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January 17, 2005

Jun Takahashi - Puffy Ami Yumi's favorite designer

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No higher praise can there be.

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Takahashi's Spring 2005

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Ready-to-Wear collection

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for Undercover,

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unveiled last fall at the Theatre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris

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and pictured here above and below, was a revelation -

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though of what, I'm not sure.

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I wonder how you'd look in one of these edgy outfits.

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Maybe, if there's enough interest,

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one day I'll have a little feature

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where joeheads can post pictures

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of themselves wearing

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Jun Takahashi's clothes

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or whatever else they want seen.

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It'll be like visual comments, hmm?

January 17, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Can cellphones damage a growing child's brain?

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Sir William Stewart, chairman of Britain's National Radiological Protection Board, said he had more doubts now than he did five years ago about the safety of cellphones when used by children.

The Wall Street Journal, in a story last Friday, quoted Stewart as saying that making cellphones available to children ages 3 to 8 was "unjustified."

Wrote reporters David Pringle and Peter Grant, "He [Stewart] added that children between the ages of 9 and 14 should place only brief calls on mobile handsets to limit exposure to radiation, out of concern that young people's brains are still developing."

"The concern among some scientists is that exposure to radio waves that carry calls potentially could cause harm."

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a statement that "With regards to the safety and use of cellphones by children, the scientific evidence does not show a danger to users of wireless-communication devices, including children."

The National Institutes of Health takes more or less the same position.

The wireless industry, not surprisingly, says that concerns about a public-health risk remain unfounded.

Stewart's remarks were prompted by the release of a study last week Tuesday by the National Radiological Protection Board.

"That report didn't show any hard information linking cellphones... with effects on health, but discouraged excessive use of mobile phones by children."

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A Swedish study released last October found that people who had been using mobile phones for more than 10 years have a four times higher risk of developing acoustic nerve tumors, usually on the side of the head where the phone was used.

However, a similar study in neighboring Denmark showed no such findings.

Many consumer groups in the U.S. point out that much of the research on cellphone safety is sponsored by the wireless industry, which obviously has a huge vested interest in such studies showing no danger.

The FDA's Radiation Biology Laboratory spends about $1 million a year on research in this area, conducted through a joint agreement between industry and the FDA.

Howard Cyr, who heads the lab, says that the industry funds the research but has a "hands-off" approach.

Right - translated, that means that if the results don't come out "right," the hands that give the money will be off.

The problem with trying to show whether or not cellphones are dangerous is that the proof of danger, say a higher incidence of brain tumors in the affected side, occurs so seldom.

Thus, a four-fold increase may mean, in real terms, that 4 people in 100,000 develop an acoustic neuroma as opposed to 1 in 100,000.

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You need an enormously large denominator to start seeing differences, and that means it's very difficult to carry out such studies.

That's precisely the reason drugs which seemed safe in clinical trials before their release later turn out to have unanticipated dangers: the denominator gets huge, in the form of millions of people taking the medication, and so side effects like fatal rhabdomyolysis (muscle-wasting), now associated with the statin-class of cholesterol-lowering drugs, only rear their dangerous heads after widespread use.

Also, random statistical variation can play a role in seemingly "positive" results.

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Having said that, it's still virtually impossible to prove a negative.

To say that cellphones are unequivocally safe is to go further than the data permit.

If you're concerned, I'd use an earpiece or headset as the FCC suggests.

That keeps the phone well away from your melon.

If you're worried about your kid's cabeza, well, give them an earpiece too.

Though the high geek factor will probably guarantee it'll gather dust at the bottom of a purse or backpack.

It's worth reflecting for a moment about Einstein's insight that mass and energy are variations on a theme of radiation.

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Mass explodes: energy results.

Radiation is the currency by which one translates into the other.

So if, in the final shakedown, we're nothing but Joni Mitchell's stardust, then we are not only golden, we're radiation, each of us a walking, talking, dreaming, scheming energy field.

So what's a few more rays?

