May 20, 2022

Timo Kuilder Rain Poncho

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From the website:

Designed by Amsterdam-based illustrator Timo Kuilder, our rain poncho is cut to perfection and with its taped seams it's 100% waterproof.
 
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Recycled polyester.
 
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One size: 61"-76"

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$89.

May 20, 2022 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 19, 2022

Just sign me 'fanboi'

The other day on Hacker News someone posed the question "How many computers you got?"

Your wish is my demand.

Below, what I got.

 1 2020 MacBook Air

 1 2012 MacBook Pro

 1 2020 iPad Pro

 1 2015 iPad mini

 1 2021 iPod touch

 1 2018 iPhone XS Max

 4 Apple Watches Series 3-7 (2017-2021)

Not using but still functioning perfectly:

 2018 MacBook Air

 2012 iPad

2004 PowerBook G4 (up top, waking from 10-15 years of slumber in a cabinet)

May 19, 2022 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

'The Stranger' — Albert Camus

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It's been at least twenty years since I last read this great work of art, originally published in 1942.

Time to revisit it.

Read it for free — the way we like it — here.

May 19, 2022 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Unreal Engine 5 appears to have crossed the uncanny valley

Res ipsa loquitur.

YouTube description

My latest environment, freely based on a real-life train station in Toyama, Japan.

The environment is running in Unreal Engine 5, lit with Lumen.

I didn't use Nanite.

I worked on all modeling, texturing, lighting, and animation for this video.

The only exception is foliage, which is from Quixel Megascans.

More on Artstation.

May 19, 2022 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

'I'm So Excited'

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It's not just a great Pointer Sisters song but also the mood here at boj World Headquarters©® as my YouTube stats for April have just come in (top), revealing that a whole slew of new subscribers decided to hop on the clueless train and join me in my now nearly ten-year-long quest to reach 1,000.

I'm only 136 away and if I can keep this up it'll only be 136/44 = 3 months or so till I finally summit the mobile livestream mountain.

Allez!

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You can too!

May 19, 2022 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Old Bay Goldfish

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Karina Elwood's fascinating May 17, 2022 Washington Post story about the mashup of Old Bay seasoning with Goldfish snack crackers went way deeper than that, all the way back to 1893 when Gustav Brunn — who founded what would become Old Bay — was born in Wertheim, Germany.

Brunn started his own spice business, the Baltimore Spice Company, after fleeing Germany in the late 1930s.

He began selling his custom spice blend to grocery stores in 1942.

Fast forward to last week when Old Bay Goldfish sold out online nine hours after going on sale.

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They will appear in stores "for a limited time" this summer.

If you can't wait for something that may or may not happen, you can do what I did and get some at Amazon.

Zzz

A 6.6 ounce bag costs $9.99 (mine are en route and I will report on my findings once they arrive.).

May 19, 2022 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

May 18, 2022

'Why you should make useless things' — Simone Giertz

May 18, 2022 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Sees Solar Eclipse on Mars

From Kottke:

NASA just released a video shot by the Mars Perseverance rover of a solar eclipse caused by the moon Phobos.

The video description calls it "the most zoomed-in, highest frame-rate observation of a Phobos solar eclipse ever taken from the Martian surface."

According to this article from JPL, the video of the eclipse is played in realtime; it only lasted about 40 seconds.

Captured with Perseverance's next-generation Mastcam-Z camera on April 2, the 397th Martian day, or sol, of the mission, the eclipse lasted a little over 40 seconds — much shorter than a typical solar eclipse involving Earth's Moon. (Phobos is about 157 times smaller than Earth's Moon. Mars' other moon, Deimos, is even smaller.)

May 18, 2022 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Rao's Penne Alla Vodka

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I took a flutter on this microwave dish when I happened to notice it in the Kroger freezer.

Turned out to be a big step up in quality, and opened my eyes to the great world outside Stouffer's, my go-to frozen comestibles since forever.

Rao's flavors and appearance and textures and smells seem sharper, more appealing, closer to fresh.

Still, after 3 minutes you have to take it out and stir it and then nuke it for another 3 minutes — not quite my perfect idea of a microwave item, which should only require one maneuver: putting it in the machine and pressing a minutes button.

