Category Archives: cool

Here’s four good lists for you


Lists are a tricky thing to blog about. A good list is addictive: you want to go through every thing in the list and you are satisfied afterwards. A bad list is tiresome and you want to abandon it halfway through.

I hope you find these lists to be of the good kind. In a way, these lists are also a list! I hope you don’t abandon it. 🙂

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The latest and greatest from Teenage Engineering: the CM-15 mic

Fans of Teenage Engineering and their designs might be interested in their new CM-15 microphone seen in the photo above. Is it expensive? Yes. Is it cool and well designed? Also yes.

These two links from Uncrate and design-milk have more details on it. Audiophiles will especially want to take a look.

I just love all the things they make, and wish I were musical enough to really appreciate them.

What’s cool? The interactive Open Infrastructure Map is cool

I can write what the Open Infrastructure Map is by using the words of its creator:

Open Infrastructure Map is a view of the world’s infrastructure mapped in the OpenStreetMap database. This data isn’t exposed on the default OSM map, so I built Open Infrastructure Map to visualise it.

But the best thing to do is tell you to head over to it and zoom in on areas you know. Being from Cape Breton, I did just that, and I was wonderfully surprised by how much detail was there. I think you will feel the same.

Highly recommended.

Why the Quebecois version of the Simpsons is so great

Apparently, there are two French versions of the Simpsons: one for France, and one for Quebec. This is great for two reasons, I think, as this piece explains: The French version of the Simpsons is oddly fascinating | indy100 | indy100:

  1. “When faced with an episode that used the French language itself as a narrative tool, the Canadian team were again able to fall back on the differences between French and French Canadian.” (Bart in Paris shows this brilliantly.)
  2. “In the Quebec dub, the Simpsons family speaks with a thick working-class dialect of Montreal French called joual. They also do something the France dub doesn’t do: they regionalize the scripts, subbing in Quebecois politicians or places for the more US-centric references.” You can see this in the famous bit with Principal Skinner and Steamed Hams bit:

Brilliant/brillant!

Should we grow a victory garden for the war on COVID?

It’s an intriguing idea.

If you are not familiar with the idea, let me explain with this quote pinched from one of the links below: “Victory gardens are gardens grown by civilians during times of widespread food insecurity. The gardens were encouraged by the Canadian government during the world wars, as a way to feed both civilians and troops.”

In time of high inflation brought on to some degree by the pandemic, such a garden might help in several ways. But heck, if you want to stick with growing flowers to lift your spirits, that’s ok by me too.

For more on this, see these two pieces over at CBC.ca: How you can start your own ‘victory garden’. Also: It’s not too late to grow vegetables for your victory garden.

If you need more help on growing your own seedlings, check out that piece at Lifehacker.

Onward to victory over the pandemic, and inflation, and more!

A love letter for the Pennsylvania hotel in NYC and the two-letter phone exchange (PE 6-5000)

I had been thinking about the Pennsylvania hotel recently. I first started thinking about it when I read this: Discovering another vintage two-letter phone exchange on a West Side sign. See the bottom? Things like MU 2-2655 were how phone numbers looked in the Big Apple (and other places too). Forget about area codes like 212.

One of the most famous of these old two letter phone exchanges was PEnnsylvania_6-5000 (PE 6-5000) for two reasons. One, it was the number assigned to one place and one place only: the Pennsylvania hotel. Two, Glenn Miller wrote a famous song about it, called…PEnnsylvania_6-5000. (My Dad loved this song, and whenever I hear the title, I can hear him shouting out with the band: PEnnsylvania 6-5000!).

Sadly, having a storied presence as well as being famous is not enough to survive. The Times has a piece on how its going to be demolished soon. That’s a shame. I hope the don’t regret it like they do the demolition of Penn Station.

As you can see from the photo being held, it was a massive hotel, and one deserving of its own exchange.

I highly recommend you read that piece on it in the Times. It had quite the run.

Now let’s join in with the the Muppets as they do their version of the famous song:

Running light without overbyte: lightweight web sites are a good way of getting caught up quickly without the bloat of video, javascript and more (less is more)

Once upon a time, web sites were simple. Now they are complicated and sometimes bloated. Just go to the web site of news organizations like CNN or the New York Times and you will know what I mean.

But there is a way to avoid that. Just go to the light/lite versions of their web sites. This is lite CNN. This is a lighter New York Times (TimesWire) And here is an aggregator site that does something similar for a number of topics, like tech: The Brutalist Report – tech.

If you want to find more sites like that, check out: A List Of Text-Only & Minimalist News Sites at GreyCoder.

Kudos to companies that build lightweight versions of their web sites. Not everyone has high speed Internet connectivity. And not everyone needs lots and lots of information. Keeping it simple is cool.

(The title is an extract of the original title for the computer magazine, Dr. Dobbs Journal. It’s original title was: dr. dobb’s journal of Tiny BASIC Calisthenics & Orthodontia (with the subtitle Running Light Without Overbyte))

Who’s excited about the restored 4K version of Stop Making Sense?! This guy!!

I’ve been a fan of David Byrne and Talking Heads for many a years and have written about them often. (See those links.) And I am writing about them again, because according to Pitchfork,  the “1984 concert film, Stop Making Sense, is going to get restored in 4K and re-released theatrically by A24”. Not only that, but “a deluxe edition of the Stop Making Sense soundtrack will come out on vinyl and digitally on August 18.” This got me very excited!

When I was younger, I would love to wander up to the Bloor Cinema in Toronto and watch Stop Making Sense. As a rep movie theatre, it would often play it on the weekend. Even when the Bloor was renovated and turned into the HotDocs theatre, it still plays the film from time to time. And I still love to go see it. I’ve lost track of how many dozens of times I’ve enjoyed it. And now you and I can soon enjoy it in 4K! Woo!

P.S. For people who don’t know of the film, see this: Stop Making Sense .

Here’s the YouTube trailer for the re release…it’s great:

I love that the music for it is Naive Melody…my favorite song in the film.

Click here if the video doesn’t appear.

The biOrd Air60 Terrarium is a very cool way to add plants to your place

As someone who developed a love of indoor plants over the pandemic, I have to say I was blown away by the biOrb Air 60 Terrarium. Sure, it’s pricey, and even a little big, but for anyone who has a few bucks and some space, it could be a cool addition to your home.

Check out that link to Design Milk and get more details on it. It’s cool.

 

A reminder of how great WiReD magazine was, and how often wrong it was….

A reminder of how great WiReD magazine was — and how often it was wrong — can be found in this great piece by Dave Karpf: A WIRED compendium.

I bought the first copy of WiReD when it came out, and was a buyer and collector for some time. It was everything I loved in a magazine: smart and stylish and full of ideas.

WiReD was a perfect title for it too. The publication was about how the world was becoming interconnected through the rapid build out of the Internet, but it was also about how our brains were changing as a result of it. It covered both of those areas well.

Dave’s piece also covers some of my favorite things it got wrong, from the promise of PUSH technology (companies HATED Pointcast for flooding their networks and soon worked to shut that it down) to digitally encoded smell (right?? yeah, no) to a cover on how Second Life was the future (hey, I thought that too).

WiReD got plenty right, too. But more than right or wrong, it captured the zeitgeist of the 90s and early 2000s and generally provided insights into how information technology was affecting us.

If you have only read the magazine recently, you might not get what the fuss was all about it. Check out that summary from Dave Karpf: you will get a history lesson and hopefully a glimpse of WiReD and why it was so great.

(For more on it, I also recommend Wikipedia)

 

 

 

What is cool? How about this 20-Story Hotel in Sweden Is Made Almost Entirely from Wood?

It exists:

Standing 20 stories tall, The Wood Hotel is the world’s tallest hotel mainly made from wood. Located at the birthplace of cross-country skiing, Skellefteå in Swedish Lapland, the 205-room property was built from locally harvested spruce and pine which smells awesome and absorbs more CO2 than it uses.

Now that’s cool. Would love to stay there. Would love to see more tall buildings built this way.

For more on it, see this: This 20-Story Hotel in Sweden Is Made Almost Entirely from Wood

A quick peek on what Philippe Starck is up to

If you love the work of Philippe Starck as much as I, then I recommend you head over to Uncreate and search on his name (or click here).It turns out he’s still doing cool stuff. Not surprising.

For example, this is cool: B&B Italia x Philippe Starck Outdoor Sofa. It reminds me of the great furniture he did for hotels like the Royalton in the 80s:

And this LaCie Blade Runner Hard Drive reminded me of how at the names of his older furniture often were borrowed from Philip K. Dick novels:

Love it! I wish I could find one of those hard drives. They look awesome.

