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July 13, 2011

Bringing light to the poor — fast, cheap & under control

What a fantastic innovation is this.

Alfredo Mozer of São Paulo invented the plastic bottle lamp.

Though it works only during the day, it provides light  equivalent to that of a 40 to 60 watt light bulb.

An ordinary plastic bottle, filled with water and then a little bleach, refracts sunlight in a 360° radius.

The bleach serves to retard algae growth and allows a single bottle to work effectively for about 5 years.

Why aren't these ubiquitous — and not just in the Third World?

Another video here.

[via clifyt]

July 13, 2011 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

World's most technical barbecue tongs


"A long, lightweight pair of aluminium [sic] barbeque tongs with easy precision action thanks to their 1:1 transmission ratio."

Two lengths: 50.8 cm (below) or 63.5 cm (top).



July 13, 2011 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Experts' Expert: Dame Barbara Hepworth on how to look at a sculpture

The great British sculptor (1903 –1975), interviewed in 1972.

Wrote Richard Holledge in a July 12 Wall Street Journal story about the opening of Hepworth Wakefield, a museum devoted to her work, "Such is the clarity of the layout and the juxtaposition of her work with fellow contemporaries that it is possible to follow her development from early endeavors in wood and stone, the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement, to the inspiration of two expatriate modernists, the American Jacob Epstein and the Frenchman Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, and finally her move into a more pristine abstraction."

More: "The minutiae of her working day from pictures, newspaper cuttings and even her tools contrasts with the monumental prototype of one of her best-known sculptures, the aluminium, 19-foot 'Winged Figure' (1963), commissioned for London's John Lewis department store. There are versions in wood and bronze of 'Chun Quoit,' the inspiration for the 'Single Form' that was unveiled outside the United Nations building in New York in 1964."

July 13, 2011 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Post-it Notes on Steroids


As a long-time aficionado of office supplies, I feel qualified to review this wonderful new (to me, at least) product.

"Yo joe, how come you're always going on about other stuff that we know full well you know less than nothing about?"

Never mind.

I'll talk to you individually after I'm done here.

Now, where was it?

Zits, yeah, we were talking about pimples.




Oh, OK, my bad, let's get to it.

These über-Post-its measure 4" x 4" and are a different kettle of fish entirely from others I've used, namely their Lilliputian (it can be capitalized or not, I looked it up, don't distract me) 1.5" x 2", 2" x 3", and 3" x 3" brethren.

These have an entirely different heft and presence under your pencil or pen or Sharpie.

Me, I'm combining them with an ultra-fine point retractable Sharpie

for note heaven on Earth.


July 13, 2011 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Sending children via U.S. mail is strictly forbidden (since 1913)


Caption from the Smithsonian Institution's flickr:

Uniformed Letter Carrier with Child in Mailbag

[In 1900] this city letter carrier posed for a humorous photograph with a young boy in his mailbag. After parcel post service was introduced in 1913, at least two children were sent by the service. With stamps attached to their clothing, the children rode with railway and city carriers to their destination. The Postmaster General quickly issued a regulation forbidding the sending of children in the mail after hearing of those examples.

[via @MelissaBell]

July 13, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: smaller than a bread box.

Another: meant for one's batterie de cuisine.

July 13, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

How to deactivate a cat

Before everyone goes ballistic about how cruel this is, please take a minute to read the comments appearing following the video on 9gag, where I found it.

It would appear to me that putting a binder clip on a cat's scruff is not torture at all.

But then, I'm not a cat, am I?

I'm reluctant to experiment on Gray Cat without first getting the go-ahead from Flautist, as well as any other feline behavioral experts who might shed light rather than heat on the subject.

[via Richard Kashdan]

July 13, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Keyboard Food Tray — It's been 5 years, why isn't this on Kickstarter?


I'll take one.

From a July 9, 2006 post on OhGizmo!: "Designer Duck Young Kong has shown his latest innovation over at Yanko Design and it's called the Keyboard Food Tray. No longer do you have to face the tough question: 'One more round of de_dust or finally eat something for the first time in 37 hours?' You can very easily consume your tea cakes and Earl Grey while grinding goblins. It's still in the design phase, so there's no pricing and information is limited."


[via Joe Peach and Ned Hardy]

July 13, 2011 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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