« February 4, 2009 | Main | February 6, 2009 »

February 5, 2009

James Dean and Paul Newman head-to-head 1954 screen test for 'East of Eden'

Then newcomers Dean and Newman face off in a 40-second-long segment.

Dean got the role.

Dean: "Kiss me."

Newman: "Can't here."

[via Jerry Young]

February 5, 2009 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

What are they?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

February 5, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Be quiet


[via Milena]

February 5, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Tetherless thermobiochemically actuated microgrippers — Yesterday's 'What is it?'


Above, the title of an article published online January 12, 2009 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

No need to smash your head against your desk trying to clear your mind enough to get it around the subject of the paper,

Henry Fountain's "Observatory" feature in the January 12, 2009 New York Times Science section explains it all for you, and follows.

The caption for the photo above, which accompanied the Times piece, reads: "The gripper closed around tissue."


A Microscopic Tool Inspired by the Human Hand

Using the human hand as a model, scientists at Johns Hopkins University and its medical school have developed a microscopic tool that might one day be used inside the body. The tool, a clawlike gripper less than a millimeter in diameter, could grab cells from tissue for a biopsy, for example.

Most microtools for use in medical applications are operated by tethers of some kind. But the microgripper, developed by Timothy G. Leong, David H. Gracias and colleagues and described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is autonomous — it can be guided by a magnetic field and actuated by warming or chemicals.

In a hand, jointed fingers are arranged around a central palm, and the fingers can bend to grasp an object. The researchers mimicked this approach in their design, with six “fingers” arranged around a hexagonal “palm.” And just as in a hand, the microgripper’s fingers have rigid metal “bones” connected by flexible joints.

The joints consist of two thin layers of metal, one of which is stressed. Ordinarily the stressed layer would cause the bimetal strip to bend, but the strip is held flat and stiff by a layer of polymer. When this polymer is warmed or degraded by certain chemicals it becomes flexible, allowing the strip to bend and the gripper to close.

The researchers say that there are many hurdles to overcome in using such a device inside the body, but that the work represents “a step toward the development of biocompatible, minimally invasive, autonomous microtools.”


OK, now you're all warmed up and ready for the abstract of the original article, which follows.


Tetherless thermobiochemically actuated microgrippers

We demonstrate mass-producible, tetherless microgrippers that can be remotely triggered by temperature and chemicals under biologically relevant conditions. The microgrippers use a self-contained actuation response, obviating the need for external tethers in operation. The grippers can be actuated en masse, even while spatially separated. We used the microgrippers to perform diverse functions, such as picking up a bead on a substrate and the removal of cells from tissue embedded at the end of a capillary (an in vitro biopsy).



February 5, 2009 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Love in the Time of Cholera


I finally watched this 2007 film after a friend gave me the DVD and insisted.

It's two hours and 18 minutes long and felt like it.

Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

In the spirit of full disclosure let me note that I watched about half one night and the rest the next.

Like a delicious hot soup that starts at room temperature and then slowly starts to warm and enrobe those in its vicinity in a sense of comfort and well-being, so it went the second night.

It's a love story in the truest sense of the word, spanning half a century and centered in the country of Colombia (for once I got the spelling right the first time).

Everyone in it — especially Benjamin Bratt and Javier Bardem — is magnificent.


Highly recommended if you're the sort who doesn't insist on action and violence and enjoys the subtle play of emotion and time on those — like us — caught in their web.

February 5, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Want/Need Glass


Designed by Inna Alesina.

From the website:


Q. Why does this glass have a hole?

A. The small hole divides the volume of the glass into two parts: "need" (below the hole) and "want (above the hole).

The user would have to be careful while filling the glass and cover the hole with his/her thumb while drinking, thus one could put a stop to waste (in the global sense) with one's hands.

Each 16 oz. glass is hand-finished, numbered and signed.



"Alesina Design, Inc. shall not be held responsible for ruined clothes as a result of misuse of this product."


[via Ashley Simko's blog]

February 5, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

lingro — 'We built the fastest multilingual dictionary on the web'


After trying it out, I won't argue.

[via Milena]

February 5, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Popping Edamame Keychain


From the website:


Edamame are baby soybeans, picked before they blossom into adulthood, then boiled.

Edamame are also delicious and fun to pop out of their pods (especially when they shoot across a crowded restaurant and you have to explain to a room full of people how the 5 second rule still applies in public).

But say you want the fun of popping edamame, but you're not very hungry.

Then have we got the keychain for you. 

Each Japanese Popping Edamame Keychain has three beans.

The end beans are small and immature.

The middle bean, however, has one of 12 random faces (below)


printed on it.


We don't know, but there is nothing like the smile it puts on your face.

And the beans are connected to some sort of elastic band, so they pop back in to be popped out again as many times as you want.

It sounds silly, but trust us, these things are highly addictive.

They are also a great way to keep your fingers busy during boring meetings and your mood positive —  because no one can frown when their edamame smiles.

Approximately 2.76" long.




February 5, 2009 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

« February 4, 2009 | Main | February 6, 2009 »