March 19, 2018

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 (0)

March 18, 2018

Creating the perfect chocolate chip cookie — J. Kenji López-Alt


Back in the day


he worked


in Cook's Illustrated's test kitchen.


Talk about a perfect match between person and job....

March 18, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Mustache Cup

MustacheCup_Ben Husmann

From Atlas Obscura:


The late 19th century was a heyday for impressive mustaches, but it presented various challenges for mustachioed tea lovers.

The heat of the drink melted mustache wax, making corners droop.

Mustaches — and their owners — were literally getting into hot water.

The solution to this problem arrived in the form of the mustache cup.

The mustache cup was almost certainly invented by the British potter Harvey Adams in the 1870s.

Adams patented a butterfly-shaped ledge that was set inside the cup with a hole to drink through.

These sold in great quantities, first in the U.K., then throughout Europe.

In the U.S. they were sold everywhere from Sears to the department store Marshall Fields.

Below, the Ringling Brothers' mustache cups.

MustacheCups_CharmaineZoe's Marvelous Melange

The cups came in many shapes and sizes.

"Farmers’ cups" held as much as a pint of tea while smaller porcelain pieces were sculpted like conch shells or embossed with the name of the owner.

Most had saucers to match, but these weren't nearly as prized as the cups themselves.

A British newspaper classified of the time reads:

    REWARD — If the Lady who STOLE A GENT'S MUSTACHE CUP on Saturday Night from the Little Dust Pan will apply at once, she can have the SAUCER FREE

These days you'll mostly find mustache cups in museums or private collections of Victoriana.

March 18, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Scrabble Keyboard

Screen Shot 2018-03-15 at 4.19.10 PM

From The Verge :


Massdrop has collaborated with Hasbro to create this Scrabble keycap set that comes paired with an entry-level tenkeyless keyboard (a keyboard without a number pad).

The custom keys come in classic Scrabble colors — beiges, a soft red and blue, and baby pink — and each of the letters sports its Scrabble value.

The keyboard also sports Cherry MX Brown switches, which give a tactile bump when pressed, so you can really be reminded of the clacking from placing down Scrabble tiles.

The keyboard comes with some fun extras (below)


so you can swap out some of your keys to give yourself a few bonuses as you type away.

The keyboard is available on preorder with delivery expected in September.



March 18, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 17, 2018

Fun with the iPhone X — down the rabbit hole we go

You can too!

March 17, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: smaller than a bread box.

Another: porcelain.

March 17, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Globe-Trotter Luggage — By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen


Wrote Guy Trebay in the New York Times:


Made by hand of vulcanized fiberboard over an ash frame, these suitcases are essentially unchanged since the company was founded in England in 1897.

Queen Elizabeth used them on her honeymoon; Diana, Princess of Wales, carried her hats in them; the Duke of Edinburgh uses them exclusively.

They're lightweight, boxy, and expensive, and so aggressively nondescript they're favored not only by nobility, but also by a sizable number of world-class designers and stylists.


Apply within.

March 17, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 16, 2018

How cats lap: The biomechanics of feline liquid uptake

Above, how a cat drinks, recorded at 120 fps and slowed down 4x.

Below, the physics behind the physiology, slowed down 67x.

Below, Nicholas Wade's New York Times story.


It has taken four highly qualified engineers and a bunch of integral equations to figure it out, but we now know how cats drink. The answer is: very elegantly, and not at all the way you might suppose.

Cats lap water so fast that the human eye cannot follow what is happening, which is why the trick had apparently escaped attention until now. With the use of high-speed photography, the neatness of the feline solution has been captured.

The act of drinking may seem like no big deal for anyone who can fully close his mouth to create suction, as people can. But the various species that cannot do so — and that includes most adult carnivores — must resort to some other mechanism.

Dog owners are familiar with the unseemly lapping noises that ensue when their thirsty pet meets a bowl of water. The dog is thrusting its tongue into the water, forming a crude cup with it and hauling the liquid back into the muzzle.

Cats, both big and little, are so much classier, according to new research by Pedro M. Reis and Roman Stocker of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, joined by Sunghwan Jung of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Jeffrey M. Aristoff of Princeton.

Writing in the Thursday issue of Science, the four engineers report that the cat’s lapping method depends on its instinctive ability to calculate the point at which gravitational force would overcome inertia and cause the water to fall.

What happens is that the cat darts its tongue, curving the upper side downward so that the tip lightly touches the surface of the water.

The tongue is then pulled upward at high speed, drawing a column of water behind it.

Just at the moment that gravity finally overcomes the rush of the water and starts to pull the column down — snap! The cat’s jaws have closed over the jet of water and swallowed it.


The cat laps four times a second — too fast for the human eye to see anything but a blur — and its tongue moves at a speed of one meter per second.

