Shared posts

28 Jul 22:03

Quit Procrastinating. Work On Your Art

by Ari Spool
85a

The Dark Knight gets persuasive.

29 Jul 11:00

Vincent Price vs. Boris Karloff: The Raven (1963)

by Heather Johanssen
Christopher Lantz

Want to fight? Want to have a wizard's duel?

Wizard duels in Harry Potter have nothing on this epic battle between Price and Karloff in the classic Roger Corman film of "The Raven," from 1963. Cinematic quality nevermore.

29 Jul 17:45

Avoid your job in this pleasantly oddball game

by Leigh Alexander
neverwork

The objective of NEVER GO TO WORK is in its title: Your alarm goes off just after 6 AM, and it's time to get to the office. Except arriving there ends the game, and you don't really want to go to work, anyway.

You are Agenesia, disgruntled and harboring a crush on your unreliable bus driver, and your meandering takes you all over town. Anything can go wrong: I was killed by ghosts on a mini golf course, and found myself inexplicably on a riverboat. I wanted to go to the strip club, but it was closed. I kind of like the gritty caprice of Agenesia's world: The rough textures of the graphical interface, the not knowing what to expect—is my intentional avoidance of efficient bus routes going to make my lateness to work sprawl wonderfully on the digital clock before me, or will I accidentally stumble into a game-over?

Some of the opacity doesn't serve the experience though, something I don't mind saying as developer Rani Baker (who also made this buggy but nifty nostalgic rebuild of Demon's Forge, the kind of Apple IIe game that I'm weird enough to still be excited about) is still taking feedback toward a final version of the game. I have a pack of cigarettes in my inventory slot, but while clicking it sometimes takes me to a wonderful neon ritual site, at other times it gets me stuck in an endless loop. I'm not sure what it's for. I enjoy the tension between needing to keep moving and not wanting to arrive at work, but while the collague of unpredictable moments feels creative and cool, at times I wish there were a little more for me to do.

NEVER GO TO WORK is free to play in your browser. It is the latest title to be commissioned by the Interactive Fiction Fund, which aims to support both established and up-and-coming interactive fiction makers with actual money (I'm a backer; consider becoming one yourself here). The last title was Morning Rituals, a game about a Satanic Keurig machine (which we liked).

29 Jul 13:00

Important Public Service Announcement: This Cat is Awesome

funny cats image Important Public Service Announcement: This Cat is Awesome

Submitted by: (via distinguishedbaloney)

Tagged: Cats , funny , image
29 Jul 15:30

What If Education Careers Were Covered Like Sports?

27 Jul 18:20

joga: Bill Gates, 1985

Christopher Lantz

I never understood these style of photos. What feeling is being conveyed here. Laziness? Sexiness? A rejection of chairs?



joga:

Bill Gates, 1985

27 Jul 18:19

"The Furniture of Law Enforcement"

by Brad
707
27 Jul 12:16

Pink pigeon enchants and mystifies Britons

by Rob Beschizza

pigeon

One Wes Charnock observed the mystery pigeon, depicted above in London newspaper Metro. Expert consensus is that it has been dyed, or is a tourist from Mauritius.

20 Jul 16:32

Zuckerberging

The action of equating technical genius with young white males that are college dropouts.
27 Jul 13:06

Gorgeous animated pixel-art depicting everyday Japan

by Rob Beschizza
27 Jul 13:22

Trailer for Adventure Time: The Enchiridion & Marcy’s Super Secret Scrapbook!!!

by Mark Frauenfelder

We are giddy with excitement that Martin Olson and Olivia Olson are coming to our Weekend of Wonder in Southern California (September 18-20). Olivia is the voice of Marceline the Vampie Queen in Adventure Time. And her father Martin (who is also a screenwriter from Phineas And Ferb) voices Hunson Abadeer (a.k.a. the Lord of Evil).

Martin and Olivia are going to perform music at Weekend of Wonder, answer questions about Adventure Time, and sign copies of their upcoming book, Adventure Time: The Enchiridion & Marcy's Super Secret Scrapbook!!!

