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May 7, 2008

'When I left La Scala, I thought it was time for me to be absolutely free, like the birds in the air'

Riccardo Muti (above, conducting the Nabucco Overture), quoted in Daniel J. Wakin's story in yesterday's New York Times about Muti's just-announced agreement to become music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra beginning in 2010.

Many of the world's greatest orchestras have tried — and failed — to entice Muti since he quit his post as music director of the Teatro Della Scala in Milan in 2005 in what Wakin termed "... an operatic kerfuffle."

Continued Muti, "Birds go around and they enjoy their happiness, their freedom. But sometimes it can happen they find a tree and they like to stop on a tree, and they didn't know about the tree before. It doesn't mean one tree is better than another tree. It just happens at the right moment in life."

"Now, Mr. Muti said, "I have found a situation, how can I say, that has made more sweet my dry heart."

May 7, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

FinallyFast.com — If it speeds up your PC, then why does the TV commercial show Apple computers?


Yesterday during "Pardon The Interruption" — the only TV show I try to watch with some regularity — a commercial came on for FinallyFast.com.

It said to go to the website and learn about a revolutionary product that will make your PC run much faster by doing this and that to it.

The product's home page says it's a "Microsoft-Certified Partner" so you know it's all about PCs.

OK, this isn't the first time we've heard about software that purportedly will speed up our computers — but not while the commercial depicts people sitting at their iMacs and iBooks.

Am I missing something here?

Why would you use Apple computers in a commercial flogging a PC-related product?


Unless this is a very deep Cupertino game.

May 7, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (26) | TrackBack

'How to Tell If Your Boyfriend's a Psycho'


How many signs does yours have?

Hey, it's not just a guy thing — there's also "How to Tell If Your Girlfriend's a Psycho."

Something for everyone, that's our philosophy.

May 7, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Transparent Post-It Notes


Instantly you realize how useful they'd be.

Turns out 3M's been there,


done that.

Why didn't someone pick up the clue phone and let me know?

They did?

And my music was blasting so loud I didn't hear it ring?

Yeah, that does happen.

Anyhow, I'm down for these yesterday.

Note that they're strips measuring 1" x 3", not the usual more rectangular or square shape.


12 packs (each containing 20 sheets of Sheer Melon, Sheer Yellow, Sheer Green and Sheer Blue — a total of 4 pads per pack) for $14.

[via ghostschool, the girl in the green dress, and clifyt]

May 7, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

When should you trash your printer?


A brand-new Epson C88+ printer (above) costs $79.99 at the Epson store (I know this to be true because I just bought one).

It comes with three color ink cartridges and one black ink cartridge.

Replacement cartridges cost $12.34 apiece for color and $18.99 for black.

So a full set of replacements will run you $56.01.

Here is my question: When the print quality starts to decline as it inevitably does — and does not return to optimal even after repeated head cleaning, nozzle cleaning, alignment checks and the like — does it make more sense to simply trash the printer and order another instead of buying replacement ink cartridges and trying to get by a while longer with less than perfect output?

I think so.


May 7, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Pilot's Pen


From yesterday's edition of Steven Leckart's excellent weekly newsletter, Cool Tools:

    Pilot's Pen — Illuminated writing device

    I'm an aircraft owner and use this very powerful LED-powered pen during night flying, but also while traveling on commercial flights and mostly at odd times: crosswords, fishing for something in the car at night, etc. The lighting and ink are independently controlled, so in addition to being effective, it's easy to use: the button on top is on/off for the light and the pen rotates to retract the point. I've had some promotional-type LED pens in the past but the button cells burn out and then it's difficult to replace them. This pen runs on a single AAA cell, which is easy to find and replace. The pen also comes with an extra battery and ink cartridge for $20 (with shipping) — not too bad.

    Robert Cullinan




May 7, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: The 'Diseasome'


That's the term used to describe the figure above, a map linking different human diseases to the genes they have in common.

It accompanied Andrew Pollack's article in yesterday's New York Times Science section about the rapidly developing new field of medical computational genetics and informatics.

"For instance, two genes have recently been found to influence the risk of both diabetes and prostate cancer," wrote Pollack.

"I'm shaking my head with disbelief that two genes would pop up in these two diseases that have absolutely nothing in common," said Dr. Francis S. Collins, the director of the the National Human Genome Research Institute."

May 7, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Baby Hands Soap


Kara Place called my attention to this last evening, asking, "Creepiest thing ever?"


From websites:

Baby Hand Soaps

Weird, and wonderful, these little hands are actual soap.


About 10 different hands (approximately 100g total) in different skin tones come in a pack.

Because they are handmade (about 20 sets per day), each set is slightly different, with different hand shapes and skin colors.

By Marie Gardeski, they're made from goat’s milk and vegetable glycerin and very lightly scented.


They range in size from 1/2” to 2" tall.

Really quite lovely! (and, okay, a little creepy).



May 7, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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