If you were around during the early days of the World Wide Web, you remember webcams. People would point a camera at something like the sky or a coffee pot and others would use their browser to check it out.
You might be thinking no one does that any more, but if you did, you’d be wrong!
To see what I mean, go here. That is specifically for the Northern Lights, but if you scroll down you can see many others as well.
Still a nice way to see the world without leaving your room.
I thought this piece was great: The English Word That Hasn’t Changed in Sound or Meaning in 8,000 Years. It turns out the world “lox” has not changed meaning in all that time. As the linguist in the piece explains:
One of my favorite words is lox,” says Gregory Guy, a professor of linguistics at New York University. “The pronunciation in the Proto-Indo-European was probably ‘lox,’ and that’s exactly how it is pronounced in modern English,” he says. “Then, it meant salmon, and now it specifically means ‘smoked salmon.’ It’s really cool that that word hasn’t changed its pronunciation at all in 8,000 years and still refers to a particular fish.”
That’s a great piece. Not just for the story of the word “lox”, but on the study of language and its origin. Recommended. It makes me want to run out and get a plate!
(Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash)
This is pretty amazing. This Etsy account YesteryearPropStore seems to be selling many of the neon signs found in Blade Runner.
If I ran an establishment, I would love to have this one out front:
Here are a number of pieces on two great downtown Manhattan restaurants: Florent and Odeon. Florent has been closed for a number of years. But Odeon lives on, happily. What I love about both restaurants is how the embodied that era and how they both set a stage. You can see that in the pieces below about them. Florent in particular was a radical place that was like no other, right down to their menus and promotional material (like the one above).
When they both opened the lower part of Manhattan had nothing like them. There was no gentrification down there like there is now. They were an oasis of good food, good design, and good times.
To really get a sense of that, read Restaurant Florent Takes Its Final Bows – The New York Times.
For more on the design ideas around Florent, see: Restaurant Florent | Restaurant Design in New York, NY — Memo Productions
A short history of the space Florent occupied is written about here: What remains of a Gansevoort Street restaurant | Ephemeral New York
Lastly, here is it’s Wikipedia write-up: Florent (restaurant). It’s a good source of other links on the place.
Before I forget, this is a fun piece on The Odeon: A Retro Haven That Defined New York 1980s Nightlife | Vanity Fair.
Also worth reading. Now go and eat at The Odeon.
Posted in cool, culture, newyork
Tagged dining, essays, favourites, food, Manhattan, newyork, nyc, restaurants, restoslovedandlost
While there has been a lot of talk lately about space travel due to the billionaire space race, I want to highlight something people rarely mention but should. It’s that it is the anniversary of Apollo’s First Lunar Rover, Driven 50 Years Ago. The Atlantic has a great story on it, including amazing photos.
It’s crazy to think that not only did we land on the moon, but we brought a car with us to drive on the moon! That’s amazing, to me.
In the film Ad Astra with Brad Pitt, there’s a great chase scene with Lunar Rovers. Nothing quite so exciting like that happened during the Apollo missions, but the fact that we brought a car to the moon is exciting as it is. Plus it is still parked up there! I hope the parking rates aren’t too expensive 🙂
It’s true! A planet is going to make a fly by. According to Kottke, the minor planet 2014 UN271 is about to visit our solar system. By 2031 it should be about as close to the sun as Saturn is!
I hope we can get some good views of it while it is in the area.
For more on it, see the Kottke article. He also has links to more pieces on it.
(Photo by Guillermo Ferla on Unsplash )
This is lovely:
I especially like “Parent” and “Dog”.
More on that, as well as the source of the image, here.
In the early days of the Web, there were several sites that would feature the Web Site of the Day. It would be something someone put together that was smart or wacky of useful. Those days were good.
Good news! Here is a list of web sites that Buzzfeed put together that made me think of those days: 38 Super Useful And Fun Websites You Never Knew You Needed In Your Life.
Every day check out a different one!
In a similar vein, here is a list of places in New York that have been around forever that are still going. Likewise, check out a different one every day: The 212 – The New York Times
The Internet can feel stale. Let’s make it fresh again.
(Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash )
If you need some ambient sounds, you should check out: A Soft Murmur
It’s great for a number of reasons:
- It has lots of different sounds, from rain to coffee shops to white noise.
- You can mix sounds together (e.g., rain and thunder and birds)
- You can create your own mixes and share them with people!
