Sunday, September 29, 2013

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Something

This is probably my favorite nail polish packaging design: simple and effective. As for the color, I looked around forever for a light, industrial-looking blue-gray like this. I like cool-toned grays on my nails, plus I like that the name is clever, not obviously a bridal theme. Spending more than $10 on a nail polish used to sound outrageous, but things change when you go down the rabbit hole of the nail world.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Japan Becomes 5th Nation To Pass 10 Gigawatt Solar Power Milestone

"Japan has now passed the 10 gigawatt installed solar power capacity milestone. Only 4 other countries have previously reached 10 gigawatts: Germany, Italy, China, and the United States. China and the U.S. both reached that milestone just this year." Continue reading: Japan Becomes 5th Nation To Pass 10 Gigawatt Solar Power Milestone by John Johnston, The 9 Billion, September 19, 2013

The Iranian 'moderate'

Good point; I must admit I never thought of this before (emphasis mine): "Yet in his lovey-dovey Post op-ed, his U.N. speech and various interviews, Rouhani gives not an inch on uranium enrichment. Indeed, he has repeatedly denied that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons at all. Or ever has. Such a transparent falsehood —what country swimming in oil would sacrifice its economy just to produce nuclear electricity that advanced countries such as Germany are already abandoning?—is hardly the basis for a successful negotiation." Read the article: The Iranian ‘moderate’ by Charles Krauthammer, The Washington Post, September 26, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Who Gives a Damn If Rouhani "Denies" The Holocaust?

Who Gives a Damn If Rouhani "Denies" The Holocaust? by MJ Rosenberg, September 26, 2013

King's Quest III: To Heir Is Human

But of all the games I used to play, my favorite was King's Quest III on Atari. I love all sorts of games, but I'm an adventure lover at heart. This one especially, with its combination of excellent artwork, music (not the sound quality but the high quality musical compositions themselves), imaginative and visually rich narrative with a mystical alchemy theme (rose essence oil, anyone?), grabbed me from the start. Too bad I could never finish it; it was a most difficult game, but one that got young people like myself at the time to read (and type out each command)! I hope you'll enjoy the playthrough posted by Yzzyxz on You Tube as much as I did.

Hassan Rouhani Is Still a Holocaust Denier

"Imagine that a company or some other kind of organization with a history of believing that the world is flat appoints a new CEO who is more open to alternative beliefs about the shape of the world. “The world is not flat,” he says. But he doesn’t then say: “In fact, the world is a globe with a circumference of 24,901 miles.” He says: “I don’t know whether it is a globe. Maybe it is. Or maybe it is curved. Maybe it is jagged, like one of its many mountain ranges. Maybe it dips, like a crater. Maybe it is a series of steps hurtling through the cosmos. I am not qualified to judge.”

Would you say that this person has come to hold the mainstream view on the shape of the world? Of course not—especially since, in this case, there isn’t a “mainstream view,” there’s a fact." Read the article: Hassan Rouhani Is Still a Holocaust Denier by Marc Tracy, The New Republic, September 25, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Israel Trolls Iran With Parody Rouhani LinkedIn Account

"Noah Pollak, the executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, was slightly dismissive of the new Israeli tactic. "I hope, if they become necessary, that the Israelis are as good at airstrikes as they are at trolling,” he said.

"If not that, then perhaps the Israelis can be the first people to use Foursquare to check in to one of Iran’s nuclear reactors." Israel Trolls Iran With Parody Rouhani LinkedIn Account by Eli Lake, The Daily Beast, Sep 24, 2013

"Are these people professionals? Are they seriously concerned about Iran?" Israel Mocks Iranian Leader in Un-Diplomatic Tweet by Emily L. Hauser, The Daily Beast, Sep 24, 2013

The Other Starbucks Mermaid Cover-Up

From Got Medieval: "Here is the official history of the Starbucks logo, as found on’s FAQ page.

When we were originally looking for a logo for Starbucks in 1971, we wanted to capture the seafaring tradition of early coffee traders. [...] We pored over old marine books until we came up with a logo based on an old sixteenth-century Norse woodcut: a two-tailed mermaid encircled by the store’s original name, Starbucks Coffee, Tea, and Spice.

"And here is the same story embellished a bit in company co-founder Howard Schultz’s 1997 book Pour Your Heart into It: How Starbucks Build a Company One Cup at a Time where it goes something like this:

[Fellow Starbucks founder] Terry [Heckler] also poured over old marine books until he came up with a logo based on an old sixteenth-century Norse woodcut: a two-tailed mermaid, or siren, encircled by the store’s original name, Starbucks Coffee, Tea, and Spice. That early siren, bare-breasted and Rubenesque, was supposed to be as seductive as coffee itself.

