Just a sampling of some interesting tabs I have open right now.
1. Beautiful images of the thousands of new species recently discovered on a little island in the Republic of Vanatu.
2. A 2700-year-old marijuana stash has been discovered.
3. Gorgeous 1800s toolchest. Wow! It was made by a piano- and organ-maker named Studley, to hold everything the traveling organ-tuner might ever need.
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Also, those little robot keychain-charms for sale on the same page are incredibly similar to little robot keychain-charm, which my girlfriend gave me as a present. See:
Relatedly, I need a new watch, but, as usual, it’s going to be something of a quest to find one. It has to be: a) relatively inexpensive, b) awesome, and c) as ethical as possible (no new leather, by a small company if possible, etc.).
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Each bowl is handmade using only locally reclaimed trees of all varieties (fallen or cut down due to infrastructure, re-landscaping, droughts, or stormy weather). The trees are hand selected, gathered, turned and finished by Loyal Loot Collective and local crafts people. Log Bowls come in a large variety of colors and are completed by hand with a water-based, furniture grade finish.
They’re the work of one Doha Chebib.
Take a look at this beautiful collection of images of old mechanical calculators. The first half or so is all about the wonderful Curta, which we’ve talked about here before. The post goes on to feature clunking Soviet arithmometers, which look sort of like a cross between a typewriter and a sewing machine. They are winsome and fascinating, although they were used for evil.
You can see more of the arithmometers here.
I wish we still used machines like these, for more or less the same reasons I’m put off by digital photography: we have succeeded in our ruthless quest to make everything constantly faster and cheaper, but along the way we’ve lost a lot elegance, thoughtfulness, tangibility.
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Two wonderful things, which happen to illustrate the complementary natures of MAKE and CRAFT.
Item two: make your own adorable mushroom friend from felt scraps (via CRAFT). Like Toad from Mario, but tangible!
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Now if only I could figure out how to buy the damn things.
Permalink Comments Off on The Retroscope, And So Much More
Two collections to view at OObject:
First, medical manikins. I vote the ones with braces as the creepiest.
Secondly, and more wondrous, these gorgeous pocket sundials. I especially lust for ownership of items 2 and 3.
Just a few neat things I’ve seen around the ‘sphere lately.
And a Soviet gas mask that looks just like something out of The City of Lost Children.
French architect Jean-Marie Massaud is working on an ambitious solution to the problem of increased prices of plane fuel and the carbon dioxide pollution resultant of flying. And his solution is beautiful, if unlikely-sounding.
Though the logistics of building his magical whale-shaped wind-riding zeppelin, named the Manned Cloud, are not clearly defined, the New York Times reports that the necessary technology for the floating airship is underway elsewhere and has been for a while.
But not all projects are as fanciful as Mr. Massaud’s. For example, a French technology start-up, Aerospace Adour Technologies, is working with the French post office to study the feasibility of transporting parcels by dirigible. Also in France, Theolia, a company specializing in renewable energy, is financing a dirigible, and plans a test flight across the Atlantic.
In Germany, Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei, the successor to the operator of the Hindenburg, has had success with a new generation of airship it uses to transport sightseers and scientific payloads.
The trend is not entirely new. Zeppelin-Reederei carried 12,000 passengers on sightseeing tours over southern Germany last year. Aerophile, a French company that revived tethered balloons, which compete with dirigibles as carriers of passengers, advertising and scientific instruments, was founded by two young French engineers in 1993.
There is question about the economic sense and practical possibility of widened airship implementation, and critics of the machines’ dependability. But, Massaud believes, those questions will be answered as the environmental and oil crises worsen.