December 18, 2004
Bak-Glo Campfire Butt Warmer
I like inventions that solve problems you didn't know you had.
Like this clever device, a reflective sheet that clips onto almost any chair ("especially good with folding chairs").
It curves down behind and partly under the chair, reflecting radiant heat energy from the fire toward your icy bottom and back.
Another suggested use is in your ice fishing hut with your heater.
Wow, that's amazing: you have the internet out in your ice hut?
Nunavut rocks. But I digress.
Bonus: should work nicely indoors as well, with your fireplace or wood stove.
"Made of a durable reflective laminate material for long life" (yours?).
Measures 22" x 45".
Made in Canada by Canadians, who know what cold feels like.
A bookofjoe Design Award 2004 Winner - no moving parts.
Memo to file: find out who did the wonderful drawing that leads this post, and ask the artist to redesign my website.
I don't know why, but I just love that picture.
[via Dave Berry's Annual Christmas Gift Guide]
I'd never heard of such a thing until I saw it on the cover of the new I.D. magazine.
In an interview in the magazine, Murray Moss says it's the most exquisite object costing less than $50 he's ever come across.
The purpose of a champagne whisk, in case you're a philistine like me, is to disperse the bubbles from the drink.
This purportedly slows down the seemingly rapid onset of the champagne "buzz," which is believed - by some - to be a result of the "fizziness" from the escaping carbon dioxide and the subsequent quicker uptake into the bloodstream and, ultimately, the brain, of the alcohol.
I don't know about you, but I drink champagne seldom enough that when I do, I rather welcome the bubbles and fizz and all.
But perhaps that's not the case with the fast-lane denizens of bookofjoe.
In that case, this is for perfect for you.
For the girl or guy who thinks she's/he's got everything.
Oddly enough, Moss sells it for $48.
Designed by Carl Mertens in 1981; made in Germany by Carl Mertens.
Understated matte finish stainless steel; 4" long (closed).
Comes with a nice black leather case for added drama when you remove it from your pocketbook.
"Ultra-High Molecular Weight Low Temperature Thermoplastic."
Similar to nylon and polypropylene in toughness, except you can work and shape it.
You get a bag of plastic pellets and put them in 160° water: a phase change (hey, don't worry, it's not Chem 1, there'll be no quiz) occurs and the pellets become a soft and hand-moldable mass.
Bend it, shape it, any way you want it.
It cools down and hardens into a non-toxic, strong, durable, paintable, machine-able white plastic.
Don't like how it turned out?
Dunk it back in the hot pot and try again.
Great for making prototypes and just fooling around.
Bonus: they're giving away 35 gram bags as free samples (that's 1.25 ounces, for you non-metric types) for a limited time.
Sign up here (scroll down to the bottom of the page).
$4.95 for shipping and handling, though.
I just ordered mine.
I'm very interested in seeing what kind of a nitebite I can make out of this stuff.
Can't hardly wait for mine to arrive.
[via Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools]
'Seconds' - Rock Hudson, as you've never seen him before
A terrible title for a superb, nearly forgotten 1966 movie directed by John Frankenheimer.
Made during the period he created his greatest films - "Birdman of Alcatraz" (1962), "The Manchurian Candidate (1962), and "Seven Days In May (1964) - this picture somehow disappeared.
I only learned of it when a bookofjoe reader suggested it in a comment on a post dealing with paranoia.
Long story short: Rock Hudson plays an aging banker who's given a chance to live his life over, courtesy of a shadowy company which stages a person's death and then recreates an entirely new body with advanced plastic surgery techniques.
As a "Reborn," he can't shake the memories of his old life.
It's by far the best performance ever by Hudson, who is altogether believable as a man haunted by the life he'd failed in, now apparently doomed to repeat those failures in an entirely different setting.
How much of life is accident, and how much inevitable?
Frankenheimer explores this question wonderfully here.
Superb, haunting score by Jerry Goldsmith; wonderful, disturbing Francis Bacon-esque titles by Saul Bass; and an almost Hitchcockian sense of foreboding and impending doom pervade this haunting black-and-white film.
