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August 13, 2006

Ron Gorchov — Double Trouble at P.S.1


His show consists of 27 paintings, created between 1972 and 2006.


The exhibition, on view in the Third Floor Main Gallery, runs through September 18, 2006.


For every artist who's "successful" there are a hundred, equally if not more talented, who are not.


P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center is at 22-25 Jackson Avenue (46th Street), Long Island City, Queens, New York; 718-784-2084.

August 13, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Paris Hilton Dorm Fridge


If Paris Hilton's career runs off the rails and she decides to rehabilitate her image by pulling a Tommy Lee and matriculating at a fine university, there's not a shadow of a doubt in my mind that she'll be wheeling this signature Paris Pink mini-fridge into her dorm room.

From the website:

    Supercool Fridge

    The perfect fridge for stocking up on all the sodas and snacks you need.

    It’s even got a freezer for ice cream.

    19"W x 19"L x 19.5"H.

    Magnetic door.


In (from left, below)


Pink, Navy, Pool or Silver.


[via Marianne Rohrlich's "Personal Shopper" feature in the August 11 New York Times]

August 13, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Why do prices end in .99?


Tim Harford, in his "Dear Economist" feature in this weekend's Financial Times, offers an explanation far afield from that I've always held as received knowledge, to wit: that it's to make you feel you're getting a better deal than if the dollar or pound amount were raised by one digit.

Wrong-o, says Harford.

Short column shorter: he says it's to force sales clerks and shop assistants to open their registers to make change, thereby lessening the chance that the customer, offering exact change of $5 or whatever, will receive the book in an "off the books" transaction, with the store employee pocketing the bill.

Most interesting and maybe even correct.

Here's the piece from the FT.

    Where shoplifters should work

    Dear Economist: I notice that your book "The Undercover Economist" has a list price of £17.99. In it you emphasise that rationality and calculation underlie economic behaviour. If so, why do so many prices end in .99? Do consumers really think that £17.99 is only £17?

    Daniella Acker, via e-mail

    Dear Daniella: A more likely explanation — from Steven Landsburg, an economist at the University of Rochester — is that these prices are designed not to exploit incompetence but to fight dishonesty.

    A typical bookshop will experience a certain amount of shoplifting, especially of products as tempting as my book. Nobody is better placed to benefit from shoplifting than the shop assistants.

    If books — or any products — were roundly priced at £10, £15 or £20, then customers would frequently offer the correct change. In such cases it would be simple for the shop assistant to bag the item without ringing it through the till, and to pocket the cash.

    The book would appear to have been stolen by the customer, but this is a far more attractive proposition than trying to fence a stolen copy of "A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu" or even "The Undercover Economist" and the risk is probably lower. All rational shoplifters should get jobs in shops.

    However, the more awkward the pricing, the more unlikely those thieving till-jockeys are to be able to pull off the trick. The customer will want change and is likely to challenge a shop assistant who reaches into his pocket to make it.

    If this theory is true, then we should not expect to see those 99p endings in shops manned by their owners, nor at internet shops where shoplifting is impossible.

    I note that the price of my book on Amazon ends not in .99 but .78.




Is he right?

August 13, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

bookofjoe's DNA



Thomas Baekdal created WEB2DNA, "a little thing I made this weekend [July 21/22, 2006] while feeling particularly nutty."

"WEB2DNA will take your website, analyze it, crunch it into little bits and spit it out as a graphic representation of human DNA."


You want blue?


Turn on a blue light.

Want to see yours?

No problema: right here.

[via Thomas Baekdal's website — baekdal.com — and Brian Nelson]

August 13, 2006 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program


What's this?

A tea and coffee bar at the mint?

Au contraire: the U.S. Mint is "seeking artists to create U.S. coin and medal designs."

Inquire within.

Note, by the way, that the application deadline is September 15.

I happened on the website in the current (August 7 & 14) issue of the New Yorker, where it appears in one of those tiny ads stacked in columns alongside the outer edges of the back pages.

Don't be fooled by the size of those ads: they cost plenty.

When I inquired years ago it was over $2,000 for a one-time appearance.

Heck — I charge less than that.

But I digress.

You won't make a ton of money from the government — as it were — even you're chosen by the U.S. Mint to design a coin or a medal.

But the boost to your career — and the prices you'll be able to charge subsequently for your work — will be most delightful indeed.

No computer?

No problema — call 202-345-7727.

August 13, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Personalized High-Visibility Luggage Tags


Because how many others will come crashing down the chute bearing the name "bookofjoe"?

Have a look.

Standard (above) or Wrap (below) styles.


Made of "brightly-colored, tough poly web."

The Standard style "securely attaches to your luggage using a black, UV-resistant high-strength cable tie through a durable brass grommet."

Do your luggage tags do that?

Didn't think so.

The Wrap style "attaches securely using a 1.5" x 2" Velcro fastener."

In 10 colors: Red, Royal Blue, Yellow, Orange, Kelly Green, Navy Blue, Black, White, Pacific Blue or Gray.

Embroidered on one side with up to 10 characters — each 3/4" high — of text in your choice of colors.

Let's see: b o o k o f j o e — yessss!

Three tags in either style are $29.95.

August 13, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Red Scarf — by Jane Hirshfield

The red scarf
still hangs over the chairback.
In its folds,
like a perfume
that cannot be quite remembered,
inconceivable before.

August 13, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

New Wave Apple Corer — Lose the 'tragic flaw'


From the website:

    Apple Corer

    The tragic flaw of most apple corers is that the core gets stuck in the tool after use.

    But this clever corer springs apart so you can easily remove unwanted cores.

    Simply hold the unit in the closed position to glide through cores.

    18/8 stainless steel construction is durable and dishwasher safe.

    8" long x 1" diameter.


$12.99 (apple not included).

August 13, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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