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Nov 24, 2010- iPad Stands: Desktop...

iPad stands come in two flavors: portable and desktop. Yesterday, we started the two-part series with a look at a few of the portable ones. Today, we will finish up with a look at the ones designed for more stationary use. Once we looked into what was available we realized the different desktop stands pretty quickly sorted themselves into four varieties: slot, easel, brace, and holder.

The slot unit we have here is actually for the MacBook, but it works just fine for the iPad. It is called the BookArc and is from TwelveSouth. The design allows the iPad to be dropped into and pulled out of stand with the minimum of fuss. The drawback is that it allows only one view angle. The easel design, however, is even simpler to use in that all one has to do is lean the iPad on the holder. Some easels, like this Recliner from LapWorks, can even adjust its display angle. The advantage of the easel approach is that it will work when the iPad is in a case. Very convenient for those who like to carry their iPads in a folio. The tradeoff is... [more]-iPad Stands: Desktop


Nov 23, 2010- iPad Stands: Portable...

The ecosystem of 3rd-party accessories surrounding Apple gadgets have always been a healthy one. Laptops, iPods, and iPhones have stimulated the developement of cases, docks, and peripherals to protect and extend the capabilities of those devices. The iPad is no different. The iPad is great for "consuming" media and has inspired the creation of all kinds of contraptions to help it stand up so users can lay back. There are instructions of how to make an iPad stand from a coat hanger, pencils & rubber bands, or just a simple block of wood. While all of those are great home-made solutions, we wanted to find some options more in keeping with the esthetics and build quality as that of the iPad. After a bit of research, we settled on units which we feel follow the design spirit of the iPad: functional and great looking. Three of the units are portable. The others, not so much. We will take a closer look at portable ones today and save the not-so-portable (but still exceptionally cool) units for tomorrow.

First up is the Compass from Twelve South. As a Mac-centric accessories company, Twelve South have made a name for themselves in the short time they have been in business. Their gear are not only highly functional, but are created using the same design language as that of Apple. The result is... [more]-iPad Stands: Portable


Nov 22, 2010- A Perfect Gift ...

F.E. Young and Gena Schmidt have formed a new business. They have what they believe to be the perfect product to start with. The government has been creating a myriad of incentives to encourage the start up of small businesses, which made it perfect timing. And F.E., who had recently acquired a house, coincidentally across the street from Gena, had the perfect place. And so, on February 1st of this year, "A Perfect Gift Company, LLC" was born.

When F.E.'s daughter Zoe was little, F.E. wanted to make Hanukkah special for her. As an artist, teacher and single mother, a little had to go a long way, so she created the "Hanukkah boxes." They were eight small cardboard boxes, each with an illustration of a Hanukkah tradition and a number…one for each night. She stacked them together in two rows, side by side, and bound them with a colorful piece of blue paper. She put Zoe's name on the side and filled them with... [more]-A Perfect Gift


Nov 19, 2010- Scientific Revolution...

Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica ("Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy"), popularly known as the Principia, is considered one of the most important works in the history of science. The Principia, wherein Newton formulated the three laws of motion and the law of universal gravitation, is the basis of modern physics and astronomy. Albert Einstein declared Principia to be "perhaps the greatest intellectual stride that it has ever been granted to any man to make." Our personal copy is a bit dog-eared because we think it makes for great bed-time reading.

Two hundred and fifty copies of the Principia were printed in 1687. Some of those first editions survived to today. Newton's personal copy (along with his notes for changes to the second edition) can be seen in the Wren Library of Trinity College, Cambridge UK. In January of 2010, Boston College acquire a first edition of the Principia. It is currently on display in the Burns Library at BC. We contacted the folks at the Burns Library and they were gracious enough to... [more]-Burns Library:Scientific Revolution Exhibit

Nov 18, 2010- Harry Potter...

The Harry Potter books have been and still are hugely popular all around the world. The stories are imaginative, adventureous, and deeply engaging. The movie premiere of Part 1 of the last of the Harry Potter series may be the one thing which can compete with the opening of the MFA Art of the Americas Wing here in Boston this weekend.

Folks here are huge Harry Potter fans. The RainyDayLibrary has a complete collection of Harry Potter books, CDs, and DVDs. We have been to many of the midnight book releases, gatherings, and events. The office has been known to head out to lunch and come back four hours later because everyone decided that it made more sense to go to the afternoon show of a Harry Potter movie on opening day than to... [more]-Harry Potter


Nov 17, 2010- MFA: Art of the Americas ...

The new MFA Art of the Americas wing, ten years in the making, opened to museum members last weekend. The wing enables the Museum to showcase more than 5,000 works from the Americas, more than doubling the number previously on view. RainyDayMagazine was on hand for the FirstLook.

