Archives > Did You Read About... > April 2005

April 30, 2005

The FDA has deemed the Today Sponge "sponge worthy" again

April 29, 2005

Woh, the RMB floated for 20 minutes earlier today
Nobody knows if it was a glitch or the Communists deliberately testing the system. The 20 minutes long appreciation of 7-thousandths of a RMB was enough to roil currency markets around the world.

Architectural League's Emerging Voices 2005
Three Cooper alums in the group: Jennifer Lee (AR’97), John Hartmann (AR’00) and Martin Finio (AR’88).

Initial D: Fourth Stage fansubbed episodes 13 and 14

A paean to Shaq set to OutKast's "Hey Ya!"

Rafael Viñoly Architects launches architectural training and research initiative with tuition-free master classes and fellowship research grants of up to $60K
Applications due July 1.

April 28, 2005

The Ars Mac OS X Tiger review
This guy, John Siracusa, cracks me up. He writes amazingly geeky and thorough reviews that are informative and entertaining. He would go on and on for thousands of words over the placements of icons, for example. He is the perfect embodiment of the crazy Mac-head.

Food writer and critic Gael Greene will moderate a discussion about the world’s most unusual meals with chefs Fergus Henderson, Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich on May 4, 8 pm, at the 92nd Street Y

Tom Cruise, 42, is dating Katie Holmes, 26
Yes, I'm jealous.

U.S. is once again trying a new dollar coin
Similar to the 50 States Quarters series, the dollar coins will feature all the presidents. But this time it seems like they going after the seignorage profits more than anything else. If the Treasury really believes that coins are better, Congress should grow some balls and just yank the bills out of circulation.

Interesting article about a panel discussion with Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich and Drew Nieporent at Harvard Business School

April 27, 2005

A history of the Post-It Notes
Post-Its turned 25 on April 6.

NYT on Thomas Krens and the Guggenheim
Krens came out from the showdown with Peter Lewis unscathed and is forging ahead with his global empire building.

April 26, 2005

Condé Nast Traveller's list of the 60 hottest hotels from around the globe for 2005

Wright's Ennis-Brown house is falling apart due to water damage

SF Chronicle reviews Herzog & de Meuron's Walker expansion

Salt taste test from Slate
The article is funny.

Randy Cohen of The New York Times wants to create a literary map of New York

Interactive T-Mobile coverage map that tells you the signal strength in your area
Nice idea but I wonder how useful it truly is since it claims I have "great" signal on my street when in reality it blows. At least it does in my building.

The New Yorker architecture critic reviews Gwathmey's Sculpture for Living
"Its shape is fussy, and the glass façade is garishly reflective: Mies van der Rohe as filtered through Donald Trump."

April 25, 2005

Whole Foods in Park Slope will be at Third Street and Third Avenue
Planned opening in 2007.

NYT Op-Ed piece by Fred Berstein that suggests moving the UN to Freedom Tower
It still makes me cringe when I type the words "Freedom Tower"... What a godawful name.

NYT article about Calatrava
"We think that he is the da Vinci of our time," said the former executive director of the Port Authority. And Calatrava said he considered architecture "the greatest of all the arts" because it embraces the others—music, painting, sculpture. I don't disagree, but maybe an architect shouldn't say it. Just reinforces the idea that architects are egomaniacs.

Make fire with a can of Coke and a chocolate bar

April 22, 2005

Joern Utzon, the architect of the Sydney Opera House, is adding a veranda to the side of the famous building
Not having seen any renderings, I can't say how it will look, but it sounds like a bad idea to me. The old man hasn't been to Sydney since 1966 and has never even seen the completed building. Shouldn't he at least see it in person before designing an addition? And it's surely not a good sign when "appears lucid" is a description attached to the architect in charge of such an important commission, even if he is the original designer.

Google's My Search History beta
I'm a couple of days late on this item, but this looks to be very useful. And no, I'm not that particularly concerned about the privacy issues.

Jeans are getting more and more ridiculously expensive

An umbrella design that sprouts open like a flower

The "Soup Nazi" is planning to sell his soup in select grocery stores across the U.S. and open up to a 1,000 stores
Finally cashing in on the Seinfeld connection after all these years. The "No soup for you!" episode aired almost 10 years ago.

Enrique Norten designed a condo conversion in Tribeca that is drawing some criticism from the community board
But really, when do communities boards ever just fully embrace modern architecture without some bitching and moaning?

