Fly space missions in your yard with this Star Wars drone

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Seems like drones are doing a lot of jobs these days, from reconnaissance to delivery. Now, we can add “keeping the Death Star safe” to that list. Whether you’re a drone enthusiast or a Star Wars fan, these Star Wars Propel Drones are undeniably the coolest toy around.

Yes, that’s a fully functional drone replica of Darth Vader’s Advanced X1 Tie Fighter. Fire up the controller and it takes off into the sky at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, lifted by reverse propulsion technology. That means the rotors are on the bottom of the craft instead of the top, spinning invisibly to complete the “starfighter” illusion and – thanks to some engineering – allowing the craft to pull off some nifty stunts with the push of a button. With the help of a companion app, you can take on challenge missions or even “dogfight” with other Star Wars drones.

Take your pick from replicas of the Tie Advanced X1, T-65 X-Wing or 74-Z Speeder Bike. The Star Wars Propel Drone: Collector’s Edition is currently on sale for $49.99 – a 66% discount off the MSRP. Read the rest “Fly space missions in your yard with this Star Wars drone”

NYC! I’m coming to The Strand tonight at 7PM with my new book RADICALIZED! Next up: Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco…

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Thanks to everyone who came to last night’s launch event at San Diego’s Mysterious Galaxy! The next stop on my tour is an event at 7PM at The Strand in NYC where I’ll be appearing with the award-winning investigative journalist Julia Angwin, who is pinch-hitting for Anand Giridharadas, who has had a family emergency.

Tomorrow night, I’ll be appearing at the Toronto Metro Reference Library at 7PM, with the Globe & Mail’s Barry Hertz; from there, I go to Chicago’s C2E2 festival and then to Berkeley for an event with the writer and photographer Richard Kadrey, and from there, the tour takes me to Portland/Ft Washington, Seattle, and Anaheim! I hope you’ll come out and say hi!

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Business systematically videos people getting towed from its parking lot

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The parking spot has “NO PARKING” and tow-warning signs, and is so notorious for enforcement that legitmate customers tell anyone parking their car there what is going to happen. This is all being filmed, from 60 angles, by people who have seen it happen many times before. Because they are the people who make it happen. Then it happens.

This time around the drivers get warned IN PERSON. Does it work? Nope. But there’s so much more going on here. Watch on!

Q: You suck. A: That’s not a question, but I get the point. And I’ve heard it all before. I understand you think you’ve got a witty, original insult for me. You probably don’t. Save yourself the humiliation.

The sleazy music, pop-up commentary and just-right production values really make it. Read the rest “Business systematically videos people getting towed from its parking lot”

Ten year old son of the late, great drummer, Dennis Davis, interviews Tony Visconti about his father’s work with Bowie

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This is so wonderful. Hikaru Davis is the son of the late session drummer, Dennis Davis, who died in 2016. Among many others, Davis played with Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Roy Ayers, and Iggy Pop. But he is most famously remembered as one of David Bowie’s drummers, playing on Bowie’s 70s records, from Young Americans to Scary Monsters.

When Davis died, his son, then ten (now 13) decided that he wanted to know more about his father and what made him a great drummer by interviewing friends and fellow musicians who’d worked with his dad. The result is HD Projects, a YouTube channel presenting these interview videos as they’re finished.

In the most recent upload, Hikaru interviews producer and longtime Bowie collaborator, Tony Visconti. In the video, Tony breaks down Davis’ drumming on Bowie’s Lodger track, “Look Back in Anger.”

Here is Hikaru’s statement about his documentary project and interviewing Tony Visconti:

After my father’s passing, I didn’t want to hear anybody say his name. It was not because I wanted to forget about him. It was my way of mourning. It made me sad, angry, and depressed to hear his name from someone. I wanted to keep him only inside of me. Maybe I was too selfish. But I was only 10 years old.

After a while, I started looking at social media to see what people were saying about my father. And I saw an article in Rolling Stone Magazine about Dad’s death. That’s when I saw Mr.

