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Archive for May, 2010

Art+Motion = The Brick Haus Ballerina bka Misty Copeland via [L.Matlock]


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My GFC family members Saint & Steve-O told me about Misty Copeland… by looking at this picture I could see why they would take an interest in her lol…

Misty is regarded as the first African American female soloist for the American Ballet Theatre… however; that can be contested as Nora Kimball danced with ABT in the mid 80′s… at which time Misty was just a toddler… But Misty is the first in 2 decades to achieve the honor…

It took a lot of sacrifice, love & dedication for Misty to be where she is now… Misty started studying ballet at age 13 after being introduced to the dance form at her local Boys & Girls club… the instructor of the program noticed her took her under her wing. Misty signed a managerial & life story contract with her Boys & Girls ballet teacher Cynthia Bradley. She stayed with the Bradley family during the week & went back home to her mother & siblings on the weekends… this arrangement lasted for nearly 3 years… During which time Misty performed in shows, won awards & scholarships… Misty studied independently for her sophomore year in H.S. At the end of her summer San Francisco ballet experience that year, her biological mother informed her she would be moving back in with her family.

Misty believed she wouldn’t be able to dance anymore so she ran away from home & filed for emancipation. Her mother counteracted by filing a restraining order against the Bradley family… talk about drama! Her mother believed the Bradley’s were brain washing Misty… after all the entire emancipation idea was brought up by them & they even secured the lawyer who represented her in the case. After her mother informed her that she would not have to give up dancing Misty stated she didn’t really understand the term emancipation & that she no longer wished to continue the process.

She moved back home & started to attend school full time & danced in the afternoons. The Bradley’s still had authority & rights to 20 percent of Misty’s earnings until she turned 18. In 1999 Misty auditioned for several ballet companies… each one offered her a spot in their summer programs… Misty chose the ABT… she performed in their summer intensive program in 1999 & 2000. At the end of the summer 2000 program, ABT offered Misty to stay… they wanted her to skip her senior year… they would pay for her housing, performances & academic arrangements… Misty joined the company but returned to California for her senior year… In 2001 she became a member of it’s second company Corp de ballet… she worked her way up the ranks from there & the rest is history!

Lets just say I’m slightly jealous… when asked as a child what I wanted to be when I grew up I always replied a ballerina… I even walked around the entire house on my tippy toes… who knows, if I didn’t change my mind by age 7 Misty might have had some serious competition! LOL

Misty Copeland

A rare black dancer in the world of classical ballet, Misty Copeland has catapulted through the ranks since she started dancing at the relatively late age of 13. Now a soloist with American Ballet Theatre, she’s a standout for the rigor and poetry she brings to the classics and for her no-holds-barred attack and energy in contemporary works. In March the California native, 27, was handpicked by Prince to star in his “Crimson and Clover” video. Its success on the Internet has won her a whole new following.

Giorgio Armani’s beaded gray and black silk dress, at Armani/5th Avenue, New York.

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Modern Manners Tutorial I: Proper Sushi Etiquette via [Sushi Secrets and WikiHow]


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Sushi Bar Tutorial & Etiquette
When you’re seated at the Sushi Bar…

The hot towel (oshibori) given to you by the waitress is used to wipe your hands at the beginning of your visit to the sushi bar. You can use it during the meal to wipe your hands but a napkin will also be provided for you.  Oh, and I feel the need to say this…. Do Not Blow Your Nose at the Sushi Bar! geeeeezzz!

How to order and from whom

You may order soup, drinks, appetizers and most non-sushi/sashimi menu items from your waitress. Basically, anything made in the kitchen is to be ordered from the waitress. Tea, sake, and beer are considered normal beverages when eating sushi. Do not order anything other than sashimi or sushi from your chef. It is considered impolite to do so.

All sushi bars have a sushi and sashimi menu that you fill out yourself. If you’re not sure what to order, ask the chef for his recommendations.  This gives the chef an opportunity to show off both his fish and his talents.

You may offer a beer or sake to your sushi chef, but he doesn’t expect it. If you have a drink with him, he may toast you with Kampai! (To your health!)

Slurping your soup or Where’s the spoon?

Soup is served hot. While eating miso soup (misoshiru) or clear broth (suimono), you may use your chopsticks to pick out the solid pieces and you can drink the soup as you would a cup of tea. Slurping (a slight sipping sound) is considered acceptable and holding the bowl of soup or rice up to your face so you don’t spill is okay too.

The “Peas in a pod”

The “peas” that are a common appetizer at sushi bars are actually soy beans in the pod and are called edamame (ed ah mah may).  They are served either cold or warm usually sprinkled with salt.  To avoid “flying peas” try to put one end of the pod in your mouth as you gently “work” the peas out of the pod. Do not eat the pod…

Chopsticks – Do’s and Don’ts

When not using your chopsticks, put them on a dish with the tips to the left. Or I have seen the paper wrapper from the chopsticks folded in such a way to make a chopstick holder!  (something to do while waiting for sake….) Never stick them in your food or rice bowl. It is also considered bad manners to use your chopsticks to pull the dishes to you. You should always use your hands to accommodate your dish-pulling needs.  Resist the temptation to sharpen your chopsticks by rubbing them together. Doing so implies to the chef that the chopsticks are cheap. You may discreetly pull any loose wood fibers off while hiding it in your lap. Then again, if there are loose wood fibers on the chopsticks, maybe you should let them know their chopsticks are cheap!

Did you know… Sticking your chopsticks upright into your food, especially your rice bowl, is the traditional way of offering rice to the dead? Do NOT do this! Another form of rude behavior is to grab your chopsticks in the palm of your hand as you would grab a stick. This is how a sword is handled. Also, Do not play with food and try to figure out what’s inside. The Japanese are generally sensitive about this and you insult your chef or host by picking the food apart. The way in which the food is arranged and presented is equally as important as the food itself.  I have found the chefs are happy to answer any questions I have asked.

