Tag Archives: cool

If the pandemic has you down, watch: How To Be At Home

This lovely short film, How To Be At Home, by Andrea Dorfman, and provided by the National Film Board of Canada, reunites filmmaker Andrea Dorfman with poet Tanya Davis to provide timely guidance on how to get through the pandemic, and other such isolation. Highly recommended.

 

 

A digital watch that is also a classic

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.

For fans of Lego and sneakers…

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.

The perfect headphones for working at home may be these Grado’s GW100 Wireless Headphones. Here’s why…

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.

 

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WindowSwap: or how to change your view during the pandemic


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)

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Friday night music: Jimmy Fallon, the Original Hamilton Cast & The Roots Sing “Helpless” (At-Home Instruments)

Pure joy.

via Jimmy Fallon, the Original Hamilton Cast & The Roots Sing “Helpless” (At-Home Instruments) – YouTube

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Very cool: Gregorian Chant Music Generator!

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

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The Apollo 11 mission as told through the astronauts’ heart rates

This is fascinating: The Apollo 11 mission as told through the astronauts’ heart rates | Popular Science

Here’s Armstrong:

A good reminder that even the best prepared and most cool can still have elevated heart levels under stress.

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If you are serious about taking food pictures…


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.

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How to build a hydroponic garden using stuff from IKEA


Fascinating: THE BOOK – Eliooo.

 

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All the Vermeers in the World

What if your goal was to see all the Vermeer paintings in the world? There are not that many: you just need to travel a lot to do it. One person set out to do that. See Vermeer Goals for details.

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Cinephilia & Beyond on the Blade Runner Souvenir Magazine


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.

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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!

 

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A reluctant promotion of a Kickstarter project: Color Problems – A Book by Emily Noyes Vanderpoel by The Circadian Press with Sacred Bones


Despite being burned too many times by Kickstarter projects, this one seems so worthwhile I feel I must promote it: Color Problems – A Book by Emily Noyes Vanderpoel by The Circadian Press with Sacred Bones — Kickstarter. It’s a great project to recreate a classic book, and it will be a boon to many people if it gets off the ground. Anyone interested in the visual arts should check it out and contribute some way if you can.

I hope it’s successful, that the project initiators have 1) their act together 2) actually release something tangible and 3) in a timely manner that is high quality.  (Many of my recent Kickstarter projects have failed at 1, 2 and 3.)

Good luck to them.

Save money: make your own grain bowls for lunch, starting on Sunday


I think it is great that fast food courts and other eating areas have seen a rise in places serving grain bowls. They are a nutritious alternative to many other meals there.

However, they aren’t cheap, and to be honest, it’s not that hard to make your own grain bowls in 6 easy steps.

Start with this: Healthy Lunch Bento Box Ideas – Bon Appétit | Bon Appetit.

Then cook some grains, roast some vegetables, saute some greens and prepare some proteins. When you get to work, toss on the acid and the dressing and you just saved yourself some money and a trip to the food court.

Very cool. Build a Google Home for Only $35

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.

How 5 different creatures flap their wings

Fascinating: How 5 Different Creatures Flap Their Wings

A primer for Pokemon Go

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.

The beauty of when science and poetry intersect

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.)

Glitches as a design pattern for fabric

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.

It’s the weekend. You need to be inspired to exercise. Here you go

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:

How to run Minecraft on a mainframe and other cool things

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.

Something cool: an ‘Alien’ gargoyle on an ancient abbey

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

Something beautiful: DIY geometric paper animal sculptures by Paperwolf

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.

On rose gold, white gold, and gold generally

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.

 

Something beautiful: an Infinite Bridge in Denmark

This is a really beautiful bridge. It is relaxing to look at…it’s likely more so to walk upon.

For more images of it, see Infinite Bridge in Denmark – Fubiz Media

My daughter has an etsy store so of course I must promote it! :)

The link to her store is here: Light Bulb Pendant Necklace by PortalJewelry on Etsy. Please send her all your spare cash so she can get rich and take care of her Dad. 🙂

It seems only yesterday I was helping her set up a blog to write about her summer, and now this. Time flies.

Two good articles on David Hockney in the Guardian

The first one is a summary of his new show in L.A.: David Hockney unveils new works on perspective created in Los Angeles | Art and design | The Guardian.

The second one is a meaty interview: David Hockney: ‘Just because I’m cheeky, doesn’t mean I’m not serious’ | Art and design | The Guardian.

I enjoyed the interview alot: it is a great review of his career, plus it talks about many other great artists of the second part of the 20th century.