Anyway, it’s good. You should check it out.
(Photo by reza shayestehpour on Unsplash )
I love these playful modular cabinets that put a quirky spin on storage by using geometric shelves found at Yanko Design. You can mix and match the pieces to design the best storage for your room. And if you get tired of it, you just have to reposition things and you have a whole new look. Fantastic.
It may be hard to believe that anything to do with getting a stapler could be interesting. But these two are.
First here is one you can get to staple your own skin if you are injured. This one isn’t dramatic but if you want to staple a booklet, it’s perfect.
(Photo by Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash )
Posted in cool
Tagged cool, staplers, tools
Besides the classic digital watch I wrote about earlier today, Timex also makes some smart watches that are very affordable for a smart watch.
For example, this one, the iConnect Premium watch:
This watch does a lot of the fitness work that other smart watches do and for a very good price.
Timex has many watches like this, and while this one is rated well, others are not. So buyer beware. But if you were thinking of getting a watch to help you with fitness, this could be the one.
Apple Watches are cool. I love them. So do many others.
But if want to have have a cool digital watch that is also a classic, you want this, I think:
It comes in silver and gold. You can order it, here.
Posted in cool
Tagged cool, timex, watches
I am sorry to (not) break this to you (since you know it already) but the pandemic is not going away soon. That’s bad. What’s good is it may be the right time to start a hobby. Here’s two links that can help:
- CrossFit, ceramics: 10 people on how much they spend on their hobbies – Vox
- How to Find a Hobby – Smarter Living Guides – The New York Times
The New York Times piece can help you find a hobby. And the Vox piece can give you an idea of what it might cost.
A hobby is a good thing to have and no one argues this better than Austin Kleon. To see what I mean, check out his writings on hobbies.
(Photo by Margarida Afonso on Unsplash)
There is this: the Lego/Adidas collaboration!
If I were a Lego fan I would so want a pair. They debut September 25.
See the link for more pics and details.
If you are in the market for headphones and you work by yourself at home, consider the GW100 from Grado. If you need convincing, read this rave review in Forbes. Working in a space with others isn’t great with them because they are open back (i.e. others can hear the sound). But WFH alone, these would be perfect. Sure, you can also go with the wired versions that Grado makes. They are also great. Even the lower end models are excellent. However, the wireless is a great feature, especially if you want to move around some or want to avoid yet another wire to deal with.
In Canada, you can get the GW100 and so many more at Bay Bloor radio.
If you are tired of your view and want to look at something new, I highly recommend this site: WindowSwap.
WindowSwap gives you a random view of someone else’s window somewhere in the world. Not all the views are beautiful or interesting, but many are. For those of you wishing you could travel but can’t, this site will allow you to vicariously do it through this website.
(Image by Mari Madriz)
If you want to soothe your eyes and spirit with some calm today, check out this canal house in Amsterdam:
Design Milk has a feature on this place and every image is a sight for sore eyes. To see what I mean, take yourself to this page.
You’ll be glad you did.
A very cool site that allows you to mess around with Gregorian chant music in all kinds of ways. Fun! And also great if you want to have it playing while you work Gregorian Voices • Relaxing Music Generator
This is fascinating: The Apollo 11 mission as told through the astronauts’ heart rates | Popular Science
A good reminder that even the best prepared and most cool can still have elevated heart levels under stress.
You might need this: This desktop lightbox makes your lighting setup as advanced as your camera | Yanko Design.
Ok, you like do not need this. But it is a pretty cool lightbox. Worth checking out, if only to fantasize about.
It uses smart ink, so it’s low power. But it changes throughout the day, based on the information it gets from the Internet. It looks great, and it’s around $134, which is not bad.
I’d like to see more tech do this. A fine marriage of high tech and aesthetics.
For more information, see A smart poster that knows the weather | Yanko Design
Here’s a long list of things I had saved in Instapaper that I thought worthwhile, but never blogged about individually. While I hadn’t blogged about them, they are still worth a look:
- World population may actually start declining, not exploding.: one of those things I wish everyone thought about but don’t.
- sexplainer: good for teens and parents of teens
- Gibson Guitar: Min-ETune™: for those who want to take up guitar playing and want to stay in tune
- Networks and the Nature of the Firm – From the WTF? Economy to the Next Economy: the important on networks of all kinds when it comes to business.
