Pop Chart Lab was founded in 2010 by a book editor and a designer, with the modest goal of rendering all of human experience in chart form. Since then they’ve charted a wide array of cultural touchstones. A Visual Guide to Drink is Pop Chart Lab’s comprehensive volume of its most important topics in graphical form: beer, wine, and spirits.
Containing everything from the many varieties of beer and the vessels from which to drink them, to cocktails of choice in film and literature, A Visual Guide to Drink maps, graphs, and charts the history, geography, and culture of the world’s very favorite pastime. The domestic beer-drinking novice and whisk(e)y aficionado alike will relish this perfectly practical primer awash in essentials like charted cocktail recipes, a breakdown of brewing processes, and extensive maps of the world’s wine region in Pop Chart Lab’s trademark clean and elegant design.
The definitive guide to informative imbibing, A Visual Guide to Drink is a fun, functional, and beautiful concoction of data and design that is sure to inspire delight in readers (and drinkers) everywhere. Read the rest
Hilarious and silly, A Book of Surrealist Games is a fantastic introduction to the surrealist mind-set. In addition to just being fun to peruse, this collection of written, visual and verbal games is great for exercising your mind, and staying creative.
In addition to the games, this oddly organized book is packed with poems, illustrations and stories. While a bit dated, it is a wonderfully nostalgic tour of the spirit of surrealism.
Some of the game directions are vague, and the images may not be the best, but I've had a lot of fun with this book over the years. Exquisite Corpse is one I'd expect to see our Boing Boing forums make good use of.
A Book of Surrealist Games by Alastair Brotchie Read the rest
I've never understood the need for an advent calendar, as if children needed help remembering Christmas. As my daughter celebrates the gift giving traditions of several cultures, however, I'm left looking for a happy middle ground.
We will both enjoy 24 days of Star Wars surprises.
This LEGO Star Wars calendar promises to include some minifigs, space craft and some holiday themed droids. I'd love to see C1-10P in an ugly sweater.
2015 LEGO Star Wars 75097 Advent Calendar Building Kit Read the rest
It took 40 years for someone to make a motorcycle that looks nearly as pretty as BMW's R90s. Enter Triumph's 2016 Thruxton R!
What do I find most exciting about these new Triumph models? I like the dual disc brakes up front. That sexy fairing and sleek seat are deliciously re-envisioned '70s styling, but Triumph excels at making motorcycles that are fun to ride! You'll want the extra stopping power, as they also make bikes that are heavy, and usually come stock with terrible suspensions. My reliable bike is a 2013 Scrambler, I've "had to" modify it quite a bit.
If the new entries in Triumph's modern classic line are anything like the old, there will be a wealth of aftermarket parts and mods available for these as well. Sadly, I believe this generation of the Bonnieville sees the end of air/oil cooling and introduces liquid to the equation. Perhaps you should let someone else can buy the first years model.
More photos and details from Xtremebikes.es:
Look at the new Triumph Thruxtons, and you see thoroughly updated modern classics, machines that embrace the appearance and aesthetics of café racers that were new a half-century ago. But if you look hard enough, you can also see something else: The new Triumph Motorcycles Ltd, John Bloor’s Triumph, embracing the heritage of the defunct Triumph Engineering Company, the original Triumph, in a way that it has never done before.
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Nick Cole's novels are hard to put down, and as usual I read straight through The End of the World as We Knew It. This story is reminiscent of his stellar, post-apocalyptic Wasteland saga, as it introduces us to the civilization that replaced ours, several generations down the line, after a zombie apocalypse wipes us out.
Cole's new society reveres and seeks to preserve the past. Through three of recorded stories of survivors, two as society fell, and one as humanity achieves victory over the undead, we see that humankind might have been worth fighting for.
The characters are deep and grab you right away. Every page results in a surprise, new information, or fantastic action as this fast paced adventure takes off and doesn't stop til you are done. Cole's imagery is vivid and sets an emotional atmosphere as well, be prepared to be tired out if your tear through the novel in one sitting, like I did.
The End of the World as We Knew It is free via available on Kindle Unlimited Read the rest
Expensive fountain pens are lovely, but I want to cry when I lose them. This $15 Metropolitan by Pilot does a nice job of bridging that gap.
The weight of its brass barrel gives the Metropolitan a feeling of gravitas. I am using the, impressively for a $15 pen, included converter to fill the pen with Noodler's Heart of Darkness, and the pen flows smoothly. The fine stainless steel nib a pleasure. Overall construction is exactly what I expect from a Pilot pen, it is quite pretty. You may also fill it with a standard Pilot cartridge.
As a first fountain pen, or just one you won't terribly mind losing, I highly recommend the Pilot Metropolitan.
Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen via Amazon Read the rest
The lack of a universal charging cable is one of my biggest gripes as an iPhone user.
I never have there right combination of chargers and connectors with me on any given trip, so this $9 dual charging cable is a real boon.
Charging is easy. iTune recognizes my iPhone when I plug it in, GoPros mount instantly. The zipper for managing the loose cable ends is a pretty good idea and saves me from headphone-like tangles. All in all, I am getting everything I want out of the cable.
Charging 2 devices at once via my MacBook Air is not the fastest thing on earth, but that may be more a function of the port and then cable. I'll try it with a high speed charging port soon!
TOTOP IPhone 6 Cable, 2-in-1 USB Nylon Braided 2.0 Cable Zipper, 8 Pin Micro USB Cable via Amazon Read the rest
For years seeing a Torx head, that starry topped bolt of frustration, gave me pause.
I always seemed to be missing the right size Torx wrench! If I had the right size, it lacked the security dimple. This 13 piece Torx set is my solution.