Anyone interested in modern art would enjoy both of these.

Travel posters! To Mars! From SpaceX, of course.

Travel Poster: Phobos and Deimos

 

It’s great that SpaceX has put travel posters to Mars among their other photos on flickr (SpaceX Photos | Flickr). Of the three I saw, the one above was the one I liked the best. Head over to Flickr and check out the others.

It’s fun now, but perhaps such advertisements will be less fantastical before the 22nd century.

Would you like to design your own modern chair?

With Diatom » SketchChair software, you can.

These chairs aren’t for everyone….

…but as far as cool ideas go, I think this is one of them.

Do your kids love Lego? Then you may want Pley, a Netflix for Lego

Pley is a cool idea and much like Netflix is. You subscribe to the service, you get a new Lego kit. Once you build it and enjoy it for awhile, you send it back and they send you another one. Your kid always has new kits to build, and you avoid having their room fill up with Lego.

For more on this, check out: Cool Tools – Pley.

Would you like to create your own fabric or wallpaper? Well, now you can.

Head over here: Spoonflower: Shop, design custom fabric, wallpaper & gift wrap and you can see how you can take your own images and designs, have Spoonflower print it, and send it off to you. Very cool.

8-bit popup cards: the perfect project for gamers/nerds/etc.

Not only are these cards cool, but if you go to this link, 8-bit popup cards | Mini-eco, you can learn how to make them yourself!

The elegance of (some) IKEA furniture

Domaine makes the case on this page and here on this one .

Can you spot the IKEA in this photo?

How about in this one?

Of course, it’s the composition and layout of all the furnishings in the room (and the room itself) that makes the spaces look great. However, you can also see the IKEA pieces, as the centerpieces, more than hold their own.

10 historic photographs an instant earlier

This is fascinating: 10 historic photographs an instant earlier.

If you immediately see in your mind the photo that comes after this one….

…then head on over to that site.

It’s Monday. You need inspiration. Here’s Yves Rossy flying around Mt. Fuji using a jetpack

So for those of you who say, “Hey! We were promised jetpacks!”…well, like the future, they are hear but just not evenly distributed.

For this videos  and more on this, go here: This Man Flew Over Mt. Fuji on a Real-Life Jetpack, and It’s Absolutely Breathtaking – Mic.

Want to see the 15 Best Drone Photos of 2014? Of course you do :)

There’s some great photos at the link below, but my favorite may be this one:

You can actually see the shadow of the drone on the eagle’s wing.
The rest are here: The 15 Best Drone Photos of 2014.

If you need an early winter pick me up, here’s a 1 minute video of a crow snowboarding

It’s no fluke: if you watch the whole thing, you can see he is into it!

Crows are remarkable. Via YouTube and  someone on twitter….I can’t remember who though. Thanks, whomever you are!

You too can be like Elon Musk (@elonmusk) and fund a lunar mission

Really. There is a kickstarter going on right now you can contribute to: LUNAR MISSION ONE: A new lunar mission for everyone. by Lunar Missions Ltd 

The team there says….

We plan to send an unmanned robotic landing module to the South Pole of the Moon – an area unexplored by previous missions.

We’re going to use pioneering technology to drill down to a depth of at least 20m – 10 times deeper than has ever been drilled before – and potentially as deep as 100m. By doing this, we will access lunar rock dating back up to 4.5 billion years to discover the geological composition of the Moon, the ancient relationship it shares with our planet and the effects of asteroid bombardment. Ultimately, the project will improve scientific understanding of the early solar system, the formation of our planet and the Moon, and the conditions that initiated life on Earth.

I think this is the most fantastic Internet project I have seen yet. I highly recommend you check it out.

Thanks to Kottke for pointing it out.

Need a gift for a child? Consider the Kano computer


I am a big fan of the Raspberry Pi. And I think there is no better way to learn about computers and take your knowledge to a deeper level than building your own computer. The folks at Kano must agree, because they have put together this kit than combines the Pi with everything the owner needs to build a workable and very useful computer. Now you can buy all these things separately, but this kit saves you time and makes up for any lack of knowledge you might have in this area.

You will still need to have a display device to connect to it. Preferably this will be a HDMI device, though it is possible to hook it up to a non-HDMI device. (See here for details.)

For more on the Kano, go here: Kano – Make a Computer.

One of the best style guides for men can be found ….

Here: Garb, from Uncrate.

This pix is just a sample; you can see lots more here: Garb: First Class | Uncrate. Lots of great looks and ideas. For men who are stylistically challenged, I recommend you go here and steal all the ideas you can.