March 26, 2023

Tesla Wireless Charging Platform

From Engadget:

Tesla's Wireless Charging Platform is well-made — and exorbitant

It's basically Apple's failed-to-launch AirPower mat but with Cybertruck aesthetics.

It kind of makes sense that Tesla would make wireless chargers. After all, when you think of the company, you think electric vehicles and their Superchargers (at least, after you force the image of Elon Musk out of your mind). But wireless charging is a slightly different beast that requires an understanding of magnetic fields and expertise in power transfer technologies. That’s where Freepower, formerly known as Aira, comes in. Founder Jake Slatnick started the company in 2017 and told Engadget that it has spent the last five and a half years developing a "much more advanced form of Qi," the industry-wide standard for wireless charging.

As a "technology supplier," according to Slatnick, Freepower doesn't typically make products for consumers, other than the Base Station chargers it made in collaboration with Nomad Goods. When the Pro model launched in 2019, it was considered an enticing alternative to Apple's canceled AirPower charging mat. Both promised to deliver power to up to three devices without you having to carefully align them to the charging coils. But the Base Station series is no longer supported and had compatibility issues that affected its charging speeds.

In December last year, Tesla and Freepower announced the Wireless Charging Platform, and it might be a spiritual successor to the Base Station Pro. Like many of the car maker's other products, though, it's almost ludicrously expensive. At $300, Tesla's offering is twice the cost of the priciest item in our roundup of the best multi-device wireless chargers. Still, diehard fans might not mind the premium, and there are some unique characteristics here that could explain the delta (although I maintain that it's still too much to justify).

For that money, you're at least getting what feels like a sturdy, premium product. The charging platform is a dense, solid block about 220 mm (8.66 inches) wide that weighs 747 grams (1.64 pounds). Together with the magnetic stand that props it up at an angle, the whole thing comes in at 1.02 kg (2.26 pounds), which is pretty hefty. It's not like you're going to be carrying this around in your backpack so it's not a huge deal, but it's worth noting in case you were hoping to take it on your next trip.


March 26, 2023 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 25, 2023

Byredo Candle Hack

60 hours estimated burn time.

But what if you could enjoy the wonderful scent of these candles indefinitely?

I decided to create a way to hack this problem and I succeeded.

Watch the video up top: if I can do it, anyone can.

Bonus: free (of course, you have to pony up for a candle, not a small expense).

But, amortized over hundreds of hours as opposed to 60, suddenly it's not so outlandish.

March 25, 2023 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gamma-Ray Sky

YouTube description:

Watch a cosmic gamma-ray fireworks show in this animation using a year of data from the Large Area Telescope (LAT) aboard NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.

Each object's magenta circle grows as it brightens and shrinks as it dims.

The yellow circle represents the Sun following its apparent annual path across the sky.

The animation shows a subset of the LAT gamma-ray records now available for more than 1,500 objects in a new, continually updated repository.

Over 90% of these sources are a type of galaxy called a blazar, powered by the activity of a supermassive black hole.

More here.

Can't stop won't stop?

I hear you.

Your wish is my demand.

Read the original paper, "The Fermi-LAT Lightcurve Repository," published March 15, 2023 in the Astrophysical Journal, in its entirety here and here.

Wait a sec — what's that fantastic 1982 movie that suddenly comes to mind?

No, not that one, besides which it's from 1972; this one.

March 25, 2023 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Anti-Bunch Laundry Tool

From Core77:

Inventor Designs Highly Profitable 'Wad-Free' Laundry Aid
It keeps sheets from getting tangled, and sounds like 'cha-ching'
This humble object will never make it into the MoMA, but it does solve one of life's minor annoyances. That annoyance is when you're washing bedsheets, and they tightly spiral into a rope inside the machine (occasionally trapping other clothes inside), or into a wadded ball that occasionally unbalances the machine and causes it to pause. Both must be unfurled before they can be dried.
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Minor as it is, several years ago this annoyance prompted Denver-based Cyndi Bray to devise this doo-hickey that keeps the corners together, preventing wadding.

Screenshot 2023-03-22 at 10.31.54 AM

Apparently by effectively shortening the overall dimensions of the sheet, it also prevents the rope thing from happening, and keeps the sheet loose enough that other clothes don't get trapped inside.

