Take 20% off these Damascus steel chef knives

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The reputation of Damascus steel goes back as far as the 3rd century, to ancient Syria. Without getting into the nerdier aspects of metallurgy, there’s a good reason it was highly prized by the weaponsmiths of old.

These days, you can still get a taste of its distinctive look in this Hand-Forged Damascus Steel Chef Knife Set.

That telltale wavy pattern isn’t just for show, either. It’s the result of layering high-carbon steel over lower-carbon steel as much as 200 times. The result is a blade with a hardness rating of 55 HRC, suitable for display in any serious chef’s kitchen.

This particular set of three knives comes with pakka wood handles that only increase its pedigree as an heirloom. This kind of performance requires a little extra TLC, and a wipe with vegetable oil will keep it rust-free. But with proper care, it’ll be in your kitchen for many expertly-cut meals.

You can now get the full set of three for more than 20% off the retail cost – just in time for Thanksgiving. Read the rest

Frozen’s “Let it go” sung in Klingon

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Ever wonder what the song “Let it go” from Disney’s hit movie Frozen would sound like in Klingon? Me neither but then again, something like that would never even occur to me. But it did occur to Jen Usellis, who performs as the Klingon Pop Warrior.

Listen as she belts out her Klingonese version, called “yIbuSQo’“:

Nerdist:

After Reddit user staq16 posted the song to Reddit’s Star Trek subreddit earlier this month, the track quickly earned mad parmaq from the forum’s community. However, while most users thought the song was on point, some took issue with the fact that Klingons are known for not enjoying the cold—nor letting things go. They also apparently don’t do a lot of other things.

(Geekologie) Read the rest

TV-B-Gone, the hidden-in-your-glasses edition

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Facelesstech created a fun pair of “smart glasses” with an embedded a miniature attiny85 Arduino controller, and followed it up with a pair that concealed a TV-B-Gone (Mitch Altman’s open source hardware gadget that cycles through all known switch-TV-off codes, causing any nearby screens to go black). It’s a much less creepy use than the spy glasses with embedded cameras sold by Chinese state surveillance vendors. I’d certainly buy a pair! (via JWZ)

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Enter this giveaway for your chance to win a $1K credit to the airline of your choice

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Being home for the holidays is great, but it’s nice to know you’ve got a vacation waiting just around the corner. Impossible with all those gift expenses? Not so. Right now, you can enter for a chance to win a $1000 gift certificate to the airline of your choice. Entry is free, so you’ve got nothing to lose.

And hey, now that we’ve got you excited about impending travel plans, here are a few other deals that are the next best thing to free: Deep discounts on some innovative and essential vacation gear, from carry-on bags to support pillows.

Twist Memory Foam Travel Pillow

Got neck or back problems that keep you from sleeping on flights or buses? This pillow can target them no matter where they are. The memory foam cushion bends into whatever shape you need to support your head, spine or shoulders.

Sale Price: $19.99

MSRP: $24.99

ALPAKA Shift Pack

Whether you’re an urban commuter or mountaineer, the ALPAKA aims to be your go-to bag. It’s got dedicated compartments for smartphones and laptops, plus quick-access pockets for cash or cards built into the straps. And with a waterproof, rolltop configuration, they’ll all be well protected even on the longest hikes.

Sale Price: $189.00

MSRP:$249.00

Dr. Save Vacuum Travel Kit

This kit includes an air pump and four bags that will do more than just save you space. Pop in your clothes or other soft goods and the vacuum seal will reduce their volume by as much as 70%, allowing you to even take that bulky comforter on your next trip. Read the rest

How to get rid of hideous pantry moths

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Pantry moths are experts at finding their way into any open container of rice, flour, cereal, chips, nuts, etc. Then they breed in the boxes and bags. I hate it when I open a cabinet and a couple of moths fly out. It’s even worse when I look at a bag of rice, and it is alive with motion.

We’ve been putting our food into wide-mouth mason jars with these convenient one-piece plastic lids. That has reduced the problem. We also started using pantry moth traps. These traps fold into little A-frame houses. The interior is coated with a sticky material that traps the flies. The traps also come with a postage stamp size pheromone lure to fool the pests into thinking a sexy moth is inside waiting for them. These things work well. After using them for a few weeks the only moths I see now are the dead ones stuck to the inside of the traps. Read the rest

Liquid Wrench’s dry lube for doors and hinges lubes doors and hinges well

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I have been very happy Liquid Wrench Lock and Hinge Lube.

The back lid on my Volkswagen Vanagon started sticking a few years ago. A responsible person who does things right would likely take the panels off, clean everything up and lubricate it with whatever factory stuff was used. I have just taken to spraying some of this dry lube in the locks and other mechanisms once every year or so.

Doors and locks that were sticking or squeaky around the house have also been cured with one or two squirts of this ‘ceflon’ lubricant.

The spray straw is billed as some kind of special design. It is a very useful straw for directing lube where you want it, like on every other can of spray lube I’ve seen since the 80s or 90s?

Got sticky locks or squeaky hinges? This stuff is good.

