September 06, 2005
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art
Thought I made a mistake, didn't you?
Or that this was gonna be a joke post?
Wrong on both counts.
I was astounded, reading last Friday's New York Times, to come across a one–paragraph item in Steven McElroy's "Arts, Briefly" feature on this institution.
He wrote, "The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art has put on display an exhibition that art experts call the most important collection of modern Western art outside Europe and the United States, Reuters reported."
The exhibition, entitled "Modern Art Movement," spans the 1870s to the 1980s and includes work by Picasso, Monet, Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock.
Who knew there was a Pollock in Iran?
Said the museum's director, Dr. Alireza Samiazar, "It's a sensational show for all of us and considering the political situation it could be quite a controversial show as well."
The museum's collection consists of works largely amassed in the 1970s by Farah Pahlavi, the widow of the Shah of Iran.
Look here at the 151 works in the collection, some of which are pictured above, and you will see why the experts are dazzled.
The U.S. Postal Service joins Sweden Post in a joint stamp issuance September 23 at Scandinavia House in New York to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of legendary film actress Greta Garbo.
Greta Lovisa Gustafsson was born on September 18, 1905 in Stockholm, Sweden.
The stamp (above) is based on a photograph (below)
of Garbo at 27 (taken in 1932, in case it's still too early to do the math) during the filming of "As You Desire Me."
This is not the first time Garbo has appeared on a stamp; witness the one below,
from Grenada celebrating the 100th anniversary of cinema.
Going postal is just part of a celebration planned by New York's Scandinavian–American Foundation.
From Steven McElroy's "Arts, Briefly" column in today's New York Times:
- Fans can also catch the exhibition "Garbo's Garbos" and the film series "Forever Garbo," both at Scandinavia House.
The exhibition, on view from September 17 through November 12, includes posters and other memorabilia, along with 90 original portraits from Garbo's private collection.
The film retrospective features 14 films, from early Swedish and silent movies to Hollywood blockbusters like "Mata Hari" and "Anna Christie."
Garbo made her final film in 1941, at age 36; she died on April 15, 1990 at age 84 in New York.
She was annoyed by an oft–repeated quote attributed to her and reportedly told friends, "I never said, 'I want to be alone.' I only said, 'I want to be left alone.' There is a world of difference."
Listen for yourself here.
Turner Classic Movies (channel 256 on DirecTV) has declared Garbo the Star of the Month for September
and will show 21 movies and three documentaries this month.
The series kicks off tonight at 8 p.m. (ET) with the premiere of "Garbo," a new documentary.
It's narrated by Julie Christie, a minor enigma herself.
Scandinavia House is at 58 Park Avenue (between 37th and 38th Street); www.scandinaviahouse.org; 212-879-9779; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
BehindTheMedspeak: Hand Mentor
An astounding new piece of high–tech medical equipment is now ready for prime time.
It's the Hand Mentor (above) from Kinetic Muscles of Tempe, Arizona, and it promises to revolutionize the treatment of people who have lost muscle function due to stroke and other brain injuries.
Ranit Mishori wrote about the device in today's Washington Post Health section.
Here's the article.
- A Hand for a Hand
People who lose muscle function due to stroke and other brain injuries may get some help from the Hand Mentor, pictured above.
Essentially it's a "smart" rehab exercise machine that senses how far the patient can move the muscle on her own.
Once that limit is reached, the device takes over, continuing to move the muscle through the full range of motion, a key step in preparing it for independent movement.
According to Jay L. Alberts, a researcher at the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Center for Neurological Restoration at the Cleveland Clinic, it "pushes the patient to give maximal effort."
The Hand Mentor also provides visual feedback to patients, via a small screen, about the force, position and electrical activity of their muscle.
The exercise regimen is very rigorous and, according to the manufacturer, Kinetic Muscles of Tempe, Ariz., requires at least two to three hours a day, four or five days a week.
The $4,000 Hand Mentor is sold by prescription only and is not covered by Medicare.
