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July 17, 2019

London's West End, 1949

London_ _Kodachrome_by_Chalmers_Butterfield

"Shaftesbury Avenue from Picadilly Circus, probably September or October based on the sign for the production in the background."

Photo by Chalmers Butterfield.

[via Wikimedia]

July 17, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Old Bailey Online 1674-1913

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"A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court."

This historical background page is a good place to start.

Fair warning: there goes the day.

July 17, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

How to unlock a Mercedes when the key fob doesn't work

This is fantastic — at least to me.

Back story: I bought a 2010 Mercedes C300 with about 44,000 miles on it in the fall of 2013.

I'm still driving the nine-year-old car, now with some 56,000 miles on the odometer (you can see I don't drive a whole lot, around 2,000 miles/year).

According to the state of Virginia it's worth $6,675, according to the property tax bill for $112.17 for the first half of this year.

The best part is that I finally paid it off this past February after five-and-a-half years.

But I've digressed.

About 2-3 years ago I noticed that the emergency key [the one featured in the video up top] that slots into my electronic key fob had gone missing.

No worries: I'd never used it anyway, and I had a spare key fob with the emergency key.

When I took my car into my dealer for its required annual state inspection, I mentioned to the woman at the service counter, who runs the department, that I'd lost an emergency key, and could I get it replaced?

She said sure, but it'll take a while because it has to be ordered from Mercedes USA yada yada yada besides which it cost an exorbitant (to me) amount, like all things Mercedes-original-equipment related.

Then I asked her exactly what the emergency key opened, to which she replied, "The glove box."


I asked her specifically, does it unlock the car?

She said "No. Only the glove box."

Huh, I thought to myself: that seems really dumb, that you can't unlock the car with it: how would you get to the glove box if you were locked out of your car?

I accepted what she said as fact and never gave it another thought.

Except every year or so I'd think to myself, I just don't understand how come Mercedes provides an emergency key that only opens the glove box.

Last week was my annual rethink on this topic, but this time I decided to noodle around online to see if I could find out more.

Lo and behold, in about a minute I happened on the video up top in which a guy demonstrates use of the Mercedes emergency key to open the car.

I was gobsmacked.

After I got over my surprise, I went outside to try mine: sure enough, it locks and unlocks the car, just as you'd expect a key to do.

So how is it that the head of the Mercedes service department doesn't know this?

That's incredible.

Am I gonna educate her when I bring my car in for its inspection this fall?


Because it's very possible that she will become angry with me exposing her ignorance of this basic fact.

Oh, she may not show how she feels but it cannot improve our currently fine interaction, which is important because she is the person who determines if and what model of loaner car I get when my car's in the shop overnight.

Earlier this year, she gave me a 2019 E300 with all the bells and whistles, a $60,000 car that I really enjoyed driving for the four days it took Mercedes to send the part I needed.

I'm not gonna do anything to rock that boat.

July 17, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Art of Tara Donovan

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Tara Donovan takes mundane man-made objects and materials and gives them new life. 

Above, "Untitled (Plastic Cards)."

Below, "Untitled (Mylar)."

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Below, "Untitled (Plastic Cups)."

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Below, detail.

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view of Winthrop, Massachusetts through the piece above.

July 17, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

What is it?

Fooled u

Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: bigger (and smaller) than a bread box.

Another: crocodile, paper, and bamboo.

A third: Made in Japan.

July 17, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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