"Now, here’s the problem with this tidy little origin story: there’s no such thing as a 16th-century Norse woodcut. Don’t believe me? Try the following Google search:

“Norse woodcut” -Starbucks

"As you can see, it returns a paltry 40 results, almost all of them just spam sites that clipped the phrase from Starbucks’s site or an article about the coffee company, and those hits that aren’t spam are all just obliquely referring to Starbucks without using the name.

"Why can Google find us no non-Starbucksian “Norse woodcuts”? Because by the time woodcut images on paper arose in medieval Europe, around 1400 give or take a decade, there weren’t any people left that you could properly call “Norse”." Read the article: The Other Starbucks Mermaid Cover-Up by Carl Pyrdum, Got Medieval, Aug 31st, 2010

What's the main controversy? Here are some related articles:

"The mermaid symbol on the Starbucks cup is no mermaid at all. She’s really Queen Esther, from the Hebrew Bible’s Book of Esther." Image: By Bernie Hou, 2005. Gates of Vienna, March 13, 2009

From Wikipedia: "According to Esther 2:7 , Esther was originally named Hadassah. Hadassah means "myrtle" in Hebrew. It has been conjectured that the name Esther is derived from a reconstructed Median word astra meaning myrtle. [5] An alternative view is that Esther is derived from the theonym Ishtar. The Book of Daniel provides accounts of Jews in exile being assigned names relating to Babylonian gods and "Mordecai" is understood to mean servant of Marduk, a Babylonian god. "Esther" may have been a different Hebrew interpretation from the Proto-Semitic root "star/'morning/evening star'" [6] which descended with the /th/ into the Ugaritic Athtiratu [7] and Arabian Athtar. [8] The derivation must then have been secondary for the initial ayin to be confused with an aleph (both represented by vowels in Akkadian), and the second consonant descended as a /s/ (like in the Aramaic asthr "bright star"), rather than a / sh/ as in Hebrew and most commonly in Akkadian.

(...) "The Targum [10] connects the name with the Persian word for "star", ستاره setareh, explaining that Esther was so named for being as beautiful as the Morning Star. In the Talmud (Tractate Yoma 29a), Esther is compared to the "morning star", and is considered the subject of Psalm 22, because its introduction is a "song for the morning star"." Image: "Ahasuerus and Haman at Esther's Feast," by Rembrandt--Esther on Wikipedia (Image:Wikimedia Commons)

Image: How the Starbucks Siren Became Less Naughty
Dead Programmer's Cafe

From Before It's News: "To clear up the ambiguity, a creature with a split fish tail is a siren not a mermaid, but some people argue that a double tailed siren is a cross between a mermaid and a sheila-na-gig. Sheila-na-gig is a general reference to female figures that prominently display their genitalia to signify the power of female sexuality and fertility. These images are also quite prominent in the decoration of sacred sites in general and are thought to be a legacy of the older Goddess religions whose holy sites were usually taken over by later religions. The shape of the genitalia in these squatting figures is also symbolic of the vesica piscis, the “vessel of the fish,” which is also associated with Christ. The well-known Christian “fish” symbol (seen prominently on the backs of many cars these days) is the ICHTHYS, referring to the Greek acronym for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” That Starbucks Logo - Before It's News, September 9, 2012

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” Revelation 22:16 New International Version (NIV) 16 - Bible Gateway

Monday, September 23, 2013

The French Manicure is Not So French

The French manicure is no more French than German chocolate cake is German, which brings me to my current dilemma: Would anyone care to enlighten me as to the origin of the spinach pinwheel? It's delicious, but is it really Italian, and why can't I find it at NYC pizzerias, only in the suburbs of Long Island? The French Manicure Is Not So French by Anna Jimenez, New Beauty, May 17, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Acqua di Parma Mandorlo di Sicilia

Acqua di Parma Colonia is as famous as the celebrities that wear the lemony-herbal bergamot cologne (Audrey Hepburn for one), but the other fragrances in the line are on the obscure side. Aficionados of niche fragrances might like it to remain that way, lest their secret signature scent becomes too mainstream, but I must sing praises out loud about this utterly delicious scent called Mandorlo di Sicilia (Sicilian Almond) in Acqua di Parma's Blu Mediterraneo line.

This scent is for the sweet Gourmand lover; the overall impression I get is that of orange vanilla more so than almonds per se, but there is a very subtle spiciness weaving through that makes it distinctively tasty, like biscotti but sweeter. It smells to me almost like a cross between Lostmarch Lann-Ael or Amande de Ble, the wheat almond scent by Acorelle (an all-natural brand), and the non-creamsicle orange vanilla Rich Hippie Psychedelic (another 100% natural and certified organic brand, but astronomically expensive).