"The new galleries allow us to present our collections in a variety of ways that hightlight different periods, cultures, styles, artists, and themes," said Elliot Bostwick Davis, the John Moors Cabot Chair of the Art of the Americas Department at the MFA, who led the department's curatorial staff in the planning and installation of the Museum's new wing. "We hope visitors will discover a range of objects that speak to the breadth, richness, and diversity of artistic expression emanating from the United States and, more broadly, from the Americas."

The new wing's galleries are organized on four levels according to culture, period, region, style, theme, artist, and maker, reflecting a broad range of art from all of the Americas. Many galleries feature... [more]-MFA: Art of the Americas Galleries


Nov 16, 2010- Ski & Snowboard Expo...

The weather was a balmy 55º today in Boston, but that did not stop the wintersports enthusiasts from turning out for the 29th Annual Ski & Snowboard Expo (running over the weekend). It was the place to be for anyone looking for a deal on ski packages, day passes, or gear. Resort owners, ski lift operators, and others with a stake were out in force with plenty of tempting offers, package deals, and season discounts.

Skiing is a huge business for New England, even for the smaller operators. There was some worry that the slow(er) economy might make folks cut back on discretionary spending, thus spelling doom for the small family-run outfits. Funnily enough, the smaller ski-area operations have seen a resurgence because of the weak(er) economy. For the past few years, families have opted for the lower prices, shorter lines, and homier charms at these smaller places. The greater-than-normal... [more]-Ski & Snowboard Expo


Nov 15, 2010- MFA: Museum Tech ...

The MFA will open their new Art of the Americas wing to the public on November 20. RainyDayMagazine got a preview of the new wing last Friday. The building, the galleries, and the art were all spectacular. With Malcom Rogers at the helm of a world-class team, we would have expected nothing less.

We were pleasantly surprised by all the technology sprinkled through out the new wing. The most impressive was the multi-touch table on the forth floor. It was just THERE. Some noticed it, others just walked right on by. We, of course, zero-ed in on it as soon as we saw it. We were not able to get much info on the specs regarding the technology inside the box. The multi-touch technology appears to be... [more]-MFA: Museum Tech


Nov 12,2010- MFA's New Gallery FirstLook...

The new wing of the MFA opens to the general public on Saturday November 20, but today RainyDayMagazine, along with a few hundred other folks, got a FirstLook at this beautiful addition to the Museum. The new wing will take a hemispheric perspective on Art of the Americas, showcasing more than 5,000 works of art produced in North, Central, and South America over the course of three millennia. Art in all media will be arranged chronologically on four floors. The wing's 53 brand-new galleries will include nine beautiful period rooms and four Behind the Scenes galleries.

The dedication ceremony for the Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard was at 10AM. The courtyard is a grand space which connects the original building of the MFA with its brand new wing. We arrived early enough to get a good seat, chat up some of the local luminaries, and get bite to eat before the speeches. Getting there early gave us a chance to look around before it got too crowded. We tried to get some interior shots, but the space was just too big for us to get decent architectural shots without any distortion. So on this rare occassion, we have decided to... [more]-MFA: Art of the Americas Wing FirstLook


Nov 11,2010- MFA's New Gallery...

In 2005, the MFA broke ground for its new Art of the Americas wing. This $345 million project was in the final phase of construction when we took these photos in August. Tomorrow, the MFA will have a dedication ceremony to mark the completion of this new wing. RainyDayMagazine will be there to bring you a FirstLook at this beautiful new space.

This ambitious project was designed by Foster+Partners (London). The new wing will have four floors and 53 new galleries. The entrance to the galleries will be through the Shapiro Family Courtyard, an airy light-filled glass-encased space. The hope is that the Courtyard will become a... [more]-MFA: Art of the Americas Wing


Nov 10,2010- BlueTrek Duo...

Our headsets have been silently proliferating behind our back. One set was for our iPod. Another set was for our cell phone when we drive with the top down. A third set was for...well, we don't actually know why we have it, but it seems to be in our bag. Anyway, the point is many of our devices have audio capabilities and they all seem to require a set of headphones.

We decided to look around to see if we could find a set of Bluetooth headphones which would work with all of our devices and free us from being tethered to them. After a bit of searching, BlueTrek's Duo bubbled to the top of the list. The Duo is a set of Bluetooth-enabled... [more]-BlueTrek Duo


Nov 9,2010- Other Tablets...

It has been six months since the launch of the Apple iPad, and every time a new tablet is introduced by another company Apple's dominance of the market gets a little stronger. We are not sure why companies like HP, Sony, and Microsoft are struggling to come up with an answer to Apple's iPad. OK, that is not entirely true; we know why. Why even BOTHER introducing something if it is just going to strengthen the competition's position?

