February 24, 2021

Washing the windows of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building

The world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, has over 24,000 windows, and takes three months to clean.

Once the job is done, it is immediately started over.

February 24, 2021 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Helpful Hints from joeeze: How to add coolant without spilling


[via Danielle Anderson who wrote, "Yes, I made the funnel out of a water bottle."]

February 24, 2021 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

BehindTheMedspeak: The anesthesia resident who got down on his knees to pray with his patient


Once upon a time, in an academic anesthesia program far, far away in both time and space where I happened to be a junior faculty member, a sparkling fresh class of incoming residents arrived on July 1 to begin their training.

It was the early 80s in Los Angeles at UCLA Medical Center.

Among the new residents was a really nice red-haired freckle-faced guy whose name I remember but will omit here. 

The intense close mentoring that happens in July in anesthesia residencies — as a rule, one faculty member is assigned to two anesthesia residents for a two week period in the same OR every day, so as to be able to deliver a consistent message and get a feel for the strengths and weaknesses of the newbies — happened, and we moved on to August, when the new residents are gradually worked into the rotation of cases and work with all the members of the teaching faculty.

In July, I tended to go to visit patients preoperatively with my new residents, pretty much just sitting quietly while they did their preop workup and then chatting with them at the nursing station about what things mattered and what didn't in terms of our job: in brief, bringing the patient to the recovery room no worse off than when they entered the OR.

Anesthesiology's a peculiar specialty in that respect: No one expects you to make the patient better — as long as you keep someone in the condition you encounter them in, you're doing your job the way it's supposed to be done.

But I digress.

Come August, the new residents go to to see their preoperative inpatients on their own just like the more experienced ones.

One day, getting organized in the anesthesia prep area along with all the other faculty and residents, someone mentioned that the cheerful red-haired resident had been fired the previous day.

That got our attention.

Long story short: After the resident had performed his pre-op history and physical, the patient, apprehensive and lonely and scared as people tend to be the night before a major surgical procedure, asked the resident if he would pray with him for a good outcome.

The resident said yes, he would, then apparently got down on his knees at the hospital bedside and proceeded to do so.

Remember, this is all hearsay AND it happened 30 or so years ago, so the fine details may not be literally correct, but the gist of the story is true: our chairman called a meeting after that day's cases were over for all residents and faculty and explained what had happened and told us he felt that the resident had behaved outside the boundaries of appropriate physician behavior and that such action could not be considered acceptable in our department.

At the time, I remember thinking a lot of things: First, how weird the whole thing was; second, how it was a shame that that particular guy was the one because he was a nice person and a good resident; finally, that I totally agreed that doing something like praying with a patient at UCLA Medical Center was inappropriate and probably merited dismissal.

Now I'm not so sure.

Anyhow, the story has a nice ending: a couple years later someone brought up the resident's name while we were sitting around talking, and someone said he'd ended up going across town to the University of Southern California School of Medicine's Department of Anesthesiology — which was having all manner of problems, with its chairman under investigation for stealing money and residents fleeing like rats off a sinking ship — which happily took him on, seeing as his negatives were a whole lot less than those of the general run of their residents at the time.

He excelled there and became chief resident in his final year.

I hope he went on to have a fine and fulfilling career and life.

What do you think?

Should we have fired him?

How about today?

You make the call.

February 24, 2021 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Greater blue-eared starling

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From Wikipedia:

The greater blue-eared starling or greater blue-eared glossy-starling (Lamprotornis chalybaeus) breeds from Senegal east to Ethiopia and south through eastern Africa to northeastern South Africa and Angola.

It is a very common species of open woodland bird, and undertakes some seasonal migration.

February 24, 2021 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Erosion 1" Ring

Try again

London-based Emefa Cole launched her eponymous brand of jewelry in 2012, making pieces that incorporate the use of patina, oxidized metals, and gold plating for an effect that she describes as "understated opulence."

Her "Erosion 1" ring, pictured above and below,

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is made from recycled oxidized bronze with gold leaf, and costs £1,850 ($2,610).

Apply within.

[via Wallpaper]

February 24, 2021 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 23, 2021

The Sounds of Mars

Above, the first 360°VR view of Mars taken by NASA's Perseverance rover.

Use the cursor in the upper left hand corner to navigate as you listen to the sounds of Mars.

From NASA: "A microphone attached to the rover did not collect usable data during the descent, but the commercial off-the-shelf device survived the highly dynamic descent to the surface and obtained sounds from Jezero Crater on February 20. About 10 seconds into the recording, a Martian breeze is audible for a few seconds."

Here is an edited version of recorded surface sounds with the rover noise removed.

The video up top premiered on YouTube late last night, posted by Andrew Bodrov @Mars360.

February 23, 2021 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Rules of Panic

"Why do we freak out at some technologies and shrug at others?", wrote Clive Thompson in Wired.

More: "Genevieve Bell [director of interaction and experience research at Intel] believes she's cracked this puzzle. To provoke moral panic, technology must satisfy three rules."

