What's in My Bag

What’s in my plastic bin? — Mark Frauenfelder


What’s in my … ? issue #117

Sign up here to get What’s in my bag? a week early in your inbox.


Mark Frauenfelder is the co-founder of BoingBoing, and the founding editor of Make magazine. He is a research director at Institute of the Future, and the author (and illustrator) of seven books. Every week he shares useful tips and recommendations of things that interest him, like interviews, recipes, quotations, and more, in his newsletter The Magnet.


For one reason or another a bunch of random stuff has ended up in this smallish plastic bin I keep in my closet. Every time I look at it I’m surprised by what I find in it.


When I was an engineer at Memorex in the mid-1980s, a coworker gave me a photocopy of a self-published booklet by Timothy Leary called Starseed: Transmitted from Folsom prison. I haven’t read it in 35 years, but it had something to do with Comet Kohoutek and how it was going to either destroy all life on the planet or lift human consciousness to a higher level. (You can read a scan at the Internet Archive)


I got this little plastic tool kit from the amazing Tokyu Hands department store in Tokyo. I think the plastic is made of some kind of composite material because it feels very hard, and I’ll bet it would really work as a tool kit. But I like the way it looks attached to the mold sprues so I keep it intact.


I picked up this nose hair removal kit from a store in Tokyo called Village Vanguard. It comes with little plastic beads that you put in the microwave and heat until soft, then attach a plastic wands to it and stick up your nose. When the plastic cools down you pull it out and your nose hair is stuck to it like a nightmarish lollipop. I tried it and it hurt a lot. When I posted about it on Boing Boing people told me it’s a good way to get a nasal infection, and having an infection in your nose is really bad because it’s close to your brain. I’m not going to use it again. I use a nose hair trimmer instead.


My daughter bought this little plastic statuette in Chiang Mai, Thailand for me. It served as the inspiration for a project I’ve been working on for a year and a half. I’m drawing 4900 little creatures in a notebook. Here’s a video of my progress.


© 2022