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December 5, 2005

bookofjoe in some mighty fast company...


Last evening I was noodling around and happened on the Tech_Space blog, part of USA Today's online presence.

Angela Gunn, who's been ahead of the internet curve since it began bending — she may even have helped it around the inflection point, now that I think about it... — writes it.

I kind of did a double-take when I saw the other nine on her top 10 "Worth reading" list (top).

Talk about David and Goliath....

Nick Denton, Jason Calacanis and me: would'a thunk it?

December 5, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Spray–On Mud — 'It's dirt cheap!'


"Spray–On Mud is a specially formulated spray-on product for anyone that wants to give friends, neighbours, colleagues or just anyone at all, the impression that they have been off-road or, at the very least, out in the country for the weekend."

Lots of potential uses for this nifty product, way beyond that recommended by the website's copy (above).

$12.95 here.

December 5, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Minimalist Knife Block: No Block


First, there is a mountain,
Then there is no mountain,
Then there is.

So it is with the humble knife block, whose solid hunk of wood now finds itself displaced by collections of tricked–out pick–up sticks.

It started with this one,


progressed to this washable iteration,


and now reaches its apotheosis with the blockless knife block (top) of Jörg Gätjens.

900 wooden sticks, two steel springs and a plastic bottom and you're ready to rock 'n roll.

I mean, slice 'n dice.

What was I thinking?

[via smartstuff.se]

December 5, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Sarah Bernhardt: The Art of High Drama'


Just opened last Friday at New York City's Jewish Museum, this is the first major museum show ever devoted to the great French actress (above, at age 20).

The show features 250 "spectacular and rarely seen objects spanning the remarkable career of the incomparable French stage actress and the world's first movie star."

Edward Rothstein of the New York Times, who is not prone to excess, wrote a rapturous review of the show, which appeared in last Friday's paper.


There was "... something more powerful and more mysterious that set her apart from those who followed. Something happened when she appeared onstage, and it remained powerful for nearly half a century," he commented.

Wrote Rothstein, "When Freud saw her perform in Paris in 1885, for example, he wrote 'my head is reeling' and hung her photo in his office. D.H. Lawrence, in 1906, could barely contain himself, comparing her to 'a gazelle with a beautiful panther's fascination and fury.' Oscar Wilde wrote 'Salome' for her. And Proust, who modeled characters after members of her circle, portrays her as Berma, an actress whose poses 'melted into a sort of radiance' suffused with 'rich and complex elements.'"


The show remains up through April 2, 2006.

The Jewish Museum is at 1109 Fifth Avenue (92nd Street); 212-423-3200; http://www.thejewishmuseum.org.

December 5, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Winsor & Newton Watercolor Kit — 'What Susan Minot won't leave home without'


The last page of the New York Times Travel magazine often features a well–known person waxing ecstatic about a treasured possession that always travels with them.

Author Susan Minot had the following to say about her watercolor kit in the September 25 issue.

    Color My World

    When I travel, I always take my Winsor & Newton watercolor kit, which is the size of a pack of cigarettes when folded up.

    I bought my first one in the 1980s.

    It was handy to bring on trips, and I packed it into a leather pouch along with a couple of brushes, a pencil, an eraser and paper.

    At the time, I was filling notebooks the size of credit cards with tiny pictures.

    The notebooks have become a little bigger, but the kit is still the same.

    Its plastic hinge is now cracked and held together with duct tape, and I have a backup kit that stays open on my desk.

    Painting keeps me occupied in those moments when travel can be aimless and even disorienting.

    Mainly it is a way to register at least some of the new impressions of a foreign place, when its thrilling barrage can sometimes overwhelm you.

    Recording a scene with paint rather than film sinks you more deeply into your surroundings.

    You have to look a little harder and a little longer.

    And you end up with a memento.

    When I look through my sketchbooks, they bring back moments that I would otherwise have completely forgotten.

    Most of my watercolors are done quickly — out the window of a train in the Tsavo desert; through the windshield of a car driving through a Wyoming blizzard; before the sunbathing subject gets up to take a swim.

    Sometimes I have longer to look and time to kill — peering out an airplane window while trying to render the grid on the ground as we circle before landing; sleepless in a hotel room in Omaha; on the shore in Maine, where I know I've been a long time when I notice how far the shade under that granite rock has traveled.


More about the kit:

    This compact, pocket-sized field box unfolds into a palm-size kit with two palettes for mixing, a water container, a water bottle, a sponge, and a folding travel brush.

    It includes 12 colors in half-pans: Cadmium Yellow Pale, Winsor Yellow, Winsor Red, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine, Winsor Blue, Winsor Green, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Ivory Black, and Chinese White.



$123 here.

You can listen to an interview with Susan Minot here.

December 5, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



I can't believe no one's hired me to name their products; I mean, the striking item above is listed in its catalog as "Light Fingers."

Come on, gang — you can do better than that.

But I digress.

From the website:

    A hypnotic light show at your fingertips; put on your favorite music, turn down the lights, and dazzle yourself with beams of pure color.

    You control more than 20 different pre-programmed light show patterns, plus a black light and strobe light add mind-blowing effects.

    Easy controls.



Ages 6 and up.

11.5" x 10.5" x 3.25".

Requires 3 AAA batteries (not included).

$19.95 here.

December 5, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Salad People


"Invasion of the Salad People" was the headline over Bonnie Benwick's story in last Wednesday's Washington Post Food section about the singular vegetarian creatures you can now create with your food using Mollie Katzen's new book, "Salad People and More Real Recipes: A New Cookbook for Preschoolers & Up."

Well, she's got the perfect audience here.

But I digress.

When Katzen was growing up in upstate New York in the 1950s and '60s, her mother would, on special occasions, use vegetables, fruits and whatever else she could find to construct faces on plates for her and her brothers and sisters.

Here's a link to Benwick's Post story.

The book is $12.21 at Amazon (produce not included).

December 5, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Collapsible Funnel


Designed by Boje Estermann and made in Denmark.

Made of Santoprene, a durable and flexible plastic that can withstand extreme temperatures.


Microwave and dishwasher safe.

Though why you'd want to put a funnel in your microwave is not at all obvious to me.

6" diameter; extends to 6.5".

$28 here.

But perhaps mademoiselle would prefer something in a collapsing funnel with a bit more bling?

No problema.

Consider the flashing orange Pack–A–Cone™


for your next roadside emergency.

"43% of all vehicle accidents occur between the low–light hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m."

This nifty device has a built–in flasher with an On/Off switch so people can see it clearly in the dark and even in fog.

It collapses down to a thickness of 2"


from its open height of 16".

Made of nylon and polyester with a polyethylene base.

Uses two AAA batteries (included).

Measures 9.5" x 9.5" x 2" when folded.

Weighs 3 lbs.


$24.85 here.

It occurs to me that the Pack–A–Cone™ might serve nicely as a funnel in a pinch though the issue of flow control might be something to consider before using it for this purpose.

December 5, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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