Hands or Chopsticks?

It is okay to use your hands to eat sushi, but if you are going to serve someone, reverse your chopsticks and pass the food with the opposite ends. As with anything requiring coordination, learning to use chopsticks takes practice. Use chopsticks, not your fingers, while eating sashimi.

One Big Bite?

In Tokyo where the sushi is generally smaller in size, it is expected to be eaten in one bite. However, here in the US, we tend to cram more stuff in the sushi and therefore it’s bigger. I would say eat it in one bite if you can, but it’s acceptable to take more bites.


Sushi Dipping and No Soy Sauce On the Rice

The proper way to dip sushi into your soy sauce is to dip the fish side only. If you’ve ever eaten a hand roll, you know how difficult this can be… so eat it the easiest way you can!  Do not pour soy sauce on your rice. This is offensive to the chef. Other dishes are meant to flavor the rice as you eat. Rice is still considered a valued and precious item by elders.

Cleansing the Palate

The vinegared ginger slices (gari) that accompany your sushi are for cleansing your palate in between different foods.  It is not proper to heap the ginger on any food.

Shredded White Stuff

Shredded white radish (daikon) is to nibble on between sushi orders, use chopsticks to eat this. This is commonly served under sashimi and other dishes or on the side as an edible garnish.

The Green Stuff is Hot!

Be careful with the green mound found on your plate with your sushi. It is wasabi and it can be quite spicy if used in abundance. Wasabi is Japanese horseradish translated to “mountain hollyhock”.  A dab is smeared under most sushi and some people mix bits of it with soy sauce, but the Chef will be happy to add more wasabi to accommodate your personal taste.

Saké Etiquette

Pouring sake for others is a common custom in Japan that takes a bit of getting used to but has a wonderful charm and appeal once ingrained. Small cups (called ochoko or guinomi) and a larger serving flask or vessel (tokkuri) allow for frequent refill opportunities, each of which is a mini-ritual of social bonding. In formal situations, the tokkuri is held with two hands when pouring. Likewise, the person receiving should lift his or her glass off the table, holding it with one hand and supporting it with the other.

The more formal the situation the more such etiquette is observed. Even in informal situations, pouring saké for one’s table companions is the norm, although pouring and receiving parties generally revert to the more natural one-hand grip. Among close friends, after the first round or so, all pouring rituals are often abandoned for convenience.

Sushi Bar Vocabulary

A special vocabulary is reserved for sushi bars in Japan.  Soy sauce is referred to as murasaki (purple) instead of the normal shoyu. This is because most sushi restaurants make their own house sauce. Normally the marinated ginger slices are refered to as sushoga (vinegared ginger), but at the sushi bar it is called gari. Green tea is the national beverage of Japan and it’s called ocha. When asking for tea after the meal, you may ask for agari (finished) instead of ocha.  And lastly, Arigato means Thank You.

Check, please orsay OAISO, KUDASAI (pronounced: Oh-eye-so, coo-da-seye)

You can tell the sushi chef when you are done, but ask the waitress for the check. In Japan the people who handle food do not handle the money. Also in Japan, the gratuity is included in the bill and you are not supposed to leave a tip. But, in the United States a large tip is OK; consider the personal service and that the chefs share tips with the rest of the restaurant.

What To Say and How To Say It

For an extensive list of phrases, sushi, sashimi, and other sushi related terms and definitions, please go to Vocabulary. You will also find a brief explanation about how to pronounce most Japanese words.  Go to our Japanese Numbers page to learn how to count in Japanese.


Bowing represents humility. You elevate, honor, and respect the other person by humbling yourself or lowering yourself. The lower you bow, the more you are honoring or respecting the other party. As a Westerner, you are not expected to initiate a bow, but a bow should always be returned (except from personnel at department stores and restaurants who bow to welcome you, and to whom you can nod in return if you like). To not bow in return is similar to refusing a handshake.

The person of lower status usually initiates the bow, bows the lowest, and is the last one to rise. The most frequent bow is a rather informal bow of about 15 degrees and is held for one or two seconds. A deeper bow is used for a superior or for a formal occasion such as a first meeting. It is usually about 30 degrees and is held for about three seconds. Men usually leave their hands at their sides while bowing, but women usually place them together on their thighs with their fingertips overlapping or touching. Heels should be together. If you rise from your bow and the other person hasn’t risen yet, you should bow again. On most occasions, especially when saying good-bye, there are several bows by all parties.


For Greetings and Partings; introductions, welcoming, acknowledgment of another’s presence (even across the room), gaining attention

For Sincerity; offering assistance, food, presents, etc., showing gratitude, congratulating, sympathy

For Humility; requests, apology, respect

For Ceremony

To Acknowledge or Show Agreement


Handshaking is definitely a Western custom. Generally, the Japanese are uncomfortable with any physical forms of contact, however, they have become accustomed to this Western tradition and often shake hands to promote good relations. You should not judge the kind of handshake a Japanese person returns nor should you be too aggressive or excited shaking the hand of a Japanese person.

Do you love to eat sushi? Here are some ways to practice proper sushi etiquette the next time you enjoy this delicious Japanese treat.


  1. 1
    Proper chopstick placement

    Proper chopstick placement

    Place chopsticks properly. If at a sushi bar, place the chopsticks in front of you, parallel to the edge of the bar, with the narrow ends on the has-hi oki (chopstick rest). While it is not as polite to place them on the plate, if you do, place your chopsticks across your plate, not leaning on your plate.

  2. 2

    Use the broad end of your chopsticks to pick up sushi from a communal platter. To take sushi from the communal plate with the ends you use to put the sushi in your mouth is as impolite as serving yourself foods from a buffet by using the cutlery from your plate and liking it clean in between between each item you put on your plate or drinking from someone else glass. Use the broad end also to pass sushi from your plate to the one of an other person if you want to share.

This is only done between family members, there it is a sign of affection between lovers or parents and their children. Doing this outside of such close bonds it is considered rude.

