July 15, 2024

Socket Fan Light

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From the website:

This combo 3-speed fan and LED light screws into a standard light socket — no tools, wiring, or installation needed!

Features and Details:

• 3 light settings up to 1000 lumens

• Remote control included

• Black or White

3 fan settings

• 15"Ø x 5"H

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$49.99 (Includes 2 socket extenders for recessed lights).

July 15, 2024 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 14, 2024

Flying Fish Goes Airborne For 45 Seconds

YouTube caption: "A crew member onboard a Japanese ferry has shot a 45-second-long video of a flying fish in the air. It's thought to be a record."

July 14, 2024 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ummm, Stilton

Stilton is one of the world's great cheeses.

Of the six* UK producers, Colston Bassett is considered the apotheosis.

It's one of the few world-class imported cheeses readily available in the U.S.

Above, my cat Vanta joins me for some.

My favorite part of the wheel is the inch or so closest to the rind, which gets gradually darker and takes on an intense toasty aroma and flavor.

You will want to take yours out of the fridge and let it sit for an hour or so before slicing (or scooping).

Note the specialized knife intended for use with soft cheeses: its ridges keep the cheese from sticking to the blade as would be the case with a flat blade.

*Time to wake up and smell the 2024 AI-generated roses: since forever there have been seven Stilton makers, but when I asked Chat GPT-4o to confirm this, it replied:

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July 14, 2024 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Crocs Cowboy Boots

Crocs x cowboy

What took so long?

New York Times caption for the photo up top:

"When all known markers of taste finally ride off into the sunset, this is what they will be wearing."

Below, Callie Holtermann's Times story about this mashup too far.

Crocs Cowboy Boots? 'Don't Overthink It.' 

The company sure didn't when it was developing its mutant cowboy boots, the brand's latest attempt to create a wearable meme.

John Wayne never dreamed of this kind of ventilation.

A pair of cowboy boots was unveiled on Thursday by Crocs, the footwear brand best known for aesthetically questionable clogs that combine the composition of a pool noodle with the perforation of Swiss cheese.

The new boots make regular Crocs look like dress shoes. Picture a pair of the clogs rendered in a glossy, black crocodile-skin texture. Then add the top half of a cowboy boot, complete with pull straps and hokey embroidery. Then add spurs.

"I did a little bit of a double take," said Steve Natto, 25, a sneaker YouTuber in Philadelphia, when he saw the shoes on Instagram on Thursday.

That was most likely the goal for Crocs, a brand that has courted attention and outrage online through a series of bizarre shoe releases. There were the KFC chicken-scented Crocs in 2020 and the high-heeled Crocs, created in collaboration with Balenciaga, in 2021. Just last month, the company released chartreuse Shrek Crocs with ears.

The cowboy boots, which cost $120 a pair, also follow in the footsteps of the Big Red Boots created by the smart-alecky collective MSCHF — another stunt item that was hailed as an ironic masterpiece online.

Will customers find the Crocs cowboy boots similarly hilarious? Or have they begun to tire of the viral footwear shtick?

"I think there’s definitely going to be a market for it," said Mr. Natto, who was among the first to clomp around in the MSCHF boots on social media. Although he couldn't imagine wearing the boots to run errands, he said, he would certainly post in them.

The idea for Crocs cowboy boots came from memes made by fans on social media, according to Heidi Cooley, the company's chief marketing officer. The brand's design and product development teams met to discuss ideas they had seen floating around online, and hoped to select one.

As soon as the cowboy boot idea came up, it was game over. "That meeting took us about 12 minutes," Ms. Cooley said.

The design team got to work, fine-tuning the decorative stitching and suggesting a detachable spur. When a fan has a funny idea, she added, "we don't overthink it."

Crocs exploded in popularity in the early months of the pandemic, when comfort took precedence over stylishness for many customers. The brand’s sales have remained strong in recent years, and the company has cultivated a following among Gen Z customers.

Ms. Cooley said the company's marketing team was aware that even its tamest products are polarizing. All the more reason to dive headfirst into meme culture, she said, and to design novelty products to generate conversation.

"It is disruptive, and it allows Crocs to leverage what we believe is a competitive advantage," she said. "We love creating things that nobody thinks we can."

She declined to say how many cowboy boots would be manufactured. The team had been surprised in the past by higher-than-expected demand for some of its novelty products, she said.

Many apparel brands would risk undermining their credibility with a stream of gag products, said Jared Watson, an assistant professor of marketing at the New York University Stern School of Business. But Crocs has found a way to poke fun at people who already think the shoes are ugly. "With that sort of mentality of hate-consumption or hate-engagement, Crocs has had this opportunity to really push those boundaries," he said.

Crocs may also be trying to capitalize on a recent wave of interest in western apparel. Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour this summer was packed with cowboy hats decorated to look like disco balls. In the audience for Taylor Swift's Eras Tour, cowboy boots tapped along with the pop star's early-career country hits.

Still, some frontiers are too wild even for the most passionate of Crocs fans.

Professor Watson, who owns three pairs of classic Crocs, recently joined an online waiting list to buy the Shrek clogs. But he bailed at the last second, struggling to imagine the shoes working as well offscreen.

"I will not wear those in public," he said. "I don't want people to think I'm a weird person."

The limited edition boots are sold out but there are plenty available on the secondary market from Poshmark, StockX, and GOAT among others.

July 14, 2024 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 13, 2024

LIghthouse Traveling Library

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From the Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy website:

Lighthouses were often times located in remote areas, and as such had no access to city services such as libraries, opera houses, entertainment, etc. enjoyed by most people who lived in a town or city.

Light keeping was a lonely profession, in most cases supplies were brought by lighthouse tender ships.

One of the items the tender supplied was a library box (above and below) on each visit.

