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January 1, 2012

CountyHealthRankings.org — Where does yours stand (or sit?)

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From the website: "We measure two types of health outcomes to represent how healthy each county is: how long people live (mortality) and how healthy people feel (morbidity). These outcomes are the result of a collection of health factors and are influenced by programs and policies at the local, state, and federal levels."

You can see me up top if you have really good vision: I'm in AL (Albemarle) county, about a mile and a half west of the CV (Charlottesville) blip in the center.

Related: United States of Inactivity, an April 10, 2011 post.

[via Deborah Franklin and Scientific American]

January 1, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Stick-on Light Bulb — Lasts forever and uses no electricity

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Much better than the new wave non-incandescents gradually taking over the lighting space.

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From the website:

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This light bulb sticks.

As quick as a flash, this sticker will transform a boring glass, pitcher or hurricane lamp into a designer piece.

Stick it on a wine glass and with a tea-light candle inside you will create your own portable personal light bulb.

Paper and plastic sticker is 8cm W x 6cm L. 

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€3.90.

January 1, 2012 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Solving the password dilemma

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Wrote Andrew Bennett* in a letter to the editor appearing in the latest issue (January 2012) of Scientific American:

The true secret to security is... a password scheme this is easy for users to remember (so they don't write it down) but close to impossible for a computer to guess. The method of picking a string of letters and numbers gives a result that could be beaten in about three days of determined effort and is pretty much impossible to remember. A phrase of four random words, however, can be easy to remember but can require more than 500 years to guess.

Is this true?

If so, why are we just finding out about it now?

*Software engineer at Google (you could look it up).

January 1, 2012 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

A football for the rest of us

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If you're an NFL quarterback, spinning a regulation football comes with the teritory.

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For the rest of us, throwing a perfect spiral with one is more likely to be an accident than a routine occurrence.

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Now comes Paul Cunningham of Glen Rock, New Jersey, who hand makes regular guy- (and girl)-friendly throwing footballs one at a time from start to finish, using heavy duty boot leather and rawhide laces, each iteration distinct and unique.

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Lifetime warranty.

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These footballs, designed to fit comfortably in the hand of a layman, were brought to the attention of the greater world when Jason Gay's article, headlined "Is This the Perfect Football?", appeared in the December 15, 2011 Wall Street Journal.

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Excerpts follow.

Cunningham would try to grip the NFL's official ball — "The Duke" — and it never felt right. The Duke was rocklike, intimidating. It may have made sense in Ken Stabler's hand, but not Cunningham's.

"Most guys can't throw that ball," Cunningham says, flipping a Duke over. "It's huge! It's always been uncomfortable for me."

So Cunningham tweaked around with a new kind of football. He found soft, supple boot leather at a tannery in Maine. He kept his design simple — rawhide laces, almost no print on the outside. Most important, he made it smaller, easier to grip than the iconic pro model.

"I designed it for my hand," he says. "It was just a ball that guys could hold and throw."

The ball, nicknamed the Handsome Dan (an homage to Yale's bulldog mascot and Cunningham's brother, Dan), was an immediate success. It sells for $120 and put Cunningham's company, Leather Head Sports, on the radar of style blogs and menswear magazines. "Footballs started making real money," Cunningham says.

Cunningham flips the Handsome Dan over.

It's impossible not to grip it and want to chuck it around. The worn-looking leather evokes a whiff of nostalgia — one can imagine Bronko Nagurski charging up the middle with one — but it's warm, forgiving.

"It wants to be played with," Cunningham says. "It doesn't want to sit on a shelf. And frankly, the ball improves dramatically with some use."

Leather Head doesn't have an ad budget. There's no PR person. He doesn't want to make a hard sell.

Paul Cunningham grips the football that changed his life. There's no TV spot, no billboard ad, no celebrity endorsement needed. Just throw it. That's the sale.

Apply here and here.

January 1, 2012 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

GoWatchIt.com — One search to find them all

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It's a website that lets you search for movies across all platforms — theaters, DVD & Blu-ray, On Demand and Online — with one entry into its search box.

You can also ask to be notified when your desired films become available.

January 1, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Wooden Waffle Pen Tray

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Shaped teak.

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18 x 9 x 3cm.

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Made in Japan.

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¥5,000.

January 1, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

"Haunting Photos of Polar Ice" — Camille Seaman

"Photographer Camille Seaman shoots icebergs, showing the world the complex beauty of these massive, ancient chunks of ice. Dive in to her photo slideshow, 'The Last Iceberg.'"

[via ReadWriteWeb]

January 1, 2012 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Auto-On/Off Bag Light

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"A small light for your handbag that, without contact, turns on and automatically turns off."

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From the website:

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Did you know that women rummage through their handbags an average of 76 days out of their lives?

Don't waste any more time tediously searching for keys, cell phone, lip gloss, etc. 

SOI can automatically detect an approaching hand and will begin to illuminate.

When there is no hand in the vicinity, it remains off.

Features and Specifications:

• Smooth surface, pleasing to the touch

• Uses two 3V batteries (included)

• Made in Germany

• 7cm Ø x 2.2cm H

• Plastic

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€29.95.

January 1, 2012 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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