Crowdfunding a symposium on a green, postcapitalist economics in Brussels, Nov 11

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On November 11, the Edgeryders nonprofit assocation is bringing me to Brussels for a day-long event called The Science Fiction Economics Lab, where I’ll be jointly keynoting with Edgeryders economist Alberto Cottica, a lifelong science fiction fan, about radical futuristic economic ideas for a more cooperative, sustainable future.

It’s a stage-setting exercise that then leads into an Extinction Rebellion workshop called “Reclaiming Utopia,” and the next day, November 12, will be a full-day workshop designing “fictional economies…t do not exist in fully realized form, but are nevertheless internally coherent and could, in principle, come to pass, and are radically different from the economy we do have.” It all wraps with a giant party on Nov 15 (“Because if we can’t dance, we don’t want your alt-economy”).

The event is running a crowdfunder to help defray costs, with copies of my novel Walkaway and other premiums for backers.

The maiden voyage of the Sci-Fi Economics Lab consists of four parts:

November 11th: A double keynote lecture by science fiction author Cory Doctorow and economist Alberto Cottica, moderated by Kirsten Dunlop. The lecture focuses on the experience of living in a different economy would be like (Doctorow, drawing on his and others’ work, in particular Walkaway); a professional economist’s point of view on the viability of such a fictional economy (Cottica), and a discussion of the path to get from here to there (all three).

On November 11th, Reclaiming Utopia, a workshop where we learn how to mobilize ourselves for the more humane, fairer, greener economy we want.

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Exquisitely engineered coin contains a mechanical beating heart

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Russian artist Roman Booteen modifies coins with incredible engravings and feats of mechanical engineering. This coin features a beating heart. Other exquisite examples of his work are below. He also customizes Zippo lighters.

(via Kottke)

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#hobonickel #goldinlay #morgandollar #engraved #engravedcoin #hobonickel #hobonickels

A post shared by Roman Booteen (@romanbooteen) on Aug 7, 2017 at 8:02am PDT

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A post shared by Roman Booteen (@romanbooteen) on Nov 17, 2017 at 12:50am PST

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If you’re looking to ditch your vape then you need to check out the Genius Pipe

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As much as vaping has taken over the market during the last decade, there’s still a lot of questions about the technology, as well as health concerns that we’re just now finding out about. One thing you can say about smoking: You know exactly what you’re getting, especially when it comes to pipes that you can fill with your choice of herb.

Not to say that makers aren’t trying to improve on the process. If you haven’t picked up a pipe in a while, there’s a good reason to trade up from that old glass unit you’ve been using since college: The Genius Pipe.

The slim design evokes what you might see in a pocket vaporizer, but that’s where the similarity ends. Pop open the EVOLUTION slider on the top and you’ll find a bowl ready to load. (The sliding cover also allows you to pre-load and carry your Genius around for a quick toke on the go.)

Inside, the simple but meticulously-built architecture of the smoke chamber allows for a surprisingly clean pull. That’s because of a series of raised aluminum dimples that the smoke travels across on its way to complete a perfect hit. They effectively spread more air and lengthen the journey from the bowl to your mouth, cooling as it goes. It’s an effect reminiscent of a water bong, only without the diluting effect on taste.

The wide, slim profile of the Genius Pipe helps with the cooling airflow, but it also gives it a striking look. Read the rest

Another man filmed keying a Tesla, by the Tesla

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The nine-camera security system included with Tesla cars is the gift that keeps on giving, if not for automobile owners and their insurers. Here’s another vandal caught on tape keying an electrical vehicle for reasons known only to him. This gentleman offers the camera a smirk on the way out of the Davies Park and Ride in Edmonton, Alberta.

Andrew Batiuk:

This occurred October 12th, 2019 to a friend of mine, while his car was parked for an Eskimos football game. It is super upsetting that folks think it is acceptable to damage other people’s property, regardless of the reason. Unfortunately, Alberta doesn’t require front license plates. If anyone happens to recognize this individual, please contact the Edmonton Police, file # 19149663.

Local news loves this sort of thing. Read the rest

The Vatican’s new electronic rosary is activated by activated by making the sign of the cross

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The Vatican launched an official “eRosary”:

It pairs with an app, and is activated when the user makes the sign of the cross:

When activated, the user has the possibility to choose either to pray the standard rosary, a contemplative Rosary and different kinds of thematic rosaries that will be updated every year. Once the prayer begins, the smart rosary shows the user’s progress throughout the different mysteries and keeps track of each rosary completed.

When I hear electronic cross, I think of Dan Simmons’s Hyperion series, and am not enthused to hear the eRosary “records and provides your health data, so you are encouraged to have a better lifestyle.”

Available for preorder in Italy for around $110. Read the rest

Ace Marks is making high-end dress shoes affordable

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We can’t all go through life with just a pair of sneakers and flip-flops. Sometimes, you have to invest in a pair of high-quality dress shoes. However, you’ve probably discovered that high-end footwear almost always comes with eye-popping price tags. You’ve got to compromise on second-hand or just suck it up and take out a second mortgage to get a pair of shoes that will help you look and feel your best. That doesn’t feel fair.