Library boxes were filled with books and switched from station to station to supply different reading materials to the resident families.

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In 1876, portable libraries were first introduced in the Light-House Establishment and furnished to all light vessels and inaccessible offshore light stations, with a selection of reading materials.

These libraries were contained in a portable wooden case, each with a printed listing of the contents posted inside the door.

Proper arrangements were made for the exchange of these libraries at intervals, and for revision of the contents as books became obsolete in accordance with suggestions obtained from public library authorities.

The books were carefully selected from books of a good standard appropriate to the families who would use them.

While largely fiction, other classes of literature were included in reasonable proportions including technical books when requested.

The books and periodicals contained in the libraries remained the property of the Light House Establishment and each was marked in the front with the official Light-House Establishment bookplate (below).

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The beautiful 3" x 4-½" bookplate label bears wonderful images of an iron pile lighthouse, Minot’s Ledge Light, and a lightship, and bears the words "The Property of the Light House Establishment."

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July 13, 2024 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Are.na — 'Tumblr meets Wikipedia'

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From the website:

Are.na is:

  1. online software for saving and organizing the content that is important to you

  2. a toolkit for assembling new worlds from the scraps of the old

Students, hobbyists and what we call connected knowledge collectors have been the core of our community for nearly 13 years.

Wrote Celine Nguyen:

A few years ago, I came across a particularly evocative description of the website Are.na.

I'll describe Are.na in the plainest possible fashion first: it's a website where you can privately or collaboratively save images, text, PDFs, website links, and more into "channels."

It's kind of like Pinterest for artists, researchers, and academics.

This is a useful description, but not a beautiful one.

The beautiful description was written by the librarian Karly Wildenhaus, who described it as "Research as leisure activity."

Zzz

Try it here.

Fair warning: There goes the day.

July 13, 2024 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ring with Sugar Cube — Meret Oppenheim

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Designed by the legendary Swiss artist in 1936/1937, executed in 2003.

It can be seen at the Collection Design Museum Den Bosch in Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands.

July 13, 2024 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 12, 2024

'Wackiki Wabbit' — Bugs Bunny

Released on July 3, 1943 on the 4th of July weekend during WWII, it was likely seen by an enormous number of people.

From the YouTube description

"Wackiki Wabbit" is about two castaways adrift on a small raft in the middle of the ocean, about to eat each other when they discover an island out of nowhere!

But this is not just any island.

Until they find the island, the cartoon is pretty standard for a Warner Brothers cartoon animation: blue water, people, and a boat, but when they enter the island it looks like a strange trip into some kind of a art deco Alice in Wonderland fantasy!

This Looney Tune was an experiment in the use of strong graphics and nearly abstract backgrounds that had nothing to do with what you were suppose to see: an island, palm trees, maybe some flowers.

But it is done so well that we believe it is just that, a tropical island, and accept it without a word.

This restoration has brought out the true colors of the original production for the first time.

It is from a film print of the original theatrical version and is how it looked in theaters.

This is classic late 1930's/early 40's deco of Miami and Cuba that became a worldwide fad and can still be seen in LA, New York, Chicago, Paris, and other cities in buildings restored to the original deco look of that time.

Think "Miami Vice: South Beach" before it was redone into what it looks like today.

To say I was mesmerized by Bugs' dancing would be an understatement.

July 12, 2024 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Fornasetti x Fender Stratocaster

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No, you can't have one.

At any price.

There are only two such guitars in the world, both created by Barnaba Fornasetti (Piero's only son).

He told Marco Velardi in a New York Times T Magazine interview, "A client asked me to decorate it. But I liked it so much that I decided to keep it for myself, and I did another one for him."

July 12, 2024 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Grow Your Own

Mushroom vase 1

From Colossal:

No Foraging Necessary: Grow Mushrooms at Home with GUS, a Modular Countertop Garden

Meet GUS, a tabletop companion that helps you harvest fresh mushrooms at home. From the team at Good Growing, the minimal vessels hold what's known as a fruiting block — a mix of sawdust, grains, and mycelium spores — that, within a few days, burst with thick clusters of fleshy fungi.

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The breathable, low-fire ceramic helps to regulate the temperature while also maintaining a moist environment for the specimens to sprout. Plus, GUS is modular and stackable, allowing for several varieties to be grown at once without taking up valuable countertop real estate.

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GUS made Deezeen's longlist for product design in 2023.

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$387.

On the fence?

Watch the video.

July 12, 2024 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

July 11, 2024

How a Bicycle is Made (1945)

From British Council Film, how a bicycle was designed and manufactured in 1945.

[via Kottke]

July 11, 2024 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

DO NOT WORK FOR FREE UNDER THE GUISE OF GOOD EXPOSURE

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"If you don't value your own work, neither will anyone else."

July 11, 2024 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Helpful hints from joeeze: Refrigerator-freezer thermometer — be cool

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It's a fact: if your refrigerator's temperature isn't ≤ 40°F and your freezer ≤0°F, your food is more prone to going bad and making you sick.

You could look it up.

Drop a few bucks on a thermometer — get two, one apiece for your fridge and freezer — and see if you're running dangerously hot.

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The ones pictured above and below, all by Taylor, are for sale at Amazon for between $2.21 and $7.75.

Choose your unpoison.

99% of the people in the U.S., asked to name a refrigerator/freezer/oven thermometer brand, can't go beyond Taylor — assuming they got there in the first place.

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And yet I don't recall ever seeing an ad for Taylor thermometers.

FunFact: Taylor Instruments was founded in 1851 in Rochester, New York.

July 11, 2024 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 10, 2024

Eighty Iconic Piano Intros Played Chronologically Back-to-Back

[via Kottke]

July 10, 2024 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

HOBO CODE — 'Went this way'

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July 10, 2024 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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