Friday, February 29, 2008


This idea for a thumbtack that can hold a photograph or a document without making a hole in it came from designer Priscilla Barton. When not in use, the pin can be sheathed safely in the head of the pin.

$7 for eight pins from OXO.

Thanks SFGate

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Birdside Table

Sweet place to rest your book, specs, and glass of water.
£95 at Heal's.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A1GP Sprint Race Round 6 in Australia

Teams representing 25 nations compete in the "World Cup of Motor Sports".

All A1GP teams have identical Lola chassis and Zytek 3.4 Litre 520bhp V8 engines.

Categories:Cars Sports

Monday, February 25, 2008

Does It Blend?

SocketSite has all the details on these apartments at 1446 Jackson Street.

My concern is: Does it blend in with its' older neighbours?

The height of the building is about right, and the two columns of windows almost fit in with the bay windows of the other buildings.

But the ground level entrance is over sized. And worst of all, this building is too dark to integrate with the other buildings. SF Victorians are whimsical. This building takes itself seriously. I say it doesn't blend.

Categories:Architecture San Francisco

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bonnet Band Shell

I work in a car factory, and I wondered if it would be possible to construct buildings from the bonnets, roofs and boot lids of junked cars; to use the perfectly good painted sheet metal panels from broken cars as large tiles for the shell of a building.

The answer is yes. This band shell was assembled on the Panhandle for a few months last year. It's a clever idea, and it looked good.

The band shell will be reassembled on Treasure Island's Great Lawn next month.

Photos from Treehugger
Categories:Architecture Cars

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cinderblock Sugar Cubes

By John Truex and Audrey Russell of Brooklyn NY.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Klein Update

I've started to swap parts over to my new bike. It now sports a Thompson seat post, Cane Creek seat post clamp, Specialized saddle, and Eggbeater pedals. Next will be the Easton handlebar and stem, Cane Creek brake levers, and Shimano XT brakes.

I need to count the teeth on the cog set. It might be 11-34, which is too wide for me. I might just swap the rear wheel from my old bike.

When I'm more fit I'll remove the front derailleur (but having said that, I must admit this is the first time I've ridden a bike where the front derailleur doesn't rub against the chain).

I had Roaring Mouse Cycles replace the Manitou Mars C fork with a used Rock Shox Sid I bought on eBay. The fork is good, but the damping needs to be tuned.

On Monday I rode over to Mill Valley and back. The bike performed well. I, however, did not perform well. It will be weeks before I get into shape.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Rover in Trouble, Again

The Rover P6 I wrote about here needs some help. It hasn't moved since last November, and it will soon be towed by the police. I don't want to see this car end up in the impound yard, and then get scrapped. The car is definitely worth rescuing.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

BMW 5 Series ARV

This is a Metropolitan (London) Police BMW 5 Series ARV (Armed Response Vehicle). The car carries three uniformed officers and a host of firearms. Not your average jam sandwich.

Photo by Danny McL

Monday, February 18, 2008

Klein Attitude Race

For the last ten years I've been riding a medium Klein Pulse Comp mountain bike. As parts wore out or broke, I replaced them with Shimano XT or equivalent. Eventually I ended up with an excellent lightweight hard tail mountain bike that is great for climbing the hardpacked trails on the Marin Headlands.

But I'm 5'12", and the medium frame is a bit cramped now that I'm getting older. I tried to buy a new large frame, but Trek now only sells Klein mountain bikes in Japan and Europe. So I bought this used 2002 Klein Attitude Race. This is one of the last frames to be made by Klein in Washington State before production shifted to a Trek factory. The bike is almost new. Only ridden a few times. It's the top of the line Attitude in my favourite colour!


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Peg Pencil by Yuta Watanabe

A back-to-basics design for the mechanical pencil.

Yuta Watanabe is a 2007 graduate of Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, London.

Thanks Sub-Studio

Saturday, February 16, 2008

DIY Telescopic Webcam

Here's how to make a telescopic webcam. The device uses a telephoto camera lens with a large aperture for plenty of light, and a webcam that you already know will work with your computer.

Thanks Top DIY Videos

Friday, February 15, 2008

Road and Rail

Russian Volga Gaz-24's modified for railroad use.

They look like the inspiration for those hideous large-wheeled/low-profile/jacked-up/rolling narcissism that's popular with the lumpen prolitariate.

Thanks DarkRoastedBlend

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Motion Sensing LED Lights

Philips SpotOn LED Motion Sensing Portable Light
RiteLite Five LED Auto Sensor Puck Light

We have a hall linen closet that we use to store our excess bathroom products. It's as dark in there as Johnny Cash's closet.

