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July 25, 2018

Chopstick Wrapper Origami

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From Atlas Obscura:

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We've all fiddled with our chopstick wrappers when eating out at an Asian restaurant.

Creating a chopstick stand is common; folding the paper wrapper into a crane is a bit more advanced.

In Japan, the practice is particularly widespread.

So much so that six years ago, Yuki Tatsumi began collecting the little origami sculptures left behind, and now has around 15,000.

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The massive project had a humble beginning.

"My interest in collecting started when I was studying at university and working part-time at a restaurant," said Tatsumi, who is now 27. As a "poor, hungry student," he found clearing tables tedious. But one day, he picked up a tiny paper circle fashioned by a customer. It had been "transformed into a work of art," Tatsumi said, and he was so struck by it that he slipped it into his pocket.

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He started keeping an eye out for chopstick wrapper origami and picking them off tabletops.

Soon, it became a passion. Tipping isn't a common practice in Japan, but Tatsumi came to consider the tiny works of art as a symbol of appreciation from diners. "What I once considered trash had now become a treasure, a tip from the customer!" he said, adding that many Japanese people are taught origami as children.

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Keeping an eye out for the little sculptures made his job more enjoyable, and his collection grew to the point that he decided to go all in.

He called the project "Japanese Tip," and traveled around Japan collecting chopstick wrapper origami from restaurants.

Some restaurateurs, Tatsumi told one news network, were befuddled that he wanted something destined for the trash. Yet in a year and a half, he collected 13,000 pieces.

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He's still gathering them today, and currently has about 15,000.

Some of the pieces he's gathered appear on his website. The designs range from flowers to dogs to geometric shapes: anything that can be created with a long, thin paper wrapper.

"There are many birds," Tatsumi says. Colors range from simple white to vibrant yellow, with some pieces carefully folded to highlight lettering or the wrapper's printed design. Some are crude, while others have an elegance that belies their humble origins.

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When hundreds of chopstick-wrapper origami are displayed together, the effect is extraordinary.

While he is currently working in an aged-care facility in Kyoto, Tatsumi has started exhibiting the collection in Japan, with pieces pinned against white walls like so many colorful butterflies.

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In September 2018, "Japanese Tip" will leave the country for the first time and appear in South Korea.

July 25, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

iPad Flicks

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No, it's not a series of movies made specially for the iPad but rather a keyboard shortcut that I've had enabled from the get-go yet never knew existed till now.

From the estimable J.D. Biersdorfer's July 18 "Tech Tip" column in the New York Times:

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Apple's current iOS 11 update for the iPad included a new feature in the system's built-in software keyboard called Key Flicks.

With Key Flicks enabled, most of the onscreen keys can enter different characters depending on how your fingers touch the glass.

The alternate characters for each key are shown in gray [top] above the larger black standard letter or punctuation marks. If you tap the T key normally, you get the letter T.

However, if you tap the T key and your finger happens to linger and slide down a bit, the Key Flicks software will use the alternate character for that key — which is the number 5.

Before Key Flicks was introduced, you typically switched from the regular QWERTY keyboard layer by tapping the ".?123" key in the bottom corner to change the layout to a selection of numbers and other characters.

When using the numerical keyboard, you can tap the "#+=" key to get to yet another layer of special characters for math and currency symbols.

Pressing down on the keys for vowels and other letters that take accents in certain languages opens a menu of accented letters; hold down the dollar sign ($) to get the symbols for the yen, the euro, pound sterling, and other currencies.

The Key Flicks feature is meant to save you time and taps.

If you find it more frustrating than useful, you can turn it off.

To do that, go to the iPad's home screen and open the Settings app.

Tap General, and on the General screen tap Keyboard. In the list of settings, find Enable Key Flicks and tap the button to the right of it to disable the feature and go back to using the multiple keyboard levels to insert numbers and other characters.

July 25, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Flexible iPhone Holder/Stand

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Wonderful device.

One of the many great things about it is that along with being the best phone stand I've ever used, you can also deploy it on your car's dashboard to to create a dashcam. 

I do it all the time to livestream on Twitter and YouTube. 

From the website:

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Unique & Flexible Gooseneck iPhone Holder Mount

The 36" gooseneck coil can be manipulated into just about any shape you can imagine. 

Configure the fingers to fit your iPhone.

Finger grips are quickly adjusted one time to your device.

After adjustment, you can quickly place your phone in and out of the holder with ease.

A pivoting steel ball allows you to orientate the holder into any position you desire. 

Works with iPhone X, 8, 7, 6s, 6, SE, 5s, 5c, 5, all Plus sizes and handheld devices from 2.3 to 3.5 inches wide.

Works with large cases like OtterBox Defender, Commuter, and many more.

Features and Details:

• Instantly rotate — swivel or flip from landscape to portrait during use

• Robust and Strong

• Weight: 10.3 oz

• Coil:  36" long

Items included:

• Adjustable holder assembly

• Vinyl-wrapped flexible gooseneck

• 3/32" Wrench (ball socket adjustment)

• 5/64" wrench (finger grip adjustment — torque limiting)

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$39.99 (phone not included).

July 25, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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