Speaking of awesome looking, check out this, the Aeklys by Starck Payment Ring:

Finally these Phillippe Starck Log Knives are very gift worthy:

Nice to see one of my favorite designers is still creative, and creative in many different ways.

Things I can’t live without – Bernie Michalik edition

So I came across this section of New York magazine called The Strategist which asks people: what can’t you live without? They wonder “what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hair spray and the electric toothbrush.” I enjoyed this one in particular on Rhiannon Giddens Favorite Things, but it also got me thinking: what can’t I live without? If I lost everything and was told by insurers to go out and replace things, what are the things I really miss that I would go out a get right away? That led me to come up with this list. It’s not my answers to the Proust Questionnaire, but it was much fun to do and equally revealing. Here goes:

Roots leather goods. I’ve bought a number of Roots leather goods over the decades and they truly last a lifetime. I have a tan leather jacket that just gets better year after year and a weekender bag like the one below which is perfect for short trips. Get something classic from Roots and it will serve you for life.


Large Banff Bag Cervino | Roots US – $598 US

New Balance Shoes. For a long time I’ve been a fan of New Balance for running. Great shoe maker, I thought, but typically not very fashionable. I changed my mind when I saw the 327 models shown: a great shoe that’s also very stylish. I have them in Black on Black and they’re great, but New Balance has a wide selection of color combos. Perfect for being out and about.

327 – New Balance – $99 USD

Apple Products. I really can’t live without my Macbook, my iPhone, or my Apple Watch. I am inseparable from them, literally. I’d still have a Shuffle too if Apple still made them. I’m fortunate enough to get a Macbook Air and an iPhone 11 from work, but I would get them again even if I did not. To go with that I have the Apple Watch Series 8: the health features alone make it great. Like Roots or New Balance, there is not just ONE product from this company I rely on: there are MANY.

Apple Watch Series 8 – Apple (CA) – $529 CAN

IKEA French Press Coffee Maker: I love this thing. I have a small one that makes me my afternoon coffee and it’s the perfect thing to get me through my day. I will generally use a drip coffee maker in the morning to make a large pot of coffee, but this makes a better cup of coffee, I believe. Maybe I need two of them.

Pro tip: get a small wooden spoon with a flat end on an angle if you can: it makes cleanup super easy. Another tip: IKEA sells coffee for the press and I think it’s pretty good.

UPPHETTA French press coffee maker – $14.99 US

Lodge Cast Iron: recently I got over my hang up with cast iron and started cooking with again. I am so glad I did: food just comes out better in cast iron, I think. And taking care of it is less trouble than I thought. I am a fan of Lodge cast iron in particular and I have a number of their pieces, including this skillet with the hot handle holder (the holder is very useful – trust me).

12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet with Handle Holder – $29.95 US

J. Stark Bags and travel cases: I love my Roots weekender bag. When I am travelling, I’ll fill it with travel bags from J Stark. Plus I’ll use their Sentinel backpack and store it under my seat with all my valuables. Not only is it great for travel, but I can use it once I get on the ground. (Not to mention using it when I return.)  I love the quality of their goods: plus the people that run it are really fine people. If you can get to Charleston, drop by. Meanwhile, visit their site to see what they have to offer (a lot!).

Sentinel Backpack in Navy Heavyweight Canvas  – $195 US

Grado SR80x Prestige Series Headphones: I have not stopped using Grados since I bought my first pair of 60s many years ago. I’ve tried more expensive ones, but as someone who uses them mostly with an iPhone (and formerly an iTouch), the 80s are the ones I find suit me best. In Canada you can get them at Bay Bloor radio and other fine places.

 

Grado SR80x Prestige Series Headphones – $189 CAN

Pilot v-pen Fountain pen: I love pens. Pens of all sorts. However when it comes to writing cards or notes or even cheques, I am a huge fan of these disposable fountain pens from Pilot. Sure, they aren’t Mont Blanc, but you can get 10 for just under $18 at Amazon! I also have found very few problems with leaking, and I also find they work better than cheap fountain pens elsewhere. I usually get mine at Deserres because I like to support local art stores, but you can find them everywhere.

V-Pen – Fountain pen – $2-4 US, depending on where you get them.

Muji Notebooks: I use Muji notebooks to go with my Pilot Pens. I have them in all shapes and sizes, but this particular one shown I love. I get one out every work day and write down whatever I need to capture quickly and focus on. But honestly they have a notebook for every use.

