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October 3, 2006

Versace Lamborghini

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Just unveiled at the Paris Auto Show.

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Wrote Jalopnik.com: "Lamborghini introduced a new, limited-edition Murciélago geared toward Italian counts and the countesses who sweat them.

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It's the LP640 Versace (that's ver-sach-ee, not ver-say-ss), a variant of the company's higher-spec flagship, the one with the 6.5-liter V12, zero-to-60 times in the 3.4-second range, and overall ornery disposition.

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Maison Versace's providing something called 'full grain nappa' with the company logo, custom-designed wheels, white 'Isis' paint scheme, interior accoutrements and a set of embroidered, his-and-hers luggage."

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$200,000.

[via Jalopnik]

October 3, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Jet Set Dog Bowl

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From the website:

    Dog Bowl Travel Set

    It's the only luggage your pet needs!

    Two "dining dishes" are cleverly hidden in this handsome faux leather travel case for mealtimes on the go — anytime, anywhere.

    Case is 8" x 7-1/2" when closed; opens to reveal two 6"-diameter metal bowls that easily remove to fill and wash.

    Features double carry handles and name plate.

....................

Arf.

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$19.98.

October 3, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Prosthetic Dolphin Tail — Episode 2: In which life meets art and both triumph

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My crack research team, in the course of doing research for Episode 1, which appeared this past Sunday, October 1, came upon the even more fascinating story of Fuji, a bottlenose dolphin which in 2004 caught a mysterious disease that cost her 75% of her tailfin (above).

The Okinawa Chiraumi Aquarium, where she lives, halted the progression of the disease, then asked Bridgestone — the world's largest tire and rubber company — to fashion an artificial tail.

It failed.

The aquarium then turned to Osaka sculptor Kazuhiko Yakushiji for help.

The entire story is recounted in a September 12, 2006 San Francisco Chronicle article (which follows) by Charles Burress, and illustrated in the photos above and below.

    A Real Story About An Artificial Tail

    Coming to San Francisco from Japan tonight is a touching tale about a tail.

    A bottlenose dolphin named Fuji caught a mysterious disease that cost her 75 percent of her tailfin, a tragedy akin to a boat losing most of its propeller.

    The Okinawa aquarium where she lives cured the disease but couldn't replace her tail. So it called upon the world's biggest rubber and tire firm, Bridgestone, to make an artificial one.

    Bridgestone's tires may be very good, but the fake tail didn't work.

    The Okinawa Chiraumi Aquarium then turned to an Osaka sculptor who crafts acrylic dolphins. Could he help make a tail for the dolphin named after Japan's most famous mountain?

    Kazuhiko Yakushiji felt he owed his happiness to dolphins. He said yes and worked three years. This past July, the new tail [below] was done.

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    Fuji could not only swim again, she could jump out of the water.

    "Fuji couldn't swim," the artist said in an interview Monday as he recalled meeting the dolphin for the first time. "She seemed really depressed. I thought Fuji might die if nothing was done."

    The problem was that Bridgestone had made a generic dolphin tail, said Yakushiji, who at age 38 is one year older than Fuji.

    "Each dolphin is different," said Yakushiji, who will give a talk with illustrations tonight in San Francisco, the first time he's told his story outside Japan.

    "I found out that Fuji and her family have a special curve in their tail," said Yakushiji, who had studied dolphins at Florida's Dolphin Research Center. Together, he and Bridgestone crafted a rubber-composite prosthetic fin with the proper curve for Fuji.

    Yakushiji's devotion to dolphins began a decade ago, when he was running a small energy firm inherited from his father.

    "My heart and soul were exhausted," he said. He went away for a swim-with-dolphins excursion at Ogasawara islands.

    "I met a wild dolphin, and that changed my entire life," he said.

    At first, he had been too tired to jump in with the other swimmers, but he finally took the plunge alone on the other side of the boat. The life-altering dolphin swam up and played with him.

    "That dolphin completely healed me," he said. The encounter moved him to quit his job and realize his life's wish to become an artist.

    Dolphins became a dominant theme. "I wanted to show my gratitude," he said.

.....................

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I hope Winter's caretakers contact Yakushiji as they go about their construction of a prosthetic.

Perhaps I'll send them a link to this post.

October 3, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cause-and-Effect Plates — by Kota Nezu

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Watch the movie.

More here.

October 3, 2006 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Center for Land Use Interpretation

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Hundreds of sites, "from the quirky to the quotidian," wrote John Strausbaugh in a September 24 New York Times story, are documented here.

"The Center for Land Use Interpretation's Land Use Database is an on-line computer database of unusual and exemplary sites throughout the United States."

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Two sites are pictured here: up top is an aerial target used by the Navy in Imperial Beach, California; just above is a section of sewer pipe in the East Central Interceptor Sewer in Los Angeles, California.

October 3, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Lumatongs

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From the website:

    Steven Raichlen Lighted Grill Tongs

    Tiny halogen lights attached to the tong handles illuminate food, lighting up wherever you point on the grill.

    No shadows, no dark spots, no dangling flashlight, just bright light where you need it.

    Light is removable, making tongs dishwasher-safe.

    Requires two AAA batteries (not included).

    Tongs measure 20"L.

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$24.99.

October 3, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thigmotropism

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It's the directional response of a plant to touch or physical contact with a solid object.

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Steffan Vartanian has created a wonderful website

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which shows and tells much that is wonderful and amazing about this uncanny behavior.

October 3, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Nestegg Birdhouse

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Designed by architect Constance Adams, it's made of lightweight, water-resistant compressed cornstarch.

[via Patrick Di Justo and Wired magazine]

October 3, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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