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Skulls and bones with magnifying-glass-burned "tattoos"

Damien Noll sez, "My skulls and bones are all burned (like black line tattoo) using just a magnifying lens and sunshine."

My latest work is solar pyrography on animal skulls and bones, boar, beaver, cat, cow, coyote, deer etc. Many of these skulls were processed by me from animals passed to me by local hunters in Southern France, Colorado, and Texas. In processing the animal skulls, one becomes intimate with these animals. I take them through the entire process, from life to death and back again. Sometimes along that way a hearty meal is the outcome.

The final markings on their skull, like a tattoo, are individual to each one. The markings become a sort of outfit for passage onto the next, more ghostly realm. The immaterial rays of sunlight giving new context, new meaning, new life,, to what would otherwise be forgotten lives.

Drawing with sunlight [Damien Noll]

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 10:50 pm

White supremacy, minus gerrymandering: California GOP reduced to "third party status"

The only way for the party of old white dudes, rape, forced pregnancies, Islamophobia, homophobia, selfishness, pollution, climate denial, unchecked police violence and murder, xenophobia and hatred of Latinx people can get and keep power is by cheating: voter suppression, gerrymandering, etc.

In California, the 2018 elections hold out a hint of what the GOP would look like without cheating. The state party's flirtations with white supremacy 20 years ago with an anti-migration initiative "eviscerated" its support among Latinx people, and ever since, its star has been has been sinking, and as the national party has moved to defend rape, pollution, climate denial, the elimination of health services for all but the super-wealthy, blanket bans on abortion, and naked hatred of every kind of brown person: Latinx people, African-American people, and any person of Muslim faith or Arab extraction.

The result was a total rout of the California GOP. Even Orange County (political birthplace of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan) flipped; and the state's sole Latinx Republican Assemblyman, Dante Acosta, also lost his job.

California Republicans are spitting nails and pointing fingers, calling for the party to be "burned to the ground" and are watching with dismay as the party looks to put the Trumpian Assemblyman Travis Allen in charge of the state party, doubling down on white supremacy in a state that is increasingly brown and/or inhospitable to to anti-immigration white nationalism.

Even the "reasonable" wing of the GOP establishment are pinning their hopes on Californians moving to the right in response to Democrats instituting wildly popular reforms like allowing cities to change their property tax rates, restoring rent controls, etc. Read the rest

Posted on 18 November 2018 | 10:44 pm

Perfectly-sized wool socks that ripen avocados in 24 hours

Today I learned that if you can put an avocado in a wool sock, it will ripen faster. I also learned that there's a company that makes special avocado-sized wool socks for just this purpose.

Simply insert an un-ripened avocado into the sock, and in as little as 24 hours, it will be ready to enjoy.

The natural lanolin and warmth of the wool ripens the avocados evenly and gently, and faster than a paper bag.

I'm reminded of this:

Avocado socks are $20 each.

1st image via The Avocado Sock, 2nd image via reddit

Thanks, Laura! Read the rest

Posted on 18 November 2018 | 4:00 pm

New webseries by daily trivia newsletter 'Now I Know'

Dan Lewis' wildly-popular daily trivia Now I Know newsletter is expanding its presence to YouTube. Yup, he's bringing us a Now I Know webseries.

Dan himself is not an "on-air" kind of guy, so he brought on Matt Silverman to star in the videos.

I’ve written more than 1,000 surprising, strange, and interesting stories over the years and I’m always looking for other ways to spread the fun. Like the two books and even one of those fact-a-day calendar things. But video? That’s been a struggle. I’m not a video producer and in any case, it takes a ton of time to publish the email newsletter. So I can’t do this myself. I’ve talked to a lot of promising collaborators over the years, but those would-be channels all fizzled.

Except for this one -- if you help out. Here's a video about the channel, and you'll see that it isn't me hosting. That's Matt Silverman, a friend of mine who makes awesome videos on the Internet.

