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When Jagger and Jimi, Pink Floyd, and The Cream Rocked the Rafters at Ricky-Tick

In the late 1950s, two musicians, John Mansfield and Philip Hayward, bought up a string of small clubs in and around London and named them all Ricky-Tick. These clubs were intimate and welcoming, and became a favorite among young musicians trying to hone their craft and try out material in front of an audience. These included bands that made it big, like The Rolling Stones, and bands that didn't, like Hogsnort Rupert and the Good Good Band. Bob McGrath, Hogsnort Rupert's alter ego, played the Ricky-Ticks, designed the posters, and witnessed the early days of many musicians' careers.   

As a participant, McGrath had an insider’s view of the birth of the British R&B scene. Of the Rolling Stones, McGrath is matter of fact. “They were good,” he allows. “Jagger couldn’t sing to save his soul, but Charlie Watts was one of the few English drummers who had any sense of rhythm. It was quite a shock to see their audiences clapping on the right beat, the 2 and the 4 instead of the 1 and the 3. Jagger and Richards had very little interest in anything other than themselves,” he concludes. “Apart from Brian Jones, they all seemed like immature assholes.”

McGrath also sheds light on why the Ricky-Tick clubs outside of London seemed so much more fun than the ones in the city proper. “London and Soho were mean streets,” he says, “even then. It was pretty seedy—drug people, gangsters—not a friendly place to be. I never felt at ease there, and I was there an awful lot.”

In contrast, the Ricky-Tick clubs that popped up in the cities and towns of the Thames Valley were welcoming places, notwithstanding the occasional punch-up between rival groups of mods and rockers. Beyond the more relaxed attitude that came with being outside of London, the U.K. in general warmly embraced music performed and/or composed by Black artists. Unlike in the United States during the early 1960s, when rhythm and blues records by Black performers were mostly listened to by Black audiences, white kids in England were fully on board. Thus, when Black performers from the United States such as Sonny Boy Williamson, John Lee Hooker, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe played Ricky-Tick, they were greeted by packed clubs filled with adorning fans, from the predominantly white locals to the Black American servicemen stationed at nearby U.S. Air Force bases in South Ruislip, West Ruislip, and High Wycombe.

Read about the clubs that gave birth to rock 'n' roll as we know it at Collectors Weekly.


Watermelon Bag

Fancy an elegant and beautiful bag to carry watermelon-sized fruits? Worry not, as Japanese designer Tsuchiya Kaban designed a leather bag that can hold your fruit. The tote, part of The Fun of Carrying project, can carry exactly one round watermelon. Now you can carry your melons in style and comfort! 

image via The Colossal


The Many Uses Of Seaweed

The tangled algae we see along the beach are more than additions to our dining table! Did you know that seaweed can improve gut health, and act as an anti-inflammatory agent? Not only is seaweed a good ingredient for skin care, it can also serve as a substitute material for plastic bags! Wallpaper has more details:

The most common second home for seaweed outside of the ocean is no doubt the dining room table. Nicknamed the ‘vegetable of the sea’, seaweed contains a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are key to a healthy diet. Slipping some onto your plate can help you get some much-needed A, C, E, and B vitamins, as well as iodine and calcium.

Beyond the dinner table, seaweed has long been used for cosmetic and medical purposes. It is a key element of ‘thalassotherapy,’ or ‘healing through the sea,’ a form of therapy that became popular in 19th century coastal France and which uses seawater and sea products for improved physical and emotional health. 
In Ireland too, seaweed baths have long been used to relieve aching joints and calm anxious minds. Since 1912, Kilcullen’s Seaweed Baths in Sligo has offered soaks in porcelain bathtubs filled with seawater and seaweed. The iodine-rich bath is meant to combat symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis, as well as improve general health.

image via Wallpaper


This Tesla Engineer Redesigned The Chocolate Chip

Now that’s a venture I did not see coming. Tesla’s senior industrial designer Remy Labesque has redesigned the chocolate chip. Labesque believed that the classic chocolate chip’s teardrop shape is not suited to its function, as Dallas News detailed: 

