Links (Species, Stashes, Toolboxes, Embroidery)

December 6, 2008 at 12:15 pm (art, design/gadget lust, neat things) ()

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.

4. Embloggery — a blog of hand-embroidered entries. Neat! (Via CRAFT.)

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Two Links

October 25, 2008 at 12:59 pm (art, design/gadget lust, neat things)

1. How to make a purse out of old books. (Via.) What a cool project!

2. Skull rings encasing a USB thumb drive. You can get your own here, but they’re bizarrely expensive, which is too bad — I want one.

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Clocks Should Be Adorable

October 7, 2008 at 12:53 pm (design/gadget lust, neat things)

Seriously, they should. If you doubt me, take a look at these super cute timepieces (via). They are clock-faces encases in little robot bodies.



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:

robot-charm . daisy's-charm


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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Log Bowls

September 25, 2008 at 2:12 pm (design/gadget lust, neat things) ()

Via Boing boing Gadgets, I think these bowls made of logs (you need to click “Log Bowls” in the bar across the top) are remarkably beautiful. And they’re made ethically and sustainably to boot:

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.


Very cool.

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Old Mechanical Calculators

September 7, 2008 at 10:39 am (amazing things, design/gadget lust)

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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Steampunk Bicycle, Supercute Mushroom

July 15, 2008 at 3:53 pm (amazing things, art, design/gadget lust, neat things) ()

Two wonderful things, which happen to illustrate the complementary natures of MAKE and CRAFT.

Item one: this has got to be the most beautiful bike the world (from MAKE).


Item two: make your own adorable mushroom friend from felt scraps (via CRAFT). Like Toad from Mario, but tangible!

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The Retroscope, And So Much More

July 14, 2008 at 4:43 pm (amazing things, design/gadget lust, neat things)

Check out these sweet hand-cranked movie machines (via Boing Boing Gadgets). It’s a clever fusion of the flip book and the spin reel, making for a lovely little entertainment system.

The same company makes lots of other great things, too, including a beautiful paper pop-up dollhouse and the Thaumatrope Mechanique.

Now if only I could figure out how to buy the damn things.

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Medical Manikins and Sundials

July 9, 2008 at 10:26 am (design/gadget lust, frightening things, neat things)

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.


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July 8, 2008 at 12:34 pm (art, design/gadget lust, neat things) ()

Just a few neat things I’ve seen around the ‘sphere lately.

An apparently tried and true process for reducing a green leaf down to its web of veins: how to “skeletonize” leaves (via MAKE). I’ll have to try this one sometime.

Handmade glass raygun scultptures! (Via Boing Boing.) Really cool.

And a Soviet gas mask that looks just like something out of The City of Lost Children.

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Floating Vs. Flying

July 5, 2008 at 5:10 pm (design/gadget lust, environment, neat things) ()

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.

Check out a picture of the Manned Cloud on Boing Boing.

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