Now you know.

You can back this project: Read the rest

Posted on 18 November 2018 | 3:00 pm

Focus in on a photography career with this online course

Ever wondered what it takes to make the transition from amateur photography to a full career? If you answered "a better camera," you're half right. Before you get the equipment, get the know-how to use it with the Hollywood Art Institute Photography Course & Certification.

Taught by experienced pros, this course is geared towards shutterbugs of any level of experience. On your first day, you'll learn simple techniques that will get you taking better photos right away. You'll then explore every aspect of photography, from picking the right gear to framing to the perfect shot in a variety of conditions. You can even gain feedback on your pictures from Level 3-certified Pro Tutors on your way to professional certification.

The 22-module, 54-hour course comes with a free 5 years of access to HAI's Pro Article Database, and it's on sale now for a substantial discount off the regular price. Get started on the Hollywood Art Institute Photography Course & Certification for $19 today. Read the rest

Posted on 18 November 2018 | 2:00 pm

Sole and Despotic Dominion: my story about the future of private property for Reason

Reason's December issue celebrates the magazine's 50th anniversary with a series of commissioned pieces on the past and future of the magazine's subjects: freedom, markets, property rights, privacy and similar matters: I contributed a short story to the issue called Sole and Despotic Dominion, which takes the form of a support chat between a dishwasher owner and its manufacturer's rep, who has the unhappy job of describing why the dishwasher won't accept his dishes.

The story is part of a series of thought-experiments/science fiction tales about appliances that follow the Iphone App Store model of limiting interoperability to manufacturer-approved items; it started with the 2015 story "If Dishwashers Were Iphones," and it followed up in my novella "Unauthorized Bread," which will be published in my 2019 book Radicalized (Unauthorized Bread is also being developed for TV).

I am using Disher dishes. The ones I bought in Dubai.

Sir yes thank you. Please stand by while I investigate your account.

THANK YOU FOR STANDING BY. WE AT DISHER VALUE YOUR TRUST AND STRIVE TO EARN IT EVERY DAY. IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS, CONCERNS OR COMPLIMENTS ABOUT YOUR DISHER EXPERIENCE PLEASE LET US KNOW

Sir thank you I am back. I see from your IP address and other telemetry that you are in Melstone, Montana. Is that correct?

Yes. I took a new job and got relocated here.

Sir thank you I see your problem. Your dishes were sold for use within Shia territories in the Middle East and Asian regions.

Read the rest

Posted on 17 November 2018 | 6:24 pm

Classic film streaming service FilmStruck rises from the dead...sort of

When it was announced last month that FilmStruck, a streaming service dedicated to dishing up the greatest films of all time, would be shut down at the end of November, movie geeks, like yours truly, kind of lost their shit. Home to an unholy number of classic and arthouse flicks, it was a brainy, beautiful refuge from the fare offered up by Netflix, Hulu and other mainstream streaming services. A cry went out. A petition to save FilmStruck was thrown together. Thousands signed. Celebrities lent their voices to the cause.

Holy crap: someone actually listened.

While FilmStruck is still toast, the folks that own the Criterion Collection--a company that focuses on historically important classic films--is launching the next best thing: The Criterion Channel

From The Criterion Collection:

The Criterion Collection and WarnerMedia announced today a new chapter for the beloved collection of Criterion films. In the Spring of 2019, through a special arrangement with WarnerMedia, the Criterion Channel will launch as a free-standing streaming service. Additionally, the popular library of films will be part of WarnerMedia’s recently announced direct-to-consumer platform that is planned to launch in the fourth quarter of 2019. Today’s announcement ensures that fans will have access to these films from the Criterion Collection as well as films from WarnerMedia’s deep and extensive library in what will be a rich and curated experience, which will further expand the audience footprint for these classic and acclaimed movies.