The chip isn’t a designed shape,” Labesque said. “It’s a product of an industrial manufacturing process.”
The baking standby is optimized for mass production, not for baking in cookies, whose broad surface area is better suited to maximize taste and melt-in-your-mouth
texture. Labesque’s redesign for artisanal Dandelion Chocolate is a square, faceted pyramid, kind of like a flattened diamond. Two edges are thick, and two exceedingly thin, for even more textural pleasure.

image via Dallas News


8 Surprising Jobs That Keep Film Sets Running

This video can enlighten you about some of the people behind the magic that happens in film. Filmmaking is no easy feat, and is a combined effort of many. Insider details eight different jobs that are part of every film set, from styling food for a shot to creating realistic-looking food props. 


This Vase Got Sold For Way More Than Expected

A glazed ceramic vessel set an auction record for a work by the Arts and Crafts-era design firm. The small vase sold for a whopping $431,250 after a forty-minute bidding war. It was initially estimated to sell for between $7,000 and $9,000 at a Sotheby’s auction, as artnet news detailed: 

“The work exhibits a highly unusual and rare glaze coloration for Grueby pottery, with terrific proportions and crisp modeling, which helped drive the intense competition between at least two collectors,” a representative for the auction house said in a statement to Artnet News. “It is unlikely that another work with this particular glaze coloration will be discovered.”

image via artnet news


Fox Steals Over 100 Shoes

As the Imelda Marcos of the fox world, this fella has a good start building a shoe collection. Humans in the Zehlendorf neighborhood of Berlin found that a local fox had stolen a hoard of over one hundred shoes, mostly crocs. BBC News reports:

For weeks residents of Zehlendorf were baffled that a thief was stealing their flip flops and sports shoes from their gardens at night.
Finally a man spotted the culprit on a patch of wasteland, "in flagrante, carrying two blue flip flops in its mouth", the daily Tagesspiegel reports.
The fox had a hoard of over 100 shoes, but not the man's missing running shoe.

What would a fox do with crocs? April Kit Walsh goofs on Dr. Seuss:


-via Marginal Revolution | Photo: Felix Hackenbruch


BoxVR: An Effective Workout Amidst Lockdown

With his physical movement constrained at home, and with countless snacks consumed, Mat Smith is unsurprised that he gained a bit of weight since March. Since he can’t go to gyms and workout classes, as both of them have been cancelled and closed down, he was left with no choice but to search for the right kind of workout for him in his own apartment.

Destroying most of my excuses, one of those workouts was delivered to my door: BoxVR, alongside an Oculus Quest kit.
VR workouts have been around for a few years, but with lighter and wireless hardware finally here, the case for them has strengthened. BoxVR was at the vanguard, launching over three years ago. It’s now available across most VR platforms including Steam, PlayStation Store and the Oculus Store. While there’s now further DLC content — my other reason for testing it all out — the central premise hasn’t changed.

Unlike other VR workouts, Mat found out that this particular VR workout “tries to keep it all full-body workout”.

…neon balloons will shoot towards you, demanding jabs, hooks and uppercuts, but these are joined by “walls” that you’ll need to duck under. These seem set at a good level (given the game can gauge your height) to feel the burn of squatting; it’s always a little deeper than comfortable, but that’s probably good for a workout. 
It’s a VR cliche, but I appreciated the escapism — a workout that’s not a dull run, nor push-ups or handstand holds in my one-bedroom apartment. I am getting pretty sick of these four walls. 

If there’s a downside, however, it’s when you get a little too sweaty, and you have to remove the goggles to wipe your face.

What are your thoughts about this one?

(Image Credit: BoxVR/ Engadget)


Is This Dog Real?

Check out this photo of a dog which looks pasted on a background, much like in Photoshop. But while this photo looks manipulated, the fact is it isn’t. What you see here is a real dog.

“My dog totally looks like a Photoshopped image,” tweeted @BristolShubun with the photo, mentioning another thing it arguably looks more like than real life. But @BristolShubun assures us the Shiba Inu is real.
Part of what makes the photo so surreal is the leash, which stretches up into the sky and looks like it should be being held in the hand of someone who’s been digitally scrubbed from the photo. But actually it’s attached to a rope that runs above the yard, giving the dog more space to run around.