- Anyone Depressed About The State Of The World Needs To Look At These Stunning Charts – Business Insider: keep your eyes on this and be more optimistic.
- Contact the ISS: fun! How to contact the space station!
- A property crisis: interview with Thomas Piketty | New Philosopher: a thoughtful discussion with one of my favorite thinkers in the world now.
- The Forthcoming–Behavioral–Economics of Abundance: more ideas on economics
Mr Money Mustache: not a bad source of financial advice
- How I built a seven-figure business without employees – The Globe and Mail: not sure if everyone can build a business this way but it is fascinating to think about
- How you can grow your own tropical fruit, even in winter – The Globe and Mail: now if you want to grow fruit instead of money, you might find this interesting
- One Weird Old Productivity Tip: ha! For those who know their way around the operating system and want to be more productive
- Create Custom Flooring with Carpet Tiles & Area Rugs | FLOR: a novel idea for people who want nice rugs but have odd spaces or don’t want the commitment of a rug
- Slot-In Storage — Shoebox Dwelling | Finding comfort, style and dignity in small spaces: a very smart storage / shelf system. I might build something like this myself some day.
- Data Mining Reveals the Extent of China’s Ghost Cities – MIT Technology Review: fascinating. China has all these ghost cities, with buildings but no people, and this article shows how the author went about finding them
- A Lifelong Queens Resident Finds High Ground In The Bronx – Curbed NY: For NYC fans, Curbed NY. Also a reminder than NY has great places everywhere and since Amazon has staked a claim to parts of Queens, the next big place is likely the Bronx.
- Fooling The Machine | Popular Science: the next frontier of AI and IT security: deceiving AI.
- Top four sports cars around $15,000 – WHEELS.ca: a good reference for people looking for affordable cars
- If insects have consciousness, what then? – The Globe and Mail: from the always interesting Peter Singer.
- The Wannsee Conference: the entire Conference and film on YouTube. The banality of evil captured in 90 minutes.
- A Better Kind of Happiness | The New Yorker: good ideas on happiness
- The Lesser-Known Design Legend Behind The Rise Of The PC: IBM was smart to work with Sapper. While Ive at Apple gets plenty of worthwhile credit and recognition, Sapper deserves as much for the brilliant design work he did with IBM.
- 7 Ways to Reduce Anxiety in Your Home Through Design – The Aesthetics of Joy: not feng shui but interesting nonetheless
- Japan’s ‘no immigration principle’ looking as solid as ever | The Japan Times: it is often lost on people commenting on Japan with regards to robots and demographic information that the country has a very tight immigration policy. If you are one of those people, you should read this.
- Austen Heinz’s suicide and depression in startups – Business Insider: the success of startups is often reported and celebrated. The flip side is often kept hidden. Here is a piece on the flip side worth reading.
- Stop Worrying About How Much You Matter: the benefits of being less relevant. Really. Over time, we will all be irrelevant. If relevancy bothers you now, read this.
- Some Practical Thoughts on Suicide | The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss: well said.
- Is the human body becoming obsolete? – Motherboard: more interesting ideas.
- Cost Benefit of Google Perks – Business Insider: or why more companies could and should offer similar perks!
- The realist’s guide to being an online entrepreneur: for new entrepreneurs, worth a look
- The Thoughts of a Spiderweb | Quanta Magazine: fascinating
- This is Your Brain on Habits – Positive Psychology News: how to make and break habits
- 808 Site Found: Five Drum Machines Now Live In Your Browser – CDM Create Digital Music: fun! Put a drum machine in your browser.
- Inside the Shop of the Last Great American Watchmaker: for fans of watches and craft work generally
- StartupStash – The curated directory of tools for your startup: what it says. Good resources.
- Scared Of Failing? Ask Yourself These 6 Fear-Killing Questions: good advice
Posted in cool
A visit to this page is a must for Blade Runner fans: Blade Runner Souvenir Magazine: A Fascinating Blast from the Past from the Heart of Ridley Scott’s Masterpiece • Cinephilia & Beyond.