If this is your bag, you'll be happy to know that if you sign up now, you'll be given a deal as one of the service's charter subscribers: access to everything that the Criterion Channel has to offer for $9.99 a month or $89.99 for a year. Read the rest

Posted on 17 November 2018 | 6:18 pm

Google donated $5k to GOP Senator who "joked" about attending a lynching with her Black opponent

Cindy Hyde-Smith is a Mississipi GOP Senator is going into a runoff election against her Democratic opponent, Black man named Mike Espy who might end up the first Black Mississipi Senator since 1883; she made headlines last week with a joke about attending a "public hanging."

The day after the lynching remark, the FEC recorded a $5,000 donation from Google to Hyde-Smith's campaign. Google insists that they made the donation earlier, with the discrepancy unexplained.

Google attributed their support of Hyde-Smith's campaign to her "pro-growth policies for business and technology" but added that they "do not condone these remarks and would not have made such a contribution had we known about them." Google has not asked Hyde-Smith to return the funds.

Hyde-Smith was endorsed by Donald Trump during her race (and well before Google donated to her campaign). Since Trump's election, Hyde-Smith "voted in line with Trump's position more often than any other Republican senator." She has a 0% approval rating from the ACLU and is a lifetime member of the NRA, and supports a total ban on legal abortion; she is on record as supporting Trump's Muslim ban. In her official capacity, she has opposed and attempted to block same-sex marriages.

Hyde-Smith followed up her remarks about public lynchings with a "joke" about the desirability of using voter-suppression techniques to make it harder for "liberal folks" to vote.

Hyde-Smith has insisted that her remarks are all intended in jest and attributes the controversy to humorlessness among her opponents. Read the rest

Posted on 17 November 2018 | 6:10 pm

America's big box stores sucked up corporate welfare and killed Main Street -- now they're ducking property tax

For a generation, big box stores have swept across America, using predatory pricing and other dirty tricks to kill the independent retail sector; they used their corporate lobbying muscle to tempt cities and towns into handing out massive corporate welfare checks to lure them to town, and now, with the help of hustling contingency lawyers, they are promulgating a property-tax scam called "the dark store theory" that is cutting their taxes in half or more, with further reductions every year, and no end in sight.

The "dark store theory" holds that property taxes on thriving, super-profitable big box stores should not be based on how much the property sold for, plus the capital investment, minus depreciation -- instead, these stores should be valued based on the selling price of nearby failed big-box stores that have been sold at knock-down prices.

Big box stores used their generous municipal subsidies to overbuild across American towns, creating a glut that resulted in widespread closures after the financial crisis. Because big box stores are so terribly built -- shoddy construction, weird layouts, and not even enough freight docks to use as a warehouse -- the shuttered stores sell for a tiny fraction of their book value.

But even though the big boxes are shuttering their stores like crazy, the remaining stores are still profitable -- thanks to the overinvestment in big box stores during the rampup phase, all the local retail that might have competed with the remaining stores has collapsed. That leaves locals with no choice but to drive longer distances to the remaining stores to shop, meaning that the predatory mega-retailers now get to spend less to do the same business. Read the rest

Posted on 17 November 2018 | 5:41 pm

A most incredible NASA promotional video

"We Are NASA" thrills me more than any science fiction movie trailer, and it's real.

Read the rest

Posted on 17 November 2018 | 5:29 pm

Kentucky Kroger shooting suspect to face hate crime charges

On October 24, Gregory Bush was said to have opened fire at a Kroger grocery store in Jeffersontown, Kentucky on 69-year-old Maurice Stallard, shooting him in the back of the head. 67-year-old Vickie Lee Jones? She was shot by Bush as well. Both victims were black. According to NPR, it was announced this week that the racist shit stain has been justly indicted on hate crimes and fire arms charges by a federal grand jury.

From NPR:

The 51-year-old is charged with "shooting and killing two victims because of their race and color; and for shooting at a third man because of his race and color," according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman in the Western District of Kentucky.

