engender transitional thinking: design can help the music industry, and the music industry can help designers. But for him, the crux of the matter seems to be in helping people engage with music in a way that can—without exaggeration—change lives. Something tactile may have been lost, but music today still moves us and frames the world and our cultural experiences. “The way we’re engaging with music now is very passive,” he says. “Streaming allows you to listen to any song any time, but we may be listening to it more as background music. The deeper, more life-marking changes happen in a more narrow spectrum. You still have hardcore fans, your Taylor Swift freaks or whatever, but music is now what you listen to while you’re driving or working out.

“Music has always been a key way to mark critical moments, like when you fall in love or lose a loved one. It has the ability to raise the spirit and the soul, that’s why music is a key part of religion and storytelling or ethnic heritage, wherever you’re from. It’s a critical part of defining the human experience, but it’s important we address this now because we’re seeing this atrophy of this part of our culture visually and culturally. If you think about the impact of Bowie and Aladdin Sane, it shaped ideas around queer identity: it mattered to people’s lives. When music is a more passive background experience, people are missing out. There’s less impact and a loss of that emotional resonance.”

The Design + Music Industries are BFFs—They Just Don’t Know it Yet(AIGA)

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Samsung recalls 2.8 million washing machines in US over injuries and reports of "exploding during normal use"

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As the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 exploding phone fiasco continues, Samsung Electronics announced yet another product recall on Friday. The South Korean technology firm will recall roughly 2.8 million top-loading washing machines sold in the U.S. after multiple reports of injuries caused by defective design.

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In LA this Sunday, you can help stop Mad Clown Disease!

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Sunday night the fantastic comedians of 2 Headed Dog present what may be their magnum opus: CLOWNTOWN CITY LIMITS!

I wish I was in LA, I hate to miss this show!

This Sunday, join Big Bugs (the Happiest Clown Alive), Corky (the unemployed rodeo clown), and Adolph (their Swedish butler) for a very special benefit performance of Clowntown CIty Limits to help fight MCD.

One in ten clowns is afflicted with Mad Clown Disease. With your help, there is a cure. All proceeds to benefit Find A Cure for MCD.

Special post-show VIP autograph and picture signing with Bugs, Corky, and Adolph.

Anyone in Clown outfit (and not afflicted with MCD) gets $2 off price of admission.

Steve Allen Theater

4773 Hollywood Blvd

LA, CA 90027

Sunday November 6th

8:00PM

$12

Trepany House consistently hosts the best performers and shows in Los Angeles.

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Buy Bowie's amazing 1960s stereo and his Memphis furniture collection

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On November 11, Sotheby’s will auction off David Bowie’s beautiful collection of Italian designer furniture and other objects, including his incredible 1966 “Radio-Phonograph, Model No. RR126” by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni. The bulk of his collection going on the block though are 1980s pieces of Memphis furniture. Over at Collectors Weekly, Hunter Oatman-Stanford writes about Bowie’s deep appreciation for Memphis:

The name “Memphis” was supposedly chosen after an early brainstorming session, during which Bob Dylan’s song “Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again” played repeatedly on the record player. The designers appreciated the word’s disparate connotations, evoking both cheap American kitsch and the regal city of ancient Egypt.

United in their efforts to reject traditional notions of “good design,” the Memphis artists mocked the bland austerity of Modernism by mixing clashing colors, patterns, and materials on playful geometric forms that often masked an object’s intended use. Although their collaborations only lasted a few years—Sottsass left the Memphis group in 1985, and the rest parted ways in 1987—they caused an uproar in the design world. Memphis sensibilities continued trickling into mainstream design via knockoff brands that influenced interiors everywhere from movie sets to high-school cafeterias.

“It didn’t look serious. It looked like a prank,” Bowie wrote of Memphis in 2002. “It mixed Formica attitude with marble diffidence. Bright yellows against turquoise. Virus patterns on ceramics. It couldn’t care less about function.”

Space Oddity: David Bowie’s Secret Obsession With ’80s Memphis Design(Thanks, Ben Marks!)

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Make labels like it is 1978

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Want to label things like Mom and Dad did?

I needed a label gun, but I hate the printer-in-your-hands models. What I needed was an old-style click-wheel embossing label maker!

KA-Click! KA-Click!

I remember spending hours as kid making labels with my dad’s click wheel embosser! A hard plastic tape runs through a mini-printing press, and you simply squeeze to emboss letters on to it. This click wheel is simple to mash, I remember my parents one as taking Herculean effort.

The tape comes in all sorts of great colors too!