  1. 1
    Maki sushi

    Maki sushi

    Don’t pass food from one set of chopsticks to another. As part of a Japanese funeral ritual, family members pass bones of the deceased to each other by chopsticks. Passing food from one set of chopsticks to another mimics this ritual, and is therefore considered extremely impolite and offensive. If you must pass something to another person, pick it up, and place it on their dish. They can then pick it up with their own chopsticks.Only between parents and children or lovers it is tolerated as a gesture of closeness.

  2. 2

    Know the difference between “nigiri,” (pieces of fish, shellfish, or fish roe over rice balls), “makizushi (rolled in seaweed, sometimes just called “maki”),” “temaki (hand rolls)”, “sashimi” (sliced/chilled raw fish without rice), and “chirashi sushi” (sliced/chilled raw fish served like sashimi but over a bed of rice).

  3. 3
    Nigiri sushi

    Nigiri sushi

    Always place your “nigiri-sushi” upside-down in the soy sauce and eat it “rice-side up.” Don’t pinch it too hard, and place it so the fish touches your tongue. (The soy sauce will cause the rice to fall apart.)

  4. 4

    Sushi should be eaten in one bite if possible, but two bites is generally acceptable. However, don’t put the sushi back on the plate if you bit it in half already. Once you pick it up, eat all of it.

  5. 5

    Feel free to use your fingers as utensils. Wipe your hands on a damp towel, if they provide you with one. But generally, use your fingers for sushi, and use chopsticks for sashimi.

  6. 6

    Clean off your plate. It is impolite to leave a grain of rice on your plate.

  7. 7

    Ask the chef what’s good, and let him pick for you, especially if it’s your first time eating sushi. This shows your respect for what he does, and maybe you’ll get a good snack. If you’re in Japan, buy the chef a drink, like sake or beer, as a compliment.

  8. 8

    Learn a few polite Japanese words and phrases, like:

    • Say thank you, or even better, Arigato gozaimasu (ah-ree-gah-toh go-zah-ee-mahs su) which means thank you very much.
    • Before eating, say “Itadakimasu!” (ee-tah-dah-kee-mahss) and when you’re done, say ‘Gochisousama deshita!” (Goch-sou-sah-mah-desh-tah). This is what Japanese say before and after they eat.
    • When asking for a waiter/waitress say “Sumimasen” (su-mee-mah-sen). This is the equivalent of saying “excuse me”
    • (Note on pronunciation: in Japanese, all syllables receive equal stress)
    • Note that if you are outside Japan, the employees at the restaurant may not speak a word of Japanese; use these phrases when you know they’ll be understood.
  9. 9

    If you order a “teishoku” or set item which includes soup, ask to have the soup served with the sushi as an accompaniment, rather than before the sushi as an appetizer.

  10. 10

    Tea does go well with sushi.

  11. 11

    Avoid the blowfish unless at a three star or higher restaurant.


  • If there is tea available, drink it with one hand holding it, and the other hand supporting it from underneath, using two hands to hold the cup.
  • If there is sake for drinking, it is boorish to pour sake for yourself. Pour some into cups for others, and let your companions pour sake for you.
  • The purpose of the soy sauce is to flavor the fish, not the rice. Never pour soy sauce directly on rice!
  • The Japanese words and phrases are optional; not every employee in a sushi shop will speak or understand Japanese.


  • Don't play with chopsticks!

    Don’t play with chopsticks!

    Avoid playing with your chopsticks.

  • Use only the necessary amount of soy sauce, and avoid the temptation to drown the sushi; it’s impolite to fill up your dish with excess soy sauce.
  • It’s just fine to put a a small amount of wasabi on your sushi; likewise, it’s fine to tell the chef (itamae-san) that you don’t want any wasabi- it will never be taken as an insult. Just use the phrase “wasabi nuki de.” Some folks just don’t like wasabi, and the customer is king- or “god” as they say in Japanese: “okyaku-sama wa kami-sama desu.”
  • Don’t expect the chef to handle the money. Have another employee assist you. People who handle the food never touch the money.
  • Never ask for forks or knives. Sushi is not steak.
  • Never stick your chopsticks in food, standing upright. This is rude, and resembles the incense at a funeral.
  • Always use even, matching chopsticks. People use uneven chopsticks to express sorrow and pass cremated remains.
  • If dining at a table away from the sushi counter, allow the waiter or waitress to be the go between for you and the sushi chef. While approaching the sushi chef for recommendations is welcomed while dining at a table, it is always best to place your order with the server assigned to take care of your party, and this includes regular patrons too. If you prefer to place your order with the chef personally, it is recommended that you sit at the sushi counter to avoid any confusion or delay with your order.

=====>>Link to Best Sushi in California :  http://www.yellowpages.ca/business/01263410.html

NEW Space Age Bath Cocoons and Home Spas via [MSN]


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Bathrooms of the future (© ProSun International, LLC, Diamond   Spas, Inc. & Kohler Co.)

Bathrooms of the future

By Marilyn Lewis of MSN Real Estate

Watching trends in the real-estate market is crucial for homeowners who are interested in remodeling, because a smart upgrade lets you also boost or sustain your home’s value. Spa baths are hot now, and the trend appears to have lasting appeal. It got started 30 years ago, when futurist Faith Popcorn predicted a movement she called “cocooning.” American consumers would desire to protect themselves “from the harsh, unpredictable realities of the outside world,” she predicted. Today, more than ever, we are seeking sanctuary in improvements such as home spas. Plumbing manufacturers are watching the trends — working from home, the demand for high-tech advances and green products, and the yearning for individual expression — and they’re responding with products that profoundly change the humble bath.