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Bray, who holds an MBA, wisely assumed there was a market for it and managed to get the Wad-Free, as she named it, into production. It was already for sale in Walmart and Amazon by the time she went on "Shark Tank" a couple years ago to secure additional funding. Since then Bray has reportedly cleared over half a million in sales and has a healthy 38% profit margin.

Screenshot 2023-03-22 at 10.31.41 AM

You may not have an MBA, but a fair number of you reading this have degrees in ID. So here's a reminder that if you can use your skills to solve a small, humble problem that lots of people experience, there might not be much glory in it, but there's a pathway to success like Bray's.

Screenshot 2023-03-22 at 10.30.42 AM

Set of 2: $19.99.

March 25, 2023 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

March 24, 2023



I happened on this site recently and sent a link to it to Kevin Kelly who responded, "Wow. Figuring out this whale of a site."



This is a rabbit hole with a capital O.

Abandon whatever it is you were gonna do if you choose to enter.

There goes the day.


Fair warning.

March 24, 2023 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

ChatGPT knows how many paws a cat has — lives, I'm not so sure

Last week I added ChatGPT to my Apple Watch.

You can too, right here, for $4.99.

I put it through its paces: the results appear up top.

It took the AI a while to come with answers and even then it hedged: "typically...".

March 24, 2023 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Got raisins?

If, like me, you like raisins and think raisins come in red Sun-Maid boxes and packages, you're in for a treat.

Organic Monukka and Jumbo Golden Raisins from will blow your mind.

Watch the video up top and you'll see what I mean.

I had NO IDEA raisins like this existed: they have heady, unique aromas evocative of wine.

They're SO good and very different from each other, much less Sun-Maid's generic version.

Though let's be fair: when I found a little red box of raisins in my lunch bag I didn't turn up my nose, that's for sure.

Lagniappe: if you're like me and like to make wonderful flavors and textures last as long as possible, these large raisins lend themselves to prolonged intraoral manipulation.

Hmmm... that doesn't sound very nice.

No matter: though it would likely get flagged on Twitter this ain't Twitter.

But I digress.

Many more raisin varieties available.

From $7.99/lb.

March 24, 2023 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 23, 2023

Why podcasts don't do it for me

Screenshot 2023-03-20 at 8.06.45 PM

I've never listened to a podcast.

I doubt I ever will.

Why is that?

From the get-go podcasts struck me as a completely unappealing way to spend time.

I love to read; I love to watch stuff on TV; I like to watch stuff on my iPad and occasionally on my phone.

But listening to some pre-recorded show?

That just doesn't do it for me.

I've never made a podcast either, BTW, and I doubt I ever will.

Even if I was offered serious money to do so I'd turn it down.


I avoid boring and fortunately, late in life, I don't have to do anything I'd rather not do.

Which brings to mind one of my favorite sayings:

"Work is what you're doing when you'd rather be doing something else."

Been there and done way too much of that.

March 23, 2023 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

'Running Up That Hill' — Kate Bush, Live on Wogan 1985

Her hypnotic 1985 single, 37 years before a Netflix TV show and TikTok made it a ubiquitous chart topping hit.

Top YouTube comment of over 3,500: "My 17-year-old daughter has this on her playlist. Imagine how surprised she was when Grammie showed her the original album."

Second from top: "Imagine releasing a song when you're 27 years old and it reaches number 1 when you're 63 years old."

March 23, 2023 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jarritos Mexican Soda Fiesta Pack

I love Jarritos' Mexican sodas — the flavors are way more intense and exotic than their American-made counterparts — but they're scarce here in Podunkville, which is why I got all excited the other day when I was in the soda aisle at Kroger and espied not one (1) but two (2) identical 12-packs, each featuring 12 different flavors.

I'm halfway through the first; up top, my big reveal.

For those who don't have the time or interest in seeing yet another FAILED video production from bojStudios, here's a list of flavors:

• Watermelon

• Passion Fruit

• Tamarind

• Mexican Cola


• Grapefruit

Fruit Punch

• Pineapple

• Mango

• Strawberry

• Lime

• Guava

Want some?

Try Walmart, where the 12-bottle Fiesta Pack is priced nicely at $10.98.

March 23, 2023 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

March 22, 2023

Apple's Dark Pattern


It just occurred to me that daily notifications in Settings on iPhone/iPad/MacBook are a dark pattern from Apple, trying to persuade me to enable 2FA/passcode etc.


