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July 18, 2008

World's fastest snake — The black mamba

It travels at speeds up to 12 mph.

It's also Africa's longest venomous snake, reaching up to 14 feet.

[via Flautist, who knows a thing or two about wild life — erm, I mean, wildlife]

July 18, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Soy Pillow

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You knew it was only a matter of time....

From the website:

    Soy-Based Memory Foam Pillow

    Next-generation soy-based memory foam pillows let you sleep soundly and wake up refreshed — without the clamminess and odor of ordinary memory foam

    Let's face it, as wonderful as memory foam is, it has limitations.

    Petroleum-based, it has a nauseating chemical odor that can't be good for you.

    And it's so hot and clammy that you'll sweat in your sheets.

    So we were thrilled to discover a revolutionary memory foam made only in Belgium by Obus Forme, created from a blend of earth-friendly soy extracts.

    Our Atmosphere open-cell foam pillows have been certified free of substances harmful to your health and the environment by Europe's most stringent textile testing and certification body.

    Completely hypo-allergenic and odor-free, our pillows promote maximum air circulation to keep you cool and dry.

    They have a removable plush cotton velour cover and can be tossed in the washing machine.

....................

Crunchy.

$79.95.

July 18, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Virtual water and your water footprint

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At least this one doesn't leave behind a black residue, à la last year's flash-in-the-pan, the carbon footprint.

Long story short: Your water footprint is the volume of fresh water you use, both directly and in the production of the goods and services you consume.

I learned this in the August 2008 issue of Scientific American.

What's yours?

As long as we're on the subject, why not get in on the ground floor of virtual water?

Never heard of it?

You will.

Water is the new oil, in case you haven't heard: the wars of the 21st century will be fought for its control.

July 18, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What is it?

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Answer here this time tomorrow.

July 18, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Starship Troopers — Chinese-Style

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Not exactly what Dean Kamen had in mind when he invented the Segway but hey, they'll take all the sales they can get.

Associated Press photographer Fan Changguo's photo up top, which accompanies Calum MacLeod's story in today's USA Today about China's massive security blanket for the upcoming Olympics ("Missiles, 100,000 police on China's Olympic team" reads the article's headline), is captioned, "Members of the Jinan Special Weapons and Tactics team use Segways during an Olympic anti-terrorism training drill in Jinan, eastern China's Shandong province, on July 2."

July 18, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Are you ready for some football?

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"No leather (or pigskin, for that matter) was used in the creation of this bag."

From the website:

    Football Bag

    This official-size faux-pigskin purse holds everything you need for an afternoon at the game or an evening on the town.

    Man-made materials with cotton/polyester lining.

    Zip close; 1 zip and 2 pouch pockets inside.

    6" handles; 9"L.

....................

$49.95.

[via compradiccion and Fashionably Geek]

July 18, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

50 best literary translations of the past 50 years

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From a July 11, 2008 Times of London story: "The Translators Association of the Society of Authors celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion they have compiled a list of 50 outstanding translations of the last half century."

The top 10:

1. Raymond Queneau — Exercises in Style (Barbara Wright, 1958)

2. Primo Levi — If This is a Man (Stuart Woolf, 1959)

3. Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa — The Leopard (Archibald Colquhoun, 1961)

4. Günter Grass — The Tin Drum (Ralph Manheim, 1962)

5. Jorge Luis Borges — Labyrinths (Donald Yates, James Irby, 1962)

6. Leonardo Sciascia — Day of the Owl (Archibald Colquhoun, 1963)

7. Alexander Solzhenitsyn — One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Ralph Parker, 1963)

8. Yukio Mishima — Death in Midsummer (Seidensticker, Keene, Morris, Sargent, 1965)

9. Heinrich Böll — The Clown (Leila Vennewitz, 1965)

10. Octavio Paz — Labyrinth of Solitude (Lysander Kemp, 1967)
...................

For what it's worth, I've read eight of the 50.

[via clifyt]

July 18, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MowerCycle

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The picture above of this singular creation was taken by Jim Hamilton but nothing else about the device is known, at least for now.

If anyone has anything more let me know.

Mos def a step up from Earthworm's PedalMower (below).

467y

[via dot dream's flickr and tolin.cn]

July 18, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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