Bathrooms of the future (© LineaAqua LLC)

Space-age steam shower

While the future is mysterious, one thing’s a given: There will be stress. The newest bath products emphasize in-home spa features, making it possible to relieve stress thoroughly and in privacy. LineaAqua’s Apollo steam shower looks like a personal space capsule: The built-in reclined seat could be an astronaut’s anti-gravity chair. The blue-tinted safety glass and teak accents add to the futuristic look. You set the unit’s controls to manage the electronic temperature and steam generator or just lean back and use a remote to direct six adjustable massaging body sprays and a foot massage feature. Dim the unit’s mood lighting and crank up the audio speaker (the shower has a built-in FM radio and AUX connections for integrating your own sound system).

Cost: $24,400

Bathrooms of the future (© ProSun International, LLC)

Tan while you shower

When is a shower more than just a shower? In this case, when it gives you a tan and improves your complexion while you’re washing up. ProSun’s SunShower unit lets you incorporate a tanning unit, including five 400-watt lamps, reflectors and a double UV filter, into a shower. The 8-inch-thick unit can be added to a pre-existing shower enclosure or installed during new construction. Crave more? You can add high-intensity LED infrared light, said to stimulate the skin’s production of collagen and elastin. Units are framed in aluminum, brass or chrome — or in oil-rubbed bronze, to match your skin.

Cost: $10,900 to $17,995.

Bathrooms of the future (© American Standard)

Touch-sensitive controls

Bathroom basin, tub and shower faucets designed by architect Jean Nouvel for Jado and American Standard use touch-sensitive electronic controls that let users program — and save — their favorite volume and temperature settings. This shower’s elegant profile emphasizes function and clean lines.

Cost: Jean Nouvel Thermostatic Shower Curtain, $3,130.

Bathrooms of the future (© Kohler Co.)

Mix up the shower

Did you ever suspect you’d see a digital, menu-based navigation system for a shower in your lifetime? Check it out: The Kohler DTV II performance shower (in satin nickel, satin chrome or satin bronze) lets you mix up a custom shower experience. You use the digital controls to preset the four in-shower audio speakers, six shower heads (with 22 or 54 nozzles, for a rain-forest experience), steam and two hand-held shower wands. For example, choose the steam temperature and time, cue up your favorite tunes from your MP3 player, find the light display to suit your mood (color sequences evoke a sunrise, sunset, clouds and reflective water) and choose settings for the Ambient Rain Watertile shower head.

Cost: $2,000 to $10,000.

Bathrooms of the future (© Grohe America, Inc.)

High-tech performance

The Ondus bath system by German plumbing company Grohe blends organic form with high-tech performance and puts digital control of faucets, tub and shower in the user’s hands. Bathers can preset water temperature and flow rate. Engineering attention has been spent to mimic the flow of natural phenomena like waterfalls and falling rain. Here is the Ondus digital sink faucet (left), the AquaFountain shower system with both wall-mounted and hand-held showers (center) and, in the background, a floor-mounted bath filler, each with customizable, precision controls.

Cost: faucet, $4,199; AquaFountain shower system, $7,999; floor-mounted tub filler, $6,300

Bathrooms of the future (© visiomatic)

Waterproof media center

Some people retreat to their home spas to shut out the world. Others want to bring it in. Make the bath your operations center with the visiPad media station, which gives you access to e-mail, SMS, Internet, telephone, radio, CDs and DVDs. Control the unit with a remote or use the splash-protected touch-screen. Made by Visiomatic, the German maker of integrated electronic home control and entertainment systems, the visiPad is offered in a range of screen sizes, from 10 inches to 46 inches across.

Cost: The complete system about $4,225

Bathrooms of the future (© Dacor)

Kitchen tech warms bath towels

It’s a rough, cold world out there, which is why your towels must be soft and warm. Dacor, a manufacturer of kitchen appliances, adapted its indoor/outdoor oven warming drawer — the electronic components tolerate moisture — to bathroom use. The 24-inch drawer can be faced with a custom panel to match cabinets or you can use a stainless steel panel. The drawer has four temperature levels and four timer settings so towels will be done to perfection at the moment you need them.

Cost: $1,327 with stainless drawer panel

Bathrooms of the future (© Aquavision)

Waterproof TV

See that picture on the bathroom mirror? It’s a waterproof, 17-inch wide-screen TV by the British company Aquavision. With the television turned on, the screen is visible from nearly 180 degrees, meaning that you can see it from just about everywhere in the room. The television can be installed above a bathtub or inside a shower or sauna, remaining clear and dry — not foggy, says Aquavision. HDTV is an option, and six screen sizes range from 10 inches to 40 inches.

Cost: about $4,250

Bathrooms of the future (© Aquavision)

TV and warm towels

The Aquavision Towel Rail TV combines two essentials of the bath of the future: warm towels and entertainment. When you’re not watching the waterproof 17-inch LCD television, it is a mirror.

Cost: $4,000 and up.

High-style bath furniture

Another bath trend is to bring the look of furniture into the bath for a clean, uncluttered atmosphere. Lacava’s Aquaplane vanities exemplify the trend with a two-drawer cabinet with a Wenge finish beneath a broad basin.

Cost: Cabinet $990 to $1,190; basin $490; medicine cabinet $835 to $980.

Washing and drying automated

Toto makes several hands-free bath fixtures, including this WI-Touch Hands-Free wireless remote control that lets you operate a faucet without touching it. An electronic valve controller is installed beneath the sink and activated when you touch a remote-controlled sensor or foot pedal. The remote can be placed on the floor or the countertop or installed at knee or elbow level within three feet of the control box. The aim is to minimize the spread of cold and flu viruses and bacteria and also reduce the work of cleaning the sink. The unit (cost: roughly $550) can be installed by a homeowner and used with any standard manual faucet. Toto also makes a recessed Clean Dry Hand Dryer,which the company says is extremely quiet, performs in less than 12 seconds and consumes a quarter of the energy of similar products. Its washable filter helps freshen room air.

Cost: roughly $1,200.

Bathrooms of the future (© Toto USA, Inc.)

