davesparks

art-of-swords:

Ceremonial Dagger

  • Dated: mid-19th Century
  • Culture: Italian

The dagger has a straight, double-edged blade, ribbed at the tip and with three deep grooves. The tang is slightly thickened, and almost the entire surface is engraved with floral motifs. It features a brass hilt picturing a skeleton wearing a tunic, while the guard features is a snake in-the-round. Comes together with a velvet-covered wooden sheath with brass mounts decorated with bas-relieved leaf patterns.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Live Auctioneers

tommypenner
tommypenner:

peterwknox:

20 Twenties Tweaks: #18 - How to Hack it in NYC in Your Twenties
I’ve lived in New York City these last 8 years. Before then I had visited rarely and only on day trips. I had never thought I’d ever live in a city and now I’m comfortable in the biggest one.
Early on, I overheard someone at a bar say you were a ‘New Yorker’ after 7 years. Of course this is a much debated issue. Real New Yorkers say it can only be bequeathed by birth, or real estate, or it’s 10 years, or when you’ve lived here longer than anywhere else. It’s all those things and more and won’t ever be resolved. To me, it’s just whenever you feel like one.
I can’t tell you when that was for me, but moving between 3 boroughs in 10 months of 2010 made me feel like I was becoming one. Doing one last Craigslist search WITH Broker, just in case, led us to where we’ve lived (cheaper per month w/fee than similar non-fee places) now in Brooklyn for almost 4 years. It’s where I’ve been the happiest in NYC.
One lesson I’ve learned I was most prepared for:
Treat NYC like college: your dorm room is small but the campus is huge and always has more things going on that you could possibly attend, but you’re paying so much to be there you have to try.
and least:
Trying to enjoy living here but not spending money is like riding Splash Mountain but trying not to get wet: possible, but not much fun, and besides the point.
And here’s a list of more specific hacks I’ve learned along those lines:
If you can’t think of a good reason to stay at crowded bar besides being thirsty, then go to another one. Life’s too short. And don’t tip less than $1 a drink, ever. That’s a good habit to start immediately.
Embrace city sized limitations. Everyone’s apartment is too small for them. Stop buying new stuff. Purge the old regularly. This is why you see books outside every stoop. People have moved on, to your benefit.
A absolute must is a reliable Weekend Bag you bring on the subway and to work and then straight to your adventure. I have switched permanently to backpacks (GORUCK brand, lifetime guarantee, easy to pack, light on back) but find what works for you when you’re crammed into a full subway car on your way to work. If it can’t fit in your weekend bag then you don’t need it for the weekend.
Use your time on the subway platform better. Plan where you’ll want to get off the train for your future transfer or exit. When you take the same line enough you’ll remember. I use the app Exit Strategy to help with unfamiliar stops. At minimum have a reliable subway map app for offline use underground - no one has the whole system memorized.
Learn how to get away. Day trips to beaches in Long Island or New Jersey. Day trips to hiking in Hudson County north of the city. Camping via car, train, or cab to close local sites. Keep friends in other cities. Discover the North Fork. Get out occasionally to stay sane and appreciate the city when you return.
Put your regular food stops in your phone. Call in your to bagel or pizza order as you’re en route to them so you’re not waiting in line for the regular when you get there. When you walk past everyone standing around the counter waiting and pick up your ready to go food, you’ll feel a small victory.
Sign up for the free Cool NYC A/C Unit offering. It’ll be worth that one time appointment to set up your units with wifi enabled electrical modules when you can turn them on via the app before you head home to a cool apartment. (Program actually intended to cut down electrical costs and I’m sure it does).
Justify paying for cable by considering the difference in expense between beers at home and beers at the bar. And then go in for only really big games. All soccer games are really big games.
Everyone needs a messenger bag in a city. It’s like everything you would usually keep around the front seat of your car that you don’t have. When you leave in the morning and come back late at night, you’ll have needed that book, umbrella, sunglasses, snack, etc. Also, buy a nice umbrella as a smart investment.
Make sure you get a local bank. I learned the hard way when I had my wallet taken and couldn’t get cash out of anywhere for a subway pass. Consider ATM fees. That’s why I got Chase, there’s a million of those ATMs.
If you can, get on a schedule where you’re buying your subway monthly pass on any other date than the first/beginning of the month when there’s long lines of everyone else refilling theirs.
