Prince and his purple piano inspired this new Pantone Color

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On August 8, the Prince Estate and Pantone revealed a new color to honor the Purple One.

Naturally, it’s a shade of purple.

This official shade — named “Love Symbol #2” — was inspired by the specific color of Prince’s custom-made Yamaha purple piano which was, according to the press release, “originally scheduled to go on tour with the performer before his untimely passing at the age of 57.”

Prince’s association with the color purple was galvanized in 1984 with the release of the film Purple Rain, along with its Academy Award-winning soundtrack featuring the eponymous song. While the spectrum of the color purple will still be used in respect to the “Purple One,” Love Symbol #2, will be the official color across the brand he left behind.

Here’s a look at that piano which, according to Yamaha Entertainment Group, was supposed to be the opening video for that tour he never got to take:

A video of Helen Keller speaking

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Helen Keller became deaf, blind and mute at the age of 19 months old due to an illness. Later in life, she remarkably learned to speak, though not as clearly as she would have liked, according to her own words in this video from 1954:

“It is not blindness or deafness that bring me my darkest hours. It is the acute disappointment in not being able to speak normally. Longingly I feel how much more good I may have done, if I had only acquired normal speech. But out of this sorrowful experience I understand more clearly all human striving, thwarted ambitions, and infinite capacity of hope.”

Truly inspiring!

Here is a video on how she learned how to talk, narrated by her teacher Anne Sullivan (previously posted on Boing Boing):

If this is your kind of thing, go ahead and fall down this rabbit hole.


Previously: Helen Keller, feminist, radical socialist, anti-racist activist and civil libertarian

The Voyager Golden Record on NBC Nightly News

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Last night, NBC Nightly News aired the wonderful video below about the Voyager Golden Record vinyl box set I produced with my friends Tim Daly and Lawrence Azerrad! Forty years ago this month, NASA launched two spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, on a grand tour of the solar system and beyond, into the mysteries of interstellar space. Mounted to each spacecraft is a golden phonograph record, a message to introduce our civilization to extraterrestrials, perhaps billions of years from now. The Voyager Golden Record tells a story of our planet expressed in sounds, images, and science. As Lawrence said in the video, “it’s a lovely reminder of what it means to be a human.” Thank you to NBC Nightly News!

(GIF via Electric Space Kool-Aid)

Give your Android device a peek into tight spaces with this endoscopic camera

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Whether you are diagnosing strange noises from home appliances, or inspecting computer equipment for dust, or god forbid, nests of vermin, a small camera is an indispensable tool. This Endoscopic Android Camera uses your device as a handy video display, and is going for $17.50 in our store.

This posable camera is totally waterproof, making it perfect for inspecting all manner of household nooks. You can use it to get a better view of your car’s engine, or explore the source of clogged waterways. Its flexible neck is a meter long to give you ample reach inside compact machinery. It’s compatible with desktop PCs as well as Android devices, and provides a crisp image up to 720p HD.

Usually $139.99, pick up this Endoscopic Android Camera here for 87% off — just $17.50.

Here’s what a clown learned about male violence after facepainting kids at a picnic

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Sanduhruh is a clown who wrote a twitter thread about her experience painting faces at a picnic. When little boys wanted butterflies painted on their faces, the parents objected. When girls wanted skulls and sharks “the parents shrug and laugh like ‘haha she’s a kooky kid!”‘ Because maleness and masculinity isn’t a sin.”

Here’s an excerpt:

The whole thread is worth reading. Start here:

Have you seen this ugly clown sweater?

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These clowns I know were having a yard sale Sunday, so I swung by. I picked up a sweet plumed marching band hat, a pair of tinted goggles for Burning Man, and a really cool long cloak, also for the desert. While shopping, I spotted this smiling clown face sweater in the rack of multi-colored clothes.

I recognized it immediately.

Wil Wheaton had once (famously) wore one just like it.

That’s a friend of mine in the lead picture (who wanted to remain anonymous, for reasons). At the sale, she tried the 100% acrylic monstrosity on with little to no intention of actually buying it. In fact, as she was pulling it over her head, she mumbled a couple times, “I’m no clown. I’m no clown.” I took a photo of her not being a clown, because.

