Good morning. What happens when you ask an AI computer to write an original Christmas song? You get this hilarious abomination. Researchers at the University of Toronto trained a computer to recognize and form opinions on objects in images, fed it 100 hours of music, and showed it a photo of a Christmas tree. It then proceeded to sing like a Christmas caroler having a stroke, except for one touching line: “The best Christmas present in the world is a blessing.” Here’s what’s good in gear: a rustic camera bag, a hard-wearing apron, Star Wars-themed winter jackets and much more.
And here are some fresh stories to start the day.
Norlan Whiskey Glass
Traditional whiskey drinkers sip and sniff from two types of glasses: tumblers, and snifters. It’s been this way for centuries. Yet both have their disadvantages: tumblers tend to mute flavor and scent, while snifters can sometimes over-emphasize ethanol notes, thereby masking other, more subtle flavors. Norlan’s whiskey glass is a perfect marriage of the two, combining the advantages of both and the disadvantages of neither. Its beautiful double-walled design contains pinpointed protrusions — “fins” — which, when the whiskey is swirled, create waveforms that aid in releasing ethanol vapors, causing the whiskey’s complex scents and flavors to rise up uninhibited. A modern drinking glass that unlocks the most of your precious elixir’s potential.
HoldFast Sightseer Backpack System
If John Muir put down his notepad and became a photojournalist, this is the camera bag he’d wear. Its vibe is wonderfully rustic — waxed canvas, bison leather accents, Azec print flannel liner — yet it’s equally practical, with exceptional water resistance, a modular pouch system and two shoulder-strap camera sliders. Pairs well with buffalo-checkered flannels and backcountry campfires.
Tenkara Rod Co. Landing Net
An all–carbon fiber fishing net, for when weight and speed mean everything. (And all fly-fisherman know that weight and speed are always important.)
Nixon x Pendleton Collection
The sporty folks at Nixon teamed up with the old vets at Pendleton to create this collection of watches, bags and accessories, all of which feature Pendelton’s iconic 154-year-old jaquard fabric pattern.
Union Shop Apron
Like a pair of hard-wearing leather work boots, this apron improves with age. Available in waxed canvas, denim, natural canvas or, our personal favorite, recycled military canvas.
Columbia x Star Wars Jacket Collection
Rogue One, the next chapter in the Star Wars franchise, is hitting theaters this week. There has been the usual product collabs that always pop up in the wake of blockbuster campaigns — action figures, novelty mugs, soft drinks and so on. But this one stands out. Columbia created three jackets (one women’s, two men’s) inspired by three jackets worn in the film. And they aren’t just for show — all three boast legitimate winter-ready features, like down insulation, faux fur and water-resistance.
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