If you’re tired at the end of the night resist the open seats for the subway ride home. Stand on the subway and you won’t fall asleep. Sit down and you may wake up at the other end of the line. If your pockets aren’t cut out (happened to me! See, losing wallet) consider yourself lucky and don’t do it again. This is where cabs can be worth their expense.
Schedule your credit card payments after the middle of the month so that you’re paying Rent on the 1st and your debt after the 15th. Most credit cards are flexible on when to set up payment due dates.
If it starts raining and you aren’t already in a cab, forget about it. Use that time walking to the nearest subway, not standing on the corner frustrated and wet. Ain’t gonna happen buddy.
When it’s anywhere near rush hour it’ll still be faster to take the A subway to the AirTran to JFK than a cab. For LGA take the F,M,E,R,7 train to Roosevelt Ave stop in Queens and then the bus one stop. Newark, take the PATH. When you’re walking out of the airplane gate and want to avoid the Taxi Line, call a car service so that it’ll be there as you walk out.
Sign up for the daily TheSkint email. There’s hundreds of events listings and newsletters in NYC but over the years I’ve found this to be the least fluffy, most reliable, and targeted towards my interests in booze, books, movies, music, comedy, and affordable. Something every day that you’d want to see, I promise.
The best view of the Statue of Liberty is free by taking the Staten Island Ferry to SI and back. You can buy a beer onboard and wave hello and goodbye to Lady Liberty. I just love a good ferry.
My “Go-Bag” has a picnic blanket, seat backs, a corkscrew, and plastic cups. Be ready to picnic/see an outdoor movie/concert at any time. They happen more often than you could possibly keep up. Assign one attendee the booze, one the food/snacks, and one person to get there early and scout out a space. 30 mins prior isn’t early. Even an hour barely counts as early.
You may resist it but sign up for that damn Rite Aid/CVS/Duane Reade loyalty card. You’ll be back and you’ll appreciated the earned savings on toilet paper and shampoo.
Ship things to your office. Unless you have a doorman or love chasing packages all over the city, you’ll save so much more time just by bringing things home from work in your messenger bag. My mail in Brooklyn doesn’t even deliver every day when it should. I just got last week’s New Yorker today.
Be patient and flexible. You can’t control when the subways will arrive and how crowded they will inevitably be when they get there. Always have a backup route and give yourself lots of time to get where you’re going (and bring a book of course). NYC is an exercise in what you cannot control. It’ll help you pick your battles when you realize that EVERYONE is in the same boat as you. Relax.
If interviewing in the summer, take an air-conditioned cab TO the interview and then subway back. Trust me, I had 3 interviews during the first week of August 2006 when the NYC heat wave was taking lives by the dozens.
Keep a shared updated Google calendar. When you make plans, put them in there. When you’re in a relationship, these plans affect someone else. This way they’ll know when you’re already committed, what you’ve committed to doing together, and it’s as good as gold in planning as well as defending your plans. If it’s not in the calendar it’s not real. Have a Me, You, Together label/calendar and use it religiously. Andrea and I started ours long before we moved in together. This isn’t an option.
Get the free Venmo app for sharing money between friends. It’s the easiest way to split a cab, bill, food delivery, or pay back for tickets I’ve found; a bank agnostic faster PayPal for paying people back.
Bring your booze to the food or the food to your booze. In other words, seek out the BYOB restaurant in your area. Or call and pick up food on your way home. And don’t ignore the power of Seamless for ordering in - it’s delightful and so easy/worth it.
Join something or start something worth joining. I played several seasons on the WAKA (World Adult Kickball Association) because one old HS friend was captain and recruited me. I spent every Wednesday out until 1am with a whole group of strangers that loved and supported each other. I joined a Zogsports dodgeball league down the street from my apartment based on that proximity alone and got to know my neighbors. Membership comes with a tshirt and a built-in family. Sign up.
What NYC hacks have you figured out on your own?
*I’m posting daily one hack/tweak I’ve discovered and integrated into my life during the last decade as I lead up to my 30th birthday on the 28th. Here’s all of the #20sTweaks so far.

I think I’ve been on a parallel track next to peterwknox, it’s fascinating how I’ve picked up on many of these same protips during my nearly-three years here in the City. I still think of myself as a Midwest guy living in New York, but every day I experience something that makes me love this city a little bit more. 
Great tips, and great insight into life here in New York.

