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January 17, 2008

Best quote of the year: 'Everybody knows how much I love accessories, so I'm very excited to receive a medal from the queen' — Glenda Bailey, Editor in Chief of Harper's Bazaar


It appeared in the January 13, 2008 New York Times, in an item by Jane L. Levere, which follows.

    The Highest Fashion: A Royal Accessory

    The new year started smashingly for Glenda Bailey [above], editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar: she was one of 235 citizens of Britain and its commonwealth countries named to the Order of the British Empire as part of Queen Elizabeth’s New Year Honours List.

    Ms. Bailey, a native of Derby, in central England, has overseen the Hearst-published Harper’s Bazaar since 2001. She was previously the editor of Marie Claire in the United States, and she started Marie Claire in Britain. She was honored for her service to British journalism and fashion.

    Ms. Bailey, who has lived in New York for 12 years, said last week that she was “thrilled” to receive the O.B.E. “Everyone knows how much I love accessories, so I’m very excited to receive a medal from the queen,” she said.

    She also said she would celebrate with a “very well-dressed party.”

    Her attire at that event? Something British, of course. “I do have my eye on a very fetching Chanel Union Jack handbag,” she said.

January 17, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Happiness is a warm... egg?


It's called the Gun Egg Fryer.

You say you want yours over Uzi?

No problema.


Apply within.

[via productdose.com and complex.com]

January 17, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Novak Djokovic channels Maria Sharapova

I saw this yesterday during yesterday's ESPN2 telecast of the Australian Open match between Sharapova and Lindsey Davenport, in which Sharapova dismantled Davenport and looked unbeatable.

Pretty funny (the video, I mean).

January 17, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Toilet Tunes — 'Automatic bathroom entertainment'


I wouldn't touch that with a pair of Hot Orange Tater Mitts.

But I digress.

From the website:

    Toilet Tunes™ Automatic Bathroom Entertainment

    Wireless sound machine plays automatically when the lid is up, shuts off when it's down.

    Just peel and stick sensor under the lid — no cords or plugs.

    Enjoy music (soothing jazz, Latin guitar, modern techno/pop) or nature sounds (rain, ocean waves, mountain stream).

    Provides privacy and helps remind guys to keep the seat down.

    Sensor is waterproof and washable, with automatic and manual mode.

    Requires 1 C and 3 AAA batteries (not included).

    7" x 5" x 2".




"Nature sounds" — no, better just leave it alone.


January 17, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'None more black' — Nigel Tufnel in 'This is Spinal Tap'


So said the lead guitarist of the group of his band's black album cover.

He was wrong.

Pulickel M. Ajayan, a professor of engineering at Rice University, has created the darkest material known to man.

Here's Eric Berger's January 14, 2008 Houston Chronicle article about the work.

    A dark discovery — no, really, this stuff is dark

    In the iconic movie This is Spinal Tap, lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel said of his band's black album cover, "It's like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black."

    He was wrong.

    A scientist at Rice University has created the darkest material known to man, a carpet of carbon nanotubes that reflects only 0.045 percent of all light shined upon it. That's four times darker than the previously darkest known substance, and more than 100 times darker than the paint on a black Corvette.

    "The final numbers, when we measured how dark this material was, were more dramatic than we thought," said Pulickel M. Ajayan [above, left, holding a piece of his material], a professor of engineering at Rice University who led the team that developed the substance.

    The work was published last week in the journal Nano Letters.

    Pure carbon is one of nature's darkest materials, as is clear to anyone who has seen charred organic materials such as wood.

    But to further darken their material the scientists had to make the surface even rougher, to enhance the scattering of light. They struck upon a carpet-like arrangement of nanotubes standing on their ends.

    The nanotubes, so named because they are tiny, are made solely of carbon atoms. Hollow cylinders with thin walls, the nanotubes used by Ajayan measure about one-hundredth of an inch long. They are very narrow, however, as their length is about 300,000 times their width.

    It took more than a year of careful experimentation to determine that such a small fraction of light is reflected by this carpet-like forest of nanotubes, Ajayan said.

    The previous record-holder was an alloy of nickel and phosphorus pitted with tiny craters developed in 2003 by researchers at the National Physical Laboratory in London. The material reflected about 0.16 percent of light shined upon it.

    Ajayan said his team has applied to Guiness World Records. Developing a dark material is an easier way to gain admittance to the book than, say, eating 36 cockroaches in a minute, which Ken Edwards of England did in the year 2001.

    "For me, yes," Ajayan said. "But I can't speak for every person."

    The new material has some potential applications.

    As it absorbs nearly all light, Ajayan said it could be useful in the collection and storage of solar energy.

    Also, as it minimizes the scatter of stray light, it could improve optical instruments such as telescopes.

    But for Ajayan, the aim is purely one of scientific discovery.

    "There's a fundamental joy in such a fascinating study," he said.


Here's a link to the abstract of the paper, published last week in the journal Nano Letters; the abstract itself follows.

    Experimental Observation of an Extremely Dark Material Made By a Low-Density Nanotube Array

    An ideal black material absorbs light perfectly at all angles and over all wavelengths. Here, we show that low-density vertically aligned carbon nanotube arrays can be engineered to have an extremely low index of refraction, as predicted recently by theory [Garcia-Vidal, F. J.; Pitarke, J. M.; Pendry, J. B. Phys. Rev. Lett. 1997, 78, 4289-4292] and, combined with the nanoscale surface roughness of the arrays, can produce a near-perfect optical absorption material. An ultralow diffused reflectance of 1 × 10-7 measured from such arrays is an order-of-magnitude lower compared to commercial low-reflectance standard carbon. The corresponding integrated total reflectance of 0.045% from the nanotube arrays is three times lower than the lowest-ever reported values of optical reflectance from any material, making it the darkest man-made material ever.


[via Adam P. Knave and hellblazer.net]

January 17, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pocket Glasses



From the website:

Pocket Glasses

These compact lenses are useful any time your glasses are elsewhere and you need keen eyesight — when removing a splinter, reading a map or menu, threading a needle, etc.

Made from a shatterproof polymer, they are just over 3" long and less than 1/8" thick, and slip unobtrusively into a pocket or purse.


Available in three strengths (1.5, 2.0, 2.5 diopter), they come with a protective vinyl sleeve.

Inexpensive enough to have them strategically located in several places.

The sprung bridge gently grips your nose.



January 17, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

HackedGadgets.com — For dreamers with a functional reality connection, it can't be beat

Detailed descriptions of how to build unimaginable devices.

A good place to lose yourself when things get slow.

[via James Thornburg]

January 17, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Tater Mitts — Episode 2: Hot Orange (Perfect for a roadside picnic)


Because when you're busy peeling potatos in the Interstate median, you want to be as visible as possible.

Sure, the original blue iteration introduced in Episode 1 on April 30, 2007 will work just as well — but they're so last year.

From the website:

    Potato Peeling Gloves

    Potato peeling gloves clean and peel spuds and other veggies in just seconds!

    Abrasive surfaces cuts prep time in half and saves your fingers from nicks and cuts as they quickly remove skin and grime.

    Works on potatoes, carrots, radishes and more — no peeler needed.

    Comfortable cotton-lined latex.

    One size fits all.



Bonus: Price break!

Just like with computers and other high-tech stuff, these gloves get cheaper as time goes by.

$14.98 a year ago, now they're a sweet $6.98.

January 17, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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