Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

Dusting Off: The Pneumatic Tube

  • Najib Benouar

Pneumatic Tube

Countless devices have become obsolete since the advent of the digital age, but one of the most overlooked casualties has to be the pneumatic tube.

It went the way of the telegram decades ago (you’ll still find a few intact tube systems here or there—in a Midwestern packing plant or an old airport terminal—but even those are rarely used nowadays). This was the instant messenger that predated AOL by a century, thanks to some Industrial Age ingenuity and a giant air compressor. And we think it needs to make a comeback.

A case for dusting off the pneumatic tube.»

The State of the Kite

Kites

It’s nearly picnic season again.

And suddenly we’re reminded of when picnicking was a bona fide event: your parents would pack snacks and drive the whole gang to the park, or the beach, or whatever breezy venue felt most appropriate. You’d munch. You’d enjoy the sun. And you’d fly some damn kites.

Good times were had by all.

Soon enough, it’ll be you in the driver’s seat. You’re probably not entirely there yet—what without the wife and the kids and the station wagon and everything—but there’s still nothing stopping you from a little high-flying glory of your own. Because the game’s the same: just run like hell until the darn thing stays aloft. However, your old box-kite might not cut it anymore.

Lucky for you, we’ve taken stock of today's kite market and rounded up your best options.»

Gentlemanly Poets, Charting the Strokes and Buzz Bissinger Goes Off the Shallow End

  • Kempt Staff

The Strokes

Cultured Club: The three poets every man should read, courtesy of Barack Obama’s inaugural poet Richard Blanco and Men’s Journal.

Different Strokes: Grantland tracks the career arc of the Strokes as they release their latest album (coincidentally, a Spring Must-Have).

Gucci Main: Buzz Bissinger, Friday Night Lights author, delves into his deepest, darkest, shallowest obsession: Gucci.

“In” Box: Men’s Health makes the case for upgrading your digital lifestyle the same way you would your clothes and furniture.

The State of the Sled

  • Najib Benouar

News of yesterday’s record-setting snowball fight in Seattle got us thinking about how there was a time in our lives when snow in the forecast was an exciting thing—instead of just a notice to allot a few extra minutes for our morning commute.

And more specifically, it got us thinking about the holiest of snow-day pastimes: sledding (hey, we did make a sled a winter must-have). After some cursory research, we were surprised to learn that the sledding industry is alive and thriving—possibly as strong as it has ever been. In fact, the options are nearly endless, from the old-school variety to the sort of snow-bullet you’d imagine someone named Sven spent his life perfecting. There are even concept snow sleds.

So we slalomed through them all and found the five finest sleds for whatever snow-centric endeavors you might have planned in the near future.»

Not That, This: In Defense of Low-Tech

  • Najib Benouar

Clothing has seen a lot of great technological advancement in the past century—new-age nylon, moisture-wicking fleece, genetically modified gloves that work on touchscreens—more often than not, sacrificing some handsomeness in the process.

But last week’s post on tweed trumping tech in the blazer game reminded us that sometimes the choice between high-tech and high-handsome doesn’t have to be made—because the best-looking option also happens to work just as well as any newfangled technology.

So, herewith, your high-handsome alternatives to today’s high-tech jackets, sweaters and more.»

The 1984 iPhone

That iPhone 5 sure is a powerful, sexy machine.

But so is the entirety of Sony’s 1984 audio/visual collection, like the Beta Hi-Fi video cassette player which, as advertised, “blows you away” with its better-than-movie-theater sound. You’ll be “engulfed in the power and action of movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark... the pulsating rhythms of Flashdance... the dramatic intensity of An Officer and a Gentleman... the spectacular rock video of David Bowie.”

There you are, sitting in a tin can, far above the world...»

French Artists in 1899 Visualize the Year 2000

In preparation for the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris, a group of French artists were asked to create a series of futuristic pictures depicting life in the year 2000. For example, here we have a robotic tailor spitting out a sharp salmon dinner jacket for a customer based on measurements gathered from... well, your guess is as good as ours.

