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October 15, 2006

Sky Mirror — by Anish Kapoor

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It stands at the entrance to the Channel Gardens in Rockefeller Center in New York, where it will remain on view through Friday, October 27.

The three-story-tall, 25 ton circular mirror of polished stainless steel measures 35 feet in diameter.

It was unveiled on September 18 of this year to widespread acclaim.

The concave side (above), angled upward, captures the sky; the convex side (below)

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faces Fifth Avenue.

October 15, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Pocket Cap — 'No pockets? No problem!'

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From the website:

    Pocket Cap

    Keep the small items you need close at hand, but not in your hands.

    It's a beautiful morning and you are getting ready for a run, walk, or bike ride.

    You are warmed up and ready to go, but what are you going to do with your house key, ID and cash?

    You don't have any pockets in your exercise clothes, and carrying a bag is not practical.

    No problem!

    Introducing Pocket Cap, a very handy hat to have!

    While it appears to be a typical baseball cap, it's not — as it has a top-secret storage device.

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    Hidden in the bill of the cap is a great little pocket perfect for holding your house or car key or some cash.

    Also placed discreetly on the side of the cap is another pocket that is great for holding a driver's license, credit cards or cash.

    Also featured are two hidden ear loops to help manage wires and keep your ear buds handy.

    Made with Coolmax® mesh lining to help keep you cool, it also has a Teflon® coating, lambskin sweatband and adjustable brass closure.

    We can't think of a better way to be able to carry your keys, cash, ID, or anything else you wish to have with you, safely, comfortably and discreetly in a sun-shading cap for a summer's day.

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That is one tricked-out cap.

$24.95.

October 15, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Wooden Spoon — 'Inspired Cooking'

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Allison Fishman is the grand panjandrum of thewooden-spoon.com,

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a website about cooking and food.

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I happened on it the other day and was transfixed by her blog,

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in particular the September 28, 2006 post from Viet Nam, pictures from which appear above and below.

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Fascinating — but not for the squeamish.

Let me put it this way: Ms. Fishman is one of the few people I know of who wouldn't wince one iota if she happened to accompany Anthony Bourdain on one of his Asian street food excursions.

October 15, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Power Pouch — I'd have called it the iTop

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I guess they just didn't feel like messing with Apple's lawyerbots.

From the website:
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Power Pouch™ — Wear it as a sports bra or tank top!

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Features:

• Three compartments within the pouch that accommodate all sizes and shapes of workout essentials

• Sits outside separately from the bra to keep objects from chafing the skin and improve comfort

• Fabric channel for MP3 player cord feed

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Fabric Benefits:

• Moisture Release Transfer™ technology sweeps sweat and heat away for rapid evaporation and maximum ventilation leading to total comfort as it keeps you cool

• Ultra Illuscent Max™ made from natural renewable resources (effective for the life of the garment) inhibits odor-causing bacteria

Support and Comfort:

• Body: 88% polyester/12% Spandex

• Lining: 85% polyester/15% Spandex

• Inside liner with elastic band for extra support

• Racer back construction allows for a full range of arm movement

• Softer finish on fabric for comfort

• 2 inches longer than the standard tank for increased comfort and a less constrictive feel
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Lime, Pink, Blue or Black.

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$38.

October 15, 2006 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

'We need money because people simply don't trust each other' — Tim Harford

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Writing in his "Dear Economist" feature in this weekend's Financial Times, Harford thus summed up his answer to a reader's question, "How would an economist respond to the phrase 'Money is the root of all evil?'"

This is an original take, to my way of thinking, and worth pondering.

I've always liked James Buchan's definition of money as "frozen desire."

Here's Harford's column.
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Economists always seem to talk in dollars and cents, yet few economic models contain any reference to the stuff.

The reason why economists will use strange phrases such as “the value of a kiss is $49” is not that they think money is particularly important, but simply that it is a convenient way to measure things. If a toffee apple is worth $7 then a kiss is as good as seven toffee apples; however if the toffee apples cost $6 and the kiss costs $50 then the toffee apples are a better buy.

All that said, why do we have money at all, rather than using — for instance — toffee apples as a medium of exchange? One reason is that the price of toffee apples may fluctuate wildly, which means that although I could in principle write a contract denominated in toffee apples, it would be hard to have much confidence in what that contract really meant. Contracts in the ancient world were sometimes denominated in salt, because it had a stable price. These days, dollars are even better.

A complementary explanation is that money is a simple way for people to gain credibility. I can settle my debts by writing a note that says “I owe you one kiss,” but I may not make good that promise, nor will you be able to use my IOU to pay for anything else. If, instead, I give you $49, this is a promise made by the US Treasury, a more dependable debtor.

In short, we need money because people simply don’t trust each other. In the words of economists Nobuhiro Kiyotaki and John Moore, “evil is the root of all money”....................

A writer of definitive biographies of several enormously wealthy and influential men once remarked, "Behind every great fortune is a great crime."
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Stipulated.

October 15, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

World's Smallest Travel Umbrella

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From the website:

    World’s Smallest Travel Umbrella

    It weighs just 5 ounces and packs flat, yet this umbrella opens to a roomy 40" arc.

    Teflon®-coated to repel rain and dry quickly.

    3/4" x 2" x 8-3/4" folded.

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Khaki, Pink or Black.

$22.

October 15, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Best book cover of the month

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Don't judge a book by its cover?

"After the lights were out, the story just stayed there in my head, coiled and hissing, like a snake in a cave" — Stephen King

Me, I'll pass.

Way too creepy.

October 15, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Steering Wheel Laptop Holder

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Yeah, everyone's gonna get their knickers in a twist over this but you know what?

In five years new cars will have LCD screens right smack dab in the middle of the steering wheel, with an optional heads-up display projected in front of the driver.

From the website:

    Auto Tray Table

    Work, eat or read on the road with the same comfort as home!

    Spacious tray has room for laptop computer or other electronic devices.

    Includes holder for drink or cell phone.

    Latches with padded hooks to steering wheel or back headrest rods.

    Folds flat to seat for storage.

    Plastic and metal,

    14" x 13-1/2" x 1-3/4".

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I must say I winced a bit when I read, "Includes holder for drink...."

Very, very bad idea if you hope to have a functioning laptop for the foreseeable future.

Use the car's cupholders.

$24.98 (car and laptop not included).

October 15, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

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