Archive for Entirely Too Cool

Progress by inches

Fortunately for me, we have had a total of 0.1 inch of snow this winter. (I’m not really in shape to deal with more than that, and I don’t happen to have a four-year-old girl handy.)

About three seconds into the song, I muttered: “That ain’t 2Pac.” And it ain’t.

Comments (1)

Sit still, Starving Eagle

Not a Native name; this eagle was literally starving:

There’s a lot to be said for showing up at the right time.

Comments (2)

I want to look good for the aliens

Glamping in space? Well, why not?

Annemarie Dooling explained this at Racked:

NASA engineers kept the process of customizing standardized kits based on preference, with a list of pre-approved items. While some people weren’t interested in applying blush on a mission, others, like Rhea Seddon, were concerned about looking tired or blending into the background.

“I spoke up for the minority. If there would be pictures taken of me from space, I didn’t want to fade into the background, so I requested some basic items,” Seddon explains on her website. “It was interesting to me that that I wasn’t the sole space traveler whose in-flight pictures showed a bit of lipstick and blush.” Seddon wasn’t looking for an entire kit of going-out face, but as an astronaut with pale skin who would undoubtedly be photographed often, she didn’t want to look washed out. She asked for a pretty basic kit to help her keep fresh-faced. Included in the kit in the Smithsonian’s archive? Eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow, makeup remover, blusher, and lip gloss.

There were, of course, other “female problems” that had to be dealt with — the simplistic vision of Donovan was no longer applicable — and NASA duly did deal with them. (This is why God gave us the phrase “Read the whole thing.”)

Comments (3)

Land of a zillion dances

Not much land up there, technically, but there is a disco ball in space:

As with all things disco, it has a limited lifespan.

Comments (2)

Perhaps not super geniuses

Fort Bend County, southwest of Houston, is one of the wealthiest counties in all of Texas. Not that a high income is going to protect your property from four-footed varmints:

Coyote warning from the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office

You have been warned.

Comments (1)

Room for one more

In Kazakhstan, a dog is about to be washed away down a canal. But wait…

And they all lived happily ever after. We hope.

Comments (1)

Et tu, maybe three, myself

Twenty locations within the Philippine province of Cebu, the first of which opened in 1980.

Comments (4)

Science at home

Just in case you’ve heard one too many iterations of “Yeah, but you’ll never use that in Real Life”:

Point made.

Comments (1)

Waltz of the marbles

Marbles? And magnets? How do they work?

Like a well-oiled machine:

Serious balls, there.

Comments (1)

The latest thing in jump-starting

Hyundai Canada has come up with a plan to rescue owners of their Ioniq electric hatchback who drove just a little too far:

With its first electric model now plying the country’s roadways, the automaker figured the best way to help stranded Ioniq Electric drivers was with other Ioniq Electrics.

The service, which starts in the EV-heavy Montreal area this spring, sees Ioniqs come to the aid of overly optimistic drivers sidelined by their car’s modest 124-mile range. The savior Ioniq drains 7 kWh of juice from its own battery to the recipient car, resurrecting it with about 25 miles of range — enough to make it home or to a public charging station.

The hookup lasts about 20 minutes. A trunk-mounted converter and two Level 3 charging cables allow the donor car to reverse the normal flow of electrons — out from the car’s charge port to the convertor, and then on to the dead vehicle.

Hyundai will be offering this service gratis for five years after the purchase of a new Ioniq.

Comments (1)

Covered with Furler

Rob O’Hara has one of these because of course he does:

Star Wars Chewbacca Bandolier Strap


Kenner marketed the Chewbacca Bandolier Strap as both a carrying case and a play toy for kids, and at only $4.91 it was probably a good deal, but it never really resonated with me. It held fewer figures than any other carrying case released and didn’t protect your figures at all. And as far as play toys go … no offense to Wookies, but I can’t imagine a lot of kids clamoring to be Chewbacca.

Me, I suspect Chewie’s appeal was a bit more, um, adult:

But then, what do I know?

Comments (1)

A dedicated monarchist

Romy McCloskey designs costumes. She also takes care of monarch butterflies. This is where the two jobs meet:

McCloskey apparently started raising monarch butterflies and releasing them into the wild, a while ago. Recently, she noticed that one of the insects was born with a broken left wing, as a result of an injury sustained while pupating, and could not fly. Monarchs can live from 2 weeks to about 5 months, but without the ability to fly, this little guy wasn’t going to live very long. So Romy, who describes herself as a “master hand embroiderer,” decided to use her skills to help him.