Intelligent toilet

Toto’s “intelligent design” toilet seat uses a microcomputer to unite two traditional bathroom appliances, the toilet and bidet. After using the toilet, you stay seated on the heated digital Washlet seat, which is made of anti-bacterial plastic. Use the remote control unit to direct streams of warm, aerated water onto your body, eliminating the need for paper and reducing the spread of bathroom germs. (Guys use the remote control to lift the seat.) To use the drying cycle, choose one of three temperatures, sending a flow of warm air to dry your skin. The unit automatically self-cleans before and after each use. Most Washlet models have a remote control and docking station and work with any toilet. The premier Washlet S400 is compatible only with select Toto toilets: It flushes the toilet automatically three seconds after the user stands up and its  “intuitive” lid closes on its own.

Cost: $800 to $1,400.

Hidden tank

Toto was emphasizing water and energy conservation in its plumbing products long before “green” was cool. The newly released Aquia high-efficiency toilet has its tank hidden in the wall for a sleek, minimalist look that the Japanese plumbing manufacturer says was inspired by the lines in nature. The bowl is glazed with a material that helps keep grime from building up. The dual flushing system lets the user choose to use a smaller or larger amount of water used: 1.6 gallons per flush for full flush or 0.9 gallons for the light flush.

Cost: roughly $350 for the toilet and $660 for the concealed tank carrier.

Glowing basins

Translucent scratch- and heat-resistant epoxy resin is used in a new line of Toto Luminist sinks and tubs that can be lit from beneath to give bathrooms an otherworldy glow. Water temperature is digitally controlled by a knob on the surface of the sink or tub. A light indicator panel uses color to read water temperature: blue is cold; light purple indicates 93.2 degrees F; dark purple is 100.4 degrees and red is very hot — 107.6 degrees.

Cost: Neorest II Luminist lavatory with integrated sensor faucet $6,200; Neorest II Luminist soaking tub with integrated sensor bath faucet, $17,500.

Massage with sound

Kohler’s VibrAcoustic Bath mixes up the bath experience, adding music and sound vibration to an ergonomic tub to sooth the weary mind and body. A digital control panel lets you select tub level, water temperature and one of four instrumental compositions (Awakening, Solitude, Letting Go and Transcendence). Music is piped underwater through one stereo system and played into the atmosphere through a second. Or choose other massage presets and add your own music by operating your MP3 player through the system. Colored “chromatherapy” lights are choreographed to the music.

Cost: $10,000 to $13,000, including electronic controls

Take off the chill

In the quest to make the bath into a cozy haven, homeowners are installing small, direct-vent natural gas or propane fireplaces. For example, Canadian manufacturer Napoleon reports that any of its direct-vent gas fireplaces can be used in a bathroom. This model, the Torch, measures just 12 inches across and has a shallow firebox that fits nicely between 2-by-6-inch wall studs. It puts out about 6,000 BTUs.

Cost: Suggested retail price starts at $1,608

Bathrooms of the future (© Diamond Spas, Inc.)

Japanese influence

Diamond Spas‘ Bennett reports a trend toward individual expression in bathrooms. “The shift I see is in aquatic personalization.  People are looking for something unique, handcrafted quality and beauty, a bath made by artisans rather than mass-produced, a bath that was made exclusively for them.” City apartment and loft dwellers often choose small, deep Japanese soaking baths that provide a space-saving vertical soak rather than horizontal, she says. This circular, one-person tub, 42 inches around by 35 inches deep, has a bench seat.

Cost: $15,284.

Luxury tubs

“Soaking tub” is a term used a lot for luxury tubs. “Designs vary from a smaller bath with a deeper depth, such as a Japanese soaker, to a large rectangular bath with a body forming contoured bottom,” says Stephanie Bennett of Diamond Spas, a Colorado company that crafts custom stainless steel and copper tubs to buyers’ specifications. The tub pictured here is a contemporary, oval, full-skirted soaking bath designed for two: 42 inches wide by 72 inches long by 24 inches deep. It has a midcontoured bottom with a sloping reclined area at each end for relaxing face-to-face conversation.

Cost: $16,982.

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Most people just spend their money. Others turn it into

Origami Dollar Bills

Origami Money Shirt With Tie

Dollar Bill Dresses by you.

Dollar Dude

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Origami Rhino

Origami Rooster

Hang Glider

Creative Dollar Bill Origami 2

Creative Dollar Bill Origami 3

Creative Dollar Bill Origami 4

Creative Dollar Bill Origami 5

Creative Dollar Bill Origami 6

Rirkrit Tiravanija’s Relational Aesthetics

Rirkrit Tiravanija is a Buenos Aires-born Thai contemporary artist
known for exploring the social role of the artist using relational
aesthetics. He is most famous for installation art pieces where he
cookes meals for gallery-goers, reads to them, or plays music for them.
Rirkrit’s treatment of money, above, is a perfect example of this
examination of human beings in their social context rather than in a private space.

While the core concept is incredibly simple, the results are nothing
short of amazing. Each of the pieces is formed by folding currency
from a different country in such a way that the resulting miniature
emphases the face of the leader on the note. Not only that, but each of
the faces is given a unique hat or garb, representing the culture of the
currencies’ country of origin.

In a concept similar to the one shown above, this set incorporates
the cultural heritage of each country into the note buy cutting it out
in the shape of one of the countries’ popular skylines. Often with faces
projected onto the skylines, the final pieces are beautiful works of
art, immediately identifiable by the precise cutting of the skylines.

Money Sculptures by Justine Smith

Justine Smith’s work is noted for here exploration of our
relationships with, and responses to money, in political, moral, and
social settings. On the one hand we have guns and grenades, representing
the money used to fund wars and cause bloodshed around the
world, and on the other, are intricate and beautiful flowers
representing everything just and sacred.

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The Priciest Automobile on the Planet.-The Citroen GT


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World’s Most Expensive Car – Citroen

The GT by Citroën (sometimes spelled GTbyCitroën) is a sports car
that debuted as a concept car on October 2 at the 2008 Paris Motor Show.
The car is a collaboration between the French automaker Citroën and the
Japanese racing simulation developer Polyphony Digital. An extremely
limited edition, only 6
are to be built.

