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December 17, 2011

A lifetime of looking up: David H. Levy Logbooks, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada


From an item in Tuesday's Washington Post:

Among backyard stargazers, David Levy is something of a legend. The Montreal-born science writer and amateur astronomer has been watching the sky since his childhood in the 1950s; he's been credited with discovering about 150 asteroids and co-discovering 22 comets — including Shoemaker-Levy 9, which, in 1994, famously slammed into Jupiter, causing a massive, well-documented explosion.

And night after night, he has been writing it all down. Now you can read it.

Last month the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada launched an online archive housing PDFs of his lifetime collection of logbooks. (Go to www.rasc.ca and type "David Levy" in the search box.) Volume 00 begins with his first recollections of watching the heavens, including: "Memory of stars resembling friendly beacons in a lonely night." But that's a rare bit of poetry: Most of Levy's log entries are limited to dates, data and a list of what was observed. Still, flipping through the pages upon pages of meticulous records — Volume 23 ends in 2008 — you can get a sense of Levy's passion for the stars. And, as Levy gained notoriety, his observation sessions even included a few famous guests, such as Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto.

Up top, a page from one of Levy's 1960s logbooks.

December 17, 2011 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Limited-Edition Chippensteel Chair

Chippensteel a5

That's different.

From the website:



Created by Polish engineer Oskar Zieta.

These individual works of design are made from welded sheets of steel and inflated like a balloon using high-pressure air by an innovative process called FiDU (Freielnnen Druck Umformung, as in free inner-pressure deformation): the effect is metal frozen in time.


The crumples and crushes happen spontaneously as the flats are filled — no two chairs are alike.

Because minimal material is needed, the chairs are much lighter than they appear.


30"H x 16"W x 23"D.

Seat height: 18".


Polished steel: $1,480.

Glossy Black, Glossy White, Blue, Grey, or Raw: $785.


Apply within.

December 17, 2011 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Helpful Hints from joeeze(s): How to determine screw thread direction

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Wrote Joe Peach (the other joeeze): "Do they use them [left hand thread iterations] on left-handed doors?"

I don't know the answer but somewhere out there in joehead nation there's someone who does... will you deign to give it up for us?

From sailingservices: "Right Hand Thread: Threads slope up to the right when screw is held vertically."

December 17, 2011 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Transformer Mitten-Gloves


From Cool Hunting:


"Kurt Geiger's Isla Mittens are a delicate balance of form and function."


"The soft leather mittens unzip to reveal knitted fingerless gloves."




[via Fancy]

December 17, 2011 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Antarctica: What lies beneath

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From NewScientist:

Antarctica has been hiding something. It may look like a fairly flat, snow-covered wasteland, but scientists have pulled back the ice sheet to reveal the mountainous topography of the continent underneath.

Only 1% of this rock makes its way to the surface of the frozen terrain. Although some of these mountains are as tall as the Alps, they're still obscured by more than 3,200 feet of ice. The highest elevations are marked in the image above in red and black, and the lowest are shown in dark blue. The light blue area shows the extent of the continental shelf.

Using radar to map the landscape, scientists at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have pooled data from decades of polar expeditions to create the most accurate and detailed map of the "white continent" ever made. To chart the terrain, planes send microwave pulses through the upper sheet and record the echoes that bounce off the underlying rock. This gives a clear picture of the hidden landscape and also reveals the depth of the ice cover.

[via the Washington Post]

Below, a graphic which accompanied a story in Tuesday's New York Times Science section about Antarctica.


The caption: "A topography of the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains, two miles beneath the East Antarctic ice sheet. The range is bigger than the Alps."


December 17, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gummy Bear Earbuds

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Green, Blue, Purple or Red.




[via Things That Look Like Other Things]

December 17, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Illustrating Empire: A Visual History of British Imperialism


From a review of this book in last weekend's Wall Street Journal:


"Chicken Tikka Masala, invented a half-century ago or so, is the most globally recognized Indian dish. Yet it isn't really Indian; it's Anglo-Indian, concocted from a classic Indian preparation to suit British tastes. The 'Roast Beef of England' didn't survive the imperial encounter; surveys show chicken tikka masala to be today the most popular dish in British restaurants."

"For while 'empire' is now something of a naughty word — implying one culture victimizing another—in the trade-dominated British practice it was often a two-way street."


"The first curry recipe appeared in England in 1747, and the first curry house opened in London in 1810; by the 1850s, curry powder (or 'currie powder,' above) was a popular household product. It shared space in the British kitchen with numerous imperial products: Kenyan coffee, Jamaican bananas, Malayan pineapples, perhaps even a can or two of Australian 'Pride of Empire' cling peaches (below)."


"The pervasive influence of the colonies on Britain's visual culture during the 19th and 20th centuries is superbly documented in [this book]. It's a browser's book of delights and curiosities, from matchboxes, labels and theater bills to scarves, games, pamphlets, posters and even a brochure suggesting that you, too, could have a farm in Africa."


"The annotations are first-rate — a 'coronation chicken' curry was created for Elizabeth II's ascension in 1952, for instance."

December 17, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Armani Suitjamas


Pajamas that look like a suit.


Wait till Rob Walker sees these.



December 17, 2011 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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