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August 12, 2011

13-year-old James Levine and Van Cliburn playing at Marlboro in 1956

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The wonderful photo above accompanied Vivien Schweitzer's article in Tuesday's New York Times about the Marlboro Music School and Festival, celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

She wrote, "Pictures of Marlboro's starry alums can be seen in an exhibition on campus, including a photo of a 13-year-old James Levine playing the piano with a fresh-faced Van Cliburn."

Thanks to Flautist and Jesse for supplying a link to the original uncropped photo (below),

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which to my way of thinking is far more appealing, what with the Coke bottle (most likely the venerable 6.5 oz. size, this being the mid-Fifties) situated within grasping distance atop young James's side of the piano.

The Coke bottle photo is from the exhibit "Clemens Kalischer: Six Decades of Marlboro Music," on view at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center July 15–October 23, 2011.

August 12, 2011 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

George Nelson Desk Clock

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Mid-20th-Century, American.

Walnut base, glass body.

3.7"H x 6.3"W x 2.8"D.

Apply within.

[via Fancy and 20LTD]

August 12, 2011 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

TuboHotel

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"TuboHotel is one of the world’s most unique hotels,

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and is located in the mountains

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45 minutes south of Mexico City

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on the outskirts of the remote village of Tepoztlan, Morelos."

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Reservaciones aqui.

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[via my7475]

August 12, 2011 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Titanium Chopsticks

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"The comfort of wearing glasses and holding chopsticks both depend on the fine balance of their centers of gravity. An eyewear maker, with its sophisticated technology and careful consideration of the delicate balance of the hand and the chopsticks' center of balance, has succeeded in producing a set of titanium chopsticks that are so light you can barely feel them in your hand."

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220.8mm long.

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Matte or

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polished finish.

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$144.

August 12, 2011 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: What's behind the sharp rise in retracted scientific papers?

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Long story short from Gautam Naik's Wall Street Journal article this past Tuesday: Retraction notices in scientific journals worldwide have skyrocketed some 15-fold from 22 in 2001 to some 339 last year.

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True, the number of articles published has also increased, but by a far smaller factor of 44%.

Excerpts from Naik's piece follow.

Why the backpedaling on more and more scientific research? Some scientific journals argue that the increase could indicate the journals have become better at detecting errors. They point to how software has made it easier to uncover plagiarism.

Others claim to find the cause in a more competitive landscape, both for the growing numbers of working scientific researchers who want to publish to advance their careers, and for research journals themselves.

Retractions related to fraud showed a more than sevenfold increase between 2004 and 2009, exceeding the twofold rise in retractions related to mere error, according to an analysis published in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

High blood pressure can lead to kidney damage, and each of the two common drugs reduces a sign of impending kidney disease—the loss of protein through the urinary system.

A Japanese researcher, Naoyuki Nakao, wondered if using both drugs at once would be even better at reducing this sign of kidney trouble. Sure enough, he reported that the combo was dramatically better than either drug alone.

The Lancet published his study, dubbed "Cooperate," in January 2003. It jumped to the No. 2 spot among the most-cited papers published by the Lancet that month and created a buzz at medical conferences.

Doctors increasingly prescribed the dual therapy. By 2008, about 140,000 patients in the U.S. were on it, according to SDI, the research firm.

An independent reviewer... concluded in December 2006 that "it was impossible to tell whether data in the [original paper] were the result of fraud or incompetence."

In May 2008, the Lancet published a "letter of concern" by the Swiss doctors who had first written to the journal in 2006. The letter wondered whether certain inconsistencies were "only a case of extremely sloppy reporting or a hint towards more severe problems with the data."

Pressure mounted. Dr. [Franz] Messerli in New York, a cardiologist, wrote to the Lancet in mid-2009 arguing that it had a "moral obligation" to withdraw the paper. The Lancet said it would await the results of the hospital investigation.

In October 2009, nearly seven years after the Lancet published the blood-pressure study and three years after questions were raised about it, the Lancet printed a retraction notice.

Dr. [Regina] Kunz in Switzerland said the Lancet and its peer reviewers ought to have been more skeptical about the overly positive results and should have caught the statistical anomaly she noticed. "Journals all want to have spectacular results," she said. "Increasingly, they're willing to publish more risky papers."

For those who want to keep up with the flood,

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there's now a blog called "Retraction Watch" that monitors the flow.

August 12, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Fruit Cuffs

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"Flexible, scratch- and water-resistant felt-lined vinyl bracelet with Velcro closure."

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9"L x 2"H.

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Lemon, Blueberry or Strawberry: $10.

August 12, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Why men die before women

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Following closely on Wednesday's

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Japanese tripod ladder post,

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in which I recounted the deaths of two neighbors —

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both men in their 60s —

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from injuries received falling off ladders

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comes this series of photos

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from bibliomaven extraordinaire Cary Sternick.

August 12, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Flux Capacitor — Episode 2: Cheap at twice the price

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Richard Kashdan sent me a link to this app, remarking that it offers the chance to have your very own flux capacitor for a whole lot less than the $250 iteration featured in Tuesday's Episode 1.

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From the website: "The Flux Capacitor is what made time travel possible in "Back to the Future," one of the most brilliantly inventive, wildly entertaining motion picture triumphs in Hollywood history. Now it's your turn to launch into the past, fine tune the future, and disrupt the space-time continuum."

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99 cents.

August 12, 2011 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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