March 23, 2018

Abandoned Kola Superdeep Borehole


From Russian Urban Exploration:



The deepest borehole in the world is located in the west of the Murmansk region,


about six miles from the city of Zapolyarny and very close to the Norwegian border.


The Soviet geological research project began in the midst of the Cold War,


as a response to similar U.S. exploration in the Pacific.


During work on the Kola superdeep well,


geologists managed to drill 7.2 miles into the earth's crust.


A lot of scientific and technical discoveries were made, but in the mid-90s the work was stopped,


and in 2008 all equipment was abandoned.

March 23, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Muchacha en la Ventana (Woman at the Window) — Salvador Dalí


The woman is his sister, Ana Maria; she's looking out at the Bay of Cadaqués, where Dalí used to spend summers.

The artist and his sister were very close, especially after the death of their mother.

She was his only female model until Gala replaced her in 1929.

His 1925 oil painting (30" x 40") is owned by the Museo Nacional Reina Sofía in Madrid.

March 23, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Arcade Legends 130 Game System


Ready. Player. One.

But I digress.

From the website:


This full-sized upright console houses 130 classic Atari, Stern, and Taito arcade games including AsteroidsCentipedeMissile CommandTempest, and Golden Tee Fore! Complete — the world's most popular golf video game. 

Golden Tee Fore! lets you play the original 29 realistic 18-hole courses using the same trackball control and screens used in the original.

The 130 classic games (complete list here) use the original programming that gave them such a distinctive, groundbreaking feel, using the same controls, colors, and sound as the originals, delivering true classic arcade-style play.

The console is made in the U.S. by the world-renowned Chicago Gaming Company, experts in arcade games for over 30 years.

Features and Details:

• Crisp Wells Gardner 25" monitor (not a computer monitor) reproduces all visual details

• Authentic coin door disabled

• 67"H x 27"W x 43"D

• Plugs into AC

• 350 lbs.



March 23, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 22, 2018

Paul Wittgenstein plays Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D Major

A budding concert pianist when he lost his right arm to a Russian bullet in World War I (it was amputated in a Russian prison hospital in 1914), Wittgenstein commissioned the work from Maurice Ravel.

From the YouTube caption: "Wittgenstein also performed the premiere with Robert Heger and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra on January 5, 1932."

"This (very short) excerpt from the cadenza, recorded in Paris [in] 1933, shows some of Wittgenstein's piano technique."

Anthony Gottlieb's New Yorker article about the remarkable Wittgenstein family pulled me in and wouldn't let go.

March 22, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Eighteen Acres" — Nicolle Wallace


Just excellent.

Amazon summary: "From the former Communications Director for the White House and current political media strategist comes a suspenseful and smart novel about the first female president and the dramas and deceptions she faces both in politics and in love."

I enjoyed the first half and then around page 150 the author put the pedal to the metal and thrust her book into top gear.

What a movie this could make, with three great female leads.

Even the Washington Post liked it.

March 22, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Screaming Meanie — Industrial Strength Travel Alarm


This device was created for long-distance truckers, but it's ideal for anyone who wants to get some sleep and ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY must get up on time

It's a 20-hour countdown timer — on steroids.

You simply set the hours and minutes before you want to wake up (up to 19 hours 59 minutes) and go to sleep, secure in the knowledge that no matter what, you won't sleep through your alarm.

The alarm is so loud, you can wear earplugs and get a really good night's sleep secure in the knowledge that you'll be jolted awake right on time by a piercing 120 dB siren —  "loud enough to wake the dead."

There are two volume settings: "loud" and "frighteningly loud."

No more worries about AM/PM, times zones, or anything.

Includes a backlit display to check time remaining and a built-in battery tester.

Turning off the alarm requires you to push three buttons simultaneously  — a maneuver complex enough that you will HAVE to wake up to shut the darned thing off.

Green or Black.

In case you aren't familiar with the decibel scale, 120 is 10 times louder than 110.

110 db is equivalent to sitting in the front row at a rock concert.

Is that loud enough for you?



March 22, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

March 21, 2018

Meet Steve Sasson, inventor of the digital camera


Who knew?

Excerpts from Monica Hesse's Washington Post front page Style section story about this pretty much under the radar innovator follow.


In 1975, as a young engineer who had no interest in photography but had taken a job with Kodak because he heard Rochester was nice, he invented the digital camera [above and below].

"Nobody really knew what we were working on in that lab," Sasson says. "It's not that we were trying to be secretive, it's just that nobody cared. 'Why would anyone want to look at images on a screen? What's the point of an electronic photo album?'"

On a recent morning, Sasson... showed off his 35-year-old creation. It's about the size of a toaster. It could be used to perform biceps curls, but holds only about .01 megapixel. "Sixteen NiCad batteries," Sasson says, pointing to the nickel cadmium batteries through a mess of exposed wires and nubby tabs called potentiometers.... Sasson compares himself to a guy who invented a really good pen, which wouldn't necessarily make that guy a good writer. All of this is to say that the guy who invented the digital camera doesn't really know anything about photography.


The camera was an afterthought, a "filler project" Sasson [above, holding the camera] was asked to look into when not working on his main assignment of building a lens-cleaning machine. Its first image was an impromptu snapshot of a lab technician from down the hall. When it appeared on the television screen a minute later, the white office walls showed up, and so did the technician's black hair. Her face, her clothes and everything else were a muted swamp of gray. The technician looked at the historic photograph of herself on the screen and shrugged. "Needs work," she told him.


Below, a page from the 1978 patent.


Below, the playback device and a TV.



I find it interesting that at the same time Sasson was creating his device in Kodak's Elmgrove Plant in Rochester, New York, Jobs and Wozniak were putting the finishing touches on their Apple I.

