Fast Company profiles Boing Boing

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Photo Illustration by Glen Wexler

Rob Walker, author of Buying In: What We Buy and Who We Are, and the “Consumed” columnist for The New York Times Magazine, profiled us for a lengthy feature article in the December 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine. Rob really got the story right! Thanks to all of our readers who make it possible for us to keep Boing Boing going!

And what really makes it interesting is that it does this with a mix of material that remains as eclectic, strange, and sometimes nonsensical as the obscure personal blog it started out as. Sure, the site offers its take on big, hot-button topics like WikiLeaks or the latest Apple gadgetry. But just as prominent are headlines such as “And now, an important message regarding elves,” or “Heavily stapled phone-pole,” or, to cite a recent favorite of mine, “Monkey rides a goat” (an animated GIF of exactly that).

How can this mishmash command an audience of millions? Particularly now, when the “postpersonal” blogosphere offers slick, focused, comprehensive takes on any subject you can imagine? Maybe the founders’ insistence on keeping the site weird, loose, personal, and fundamentally unprofessional is exactly what keeps the crowd coming back. Boing Boing’s longevity hasn’t happened despite its refusal to get serious, but because of it.

Stay tuned for a behind-the-scenes look at how photographer/artist Glen Wexler created that amazing pogo-stick illustration.

Fast Company: Inside the Wild, Wacky, Profitable World of Boing Boing

U.S. government simultaneously pushing and warning against increased cheese consumption

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According to a report in today’s New York Times, a US Dept. of Agriculture division tasked with increasing dairy product sales found new ways to promote increased cheese consumption at the same time our government was warning Americans about health risks associated with the increased consumption of cheese.

Bonus: a bonafide gubmint documint referencing the menace of “cheese snacking fanatics.

(via BB Submitterator, thanks millrick; photo submitted to the Boing Boing Flickr pool by arooj)

The New York Times Torture Euphemism Generator!

Reading the NYT’s stories about the Iraq War logs, I was struck by how it could get through such gruesome descriptions — fingers chopped off, chemicals splashed on prisoners — without using the word ‘torture.’ For some reason the word is unavailable when it is literally meaningful, yet is readily tossed around for laughs in contexts where it means nothing at all. It turns out the NYT has a reputation for studiously avoiding the word, to the point of using bizarre bureaucratic alternatives. It must be awfully hard work inventing these things. So I thought I’d help out by putting together a torture euphemism generator that the New York Times’ reporters can use to help avoid the T-word in their thumb removal and acid bath coverage.

Continue reading “The New York Times Torture Euphemism Generator!”