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November 23, 2009

Lady Gaga x Francesco Vezzoli @ MoCA

"The performance ['Ballets Russes Italian Style (The Shortest Musical You Will Never See Again'] featured Lady Gaga , who played her song 'Speechless' on a rotating pink Steinway grand piano, with butterflies painted by Damien Hirst, all the while flanked by Prada-clad dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet," wrote Horacio Silva in yesterday's New York Times story.

He continued, "Fans of Ms. Gaga are now able to buy the Frank Gehry-designed hat she wore that night [November 14, 2009] at moca.org/mocanewauction."


Do I hear one dollah?

November 23, 2009 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Glow-in-the-Dark Nail Polish



From the website: "Ever lose yourself in the dark? You know what we mean... you walk into a pitch-black room and suddenly wonder if you're there or not. You call out your name, but no one answers. It's downright spooky."

"Well, this amazing product will solve that problem once and for all."

Pink, Green, Blue, Orange or Purple.



November 23, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



It's yet another mashup involving Twitter.

I signed on a few days ago and yesterday, noodling around, noticed that it lets you put videos and photos right into your tweets (above), as opposed to having to send people somewhere else to see stuff.

What made me love it, though, was how it tells you up top, right from the get-go, in big type and bold print, that someone you're following isn't following you.

Bizarro World heaven.

You could do a whole lot worse than follow Susannah Breslin on Brizzly or Twitter or her blog.

She likes (virtual) company.

November 23, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

澤井醤油本店 醤油の飴 (Sawai Shoyu Honten Soy Sauce Candy)


Hey, so I'm only a day late with the answer to this past Saturday's "What are they?" feature.

See what happens when Milena's away?

The whole thing collapses.

But I digress.

From Kyoto Foodie


澤井醤油本店 醤油の飴 (Sawai Shoyu Honten Soy Sauce Candy)

The Japanese make hard candy with some novel indigenous ingredients and flavors that often sound culinarily dubious but actually taste quite good. This is one — shoyu ame, or soy sauce candy. It is made by a shinise shoyu producer which still makes handcrafted soy sauce in the heart of the ancient city, just a few minutes walk from the Gosho Imperial Palace. While soy sauce might not sound like a good match for sweets, there are some precedents in Japanese culinary tradition.

Sawai Shoyu has been in business in Kyoto since 1879 and makes premium quality Marusawa Soy Sauce. The immediate neighborhood smells nearly oppressively of fermenting and brewing soy sauce and the old wooden storehouses can be seen at the back of the site.

I have used Marusawa shoyu and ponzu for several years, and when I stopped by the other day to get my favorite grapefruit ponzu, I spotted this hard candy flavored with soy sauce. I have seen this kind of candy before but I don’t recall ever eating it so I picked up a bag.

It hardly tasted of soy sauce. It tasted like hard candy with this, hmm, what is that taste in there? If I hadn’t known that it included shoyu, I doubt that I would have caught it, it was that subtle. Actually, I think that the taste was a bit too understated. Obviously, a little shoyu goes a long way — with anything, especially candy! However, my tongue wants to know what it is that I am eating. It is not enough for my eyes to just read the label and know.

There is a concept in Japanese cuisine called kakushi-aji, literally "hidden taste." A hidden taste is what it sounds like. It is there, you pick it up, but it is not quite pronounced enough for most people to be able to isolate and identify it. For example, in Kyoto-style sushi, quite a bit of dashi broth is used to make the sushi rice. If you just taste the sushi rice, you can’t miss it. By the time it becomes sushi, it isn’t a prominent taste but it does add depth and complexity to the overall flavor.

I see the shoyu in this candy as fulfilling the function of a kakushi-aji but it is billed as the main event on the package. I doubt that was the maker's intent, but that is how it comes off for me. Whatever the case, it is a contradiction. I think that if they doubled the amount of soy sauce they put in, it would be just right. But, I could easily be wrong! I think this is a tough combination to get just right. But this is Kyoto, it has to be just right!

There is a shinise that makes salt -flavored hard candy that I sometimes buy, but it isn’t from Kyoto. It is out of this world, and I don’t even like salt! That candy is subtle and delicate yet you know you are eating salt-flavored candy. So, I think my ideal is possible.

Nevertheless, I like this shoyu ame candy quite a lot and it would make a novel and tasty omiyage souvenir to bring back home.

November 23, 2009 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Amateur Surgeon


From Ray Earhart, one of the stalwarts of my crack reseach team from way back in deep time, comes the following:



Good Morning Joe,

Hmmm. Sounds like a TV show!  


Speaking of TV,  ABC has an article about a future iPhone app that will let you see what you would look like after some cosmetic surgery. And... you can share it on your Facebook page. Whoopie!

However there are several surgery apps available now.  Including my favorite, Amateur Surgeon.


It uses precision tools such as a pizza cutter, salad tongs and staplers.

Available in free "lite" version and the paid one. Rated 17+.



I dunno, Ray: 17+ seems a bit much for my G-rated/Disney-approved audience but what the heck, the exception proves the rule and all that....

November 23, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Economist cover fakes me out


When the latest issue (above) arrived two days ago I looked at the cover but couldn't figure out why a tilted dun-colored map of the U.S. was particularly worthy of being featured on the newspaper's (that's how they refer to it — rather than as a magazine) cover, since as a rule The Economist's covers are instantly graspable besides being wonderfully incisive.

I felt like I do when I don't get a New Yorker cartoon.


I knew I was missing something and yesterday I looked at the cover again, with the same initial take.

Come on, I said to myself, there's gotta be more.

And then the penny dropped and I realized I'd been looking at it "wrong," and that the image was meant to be "seen" as a Grand Canyon-like abyss symbolizing "America's fiscal hole."


Anyone else have the


same problem?

November 23, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

November 23, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Oakley Elite Assault Boot — Your own private Afghanistan


Wrote Valentina Zannoni in the November 20, 2009 Financial Times, "For the ultimate stab-proof, flame-proof, nuclear-disaster proof footwear... look no further than Oakley's Elite Assault Boots. The brand famous for sunglasses has been supplying the armed forces with equipment, including combat-ready boots, since the 1980s and now those on civvy street can enjoy following the superhero specifications, too."



Puncture resistant soles — tough enough to withstand exposed nails and shattered glass thanks to layers of woven fire-resistant fibres.

Impermeable outer soles — moulded from an innovative rubber compound that resists oils, fuels, chemicals and even ultraviolet light.

3 bbn

Fireproof lining — a patented "CarbonX" lining that will not ignite or burn even exposed to temperatures exceeding 2600°F for more than 120 seconds.

Slash shield exterior — constructed from leather and panels of flexible, breathable CarbonX fibre woven with stainless steel wire.


No holiday party need daunt you if you're sporting a pair of these.


November 23, 2009 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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