Ric on Twitter

  • 10 September, 2012 - 10:55
    Any watch freaks out there? Time for some early Xmas shopping! http://t.co/kM5C8cyx
  • 25 July, 2012 - 10:14
    Have you kicked the tires on the Joomla 3 Alpha? If so, I'd love to know what you think.
  • 17 July, 2012 - 17:25
  • 17 July, 2012 - 16:18
    The Alpha release of the new Joomla! 3.0 is out now. The release is primarily intended for extension developers... http://t.co/eX31fk0o
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    My latest book is out: Joomla! Search Engine Optimization http://t.co/3lToGUhh #joomla #seo

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Brain candy for Happy Mutants
Updated: 50 min 16 sec ago

Corrupted coloring book pages

16 April, 2014 - 08:10
From Neatorama: "Coloring Book Corruptions is a delightful demonstration of what happens when you combine a sick mind and children’s entertainment. The anonymous artist adds his/her drawings, but invites you to submit your own."

Coloring Book Corruptions [NSFW]






Categories: The Essentials

Make a notebook from a brown paper bag

16 April, 2014 - 08:04

Brittany Watson Jepsen shows you how to hand-bind a notebook from a brown paper bag and any kind of interior paper you'd like to use for the inside pages.

5 minute bookbinding (Via CRAFT)






Categories: The Essentials

Dear Falcor

16 April, 2014 - 07:22

Editorial note: In a recent BBS thread concerning legendarily passive-aggressive advice column Dear Abby, Boing Boing commenters took it upon themselves to request assistance in their daily lives from our moderator, Falcor the Don't-Push-Your-Luck Dragon. This morning a pile of noisome, crudely dehaired human-skin hides were left outside Boing Boing's secret lair; upon close inspection, they turned out to be scrawled with Falcor's answers. I've transcribed them below — Rob

Dear Falcor,
I've recently killed a man (in self-defense, I swear!) and need to dispose of the body. What do you recommend? — JUST KILLED A MAN IN ONTARIO (Jardine)

Dear Just Killed a Man,
Canadians taste great with maple syrup.
Cheers, Falcor

Dear Falcor,
I have some left over chicken, some rice, some noodles and I think probably some veggies... Maybe there is tomato based sauce hanging around. Add that to a picky family. What should I feed them tonight? — TIRED OF THE SAME THING FOR DINNER IN THE SOUTH (Mindysan33)

Dear Tired of the same thing,
I have a friend in Canada who might be able to help you out. How are you with white meat?
Best, Falcor

Dear Falcor,
My baby is turning out to be the worst roommate ever. She makes constant demands, keeps us up all night, and refuses to pay her share of the mortgage. How should we deal with this problem? – SINCERELY, MOMMY DEAREST (Maggiekb)

Dear Mommy Dearest,
Usually I would say "gobble her down.", but in this case I have to say "suck it up."
Sincerely, Falcor

Dear Falcor,
During a particularly frustrating evening babysitting, I wished that the goblins would take my baby brother away. The Goblin King won't give him back and my parents will be back soon. What should I do?

Please help! – ETERNALLY STENCHY (Daneel)

Dear Eternally Stenchy,
Goblin Kings are a bit to stringy to eat, I recommend instead distracting him with a tight-pants-and-wigs sale downtown. Then snatch your brother back.
You remind me of the babe, Falcor

Dear Falco,
What did Vienna call about?

Robert C Baruch

Dear Robert,
This man is an imposter. Eat him.
Get out, Falcor







Categories: The Essentials

Homeland audiobook, direct from me

16 April, 2014 - 07:12

My independently produced audio edition of Homeland, read by Wil Wheaton, is now available direct from me as a $15 MP3 download. The audiobook not only features Wil's reading, but also Noah Swartz reading his brother Aaron Swartz's afterword and Jacob Appelbaum reading his own afterword, recorded at the Berlin studio of Atari Teenage Riot's Alec Empire.

Here's a free preview of chapter one.

Homeland audiobook purchase






Categories: The Essentials

NYPD program to spy on Muslims has been disbanded

16 April, 2014 - 06:12
NYT: "The New York Police Department has abandoned a secretive program that dispatched plainclothes detectives into Muslim neighborhoods to eavesdrop on conversations and built detailed files on where people ate, prayed and shopped, the department said." Translation: NYPD creates new secret secretive program to spy on Muslims. (Thanks, Matthew!)






Categories: The Essentials

Gay jeans: bluejeans that go rainbow as they fade

16 April, 2014 - 06:00

Chris from Betabrand writes, "Betabrand designer Steven B. Wheeler has discovered the Gay Jean -- more precisely, a denim that slowly but surely fades to reveal rainbow-colored thread within."

How do I know these jeans are really gay? Could it just be a phase? Actually, brand-new Gay Jeans look and act like any other pair of fine five-pocket denims. But as they get older, they can't help showing their true colors — literally! Through normal washing and wearing, their indigo dye will gradually fade away, revealing fabulously colorful yarn.