Double Ringed Plain Notebook – $2.90 US

The Lenovo Smart Clock with Google Assistant: I depend upon Google Assistant more than I care to say. And while Google has their own devices, if I had to have only one such device, I would pick this one. I have one near me at all times when I work at home: it’s a one stop shop for quick information and tasks.

Lenovo Smart Clock – $79 US.

I am sure if I sat her more I could come up with more items and even services.  There’s many things I have that I can’t do without, but I would be worse off  without the things on this list.

What things are on your list?

 

It’s Lisa’s 40th birthday. Let’s celebrate!


The great Lisa has just turned 40! Apple’s Lisa, that is. To celebrate, the Computer History Museum (CHM) has done two great things. First, they have released the source code to the Lisa software. You can find it here. Second, they have published this extensive history on the ground breaking machine, The Lisa: Apple’s Most Influential Failure.

Like the NeXT computer, the Lisa computer was a machine that tried to do too much too soon. And while it was not the success that Apple had hoped, it did lead to great success later.  That definitely comes across in that CHM piece.

It’s fascinating to compare the picture above with the one below (both from CHM). In the one above you can see the original Lisa (1) with “Twiggy” floppy drive that was unreliable and ditched in the later models, seen below. You can also see how the machine on the left (the original Macintosh) would come to take over from the machine on the right (the Lisa 2). It has many of the same features but at a much reduced price.

When you think of Apple computers, you likely think of one of more of those found in this List of Macintosh models. While not a Mac, the Lisa was the precursor of all those machines that came later, starting with the original Mac. It was the birth of a new form of personal computing.

Happy birthday, Lisa! You deserve to be celebrated.

For more on this, see this Hackday piece on  Open-Sourcing The Lisa Mac’s Bigger Sister.

 

It’s a new year. You need new desktop wallpaper for your computer


If you feel stuck, just a small change in your environment can make a difference in freeing you up mentally. Changing your desktop wallpaper is just such a change.

If you agree, I recommend you go to Design Milk and see what they have to offer in wallpapers. Each month they have a designer publish a new image for you to download and out upon your background. Needless to say, they are very well done.

Maybe new wallpaper won’t inspire you to do great things in 2023. But it can’t hurt! Give it a shot.

White lights or colored? With the Festavia lights from Philips, you can have both at once!

For some households, there is this debate: white lights or colored lights on a Christmas tree? Well, with the Philips Festavia lighting from Hue, you can have both! And so much more. To see what I mean, see this piece in The Verge.

I am a big fan of Philips Hue lighting. I bought a wide assortment of bulbs over 5 years ago and I use them daily and they are still going strong. So while these lights ain’t cheap, they may last you a long time. And give you much joy for years to come.

Blade Runner is 40!

My favorite film, Blade Runner, is 40! You’ll want to scan this good piece in Esquire on why it is “is still the greatest Sci-Fi of all-time”. Need more Blade Runner essays? Here’s this piece on the eyes and how they are a recurrent thematic element in the films of Blade Runner… worth a look. (All puns intended.)

For fans like me, check out the Walking Tour of the Blade Runner Locations in LA. Plenty to see there. 🙂

Forget going to Mars. Go to Iceland

I think going to Mars is a terrible idea, but if you are the opposite of me and would love to experience that, I have a suggestion for you. You can get the experience of going there today by going to…Iceland. NPR explains:

Iceland is like Mars — if the Red Planet had hot tubs. That’s the cheeky idea behind a new pitch from Iceland’s tourism board, which says people don’t need a spaceship to see otherworldly sights like red rocks, black sand and subglacial volcanoes. Plus, they note, oxygen is abundant in Iceland. To drive home the message, they launched a promo video and a space billboard with the tagline, “Iceland. Better than space.”

See? All you need is a plane ticket and a place to stay and you can go to Mars next week. If you think the tourism people are just making stuff up, listen to NASA. NPR again:

NASA agrees: the agency has repeatedly used Iceland as a stand-in for the Moon, and it’s doing so again as it prepares astronauts for new missions off-world. “Iceland is an amazing analog for both the Moon and Mars,” says NASA’s Kelsey Young, who researches the exploration of planetary surfaces and who has done geologic fieldwork in Iceland.

For more on this, see the NPR article, here: Iceland says it’s better than space. We asked NASA about that.