Suffice it to say that she did come up with a solution.

(Via Nag on the Lake.)

Comments (1)

You’re so square

Baby, I don’t care — or, “What are we gonna do with all these damn petrodollars?”

If you’re Venezuela, you put down a deposit on a roll of toilet paper. If you’re Dubai, you do something like this:

The Frame opened on the first of January. An admission ticket for 50 AED — “dirham” is etymologically related to the Greek “drachma” — is a bit less than $15 US.


Tracking Putin

Wait, what?

Not that kind of Putin?

Whoops. Sorry.

Scientists often hope to break ground with their research. But a group of Australian researchers would likely be happy with breaking wind.

The team developed an ingestible electronic capsule to monitor gas levels in the human gut. When it’s paired with a pocket-sized receiver and a mobile phone app, the pill reports tail-wind conditions in real time as it passes from the stomach to the colon. The researchers, led by Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh of RMIT University and Peter Gibson of Monash University, reported their invention Monday in Nature Electronics.

The authors are optimistic that the capsule’s gas readings can help clear the air over the inner workings of our intricate innards and the multitudes of microbes they contain. Such fume data could clarify the conditions of each section of the gut, what microbes are up to, and which foods may cause problems in the system. Until now, collecting such data has been a challenge. Methods to bottle it involved cumbersome and invasive tubing and inconvenient whole-body calorimetry. Popping the electronic pill is a breeze in comparison. And early human trials have already hinted that the pill can provide new information about intestinal wind patterns and gaseous turbulence from different foods.

Oh. Turbulence. With a B. My bad.


That’s about the size of it

Kids grow fast. Wouldn’t it be nice if their shoes did too?

Perhaps not the most handsome shoes, but it’s hard to beat ’em for functionality, especially at a mere $15 a pair.

Comments (4)

And a glass of Tang

Greatness has its imperatives:

(Via Rand Simberg.)

Comments (1)

New heights in cosplay

The basics of My Hero Academia:

The story follows Izuku Midoriya, a boy born without superpowers in a world where they are the norm, but who still dreams of becoming a superhero himself, and is scouted by the world’s greatest hero who shares his powers with Izuku after recognizing his value and enrolls him in a high school for heroes in training.

I’d be tempted to fall back on the shtick from The Incredibles: “If everyone has superpowers, then nobody has superpowers.” But the high school in question does house an interesting variety of “quirks,” as they’re called, and unsurprisingly with a hit manga/anime/whatever, there is cosplay among us civilians.

And most remarkably, there is cosplay of the ever-cheerful (I think) Toru Hagakure:

Cosplay of Toru Hagakure by Aicosu

This shows the importance of getting the details right.


One shot, so to speak

Two shots, if you’re doing both sides:

A transformative genetic treatment for a rare, inherited form of blindness will come with a price tag of of $425,000 per eye, or $850,000 for both, said Spark Therapeutics Inc., the tiny biotechnology company that is bringing the therapy to market.

Since Spark’s Luxturna was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month, speculation over the price has grown as it became clear the therapy would be one of the first in a wave of medicines that yield remarkable results after a single treatment — and would carry a commensurate cost.

No quantity discounts, apparently.

Luxturna (Voretigene neparvovec) is one of those few pharmaceuticals for which the trade name and the generic name have roughly equal plausibility as a name for a minor Star Trek character.

There are admittedly not many patients for whom this stuff is indicated:

Leber’s congenital amaurosis, or biallelic RPE65-mediated inherited retinal disease, is an inherited disorder causing progressive blindness. Voretigene is the first treatment available for this condition. The gene therapy is not a cure for the condition, but substantially improves vision in those treated. It is given as a subretinal injection.

Now: is it worth $850,000 to not be blind anymore?

In an agreement with the Boston-area insurer Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Spark will get the full price of treatment up front. If patients don’t get an immediate benefit — measured at 30 days, or a long term one — measured at 30 months, Spark will have to give some of the money back in a rebate.

There’s a new wrinkle.

Comments (1)

Monitoring the hailing frequency

And, ultimately, not giving a damn:

I mention in passing that Mr Simon offers wallpapers derived from his bird photography.

Comments (1)

The beatings will continue until the lawn improves

Or your money back.

786 is southeast Florida, mostly Miami-Dade County.


Winner of the Straw Poll

Half a billion drinking straws are used every day in the US, presumably including the ones that roll under the car seat. If only they could be made of something other than plastic…

How about seaweed?