April 21, 2005

The Guardian has the list of the Top 50 restaurants in the world that Restaurant magazine just published
El Bulli is at #2, French Laundry #3, Per Se #7, Jean Georges #9 and Masa all the way down at #32 (!). I'm not sure if this list is any good, though. I've not eaten at most of these places, but the two that I have, Spice Market and WD50, I find it hard to believe that they are two of the best 50 restaurants in the world.

Another article about Franny's Andrew Feinberg in The New York Times
I'm sick of hearing about him in The Times... Apparently before opening Franny's a year ago, he had never made pizza at all. Ever.

British restaurants dominate list of the best restaurant in the world
Though both Per Se and the French Laundry made the top 10.

April 19, 2005

Curbed has exclusive pictures of the new High Line design
Also see NYT's article on the new design.

"Taste of Chinatown 2005" this Saturday
Over 50 restaurants, bakeries, tea houses, and specialty shops will offer $1 tasting stations from 1 to 6.

April 18, 2005

Adobe to buy Macromedia for $3.4B in stock
That's a lot to pay for Flash.

April 16, 2005

Firefox 1.0.3
Release notes here.

April 14, 2005

People have been stealing the April 19, 1965 copy of Electronics from libraries
What a surprise.

Chowhound is publishing a guide to the NYC tri-state area
The Chowhound Big Dog himself, Jim Leff, claims that these books appear to be pure crack for the hunger reflex. Yes, but can they please take the revenue from the book to install a BBS system that is not circa 1988?

After 14 years, the new Staten Island Ferry terminal is finally completed
Article contains a slideshow. I remember passing through that terminal twice a day for nearly four years when I was in high school. Ah, those bad ol' days of 1½ hour commute just to get to school.

NYT on Rome's attempt to get more contemporary architecture
The Piano concert hall and the Meier church are both on the outskirts of the city and, I have to say, both quite good. I have photos of them that I will put up on Figure/Ground soon. I promise.

How to Cook Everything: Bittman Takes On America's Chefs looks like a fun show
On the show, a chef in his or her restaurant prepares a chosen dish, as complicated as he or she wants, with as much help and with whatever ingredients he or she wants. Bittman follows with a dish that is related in concept, spirit, main ingredient or major flavor, working by himself with supermarket ingredients. Read the article, it's hilarious. I'll definitely check out the show.

What's the best umbrella?

April 13, 2005

NY Post reviews BLT Fish

Google Sightseeing
Using the satellite feature of Google Maps, this site takes you on a bird's eye view tour of interesting spots from around the U.S.

SCIgen: An automatic CS paper generator

April 12, 2005

86 reasons to hate the Red Sox

Intel is offering a cool $10K for a mint copy of the April 19, 1965, issue of Electronics, a technical publication in which Gordon Moore made his famous forecast
Nice publicity stunt.

New York magazine on the million-dollar studios
That's studios, as in no-bedroom apartments, not movie studios. "If you price it higher, they will come even faster," says the president of a real estate brokerage.

Rem Koolhaas receives the 2005 Mies van der Rohe Award
For his Netherlands Embassy in Berlin (see photo).

If you didn't understand what's happening with the free-falling USD, here's a good primer

The New York Observer blog, The Politicker, is reporting that NYT executive editor sent a memo saying stories have to get shorter
And ones over 1,800 words have to be approved by one of three editors. I want articles with more details, not less.

Why can't anyone throw a baseball faster than 100mph?
Because the pitcher's arm would literally rip apart.

Graphical instructions on how to properly cut all sorts of food
As the page says, good knife skills are an essential component of being a good cook.

Mario Batali interview on
He says he works on the pasta line at Babbo 4 of 5 nights a week. That's quite surprising for a chef with as many restaurants and TV shows as he does.

Brooklyn's own bubble blog

April 11, 2005

That angry dude, Chris, from The Apprentice got arrested for disorderly conduct
It's amazing he hasn't been fired. And it's even more amazing that I'm still fixated by the show despite it getting progressively more annoying and less interesting ever since the first season. But you know I'll be there again next season for the Martha Edition.

A Java game that makes you want to puke

Thumbnail photos of every building in Manhattan

Demand for Priuses is so strong that used ones are going for more than list price
I drove one for a few days and I can tell you that it's a fantastic car.

Hugh Pearman also sings the praises of Koolhaas' new concert hall in Porto
Looks like a trip to Portugal is in order.

NYT examines "The Man Date"
Jeez, how insecure of your manhood can you be? Shouldn't this type of article be in some sort of Cosmos, Homophobic Men Edition instead of the venerable New York Times?

How's this for bubble: Townhouse in Brooklyn on the market for $20 million
In Brooklyn! For crying out out. This is just down the street from the $8.5 million townhouse that went into contract last year, which was itself double the highest price ever paid in the neighborhood. So we more than quadrupled the highest price in the neighborhood in the span of less than 6 months. And get this, the building cost $2 million in 1999. 900% profit in 6 years is pretty good, wouldn't you say?

