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June 4, 2005

The mystery in Pittsburgh

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"Through the years, a man peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, tools, stars, horses and people. Shortly before his death, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the image of his own face."

I was drawn to this memorable observation of Jorge Luis Borges last evening when I received, just before I went to bed, a mysterious email.

A person chooses things to identify with.

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We make our stumbling way through life.

"Explanations are simply clumsy rationalizations with hindsight," said Ingmar Bergman.

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That epigram crystallized things for me the instant I read it.

I have never thought much of the reasons given for what I or others do.

To me such things are personal flags of convenience, if you will, allowing our passage onward to the next port.

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They may be altered, shed, or clung to as convenience or circumstance demand, but they are never the final word.

Nor can there ever be a final word.

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[via JBG]

June 4, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Pantone Flight Stool

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Pantone, the paint people, are offering a limited edition Flight Stool that resembles their industry–standard paint chips.

Each $549 stool is handmade from 10 sheets of birch plywood veneer, laminated and lacquered, then silk–screened with the individual identifying Pantone number.

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The collection comprises eight color sets, each with six gradations of color, for a total range of 48 colors.

The stool was designed by London–based designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, the principals of Barber Osgerby.

Want one?

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Better move fast: only 50 were made, in varying shades of red, pink, orange and yellow.

Length: 400 cm length; Width: 415 cm; Height: 460 cm.

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They're available at www.pantone.com.

June 4, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Quarter Chair

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Johnny Swing makes what he calls "obsessive furniture."

I won't demur.

His Quarter Chairs (above and below) are made from United States twenty–five cent pieces.

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If you want one (limited edition of 60) it will cost you $10,000 here.

June 4, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sanitary Chair — De rigueur for nude beaches

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Made of maple, aluminum and sanitary paper.

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Dimensions: 18"L x 15.5"W x 33"H; seat height: 18".

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Purchase one here.

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*What would Howard Hughes have sat on?

[via idgrid.com]

June 4, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

An unknown painting by French master Georges de La Tour surfaces

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Only about twenty paintings by the great artist are known to exist in the world.

The newly discovered work, "Saint Jerome Reading a Letter" (above), was found in a Madrid mansion after hanging in offices unnoticed for decades.

Jose Milicua, a member of the board of the Prado museum and an emeritus professor of art history, said he realized the work was a La Tour immediately upon first seeing it.

La Tour, born in 1593 in Vic–sur–Seille in northEastern France, was a renowned painter of religious subjects, best known for his dramatic use of light effects in night scenes and his radically simplified compositions.

He was a court painter to Louis XIII.

Many of his works were destroyed during a sacking of the French town of Luneville in 1638 and he was quickly forgotten after his death in 1652.

Only when German expert Hermann Voss began uncovering his works in the early 1900s did recognition of his mastery begin to grow.

[via Ciaran Giles and the Associated Press]

June 4, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Light Switch Table Lamp

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When you look at this lamp you think, "that's not right."

Then you look a little more and realize what's wrong.

Gaining access to the ability to see things in another light is a task well worth the effort of a lifetime.

I guess that's why objects such as this lamp appeal to me: they suggest a world tipped on its side, askew, things not quite what they seem or are.

Adding piquancy is the fact that the switch is an adjustable Leviton illuminated dimmer toggle switch, so you can adjust ever so precisely the level of light as opposed to the standard three wattage options offered by a store–bought three–way switch.

Bonus: no need for a three–way bulb: a standard 60W–75W bulb will suffice.

Chrome–finished base; 14"–diameter frosted glass shade.

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$170 here (bulb not included).

June 4, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Puke Skywalkers Can Rest Queasy on Virgin Atlantic'

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Hey — just a minute.

That's a quote from a story in yesterday's USA Today: in fact, it was the headline.

"Introducing Barf Vader."

That was the first sentence.

Maybe I better just let you read Kitty Bean Yancey's story on Virgin Atlantic's new "Star Wars"–themed airsickness bags (one is pictured above) for yourself before you turn on me big–time.

    Puke Skywalkers Can Rest Queasy on Virgin Atlantic

    Introducing Barf Vader.

    The airline that never misses a gimmick is striking back with another one: Star Wars-themed airsickness bags.

    This month, Virgin Atlantic will stock flights with 100,000 bags to appeal to fans of the hit movie series.

    One design demonstrates how to hold a lightsaber; another spells out the rules of Jedi combat.

    But trust Virgin chief Richard Branson, who previously introduced flying beds and on-board masseuses — to give the allusion to airsickness a positive PR spin.

    "Of course, we hope that our flights are as smooth as normal so that passengers don't need to use the sickbags. We want them to see the funny side... not the inside."

Want more?

You must be sick.

OK, OK — here's the press release issued by Virgin on May 27 of this year announcing the new campaign.

Its headline: "The Empire Strikes Bag."

Only 25,000 of each of four designs will be issued.

Oh, so now you need to know what the four are.

I see how it is.

Your wish is my demand, you might say.

Here you go:

1) Spoof instructions on the right way to hold a light saber (below).

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2) A detailed diagram of a light saber.

3) How to master Jedi combat.

4) An analysis of a typical airplane flight that splits it into a light and a dark side depending on where certain passengers are seated.

All right?

Enough?

Can I go now?

Jeez....

June 4, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Lunaform Pots

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Artisan–potters Phid Lawless and Dan Farrenkopf mix 300 to 1,500 pounds of concrete daily in their studios in coastal Maine.

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They then create exquisite pots which, when cured, are given various finishes and colors.

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The studio is now in its 13th year but remains relatively unknown.

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Half of its customers are designers who work with Lunaform to create customized forms and colors to go with specific landscape projects.

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A Lunaform pot begins with the application of fresh concrete
to an inner mold; the pot is then given its shape by turning it against a fixed template that forms the exterior.

The pot is then built up in successive layers, with reinforcing lattices of steel.

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Such work does not come cheap.

Pots are available in 12 colors and 4 textures.

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They range in price from $175 for the Small Tulip (just above) to $3,900 for the 1,400–pound Dozzina (just below).

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Crating and shipping add another 25%.

The pots are fully frost–proof.

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Orders usually require 3–4 months to fill.

[via Adrian Higgins and the Washington Post]

June 4, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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