Wait a sec — what's that classic series I'm recalling?

March 22, 2023 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

'Antibodies' — Josh Klein

Above, the curator's introduction to this show, which appeared at the Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo, Norway.

Guided tour below.

Zoë Lescaze visited the artist in his studio for an in-depth profile which appeared March 17, 2023 in the New York Times.

March 22, 2023 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Draft Top LIFT — Episode 2: Road test here at boj World HQ

I featured this clever device on January 10, 2023, and after thinking about it for a while ponied up and took a flutter.

My version of eating my own dog food.

Long story short: it works as advertised — though there is a bit of a learning curve until you get as slick as the demonstrator below or yours truly up top.

It took me three cans with subpar outcomes before I mastered the machine.

Fair warning: opening cans with the Draft Top LIFT and then putting them in the fridge is a recipe for a big wet mess if you happen to knock a can over, something I do from time to time.

Lagniappe: I paid $32.99 but it's now $24.99.

March 22, 2023 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

March 21, 2023

'The internet's richest fitness resource is a site from 1999'

Screenshot 2023-03-19 at 5.24.11 PM

Up top is the headline over Lauren Michele Jackson's March 3, 2023 New Yorker story, which follows. is little changed since the days of Yahoo GeoCities and dial-up and saying 'www' aloud. Yet beneath its bare-bones interface is a deep physiological compendium.

In twelve years of lifting weights, I can't say that I've ever attempted a sissy squat. Yet the name intrigues me, like a tickle in my brain. I know that it is an exercise of some kind, working out some lower portion of the body. I know, too, where I can go to be filled in on every detail of the sissy squat, should I wish to learn more. Not the nearest personal trainer nor her virtual equivalent — not YouTube, not Instagram. Lord only knows what TikTok would proffer. No. Instead, I fire up my browser, ignore my million other open tabs, and type the following: ""

What you'll find if you do the same is a Web site that by all appearances has been forgotten by the wider Internet., which bills itself as an online "exercise prescription," launched in 1999, and indeed, were it not for the updated copyright notice at the bottom of its pages, new visitors would think they've happened upon a site of antiquity, abandoned in the rush toward a brave new Web 2.0. The home page is an anticlimax of a greeting, stale and still except for the bare-bones gif of a small, perpetually running blue figure that serves as the site's logo.
241 WIDE        ogo_same_proportion_5_2_2015
Below it is a most perfunctory choose-your-own-adventure: twenty-four squares denoting twenty-four destinations ("Weight Training," "Injury Management," "Nutrition"), displayed in a thick, nondescript font and accompanied by what look like stock images. The site's hyperlinks glow in the brilliant default shade of blue; there are banner ads. All of it suggests an amateur HTML from the days of Yahoo GeoCities and dial-up and saying "www" aloud. It is my favorite fitness resource on the Internet.'s seeming lack of sophistication belies a physiological compendium that is sourced by professors, physical therapists, physicians, coaches, and military personnel, and endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine. The site has granted use of its materials to NASA and the N.Y.P.D. Among its listed contributors and editorial-board members are Ph.D.s and M.D.s and M.S.s, including the site's creator and publisher, James Griffing, who received his master's in exercise physiology and psychology from Kansas State University, in 1996, after winning the bodybuilding title Mr. Kansas. ExRx began as a master’s thesis, "An Interactive Multimedia Computer Database of 250 Weight Training Exercises and Muscular Analyses," which Griffing started translating to the Web the year that he graduated. ExRx went live "using 10 MB of free webspace provided by a local internet provider," the site explains. At its height, between 2008 and 2018, it received more than a million unique visitors per month. "Nowadays," the About Us page reads, "we maintain approximately one third our past peak traffic," which is no small thing, given the many higher-production alternatives that fitness enthusiasts can find online today.
Web sites, at least in their earliest iterations, were mere directories miraculously made virtual, accessible. Transparency was a virtue. Accordingly, ExRx makes its organizational logic plain. Its pages adopt the structure of unordered lists — uniform and sturdy. Sections on weight management or weight-training mistakes unfurl as dispassionately as those on academic journals and aerobic conditioning. The site is primed for spelunking — you might happen upon a page dedicated to, say, cervical lateral flexion — but, unlike elsewhere on the modern Internet, on ExRx you are never lost.
Lack of décor doesn't equal lack of mediation — I am not so naïve as to think that ExRx is without its own intentions. But the site's plain face lends it a certain authority. In a fitness ecosystem dominated by new- and old-school flash, from personal trainers on the hard sell to influencers with soft power, treats me like an adult. If Instagram Reels and TikTok videos are the solicitous pusher on commission, ExRx is a librarian — or, better yet, the library itself.
Admittedly, in my many years using the site I've trawled through only a fraction of what has to offer. My infatuation with it began and remains centered upon its holy grail: the exercise directory. It is a bodybuilder/physical-therapist hog heaven, for who else would concern herself not only with chest and back muscles but with the serratus anterior and the upper fibres of the trapezius? Who else needs to know nearly twenty modifications for tricep dips, or that weighted dips "recruit" the biceps brachii as a dynamic stabilizer, which may "assist in joint stabilization by countering the rotator force of an agonist," whatever that means? I am neither a bodybuilder nor a medical professional, as perhaps goes without saying, but I'll consult ExRx to fill out new workout regimens, insuring that the movements I've chosen are strengthening the intended areas. Mostly, though, I visit to know way too much about exercise.
Searching the site for "sissy squat," for instance, yields a page with info on how it's classified (utility: auxiliary; mechanics: isolated; force: push), how it's executed, how to increase or reduce its difficulty, and, of course, the muscles (target, synergists, stabilizers) that it recruits. But I'll be honest: none of those are the main attraction. One of the more wondrous features of ExRx is that nearly every exercise in its directory (nearly two thousand and counting, according to the site) comes with a looping gif demonstration. The gif for the sissy squat shows something like a standard squat on hard mode: a ponytailed woman stands on the tips of her toes and leans far backward with a stiff upper body while her knees bend toward the floor, then rises and does it again and again. At first glance, the footage appears seamless, but no — we can gather, from a bus that passes by the window behind her, that she does three real-time reps before the loop starts over.
The only thing we don't learn on ExRx's "Sissy Squat" page is why the exercise has that name. Per some old-fashioned Googling, the appellation is said to be a nod to Sisyphus, whose interminable push workout surely earned him a pair of massive yams. But during fact checking for this piece Griffing said that this explanation was absent from his site because it "was not substantiated" with sufficient "academic scrutiny." ExRx may be old, but it remains tough about its standards. Both my inner scholar and my inner meathead genuflect.