More from Rao's, please.

May 18, 2022 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

'White Wonder'

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Her real name is Sodashi, and she's the best pure white horse to have ever raced, at least in modern times.

When I saw the picture above in yesterday's New York Times, I instantly flashed back to the mesmerizing opening/intro for Season 1 of "Westworld" (below), though to be fair those beautiful sequences were accompanied by haunting music.

Wrote Victor Mather in the Times, "The sight of the snow-white Sodashi dashing through the field had a cinematic quality. The impression was amplified by the jockey Hayato Yoshida's unusual all-white bridle."

Above, Sodashi, whose nickname is "The White Wonder," takes the Victoria Mile with a closing rally last Sunday at Tokyo Racecourse.

May 18, 2022 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

3D Playing Cards

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From the website:

If you've ever wanted to be a master magician — or just sweep the whole pot in poker — 3D Magic Eye Playing Cards are just the trick you need.

The deck seems like a standard set of 52 cards in 4 suits, but they hold a secret hiding in plain sight: each card back has a camouflaged autostereogram image that only becomes visible when you focus beyond the plane of the card.

Once you see the image, you'll know the suit and rank of the card.

With a simple squint or cross of the eyes, your mind will be able to scan and focus on the illusionary image on the back of the card.

So go ahead and shuffle away before you ask a friend to "Pick a card, any card."

3d-magic-eye-playing-cards copy

Features and Details:

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Determined not to pull the trigger (for once), but sorely tempted?

Watch

the video.

$12.99.

May 18, 2022 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 17, 2022

Microwave-oven toasted macadamia nuts

They're fantastic.

My recipe (free, the way we like it):

Put some macadamia nuts on a paper plate*

 Microwave for 30 seconds

 Open the  microwave and shuffle the nuts around 

 Microwave for 30 seconds

 Open the microwave and shuffle the nuts around 

 Microwave for 30 seconds

 Allow to cool and Bob's your uncle

*I prefer paper because otherwise the plate gets really hot and you have to wash it because of the oil that extrudes from the nuts as they heat up

May 17, 2022 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

'The Star Wars' — Original Story Treatment Cover

Zzz

That's it above.

Via Star Wars Holocron who wrote:

George Lucas began writing his story treatment for "The Star Wars" in January 1973 (the movie was released on May 25, 1977).

Shown above is the cover of his 13-page synopsis, titled "The Star Wars."

A PDF of the complete treatment is available from "Know It All Joe."

The small text is typewritten, and the Lucasfilm logo is hand drawn.

The title is set in a typeface which came out shortly before: Rodin is a design by Patrick Collins, released by VGC.

It's shown in a single style in their 1973 catalog, but didn't yet appear in the 1972 edition.

The family was later extended with Extended, Condensed, Italic, and Cyrillic styles.

After phototypesetting went out of fashion, Rodin fell into obscurity.

I'm not aware of a digitization.

[via FontsInUse]

May 17, 2022 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why does this ancient Roman portrait bust have a Goodwill price tag on its cheek?

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And while we're on the subject, how come it's strapped into a car seat with a seat belt?

Michael Levenson's May 6 New York Times article explains it all, and follows.

Goodwill Sold a Bust for $34.99. It's an Ancient Roman Relic.

Its 2,000-year journey to Texas remains a mystery, but the buyer is returning it to the German state of Bavaria, its pre-World War II home.

Laura Young was browsing through a Goodwill store in Austin, Texas, in 2018 when she found a bust for sale. It was resting on the floor, under a table, and had a yellow price tag slapped on its cheek: $34.99. She bought it.

Turns out, it wasn't just another heavy stone curio suitable for plunking in the garden. It was an actual Roman bust from the late 1st century B.C.E. or early 1st century A.D., which had been part of a Bavarian king's art collection from the 19th century until it was looted during World War II.

How it got to Texas remains a mystery. But the most likely path suggests it was taken by an American soldier after the Bavarian king's villa in Germany was bombed by Allied forces.

This week, it went on display at the San Antonio Museum of Art, next to signage acknowledging Ms. Young's role in discovering it after the bust’s improbable, 2,000-year journey from ancient Rome to the Goodwill Boutique on Far West Boulevard.