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Reusable produce bags to limit even more bag waste

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My mother told me I should be using reusable produce bags. She’s right.

The logic behind reusable grocery bags is pretty hard to shake. The bags create less waste, save money, resources, and hold more than the normal market supplied bags anyways. It is much easier for me to carry my 2 large bags than try to wrestle 4 paper ones.

When my mother suggested reusable produce bags my first thought was something along the lines of “Well, I got used to people with their reusable straws.” I’ve always kind of assumed the thin plastic bags the market offers for produce were biodegradable. Research shows that they can be but in many cases are not. Additionally, what passes as biodegradable for plastic bags can still take a very long time to breakdown.

I got a set of these bags. They work as you would expect.

Vandoona Food-safe Reusable Mesh Produce Bag – Set of 9 Strong See-Through Mesh Bags for Fruit, Veggies via Amazon Read the rest “Reusable produce bags to limit even more bag waste”

An astounding gigapixel panorama of Paris affords “an eyeful of the Eiffel”

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[Editor’s note: Gigapixel panorama impressario Jeffrey Martin (previously) offers us “an eye full from Eiffel” in this astounding gigapixel pano of Paris -Cory]

I shot this gigapixel photo in autumn 2018 from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Using an SLR camera and a variety of telephoto lenses, I shot a few thousand photos from both levels of the Eiffel Tower. The image you see here was shot from the top level, and you can actually see the Eiffel Tower itself in the image.

The Eiffel Tower, for those of you who haven’t been there before, is an astonishingly huge bunch of cast iron, bolted together sometime in the 1800’s. It is unbelievably large and tall for such a thing. No matter how iconic it is, no matter how many times you’ve seen it in pictures and movies, it doesn’t fail to amaze with its sheer size when you’re standing under it, or in it.

Anyway, on this particular day, all I knew was that Paris, being Paris, was totally mobbed with tourists, and I’d better get there early. I tried buying tickets online but they were all sold out – the tour companies buy up all the tickets and resell them for 3x more. Every day. This is kind of unfair, isn’t it? Ok, so I paid for one of those tickets, not knowing any better at the time. (As it turns out, the tickets for the elevators are hard to get, but the tickets for the stairs are easier to get – just show up before the tower opens, and buy a ticket for the stairs. Read the rest “An astounding gigapixel panorama of Paris affords “an eyeful of the Eiffel””

Shadows: Amsterdam – a game where you guess what the other people are guessing about ambiguous pictures

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Shadows: Amsterdam (Libellud, 2-8 players, ages 10 and up) is the newest entry in the micro-genre (that includes Dixit and Mysterium) of “guess what the other people are guessing about ambiguous pictures” games.

The ambiguous pictures, in the case of Shadows, are a multitude of charming, somewhat dark paintings of what is best described as a furry-noir Amsterdam-by-way-of-Zootopia. Anthropomorphic animals tend tulip fields, enjoy clog dancing, and take romantic selfies, but also lurk in doorways, bribe officials, discover bodies, and brood menacingly in the 150 or so images that make up the game’s board and deck of cards.

Thematically, the game is a race between teams of private eyes (or as one team against the clock) to solve an unspecified mystery by navigating your team’s pawn to the locations of clues while avoiding locations with police. These locations are marked on a map visible only to each team’s “dispatcher,” whose job it is to give the clues to their teammates.

The dispatcher guides their team by silently handing them cards from a face-up pool of 10, and the team’s job is to figure out from the picture where it is the dispatcher wants them to move. The meat of the game lies in the fact that most of the pictures aren’t really that similar, or alternatively might be equally good/terrible matches to multiple spaces for different reasons. Does the baby raccoon in the stroller match the panicking scientist behind the biohazard door because they both have big eyes? Or does it match the chicken fingers and fries in the cafe because that’s what he’s going to want to eat? Read the rest “Shadows: Amsterdam – a game where you guess what the other people are guessing about ambiguous pictures”

Dog walks perkily through rain in spiffy raincoat and booties

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“Hey. Are you coming, or what?”