Good tips for any city really. Definitely need to go explore the area some more.

tommypenner:

peterwknox:

20 Twenties Tweaks: #18 - How to Hack it in NYC in Your Twenties

I’ve lived in New York City these last 8 years. Before then I had visited rarely and only on day trips. I had never thought I’d ever live in a city and now I’m comfortable in the biggest one.

Early on, I overheard someone at a bar say you were a ‘New Yorker’ after 7 years. Of course this is a much debated issue. Real New Yorkers say it can only be bequeathed by birth, or real estate, or it’s 10 years, or when you’ve lived here longer than anywhere else. It’s all those things and more and won’t ever be resolved. To me, it’s just whenever you feel like one.

I can’t tell you when that was for me, but moving between 3 boroughs in 10 months of 2010 made me feel like I was becoming one. Doing one last Craigslist search WITH Broker, just in case, led us to where we’ve lived (cheaper per month w/fee than similar non-fee places) now in Brooklyn for almost 4 years. It’s where I’ve been the happiest in NYC.

One lesson I’ve learned I was most prepared for:

  • Treat NYC like college: your dorm room is small but the campus is huge and always has more things going on that you could possibly attend, but you’re paying so much to be there you have to try.

and least:

  • Trying to enjoy living here but not spending money is like riding Splash Mountain but trying not to get wet: possible, but not much fun, and besides the point.

And here’s a list of more specific hacks I’ve learned along those lines:

