October 25, 2007
Waiting: how long is too long?
It all depends what you're waiting for, doesn't it?
Consider that Ferrari deliberately keeps production low enough to make a prospective buyer wait two years to receive her (or his) car.
In today's Financial Times story, reporter Guy Dinmore wrote that Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Ferrari's chairman, believed "... three years would be over the top for someone spending €208,000 ($296,000) for the Scuderia [Ferrari's newly launched 'extreme sports car, pictured above] which takes Formula One technology to the high road."
On the other hand, I'll exit a website with Flash in under three seconds.
Three seconds, three years — looked at from the perspective of the Big Bang, they're pretty much interchangeable.
Sometimes its important to step back a bit to see things more clearly.
Sometimes it helps to approach.
Life consists of learning which direction is correct more often than not.
Designed in Norway where they know about ice.
From the website:
This is probably one of the smartest winter decorations ever.
Designed in Norway, it is a polypropylene mold for freezing water to make a candle lantern.
These lanterns look stunning when set outdoors along a walkway in the evening.
One mold can make hundreds of lanterns because it is reusable.
It takes up to 24 hours to freeze one lantern in a freezer or outside in below-freezing temperatures so make sure you get enough molds to make all the lanterns you need in a reasonable amount of time.
You can also use the mold to make an ice cream bowl of solid ice or to freeze a block of juice and fruit to add to a bowl of punch.
Mold is 8"H by 7"W across the bottom and 6"W across the top.
BehindTheMedspeak: Elvis to Eminem — 'Live Fast, Die Young'
It's not just a figure of speech.
In a paper published in the October issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, a group of British investigators led by Professor Mark Bellis, director of the Center for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University, reported on just how fast speed kills.
Long story short, from the November Scientific American:
- Live Fast, Die Young
Living fast is a rock 'n' roll cliche, and now scientists have quantified that speed. They analyzed the fates of European and North American musicians who became famous between 1956 and 1999, based on the artists' appearance in a 2000 poll of the all-time top 1,000 albums.
The genres covered were rock, punk, rap, R&B, electronica and new age. Although the celebrities studied do not affect overall mortality statistics, the scientists worry that their risky behaviors could negatively influence their millions of fans.
Number of famous musicians studied: 1,064
Number who died by 2005: 100
Median age of death of North American celebrity: 41.78
Median age of death of European celebrity: 35.18
Percent of deaths related to drug and alcohol use: 31
Risk of early death compared with general population (within first 25 years of fame): 1.7 times
Here's a link to the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health abstract, which follows.
- Elvis to Eminem: quantifying the price of fame through early mortality of European and North American rock and pop stars
Background: Rock and pop stars are frequently characterised as indulging in high-risk behaviours, with high-profile deaths amongst such musicians creating an impression of premature mortality. However, studies to date have not quantified differences between mortality experienced by such stars and general populations.
Objective: This study measures survival rates of famous musicians (n = 1064) from their point of fame and compares them to matched general populations in North America and Europe.
Design: We describe and utilise a novel actuarial survival methodology which allows quantification of excess post-fame mortality in pop stars.
Participants: Individuals from North America and Europe performing on any album in the All-Time Top 1000 albums from the music genres rock, punk, rap, R&B, electronica and new age.
Results: From 3 to 25 years post fame, both North American and European pop stars experience significantly higher mortality (more than 1.7 times) than demographically matched populations in the USA and UK, respectively. After 25 years of fame, relative mortality in European (but not North American) pop stars begins to return to population levels. Five-year post-fame survival rates suggest differential mortality between stars and general populations was greater in those reaching fame before 1980.
Conclusion: Pop stars can suffer high levels of stress in environments where alcohol and drugs are widely available, leading to health-damaging risk behaviour. However, their behaviour can also influence would-be stars and devoted fans. Collaborations between health and music industries should focus on improving both pop star health and their image as role models to wider populations.
To view the damage done, visit The Cemetery of Rock (aka Rock 'n Roll Graveyard), featuring a litany of dead rockers.
The average age at death of the 54 listed: 31.
What is it?
Answer here this time Saturday, November 3, 2007.
Above, the philosophy of improvisational comedy legend Del Close in a nutshell.
While directing at San Francisco's Committee Theater he once painted it on the back wall.
"He wanted actors to look out over the audience and see those words while they were improvising," onetime Close student Bret Scott told writer Eric Spitznagel in an article about Close which appeared in the September, 2007 issue of The Believer.
Scott continued, "If there's something that makes you uncomfortable, something that scares you, then that's the direction you should be going. Fear and truth are inextricably intertwined."
Levitating Iron (after a fashion)
From the website:
- Oliso Iron with Auto-Lift
This award-winning iron and its patented Auto-Lift system will change the way you iron.
Release the handle and the iron automatically lifts itself above the fabric on stay-cool legs; touch the handle and it returns to the ironing position.
The iron always remains in the horizontal position, minimizing wrist strain, burns and toppling — and reducing your ironing time by as much as 30 percent.
The iron’s deep detailing channel lets you iron beneath buttons and delivers crisp pockets and cuffs.
Other features include three-way steam and electronic fabric settings, a stainless-steel soleplate, a pivoting cord and automatic shutoff.
• Automatic-lift system that prevents burns and speeds ironing
• Three-way steam system
• 11" long
Once A Door
Designed by Claire Heather Danthois, from the University of Plymouth.
Made of reclaimed, unfinished wood from old, discarded doors.
Assembled with cable using no glue.
Price upon application.
Magnet Compass — 'True North'
From the website:
- Magnet Compass
This tiny (1/4" long) barrel-shaped rare-earth magnet is a near-indestructible compass.
Set on its side on a smooth flat surface (or on a leaf in water), it will quickly swivel to a N-S orientation, indicated by a red dot on the north end.
It comes in a screw-top, waterproof aluminum cylinder with an integral loop that makes it easy to attach to a belt, button hole, strap, etc.
An ideal gift for hikers, kayakers, or anyone who wanders the woods.
Not all who wander are lost.