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April 7, 2013

Watch a tiny bird hatch from its egg

[via everlastingblort]

April 7, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

"Dream" — Tadao Ando's First Chair

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If you click on the About Me link near the bottom of my sidebar you'll find that Tadao Ando is my favorite architect.

That was true long before boj started in 2004 and no one's come close to displacing this modern master of space and form from that pinnacle in the ensuing nine years.

Now comes his first chair.

Below, Julie Lasky's item from Wednesday's New York Times.

Next week, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando will introduce his first production piece: a chair called Dream [top], for the Danish company Carl Hansen & Son. The chair, which will be shown during the Milan Furniture Fair, is a single sheet of curved plywood set on a plywood base.

Mr. Ando "told us many times, 'I never promised you it would be easy,'" said Knud Erik Hansen, the chief executive of the family-run company, which is known for classic pieces by renowned designers like Hans J. Wegner and Mogens Koch.

Patience and a patent were required before the thin wood could be manipulated just so without cracking. "We have managed, and it's a wonderful chair, but I tell you it has given us gray hairs," Mr. Hansen added.

Dream will be available this summer in oak and American walnut, with optional leather upholstery, starting at about $4,000.

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Apply within.

April 7, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: U.S. Female Mortality Rate Map — Episode 2: Behind the Numbers

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Judging by the three comments that appeared on yesterday's Episode 1 post — each of which I figure speaks for 100 other people who don't have the inclination for whatever reason to post a comment — readers appear uninclined to look at the original source directly linked below the map in that post.

I hear you.

I realize you expect answers — not questions.

If you wanted to spend your valuable time searching out information, you'd do it.

That's why you pay me to do the heavy lifting.

I don't know what I was thinking, just publishing the map and a link to its caption.

Without further ado, the caption — in its entirety — from the Washington Post: "This map, via health researcher Bill Gardner, shows the change in mortality rate for females in each county in the United States between 1992 and 2006. In 43% of counties — those in red — mortality rates are rising."

Gardner, a psychologist who studies children's mental health service systems, is professor of obstetrics & gynecology, pediatrics, & epidemiology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and professor of pediatrics, psychology, and psychiatry at Ohio State University.

He is was director of biostatistics at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio from 2008 to 2011.

His blog is here and his Twitter here.

More from the Post:

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The map is part of a research article by David Kindig and Erika Cheng that was recently published in the journal Health Affairs.

"Although we are accustomed to seeing varying rates of mortality reduction in states and nations," Kindig and Cheng write, "it is striking and discouraging to find female mortality rates on the rise in 42.8 percent of US counties, despite increasing medical care expenditures and public health efforts."

Kindig and Cheng looked at a number of factors that might give some context for why female morality went up in some counties but down in others. A somewhat surprising finding was that the availability of medical care — measured by the number of primary care providers or percentage of uninsured — didn't really make a difference."

"Female mortality rates were not predicted by any of the medical care factors," they write.

What could predict worsening mortality rates, however, were socioeconomic factors.

"Many people believe that medical care and individual behaviors such as exercise, diet, and smoking are the primary reasons for declines in health," the authors write. "We did find significant associations between mortality rates and some of these factors, such as smoking rates for both sexes. But socioeconomic factors such as the percentage of a county's population with a college education and the rate of children living in poverty had equally strong or stronger relationships to fluctuations in mortality rates."

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Below, the abstract of the article by Kindig and Cheng (cited above), published in the March 2013 issue of Health Affairs.

Even As Mortality Fell in Most U.S. Counties, Female Mortality Nonetheless Rose in 42.8% of Counties From 1992 to 2006

Researchers increasingly track variations in health outcomes across counties in the United States, but current ranking methods do not reflect changes in health outcomes over time. We examined trends in male and female mortality rates from 1992–96 to 2002–06 in 3,140 US counties. We found that female mortality rates increased in 42.8% of counties, while male mortality rates increased in only 3.4%. Several factors, including higher education levels, not being in the South or West, and low smoking rates, were associated with lower mortality rates. Medical care variables, such as proportions of primary care providers, were not associated with lower rates. These findings suggest that improving health outcomes across the United States will require increased public and private investment in the social and environmental determinants of health — beyond an exclusive focus on access to care or individual health behavior.

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[via Bomani Jones]

April 7, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Egg Poncho

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Res ipsa loquitur.

£4.99.

April 7, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Rice Paper Boat

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"Titled 'Boat,'

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this piece by Chinese artist Zhu Jinshi,

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constructed from 8,000 sheets of rice paper

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suspended by untold lengths of cotton thread

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from 800 bamboo shafts,

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was recently on display at ART13 London."

[via Colossal]

April 7, 2013 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Comic Strip Photo Frame — No end of fun

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From the website:

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What do Superman, Batman, and your drunk friends all have in common?

Now they're all in comics!

Relive the highlights of classic nights out with our action-packed Comic Strip Photo Frame.

Just add wild pictures and some humor to create a personalized comic page for you and your friends to enjoy.

Each frame comes with a selection of speech bubble stickers and a pen so you can capture the witty banter again and again.

It's the collector's print of your life framed in a clever cartoon strip for all to enjoy.

Let your inner comedian run wild as you pepper witty comments and commentary over the marvelous achievements and/or sloppy mishaps of friends and family.

Pow, Boom, Ka-pow!

Trade them with your friends or overcharge complete strangers on eBay.

Maybe one day Hollywood will adapt your comic into a blockbuster movie.

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£12.99 (photos not included).

April 7, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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