These motion sensing battery LED lights are the solution. And because you don't have to reach for each individual light switch, they can be hidden out of sight.

Thanks ATSF

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Push and Store

Push and Store by Chung-Tang Ho, for Droog.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Containers and Caravans

Click on image to enlarge

Thanks Archinect

Monday, February 11, 2008

Our Next Rug

They call it an Urban Contemporary design. We like it, but we can't explain why we like it.
7'7" x 10'10" of pure NZ wool. Was $1000. Now $300 at Home Decorators Outlet.

Update, March 1st:

The total cost was $388 with tax and $58 shipping...
One corner of the rug is torn, and this style is now out of stock, so I 'm returning the rug for a refund. That's a shame because we really like it.

The good news is I found the same rug at Overstock for $269. And that includes shipping and no tax!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bye Bye Roy Scheider

I only saw Roy Scheider in one movie; the Bob Fosse movie "All That Jazz". Roy Scheider was brilliant!

If you liked the dancing and music in "Chicago", then you'll love "All that Jazz". Bob Fosse takes you inside the creative process. This movie is like a psychedelic docu-drama.


Saturday, February 09, 2008

TubeTV Flash Movie Downloads (Mac)

For the last month I've been searching the web for software that will allow me to save streaming Flash movies to my iMac computer hard drive.

Ofcourse there are commercial programmes that will do what I want. But they cost from $20 to $65. And their are free programmes that use screen capture to record the Flash movie, but they don't record the sound.

The answer was right in front of me: I'd been using TubeTV to download YouTube videos... YouTube videos are Flash movies... Perhaps TubeTV could could save Flash movies from any website. Yes it can!

TubeTV by Ryan Poling.

Friday, February 08, 2008

How to Invent

Mark Sanders, inventor of the Strida folding bicycle, explains how he went from idea, to design, to production.

Thanks Anonymous

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Strida Folding Bicycle

I saw one today on Market street. These bikes look odd in photos without a rider. But with a rider in place, the stark triangular frame looks good.

Areaware is the distributor for the Strida in the States.

19.4 lbs (9 kg)
16 inch wheels
7000 series aluminium
Disc Brakes
Single speed

On 2/8/08 Josh added:
"Years ago, The Sharper Image used to sell these. The ideal customer was one who had a boat and needed to get around town at different marinas, or was headed on vacation for a few weeks. While you would have thought the failure point would have been the frame, it held some pretty heavy folks. The only downside? The "chain:" made of a material that was strong and flexible, but would become more brittle with use and elements. And once it snapped...well, that Strida never rode again. The amount of returns and damage that the snapping caused was enough for TSI to end that experiment."

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Wet Head is Not Dead

My dad was the comb-over king. He used Brylcreem (“a little dab’ll do ya”) to keep his hair in place. It made his hair look wet. During the 70's the "wet look" was unpopular, so he used the bare minimum amount of Brylcreem, meaning that his comb-over got blown-over on windy days.

I didn't think Brylcreem existed anymore. I thought Brylcreem was replaced by mens hairspray and then hair gel years ago. I can still remember the Gillette hairspray TV advertisement: "The wet head is dead. Long live the dry look from Gillette".

Thanks Dark Roasted Blend

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Curta Calculator

The first half of this excellent video explains how to operate a Curta calculator. The second half takes a confusing look at the inside workings of the machine.

These calculators sell for ~$1000 on eBay, so they're out of reach of slide rule geeks like me.

Thanks Engadget

Monday, February 04, 2008

Better Desk Grommet

It replaces the desk grommet and holds the plugs in place. As of now, it's just a concept.

Thanks AP Unplugged

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Hyper Bowl Sunday

Today is Super Bowl Sunday in the States. I like to call it Hyper Bowl Sunday because American professional football is so hyped!

The Players will have chosen a team that can pay them the most money, and the teams play each other to make a profit for the owners. Yeah... I really care...

Added to the overt capitalism, the football players wear ridiculous uniforms: Helmets, shoulder pads, and long pants! They look silly to me.

The game stops after every "play". So much of the time you're watching the players getting into position. Then off they go again for a few seconds of play. No wonder some people watch the game to see the advertisements.


Friday, February 01, 2008

Our Next Coffee Table?

I like that the draws open from either side.

Solid wood. $250 here.



REI has these for $4, or a pack of four for $10. Microwave safe and machine washable, they're made from a polycarbonate. Only 9 grammes.

Made by Light My Fire for backpackers, but I use mine at work.

Images from Light My Fire