Register here to join us at Boing Boing's Weekend of Wonder.

Adventure Time: The Enchiridion & Marcy's Super Secret Scrapbook!!! by Martin Olson and Olivia Olson (aka the Lord of Evil and Marceline the Vampire Queen) © Abrams Books, 2015

at

25 Jul 16:34

Police Officers Responding to Millions of Mayflies Swarming the Sabula-Savanna Bridge in Iowa

by Scott Beale
Christopher Lantz

lots o mayflies.

deisel1984 uploaded an insane video of a Sabula, Iowa police officer requesting Iowa Department of Transportation to help with a swarm of millions of mayflies (shadflies) that had taken over the Sabula-Savanna Bridge that crosses the Mississippi River. The DOT had to use a snowplow to clear the bridge.

Sabula Iowa Police department was called to assist a motorist on the Sabula Savanna bridge. When the officer arrived he realized what had happened. Millions of shad-flies had hatched and made the bridge like ice. There were literally inches of the bugs on the ground. Crews from the Sabula Fire, Savanna Fire, and both Iowa and Illinois DOT were on scene to help clean up the mess.

via WQAD

26 Jul 18:56

Hans Tegner

by Aeron
Hans Tegner - "They carried the mirror about everywhere, till at last there was not a country nor any person who had not been distorted in it."  from Andersenovy pohádky (Andersen’s Fairy Tales) vol. 3, by Hans Christian Andersen, 1900"They carried the mirror about everywhere, till at last there was not a country nor any person who had not been distorted in it."  from Andersenovy pohádky (Andersen’s Fairy Tales) vol. 3, by Hans Christian Andersen, 1900

Hans Tegner - "The emperor felt as if some one was sitting on his chest. He opened his eyes, and then he saw it was Death." from Fairy tales and stories, by Hans Christian Andersen, New York, 1900"The emperor felt as if some one was sitting on his chest. He opened his eyes, and then he saw it was Death." from Fairy tales and stories, by Hans Christian Andersen, New York, 1900

Hans Tegner - "There the sea-witch was sitting." from Andersenovy pohádky (Andersen’s Fairy Tales) vol. 3, by Hans Christian Andersen, 1900"There the sea-witch was sitting." from Andersenovy pohádky (Andersen’s Fairy Tales) vol. 3, by Hans Christian Andersen, 1900

Hans Tegner - "Johannes untied his handkerchief and showed the Princess the ugly head of the troll." from Andersenovy pohádky (Andersen’s Fairy Tales) vol. 3, by Hans Christian Andersen, 1900"Johannes untied his handkerchief and showed the Princess the ugly head of the troll." from Andersenovy pohádky (Andersen’s Fairy Tales) vol. 3, by Hans Christian Andersen, 1900

Hans Tegner - "The King lead Johannes out into the Princess' garden. In every tree hung three or four skeletons of Princes who had wooed the Princess." from Andersenovy pohádky (Andersen’s Fairy Tales), by Hans Christian Andersen, 1900"The King lead Johannes out into the Princess' garden. In every tree hung three or four skeletons of Princes who had wooed the Princess." from Andersenovy pohádky (Andersen’s Fairy Tales), by Hans Christian Andersen, 1900

Hans Tegner - "There, on one of the largest tombstones, Elisa saw some ugly witches." , from Andersenovy pohádky (Andersen’s Fairy Tales) vol. 2, by Hans Christian Andersen, Prague, 1902"There, on one of the largest tombstones, Elisa saw some ugly witches." , from Andersenovy pohádky (Andersen’s Fairy Tales) vol. 2, by Hans Christian Andersen, Prague, 1902

Hans Tegner - "The Will-O'-The-Wisps Are In Town,' Said The Woman From The Marsh. "Take Care of Yourselves!" from Fairy tales and stories, by Hans Christian Andersen, New York, 1900"The Will-O'-The-Wisps Are In Town,' Said The Woman From The Marsh. "Take Care of Yourselves!" from Fairy tales and stories, by Hans Christian Andersen, New York, 1900

