January 18, 2018

An elegant demonstration of the Pythagorean theorem

January 18, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Change your screen to greyscale to combat phone addiction


Melissa Kirsch, editor-in-chief of Lifehacker, explains how to do it.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 2.03.54 PM

What I like is the Easter egg in iPhone X's application of this interesting concept, namely the fact that once you've done it, you can switch back and forth from color to B&W instantly by triple clicking the side button.

So easy, even a TechnoDolt®© can do it.


All credit to Tristan Harris, who thought up and popularized the idea, and Nellie Bowles, whose New York Times story glanced off my pea brain with enough inertia transfer to enable me to twig how cool it is.

January 18, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

TechDAS Air Force One Turntable


"Any adverse effects caused by various obstructive oscillations, which used to be the archnemeses of analog turntables, have been thoroughly wiped out by the Air Force One."


Among other things, it weighs 174 pounds and uses a vacuum pump to clamp the record to the platter.


Made in Japan.


January 18, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

January 17, 2018

"Burning Chrome" — William Gibson

Screen Shot 2018-01-12 at 2.23.29 PM

Above, the Japanese cover for his iconic 1982 story.

January 17, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Studies in Intelligence


quarterly journal published by the CIA.

"Every profession has its own literature. We have some great writers here. 'Studies' is where they get to speak their minds."— Andres Vaart, editor.

Wrote Nicholas Schmidle in the January 8, 2018 issue of the New Yorker, "Since 1955, when it began (below),


intelligence officers have filled its pages with analyses of old spy operations, book reviews, and tales of derring-do."

The editorial board consists of sixteen members, current and former intelligence officers.

A review board scrutinizes each submission to make certain no state secrets are published.

Each issue appears in classified and unclassified forms: the classified version appears only on cleared U.S. government websites.

Hard copies of the unclassified version are sent to each of the journal's roughly 500 subscribers.

As best I can determine, the general public — hoi polloi like u + moi — can't subscribe to the paper version, but it's available online here.

Free, the way we like it.

January 17, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ice Cream Bar Fan











Apply within.

January 17, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 16, 2018

The 15 Worst Classical Music Record Album Covers of All Time


Above and below,











January 16, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday Movie: "The Time of Your Life" (1948)


From Open Culture: "Adapted from the 1939 William Saroyan play of the same title (the play won the Pulitzer Prize), the film stars James Cagney and William Bendix." 

From archive.org: "In this adaptation of William Saroyan's award-winning play, James Cagney plays a gentle barfly named Joe who settles in Nick's (William Bendix) Bar with various colorful characters like an imaginative old cowboy or a tap dancing comic who can't get laughs. His sister Jeanne plays Kitty Duval, a woman who claims to once have been in burlesque. She and her brother have some of the most touching scenes in the movie. The pace takes a while to get used to, but if you're in the mood for something optimistically offbeat, 'The Time of Your Life' should be up your alley."

January 16, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: smaller than a bread box.

Another: inedible.

From another angle:


January 16, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

January 15, 2018

Time Machine


Take a used book purchased on Amazon.

Note that its pages are all yellow.


Open the book to find it was published by Pan Books in London in 1961, having been originally published by William Heinemann Ltd. in 1959.

Stop a moment after settling in with it to think about those things.


It must have been written prior to 1959, things like editing and printing and whatnot being quite time-consuming (take it from one who's been there and done that — but I digress).

Let's say Clifford Irving — yes, that Clifford Irving — wrote the book (158 pages in my paperback edition) in a year, say during 1958.


That was the year I turned 10.

I like to think about the stuff I was doing at that age — a lot of mischief, such as stealing candy and comic books from Fink's Drug Store at the corner of 51st and Center St. in Milwaukee — and imagine Irving sitting somewhere in New York City, where his novel is set, thinking up his story at the very same time.

Time machine.

January 15, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Sounds of the Downhill

Some of the top ski racers in the world describe what it's like during a World Cup downhill — literally, life on the edge.

