July 9, 2014
Chad Valley Tin Globe
From the website:
Vintage tin globe made by Chad Valley in the 1950s.
There is a mark — "Appointed by Queen Mother" — on the globe.
In 1938 Chad Valley were granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment as Toymakers to Her Majesty the Queen.
Height: 25 cm.
Diameter of base: 19 cm.
Made in England.
Wim Wenders reveals his rules of cinema perfection
From Open Culture:
Does Wim Wenders, one of my favorite directors, make perfect films? Hardly — and therein, at least for me, lies the appeal. Perfection strikes me as a singularly uninteresting goal for art, and Wenders has made some of the most interesting pieces of motion picture art going for the past thirty years: Wings of Desire; Paris, Texas; Notebook on Cities and Clothes; Tokyo-Ga. Perhaps, it occurs to me, he has achieved his own kind of very specific, inimitable perfection. But if you seek to imitate it nevertheless, have a look at “Wim Wenders’ Rules of Cinema Perfection” above. In this video (actually a kind of spot for Stella Artois, a brand with which the auteur has worked before), we see humorously revealed several of Wenders’ best filmmaking practices: “You need a good title from the beginning,” “Continuity is clearly overrated,” “Try to welcome and incorporate” the unexpected, and “If you like football, don’t shoot during the world championship.”
If you’ve done your reading on Wenders, you can probably tell that the clip draws from a published list of the director’s “50 Golden Rules of Filmmaking.” Other helpful recommendations include “Before you say ‘cut,’ wait five more seconds,” “A ‘beautiful image’ can very well be the worst thing that can happen to a scene,” and “There are no rules.” Will following these if-n0t-rules-then-guidelines turn you into the next Wim Wenders? Unlikely. Will drinking Stella Artois do it? Certainly not. But it could hurt none of us, whatever our creative endeavor of choice, to emulate his willingness on display here to learn from his mistakes (based on his list, I’d say he’s taken his share of hard knocks hiring couples, adapting novels, and working with animals); to share his wisdom; and (maybe most importantly of all) to learn not to take ourselves too seriously. Sure, his detractors tend to accuse him of pretentiousness, but we true fans (who pay close attention even to his commercial acting gigs) know the truth.
"Fuji on the Rock" Ice Maker
"Makes an ice cube resembling Mount Fuji, with a transparent base and frosty tip of snow at the top."
[via The Green Head]
The Writing of Stones (38)
July 8, 2014
"Livadia," a yacht used by the Russian Tsar
Masunaga Wink Glasses — Anti-sleep blink sensor lens
Almost more than I can wrap my head around.
From the website:
Get sleepy at work? Need to stay awake and get things done? Well, there's another way to help you burn the midnight oil (or just stave off that post-lunch afternoon drowsiness) with the Masunaga Wink Glasses, now available again and finally here for overseas shipping. These clever specs can detect when you haven't blinked in five seconds and fog up one of the lens.
This simple function will then "jolt" the eyes and make them focus, thus waking you up before you drop off fully. Men blink once every three seconds; women once every four seconds. So any longer than this and you are slowing down, which generally means you are getting sleepy. Don't let yourself fall asleep at your desk again! This set of glasses and frames is compact and lightweight, and powered by a USB and/or battery that can go for eight hours.
Weight: 5.8g (0.2 oz) (glasses); 1.4g (0.04 oz) (battery case)
How an acoustic guitar works
Micromuff — "Reduce wind noise on camera microphones"
Reviewed by Dan Beale-Cocks on Cool Tools as follows.
I use a small camera (Cisco Flip) to take video. It's great for what I do, except small amounts of wind cause a lot of noise.
That's where Micromuff helps. You have a small Velcro patch that glues to your camera, and a wind muff that attaches to the Velcro. I've been using MicroMuff Original for about six months, and it's brilliant. I can hear people talking, not wind blowing.
I don't think there’s anything similar, unless you're going for professional external microphones and "proper" wind muffs. But even then this is handy because it makes syncing audio easier.
The Writing of Stones (37)
July 7, 2014
All about Kevlar
What are they?
Answer here this time tomorrow.
Hint: smaller than a bread box.
Another: meant for everyday use.
Once upon a time, when prizes were things you really wanted...
I wonder what year this came out....
[via I Live in a Retro World]
The Writing of Stones (36)
July 6, 2014
How you know it's time to move in with your neighbor