Archive for June, 2009

13-year old reviews Walkman

You’ve got to love this story of a 13-year-old kid reviewing an original Sony Walkman:

It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape. That was not the only naive mistake that I made; I mistook the metal/normal switch on the Walkman for a genre-specific equaliser, but later I discovered that it was in fact used to switch between two different types of cassette.

There are a lot more great paragraphs in there, and the article really shows how quickly technology has evolved over the past 30 years. You’ll find some more thoughts on the virtues of the walkman in this article, including a picture of the gorgeous blue model.

Matte Harley-Davidson

Harley Davidson

The other night I saw a Harley-Davidson 883 parked on the street. This bike wouldn’t have caught my eye, except for the fact that it’s painted in completely matte paint. It’s so dark and un-shiny that it really stands out.

My cruddy iPhone photo doesn’t do it justice, but you can see the contrast between the shiny exhaust and the rest of the bike:

Matte Harley

It’s remarkable how such a simple change can completely change the perception of a product.

PS: I wish the rumors of a matte iPhone had been true. The shiny plastic they’re using today looks so cheap.

2009-6-30-8:50 PM #   

A washing machine that uses less water

Halle linked to this article about an awesome washing machine that uses only one cup of water.

It uses less than 10 per cent of the water of conventional machines and 30 per cent less energy by replacing most of the water with thousands of tiny reusable plastic beads to attract and absorb dirt under humid conditions.

I wonder how they manufacture these beads, and how durable they are. Hopefully the process is somewhat eco-friendly as well, lest the net impact be negative.

Deadline on a post-it

DEADLINE is a fun stop-motion animation using post-its. My first thought was “wow, that must have taken a long time to make”. Then I realized it was a senior thesis project. Ah, college…

Update: the making-of is super cool too. Thanks to Eduardo for spotting this and posting in the comments.

Confusion rug

This rug is hilarious, thanks Amit! I wish it were for sale… though I suppose it’s easy enough to make.

Incidentally, Amit started the excellent Photojojo site and store. If you’re into photography, I recommend checking it out.

Healthcare costs

Atul Gawande has a fascinating article in the New Yorker about healthcare costs:

This is a disturbing and perhaps surprising diagnosis. Americans like to believe that, with most things, more is better. But research suggests that where medicine is concerned it may actually be worse. For example, Rochester, Minnesota, where the Mayo Clinic dominates the scene, has fantastically high levels of technological capability and quality, but its Medicare spending is in the lowest fifteen per cent of the country—$6,688 per enrollee in 2006, which is eight thousand dollars less than the figure for McAllen.

Turns out Obama read it too, so there’s hope yet for healthcare reform in this country.  The article gets bonus points for lots of mentions of my alma mater, Dartmouth College.

Gaussian Goat

Gaussian Goat. For those who don’t use Photoshop, this is a joke on the commonly-used Gaussian Blur feature.