Hans Tegner - " The storm shifts the sign-boards." from Andersenovy pohádky (Andersen’s Fairy Tales) vol. 3, by Hans Christian Andersen, 1900" The storm shifts the sign-boards." from Andersenovy pohádky (Andersen’s Fairy Tales) vol. 3, by Hans Christian Andersen, 1900

Hans Tegner - The House Ghost or Abracadabra, from Tegner Udgave Af Ludvig Holbergs "Samtlige Comoedier" (the complete comedies of ludvig holberg) vol. 2, Copenhagen, 1896The House Ghost or Abracadabra, from Tegner Udgave Af Ludvig Holbergs "Samtlige Comoedier" (the complete comedies of ludvig holberg) vol. 2, Copenhagen, 1896

Hans Tegner - "It was Mistress Toothache, Her Terrible Highness! . . . I felt as if a red hot awl passed through my cheekbone." from Fairy tales and stories, by Hans Christian Andersen, New York, 1900"It was Mistress Toothache, Her Terrible Highness! . . . I felt as if a red hot awl passed through my cheekbone." from Fairy tales and stories, by Hans Christian Andersen, New York, 1900

Hans Tegner - "Down on the floor the flowers were dancing most gracefully, round and round, holding each other by their long, green leaves."  from Andersenovy pohádky (Andersen’s Fairy Tales) vol. 3, by Hans Christian Andersen, 1900"Down on the floor the flowers were dancing most gracefully, round and round, holding each other by their long, green leaves."  from Andersenovy pohádky (Andersen’s Fairy Tales) vol. 3, by Hans Christian Andersen, 1900

Hans Tegner - "A grand attack of  toothache was coming on." from Fairy tales and stories, by  Hans Christian Andersen, New York, 1900."A grand attack of toothache was coming on." from Fairy tales and stories, by Hans Christian Andersen, New York, 1900.

Hans Tegner - Illustration from Comoedier, 1896Illustration from Comoedier, 1896


Hans Tegner - Assortment of grotesque head illustrations (6) from "Fairy tales and stories" by Hans Christian Andersen, 1900Assortment of grotesque head illustrations from "Fairy tales and stories" by Hans Christian Andersen, 1900

Hans Tegner - Assortment of grotesque head illustrations (1) from "Fairy tales and stories" by Hans Christian Andersen, 1900

Hans Tegner - Assortment of grotesque head illustrations (2) from "Fairy tales and stories" by Hans Christian Andersen, 1900

Hans Tegner - Assortment of grotesque head illustrations (3) from "Fairy tales and stories" by Hans Christian Andersen, 1900

Hans Tegner - Assortment of grotesque head illustrations (4) from "Fairy tales and stories" by Hans Christian Andersen, 1900


Many of the above scans found thanks to Jan Willemsen.
Information on the life of Tegner can be found on his Wikipedia page.
26 Jul 02:06

Photo



23 Jul 15:26

Now you can date pigeons on almost any platform

by Leigh Alexander
Christopher Lantz

Shared for Rosalind

hato

Hatoful Boyfriend, a deeply weird yet touching visual novel where you date birds, has just come out for PlayStation 4 and its attendant handheld, the Vita, so it's a good time for us to recommend it. As I write this, there is a virulent thrumming, like a sick animal growl, coming from our windowsill: It is the persistent, almost threatening coo of a local city pigeon who has decided our bird feeder is now its territory. I'm going to just go ahead and suggest you play the pigeon dating game.

If you want to know more about it, last year Laura wrote about Hatoful Boyfriend for Rock Paper Shotgun, and without spoiling anything she digs into the genuinely-subversive elements of the game, aspects that have fun at the expense of the visual novel format, its tropes and conventions. Just when you think you have mastered all the conceits of bird-dating, something unexpected happens.

If you don't have a PlayStation platform you can check out Hatoful Boyfriend on Steam, and you can get a free demo here.

That pigeon is still outside. It is starting to frighten me. This isn't a joke.