Ace Marks didn’t think so, either, so they’re redefining the high-end shoe game. Their founders have spent a lifetime in the luxury footwear business, and they’ve structured their business to remove the middlemen and use modern technology to create world-class, handcrafted footwear the doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. They bypass retail and brand markups by selling online and employ fourth-generation artisan shoemakers, renowned for their work with Italy’s top luxury brands, to keep the traditions of shoemaking alive.

Ace Marks shoes use hand-selected full-grain calfskin leather and all come with memory foam cushions to keep you comfortable on your feet all day. Each shoe is crafted using a Blake Flex construction, making them flexible, light, and ready to impress.

Feel ready to get a new pair of shoes? Ace Marks is so confident you’ll love their shoes, they’ll buy your old shoes back for $50 and put it towards your next pair of Ace Marks. The old ones, they’ll donate to men in need. Read the rest

RAW cone loader quickly loads cones

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The RAW cone loader loads weed into a cone very fast.

I had been using the paper shovel that comes inside a 20-pack of RAW ’98 Special’ sized cones. It works but the amounts of weed that go in and spillage are not optimal. It was suggested I try the plastic loader.

The plastic loader fills the cone up fast and I spill less.

This is great for sitting down and stuffing weed into 2 or 3 cones at a time. If you are going for larger production batches there is a stand-up tube filler that I have yet to graduate to.

RAW King Size and 98 Special Size Cone Loader with Clear ES Scoop Card via Amazon Read the rest

Look what I made for lovers of Kewpie mayonnaise

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Kewpie Mayonnaise, made in Japan, has extra egg yolk and MSG in it, making it far superior to any other commercially-made mayonnaise. My family loves the Kewpie. To make it easier to squeeze out of the bottle, I 3D printed a thing you can attach to the cap so you can invert the bottle and let the mayo settle near the spout. Now we don’t have to shake the bottle to get the mayo out.

If you want to print one of your own, here’s the STL file. If you don’t have a printer but love Kewpie and need one of these, email me (mark@boingboing.net) and I’ll print one out and send it to you for the price of the postage.

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The Beatles – The Singles Collection is a box set with all 22 singles issued in the UK between 1962 and 1970

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The Beatles: The Singles Collection is an upcoming box set of 23 vinyl 7-inch discs, including all 22 singles issued in the UK between 1962 and 1970. You can pre-order on Amazon for

These singles, plus an exclusive new double A-side single for the mid-1990s-issued tracks “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love,” are newly cut for vinyl from their original mono and stereo master tapes by Sean Magee at Abbey Road Studios for a new limited edition boxed set. The Beatles: The Singles Collection presents 46 tracks on 23 180-gram seven-inch vinyl singles in faithfully reproduced international picture sleeves, accompanied by a 40-page booklet with photos, ephemera, and detailed essays by Beatles historian Kevin Howlett. The collectible set will be released worldwide on November 22 by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe.

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You can purchase science fiction novels written by artificial intelligence

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Even the covers to this collection of AI-written science fiction novels were created by AI. The reviews are also written by AI. Titles include Bitches of the Points, Auro-Minds and the Hungers, The Table in 10, and Breath Chanter. Of course it’s an art project and the writing is a mess, but an excerpt from any of the books could be slipped in the pages of a Gor novel without anyone being the wiser.

[via Bruce Sterling] Read the rest

Watch this Italian translator’s hilarious expressions as she tries to make Trump sound normal

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Having to listen to Trump’s gibberish is one thing – you kind of learn to tune it out. But having to translate his nonsense into another language takes a skillset of great finesse. Take a look at this translator’s bewildered expressions yesterday as she tried to put his mad drivel into coherent sentences during a talk between Trump and Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

Via Mashable Read the rest

Save over 70% on what may be the biggest blanket ever made

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We have a theory about those throw blankets that are barely big enough to cover your legs. The only people who seem to make them or use them are grandmothers, and the blankets are only that small because Nana got bored halfway through the sewing job.

Look, we’re sure she means well. But if you want a cozy blanket that’s sizeable enough to actually use, the Big Blanket™ is here.

In case you haven’t caught up to the high concept yet, allow us to sum up the primary asset of the Big Blanket™: It is big. Like, really big.

How big? Oh, about 10′ x 10′. That’s four times the size of your typical throw. It’s big enough for you, your significant other, two decent-sized dogs and your Nana. And needless to add, it will cover all of your legs just fine, plus at least two bonus limbs. It’s built for maximum snuggliness, made from premium, ultra-soft fibers that are machine washable and stretchy. (Not like you need to make it any bigger.)

Pick up the Big Blanket™ plus a polybag now for almost a few hundred dollars off. Read the rest

Cut your own vinyl records at home with this machine

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For a little over $1500, you can own a machine that will cut vinyl records in the comfort of your own home. This machine, the Phonocut Home Vinyl Recorder, is being promoted as a way to make your own analog “mixtapes,” for musicians to record on demand, and for “people in love” to woo their beloved. But, primarily, they think pro studios will want it to “produce unlimited amounts of super affordable test cuts of recording sessions.” From the look of their already-funded Kickstarter campaign, they’re probably right on all accounts.

