Original nerd glasses from 1756 saved from trash, auctioned for $5k

This original, 300-year-old pair of nerd eyeglasses were destined for a Wellington, New Zealand landfill. Fortunately, the operators of a Wellington City Council thrift shop pulled the frames, an ancestor of Le corbusier's classic specs, from the trash and listed them for auction. The frames, a style called Martin's Margins designed in 1756 by Benjamin Martin, sold for more than $5,282. I eagerly await an Oliver Peoples knock-off. From UPI:

The winning bidder, Aaron Smylie, said he bought the glasses as a tribute to his partner, Helen Hammond, who died May 28 after a fight with cancer.

Smylie said he and Hammond would often use FaceTime to video chat, and the glasses reminded him of a screenshot he kept showing Hammond using a filter that gave her round glasses and whiskers.

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Eye exams in the United States are a scam

In many countries you can buy inexpensive eyeglasses and contact lenses without a prescription. That's not the case in the United States. In 2016 the American Optometric Association (AOA) spent $1.8 million lobbying and another $1.4 million in campaign contributions to ensure corrective lenses are expensive for Americans, and therefore highly profitable. Yascha Mounk, a contributing writer at The Atlantic, writes in his article, "The Great American Eye-Exam Scam:"

When I last went to an eye exam at a storefront optician in the United States, for example, the staff gave me the hard sell on glasses that would have cost hundreds of dollars, as well as on contact lenses that were much more expensive than identical ones sold by online retailers. Thankfully, I knew that two laws, one passed in 1997 and the other in 2003—which had, incidentally, been loudly opposed by the AOA—gave me the right to demand a copy of my prescription. I stood firm, and later went online to order perfectly fine glasses and contact lenses at a fraction of the price. But how many customers give in to heavy-handed sales tactics?

After reading this article, I ordered one of these vision checkers for $35, so I can test my vision and order eyeglasses online for a fraction of what it costs at a brick and mortar store.

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The $1.99 ruler that measures pupillary distance (so you can order eyeglasses online)

If you've ever tried to buy online eyeglasses, you'll understand why this $1.99 ruler from Eyeque is a godsend. They also sell a $29.99 kit to check your vision using your smartphone.

The simple to use EyeQue PD ruler provides you the ability to measure pupillary distance. Pupillary distance (PD) is the distance measured in millimeters between the centers of the pupils of the eyes. The PD is required to order eyeglasses.

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Mark Mothersbaugh from DEVO has a line of rad eyeglasses

DEVO's Mark Mothersbaugh has a line of fantastic spectacles for booji boys and girls. Guaranteed to help you stay focused on the smart patrol! Here's Mothersbaugh on how eyeglasses improved his vision, and his life:

I have a really bad astigmatism and extreme myopia. I could see just enough to make it around a room but kids would throw a ball, and it would hit me in the head. I was happy and just kept running around because I didn’t know that I was any different than anybody else. The teachers at school would ask me to read the board and I’d say, ‘What’s a board?’” and they’d put me in the corner. Finally they tested me, and it was like “Oh my God, he can’t see the big ‘E’ on an eye chart from 12 inches away.

So, I got glasses right before my eighth birthday, and in the car on the way home I remember seeing clouds and trees. I had never seen what the top of a tree looked like. I had never seen a roof of a house. I was stunned and excited. The next day, I was drawing pictures. I remember the teacher who had been totally frustrated with me and disciplining me every day said, “Mark, you draw trees better than me.” That was the first time a teacher had ever said anything nice. I was struck by it, because I had never had a teacher say anything positive to me in my life. And I remember that that night, I went home and had a dream that I was going to be an artist.

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What you need to know when buying glasses online

For the last 10 years, I have purchased eyeglasses online for a fraction of the price I'd have to pay at a brick-and-mortar store. I always get the same Ray-Ban Wayfarer knock-offs (above) at Optical 4 Less. They cost $29 and shipping is free when I buy two or more. There are many other online eyeglass stores, so shop around.

Today, Lifehacker has a good article on what you need to know before buying glasses online.

Pupillary distance is the distance, in millimeters, between the centers of the pupils of both eyes. It’s a crucial measurement because your lenses need to be centered on your pupils. If they aren’t, the glasses will likely cause eyestrain and make it hard for you to focus.

Your pupillary distance may be written on your prescription. If not, you can typically call whomever prescribed your glasses and ask, or simply go to your local optician’s office and see if you can get a measurement there. There may be a fee for measuring, but it isn’t likely to break the bank. You can also find plenty of online tutorials on doing this yourself, or your favorite online retailer may offer its own method for finding your PD. Warby Parker, for example, lets you submit a photo that its staff will examine to determine your proper PD.

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I can see!

Day to day, most of us don’t give much thought to our vision. We see, and life goes on. But for some it doesn’t work that way, and you can’t explain that to an infant who suffers from one of the various diseases that might make the world blurry and distorted. He only senses what he sees, which may be mush.

So it was a special day indeed for Leopold Reppond, age four months, and suffering from oculocutaneous albinism, when his doctors placed a very specially made pair of glasses on him.

He seems puzzled, smiles ever so fleetingly, then looks down at his right hand. He pauses, studies it, and sees his fingers clearly for the first time.

Then Leopold’s mother starts cooing and vocalizing in the way that only mothers can, with her face close to his. It takes a few moments, but then he lifts his head and focuses on her face and smiles broadly as if he has been born anew.

His father David posted a video of the event on Facebook on April 3, and it was then picked up by HuffPost.

I remember sitting in my high chair, before I could speak (must have been age 1 or just past), and playing with the blue and pink beads on a metal rod that ran across the wood, sliding them back and forth. The image is so clear in my mind, and thanks to his doctors, now Leopold will have a chance to capture similar memories. Read the rest

Sunglasses with built-in clip for your shirt

Oakley Latch sunglasses have an ingeniously simple special feature: a clip in the temple so you can attach them securely to your shirt when not wearing them. They were designed by skateboarders Eric Boston, Sean Malto, and Curren Caples and skate photographer Atiba Jefferson.

Oakley Latch Sunglasses

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Reading glasses by the 4-pack ($(removed))

Currently selling for $(removed) for a 4-pack on Amazon, these normcore reading spectacles are a great deal. Available in a wide range of strengths. Read the rest