The new TWA Hotel

The soaring, yet spartan, 200,000-square-foot lobby was still being put together on opening day, but it buzzed with energy all the same. Guests enjoyed cocktails in the red-carpeted Sunken Lounge, served from two round bar stations on either side. The hotel’s vintage Lockheed Constellation and part of Terminal 5 can be viewed through floor-to-ceiling windows. The main entrance to the former TWA terminal is to the right, out of frame… More here.


Queuing for Everest

Officials and mountaineering agencies confirmed to NBC News on Friday that three Indian nationals died Thursday while trying to climb the world’s highest mountain, which sits on the border of Nepal and Tibet, an autonomous region of southwest China… More here.

Look closely at the image above and consider that Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest, in 1953. That isn’t so long ago and now people are queuing…

Life in Miniature

Kath Holden is an artist of the everyday. Inspired by the world around her, Kath’s creations are whimsical yet keenly observed, and a far cry from the genteel museum pieces that her contemporaries are producing. A proud Yorkshire woman, Kath reflects on her life and art as she carves a place for herself in the precious world of miniatures.


iN TECH® Bluetooth Earphones quick review

Really quick review. My Beats X broke (again!) and I wanted to go for a run that day. I had decided to run in silence, apart from the voices in my head, but needed to get petrol that morning and I happened upon some iN TECH® Bluetooth Earphones in my local petrol station.

Knowing they would be rubbish I asked how much they were and when the man said £14.99 I decided that they would be OK for a few runs until I finally decided on the next set for me. And anyway, my wife could use them on her runs if hers broke because the music she likes does not need good quality headphones anyway;) Bon Jovi sound pretty bad no matter what.

Anyway, I left them charging and once the little blue light appeared I paired them to my iPhone which happened with no hassle at all. I popped them in my ears, took them out again and installed the largest included buds, moulded the rather nice bendy plastic stalks around the back of my ears and pressed play.

F*ck! No word of a lie they sound better than my Beats X. They sound better than AirPods. The sound very good indeed and are close to the Jabras I tried recently. There is no sound leakage and there is decent noise cancellation and they stayed steady for the entire run. Even a call during the run was of decent quality for both parties which is not always the case with bluetooth headphones.

Battery life is not great at 2-3 hours, but the charging port is standard and there simply has to be a downside at under £15. Seriously, if you need a pair of cheap backup wireless headphones these could be the ones. Available here.

The Apple Store lustre

There was the time he visited the Easton Town Center location to buy a laptop for his 11-year-old daughter and spent almost 20 minutes getting an employee to accept his credit card. In January, Smith was buying a monitor and kept asking store workers to check him out, but they couldn’t because they were Apple “Geniuses” handling tech support and not sales.

“It took me forever to get someone to sell me the product,” says Smith, who runs 2PM Inc., an e-commerce research and consulting firm. “It’s become harder to buy something, even when the place isn’t busy. Buying a product there used to be a revered thing, now you don’t want to bother with the inconvenience.” More here.

I was in an Apple Store at the weekend and the article rings true. There was a time when it felt welcoming and as if the staff would do anything to help. It is still better than almost every other retailer, but there is no doubt a lot of the lustre has gone.

Fitness trackers ‘add miles to your marathon’

It found that the least reliable was the Garmin Vivosmart 4, which underestimated the distance by 10.8 miles – meaning the researcher actually ran 37 miles.

Garmin said it was because that particular tracker did not contain GPS.

It described the Vivosmart 4 as an “all-round smart fitness tracker” and suggested that marathon runners use its Forerunner range which is GPS-enabled.

Of the eight Apple models involved in the test, the Apple Watch series 1 was the most accurate, over-estimating the distance by 1%, while the series 3 overestimated by 13% – stating that the runner had completed the marathon distance after 22.8 miles… More here.

I have tried and used trackers from Apple, Fitbit, Garmin and others over a few years now and not one of them has proved to be anywhere near accurate.

There are obvious reasons for this because stride length cannot be measured accurately and it will change depending on what you are doing. However, saying that the lack of GPS causes a problem is not a good thing because the tracker in question should not be offering to track treadmill running and other activities in the first place.

Trends are all you can look at. Accept the inherent inaccuracies and look to build the trend over time.

To Grieve Is to Carry Another Time

When my wife died, my life was thrown out of time. My past didn’t seem to connect to my present. How had the last 13 years turned me into an only parent of two young children, owner of a house in the suburbs of a Midwestern city with a job that paid too little to send the kids to child care? It didn’t seem possible that I’d made those choices. I would never have made them alone. My life only made sense if my wife was alive… More here.

This is a remarkable piece of writing. A must read if ever I saw one.

How did the qwerty keyboard become so popular?

Typing at 60 words per minute (wpm) – no stretch for a good typist – means five or six letters striking the same spot each second. At such a speed, the typist might need to be slowed down for the sake of the typewriter. That is what qwerty supposedly did.

Then again, if qwerty really was designed to be slow, how come the most popular pair of letters in English, T-H, are adjacent and right under the index fingers? The plot thickens.

The father of the qwerty keyboard was Christopher Latham Sholes, a printer from Wisconsin who sold his first typewriter in 1868 to Porter’s Telegraph College, Chicago. That bit’s important… More here.

This subject has been debated many many times and so it continues.

Street Artists Transform an Ordinary Building

“We’ve noticed that this project brought people together without pushing it,” Is De Man tells My Modern Met. “They meet each other through books. Regardless of the differences in cultures, regardless of the differences in political point of views. Regardless of being extreme right or extreme left. Books are magical. They tickle your brain. And everyone can read the same book, but feel something different.” More here.

That is stunning.