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April 10, 2020

"Shades of Sleep" (detail) — Odilon Redon


Pastel on paper.

This French artist (1840-1916) is not held in nearly the esteem he deserves, likely because many of his paintings veer into "decorative" territory.

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He is far more than that.

Perhaps the 21st century will mark an inflection point, at which he receives the respect he richly deserves.

His still life "Fleurs" set an auction record for him when it sold for $4,092,500 at Christies in 2018.

Explore 293 of his works here.

April 10, 2020 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rosebud AI — "These models aren't real"


Coming to a screen near you.

In fact, the one you're looking at right now.


You ask, how did I know you were looking at a screen?

Think about it.

Answer here this time tomorrow.

April 10, 2020 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Experts' Expert: The toilet paper flap goes over the top

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As if there was ever any doubt.

Says who?

How about the guy who invented toilet paper on a roll?

From Kate Murphy's April 3, 2020 New York Times story:

Most toilet paper historians (there are more than you would think) credit Seth Wheeler with inventing modern toilet paper, perforated and on a roll, an idea he patented in 1891.

The diagram on the patent application [top] should put to rest any arguments about how to load the roll: The flap comes over the top and down the front.

April 10, 2020 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

My Google Glass is back from the dead

I'm so excited!

Above, a video I just made with Glass.

I thought it was useless once Google announced late last year that it would no longer update the software nor support the device.

It still took pictures and videos, but you could no longer upload them to Google Photos.

But I'm stubborn, and I figured there's gotta be a way to get those pictures and videos out of the device so I can work with them elsewhere.

I figured out how to connect Glass to my iPhone and Macs via Bluetooth but no dice re: transferring files.

And Glass is connected to my WiFi network but big whoop, so what, nothing results from that.

Then, this morning I tried again: first, I connected Glass via a USB cable to my MacBook Air, then I opened Photos and voilà: there was the video above, waiting to be imported from Glass to Photos.

I clicked "Import" and in not much more than a yoctosecond, the video image appeared on my laptop screen as an mp4. 

I went to YouTube and uploaded it with no problem; in fact, the upload was way faster than for a video of similar length from my iPhone XS Max.

I'm thinking that's because the camera built into Glass hasn't nearly the resolution of the iPhone, but who cares?

Oh, all of a sudden a whole new world has opened up in terms of my video capability: look for more than Gray Cat napping from now on.

Not that she's not my shining star regardless.

April 10, 2020 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stealth Medical ID Bracelet

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From the New York Times:

The Medical ID Bracelet That Doesn't Look Like One

An ID can be crucial in a medical crisis

In times of uncertainty, people turn to many places for peace of mind: cookingexercisingreading the news, multiperson video chats and other virtual gatheringsfresh air.

When that uncertainty stems from a global pandemic, the actions we take to protect our bodies and minds may also include washing our handssocial distancing and working from home.

Those of us with pre-existing medical conditions can take an additional step to ease our anxiety and ensure our safety: wearing a medical ID.

When I learned that I had an autoimmune disease and would need to take blood thinners, I resisted wearing an ID bracelet.

There are plenty of them available online, but the ones I found didn't appeal to me.

Their chain-linked silver straps and loud red medical symbols sent a clear message: "Look at me! I'm different!"

About a year and a half after I got sick — and after a close call with a delivery truck — I doubled down on my search for a bracelet I would be proud to wear.

I came across Return to Sender, a one-woman operation run by Allison Roberts, an artist and photographer in Brooklyn Heights.

The bracelets were unlike any I had seen before: beautiful and sleek, without a chain in sight.

The designs are inspired by vintage jewelry, Ms. Roberts, 36, said, and come in a variety of styles.

Like the standard medical ID bracelets, each has an engraved six-pointed star with caduceus — the medical symbol inspired by the Greek god Hermes — at its center.

Purchasers can have their name and relevant medical information engraved on the inside of the bracelet.

"The second you slap a medical ID on your wrist it becomes: 'I am sick,'" Ms. Roberts said. "Having something that's beautiful, something that's a piece of jewelry — a real piece of jewelry that's not a constant reminder — is just so important. It allows you to maintain your identity."

Ms. Roberts would know.

Like many of her customers, she has an autoimmune disease.

Sometime in August 2015, she fainted as she was stepping off the subway at the Borough Hall subway stop in Brooklyn.

It took three years of medical appointments for Ms. Roberts to learn she has postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a disorder that often increases a person's heart rate and sometimes decreases their blood pressure when standing up, sometimes causing the person to faint.

A few weeks after her first incident, Ms. Roberts decided she needed a bracelet, but she couldn't find one she liked.

So she designed her own and started calling it her "return to sender" bracelet.

If anything happened to her, she said, someone could "make sure I get back to my dad."

After receiving compliments and requests from friends and strangers, she decided to start a business.

Each bracelet is custom-made to meet the wants and needs of the client.

"This isn’t a normal purchase," Ms. Roberts said. "It's a really loaded, emotional purchase."

A medical ID bracelet not only provides an extra layer of day-to-day protection for its wearer, but also helps emergency medical professionals ensure proper care, should the wearer end up in the hospital.

Dr. Robert Femia, the chair of emergency medicine at N.Y.U. Langone Health, said he and his colleagues rely on medical bracelets every day in the emergency room.

"Especially for patients who come in with alternate levels of consciousness or coma, the ID bracelets help quite a bit," Dr. Femia said. "Plus it provides patients with a level of comfort, in case they're in a situation where they can't communicate with us well."

And as hospitals across the country are being overrun with cases of the new coronavirus, any situation that can speed up treatment is beneficial to patients, doctors, and nurses.

"My bracelet allows me to feel security out in the world that I wouldn't have otherwise," Ms. Roberts said. "And right now with what is going on, I think that's really positive."


April 10, 2020 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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