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  • Michael Krakovskiy 12:10 am on August 30, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baggage, Bart Sells, Bart Simpson, Dimitri Mendeleev, Dmitri Mendeleev, , Luggage, luggage craftsman, , , , , storekeeper, , x-ray   

    Street Use Luggage 

    Moe: Why don’t you try…Moe’s hobo chicken chili. I start with the best part — the neck — and then I add secret hobo spices.
    Marge: Ooh. Tres bien.

    The Simpsons, episode [3F02] Bart Sells His Soul

    Sometimes I want to post a simple, quick post, but the mad association engine that resides in my brain makes it much, much longer than it should be.

    Recently Kevin Kelly launched an awesome new blog, Street Use. It’s about various street hacks, from improvised fishing carts (I own a somewhat more refined one) to Soviet Era bootleg records made out X-ray film (I actually remember those).

    Here’s are some examples of “street use” that I encountered. It’s an amazing matching set of postal tape and cardboard luggage.

    Notice the variety of sizes, ergonomic features and uniformity of design.

    Hobo luggage

    This luggage set reminded me of Dimitri Mendeleev, the famous inventor of the periodic table of elements. A lesser known fact is that he’s also responsible for vodka’s standard 40% ethanol by volume content. An even less known fact about him is that he was a master luggage maker. I’ve encountered a story about Mendeleev purchasing leather in a crafts supply store: another customer asked the storekeeper – “that man looks familiar, do you know who he is?”, and the salesman saying – “Oh, he’s a very famous man. He’s the best luggage craftsman in all of Russia.”

    Hobo luggage

    Here’s another example of beautiful hobo design: this street dwelling is probably the most elegant one that I’ve ever seen. Clean lines, functional design. It could win a design award.

    Hobo cardboard bed

  • Michael Krakovskiy 1:57 am on January 24, 2004 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 3-d, , , , Gland, GNU Screen, , , Saliva, , x-ray   

    Monitor 451 or Ixnay on the X-ray 

    What I always thought to be just dirt on my screen or glasses, turned out to be a burned in picture of the login screen. Modern monitors are supposed to turn themselves off after a period of time, didn’t they? I thought that the login screen in NT used to jump around like a screensaver? Apparently not so.

    A friend from the Fair and Balanced Network told me over lunch that the reason network logos are usually 3-d and rotating is because people used to get rather nasty burn-in on their TVs with static logos.

    This got me thinking — what kind of statistics are out there about radiation exposure in programmers? I spend about 8 hours a day in front of an electron gun directed at my face and chest. And I’ve been having salivary gland troubles for a while. People worry about stupid cell phone microwaves. Monitors shoot X-rays. Now that is scary.

    I am thinking now of buying a couple of flat panels for home and work. As expensive as it can be, it’s probably a good idea.

  • Michael Krakovskiy 10:35 am on August 30, 2003 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , G5, , , x-ray   

    Z-Ray Vision 

    Man: “Psst, you want to buy organ? Fresh and cheap, ready for transplant.”
    Fry: “Ooh, what’s this?”
    Man: “Ah, is x-ray eye. See through anything.”
    Fry: “Wait a minute, this says z-ray.”
    Man: “Z is just as good! In fact is better, is two more than x!”

    Futurama episode 1ACV07 – My Three Suns

    Well, you all know that I consider Canon Powershot G2 and G3 the best digital cameras a normal person can actually afford. You also probably know that I pay close attention to naming schemes. So here’s a little story with a surprise ending for you.

    The granfather of the camera I like so much was Pro 70, which was the first camera to have a flip screen.

    The next one was called Powershot G1. It was a very popular and well designed camera. It’s sensor was very sensitive to IR radiation which makes it probably the best digital camera for infrared photography. The biggest complaint was the color of the body. Most photographers hate silver plastic.

    Next up was Powershot G2. It was almost identical to G3 with slight changes to UI and optics. Most G2s were made out of the same ugly silver plastic, but there was a special all black edition. I was lucky enough to buy a black G2. I had to order it from Canada.

    Powershot G3 was the next camera in G series. Again, slight changes in UI, optics and more significantly a 4 megapixel sensor. Again, silver. Will they ever listen?

    Now, the next camera is called Powershot G5. It has a 5 megapixel sensor which according to reports is a bit crappier than the one in G3. At least they dropped the silver plastic.

    But wait, what happened to Powershot G4? Did it suffer the fate of Netscape 5? The rumour floated around that G4 was trademarked by Apple. Well, Apple has a Powermac G5 also.

    The correct answer appears to be this:
    “The word “four” is read as “si” in Chinese Mandarin and “shi” in Japanese, a close homonym for the word for death in both languages and in the Cantonese dialect spoken in Hong Kong. “

    Hmm, I wonder how those Powermacs sold in Japan and China.

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