Let’s just say the absinthe was flowing steadily back in 1899...»

Croakies for Your iPhone

  • Najib Benouar

Here’s a great way to make sure your charging cord never gets lost in the shuffle—or ends up on someone else’s desk by mistake.

These new textile cords from Eastern Collective are like putting croakies on your iPhone (or iAnything). Since they look nothing like the ubiquitous white ones that always seem to be floating off to the island of lost cords, you’ll be sure to have one on hand the next time you’re staring at a 10% battery level warning.

Or you'll finally learn who the office cord hoarder is.

Dasha Heard the Opening Ceremony Was Going to Be Very Pastoral

  • Kempt Staff

via FGR

Cheers, Mate: The opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympic Games will be on tv tonight, and the hospitable gents at GQ UK have come up with a drinking game for your viewing pleasure. (Just replace BBC with NBC and Boris Johnson with Ryan Seacrest.) [GQ UK]

Glimpsing the Future: The US has been forced to watch the opening ceremony on delayed telecast, but for those who’d like to get a sneak preview, CNN has been photo-blogging live. [CNN]

But Don’t Yell at the Fern: The 10 rules to live by when cheering your way through the Olympics. [Buzzfeed]

Leaps and Bounds: Gear Patrol lists the top 10 tech innovations happening at the Summer Games, from the track surfaces to the robotic cameras. [GearPatrol]

The Gear You Need to Compete Like an Olympian

  • Najib Benouar

The 2012 Summer Games are finally here—which is also good news for the weekend warriors of the world.

Every four years, a new crop of high-tech sports gear is unveiled after spending the past four years in the lab. Luckily, most of it is made available to the public for any rec-league or interoffice battles happening on basketball courts, running tracks, archery ranges and badminton fields across this country. So we rounded up the best of the new stuff for your competitive–edge-advancing needs.

Herewith, all the shoes, bows and swimsuits designed to give mere mortals an Olympian edge.»

Is Steve Wozniak a PC?

A couple days ago, the online gadget guide Gizmodo posted and masturbated to a photo of the contents of Steve Wozniak’s travel backpack. In the photo (taken and annotated by The Woz himself), an iSimCity of redundant -pads, -phones, -books, -pods and so on is neatly nestled together, row after row, much like Sol Rosenberg’s shoes and glasses (so he has them). The photo, while farcically lame, is not grounds for labeling Woz a PC—we imagine Justin Long travels with a comparable load.

Here is what we don’t imagine Justin Long traveling with...»

Happy Camper

  • Najib Benouar

We’re of the mind that if you’re going camping, you’ve committed to roughing it—you’re leaving the creature comforts of the indoors for a reason. But here’s one shortcut we’ll endorse: the BioLite.

Esquire tipped us off to the packable stove burner that runs on just about anything you can scrounge up from the woods (sticks, pinecones, etc.), and we’re mostly impressed by its ability to charge your USB device on the go. That means you’ve got extended range on your GPS or smartphone, should you feel like spending more time in the wild than one charge can handle.

As long as you’re using the phone only for emergencies and/or finding the nearest water source—not retweeting @Justin_Buber.

The Coolest Yacht in the World Sets Sail

The Adastra is in the water, gentlemen.

The 139-foot trimaran, which last week won Best Yacht Design at the 2012 Asia Boating Awards, will spend most of the summer traveling between two Indonesian islands owned by Anto and Elaine Marden, who commissioned the superyacht from McConaghy Boats five years ago. All functionality aboard the $15 million Adastra can be controlled by an iPad, which strikes us as dangerous, particularly after downing a half-dozen Singapore Slings on the panoramic deck saloon. Luckily, the hull is made of Kevlar.

But you might want to keep an eye out for her this weekend, just to be safe.