When I got home, I posted the photo on Facebook and people wanted to know if I had bought it. I hadn’t.

One friend wondered if anyone we knew was involved in The Clownsweater Project which has many photos of people wearing a clown sweater, just like the one at the yard sale. Another friend, Valerie, piped in, “Me!” and shared this photo of herself. In fact, the sweater that she’s wearing is the exact same one that Wil wore:

I then started reading up on The Clownsweater Project. I was happy to discover that they’ve shared its entire history, including Wil Wheaton’s part in it on their site:

In 2002 at another EFF Fundraiser at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco, Barney (yes, the purple dinosaur) and Wil Wheaton were pitted against each other in a boxing match…

This was where the Clownsweater and Wil Wheaton were introduced. Though that magical evening was the only time the two of them ever met, neither can deny the deep, enduring connection that persists to this day.

(Cory actually blogged about that match here on Boing Boing.)

All this got me wondering, who else has been touched by a clown sweater, identical to this one?

How many of these sweaters are there? Do you have one? Where did you find it? How much did you pay for it? What size is it?

People asked if the Clownsweater Project’s one is the same sweater as the one at the yard sale. It isn’t, I checked. That one is a Medium and the one at the yard sale is a Large.

Ok, so what happened to this particular sweater, the one I spotted at the yard sale?

Well, when I first posted the photo on Facebook, a friend in Ohio commented that she loved it and that she’d “wear the sh*t out of it.” So, I did what anyone would do, I drove back to the yard sale and bought it for her for five bucks.

She promises to take pictures.

P.S. Check out this miniature version. And don’t miss the t-shirt version.

Lead image by Rusty Blazenhoff, Wil’s photo by Loren Cox, Valerie’s photo by the Clownsweater Project

Film of U.S. Army destroying Nuremberg swastika violates YouTube’s policy on hate speech

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It was there yesterday, but it isn’t there today — the best YouTube cut of the U.S. Army demolishing symbols of Nazi oppression went viral following the Charlottesville white supremacist rally, then went into the memory hole. Perhaps some algorithmic process took it down, triggered by complaints. Fortunately, there are other copies on the service, though the quality is poor:

Hopefully this will be rectified. If you can fire a sexist human, Google, you can fix a Nazi algorithm.

The world’s strongest bottle opener is also the smallest

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The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.

This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of bowling balls if you had a hitch small enough. It’s made from Grade 5 titanium — the same type that’s used in countless industrial and aerospace applications. Needless to say, this tiny piece of hardware will easily outlast you.

Because of its unique shape and comically high tensile strength, this bottle opener can be so small that you’ll never notice it’s in your pocket. It also includes a heavy-duty key ring to replace the flimsy one that probably came with with your house keys. You can get one of them here for $10.99.

Sci-Fi Sundays: Worlds of IF Science Fiction, August 1964

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This cover illustration may not be striking enough to pull your attention from across the room. There’s nothing particularly wrong with it, it just isn’t an overwhelmingly dynamic composition or subject matter.

There’s a guy patching a hole in what appears to be a giant space balloon holding atmosphere for people inside.  Not horrible, but not inspiring. As usual when this is the case, I start to look around at what was happening in the world.

As it turns out, 1964 brings us some amazing space stories, such as the “Afronauts”

The US and the Soviet Union were deep in competition at this point, pushing further and further outward, with sights set on the moon. A Zambian school teacher named Edward Makuka Nikoloso, inspired by Zambia’s recent independence, created the space program that he dubbed the “Afronauts” and claimed that they would be the first to the moon, beating the two super powers. 

To put it simply, they didn’t have the technology, training, or funding to do anything of the sort. They lacked support from their local government and ultimately dropped their plans after the pilot of their ship, 17 year old Matha Mwambwa, became pregnant. 

Publication: Worlds of IF Science Fiction

Issue: August 1964, volume: 14 No. 4

Cover art: Fetterly from The Slaves of Gree

by Morrow for Slaves of Gree

Now this would have been a hell of a cover! not only is it much more intriguing, it is for the same story and by the same artist. 

