BladesUSA offers this 14.5" "fantasy knife" that really has it all: a skull with fangs, pincers, scorpionoid body-segments, a lethal-looking stinger (perfect for inadvertent self-blinding while scratching your nose), the whole package. It comes with a wall-mounted display, though why you'd ever take it off is beyond me.
Brook sez, "My cousin Max made this amazing replica out of walnut of a Campagnolo bicycle derailleur."
Reasons My Son Is Crying declared the
CTA Digital 2-in-1 iPotty with Activity Seat for iPad
to be the worst toy of 2013. Mark called it last February, proving that he is, always, ahead of the curve on toilet-related mobile device technology!
Under normal circumstances, I'd object to this claim -- after all, I haven't had opportunity to review all the toys introduced in 2013. But in this case, it's hard to believe that there could really be anything worse. But if the introduction of this abomination was necessary to cause the fabulous reviews on Amazon to spring forth, it was all worth it.
Scott sez, "Spotted in the January 1898 issue of The Nickell -- a poignant advertisement filled with nostalgia not just for the late 19th century -- but for the early 19th century as well.
In a half-page ad for the Graphophone, which appears to be the next step forward after Thomas Edison's phonograph, an old man listens to 'the most marvellous instrument of our age' and wistfully declares -- 'They didn't have anything like this when I was young.'
I can imagine the old guy getting all misty-eyed. I must admit I got a little misty-eyed myself."
Poignant 1898 magazine ad touts “the most marvellous instrument of our age”
The sock monkey above is called "Rooster Monkburn," and he was created by Phillis May, who makes a sells sock monkeys. When Ms May and her husband traversed the TSA checkpoint at
SEA-TAC St Louis airport, an eagle-eyed TSA operative noticed that Rooster was sporting a sub-two-inch toy pistol, which she seized, threatening to call police. Altogether, now, everyone: U! S! A! U! S! A! U! S! A!
May said the TSA agent went through the bag, through the sewing supplies and found the two-inch long pistol.
“She said ‘this is a gun,’” said May. “I said no, it’s not a gun it’s a prop for my monkey.”
“She said ‘If I held it up to your neck, you wouldn’t know if it was real or not,’ and I said ‘really?’” said May.
The TSA agent told May she would have to confiscate the tiny gun and was supposed to call the police.
“I said well go ahead,” said May. “And I said really? You’re kidding me right, and she said no it looks like a gun.”
“She took my monkey’s gun,” said May, who has retained her sense of humor.
TSA agent confiscates sock monkey's toy pistol
[Susan Wyatt/King 5 News]
(Image: Phyllis May)
Mark Hill found this Internet Radio Product Ltd-branded "Internet" radio from the late sixties in a Dutch junk-market. It's an interesting find, not least because it suggests that the official etymologies of "Internet," dating to the seventies and the Arpanet crowd, is a bit muddier than previously thought.
Was ‘Internet’ First Used For A Transistor Radio?
The Astak Neos Touchscreen Smart Display looks like a very large iPad, but it runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, has a backstand, and must be kept plugged into a wall outlet. It's got a USB port, a webcam, an SD card slot, Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth network. I set my review unit on a shelf over the kitchen sink, and it's been in heavy use ever since.
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Pure, 24-karat class—cheaper than Vertu, too! [Gold Genie via Uncrate]
The latest confection from mad steampunk sculptor and clockmaker Roger Wood is this spiffing assemblage raygun. Want.
Stuck on the perfect gift for the Mall Ninja in your life? Consider the LA Police Gear Molle Elite Tactical Christmas Stocking -- nothing says militarized, institutional corruption like LAPD milspec on the mantlepiece!
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Jane from Sugru writes, "We've just announced Sugru's first ever kit - Make Things Magnetic.
Magnets are f***ing awesome! and Sugru's new best friend - sorry LEGO, it's not you, it's us. Once you attach something you love with Sugru and these magnets - you'll never want to go back.
Attach anything to anything with Sugru + magnets!"
I love Sugru, and now carry a couple pouches of it with me all the time. I can't even count the number of things I've fixed or improved with the long-lasting, super-adhesive, versatile air-drying polymer (most recently, a dashboard mount for my phone while I was in LA for a couple weeks). I have often combined Sugru with small rare-earth magnets in just this way, but the kit looks very handy.
Attach anything to anything with Sugru + magnets!
Tim sez, "WindFire Designs Circle Tools are made for beautiful circles. Specifically designed for countless uses, they provide elegant and precise utility. Graceful progressions of sizes in curated sets of circles find a balance of scale between the maker, the studio, and the work. Unlike many products these days, they have zero built-in obsolescence. Instead, like a truly great tool, they are archival objects that will get used by today's makers, and, at least in our imagination, they will be passed down through many generations. In response to the most common request, we are releasing a new larger model, the CTØ11. These are tools that we made because we needed them ourselves. They are hand-finished here in our studio in small batches, and made entirely in the USA."
Circles are hot. Stainless steel is cool
I received the new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, and spent a couple of days putting the camera through its paces around Manhattan. Note that this is not a DSLR. There is no still component. It's a straight up video camera for someone who has a post-production workflow.
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The China National Space Administration has launched Chang'e 3, a plutonium-powered lunar lander on-board a 185-foot-tall Long March 3B rocket. The lander is on a four-day trajectory for the lunar surface, and will brake and enter lunar orbit on December 6th. It is scheduled to land on December 14th, in the Bay of Rainbows (Sinus Iridum). The rover masses 140kg, with nuclear heaters to keep systems alive during the two-week-long lunar nights, and will use radar to probe the lunascape as it roves during its mission. It is also outfitted with high-resolution panoramic cameras and telescopes. The Chinese space program's stated goal is to establish a space-station and autonomous landers that can return to Earth with samples.
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Jeff Bezos took to 60 Minutes to announce Prime Air, a drone-based 30-minute delivery system for densely populated areas that comes with its own video design-fiction illustrating how it might work. The vision is an exciting one, but the designfic elides some important questions like the regulatory framework under which thousands (millions?) of drones might share the sky as businesses compete to do airborne delivery; whether that framework would be sufficient to actually maintain public safety (hello midair drone collision over a busy highway with attendant plummeting shrapnel into the path of speeding cars!); and what the energy and carbon footprint of drones would be, especially with comparison to conventional delivery logistics.
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