The sweetness of Mandorlo is honeyed with depth, like maple syrup or baklava, as well as vanillic enough to smell cakey like Angel Food, but the perceived heaviness is ephemeral, the sillage becoming light and fluffy, sweet yet refreshing somehow, like olfactive cotton candy concocted by a master chef. Wear it to the street festival in Little Italy and celebrate the end of summer smelling as delectable as a pignoli from Arthur Avenue.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Some people living in the shadows of wind turbines say they’re making them sick

“Never Stops, Never Stops. Headache. Help.” Some people living in the shadows of wind turbines say they’re making them sick. Almost as upsetting: Their neighbors don’t feel a thing. By Kristen French, New York Magazine, Sep 15, 2013

Why Women Should Skip Business School

Why Women Should Skip Business School by Laura Hemphill, The New Yorker, September 16, 2013

New York Fashion Week: 10 Designers Spill Their Style Rules That Should Never Be Broken

"No white after Labor Day? Never mix navy with black? Always match your shoes with your handbag? Fashion rules, especially ones you learned from your grandmother, were meant to be broken. But that doesn’t mean that every fashion felony should go unpunished, even if Fashion Week has already moved across the pond." Continue reading: New York Fashion Week: 10 Designers Spill Their Style Rules That Should Never Be Broken by Nadine DeNinno, International Business Times, September 16 2013

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The John Larroquette Show

WATCH at this link: The John Larroquette Show 101 Pilot - daily motion

The John Larroquette Show is my favorite TV sit-com of all time. From Episode Guides: "A fascinating case study in how to destroy a successful situation comedy. In its first season The John Larroquette Show was a daring dark comedy and a hit. Set in a St. Louis long distance bus terminal, with a recovering alcoholic protagonist adrift in a sea of losers, hookers, and street people, black and white, gay and straight, this was unlike anything seen in a sitcom since Hot'l Baltimore a generation before, a comedy that addressed issues on the dark side of the American dream: race, class, gender, abuse of authority, substance addiction, etc. In the second and third season NBC carefully removed each and every element that had made the show interesting, making nonsense of a premise and bland stereotypes of its hard-edged/bizarre characters, then cancelled the show abruptly once everyone had deserted its ridiculously bland fourth season; a great shame." The John Larroquette Show - an Episode Guide by Russell Wodell,

Continue watching The John Larroquette Show on You Tube:

Season 1
Episode #2 "Thirty Day Chip"

Episode #3 "Celibate!"

Episode #4 "This is Not a Step"

Episode #6 "Pros and Cons"

(I'll try to update this post with more links if they come up.)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Nautica Voyage for Men

Nautica Voyage comes with a slogan aimed at men: "Know No Boundaries." Tsk tsk, a no-no for bad boys; is it Naughty Nautica for sailors that break the rules...? Do you think the version for Women, Nautica My Voyage for Her, has such a slogan attached to it? Of course not. Ladies' scents are never about new discoveries, risk-taking and innovative thinking, going where no man has gone before, but sexy skin and explosive emotions. Plenty of people in the fragrance world want to see the gender split in marketing demolished, but I'd like to see fragrances targeted at women to suggest women to aim higher.

As for the scent, Nautica Voyage is a bit easier for my nose to take than the original Nautica for Men, which I believe is a Chypre. Voyage is softer, more aqueous, at first whiff surprisingly reminiscent of Creed Spring Flower with a fresh heart and Marine top notes over a dry, woody base. The longer it wears, the more the "men's cologne" comes out, and I'm reminded of retro stuff like Polo. It's a pretty nice scent, maybe Fougère along the lines of Bleu de Chanel, a traditionally masculine scent for the modern man, one who changes the world with the Neanderthal hulk in him repressed and controlled in a good way.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hitler in Hollywood - Did the studios collaborate?

From The New Yorker: (...) "The future moguls came from the backwaters of Eastern Europe and arrived in the United States with nothing, not even fathers (who were mostly feckless or missing). Desperate for respectability and for cash, they worked at whatever trade lay at hand: peddling scrap metal, furs, gloves. Then, soon after the emergence of storefront nickelodeons, in 1905, they threw in their lot with a new, primitive art form that many regarded as a passing fad. Louis B. Mayer, Samuel Goldwyn, Adolph Zukor, Carl Laemmle, Jesse Lasky, and the four Warner brothers built their enterprises with a speed that even now, in the age of venture capital and mobile-app entrepreneurs, seems remarkable. And yet, outside their domain, as Neal Gabler has chronicled in his 1988 history, “An Empire of Their Own,” they were silent or utterly conventional. They acted as if all their power and their personal wealth could be taken away if they made a mistake.

