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January 28, 2018

SR-71 Blackbird flies

From Business Insider: "Luckily, you can now spend all day watching the SR-71 scream across anonymous skies, if you so desire."

"NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center [has] decided to crack open its vault and publish archival footage from decades of flight tests at Dryden/Edwards Air Force Base on its YouTube channel."

It's a bird... it's a plane....

Fair warning: there goes the day.

FunFact: There is an SR-71 Blackbird on display in the Boeing Aviation Hanger at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, in Chantilly Virginia near Dulles Airport, part of the National Air and Space Museum. 

From the museum's website:

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I've been meaning to go see it (below),

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up close and personal, ever since it went on display in 2003.

Worth the trip?

Mos def once upon a time, but now that I'm so Gray Cat-centric, even a 90-minute car journey seems more than I'm willing to invest.

January 28, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Ken Burns loves quilts

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From the New York Times:


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This week, the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska, will reveal a surprising side of the prolific filmmaker Ken Burns: He collects quilts.

The exhibition "Uncovered: The Ken Burns Collection" will display 28 of them for the first time.

Mr. Burns has been buying American quilts since the mid-1970s, often on prowls through antique stores on the back roads of New England; before too long, dealers began coming to him.

He now owns about 75 quilts, split among his home, office, barn, and lake house in New Hampshire.

He also keeps three in his Manhattan apartment, including his favorite, the "Circular Wreath" quilt (top), which hangs above his bed.

He did not tell the International Quilt Study Center about it, he admitted. "I don't have a quilt that gives me more pleasure than this one."

He warmed to his subject. "First of all, you’re faced with a loud but controlled design of these circles and these spots and these dots and the borders. And then," he said, pointing at the white background, "you go in and you cannot believe the extent of the quilting. There's some mirrored or deeper round circular things that aren't in any way what the circles are, and there's combinations. One may be a pinwheel, followed by something that is more like a traditional flower, with blossoms, and then lots of leaves in between. If you consider the thousands of woman-hours that went into this, it's just an extraordinary thing."

"I would not trade it for a $25 million painting by you-name-the-artist," he added.

Giving a tour of his Manhattan home, he noted that although about a quarter of his quilts are in storage, he still misses those sent to Nebraska: "I can feel the emptiness of the spots where they were." Here are edited excerpts from [our] conversation.

What draws you to quilts?

A quilt greets you on many levels. It has its stunning initial design, and that draws you into it — established patterns like a crazy quilt or a log cabin quilt. I'm less interested in that than in just how beautifully they've realized that. Then others seem to have sprung from the imagination of the creators, or they are riffing on a design and have gone so far away that they've just added something new. And then, once you've accepted the symmetry or the asymmetry, the colors and the patterns, then you go in to see the minute quilting itself.

How do you decide which quilts to buy?

It's completely visceral. I can tell in a nanosecond whether I want to put it into the maybe pile or the yes pile or the no pile; and then the maybes, it takes me only a few more seconds of reconsideration to say yes or no to them.

The center says that quilt collecting is an extension of your "passion for storytelling." How?

They're an essential building block of the culture that's making them. Women working with fabrics produce something reflective of it. I collect American quilts and they tell me a lot about the country.

January 28, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Poptheatr is a bucket you put on your head so you can watch movies


From TechCrunch:



Poptheatr is a bucket that you put over your head.

You put your telecommunications device on top of the bucket and then look up at movies or TV while you lie comfortably on your back.

This keeps your hands free to manage your video playback using an included Bluetooth device.

Write the creators:

Poptheatr is your own private theater that provides you with a comfortable, personal viewing experience when watching on your mobile device. No longer will you face distractions and constant discomfort when you could be enjoying your movie or show to the fullest extent.

Early bird units cost $54 and will ship in July; it will retail for $119.


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Apply within.

January 28, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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