Minutes before the ambush Bush was also captured on surveillance video trying to enter the First Baptist Church — a predominantly African-American congregation — during a service but locked doors prevented him from entering.

So, in addition to being a bigot, Bush was also a coward: he decided to take out his hate on a group of unsuspecting congregants who'd come together to worship their God. Locked doors? Better go and shoot an old man in the back of the head and an unsuspecting, unarmed woman as she walks across a parking lot. But, you know, not a white dude, because "whites don't shoot whites."

I'm so sick of reading and writing about this sort of shit. Justice cannot come swiftly enough.

Image: by Blogtrepreneur - Legal Gavel, CC BY 2.0, Link Read the rest

Posted on 17 November 2018 | 5:14 pm

Ted Danson learning to floss

On the set of The Good Place, Ted Danson (or is that "Ted Dancing"?) got a lesson from his co-stars on how to floss. Not "floss" as in dental care, but as in the dance craze that's sweeping the nation™.

Ted Danson learning to floss is the only video I’m interested in watching for the rest of the year. pic.twitter.com/SKTMKZKvM3

— Justin Kirkland (@justinkirkland4) November 16, 2018

Read the rest

Posted on 17 November 2018 | 5:00 pm

Exec who oversaw Google's failed babykiller projects and cozied up to Saudis quits after employee uprising

Diane Greene was the CEO of Google's cloud business, and it was she who tried to convince Googlers to back her bid to sell AI services to the Pentagon's drone program, as a warmup for bidding on JEDI, the $10B Pentagon infrastructure project.

An uprising of Googlers that led the company to cancel its drone/AI project and renounce any intention to bid on JEDI, thwarting Greene's ambition. Then, Greene dragged her heels in pulling out of "Davos in the Desert," the credential-burnishing investor conference in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that became reputational poison after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had a critical journalist named Jamal Khashoggi kidnapped, murdered and dismembered with a bone-saw (Greene had hoped to land a big cloud services sale to the Saudis).

Greene now has resigned from Google. Greene was co-founder and former CEO of VMWare, before founding Bebop, which Google bought for $380m in 2015. She has spun her resignation by saying that she'd only intended to stay on as cloud CEO for two years, and, after three, felt it was time to move on. She says she will now focus on helping female tech founders with investment and mentorship.

When reports of the company’s involvement in Project Maven spread internally, more than 4,000 employees signed a letter protesting the decision. In March, Ms. Greene defended the decision, saying that it was a small contract worth “only” $9 million and that the technology would be used for nonlethal purposes.

When that response failed to calm the furor among some employees, Google announced in June that it would not renew that contract with the Pentagon for artificial intelligence work when the current deal expired in 2019.

Read the rest

Posted on 17 November 2018 | 4:58 pm

San Francisco Uber driver distributing filter masks to passengers

At times this week, wildfires made San Francisco's air the worst in the world, and the city's stores have largely sold out of the N95 filter masks that make the air barely breathable, leading to at least one enterprising Uber driver selling the masks out of his car (at a substantial markup: $5 each, compared with $1.30 each on Amazon in ten-packs); other drivers are giving the masks away for free. (via /.) Read the rest

Posted on 17 November 2018 | 4:38 pm

Amazon's NYC digs being built on land that would have been used for low-income housing

Amazon is already known for providing dangerous working conditions, anti-union activities and treating their blue collar workforce like a disposable commodity. Since they're already screwing folks at work, it must have seemed like a natural progression to screw them at home too.

From Politico:

Amazon’s plans to expand into Long Island City may cost Mayor Bill de Blasio — and New York City — approximately 1,500 units of affordable housing.

Two sites that will house the future offices of the e-commerce giant were originally intended for residential development, before Amazon chose them in a nationwide contest for its new headquarters.

Most — if not all — of that intended housing is now off the table.

