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August 23, 2012

Earthrise from the moon

Earthrise on November 7, 2007 from Japan's Kaguya (Selene) orbiter.

Set YouTube to full-screen 1080p.

Absolutely stunning.

It was nearly 43 years ago that Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.

The last men to do so were Harrison Schmidt and Eugene Cernan in December 1972.

Nearly 40 years have elapsed.

What happened?

[via Simotron]

August 23, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Watch Case Opener


You go to a jeweler to have your watch battery changed: Ka-ching!, that'll be $15-$25.

Why not do it yourself?

Below, excerpts from David Titzer's review of the Pittsburgh Watch Case Opener, published yesterday in Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools, edited by Oliver Hulland.

Watch battery replacement is not a dark art, left only to hunched-over jewelers. Most watches I owned had a small notch between the case and the back where you could pry off the back and access the battery. A tedious operation, but anybody could do it.

But this tool isn’t for those watches. This tool is for a watch with a back that screws on.

For years, I took my Citizen watch to a jeweler and paid a little bit of money to get a new battery installed. I was not aware that this magic tool was this easy to use and affordable.

This case opener tool works with watch backs that have even or odd spaced notches, and has an assortment of tips to fit differently-shaped notches. Simply fit the appropriate tips into the tool, adjust for the number and spacing of the notches, press the tool down into the notches, and turn. It's surprisingly easy.

The last time I tried to get my battery replaced, some jewelers said they didn't have this tool, and one told me his was broken. It took me a few shop visits to find somebody who had one.


August 23, 2012 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Balloon Sculptures by Paul Graves




Jeff Koons




[via If It's Hip, It's Here and SheWalksSoftly]

August 23, 2012 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

World's most expensive HDMI cable? A snip at $934.99

Screen Shot 2012-08-23 at 1.06.17 PM

"100% Perfect-Surface silver connectors; HD polyethylene composition."

Two feet long.

$934.99 (free shipping).

[via Justin Taylor]

August 23, 2012 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Experts' Expert: 10 Tips and Tricks Every iPhone and iPad User Should Know


An excellent column by Katherine Boehret in yesterday's Wall Street Journal was chock full of very useful information I'd never seen anywhere else.

My favorite tip was about how to split the iPad's on-screen keyboard (top) to enhance thumb-typing.

She wrote, "This is on by default, though you might not know it. (To check, go to Settings, General, Keyboard and Split Keyboard.) To see the split keyboard anytime you're using the regular keyboard, spread your two thumbs from the center of the keyboard out. Or just tap and hold the keyboard icon (bottom right corner) and select Split. An Undock option also appears and this lets you move the keyboard up or down."

Who knew?

August 23, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Vegetabrella — Lettuce Head Umbrella


What took so long?


From Japanese Design: "'Vegetabrella' is an umbrella that, when folded, looks like a head of lettuce. It is as green and wrinkly as a fresh head of lettuce. Even the cover of the umbrella is designed to look like a lettuce. The color changes to greenish yellow when unfolded."


Designed by Yurie Mano.


[via Ufunk]

August 23, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Mars Clock


From the app self-description:



Mars Clock is an iPad/iPhone/iPod utility that displays accurate local Mars time at the Curiosity landing site.


Sunrise and sunset times are also displayed so that daylight hours, when the Rover is most active, can be determined.

Mars Clock is a Universal App designed for the iPad with the same functionality on both the iPad and iPhone.

The only thing missing on the iPhone app is information about, and a large image of, the Curiosity Rover.


• Countdown timer for Curiosity landing (countdown will change to a mission clock after the landing date)

• Local mean solar time for Mars Curiosity Rover

• Sunrise/sunset times for Curiosity landing site

• Current Earth-Mars communication delay

• Earth Time (local time and UTC)

• Current Earth-Mars distance

• Current Martian season

• Coordinated Mars Time


99 cents.*

*Free for Mars residents

Hold on a sec... what's that book I'm reading?

[via Paul McAuley]

August 23, 2012 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

bookofjoe World Exclusive®™©: Limited-Edition Shark Laundry Baskets Resurface


Long story short: I happened on Krakow-based Jolanta Uczarcyck's wonderful hand-made felt shark laundry basket (above and below)


a couple weeks ago and several readers who tried to buy one were unhappy to find they'd sold out.


You know me, I never take "No" — or "No more" — for an answer and so I contacted Ms. Uczarcyck via Etsy mail (didn't know you could do that, did you? Anyone can, but you have to register with Etsy first, which is a free, one-time effort worth doing if you're like me and occasionally want to communicate with an Etsy maker) and she was kind enough to email me back as follows:


Sure enough, about an hour ago I received the following email from her:

Screen Shot 2012-08-23 at 8.12.40 AM

So, it looks like three fast actors* have the opportunity to acquire one of these baskets now, slower players taking a spot on the wait list.


*I know, I wrote in the previous post, "I'm going to buy the next one she makes, then make it the prize for a contest yet to be created by moi."

I decided this morning to instead let a reader acquire that one directly.

August 23, 2012 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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