The first randomized clinical trial to determine the system's effects is underway.
What makes this such a tremendous breakthrough is that the continuing power of Moore's Law has enabled the tremendous computational power harnessed in this consumer–level device to be affordable, even though $4,000 is still not exactly pocket money.
Five years ago a device performing functions such as those enabled by the Hand Mentor required a technician, a desk–sized computer and cost about $250,000.
The readout on the handle shows you the temperature at the fork's business end.
From the website:
- Insert the sensor thermometer fork into the roast for approximately 5 seconds and you'll be able to read the internal temperature on the liquid crystal display.
Whether you're preparing beef, lamb, pork, veal, poultry or fish, the illuminated display will also show you with symbols how well–cooked is the meat, e.g. rare, medium or well done.
No need to cut into the meat or fish first to find out, thus avoiding the loss of any juices.
Also great as a cooking thermometer.
Heat–resistant, rubber-coated handle.
38cm (15") long; weighs 170g (6 oz.)
The pointed sensor fork prongs are stainless steel and the body of the thermometer is plastic.
Hanging hook built in.
Small spotlight lights up the food in the depths of your oven.
Runs on two AAA batteries (included).
Battery level indicator.
£22.50 ($41; 33€) here.
The Seven Ages — by Louise Glück
In my first dream the world appeared
the salt, the bitter, the forbidden, the sweet
In my second I descended
I was human, I couldn't just see a thing
beast that I am
I had to touch, to contain it
I hid in the groves,
I worked in the fields until the fields were bare—
that will never come again—
the dry wheat bound, caskets
of figs and olives
I even loved a few times in my disgusting human way
and like everyone I called that accomplishment
absurd as it seems
The wheat gathered and stored, the last
fruit dried: time
that is hoarded, that is never used,
does it also end?
In my first dream the world appeared
the sweet, the forbidden
but there was no garden, only
I was human:
I had to beg to descend
the salt, the bitter, the demanding, the preemptive
And like everyone, I took, I was taken
I was betrayed:
Gucci Knee High Boot
As a rule I don't care for Gucci's products: too many G's.
These boots are the exception that proves the rule: very simple, very elegant, very soignée.
4.1 inch heel; side zip; metal buckle with light gold hardware.
The best things in life aren't free
That's the take–home message I got from a very interesting piece in last week's (September 5) New Yorker "Talk of the Town" section by Michael Agger.
It's entitled "Car Seat Lady" and profiles Ms. Alisa Baer, a 25–year–old medical student in New York City who is an expert on car seat installation. (She's installed an estimated 5,000 in her career to date.)
She comes from a family of safety obsessives: her grandfather was a stickler for fire prevention and her mother, who began installing car seats in Baltimore in 1984, was the original Car Seat Lady.
The story is interesting and all but what stopped me in my tracks were these two sentences: "She used to make free house calls, but now she asks that people bring their seats to her. She's also begun charging forty–five dollars per seat, because New Yorkers told her they didn't trust something they didn't have to pay for."
That cuts right to the heart of the matter as far as I'm concerned.
I believe that in most cases price is proportional to quality and value.
Not all — but most.
And offering bookofjoe gratis strikes me as probably rendering it far less credible than if I charged.
Peter Drucker once observed that, as a consultant, the only way companies ever listened was if he charged so much money that it hurt.
Similarly, companies who enter the Japanese market sometimes find that dismal sales are a result of their goods being priced too low: the Japanese are great believers in paying exorbitant prices for what they perceive to be of the highest quality.
I recall one product, the specifics of which are lost in the haze of time past, that only started selling in Japan after the manufacturer quadrupled the price.
So after much thought and consideration, I have decided to emulate that company and henceforth will be charging four times what I do currently.
Hurts so good, doesn't it?
50 Year Calendar
Here's a heavy, all–metal paperweight that'll carry you through 2052.
No, it doesn't fit in your wallet.
Neither does your computer.
Gimme a break.