January 15, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Facewaver Exercise Mask — "Beauty skin sag face stretcher"


What's not to like?

Perfect for wearing with Google Glass to blend in better.

Ya think?

From the website:



The Facewaver stretches and tightens the face and cheeks, kneading out wrinkles, lines and sag.

Just five minutes a day and your face will appear more youthful and energetic.

Wearing the Facewaver is like doing exercise on your face [sic], as it gently stretches the skin and muscles in several directions, improving and increasing blood circulation to the surface of your face.

Easy to wear, this is best with five minutes of training each day, the wavy materials working to stimulate and pull on your muscles as you make different facial expressions.


Details and Features:

• Recommended for use for 5 minutes per day

• Nylon/polyurethane (hand wash)

• Made in Japan





January 15, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 14, 2018

Ricky & Doris: An Unconventional Friendship in New York City. With Puppets!

YouTube caption: "Ricky Syers is an offbeat 50-year-old street performer who found his calling as a puppeteer after a lifetime of manual labor. While performing in New York City's Washington Square Park, he met Doris Diether, an 86-year-old community activist. They became friends and he made a marionette that looks just like her. Now she's joined his act and the two of them can often be seen performing together."

January 14, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

How Long It Takes to Reach a City From Every Place on Earth


Map caption: Red indicates places an hour or more away from a city; purple indicates place a day or more away from a city.

From Atlas Obscura:


The last time that researchers created a map showing the accessibility of cities worldwide, in 2008, Google Maps was three years old. The data used to make the map was from 2000, when printing out directions from Mapquest still felt like an exciting new convenience.

That map showed that there were only a few places left in the world where it would take days of travel to reach a city of 50,000 people or more. Most of the world’s cultivated land was within a two-hour journey of a city. As the geographer Alastair Bonnett wrote in his book "New Views," the map showed that "the old distinction between rural and urban society is no longer useful."

But a new global map of access to cities, published yesterday in Nature, shows that in some parts of the world, there still are disparities between rural and urban life, defined by how quickly a person can reach a city and all the amenities located there.

The new map, created by a team led by the University of Oxford's Big Data Institute, shows the travel time needed to reach a city from anywhere in the world in 2015. They found that 80.7 percent of the world’s human population — 5.88 billion people — live within an hour of a city.

To come to that conclusion, the researchers used data from Open Street Maps and Google which, they write, "capture transportation networks with unprecedented detail and precision." At a resolution of one square kilometer, they analyze the availability and condition of roads, railways, water, and other elements that might speed or slow a person's progress towards an urban center. The result is the most detailed map ever created that measures the possibilities of human movement from place to place.

Compare high-income countries to low-income countries, though, and a division appears (below).


In richer countries (in North America and Europe, predominantly) 90.7% of people live within an hour of a city. In poorer countries (in sub-Saharan Africa, most notably), 50.9% of people live within an hour of the city.

Not everyone wants to live close to a city, of course, but ease of access to urban areas connects people to the resources concentrated there — jobs, hospitals, schools, banks and other financial institutions. Traveling into a city is still the best way to take advantage of these key societal services.

Even with the advances in infrastructure and tools to document it, though, there are still places in the world that are distant from the bustle of city life. The purple spots on the map at the top represent places that are still far away from a city — from a day to more than a week's journey. These are challenging places in which few people live, but even today there are a few spots left that are isolated from the great agglomerations of humanity that have spread across the globe.

January 14, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

10-foot-long panorama selfie stick


What took so... long?

From the website:



This 10-foot-long oversized selfie stick captures wide angle shots.


A smartphone attaches to its 3.5" spring action mount and an included Bluetooth remote pairs with the phone, enabling one to capture panoramic scenes from a mountaintop or snap an extra-wide shot of an entire wedding party.


The aluminum selfie stick holds phones up to 4.5" wide and collapses to 26" long when not in use.


Includes steel tripod base, padded grip handle, carrying strap, and CR2032 battery for remote.



January 14, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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