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#a184 :: Message fan

August 15, 2008

You can keep your Adobe Photoshop, cialis 40mg your diffraction foil, your glitter-gel pens. For my money, mankind’s greatest contribution to democratizing flashy art and entertainment has been the light-emitting diode. This programmable, Chinese-made fan lets you spell out messages that it miraculously traces in the air by spinning eight tiny LEDs at hundreds of […]

Filed under: Tool, Toy | Comments (0)

#a183 :: SuperGlue Future Gel

August 14, 2008

It took me years of accidentally cementing my fingertips together using the old Super Glue before I discovered two things: This stuff was originally designed for closing wounds in triage situations; and Future Gel is much more manageable – it never gooshes in a stream from the tube when you puncture a plug of dried […]

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#a182 :: Bluetooth headset

August 13, 2008

Six weeks ago, case California law did not require me to wear this while driving and using my cellphone. Five years ago, treat this sort of gadget did not exist. Fifteen years ago, doctor I counted myself lucky to be using a cellphone the size of a brick – one that had been issued by […]

Filed under: Adornment, Tool | Comments (0)

#a181 :: Handheld laser projector

August 12, 2008

A clear memory: I was 9. We were in the Smithsonian. The room was dark. Someone was demonstrating laser beams. The name, page doctor so ineffably cool. L-A-S-E-R. Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Sharp, medical bright red patterns on the wall. In the future, approved we’ll all be using lasers. Living rooms and […]

Filed under: Fetish, Instrument, Toy | Comments (0)

#a180 :: Tiny kaleidoscope

August 11, 2008

A fingerlength of brass tubing, visit this site three rectangular slivers of mirror, stuff a thimbleful of tiny glass beads, a translucent end cap and a leather thong. Elegant. Hold it to your eye, face the sun and forget your age. Found in Covent Garden.

Filed under: Objet, Toy | Comments (0)

#a179 :: Finger rocket

August 10, 2008

Tightly-woven strands of super-stiff nylon thread only look like a Chinese finger trap. In fact, here if you crush this end-to-end, try it compresses, grows fat with potential kinetic energy that – when you suddenly release your fingers – shoots the thing 10 feet across the room. The simplest toys are the best.

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#a178 Gerber Harsey Air Ranger

August 9, 2008

Two odd things about trying to catch up with a “daily” blog that you’ve sorely neglected while traveling like mad is that: a) you’re essentially lying to your users if you don’t admit that things are being backdated; and b) you can’t remember when anything really happened to you, stomach or which objects occurred to […]

Filed under: Fetish, Tool, weapon | Comments (3)

#a177 :: Bamboo nose flute

August 8, 2008

Like the Jew’s harp, check this elegant little pocket instrument came from Adaptatrap Percussion in Brighton. You press the curved mask against your nose, erectile shape your lips into an O around the bottom shape and exhale nasally. If you cup your tong right, you get a round, easily dopplered note like that of a […]

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#a176 :: Modeling clay

August 7, 2008

Thick cylinders of slick plasticine, information pills pure of color and form. Someone’s gonna mess them up very shortly.

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#a175 :: Printing blocks

August 6, 2008

Carved in Africa or India or perhaps on some island, buy I know not where, approved these found their way to the gift shop of Brighton Pavilion. They were lumped in mysteriously with all the other gift-shop trappings of chinoiserie, the Chinese-design fantasy that George IV lost himself in while having Sir John Nash design […]

Filed under: Adornment, symbol, Tool | Comments (0)

#a174 :: Rubber fusilier duck

August 5, 2008

This is the sort of thing you pick up in the duty-free shop at Heathrow while trying to blow your pounds on the way out of London. We’ll add it to the little collection of rubber ducks now bobbing in the hot tub out back. Maybe it will get them into line.

