September 03, 2011
How old is your globe?
"Use the chart to determine the age of your globe."
[via Nuclear Toast]
Made in England.
Mother and daughter at a Walmart in Kunming, China
Strandbeest — Episode 3: Make your own
Perhaps you never saw them, or have forgotten them.
Now comes Jansen's Mini Strandbeest kit, based on one of his full-scale designs.
From Lauren Aaronson's review in the October issue of Wired: "The 8-inch model [above and below] is as complex as its forebear, with 120 parts that snap together to form 12 jointed legs, a spinelike crankshaft, and a wind turbine. Ours took about 90 minutes to assemble and walked across most flat surfaces, even packed beach sand and slight inclines. The ingenious movement is hypnotic, but unlike some of the full-size beasts, which use a system of pumps and soda bottles to store energy, the Mini stops when the wind does."
Film Strip Cuff
"35mm film strip cuff in antique oxidized brass."
6" circumference, 1.25" wide.
"The Lincoln Lawyer" vs. Maybach Man
On consecutive nights recently I watched Matthew McConaughey as "The Lincoln Lawyer" (he plays Mickey Haller, a flashy high-powered, criminal defense lawyer driven around L.A. in a shiny black Lincoln — license plate "NTGUILTY" — by a longtime loyal chauffeur/jack-of-all-trades legal and not) and Bradley Cooper as Eddie Morra in "Limitless" as a latter-day "Flowers for Algernon"/"Charly," a pretty much failed writer who happens on a superdrug that renders him a genius, with all manner of extraordinary capabilities.
I noticed during "Limitless" that Morra was being driven around Manhattan in a very swish car that didn't immediately cause the penny to drop, the realization only dawning after seeing it onscreen a few times that — I'm 95% certain — it was a Maybach, Mercedes' über-car that has ünderperformed to the tune of global sales last year amounting to only 200 or so cars (they start at $375,000 and the sky's the limit) with Mercedes as a result on the brink of closing its Maybach division.
Nice interior, for sure.
I've yet to see a Maybach in person nor has anyone I know, though a friend of mine in Texas was going to test drive one before a scheduling conflict took him out of town on the appointed day.
Oh, yeah, the movies — "The Lincoln Lawyer" I liked a lot, finally McConaughey has moved beyond just making an appearance and he makes Mickey Haller crackle.
Bonus: Marisa Tomei plays his ex-wife, a district attorney who's still in love with him although she tries to convince herself that's not the case.
Robert DeNiro, as a Philip Falcone/John Malone type in "Limitless," steals the movie from Cooper, with his icy demeanor and quietly threatening manner running up against Morra's alternating over-the-top supermind persona and the less-than-confident version who tries to pretend when his superdrug brain/blood level drops.
Good entertainment, both.
Baby Banana Peel Bunting
BehindTheMedspeak: Skin of Mine iPhone app analyzes moles — Is it cancer?
From Steven Leckart's excellent survey of smartphone image-recognition apps in Thursday's New York Times: "[A] photo-recognition tool with health implications is Skin of Mine, a $2.99 iPhone app that analyzes moles and freckles."
"Start the app, and an outline of a human body appears. Once you touch a spot on the body, the camera opens. After taking a snapshot, you trace a mole using a tiny on-screen pencil. From there, the mole's symmetry, border and color are analyzed and assigned numerical values. By cross-checking the numbers with a database of a few hundred images culled from dermatologists, the app estimates whether your mole might be consistent with melanoma."
"'The idea isn't to replace your dermatologist, but keep an eye on things between doctor visits,' says Ellen Kislal, president of Medical Image Mining Laboratories, which developed Skin of Mine. For users in Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey and New York, the app also provides the option of connecting online with a doctor. For $40 to $65, the doctor will examine your photo and make a diagnosis. Eventually, the app will expand to include assessments of other skin conditions like acne, vitiligo and wrinkles, Dr. Kislal said."
For the overwhelming majority of people, there is no dermatologist to replace.
Most insurance plans don't let you visit a dermatologist without a referral from a primary care physician, who may not be the best screener when it comes to deciding whether a mole deserves a specialized opinion.
$40 to $65 is cheap at 100 times the price if the app flags a lesion that turns out to be an early melanoma.
And with a database expanded to included thousands or tens of thousands of images, the app will only get better at distinguishing benign from malignant.
This is a really big deal, in my opinion, and represents the bleeding edge of the coming age of interactive tele-medicine, letting anyone with a phone have access to the very finest diagnosticians and clinicians on the planet.
Melanoma is 100% curable — if it's caught early enough.
Skull & Crow Salt & Pepper Shakers
It's been at least a week since I've featured salt & pepper shakers, I don't know how that happened.
No matter, all remedied.
Skull: 2.75" x 3.25" (7 cm x 8 cm).
Crow: 2.5" x 5" (6 cm x 12.5 cm).