December 18, 2018

Portrait of the artist (Cecelia Paredes) as wallpaper VI


December 18, 2018 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

How to hide in plain sight: Tips from the CIA

Back story here.

December 18, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Google Lens: Take 2

Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 2.33.15 PM

When it first came out I got all excited, as is my wont.

Then I couldn't figure out how to use it, which is also me.

Now comes Google with a supposedly no-brainer iteration of this technology.

The Verge headlined its story "Google Lens can now be accessed directly from the search app on iOS."

Have at it.

December 18, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Deep Space Sticker


From the website:


Love staring into the night sky?

This awesome universe sticker looks amazing on floors, walls, and ceilings.

Imagine looking up or down and seeing the a whole new universe through your walls — this sticker makes it a reality!


Kids' imaginations will run wild when seeing this awesome deep space decal.

This sticker is made with premium materials for an easy stick and easy peel off.




Excuuuuuuuuuse me.

$14 (wormhole not included).

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

December 17, 2018

Portrait of the artist (Cecelia Paredes) as wallpaper V


December 17, 2018 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gandini Juggling

Back story here.

December 17, 2018 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The World's 100 Best Pens


New York magazine did the deepest dive ever into the world of pens in order to bring us detailed reviews of each and every one of their top 100.


If you're a pen fanatic like Flautist and me you're gonna be in heaven, reading about your favorites, seeing where they're ranked, and learning about great pens you never knew existed.


I read every word of every review and loved every minute of every hour I spent doing so.


A few of my new favorites appear above and below.


Can't wait till they arrive so I can try them out.


One interesting takeaway: quality is unrelated to price.


Fair warning: there goes the rest of the year.


[via Crack Research Team©® Correspondent Richard Kashdan, laboring ceaselessly in the Elysian Fields of San Francisco to bring us great stuff]

December 17, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bottle Cap Launcher


From the website:


Bottle caps are pretty useless once they've served their purpose.


Squeeze a little more fun out them before you throw the little metal crowns away, with this bottle top launcher!


As well as opening bottles, the bottle top launcher can also launch them into the air and shoot them up to 5 meters, or even more!


Perfect at parties and as part of drinking games: pop the cap, aim, and fire.



Clifyt, call your bar: your accessory is in.

Orange, Yellow, or White: $10 (bottle caps not included. Nor are batteries. heh).

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

December 16, 2018

Portrait of the artist (Cecelia Paredes) as wallpaper IV


December 16, 2018 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Notes on grocery shopping


I do my Podunkville grocery shopping at any of three stores, depending on this, that and the other: my mood, energy level, proximity, things one store has the others don't, etc.

My contenders:

• Kroger

• Harris Teeter

• Wegmans

Kroger is a mile and a half down the road at Barracks Road Shopping Center; Harris Teeter is at the other end of the shopping center.

Wegmans is a five-mile/15-minute trip on the interstate.

Only yesterday did it occur to me that Harris Teeter is WAY easier to shop at than the other two — this epiphany only occurring after shopping there for many years.

The "killer app": at Harris Teeter the checker unloads your cart and puts your groceries on the conveyor belt — that's how the store is designed.

So if you can wrestle your items into your cart, you're money — at least until you hit the parking lot and put your groceries into your car.

This is a big deal, now that I'm aware of it: I wonder how come I never realized the difference until yesterday.

I mentioned it to the checker, and suggested that Harris Teeter could gain a lot of older and disabled shoppers who have trouble dealing with their groceries, if they advertised this difference.

She shrugged.

I like that.

Indifference to my ideas always delights me.

It's a Bizarro World.

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

Dead Umbrella Project


Res ipsa loquitur.


Wrote its creator, David Balogh,


"A personal project where I post photos of abandoned umbrellas.


Normally the photos are in New York City,


but sometimes I find them elsewhere.


I also have a British counterpart taking photos across the pond."


Back story here.

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

World's most tricked-out car cup holder



From the website:



The Car Stack Organizer is perfect for adding more helping hands in your car.