Unmute this one for the swishies.

“Swish, swish, swish, swish.”

This dog is almost entirely water resistant. I mean, golden retrievers are naturally pretty water resistant anyway, but this takes it to the proverbial whole ‘nother level.

I’m so glad the tail shows.

Water resistant!

[via, from IMGURian gpm1120] Read the rest “Dog walks perkily through rain in spiffy raincoat and booties”

The worst toy: Flushin’ Frenzy

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Flushin’ Frenzy [Amazon] is a toy wherein you push a plunger until a poop pops up. All the fun of clearing out a blocked toilet! The game’s tagline is “Poop there it is!”

Game night just got gross – in the best way!

Flushin’ Frenzy makes being a plumber fun! Push the toilet handle to release the die. When a number pops up, you plunge the toilet that number of times. Be ready to catch the poop when it flies out at any moment! POOP – there it is! The player to catch the poop wins a token, or two tokens if they catch it in mid-air! Set includes 1 toilet, 1 plunger, 1 die, and 10 score tokens.

Safe for ages 5 and up. 2-4 players.

At Mattel, play matters. We strive to help children learn and develop through play ever since our founding in 1945.

Note:

WARNING:
CHOKING HAZARD

Furthermore:

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Cartoonist Kayfabe Show and Tell 08: Ed Piskor’s Strategy for Publishing His First Graphic Novel

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A comic book can go through many stages before it reaches its final form. This Show and Tell episode with your hosts Ed and Jim tracks Piskor’s comic, Wizzywig, from its humble beginnings as a xeroxed zine shipped from his mama’s basement to the more familiar hardcover graphic novel that’s easily found in your local comic shop.

Subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel

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Grab an extra discount on the our store’s best sellers

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It’s spring clearance time for the Boing Boing Store, when some of the best deals from the holidays return even cheaper than before. From top-rated apps to educational software to the cutest record player of all time, they’re all back with a little extra incentive. Shop your heart out before tax season wraps up! Use the code MADNESS15 to take an additional 15% off!

TREBLAB Z2 Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Combine 40mm neodymium-backed speakers with T-Quiet™ noise-cancelling tech and you get a seriously immersive pair of headphones. Even better, they come with 35-hour battery life, so you can soundtrack even the longest bus trip or workout. The TREBLAB Z2 Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones are already sale priced at $78.99 (down from their previous price of $149.99) but you can take an extra 15% off with the online code MADNESS15.

Pianoforall: The New Way To Learn Piano & Keyboard

Designed to teach keyboards to even the most distractible, Pianoforall will have you playing rhythm piano hits from Billy Joel and Norah Jones in the first few lessons. And while you’re doing that, you’ll be learning the music theory fundamentals that will let you play chords, inversions and more in the lessons to come. Previously priced at $29.99 (down from $199.99), Pianoforall is now $10.99 – and you can take an additional 15% off with the online code MADNESS15.

CBD Gummies 500mg

A great way to see what the CBD craze is about, these tart gummies are infused with US-grown hemp isolate. The cannabidiol contained within can help with a range of issues including pain, sleep deprivation, and general stress. Read the rest “Grab an extra discount on the our store’s best sellers”

6-pack of supposedly MFi certified Lightning charging cables for cheap

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I just ordered this 6-pack of Lightning charging cables for a very low price using promo code VW2PVZLM. You get 3-foot, 6-foot, and 10-foot cables (2 of each). The reviews are very positive (though it’s always hard to tell how many are shills). I’m not sure how they can be MFi certified at this price, but its worth buying to find out. Read the rest “6-pack of supposedly MFi certified Lightning charging cables for cheap”

Star Wars origin story for Grand Admiral Thrawn is as wonderful as I hoped

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Thrawn begins the backstory of Grand Admiral Thrawn, perhaps the most fearsome non-Force user in the Empire.

