Ruben Bolling, Cartoonist


Cool Tools Show 107: Ruben Bolling

We have hired professional editors to help create our weekly podcasts and video reviews. So far, Cool Tools listeners have pledged $359 a month. Please consider supporting us on Patreon. We have great rewards for people who contribute! – MF


Our guest this week is Ruben Bolling. Ruben is the author of the award-winning comic strip, Tom the Dancing Bug, which premieres each week on Boing Boing.

Subscribe to the Cool Tools Show on iTunes | RSS | Transcript | Download MP3 | See all the Cool Tools Show posts on a single page

Show notes:

Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones ($249)
“I think of headphones as being the big bulky things that you put over your ears but the cool thing about these is that these are just the ear buds. A friend of mine showed them to me and I didn’t think they could really work because I thought most of the noise cancellation of these things come from these big cushions that you put over your ears. I was really amazed. You switch it on and it really does, all of a sudden, the volume of everything else, boom, just floors. … My wife got them for my birthday, I think a year ago and they’re just awesome because they really, they just fit right into your ears. They really do work. You can put your head down in bed and go to your side and you don’t have these big bulky things on. I used them on the airplane on the way to Tokyo. That was awesome. These things are essential on airplanes.”

Apple Music
“Apple Music is something, I don’t know if this is a tool really, or it’s a system and of course, everyone’s heard of it. There’s no revelation. I sort of was interested in my reaction to it because this was also a gift that I gave to my daughter because she really wanted it. I’m a guy who, I love my music collection and it’s in my iTunes and it’s curated and it’s organized and I’m really careful about what goes in there and what I get. She wanted this so we got it and it’s just so weird to, I can’t wrap my head around the fact that I listen to literally anything ever recorded any time I want to, wherever I am. … I have to remind myself, I hear something and I’m like, wow, I’d like to hear that. I wish I could. Then, once I do hear it on Apple Music, I still have this instinct or this impulse to say, hmm, now should I get it? Do I want it for my collection? It’s like a totally alien concept to my kids. They’re just like, why do you want to have it. You can listen to it any time you want.”

Citi Bike
“There’s an app that you have on your phone and it tells you where all the docking stations are, where the bikes are kept and whether there are any available bikes at those docks at this time, and also, where you’re going, whether there are any empty docks to put your bike. Instead of owning a bike, you just go and put a little sort of a card into a slot and then you get a bike for an hour and you drop it off somewhere else. I pay an annual fee of a hundred and something. … There’s the helmet issue so it’s hard to do it spontaneously. Sometimes, I bend that rule. The first time I used it, I just took out a bike and I’m riding along and I see someone I know and I wave to them on my bike and it was like I was 10 years old again. Ringing the bell, it was just amazing. It’s really a great service and a lot of fun.”

SodaStream ($80)
“I don’t use the flavors, I only use the seltzer. I think seltzer is a regional thing. I think it’s in the Northeast where you can actually buy seltzer. When I travel and I go to a CVS or a convenience store, I find that they don’t even have seltzer, whereas in New York and New England, they have lots of options for different brands off seltzer, plain seltzer, flavored seltzers. … Making it at home with this Soda Stream, you just sort of put a bottle in there and press the button a few times and it makes the water into seltzer. It’s environmental because we used to buy these big bottles of seltzer and all the plastic and transportation. I love it. I usually drink a whole one with dinner.”

Also mentioned:

The EMU Club Adventures, a series of chapter books for kids

And The Inner Hive, Tom the Dancing Bug’s subscription club