24 Jul 20:10

Two Florida bros rescue a stranded hammerhead shark

by Xeni Jardin

Warning: Not recommended. If you see stranded marine life, call your local fish and wildlife authority, or ask a marine biologist.

This guy's brother worked hard “to save an injured hammerhead shark on the Destin, Florida shoreline and bravely took it to safety away from the public,” says the guy who uploaded this video to YouTube.

The 10-foot-long hammerhead shark was stranded on Florida beach, and the men removed several large deep sea fishing hooks fishing hooks from its mouth. They then dragged the shark back out to sea, but it appears to remain disoriented, and wanders back to shore.

mGzELL

My brother, once realizing it was injured, swam out to bring it to shore away from people still in the water. I filmed this heroic display as he dragged the injured 10 ft. hammerhead to shore. The shark was pulled to shore and we realized it had several deep sea fishing hooks in its mouth as well as steel fishing line tangled in and around its head. My brother, along with help from bystanders worked to get the hooks out and save the dying shark. My brother was able to pull the shark into deeper water until it was able to swim away safely in an attempt to avoid further injuring itself or the public.

All of the distress and yelling heard in the background were caused by a natural fear from certain individuals and lack of understanding the situation as well as the behaviors of hammerhead sharks. Once bystanders realized we were trying to help the shark they quickly did what they could to help

Shot on a GoPro Hero 3+ and iPhone 5

KYg8Xj

24 Jul 14:08

What's the most beautiful movie ever made?

by Rob Beschizza
Christopher Lantz

While I am not a fan of internet top 10 lists, I am a fan of beautiful cinema.

Where do you start? Kubrick? Malick? Bay? [via Jason Kottke]

kurosawa

24 Jul 11:28

WATCH: Astonishing time-lapse of storms roiling America's heartland

by Andrea James
Christopher Lantz

Some of my most vivid memories of my childhood involve watching the Midwestern sky churn and spawn some of the most magnificent storms I've ever seen.

Clouds darken and gather before they unleash fury onto wind-swept plains in The Chase, a remarkable new film by Mike Olbinski. Prepare for a memorable journey. The music is "The Secret History" from The Architect by composer Kerry Muzzey. Kerry was kind enough to allow Mike to use the perfect song for this great short film. Below are a few stills from the piece:

olbinski-02

olbinski-03

olbinski-01

olbinski-04

24 Jul 11:28

NASA completes rocket design review for future Mars journey

by Andrea James
sls-70mt-dac3-prelaunch-night-cam-r3-uhr2

NASA's new Space Launch System (SLS) is about to go into full-scale fabrication after a detailed review. SLS Block 1, which just passed a design review milestone, will go to an asteroid placed in lunar orbit, and eventually to Mars.

The in-depth review – the first in almost 40 years for a NASA exploration class vehicle -- provides a final look at the design and development of the integrated rocket before full-scale fabrication begins. Throughout the course of 11 weeks, 13 teams – including representatives from several NASA field centers – reviewed more than 1,000 files of data as part of the comprehensive assessment process.

NASA's Space Launch System Design 'Right on Track' for Journey to Mars (NASA.gov)

24 Jul 14:21

Skysphere, A Futuristic-Looking Living Space With a 360-Degree View

by Glen Tickle

skysphere 1

The Skysphere is a futuristic-looking living space created by designer and engineer Jono Williams. Its circular design features 270 square feet in the living area which includes a bed, custom couches, and even a “couch integrated beer dispenser.” The Skysphere is powered entirely by solar panels, and the electronics are controlled using a version of the Android operating system.

Williams regularly posts updates about the Skysphere’s progress on a Facebook page created for the project.

skysphere 2

skysphere 3

skysphere 4

skysphere 5

photos via Skysphere

via Contemporist

23 Jul 14:00

CollegeHumor Makes a Staunch High-Five-Filled Defense of Puns and Schools People About Wordplay

by Glen Tickle
Christopher Lantz

It's true... people groaning and booing puns is the best reason to execute them.

