Editorial: Now you can have Nikola Tesla at home!
Travel: Why do you travel?
Technology: More on Samsung's folding phone.
Stationery: Clandestine notebook from Field Notes Brand. No spy should leave home without one.
Gadgets and Gear: Never leave home without your Grim Workshop lock pick card.
Books and Writing: Importance of the travelogue.
Miscellaneous: Coping Skills: Tools & Techniques for Stressful Times
PD: Store

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EDITORIAL: Now you can have Nikola Tesla at home!

In last week's issue, no. 203, PD introduced readers to Nikola Tesla, famous for his lightning-producing Tesla coil. PD has since learned that you can now have a Nikolas Tesla action figure, along with ones of Albert Einstein and Madame Curie!


If the style of the figures seems familiar, it's because they come from the same people who created figures of famous artists, featured previously in PD: Cool Things.


Yes, Today Is Art Day, the creator, has branched out into the sciences. The figures, 5" tall (approximately 12.7 cm), are just as charming as the artists' ones and come with facts on the scientists on the box, however there is a new great feature: time travel!


Using augmented reality via a cell phone app, you will be taken back in time to Albert Einstein's lecture hall, Marie Curie's Laboratory and Nikola Tesla's experimental station (the location is available with the specific figure), giving you a 360° view. You can click on objects in the rooms to learn more about them.



These would make a great present for a science buff or a student.

You can buy 1, 2 or 3 figures on Kickstarter:

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TRAVEL: Why do you travel?

This may seem an obvious question but different people have different reasons for travel. Asking yourself this simple question may help guide you to where you want to go, how you want to go and with whom.

[Above: Theodor de Bry, Grand voyages, 1596]

Here are a few:

Work: no choice; the boss tells you where you are going to. You can still have a bit of fun if time allows.

Fun: there is plenty to choose here. Do you want to go on an adventure such as hiking, or just to laze at a beach?

[Above: Jack Anstey, The Lake District, England]

Learning: Depending on what you want, there are archeological dig holidays, literary tours, cultural tours or attending a cooking school.

Seeing the sights: You always wanted to see the Nile ever since you read a book about it at school.

[Above: David Roberts, The Great Temple of Aboo Simble Nubia]

To meet people: Wherever you go you are likely to bump into fellow travellers, probably from your home country.

You want to see the world before you settle down: Actually there is no better way to get to know someone than to travel with them. You find out how they are to live with (unless you have separate hotel rooms) and how they cope with various stresses.

[Above: Theodor de Bry, Grand voyages, 1596: Leaving the River of May]

Happy tavelling!

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TECHNOLOGY: More on Samsung's folding phone

Further to PD's story last week that Samsung has officially presented its folding screen, stories continue to circulate about the phone that will use them, dubbed the Samsung Galaxy X. Samsung itself is very quiet about any details. So what do we know? It is inconceivable that Samsung would go to all the trouble of developing and producing a folding screen with no intention of using it.


Furthermore, Google has announced that is has a version of Android for flexible display phones, Android Q. This is not a simple adaptation of the current system. Unlike current versions, Android would not only have to work both in folded and unfolded screen modes, it would have to seamlessly flow between the two modes, what Google dubbed "Screen Continuity".


Android has also let it slip that there will be a Samsung folding screen phone in 2019. With Apple probably planning to follow suite, and a folding screen phone already on the market (the Royole FlexPal), PD thinks that Samsung will have to break its silence soon.

[Above: Royole FlexPal]

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STATIONERY:  Clandestine notebook from Field Notes Brand. No spy should leave home without one.

For its new quarterly limited edition, Field Notes Brand has come up with its Clandestine notebook.


Field Notes Brand is often mentioned in these pages, because it makes such a handy and good quality notebook, and PD loves the quarterly editions - how do they come up with so many ideas? Anyway, this one is ideal for the spy in you, and a perfect match for the lock pick card featured in Gadgets and Gear below.


The urban grey covers do not draw attention. Each of the three notebooks that come as a set has part of the history of ciphers. The back covers feature a cross-reference matrix of various codes.


They also come with a F.I.E.L.D. Agent identification card which you can fill in when unlocking the secrets within.


And finally (as if this isn't not enough) subscribers get a cipher wheel thrown in.


PD wonders whether James Bond has already ordered his.

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GADGETS AND GEAR: Never leave home without your Grim Workshop lock pick card

When you mention lock picking most people picture cat burglars and secret agents, however a lock pick set is a legitimate safety tool. Have you ever locked yourself out of your house? Have ever accidentally been locked in? Has a friend ever called you to say that he has locked himself out? You could call a locksmith, wait until he comes and pay a lot of money, or you could pull out your credit card-sized lock pick set and quickly solve your or your friend's problem.


If you do a search you will find different credit card lock pick sets for sale. The problem with most is that once you remove the tools from the card you cannot replace them, effectively making the card a single use tool. Some are made from aluminium and bend too easily.

Grim workshop tools, which have been featured in PD: Cool Things several times in the past, are different. They are made from strong, surgical grade stainless steel and the tools fit right back into the card, making it reusable. This card has a good array of picks including a torsion wrench (which is essential).


For those requiring something even smaller, dog tag and micro kit versions are also available.


You can also get a neat morale patch with a hidden pocket for your tools.


PD's ADVICE: Practise first, so you know how to use it. It is too late to learn when an emergency arises. Also, don't forget to check your local laws and never use a lock pick set for anything illegal.

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BOOKS AND WRITING: Importance of the travelogue

Keeping a travel diary preserves our precious memories in a way that a series of photographs can't. Writing about travel is not new; we know that captains kept logs of their voyages. In the 2nd century AD Pasanias wrote his "Description of Greece".

[Above: Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1485, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana

Travelogues from every period since exist. In the 18th and 19th century English travellers would publish books about their travels to exotic places, such as Charles Montagu Doughty's 1888 "Travels in Arabia Deserta", republished by T. E. Lawrence (the famous Lawrence of Arabia) in 1921.

[Source: Folios Limited, London]

These travellers were good observers and wrote in great detail. Modern readers may find this tedious however these records provide an insight into the life and ways of thinking in those days, and give us perspective on our world. They provide a context for understanding the way the world is and help us to see through the mud of today's often distorted narratives.

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MISCELLANEOUS: Coping Skills: Tools & Techniques for Stressful Times

Stress getting you down? The latest book from author and counsellor Faith Harper may help. There is no one solution fits all, so this book looks at how stress affects our brains in the real world and gives you coping skills based on how the world actually works. To read the book you will have to first learn to cope with a few F-words. After all, this is a no-nonsense book written for you.


Does it work? PD, being just a lay-dog with no special qualifications in any of this, has no idea, but it sounds like it might help. Find out for yourself here:

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER This is the usual stuff to keep the lawyers from PD's door. PD has no expertise in any of this psychology stuff and writes it for general fun. So don't think for a moment that this is a recommendation for diagnosis or treatment. If you think that you may have a problem seek expert advice from your medical professional. PD will not be responsible for anything that may happen as a result of you reading this article. Strange how this legal stuff is longer than the actual article.

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PD: Store

X90 Planner

The X90 Planner has been thoroughly tested by PD and featured in PD: Cool Things 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