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October 8, 2005

'Subconscious of a Monument' — by Cornelia Parker

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Cornelia Parker's latest installation is currently up in the gallery of the Royal Institute of British Architects in Portland Place in London, where it will remain through October 25.

Parker, wrote Edwin Heathcote of the Financial Times on Thursday, creates "pieces about the dramatic death of ordinary objects, the supernovas of the everyday."

Continued Heathcote, "This exhibition has profound things to say about the suspension of time, the impossibility of being at the centre, the nature of matter and anti–matter and of the object's relationship to the space in which it exists."

In a nutshell, everything that interests me and compels my close attention.

The artist herself will give a talk in the institute's Wren Room at 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday, October 11.

Tickets are £8; Tel 020 7307 3699.
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October 8, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

iPod Portable Symphony Case

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Lose the earbuds.

From the website:

    You no longer need any earpiece because the Portable Symphony Case is a case and a speaker!

    It has flat–panel loudspeakers and woofers built right in that resonate with the clearest, most robust stereo sound imaginable.

    The Portable Symphony is shock-resistant so it can accommodate your iPod, CDs, MP3s and soon-to-be-obsolete cassette player without skipping a beat.

    The Portable Symphony Case is also water-resistant, so you can store your CDs or MP3s as well.

    It comes with a belt clip, making it perfect for your bicycle trip, workout or car trip, and has a mountain–style carabiner so you can clip it virtually anywhere.

    Plus, the Portable Symphony Case has a mini-plug input that connects to virtually all portable audio players, cell phones and computers.

    We challenge you to find a better portable sound system!

    With the Portable Symphony Case, you hold the Hollywood Bowl in the palm of your hand.

Like me, they value understatement.

But I digress. (MDP — this one's for you)

$39.95 here.

October 8, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

poorasdirt.com — 'Party Like a Rock Star Even When You're Poor as Dirt'

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It's the website of one Camper English, author of the wonderfully titled book pictured above.

It was published in June of this year.

The book retails for $12.95 and costs $10.36 at amazon where it's currently ranked #104,481.

If you don't have the money don't fret — the website has all manner of free tips to help you get started living la vida loca.

For example: "In clubs, pick up money off the floor."

October 8, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Analog Awakening Water Clock

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Major feng shui upgrade and possible Satori should you decide to go this route.

From the website:

    An alarm clock that combines the precision and immediacy of a digital clockwork with the pleasing richness of an analog ringing tone.

    An especially manufactured drinking glass

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    is placed on the coaster-like clock, where it rests on three tiny spikes, allowing it to vibrate discreetly when hit gently by a hammer through a hole in the top of the clock.

    The pitch of the alarm tone is altered by the amount of water in the glass — the more water, the lower the tone.

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    The alarm is activated by placing the glass on the clock and turned off by lifting it up.

    A comparatively slow rhythm of approximately one beat per second and the inimitable and varying tone of glass followed by a sip of water provide a calm and relaxed start into the day.

You know you want one.

Heck, I do too.

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That's why it's so frustrating to finally learn, after my crack research team spent hours on the site, that the item just went up this past Wednesday and isn't yet for sale.

[via AW]

October 8, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Grapefruit–sized tumor removed from giraffe's head in a historic operation — 'The riskiest part of giraffe surgery is the anesthesia'

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Hey, sounds familiar, what?

This past Wednesday morning at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., an operation described by zoo officials as "a first" was performed on Jafari, a three–year–old, 13–foot–tall Rothchild's giraffe.

Above, a riveting intra–operative photograph.

The young giraffe had a basal cell carcinoma, common in humans but never before reported in a giraffe.

Keepers noted a mass behind his left ear a month ago, and subsequent biopsy results returned Monday showed cancer.

On Tuesday zoo veterinarians decided to operate to remove the tumor.

D'Vera Cohn wrote a superb article on the events surrounding the operation: it appeared in Thursday's Washington Post, and follows.

    Giraffe Undergoes Difficult Surgery

    In What They Call a First, Zoo Vets Remove a Tumor From Animal's Head

    The diagnosis was skin cancer, and the grapefruit-sized tumor on the back of the head had to come off.

    But when the patient is 13 feet tall, perhaps half of that being neck, the surgery is complicated.

    So it was yesterday morning at the National Zoo, where a crew of 28 -- keepers, veterinarians, a surgeon from Children's Hospital and the animal park's director -- pitched in for the elaborately choreographed operation on Jafari the giraffe.

    The surgery took less than an hour, and the animal was walking by noon.

    Unfortunately, said chief veterinarian Suzan Murray, "we were only able to remove 90 percent of the tumor" because it had invaded the animal's bone.