In a recent video by CollegeHumor, Emily Axford makes a staunch and high-five-filled defense of puns as she schools her coworkers and the viewer about wordplay.

23 Jul 14:45

‘Sex Offender Shuffle’, A Parody of the 1985 Chicago Bears ‘Super Bowl Shuffle’ With Criminals Rapping Their Crimes

by Glen Tickle
Christopher Lantz

I wish my feed had a theme... but it doesn't.

Sex Offender Shuffle” is a parody by Scott Gairdner of the awkwardly classic “Super Bowl Shuffle” performed by the 1985 Chicago Bears. However, instead of rapping about football, the actors rap about their supposed crimes.

For comparison, here is the original “Super Bowl Shuffle.”

via reddit

22 Jul 19:00

This Kid Wants to Help Me With My Computer Troubles, But I Can't Understand a Word He's Saying

Christopher Lantz

If you've ever wondered what I do for a living, it's this.

Submitted by: (via Krishna Das)

Tagged: wtf , tech support , FAIL , kids , computer
22 Jul 18:07

Thalassophobia

by Don
Christopher Lantz

The novel I'm writing comes from me overcoming this fear.

Rl9tuab

This extreme fear of the sea if often associated with illustrated depictions of large sea monsters shared on sites like DeviantArt.

22 Jul 19:53

How Ayn Rand and L. Ron Hubbard came up with their big ideas

by Mark Frauenfelder

Funny 2012 video from Cracked. (Thanks, LDoBe!)

y4MpgW

22 Jul 17:51

Stephen Colbert made a text adventure about getting locked in a closet

by Laura Hudson
Christopher Lantz

I'm a sucker for old text adventures.

colbert

Stephen Colbert's new Late Show gig doesn't start till September, so what's he doing in the meantime? According to the free game released by his official website, the answer is "stumbling into a closet." Escape from the Man-Sized Cabinet, a Twine-based text game that you can play in your browser, follows Colbert on a journey into a Narnia-esque world where he meets a centaur named Randall and (kind of) fights evil.

Technically, Colbert didn't write it—he's a busy man, after all. Instead, the game was summoned into being by writer Rob Dubbin, along with fellow Colbert writers Daniel Kibblesmith and Cullen Crawford and artist Tim Luecke.

If you've played Twine games before—and we've certainly spent a lot of time at Offworld trying to make you—you'll notice many of the familiar hallmarks of the popular interactive fiction tool. At one point, you (Colbert) can click to cycle endlessly through a pre-show to-do list with bullet points like "reconcile quantum theory with relativity," "save cheerleader, world" and "steal Christmas." While I've often seen this technique used to dramatic effect by Twine creators like Porpentine, it's fascinating to see it deployed by seasoned comedy writers in a way that feels a bit like a writer's room brainstorm.

The game hints a little bit at the anticipation for The Late Show; one of the first questions from Randall the Centaur is exactly how the new show is going to work without the Colbert Report persona we've all come to know and expect. While the game doesn't necessarily offer any answers, it's free to play in your browser right now, and takes but a few minutes.

centaur
22 Jul 18:07

Alcoholic Architecture, A Unique Pop-Up Event in London That Features a Walk-In Cloud of Vaporized Cocktails

by Lori Dorn

Straw

In 2009, event producers Bompas & Parr created Alcoholic Architecture, a unique pop-up experience in which vaporized gin and tonics filled a room for participants to inhale and absorb.

Visitors donned protective suits and stepped into a mist of vaporised gin and tonic, which they imbibed through inhaling. Doctors were our mixologists for the event, performing a complex series of calculations to calibrate the ratio of alcohol to mixer. Vaporising the cocktail heightened the flavour of the G&T and reduced visibility to less than a meter. Taste became spatialised as a public realm, scaled up from bodily interior to building interior. In this way the cocktail became architecture – an immersive, habitable environment.

A similar experience is being recreated by Bompas & Parr at London’s Borough Market, premiering July 31, 2015 and continuing throughout the month of August 2015. Tickets are available online.

