Monday, August 15, 2016

Reading list: The Goblin Reservation

The Goblin Reservation, described as a forgotten classic and "more light-hearted than most of Simak’s other novels" comes with a 'highest recommendation' as "a near-perfect blend of action, humor, and conscience". It was also recommended by a Russian translator colleague.

Cover of the original Berkley paperback edition
of 1968, courtesy of Polite Dissent

Illustration by Soviet artist Eugenia Sterligova,
from Wikipedia

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Laundry balls

Laundry balls were all the rage a few years ago. The corresponding marketing claims always seemed somewhat pseudoscientific. Cf. Wikipedia. It seems quite a few 'eco stores' were taken in by the apparent greenwash propaganda – or worse, were perhaps 'complicit' in misleading well-meaning 'green consumers'. Could it all have been a load of balls?

Update June 2017:
Further "research" and the German page here would suggest that the mechanical effect of certain laundry balls can in fact be beneficial. In one of the tests, better results were achieved with 50% of the normal washing power quantity than with 100% washing powder and no balls!
Our laundry balls have since been "recommissioned".

Friday, August 12, 2016

Blast from the past: HP 15C

I still have my HP 15C calculator from my uni days (described here as "THE killer scientific calculator for engineers and chemists back in the '80s"), including the German Benutzerhandbuch. Looks like they are selling for USD 100 or more (see eBay or Amazon).

Website of the day: World Ocean Observatory