The fine photography of Jared Bramblett, London and elsewhere


My friend Jared Bramblett was recently in London, and as he does, he took some fantastic photographs of his visit, which you can see here:  5 Days in London – Jared Bramblett.

Once you check that out — and you should — take some time to look at the rest of his site. It’s wonderful.

(Image: link to image on his site.It looks so much better on his site.)

Happy Friday! It’s the weekend!

Woo! It’s Friday! If you are American, then there is a good chance you are participating in Thanksgiving activities! May your days be joyous and your feast plentiful. As for me, I’m in Canada, where we celebrated our Thanksgiving weeks ago. I suspect I will be gearing up like many Canadians for that other festive time that is coming soon: Christmas.

Speaking of feasts, here’s a cornucopia of things for you to check out and enjoy as you head into the weekend.

How cool is this  Balmuda speaker? I just love it. Move over Sonos! (JK I love my Sonos One speaker too.)

Also cool: this public bench. I wish my city had such great places to sit.

This artwork by  Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (below) is stunning. Plus it is related to your pulse. Intriguing, yes?

Speaking of stunning, check out these bold black houses. I just love to look at them and to imagine staying in them.

As for imagining things, how great it would be to take some time and do this 750-Mile Bicycle Route from New York. That’s a good bucket list item.

Or perhaps that’s too much effort. In which case, why not daydream about climbing on board The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for one of their Winter Journeys? That sounds fabulous.

If you can’t afford that, then maybe you just want to stay at home and have a low key meal tonight. I recommend you look into what Austin Kleon does every Friday. He has these Pizza night blockbusters with his family that you might want to try (this link even has his wife’s pizza recipe). It’s a great idea and the pizzas look delicious.


Or maybe you can’t even decide what to eat. Kavall, a Swedish grocery delivery company, understands.  See that button? You press it and they will  randomly selects a recipe and have the ingredients delivered by bike in around 10 minutes. Amazing! You can read more about it here!

Want to impress your kids after dinner? Show them the metal rig Jelle Seegers built with a handmade fresnel lens on top that can concentrate solar rays tightly enough to smelt metal. You can see it, here. It will blow their mind.

Or show them this small paper microscope that works!

But don’t show them this McDonald’s gaming chair because they might want one! Unless you too like it…I dunno. 🙂

I have written often on cat furniture. Perhaps too much. But I can resist sharing this one called Igloo that is a side table that also gives your cat a cozy home.

Have fun on the last Friday of November! This year is flying by. Have a great weekend.

 

 

 

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What’s cool? I thought these things were all pretty cool

Alan Rickman’s diaries have been published. You can see excerpts from them here. What I thought was cool was how he not just wrote a journal, but he wonderfully illustrated it.

Also cool is this cassette shaped white noise machine (shown above).

To me, Blade Runner is cool and more Blade Runner is also cool. So I was pleased to see that there will be an new TV show of it coming to Amazon Prime..

Libraries of course are cool. So to is the Libby App, which gives you free ebooks & audiobooks from your library.

Finally, here’s a cool story of how a British writer rediscovered what it means to be European by train. Train travel is the coolest.

Crowns: kings and queens and royalty, then and now.

A lot has changed with European Royalty since this (colorized) photo of Nine Kings was taken in 1910 at the funeral of Edward VII. For one thing, many of these monarchies these Kings represented have disappeared. And of the ones remaining, they are slimming down quite a bit, such as the one in Denmark, with Denmark’s Queen Margrethe stripping 4 grandchildren of their royal title. Harsh but fair if the monarchies are to survive. And it’s not just happening in Denmark: Charles is likely to do it in England, too. Monarchy ain’t what it used to be.

Perhaps that’s why we look back in history with series like the Crown. The success of which has lead to this German Royal Drama about the heads of Austria-Hungary coming out next. The farther we go back, the grander it all seems.

Speaking of grand and wanting to go back in time, here’s a good piece on King Charles’s Poundbury Town. Going forward in time, this AI portrays how famous people like Princess Diana would look like today.

That’s the thing about Royalty. In many ways it is about a life other than the one most of us lead. There’s an unrealness about it that somehow attracts us.

In closing, I want to include a clip of one of the most real people in The Crown, Tommy Lascelles. No one is more grounded than him, which makes him highly effective and often dangerous:

P.S. I am fascinated by that photo of the nine kings. Here’s a good post with lots more detail: Nine Kings in one photo 1910.

