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June 28, 2005

'Visual Music: Synaesthesia in Art and Music Since 1900'


This new show just opened at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C.


It is what it says: an attempt to "catch sight of sound," as read the headline for Philip Kennicott's story in last Thursday's Washington Post.


"Elaborate displays of light, color and sound attempt to combine art and the senses."


Represented are many artists you've heard of: Man Ray, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky among them, as well as even more of whom you probably haven't: Thomas Wilfred, Morgan Russell, Daniel Vladimir Baranoff-Rossiné and Frantisek Kupka are but a few.



June 28, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: World's best explanation of 'good' and 'bad' cholesterol


It's by Tara Parker–Pope, the excellent health columnist for the Wall Street Journal and appears in her "Health Mailbox" Q&A feature today.

    Here's the Q&A:

    Q. Since cholesterol is a single molecule, how can it be "good" and "bad?"

    A. You are correct in that the cholesterol molecule itself isn't inherently good or bad.

    Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found in the blood stream and in the body's cells.

    It's essential for good health and serves several functions, including the formation of cell membranes and certain hormones.

    Our bodies couldn't survive without it.

    What makes cholesterol good or bad isn't the molecule itself, but the type of protein particle that is carrying the cholesterol in the blood stream.

    When low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, particles pick up cholesterol, they carry cholesterol from the liver to the other parts of the body.

    This function is essential to good health.

    But if there are too many particles, problems arise, because the LDL carriers start to store the cholesterol in arteries throughout the body, causing buildup.

    So if a cholesterol test measures a high level of LDL particles in your blood, that means too much cholesterol is being moved and stored in your arteries, putting you at risk for heart disease.

    Now, if cholesterol is picked up by a high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, particle, it's a good thing.

    That's because the HDL particles scavenge excess cholesterol in the blood stream and carry it back to the liver so it can be eliminated from the body.

    If a blood test finds a lot of HDL particles, that means you've got a strong cleanup crew taking care of excess cholesterol.

    If your HDL levels are too low, that means there aren't enough particles available to help dispose of excess cholesterol.

Finally — Ms. Parker–Pope has done what innumerable doctors and medical experts over many years have somehow been unable to do: dejargonize the subject and make it understandable to someone (that would be moi) whose IQ is within one standard deviation of his shoe size.


Now who moved my Pringles Cheezums?

June 28, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The greatest bargain in sports?


It has to be Major League Baseball's offer of the live home and away radio broadcasts of every single game of every major league team delivered to your computer for $14.95 — a year.

Over 7,000 games, with your choice of announcers?

How do you spell heaven on earth?


But wait — there's more.

The computer broadcasts delete all the commercials, covering them either with silence or crowd noise.

Be still, my heart... where do I sign up?



bookofjoe. Done.

June 28, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



Prepare to forget about getting anything done for the rest of the day.


This is one sensational website.


See the world from your chair.




The pictures above, from the top down:

Easter Island

Vatican City

Botafogo Bay

The Valley of the Temples

New Quebec impact crater

June 28, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

BlogPulse — 'Automated Trend Discovery'


The only discovery I was able to make after exploring this site is that it's too sophisticated for me to benefit from.

BlogPulse calls itself a "portal into the blogosphere."

It was created by veterans of Procter & Gamble to offer an instantaneous analysis of what's hot and what's not.

There's all sorts of stuff to do on the website as long as you're a person who's got some tech savvy, a skill sadly lacking here at bookofjoe headquarters.

All we ask of our crack research team trainees in the tech arena (FunFact: the training and probation period lasts two years — in case you were thinking about applying) is that they be able to turn on a computer.

BlogPulse features:

Trend Tool — Create your own trend graphs

Conversation Tracker — "Create a threaded view of a conversation graph from a link to a post or to any new article or URL"

• Analysis — Top links, key people and key phrases

According to the site 55,233 new blogs were created in the past 24 hours.

June 28, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Real Wasabi™


Last evening around 10 p.m., after I'd returned from running (4 miles in 38:33; that's 9:38/mile, on a very hilly course — slowly but surely I'm getting back in shape), an email came in from Doug of Real Wasabi™.

    Here it is:


    Did you know that this quote is actually not true? (BookofJoe - May 05, 2005)

    Real Wasabi, LLC produces a fabulous reconstitutible (is that a word?) authentic powder.

    More info available at www.realwasabi.com

    Send me an address and I’ll send you some.



First things first: is "reconstitutible" a word?

I had a look at dictionary.com and came up empty.

So I googled the word and got 28 results.

Then I tried google's suggested alternate spelling ("reconstitutable") and that returned 533 results.

So I'm going to conclude that "reconstitutible" is indeed a word but that the preferred spelling is with an "a."

Interesting way of deciding whether something is a word, wouldn't you say, much less the correct spelling?

But that's enough with the word fun: let's cut to the wasabi chase, shall we?

I went back to the May 5 post he was referring to and reread it.

I believe the quote Doug objects to is this, from Pacific Farms, which grows and sells fresh wasabi root: "Did you know that wasabi powder is imitation?"

Doug and Real Wasabi™, unlike Pacific Farms, believe that wasabi root — the real thing, wasabi japonica — dehydrated and packaged and reconstituted, is not "imitation."

I agree — but I also believe it is not the same as the fresh root (below).


I emailed Doug back that it seemed to me that, for example, dehydrated morels, while delicious after being soaked in water and rehydrated, would not be considered by most people to be the same as a basketful just picked in the forest.

So with wasabi, in my opinion.

But I invite my readers to weigh in with their thoughts on this question.

And perhaps even order from Real Wasabi™ and try some.


A 1/2 oz. jar (above), containing no substitutes, fillers, chemicals or additives — nothing but 100% natural dried, genuine wasabi japonica — costs $4.95 here.

What a superb logo (top) they've created: whoever is responsible gets a bookofjoe Design Award.

I sure hope this isn't the beginning of Wasabi Wars.

That would be a heck of a thing to have been responsible for.

I pride myself on keeping bookofjoe a no–combat zone of sorts.

As someone said to me the other day, when I disagreed with something, "Don't be a hater."


Even if it was a non sequitur I still liked it.

June 28, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



When I saw the term "Click–to–Call" in the headline of last Thurday's Washington Post ".com" column by Leslie Walker I was kind of intrigued.

I read the article but ended up disappointed.

What I thought the term would mean is that if you happened to be online and had VOIP you could click on the "Click–to–Call" button and you'd immediately be connected and talking to someone at the other end via your computer.

That would be major.

I don't know if you've noticed but those interactive web sites that were supposed to provide online typed help in real time seem to have faded away for the most part.

Every time I tried one a year or two ago when they were kind of popular either the thing didn't work at all or it was just way too inefficient and frustrating.

But alas, "Click–to–Call" sounds a lot more interesting than it is.

Walker wrote that at Amazon the feature enables you to type in your phone number and then the merchant whose item you're interested in calls you right back.

That's lame.

Perhaps you've heard of that great country song entitled "If The Phone Don't Ring?"

Here — try it yourself.

Not ready for prime time, is what I say about "Click–to–Call."

Not even close.

June 28, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Scoop 'N Fill


This bright yellow scoop holds 4 cups of pet food or bird seed, then clips the bag shut with its cleverly designed handle.

Measures 4.5"W x 4.5"H.

A bookofjoe Design Award 2005 to this very nicely conceived, executed and priced product.

$5.99 here.

June 28, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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