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March 31, 2012

damienhirstTV beat me to it

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Wrote Ellen Gamerman in yesterday's Wall Street Journal: "In recent days, art-world voyeurs have been checking the site damienhirst.com to spot the famed contemporary artist at work. Since Mr. Hirst launched his new website, featuring a live feed from his studio in Gloucestershire, England, he has appeared on screen at least once. It's easier to get a view of his assistants toiling over a work made of scalpel blades and black paint."

Up top, a screenshot of what I found when I had a look around 2 p.m. ET yesterday.

Seems to me it wouldn't cost that much more (and goodness knows Hirst can afford it) to leave the webcam running even after everyone goes home.

You can bet once bookofjoeTV goes live it'll never go dark.

March 31, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Carbon Fiber Magic Mouse

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$85.

March 31, 2012 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wendy's: "We've never used 'pink slime,' and we never will."

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Note to Wendy's brain-dead advertising agency: The great majority of New York Times readers who looked at your full-page ad (above) in yesterday's paper will turn the page thinking "Wendy's uses 'pink slime.'"

It's been demonstrated that most people take away from an ad not its message but, rather, the most memorable words or images.

"Never" isn't one of those.

FAIL — not just in dollars (though that page cost plenty) but even more so in terms of the perception of Wendy's in the minds of Times readers.

Addendum, also from yesterday's Times: "Governors of Iowa, Texas and Kansas donned coats, hairnets and goggles to tour a South Sioux City plant for 'pink slime' on Thursday, hoping to persuade disgusted consumers to accept that the processed beef trimmings are as safe as the industry insists. The three... toured Beef Products Inc.'s plant to show their support for the company and the thousands of jobs it creates in their states. Beef Products, the main producer of the cheap lean beef made from fatty bits of meat left over from other cuts, has drawn extra scrutiny because of concerns about the ammonium hydroxide it treats the meat with to kill bacteria. The company suspended operations at plants in Texas, Kansas and Iowa this week. The politicians defended the plant and the product, and accused the news media of creating a controversy over a product because of the name critics gave it."

Once you're got a name like "pink slime" associated with your product — like bubble gum on the sole of your shoe or Goldman Sachs with "great vampire squid" — it's very difficult to get rid of it.

March 31, 2012 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Denim Machinist Apron

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From the website:

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Heavyweight 100% cotton denim will keep clothes underneath looking presentable and free from spills, smears, and dust.

Four pockets — two on the bib and two lower on the front — hold small essentials under the watchful eye of the Ben Davis gorilla logo.

When you don this apron, you'll be part of the Ben Davis company's 70-year tradition of hard-working work clothes.

One size fits all.

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Think outside the machine shop space.

$19.99.

March 31, 2012 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

bookofjoe x topsy.com

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I have no idea how I happened on topsy but that's where I found myself yesterday, chasing down some loose end.

I put bookofjoe into the search box to see what came up and darned if there wasn't enough (screenshot up top) to keep me happily distracted from whatever it was I'd originally been looking for for a while, to the point where I finally forgot what it was I'd been hunting.

Fair warning: there goes the day.

March 31, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A4 Notebook with Elastic Band

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From the website:

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This A4 (8.25" x 11.75") notepad boasts a classic cardboard cover and top double spiral binding.

A cheerfully colored elastic will hold your pens & pencils and keep the notebook closed when you are not using it.

Paper choice of Graph, Dot, Narrow Ruled, or Blank.

Made in the Czech Republic by Papelote.

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$23.

March 31, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

First documented case of ursine tool use — Grizzly bear combs fur with barnacle-encrusted rock

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What, you say that's not tool use but simply common sense?

Go away.

An article in the March 10 issue of The Economist begs to differ: excerpts follow.

Primates apart, few mammals employ tools. Sea otters use rocks to smash clams open, dolphins wrap sponges around their noses to protect themselves while they forage on the seabed, elephants swat insects with branches and humpback whales exhale curtains of bubbles to trap schools of fish. Until now, these four examples had been thought the extent of the non-primate mammalian tool-users club. But a study just published in Animal Cognition, by Volker Deecke of the University of St Andrews, in Britain, has added a fifth and rather surprising one. That epitome of rugged wildness, the grizzly bear, seems to be the only species other than humans to have invented the comb.

Dr Deecke made this discovery while studying grizzly-bear behaviour from a small boat in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, on July 22nd 2010. After a period of play-fighting with another bear and a short bout of feeding on a beached whale carcass, a bear of between three and five years of age, sex unknown, waded into the shallows of the bay. Once there, it picked up a fist-sized rock and carefully rotated it for about a minute before dropping it back into the water. Moments later, it picked up another, of similar size, and again rotated it. This time, rather than discarding the stone, it held it against its muzzle and started to rub [photo at top]. Using its left paw to press the rock against its skin and its right paw to support the rock’s weight, the bear rubbed away at its muzzle and face for roughly a minute before dropping the stone back into the water. Then it grabbed a third stone of the same size, rotated it and rubbed its face, muzzle and neck for a further two minutes before discarding it. This done, it spent two minutes grooming its right paw with its teeth before returning to the whale carcass.

Dr Deecke found, upon close examination of his photographs, that all three rocks were encrusted with barnacles and he reckons these were acting as the functional equivalent of the teeth of a comb. He thinks the bear was probably using its makeshift combs for comfort, rather than vanity. But crucially for the concept of tool-use, the animal’s rejection of the first rock it picked up shows a discriminating understanding of what was required to get the right amount of scratching from a comb; which rock, in other words, was the tool for the job.

Below, the abstract of Dr. Deecke's published paper.

This is the first report of tool-using behaviour in a wild brown bear (Ursus arctos). Whereas the use of tools is comparatively common among primates and has also been documented in several species of birds, fishes and invertebrates, tool-using behaviours have so far been observed in only four species of non-primate mammal. The observation was made and photographed while studying the behaviour of a subadult brown bear in south-eastern Alaska. The animal repeatedly picked up barnacle-encrusted rocks in shallow water, manipulated and re-oriented them in its forepaws, and used them to rub its neck and muzzle. The behaviour probably served to relieve irritated skin or to remove food-remains from the fur. Bears habitually rub against stationary objects and overturn rocks and boulders during foraging and such rubbing behaviour could have been transferred to a freely movable object to classify as tool-use. The bear exhibited considerable motor skills when manipulating the rocks, which clearly shows that these animals possess the advanced motor learning necessary for tool-use. Advanced spatial cognition and motor skills for object manipulation during feeding and tool-use provide a possible explanation for why bears have the largest brains relative to body size of all carnivores. Systematic research into the cognitive abilities of bears, both in captivity and in the wild, is clearly warranted to fully understand their motor-learning skills and physical intelligence related to tool-use and other object manipulation tasks.

 

The+Great+Bear

March 31, 2012 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Hole in the Floor Bookcase

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A 2010 private commission by Raw Edges Design Studio.

[via Fancy]

March 31, 2012 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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