Routine Breaker – Interesting Finds

Design in the Wild. –core77
August 5, 2009, 11:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Hiking and the outdoors are some of the joys of life. Whenever you spend a long time in the wilderness with your gear you end up thinking of it in a different way. I try to think of ways that it might be useful in other circumstances or how it originated or how it might get better. Just the inquisitive nature that my family instilled upon me, I guess. Anyways, the wonderful site, core77, put together this article about industrial design and camping gear. Enjoy.


17 days and 201 miles of walking later, the Big Walk I described last month has come to a close. For the backcountry inclined, I can highly recommend the John Muir Trail as a true scenic masterpiece; for those more interested in product design, there’s plenty to tell also.

For starters, my stance on electronics in the backcountry is mostly unchanged — they are to be avoided whenever possible. The two electrically-powered objects in my pack, a headlamp and a camera, both performed well, but batteries are dense little things, and add noticeably to the weight of anything requiring them. The charge remaining in the camera, moreover, became a subject of constant concern: things just get more and more scenic as you head south down the JMT, and the worry that a photo snapped on day 14 would prevent us from shooting one on day 17 superseded concerns about hypothermia and twisted ankles, and that just ain’t right.

Many of the other technological wonders that I carried turned out to be well worth their designers’ efforts, though — here’s a review of five of them:  Read more.


BBC News – Italian Lotto Town
August 4, 2009, 9:43 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

California should try this out. They might get out of their debt.

Italian Lotto

Sicily town bets wages on lottery

A Sicilian mayor has come up with a novel plan to resolve his town’s cash-flow problems – by betting local officials’ salaries on the lottery.

Italy’s SuperEnalotto has not been won in weeks, and its jackpot has climbed to an unprecedented 116m euros (£98m).

Ficarra Mayor Basilio Ridolfo and his colleagues have stumped up 115 euros from their pay packet to buy tickets.

The chances of winning Tuesday’s draw were higher than those of receiving funds pledged by the state, he said.

And the mayor seems to hope that a little more than luck will boost the town’s chances of getting all six numbers correct in the unprecedented draw.

”We chose numbers which were connected with the town’s patron saint, the Virgin Mary of the Assumption,” Mr Ridolfo was quoted as saying by Ansa news agency.

“It is our hope that, with her blessing, we will hit the jackpot.”

Long odds

If Ficarra does strike it lucky, Mr Ridolfo said half of the winnings would be spent on municipal projects while the rest would be divided between the town’s 2,000 residents.

While the odds are long, it would be the second big windfall for Sicily in less than a year if Ficarra – which nestles on green hilltops overlooking Sicily’s northern coast – were to win.

SuperEnalotto’s previous record jackpot was £85m, won in October 2008 in another Sicilian town, Catania.

Winning numbers are drawn three times a week, but the jackpot has rolled over for several months as no ticket holder has correctly picked all six numbers.