Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Boutique Swiss Made Calculators

DM-16 calculator

I'm a huge fan of classic H-P calculators, especially the HP-16C -- their first and only programmer's calculator. It has become a much sought-after collector's item, which ensures that good examples sell for insane amounts on eBay. That's not so great for those of us who actually want a real, honest-to-goodness programmer's calculator on our desks. 

Every calculator should have a leather coat...

Enter DM Swiss Made Calculators. These clever little Swiss devices are miniature emulations of vintage Hewlett-Packard calculators, including the HP-11C (Advanced Scientific Programmable), HP-12C (Business Calculator), HP-15C (Scientific with Matrix & Complex Math) and HP-16C ("Computer Scientist" model). Each model costs 89 Swiss Francs (about $95) and is available in untreated, brown and blue titanium. They run on a single CR2032 battery which should last for years in normal use, and it's possible to update the firmware using a serial connection. 

Apart from that... they're calculators. They're really small. They fit in cool leather pouches, too. 

Visit DM Swiss Made Calculators for more info

Earliest Known Official Batmobile For Sale

I'm considering this as my daily driver.

Robin Lee writes, "A heavily-customised Oldsmobile said to be the first officially-licenced Batmobile will go to auction later in December. Created in 1963, three years before the infamously camp Batman TV show hit the airwaves, DC Comics allowed a US chap named Forrest Robinson to build a Batmobile."

I love the swooping look of this prehistoric Batmobile and I'm somewhat sad it didn't have the opportunity to star in its own series. Preferably in black & white. With gangsters. The minimum bid price is $112,500, but the auction house is expecting the final price to be significantly higher. 

Holy fish fins, Batman!

From Heritage Auctions: "What is believed to be the world's first car that became an officially licensed Batmobile was conceived and customized starting in 1960 by 23-year-old Forrest Robinson. After finishing the design, Robinson and a young friend, Len Perham, begun building the car in the Robinson family barn. Robinson completed the car in 1963-two years before the George Barris customization of the TV Batmobile was started. The '63 Batmobile is the earliest known car in existence that was sanctioned by a DC Comics licensee.

Although many people associate the Batmobile with the cars seen in recent Batman movies or the late-60s Batman TV show, Robinson's earlier car is instantly recognizable as 'more authentic' by comic book lovers. It has features seen in DC's Batman Comics from the 1940s and '50s, including the prominent front-end bat-nose and rear-end single fin.

The '63 Batmobile was custom-built from the ground up. Starting with a 1956 Oldsmobile 88 frame and the famous 324 Rocket engine -- a predecessor of 1960s muscle cars -- Robinson replaced the Oldsmobile body with his custom-designed body, measuring 17 feet by 83 inches, sporting the Batmobile's iconic dorsal fin, bat-nose front end and pocket sliding doors." 

Earliest Known Official Batmobile Goes On Sale [register.co.uk]

The Last Revox Repairman in Brazil

The Revox Man from Baucia on Vimeo.

Alfredo Luiz Baucia writes, "I think you would like to know about the last Revox specialist still working in Brazil, Getulio Cinquetti."

Indeed, we would. Alfredo took the time to capture a typical working day for Mr Cinquetti on video. The result is a nod to the past and a reminder that in a few short years none of the original Revox technicians from the 1960s and 1970s will be around. Sadly, few want to learn their craft and there's a real risk that decades of technical knowledge will vanish moments after the last puff of solder smoke from the old workbenches. 

Classic Retro Thing: Vintage Pink

Pink Panther

[ed. note: This post originally ran in June of 2010. I've enjoyed each and every one of these cartoons at least thrice since then.]

Newsflash to cartoon creators: Kids hate kids' cartoons.

I'm the father of a young child, which means I've suffered through dozens of episodes of Dora the Explorer, whose target demographic seems to be acid tripping bilingual preschoolers. I don't think children genuinely like this kind of show, they just accept it because they don't know any better and parents think it's safe.

The simple truth is that kids crave real cartoons. Grownup cartoons. Wickedly funny and sometimes horrifically violent cartoons. It's one reason that Disney Pixar movies have been such smash hits; kids realize that there's something supremely adult in some of the humor. They may not understand the subtext, but they understand it's cool. Grownup cool.

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