Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Toys’ Category

I don’t think I will try this

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Written by Leisureguy

5 May 2021 at 5:14 pm

Posted in Daily life, Toys, Video

Blob Opera: Watch, Listen, and Experiment

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Google engineers having fun. Go to this page, then click on everything to see what happens and click-and-drag the blobs. More entertaining than you might expect.

More experiments here.

Written by Leisureguy

21 December 2020 at 10:32 am

Summertime favorite: The Super Soaker—and the man who invented it

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Much more in this brief history.

Written by Leisureguy

4 July 2019 at 2:55 pm

Posted in Toys, Video

A skateboard without the board part

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From this NPR story:

Written by Leisureguy

29 March 2015 at 9:10 am

Posted in Techie toys, Toys

Life is getting extremely weird: Real Life Katamari Ball Tests the Limits of 3D Printing

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I think we have seriously underestimated how weird daily life is becoming—though “we” clearly does not include William Gibson. Check out this article in Motherboard by Emanuel Maiberg:

Katamari Damacy took the gaming world by storm in 2004 with a simple concept. You roll a ball into objects that stick to it and make the ball bigger, which then allows you to roll into and gather bigger objects, making the ball even bigger, and so on. You start by rolling up loose change on the floor and before you know you’re rolling into trucks and buildings. The challenge was to see how big of a Katamari ball you could make before the timer runs out.

Kata​mari Roll, a new project by Arian Croft, uses the same idea to hopefully test the limits of 3D printing.

Croft, who’s known for his 3D-printed board game Pock​et-Tactics, got the idea for the project when he spotted a 3D model of a Katam​ari Ball on Th​ingiverse, 3D printer manufacturer Makerbot’s repository of models that users can share and print. “I noticed that it both hadn’t been printed yet, and that, though left in a repository full of random objects, it had yet to be used to gather a mound of objects,” he said.

Like the game that inspired it, Katamari Roll has a simple concept. Take the Katamari Ball, add a random 3D model to it, print it out, and pass it along. With 12 iterations so far, it’s off to a good start.

“It took off on the first day, and the clump has gotten bigger and bigger since,” Croft said. “It’s slowed down a bit, though as I document and more people catch on, it’ll grow, until, I guess, it can’t be printed anymore?”

Croft said that there are definitely limitations to how big the ball can get—Makerbot’s . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

25 March 2015 at 7:53 pm

Excellent letter to Lego from a 7-year-old girl

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From Daily Kos:

Dear Lego company:

My name is Charlotte. I am 7 years old and I love legos but I don’t like that there are more Lego boy people and barely any Lego girls.

Today I went to a store and saw legos in two sections the girls pink and the boys blue. All the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach, and shop, and they had no jobs but the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people, and had jobs, even swam with sharks.

I want you to make more Lego girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun ok!?!

Thank you.

From Charlotte.


Written by Leisureguy

3 February 2014 at 10:16 am

Posted in Daily life, Education, Toys

Teddy has an operation

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Written by Leisureguy

5 September 2013 at 8:09 am

A young entrepreneur

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Thanks to The Eldest for passing along this video:


You can donate to his scholarship fund—why not toss a dollar or two his way? Or, if you’re feeling generous, the price of a grande latte?

Written by Leisureguy

12 April 2012 at 9:45 am

Posted in Business, Daily life, Toys, Video

Cute miniature cannon

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From the Firearm Blog, which suspects that the “powder” consists of matchhead scrapings:

Written by Leisureguy

10 May 2010 at 8:55 am

Looks like fun

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More info here.

Written by Leisureguy

5 March 2010 at 12:33 pm

A genetic basis for language tones?

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For the most part, the thousands of languages in the world today fall into one of two categories (notable exceptions being Japanese, some Scandinavian dialects and northern Spain’s Basque tongue): tonal or nontonal.

Two linguists believe they know the genetic underpinnings for these differences. During a study of linguistic and genetic data from 49 distinct populations, the authors discovered a striking correlation between two genes involved in brain development and language tonality. Populations that speak nontonal languages (where the pitch of a spoken word does not affect its meaning) have newer versions of the genes, with mutations that began to appear roughly 37 thousand years ago.

“You can consider this as the first of the many possible studies that we could do to try to find a genetic basis for language and language typology and the different populations that speak a language,” says Patrick Wong, an assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders at Northwestern University, who was not involved in this study.

In English, the pitch at which a word is spoken conveys emotion but usually does not affect its meaning. But in many sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asian and Latin American languages tone changes the meaning of words. For instance, the Chinese word huar said in a high pitch means flower, but in a dipping pitch means picture.

The new research, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA ties this difference to two genes,…

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

1 April 2008 at 7:33 pm

Posted in Science, Toys

Interesting bike

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Frame is made from a woven lattice of carbon-fiber composite wrapped with Kevlar string. Interesting to look at, stronger than any other material to date, and extremely light: frame is 2.75 pounds. More here and here.

