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March 17, 2009


Best movie I've seen this year.

How do I know this to be true?

Because it's the first one I've watched without stopping the DVD at least once to get up and do other stuff.

No could do last night once this one started to unreel.

I don't know quite how to describe it, but I'll give it a shot.

First off, it's by the same director and writer team (Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo Arriaga) responsible for "Amores Perros" and "21 Grams," which I also found riveting.

The story's about three seemingly independent worlds —  in Tokyo, on both sides of  the U.S./Mexico border near San Diego, and in Morocco  — whose inhabitants' lives intertwine and result in a series of events that couldn't happen — but do.

Just like everyday life.

Though the name stars — Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Gael García Bernal, whose names were required to greenlight the film — are fine, the movie's real stars are Rinko Kikuchi as a deaf mute Japanese schoolgirl, Adriana Barraza as a Mexican nanny of two upscale San Diego children, and two young boys, played by non-professional Moroccan actors Boubker Ait El Caid and Said Tarchini.

The film is spectacularly beautiful and the sound track is mesmerizing.

As soon as this post is finished, I'm going to get all the other movies written and directed by Iñárritu and Arriaga.

March 17, 2009 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Ultimate Walking Stick — 'Noli me tangere'*


Perfect for the little old lady who's ready for an upgrade.

"Official forcible entry tool of the New York Fire Department."


Does that work for you?

I happened on this formidable piece of kit in today's edition of Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools, edited by Steven Leckart.

A fellow named Jackson Nash reviewed it there as follows.


Halligan Bar

Wielded by fire and rescue workers everywhere, the Halligan Bar is the best door-smashing, get-me-the-heck-into/outta-here, zombie-fightin’ tool in the world. The deluxe 30-inch one I have (pic above) is made of high-tensile-strength titanium, so it will never rust and, despite its imposing appearance, weighs just 5.25 lbs. It even has eyelets for a strap! (note: less exorbitant Halligans are available in alloy steel).


So far I've only used mine to do three things: hook one end over a bathroom stall to do pullups, carry it as a hobo's bindle stick and impress people on my walk home from work. Nevertheless, I live in a 17-story apartment building.... Simply knowing I own one puts my mind at ease. Did you ever hear the story of the maintenance guy on 9/11 who hacked his way through a wall using a squeegee? With something as obscenely strong and useful as a Halligan Bar, he'd have been out in seconds.

keep mine leaning against the wall in the corner, where it waits for the day when I need to smash into or out of something... or I hear screams of "He's trapped inside!" or "The Zombies are here!"



30-inch titanium (5.25 lbs.): $555.

30-inch alloy steel (10 lbs.): $194.99.

*Don't touch me

March 17, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Hairbrained or Harebrained?

The phrase comes from a comparison to a rabbit's brain but many today believe the term is "hairbrained."

I'd bet you a dime that 19 out of 20 people under 30 think "hairbrained" is correct.

We could always crowdsource it: Google returns 2,320,000 results for "harebrained" and 2,820,000 for "hairbrained."

nuf sed*

*My rap name


Note added at 6:04 p.m. today: Reader Randee pointed out after the post went up that the two feature words — "harebrained" and "hairbrained" — are not hyphenated, contrary to how I originally had them.

My crack punctuation team is out back in the woodshed right now, receiving a lesson.

March 17, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Field Notes — 'American Muji'


That's what William Gibson called them.

I'd never heard of them until he wrote a rave review on March 2, 2009 in his blog.

"I haven't even seen any, in person, but I love their site, and eventually I'll get around to ordering some."

Reminds me of someone I know, writing about stuff he's never seen.

But I digress.

He continued, "They should do a Field Notes t-shirt, if they don't already. Every manufacturer of genuinely cool things should do a t-shirt, particularly if they're sort of obscure and specialist. Keep it simple, logo-only, on a quality shirt, and they almost always sell out."

Yo, joe, see where he wrote "genuinely cool...?"

Next slide.

I'm thinking more "American Rhodia" — I've been using their No. 13 graph paper pads (4.1" x 5.8") to schedule my posts for many years now.

March 17, 2009 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Scanwiches.com — 'High quality sandwich imagery for your education and delight'



[via Milena]

March 17, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Flexible Bowl Measuring Spoons — Suddenly licking the spoon just got a whole lot easier



From websites:


Flexible Measuring Spoons

With flexible silicone bases you can pack in and push out, these spoons release contents without sticking.

Great for peanut butter, shortening and more, they feature plastic frames and magnetic backs for easy storage on fridge or together in drawer.

Set of 5: 1/4-tsp; 1/2-tsp; 1-tsp; 1-Tbls; 2-Tbls.

Dishwasher safe.



March 17, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

How to gild a frame — Karl Zipser gives a lesson


Above, gilding tools.

"To attach the gold to the frame, I use a mordant which is simply oil paint with extra thick oil and some oil varnish blended in. When the mordant dries but is still sticky, gold leaf will adhere to it."

"I use the flat brush [below]


to move the gold leaf to the frame and to press it gently onto the mordant."

"Then I use a soft paint brush [below]


to press the leaf further against the mordant."

March 17, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Chanel Beef Jerky Bag — by Nancy Wu


Karl Lagerfeld,


eat your heart out.

[via Nancy Wu and toxel]

March 17, 2009 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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