Mark Frauenfelder’s Boing Boing is the Internet at its best: a grab bag of strange——yet strangely enlightening——online treats. His Quarterly mailings are curated in the same spirit: They’re shiny and entertaining, and they make you smarter almost by accident. We talked toys and more with Mark.
1. How did you come up with the idea for your latest Quarterly mailing?
As a kid, I loved the Johnson Smith Catalog. It was a thick, digest sized catalog loaded with different kinds of novelties: miniature cameras, magic tricks, specialty wristwatches, glow-in-the-dark paints, rubber masks, and other odd curios. I wanted to recapture that magic feeling that I got when I perused the catalog.
2. What’s the best thing you’ve ever received in the mail?
When I was an editor at Wired magazine in the early 1990s, I mentioned in the magazine that it was my wish to have every episode of the Flintstones. A few days later a large box showed up on my desk. It had about 30 VHS tapes in it. Turner Broadcasting had sent me a complete run of the series.
3. What’s the worst thing?
A letter from the Internal Revenue Service informing me that I owed them a lot of money.
4. What’s your longest-running subscription?
Probably my subscription to Netflix. I still love getting DVDs in the mail.
5. Which other Quarterly contributor intrigues you the most?
It’s not fair to make me pick just one! But if you insist, I will go with Gretchen Rubin. I love the fact that she has made it her life’s work to explore what it means to be happy.
Thanks, Mark! Sign up now for Mark Frauenfelder’s next mailing.