July 11, 2005
'There are at least 500,000 cameras in the city of London'
That's the second most astounding statistic of the year to date.
It's from last Friday's excellent Wall Street Journal article about the London bombings.
"The British capital has more surveillance cameras monitoring its citizens than any other major city in the world."
Yet it wasn't enough.
The most amazing statistic of the year also comes from the same Journal article:
"In a single day a person could expect to be filmed 300 times."
Yet it wasn't enough.
Because to have data without the capability of making sense of it is to have nothing.
There are not enough people in the world to sift through all the images pouring in 24/7 from a half–million cameras.
Not even close when it comes to real–time facial recognition.
Clearly, the 2049 world of "Minority Report" is — at the very least — that far away.
Butt Face Soap
I think Magritte's version would've been even better.
What if Richard Serra designed an office?
I thought I was hallucinating when I saw the picture above, of a pair of translucent curved walls in what appeared to be an office setting, albeit a rather unusual one.
I read further and learned that Michael Haverland, an assistant professor of architecture at Yale, designed the office, his first such commission.
He created the "lens wall" from a double series of plexiglass panels stretched by pulleys and tension cables into convex and concave shapes.
How is that possible?
Got Pets? U–Dig–It Folding Trowel
Weight: 6 oz.
Made of stainless steel.
Ballistic nylon carrying case with belt loop.
Handle measures 4.75"; shovel measures 4.74".
Powerwashing Mount Rushmore
It's happening as your read these words.
The cleaning started last Friday and may take five weeks.
It's by far the deepest cleaning ever for the 65–year–old monument in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Gutzon Borglum carved the four presidents' heads in granite.
Over the decades lichens have grown in the crevices, producing an acid that damages the faces of Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Lincoln.
In addition, the years have left a covering of dirt and grime on their stoney visages.
Dirk Lammers of the Associated Press wrote an interesting article about the technology involved in the job; it appeared in last Friday's USA Today along with the photo above, of Jefferson's eye being cleaned.
LapSchtick — 'Instant makeover for your laptop'
What cool girl isn't in search of a new makeover, the one that will finally put her over the top?
For $19.99 here you can get a funky applique to spruce up your boring old box.
Stylized asterisks, daisies, dots, solids or you can create your own one–off design for $25.
Way too cool for skool.
They employ "an amazing removable adhesive" in case you decide your laptop needs yet another makeover.
There's also a line of PodSchtickers for your iPod, starting at $5.99.
I can keep a secret
People love to send postcards to postsecret.com, which puts them up for all to see.
Confession is good for the soul.
And reading the confessions of others is fascinating, it is true.
But then there are those things you'd rather not have the whole world know, even anonymously.
Doestoevsky wrote that there are three types of secrets: those that you will admit only to those you know well; those that you will admit only to yourself; and those you will not admit even to yourself.
It's amazing but I am no longer surprised that people confess things to me that they will not admit even to themselves.
Those are the very best ones and they are far beyond anything that will ever appear on postsecrets.com.
Nor will they ever appear on bookofjoe.
Confessing to me or sending me things — you know what I mean — consigns your words and deeds to a one–way journey to, then through the looking glass into another dimension from which they can never be retrieved.
So don't hesitate.
After all, you know you can trust me: I'm a ....
Folding Pocket Magnifier
Fabulous design and technology in a very small space.
Bausch & Lomb has created an elegant folding pocket magnifier that features 3 acrylic lenses — 5x, 7x and 9x — which combined can create 7 magnifications, up to 20x.
No sliver need elude you ever again.