Fast Company:

The Phonocut’s interface is as simple as possible by design. You plug into the device via an audio cable, connecting it to a music source like your computer or your phone’s headphone jack… Then you hit play, and the 18-pound vinyl lathe uses a diamond-tipped needle to cut 10-inch records in real time to the music. These records are small and are only able to hold about 15 minutes of music per side…

The idea of creating custom vinyl at home might sound too good to be true, but its founder, Flo Kaufmann, is a record specialist with over two decades in the business. He’s partnered with Florian “Doc” Kaps, who has already successfully brought back another analog technology thought lost to the ages—Polaroid film—with his Impossible Project. So if anyone can pull off the Phonocut, it’s probably this team.

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Analogue Pocket

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Analogue Pocket is a forthcoming handheld game console that runs old Nintendo carts and offers a built-in synthesizer and sequencer.

A multi-video-game-system portable handheld. A digital audio workstation with a built-in synthesizer and sequencer. A tribute to portable gaming. Out of the box, Pocket is compatible with the 2,780+ Game Boy, Game Boy Color & Game Boy Advance game cartridge library. Pocket works with cartridge adapters for other handheld systems, too. Like Game Gear. Neo Geo Pocket Color. Atari Lynx & more. Completely engineered in *two FPGAs. … Pocket has a digital audio workstation built in called Nanoloop. It’s a synthesizer and a sequencer. Designed for music creation and live performance. Shape, stretch and morph sounds. Capture music or play and sculpt live.

From the spec sheet, the 3.5” 1600×1440 display—615 ppi!—and a dock with USB and HDMI connections stand out. It ships “in 2020 for $199”. Read the rest

Review: Untitled Goose Game is a difficult delight

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I downloaded Untitled Goose Game to my Nintendo Switch a few days ago. It’s the most self-abusive fun that I’ve had (with a video game, I mean we’re all friends here) since I owned an NES back in the day. If you’re not familiar with the game’s premise and don’t care to watch the video, here’s the short of it: You are a goose. You’re kind of a dick (becasue goose). You fuck people’s shit up. Constantly.

Or if you’re me, you try to.

The controls of this game are simple. The laundry list of objectives the goose must fulfill before moving on to each new area are simple too. Completing said list to-do list? That’s often more difficult. Some tasks are a breeze: scaring a kid so badly that he locks himself into a phone booth to get away from you was a piece of cake. Attempting to steal multiple items from the same person, collecting them at a single drop point? Kind of a pain. If the person you’re stealing from sees you take their stuff, they’ll give chase. The best policy is to drop whatever you had in your bill as soon as you’re noticed: run too far towards your stash of swag and your hard-won loot will be found and returned from whence it came, forcing you to start all over again, often with your loot stashed in slightly more difficult locales than where you first snagged them from. I didn’t expect a goose-related game to take careful planning or involve stealth. Read the rest

The first book collecting the new Nancy comic is incredibly, fantastically, impossibly great

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One of the great moments of my adulthood was my discovery — courtesy of Mark’s posts here on Boing Boing — of the incredible work that Ernie Bushmiller did on Nancy from 1933 until his death in 1982. He was succeeded by a series of station-keeping cartoonists, some of whom were very adept at aping his unique comic timing, sense of the absurd, and confident draftmanship, but none of whom every made me have that aha moment — until 2018, when the mysterious, pseudonymous Olivia Jaimes took over, kicking off a run of astoundingly great new Nancys that have been collected into one of the greatest new comic-strip collections I’ve read in a decade.

3 VPN options that will help you stay protected in 2019 and beyond

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Remember when the default state of your online presence was anonymity? That’s not so clear-cut anymore, and the worst part is you may not even know who is using your data or what they’re using it for.

Small wonder that so many people are choosing to surf through virtual private networks. VPNs filter web access through international servers to make sure your private identity stays private, and that just the beginning of their benefits.

Looking to try out a service? Here are three top options that just happen to have subscriptions on sale.

Disconnect VPN Premium

The malware blockers on Disconnect don’t just keep you safe, they also free up bandwidth, allowing you to surf up to 44% faster. And you can do more while you’re online too, with the ability to access sites normally blocked by provincial restrictions while your own data stays hidden behind top-of-the-line encryption. Take your pick of subscription plans, all of which are at least 93% off the MSRP.

Disconnect VPN Premium: Lifetime Subscription (1 Device) – 93% off
Disconnect VPN Premium: Lifetime Subscription (3 Devices) – 94% off
Disconnect VPN Premium: Lifetime Subscription (5 Devices) – 94% off

FastestVPN

True to its name, you can count on 99.9% uptime on one of FastestVPN’s 200 servers. Their 256-bit AES encryption is enhanced by a host of anti-malware protocols including a NAT firewall and ad blocker. And their strict no-logs policy means no one is keeping track of your digital footprint – not even the company itself. Read the rest

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