The Boston Public Library Owns a Mini Car Wash for Books

iStock
iStock

Aside from sticky fingers, rogue highlighters, and careless readers, a library’s biggest enemy is dust. The fine particles lead to deterioration, as they absorb and hold moisture—meaning in addition to checking out books and cataloging items, library workers are required to give some dirty tomes the occasional wipe-down.

At the Boston Public Library, The Huffington Post reports, employees give books a bath using a contraption called the Depulvera book cleaning machine. Described as a “mini car wash for books,” it can clean around 12 books per minute. Luckily for library workers, the machine isn’t difficult to use or cumbersome: “It’s compact, simple to use, and can be operated in small spaces—even within stack aisles,” Library Journal explains.

The BPL recently shared a video of the Depulvera on Twitter, explaining that the only books of theirs that receive a deep cleaning are ones from the closed stacks, which typically don’t have dust jackets once they’re requested or digitized. Rare books are fragile, so they require more specialized attention.

Watch the BPL’s “car wash for books” in action below.

— BostonPublicLibrary (@BPLBoston) April 20, 2017

[h/t The Huffington Post]

10 Rad Gifts for Hikers

Greg Rosenke/Unsplash
Greg Rosenke/Unsplash

The popularity of bird-watching, camping, and hiking has skyrocketed this year. Whether your gift recipients are weekend warriors or seasoned dirtbags, they'll appreciate these tools and gear for getting most out of their hiking experience.

1. Stanley Nesting Two-Cup Cookset; $14

Amazon

Stanley’s compact and lightweight cookset includes a 20-ounce stainless steel pot with a locking handle, a vented lid, and two insulated 10-ounce tumblers. It’s the perfect size for brewing hot coffee, rehydrating soup, or boiling water while out on the trail with a buddy. And as some hardcore backpackers note in their Amazon reviews, your favorite hiker can take the tumblers out and stuff the pot with a camp stove, matches, and other necessities to make good use of space in their pack.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Osprey Sirrus and Stratos 24-Liter Hiking Packs; $140

Amazon

Osprey’s packs are designed with trail-tested details to maximize comfort and ease of use. The Sirrus pack (pictured) is sized for women, while the Stratos fits men’s proportions. Both include an internal sleeve for a hydration reservoir, exterior mesh and hipbelt pockets, an attachment for carrying trekking poles, and a built-in rain cover.

Buy them: Amazon, Amazon

3. Yeti Rambler 18-Ounce Bottle; $48

Amazon

Nothing beats ice-cold water after a summer hike or a sip of hot tea during a winter walk. The Yeti Rambler can serve up both: Beverages can stay hot or cold for hours thanks to its insulated construction, and its steel body (in a variety of colors) is basically indestructible. It will add weight to your hiker's pack, though—for a lighter-weight, non-insulated option, the tried-and-true Camelbak Chute water bottle is incredibly sturdy and leakproof.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mappinners Greatest 100 Hikes of the National Parks Scratch-Off Poster; $30

Amazon

The perfect gift for park baggers in your life (or yourself), this 16-inch-by-20-inch poster features epic hikes like Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Once the hike is complete, you can scratch off the gold foil to reveal an illustration of the park.

Buy it: Amazon

5. National Geographic Adventure Edition Road Atlas; $19

Amazon

Hikers can use this brand-new, updated road atlas to plan their next adventure. In addition to comprehensive maps of all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, they'll get National Geographic’s top 100 outdoor destinations, useful details about the most popular national parks, and points on the maps noting off-the-beaten-path places to explore.  

Buy it: Amazon

6. Adventure Medical Kits Hiker First-Aid Kit; $25

Amazon

This handy 67-piece kit is stuffed with all the things you hope your hiker will never need in the wilderness. Not only does it contain supplies for pain, cuts and scrapes, burns, and blisters (every hiker’s nemesis!), the items are organized clearly in the bag to make it easy to find tweezers or an alcohol wipe in an emergency.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hiker Hunger Ultralight Trekking Poles; $70

Amazon

Trekking poles will help increase your hiker's balance and stability and reduce strain on their lower body by distributing it to their arms and shoulders. This pair is made of carbon fiber, a super-strong and lightweight material. From the sweat-absorbing cork handles to the selection of pole tips for different terrain, these poles answer every need on the trail. 

