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December 15, 2019

BBC releases 16,000 sound effects

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From happymag:

The BBC have opened up their insane archive of over 16,000 sound effects, which you can now download in WAV format free of charge.

The samples are being released under the RemArc license, meaning they can be used for "personal, educational or research purposes.”

Brimming with unbelievably obscure content from the 1920's onwards, the archive covers almost the entirety of the BBC's existence.

In the archive, you'll be able to access such samples as; "South American parrot talking and screeching,” "14-month-old baby boy, drinking, saying some words,” and "1966 F.A. Cup Final, half-time whistle.”

All samples are tagged and searchable, so you can navigate this bizarre library with ease.

If you're ever going to dive into the infinite world of sound effects, then the BBC is probably your most authoritative source.

All downloaded in high quality WAV format, you will have sound effects coming out of your ears.

Even if you aren't particularly interested in Foley or cinema, it's pretty amazing just to wander through this amazing collection of sounds and be entertained for days.

Free, the way we like it.

Fair warning: there goes your Sunday night.

[via Crack San Francisco Correspondent©® Richard Kashdan, who never takes a day off. I must think about doubling his salary sometime soon]

December 15, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

$1/night hotel room in Japan

But there's a catch.

From CNN:

When 27-year-old Tetsuya Inoue began running Asahi Ryokan — a hotel in the Japanese city of Fukuoka that is owned by his grandmother — he wondered how he could improve business in the new economy.
Inoue had an idea: what if he could use the internet to bring in a new audience and a new revenue stream?
Now, guests coming to Asahi Ryokan have the option to pay just ¥100 (about $1) per night to stay the night in room number 8
— if they agree to have their entire stay livestreamed.
the videocam.]
That said, there are restrictions around how the livestreaming works.
Inoue explained to CNN Travel that the feed is video-only, so guests will have privacy in their conversations or phone calls.
His YouTube channel [below] is called One Dollar Hotel.
Guests are permitted to turn the lights off, and the bathroom area is out of camera range.
[photo caption: a sign in the livestreamed room warns guests about dos and don'ts of their stay]
"This is a very old ryokan and I was looking into a new business model," says Inoue, who started running the hotel last year. "Our hotel is on the cheaper side, so we need some added value, something special that everyone will talk about."
So far, four guests have taken him up on the offer since Inoue began offering the deal a month ago.
"Young people nowadays don't care much about the privacy," Inoue adds. "Some of them say it's OK to be [watched] for just one day."
And while the $1 rooms are clearly a loss leader, Inoue is thinking beyond the cost of a single night's stay.
The YouTube channel has already passed 1,000 subscribers. Once it accumulates more than 4,000 view hours, he will be able to put ads on the channel and monetize it.
On days when the room is vacant or no one is streaming, Inoue will post a livestream of himself working in the ryokan's office.
[photo caption: hotel manager Tetsuya Inoue appears on the live feed himself during coverage gaps]
Signs in Japanese and English are posted in front of the camera to let viewers know when he's out of the room.
Asahi Ryokan, 2-6-2 Kiyokawa, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka, +81 090 5212 3216

The video up top is a promotion: looks like YouTube took down the livestream (below).

Oh well.

SoraNews24 sent a reporter named Masanuki to spend a night there.

The entertaining story recounting his stay is replete with photos, along with a 10 hour 45 minute video (below)

of his visit.

Got insomnia?

This is your sleeping pill.

December 15, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ponchos of Inca Noblemen


South coastal Peru; 1430-1532 CE.

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In the collection of the Berlin Ethnological Museum.

December 15, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

On hold for 86 minutes on my Apple Watch

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This past Thursday I decided to finally end my 36-year-long subscription to the Charlottesville Daily Progress.

The semi-annual jacking up of my subscription rate finally hit my wall when the latest bill demanded $325 for the next six months.

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With an added $2.95 processing fee because I pay by check.

The e-Paper, a perfect replica with far better graphics quality, costs $60/year.

Do the math.

But I digress.

I called the paper's local customer service number using my Apple Watch and after four or five attempts, was able to successfully negotiate the brain-dead automated voice mail system and get to where I could press "3" on my watch's keypad screen to speak to a live person in "customer service."

That was around 1 p.m.

At 2:26 p.m. — 86 minutes with every minute having the same recording telling me that they'll be with me in a moment but if I preferred, I should press "1" and they'll call me back the moment a representative is free, and I won't lose my place in line — do they think I just fell off the turnip truck? — a guy came on and in a couple minutes my business was done.

What struck me during the wait was how much more convenient it was to be on hold via my watch rather than my phone.

I just went about my business all over the house and outside without having to worry about putting the phone down and forgetting about it, or touching its face and disconnecting the call.

FunFact: the New Yorker cartoon by Leo Cullum that leads this post appeared in the August 10, 1998 issue.

You could look it up.

I cut it out and put it on my fridge immediately because it so perfectly captures one of my peculiarities, namely, what I call "pathological patience." 

I will stay on hold forever.

In the same vein, when I'm in the supermarket checkout line and engrossed in something I'm reading in some magazine and I'm next up for checkout, I'll leave my line and go to the back of another one so as to be able to finish the piece.

Diff'rent strokes.

December 15, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Star Wars Wireless Snow Globe Speaker


From the website:

The Star Wars Wireless Snow Globe Speaker is one of a series of audio accessories featuring some of the franchise's most recognizable characters.

Darth Vader,


a squad of Imperial stormtroopers,


and everybody's favorite droids, C-3PO and R2-D2,


are all waiting to decorate this device that is simultaneously a Bluetooth speaker, snow globe, and statement of Star Wars fandom meets Japanese ingenuity.

The Star Wars Wireless Snow Globe Speaker has Bluetooth Version 4.0, 79-channels, AFH, 2.400-2.4835 GHz capability, and can connect with Bluetooth devices over a range of 32 feet.

The speaker is compact and lightweight, so it can be easily transferred from one room to the other or from your home to your office.

The speaker even has a cool light function for creating great atmospheric night effects.

Charge the speaker up with the included micro-USB cable and get two hours of performance from your Bluetooth device while imagining scenes from a galaxy far, far away.

Features and Details:

• Charging time: approximately 3 hours

• Charging cycles: approximately 500

• Instructions: in Japanese

• Speaker output: 2.5W

• Weight: 28 oz.

• 3.9" x 5.6"


December 15, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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