February 22, 2017
"There are several different ways to tie a necktie"
Understatement of the year.
Etch A Sketch LCD — Aiieeeeeeeee!!!!
From The Verge:
Remember Etch A Sketch?
Remember spending hours honing your fine motor skills turning the knobs and dials, trying to perfect tracing over the lines?
Remember never letting anyone into your room again after your neighbor's kid accidentally kicked your Etch A Sketch across the floor and destroyed your masterpiece?
The Etch A Sketch was an exercise in patience, character-building, and hand-eye coordination.
Today's kids won't get to experience any of that with the latest collaboration from Spin Master (the company that acquired Etch A Sketch in 2016) and BoogieBoard: the Etch A Sketch Freestyle (top).
It's half the fun of the classic Etch A Sketch, with none of the effort.
Etch A Sketch Freestyle eliminates the aluminum powder and replaces it with a black LCD screen, on which kids can then use a stylus to draw rainbow lines.
So what are the white knobs in the corners for?
They control stamps that make shapes on the LCD screen.
The only feature that remains the same as the classic toy is the shake-to-erase functionality — what is the point?
Available for $20 in the fall.
February 21, 2017
Cockeyed Squid: What big [and passing strange] eyes you have
Histioteuthis heteropsis, the strawberry squid, gets its common name from the berry-like appearance of its bright-red body speckled with numerous luminescent photophores.
This animal is also called the cockeyed squid due to a remarkable eye dimorphism.
The left eye of the adult squid can measure more than twice the diameter of the right eye, a curious trait not known in any other family of bilaterally symmetrical animal.
In its natural habitat, Histioteuthis is almost always observed in an oblique position with the larger eye facing slightly upward and the smaller eye facing slightly downward.
Researchers believe the large eye with its yellow lens is specialized for breaking the counterillumination (a camouflaging technique) of prey items in the water column above the squid, while the small eye is specialized for picking up bioluminescent flashes from predators or prey items down below.
Researchers have observed the cockeyed squid in the midwater region at depths of 900-3000 feet.
They eat shrimp, fish, and even other squid: in turn, they make a tasty meal for larger squid and fishes.
00:00 The red mantle is dotted with bioluminescent photophores creating a strawberry-like pattern.
00:11 Small right eye and large left eye with a yellow lens.
00:23 Close up of dimorphic eyes.
00:32 'J-pose' and 'straight-arms' postures.
00:54 'Ratcheting' behavior.
This video was posted to accompany this recent publication on the behavior and bizarre eyes of this squid:
Two eyes for two purposes: In situ evidence for asymmetric vision in the cockeyed squids Histioteuthis heteropsis and Stigmatoteuthis dofleini. Kate Thomas, Bruce Robison, and Sönke Johnsen. Philosophical Transactions B, Feb. 13, 2017. DOI: # 10.1098/rstb.2016.0069
Periodic Table Stationary Tape
From the website:
Our chemistry washi tape is finally here.
Its one-inch width is perfect for cutting lengthwise and doubling its 16-foot length (it's... elementary).
Note: Not all element symbols are on the tape as it is comprised of a repeating pattern of some 34 elements.
To make the element symbols stand out as boldly as possible, use the tape on a white background.
Materials: cotton, rice paper, paper
Grey, Black, or Pink: $5.16 (stationary not included).
February 20, 2017
Submarine Cable Map of the World
I wonder who you're supposed to call before you dig.
Plenty of options....
Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 — Vacheron Constantin's New Million-Dollar Baby
From The Atlantic:
The Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin recently announced a new watch with a remarkable mechanical movement with 23 complications (above and below).
It took five years to develop: only one exists.
The mechanism contains 514 components and is 8.7mm thick.
In addition to such matters as the perpetual date, the device is geared to track, in part: the Earth's elliptical orbit, solar time, the zodiac, solstices and equinoxes, tide levels, the position of the sun, and the night sky in the Northern Hemisphere.
Dubbed Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600, it is encased in 18 karat white gold, and can be had for $1 million.
February 19, 2017
Color Shifting Hair
bookofjoe's Favorite Thing: Cable Clip
Not just any cable clip, mind you: the Beluga brand iteration pictured herein.
What's to like:
• they work
• they stay put
• a buck each isn't bad
• like in the Rolling Stones song they come in colors
• they're relatively small, unobtrusive and low-profile
• when you remove them, half the thickness of the surface they were adherent to doesn't come off
White, black, or assorted colors: Eight for $7.99 (cables, cords, and wires — and the devices they connect to — not included).
Hey, wait a sec — what's that music I'm hearing?
February 18, 2017
Homer's Iliad — Map of Where the Characters Come From
This is a Wikimedia map showing where all of the characters originated in Homer's epic poem "The Iliad."
I know Greece is small by today's standards, but it was surprising to me how geographically widespread the hometowns of the characters were.
"The Iliad" is set sometime in the 11th or 12th century BCE, about 400 years before Homer lived.
I wonder if that level of mobility was accurate for the time or if Homer simply populated his poem with folks from all over Greece as a way of making listeners from many areas feel connected to the story.
Update: I've gotten lots of feedback saying that not every character is represented in this map (particularly women) and that some of the locations and hometowns are incorrect.
Wikimedia might need to take a second look at it.
Long story short: this projector lets you trace any smartphone photo.
[via The Verge]
$75 (smartphone not included).
February 17, 2017
Inconstant Moon: The Moon at Perigee and Apogee
Got Air Pollution? Face Masks Are The New Black
You can too!
Apply within (limited-edition: you snooze, you inhale, you die. Fair warning).
February 16, 2017
7 More Dwarfs — Benjamin Schwartz
Beauty Lift High Nose Extra
From the website:
One of our all-time hit products is back in an enhanced model.
The Beauty Lift High Nose Extra allows you to shape and improve the look of your nose without the need for expensive or painful surgery.
Just wear this gadget over your nose for around three minutes a day.
The gentle vibrations from the inside and outside will help to raise your nose and adjust the way you look.
Now larger and improved, the Beauty Lift High Nose Extra is the easy answer to your facial worries and can be worn while you watch TV, read, or go about your life at home.
Features and Details:
• Recommended use time: three minutes per day
• CR2032 battery
• Made in Japan
• 2" x 2.6" x 3"
• ABS plastic
February 15, 2017
200 countries x 200 years — in 4 minutes
Hans Rosling's famous lectures combine enormous quantities of public data with a sport's commentator's style to reveal the story of the world's past, present and future development.
Now he explores stats in a way he has never done before — using augmented reality animation.
In this spectacular section of "The Joy of Stats" he tells the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years using 120,000 numbers — in just four minutes.
Plotting life expectancy against income for every country since 1810, Hans shows how the world we live in is radically different from the world most of us imagine.
Rosling died last week at the age of 68.