January 17, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Travel Backgammon

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Best accessory of the year.

'Course, the year's still young, but this very chic packable backgammon set, in very hot pink and green fabric, is already a bookofjoe Design Award 2005 winner.

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Measures 9" x 7" packed.

On sale for $14.95, marked down from $40.

I have a feeling that once this post goes up, they'll sell out in a New York minute.

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Take a few moments and have a look around the site: they've got a lot of cool stuff, and much of it's as much as 90% off.

Who doesn't like a sale?

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About time you learned to play, don't you think?


January 17, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nudie Jeans - 'The idea is to use them and wear them every day for six months without washing them'

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Palle Stenberg, quoted in yesterday's New York Times story about what's new in men's fashion.

He's one of the partners in Nudie Jeans, a hot new brand featured at Pitti Immagine Uomo, a men's trade wear show in Florence.

He was talking about the recommended manner of wearing his company's jeans.

More: "After six months, the jeans acquire 'a really beautiful patina.'"

Stenberg said they also acquire a distinctive aroma, which is why he and his girlfriend have separate closets.

"She won't put up with the smell," he explained.

I can't understand why not.

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Nudie's website has lots more, including a movie called "The Fine Art of Denim," detailing how their jeans are made.

January 17, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

We get email: From Steve Hersh, owner of GuS Sodas

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I recently featured this company's line of sodas, and mentioned that I was all excited to find from the nicely done website that they were available just a couple miles down the street, at my local crunchy granola health food store.

So I dutifully headed down there, but alas, no GuS Soda.

GuS, by the way, is an acronym for Grown-Up Soda.

So duh, when I received this nice comment:

    Joe, Thanks for the kind words about GuS. Steve Hersh Owner, GuS Sodas

from the company's owner, Steve Hersh, I replied immediately and told him how sorry I was not to actually be able to try the very same drinks served at 4-star restaurants like The French Laundry and Charlie Trotter's.

Steve said "Oh, no," and said he'd send me some.

And darned if, two days later, a box from GuS wasn't sitting on my doorstep.

Into the fridge they went, and I'm here now to report on what I thought of the soda.

Long story short: it's excellent.

Tastes like the fruit in each flavor, yet "not too sweet" - just like it says on the bottle.

Steve sent one of each of the company's five flavors: Star Red Grapefruit, Dry Meyer Lemon, Dry Crimson Grape, Dry Valencia Orange, and Extra Dry Ginger Ale.

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Now, the next thing to do is go beat on Rebecca's owner and get him to stock this stuff.




January 17, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2gether 4ever: Notes of a Junior High School Heartthrob

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"Dene Larson was a junior high school heartthrob and has the documentation to prove it!"

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Unlike Dan Rather and his ill-starred CBS krew,

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Larson has the original:

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in this case, his composition book.

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In it, you can read all the original comments from back in the day and follow his awkward and sweet adventures, from "do u like cindy?" to "we're breaking up!"

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Regularly $10, now on sale for $2.95 - but hurry, these won't last long!


January 17, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MorphWorld: Brooke Shields into Rene Russo

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What occasioned this comparison was a commercial

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that aired during this past Saturday's NFL playoffs.

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It featured the face of one of these

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iconic women for about 10 seconds.

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It was like that introductory psychology drawing where you see either

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a vase or silhouetted faces.

January 17, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BikeXpo Allentown - 'Hog Heaven' (the spirit of Indian Larry will be in attendance)

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Next Saturday and Sunday, January 22/23, is when it's happening.

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Custom-made bikes vie for "Best Chrome," "Best Engine," and other titles;

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R.B. Gunn plays rhythm and blues.

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Motorcycle Hall of Fame "Super Builders" Dave Perewitz and Donnie Smith will be there,

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so you can mingle with the gods.

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Saturday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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About three hours from the Washington, D.C. beltway, at the Pennsylvania Expo Center in Allentown, Pa.; tel: 877-245-3976.

[via Anne McDonough and the Washington Post]

January 17, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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