Pretty cool, huh?

(Image Credit: @BristolShubun/ Twitter)


A Joystick For Your Tongue

If you have your hands full and can’t add another task to your plate, then that’s the time that you should ask for a helping hand. But why get a helping hand, when you can get a helping tongue?

Graduate student Dorothee Clasen imagined constructing a tool that would allow users to bypass their hands or feet and control digital devices with their tongue. As part of her master's degree thesis at the Köln International School of Design, an institution of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Clasen came up with [In]Brace, a plastic retainer attached to a wireless transmitter.
The mouthpiece, customized to fit each user's mouth, contains a magnetic ball running along a sensor track that can be pushed or pulled by the tongue. A thin wire from the mouthpiece is connected to a wireless transmitter that is worn around an ear.

Clasen states that this could be useful for performers, such as pianists, who might be able to use the tech to turn the pages of a digital music sheet, or motorists, who could use the device to manipulate GPS routing alternatives.

More details about this device over at TechXplore.

What are your thoughts about this one?

(Image Credit: TechXplore)


“We Only Use 10% Of Our Brain”: True or False?

Popular belief states that we only use 10% of our brain, which means that we can do more amazing things if we just used our brain more. Science, however, does not support this belief, as our brain is already doing more than what we expect it to. But where did this belief originate? Professor Sophie Scott sheds light on this matter over at BBC Reel.

(Image Credit: TheDigitalArtist/ Pixabay)


Couple Gives Us Tips On How To Improve Our Relationships At Home

Emily and Laurice Alison are psychologists, who help counter-terrorism officers and the police in communicating and co-operating with criminal suspects, as well as extracting information out of them. Their methods are effective in two things: interrogating criminal suspects, and surprisingly, in making relationships at home better.

For the couple – who’ve been married for 21 years and have a 16-year-old son – the parallels with parenting have long been obvious and were underlined by the response of officers they’ve encountered on the intensive courses they run on how to interrogate terrorists.
Time after time, participants fed back that as well as learning invaluable skills for their professional lives, their approach was helping them deal with family and work relationships. “We were fascinated,” says Laurence, director of the Centre for Critical and Major Incident Psychology at Liverpool University. “We’d do a day on the best way to extract information from a dangerous prisoner and at the end of it participants would say, ‘This is such useful advice for me as a parent of teenagers.’”

What’s the secret ingredient to their effective communication? Find out over at The Guardian.

(Image Credit: Shaw & Shaw/The Observer/ The Guardian)


Why Every Star Wars Film Has The Wrong Title

TitTok user fake.disney.facts has prepared a short presentation explaining how every Star Wars film has had its titles mixed up with each other. By giving a quick summary of each film, he puts the proper title to each one.

A person commented that he “hate[s] and love[s] how much sense this actually is.” But what are your thoughts about this one?

(Image Credit: @fake.disney.facts/ TikTok via Zebulon Dak/ YouTube)


What’s It Like Inside A Car Tire?

Have you ever wondered what things look like inside your car tire as you drive your car to places? If yes, then YouTuber Warped Perception has a treat for you: he shows you just that by putting a GoPro inside a car tire and then driving the car around. He found out how the tire adapts to the road’s imperfections, as well as what happens inside when you drive slowly, quickly, and when you hit turns.

Via The Awesomer

(Video Credit: Warped Perception/ YouTube)


The “Little Brain” Is Not Little

Located near the brainstem and sitting under the cortex in the hindbrain is one of the more versatile parts of the brain: the cerebellum. Despite its name, which means “little brain” in Latin, it contributes much in the brain and in the human body — “to our five senses as well as pain, movements, thought, and emotion.” This study published this week in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) sheds more light on the said part of the brain.

Until now, the cerebellum was thought to be involved mainly in basic functions like movement, but its expansion over time and its new inputs from cortical areas involved in cognition suggest that it can also process advanced concepts like mathematical equations.

Learn more about this study over at MedicalXpress.

(Image Credit: Dr. Johannes Sobotta/ Wikimedia Commons)

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