    Chemotherapy may be an option, but she is not optimistic.

    Still, she said, this is the first time such a procedure has been performed on a giraffe, and scientists can learn from it.

    "Even though the prognosis is poor," she said, "he's paving the way for management of giraffes in zoos."

    Jafari, who weighs more than 1,300 pounds and will be 3 years old in December, came to the zoo last year.

    A month ago, keepers noticed a lump behind his left ear.

    He is trained to stand still for minor medical tests, so they drew some fluid.

    Monday's biopsy results confirmed that he had a tumor.

    The young giraffe had basal cell carcinoma, which is the most common skin cancer in humans but which has never been reported in a giraffe.

    Many people get it from sun exposure, but zoo staff members think that is unlikely in this case.

    On Tuesday, they decided to operate.

    Zoo officials announced a briefing, a change from the past, when announcements were made after the fact.

    "We're going to do everything we can to keep people informed and operate the zoo in as transparent a fashion as we can," said the zoo's new director, John Berry, a former Interior Department official and conservation foundation executive who began work full time this month.

    Keepers removed Jafari's food so his stomach would be empty while he was under anesthesia.

    He had not been eating much anyway.

    The surgical team assembled at 7 a.m. in the Elephant House, which was closed to the public.

    They spent three hours rehearsing.

    Berry described what followed as "nothing less than a ballet."

    The riskiest part of giraffe surgery is the anesthesia: It is hard to control such a big animal.

    If its long neck is in the wrong position during surgery, it can't breathe.

    The animal could have a deadly fall while going under or coming out of the anesthesia.

    Giraffes sometimes vomit under anesthesia, which can be fatal.

    A giraffe died at the zoo of anesthesia complications in 1998.

    Veterinarians Mitchell Bush, of the zoo's Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Va., and Scott Citino, from the White Oak Conservation Center in Florida, gave Jafari the injection and held his head so he could breathe.

    As the giraffe went under, the surgical crew positioned him on the padded floor of the Elephant House, with his head and neck on a padded ladder set atop hay bales.

    Two keepers massaged his neck muscles to prevent dangerous kinking.

    An oxygen tube was put down his throat.

    Murray and Children's Hospital surgeon Kurt Newman used a scalpel and electric current to remove the tissue and cauterize the wound.

    The animal was resting on a tarp, and it took 10 or 15 people -- nobody could recall how many -- to drag him to his outdoor yard for recovery.

    "Many hands make light work," Berry joked.

    After the anesthesia reversal drug was administered, Jafari quickly got up on his knees.

    After 15 minutes -- "the longest 15 minutes I've had, holding my breath," Berry said -- he stood up to his full height.

    He is receiving anti-inflammatory drugs for pain and an antibiotic to prevent infection.

    He had a limited meal yesterday, but Tony Barthel, an assistant curator, said he should be back on full rations today.

    In about a week, he and the zoo's other male Rothschild's giraffe, Randall, will be back together.

    Yesterday, they sniffed at each other a few times across the fence that separated them in the yard.

    "He's looking pretty bright," Barthel said, "like his normal self."

In the photo below

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Jafari, on the left, is seen waking up from his anesthesia.

October 8, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Standing Hanger

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A stylish alternative to hanging your clothes on the nearest chair, it's a fiberglass valet from British designer Magnus Long.

Also serves nicely as a drying rack: simply hang up a damp outfit and slide it in front of a radiator.

In Luscious Red, Glossy Black, Snow White or British Racing Green.

43" high x 22" wide x 12" deep.

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$445 here.

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Note added Sunday, October 9 at 11:10 a.m.

The designer of the Standing Hanger, Magnus Long, just emailed me and said that the price cited in my original post of yesterday morning ($795, as stated in a New York Times story last week) is wrong.

The correct price is $445.

Can you believe it?

First Steve Wozniak, now Magnus Long — the joehead posse is adding waycool people at a frightful clip.

Here at bookofjoe headquarters we're lovin' it.

Now get back to work, all of you.

October 8, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

ObsoleteComputerMuseum.org

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From Acorn to Zenith.

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Tom Carlson has created an absolutely mesmerizing and absorbing website.

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The stories and anecdotes that often accompany the hardware exhibits are flat–out great.

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You could spend many happy moments here reminiscing and wondering, what if?

October 8, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hands–Free Light Switch — 'Dim your lights with your TV remote!'

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Say what?

Tell us more.

From the website:

    • Installs like any standard light switch or dimmer

    • Fits standard wall plates

    • Push-button feature allows manual On/Off/Dim ability

    • Lights up in the dark — easy to find

What's not to like?

$29.99 here.

October 8, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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