Bompas & Parr’s Alcoholic Architecture arrives in Borough Market, featuring a walk-in cloud of breathable cocktail as part of an installation that explodes drinks to the scale of architecture. In this fully immersive alcohol environment- the cloud is entirely composed of fine spirits and mixer at a ratio of 1:3 and made using powerful humidifiers to super-saturate the air- alcohol enters the bloodstream through primarily the lungs but also the eyeballs. …Visits to Alcoholic Architecture are based on timed entries and experiences are limited to a maximum of 50 minutes per group.

Alcoholic Architecture

Gin Mist

Alcoholic Architecture Red

Henricks

images via Alcoholic Architecture

via The Creator’s Project

22 Jul 11:00

Donald Duck taught me how to play billiards

by Michael Borys
Christopher Lantz

Best Disney cartoon ever.

Are you too young to remember the television series, The Wonderful World Of Disney? It ran once a week and you never knew what you were going to get.  It may have been a classic Disney film, a live action tour of the Disney parks or a set of animated shorts.

If you've never seen the show, you're probably also unfamiliar with Donald In Mathmagic Land.

Donald_in_mathmagic_land_12large

Sure the art and storytelling was as beautiful as you'd expect from a Disney production, but this piece was different from the others.   Somehow it educated as perfectly as it entertained.

061609_NF_F_D59_Feat4The first time I saw it I took mental notes and patiently waited a long, long time for it to air again.  Each week I would pray to the programming gods for my wish to come true and one day it did.  This time, I was ready with paper and pencil so that I could take actual notes.

During the cartoon I learned about Pythagoras, the golden ratio and the history of music.  But to me, the most important lesson was on the game of billiards.  I grew up with a pool table and I played a lot more than any kid should.  I read my parent's books on the game, I drained the local library of what they had on the subject but this cartoon taught me more about the table and angles than any book ever could.

goldrect

I think it was because in the story, Donald Duck himself was learning and playing the game with me.  Because it took so long between viewings, Donald and I were evolving together.

And here's the thing...I guarantee that if you are not already an advanced pool player, you will become better just by watching this masterpiece.  For me, it turned on a giant light bulb over my head.

UnknownSee Michael, a passionate collector of artifacts and designer of unique puzzles, at Boing Boing's three-day extravaganza, the Weekend of Wonder, running Sept. 18-20. A weekend of workshops, tech demons and wild performances, there'll be plenty of fun surprises!

I remember running downstairs with my notes to try out the new concepts I had just learned. The angles of the game were no longer a complete mystery after experiencing this magical cartoon.  I also found that the new knowledge could be applied to other games that dealt with spheres and angles like racquetball, squash and wallyball.  In fact, getting better at that game had an upward spiral effect on other aspects of my life.  That game, during difficult times was my best friend.

3

Once you've seen this animated short you will think about billiards in a whole new way.  You may even see shots and angles in your sleep...not that I do.

If you haven't experienced Donald In Mathmagic Land, you don't have to hope and pray for it to be the episode of the week.  Just go to Youtube and watch it now.

 

Tumblr_lq8p04AZdi1qgu7mio1_500

And if you ever want to play a few games, just look me up.

I'll be the guy at the table with the talking duck.

 

 

22 Jul 11:00

The phenomenon of the Breakup Explanation status update

by Nicole Dieker
Christopher Lantz

Interesting point. For those who like to share such information to a mass audience. I'm still a bit ol' fashioned and apply heavy filters to those I interact with online. If the narrative of such an event is important to you, I can tell you in person.

On December 5, 2012, musician Jonathan Mann posted Song A Day #1435.

It was titled “We’ve Got to Break Up.

Although I had worked with Jonathan Mann previously, I knew very little about his personal life. I watched this video several times, examining the elegant and kind way Mann and his ex-girlfriend sang about the end of their relationship and defined the boundaries they would have going forward. It was the first time I had seen anything like it.

