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May 9, 2019

Rainforest Audio

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Here's what you do: find a dark, preferably pitch-black place.

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Click here and listen.

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Fair warning: remember, you aren't actually there.

May 9, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hagoromo Chalk — "Made from the tears of angels"

From Vimeo:

Once upon a time, not long ago, the math world fell in love... with a chalk. But not just any chalk! This was Hagoromo: a Japanese brand so smooth, so perfect, that some wondered if it was made from the tears of angels. Pencils down, please, as we tell the tale of a writing implement so irreplaceable, professors stockpiled it.

Chalk

May 9, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

"Traitors"

Superb new spy thriller series on Netflix (six episodes, each 45-50 minutes).

It's set in London at the end of World War II, as the outlines of the coming Cold War take shape.

The OSS has been dissolved by presidential order and its now ronin-like former U.S. agents seek to form a new organization, which would become the C.I.A.

At the same time, there is evidence of Russian moles high in Whitehall.

Keeley Hawes, so good as the British Home Secretary in "Bodyguard," is even better here, playing a Communist agent living alone with her senile grandfather while deflecting and shaping the machinations of England's government.

Highly recommended.

May 9, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Online shopping in the Great World

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Last month, I got a bee in my bonnet about Snow Peak's titanium folding expedition cutlery.

Everything the Japanese company makes is high quality: I have several sizes of their drinking cups, one of which (below)

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I employ every morning to house my coffee.

But I digress.

The fork

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(above and below)

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was easily located and acquired but its companion long spoon (top) proved to be the opposite: discontinued/sold out everywhere my Crack Research Team©® searched for several days running.

Nonetheless, notwithstanding the old adage that "insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly while expecting a different result" — oft mistakenly attributed to Einstein — I had my CRT©® drop everything else and focus in for yet another day on procuring the spoon.

Turns out there are plenty of them on eBay, priced at $80 and up (retail cost is $20-$25).

But after many more dead ends, they finally hit the jackpot in Australia, where Tom's Outdoors had them in stock and was happy to sell me one for $AUD 29 (US $20).

Though they projected its arrival around the end of May, voilà — there it was in my mailbox yesterday.

Even better than I'd imagined. 

Long post short: persist.

Echoes of "Nevertheless, she persisted."

May 9, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Retro Game Emulator Console

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From the Verge:

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Retro games keep resurfacing in all types of emulators, but Swedish artist and craftsman Love Hultén has created one that goes the extra mile if you really want a full, nostalgia-fueled experience.

His newest design, called Yesterday Vision, is a handmade mid-century-inspired monitor enclosure that can play games from classic systems.

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The Yesterday Vision contains a 19-inch 4:3 monitor designed to have the curvature distortion of an old CRT monitor.

It also has full-range loudspeakers and a built-in Raspberry Pi computer that emulates gaming systems like the SNES, NES, Genesis, NeoGeo, MAME, Atari 2600, N64, and PSX.

You can also play modern games or connect your laptop to Yesterday Vision via an HDMI input on the back.

It can also support connecting up to four different controllers via Bluetooth.

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Use your own, or you can request Hultén to create a pair of wireless hardwood arcade controllers when you make your purchase.

Hultén has designed loads of fun emulators, like the more portable R-Kaid-R that made rounds in 2016 and featured an arcade joystick and buttons, and the Pyua, a Nintendo "shrine" with a bubble dome.

It's an odd juxtaposition to see modern tech that allows retro games to be played in a shell that predates the games themselves.

For Hultén, that’s the point.

By creating these odd pairings, he hopes the pieces he makes challenge our assumptions about how we tie an object's design with its function.

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A snip at $2,799 (excluding VAT and shipping).

May 9, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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