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August 9, 2010

Yokai — by Ryo Arai


Sculptor Ryo Arai




Japanese yokai


folklore creatures/monsters.






this artist







[via Rob Weaver]

August 9, 2010 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Desk Daisy


"Petals are paper clips that cling to magnets in the center of each flower. Stems are bendable."



[via my7475.com]

August 9, 2010 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pepsi White — Mmmm, yogurt-flavored


Alas, you have to go to Japan to try it.

[via LDJ and cylon apple pie]

August 9, 2010 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Above, a commercial for NBC's new series.

It came on a couple times last night during the opening NFL preseason game and I watched it MOS.

Much better that way than with audio.

I hope the same isn't true for the show.

August 9, 2010 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Quality of Death Index


From the July 15, 2010 issue of The Economist.


The quality of death

An attempt to rank end-of-life care in different countries

Customer-satisfaction surveys are commonly use to improve the service in hotels and shops. Alas, they are unsuitable for rating the quality of death. So the Lien Foundation, a charity, commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit, our sister company, to devise a ranking of end-of-life care. The report, published on July 14th, rates 40 mostly rich countries by how well they care for the dying.

Britain tops the table. For all the health-care system’s faults, British doctors tend to be honest about prognoses. The mortally ill get plentiful pain killers. A well-established hospice movement cares for people near death, although only 4% of deaths occur in them. For similar reasons, Australia and New Zealand rank highly too.

Some countries, such as Denmark and Finland, that normally score higher than Britain on human-development indices rank lower on the quality-of-death index. They concentrate more on preventing death (which they see as a medical failure) rather than on helping people die without suffering pain, discomfort and distress. America scores poorly because of the health insurers’ rule that they pay for palliative care only if a patient relinquishes curative treatments.

The report combines hard statistics such as life expectancy and health-care spending as a share of GDP with weighted assessments of other indicators. One is the public awareness of the availability of hospices. Another is whether a country has a formal policy or legislation on treating the terminally ill (only seven of the 40 do).

Brazil, China, India and Russia, the four largest emerging economies, cluster at the bottom of the table. Their health-care systems still take little account of dignity in death (a sprinkling of hospices in places such as St Petersburg in Russia, or Kerala in India, are honourable exceptions). The report’s authors blame cultural factors as well as bureaucratic resistance. In China, for example, a strong taboo hangs over discussing death. The ranking may spur improvement. But for those who mind most, complaining about poor deathbed treatment is unusually difficult.

August 9, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

USB LED Lamp Fan defines "kawaii"


"During the day, it works as a fan to cool you down, and during the evening it acts as a lamp to illuminate your desk."

• Retro flower design

• 43" USB cable

• 9.4"H x 4.4"Ø


Pink, Green, Blue or Yellow.


August 9, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I said be careful that potato is really a battery — The rise of potato power

Long story short: boiling a potato before making a battery out of it, like we did for science class in elementary school, soups up the tuber such that it produces up to 10 times as much power (nearly half that of a commercial AA battery) as a raw potato — enabling it to work as a battery for days or even weeks.

Here's a Reuters story about this development.


An electric battery based on boiled potatoes could provide a cheap source of electricity in the developing world, according to the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The treated potato battery generates energy that is five to 50 times cheaper than commercially available batteries, Yissum Research Development Co. said. A light powered by the battery is at least six times more economical than kerosene lamps often used in the developing world.

"The ability to provide electrical power with such simple and natural means could benefit millions of people in the developing word, literally bringing light and telecommunication to their life in areas currently lacking electrical infrastructure," Yaacov Michlin, chief executive of Yissum, said in a statement.

The findings were published in the June issue of the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

Haim Rabinowitch and research student Alex Golberg at Israel's Hebrew University jointly with Boris Rubinsky at the University of California at Berkeley discovered a new way to construct an efficient battery using zinc and copper electrodes and a slice of an ordinary potato.

They found that boiling the potato prior to use in electrolysis increased electric power up to 10-fold over the untreated potato and enabled the battery to work for days and even weeks.

Potatoes are produced in 130 countries over a wide range of climates and thus available year round. It is the world's number one non-grain starch food commodity.


More on potato power here.

[via Gadget Master]


In yesterday's 10:01 a.m. post, I posed the question of which of the two image search results was Google's and which was Bing's.

The bottom one — neater and nicely gridded — was Bing.

August 9, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Pot Handle Grips


From the website:


Waffle pattern creates air pocket insulation for added protection.

Rigid sides allow for better grip and further insulation.

Teeth on inside help minimize slippage.

Safe to 536°F/280°C.

4.5" x 2.75".





[via Bem Legaus!]

August 9, 2010 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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