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July 17, 2005

'Another Place' — Antony Gormley


On Crosby Beach near Liverpool, England, one hundred cast–iron life–size male figures, cast from sculptor Antony Gormley's own body, stand like sentinels (above), planted between the high– and low–tide marks.

They stand in positions carefully plotted on a chart and fixed by GPS, welded to 3–meter–deep piles driven deep into the sand to prevent their (unintended) removal.

All stare out to sea on an identical compass bearing and will continue to stand vigil until November of next year.

They gaze from their positions close to the mouth of the Mersey estuary toward the west and the setting sun.

[via Robin Blake and the Financial Times]

July 17, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Q–Grill — What Bond uses


From another star system and a far–advanced civilization comes the object above.

No, it is not an intergalactic cruiser but, rather, your new portable grill.

Release your hand from the ergonomic handle and put it down.

Then unfold your stylish, aerodynamic object to reveal:


• Dual gas controls offering a full range of cooking temperatures

• High–grade gas jets to disperse heat evenly over the entire cooking surface

• "Cool–grip" heat–resistant side handles to allow you to move it safely

• Built–in light in the center of the grill to let you keep on cooking even as the sun goes down and all the pretenders around you enviously fold up their tents

• Non–stick, dishwasher safe cooking surface

• Foil drip trays to keep the grill itself neat and tidy

• Fueled by butane/propane mix gas canisters (approx. cooking time/canister is 2 hours)

• Made of durable steel.

• Weighs 7.5 kg (16.5 lbs.)

• User guide and cookbook included


£99.95 ($175) here.

[via AW]

July 17, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: How to remove a tick


The most popular method continues to be exposing the tick to the open flame of a match.

But that may be the worst way to do it and the one most likely to result in transmission of a tick–borne infection such as Lyme disease.

Anahad O'Connor of the New York Times wrote the best, most concise and useful guide to tick removal I've yet to come across; it appeared in the July 12 Science section in his weekly columm entitled, "Really?"

    Here is the piece:

    THE CLAIM: Remove a Tick From Your Skin by Burning It

    THE FACTS: Ever notice a tiny speck on your skin and then discover that what looked like a piece of dirt was actually a tick?

    For most people, that moment is about the only time exposing an arm or a leg to an open flame can seem like a good idea.

    But while burning a tick into submission is probably the most popular removal method, studies show that it can also be the worst.

    Getting the tick out as quickly as possible is crucial, since the likelihood of contracting Lyme disease or another infection rises steeply after 24 hours.

    But traumatizing the insect with heat or too much force also carries the risk of making it regurgitate, further increasing the likelihood of infection.

    In 1996, a team of Spanish researchers studied 52 patients who sought treatment at a hospital after extracting a tick.

    They found that those who accomplished this by squeezing, crushing or burning the insects were far more likely to develop symptoms of Lyme disease or other complications than those who used the proper removal method: grasping the pest as close to the skin as possible with tweezers and then gently pulling it straight up.

    Any remaining pieces should be pulled out and the site should be cleaned with a disinfectant.

    Smothering Vaseline or nail polish on the tick also is a bad idea, since it can be hours before the tick dies from suffocation.

    As a precautionary step, some doctors recommend taking antibiotics to ward off infection.

    THE BOTTOM LINE: Never remove a tick by burning it.

A nice step–by–step guide — kind of a "Tick Removal For Dummies,"


illustrated with the photos in this post — appears here.

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

Carabiner MP3 Player


Detachable carabiner lets you clip your music anywhere.

Digital audio player with built–in FM radio.

From the website:

    Plays MP3, WMA and ADPCM files.

    Built–in high–speed USB 2.0 connector for fast downloads.

    FM radio has 12 presets.

    512 MB flash memory means no skips.

    Measures 5.5" x 1.25" x 0.6".

    Battery included.

$180 here (Headphones not included).

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

The scent of lavender makes people spend more money


A collaborative study by two French behavioral scientists, just published in the new issue of The International Journal of Hospitality Management, finds that customers spend more money in a restaurant scented with lavender.

The scientists used "electronic fragrance diffusers" to scent a small pizzeria in Brittany with lemon one Saturday night, lavender on another, and used no scent on a third.

Nicolas Guéguen of the University of South Brittany and Christine Petr of the University of Rennes, the authors of the paper, wrote, "Results showed that lavender — but not lemon aroma — increased the... amount of purchasing."

The authors suggested that lavender's "relaxing effect" may explain the difference.


But there's also a dark side to their data: customers lingered longer, an average of 15 minutes, when lavender was in the air.

The authors of the Human Flower Project, a blog I came upon while researching this post, suggest that the tendency in the U.S. to try and turn tables over as fast as possible would probably negate any financial benefit that might accrue from a party's lingering one zeptosecond longer than necessary.

Human Flower Project is a wonderful name for a blog/website.

Here's a secret: out back in the skunk works I've got my black ops team working 24/7 on a project that, if successful, will result in a small, almost imperceptible release of lavender the moment my blog opens up on your computer.

Stay tuned.


You never read — or smelled — this.

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

amabuddy — 'Don't buy not knowing'


"Comparison shopping for books and music on any phone!"

    From the website:

    You are in a bookshop or a record shop.

    You find something that interests you.

    You can't decide whether to buy it now or online later.

    What you need is a price check and a quick review, perhaps something similar that others might recommend.

    amabuddy can help!

    Grab a book off your shelf and try it!

Here's how to use amabuddy:

1) Locate the ISBN number on the back of the book or CD

2) Dial toll–free: 888-937-4462 (888-WE-SIGNAL)

3) Follow the instructions

You can create a list of bookmarks of what you looked at in the shop, then store them on the site for future reference.


Try it and let me know what you think.

I guess caveat emptor translates to amabuddy as the 21st century starts to find its groove.

[via MM]

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

The Glass House — Undersea Version


In deep ocean water the glass sponge Euplectella, or Venus flower basket, creates a tubelike skeleton (above) up to a foot long, with seven hierarchical structural levels, out of glass (silica), calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate.

John D. Currey, a biologist at the University of York in England, analyzed the structure and found "a skeleton of extraordinary structural and mechanical refinement," noted a story which appeared on the front page of last Tuesday's New York Times Science section.

The creature made the big–time the week previously, appearing on the cover of the July 8 issue of Science magazine to highlight the report.

In the cover photo (detail below)


a scanning electron micrograph of an etched sample of the mineral skeleton shows the laminated silica cement holding the glassy crossing fibers in place.

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

Wonder Cup


No, not the latest Victoria's Secret invention but, rather, a clever device that lets you more easily measure sticky ingredients like peanut butter or shortening or molasses.

From the paper catalogue:

    !@$!#$! sticky ingredients!

Wonder Cup simplifies the process.

• Just slide bottom to desired measurement

• Then fill, and slide ingredients out — no mess!

• Measurements are in usual increments: 1/4, 1/3, etc.; tablespoons, ounces and milliliters

• 1 cup capacity

$6.95 here.

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

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