According to Politico, the 14.7 acres of land Amazon's plopping out of their grossly subsidized new headquarters complex in Long Island City is owned by a company called Plaxall. Before Amazon came along, Plaxall was gearing up to ask New York City administrators for permission to build close to 5,000 new homes on their property. 1,250 of these homes would have been earmarked for use by low and middle-income earning families. In addition to this, Amazon's NYC complex is also eating up turf from a second company, TF Cornerstone: they were ready to build a complex that would contain 250 low-income housing units on the dirt where Amazon is building their new HQ. That's not going to happen anymore, either.

Greed is nothing, if not consistent.

Image via Wikipedia Commons Read the rest

Posted on 17 November 2018 | 4:14 pm

Oxford Dictionaries' crowns 'toxic' as its 2018 word of the year

Collins Dictionary named "single-use" as their 2018 word of the year and now Oxford Dictionaries' has dubbed "toxic" as theirs. They report that the word was looked up 45% more times on their site over the last year, having "been used in an array of contexts, both in its literal and more metaphorical senses."

Drawn from our corpus, the top 10 toxic collocates for the year – that is, words habitually used alongside toxic – are indicative of this.

Top 10 ‘toxic’ collocates in 2018 by absolute frequency

Chemical Masculinity Substance Gas Environment Relationship Culture Waste Algae Air

"Toxic" beat out the Oxford's shortlist of "Big Dick Energy (BDE)," "Cakeism," "Gammon," "Gaslighting," "Incel," "Orbiting," "Overtourism," and "Techlash."

photos by Shalaco ("clear San Francisco" was taken last week and "toxic San Francisco" was taken this week -- Ouch!)

(NPR) Read the rest

Posted on 17 November 2018 | 4:00 pm

These U.S. senators are (on) crackers

My 14-year-old pointed me to the cool work of artist Christian Faur. I see Mark featured his crayon portrait pieces on Boing Boing in the past but not pieces using his more recent medium of soda crackers!

Prior to the midterm elections, he laser-etched all the (then-current) U.S. senators on crackers (Is the medium the message?):

Thanks, SJ! Read the rest

Posted on 17 November 2018 | 3:00 pm

Learning piano is as easy as ABC (DEFG) with this new approach

Anyone can learn piano, but don't tell that to the bored kids who had to endure hours of "Chopsticks" and similar drills in their music lessons. Today, there's a better way. Pianoforall lets you jump right in to discover what makes music fun, leaving you eager to learn more.

In a simple but innovative approach, Pianoforall starts off by teaching you to play hits by the likes of Billy Joel and Norah Jones, but it doesn't skimp on the fundamentals. Piano guru Robin Hall shows how these songs express the music theory fundamentals you'll need to tackle more complex arrangements. In no time, you'll be playing rock, blues, jazz, and classics, learning advanced techniques like arpeggios and chromatic scales along the way. You'll also be able to read music and play by ear, all essential components that will allow you to compose your own songs.

It's all contained in 10 hours of online courses and eBooks, accessible on a lifetime basis. Pick up Pianoforall: The New Way To Learn Piano & Keyboard for a discount price of $10.99 today. Read the rest

Posted on 17 November 2018 | 2:00 pm

GPU-accelerated dismemberment demo: 10,000 zombies in a giant blender

Brilliant Game Studios follows up on their 2016 video that showed off a crowd-renderer by pitting 11,000 penguins against 4,000 Santas with a new video demoing "our new GPU accelerated dismemberment and procedural wounding system. Limbs can be cut off on a massive scale. Wound from getting hit appear as deep gouges which warp their mesh." I'm really glad that we're using GPUs to do sensible things again, rather than computing virtual Beanie Babies. (via JWZ) Read the rest

Posted on 17 November 2018 | 7:24 am

Sealing up wounds with a laser beam

OK, it's not quite Dr. Crusher's dermal regenerator (seen above), but Arizona State University researchers have demonstrated a laser system for sealing wounds. The system involves a sealing paste -- made from silk protein mixed with gold nanorods -- that bonds with skin when heated with a laser. From IEEE Spectrum:

To use a laser to seal skin, one must focus the heat of the light using some sort of photoconverter. (Chemical engineer Caushal) Rege’s lab opted for gold nanorods and embedded them in a silk protein matrix purified from silkworm cocoons. A silk protein called fibroin binds to collagen, the structural protein that holds together human skin cells. When near-infrared light hits the gold nanorods, they produce heat and activate the silk and skin to create bonds, forming a sturdy seal...

