Remember that Volvo LifePaint video from last year?
DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN BUY THAT STUFF ON AMAZON!?!
It’s called albedo, and it costs about $20 per can. The internet tells me that’s much cheaper than the Volvo-branded version. But the can is small, and you will finish it quick.
It works great, though :D
I bought it so I can be shiny when riding my Boosted Board at night. Drivers in this city can be pretty aggressive. They zoom past and make me poop my pants.
Pooping your pants at 22mph is dangerous.
See? I’ve got my back towards the road when riding. I can’t see cars passing. My butt clenches every time they pass aggressively.
Now check out how shiny my shoes and backpack were 10 minutes after dousing them in shiny magic paint. The shoes are a last minute “Oooh, that’s gonna be cool!” idea. The backpack was planned all along.
Just look at those shoes! It’s surreal how shiny they are. And that’s from an iPhone flash. Who knows how shiny they’ll be under car headlights. Wow.
At least, that’s what I thought at first. I was never again able to reproduce an effect quite so dramatic. And it’s hard to show your friends how cool your shoes are when it takes night time and flash photography to show.
It’s almost impossible to see under normal lighting. You can kinda see that I may have ruined the expensive birthday gift backpack my girlfriend got me, and the shoes sooooort of have a sheen if a light hits them just right.
See. Nothing. Just an off-color backpack and some shoes.
But with flash, they’re still shiny even a whole week of daily use. The paint on my shoes has mostly rubbed off because they’re smooth, but the backpack is going as strong as ever.
I tried to draw a face on the backpack, but it just looks creepy instead … maybe that’s why cars have been keeping their distance lately. ?
As for how it’s possible to have an invisible spray that’s also highly reflective (but only in the direction light is coming from), here’s the patent. At least I think that’s the patent.
Stable spray-coatable, water base composition having about 2 percent solids, that dries into glittering film having plurality of reflective surfaces resistant to flaking, comprising: a blend of a surfactant free first solution comprising, butyl methacrylate, butyl acrylate, 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, glacial methacrylic acid and styrene; a blend of a self-crosslinking second solution comprising, 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, butyl methacrylate, glacial methacrylic acid, styrene and at least one cross-linking polymer; a thickener gel; transparent polyethylene terephthalate chips on which reflective material has been vacuum deposited and cured fast by an epoxy resin, and ammonia.
Sure sounds like the patent.
Oh, and the patent expired some 16 years ago. You can make this stuff yourself and no one will come after you. Enjoy ☺️
I write articles with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.
Subscribe below 👇
Join Swizec's Newsletter and get insightful emails 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career. Real lessons from building production software. No bullshit.
"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only newsletter I open and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"
Senior Mindset Book
Get promoted, earn a bigger salary, work for top companiesLearn more
Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.
Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.
Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help 👉 swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.
Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev
Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization
Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog
By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️