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December 13, 2005

'Space Suits for Giants'

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That's how Holland Cotter of the New York Times described "the 60–odd textile pieces, each a visual aria of stupefying scintillation," that make up the new show, "Style and Status: Imperial Costumes From Ottoman Turkey," at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

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The great majority of objects in the show are from the Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul, which has the largest collection of such items in the world.

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According to Cotter the Topkapi Museum, at the height of the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent, "employed a staff of 2,229 doorkeepers, 1,372 cooks, 21 food tasters and just over 5,000 gardeners."

The Sackler Gallery is at 1050 Independence Avenue SW; 202-633-4680; Through January 22, 2006.

December 13, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Pierced — Bathroom towel rings by Janet Villano

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Every time I look at these I wince — ouch!

I know it's just tile but still....

Shows what happens when your imagination is overactive.

You can see why I never go to scary movies.

Janet Villano, the designer, is a co–founder of Elseware, a New York–based industrial design collective responsible for these towel rings along with a whole slew of other interesting things.

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Wander around and see for yourself.

[via AW]

December 13, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Why do mice sing?

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Oh, hey, maybe I'm going too fast, what?

Since when, you ask, did mice sing except in cartoons and suchlike?

Well, guess what?

Scientists Timothy Holy and Zhongsheng Guo, of Washington University in St. Louis, last month published a paper in the Public Library of Science Biology that showed that just like a teenager in love, a mouse is apt to burst into song when smitten.

The researchers noted that male mice made noises inaudible to the human ear when exposed to female mouse pheromones: they then recorded and analyzed the sounds.

"By dropping the pitch of the recordings so that humans could hear it, the researchers found that it sounded remarkably like birdsong," noted a story about the findings that appeared in the November 3 Economist.

"To be classified as a song, a vocalization has to contain distinct notes, rather than one sound repeated, as well as motifs and themes that recur from time to time," continued the Economist article.

The scientists have not yet figured out exactly why it is that mice sing but they believe it has something to do with sexual attraction.

If so, the song should contain information bearing on their quality as a potential mate.

The scientists plan to look into this in more detail.

In addition, they are also going to examine whether wild mice sing different songs than the laboratory version.

If you have some time you might want to read the original article here.

Bonus: the article contains sound files that let you actually hear the mice sing.

Try and explain that one if someone happens by and asks what you're doing.

December 13, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Party Zone Safety Cone

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I love it.

If I were still on the teaching faculty at the University of Virginia School of Medicine's Department of Anesthesiology this would stand squarely in my open doorway whenever I was in my office.

Of course, the fact that the frequency of my appearances there left something to be desired in the minds of certain of my fellows may be directly related to the fact that I no longer work there.

Not to fret.

You're much more fun than the residents.

$19.99 — as in "party like it's"here.

December 13, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Meet Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón

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The pair (above) have taken the opera world by storm.

Last summer their performance in Verdi's "Traviata" was the hottest ticket at the Salzburg Festival.

Netrebko, the Russian coloratura soprano and Villazón, a Mexican lyric tenor, are currently appearing at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.

Tonight at 8 p.m. they'll perform in "Rigoletto."

This Friday, December 16, they'll sign CDs at the Met's gift shop.

Here's a link to Anthony Tommasini's review, in yesterday's New York Times, of their performance in "Rigoletto" last Saturday night to a sold–out house at the Met.

The Metropolitan Opera (and gift shop) are at 70 Lincoln Center Plaza; The gift shop telephone number is 212-580-4090; the ticket office number is 212-362-6000.

December 13, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Volcoino — by Karim Rashid

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Aluminum piggy bank by the prolific designer at a proletariat price.

Rubber stopper in the base for easy coin retrieval.

8"H x 4"W x 3"L.

$15 here.

December 13, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Moodblurbs

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This came in Monday night during the fourth quarter of a very entertaining Packers–Lions game between two hapless teams in what Chris Berman, in one of his moments of especially inspired genius, dubbed "The Norris Division."

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Long story short: Moodblurbs are little signs you attach to a holder that goes on your laptop; you use them to let people know you're not immersed and wouldn't mind being disturbed.

The starter package contains a holder in your choice of five colors (Black, Blue, Green, Purple and Red) along with the eight Moodblurbs pictured above and below.

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Two other packages of eight Moodblurbs — "Think Outside the Cubicle" and "The Flirty Pack" — are available for $9.95 apiece.

$14.95 for the starter package here.

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The only suggestion I'd offer at this point is that they add pink as a holder color option ASAP.

[via Michelle Roberts]

December 13, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fat Mop

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Catchy name, what?

It is what it says.

From the website:

    Fat Mop makes every meal a healthier meal!

    A quick twist of the wand easily removes grease-laden oil.

    Fat, cholesterol and calories are whisked away!

    Stir in soups, stews or chili to soak up grease.

    Skim gravies and sauces for a light taste without sacrificing flavor.

    Brush bacon, broiled meats and fried foods to eliminate top layer fats.

    Ideal for basting, too!

    Plastic with premium fibers cleans with dish soap.

13.25" long.

$8.99 here.

December 13, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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