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September 19, 2008

Abraham Lincoln on creativity and invention


"The great difference between Young America and Old Fogy is the result of Discoveries, Inventions and Improvements. These, in turn, are the result of observation, reflection and experiment. For instance, it is quite certain that ever since water has been boiled in covered vessels, men have seen the lids of the vessels rise and fall a little, with a sort of fluttering motion, by force of the steam; but so long as this was not specially observed, and reflected, and experimented upon, it came to nothing. At length, however, after many thousand years, some man observes this long-known effect of hot water lifting a pot-lid, and begins a train of reflection upon it. He says “Why, to be sure, the force that lifts the pot-lid will lift anything else, which is no heavier than the pot-lid. And, as man has much hard lifting to do, cannot this hot-water power be made to help him?” He has become a little excited on the subject, and he fancies he hears a voice answering 'Try me.'" — From "Discoveries, Inventions and Improvements," an 1859 lecture.

[via Mark Leibovich and the New York Times]

Readers wishing the back story of the photo heading this post could do worse than start here.

To be sure, you could do better elsewhere.

But haven't I done enough for today already?

September 19, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Plasma Mug


Way cool.

From the website:

    Plasma Mug

    The Plasma Mug induces an orange plasma between the walls of an evacuated double-walled glass mug.

    This creates an eerie orange glow (best appreciated in low light) at the bottom of the mug while it's sitting on its electric coaster.

    When you touch the mug to pick it up, you'll also see fiery traces if a finger touches the outside wall.

    Place it on the electronic coaster and orange plasma lightning radiates inside the mug.

    Simply touch the mug to gather the orange plasma lightning to your fingertips.

    When the mug is removed from the electronic coaster, the orange plasma lightning stops.

    The mug is clear hand-blown glass.

    The electronic coaster is black and has a on/off switch.

    The plasma mug is suitable for use with any hot or cold beverage.

    Being wireless and battery-powered it's completely portable.

    Ideal for parties, home bar or just for fun.

    The electronic coaster uses 8 AA batteries (not included) or an AC adapter (not included).

    The plasma mug is 5.5" high and 3" in diameter, and the electronic coaster is 5" wide.


September 19, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

If you dig a deep hole — really deep — where will you come out on the other side of the Earth?


Now you can find out.


Maybe I need a better perspective.


One less thing to keep me up at night....

[via Milena]

September 19, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Hold — by Sonya Clark


The piece above is part of a show at Baltimore's Walters Art Museum entitled "Sonya Clark: Loose Strands, Tight Knots," closing this coming Sunday, September 21, 2008.

Sorry for the late notice but my crack research team just threw it on my desk.

"A docent-led tour of the exhibition is offered on Sunday, September 21, at 2 p.m."

September 19, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Показ Татьяны Карамболь на Ukrainian Fashion Week весна 2008

September 19, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Bakelite old-fashioned rotary dialer for iPhone: Back to the future


Free — the way we like it — from the App Store.

[via monogocoro.jp, Coolest Gadgets and CrunchGear]

September 19, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Helpful Hints from joeeze: How to drill a perfect hole


Frank Joy, writing in issue 15 of MAKE magazine: "If you really want to drill that hole with no tear-out, use a brad point or bullet point drill bit. Then, carefully locate the hole and run the drill at high speed backward, until it scuffs down through the first layers of surface wood fibers and burnishes a shallow hole. Then you can proceed to drill in the usual manner without risk of tear-out."

Two other techniques are described here, and follow.

    Drill perfect holes in wood with no tear-out

    For drilling holes in wood with no tear-out, here are two possible methods: For fine woodworking applications use a backer board. Clamp the workpiece and the backer board together. Next, select a good-quality bit with a starting point and side cutters, such as a Forstner or brad point bit. Forstners and brad points drill more precise holes than standard twist drill bits. The bit treats the two clamped pieces of wood as a single piece; as the drill bit passes through the workpiece and into the backer board you won’t get tear-out on the workpiece. For applications where a precise hole is not required, use a spade bit to drill the hole. When you’ve just about pierced the backside, stop and flip the workpiece over. Use the hole pierced through the backside of the workpiece as a centering guide, and finish the hole from the backside.

September 19, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Collector's item


The Bette Davis commemorative stamp previewed last December (above) differs in one (1) small detail from the real thing (below) released yesterday in Boston.


42 cents at post offices everywhere.

September 19, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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