  • If you can’t think of a good reason to stay at crowded bar besides being thirsty, then go to another one. Life’s too short. And don’t tip less than $1 a drink, ever. That’s a good habit to start immediately.
  • Embrace city sized limitations. Everyone’s apartment is too small for them. Stop buying new stuff. Purge the old regularly. This is why you see books outside every stoop. People have moved on, to your benefit.
  • A absolute must is a reliable Weekend Bag you bring on the subway and to work and then straight to your adventure. I have switched permanently to backpacks (GORUCK brand, lifetime guarantee, easy to pack, light on back) but find what works for you when you’re crammed into a full subway car on your way to work. If it can’t fit in your weekend bag then you don’t need it for the weekend.
  • Use your time on the subway platform better. Plan where you’ll want to get off the train for your future transfer or exit. When you take the same line enough you’ll remember. I use the app Exit Strategy to help with unfamiliar stops. At minimum have a reliable subway map app for offline use underground - no one has the whole system memorized.
  • Learn how to get away. Day trips to beaches in Long Island or New Jersey. Day trips to hiking in Hudson County north of the city. Camping via car, train, or cab to close local sites. Keep friends in other cities. Discover the North Fork. Get out occasionally to stay sane and appreciate the city when you return.
  • Put your regular food stops in your phone. Call in your to bagel or pizza order as you’re en route to them so you’re not waiting in line for the regular when you get there. When you walk past everyone standing around the counter waiting and pick up your ready to go food, you’ll feel a small victory.
  • Sign up for the free Cool NYC A/C Unit offering. It’ll be worth that one time appointment to set up your units with wifi enabled electrical modules when you can turn them on via the app before you head home to a cool apartment. (Program actually intended to cut down electrical costs and I’m sure it does).
  • Justify paying for cable by considering the difference in expense between beers at home and beers at the bar. And then go in for only really big games. All soccer games are really big games.
  • Everyone needs a messenger bag in a city. It’s like everything you would usually keep around the front seat of your car that you don’t have. When you leave in the morning and come back late at night, you’ll have needed that book, umbrella, sunglasses, snack, etc. Also, buy a nice umbrella as a smart investment.
  • Make sure you get a local bank. I learned the hard way when I had my wallet taken and couldn’t get cash out of anywhere for a subway pass. Consider ATM fees. That’s why I got Chase, there’s a million of those ATMs.
  • If you can, get on a schedule where you’re buying your subway monthly pass on any other date than the first/beginning of the month when there’s long lines of everyone else refilling theirs.
  • If you’re tired at the end of the night resist the open seats for the subway ride home. Stand on the subway and you won’t fall asleep. Sit down and you may wake up at the other end of the line. If your pockets aren’t cut out (happened to me! See, losing wallet) consider yourself lucky and don’t do it again. This is where cabs can be worth their expense.
  • Schedule your credit card payments after the middle of the month so that you’re paying Rent on the 1st and your debt after the 15th. Most credit cards are flexible on when to set up payment due dates.
  • If it starts raining and you aren’t already in a cab, forget about it. Use that time walking to the nearest subway, not standing on the corner frustrated and wet. Ain’t gonna happen buddy.
  • When it’s anywhere near rush hour it’ll still be faster to take the A subway to the AirTran to JFK than a cab. For LGA take the F,M,E,R,7 train to Roosevelt Ave stop in Queens and then the bus one stop. Newark, take the PATH. When you’re walking out of the airplane gate and want to avoid the Taxi Line, call a car service so that it’ll be there as you walk out.
  • Sign up for the daily TheSkint email. There’s hundreds of events listings and newsletters in NYC but over the years I’ve found this to be the least fluffy, most reliable, and targeted towards my interests in booze, books, movies, music, comedy, and affordable. Something every day that you’d want to see, I promise.
  • The best view of the Statue of Liberty is free by taking the Staten Island Ferry to SI and back. You can buy a beer onboard and wave hello and goodbye to Lady Liberty. I just love a good ferry.
  • My “Go-Bag” has a picnic blanket, seat backs, a corkscrew, and plastic cups. Be ready to picnic/see an outdoor movie/concert at any time. They happen more often than you could possibly keep up. Assign one attendee the booze, one the food/snacks, and one person to get there early and scout out a space. 30 mins prior isn’t early. Even an hour barely counts as early.
  • You may resist it but sign up for that damn Rite Aid/CVS/Duane Reade loyalty card. You’ll be back and you’ll appreciated the earned savings on toilet paper and shampoo.
  • Ship things to your office. Unless you have a doorman or love chasing packages all over the city, you’ll save so much more time just by bringing things home from work in your messenger bag. My mail in Brooklyn doesn’t even deliver every day when it should. I just got last week’s New Yorker today.
  • Be patient and flexible. You can’t control when the subways will arrive and how crowded they will inevitably be when they get there. Always have a backup route and give yourself lots of time to get where you’re going (and bring a book of course). NYC is an exercise in what you cannot control. It’ll help you pick your battles when you realize that EVERYONE is in the same boat as you. Relax.
  • If interviewing in the summer, take an air-conditioned cab TO the interview and then subway back. Trust me, I had 3 interviews during the first week of August 2006 when the NYC heat wave was taking lives by the dozens.
  • Keep a shared updated Google calendar. When you make plans, put them in there. When you’re in a relationship, these plans affect someone else. This way they’ll know when you’re already committed, what you’ve committed to doing together, and it’s as good as gold in planning as well as defending your plans. If it’s not in the calendar it’s not real. Have a Me, You, Together label/calendar and use it religiously. Andrea and I started ours long before we moved in together. This isn’t an option.
  • Get the free Venmo app for sharing money between friends. It’s the easiest way to split a cab, bill, food delivery, or pay back for tickets I’ve found; a bank agnostic faster PayPal for paying people back.
  • Bring your booze to the food or the food to your booze. In other words, seek out the BYOB restaurant in your area. Or call and pick up food on your way home. And don’t ignore the power of Seamless for ordering in - it’s delightful and so easy/worth it.
  • Join something or start something worth joining. I played several seasons on the WAKA (World Adult Kickball Association) because one old HS friend was captain and recruited me. I spent every Wednesday out until 1am with a whole group of strangers that loved and supported each other. I joined a Zogsports dodgeball league down the street from my apartment based on that proximity alone and got to know my neighbors. Membership comes with a tshirt and a built-in family. Sign up.

What NYC hacks have you figured out on your own?

*I’m posting daily one hack/tweak I’ve discovered and integrated into my life during the last decade as I lead up to my 30th birthday on the 28th. Here’s all of the #20sTweaks so far.

I think I’ve been on a parallel track next to peterwknox, it’s fascinating how I’ve picked up on many of these same protips during my nearly-three years here in the City. I still think of myself as a Midwest guy living in New York, but every day I experience something that makes me love this city a little bit more. 

Great tips, and great insight into life here in New York.

Good tips for any city really. Definitely need to go explore the area some more.

cah

cah:

Last winter, we launched a rather risky promotion we called The 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit, where Cards Against Humanity fans paid $12 to receive 12 mystery gifts over the course of December.

