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April 11, 2011

BehindTheMedspeak: On getting back to sleep

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Many years ago I read somewhere that keeping your eyes closed once you've awakened in the middle of the night because you have to get up and go to the bathroom makes it much easier to get back to sleep.

You can teach yourself to do this in short order.

It's important that you never once — even for a zeptosecond — open your eyes as you get up, make your way to the loo, and return to bed.

You grope your way around furniture and the door jamb.

This learned behavior is pretty much impossible to employ when you're away from home, where unfamiliar surroundings can cause you to injure yourself by crashing into things or falling.

The mechanism behind this trick, as best I can recall, is that your brain "resets" from sleep to waking mode the instant light hits the retina to then make its way along the optic nerves to the visual cortex.

By keeping light out of the equation, the brain is more likely to reestablish sleep mode than after having to "reset," as it were, following visual input.

This technique has worked nicely for me for at least 15 years and I recommend it to you.

An example of my favorite kind of medical intervention: it might work and improve your life, and if it doesn't, you won't be any worse off.

I call this win/no-lose, an excellent bet whenever you can find someone to take it.

April 11, 2011 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Spaghetti Candles

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"So realistic, they come with a 'Do Not Eat' warning on the packaging."

"They can be bent into any shape and look wonderful coiled around a bottle."

"To avoid a dreadful Bolognese, remember not to store them in the food cupboard."

Package of 30 candles, each lasting 40 minutes: $20 CAD (Kitchen and Tabletop 7).

April 11, 2011 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saving the Jefferson Bible

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Wrote Jacqueline Trescott in a March 11, 2011 Washington Post article, "When Thomas Jefferson was 77, he went back to a project he had been thinking about for decades. Sitting in Monticello, using candlelight and a knife, he cut New Testament verses in four different languages from six books [two pictured below] to create his own bible."

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"Jefferson, saying he was selecting his own 'morsels of morality,' removed verses on any miracles, as well as the resurrection."

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More: "For more than 116 years the Jefferson Bible, as it is known, has been one of the iconic possessions of the Smithsonian Institution. Now a group of conservators and curators have removed the 86 pages from the original binding and are examining every inch to stabilize its condition, study its words and craftsmanship, and guarantee that future generations can learn more about the artifact and the man."

Up top, the Jefferson Bible opened as far as possible with its original binding intact.

More here in a March 11, 2011 press release from the Smithsonian.

35 photos here.

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[via The Posterity Project]

April 11, 2011 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

World's most expensive nail clipper

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"Using surgical-grade stainless steel, this is the first nail clipper ever produced

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using metal-injection molding."

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$70.

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[via Design Milk]

April 11, 2011 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Emotional Internet Radio

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From the website: "Behind every song there's always an emotion. We don't know why but maybe that's why we love music."

"So we've created a way to suggest songs that follow your feelings. Stereomood is the emotional internet radio, providing music that best suits your mood and activities." 

[via Joe Peach]

April 11, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Braun Travel Clock — Back to the future

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It's an update of a classic 1975 Dietrich Lubs design.

As I recall, the one I had back in the day had an alarm rocker switch on top, one end of which was above the level of the top at all times and — to my way of thinking — markedly detracted from its looks.

This new iteration seems to have acknowledged that shortcoming by housing the alarm switch flush with the top while not in use.

If memory serves, the old version had a red second hand.

Black: $58.

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Silver (yes, I know it looks white in the pictures above): $59.99.

[via the Wall Street Journal]

April 11, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Edible Pen

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Wrote its inventor, Eindhoven-based Dave Hakkens:

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"I first wanted to make something so I could chew on my pen without making it dirty. When looking at the pen I noticed that you only use the ink, the other stuff is just there to hold filling more comfortable. Isn't it possible to eat the whole cover? That was my goal, a pen where you can chew on and entirely eat. First gathered at a lot of pens and looked what makes it good to chew on."

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"With that information I made 3 different molds and started testing out different types of candy, the breaking point and which chew the best. When I found the shape and candy I made a final model in peppermint flavor."

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"The candy which is used doesn't stick on anything and doesn't melt when it's in your hands. (To get an idea: It has the same texture as candy bracelets.) It contains 22 pieces and is filled with edible ink. The only thing which isn't edible is the small point where you write with. When finished you throw it away or put in in a new re-fill pen."

[via Milena and naver]

April 11, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Skeletor Belt

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By Delfina Delettrez.

[via What Alice Found]

April 11, 2011 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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