August 08, 2007
Frank-Zappa-Strasse: Berlin Freaks Out!
Lawrence Van Gelder's "Arts, Briefly" column in the July 30, 2007 New York Times has more, and follows.
- Berlin Block Rocks for Zappa
Frank Zappa, the Grammy Award-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who died in 1993, is now a street in Berlin. In a ceremony that included a tribute concert with 17 bands playing into the night, Frank-Zappa-Strasse was unveiled late Saturday in Marzahn, a district of Communist-era high-rise housing on the eastern fringe of the city, Agence France-Presse reported. Two years ago Orwo Haus, a former factory that calls itself Europe’s biggest practice studio for young bands, initiated a campaign to rename the 980-foot-long Street 13 in honor of Zappa.
Below, a monument to Zappa in Lithuania.
Now where did I put that hammer?
From the website:
- Nail Bangle
Finding inspiration in hardware and mechanical parts, artist Connie Verrusio designs fascinating jewelry with a cheeky sense of humor.
Her ability to keep her pieces from becoming too precious is seen in this sterling silver bangle bracelet, based on a common builder's nail.
Intelligent craftsmanship and smart design make this bracelet a unique piece for anyone who appreciates a clever look at the things that hold the world together.
9" circumference; 2.75" diameter.
Black truffles in July — Australia turns the world of high-end food upside down
Florence Fabricant, in her July 11, 2007 "Food Stuff" column in the New York Times Dining In section, wrote about the new new thing from the Southern Hemisphere: Australian black truffles (above).
Her piece follows.
- From Down Under, Black Gold
Some 10 years ago, about 13,000 hazelnut trees inoculated with Périgord black truffle spores were planted by the Wine and Truffle Company near Manjimup, south of Perth, in western Australia. In the last couple of years, the plantation has been tripled in size to about 250 acres, with oak trees planted, too.
Dogs that had been trained to detect cocaine and explosives were given a glamorous new career; last year they sniffed out more than 200 pounds of black truffles. This year the harvest has quadrupled, exports have started, and restaurants in the United States, including the French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., and Lever House in New York, are using the truffles.
Because Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere and the seasons are reversed, black truffles in July are something of a surprise.
“You have to rethink your summer menu to use black truffles because you usually associate them with winter,” said Dan Silverman, below, the chef at Lever House. Since worldwide production of fine black truffles has dropped sharply in the last 10 years, Australia’s news is welcome for devotees of Tuber melanosporum.
The truffles, which are intensely aromatic, inky black and sometimes the size of tennis balls, are in season from June to September. Truffle hunts are open to the public ($55 Australian, with wine, from wineandtruffle.com.au). Balducci’s sells the truffles by special order for $1,495 a pound; the smallest order is a quarter pound, at $373.75. Orders may be placed at any Balducci’s store.
- Sun Jar
Now you can enjoy that same sunny radiance you love during the day, all night long!
Although it's not quite the same brightness, this fresh-from-the-jar light is a great energy-efficient way to softly light your home or garden.
Inside this traditional Mason jar lie a high-tech solar cell, rechargeable battery and low energy LED lamps.
During the day [left, above], place the jar in a sunlit area.
The solar cell creates an electrical current that charges the battery over a few hours.
That energy is then used at night to power the three LED lamps inside the jar.
At night, the warm-colored LED lights will cast off a subtle, natural glow and will look like you have captured a tiny sun in the jar [right, above].
The light sensor inside automatically activates the lights when it gets dark or lights are turned out.
Since Mason jars are watertight, this light makes a great addition to your garden.
Buy a bunch and never have to worry about paying for outdoor lighting again.
6.25"H x 4"W.
'The ultimate luxury is time'
More, from a July 25, 2007 Financial Times story: "Material goods are not regarded as the height of luxury. The ultimate luxury is time and 'time to do whatever you want and being able to afford it.'"
And: "Of all the countries surveyed, China was the only one where a significant percentage of consumers believed that luxury was defined by the brand."
Personal Shade Umbrella — Episode 3: For a few dollars more
Episode 1 on June 30, 2007 featured a somewhat similar device for $39.99.
Then came Episode 2 on July 22, 2007, ramping things up with a quite different take for $44.99.
Can this far more expensive newcomer to the sun protection derby be that much better?
From the website:
Personal Shade Umbrella
Enjoy shade anytime, anyplace with our Personal Shade Umbrella.
Tilt it left, right, up, or down — the spacious canopy can be repositioned to keep you out of the sun all day long.
• Colorfast Sunbrella® fabric remains durable, non-fading, and maintenance-free
• Attaches quickly and easily to any standard 1-1/2"-2" umbrella base
• Compact umbrella retracts for compact storage and travel
• Powdercoated aluminum frame remains stable and sturdy
• Stainless steel hardware won't rust in the elements
• Canopy: 55"W x 34"L — retracts to 6"W x 38"H x 5"D
• Optional mounts for chairs, decks, and tables
Thousands of bold-face names, tens of thousands of tattoos — including some surprises.
Endless mindless (the very best kind) fun.
That's what I call it, anyway — the company selling calls it the "Infinity Clock," not nearly as good.
But then, I could be biased....
From the website:
Infinity Wooden Wall Clock
Definitely a way to improve your time-telling skills, the Infinity Wooden Wall Clock purposefully only displays a quarter of the hours.
This curious clock looks like it's missing several important parts, but really it's an interesting design tactic in which viewers are supposed to use the empty space on the wall to imagine the rest of the numbers.
Real time is never contained, so why should a clock be either?
The square black section provided gives the scale for how to judge hours and minutes once the time is outside of 12-3.
The bright orange hands will add a vibrant but not overdone punch of color to the wall.
The cutout numbers will let the wall color show through - repeating the theme of this accent being a part of and utilizing the wall around it.
Requires 1 AA battery (not included).
11.5"L x 11.5"W
Metal and wood.