August 23, 2009
Helpful Hints from joeeze: Air freshener on the cheap
Yesterday we were flying back to LA from Seattle and had to take a series of smaller airplanes with just the one compact bathroom in the back. Normally these get pretty... stuffy early on in the flight and the people sitting close to it definitely have a worse flight. But on one of the flights we noticed that upon entering the bathroom it smelled kind of nice, but not like an air freshener, it just smelled pleasant. Shutting the door, we realized what it was.
There, hanging on the back of the door were four tea bags (Good Earth Spiced Tea, to be exact). Because of the spices they held, it filled the tiny space with a natural aroma that wasn't overpowering but just enough to absorb/mask the other smells. One of the flight attendants must have put the tea bags there to make it more pleasant for everyone. We loved how simple a solution it was using what they probably already had on hand. We plan to raid our tea drawer and try out some mint or chai tea in a hall closet or our own bathroom.
"Every sportsman needs his own throne, and the Off-Road Commode fits the bill — with comfort and luxury to boot! Easily attaches to any 2-inch receiver hitch and supports up to 500 lbs. The 1-5/16" diameter steel tube seat is covered with soft padded camo. A great gift for hunting, fishing and camping buddies! Not for use when vehicle is in motion. Can get slippery when wet."
[via Ray Earhart, who wrote, "Highlight is mine."]
What's in a Slim Jim? Well, start with 'utility-grade' beef...
Better finish yours before reading on, would be my advice.
On second thought, maybe you'd be better off not reading on.
But if you insist, well, then, on third thought: toss the rest of your lunch before you really toss it.
Solar-Powered Catnap — by Jason Patterson
British Steam Car — aka 'Fastest kettle in the world' — continues assault on world land-speed record for steam-powered vehicles
The record is 127 mph, set in — ready? — 1906 by American Fred Marriott.
About time someone decided to take it on.
About time somebody put the steam back into steampunk.
Cable Holder Clip
Attaches to the edge of a table or desk and extends out about one-half inch.
Meant to prevent the "down on your knees under the desk" syndrome.
Been there? I've done that — no fun when your desk's a treadmill.
2 sizes: Up to 1" thick; up to 1.75" thick.
Thoth-Scribe — For ancient Egyptians, and those who love them
Reader Edgard Mansoor, in a comment Friday on the May 12, 2009 post about the now in question authenticity of the iconic bust of Nefertiti in Berlin's Altes Museum, wrote, "By joining Thoth-Scribe, you'll read the whole story which I will post in the very near future, as I am in the process of translating Stierlin's book into English. Joining Thoth-Scribe is free. You'll love it."
From Thoth-Scribe: "Thoth-Scribe is a friendly discussion group for any individual interested in ancient Egypt, whether a curious beginnner or a degreed professional. Topics include all historical periods from the Pre-Dynastic to the Roman. Any subject is open for discussion, including the history, religion, art, architecture, literature, technologies, and industries of ancient Egypt."
The Art Deco Motorcycle That Time Forgot
Here's James Grahame's story from Retro Thing about this spectacular one-of-a-kind BMW R7 prototype created in 1934.
The Art Deco Motorcycle That Time Forgot
The sheer beauty of the BMW R7 prototype takes my breath away. A single copy was crafted in 1934 by design engineer Alfred Böning. His vision was a departure from the "bicycle with motor" design still prevalent in the 1930s. The R7 incorporated sweeping enclosed bodywork, a pressed steel frame, valanced mudguards and then-innovative telescopic front forks.
The R7's beauty was more than skin deep, however. The transmission featured an 'H' pattern hand shifter and the 800c Boxer engine crafted by Leonhard Ischinger was decades ahead of its time. The revolutionary engine includes a forged, single piece crankshaft. The cylinder housing is a monoblock with a hemispherical combustion chamber, eliminating the need for a troublesome head gasket and the camshaft is positioned below the crank (allowing more convenient plug placement).
Alas, the R7 was deemed too extravagant and expensive to produce in the harsh economic and political climate of the mid-1930s. The roadworthy prototype was stripped of useful parts, crated and largely forgotten until 2005. When the box was finally opened, the R7 was found to be 70% complete but in disastrous condition. Many components were severely rusted and a long-forgotten battery had ruptured and corroded the machine even further.
Luckily, the original design drawings were located in the BMW Archives and BMW Classic undertook a comprehensive restoration. A team of specialists rebuilt the frame, bodywork, transmission and one-of-a-kind motor. By the end of 2008, the machine looked like it must have when Alfred Böning first rolled it out of his Munich workshop. It performed flawlessly on its first road test in over 70 years and, hopefully, will be displayed around the world in years to come.