« January 14, 2012 | Main | January 16, 2012 »

January 15, 2012

Confederate sub H.L. Hunley, sunk in 1864, unveiled


The Hunley was the first submarine in history to sink an enemy warship.


It was raised off the coast of South Carolina almost a dozen years ago, then brought to a conservation lab in North Charleston where it has been undergoing preservation ever since.


According to a January 12 Daily Mail story, "The next step in the process of conserving the Hunley is modifying its conservation tank so chemicals can be used to dissolve the salt and encrustation on the hull. That should happen in about six months and then, after three months in the chemical bath, scientists will drain the tank and begin using hand tools to remove the deposits."


It is still not known why the sub sank on a winter night in 1864.

"The sub and its crew of eight were lost after it rammed a spar with a black powder charge into the federal blockade ship Housatonic."

"There are theories that the sub could have been damaged by fire from the Housatonic or the crew knocked out from concussion from the blast. Another theory is the sub was struck by another Union vessel coming to help the Housatonic."

"The remains of the crew, who were buried in 2004 in what was called the last Confederate funeral, were found at their stations and there seemed to have been no rush to the escape hatch."

January 15, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Steampunk Rotary Smartphone


Designed by Richard Clarkson.


"The phone features two interchangeable brass dials —


a true rotary dial (above) and a button dial (top)."


"What's really clever is that the act of changing these


is inspired by switching lenses on a camera."


"Electroplated copper with a coat of paint completes the body job."


[via Fancy and Yanko Design]

January 15, 2012 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Who called? Time to strike back.


"Got a phone call but didn't recognize the number? Find the caller by searching for the number to figure out who's calling and what they want. This reverse phone lookup utility is especially useful for those annoying missed calls from unknown callers."

Free, the way we like it.

[via my Los Angeles correspondent]

January 15, 2012 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Ice Scream — Munch "The Scream" Ice Cubes


"Put your anxiety on ice."


I like it.




The original paintings (there are two) were made in 1893 and 1910.

The National Gallery of Norway in Oslo holds the 1893 work and the Munch Museum in Oslo owns the 1910 version.

[via The Awesomer, Fancy and Richard Kashdan]

January 15, 2012 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Experts' Expert: David Chang's 5 favorite restaurants in the world

Screen Shot 2012-01-14 at 12.37.23 PM

In last Sunday's New York Times Travel section the über-chef and owner of Momofuku Restaurant Group revealed his top five to all and sundry.

Screen Shot 2012-01-14 at 12.37.51 PM

I featured one of them — Sushi Sawada in Tokyo — that day and now bring you the remaining four.

Screen Shot 2012-01-14 at 12.37.59 PM

What Chang said:

In Paris, Le Chateaubriand looks like a typical bistro, but you're getting extraordinarily intelligent food. The chef is Iñaki Aizpitarte — there’s nobody like him. He's doing food in new ways, and in the sort of relaxed setting that you might find in America but is rare in Paris. Everyone who ever goes to Paris asks me if I can get them a reservation at Chateaubriand.

Everyone goes to San Sebastian, in Spain, for food. But if you want to have the best seafood experience of your life, drive about 10 to 15 minutes outside the city to Elkano Restaurant. It may not look like it, but it's got a state-of-the-art storage space for seafood; they get a shipment of sea water every week that they use to keep things fresh. And everything's cooked over charcoal — it's like Basque barbecue. A dish might consist of turbot, a local sherry, a few other ingredients. Very simple, but everything is delicious.

Don't worry if you can't get a reservation at Noma, the acclaimed Copenhagen restaurant. Head to Restaurant Relae. Christian Puglisi, the chef, and his team are all Noma veterans, serving exquisite and light vegetable-centric food, and amazing bread. Christian is a great chef — he’s worked all over Europe. And he's Italian, so there’s sometimes an Italian bent to his dishes. His food is simple, but not simple.

In New York, you have to try Kajitsu in the East Village. I think, consistently, it might be the best restaurant in the city. And it's totally a value; there’s an eight-course tasting menu for $70. The executive chef, Masato Nishihara, serves Shojin temple food, an ancient cuisine developed in Buddhist monasteries — sort of Japanese comfort food. It's all vegetables, but you're not going to miss the meat. And his pickles are so delicious. It's a thought-provoking experience, but also incredibly fun and extremely tasty.

Mr. Nishihara is extraordinarily talented. When I was in Kyoto, where he cooked for years, the chefs there told me, "Even though he's in New York, he's one of ours." That’s the highest compliment.

My chance of ever getting to even one of Chang's jewels? 

<1% — and that number's getting smaller every day.

Photos from Kajitsu's website.

January 15, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Agraria Bitter Orange Potpourri — One of my top 10 favorite household products


A big leap from No. 1 in the series — UpShot Kilz — to this exquisite product, which looks spectacular when you open the box and smells even better.

Best part: the scent persists, never cloying and always refreshing.

Guaranteed to improve your mood — at least, that's been the case for me ever since I discovered the stuff last century while living in L.A.

$55 for a 2-liter box, itself a work of art.

January 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

My new roof — Episode 2: roofofjoe


I like it.

A lot!

Can't help but enhance my property's value.

And think of the joy amongst my neighbors.

I can hardly imagine.

This post was triggered by Episode 1 of "My new roof," which appeared here last Tuesday and generated many comments (20 to date).

Custom roofing design by the one and only Saul Castellanos, a long-time reader who in his spare time doubles as a business analyst. 

You can contact him here: ceo@multipreneur.biz.

Or call him direct — 210-654-3625 — and be sure to tell him I sent you: that'll be his signal to offer you his friends-and-family special.

January 15, 2012 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Star Trek Door Chime — "The future is here"


Now you can pretend you live on the Enterprise and beam your homeys up to the holodeck.


From the website:



One frequent topic of conversation at lunch with fellow geeks is how awesome it would be to have 23rd century gadgets in our 21st century world. 

We're not that far in the past, are we? 

Fewer than 200 years to go! 

We watch our Trek and we drool over the gadgets and gizmos and wish we could have them.

… And then one day, our wish came true! 

Several cases of the wall communicator panels from The Original Series appeared in our warehouse. 

Mount one on the wall by your door and when someone crosses your threshold, it will alert you. 

Choose between the door opening sound effect or the Red Alert alarm. 

Whether it's a bloodthirsty Klingon bent on revenge or just your boss looking for your TPS report, you'll know the moment they appear.

Product Specifications

  • Motion-sensitive door chime for fans of Star Trek, modeled after the communicator panels on The Original Series
  • When someone crosses the threshold, the chime will sound
  • Mount it next to your door on whichever side you choose
  • Two settings: Door opening sound or Red Alert sound
  • Officially licensed Star Trek collectible
  • Batteries: 6 AA (not included)
  • Dimensions: 6.5" x 5.25" x 1"



Wait a sec... what's that music I'm hearing?

[via LikeCool]

January 15, 2012 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

« January 14, 2012 | Main | January 16, 2012 »