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June 19, 2013

Do you believe in magic? (Death of a fanboi)

Apple, you made my life so great for so many years, all the way back to the 80s when I bought my first machine, an Apple II so my daughter and I could play "Prince of Persia" (above).

Now I'm totally tricked out: iMac, MacBook Pro with Retina Display, MacBook Air, iPad 3, iPad mini, iPhone 5, and iPod shuffle.

Oh, and don't forget my 2004 PowerBook, still working just fine.

So I think it's fair to call myself a card-carrying fanboi.

But I've purchased my last Apple product.

The magic is gone.

The company is now running on the fumes of Steve Jobs' legacy mojo — and the pipeline doesn't look very promising.

What, a watch? 

A 55" Apple TV?

Are you kidding me?

In nine days I'm getting Google Glass and Apple's gonna gradually become a fond memory as I replace my hardware with other brands.

It was fun — wonderful, life-changing fun — while it lasted.

But the music died on October 5, 2011.

June 19, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Hand-cut leaded crystal LED light bulb

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From the website:

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As innovative as it is sublime, this award-winning light source was an immediate standout on its debut during its 2012 launch in Milan and London, where it swept awards and critical acclaim for the young designer behind it, Lee Brown.

Each bulb is individually hand blown by the very last producer of handmade English full lead crystal, Cumbria Crystal.

This was essential to Lee, whose mission is to collaborate with craftsman in his native England.

The full-lead crystal bulb is hand cut with a traditional crystal pattern and etched with the Lee Broom logo.

Fits any standard E27 lamp, wall, or ceiling fitting.

Looks stunning solo or in a group, and is available alone or with a brushed brass pendant fitting that also comes engraved with the Lee Broom crest and with a gold silk flex (a.k.a. cable).

Despite its classic styling, this is a modern incarnation of Lee’s original collection of vintage crystal decanters repurposed as lighting.

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Life expectancy of LED: 45,000 hours (longer than yours).

So Nina Churchill it's not even funny.

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Girl, you know it's true.

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$175.

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

[via the New York Times]

June 19, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

London Bakes — "Culinary adventures from my London kitchen"

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A mild-mannered forensic accountant by day, 28-year-old Kathryn reveals her other side once she arrives home and tosses her calculator and bag aside, becoming a veritable British dervish as she begins her true mission.

She was put on Earth to bake — and bake up a storm she does.

The proof is in the Chocolate & Sour Cream Cake (top).

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And the Billionaire's Shortbread (above).

Don't forget the Honey & Sour Cream Cupcakes with Whisky Buttercream (below).

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But enough.

She lives with her boyfriend (who must work out a lot if he's exposed to what I see on her site every day IRL) in west London in a secure, undisclosed location.

On Twitter.

nuf sed.

June 19, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What is it?

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Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: smaller than a bread box.

Another: waterproof.

A third: inedible.

June 19, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

LEGO figures are getting angrier

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And pretty soon they're gonna rise up and let you know just how P.O'd they are.

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Caitlin Dewey's Washington Post story has the details; excerpts below.

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LEGOs haven't just become astronomically expensive in the past 35 years. According to a new study from researchers in New Zealand, the popular kids' toys have also developed a bit of an attitude problem.

LEGO characters released since the early '90s are proportionately more angry, the study found. They hypothesized the spike in negativity could be related to the release of more thematic Lego sets such as pirates or "Harry Potter," which include weapons and minifigures representing "good guys" and "bad guys."

"It is our impression that the themes have been increasingly based on conflicts," wrote the researchers.

They arrived at this conclusion through a meticulous scientific process, which reads as almost comical given their subject matter. After cataloging and photographing the 3,655 LEGO characters released between 1975 and 2010, they asked 264 American adults to characterize the figures’ expressions as angry, happy, sad, disgusted, surprised or fearful.

They then processed those numbers and plotted them on graphs like the one above, which illustrates the proportional growth of angry faces since the early '90s. Variables (like skin color or whether the figure's head is attached to a body) don't substantially throw off their conclusions.

That's pretty alarming in a world where chewing a Pop-Tart into a gun shape is grounds for school suspension and the psychological impact of violent video games remains a hot debate. One would predict that conflict-oriented figurines are the last thing parents want in their kids' toy chests.

But before you confiscate your kids' LEGOs, consider the good that even angry LEGOs can do. The study's authors acknowledge that a range of emotional expressions "connect[s] to the complex interaction scenarios of today’s users" — in other words, the variation mirrors real life, where anger, fear and "smileys" all magically coexist.

June 19, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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