April 29, 2017

FACET iPad Stand


From the website:



FACET is a magnetic pyramid for iPad.


Each side of the pyramid features a different angle — 35°, 55°, and 75° — for using and viewing your iPad anywhere you like.


FACET's surface area creates a stable stand on couches and beds, and its magnets enable it to virtually disappear behind your iPad.


Works with iPad generations 2, 3, and 4.



Black or White: $39.95 (iPad not included).

April 29, 2017 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 28, 2017

PennSound: Poets reading their own work


From Wikipedia


PennSound is a poetry website and online archive that hosts free and downloadable recordings of poets reading their own work.

The website offers over 1500 full-length and single-poem recordings, the largest collection of poetry sound-files on the internet, all of which are available free [the way we like it] for download.

Described as the "iTunes of poetry" by co-director Charles Bernstein, PennSound provides all of its recordings in the form of free downloadable MP3s.

Well over 1,500 sound files are available for streaming and downloading.


There goes the day.

April 28, 2017 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: smaller than a bread box.

Another: no moving parts.

A third: not the love child of a Magic 8 Ball and "2001" monolith.

April 28, 2017 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

April 27, 2017

Magnetic putty comes alive and swallows a cube

Video caption:


Magnetic putty time lapse as it absorbs a rare-earth magnet. Taken over 1.5 hours at 3fps, played back at 24fps. The magnetic putty will eventually arrange itself so that the outer surface is as evenly distributed around the magnet as possible.

Ferromagnetic particles in the putty are strongly attracted to the magnet and very slowly engulf the surface of the magnet. The magnet shown in the picture is a strong neodymium iron boron magnet. It's a very powerful magnet for its size and could erase magnetic stripes found in credit cards and damage electronics!

The putty looks and feels like regular silly putty, but the difference lies in the fact that it has been infused with millions of micron-sized ferrous particles (most often iron oxide powder). The magnetic putty is not actually magnetic by itself, since the infused particles are made of iron powder.

The presence of the strong neodymium iron boron magnet (the silver cube in the video) magnetizes the ferromagnetic particles in the putty. When this happens, the ferrous particles align with each other and this alignment generates north and south magnetic poles, making the putty into a temporary magnet. Once magnetized, the putty will remain magnetized even after the rare-earth magnet has been removed from the putty. This effect persists for a few hours until thermal agitation shakes the particles and they lose their alignment.


[via Reality Carnival]

April 27, 2017 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Leather Fortune Cookies


From the website:



With a pair of leather fortune cookies, you can keep one for yourself and share the other with a lucky friend or loved one.

Each cookie is sturdy and flexible, allowing you to repeatedly open it up and slip a message inside.

Or, put in a small stone, trinket, or talisman — there's no limit to where your imagination might take you.

Features and Details:

• Includes 8 blank paper fortune slips

• Cookie dimensions: 2.5" x 2.5" x 2"

• Un-dyed, vegetable-tanned leather

• Handmade in Denver, Colorado

• Set comes in a muslin bag



April 27, 2017 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 26, 2017

Amazon Leadership Principles

• Leaders are right a lot.

• No task is beneath them.

• They accomplish more with less.

• They never say "that's not my job."

• They are not limited by "not invented here."

• They ensure that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.


[from the company's statement]

April 26, 2017 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mirrorlite — Ultra-light shatterproof optical-grade glassless reflectivity on the cheap


What's not to like?



Better, cheaper, lighter, easier to install and remove, indoor, outdoor, safer.


No more glass shards, ever.

A zillion sizes and shapes: apply within.

April 26, 2017 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 25, 2017

Earth and the Moon (on the left) from between Saturn's Rings


I wonder what year the first human will take in this view.

I'm guessing 2200.

From Atlas Obscura


The Cassini Orbiter is about 5,000 pounds (minus its fuel, which is all gone, along with the Huygens probe it dropped off on Titan in 2004) of science that's been orbiting Saturn for nearly 13 years.

It is, by any objective take, a vanishingly small speck in the vastness of space, and one of the subtle feats of its 12 sensors — including an ultraviolet imaging spectrograph, plasma spectrometer, and cosmic dust analyzer — is reminding us occasionally that the Earth is, too.

Above, one of the latest composite images that the probe has produced, of the Earth between Saturn's icy rings, from nearly a billion miles away.

Not that you'd be able to tell, but that's the Southern Atlantic Ocean there, and the faint dot on the left is the moon.

Cassini's 20-year journey of scientific discovery and cooperation is almost over and it's currently in its final act, orbiting lower and lower through Saturn's rings.

This September 15 it will go out in a tiny blaze of glory in Saturn's atmosphere.

The probe will continue beaming data back right up until that moment, and its last word — traveling at the speed of light — will arrive on Earth over an hour after it's gone.


Dennis Overbye of the New York Times, in my opinion the finest science writer in the English language on our blue dot of a planet, wrote a wonderful requiem for Cassini which appeared last Friday.

April 25, 2017 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

My tricked-out Chemex Coffeemaker


This is how we* do it.


Everyone knows coffee is all about the accessories.

My Chemex is wearing a cozy and resting atop a warming pad, both from MessyMessyMe; topped by a heat lid; and accompanied by a double-wall Bodum cup.

I'd estimate that the last of my morning coffee stays hot at least twice as long using these heat-retaining devices than previously.

Hey, wait a sec — what's that music I'm hearing?

*Gray Cat et moi

April 25, 2017 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

April 24, 2017

The Art of the Peel


From Atlas Obscura:


Wooly sheep emerges

Yoshihiro Okada saw the design of a prawn [top] in a vision. He saw it clearly: Out of a tangerine peel, the crustacean emerged, unfurling its many thin legs, the articulated length of its body, the fan of its tail. Near the eye — the stubby end of the tangerine stem — the prawn waved long antennae that reached out to sense the world around.

After the vision, Okada picked up a tangerine and tried to execute what he had seen. He can peel freehand, but for a design like this, with such delicate features, it helped to use a knife. It came out the way he'd envisioned it on the first try. He was amazed. "The shrimp design is one of the most sophisticated designs among all of my works," he says.

Okada is an unusual artist. His medium is the thin peel of a citrus fruit, which he unwinds into a variety of elegant shapes, most depicting animals from land, sky, and sea. He operates according to a principle of conservation. Each shape must use the entire peel; no part can be removed and nothing can be added. Within this limitation, he has created more than 170 designs. "I am sure that I will be able to make almost any kind of animal or bird if I am asked to," he says. Now he is working on series of symbols — the Juni-shi zodiac, popular in Japan; the Western zodiac; the symbols of the twelve tribes of Israel.


April 24, 2017 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

World's most expensive unpowered toothbrush






work for you?

April 24, 2017 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

April 23, 2017

Guide to figuring out the age of an undated world map



[via xkcd]

April 23, 2017 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kathryn Blackmore brings it: new jewellery* to sigh for


FunFact: Some years ago I was smitten by someone and spent some time thinking about how I could make it happen.


I bought her a necklace from Ms. Blackmore's U.K. shop and Bob's your uncle.


Since I happened on her jewellery I've been confounded at how inexpensive her pieces are vis-à-vis their workmanship, design and overall elegance.


Limited editions from her current collection here.

*when in Rome...

April 23, 2017 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 22, 2017

Pavlova's Shoes


Shoes worn by prima ballerina assoluta Anna Pavlova for "Oriental Impressions: A Ballet in Three Miniatures," first performed September 13, 1923.

Made in India, they are in the collection of the Museum of London.

April 22, 2017 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: smaller than a bread box.

Another: from the Southern Hemisphere.

A third: inedible.

April 22, 2017 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

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