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May 23, 2013

"A Boy And His Atom": The world's smallest movie

YouTube caption: "You're about to see the movie that holds the Guinness World Records record for the World's Smallest Stop-Motion Film (see how it was made here). The ability to move single atoms — the smallest particles of any element in the universe — is crucial to IBM's research in the field of atomic memory. But even nanophysicists need to have a little fun. In that spirit, IBM researchers used a scanning tunneling microscope to move thousands of carbon monoxide molecules (two atoms stacked on top of each other), all in pursuit of making a movie so small it can be seen only when you magnify it 100 million times. A movie made with atoms. Learn more about atomic memory, data storage and big data at http://www.ibm.com/madewithatoms."

May 23, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kimono Bowl & Mug

How do you spell kawaii?

Ceramic; made in Japan.

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Apply within.

[via holycool]

May 23, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

All your painting are belong to me — The joy of Flautist hits Portland

All your painting are belong to me

In overnight from Tara B — my Crack crunchietown a.k.a. granolaworld (Portland, Oregon) Correspondent©™® — comes this delightful email:


showing her holding her newly acquired original painting from Motley Apricot Paintworks down Georgia way, featured here on May 9 along with a sister version and sold shortly thereafter.

At the time I wrote:


Wasn't wrong about that.

Next time one of Flautist's originals goes up for sale in her shop and gets spotlighted here, don't sleep on it: "Gone in 60 Seconds" isn't just a movie title.

I've been beating on her for a while to jack up her prices by a lot but so far she'd resisted my entreaties: take advantage of her modesty while it lasts, would be my advice.

May 23, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Fraser Optics Stedi-Eye Monocular


Karissa Bell reviewed it as follows in the June issue of Wired: "Long-range scopes are useless unless you have the steadiest of hands — or a powerful helper. Fraser Optics puts the same gyrostabilizing tech into its Monolite as into the gear it makes for police and US Special Forces, but at about half the size (and price). Even at 14X magnification, objects up to 2 miles away stay stock-still in the frame. With a case that's waterproof, shockproof, and buoyant, you can take this thing anywhere. Fraser also offers accessories like filters for almost any lighting, as well as iPhone and iPad case attachments for gyro-stabilized Instagrams. Sadly, the Monolite's night-vision functionality is available only to the Feds and and the fuzz."

Sorry, Jake, I know this is gonna make you cry with desire but I cannot keep it from joehead Nation.


May 23, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Experts' Expert: Searching for the Perfect Parisian Cream Paint


Aleksandra Crapanzano's ode to the glories of Paris's go-to indoor paint color was almost evocative enough to make me think I was channeling Marcel Proust.

But I awoke from my reverie only to find I was still staring at her wonderful May 17 Wall Street Journal essay on the subject, excerpts from which follow.


If given the choice between a glass of skim milk and a spoonful of crème fraîche, any Parisian worth her fleur de sel would choose the latter. Parisians believe, after all, in partaking in the small indulgences that enrich life. That may be why the luxurious yellow-white of crème fraîche — not the bleak gray of skim milk — is their city's go-to paint color, the shade to which its rental apartments default just as surely as New York's rentals come standardized in cold, hard white and America's suburban McMansions are painted a deadening shade of putty.

This characteristic cream may not be the first color that visitors associate with Paris. That would be the pink of the city's legendary afternoon light, perhaps, or the gold of the spotlights that bathe its monuments at night. But, in truth, Paris is a very rainy city — as often drab as it is pink or gold. That I rarely noticed this murkiness during the 16 years I spent living in and then visiting the apartment my parents rented on the Rue du Cherche-Midi is testament not only to the selective properties of memory but to the crème fraîche paint on the walls.

My parents' choice was simply the standard-issue paint from the hardware store up the street, the same hue I'd find in so many Paris apartments. But it was perfect. Neither too yellow nor too beige, it never tended toward green or gray, even on the gloomiest of days. It seemed always to reflect the sun, whether or not the sun was present. It was a cheerful color that managed to be both classic and contemporary, perhaps because it was, in its understated elegance, entirely unremarkable.

Life took me away from France but, recently, after a long, miserable New York winter, I found myself missing not only Paris, but that lovely color of my childhood. I began scrutinizing the color chips at paint stores and scouring the Internet, looking for an "aha" moment. How could a color so common across the ocean be so onerous to find stateside? Eventually, my quest led me to Farrow & Ball, the venerable British purveyor of luxury paints that has stores throughout America.

And there I found it. The color of my memories. For some perverse reason, Farrow & Ball has named it Tallow, evoking animal fat and sputtering Dickensian candle stubs. (Given that the company has christened other shades Dead Salmon, Plummett and Arsenic, Tallow is actually rather upbeat.) Despite the name, when I opened the can, the paint instantly reminded me of the crème fraîche sold by the ladle at Barthélémy, the great cheese shop of the 7th Arrondissement. I swirled it around with a wooden stick, relishing its luxurious density.

When the time came to plot out my full color scheme, I called Sarah Cole, Farrow & Ball's marketing director, who suggested I paint the trim and ceilings of my rooms in F&B's Pointing, a milkier cream. The contrast would be gentle, she promised, the colors complementing each other in a subtle marriage of whites. For a smaller, darker room of mine, she suggested Dimity, which is a grade warmer than Tallow.

A month later, the house was painted Tallow, Pointing and Dimity, and I found myself staring at my walls with deep contentment. My curiosity had been piqued, however. What was it about these colors — Tallow, in particular — that had such a comforting effect on me? Was it simply nostalgia? I went to see Donald Kaufman of Donald Kaufman Color, the legendary colorist behind what's arguably the best American-made paint. He had this to say about whites that skew yellow versus those that lean blue: "Since our eye interprets yellow as more luminous than cooler greens and blues, [the crème fraîche color] compensates for the muted silvery light of Paris.

That didn't explain how the color had the same uplifting effect on me even when I was mired in a gray New York day, 3,000 miles from Paris. So I turned to interior designer Howard Slatkin, who has masterminded numerous Parisian apartments (and whose book "Fifth Avenue Style" will be published in September). What makes the quintessential crème fraîche shade so universally cheering, he told me, is not just that it's a warm white, free of blue. "The secret is the addition of a little bit of red, a touch of pink," said Mr. Slatkin. "My mentor, the late Baronne Lilianne de Rothschild, once told me when I was doing a Paris apartment to always put a little bit of pink in the paint because it is flattering. Blue whites add 10 years to your face, but the Parisian crème fraîche takes off 10 years." No wonder it boosts morale! What had seemed merely sunny to me as a child would now be indispensable. I may, in fact, never leave home again without my paintbrush and a gallon of crème fraîche.


Caption for the Wall Street Journal graphic below: "Your walls will always have Paris if they're coated in these evocatively warm whites."

The Cream Team

May 23, 2013 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Cubby Hook



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From the website:

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Cubby is the ultimate anywhere hook with an inner surface that lets you store items like sunglasses, cellphones, wallets, spare change, gloves, etc. The outer surface allows purses and scarves to be hung and offers a wider, more collar-friendly support for coats.

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Attach them linearly or randomly. Cubbyies are great for entry-ways, mudrooms, pool rooms, garages, and kids' rooms. A single Cubby would look and work great on the wall in an office or dorm room, while a group of them is perfect for the whole family. Parents and kids each have their own storage space, and Cubby can even be hung at different heights to accommodate the little ones.

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• 100% recycled polypropylene plastic

• 6.5" x 6.5" x 6.5"


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Set of two: $39.

May 23, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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