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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Jul 21 2011

Good News for Prudes: TSA Rolls Out Naked Avatar

No longer will we have to flash strangers in airports. Digital Trends reports that TSA will phase out the scary verité body-scanner pictures and replace them with avatars showing specific hotspots that may require a search. Here is a tantalizing preview of what you will look like in the scanner. See, you have a contraband bottle of mouthwash (or perhaps some illegal Tetris shapes?) stuffed in your sock:

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Jul 15 2011

Emily Post Friday: The Cash Gift

In honor of the long lost Internet tradition Cat Picture Friday, I bring you the wise words of my own favorite feline, Emily Post. Excerpted from her Blue Book of Social Usage, which hails from a time much like our own—1950—when unwed couples required chaperones to travel and new brides worried about throwing a dinner party with only one servant.

Though it’s a no-no to request cash gifts for your wedding, there’s nothing wrong with showing off the loot (OK, “honoring the generous”) once it’s acquired. As long as you conceal the dollar amounts on the checks and ensconce them like cheap booze in a sketchy liquor store, you’re good!

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Jul 14 2011

Welcome to New York…

LaGuardia, July 7.

…home of expertly made cookies; hempy, utilitarian sundresses that I cannot stop myself from buying; and emotionally resonant typos, all threaded together with a nearly constant sound track of instrumental Postal Service remixes.


Jul 1 2011

Architectural Record: Playing Catch-up

July’s batch of buildings focuses on museums and cultural centers around the world. Splash around at the Water Museum in Granada. See the latest building-sculptures of Brazil’s famed centenarian architect, Oscar Niemeyer. Explore Harvey Cushing’s collection of brains in jars at Yale.

My June roundup of office buildings had some great projects, too, from Richard Meier’s Coffee Plaza in Hamburg (redolent of coffee 24/7, at least in my imagination) to Shop & Trade in Athens, where the supermarket is topped with a grassy garden/green roof.

Jul 1 2011

The Semiotics of Romance Novel Covers

Romance novel covers can be counted on for several things: raised lettering, swooning, man vests. But as with the genre itself, there are rules to follow! Speaking to WNYC art critic Carolina A. Miranda, Harlequin digital publishing director Malle Vallik explains:

Vallik: If you’ve got the sexy ab cover of the guy, it’s gonna be a hot, sexy book. That’s for sure. That’s what we’re promising. And, you know, men with kilts and no tops, also very good. Historical, then, but also hot and sexy. But you know, from the colors, if it’s purple, it’s probably more of an intrigue kind of thing. If you’ve got blue and stars then you’re going to get a sci-fi romance. Or, you know, if you get the clothing. Also you know, we do a lot of the bodice shot—so like the Tudors and things like this. So then you know you get historical.

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