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January 4, 2011

Aboard Air Force One on 9/11 — "It's a zero-fail mission"

Air Force One pilot and commander Mark Tillman tells what it was like to fly the president's plane that day.

[via Virginia Moore] 

January 4, 2011 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Roofer's Blade


From this week's edition of Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools, edited by Oliver Hulland.

Here's Gary Puckett's* review.


This is designed for and sold as a roofing shingle removal shovel, but what it actually is is a shovel with teeth and a fulcrum. I bought it 12 years ago to strip my roof. It did the job then and ever since I've used it for everything but stripping shingles. The teeth are good for cutting through and breaking up a variety of materials. The fulcrum maximizes prying leverage (and also reinforces the blade tip so as to not fold while prying).

What this is really great for is removing thick layers of ice or hard-packed snow from pavement. The teeth do a great job of digging under and breaking up the layers, and the fulcrum often lets me pop large sections of a layer up in one piece.


48" wood handle.

I'll take one.


*That Gary Puckett?

Your guess is as good as mine.


January 4, 2011 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Aircraft Detection Before Radar — Acoustic "Ears"


















[via Joe Peach]

January 4, 2011 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

If the iPhone don't ring, you know it's New Year's Day (that's why they invented the Screaming Meanie)


Lots of Sturm und Drang the past few days what with people oversleeping because their iPhone alarms didn't work due to a programming glitch.

One more good reason to invest in a Screaming Meanie (above and below), which is loud enough to hurt.

Well worth the $28.95 when your regular alarms fail.


I set my Screaming Meanie for 20 minutes after my regular alarm, giving me time to snooze a bit before being shocked into consciousness by the 120dB little green monster.

I am not exaggerating: this puppy is raucous.

What, you say you're a fashionista and that green clashes?

No problema — we got you covered:



Chic costs.

January 4, 2011 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Dead medicines — Episode 2: Their discontents


From reader Lawlibrarian comes the following spot-on comment on this past Sunday's Episode 1 post:


Nitroglycerin [above] — 1,2,3-trinitroxypropane — is highly unstable and it is an effective vasodilator for angina sufferers. It is cheap — thank goodness — because out-of-date ineffective cardiac meds can prove deadly.

Whole classes of meds are stable as hell, while others have to be compounded just before administration. It is fairly well impossible to give general advice regarding such a diverse universe of substances (water for injection U.S.P. has an expiration date..... why? Will it decay into dihydrogen monoxide? Will the glass vial turn back into sand?).

I know of one expensive med mistake: Cutting corners with birth control meds leads to parenthood.


Excellent observations all, particularly the final sentence (do I sense a wince or 10 out there?).

But I digress.

Not to be outdone (though his comment temporally preceded — by 81 minutes — that above, to be fair), clifyt weighed in as follows from Indiana:


There are only a few (common) drugs that decay into something bad. For instance, don't the 'cyclines decay into something toxic? But other than those, there are few drugs that decay to the point that they aren't useful... even at non-full potency, what exactly is the half-life?

Even if you aren't getting full potency, you are probably getting 80%–90% at worst. Considering that most drugs are given far in excess of what is needed, hoping to saturate the system with the drug and worrying more about what the detrimental dosage is as opposed to the effective, isn't is safe to say that even far past expiration, most are still going to be good?




January 4, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Black Soap


Counterintuitively, it doesn't lather black: "the particles in these bars aren't actually black but completely opaque, and when they're compressed into soap, no light gets out."

Sounds more like a black hole than black soap.

But I digress.

Wrote Jeffries Blackerby in a post that appeared yesterday on the New York Times T magazine blog, "It’s triple-milled and made with organic vegetable oils and glycerin, with some Australian clay thrown in to give it a silken lather that doesn’t leave your skin dry. What really sets this bar apart is the fragrance: a sophisticated mix of vetiver, patchouli, tobacco and other spices that lingers without cloying. They should bottle it."


January 4, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack



"Hate all the people all of the time."

"It's so Web 2.0 it hurts!"

[via Megan Galloway who wrote, "Funny social networking site from a couple of years ago.... It fits my dark side."]

Mine* too.

Fair warning: there goes the day.

*Of course I have a dark side; it's as necessarily a part of the human condition as a coin having two sides belongs in our universe.

Dr. Möbius will see you now.

January 4, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Ripple Effect Tea Table


From designboom:


"Ripples are created 


on the top water layer of the table surface


every time the tea cup and saucer


are moved by the user."


Designed by Jeonghwa Seo and Hanna Chung (above).

[via Richard Kashdan]

January 4, 2011 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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