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June 5, 2009

Ramen Advice — Second-hand wisdom from Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant noodles

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Andy Raskin, author of "The Ramen King and I: How the Inventor of Instant Noodles Fixed My Love Life," channels the voice of the master.

Raskin hopes his book will be an instant classic.

June 5, 2009 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ninja Star Push Pins

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From the website:

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Ninja Star Push Pins

There are many nonverbal signs you can use to let those in your office know how you feel about them.

You can leave a sticky note saying "Good Job" on their monitor.

You can put laxatives in their coffee.

Or, you can do as the ninjas done did: stick an angry note on their cubicle wall with throwing stars.

Each set will bring you three Ninja Stars of posting doom.

Each star has one corner cut off and replaced with two push pins, so when they are embedded in the wall (or cork board or foam board) they look like they were thrown with great force.

And apart from looking cool in the wall, the stories of how they got there in the first place will quickly become the things of office legend — because nothing adds emphasis to a sign or note like a Ninja Star.

Made of injection molded ABS with a chrome plated finish.

Approximately 2.75" tip to tip.

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Three for $11.99.

June 5, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: 'iPhone applications can help the autistic'


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Long story short: Total cost, about $500 — a heckuva lot cheaper than the $8,000–$10,000 price of huge and heavy specialized text-to-speech machines.

Here's Greg Toppo's May 28, 2009 USA Today article to introduce the concept.

Screenshots above and below.

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iPhone applications can help the autistic

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Leslie Clark and her husband have been trying to communicate with their autistic 7-year-old son, JW, for years, but until last month, the closest they got was rudimentary sign language.

He's "a little bit of a mini-genius," Clark says, but like many autistic children, JW doesn't speak at all.

Desperate to communicate with him, she considered buying a specialized device like the ones at his elementary school in Lincoln, Neb. But the text-to-speech machines are huge, heavy and expensive; a few go for $8,000 to $10,000.

Then a teacher told her about a new application that a researcher had developed for, of all things, the iPhone and iPod Touch. Clark drove to the local Best Buy and picked up a Touch, then downloaded the "app" from iTunes.

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A month later, JW goes everywhere with the slick touch-screen mp3 player strapped to his arm. It lets him touch icons that voice basic comments or questions, such as, "I want Grandma's cookies" or "I'm angry — here's why." He uses his "talker" to communicate with everyone — including his service dog, Roscoe, who listens to voice commands through the tiny speakers.

It's a largely untold story of Apple's popular audio devices.

It is not known how many specialized apps are out there, but Apple touts a handful on iTunes, among them ones that help users do American Sign Language and others like Proloquo2Go, which helps JW speak.

The app also aids children and adults with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and Lou Gehrig's Disease, or ALS — even stroke patients who have lost the ability to speak, says its co-developer, Penn State doctoral student Samuel Sennott.

Using the iPhone and Touch allows developers to democratize a system that has relied on devices that were too expensive or difficult to customize, Sennott says. "I love people being able to get it at Best Buy," he says. "That's just a dream."

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He also says that for an autistic child, the ability to whip out an iPhone and talk to friends brings "this very hard-to-quantify cool factor."

Sennott won't give out sales figures for the $149.99 app but says they're "extremely brisk."

Ronald Leaf, director of Autism Partnership, a private California-based agency, says he prefers to help autistic children such as JW learn how to navigate their world without gadgets. "If we could get children to talk without using technology, that would be our preference," he says.

Clark says the app has changed her son's life.

"He's actually communicating," she says. "It's nice to see what's going on in his head."

Among the revelations of the past month: She now knows JW's favorite restaurant. "I get to spend at least every other day at the Chinese buffet."

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More here and here.

June 5, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Film Strip Tape

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  Packing tape with permanent synthetic adhesive and reinforced polypropylene base.

Designed by Vladimir Shreyder.

2" (5cm) W x 197' (60m) L.

Made in Russia.

$5.77.

June 5, 2009 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wikipedia — Gimme a hard copy (right there)*

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*Apologies to Deckard.

[via Nathan goes to Townsville, Bits & Pieces and reddit ]

June 5, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

What is it?

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Answer here this time tomorrow.

June 5, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Any doubts about Twitter's power should be laid to rest by the just-out Time magazine cover below

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Steven B. Johnson's cover story explains it all for you.

June 5, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Junk Food Sandwich Puzzle

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From the website:

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Junk Food Sandwich Puzzle

Hungry for a challenge?

Feast your eyes upon this, all you junk food addicts.

Look closely and you'll see that the sandwich is made of cheese curls, chocolate bars, pizza, etc. — 500 pieces and not a single calorie.

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$13.98.

June 5, 2009 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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