Editorial: Update your New Year's resolutions.
Travel: Game of Thrones Ice Hotel.
Technology: Fisker EMotion.
Stationery: 90X Goal Planner.
Gadgets and Gear: Shell watch and phone.
Books and writing: Human Anatomy: Stereoscopic Images of Medical Specimens.
Project of the week: No project award this week.

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EDITORIAL: Update your New Year's resolutions

How are your New Year's resolutions going? In PD: Cool things issue 161 he gave some hints about making them succeed. Nevertheless, sometimes things happen. Our enthusiasm may wane, we simple sink into old habits, or other commitments resume after the Christmas-New Year break.

[Above: Chatauqua Press 1909]

Instead of giving up, why not modify your resolutions and goals. Perhaps reduce the number of goals, or set smaller goals. Small achievements will lead onto larger ones. If you persevere you will get there, even if it takes a little longer to do so.

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TRAVEL: Game of Thrones Ice Hotel

There are several ice hotels, some of which PD reviewed in PD: Cool Things 126. Now that winter is once again upon us (at least here in the Northern hemisphere), Game of Thrones fans can treat themselves to a stay at the Snow Village in Finland.

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TECHNOLOGY: Fisker EMotion

You may not have heard of Fisker, the eponymously named Californian automotive company that started in 2007 as Fisker Automotive, producing the Karma, one of the first luxury hybrid plug-in cars. Unfortunately the company producing the batteries became bankrupt and manufacture of the cars had to be suspended in 2012, also sending Fisker Automative into bankruptcy.

Henrik Fisker relaunched the company in 2016 as Fisker Inc. The company has now released the EMotion, a stunning all-electric sports car.

The car bristles with technology, including solid state batteries, and has the ability to have an autonomous mode. PD suspects that the latter will not be activated for some time, as legislators are still working on the concept of autonomous vehicles. The car has a quoted range of 400 miles (just over 640 km for us on this side of the Atlantic).

The designers have done a super job with the interior and exterior, including the Lamborghini-like doors.

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STATIONERY: 90X Goal Planner

PD has been "road testing" this planner, which was launched on Kickstarter.

The planner is cloth bound with a nice feel. There is an attached elastic closure to keep the book from accidentally opening. PD's version was in black leather with a gold ribbon, however other colours have been released since. The paper is thick and is nice to write on. Out of habit PD uses a graphite pencil for writing in diaries and goals journals, as this makes changes less messy. The features are summarised in the next photograph:

The planner is set out for 90 days. Many professionals agree that 90 days is the right length for most goals. There is nothing wrong with long term goals, however by breaking them down into 90 day segments you have a better chance of success. Why 90 days? This seems to be the right length of time to stay focused and achieve goals, putting enough pressure on you to keep going while allowing you to see the end in sight.

The 90X planner has a guide to using it, with sample pages filled in to give you an idea of what to do.

There is a vision board to get your ideas on paper.

This is followed by the goal setting and action planning pages.

After each 7 days there is a section to re-write these. This enables you to to re-engage with your goals and modify them as your ideas develop. There are also 30-day and weekly overviews. The weekly overview helps you plan your actions around other events in your life. It is a good idea to keep referring to these as you plan each day.

Next are the daily pages; this is the business end of the planner. For each of the 90 days there is a double page spread, divided into four sections.

On the top left are the actions that you will take on that day to achieve your goals. Below that is a day planner, split into morning and afternoon/evening, to allow you to set out your day. You can put in your commitments such as work, going to the gym and appointments, and of course include time to work on your goals.

On the top right there is a "FolloDo" section, where you can list your other things to do that day or add things to follow up. Below that is a free notes section. This is very handy for jotting down ideas and comments about your goals; you will think of things as you work on your goals, and to quote Field Notes Brand, "I'm not writing it down to remember it later, I'm writing it down to remember it now."

There are also quotes and tips scattered throughout the planner.

So what is it like to use? PD has looked at many goal planners. Some are too cluttered and demanding of your time, getting you to fill out complex planning pages and reviews. You can spend more time on the planner than actually moving forward with your goals. The other extreme is a blank notebook where you jot down some ideas and wing it day to day.

The 90X planner finds the right balance to keep things simple and on track. Having everything on view in each daily spread - the goal actions, daily diary, to do list and notes - without clutter and with lots of space for each makes planning and achieving your goals easy. Note that there is room for five goals, however remember that, depending on other commitments such as work, you may only have time to work on one or two. Do not feel compelled to put in five.

PD rating: 5 paws out of five.

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GADGETS AND GEAR: Shell watch and phone

Watch phones are not new, however in the past they were less than ideal. Some worked only while being connected by Bluetooth to your cell phone, so you still had to carry both. Others were stand-alone devices but with compromises compared to cell phones. The concept itself is even older, with a watch phone-like device being seen in the Dick Tracy comics.

The Shell is an interesting device that has the advantages of having a phone in a watch without compromising anything apart from screen acreage.

This interesting device works as a watch until you need a phone. Simply take it out of the watch frame and two wings pop out, one being the speaker and the other being the microphone. The wings are also its antenna.

The specifications would do any cell phone justice, and include Android, 4G, GSM, 360 degree 12MP camera, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. It is also waterproof.

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BOOKS AND WRITING: Human Anatomy: Stereoscopic Images of Medical Specimens

Most people are familiar with stereoscopic images even though they may not realise that that is what they are called. Two images are offset, together making a stereogram, which is viewed through special lenses to give the illusion of a 3D image. The technique is used for entertainment and in the past has been used for teaching students.

[Above: Photograph by Davepape]

Photographer Jim Naughten utilises this technique in two high quality publications. His first one was "Animal Kingdom: Stereoscopic Images of Natural History", and he has now released a second one, "Human Anatomy: Stereoscopic Images of Medical Specimens".

For this book he has chosen fifty specimens from the Museum Vrolik in Amsterdam, which houses some five thousand anatomical and pathological specimens.

The book includes a cardboard stereoscope. The images are printed on glossy paper, and there is one stereogram per page. The photographs are of superb clarity, giving life-like images. Many of the specimens are photographed in their original cases, giving the viewer a trip through history.

The book is not for the squeamish, however those with a healthy sense of curiosity and students and scholars of medicine or medical history will find this an interesting walk through history. (Note: This site is in Dutch only.)

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PROJECT OF THE WEEK: PD regrets that this week there is no project of the week.

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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.

© 2018 Prowling Dog