Monday, March 31, 2008


Wow! Free streaming 480p/720p movies and tv programmes on my computer.

Hulu doesn't have a huge library of programmes, but the advantage over BitTorrent is that I can immediately start watching. Nice. Take a look:

The video is quite good at full screen on my 20" iMac.

Thanks Josh

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Citroen Goddess

Seen today in Sausalito.

“DS” in French is pronounced “day-ess” (Déesse), which means “goddess”. - ArtOfDesign

There is too much design and engineering innovation in this car to mention here. So I'll just say that the Citroen DS is the best car ever. Not the best handling and accelerating car. But the best original combination of styling and engineering, and the biggest leap forward ever made in my lifetime. The DS does not take inspiration from any other car that came before it.

Image from Citroen advertisement

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Read a Book

I think my neighbour's a librarian.

Friday, March 28, 2008

City Optix Sale

My medical insurance only allows me new frames every two years, but new lens every year. So I buy my frames at the City Optix sale, and get new specs each year.

The selection of styles is excellent, and you'll find frames that are half price or better.

The sale is from March 29th to April 5th at both the Chestnut and Haight St stores.
Don't go their website. It's very annoying.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Side Chair One

A combination of intersecting planes creates an armchair with an integrated side table.
By Alexander Kneller. Brilliant.

Thanks Dwell magazine

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I thought in cases like this, the tread separated from the casing, leaving a bald but intact and inflated tyre. Apparently not. In this photo you can clearly see that the tyre has separated into three parts. The sidewalls are still on the wheel, and the centre "cylinder"has come adrift.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How to Deal with a Bad Egg

I imagine someone sitting in this chair, then a wire frame hinges down and sections them...

Thanks Pure Contemporary

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Utah Gas Station

Photo by Rocky Arroyo
Image blurred using Lensbaby. The colours have a rich, lush look of a Polaroid, and the Lensbaby blur suggests motion.

The photo was taken with slide film, then developed as C41 instead of E6. Then scanned as a negative.

Added 3/27:
After some supple tweaking, here's the final product:

Saturday, March 22, 2008

BMW 2002 Touring

In excellent original condition. Seen today in Golden Gate Park.

The BMW 2002 two door model is a common sight in California. But the very pretty Touring is rare. They weren't sold here.

The Touring was probably not imported because Americans associate hatchback cars with economy and cheapness. Unfortunately this is still the perception today, and most hatch versions of European cars are not imported if that car is available with a boot instead. That's a pity. We miss out on a lot of good cars.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Power Strip Adapter

Simple solution to the problem caused by power bricks.
~$6 at Target for a pack of three.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

IKEA laptop Workstation

Apartment Therapy caught my attention with this IKEA PS Laptop workstation. It's sold in red or white coated steel for $40. That's about 1 tenth the cost of an eNook. Put a power strip inside and use it to charge and store your gadgets.

The eNook:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I waste a fair amount of time each month searching for and downloading torrents for my favourite british car programmes. So I'm delighted to have found TuningLinx. Here I can instantly watch the streaming video segments of Channel Five's "Fifth Gear". Or, for those who like it, there are also segments of the BBC's Top Gear. Well done!

Categories:Cars Movies

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

1960's Triton Motorcycle

Triton is the name given to any home-made striped-down cafe racer motorcycle made from a Triumph engine and a Norton frame.

To build a Triton, take a Norton featherbed frame and fit a comparatively reliable, and readily modifiable, Triumph twin engine. Add clip-on handlebars, rear-set foot pegs, and lightness.

Images by Guy Palalda

Monday, March 17, 2008


These shelves are definitely better than the cinterblock bookshelves we made when I was a student.

Instructables has this sturdy, perhaps over engineered, bookcase design:

And fishbol has this simpler version:

Either way, I can see these being popular with students and others on a budget.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

New California Academy of Sciences Building

The roof design “is like lifting up a piece of the park and putting a building under it.”-Piano

The Music Concourse in Golden Gate park has gone through some extreme changes in the last few years.

First, the building housing the de Young and Asian Art Museum was demolished and a fabulous new copper coated de Young, designed by Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, was built on the old site.

Second, the California Acacemy of Sciences building was demolished, and its' replacement, designed by Renzo Piano, will be opening on September 27th.

The facade of Africa Hall was preserved. And some elements of the old interior were reproduced in the new building: My favourite, the Alligator "swamp" at the main entrance, has been remade.

Categories:Science San Francisco

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Corner Lamp

This shade for floor lamps is designed to save space in smaller rooms.

Thanks CoolBoom

Friday, March 14, 2008


Today is pi day in the US, and anywhere with a month/day/year date format (although I understand that the 22nd of July is pi day in day/month/year countries, since 22/7≈π).