You don’t have to choose
Though it will be awkward, yes
Just invite us to your parties and we’ll work it out
Don’t feel weird, we love all of you

Now, we see these types of status updates all the time. They show up on Facebook or Tumblr or via Twitter link, and carefully explain that the people involved in the breakup want to maintain an amicable relationship while still sharing a catalog of friends. They’ll note which partner is changing living arrangements, or offer suggestions about how to include all parties at social events. Sometimes, they’ll simply say that nobody involved wants to share details about the breakup and trust silence to stand in for privacy.

When our personal lives become public through YouTube, blog posts, and social media, our breakups become public as well. We want to share this aspect of our lives in a way that makes sense with the rest of our public story. So we shape and create a narrative that is both true and just enough; that is, like Jonathan Mann’s example, both elegant and kind.

In case you think that this type of story-shaping is a uniquely Facebook-related phenomenon, remember that we’ve always communicated with each other through stories. The “how was your weekend” story we tell to our boss on Monday morning; the “what did you think of The Walking Dead” story we text to a friend after the season finale; and the story of our relationships, edited and embellished for various audiences. A coworker might not need to know that you and a partner are having a fight, a parent might receive a calm version of the story with an emphasis on how maturely you are handling the situation, and your closest friend will get the “that asshole” narrative.

And, as anybody who’s been in a relationship knows, saying “that asshole” to your closest friend is very different from saying “that asshole” to you and your partner’s closest mutual friend. One is an expression of emotion to a sympathetic source, and the other is a chess move. When you take the next step and post “that asshole” to a public forum like Facebook, it’s like pushing down the handle on a detonator.

Many of us don’t want to turn breakups into explosions. We also, instinctively, understand that a single sentence, the kind that is auto-generated by creating a Facebook Life Event, is not “just enough.” It implies that there is a part of the story that we’re not telling, and people who like sniffing around for sulfur will start contacting us, wanting to know whyyyyyyyyy, whose fault was it, are you mad or sad or ready to start dating again?

So instead, we say in public: these are the new boundaries around the edges of my life, including the boundaries around the conversation I will have about this breakup.

As Jonathan Mann told me:

“The main reason I wanted to do a song/video was because I'd seen lots of breakup announcements on Facebook. Often, they came in the form of people simply changing their "single/in a relationship" status, and then that change being posted into the timeline. This always felt really weird to me. I understood the desire to let everyone know what happened, but being so vague about it made it seem almost like folks were asking for a certain kind of sympathy and attention in a really weird way. It made me uncomfortable.

So I wanted to kind of flip that on it's head. The polar opposite of a vague status change: a full song and video explaining exactly what was going on and letting everyone know that we still loved them, and loved each other, and everything is OK. We're just breaking up.”

I wanted to hear from other breakup-status-updaters, so I put out the call on Facebook, asking people if they would be willing to anonymously share their stories with Boing Boing. One response highlighted the importance of the breakup explanation as a way to pre-empt additional conversation:

“Because my relationship had been a fairly "stable" thing in my social circle, and very few people in it had any insight into the horrible problems said relationship had, we both felt that a blanket "Hey we're breaking up" announcement set up on Facebook would be the best route to go. We felt people would be really shocked by the whole thing (and really, a lot of people were).

Honestly, I didn't want everyone asking me questions, (and looking back, I foolishly felt people would care more than they actually did/want to cause drama for some reason?) about why the break was happening. I wanted to reserve those conversations for people who I felt deserved to know the story, and who I could trust not to tell my Ex anything about my life once I left.”

When social media puts all of our friends, acquaintances, coworkers, and relatives on the same level of social access, it becomes important to, as this person put it, “reserve conversations for people who deserve to know the story.” We’ve probably all been in social media conversations where we’ve had to endure unwanted advice or sympathy from people who might be on our Friends List but who are not actually our friends. A well-crafted breakup status inhibits this type of unwanted communication by being self-contained. If there are no lingering obvious questions to ask, we will not be forced to address them in a Facebook status comment thread.