Can I prevent them from becoming gay by not washing them? This will merely slow the process. It will also have the unintended consequence of repulsing friends and loved ones, regardless of orientation.

If I'm straight, will wearing Gay Jeans make me gay? No more than driving a Toyota will make you Japanese. If you put on a pair of Gay Jeans and begin experiencing gayness, chances are it's because you are gay.

Gay Jeans (Slim-Fit) (Thanks, Chris)






Categories: The Essentials

Blender Foundation needs more help to crowdfund the world's first fully open source animated feature

16 April, 2014 - 04:30

Julius writes, "With people like Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales backing them up, the Blender Foundation's first full feature length film looks like one of those things that's just bound to happen by itself. Except right now it isn't. Having successfully collected over $630 000 in funding from over 3500 individual pledgers (setting a new world record for animated film), Project Gooseberry needs more to become what it promises to be -- a historic open content film production."

I pledged.

Chairman and producer Ton Roosendaal of the Blender Foundation said: 'Though we're obviously extremely happy to have already reached so many people, we need many more to take part as animation is one of the most expensive art forms in existence. We've definitely set a difficult target for ourselves. Gooseberry is about challenging a whole bunch of production and film related cant-do's, especially exploring 100% open production, keeping ownership entirely in the hands of the makers and releasing the whole film under Creative Commons. The message is definitely not simple - that's why we still struggle getting connected to 1000s of more potential supporters.'

Summarising the production:

- Subscription based crowd-funding: crowd-funding has degraded to a product presale platform, we have an alternative.

- Open Production: the audience will get in direct contact with the makers

- Occupy Hollywood: the makers are back in control and own the film - and will benefit from the profits

- Creative Commons bizz: release and share everything, yet find a way to make a living with it

- Open Source is In-house Software: make software as a way of working together, don't copy the commercial product life cycle model

Project Gooseberry is all of that, and more - it's also going to be a totally amazing high quality theater-ready feature animation movie!

Gooseberry | The Open Feature Animation Film






Categories: The Essentials

SF housing crisis: it is not the techies

16 April, 2014 - 02:58
Thank goodness for Kim-Mai Cutler's analysis of the San Francisco Bay area housing crisis. It is worth the very long read. Kim-Mai says, "This is a complex problem, and I’m not going to distill it into young, rich tech douchebags-versus-helpless old ladies facing eviction. There are many other places where you can read that story." (Thanks, James Home!)






Categories: The Essentials

Parrot says 'WTF' (video)

16 April, 2014 - 02:15

[Video Link, thanks Dean Putney ]






Categories: The Essentials

The most mindblowing photograph to emerge from the Nevada BLM/white militia standoff

16 April, 2014 - 02:10


Reuters

Reuters photog Jim Urquhart captured this surreal photograph of Eric Parker, who lives in central Idaho, aiming his gun from a bridge as pro-states' rights protesters assemble at the Bureau of Land Management base camp in Bunkerville, Nevada. The Atlantic has a good explainer on the case, which involves rancher Cliven Bundy not paying grazing fees to the BLM, and now essentially squatting his "ancestral land" with support from a lot of very angry white people with guns. This is militia culture in the United States.






Categories: The Essentials

The Art of Ian Miller [exclusive excerpt]

16 April, 2014 - 01:30
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Miller is noted for his book and magazine covers and interior illustrations, including SF fiction covers, a host of illustrations for the Realm of Chaos supplement and the first edition of Warhammer 40,000, work for Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and covers for Terror of the Lichmaster, Death on the Reik, andWarhammer City. Featuring over 300 pieces of artwork spanning decades of Ian's work, The Art of Ian Miller is a treat for all lovers of great fantasy art - from Lovecraft novel covers to Tolkien bestiaries to Warhammer 40,000 concept art, through a veritable trove of gothic humour, fantasy battles, dragons, beasts and a world of nightmarish visions.

Buy a copy of The Art of Ian Miller on Amazon








Categories: The Essentials

Blood Moon Kitten Feast

16 April, 2014 - 01:09

Shoop: XJ






Categories: The Essentials

Beautiful steam-powered mechanical models on auction block

16 April, 2014 - 00:58

Leavitt Pumping Engine. Very finely built and presented vintage exhibition model of a massive American steam powered waterworks pump designed by Erasmus Darwin Leavitt circa 1895. Model has exceptional detail and is expertly finished with complex gearing operated by a central ship's wheel. Presented on wood stand with table base. Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000.

Check out the preview photos for this Heritage auction of magnificent mechanical models. Given the amount of time and skill that went into the construction of these hand-made machines, the estimated value seems ridiculously low. (If craftsmanship isn't your thing, you might be able to pick up a Cy Twombly masterpiece for under $1 million.)

Steam Tractor. Finely built and detailed operational 1.8 scale metal model of a steam tractor built by the Jerome I. Case Threshing Machine Company in Wisconsin circa 1910. Presented in custom oak and glass display case. Estimate: $2,000 - $4,000.

Havester. Finely built, scarce wood and metal 1.6 scale authentic model of the 'Famous' 4 HP hit and miss engine, with mechanical chassis, originally built by International Harvester in Chicago from circa 1906. Presented in wood and glass display case. Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000.