Cameras aren’t dead yet. Here are four fun ones.

First up, this may be the only Leica camera most can afford, and then it is still around $1700: Leica D-Lux 7 Vans x Ray Barbee Camera.

To see what I mean, check out the Leica M-A Titan Camera… it costs around $20,000. And while that is extreme, it is closer to the median than the d-Lux 7.

Maybe you need this Pixy Selfie Drone  to follow you around and take selfies all day. Your own paparazzi!

Or perhaps you just want a new webcam. This one, Opal C1 Webcam | Uncrate, will set you back around $300.

Thanks to Uncrate.com for all these. Still one of my favourite sites for all things cool and wonderful.

The PO-80 Record Factory Kit from Teenage Engineering is very cool

The smart folks at Teenage Engineering have produced another cool product. As Yanko Design explains….

The PO-80 Record Factory Kit is a record cutter that engraves audio onto 5″ vinyl discs, giving kids the ability to record their own LPs the old-fashioned way, quite like how millennials made mixtapes and burned their own CDs. The Record Factory, created in collaboration with Yuri Suzuki, lets you engrave and playback 5″ discs with an ultra-analog lo-fi sound. This isn’t studio-grade equipment, after all, but it does add a creamy muffled, effect to your audio that totally sounds like the 40s and 50s in a nutshell.

Love it! For more on the PO-80, see these write ups in Yanko Design and the Awesomer.com.

(Image link to Yanko Design)

This “cloud” shredder will make you want to shred paper!

Seriously, how cute is this??

The paper looks like rain! It’s awesome! Thank you, Muji!

For more on it, see: Muji cloud is a fun tool to condense paper into small pile of shreds – Yanko Design

Now you too can own your very own Vampire Slaying Kit

500

I thought these things only existed in movies: I was wrong. Over at Uncrate, they have great photos of this actual Vampire Slaying Kit that you could own (or could have owned if you had been there to snap it up).

For those who fear the undead — or those that just like cool stuff — go take a look. It’s amazing.

The Drone-Jellyfish wars and more (today in robot news)

Man, what I would have given to have these Jellyfish drones monitoring my beach when I was a kid. I hated jellyfish! Still do. Kudos for the folks who came up with this. (I don’t think the drones actually fight the jellyfish, in case you were concerned about this due to my misleading title. :))

Here on land, if you are keen to have a Boston Dynamics dog robot of your own, now you can. Click on that link for more details.

On Marvel Movies, and how Robert Downey Jr made almost half a billion dollars from them


Here me out. You might think this story about how Robert Downey Jr. made $450m as Iron Man would be boring.It’s not. It was a fascinating journey for both Downey and Marvel over the last 14 years. In 2008 when the first Iron Man came out, both the actor and the company were down on their luck. However bad luck turned into good, and both parties went on their way to become incredibly successful.

Disney bet big on Marvel, and Robert Downey Jr bet big on himself, and the bets paid off big. After all his years struggling with addiction, it was good to see.

It was not without some twists along the way, so read the piece to see how it went down. Or I should say, went up.

P.S. Also a good intro to how the movie biz works and how actors get paid.

(Image linked to the article)

 

 

On the Smiths and those album covers

The Smith’s were (are?) great for many reasons. One reason in particular was their album covers. Looks like the folks at NME agree, because they put together

an exhaustive guide to each and everyone of their 27 single and album releases’ sleeves, and what they mean

You can find here. Fans of the band will enjoy that. I did.

Speaking of the Smiths, this piece by Doug Coupland, Morrissey will never be cancelled is worth a read.

It’s Friday. Don’t you wish you were out on the road on a cool bike?

I know I feel that way after looking at some of these babies. For example, this could be uncomfortable, but just look at how great this modular ebike looks! 

For something a bit more practical, there’s this  cool cafĂ© racer bike:

Very nice!

If you want something bigger, there’s this 2022 Harley:

Too big? How about this little number via Justin Bieber no less:

But wait, maybe you agree with this piece on bike road safety that laments how dangerous riding a bike is in the city? In that case, maybe you just want something like this exercise bike:

The weather is getting nicer. Get yourself a bike and get out there.

(Images courtesy of Uncrate and Yanko Design)

White noise generators: virtocean

If you like the sound of the water and you like white noise generators, then this one’s for you: VirtOcean: Ocean noise generator. Good for sleeping, working, or just for relaxing sounds in your everyday life.