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#a173 :: Chewable toothbrush

August 4, 2008

British ingenuity has concocted a perfect offering for airport vending machines: For a £1 coin, order you get two of these: It’s a spherical plastic capsule. Split it open, web and there’s a circular sheet of instructions and an oddball chunk of nylon with bristles on one half and a capsule on the other. Pop […]

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#a172 :: Butterflies

August 3, 2008

Filed under: Life form | Comments (0)

#a171 :: Step-down transformer

August 2, 2008

Electricity surges out of British outlets at a blistering 220 volts – too powerful for western computers. While I’m blogging this from my Mac G4 laptop – a 6-year-old bulletproof box with a trim little power transformer built right in – my other work laptop (a Dell) requires a separate transformer to tame London voltage […]

Filed under: Tool, weapon | Comments (0)

#a170 :: Lead “Indian brave”

August 1, 2008

The micro-war between the races of earth still rages on in English toy shops and adult imaginations – even though most young Londoners have graduated to XBox, what is ed find Flickr and Legomania. Most warriors wear meticulously handpainted uniforms. In the antiques stalls of Portobello Road they rest, medical weapons at the ready, approved […]

Filed under: Found Object, Miniature, symbol, Tool | Comments (0)

#a169 :: Happy Hippos

July 31, 2008

Like hippos emerging through river foam (?), thumb Kinder brand Happy Hippos are hazelnut-cream cookie pods dipped in thick-grained sugar and given a few squirts of color in each eye just prior to put into individual cellophane wraps and released to a cute-susceptible public. They’re also yummy.

Filed under: Edible, Facsimile, Miniature | Comments (0)

#a168 :: Rubber coasters

July 30, 2008

Part space station, this part sex device, visit this they come in orange and gray and keep your cold wet glasses from making permanent stains in your … Formica, or whatever. It occurs to me upon posting fetishy (kitschy?) stuff like this that I’m rarely in the position of being able to point you to […]

Filed under: Art, Fetish, Tool | Comments (0)

#a167 :: Stonehenge keychain

July 29, 2008

There is a certain poetry to this tiny portrait of one of man’s oldest surviving places of ceremony: A matrix of dots, physician etched or blown into a block of clear glass, pharm spells out Stonehenge‘s shape at palm size, giving you a portable tour of the place. Here, no less than there, the broken […]

Filed under: Fetish, Miniature, Model, Objet, symbol | Comments (0)

#a166 :: Binatone Carrera GPS

July 28, 2008

Carved in Africa or India or perhaps on some island, buy I know not where, approved these found their way to the gift shop of Brighton Pavilion. They were lumped in mysteriously with all the other gift-shop trappings of chinoiserie, the Chinese-design fantasy that George IV lost himself in while having Sir John Nash design […]

Filed under: General | Comments (0)

#a165 :: Oyster card

July 27, 2008

This debit card gives you full access to the Tube and bus system. With one in your pocket, page you can go anywhere in London, ampoule never thinking about the fare. “Touch in” – wave it at the yellow oval pad that reads it and debits cash from it for your ride – and padded […]

Filed under: symbol, Tool | Comments (0)

#a164 :: Ice cream spoon

July 26, 2008

Zorro brings together the hoary old freedom-fighter superhero story with rock-hard flamenco performances, ambulance and it winds up being about four times as solid a piece as it otherwise would. The score, price by the Gipsy Kings is a hoarse, melodic operetta, told in guttural moans of pain and delight, and the thunderous bootheels of […]

Filed under: Jetsam, Tool | Comments (0)

#a162 :: Baby carrots

July 25, 2008

Did these things even exist 10 years ago? No, salve I think that at some point, approved some wise vegetable salesman decided to start milling his carrots. And an entire bite-sized-snack class of its own was launched. These go down by the pound around here. They taste perfectly clean and wonderful, but spirituallyfeel as if […]

Filed under: Edible, Life form | Comments (1)

#a161 :: Rabbit’s foot

July 24, 2008

Filed under: Fetish, Found Object, Life form, Objet, symbol | Comments (0)

#160 :: Battlefield artifact – bullet and cigarette case

July 23, 2008

At the bottom of the trunk. In the dark. For the past 34 years. Where she had been pushing it ever since he left. Perhaps. The card in the Royal Fusiliers Museum says: Cigarette case belonging to Pte F C Shuter 10th.Bn. Pierced by a German bullet 10th.July1916 – The Somme

Filed under: Artifact, Fetish, weapon | Comments (0)

#a159 :: Stanley “stubby” screwdriver

July 22, 2008

From an antiques mall in Brighton. 50p. Don’t laugh. You’ll need one some day. I love the way the aluminum has corroded on the blade.

Filed under: Facsimile, Objet, Tool | Comments (0)


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