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June 14, 2013

Do you call it soda — or pop?

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It all depends on where you live.

From LinkedIn: "Last week, one of the most viral things on the internet was a few simple maps. Created by statistics graduate student Joshua Katz, the maps show regional variation in language. If you were asked the generic term for a sweetened carbonated beverage, for example, what would you call it?"

"The responses are striking. As shown above, the answer depends a lot on where you live. People from the West Coast and Northeast would call it soda. Folks from the Midwest and Mountain areas call it pop. And folks in the South? When they order a sweetened carbonated beverage, they ask for a Coke, even when they're ordering a Sprite (as in 'I'll have a Coke. What kind? A Sprite, please')."

[via Cary Sternick]

June 14, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

"There's something about black" — Limited-Edition TaylorMade R1

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"The #1 driver on tour is now available in black or white... but not for long."

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Fair warning.

$299.99.

June 14, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Have your photo displayed above the Earth

From the New York Times:

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Your Portrait Here (Look Up!)

For $25, that could be you floating in space. Or more precisely, a picture of a picture of you floating in space. But for most of us, that is as close as we will ever get to orbit."

That is what you get in exchange for a $25 contribution to a $1 million fund-raising effort to build a private space telescope. As of Monday [June 3], the project was already most of the way there, with more than $700,000 raised, including 18 pledges of $10,000 or more.

A video monitor will be mounted on the orbiting telescope to display photographs of its backers. A camera will take pictures of the photos on the monitor with the Earth in the background, and beam the images back to Earth.

Planetary Resources, the company building the telescope, plans to eventually mine asteroids, and it has deep-pocketed investors like Larry Page of Google who could easily kick in $1 million themselves, but company officials said they wanted to give everyone a chance to take part in space exploration.

Thus they put their plans for their Arkyd-100 space telescope on Kickstarter, the crowdfunding Web site.

The drive ends June 30.

June 14, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Limited-Edition Deep Space Tourbillon — Vianney Halter

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Excerpts from Michael Clerizo's Wall Street Journal story follow.

•••••••••••••••••••••••

Vianney Halter, wearing his customary faded jeans and tight T-shirt, sprawls on a chair in the disheveled office of his factory in the Swiss village of Sainte-Croix. The 50-year-old Frenchman, with lively blue eyes and an accent as thick as a slab of foie gras, is reliving the creation story of his first new watch in six years: Deep Space Tourbillon.

Over a career of more than 30 years, Mr. Halter rarely took a vacation and frequently slept only three hours a night. By 2010 his life was paperwork and visiting customers, with little time at the workbench. He was becoming nervous and jumpy, often forgetting what he'd done and who he'd spoken to.

In November 2010, some long-repressed survival mechanism kicked in. He started sleeping 15 hours a night. In January 2011, he laid off 17 of his 20 employees. Bereft of ideas and energy, he thought his watchmaking days were over. (The last original watch he had created had been the Classic Janvier in 2007.) He often stayed home, listened to music, and reread sci-fi classics he had devoured as a teenager.

A DVD store owner in Lausanne told him about the "Star Trek" spinoff series "Deep Space Nine," which Mr. Halter bought and, "like a junkie," watched all 180 episodes. He viewed the original "Star Trek" series again. "I [would] dream about 'Star Trek' and 'Deep Space Nine' because I went to sleep directly after watching an episode."

He often had the same dream: He would encounter beings from another universe and explain to them how he was from planet earth, a place with four dimensions: length, width, depth and time. His new friends, however, wouldn't understand, so in the dream he'd present them with a device to illustrate earth's dimensions. The extraterrestrials would be satisfied, but Mr. Halter, himself, was unable to see the device. "The more I dream, the more I see of this thing," he says. "Finally I understand, it is a watch."

By November 2011, Mr. Halter was hard at work on Deep Space Tourbillon. As the watch progressed, he slept 12 hours a night but continued reading science fiction and watching "Deep Space Nine." "I [had] lost contact with my inspirations in science fiction and that hurt my imagination," he says. "I also understand that I must sleep because dreaming is important for my spirit."

Like a film director hiring a cameraman, Mr. Halter engaged the services of a designer, 37-year-old Swiss Jeremie Senggen, who says: "For Halter anything mechanical contains a universe that he experiences. My job was to translate Halter's experience of the watch he imagined into drawings."

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Edition of approximately 100: $190,000 and up, depending on the case metal.

Apply within.

June 14, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Wordnik — "Look up (or say) any word"

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"I always feel lucky."

If you liked Grammarist you'll love Wordnik.

[via Dave Tufte]

June 14, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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