Breakup status updates are also crafted to allow both parties to end the relationship with a mutual agreement of respect. The person who wrote the “blanket ‘Hey, we’re breaking up’ announcement” did it with the ex in the room, so both of them could approve the status before it was posted; when I wrote my own breakup status update, I sent it to my ex before posting it online to ensure that we both agreed on what was publicly shared.

This is also important when people in a former relationship share a friend group; Mann and his ex-girlfriend advised friends to invite them both to parties, for example, and another person told me about a party specifically thrown as a way to introduce friends to the breakup:

“An ex and I had a breakup party (we invited people via Facebook). People were a little confused about it, but it was really good. It directly let everyone know we were breaking up on good terms and they didn't need to choose sides or feel uncomfortable about it. Basically a relationship wake.”

In “We’ve Got to Break Up,” Jonathan Mann sang about wanting to have kids. His son, Jupiter Mann, was born in time for Song A Day #1951. Since Mann’s daily songs are part of his career, his old breakup status song is still available online and is, in fact, one of his most popular videos. Other people I heard from chose to take theirs down. Removing the breakup status post from the Facebook status history makes sense, the way removing or untagging yourself from photos featuring an ex-partner makes sense; this person is no longer a part of your public story, and removing images and references lets you literally reshape your own narrative.

I also heard from a person who decided to reshape this public narrative even before the relationship formally ended:

“Several months before I could admit to myself that my relationship with my then-husband might be ending, I went through a life purge. I thought that if I could lighten my environment, maybe I would feel emotionally lighter as well. I stripped our apartment of duplicates, items that hadn't been used in more than six months, and objects I had until then held onto for sentimental reasons. I closed unused accounts. From active accounts I deleted statuses/photos/albums shared before that year and any information I thought was too revealing. This included hiding my Relationship Status from public view.”

Why do so many of us write and post stories about our breakups instead of, as this person did, hiding our Relationship Status updates from the public? Well, to start with, by the time that a relationship reaches the point where it needs a breakup explanation, there are probably a lot of people—from parents to coworkers to mutual friends—who are invested in that relationship’s story, if not the relationship’s success. Writing a breakup status update is a way to inform these people about a relationship’s end, but it also lets us reframe the end of a relationship as something besides a failure. As Jonathan Mann explained:

“The song got a hugely positive response both in terms of the content, i.e., let's not get awkward about this in social situations, and also just in general. People seemed to really resonate with a heartbreak song that wasn't sad but joyful. I heard from a ton of people who were going through breakups at the time who said the song helped them through.”

In that aspect, sharing the truth about our relationships and breakups—even a highly edited, boundary-bound truth—is just another a way to connect with each other; to accept Facebook likes and expressions of love from people across all of our social circles, and to let that little bit of emotion resonate with other people who have had similar experiences.

Because, at some point in nearly all of our lives, we’ve got to break up.

So we use this elegant and kind way to tell people the story of what happened.

21 Jul 21:05

‘Tree of 40 Fruit’, A Hyper Hybrid Tree That Grows Over 40 Varieties of Heirloom Stone Fruits

by Lori Dorn

40 Fruit Tree

Artist Sam Van Aken has created the amazing “Tree of 40 Fruit“, a hybrid tree that can grow over 40 varieties of stone fruits in various shades of pinks, purples and oranges. Using the process of chip grafting, Van Aken propagated the tree in order to preserve a number of heirloom varieties that have been marketed out of existence.

The Tree of 40 Fruit is an ongoing series of hybridized fruit trees by contemporary artist Sam Van Aken. Each unique Tree of 40 Fruit grows over forty different types of stone fruit including peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and almonds. Sculpted through the process of grafting, the Tree of 40 Fruit blossom in variegated tones of pink, crimson and white in spring, and in summer bear a multitude of fruit. Primarily composed of native and antique varieties the Tree of 40 Fruit are a form of conversation, preserving heirloom stone fruit varieties that are not commercially produced or available.

National Geographic recently interviewed Van Aken about the project.

Tree and Fruit

Fruit

Fruits

images via Tree of 40