Hey! It’s time to take a break and wander the most brilliant bookshops in the world

This is a most amazing collection of the most brilliant bookshops in the world. Thanks to the  Financial Times for it.

Not a bookshop, but I love the image above. What a perfect space to simply sit and read.

 

How to garden in the winter

What’s cooler than summer gardening? Winter gardening! 🙂 No seriously, winter gardening is very cool. I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but the Times and specifically Niki Jabbour of Halifax have convinced me otherwise. As the Times explains:

Is it really possible to garden year-round? Yes, even in Nova Scotia. Through years of experimentation, Niki Jabbour has developed an all-seasons approach to edible gardening, despite the rigors of her Halifax location, where frost can linger until late May and return in early October. What Ms. Jabbour — an intrepid vegetable gardener and the host of the radio show “The Weekend Gardener” — calls her “vegetable garden tool kit” doesn’t include a trowel and pruning shears (although they are always within reach). Her essentials are an assortment of fabrics and the supports she drapes them over.

It’s really impressive. The article below gets into great depth as to how such an activity is possible. I don’t know if I will ever do it, but I really enjoyed reading about it, here: The Year-Round Garden – The New York Times

Forget cremation. When I die, turn my into a diamond.

Seriously, that is one of the options mentioned on the site Interesting Engineering. You can also be dissolved in a liquid (apparently Desmond Tutu chose this option). Or you can be turned into soil.

For more on this, see:

(Image via algordanza, makers of the diamonds)

 

 

How would you like a cube of titanium, or copper, or even uranium? With the Luciteria web site, you can!

How cool is this Luciteria web site? Well if you are a geek like me, very cool indeed. Among other things they sell are cubes of each of the elements in the periodic table. As they say:

Cubes of each of the elements are our most popular sellers. And it’s not hard to see why. Precision machined and labeled each one is a self-contained ambassador of the periodic table. From the small cubic centimeter up to the hefty 5cm these cubes practically define the ideal desktop gadget for anyone who loves to nerd out on science. So get one as a conversation starter, a few as a clever means to spell out a name or phrase or go for broke and get as many as possible to make your own “real life” periodic table!

Some of them, like copper above, are pretty harmless and common. Others, like the uranium cube below, not so much.
I think these would be a great gift for anyone into science, or for teachers teaching the elements.

My first thought when I went there was that they would only have a few of the elements, but no, they have pretty much all of them. (With some reasonable exceptions.) Very much worth checking out.

What did you learn in 2021? What will you learn in 2022?


Well if you are Tom Whitwell, quite a lot, as he shows here: 52 things I learned in 2021 by Tom Whitwell from Fluxx | Fluxx Studio Notes

His piece is fascinating. Even better, it makes me think I might like to keep a similar log for 2022. Maybe you want to as well! Meanwhile read Tom.

(Photo by Andrea De Santis on Unsplash )

Why beach robots are good

While I am not a fan of most popular robots these days, I will make an exception for this one: This Microsoft-powered AI-enabled robot cleans up cigarette butts littered on the beach! – Yanko Design

It’s sad we need such a robot, but if this problem is going to exist, I am all for such technology. It’s a great project and not unlike a Roomba for the beach. Nice.

Happy 2022!

Happy New Year! Maybe this year will be year we finally see the end of the pandemic!

One of my resolutions this year is to do more with less. In that vein, I am going to share some of my old posts on the new year, rather than recreate another. You can find them here. I think they are still good and still worth revisiting, both by me and you.

All the best to you in 2022.

Profiles on four cool dudes


Here’s links to four cool dudes worth reading about. First up is  Lingdong Huang and his very cool projects. This is a good piece on  how Duro Olowu gets dressed in the morning. This is on  Hanif Abdurraqib and how he cuts through the noise. Finally, this piece is on a man who earned a Ph.D. and fulfilled his dream of being a physicist — at 89.

Each one is a good profile. Enjoy.

 

 

 

Christmas gift ideas: a colourful wireless keyboard with removable emoji keys!


Sure, technically this is aimed at Gen-Z, but I want one too! What you say? Only this:  Logitech designed the perfect wireless keyboard for Gen-Z complete with removable emoji keys! Nice! Comes in lots of bold colours too! Perfect for the emoji lover in your life.

Well done, Logitech.