Timothy Zahn’s Heir the the Empire series introduced Grand Admiral Thrawn. The blue-skinned, red-eyed, master of strategy and tactics inspired decades of speculation and debate.

Then Star Wars Rebels re-introduced Grand Admiral Thrawn as the super villain intended to crush the nascent Rebellion. I was thrilled. Sadly, Thrawn was kind of a doofus and not nearly as tough for the Rebels to get around as I’d hoped.

That said, Thrawn was still fascinating. A blue-skinned non-human who appears a peer with Darth Vader? I wanted to know more and luckily Timothy Zahn was brought back to flesh out the story.

Marooned on a deserted planet for simply suggesting a non-standard approach to solving his people’s problems, Thrawn is discovered by the Empire. The blue-skinned alien who outwits dozens of Imperial Troopers is taken to Coruscant to meet the Emperor and enlisted to help subdue the dangers of the Outer-Rim.

This adventure is a fantastic story, but learning Thrawn’s motivations and backstory have set me down the path of reading the entire trilogy.

Thrawn (Star Wars) by Timothy Zahn via Amazon Read the rest “Star Wars origin story for Grand Admiral Thrawn is as wonderful as I hoped”

First, Angélique Kidjo paid tribute to Talking Heads; now she’s honoring Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa

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Angélique Kidjo is a three-time Grammy-winning musician and activist from Benin; for more than a week, all I have listened to is her tribute to Talking Heads’ 1980 album “Remain in Light,” an album so great I bought tickets to see Kidjo perform it live about ten seconds after hearing it.

Kidjo is moving from strength to strength, with a forthcoming Afrobeat album called “Celia,” which pays tribute to Cuban diva Celia Cruz, the “Queen of Salsa.” It comes out on April 19, and judging from Quimbara, the preview track, it’s going to be astounding (Rolling Stone: “The track boasts all-star backing courtesy of legendary Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen, bassist Meshell Ndegeocello and Benin, Africa’s Ganbge Brass Band. On the Celia rendition, Kidjo infuses the sound of West Africa into the song popularized by the Cuban-born Cruz.”).

I also somehow missed the fact that Kidjo recorded an album in tribute to Nina Simone in 2009: “Sing the Truth.”

“‘Quimbara’ is the first song of Celia Cruz that I ever learned in Benin, West Africa where I grew up,” Kidjo said in a statement.

“The vocals were so acrobatic and it was a beautiful challenge for me. Many years later when I met Celia backstage in Paris before one of her concerts, I started to sing it and she said: ‘please, come join me on stage for Quimbara, we’ll sing it together.’ That was one of the highlights of my musical life in Paris!”

Hear Angelique Kidjo Pay Tribute to Celia Cruz With ‘Quimbara’ Cover [Daniel Kreps/Rolling Stone]

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San Diego! I’m coming to town tonight with my new book Radicalized! (next: NYC, Toronto, Chicago…)

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Thanks to the folks who came to last night’s LA launch for Radicalized, my latest book of science fiction for adults; I’m about to hop a train to San Diego for an event tonight at Mysterious Galaxy at 7:30 PM. From there, the tour takes me to NYC on Wednesday (The Strand, 7PM); then Toronto on Thursday (Metro Reference Library, 7PM, with Barry Hertz), and then to Chicago for events at C2E2. From there, I head to San Francisco, Fort Vancouver, WA (Portland, essentially!), Seattle and Anaheim. Looking forward to seeing you!

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The Forbes Pigment Collection

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How do you know for sure if your carefully-recreated 18th-century paint would fool pass muster as art dealers a legitimate recreation long enough to get away with it? of the authentic originals? Tom Scott visits the Forbes Pigment Collection.

The Forbes Pigment Collection at the Harvard Art Museums is a collection of pigments, binders, and other art materials for researchers to use as standards: so they can tell originals from restorations from forgeries. It’s not open to the public, because it’s a working research library — and because some of the pigments in there are rare, historic, or really shouldn’t be handled by anyone untrained.

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