They are currently watching how the laser-activated seals hold up in living rats. If that goes well, they’ll move to pigs, and perhaps eventually, humans.

Read the rest

Posted on 16 November 2018 | 11:27 pm

Direct from the Uncanny Valley: Affetto, the freaky child android head

This is the new version of Affetto, the robot child head that's a testbed for synthetic facial expressions. According to the Osaka University researchers who birthed Affeto, their goal is to "offer a path for androids to express greater ranges of emotion, and ultimately have deeper interaction with humans." From Osaka University:

The researchers investigated 116 different facial points on Affetto to measure its three-dimensional movement. Facial points were underpinned by so-called deformation units. Each unit comprises a set of mechanisms that create a distinctive facial contortion, such as lowering or raising of part of a lip or eyelid. Measurements from these were then subjected to a mathematical model to quantify their surface motion patterns.

While the researchers encountered challenges in balancing the applied force and in adjusting the synthetic skin, they were able to employ their system to adjust the deformation units for precise control of Affetto’s facial surface motions.

“Android robot faces have persisted in being a black box problem: they have been implemented but have only been judged in vague and general terms,” study first author Hisashi Ishihara says. “Our precise findings will let us effectively control android facial movements to introduce more nuanced expressions, such as smiling and frowning.”

Read the rest

Posted on 16 November 2018 | 10:49 pm

Listen to Tiny Tim's unreleased cover of "House of the Rising Sun"

In 1994, pop artist, songwriter, and filmmaker Martin Sharp produced a covers album for legendary singer/ukulele maestro Tiny Tim. The album, "Tiny Tim's Pop Album," was never officially released but it's really quite something. Below, from those recording sessions, is Tim's take on the traditional folk tune "The House of the Rising Sun."

"Tim's appropriation of song is very much like my appropriation of images," Sharp said. "We are both collagists taking the elements of different epochs and mixing them to discover new relationships."

(via /r/ObscureMedia) Read the rest

Posted on 16 November 2018 | 10:16 pm

Trump claims, without evidence, that he is "extremely happy"

File with "I can change the 14th Amendment with an executive order" and "no collusion". [via] Read the rest

Posted on 16 November 2018 | 9:52 pm

Shaming Ocasio-Cortez for her clothes is a classic ruse to deflect attention from real issues

The right-wing disinfotainment machine is making a big push to shame New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for not dressing in rags as befits a person of modest means. The purpose of the smear campaign is to take attention away from the issues Ocasio-Cortez is dedicated to: Medicare for everyone, ending the student debt catastrophe, justice reform, ending global warming.

By relentlessly pumping out tweets and stories about what she wears, the coordinated propagandists get to control the topic of the conversation so that even the people who know it's bullshit get sucked in and join the debate. (Yes, I know I'm guilty just by writing this post.)

I’m reading Scott Adams’ new book, Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter, and he goes into detail how Trump and his friends at Fox and Breitbart use the same trick all the time. “Master Persuaders,” he writes, "move your energy to the topics that help them, independent of facts and reason."