Details about Meier's new apartment building on Charles Street
The building's construction cost $90 million. There are no baseboards; instead the walls float one-quarter inch off the floors. The nine-foot-tall bathroom doors, made of opaque glass, were $6,500 each. The African wenge wood floors are being put down by the same team responsible for the Getty's flooring. Etc, etc. Ya, but it still looks exceedingly pedestrian (just like the Perry Street twins across the street).

April 10, 2005

NYT Magazine feature on the recently released Blackman Papers
A look at Justice Harry Blackman, the author of Roe v. Wade, and his journey to being an advocate for women's rights.

Ouroussoff gives an audio slideshow tour of Koolhaas' new concert hall in Portugal

April 9, 2005

Trailer park homes going for over a million bucks in California

Following Google, Yahoo! is also providing free hosting to Wikipedia
Yahoo! is providing servers in its Asian facilities. There will also be some sort of integration with Yahoo! search.

April 8, 2005

A listing of official and unofficial craigslist forums
Unofficial ones include: unsoiled loins, menstural hut, emotional croissant, plus many, many more...

Google on Thursday began delivering factual answers for some queries at the top of its results page
A search for "taipei population", for example, returns "2,641,312" at the top of the results listing. See the Google Blog entry announcing this.

Now's the time to visit Glen Canyon
Because the draught has lowered the water level and revealed parts that haven't been seen since the the river was dammed in the 60s. I was there 6 or 7 years ago and even with Lake Powell at its normal level, it was amazing. I wish I had time to go for a look-see now.

Men of architecture: How sexist are you?
Funny quiz.

April 7, 2005

Continuing what seems like "Japanese Week" at The Times, another story on Murakami and his disciples today
Plenty of publicity ahead of Friday's opening of the show curated by Murakami at the Japan Society.

You know starchitecture is firmly part of American pop culture when Frank Gehry appears as himself on The Simpsons

Man arrested for paying with a stack of $2 bills
This reminds me of this great Woz story where he took sheets of uncut $2 bills from the Treasury, perforated them and then gummed them up into little notebooks. And he would tear away bills from this "notebook" to pay for stuff. Brilliant! I've always wanted to copy him, but maybe I shouldn't. Imagine paying with a notebook of perforated $2 bills. That's liable to get someone straight to a federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison in today's arrest-first/ask-later Department of Homeland Security new world order.

New York mag wonders why getting married kills your social life
You even need to ask?

I've regained my first name Google supremacy
Yes, I google myself all the time. I am that vain. And no, it's not nearly as hard to get my first name to be the top result as let's say "Joe", for example. I said regained because I was the top result for a long time until some Dalu wiremesh company took over a few months back.

New oxyhydroxide AA and AAA batteries from Panasonic marketed as Oxyrides deliver 1.7v (vs. 1.5v from alkalines)
The extra voltage means battery-operated toothbrushes spin faster, flashlights shine brighter, camera flashes are quicker to recharge and music players produce richer sound, etc, etc. Plus they last longer AND cost the same as regular alkalines. Sounds almost too good to be true. Available in Japan now, June in the States. I'll pick a few packs of these up later this month in Tokyo and check them out.

April 6, 2005

Free online wine course from the Culinary Institute of America
Somebody please register and take this and let me know if it's any good.

Oh, jeeze... Chinatown to get a tacky arch
I've always loved our Chinatown for not having a silly arch. It's not a theme park, people! The specific site for the 45 feet high, 80 feet wide, arch hasn't been finalized, but its architect, Tieh-Chi Ho, said the preferred location is across Park Row at Chatham Square.

April 5, 2005

Progress report on Libeskind's Denver Art Museum
Still over a year away from opening. There's a short video on the page which looks at construction progress and features snippets with Libeskind.

Google Maps now provides a satellite view
Try zooming in and out and scrolling around. Awesome. [Link goes to my personal cafeteria. It's not exactly accurate, though. They have located the address on the wrong side of the street.]

April 4, 2005

Design without Reach

People are modding their Prius with additional batteries that require plugging in but gets 180MPG

The Times on New York magazine after a year under Adam Moss, formerly the editor of The NYT Magazine

April 1, 2005

Mr. Potato Head Darth Tater

Q&A with Bill James

Gmail turns two today and now comes with 2GB of storage
With plans to continually increase the storage. Just imagine, barely a year ago you had to make do with Yahoo!'s 4MB or Hotmail's 2MB.