They know their imitation plastics: they’re already producing cups with the same level of biodegradability. What’s more, those cups are actually edible — and the straws will be as well.

I will, of course, try these out. The Kickstarter has two weeks to run and is up over 50 percent.

Update: The Kickstarter did reach its goal. And the “half a billion” figure is, shall we say, questionably sourced:

The only printed source for the amount of waste generated by thrown-away plastic straws is a phone survey done by Milo Cress. Mr. Cress called straw manufacturers and surveyed them on straw use back in 2011.

When he was 9.

Kid’ll make a Wikipedia editor some day, if he isn’t one already.

Comments (3)

Jingle blocks

Well, sort of, anyway:

It was either that or “Rube Goldberg died for your sins.”


Ohio players

For instance, well, the Ohio Players:

The museum will be open to the general public in late January, or perhaps early February. Suggested donation is an earthy five bucks.


Why, he’s no fun, he fell right over

I spent enough time in the hospital in 2016 to know I didn’t want to do it again in 2017. However, I am growing older and probably more fragile, so I’m not sure I’ll manage to do the same as 2018 looms. If I must, though, I hope I have this much brain activity going for me:

It’s a blank to me — my last memory ahead of time was laying on the table in the OR and having a nurse ask after my name and birth date, to which I replied,

“I was born on Roberta X and my name is twenty-eight May, nineteen hundred and…”

She laughed and looked at her clipboard. “Do you know why you’re here today?”

“If it doesn’t say ‘sinus surgery to open up the sphenoid, erthymoid and left maxillary sinuses, with a side of turbinate reduction as needed’ on your form, I think we should lock the doors, order pizza, and hang out for a couple of hours.”

The anesthesiologist thought that would be a good idea, if his snicker was any indication, but alas, the fancy anatomical Latin was what it said on the form the nurse was holding, so it was too late to change plans, and besides, the ENT surgeon was on her way and we’d never have got the doors locked in time. And you know surgeons — she probably would have wanted anchovies or blue cheese or something. Might as well get operated on instead.

“No anchovies? You’ve got the wrong man. I spell my name DANGER.”


Comments (1)

Now you see it

And her speed of treat consumption is rarely rivaled:

And she has forty thousand followers on Instagram, yet. (How are they even keeping up?)

Comments (2)

An effort to be noticed

In the first week of 1992, Chrysler stole the Detroit Auto Show with, of all things, a Jeep:

It took Mercedes-Benz to outdo that one. In fact, this isn’t properly a Mercedes; it’s a Maybach, the Benz boys’ short-lived effort to compete in the Rolls-Royce price class.

What I loved most about the Maybach, exactly one of which I have seen in a lifetime, was not its impeccable demeanor or its ultra-luxe interior, but its simple nomenclature. Two models were made, the 57 and the 62. The 57 was 5.7 meters (224 inches) in length. You saw a 62.

(Suggested by TTAC.)


Really first class

Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates, calls it a “game-changer.” Not sure how many games will be changed with only six per aircraft, but still, it’s the All-Tme Greatest Airplane Seat:

I think I’d be spending my trip time thinking up excuses for never getting off the plane.

Comments (3)

Here, fridgey, fridgey

It comes when you call, yet:

Being both partly disabled and relatively lazy, I am the target market for this contraption.

Comments (7)

More than twice as many

If you have reached a Certain Age, you probably remember your crummy little box of eight Crayola crayons, and you took pain to point out to the parental units that a box of sixty-four could be had, with an actual sharpener built into the box. Truly, you knew, this was the Cadillac of crayons.

And so it remained, until such time as it didn’t:

Crayola box of 152

So much for the box of 64. This humongous container is bound to meet every conceivable crayon need and satisfy any possible combination of kids.

Until they see this:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (10)

Imagine a wall

Then imagine painting that wall with this stuff:

How in the actual fark does this work? Something like this:

Basically, mixed in with the paint are very tiny clear particles, acting as prisms. If the paint is being stirred/mixed then the color will be changing because these “prisms” are being moved around and their angle is changing. Once the paint dries, the “prisms” will be fixed in place, but the paint underneath will look different colors based on what angle you are looking at it from.

Getting an even coat is very important, because depending on how the paint sets, the small reflective/refractive particles will be set differently and give different colors/effects at different angles.

Edit: Oh yeah also what color you use underneath is extremely important. Since it usually shows through even the green/purple and adds (or detracts) from the light passing through the clear particles.

Apparently there’s a nail polish operating on similar principles.

Comments (2)