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FoundIt!

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Ending my SXSW coverage this week with a little write up of a _flossy product called FoundIt! I think the name pretty much gives it away (yep, a tech-based lost-and-found service that connects finders with members), but what you might not get from the name is how its, er, founder, an economics professor, came up with the idea. One day, his daughter left her photography portfolio in the back of a cab. Her entire creative work life, vanished without a trace. This inspired the germ of the idea, which eventually became FoundIt!

The process is pretty simple. When you join, you get all these tags and stickers to put on your important stuff. Here's a photo I took to show you what they look like.

Just about everyone has been on both ends of the losing/finding equation. And we know, from experience, that it feels good to return something to its rightful owner. So, in a sense, the product benefits everyone. The finder gets the self-satisfaction of being able to get in touch with the loser. And the loser gets to tag his/her important stuff, anonymously, concealing important identity information through the FoundIt.net site. Pretty brilliant, eh? So, if you're the type of person who loses stuff a lot, or who has anxiety about losing stuff, FoundIt! might just be for you. A whole year costs less than $10. In other words: What do you have to lose? (heh heh.)

(disclaimer: I was given a trial membership to give this thing a whirl)

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Animals
Welcome to Italy's 'Snail Spa,' Where Happy Mollusks Ooze Prized Slime
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Wellness fads may come and go, but one beauty trend—using gross unguents to maintain a youthful glow—remains constant. Throughout history, cultures around the world have slathered themselves in concoctions containing everything from crocodile excrement to bird droppings and even snail slime, the last of which was favored by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Today, mollusk mucous is undergoing a surprising resurgence, as cosmetics companies around the globe use the slime to make skin products. To harvest mass quantities of the clear ooze, snail farmers typically have to kill the tiny creatures. But according to Great Big Story's video below, an Italian man named Simone Sampò invented a snail slime extraction machine—which he has dubbed a "snail spa"—that sprays the critters with secret ingredients, pleasuring them to the point that they secrete their valuable ooze.

Curious how the natural lubricant gets from a mollusk's foot to a well-cared-for face? Watch Sampò's steam machine in action below, as it lulls a bevy of happy snails into producing jugs of slime.

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Creating a Water-Powered Hammer Using Stone Age Tools
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A "Monjolo" is a water-powered hammer made from a log and some sticks. It relies on flowing water from a stream to do its work.

In the video below, the anonymous laborer who goes by Primitive Technology on YouTube creates his own Monjolo from scratch. It's effectively a hollowed-out log placed in the path of a stream, supported by a structure of skinny beams. As the log fills up with water, it rises, then the water drains out the back and it comes crashing down again. When it crashes down, that's an opportunity for a hammer head on the end to do something useful—like crushing charcoal or grain.

The creator of Primitive Technology writes:

This is the first machine I’ve built using primitive technology that produces work without human effort. Falling water replaces human calories to perform a repetitive task. A permanent set up usually has a shed protecting the hammer and materials from the weather while the trough end sits outside under the spout. This type of hammer is used to pulverise grain into flour and I thought I might use one to mill dry cassava chips into flour when the garden matures. ...

Like all the Primitive Technology videos, this is done entirely without spoken or written language, and it's DIY paradise. Tune in for a look into what one man alone in the bush can create:

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