Celebrate the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter with some science puzzle fun at the Bazaar Cafe, 5927 California St, SF tonight at 7pm.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Homeless Furniture Designer

"To whom does design address itself: to the greatest number, to the specialist of an enlightened matter, to a privileged social class? Design addresses itself to the need." -Charles Eames

Found object bench/daybed with storage space. High-density polyethene and chipboard.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Eames Aluminum Group Lounge Chair - 50 Years Old

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Eames Aluminum Group chairs by Herman Miller.

I fell in love with this chair and ottoman back in 1979.
Back then I was working at the Hub Bookstore on the University of Florida campus, and I'd often wander over to the Students' Union building to have my lunch in the student lounge, where there were a dozen of these chairs. I started coming back just to relax in the chairs!

"Aluminum Group chairs were originally developed in 1958 as a special project by Ray Eames for a private residence being designed by Eero Saarinen and Alexander Girard.

"The seat-back suspension was a major technical achievement and represented a departure from the concept of the chair as a solid shell. Wonderfully comfortable, strong, yet lightweight..." -Hive

"To whom does design address itself: to the greatest number, to the specialist of an enlightened matter, to a privileged social class? Design addresses itself to the need." -Charles Eames


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Inka Cafetiere Coffee Press

I spent this afternoon window shopping in Hayes Valley. Their are many fine restaurants and art galleries here, but I was looking for cool and clever home accessories. Scandinavian Details, at 364 Hayes, is just the ticket.

Designed for Alessi by Guido Venturini, the Inka Cafetiere is molded in thermoplastic resin, glass and steel.

Capacity: 0·7 litre
Dimensions: 16 cm x 12 cm x 25 cm tall
Colours: Green and Dark Brown

$88 at Scandinavian Details on Hayes Street, or online at Alessi.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Unmolested Mini 1000

This is what a typical Mini looked like in the early 1970's. Those special edition Mayfair/Ritz/Chelsea/Park Lane/Sprite/replica Cooper models came late in the production run (1959-2000).

I saw this one today in the Marina District of San Francisco.

-orange/red colour popular at the time
-square tail lights with no reversing lights
-no Austin or Morris badge. Just Mini 1000, pronounced "Mini Thou' "
-Leyland badges on both front wings
-no bumper over-riders
-no white roof
-no door window vents. Those were Australian.
-wind-up windows
-no door pockets
-instruments in the centre of the dash
-full width parcel tray in front of the driver and passenger
-vinyl seats with no head restraints

The only things out of place on this car are the trim-rings on the wheels, and the black instead of chrome mirrors. I don't remember those.

Update 4/27/2013:
And here's how the car looks five years later listed for sale on Craigslist:


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Concept Phone and Headset

The Bluetooth headset is the mouth-piece of this concept phone, and it is recharged by the phone. Designed by Sunman Kwon.

Thanks Gizmodo and Concept Phones

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Police Rover SD1 Delivers a Live Liver

3.5 litre V8, 5-speed gearbox, rear wheel drive. Made from 1976 to 1986.
The Rover SD1 replaced the Rover P6 and Triumph 2000/2500 as British Leyland's luxury executive car.

The police version had much stiffer suspension, stronger brakes, no thick pile carpets, no electric windows, no sunroof and no air-conditioning. Extra electrical power and wiring were factory installed to power radios, sirens, lights and other necessary equipment.

Thanks Doug's Rover SD1
Categories:Cars Movies

Friday, March 07, 2008

Water Balloons

An advertisement for Schweppes:

Thanks IBIA

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Grenade Lock

The Deemeed Grenade lock is designed to fit through the cross-drilled holes on a motorcycle disc brake.

The cool thing is, you can clip it to your belt while you casually ride around.

Categories:Cars Gadgets

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Tyres Squeal When They're Happy

For most of the year I drive on R compound DOT tyres that have superb grip but almost no tread. So this winter I went shopping for rain tyres. My only requirements were that the tyres be cheap and good in standing water.

There were many brands to choose from, all priced around $150 each.
And then there was this tyre for $85 $75:

I wasn't expecting much from them in terms of grip on dry roads. I'm happy to be wrong about that! These tyres have very good cornering grip. The tread is thick, but it doesn't "squirm". The car is stable at the cornering limit. I'm impressed. And did I say they were only $85 $75 each?

Kumho Solus HP4
205 55 16 89h


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Skoda TwinDoor

VW's Czechoslovakian Czech Republic division Skoda released the new "Superb" at the Geneva Auto Show. The flagship Skoda model is based on the Passat and will come equipped with a hatch that can be opened in two ways: like a normal boot lid or like a rear hatch.

Photos from Jalopnik