An entirely subversive movie whose theme of the absurdity of modern life was even more anti-establishment in 1966.
The DVD has been rendered beautifully and it sounds superb as well.
You could find many lesser movies to spend $13.49 on.
Meat Bath Mat
Very fashionable, what?
I guarantee you'll not see this in anyone else's bathroom.
Cushiony soft and absorbent, with a nice grippy bottom to prevent sliding.
Measures 23" x 15", so it'll fit even the most claustrophobic space.
"Sometimes all it takes is the perfect rug to really tie a room together."
Somehow, I don't think this was the one Todd Oldham had in mind when he said that.
Perfect for that homesick Argentine exchange student.
Sorry - wrong Gauguin
Much that is good happens by accident; much that is bad equally often.
For example, what are the chances that a Gauguin painting and a superb forgery of the same picture would both come up for auction at the same time in the same city, setting off a chain of events that led to the unmasking of the fraud?
It is better to be lucky than good if you're selling fake Gauguins.
Read the fascinating story by Julia Preston which appeared in last Tuesday's New York Times.
- Art Gallery Owner Pleads Guilty In Forgery Found by Coincidence
The demise of a lucrative 15-year business in forgeries of paintings by modern masters came when both Sotheby's and Christie's offered the same painting of a vase of lilacs by Gauguin for their auctions in May 2000.
Federal agents discovered that Sotheby's had the real one, and Christie's had a remarkable, but not perfect, fake.
Ely Sakhai, the owner of a Lower Manhattan gallery, Exclusive Art, pleaded guilty yesterday in Federal District Court in Manhattan to fraud charges in the forgery operation.
The government charged that Mr. Sakhai had purchased genuine but lesser-known works of Gauguin, like the lilacs, and other Impressionist and modern artists, then ordered copies made by skilled forgers working from the originals.
Other painters whose works were copied were Chagall, Klee, Modigliani and Renoir.
Mr. Sakhai then sold the copies to private collectors, primarily in Japan and Taiwan, the indictment charged.
In his plea, Mr. Sakhai agreed to pay $12.5 million to collectors who bought the forgeries, and to forfeit to the government 11 paintings, including 4 Chagalls, that have been determined to be real.
Mr. Sakhai, 52, is scheduled to be sentenced on July 5.
He faces up to five years in jail.
Houshi Sandjaby, 70, the office manager of the gallery, also pleaded guilty to fraud charges yesterday, and also faces a maximum of five years.
Both men live in Old Westbury, New York.
Under instructions from the two men, prosecutors said, forgers copied in close detail the markings on the back of the canvases, and made the frames appear to be decades old.
The art dealers also issued fake "certificates of authenticity" for the forgeries.
In two transactions, the prosecutors said, the dealers claimed that Citigroup was involved in the sales, saying that the bank had accepted the paintings as collateral for loans.
The indictment said that the men impersonated Citigroup officials and issued false documents they said had been issued by the bank.
After years in the forgery trade, Mr. Sakhai decided to sell some of the originals in his possession.
He offered the Gauguin work, titled "Vase de Fleurs (Lilas)" to Sotheby's for the 2000 auction, at the same time as a copy he had sold to a customer in Tokyo was put up for auction at Christie's.
Mr. Sakhai "has decided to resolve his difficulties with the government and get this behind him," his lawyer, Frederick P. Hafetz, said yesterday.
He said Mr. Sakhai's art business was continuing.
[Note: The painting of lilacs by Gauguin that heads this post is not the painting that was the subject of the New York Times story. Rather, it is from the collection of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid.]
Short and sweet.
Everything button-related is here.
Learn about buttons, buy buttons, visit button trade shows, see button types and samples, do craft projects, find links to industry retailers, publications, and organizations.
Designer band-aids to complete the look.
Bonus: a free toy in every box of 25.
That'll cheer you up even if there's no one around to kiss it better.
Don't get cut - I mean, caught - without 'em.