Being engineers, the cat-lapping team next tested its findings with a machine that mimicked a cat’s tongue, using a glass disk at the end of a piston to serve as the tip. After calculating things like the Froude number and the aspect ratio, they were able to figure out how fast a cat should lap to get the greatest amount of water into its mouth. The cats, it turns out, were way ahead of them — they lap at just that speed.

To the scientific mind, the next obvious question is whether bigger cats should lap at different speeds.

The engineers worked out a formula: the lapping frequency should be the weight of the cat species, raised to the power of minus one-sixth and multiplied by 4.6. They then made friends with a curator at Zoo New England, the nonprofit group that operates the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, Mass., who let them videotape his big cats. Lions, leopards, jaguars and ocelots turned out to lap at the speeds predicted by the engineers.

The animal who inspired this exercise of the engineer’s art is a black cat named Cutta Cutta, who belongs to Dr. Stocker and his family. Cutta Cutta’s name comes from the word for “many stars” in Jawoyn, a language of the Australian aborigines.

Dr. Stocker’s day job at M.I.T. is applying physics to biological problems, like how plankton move in the ocean. “Three and a half years ago, I was watching Cutta Cutta lap over breakfast,” Dr. Stocker said. Naturally, he wondered what hydrodynamic problems the cat might be solving. He consulted Dr. Reis, an expert in fluid mechanics, and the study was under way.

At first, Dr. Stocker and his colleagues assumed that the raspy hairs on a cat’s tongue, so useful for grooming, must also be involved in drawing water into its mouth. But the tip of the tongue, which is smooth, turned out to be all that was needed.

The project required no financing. The robot that mimicked the cat’s tongue was built for an experiment on the International Space Station, and the engineers simply borrowed it from a neighboring lab.


Here is a video interview with two of the scientists involved in the study.

The abstract of the Science paper follows below.


How Cats Lap: Water Uptake by Felis catus

Animals have developed a range of drinking strategies depending on physiological and environmental constraints. Vertebrates with incomplete cheeks use their tongue to drink; the most common example is the lapping of cats and dogs. We show that the domestic cat (Felis catus) laps by a subtle mechanism based on water adhesion to the dorsal side of the tongue. A combined experimental and theoretical analysis reveals that Felis catus exploits fluid inertia to defeat gravity and pull liquid into the mouth. This competition between inertia and gravity sets the lapping frequency and yields a prediction for the dependence of frequency on animal mass. Measurements of lapping frequency across the family Felidae support this prediction, which suggests that the lapping mechanism is conserved among felines.


Read the Science paper in its entirety, including figures, here.



Cutta Cutta.

Full disclosure: from time to time I turn off all ambient sound so I can listen to Gray Cat lap up her water.

I like to watch, too.

March 16, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Matte Blue Lamborghini Huracán









Apply within.

March 16, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Multi-ccino Mug

Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 6.28.58 PM

From the MoMA Design Store website:


This borosilicate glass mug invites coffee drinkers to learn and create various recipes.

Measure ingredients and change the proportions of espresso, milk, and water using the handy indicators printed on the outside of the mug.

Recipes include espresso, macchiato, cortado, caffé au lait, Americano, flat white, and cappuccino.

4.25"H x 3"Ø



March 16, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 15, 2018

This year's best boot

Asal's boot

Palm Canyon Desert Boot from Louis Vuitton; it's not even close.

"This platform desert boot is the statement of the season. In suede calf leather and earthy colors, it features leather laces and a front zip for a modern twist."


Apply within.

March 15, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

How many times a day do you touch your phone?

1 top 20 sites for phone touches

"People tapped, swiped, and clicked

2 touches by hour of day

2,617 times each day,

3 touches share

on average.

[via dscout]

March 15, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Got Bits?


Drill bits, booboo; does a set of 300 work for you?

From the website:



The well-organized portable case has a labeled slot for each component and opens to reveal removable trays.


Features and Details:

• 66 high-speed steel (H.S.S.) twist drill bits and 50 H.H.S. drill bits from 3/64" to 1/2"

• 88 screwdriver bits including 25mm and 50mm sizes,

• 33 wood-boring drill bits from 5/32" to 1/2"

• 24 masonry drill bits from 5/32" to 1/2"

• 10 nut drivers from 5/32" to 1/2"


Also includes a magnetic holder, Allen wrench, hole saws with adapters, and screw finders.

Case measures 15.75"L x 8.5"H x 12.25"D.

Weight: 16.5 pounds.



$149.95 (holes not included).

March 15, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

March 14, 2018

The only existing film footage of Titanic

From Open Culture: "The Titanic under construction in Belfast in 1911 — a year before it became the stuff of legend."

[via @brainpicker and @timleong]

March 14, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Grant Wood


Above, a self-portrait begun in 1932 and completed in 1941, the year before his death.

March 14, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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