March 21, 2023 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Angel Alvarado solves three Rubik's Cubes while juggling them

From the Guinness Book of World Records:

Angel Alvarado of Colombia has broken the record for the fastest time to solve three rotating puzzle cubes whilst juggling with a phenomenal time of 4 min 31.01 seconds.

The 19-year-old set the record in Bogota, Colombia, on 1 April 2022.

Angel was competing against himself for this record, as he also held the previous time of 4 min 52.43 sec, which he achieved in May 2021.

Angel trained for two years to achieve his first record, finding lots of time to practice during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. 

The first obstacle was figuring out how to solve a single cube while juggling, which took him five months.

Once he harnessed the skill, he added more cubes into the rotation. 

It took him a further four months to be able to solve three efficiently.

It takes immense dexterity and concentration to be able to rotate the cubes while they're flying through the air, keeping track of what cube is where and how many turns each has had. 

His training involved one-hour solves for just one cube, as well as three-cube attempts with focus on consistency and accuracy.

He wanted to prove to himself that with practice and a tonne of determination, he could achieve something this difficult. 

"It would mean a lot to me since it would be the first both juggling and speedcubing world record of Colombia, and would be cool to be the first person who achieved that," he said.

The History of the Record

The record for the fastest time to solve three rotating puzzle cubes whilst juggling was first set on 23 December 2017 by Que Jianyu (China) when he was just 13 years old.

He wowed the audience on the set of the Chinese TV show iDream, by achieving the feat in 5 minutes and 6.61 seconds.

Afterwards, clips of his awesome record attempt went viral online. 

Then, on 17 November 2018, Que Jianyu bettered his own record on the set of another TV show, La Notte dei Record, this time in Italy: He managed to shave over 4 seconds off his record in another nail-biting attempt. 

Four years later, Angel has cut down Que Jianyu's original record time by over 30 seconds. 

Who knows who will break this impressive record next!

March 21, 2023 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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