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August 4, 2005

The Stunning Global Visions of Ingo Günther

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The latest (August) issue of Wired magazine has a story

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by Ken Taylor about the superb creations (above and below) of artist Ingo Günther.

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Günther maps geosocial and scientific data from newspapers

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and other organizations onto 12"–diameter plastic globes.

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They are astonishingly beautiful and thought–provoking.

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So far he has created some 300 globes,

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over 100 of which will be on display this month at Kyushu University in Japan.

From the top down:

1) Ring of Fire — Selected fault lines and earthquake epicenters.

2) Company v. Country — A country whose GDP rivals a corporation's gross income adopts the company's name. For example, Pakistan becomes Sony.

3) Satellite Radio Broadcasting Footprints — Coverage areas of WorldSpace satellites AfriStar and AsiaStar.

4) Time Zones — How the clock divides the globe.

5) Moody's Rating — The lower a nation's Moody's Investors Service credit score, the darker it appears. Some places vanish entirely.

6) Life Expectancy — The average numbers of years people in each nation live.

7) Asteroid Impacts — Points where celestial bodies have collided with earth.

August 4, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Xpand Expanding Table — 'A table with a built–in sense of space'

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You change the size of your furniture by simply lifting one end and pulling it out until it meets your needs.

The accordion–like structure in the center is invisible when the table is closed.

[via generalape]

August 4, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Conet Project

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"For more than 30 years the shortwave radio spectrum has been used by the world's intelligence agencies to transmit secret messages."

Paranoia?

No, fact.

The Conet Project features recordings of shortwave numbers stations.

Many find them utterly absorbing.

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More about the project here.

[via SB]

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

Shag Bowl

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Created by Austin designer Jennifer Prichard, it echoes her style of taking surfaces to the extreme (below).

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The New York Times recently featured her design for a hip new LA seafood restaurant called Providence (below).

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There, she used porcelain pieces that evoke barnacles or octopus suction pads to cover the walls and create a sense of being near the sea.

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

Cyprus — The Hermès of the Bronze Age

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Among the ultra–luxe goods of 2000 B.C. were olive oil, wine, exquisite colored fabrics and copper artefacts.

The name Cyprus itself is derived from the ancient Greek word for copper, which was found in abundance near the surface there in ancient times, mined and exported throughout the region.

Towering above the aforementioned high–value creations of antiquity were the highly–sought perfumes made from laurel, cinnamon, myrtle and bergamot in the perfume factory at Pyrgos, Cyprus.

Recently unearthed by a team of Italian archaeologists, the remains of ceramic bottles revealed the presence of the essences of at least 14 different perfumes once created there.

Dr. Rosario Belgiorno, quoted in yesterday's Financial Times story by Tabitha Morgan, said, "These are the earliest examples of blended perfumes. The technique remained the same for a long time."

The perfumers of Cyprus developed their skills in conjunction with a busy trading link between their island and the ancient Egyptians, whose tombs reveal much about the industry via pictorial evidence.

Morgan wrote that the links with Egypt, "the most sophisticated culture in the prehistoric Mediterranean, probably facilitated an early transfer of know–how."

Ancient perfume production was an exacting and highly labor–intensive activity.

Flower, leaves or berries were boiled and the resulting essences distilled and mixed with a base of olive oil.

"Scented oils often commanded very high prices, and one gram of a valuable blended perfume, such as spikenard, was sometimes worth more than gold."

The clay pots, some as large as 500 liters, that were found in the factory ruins were regarded in antiquity as disposable packaging.

Pliny, the Roman historian, described Cyprus in his "Natural History" as the earliest source of some of the most popular perfumes of the ancient world.

Production at the Pyrgos factory ended abruptly in about 1850 B.C. when an earthquake destroyed it, simultaneously freezing it in time until its recent rediscovery.

Here's a link to an earlier BBC report by Morgan on the subject.

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

Tape Measure Anchor™

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Excellent invention.

    From the website:

    Tape Measure Anchor™ makes measuring large rooms, walls and floors a simple task.

    Do you ever wish you had another hand?

    Stick to any surface with adhesive gel pad, insert "hook" of your tape measure into anchor and measure away!

    Rotates and pivots to any angle.

    Reuse the gel pad thousands of times.

    Won't leave sticky residue.

    Includes gel pad cover to keep on tape measure.

    Metal and rubber.

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$8.98 here. (Item #24194)

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

Rage As Power

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Rage has carried me through nearly unbearable, terrible periods in my life.

Take medical school.

I hated it from the very first day.

I never wanted to be a doctor but ended up in med school for a variety of reasons.

I knew there was no going back: what else would I do if I didn't get my M.D.?

An undergraduate degree from UCLA in political science didn't offer a whole lot of promising opportunities.

So it was that I started medical school.

And I finished it: on time, graduating with my class "in the top half," as they say.

But not by a whole lot.

Med school was a death march for me.

Boring, hard and frustrating, it was a seemingly endless progression of uncertainty–filled and sleep–deprived days and nights.

There was rarely anything that enabled me to forget how miserable I was.

I have a very high tolerance for personal discomfort, boredom and misery.

Such characteristics do enable one to accomplish quite a lot when others are throwing in the towel and saying, "this is ridiculous."

Rage is power.

August 4, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Hydro Epic — World's most technologically advanced surfboard

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Pictured above, it consists of an aircraft aluminum honeycomb shell wrapped in carbon fiber and Kevlar.

The 6'2" stick, made by famed shaper Dick Brewer, weighs — are you ready for this? — just 6 lbs.

It's stronger, stiffer, more buoyant and less ding–prone than the "Old Europe" foam, fiberglass and polyester equivalents riding the waves alongside you.

$850 here.

[via Brian Lam and Wired magazine]

August 4, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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