DYMO Organizer Xpress Handheld Embossing Label Maker via Amazon

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Vintage photos show NORAD's construction and operation

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The legendary underground lair of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) was so secretive that few photos have been published. Russ Kick at Memory Hole was good enough to locate one of 27 libraries in the world with an obscure book titled NORAD Command Post: The City Inside Cheyenne Mountain. The photos he shared will make you want to watch Dr. Strangelove again. (more…) …read more

Watch Beyoncé team up with the Dixie Chicks at the CMA Awards

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Bey and the ladies of the Dixie Chicks brought down the house with a performance of Beyoncé’s song “Daddy Lessons.” And they were joined onstage by a delightfully sassy saxophone player too. Natalie Maines tweeted this about the performance:

I’m pretty sure I’ve uttered the sentence,”I will never perform on the CMA’s again as long as I live.”
And then came 🐝:)

— Natalie Maines (@1NatalieMaines) November 3, 2016

You can also listen to their rendition right here:

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Why are online worlds often so toxic?

Great Courses Plus

Why do people cheat? Why are our online worlds often so toxic? What motivates us to “catch ’em all” in Pokemon, grinding away for hours to hatch eggs?

In this episode, psychologist Jamie Madigan, author of Getting Gamers, explains how by exploring the way people interact with video games we can better understand how brains interact with everything else.

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This episode is sponsored by The Great Courses Plus. Get unlimited access to a huge library of The Great Courses lecture series on many fascinating subjects. Start FOR FREE with Your Deceptive Mind taught by neurologist Steven Novella. Learn about how your mind makes sense of the world by lying to itself and others. Click here for a FREE TRIAL.

sssThere is no better way to create a website than with Squarespace. Creating your website with Squarespace is a simple, intuitive process. You can add and arrange your content and features with the click of a mouse. Squarespace makes adding a domain to your site simple; if you sign up for a year you’ll receive a custom domain for free for a year. Start your free trial today, at Squarespace.com and enter offer code SOSMART to get 10% off your first
purchase.

PatreonSupport the show directly by becoming a patron! Get episodes one-day-early and ad-free. Head over to the YANSS Patreon Page for more details.

Links and Sources

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Previous Episodes

Boing Boing Podcasts

Cookie Recipes

The Psychology of Video Games

…read more

Why are online worlds often so toxic?

Great Courses Plus

Why do people cheat? Why are our online worlds often so toxic? What motivates us to “catch ’em all” in Pokemon, grinding away for hours to hatch eggs?

In this episode, psychologist Jamie Madigan, author of Getting Gamers, explains how by exploring the way people interact with video games we can better understand how brains interact with everything else.

DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud

This episode is sponsored by The Great Courses Plus. Get unlimited access to a huge library of The Great Courses lecture series on many fascinating subjects. Start FOR FREE with Your Deceptive Mind taught by neurologist Steven Novella. Learn about how your mind makes sense of the world by lying to itself and others. Click here for a FREE TRIAL.

sssThere is no better way to create a website than with Squarespace. Creating your website with Squarespace is a simple, intuitive process. You can add and arrange your content and features with the click of a mouse. Squarespace makes adding a domain to your site simple; if you sign up for a year you’ll receive a custom domain for free for a year. Start your free trial today, at Squarespace.com and enter offer code SOSMART to get 10% off your first
purchase.

PatreonSupport the show directly by becoming a patron! Get episodes one-day-early and ad-free. Head over to the YANSS Patreon Page for more details.

Links and Sources

DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud

Previous Episodes

Boing Boing Podcasts

Cookie Recipes

The Psychology of Video Games

…read more

Lawyers sing a song about why it's a terrible idea to make pot brownies in Texas

brownies

Accoording to Hutson & Harris, Attorneys in Texas, if you make 1.5 pounds of brownies with a bit of pot in them, the law considers it to be as much of a crime as having 1.5 pounds of heroin. You could go to jail for life.

Marijuana edibles are extremely (legally) dangerous in Texas. We did a separate video that explains the problem with more math, but people seem to like songs better, so here’s this. There’s some humor, but we believe it’s a serious message that needs to be shared.

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Artificial intelligence could be your future career path

Artificial intelligence isn’t just a movie, it’s an extremely in-demand career path that is fueling the future of technology. The new Deep Learning & Artificial Intelligence Introductory Bundle was created to introduce you to the skills you need to become a deep learning professional.

These skills are what build everything from self driving cars to Siri, and companies know that smarter technology is key to future success. With this bundle, you’ll get a crash course that will help you take the first step to understanding deep learning. Some of the courses include:

Linear Regression in Python – Linear Regression is one of the central foundations of deep learning and is the first step to building machines that can actually learn as they’re fed more information.

Logistic Regression in Python – Logistic regression can be used to create a classification or labeling algorithm that resembles a biological neuron, making it a foundational aspect of deep learning.

With these courses and two more, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to jumpstart your career. You can buy the Deep Learning & Artificial Intelligence Introductory Bundle for 91% off retail – just $39 in the Boing Boing Store.

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

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