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February 22, 2005

Monkey Naming Rights


Sure, you can give ten or fifteen big ones and get a stadium or hospital wing named after you, but hey, art is long and life is short and before you know it, you're dust and so is the structure that had your name on it.

But a species — a species, like a diamond, is forever.

Recently discovered in the Bolivian rainforest are the monkeys pictured above, a variety of titi monkey of the genus Callicebus, first spotted in 2000 in Madidi National Park.

Observations made since then have convinced the discoverers — Dr. Robert Wallace of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Humberto Gomez, a Bolivian biologist, and two Conservation Society volunteers, Annika and Adam Felton — that the monkey is a new species.

Their paper describing the animal has been accepted by taxonomic authorities.

Ordinarily, the person who discovers a species has the right to name it.

Dr. Wallace and the discoverers decided instead to seek a benefactor who, in exchange for a chance to have immortality conferred on her or him, would both raise interest in the Madidi park and furnish funds to help manage it.

Thus, an online auction, to begin this Thursday, February 24, will offer naming rights to the furry creature.

Bid early and often!

[via Henry Fountain and the New York Times]

February 22, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Stop Sign Table


Real stop signs — retired, cleaned and converted by hand into these cool tables by artist Tripp Gregson in a barn in North Carolina.

Metal legs slide in for easy, tool-free assembly and takedown.

16"H x 15" Diameter.

All aluminum.


Nice price: $78 here.

February 22, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



OK, it's China this and China that, but where's the rice?

Well, courtesy of a joehead, it's arrived.

Right here.

Right now.

Get out your rice bowl (the unbreakable one) and have a look at Chinese-tools.com, just up.

As SKii, my kind informant, wrote, "A lot of tools to learn Chinese."


Best of all, it's free.

February 22, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: 'You scared me to death' is not a figure of speech


Life imitates art.

That is how I look at the groundbreaking paper published in the February 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, entitled "Neurohumoral Features of Myocardial Stunning Due to Sudden Emotional Stress."

Translated into everyday English, that means that when you're scared or stressed, adrenaline surging through your body can make your heart stop and lead to death.

Robert Graves, in his memorable 1929 short story "The Shout," described a man whose shout could kill. (The 1978 film starring Alan Bates is mesmerizing, by the way — killer)

Witch doctors and medicine men worldwide for millenia have been killing people using their time- and practice-proven techniques.

It simply required 21st century methodology to offer a scientific, medically-based explanation for these phenomena.

Here's a link to the journal's abstract of the paper.

This will take you to an informative story about the study by Denise Grady which appeared in the February 10 New York Times.

Then there's Rob Stein's piece from that same day's Washington Post.

Still haven't had enough?

OK, then: go here, here and here.

The week prior to the report noted above, Dr. Scott W. Sharkey and colleagues from the Minneapolis Heart Institute reported, in the journal Circulation, a series of 22 similar cases of sudden heart failure due to emotional stress — all women.

Now, let's chat for moment, shall we?

Sit down, relax, I've got all the time in the world.

No one ever died while reading bookofjoe.

At least, not that I'm aware of.

So it would seem to me that one way of keeping your stress level low would be to visit with me often.

One last thing.

Should you ever find yourself at the scene of a cardiac arrest — happens to me from time to time but hey, that's what I do (no, not cause cardiac arrest, booboo - I go to them as part of the Code Blue team) — do what I do, before anything else: make a fist and hit the victim as hard as you possibly can right in the middle of the chest, on his/her breastbone (sternum).

You'd be surprised how often that will restart a stopped heart.


It takes one second and won't in any way detract from subsequent CPR efforts.

That's the bookofjoe medical tip for the day.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled foolishness.

February 22, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Herbal Slippers


Pillows for your feet.

Filled with flax seed and a blend of fourteen different aromatic herbs, including valerian root and peppermint.

Sooth your sole(s).

Heat or chill them for lagniappe.

They're intended for resting, not walking.

Helpful hint from joe-eeze: keep them in your desk at work, and slip them on for those long sessions in the Aeron chair.

Heaven on earth, most likely.

$25 here.

Or perhaps mademoiselle would prefer something in a floral?

Yes, we have them as well.


Same price, right here.

Cotton; one size fits all for both styles.

February 22, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Memoirs of Hadrian' – by Margaret Yourcenar


The current issue of the New Yorker features a magnificent review by Joan Acocella of Margaret Yourcenar's great novel, "Memoirs of Hadrian."

Yourcenar (above and below) was truly sui generis.

Among other things, she was the only woman ever inducted into the Académie Française in the 346 years of its existence before her election in 1981.

No woman since has come close, and it may well be another few centuries until the next such occurrence.

Yourcenar was an extraordinarily isolated artist who lived most of her adult life on Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine.

She regarded the average historical novel as "merely a more or less successful costume ball."

Yourcenar believed that to truly recapture an earlier time, years of research along with a mystical act of identification were required.


Acocella writes, "She performed both, and wrought a kind of trans-historical miracle. If you want to know what 'ancient Rome' really means, in terms of war and religion and love and parties, read 'Memoirs of Hadrian.' No other document takes us so deeply into the pre-Christian mind."

Acocella writes that of the major novelists of the twentieth century, including Joyce, Yourcenar was probably the most erudite.

From childhood she read almost everything she could lay her hands on, and when she finished a book, she would turn back to page 1 and read it over again.

She went from Western literature to Asian literature; she taught herself new languages: Japanese, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and modern Greek.

Acocella's review is a mini-biography of this singular woman.

If you read the review, it will be difficult — if not impossible — to resist the pull of "Memoirs of Hadrian."


Even though I read the book years ago, I succumbed and ordered a new copy.

February 22, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Alexander McQueen Shoulder Pads


The most striking thing I saw in this past Sunday's New York Times T Style Magazine supplement, all 240 super-thin, difficult-to-turn pages of it, was on page 120:


Alexander McQueen's hand-painted football shoulder pads (above and below), made to order at his store (417 West 14th Street in New York).


He showed them on the runway in Paris last October 8 in his Spring 2005 Ready-to-Wear show


(where the photos illustrating this post were taken), but this was my first look at them.

February 22, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BookThisBlog.com — 'On–Demand Publishing for Blogs'


"A computer monitor is no substitute for paper."


That's the premise of Bookthisblog.com, a website created to transform pixels into print.

I don't quite understand how it works — but you will.

February 22, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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