Old technology staying alive

I really enjoyed this LA Times article and video about a company that repairs typewriters. They claim their seeing a resurgence in use because computers are too distracting to write on. They have too much other stuff going on with them, like the Internet.

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“But the typewriter part of Flores’ business never went away. In some ways, it’s even made a small resurgence. The simplicity of the typewriter is alluring to writers who may be overwhelmed (or underwhelmed) by increasingly elaborate technology. A typewriter is also appealing in its transparency — whack a key, and watch the typebar smack a letter onto a piece of paper. Try figuring that out with a laser printer. Many people also find typewriters charming ambassadors of a bygone era. One recent customer asked Flores to fix her mother’s college typewriter so she could type letters home when she went off to college.”

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Family photo

My friend and very talented photographer, Paul Wilkinson (AKA “Wilky”) just won a slew of awards at the British Professional Photography Awards which were held recently in Newcastle.

One of them was for “Parent & Child Portrait Photographer Of The Year” which he won with a shot of Shannon, Maddie and I, taken along the riverbank near our house. Apparently, the judges liked our backs (M not withstanding) :-)

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He’s got some coverage up on the ePhotoZine website. Nice job, Wilky!

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Folding architecture

I really loved this article on folding bamboo houses, designed for use after a natural (or not) disaster. What I liked was the sense of the potential different uses of the space under the shelter through the change in its geometry. By opening and closing the shape you could create open spaces, or discrete ones.

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“Ming Tang’s beautiful origami-inspired Folded Bamboo Houses are intended to be used as temporary shelters in the aftermath of an earthquake. Brilliant in their simplicity, the geometric shelters are constructed from renewable materials and can be folded into a variety of structurally sound shapes.”
from Inhabitat

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Deleting memories

For fans of “Eternal Sunshine“…

Selectively Deleting Memories

“Amping up a chemical in the mouse brain and then triggering the animal’s recall can cause erasure of those, and only those, specific memories, according to research in the most recent issue of the journal Neuron. While the study was done in mice that were genetically modified to react to the chemical, the results suggest that it might one day be possible to develop a drug for eliminating specific, long-term memories, something that could be a boon for those suffering from debilitating phobias or post-traumatic stress disorder.”

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Royal Mail Games

Really liked this project by Harriet Russell testing the capabilities and, to some extent, sense of humour of the Royal Mail. She sent 130 envelopes each of which represented an address in some cryptic way, from crosswords (see below) to anagrams. Only 10 didn’t get through.

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“Despite fears of a Royal Mail backlash, Russell found the system more than willing to play her game.  The crossword edition was returned completed with the comment “Solved by the Glasgow Mail Centre”

Mail Games: Testing the System | PSFK – Trends, Ideas & Inspiration

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