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June 21, 2005

'A monkey could do that!' — Hey, one did


The painting above, untitled, by a chimpanzee named Congo, was sold as part of a group of three such works for $26,352 at a Bonhams art auction in London yesterday.

The three abstract tempera works were included in the auction as a lark.

Howard Rutkowski, director of modern and contemporary art for Bonhams, told the Associated Press, "We had no idea what these things were worth."

He added, "We just put them in for our own amusement."

And ours.

Born in 1954, Congo produced about 400 drawings and paintings between the ages of two and four.

He died in 1964 from tuberculosis.

"His ouevre, which was part of a 1957 exhibit at London's Institute of Contemporary Art, was derided by critics," noted a report by CBC Arts.

Nevertheless, Pablo Picasso is reported to have received a painting by Congo as a gift and hung it on his studio wall.

June 21, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

20/20 Eye Chart Birthday Card


The exterior text reads "Happy Birthday to you," repeated three time in eye chart format (above).

The inside message:


Droll, but cool.

Nice fresh orange envelope.

5" x 7"; 100-lb. glossy stock


$2.95 here.

June 21, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Can you give away something that's not yours?


I once read, though for the life of me I cannot recall where, that the test of whether or not you own something is if you can sell it.

I've always liked that definition of ownership because it's so concise and clear and all or nothing.

I got to thinking about what ownership means when I got an email from New Zealand this past Monday.

    Here is the email:

    We would like permission to use this photo in our Natural Science school text book.

    We need the high res image.

    Can you please email me as soon as possible?


    SP for XYZ, publisher

I used initials 'cause I don't want to get her in trouble.

The thing is, a couple times every month I get requests to use things I've posted.

Me, being the person I am, I always say "yes."

In fact, my default answer to everything, always, is "yes."

I need a reason to say "no."

That's just how it is here, how it's always been and always will be.

Well, the only problem I see with my granting of permission to one and all to do whatever they like with anything they might find on bookofjoe is that much of the material I use, and certainly all the pictures, come from somewhere else.

So I'm giving away the rights to use what isn't mine, for the most part.

How can I do that?

I don't know, but I'm doing it.

Is it right?

Is it wrong?

I don't know — but, like the Stones sang in their song re: rock 'n roll: I like it.

The question is not as idle as it might seem, because it cuts to the heart of epistemology and how it is we know what we know.

Jacques Lacan famously wrote, "Love is giving something you don't have to someone who doesn't exist."

Of course, Lacan's take on love can quite nicely be extended, such that it encompasses everything, to wit: "Life has no meaning, but we can give it a meaning."


I'm going with that one.

June 21, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Personalized Tea Mug


"Handy built–in pocket stores tea bag."

Glazed white ceramic featuring your name — or a friend's, lover's, spouse's, child's or parent's — in red, with up to 12 letters/spaces.

"No messy saucers to clean."

Dishwasher safe; holds 12 oz.

Originally $6.99; now priced to move fast at $5.99 here.

I just love that little compartment.

June 21, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Choosing a Boyfriend' — by Shawn Lea


One of my favorite readers (and bloggers), Shawn Lea, out of Mississippi and past, present and future grand panjandrum of everythingandnothing, yesterday produced a wonderful feminine take on Shek Baker's "Choosing a Girlfriend," which appeared on bookofjoe this past Sunday.

Now follows her incisive, funny–as–heck description of the vicissitudes involved in the search for "Mr. Right" and his snow leopard–like elusiveness.

    Choosing a Boyfriend — by Shawn Lea

    The High School Boyfriend

    He's cool, he's horny, he's 18. But, you, of course, are terrified of getting pregnant so will abstain as long as physically possible. He's easily amused and up for anything as long as the night ends with sex. This one's just for beginners - because only beginners will learn anything from the High School Boyfriend. (But, take it all in, girls - no man will crave your body quite the same way again.)

    The Fixer-Upper

    Women are famous for wanting a challenge - and, ladies, here it is. He's a little rough around the edges, but I'm sure you'll be able to make him into your Prince Charming in no time at all. But, alas, after a few years go by you find you really haven't changed him at all - just put on a fresh coat of paint that's now starting to chip away bit by bit.