We’ve written pretty extensively about all the crazy stunts we pulled off, but it’s past due to talk about the last one. Included in the first day’s envelope was a note that there was a very hard puzzle spread across the 12 days’ mailings and a message, in Caesar Cipher, not to throw anything away. That’s because the envelopes were a key part of the puzzle. Now that the puzzle has been solved for a few months, it’s time to reveal and explain the solution. Each envelope had a lovely and punny illustration by our friend Maré Odomo of the each of The Twelve Days of Christmas in order (we especially love the Two Turtle Doves).

The first step to the puzzle was to notice that each envelope had a funny time, date, and location stamp on the back. It’s not a real time stamp; we made it up. And everyone’s was the same, even the times, another clue that something was fishy about it. The first thing to notice was that the seconds timestamp were the first 12 prime number, giving a unique and clearly non-random order to the envelopes other than the order in which they arrived.

The hours and minute hands on the timestamps were also not random, but rather spelled out the first secret message in flag semaphore when placed on analog clocks. The twelve envelopes in order of the prime numbers spelled out FEEL FOR GREEN.

Every envelope was bordered by a different strand of colored lights. That was a clue to use the green lights on the envelope as braille dots. However, it was not possible to read braille directly from the envelopes—braille requires a grid of dots and empty spaces. However, solvers eventually noticed that the colored lights had very regular spacings and so envelopes (in prime order) could be lined up to create braille characters when the envelopes touched. Each pair of envelopes had exactly three 2x2 regions where any green lights appeared, cluing that the next step wasn’t braille letters (which require a 2x3 grid) but braille numbers. Each pair of envelopes decoded to a three digit number.

All of those three digit numbers were between 1 and 550, the number of cards in Cards Against Humanity. That was a clue to use Cards Against Humanity (and, more specifically, the free PDF version of the game) as a book cipher. Each three digit number uniquely mapped to a single card in the game.

Looking at all 11 cards clued by all 12 envelope pairs, solvers noticed next that the first letter of each card spelled out B AND W DOT COM. This was a clue that the final answer was a website with a URL of a black card and white card combination.  Unfortunately, there are tens of thousands of such combinations.

The next step was to see that each Cards Against Humanity card came from decoding a pair of envelopes. Each envelope was associated with a specific day of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Adding those two days together gives another way to index into each card to pull out another letter. For example, “Not reciprocating oral sex” came out of Day 12 (Twelve Lords-a-Leaping) and Day 3 (Three French Hens), so we also pulled out the 12+3=15th letter, N. This spelled out BOND MEANING.

(As an aside, it turns out it was really rather difficult to find cards that would satisfy this double encoding. We had to work backward from the final answer and use a computer program we wrote to find cards that would work this way.)

The words “BOND” and “MEANING” appear only once in Cards Against Humanity - “Bond” in a black card and “meaning” in a white card. So the final answer is:

ButBeforeIKillYouMrBondIMustShowYouTheTrueMeaningOfChristmas.com

Almost 1,000 Redditors solved the puzzle by working together over a period of months on the subreddit they created, /r/HolidayBullshit. We gave the main solvers prizes, including cash, fancy booze, a bunch of books and board games we like, and every product we make. Everyone else who helped out got a free Reject Pack of cards we liked individually but were too weird for the game.

It was a lot of fun for us to watch this community come together (and struggle together) to solve this very hard puzzle. The puzzle was designed to have some pretty big logical leaps in it so that it would take a large group a long time to solve, though we did need to give out a few small hints—most about what wasn’t a part of the puzzle. We’re really happy with how it turned out.

Unfortunately, some solvers managed to back-door the puzzle by looking up domain registrations (which we thought we’d hidden), but we made them forward-solve the puzzle to win the prize by requiring them to get the final two 11-character clue phrases. We’ll just let that be a lesson for next time.

Oh yes, there will be a next time…

This is amazing.

fiftythreenyc

fiftythreenyc:

THE PRECISION BEHIND BLEND

Today our team is proud to announce the latest in our Making FiftyThree series, The Precision Behind Blend. Learn about the precision and ingenuity that went into fine-tuning Blend from our software engineer Denis Kovacs, who, along with our Pencil hardware team, spent many months sweating the details.

Just got my Pencil and it makes using Paper 100,000x better. I need to learn the techniques for all of the tools now. It’s so much fun to sit and play with again, and the other day I AirPlay mirrored my iPad mini to our TV and let my wife and dad watch me draw. They thought it was pretty neat. I think it made my dad want an iPad.