It adds more cup holders while also giving you a nifty spot for your sunglasses, phone, and other belongings.

It fits into practically any cup holder.



Features and Details: 


• Multifunctional car storage box with big space: top layer is for phone, sunglasses, pen, two-layer holder for beverages; bottom layer for small stuff such as keys, coins, etc.

• 360° rotation layer enables 360° rotation for top three layers — increase more space to hold drinks and easy to save
• Rubber cup body cover, designed to keep your drinks stable during driving on rough road
• Sweet erect rack design on the top keeps your phone or glasses stuck inside, and includes two holes for putting your pens, perfect fit pen sizes
• It is universal to most cars, saves space, and keeps your car organized always




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

December 15, 2018

Portrait of the artist (Cecelia Paredes) as wallpaper III


December 15, 2018 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Close your eyes and listen to the wind — on Mars

Screen Shot 2018-12-14 at 4.09.09 PM

Photo caption: NASA's InSight lander took this picture of itself on the surface of Mars last week. The copper-colored object in front is the seismometer, which recorded sounds of wind.

Kenneth Chang's New York Times story (below) tells you how to listen.


Before you listen, hook up a subwoofer or put on a pair of bass-heavy headphones.

Otherwise, you might not hear anything.

Then listen [go to the Times story for sound file(s)]

That's the sound of winds blowing across NASA’s InSight lander on Mars, the first sounds recorded from the red planet.

It's all the more remarkable because InSight — which landed last week — does not have a microphone.

Rather, an instrument designed for measuring the shaking of marsquakes picked up vibrations in the air — sound waves, in other words.

Winds blowing between 10 and 15 miles per hour over InSight's solar panels caused the spacecraft to vibrate, and short-period seismometers recorded the vibrations.

"You can think of it rather in the same way as the human ear, how we in fact listen," said Thomas Pike, a scientist at Imperial College London who is leading research with the instruments. "The solar panels are like the eardrum. The spacecraft structure is like the inner ear."

The seismometers act as the cochlea, the parts of your ears that convert the vibrations into nerve signals.

They are able to record vibrations up to a frequency of 50 Hertz — audible to human ears as a low rumble.

NASA also produced a version of the recording that lifted the sounds by two octaves.

"To me, the sounds are really unworldly," Bruce Banerdt, the principal investigator of the mission, said during a news conference on Friday. "They do sound like the wind or maybe the ocean kind of roaring in the background. But it also has an unworldly feel to it."

A second instrument, an air pressure sensor that is part of InSight's weather station, also picked up sound vibrations, although at a much lower frequency that can be heard perhaps by elephants and whales, but not people.

A sound recording of those pressure readings, sped up by a factor of 100, raises the pitch by more than six octaves.

The sounds are so low in part because the instruments are not sensitive to higher frequencies. But the air on Mars is also extremely thin — about 1 percent of the density of Earth’s — and that favors low-frequency sounds.

The two Viking landers that NASA sent to Mars in 1976 also carried seismometers that captured some wind noise.

But Dr. Banerdt said those recordings were at much lower sampling rates and did not pick up anything at audible frequencies.

"Even though the Viking seismometer picked up what I would call motions of the spacecraft, I think it would be a stretch to call those sounds," he said.

NASA sent microphones to Mars on the Mars Polar Lander spacecraft in 1999, which crashed during its landing attempt, and on the Phoenix Mars lander; that instrument was left turned off, however, because it could have caused problems during landing.

NASA's next rover, to launch in 2020, will also carry a microphone.

This is not the first time sound has been recorded on another planet.

Back in the 1980s, two Soviet spacecraft, Venera 13 and Venera 14, recorded sounds from the surface of Venus.

And Europe's Huygens lander, which was carried to Saturn's biggest moon, Titan, by the Cassini spacecraft, also sent back sounds picked up by a microphone.

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

Ways of Seeing — John Berger

Episode 1; 1972.

December 15, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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