Take Kno (above) for instance. This company has what, on the surface, seems like a really cool idea: build a tablet targeted for the billion-dollar textbook market. However, at $899, it is DOA! A folding dual-screen setup will immediately be compared to a laptop, not a tablet, especially in that price range. While it may be an awesome digital textbook, it won't... [more]-Other Tablets


Nov 8,2010- MOS: Reptiles Exhibit...

The Boston Museum Of Science's new exhibit, Reptiles: The Beautiful & the Deadly opened on Sunday. RainyDayMagazine had a first hand look at the critters over the weekend and came away completely impressed.

This reptile exhibition was created by Peeling Productions at Clyde Peeling's Reptiland. It is the largest traveling reptile exhibit in the world. There are live displays of deadly snakes, multi-color lizards, and strange turtles. It is a great venue for getting really up close to observe and... [more]-MOS: Reptile Exhibit


Nov 5,2010- Craigie Bridge Repair...

The Charles is a beautiful river which runs through the heart of the Boston area. While it physically separates may parts of the metropolitan area, over the past hundred years, dozens of bridges have been built to connect the various towns and neighborhoods. Many of these bridges are desperately in need of repair.

Longfellow Bridge

Effective tomorrow, November 6, 2010, MassDOT will close all inbound travel lanes on Route 28 southbound, at the intersection of Land Boulevard and Route 28. This one-month closure is part of the first phase of the Craigie Drawbridge Rehabilitation Project. The Craigie Drawbridge carries traffic from... [more]-Craigie Bridge Repair Project


Nov 4,2010- Stainless Resurfacing Project...

All of the new (to us) appliances in the RainyDayKitchen have a stainless steel finish. Stainless steel is a great material because it is easy to clean, durable, and requires minimal upkeep. One major appliance which has not been upgraded is the Jenn Air refrigerator.

As there is nothing wrong with the refrigerator replacing it solely for cosmetic reasons just seemed ridiculous. The solution we came up with (to solve the dilema of having all stainless steel appliances except the fridge) was to refinish the front panels with stainless steel FXSheeting from Alsa. Yesterday we posted a write-up of the Alsa Stainless Steel FXSheeting. Today we'll show you how we used the sheets to resurface the... [more]-Stainless Resurfacing Project


Nov 3,2010- Alsa Stainless Steel FXSheeting...

Stainless steel is a great material for the kitchen. We have been slowly replacing the major appliances with items we find on Craigslist (microwave, stove, sink, etc...). Buying things on Craigslist saved us a LOT of money and doing it ourselves gave us a chance to have some hands-on fun. However, not all of the appliances in the RainyDayKitchen needed to be replaced. Sometimes all that is needed is a facelift. We had considered refinishing some of the surfaces with stainless steel paint, but before we use the paint on a project such as a large appliance, we would want to see how it looked on something smaller. Someone then suggested we consider using stainless steel film.

Many of the films and foils are faux finishes which only mimic the look of stainless steel. They are quite thin, and it is unlikely that those materials will stand up to the daily wear and tear of an active kitchen. After a bit of research, the interns decided that the Brushed Stainless FXSheeting from Alsa Corporation was what we needed. The FXSheeting appeared to be heads above anything else that is on the market. There is nothing "faux" about them. FXSheeting is made using real stainless steel. The difference is... [more]-Alsa Stainless FXSheeting


Nov 2,2010- Zip Snip Cutter...

The plastic packaging used for many of today's products provides an attractive way to display the item, protect the content during shipping, and thwarts the casual shoplifters from opening and making off with the goods. It does its job extremely well. So well in fact that it is next to impossible to open heat-sealed plastic packages with bare hands alone. Cutting them open is really the only option.

In another two months, it will again be "package-opening" time of the year. While most of those moments will pass without bodily injuries, there will be the cuts from jagged plastic edges, an occassional sliced finger, and maybe even a trip or two to the emergency room. All of those incidents could have been prevented with a little extra care, a bit more patience, and... [more]-ZipSnip


Nov 1,2010- The Clam Box...

Sunday was the last day The Clam Box was open for this year. One of our editors grew up in Quincy and has been going to The Clam Box since she could ride a bike. The rest of us go back year after year because we all agree that they have the best fried seafood in Boston. We KNOW they definitely have the best fried onion rings.

Anyway, The Clam Box's last day of the season was October 31st. We had been meaning to stop by all week for one last plate of fried clams and onion rings, but the chance hadn't occurred until the very last moment. Luckily for us, Sunday afternoon was a perfect day for both a walk along Wollaston Beach and for a final taste of the quintessential Summer food... [more]-The Clam Box


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