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November 21, 2005

What happened to Lara Flynn Boyle?


Hollywood never fails to amaze, what with its real–life transformations.

The iconically wispy, slender actress Lara Flynn Boyle, she of the wonderful name, has been reborn as a Dana Delany clone.

I was idly paging through today's USA Today just now when I came upon the photo above on the TV listings page.

I thought to myself, who's that?

Under the photo it said, "Boyle: Not amused by comics convention."

Then, in Robert Bianco's "Critic's Corner," right next to her picture, I read, "Fans of 'Las Vegas' (NBC, 9 ET/PT) may not want to miss tonight's episode, which promises big doings. First, the staff has to make it through a comic book convention, a hardship for Lara Flynn Boyle's Monica, who keeps getting mistaken for Mothwoman."

Wait a minute.

Slow down.

I don't watch TV much except for football so I wouldn't know about the hit show 'Las Vegas' or that Ms. Boyle is a member of the cast.

NBC's website for the show has the very same picture of her I saw in USA Today so I guess it must be so.

But that's of little interest to me compared to what went on in the mind of the actress that led her to decide that being a size 0


(above and below)


was no longer where it was at.

She looked positively wasted during her days as Jack Nicholson's girlfriend but she's sure bulked up since then.



how she appeared during the course of her recent transformation.

Tell you what: the Angelina Jolie–like collagen–enhanced lips she plumped for (hey, sorry, couldn't resist) don't do a whole lot for her.

I liked her better before (below)


she got anxious about getting old (she turned 35 this year) and hit the plastic surgery circuit.

But you know me — natural as the day I was born.

November 21, 2005 at 05:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

AirWash – 'Waterless washing machine for the year 2020'


The winner of the Electrolux Design Lab 2005 competition, announced last week, was this very sweet–looking washing machine.

From the website:

    Airwash is a waterless washing machine for the home of 2020.

    Eliminating the use of detergent and precious water resources, it cleans clothes with pressurized air and negative ions - nature's cleansing agent.

    Its form is inspired by the waterfall, nature's negative ion generator.

    Its touch-light interface marries function with emotion, humanizing the often-mechanical experience when handling household appliances.

    Liberated from the laundry area, Airwash is a symbol of wellness and sophistication, designed for living spaces and focal points in the home.

I wonder if there's a wait list — if so, put me on it.

[via Takashi Yamada]

November 21, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Giant 'Corpse Flower' blooming in Washington, D.C.


The titan arum, the world's largest unbranched flower, is popularly known as the "Corpse Flower" because when fully open it is said to smell like a rotting corpse.

That makes sense.

Washington Post reporter Leef Smith, in today's front–page Metro section story, described the plant's odor as "reminiscent of long–dead rat with just a hint of brie."

The Smithsonian Institutions' titan arum has just bloomed (above).

Its unusual central flower section, called the spadix, grew several inches per day until it blossomed around 7 p.m. this past Saturday.

Over 6,000 people visited the U.S. Botanic Garden yesterday to see the remarkable plant.

It's been tended patiently for the past 12 years by Michael Bordelon, greenhouse collections manager at the Botany Department of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

I'd say this guy deserves a raise, wouldn't you?

There's someone I wouldn't mind looking after my plants while I was away in Richmond giving anesthesia.

But I digress.

The Smithsonian bulb weighs 100 pounds, three times more than the titan arum which bloomed in 2003 in Washington.

That event drew 10,000 visitors from around the world to Washington, D.C.

The plant blooms for only 24 to 48 hours so you'd best stop by today if you want to catch it at its very best.

It's OK to inhale, by the way.

The current titum arum, pictured at the top of this post, measures 4 feet, 4 inches from base to pointy tip according to the Post story.

The 2003 bulb (below)


reached almost five feet in height.

It now rests in peace in the U.S. Botanic Garden's collection, quiescent until it next decides to flower.

The current blooming specimen is in the botanic garden's medicinal plant house on the Mall.

Spokeswoman Jan Clark told the Post that it "looks really funky" and noted that the 2003 spadix was reddish–grey, while this year's is green.

A very nice shade of green, I might add.

The 2003 bulb's blooming was chronicled in a fascinating series of time–lapse videos which can be seen here.

