Thursday, July 3, 2008

Is it safe and feasible to buy eyeglasses online?

Not going to write much here. Here are some links I discovered in a search about buying eyeglasses online. I believe my eye doctor is doing right by me; but I can't afford 450.00 for a new prescription. My last new eyeglasses were built into the same old titanium frames, but they are moving on also. Is it safe to do this?

One of the most helpful sources was an article in the New York Times: Do it YOurself Eyeglass Shopping On the Internet. Before I found this, I noticed that many google hits were to online sales sites from the UK. The following are sites that seem at least interesting.

Essential link: GlassyEyes Blog. (Note later: This blog is amazing, with fine and useful comments. Great service to humanity.)

Now I have some fat to chew on.

Added Later: Here's another link: Eyeglass Liquidators . One post on the blog above mentioned they do trifocals, while others didn't.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Looking for Stainless Steel Staples

All of a Sunday Morning, I was a-searching about on the Internet for stainless steel staples. What did I find?

I found Found the Early Office Museum .

Monel staples are used in the archival departments of museums and libraries. Found a good discussion of archival document fastening at the U. S. National Archives. Another page listed supplies. Very good stuff. Stainless paper clips are de rigeur.

A search led me to an old friend, I will not link to here---Light Impressions---for Archival treatment of photos. That's an expensive process. My family threw away several boxes including negatives that I had stored in special archival materials, that had never been printed of my first trip to Majuro and Kiribati. In particular, my first experiments in black and white in-water photography.

Another page on the Office Museum site covers early Staplers, Paper Fasteners, Paper Clips.

I am interested in the "paper welder." I have actually seen a broken one on Saipan, and I saw one once in Santa Barbara at an office supply, in Goleta. But I can't find on on ebay! They are just off the map on the Inet. Except at the Office Museum, where pictures can be found. There do exist paperless staplers that punch holes and loop and piece through to bind paper. Perhaps just as good? And cheap. Here's one on Think Geek.

Monel Staples on Gaylord Supplies (library, archive, furniture, etc.) were about US$30-40.00 a box. One site was a bit cheaper. Interestingly, the mainstream staple producers produce monel staples only for staple guns and large, heavy duty staplers. Same for stainless. That's a pricey little corner of the universe to shop in. Anti-Entropy doesn't come cheap.

Thomas is the place to find manufacturers.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Open Access: One more link

Good introduction to a number of related topics. Terra incognita Blog, at Penn State: Open Access Jounral Literature is an Open Educational Resource

Free, Open, Cheap Textbooks

Textbooks. 21st Century Textbooks. I can't even start to express myself upon this topic. Stumbled upon these links today:

Open Text Book: Something of a clearing house: many links, including this one:

Bayanihan Book Project in the Philippine Islands. "to increase the quality and availability of high school textbooks." Currently said to have two books available. Textbooks sold in the PI for college students are often printed on pulp, often years or decades out of date. The only copy of Campbell's Biology at Silliman University Library was 2 editions out of date, and had been read so many times, was so severely dog-eared, that it had swollen to twice it's native thickness.

I once was privileged that a copy of an Oxford University Press Biology textbook for Africa crossed my path: this book was extremely cheap, and highly relevant to the African experience. Here's a Free High School Science Texts project in Capetown, SA.

I remember CALPIRG, from my days at the University of California at Santa Barbara. The best of the advocacy groups. CalPIRG is campaigning for affordable textbooks. Their mission statement:

When corporate wrongdoing threatens our health or our safety, or violates fundamental principles of fairness and justice, CALPIRG stands up for the public. We conduct investigative research. We publish consumer reports and exposes. We advocate new laws and other protections at the local, state and federal levels. And when necessary, we take corporate wrongdoers to court. Our results-oriented approach has won victories for Californians on a wide range of issues, including healthcare reform, prescription drug pricing, consumer privacy and product safety.

Today, an item on Slashdot showcases several projects: Competition in the Free Textbook Market.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Microwulf: Supercomputer on the cheap

Nuts and bolts account. I dwell on building my next machine in this way, with perhaps only one Motherboard, or perhaps 2. What about shielding?

Medical Mysteries: Pig Brains