Written by Leisureguy

7 March 2008 at 3:42 pm

Air ray

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Extremely cool. Watch the short video. Don’t you want one?

Written by Leisureguy

22 November 2007 at 12:09 pm

Posted in Techie toys, Toys

Break free of consumerism

leave a comment » has a very good post today:

“It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Much of our activity these days is nothing more than a cheap anesthetic to deaden the pain of an empty life.” – Unknown

“The things you own end up owning you.” – Tyler Durden in Fight Club

Beyond a minimum threshold of poverty, money doesn’t buy happiness. Wealth may seem like a solution to your problems, but often it simply replaces the ones it solves. As paychecks increase, lifestyles usually match those increases. This results in the same financial worries and budgeting problems, just with more stuff.

A preoccupation with owning things is a poor attempt to fill a vacuum. Occasionally stuff can fill that vacuum. Buying that new computer or fancy car might temporarily shrink the hole. But quickly you adapt to the new upgrades and the hole grows, enslaving you to earn higher and higher paychecks with no way out.

The Problem Isn’t Out There

Stuff isn’t really the problem. I’m not a monk living in a temple, forsaking all consumer goods and taking a vow of poverty. I work to earn money and I have a fair number of possessions. Not owning things is not better than owning things, since they simply different manifestations of the same crisis.

That crisis is the dualistic reasoning that says you can own stuff. My car, my clothes, my girlfriend, my husband, my friends, my anything. By knifing the world into what you have and what you do not, you commit a fatal error in understanding.

Ownership is an invention. It’s something that doesn’t exist in nature, but a societal construct. In some ways it is a very useful construct. It allows groups to function and interact with each other. The error happens when you focus on this myth so much that it becomes real, and you can’t see any alternative.

The Lonely Man and the Myth of Ownership

Pretend you were the only person on earth. You were born from unknown origins and have always lived alone. Let’s say that you are also completely self-sufficient and can survive complete isolation.

Now tell me, what would you own?

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

20 September 2007 at 10:43 am

Jheronimus Bosch action figures: collect ’em all

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Bad earDevil in high chair
From a reader, this collection of Jheronimus Bosch figurines, which she says are even scarier in 3-D. A perfect gift for little tykes worried about monsters in the bedroom at night: let them know what those monsters might look like! More about him here.

Written by Leisureguy

20 July 2007 at 12:59 pm

Posted in Art, Daily life, Toys

Rube Goldberg machines

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Everyone knows what a Rube Goldberg machine is, right?

Written by Leisureguy

16 July 2007 at 2:26 pm

Posted in Toys, Video

Bento blow-out

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Here’s a long list of bento-related links, for those who enjoy that, from the blog Cooking Cute.

And, speaking of bento supplies, those of you who take your lunch (thus with the potential of improving your nutrition and saving your money simultaneously), check out the Ms. Bento kit.

And here’s a good 4-level lunch box.

Written by Leisureguy

31 January 2007 at 2:53 pm

How Legos are made

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NSFW: sound. But something The Elder Grandson will greatly enjoy.

Written by Leisureguy

16 January 2007 at 2:34 pm

Posted in Technology, Toys

That crazy toy is now available

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I blogged about it, and now the toy is here! It’s a speedboat, it’s a race car, it’s a plane! Very wild! (Video at the links—NSFW: second link is a TV commercial.)

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2006 at 11:03 am

The GEM Heavy-Duty Flat-Top

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Single-edge blades—those with the thick back, beloved of model-airplane builders—are thicker than double-edged blades and, some say, give a shave much more like that obtained with a straight razor. I have tried the GEM Micromatic, which is a twist-to-open razor: turn the knob at the end of the handle and the flap at the top, which holds the blade, raises; turn the other way, it closes.

Not a terrific shave, but recently a kind reader sent me a GEM Heavy-Duty Flat-Top. This razor uses a spring to hold the flap down, securing the blade, and the flap is opened with the thumb. The handle is metal, with a sort of slanting knob at the end, which somehow works exactly right for the grip—I particularly noticed it in the against-the-grain pass.

Above are three views of the razor. You’ll note the razor blade is still wet from the morning shave. And an exceptionally smooth shave it was: four passes (some razors give a smooth shave with three passes, some require four): down, diagonal, diagonal the other way, and up. No nicks at all. Lovely razor.

The blades I get from Ted Pella, GEM stainless PTFE-coated single-edge in bulk ($33 for 200). Razor and Brush has single-edged blades (scroll down toward the bottom of the page) that are specifically designed for shaving rather than for laboratory dissection, and these seem to work better for me.

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Written by Leisureguy

23 September 2006 at 11:28 am

Posted in Shaving, Toys

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