Editorial: Avionics V1 continued.
Travel: Teardrop trailers.
Technology: Tough Medical Adhesive.
Stationery: Postalco Encyclopedia Postcards.
Gadgets and gear: Rollbe.
Books and writing: The Swiss Army Knife Book.
Project of the week: Leonardo da Vinci, Vermeer & Rembrandt action figures.

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EDITORIAL: Avionics V1 continued

PD featured the impressive Avionics V1 electric bike in issue 142 (GHOST_URL/prowling-dog-cool-things-issue-142/). Here are a few more details:

The frame of the bike consists of steel tubes uniquely surmounted by a stainless steel leaf spring that extends from the stem to the saddle. The saddle is further supported by two springs. The aim is to provide comfort and safety.

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TRAVEL: Teardrop trailers.

Trailer camping is popular in the United States - some trailers border on being houses on wheels. The teardrop camper trailer is tiny and therefore easier to tow, but still provides protection and convenience.

They derive their name from their shape. The teardrop trailer became popular in the United States in the 1930s. Many were home made - in those days life was much less regulated and you could do things like that.

[Image above:]

The trailers provide space to store your belongings and to sleep in. At the rear there is a kitchen accessible by a hatch.

PD cannot speak from experience, but here is a wonderful wooden one from Hütte Hut that caught his eye:


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TECHNOLOGY: Tough Medical Adhesive

The humble slug may one day save your life. While most people cringe at this slimy little creature, scientists have studied the slime produced by the Arion Fuscus species of slug. The slime has a particularly useful property, namely being very sticky and very difficult to remove.

Using this slime as a basis, scientists have produced a gel that adheres to wet or blood-soaked surfaces. The gel seeps into small spaces and is good for sealing areas of bleeding. It has been used to stop a bleeding pig heart. Even better than today's surgical glues, it appears to be non-toxic to human cells. This shows that even the humble creatures that we share our planet with can be very useful to us.

Reference: Li et al, Tough Adhesives For Diverse Wet Surfaces, Science volume 357, issue 6349, 28th July, 2017, pages 378-381.

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STATIONERY: Postalco Encyclopedia Postcards

Postalco in Japan is one of PD's favourite brands. The Encyclopedia Postcards consist of themed sets of cards with vintage-like images. Choose from Seashells (pictured), Apples, Butterflies, Grapes, Insects and Minerals (stores may not stock all sets).

In Europe:

In the United States:

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In days not so long ago there was no GPS. People learned how to read paper maps. One useful aid in this was the opisometer, also known as a meilograph, Chartometer, curvimeter or map measurer. This allowed you to measure irregular curves, such as a track through a forest. You rolled the instrument along the track on the map and read the distance on the scale.


The Rollbe is a modern reincarnation of the opisometer, reinvented as a ruler. This beautiful version is easy to use, with direct measurements from the wheel. It is not just for maps - use it to measure anything, staright or cuved.

The wheel is made from stainless steel and the handle is made out of brass. Two sizes are available, as well as metric and imperial versions, so both sides of the Atlantic should be happy. It comes with a leather pouch. Classy.

Showing the attention to detail in this instrument, it even has the diameter of the wheel printed to add when you are measuring from a corner.

This is one of those tools that you may not use every day, but when the need arises you will be glad that you have it on hand. It has many uses, not just for maps.

FOR THE CURIOUS: The opisometer was patented in England in 1873 by Edward Russell Morris, as the Patent Chartometer.

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BOOKS AND WRITING: The Swiss Army Knife Book

There is little about using a pocketknife that the author, Felix Immler, does not know. In his book he shares outdoor projects to keep adventurous pups, dogs and humans usefully occupied in doing old fashioned outdoor activities. There are also useful tips on using pocket knives safely.

This book is ideal for families who want to introduce their pups to the fun of camping and the outdoors.

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PROJECT OF THE WEEK: Leonardo da Vinci, Vermeer & Rembrandt action figures

This is the second time that Today Is Art Day has been awarded Project of the Week. Back in February Today Is Art Day had its first project, the Vincent van Gogh Figurine with removable ears (yes PD knows that the artist had one intact ear).

The next project was Frida Kahlo.

Now the creators are back with three more favourite artists: Leonardo da Vinci, Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, all of whom need no introduction.

As previously, the figures come with miniature easels, miniature reproductions of paintings and accessories. Leonardo's beard even glows in the dark.

Cute and collectable figures for art lovers.

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Important disclaimer: Remember that crowdfunding sites are not stores. You may decide to back this project and provide funds, however there is no guarantee that any project will be delivered - the rate of failure is about 10%. PD is in no way accountable for the success or otherwise of any project and writes in this column purely for entertainment purposes, and will in no way be held liable for any failure or money lost by anyone. It is a case of "buyer beware". It is a sad reflection on the era we live in that PD must resort to this type of disclaimer.

Note: Photographs and illustrations are from the relevant websites and are the copyright of the respective owners.

© 2017 Prowling Dog