Buy it: Amazon

8. Leatherman Signal Camping Multitool; $120

Amazon

What can’t this multitool do? This gadget contains 19 hiking-friendly tools in a 4.5-inch package, including pliers, screwdrivers, bottle opener, saw, knife, hammer, wire cutter, and even an emergency whistle.

Buy it: Amazon

9. RAVPower Power Bank; $24

Amazon

Don’t let your hiker get caught off the grid with a dead phone. They can charge RAVPower’s compact power bank before they head out on the trail, and then use it to quickly juice up a phone or tablet when the batteries get low. Its 3-inch-by-5-inch profile won’t take up much room in a pack or purse.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Pack of Four Indestructible Field Books; $14

Amazon

Neither rain, nor snow, nor hail will be a match for these waterproof, tearproof 3.5-inch-by-5.5-inch notebooks. Your hiker can stick one in their pocket along with a regular pen or pencil to record details of their hike or brainstorm their next viral Tweet.

Buy it: Amazon

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Update Your Tech While These 10 Apple Products Are on Sale

Apple
Apple

If the announcement of another new iPhone release has you feeling even more outdated than you already did, it might finally be time to upgrade your tech. Check out 10 refurbished Apple products that will outdo your old devices without the hefty price tag.

1. Apple iPad Pro 9.7 (128gb, Refurbished); $425 (29 Percent Off)

This refurbished iPad Pro makes it easier than ever to binge an entire season of The Office in one sitting, thanks to its 10 hours of battery life.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

2. Apple iPad Mini 4, 64gb - Space Gray (Refurbished // Wi-Fi Only); $295 (40 Percent Off)

Apple

This compact iPad is the perfect match for browsing at home or storing your favorite apps and media. It even doubles as an 8-megapixel camera with face detection, video stabilizing, and more.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

3. Apple iPad Air 2 (23GB, Refurbished); $259 (35% Off)

The super-thin iPad Air sports all the features you'd expect out of a much larger tablet without any of the bulkiness. Take high-quality photos, download your favorite movies, and much more.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

4. Apple EarPods With Remote And Microphone; $14.99 (54 Percent Off)

Apple

These Apple EarPods keep a secure grip in your ear so they’ll stay put with every bounce, twirl, and pas de bourrée you may experience while listening to your favorite music.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

5. Apple Lightning to USB Cable (Three-Pack); $29.99

Apple

Most Apple products come with charging accessories, but one usually isn’t enough. If you need a spare for the car, the office, or three different rooms of the house, this pack has you covered.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

6. Apple Macbook Air 11 and Core i5, 4GB Ram 128GB SSD (Refurbished); $559 (6 Percent Off)

Apple

A laptop’s primary function is to work in remote places, which is why the impressive nine-hour battery life of this Apple MacBook Air makes it the perfect machine. This model features the Intel Core i5 processor, Intel Turbo Boost Technology, and Intel HD Graphics 6000, so you're sure to get high-quality performance.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

7. Three-In-One Apple Device Charging Station; $67.99 (13 Percent Off)

Oakywood.

Cut your cords and charge your modern devices with a modern aesthetic. This triple dock for iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch will keep your desk or nightstand organized while you charge up.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

8. Apple Magic Keyboard With Numeric Keypad (Certified Refurbished); $99.99 (23 Percent Off)

Apple

Wires on your desk are so 2005. Get modern with a refurbished Apple Magic Keyboard. You won’t miss any functionality when you cut the cord because this refurbished model has all of the features you’d expect.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

9. Apple 5w Wall Charger Adapter Cube Three-Pack; $16.99 (19 Percent Off)

Apple

Never ask to borrow a charger again when you have these adapter cube back-ups. Store one in several rooms of the house, or keep one at work and two at home. They’ll charge everything from your iPad to iPhone.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

10. Apple iPad Mini Three, 64GB (Refurbished); $259 (13 Percent Off)

Apple

This compact iPad has an A7 processor, 1GB RAM, and 64 GB storage for enough power to browse, game, and work wherever you tote it.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

Prices subject to change.

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