Fortunately, Ocasio-Cortez's comebacks on Twitter are awesome, and seemed to have shut up some of the propagandists. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

Image: By Corey Torpie, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link Read the rest

Posted on 16 November 2018 | 9:45 pm

Ouch! This man tries to take off his hoodie while running on a treadmill, and it ain't pretty

Running on a treadmill is my number one aerobic activity, and I've taken off my sweatshirt many times while treading. Never again after watching this! Read the rest

Posted on 16 November 2018 | 7:51 pm

Scotty of Strange Parts takes a tour of Akihabara, Tokyo's geek culture headquarters

Akihabara got its reputation for being Tokyo's "Electric City" -- both for its consumer electronics as well as for its electronics components stalls. In more recent years, it's become more well-known for anime, manga, claw machines, game arcades, capsule toy shops, maid cafes, unusual vending machines, and vintage video game gear stores. Scotty of Strange Parts took a tour of Akihabara with Only in Japan's John Daub.

My daughter and I love Akihabara. Here's a few photos and a video from our last visit:

Read the rest

Posted on 16 November 2018 | 6:08 pm

Here's the new $25 Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+

The Raspberry Pi Foundation announced a new model in its line of very inexpensive Linux computers: the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+. It has many of the same features as the top-of-the-line 3B+ (including a 1.4GHz 64-bit quad-core processor, dual-band wireless LAN, and Bluetooth 4.2/BLE), the main exceptions being 512MB of RAM instead of 1GB, and one USB port as opposed to four. At $25, it looks like a very cool single board computer. ETA Prime has a good informational video about it. Read the rest

Posted on 16 November 2018 | 5:38 pm

New iPad Pro bend test

The new iPad Pro looks pretty cool (I'd buy one if it also ran OS X). But how durable is it? Jerry of Jerry Rig everything puts it (and the Apple Pencil) to his classic durability test by scratching, burning, and bending the gear. The iPad Pro fails the bend test. Jerry said it "folds like a piece of paper."

Most of the fun of Jerry's durability tests is seeing new Apple products pulled from the box and systematically destroyed, like a scene from a J.G. Ballard story. Read the rest

Posted on 16 November 2018 | 5:28 pm

MAGA Blocks are the perfect holiday gift for xenophobes-in-training

After you've ordered your Trumpy Bear, be sure to pick up the Build the Wall set of MAGA Blocks. This 101-piece block set will have your kids turning away desperate refugees in no time. Comes with a President Trump mini-figure wearing a MAGA hard hat!

This fun for the whole family comes from the folks at KeepAndBear.com, which offers a staggering array of unlicensed Trump garbage including CNN toilet paper and Trump Sends Hillary to Prison action figures.

Sigh.

(via KeepandBear) Read the rest

Posted on 16 November 2018 | 5:08 pm

What's new in tabletop gaming (November edition)

Here are some recent game releases of note and some of what I've been up to in hobby gaming over the past month or so.

Strontium Dog Warlord Games, $63, 2-4 players, Ages: 12+ In this skirmish game from Warlord, you play the mutant search and destroy agents, the Strontium Dogs, from the pages of the venerable UK comic magazine, 2000 AD. Designed by the masterful Andy Chambers (Warhammer 40K, Battlefleet Gothic, Blood Red Skies), the game pits the Dogs and their mutant, pirate, and renegade bounty against each other as the two forces duke it out across the galaxy. The very well put-together two-player starter set includes a 122-page rule book, a scenario book, 8 metal miniatures, dice, cards, and other components. The set even includes some cool laser-cut MDF terrain. I love when games include terrain, but you don't often see it and rarely in a game that's not well over $100. Here's a video of Andy Chambers himself describing Strontium Dog.

Terrain Crate Mantic Games, Prices Vary After a very successful Kickstarter campaign (which I backed), Mantic has now released a broad range of affordable fantasy and sci-fi terrain pieces under the Terrain Crate name. Each crate is themed (Dungeon, Battle Field, Dark Lord's Tower, Starship Scenery, Industrial Zone) and includes a generous amount of highly-detailed plastic scenery. The pieces are designed to be used as-is and they also paint up like a charm. I love playing RPGs and tabletop games with lots of evocative scenery and terrain, so I have always wanted a terrain collection this extensive, this affordable, and this well done. Read the rest

Posted on 16 November 2018 | 5:04 pm