Liquid Wrench LHL04/6 Lock and Hinge Lube – 4.5 oz. via Amazon Read the rest

Check out this clear products from Theodore Gray’s new book, How Things Work

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Theodore Gray, the co-creator of Mathematica, has written a number of beautifully photographed books that I love: The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe, Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything, and Reactions: An Illustrated Exploration of Elements, Molecules, and Change in the Universe. I give all of them my highest recommendation.

Gray has a new book out called How Things Work: The Inner Life of Everyday Machines and it’s another masterpiece. The publisher gave me permission to run a few sample pages from the chapter on “Clear Things,” products that are transparent (often because they were made for prisoners and the prisons don’t want prisoners hiding things inside opaque cases.

From the intro:

When I was young I saw for the first time a picture of a telephone with a transparent case. You could look inside and see all the electronic components that made it work! My first thought was “wow, that is so cool,” followed by “I want one.” But then I got worried.

A clear telephone seemed obviously superior to every other possible telephone, so why weren’t all telephones made with clear cases? Who could possibly want a phone that hid all the good stuff inside a pointlessly opaque case? I knew it couldn’t cost more to use clear plastic rather than colored plastic. Did the people who made telephones just not realize that they could use clear plastic? Could people smart enough to make a whole telephone really be that dumb?

Read the rest

Artist Drew Friedman has an exhibit at Ohio State University

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A while back we ran some pages from Drew Friedman’s new book All the Presidents, which has a portrait of every U.S. President, drawn by Drew. If you happen to be anywhere near Ohio State University, do yourself a favor and see Drew’s “Drawn to Presidents” exhibit at the Billy Ireland Library & Museum.

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum presents Drawn to Presidents: Portraits and Satiric Drawings by Drew Friedman November 2, 2019 through February 9, 2020.

Pennsylvania-based illustrator Drew Friedman has employed his intensely realistic, warts-and-all style of caricature to satirize celebrity and authority for four decades. In his latest book from Fantagraphics Books, All the Presidents, Friedman points his pen at the exclusive club of the United States presidents.

This exhibit features the original artwork created for All the Presidents, as well as presidential-themed original art created for, among others, SPY, MAD, TIME, Newsweek, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The New York Observer, and TOPPS “Wacky Packs.”

Building on a centuries-old tradition of cartoonists satirizing those in power, Friedman’s influences include Edward Sorel, Robert Grossman, Mort Drucker, David Levine, and more.

Read the rest

Get this top-rated photo editor for more than 85% off

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Hey designers: We know you get used to the photo editing system you’ve toiled away at for years. But what if we told you that great images don’t need to involve a ton of steps – and they certainly don’t need to be expensive.

Exhibit A: Fotor Online Pro, a photo editing tool that’s been racking up a four-and-a-half star rating on the Mac App Store for good reason.

Fotor offers all the functionality of leading photo editors in a super-intuitive package. Boring but essential tasks like cropping and resizing get done much quicker. The multiple templates and retouching tools are easily accessible and completely customizable. And portraits get a lot simpler to touch up with an interface that’s set up almost like a makeup tutorial.

The program’s HDR technology gives it access to a range of colors and shading that will punch up even the blandest image. Then there’s the ability to show your vacation snaps in a whole new way with the built in collage maker.

Check it out for yourself: Right now, a lifetime subscription to Fotor Online Pro is 87% off the list price. Read the rest

Corona Black is a stylish mech fighting game designed by two color blind brothers

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Corona Black is an upcoming turn-based mech fighting game with black and white graphics.

Art director Ota Imon explained the look:

“The black and white style was mostly because me and my brother, we’re color blind,” said Imon in a phone call with GamesBeat. “I didn’t want to work with colors, because it would be so much trouble for us. So I just got lazy and figured, we could do things the way we wanted, without worrying about that.”

In between battles, you can explore the story and improve the mech:

There’s a PC demo from 2018, and a brand new trailer:

The immediate plan is to release the game for home consoles. Read the rest

Danny Elfman is teaching a MasterClass: “It’s okay to fail”

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Never have I wanted to learn about creating music for film more than before watching the trailer for Danny Elfman’s new MasterClass ($90). In it, he talks about being “constantly insecure” despite having over 100 film scores under his belt. But quickly follows up with, “It’s okay to fail.” I mean, that’s just solid advice for anyone pursuing creative activities. I appreciate that he goes beyond the “how-to” of composing a film score and goes into what it means to be a working artist — being filled with doubts and insecurities and doing it anyway.

And I think all artists that are worth their anything are filled with doubt all the time. And the few that just don’t have any doubt, I think they’re destined become– they could be very successful. They could be good workmen. They could be good craftsmen.

But they’re not gonna be the really great artists. Because I think doubt and art are kind of combined. They’re just– it’s almost impossible to pull them apart doubt.

Doubting yourself and then finding confidence and moving forward and then doubting what you’ve just done and then working through that, I think this is the life of a composer, and I think it’s the life of an artist in general. And it’s OK to feel that way.

The class is 21 online sessions, including one that’s a Nightmare Before Christmas case study. The single class costs $90 or you can get an “all-access pass” for $15/month that allows you to watch other MasterClass classes (David Lynch, Penn & Teller, etc.). Read the rest

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