Home electronics frequently want the T6-T8 stuff. Security bolts on my personalized license plates are in the T40-T50 range. Torx keys, or wrenches, are something I use just frequently enough to have been buying, and losing individually. This set has already saved me several trips to the hardware store.
The chrome plated ends are resisting the sea air out here very nicely, and even after a year or two, the set looks new. The long length of the handles on the keys comes in very handy, allowing you to reach many of the deepest-set screws by electronics companies. The grippy material is grippy. The holding case keeps them organized and allows me to resist the urge to just keep a key or two in my desk's pencil tray (there is a T6 there from a solo tool run years ago.)
No longer does seeing a Torx head make me sigh.
Included in the set are sizes: T6, T7, T8, T9, T10, T15, T20, T25, T27, T30, T40, T45, and T50. The ends are dimpled for security screws.
Titan 12715 Extra-Long Arm Tamper Resistant Star Key Set - 13 Piece via Amazon Read the rest
Using a whisk makes for better beaten eggs, hot chocolate, and the list goes on. I avoided using my wire whisks because the cleaning was always a bit more trouble than I cared for. Having been introduced to the kitchen wonder that is silicone, I am now happily whisking away.
For $13 lucky dollars this simple set of 4 whisks, 2 larger and 2 smaller, can not be beat. They simple rinse off under hot water. If I've used them on something more sticky, they don't take much effort to clean. They also successfully come clean in the dishwasher's utensil tray, my wire whisks do not.
Silicone Coated Wire Whisk with Stainless Steel Handles, Set of 4, Colorful via Amazon Read the rest
I am frequently asked about this beautiful telescope! People think it is a bong! The Edmund Scientific Astroscan sits in the center of my living room coffee table.
I have heard astronomy buffs screech like wounded monkeys at the idea of my actually using this telescope to view the skies. I'm no celestial connoisseur, and this beautiful post-modern masterpiece offers me all I need in an at-home or camping telescope. Screw telling you about the optics, how much magnification it offers (variable based on your eyepiece,) or any other technical data! Here is the important thing:
I love how it looks!
Several years ago, I asked Mark what telescope he'd recommend. He sent me a picture of this one and I bought it immediately. Only later did I find out he just liked how it looked, neither of us did a bit of research on its utility as a functional sky viewing telescope.
Honestly, it is fine. Here is a great video that'll tell you more than you need to know:
If you'd like to find an AstroScan, try eBay! Mine is a lovely, functional conversation piece. Do not attempt to use it as a water pipe.
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Everything in my home is looking at me! You'd be surprised, when you have a bag of 500 googly eyes, what they get glued to!
This is a bargain price for an art supply my daughter loves having around. I doubt I'll ever need a second bag, but if I do $2.99 is really not a problem.
These eyes do not have an adhesive backing! You will need to glue them to things. Glue Stick works well for the 8 year old, and makes it easier to remove them from odd places.
It is a lot of fun sticking eyes in weird places.
Watch them wiggle eyes, Black(500 PIECES) - BULK via Amazon Read the rest
I thought it would be impossible for an eBook to inspire me to get me working on a watch.
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My daughter loves Minions and she loves Star Wars. It is no surprise she insisted on having these figures.
At $33 shipped, this is the cheapest set I could find. It appears there are a bunch of knock-offs available on the interwebs. If you want a collectable set, I am fairly sure these are not they.
4PCS Minions Star Wars Despicable Me Darth Vader Maul Trooper Cos Action Figure Toys via Amazon Read the rest
As I continue to search for a Halloween costume, I thought the kids might be more familiar with a Minecraft creeper!
A couple years back, Cory shared this DIY creeper costume. I don't have that level of commitment, but for $13 this might be a lot easier to wear than the Stay Puft Marshmallow man I've been considering.
My daughter finds minecraft a bit tough, I'm told its the version she is playing and I/we should try another. I wonder if she'll enjoy this...
Minecraft Box Heads, Creeper via Amazon Read the rest
Oh, Nemo! My Great Pyrenees is going to look great! He'll be wearing this Bantha costume as we wander the entire .4 of a mile that is our neighborhood designated trick-or-treating run.
I wish there was a Tauntaun.
Rubies Costume Company Star Wars Bantha for Pets via Amazon Read the rest
This peppermill is really great. Not something I replace more than once a decade, I wanted a grinder that stood out and was fun. I've had a set of Shaker style ones, purchased in my late 20s, that just needed to go.
This Rocket is looks great. Standing at 14" tall this grinder is certainly part of the conversation. The Rocket feels well made, has adjustable coarseness and grinds pepper.
Potential buyers will be happy to know the fins appear slotted in, and unlikely to break off. They appear to be the weak link in the design. If a tip breaks, you can easily re-level the rocket with a few cuts.
Suck UK Salt and Pepper Rocket Mill, Brown via Amazon Read the rest
For taking notes, sketches and generally just having paper with me that works well with my fountain pens, I've been using Fabriano's EcoQua notebooks.
The dot-ruled, staple bound sheets of 85gsm off-white paper work fantastically with my my favorite pens and inks. There is nearly zero bleed through or feathering, and ink dries fast. My favorite Noodler's bulletproof black and red-black are both bold and bright, though the red-black becomes distinctively more red.
I really the dot-ruled paper. It is a more subtle version of quad-ruled graphing paper, but helps me sketch and draw out ideas.
There is a lot of marketing hullabaloo over the environmentally friendly nature of these notebooks. I find this ironic, as we start with killing a tree, but appreciate it regardless.
Ecoqua Dot Notebook 5.8X8.25 Navy via Amazon Read the rest