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September 8, 2012

Derek Jacobi as Alan Turing in "Breaking the Code" (movie)

From a February 10, 2012 post on Open Culture: "This week the British government once again refused to pardon Alan Turing. One of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century, Turing laid the foundations for computer science and played a key role in breaking the Nazi Enigma code during World War II. In 1952 he was convicted of homosexuality. He killed himself two years later, after being chemically castrated by the government."

"On Monday, Justice Minister Tom McNally told the House of Lords that the government of Prime Minister David Cameron stood by the decision of earlier governments to deny a pardon, noting that the previous prime minister, Gordon Brown, had already issued an 'unequivocal posthumous apology' to Turing. McNally was quoted in The Guardian:

A posthumous pardon was not considered appropriate as Alan Turing was properly convicted of what at the time was a criminal offense. He would have known that his offense was against the law and that he would be prosecuted. It is tragic that Alan Turing was convicted of an offense which now seems both cruel and absurd — particularly poignant given his outstanding contribution to the war effort. However, the law at the time required a prosecution and, as such, long-standing policy has been to accept that such convictions took place and, rather than trying to alter the historical context and to put right what cannot be put right, ensure instead that we never again return to those times.

"To learn more about Turing's life, you can watch the 1996 BBC film 'Breaking the Code' (above, in its entirety), featuring Derek Jacobi as Turing and Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter as the mysterious 'Man from the Ministry.' Directed by Herbert Wise, the film is based on a 1986 play by Hugh Whitemore, which in turn was based on Andrew Hodge's 1983 book 'Alan Turing: The Enigma.'"

"'Breaking the Code' moves back and forth between two time frames and two very different codes: one military, the other social. The film runs 91 minutes."

September 8, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Off-Axis Watch


From the website:



At first glance, Off-Axis appears to be a cleanly designed, high-quality archetypal wristwatch, which it is — but with a clever twist: the viewing axis of the dial has been rotated clockwise by 30°.

This simple innovation makes bending at the elbow in order to read the time obsolete.

Features and Details:

• Movement: Ronda 1062 Slimtech; Swiss made/Swiss parts; 4 jewels, gilt; repairable

• Band: 10 x 0.75 inches; Watch: 1.5 inch diameter face x 0.5 inch thick

• Battery Life: up to six years due to very low energy consumption

• Case, Buckle and Crown: Surgical grade stainless steel

• Crystal: Super-hardened scratch-resistant mineral

• Material: Stainless Steel and Polyurethane

• Water Resistance: 5 ATM (50 meters)

• Designer: Eric Janssen



September 8, 2012 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

NO THONGS — Except on Feet


Best sign of the day.

[via Kristina Bjoran, possessor of the best handle on Twitter: @Bjoran_Identity. It's not even close.]

September 8, 2012 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Concrete Tape Dispenser


Beats an overcoat.

8" x 2.5" x 4.5".


September 8, 2012 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Experts' Experts: How to undo "Send" in Gmail


Wish you could turn back time?

Well, in a narrow sense you can.

Long story short: "If you make a typo or regret sending a message, you can undo the action by enabling the 'Undo send' lab. This lab will give you the option to take back a message you just sent."

TIME magazine's Top 10 regrettable emails here.

[via Jim Duncan, my pick as best realtor in central Virginia. I wouldn't think of using anyone else — neither should you. Fair warning.]

September 8, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Mind-Controlled Animatronic Cat Ears


From The Green Head:


"Sometimes you can sense a cat's mood by the position of their ears and now your cat and even other humans can better understand yours when you don these Necomini Mind—Controlled Animatronic Cat Ears."


"These state-of-the-art cat ears (neco mimi) from Japan sit on your head and move up, down, or wiggle depending on your concentration and relaxation levels detected by two brainwave sensors that touch your forehead and ear."


"When you concentrate on something, the ears will rise. When you relax, the ears lie down. If you concentrate and relax at the same time, the ears rise and wiggle."


Check out the video below

to see them in action."



September 8, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

27 rejected titles for "Mastering the Art of French Cooking"

Screen Shot 2012-09-05 at 2.30.39 PM

From Lists of Note: "On October 31st of 1960, in a letter to her editor at Alfred A. Knopf publishers, the great Julia Child included a list — seen above — of 28 title suggestions for her forthcoming debut cookbook. The last of her suggestions was eventually chosen."

"'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' was published the next year, and went on to become one of the most influential cookbooks of all time."

September 8, 2012 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

bookofjoe's Favorite Thing: Sori Yanagi Ice Cream Spoon [Blast from the past]


Originally featured here on February 10, 2011.

It occurred to me the other evening — as I was employing one of these exquisite spoons to slowly mine a pint of Ben & Jerry's hand-packed butter pecan ice cream, still my default favorite after decades of experimentation, mostly because of the pitch perfect combination of saltiness from the pecans with the sweet lushness of the surrounding ice cream — that the object is so perfect it deserves a yearly reintroduction to new readers.

So, without further ado, here is last year's post, complete and unexpurgated (the way we like it).


Praised as a "Super Normal" object by Jasper Morrison and Naoto Fukasawa.

Wonderful for custard, pudding and yogurt as well.

Trust me on this: I've had mine for years.

Stainless steel.


Bonus: Since last year's presentation, the price of the spoon has dropped 20% — from $10 to its current $8.*

Not free, the way we'd really like it, but still cheap at twice the price.

A wonderful gift for anyone, from infant to geezer and all points in between.

Especially good for the sort of person who thinks they have everything cool ever invented but aren't clever enough to be joeheads and thus are excluded from early notice of things like this.

In their face, say we.

$8 (scroll down the page — it's the fifth item from the bottom on the long list).

*Deflation has sucked the life out of Japan over the past several years and continues to do so, but for those of us who love things made in Japan, the steady drop in price of things originating there — like this spoon — is a nice bit of lagniappe in an otherwise unpromising economic vista.


Note added at 9:12 a.m. today: This spoon is perfect for those of us who prefer to enjoy soft cheeses such as Époisses de Bourgogne


without bread or crackers.

September 8, 2012 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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