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World’s Most Expensive Car –

Polyphony Digital’s Citroën GT is set to become one of the most
expensive “production
(if you can really call it that…) sold today, coming in at £1.1
million pounds or approximately $1.8 million U.S. dollars. AutoCar got
the scoop from “senior inside sources”, who revealed that only six of
the will be
made — all of which will be powered by either a “Ford or GM V8?. That’s
considerably less than the 20 production models that were hinted at
before, but according to AutoCar, “most of the concept’s features should
make the final production version, including the carbon-fibre
construction and eccentric interior details such as the copper trim.”
Sweet! The final production version of the car is expected to be
launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September.

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

While you’re saving up, check out this video showing the GT’s recent
tour around London.

via [YouTube]

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Retail Therapy: Why not buy these HAUTE Shoes instead of paying Your Mortgage this Month?!! via [Worship Worthy]


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Bad-Ass Shoe Designer from Paris, Raphael Young   by Cody Ross

PARIS/NYC: Raphael Young is the intriguing, bad-ass shoe designer hailing from Paris. His collections are explorations in extreme craftsmanship, angular geometrics and monochrome embellishment that seem fundamentally fresh — yet reflect the classical style/quality of the iconic design houses and influences that nurtured his vision, including his uncle, legendary Monsieur Alexandre Narcy, who was the footwear director at YSL for over four decades.
In just three seasons Raphael (who is 34 and of Korean heritage) has cemented a position as the ‘edgiest’ most sought-after shoe creator by fashion aficionados the world over. This week, Raphael sat in the Priestess NYC atelier in the West Village, showcasing the intricate details of his super-durable carbon-composite heels and boots in a mosaic of metal and leather. From Vogue and Lucky to The Museum at FIT, the critics were mesmerized.
While they all heap praise on the collection, Raphael has the more theatrical role of conveying his vision — especially now that his talent has been recognized by major publications and prominent stores, and is the reason he has come to NYC to percolate his brand. Paul Viguier, Raphael’s Marketing Manager, says “creativity and craftsmanship are in his blood and Raphael gives methodical attention to detail, research and quality.”

Looking like a character from the d’Artagnan era, dressed in dark tones with his wavy-slick black hair and leather-spiked boots, Raphael is one of those rare talents who seem to fall from the sky — although the reality of his story is decades of hard work and collaborations with venerable design houses from YSL and Manish Arora to the Korean powerhouse, Avista-Kaylee Tankus. Yet for all his practical knowledge of design and production, his philosophy is fundamentally that of a master artisan.

“What interests me about shoes is the transformational process,” he says. “The process of turning a concept into a concrete with amazing artistic attributes and properties that cannot be easily replicated.”
For the AW/09 collection, that means focusing on futurist motifs and morphing images of the Art Nouveau and Bauhaus periods into chic battle armor shoes and boots for exquisite women: indestructible carbon and aluminum heels with silhouettes comprised of the finest nappa and specchio nero leathers and audacious metallic finishes.
He cites Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, Zaha Hadid and Le Corbusier as serious inspirations and is very keen on light-weight materials such as carbon-fibers and composites. Raphael’s contribution to modern fashion has been both his technical and abstract treatments of embellishment and innovative/cool décor. His ‘Eagle One’ Aluminio heels are to die for and have been seen on ‘it’ girls Eleonora Abbagnato (Dancer Etoile of the Opera de Paris), singer Katy Perry and bomb-shell Bond-girl, Olga Kurylenko. His work conjures images of strong, sophisticated women fused with courageous femininity.
Zaha Hadid
Le Corbusier
Olga Kurylenko

Eleonora Abbagnato

Katy Perry

Born in 1974 in Seoul and adopted by French parents, Raphael was raised in Romans near Avignone. His father was an engineer and his mother a pediatrician. Steeped in fashion from an early age and mentored by his uncle who was a master technician-artisan, he moved to Paris and in no time was recognized as a creative-genius. (He was also a Naval cadet where he took a keen interest in uniform tailoring and French military design).
Raphael showed his first eponymous collection three seasons ago in Paris and swiftly became a cult figure. Embedded in his work is a ‘gothic-chic-futurism’ that juxtaposes leather matte and shine, playing with textures and their reflective qualities. There’s nothing remotely simple about the complex, futuristic synthesis of line, cut, and glinting surfaces that manifest beautifully in his work (it is as if they might have been extruded from some techno-industrial machine). The shoe range is amazing and comes in iridescent gold, silver and copper tones enveloped in soft leathers with a raw, motor-bike aura.
Raphael’s genius is his projection of couture techniques into a universe of advancing and changing technology. A crude description might be “sci-fi gothic motorbike couture,” but in truth the right words are hard to find.

Raphael Young defies references or narrative, and fuses experimentation with materials and sculpture to the Nth-power. He is a visionary designer who is humble and grounded and whose shoes are, well, superb!

Cody and Raphael at Priestess NYC

Check out the gallery at:  www.raphaelyoung.com

For sales enquiries contact Paul at: paul@justwm.com

-Cody Ross (cody@priestessnyc.com)

My FAVE 3 Ultra-Modern Cities of the World via [RatesToGo]


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Three Most Futuristic Cities

posted by: E Choon

There are only two ways of looking at the future; bright and spectacular or gloomy and horrible. Most of us would prefer a spectacular image, straight out of a sci-fi movie. Thankfully, even today some cities are working hard towards that great future and definitely deserve our commendations. The top three cities that make the cut as the most futuristic cities of today are Tokyo, Hong Kong and Dubai.


Ultra modern, with busy streets 24/7 and skyscrapers that puncture the sky, Tokyo is one of the most futuristic cities on earth. They make extensive use of technological advances, from internet, to electric toilets. They boast the fastest railway system in the world; their Bullet train can move up to 300 mph. Even anime has used this city to depict the future. Check out some of the Tokyo hotel deals for a wild time in Japan’s most modern city.