    The Know-It-All

    It doesn't matter where the topic of conversation turns, this man knows it all. He, too, invented the Internets. And he knows the quickest route to get to the restaurant. And he could fix all of the world's problems if the dumb politicians would just listen to him.

    The Insert-Sport-Here Freak

    Golf. Hunting. Tennis. Waterskiing. Fishing. If you ever want to spend time with him, you better get used to driving a golf cart, donning some camouflage or taking some ski lessons. He's hands-on. Whether or not this is the man for you depends on one question: Do you like to spend time by yourself? If the answer is no, run the other direction. It will never work. If the answer is yes, this just might be the man for you.

    The Bad Boy

    Every woman has to have at least one of these. You know he's bad - but, of course, he'll want to be good for you. Your pure heart will tame him. He will kneel at your feet like a mighty lion bowing to the lamb. Until you sleep with him - and then he will never call you again.

    The Adorer

    Beware, ladies. You think, at first, that this is the ideal situation. But then you get a little bored with all of the adoration (especially when you find out it's not based on reality but in some deep-seated mother issues) and you cannot shake him. He holds onto your ankles as you try to run off into the distance. And it breaks your heart to break your heart because he's such a sweet guy.

    The Nice Guy

    If you're lucky, you are attracted to this type. (Some women have genetically mutated to the point that they can't even recognize him anymore.) He adores you - but he adores the real you, warts and all. He opens doors for you (until you get married and then he only opens doors when you are both dressed up - I haven't figured that one out yet). He's dependable (sometimes too much so - like when he always forgets to take the damn trash out).

    The Intellectual

    He likes to drop Freudian theory into any conversation about sex. He inserts "if you will" at random in sentences. "This is, if you will, a pine cone." But what if you won't? You would think he likes intellectual debate, but you are wrong. He just likes to hear himself talk and your interruption requires him to wait till you shut up to tell you more about what he thinks.

    The Older Man

    Every woman needs one. And just like the High School Boyfriend, he has some important and new lessons to teach you. Like money isn't everything. But spending it is fun - especially when it's someone elses. Vacations. Jewelry. Presents. This is how the older man shows his love. Unfortunately, the younger girl eventually wants more than the aforementioned tokens and sometimes finds that he doesn't have much else to give. He's mystified as to why you want to spend every minute with him - and would rather go sit at the bar with his buddies.

    The Perfect Boyfriend

    OK, girls, let's be honest. He doesn't exist. Neither does the perfect girlfriend, of course, but we're damn near close. But that's the fun of dating - seeing how the next one is psychotic in his specially own way, waiting to see how the neuroses grow. And still sticking around anyway. Now that's true love.

June 21, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



Designed by Yves Behar, it lights up as passersby trigger its light–sensitive LEDs.

The sculpture, located in Terminal 4 at JFK International Airport, was formally unveiled last Thursday.


It is composed of 52,000 Swarovski crystals held in a 4.5 meter double loop formation.

Its dimensions: 15' x 5' x 2' (457cm x 156cm x 59.5cm); it weighs 495 lbs.(225 kg).


2,000 motion–sensitive blue LEDs embedded in the structure's stainless steel armature are triggered to light up as travelers pass back and forth in front of it.

June 21, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Repliee Q1 — Simone she's not, but it's getting closer by the day


The woman in the photos above and below: there's something about her....

Maybe it's that she's not human but an extraordinarily sophisticated android named Repliee Q1.

I just watched a video clip of the latest robot/android creation to emerge from the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory of Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, at the University of Osaka.

It — and android Repliee Q1 — is jaw–droppingly compelling.

The minutiae of what makes a human human are slowly being deconstructed from their wet carbon models, then recreated in silicon.



[via DH and blogd.com]

June 21, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

'Futuristic Sun Protection'


"A futuristic approach to sun protection."

Way too cool for school.


[via AW]


*What would aliens wear?

June 21, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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