In a nod to those who desperately need to see and smell this plant, the U.S. Botanic Garden, which normally closes at 5 p.m., is remaining open until 7 p.m. tonight.

Officials there say this year's flower is more pungent than the bloom in 2003.

W. John Kress, chairman of the Natural History Museum's Botany Department, told Smith, "As the day goes on, it gets more and more pungent, particularly around sunset. Some people say it smells bad. I say it smells intense. Maybe I'm part beetle."

Get over there.

The U.S. Botanic Garden is at 100 Maryland Avenue SW; 202-225-8333. 10 a.m.– 5 p.m. daily (seven days a week); admission is free.

November 21, 2005 at 02:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack



Funky name, funkier looking but I'll tell you what: they've been up in my front gutter, in the part that gets overloaded with falling leaves overnight, for a week and that gutter is leaf–free as I write this.

A GutterPiller® (above and below) is a gutter brush that you leave in your gutter.

Highly recommended if you'd rather not fool with your ladder and gutters.

They're really fun and simple to install.

So much so I was able to do it without even reading the instructions.


$29.82 for 4 (each is 3' in length) here.

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

An original Damien Hirst or Tracey Emin for $60


No joke.

Someone's going to pay just that much this year at RCA Secret 2005 beginning at 8 a.m. this Friday, November 25 and concluding on the 26th.

What's RCA Secret?

It's the twelfth annual rendition of the Royal College of Art (U.K.) postcard exhibition and fundraising sale.


Over 1,000 artists — among them Damien Hirst, Paula Rego, David Bailey, Julian Opie, Grayson Perry, Milton Glaser, Tracey Emin, Lawrence Weiner, Olafur Eliasson, Sonia Rykiel, Kim Gordon, Graham Coxon, Quentin Blake, Hussein Chalayan, Susan Hiller, Wolfgang Tillmans, Nan Goldin, David Shrigley, and Christo — each created an original postcard–sized work, a total of 2,700.

The identity of the artist remains unknown until the card is purchased and the signature on the back revealed.

RCA Secret has raised over $1 million since its inception, all for the college's Student Award Fund to help its emerging artists.

The cards have been up for in–person viewing since last Friday (the 18th) at the college in London.


Usually you can also preview them online here but as of one minute ago the website update said, "we hope to have it up and running soon."

They better hurry — the sale begins in less than 87 hours.

In–person viewing continues through this Thursday, the 24th.

You can only purchase the cards in person — they cannot be reserved in advance and you cannot phone in or order by email.

If you're interested I would suggest you read very carefully the rules on this page.


Pictured above are postcards from last year's RCA Secret show, by — from the top down — Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry, Julian Opie and Zandra Rhodes.

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

Pocket Hammock — 'Sleep well, travel light'


Inside the 12 x 7 cm (4.7" x 2.8") box is a full–size hammock made of nylon mesh, complete with steel rings and polypropylene suspension ropes.

Weighs 300 g (12 oz.).

$15 here.

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

Practica Musica — 'Complete Music Theory and Ear Training in One CD'


Though I can't read a note of music nor play an instrument my eye was caught by an ad in the current Atlantic Monthly for this software.

"Learn how to read and understand music with the world's most complete music training software."

Don't have a keyboard?

"Most activities do not require an electric keyboard – you can work with the sound capabilities found in your Windows or Macintosh computer."

I wonder if it's too late for me to learn some new tricks.

"Used in thousands of schools and conservatories, Practica Musica is now available in a personal edition designed specifically for the individual."

No internet capability or connection?

No problema.

Doesn't matter as long as you've got a computer running Win 95/98/ME/2000/XP or Mac 9/10.

Just call: 800-445-4866.

The course on CD–ROM is $125 and the downloadable version is $100 here.

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

Magnetic TracLite™


It looks like your typical keyring LED mini–flashlight.

But guess what?

Just like in a Crackerjack box, there's a surprise inside.

The flashlight conceals a separate magnetized base that stores inside until you need it.

Then it "attaches to any ferrous metal, and allows you to pivot the light in any direction!"

Weighs less than one ounce.

Includes keyring.

3.2"L x 0.5"D.

$16.99 here.

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

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