Next year, it will be returned to the Bavarian government under an agreement with Ms. Young that ended her own complex relationship with the ancient artifact, which she had kept on a credenza in her living room for the last three and a half years.

She had named it "Dennis Reynolds," after a character from the comedy series "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Like that vain and narcissistic cad, the 52-pound marble bust was "a very difficult, cold, aloof, emotionless man that caused some problems for me," Ms. Young said.

When Ms. Young, a dealer of antique and vintage goods, first spotted the bust, as reported by KUT in Austin and the The Art Newspaper, she knew it was probably valuable.

"I got it outside in the light," she said. "He had chips to the base. He had clear repairs. He looks old. I've been to museums. I've seen Roman portrait heads before."

She did a Google image search for "Roman bust" and realized, "They look a lot like my guy."

After taking the bust home, strapped in a seatbelt in the front seat of her car, she contacted two auction houses, Bonhams and Sotheby's, both of which confirmed that her hunch was right: The bust was from ancient Rome.

Ms. Young was on vacation, celebrating her 40th birthday, when she got the email from Bonhams. She wanted to return home immediately.

"He was at my house, alone," she said.

But subsequent research, authenticated by the Bavarian government, soon confirmed that Ms. Young would not be able to sell the piece, and fulfill the fantasy of anyone who has ever haunted Goodwill stores and yard sales for priceless treasures.

At some point before 1833, the bust had been acquired by Ludwig I, a Bavarian king, who displayed it in the courtyard of the Pompejanum, his replica of a Roman villa in Pompeii, in the Bavarian town of Aschaffenburg, according to Ms. Young's lawyer, Leila A. Amineddoleh.

The Pompejanum was heavily damaged by Allied bombing in 1944 and 1945, and although some of its objects survived, others disappeared, Ms. Amineddoleh said.

The looting of art by the Nazis has gained widespread attention. But because the bust ended up in Texas, it is likely that an American service member either stole it or traded for it after the war, Ms. Amineddoleh said.

That meant Ms. Young was not the rightful owner because Germany had never sold the piece or abandoned the title to it, Ms. Amineddoleh said. Ms. Young said Goodwill was also unable to provide answers about the bust’s origins.

"Immediately, I was like, 'OK, I cannot keep him and I also cannot sell him,'" Ms. Young said. "It was extremely bittersweet, to say the least. But I only have control over what I can control, and art theft, looting during a war, is a war crime. I can't be a party to it."

So Ms. Young struck an agreement to have the bust shipped back to Bavaria. In exchange, she will receive only a "small finder’s fee," which Ms. Amineddoleh declined to disclose.

"We are very pleased that a piece of Bavarian history that we thought was lost has reappeared and will soon be able to return to its rightful location," Bernd Schreiber, president of the Bavarian Administration of State-Owned Palaces, Gardens and Lakes, said in a statement released by the San Antonio Museum of Art.

The bust is believed to portray either a son of Pompey the Great, who was defeated in battle by Julius Caesar, or Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus, a Roman commander whose forces once occupied German territory.

The San Antonio Museum of Art will display the bust until May 2023, which was important to Ms. Young.

"He's been hidden for 70 to 80 years; I think he deserves some attention," she said. "And I think he deserves some attention in Texas."

Last month, she handed over the bust to the museum, leaving her with only a 3D-printed model of the piece that she keeps in her living room.

"It's hard a little bit because this is probably going to be the coolest thing I ever find, and it's over," Ms. Young said. "But there's always something else to find. If you're an antiques dealer, there's always something else."

May 17, 2022 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

'Slow Horses'

Just great.

Based on Mick Herron's "Slough House" novels, of which there are eight:

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all of which I've read: they're even better than the TV series.

I wrote about the first of the books, "Slow Horses," early last year.

Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas lead a wonderful cast none of whom I'd ever seen before nor heard of but no matter.

Frequent reference to "the dogs" — aka the MI5 security force — in each of the six episodes will make old Shakespeareans smile:

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Lagniappe: Mick Jagger co-wrote and performs the theme song.

But wait — there's more!

Season 2 has already been filmed and it's slated for release near the end of this year.

You could look it up.

w00t!

May 17, 2022 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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