Stanley Steamer. Superbly detailed and engineered approximately 1.4 scale model of a circa 1905 two cylinder 'Stanley Steamer' after the original built by twin brothers Francis and Freelan Stanley in Newton, Massachusetts. The model is authentic in every detail including painted finish, controls, rubber tires and leather upholstery. Presented on wood stand to allow operation in place. Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000.

Ferrari Superbly built in Detroit by Ron Phillips and Jeron Classics, a limited edition exquisitely detailed hand-made 1.4 scale radio control Ferrari fitted with a single cylinder, fan-cooled engine made in Germany by Bernhardt GmbH, putting out 1.5 hp at 15,000 rpm and reputed potential top speed of 100 mph. Features include rear wheel drive through centrifugal clutch and driveshaft, hydraulic disc brakes, working quick action fuel intake, hand made wire wheels each with 36 spokes, semi-pneumatic rubber tires, wood-rim steering wheel and full instrument panel including working tachometer. The removable aluminum body is mounted on stainless steel chassis with full independent suspension from coil springs and tube shocks, perfectly finished in 'rosso corsa' with authentic Scuderia Ferrari decals. The engine cowling lifts to reveal both the engine and signature of Argentine racing legend and Formula 1 Hall of Fame member Juan Manuel Fangio (1911-1995) placed boldly on the underside. Fangio was World Champion with Enzo Ferrari's team in 1956, and beat this car a year later racing with Maserati. Presented in custom wood and glass display case with table base. Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000.






Categories: The Essentials

How to force a patina on carbon steel

16 April, 2014 - 00:43

Last week I offered a quick review recommending my favorite, dirt cheap pocket knife: the Opinel No. 8. Examining one of my carbon steel blades I was disappointed to find it had not yet formed a protective patina. I decided to change that.

A big complaint about carbon steel is that it rusts quickly, while stainless steel does not. Carbon blades can be sharpened finer and will hold their edge longer than stainless. Adding a patina, or acquiring one via use, on carbon steel will slow bad rust. I say bad rust because patina on carbon steel is rust, it is just a good, stable black rust (Fe3O4,) as opposed to the evil, pitting red stuff (Fe2O3.)

How do you get a nice patina on your carbon steel? Treating it with a light acid seems to be the answer. Forums suggest everything from dunking your blade in heated apple cider vinegar to coating it with mustard. I stuck mine in a lemon. The photo above is the result.

After letting the knives sit in the lemon for 24 hrs, I wiped them off. The lemon had turned black where it was in contact with the steel. The steel began to develop a nice grey/black film. Wiping the blade smears the patina and helped coat more evenly. I then returned the blades back to said lemon and left them for a few more hours. I repeated until I was happy with how each looked. One knife took fewer applications than the other.

To get a more even, less random application you may try the apple cider method above, or submerging the blade in a solution of 50% water and 50% vinegar for 4 to 24 hours. Forums have hundreds of recommendations for the brave or bored.

If you'd like to try forcing a patina on carbon steel and need a knife, I suggest the Opinel No. 8 Carbon.






Categories: The Essentials

A century of earthquakes in one map

15 April, 2014 - 22:31
Earthquakes with a magnitude of at least 5 are enough to damage buildings, and there were at least 72,000 such events in the last century, writes Nathan Yau at Flowing Data, who created a plainly-readable world map depicting all of them. He provides the code to reproduce his work using USGS data, too, and it's surprisingly short and straightforward: "the dataset linked in the code is just a small sample of what's available."






Categories: The Essentials

Famous album covers, reimagined from the other side

15 April, 2014 - 22:22

Harvezt recreates famous album covers to depict the subjects from opposite or alternative viewpoints. Some are subtle masterpieces, others gloriously cheeky, but my favorite is this ingeniously reversed version of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures.






Categories: The Essentials

Bears on Stairs, an animation made from 50 3D-printed frames

15 April, 2014 - 22:16

This isn't a CGI bear: it's a stop-motion animation created by Blue Zoo, for London design outfit DBLG. Fifty frames were painstakingly modeled, printed out and filmed over four weeks, just to create two seconds of perfectly-looping footage.






Categories: The Essentials

Universal subway map design rules

15 April, 2014 - 22:06

Designer Jug Cerovic proposes a standardized approach to subway mapping, encompassed by 7 simple rules:

1. The city center sits at the center (because, duh).
2. The center is a basic shape, like a circle or square (for visual simplicity).
3. The center is zoomed in (because that area is always congested with lines).
4. All lines must run vertical, horizontal, or at 45-degree angles (again, for visual simplicity).
5. Their angles should be smooth (to feel more familiar, city to city).
6. Their colors and connection iconography are standardized (duh again).
7. All text must be listed in local and Latin lettering (for the tourists, aka all of us).

The subtext to subway remapping projects is often "London basically got this right 80 years ago, deal with it."— so his version of The Underground, above, is interesting food for thought.

Previously.






Categories: The Essentials
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