The photo above depicts an alleged new Vibram golf-shoe with two-tone uppers and individual toe-pockets. It's not clear whether this is real or rumor, nor am I sure whether this is terrible or wonderful. It is one of those liminal things, all right.
Sheryl Canter's post on the science of cast-iron pan seasoning is a fascinating and practical tale of flaxseed and kitchen chemistry. It's a long process -- you need to season the pan six or so times, each time taking a couple of hours -- but the science is sound and the proof is in the hard, nonstick coating your pan will have when you're done.
In each episode of Gweek, I invite a guest or two to join me in a discussion about recommended media, apps, and gadgets. This time my guests were Janelle He￼ssig, a bay Area cartoonist and writer and the marketing director at Last Gasp Publishing, and Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein, which recounts Joshua’s yearlong quest to improve his memory under the tutelage of top "mental athletes.”
The Kudoktopus watch is the €30,000 creation of Stefan Kudoke in collaboration with Maria and Richard Habring. Out of my price range by a damned sight, but it gives me pleasure to consider a timepiece with such tentacly wonderfulness lurking within its display face.
Back in 2012, Tim Vincent-Smith inherited a pair of unserviceable upright pianos. He took these to bits, and using "nose to tail carpentry," used their every morsel to build a staircase and mezzanine in box-shaped room. The deconstruction process was an education into the craft, skill, complexity and ingenuity of piano manufacture, and the end result was a gorgeous piece that enriched the life of Vincent-Smith's client, a cellist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
When the artists at Studio Fludd were sent to a peaceful Italian island with a group of other artists, they decided to improvise a set of living tools out of random flotsam and other found objects. They took their inspiration from John Cage's aphorism that "Poor tools require better skills." The resulting tools are beautiful in a Gilligan's Island/Apollo 13 improvisation aesthetic sort of way.
Dominic Wilcox made this Bugle Alarm Clock for a window at Selfridges department store in London: "This prototype alarm clock is fitted with mini air compressor and thin vibrating rubber membrane to mimic lip vibrations."
The Brunton Torpedo charger is a light-saberoid* cigarette-lighter USB charger with an integrated battery. Use it to charge up to two devices in your car, then take it with when you go and it supplies 2800mHa of power (enough for two phone recharges) on its own. Sounds like a great travel-bag item, perfect for rental cars: charge your phone while you navigate with it in a strange town, then pocket the charger and use it to recharge halfway through the day.
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Notwithstanding the good reasons to be forgiving of CES, I still find it difficult to work up enormous enthusiasm for most gadgets, representing, as they so often do, small incremental improvements over existing technology. However, Wired's top ten CES gadgets report has two items that caught my eye and my interest: