This happened in China. Now, we know what you're thinking, "I thought that everything made in China was done so to incredibly high quality standards?!" Well, not this time. It appears that someone was digging next to the building for an underground garage and piling the excavated dirt on the other side of the building. Even the most rudimentary knowledge of physics would start setting off alarms on that one. Again, not this time. Can you imagine the noise when this thing hit the ground?
One of the most memorable days we've ever had was years ago when a roommate came home and announced, "dude, I got a tattoo!"
"Ok," we said, figuring it was one of those little ankle daggers, or maybe a Celtic symbol on the shoulder, at the most a tribal band on the bicep. What we weren't expecting was for our roomie to take off his shirt and turn around, exposing a massive tattoo on his back. Irreversibly etched into our drinking buddy's skin was a naked woman in a crucifixion pose, complete with angel wings which stretched from shoulder blade to shoulder blade. In one of her hands was a sword and in the other was a quill pen. One nice thing about the tattoo being on his back was that it prohibited him from seeing our jaw hit the floor.
But it's now many, many years later and our pal is still very satisfied with the tattoo, and hey, more power to him. He even got married to a wonderful gal who apparently doesn't mind.
That said, there's hope for these other dudes who have opted for permanent drawings, not of naked women, but of tools on their bodies. The good fellas over at Charles & Hudson have collected a bunch of photos of tattoos that we're glad we don't have..
Even though we're obsessed with the iRobot Roomba (our review here), we haven't yet gotten to the point where we're taking years off our lives using the funky vacuum to recreate a long-dead piece of our childhood.
Seems like these guys (who, for some reason, reek of MIT) have made a real life version of Pac-Man with the Roomba. It reminds us of an updated nerd version of those full-sized chess games that you see at Renaissance festivals (we're just guessing on this, we've never been to a Renaissance festival...really...no, really...well...ok...there's actually one we go to every year...and it's awesome).
But back to the Pac-Man dudes. They've put up a website explaining how they did what they did and it's really pretty cool if you're into that sort of thing.
Harry Sawyers from Popular Mechanics has come up with a list of tools we might see as a result of the Stanley/Black & Decker merger. Of the new items, our favorite is the Dead Mouse, a combination of the B & D Mouse Sander and a Stanley dead-blow hammer. Harry has this to say about the stunning potential of the new tool:
The Mouse sander, a Black & Decker detail sander that has had numerous generations of design improvements, has nearly reached perfection. At this point, the clothing-iron-shaped tool could only be criticized for perhaps taking too long to sand a surface smooth. The solution: Combine it with one of Stanley's dead-blow hammers, creating a toolbox essential called the Dead Mouse.
Dead-blow hammers or mallets contain a soft, shot-filled head which absorbs impact as it strikes delicate surfaces. When incorporated into the Dead Mouse, these features could create a sander that operates by simply slamming into the workpiece repeatedly, quickly sanding material with each blow while minimizing impact on the user's arm. The most recent version of the Mouse contained a "Zone Touch" light that turned red when an operator pressed the tool too hard into the sanding surface. This feature would need revision in the Dead Mouse--the light must be reversed to display a warning when the tool isn't hitting the surface hard enough.
Check out the other new tools (the Fu-Buster, the Ready-Plane, the AlligatorVibe AntiLopper, and the AutoFat Tape Measure) over at Popular Mechanics.
Like we've mentioned earlier, we've just moved into a 1915 farmhouse. It's a wonderful, saggy, uneven structure with more character than Clint Eastwood's face. The house has good bones and most of the work associated with the man who built it and first lived in it is very nice. There have been other owners though who have been tinkerers and their work is...well...interesting. Interesting enough that we're going to start a new series, "Crazy Details In Our New House."
This first installment is of the creative plumbing that occurs as the waste line leaves the house. It's a beauty. The two small lines coming in from the top are a sink and a tub (why bother with two traps when you can just use one?). Unfortunately, the photo doesn't represent the whole effect. You're missing the strange patch further down on the waste line which has a slight leak, and there's no way to tell from the photo, but the plumbing system isn't vented, so every time we flush a toilet, there's a fantastic 'GLUG...GLUG...GLUG." Actually, now that we think about it, the corroded and abandoned cast-iron pipe that's stuffed with newspaper sort of acts as a semi-functional vent. Maybe that's why the glugging isn't as loud on the first floor.
Did we mention that we love this house? We really do.
tom: Arbortech mini grinder is a good tool, but the belts read more Koko the Talking Ape: Hi! Is this site still active? We used to get read more B. King: I am looking for the rechargeable electric cord for my read more Kevin: dude is going to be in a world of hurt read more Lawrence Ashdown: Please don't send any more catalogs - we are moving!! read more