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November 28, 2013

Experts' Expert: Donna Tartt on the best book she's read so far this year



From a New York Times Q&A: "I certainly haven't enjoyed anything more than 'The Unquiet Grave,' by Cyril Connolly, which I went back and reread sometime early this year. I've loved it since I was a teenager and like always to have it to hand; when I lived in France, years ago, it was one of only six books I carried with me — but because of its aphoristic nature, usually I only read bits and pieces of it, and it's been many years since I read the whole thing start to finish."

I recall reading that book, originally published in 1945, while I was in my mid-20s, in the early 70s, when I was in medical school; I enjoyed it immensely.

Perhaps it's time for a rereading, a là Ms. Tartt's example.

November 28, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Komorebi* Umbrella


Designed by Fumito Kogure and Shinya Kaneko.

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 5.01.57 PM


Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 5.01.50 PM

*"Sunshine filtering through foliage"

November 28, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Helpful Hints from joeeze: Soda can with integrated straw holder


"Turn the tab around so that it acts as a holder to stop the straw from rising out of the can as the soda fizzes."



A wonderful example of Edwin H. Land's powerful invocation to "Solve the problem with what's in the room."

Using this as a guide to finding a solution opens up a whole new world if you really let it take hold of your thinking.

[via reader Joe Peach]

November 28, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Bulletproof Whiteboard


Below, excerpts from a New York Times story:


The University of Maryland Eastern Shore will introduce a security upgrade later this year: 200 bulletproof whiteboards for professors to hang in their classrooms and, if need be, hide behind.

The boards were bought at a cost of $59,800 from Hardwire, a local company that developed protective armor for the military with loans from a university-affiliated foundation.

Made from Dyneema, a material used for truck armor in Afghanistan and for SWAT team shields, the 18-by-20-inch boards [weigh less than four pounds and] can stop "multiple magazines of ammunition from handguns or shotguns without ricochet or injury," says the company's web site.

These are to be a protective device of last resort, to buy time once a shooter has entered a classroom.

Hardwire has outfitted entire school districts in Maryland, Minnesota and North Dakota, but Eastern Shore is the first university to buy the boards.

Michel Demanche, an art professor, was skeptical — "I'm 4 feet 11 and about 120 pounds" — but she attended a demonstration. Officials shot at her shield with an air gun. "It did not knock me down," she said. "I could hold it, and the power of the bullet was deflected."

Bonus: you can write on them.


"Easy-to-hold handles for portability."

Pink, Yellow, Purple, Green, Blue, or White: $299.

November 28, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Up close — REAL close — and personal with Gray Cat (through Google Glass)

YouTube caption: "I guess I got up in her grill once too often 'cause she flicked a needle-sharp claw at my scalp. Just hard enough to send a message but not so that she drew blood. Fair warning. Understood."

November 28, 2013 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Guns & Roses Teacup & Saucer



November 28, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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