"Their fears were not entirely irrational, since anti-Semitism was widespread in America in the twenties and thirties. It could be found in the radio broadcasts of demagogues like Father Coughlin, in the street rallies of Nazi and pro-German groups in New York and other cities. The Jews were blamed in some quarters for the worldwide economic crisis. Henry Ford, Theodore Dreiser, and Charles Lindbergh, along with a variety of outraged organizations, fulminated over Jewish control of the movie business, whose leaders were variously excoriated as “Asiatics,” greedy buffoons, sexual predators, and Bolsheviks.

"n response, the studio bosses wrapped themselves in Americanism, generating in their movies, as Gabler points out, an ideal country: “It would be an America where fathers were strong, families stable, people attractive, resilient, resourceful, and decent.” In that America, there was no room for the kind of Jewish characters and actors who had appeared in the silent and early-sound-period movies—the ghetto dwellers, the Yiddish dialogue comics, the Jewish boy in the first sound film (from 1927), “The Jazz Singer,” who turns his back on the Lower East Side and assimilates into American society.

"By acting as they did, the studio bosses fell into the trap that they had allowed men like Gyssling and Breen to set for them. Because they were Jews, they believed, they couldn’t make anti-Nazi movies or movies about Jews, for this would be seen as special pleading or warmongering." Read the article: Hitler in Hollywood - Did the studios collaborate? By David Denby, The New Yorker, September 16, 2013


Related articles:

The Chilling Story of How Hollywood Helped Hitler - by Ben Urwand, The Hollywood Reporter, 7/31/2013

I Married a Jew by Anonymous, Jan. 1, 1939, The Atlantic

Monday, September 09, 2013

Scent strip impression of One Direction Our Moment

There's a scent strip perfume sample of 1D Our Moment in this month's issue of Teen Vogue. I smelled fruity patchouli right away; upon trying it on the skin, it reminded me at first of Vera Wang Princess. As more ozonic musk emerges, I'm reminded of Avril Lavigne Black Star.

Barking Mad: Bucharest, Romania May Kill Stray Dogs Following Mauling Death Of Small Boy

Humane animal population control is one thing, but it does nothing to cull the current problem of violent dogs killing people on the streets. If in an abortion debate I choose to side with a woman's right to choose, likewise I side in the debate between human and animal rights with a person's right to choose to live in a threat-free world. I feel very sorry for this boy and his family. Barking Mad: Bucharest, Romania May Kill Stray Dogs Following Mauling Death Of Small Boy - By Palash Ghosh on September 09, International Business Times

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

OPI New York City Ballet Collection

I don't know how I could have missed the Spring 2012 OPI New York City Ballet Collection of nail polishes, especially because the Fall 2012 OPI Germany Collection was so highly visible to me, but I suppose it proves I'm not a nail polishaholic the way I am an avid fragrance least not yet. Nevertheless, I *need* this collection desperately, and I don't even care that I'm late to the game or that Labor Day was the unofficial last day one should wear this year's trendy white nail polish.

Fashion don'ts won't discourage me; I'm vying to wear Don't Touch My Tutu, a soft sheer white I'm already thinking of as my "winter white". I also learned a neat trick recently called "sandwiching" which means I can wear the silver glitter polish in this collection between two thin layers of sheer polish (or "jelly" as some sheers are called--which you can blend yourself by mixing 25% opaque color with 75% clear, another nail thing I learned over the summer), sandwiched between top and base coats to make the glitter more subtle. That means I will now have a "holiday white" in which I get to wear sparkly stuff and never feel it's too juvenile again.

So OPI Germany My Very First Knockwurst (pale beige-pink creme) is still my prima nail polish, because I love the color itself plus without going into complicated nail color theory, it's somehow flattering on my hands, but it's going to get fierce competition from all the pretty pastel neutrals ranging from ballet pinks to blue-grey and lilac in this set. These colors will match cashmere sweaters just as well as spring dresses, or so I've successfully rationalized as reasons to own them now!

Incidentally, tix for George Balanchine's The Nutcracker will go on sale on Sept. 23. Nails are a fun diversion, and I love being able to share this hobby with my pre-teen, but taking her to see the NYC Ballet this year would be the real treat for both of us. For more info, visit

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Visit PINK MANHATTAN Music Blog!

Donald Edwards, drummer / composer

Come by and listen; the music will blow your mind. Now playing:
Opus 5 - Ducktones (Live at the Hermitage Garden Jazz Festival in Moscow)

Music Lessons @ Sam Ash Learning Centers

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