The Official Collector’s Edition Blade Runner Souvenir Magazine is a wonderful source of information, abounding in great photos and articles; a genuine treat both for hardcore fans of the film and all the newbies who just got introduced to the world of Rick Deckard. There are a lot of fascinating stuff here, but we’re especially excited about the interviews with Philip K. Dick, Ridley Scott, Harrison Ford and Douglas Trumbull. We’re incredibly thankful to webmaster Netrunner from brmovie.com, who put a lot of effort into digitalizing the magazine and even contacted Mr. Friedman to get his blessing for the endeavor. While Netrunner shaped the material by separating photos from the accompanying text, we chose to offer you a .cbr file of greater resolution and quality, so you can browse the content more easily. If we may, we’d like to suggest using a little program called ComicRack for checking out this priceless blast from the past. Enjoy the read!
In honour of Blade Runner 2049 coming out today, here’s your chance to see if you are a replicant with this:
You say: I don’t need to take the test because I’m not a replicant. Some replicants believe that. 🙂 Better take the test.
This is a pretty cool DIY project: The AIY Voice Kit Lets You Build a Google Home for Only $35.
Now, I have my qualms about letting Google have access to so much personal information. If you do not have such qualms and you want to build a cool project, click the link and head on over to Wired, where they have more information on it and how to get it.
Posted in cool
Tagged birds, cool
The Selby has a gorgeous photo shoot of the atelier of Karl Lagerfeld. Anyone who dreams of having a library in their home will love it. The photo above is just a taste: for a feast, see: Karl Lagerfeld at his Atelier in Paris in the selby
It’s only been out for a very short time, but already there’s at least one primer for it, here: Ten Things I Wish I Knew When I Started ‘Pokémon GO’ – Forbes. If you want to leapfrog others playing it, read this and then get going.
According to a post by Clive Thompson,
Recently, two scientists got interested in the poem, because they realized these two facts could be used to determine precisely what time of year Sappho wrote the poem.
The poem, the post, and the work the scientists did are all great. Highly recommended. (Click on the link to the post for more details.)
The good folks at Glitchaus have taken an oddity of the digital world – glitches – and used it as the basis of their designs of scarves and wraps. If you are in need of either, or you’d just like to see some innovative fashion, it’s worth visiting their site.
Things I am interested in or working on these days: AI, WebSphere setup, Python, Twitter programming, development in general, configuring Netscalers, cool things IBM is doing, automation, among other things.
- If you have the AI bug and think you want to do some Prolog programming, you need this: What Prolog implementation to choose? What’s fastest? Compatibility?
- Deep Learning is hot in AI. If you want more info, this is good: Deep Learning Tutorials — DeepLearning 0.1 documentation
- Sigh. This debate never goes away in AI: Why AlphaGo Is Not AI – IEEE Spectrum
- More on the hysteria that AI brings: The founder of Evernote made a great point about why AI (probably) won’t kill us all – Vox
- Ignore most AI hysteria, but do read this: What does it mean for an algorithm to be fair? | Math ∩ Programming
- Want to whip up a quick mobile app? Consider: Mobile App Builder – new service now available – Bluemix Blog
- For power users, there’s: How to create an insane multiple monitor setup with three, four, or more displays | PCWorld
- Need virtual images? Take a look at this: Images | VirtualBoxes – Free VirtualBox® Images
- For hardcore WAS users, this is helpful: Installing optional Java 7.x on WebSphere Application Server 8.5 (Application Integration Middleware Support Blog)
- A classic. Anyone tuning WAS needs this: Case study: Tuning WebSphere Application Server V7 and V8 for performance
- Want to learn Python? Write your own Twitter client? Or do both? Then there’s this: How To Build a Twitter “Hello World” Web App in Python | ProgrammableWeb
- More on programming Twitter: How To Use The Twitter API To Find Events | ProgrammableWeb
- Nice little project to try, here: Create a mobile-friendly to-do list app with PHP, jQuery Mobile, and Google Tasks
- Creating Simple Responsive HTML5 and PHP Contact Form | Future Tutorials
- Setting up a Linux system? Then you want to read this: Most secure way to partition linux? – Information Security Stack Exchange
- Want to learn Linux? This is essential! IBM developerWorks : Technical library concerning Learning Linux
- If you are doing performance work on Unix, you will likely use vmstat. Even if you know vmstat, this is good to review: What to look for in vmstat – UNIX vmstat command
