July 20, 2015

The Great Wall of China is disappearing thanks to decay, erosion, and theft


"The Great Wall is likely China's most recognizable landmark... but enormous portions of it have disappeared in recent years.


"The Great Wall of China is actually a series of multiple walls, built, destroyed, and restored at different points in the country's history, with many areas consisting of natural barriers rather than man-made walls.


"The most prominent portions of the wall that are still standing were built by the Ming Dynasty in the 14th century, located near Beijing.

"According to an article in The Beijing Times, local officials said that 22 percent of what was considered the Ming dynasty Great Wall had disappeared, with around 1,219 miles, or 30 percent, of the total wall disappearing."

[via allday.com and History in Pictures]

July 20, 2015 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

July 19, 2015

Anger Management Mug

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Just the thing to surreptitiously place on the desk of that bozo who goes ballistic at the slightest provocation.

Make sure you wear rubber gloves so he or she can't lift your prints and track you down.


July 19, 2015 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

July 18, 2015

The Random User: Mouse Hack Takes You Places You Never Knew Existed

"Hack project by Monobo is a motorized computer mouse which randomly moves and clicks on web pages."

[via Bruce Sterling]

July 18, 2015 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

July 17, 2015

Transformer Fork & Knife Chopsticks

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Fork and knife hook together to create an easy-to-use pair of chopsticks.

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Made from tough and durable food-safe silicone and plastic.

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Dishwasher safe.


July 17, 2015 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

July 16, 2015

Tokyo's Bookshop Hotel


Book and Bed Tokyo opens this coming September in the city's Ikebukuro neighborhood.


The new lodging will combine beds with a bookshop to create the ultimate bibliophile dream, beds actually embedded into bookshelves.


The book selection will be curated by Shibuya Publishing & Booksellers.

Since the target audience includes both foreign tourists and domestic travelers, one would assume the book selection will include titles in multiple languages, but don't quote me.

[via Spoon and Tamago]

July 16, 2015 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

June 29, 2015

Magna Carta Baby Pacifier


It's never to early to start, what?

This year being the 800th anniversary of King John's affixing his seal to the Magna Carta, the British Museum and the Library of Congress and others are offering all manner of Magna Carta swag, including this functional little gewgaw.

From the website: "The Magna Carta (originally known as the Charter of Liberties) of 1215, written in iron gall ink on parchment in medieval Latin, using standard abbreviations of the period, authenticated with the Great Seal of King John. The original wax seal was lost over the centuries. This document is held at the British Library and is identified as "British Library Cotton MS Augustus II.106."

White, Blue, or Pink: $13.95.

June 29, 2015 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

June 28, 2015

Europe 2001-2011: Population shifts


Red, gained population. Blue, lost population.

[via Bruce Sterling]

June 28, 2015 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

June 27, 2015

Stem Gem Strawberry Huller


Reviewed by Mark Frauenfelder in Cool Tools as follows:



It didn't take me long to get the hang of the Stem Gem Strawberry Huller and once I did, I was able remove the stem and core of strawberries much faster than I could with a knife.

To use it, you push the button on the back to extend the retractable Alien-esque jaws.

The deeper you push the button, the more the jaws open. Then, plunge the jaws into the strawberry, twist, then pull.

There you go, a cleanly cored berry.


My kids fight over who gets to use it.



June 27, 2015 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)

June 26, 2015

San Francisco burning after the 1906 earthquake


[via back-then and Bruce Sterling]

June 26, 2015 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

June 25, 2015

Agaru Sleeping Kogao Hammock Face Mask — "Chin cheek sag slack stretching massage"


From the website:



A "hammock" for making your face smaller (kogao), retaining your beauty and youth couldn't be any easier than by just slipping this Agaru Sleeping Kogao Hammock Face Mask on over your ears, and letting it do all the hard stretching and massage work for you.

It will pull back on your skin and keep it firm and youthful, fighting the sag or slack that inevitably comes with age. 

We think you'd be hard-pressed to find a simpler but nonetheless effective way to fight aging.


It really is just a case of putting this on while you rest or sleep, while the mask combats gravity's effects on your skin.

Features and Details:

  • Made in Japan
  • Material: Elastomer
  • Instructions: Japanese (but easy to use)
  • Size: 200 x 95 x 2mm (7.9 x 3.7 x 0.08")
  • Note: If you experience discomfort or skin reaction, cease wearing the mask immediately and see a specialist. This is not a medical tool.



June 25, 2015 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

June 24, 2015

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: smaller than a bread box.

Another: one size fits all.

A third: requires minimal effort for optimal function.

June 24, 2015 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

June 18, 2015

Sounds of the Downhill

Some of the top ski racers in the world describe what it's like during a World Cup downhill — literally, life on the edge.

June 18, 2015 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

June 6, 2015

Basting Tape aka Sticky Measuring Tape


From the website: "This stuff is used to stick pieces of cloth together and measure them so you don't have to use 15 pins and a wooden ruler. Our version is 17 feet long and has 1/8" and 1mm markings that repeat every 12". Tape is fairly tacky, reusable without leaving a residue, and measures 3/4" wide. From Singer®."

Perhaps a reader with experience using this sort of thing can expand and/or expound.


June 6, 2015 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

June 5, 2015

IRL [In Real Life] Club

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Founded by, among others, journalist Adrian Chen, "IRL Club is an evening of talks by cool people from the internet."

Put another way, it's "a regular gathering for people from the Internet to meet 'in real life'" in the greater New York City area.

The next meeting is on Monday, June 15.

You can find out more on Facebook and Twitter.

June 5, 2015 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

June 4, 2015

Starry Night Lantern/Projector

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From websites: "This Starry Night Lantern illuminates any outdoor campsite wonderfully — it also projects a flowing field of stars overhead when used indoors."


Features and Details:

  • Battery operated — requires 4 AA batteries (not included)
  • Can be used to illuminate a room or campsite
  • On/Off switch on side of lantern above base
  • Battery compartment under lantern base
  • Dual modes: Lantern or Star Projector
  • Includes explorer activity guide
  • Dimensions: 6.2" x 5.5" x 7.5" 


Where was this when I was a kid?


June 4, 2015 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

« June 24, 2015