Editorial: PD turns 150.
Travel: Cleanty UVC LED Sterilizer.
Technology: Volvo XC40.
Stationery: Field Notes Brand Dime Novel Edition.
Gadgets and gear: The Maker's Vise.
Books and writing: The Book part 5.
Project of the week: The Flying Martha Ornithopter.

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EDITORIAL:PD turns 150

When PD created a single purpose blog he had no idea that it would continue for this long and transform into a magazine style journal serving a variety of interests. PD's audience has been steadily growing. Keep spreading the word and help the blog keep on growing so that PD can be take it to the next level.

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TRAVEL: Cleanty UVC LED Sterilizer

Traveling is wonderful, however there is no joy if you get ill while away from home (come to think of it, it is also no joy being ill at home). At home we have control over cleanliness, but that is not the case when we are in a foreign city. Are we sure that the hotel is really clean? You may be surprised at the results of bacterial tests on clean-appearing hotel rooms.

The Cleanty sterilizer has a UVC LED. It has a timer should you wish to use one. Simply switch it on and hover over the area that you want to sterilize for ten seconds.

The Cleanty has a USB-rechargeable battery. It is available in either black or white.

IMPORTANT WARNING: UVC light is harmful to living cells. DO NOT use it on skin, DO NOT shine it at eyes and DO NOT use it on animals. Keep the product away from children.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: PD understands that it is not possible to kill all bacteria with this method (a kill rate of 99.9% is claimed by the manufacturer), and there may be some bacteria that are resistant to UVC. PD provides this article for your information only and in no way vouches for the efficacy of this product, and cannot be held responsible for any consequence resulting from the use or misuse of this product.

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The talk of the automotive world is this week's release of Volvo's baby XC40. Volvo in recent times has created some eye-catching designs and this one is no exception. The front and rear lights are particularly striking, but the whole car is well balanced from all angles.

The interior is pleasant but not as adventurous as the bodywork.

There is no need to point out that, being a Volvo, it will be high tech and have advanced safety features. And yes, it does have all wheel drive. In Europe you can order one now. Production starts in November.

Polish site:

United Kingdom site:

United States site:

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STATIONERY: Field Notes Brand Dime Novel Edition

Followers will know of PD's enthusiasm for the handy Field Notes Brand notebooks, which have been featured several times in these pages. Their quarterly limited editions are interesting, and the Autumn (Fall for our Transatlantic friends) creation is in PD's view the best yet.

These notebooks were inspired by the popular dime novels that were produced from the 1860s by the Beadle brothers.

This notebook is sewn (the usual ones are stapled) and beautifully bound.

The page numbers are in an old fashioned type font to add to the charm of this book.

These notebooks are larger than the standard Field Notes Brand pocket notebooks but smaller than their larger sized ones.

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GADGETS AND GEAR: The Maker's Vise

This is a great tool for hobbyists and tinkerers.

The vice is well designed for ease of use and for easily changing the jaws. there are different jaws for different jobs and you can 3D print your own custom jaws.

The vice uses dry sliders so that you will not have to use grease; very smart for a tool meant to be used in the home and on circuit boards. There are holes in the bottom should you wish to screw the vice to a table.

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BOOKS AND WRITING: The Book part 5

PD continues reviewing Keith Houston's "The Book", the book about the book. Last week we left the scribes labouring in poor conditions creating beautiful illuminations.

While all of this hard work was going on in Europe, the Chinese were printing illustrated books using wood blocks. And, you guessed it, there was politics behind it. Producing wood blocks is an art in itself, starting with the process of selecting and treating the wood so that it is suitable for carving without chipping; the technique is clearly explained by Keith Houston. How this technique came to Europe is uncertain, and Keith Houston explores the possibilities. The technique evolved in several directions, such as copperplate. Keith relates the fascinating evolution of engraving and the introduction of colours to it.

This was followed by the introduction of lithography. The various words relating to all of this are explained, and the personalities are discussed. The ultimate form was offset lithography, discovered by an error for which the employee was chastised before the supervisor had realised the potential of what had happened. A worker feeding paper into a lithographic press missed a beat and the ink from the stone bed ended up on the roller that pressed the paper down onto the bed, instead of onto the paper, and the next sheet was printed on both sides, one side from the roller. Interestingly the extra printing from the roller was sharper than the proper side. In the book we learn about photography in books, including daguerreotype, talbotype (both named after their inventors), halftones and photozincographs.

In the fourth and final part of "The Book' Keith Houston tells the fascinating story of how the book evolved into its current form. To be continued.

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PROJECT OF THE WEEK: The Flying Martha Ornithopter

Birds in flight are very graceful. This project replicates that beauty in this working model.

The bird is handmade from bamboo and mulberry paper, and is powered by a rubber band.

And it flies.

Contact Prowling Dog at

Contact Prowling Dog at

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