- Wow! OS/2 is still alive! OS/2: Blue Lion to be the next distro of the 28-year-old – Yahoo Finance
- Talk about old tech! This makes OS/2 seem fresh! It’s Insane that New York’s Subway Still Runs on This 80-Year-Old Switchboard | Motherboard
- I was doing some work on Netscaler and found this useful in comparing the set up of one Netscaler config with another: Export Netscaler Config – NetScaler Application Delivery – Discussions. This is also useful: Netscaler 9 Cheat Sheet.doc – netscaler9cheatsheet.pdf
- I thought this was a good development for everyone interested in Node: IBM Buys StrongLoop To Add Node.js API Development To Its Cloud Platform | TechCrunch
- Alot has changed with IBM’s OpenPOWER. Forbes gets you up to date, here: IBM’s OpenPOWER: A Lot Has Changed In Two Years – Forbes
- Cool stuff here: Access your Docker-based Raspberry Pi at home from the internet · Docker Pirates ARMed with explosive stuff
- I was using Perl scripts on Linux to send me messages to my mobile device via Pushover. This was good for that: pushover Archives – Perl Hacks
- I was also using WinSCP for that and this helped: Scripting and Task Automation :: WinSCP
- For all those trying to succeed in IT but feeling you are running into ceiling, you should read this: Tech’s Enduring Great-Man Myth or this When It Comes to Age Bias, Tech Companies Don’t Even Bother to Lie | Dan Lyons | LinkedIn
- Linus Torvalds is always interesting, and this is especially good: Linux at 25: Q&A With Linus Torvalds – IEEE Spectrum
- Very cool! Particle | Build your Internet of Things
- And finally some links to good stuff on UML online: Multi-layered web architecture UML package diagram example, web layer depends on business layer, which depends on data access layer and data transfer objects.
Posted in cool, IT
Tagged AI, IT, Linux, netscaler, OS2, performance, PHP, Prolog, Python, SoftLayer, twitter, WebSphere
This is a wonderful interactive chart that shows you how worthwhile (or worthless) certain supplements are, based on evidence (as opposed to anecdote or worse): Snake Oil Supplements from Information is Beautiful.
If you are a fan of a certain supplement, you can use this chart to discover what it is good for. And if you have a certain health concern, you can use the chart to determine what may work and what’s a waste of money.
If you like this, check out more of the charts on the information is beautiful site. They have lots of good charts.
I find this ad powerful. And very inspiring. It’s from the past London Paralympics and if you need a jolt of motivation to help you get going on your workout, check it out:
Here are two interesting pieces of innovative things people have done with Minecraft. The first one, New Minecraft Mod Teaches You Code as You Play, is a novel way to learn how to code. If you have a young one who loves Minecraft and whom you want to learn how to code, this may be a good way to do this. The second one is an amazing story found on Reddit: My experiences with running a Minecraft Server on an IBM Mainframe.
I was amazed he managed to get it to run, albeit slowly. Needless to say, a Mainframe is not an ideal platform for this software. Still, that he did get it to run is a testament to his ingenuity and also the flexibility of Minecraft and the IBM Mainframe.
It’s not a hoax: there is a gargoyle on a 13th century abbey that looks like something out of Alien. Seems the old gargoyles were falling apart and artisans were recently brought in to make new ones…and well, someone took a few liberties.
All of the new beasts attached to the abbey are excellent. You can see more of them, and more of the story, here: ‘Alien’ gargoyle on ancient abbey from BBC News
These paper sculptures by Wolfram Kampffmeyer (aka Paperwolf) are gorgeous. You buy them and make them yourself. Simply go to Etsy, here, and order a from a range of different animals, sizes, and prices. Great gift idea, too.
If you want to see more of them, you can also check them out here: DIY Geometric Paper Animal Sculptures by Paperwolf. Not surprisingly, from Colossal.
This post, 12 Creative Ways To Use Floor Tile from Design Milk, has some beautiful and imaginative uses of floor tiles. The one above is one of my favorite, but all of them are great.
There was a lot of scoffing when Apple recently released this
and claimed the colour was rose gold. It’s pink, was the common reply. But as this piece shows ( The Semiotics of “Rose Gold” – The New Yorker), rose gold is a specific material. It refers to an alloy of gold to which copper has been added. For that matter, white gold, which is an alloy with nickel or manganese, is also a specific material. Jewelers know this, of course, and Apple is smart to associate with the metal (gold) vs the colour.
The New Yorker piece is fascinating. Worth reading, especially if you are skeptical about the colour.