Night Tokyo

Tokyo from above

Tokyo Tower

Hong Kong

With skyscrapers that defy description, and neon lights flashing everywhere, Hong Kong is the next on our futuristic destinations list. The city makes use of a tram network with a smart card system to make travel from points in the city faster and more efficient, whether public or private. The beauty of the city and the unique skyline are hard to match, even the roads network looks out of this world. With one of the worlds best airports, built 16 miles out to sea and buildings which will definitely make you wonder which century you are in, Hong Kong is an amazing place to be.

Hong Kong City

Hong Kong night

World Trade Center Hong Kong


Dubai Burj Al Arab

Lastly, Dubai is the one that definitely looks nothing like any city anyone has seen before. The city doesn?t do anything on a small scale. They are currently in the process of building the first underwater hotel, and the houses at their marina are not only modern, but the design used to build looks like something straight out of the Waterworld. Add the unusually shaped buildings and busy city life, and you could definitely be looking at our future.

They have one of the world’s first ever built 7 star hotels called Burj Al Arab Hotel.

beach hotel Dubai

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Please Don’t Break These Beds…They are waaayy too EXPENSIVE$$$. via [Quality Junkyard and Luxist]


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Top High Tech Luxury Beds

Multimedia beds have succeeded in turning more than a few heads in the past. No doubt, these high-tech luxury beds will ask you for some huge bucks in exchange for a blissful sleep, but can you really put a price tag on a good night’s sleep? Multimedia beds have evolved into one of the most important pieces of furniture in any home and are here to stay as people are getting increasingly personal and fussy about their choices. Here, I have compiled a list of Top 10 high-tech luxury beds for geeks, like me, who think that living through the day with all the assistance from the gadgets is not just enough. Check out the fabulous beds after the jump.


Top 10 High Tech Luxury Beds - Magnetic Floating Bed

The magnetically levitating bed by Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars is an upshot of six long years research work. The bed faces gravitation with magnets and it can support up to 900 kilos and is supported by four steel cables. The scale model of the bed was presented at the Millionaire Fair in June 2006 and the floating bed is estimated to be priced around 115,000 Euros for the scale model and for complete model expect to lay down around 1.2 million Euros.


Top 10 High Tech Luxury Beds - Starry Night Sleep Technology Bed

The from Leggett & Platt is a spellbinding combination of technology and bedding that makes use of diagnostic tools to moderate temperature, monitor body movements and alleviate snoring. At $50,000, it’s not just another run-of-the-mill luxury bed. It touts anti-snore technology to reduce snoring in mild to moderate cases by elevating your upper body a few degrees. Its dual programmable temperature control from 68 to 117 degrees Fahrenheit adjusts the temperature to your liking. The Sleep Diagnostic Center monitors body movement and breathing pattern throughout the night. If you are the one who can’t live without music, the bed comes with an iPod docking station and 2500-watt surround sound system with four 8-inch subwoofers. Other salient specs include Internet connectivity, wireless RF remote that connects to a 1.5TB media server with four gigs of RAM, and a 1080p projector.


Top 10 High Tech Luxury Beds - Hollandia Platimun - Luxe Elite   Sleep

I bet you would never want to get out of the . It boasts loads of other luxury options besides a retractable 32-inch Sony Bravia HDTV integrated into the bed’s footboard. The TV sits 80 inches from the headboard, slightly exceeding the normal 1:3 ratio of screen size to viewer distance, and the brightness dynamically adjusts to the ambient light, to reduce eye strain. The Elite is also equipped with a Sony Bravia theater system that includes a five DVD/CD changer, a five speaker surround sound system, a subwoofer beneath the bed for a complete hi-end experience, and an iPod docking station. Last but not the least; the bed gently adjusts to a comfortable reclining position. And, the the most useful feature is the integrated massage system that features four powerful motors with a micro-computer that provides 12 individual massage programs, and a 30-minute automatic shutdown. It also has a 13-inch retractable back-sliding system and Hollandia’s telescopic head support. All the features are beautifully engineered into the bed, there are no unsightly wires visible in the room. The bed looks gorgeous design-wise too. The base is covered in Italian-designed fabric, which is a new, 100 percent synthetic fiber that protects the frame from pets. The Elite is available in white or gray to complement any bedroom decor.


Top 10 High Tech Luxury Beds - Multimedia Bed with RUF Cinema

This magnificent multimedia bed looks like it is specially designed for a Hollywood movie. The bed has a home cinema rack fitted between the two-upholstered headboard bolsters with enough space for DVD player and game consoles. The RUF Cinema’s foot section has an aluminum cover that conceals the screen which can be easily assembled using the radio remote control. So, all it needs to make the screen stand-up and hide-out is a button on the remote control. Moreover, the padding on the headboards can be easily adjusted to suit your comfort.


Top 10 High Tech Luxury Beds - Gravity Zero Groove Bed

Hollandia International is quite known for producing extraordinary line of luxury sleep systems, mattresses, daybeds and bedding. The Gravity Zero Groove sleep system from the company comes with a 150-watt sound system to get your groove on. The two powerful sleep system motors and two massage systems with 12 massage programs make sure you never feel exhausted in the bed. The rhythmic lines and hip styling of this unique bed and mattress touts four-joint adjustability, back-sliding system, and a flexible shoulder comfort zone. The mattress is actually made from ventilated Talalay latex, which offers full comfort and support. No doubt, the Gravity Zero Groove sleep system will ask you for some huge bucks in exchange for a musical, blissful sleep.


Top 10 High Tech Luxury Beds - Ultimate TV Bed

Another cool entry onto the list is the , the super-luxury bed with a single press of the wireless remote. The end of the bed opens silently to glide out a 22-inch flatscreen TV. The bed is delivered with in-built, electronic leveling. The price-tag is a complete knock-out for $32,375.


