Editorial: Travel Souvenirs Continued.
Travel: Stranger's Guide.
Technology: Chicago Express Loop x Elon Musk.
Stationery: Cinqpoints.
Gadgets and Gear: Shhhtop Door Dampener.
Books and Writing: Book Restoration Unveiled: A Guide for Book Collectors.
Miscellaneous: BMW Black Phantom.
PD: Store.

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EDITORIAL: Travel Souvenirs Continued

Last week's Travel section on souvenirs inspired readers to let PD know about their favourite souvenirs. One person started collecting coins from the places that she had visited and another started collecting stamps. This led both to develop a general interest in collecting coins and stamps and led to a lifetime hobby. Perhaps you have had a similar experience.

[Penny Black]

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TRAVEL: Stranger's Guide

Stranger's Guides, written in the 18th and 19th centuries, were the predecessors of travel guides, before Karl Baedeker started producing his famous books. They offered advice on roads and primary establishments in a town. The guides were "personal, intimate and eccentric portrayals of a place" [quote from the creators].


Stranger’s Guide is a modern version of that idea. It is a nonprofit publication designed to reveal the intricacies of places across the globe, through both local and foreign eyes.

The publication will have "long-form travel essays, in-depth investigative stories, fiction, maps, whimsical facts and figures and beautiful photo essays".


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TECHNOLOGY: Chicago Express Loop x Elon Musk

It appears that Elon Musk, always at the cutting edge of transport, baseball caps, not flamethrowers and rocket boosters for your car, is in the news again. This time his Boring Company (which appears to be anything but boring) has been selected to build the Chicago Express Loop, a futuristic underground electric transport system that will get passengers from the airport to the city in twelve minutes, travelling at 240 km/hr (that is about 150 mph). PD has never been to Chicago so he does not know how long the journey takes now, but thinks that this will be a great improvement.


The vehicles, dubbed "Skates", are battery powered vehicles that are based on the Tesla Model X. The Skates will depart as frequently as every thirty seconds. Impressive.

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STATIONERY: Cinqpoints

Cinqpoints, started by an architect, produces objects that pay tribute to architecture. the name itself is derived from Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret's 1927 book "Les cinqpoints d'une nouvelle architecture".

Cinqpoints has a range of sketch and tracing notebooks that include cardboard drawing instruments such as protractors and rulers. Pages are drilled and detachable.



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GADGETS AND GEAR: Shhhtop Door Dampener

Small fingers can be hurt or, worse, cut off by a slamming door. An open door can be slammed shut by a sudden gust of wind.


This simple yet ingenious device will protect little fingers.


The device is a steel spring that is placed on a hinge of a door. It will arrest a slamming door before it can do any harm. It will also prevent the unpleasant sudden bang of a slamming door.


It is very reasonably priced so that every home can afford to protect little and not-so-little fingers.

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BOOKS AND WRITING: Book Restoration Unveiled: A Guide for Book Collectors

If, like PD, you love old books you want to look after them. You wear acid free cotton gloves when handling them. You love the look, feel and smell of old books. Good as modern reproductions are, they still lack the feel and smell of old books. Unfortunately old books carry the signs of wear and tear, such as foxing, broken binding, maybe tears from careless handling or even mould from careless storage. There is the temptation to make repairs. In fact, some old books had been repaired a very long time ago. If and how repairs are done matters; poorly repaired books may lose value, and some damage is better left alone. Repairs should always be done by book restoration specialists, who may be hard to track down, as the demand exceeds the number of repairers. This is an important topic.

[Photograph: Raimond Spekking]

Sophia Bogle is an experienced book restorer in Oregon in the United States, who also teaches this stuff.


She has written a book to help book lovers look after their books and answer questions about terminology when communicating with restorers, where to go to get books restored, whether restoration will harm the value of your books, and how to tell if a book has been restored before you buy it.


Contents Include:

The Evolution of Book Collecting and Restoration
How to Identify Book Restorations
Book Damage Assessment and Options
Repair vs. Restoration vs. Conservation
Why Restore Books?
Facsimiles, Sophistication and Fraud
Dust Jackets: Facsimiles and Restoration
Who Restores Books?
Where to Get Help for Your Books 
Buy and Sell Restored Books Wisely

Please note that this is not a manual on how to actually repair and restore books; it is a guide to understanding about book restoration and how to get help for your books.

The book is currently available on Kickstarter. There is a PDF version available worldwide but the physical book only ships within the United States.

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Custom motorcycle designers produce stunning machines, such as the Harley Davidson Blue Edition featured in PD: Cool Things issue 182. This week PD came across a completely different but equally dramatic custom job, the BMW Black Phantom, produced by Dirk Oehlerking of Kingston Custom.


Taking a BMW R75, he used parts from BMWs from 1951 to 1971.




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PD: Store

X90 Planner

The X90 Planner has been thoroughly tested by PD and featured in PD: Cool Things 178: GHOST_URL/prowling-dog-cool-things-issue-178/


The planner is hard back but opens flat. It is clearly laid out and uses quality paper. It is undated, so you can start working on your goals immediately. There are 90 days in the planner, the ideal length of time to achieve goals.


From US $31.95 plus shipping. Local taxes may apply in your country.

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Important disclaimer: Remember that crowd funding 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