The quad-globed space domicile pictured in the top immediately brings to mind a childhood toy that I enjoyed, Capsella. 

by Morrow for Slaves of Gree

by Morrow for Slaves of Gree

Wow, Morrow certainly nailed the bad guy stereotype of the era. Here’s the description of this character. I suspect that Morrow skimmed this, saw the beard, horns, and mustache and just went with something familiar. 

Gree was certainly humanoid, if one could elevate the word. He was tall; taller than Jen or Fazzoool or the Overseer by perhaps a foot. His shoulders were broad, his build supple and young. But the gray strands in his curly black hair and beard showed his maturity. he wore a suit of dark material which almost certainly had precious metals woven into it. At his throat a jabot of the purest white cloth set off the short-cropped beard and his olive skin. the face was just sufficiently marked with care. The eyebrows arched up and tilted at the outer ends almost mischieviously. the eyes were very long and narrow, with full lashes and long folds of skin at the inner corners. The irises were very light gray and had black vertical slits for pupils that looked into one’s soul for the slightest shadow of unworthiness. Jen Shuddered and was glad he bore no flaws. 

The nose, delicate at the bridge, swelled to a very broad base a trifle uplifted so it showed large nostrils. There was a curl of mustache above the wide, full-lipped mouth. The mouth seemed both stern and faintly smiling at the same time. The skin drew in tautly under sharp cheekbones, to a gaunt jaw that was square and outthrust under the beard.  On the head, set hair like two tree-trunks, were two horns, straight, an inch thick and five inches long, with blunt knobby ends. They were intricately carved and inset with gems, and they held Jen’s eyes in fascination. 

by Nodel for The Prince And The Pirate

by Nodel for The Prince And The Pirate

I haven’t read this story. At a glance, it seems like a fun bit of anachronism, mixing aliens and midievel imagery. I have to say that a jolly roger on a flying saucer makes me smile. This might be worthy of being made into a sticker. 

by Nodel for The Prince And The Pirate

by Gaughan for Farnhanm’s Freehold

by Gaughan for Farnhanm’s Freehold

by Gaughan for Farnhanm’s Freehold

by Gaughan for Farnhanm’s Freehold

Ease your mind on your own time with Welzen

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Although regular meditation has been shown to ease physical stress and reduce immune system activation, many people have embraced it as a powerful way to support their mental health. Mindfulness techniques like meditation and conscious breathing are powerful tools that can be used by anyone, and newcomers shouldn’t feel intimidated to try them.

If you’ve never meditated before or have found it difficult to fit into your life, Welzen’s 5-day program can help you develop your practice from scratch. Whether you’re looking for a daily commitment or just need a breather on certain tough days, Welzen offers a wide variety of subject-specific guided sessions, as well as a new 10-minute mediation every day. They have meditations to match your current mood, so you can enhance your focus when you’re feeling positive, and lift your spirits when the end of the day can’t come soon enough.

You can pick up a lifetime subscription to Welzen in the Boing Boing Store for $49.

New York property speculators have figured out how to evict everyone

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New York’s catastrophic homelessness is about to get much, much worse: the skyrocketing property values (driven by speculators who buy apartments in order to get their money out of corrupt and failing states abroad, leaving them empty with the understanding that they can be cashed out on short notice, thanks to the white-hot market of other money-launderers) have attracted very deep-pocketed, anonymous hedge-funds that are snapping up buildings with rent-stabilized and rent-controlled units, who use a ruthless set of highly refined tactics to kick out all their tenants and then flip the building.

This shower speaker is twice as powerful as your average shower speaker

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The XXL Shower Speaker sticks to your bathroom wall with a sturdy suction cup, and it promises to be the best accompanist you’ve ever had in the shower.

Aside from hearing your own singing voice, how often do you really get to enjoy the excellent acoustics of the bathtub? This Bluetooth speaker is totally waterproof, so you can bring your music, podcasts, and audiobooks with you into the shower. It puts playback controls front and center, with raised rubber texture so you can always find the play button when your eyes are full of soap. And you can easily answer or decline calls, depending on how hectic your morning is.

The XXL Shower Speaker comes in several bright colors, or flat black if that fits better with your bath decor. You can get it here for $19.99.

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