Top 10 High Tech Luxury Beds - Historie Do Be Swivel

The Histoire Do Be is a rotating swivel bed run by remote control from Mobelform. The bed comes with built-in cabinetry with TV stand and orthopedic mattress. The bed is available in different color, sizes and wooden assortments. So folks! Give your bed-room a nice make-over with this gorgeous looking round-shaped remote-control bed.


Top 10 High Tech Luxury Beds - Gustarle TV Bed

The Gustarle TV-Bed comes complete with Samsung flatscreen LCD TV with built in DVD player. This impressive waterbed comes with the latest top of the range Samsung 26-inch LCD TV and the Sony high definition DVD player. Several wood finishes are available for the bed, headboard and footboard, together with a superb choice of real leather fabrics for the inset panels on the headboard and each side of the footboard. This gorgeous TV Bed is also available with Visco Elastic memory foam mattress upon request. Available in various sizes, the 200cm model will set you back £6,950 (US $13,577).


Top 10 High Tech Luxury Beds - Indestructible Bed

The Quantum Sleeper Unit is a high-level security system designed for maximum protection in various hostile environments. The high-tech bed folds up into a fire-resistant coffin-like box to keep you safe from any uneventful event. The bed is fitted with a high-level security system that protects you from destructive forces of nature, bio-chemical terrorist attack and kidnappers. Besides, the bed is not just about protection, it is also the ultimate in entertainment and communications as it also comes with a built-in CD player, DVD Screen with PC hookup, microwave and refrigerator along with cellular phones and radios to keep you connected to the outside world! The bed is designed to enable the person(s) inside the unit to see out and prevent those outside from seeing in. The bed, though not in production, costs an estimated $135,000.


Top 10 High Tech Luxury Beds - Sonic Bed by Kaffe Matthews

Behold the big bed! The Sonic bed is a gigantic bed with 12-channel surround sound. It may resemble a wooden tank from the outside, but it touts enough speakers inside to make a perfect home theater set up. Designed by Kaffe Matthews as a museum exhibit, the bed runs on 220 volts of electricity and covers every inch of your body in sound. All you need to do is hook up a TV and you will never feel like leaving your bed.

11. The Rocking Bed

Private Cloud by Herzlich Willkommen
Found at : Luxist

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Travel Photo Tour: The World’s Most Beautiful Aquariums. via [Quality Junk]


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7 Most Amazing and Breathtaking Aquariums Around The World

This is really amazing. Most beautiful and breathtaking aquariums around the world. never seen something like this. hope you will agree with me.

1. Dubai aquarium in the Dubai Mall

7 Most Amazing and Breathtaking Aquariums Around The World


Stingrays swim in the Dubai aquarium in the Dubai Mall, which covers the area of 50 soccer pitches. The Dubai Aquarium – vast, entertaining, an engineering marvel, three storeys tall and featuring glass ‘walk-through’ tunnels that contain exotic marine life.

2. Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta

7 Most Amazing and Breathtaking Aquariums Around The World


World’s Largest Aquarium, Georgia Aquarium,Atlanta, a wonderful home for more than 100,000 animals of 500 different species (notable specimens: whale sharks, beluga whales, manta ray) and with a capacity of 8.1 million US gallons (31,000 m³) of marine fresh water

3. Churaumi Aquarium

7 Most Amazing and Breathtaking Aquariums Around The World


World’s Second Largest Aquarium , Churaumi Aquarium,part of the Ocean Expo Commemorative National Government Park located in Motobu, Okinawa, Japan; capacity: 7,500-cubic meters (1,981,290 gallons) of water; one of the few places where visitors can see a great variety of sea creatures including sharks and manta rays.

4. The Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA)

7 Most Amazing and Breathtaking Aquariums Around The World


AQWA, an unbelievable journey to the underwater world of Western Australia, “from the icy waters of the southern ocean to the tropical wonderland of coral reefs in the Far North”The Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA) is a privately owned aquarium in Hillarys, Western Australia. It opened as Underwater World, Perth on April 13, 1988 and was acquired by the current owners, Coral World International and Morris Kahn, in 1991. It changed to its current name on January 1, 2001. The facility holds approximately 400 species of marine life.

5. UShaka Marine World

7 Most Amazing and Breathtaking Aquariums Around The World


Largest Aquarium in Africa – UShaka Marine World, located on the strip of land between the beachfront and the harbor in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; a beautiful amusement park and at the same time the worlds fifth largest aquarium with 32 water tanks. The sea creatures found in the aquarium range from small sea horses all the way through to sharks and dolphins. The Aquarium is built to look like an old wreck.

6. AquaDom, Radisson Hotel Aquarium

7 Most Amazing and Breathtaking Aquariums Around The World 6


World’s Largest Cylindrical Aquarium , AquaDom, Radisson Hotel Aquarium, Berlin; 25 meters high aquarium, with a capacity of 260,000 gallons of water and over 2,500 fish (56 species); visitors can travel through the aquarium using an encased elevator and get to the top where there is a restaurant and an open view of the city; hotel rooms can also experience the underwater view.

7. The 32 million dollar Virtual Aquarium

7 Most Amazing and Breathtaking Aquariums Around The World


World’s Largest Virtual Fish Tank, 30 by 250 meters LED screen or 32 million dollar Virtual Aquarium mounted at about 80 feet in the air between two shopping malls in Beijing.

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Fete Accompli : POLO Tailgate Parties


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NFL and MLB tailgates consist of: Grilled burgers, hot
dogs, corn on the cob and baked beans.
Whereas polo
tailgates consist of: Grilled lobster, swordfish, shrimp and oysters
and Dom Perignon served in sterling silver goblets.
the NFL and MLB tailgates, polo tailgates take place in parking lots,
the only difference.  A polo tailgate parking lot resembles a luxury
car dealership:
Rolls Royces, Lamborghini‘s,
Ferrari’s and Maserati‘s.

via Plum TV

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