1. It has to change our relationship to time.

2. It has to change our relationship to space.

3. It has to change our relationship to one another.

"Individually, each of these transformations can be unsettling, but if you hit all three: Panic!"

February 23, 2021 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Experts' Expert: Animated Knots — 'Better to know a knot and not need it than to need a knot and not know it'

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I'm gonna memorize the headline 'cause it's just too good.

But I digress.

This fantastic site makes it possible for even the dexterity-challenged to practice to their heart's content without being told to "Just stop because you're hopeless."

Been there heard that.

"Move the mouse over each knot. Look at the description to find out what it can be used for. Click on the knot you wish to see. On the new page wait until the selected knot starts to tie itself."

Even I can do that.

You can too!

February 23, 2021 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Daft Punk is Over

Daft Punk has broken up after 28 years, announcing the news in a new eight-minute-long video (below) entitled "Epilogue."

The video went up on YouTube yesterday and at the time I'm writing this (8:13 a.m. ET today) has 12,769,905 views.

Alexis Petridis, writing in today's Guardian, contends that Daft Punk "were the most influential pop musicians of the 21st century."

Tell you what: "One More Time" (top), originally recorded in early 1998, has been among my favorite songs ever since its release on November 30, 2000.

It would appear I'm not the only one: the video has 299,611,610 views since it was uploaded to YouTube in 2009.

February 23, 2021 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

What is it?

Try again

Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: smaller than a bread box.

Another: inedible.

A third: inorganic.

February 23, 2021 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

February 22, 2021

Perseverance Rover's Descent and Touchdown on Mars

NASA just released this fantastic footage of last Tuesday's incredible achievement.

YouTube caption

NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance mission captured thrilling footage of its rover landing in Mars' Jezero Crater on February 18, 2021.

The real footage in this video was captured by several cameras that are part of the rover's entry, descent, and landing suite.

The views include a camera looking down from the spacecraft's descent stage (a kind of rocket-powered jet pack that helps fly the rover to its landing site), a camera on the rover looking up at the descent stage, a camera on the top of the aeroshell (a capsule protecting the rover) looking up at its parachute, and a camera on the bottom of the rover looking down at the Martian surface. The audio embedded in the video comes from the mission control call-outs during entry, descent, and landing.

For more information about Perseverance, visit https://mars.nasa.gov/perseverance

February 22, 2021 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Vintage Knob — Online Vintage Audio Museum*

1970 Garrard Zero 100

*Along with a forum and image bank.

1994 Krell Reference 64

What's not to love about this site, which covers the waterfront from Accuphase to Yamaha and points in between?

1973 Marlux Model 607

Fair warning: There goes the day for gearheads.

Images from the top down: 1970 Garrard Zero 100; 1994 Krell Reference 64; 1973 Marlux Model 607.

February 22, 2021 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Experts' Experts — Do different ways of using citrus peel to garnish cocktails produce different tastes?


Above, a question that appeared in Cook's Illustrated's Notes From Readers section.

The good people at that magazine — as obsessive a group as ever existed outside Jony Ive's secret studio in Cupertino — drilled down deep to enlighten us, as follows:

There are three common citrus garnishes for cocktails: The first is a "twist, " a simple disk of citrus peel that is squeezed into the drink to release essential oils and then rubbed around the rim of the glass and discarded.

The second is a "flamed twist," in which a flame is held between the drink and the peel so that when the peel is squeezed, its oils ignite briefly.

The third type is a "swatch," a band of zest with a little pith attached that is twirled and placed in the drink.

We made all three types of garnishes with orange peel and tasted each in a simple Negroni cocktail.

We found that the twist contributed bright orange notes that enlivened the drink.

The flamed twist offered sulfurous undertones and had a somewhat subdued orange fragrance.

The swath added citrus notes along with mild bitterness from the pith.

In sum, fancy citrus garnishes are more than just ornamental: Your choice should hinge on the flavor profile you're trying to create.

February 22, 2021 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Egyptian Cat Ring

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Gold with carnelian gemstone.

Third Intermediate Period: 1070-1712 B.C.E.

In the collection of the British Museum.

February 22, 2021 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lyric Speaker Canvas — 'Decorate your home with your favorite lyrics'

Say what?

From the website:

The sound design of Lyric Speaker Canvas is by the Japanese creative agency Tom's lab, whose world-class sound designers have a legacy of knowledge and experience in creating high-end speaker systems.

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With these world-class sound designers, we have aimed for an acoustic effect overflowing with rich musicality and a clear vocal sound which gives the listener the feeling that the singer is there in the room with them.

We have created beautiful sound with a rich frequency range by using two boards to form a large baffle plate that reflects sound efficiently.

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In addition, adopting the rear-reflection method which uses an interior wall as the resonating part of the speaker when it's placed near a wall adds a uniqueness to our sound quality.

Features and Details:

• 18.8"W x 15.7"H x 4.7"D

• Weight: 12.3 lb

• Silver/Black

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Lyric Speaker Canvas: $1,900.

[via Rocketboy]

February 22, 2021 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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