One of the 200 Apple I computers built between July 1976 and August 1977, complete in its original packaging, brought $213,000 at a Christie's auction — in 2010.

You could look it up.

Wrote Ben Rooney in the Wall Street Journal, "The lot included a letter from 'Steven Jobs' and the return address on the packaging was his parents' house."

Steve Wozniak was present at the auction; speaking afterwards he said, "I gave them away for free. It was really just an attempt to help people move the world forward."

March 21, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) — "The web's largest resource for acronyms and abbreviations"

Screen Shot 2018-03-11 at 11.39.56 AM

One-stop shopping: what's not to like?

March 21, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

World's First LED Gum Health Stimulator


What took so long?

From the website:



This is the only device that stimulates circulation inside your mouth to help maintain healthy gums.

Using technology developed by NASA, the mouthpiece employs eight infrared (880nm) and eight red (660nm) LEDs that produce safe infrared heat that penetrates deep into gingival tissue, boosting circulation to help promote oral health.

Lightweight, portable, and simple to use, the cordless mouthpiece offers convenient one-button operation for the recommended 10-minute treatment.

For those who use light-reactive whitening gel to brighten their teeth, the mouthpiece also has 12 blue LEDs that allow you to simultaneously get a whitening treatment as you treat your gums (gel not included).

Features and Details:

• Internal battery recharges in 4-6 hours via AC adapter

• Includes hard plastic travel case

• 4.5" x 2.25" x 1"

• Weight: 3 oz. 




March 21, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

March 20, 2018

Sand Roses
















a desert.


Also known as desert roses.

March 20, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Birth of an Octopus

From the Washington Post:


Few deep-sea creatures are as charismatic as the dumbo octopus [below].


It glows pearly white amid the darkness of the deep ocean and propels itself through the chilly water with eight muscular arms and two gigantic flapping ears that look exactly like those of its Disney movie namesake.

A baby dumbo octopus is just like its parent, but tiny — which makes it even more adorable.

The creature was seen for the first time in footage taken in 2005 by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution ecologist Tim Shank.

In the video and the accompanying research paper, published this week in the journal Current Biology, Shank and his colleagues report that within 10 minutes of hatching, the young octopus behaved like a fully grown adult.

It could swim, survey its environment, and detect chemical signals. Well-developed suckers on its arms suggest it would even be capable of catching prey.

"We therefore conclude that [dumbo octopuses] hatch as competent juveniles," the study authors write.

Shank discovered the infant octopus while on a cruise of the seamounts (underwater peaks) in the North Atlantic.

With a remote-operated underwater vehicle, or ROV, he spotted what looked like bumpy balls of chocolate clinging to the branches of a cold-water coral almost 8,000 feet below the surface.

He directed the ROV to scoop up the spheres and bring them back to the surface.

It turned out the strange chocolate-colored specimens were egg cases.

The first two were broken open and empty, and the next two were filled with a glob of white jelly.

But the fifth — whole and apparently full — began to crack open as he retrieved it from the ROV's sampling box. By the time Shank made it to the ship's lab, a tiny octopus had emerged.

"Once the fins were observed while it was still in the bucket, it was clear that it was a dumbo octopod," co-author Elizabeth Shea said in a news release.

Shea is curator of mollusks at the Delaware Museum of Natural History.

Waving its huge ear flaps — each about as large as the rest of its tiny body — it swam around a small dish, bumping its mantle against the clear glass sides.

The hatchling bore a sac filled with rich yolk, which likely would help keep the young octopus nourished as it figured out how to feed.

Not much is known about the genus Grimpoteuthis, which includes the 14 known species of dumbo octopuses.

They dwell almost exclusively in the ocean's darkest depths, out of reach for all but the hardiest submersibles.

Very few specimens have been collected, and little of their DNA has been sequenced.

For this reason, Shank, Shea and their colleagues couldn't determine the hatchling's species.

March 20, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

What is happening here?

22 copy

What it is, ain't exactly clear.

But I digress.

Hint: what the doofus is inserting into his mouth is smaller than a bread box.

Another: not edible.

That ought to be enough to give you something to chew on.


Wait a sec... what's that music* I'm hearing?

*One of my all-time top 10 songs; I knew it would always be on my list the very first time I heard it back in 1967

March 20, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

March 19, 2018

Downton Abbey Time Machine


March 19, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

BehindTheMedspeak: Why screening fails


Caption: "Lead-time bias: How early detection shifting the diagnosis needle can lengthen disease survival rate without lengthening life."

Far more men die with prostate cancer than from it.

[via Scientific American]

March 19, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Elevator Music — Off-White x Byredo


From the New York Times :


When Virgil Abloh, the creative director of Off-White (and longtime collaborator with Kanye West), decided to introduce his first perfume, he had only one request: He wanted it to smell like nothing.

Well, almost nothing.

Mr. Abloh envisioned a fragrance so delicate that it would exist only in the background, a scent so hushed and unassuming that it was barely detectable to the human nose.

He delivered this invisible vision to Ben Gorham, who runs the fragrance house Byredo, and together they produced a scent called Elevator Music.

The first perfume from Virgil Abloh and Ben Gorham will be introduced at Barneys New York on May 17.

The see-through scent contains soft notes of violet, bamboo, and musk, but is so subtle that it nearly disappears on wrist contact.

"We came up with the concept of elevator music because we both grew up in the 90s," Mr. Gorham said, speaking by phone while traveling in Dubai. "Background music had such a negative connotation then, but it was something we could relate to."

Think of the fragrance ($275 for 100 milliliters) as more of a backdrop to your life than as something that stands by itself.

It is nondescript on purpose.

"The idea," Mr. Gorham said, "is that its wearer is noticed, not the perfume."


Apply within (starting May 17).

March 19, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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