Flower Art

This cool picture, titled Red Anemone, is artist Katinka Matson’s latest flower portrait.  Katinka creates her art with a high-resolution digital scanner, enabling the level of great detail found in her work.

 Here’s another piece of hers, titled, Water Lily.

(Via Boing Boing)

47 View Street – Luxist Estate of the Day

Today’s luxury estate post from Luxist features a home in Los Altos, California.  With over 12,000 square feet of space it is huge, as is the asking price – $27 million (approximately $2,220 per square foot.)  A bit pricey in my opinion, but I don’t have nearly the need for that much square footage in a home, nor the available funds to purchase something anywhere in that price range.

Let’s dream anyway.  More information (including a PDF and video of the property) can be found here.

Today’s estate takes us back to Los Altos Hills, the home of many Silicon Valley executives. This beautiful home, created by R.J. Dailey Construction is exquisitely done. It sits on an acre of land and has a three-level floorplan with over 12,000 square feet of space. There are five bedroom suites including the master which includes a fireplace, gorgeous curved windows, a predictably massive bathroom and an adjacent paneled library. The home is wired for the latest technology and has radiant heating and programmable lighting. The home also includes a home theater with a bar, a wine cave and a fitness room. There is also a one-bedroom guest apartment, swimming pool and spa, four-car garage and a generator for auxiliary power. It is listed at $27 million

Most Expensive things on Amazon.com

Ever wonder how much items are selling for online?  Rich Lafferty {\richtext} took some time last week to gather a list of the most expensive items in each category on Amazon.com.  This is both humorous and unbelievable!

Books: Super Bowl Opus MVP Edition (Leather Bound), $40,000 (with free shipping!). The second-most expensive “book” is a $12,000 collection of 201 psychology books.

DVDs: Mapping Your Value Stream, $280. DVDs are the great equalizer, apparently. This is a business logistics course on DVD. I stand corrected: Essential Art House – 50 Years of Janus Films, a 50-DVD collection for $764.99. Still, that’s only $15 per DVD!

Music: Luminous Arc: Music from the game, $6,442.99. The soundtrack to a Nintendo DS game that’s going to be released later this year.

Magazines: Comprehensive Data Base of US Chemical Patents. 12 months for $71,722. I knew this would end up being something other than what normal people consider magazines.

Toys: A city-park-size playground system for $32,229.59. The most expensive toy for a single child is an electric monster truck for $13,800. For that I bet the kid would have more fun with a real, yet not monster, truck.

Video games: A Playstation 3 60GB bundle for $799. No surprise there.

Audio-Video Electronics: A grandfather clock for $12,463.50. You were expecting a big TV? You’re wondering why a grandfather clock is Audio-Video Electronics? How about that.

Camera and Photo: A high-speed sheet-feed scanner for $14,805. I’m really surprised there’s no actual camera equipment up in that range.

Musical Instruments: Gulbransen Bottle Organ, $33,150. Now that’s the kind of thing I want to see as the most expensive thing in a category! The runners-up here are big outdoor searchlights, like you’d expect at a theatre opening, and a $17,500 violin-playing robot.

Electronics: HP StorageWorks SDLT Tape Library, $351,816. 400 tapes, 16 drives, 3.2TB capacity.

Computers and PC Hardware: The same HP tape library. Clearly no-one is paying attention to the category names at Amazon, what with this and the grandfather clock.

Office supplies: The same stupid tape library. #2 is an online coffee and chocolate business for sale for $55,000 (one used or new, hah).

Computer software: Cisco Security Agent, 100-license pack, for $64,274.84. Please excuse the computer-related doldrums, it gets more interesting shortly.

Automotive: A JIC EK2D1-TI res Spartan DE Type 1 TI Exhaust System for a 2dr 1996-2000 Honda Civic for… $891,480. I don’t understand either. #2 is an actual physical auto parts store for sale for $750,000.

Industrial and Scientific: a 3-Axis CNC Milling Machine for $22,195. From the photo I see that this is the thing you strap Bond to when you expect him to die.

Tools and Hardware: The number 9, for $254,623. So far I’ve been leaving out things that were mis-entered but that one was too weird not to share. The most expensive correctly-entered thing in this category is a $81,890 Thawzall construction site heater, although there’s also a notable $60,000 chandelier.

Gourmet Food: 4 lbs Russian Beluga Caviar for $10,560. I was expecting something even more ridiculous, but ok.

Grocery: Skin cream for $340, but that’s boring. How about 25 lbs of Altoids for $337?22 lbs of chocolate powderr for $313? (Gourmet Food and Grocery? Classist!)

Pet Supplies: Giant parrot cage for $3886.61. The cage is big. Standard parrots.

Bed and Bath: Egyptian cotton eiderdown comforter, $9435.99.

Fresh Flowers and Plants: 12 months of roses for $495. I think they’d get old fast.

Furniture & Décor:Goddard replica“, $9,999,999. I’m not sure what it’s a replica of, but I’m betting it’s not the entire space research complex. If that seems a bit too much, then there’s a $999,999 space rock paperweight. Incidentally Amazon themselves put the accent on the “e” in “Décor”.

(Right now I’m going “Holy cow, why did I start this? And why am I continuing?” But continue I do, for you, the reader.)

Home and Garden: Like a crazy top-ten list, this gets us the Goddard replica, the space rock paperweight, and the number 9! Other than those, there’s a $99,999 solar cell and an $85,000 antique 1840s Russian glass paperweight.

Outdoor Living: 10×18 Log Wedding Chapel with Wooden Roof, $20,319.97. Now this is the kind of ridiculous-but-not-impossible thing I wanted to find on a list of Amazon’s most expensive things. But a wedding chapel really ought to cost twenty grand, right? So there’s also a $14,662 barbecue grill that you could use beside your $13,997 tiki hut.

Apparel: Space suit, $999,999. I think they’re pulling my leg, though, so skipping over the jewelry that is in the wrong category, we have a $40,000 fur coat from WEBFURS. You know, if you’d asked me what WEBFURS was, I wouldn’t have guessed “fur coat company”.

Jewelry and Watches: This category got things started on IRC! #1 is a 7.12 carat diamond for $495,830. But that’s only potential jewelry, so there’s also a $225,000 Cartier tank watch with diamond band. Would you believe that the movement on that Cartier is quartz?

Shoes: Dolce and Gabbana boots, $1,596. That was disappointing.

Beauty: a Nicole Chignon Swarovski hairbun holder for $1700 which is clearly not a beauty product. #2 is a limited-edition 15ml bottle of Lalique Deux Coeurs perfume for $1600.

Health and Personal Care: 24-station home fitness centre, $39,999.

Kids and Baby: Grim Reaper on Skeleton Horseback Lifesize Prop, $2,995. In case your kids were turning out too well-adjusted.

Baby (which is apparently subtly different from “Kids and Baby”): Kensington traditional pram, $2,995. Boy, tough call between that and the grim reaper.

Exercise and Fitness: The same fitness centre as in Health and Personal Care. A bit down the list is a $25,187 jacuzzi spa with built-in flat panel TV.

Sporting Goods: Football arcade game, with real football-throwing, for $88,550. #2 is an extremely dorky golf cart for $77,988.

(Original post hereVia Boing Boing)

Baked Risotto Primavera


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 cup short- or medium-grain brown rice (see Ingredient note)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 ounces asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas or snow peas, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
Nutrition Info

Per Serving

  • Calories: 332 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 36 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4 g
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Protein: 17 g
  • Sugars: 6 g

About: Nutrition Info

Powered by: ESHA Nutrient Database

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or ovenproof high sided skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in rice and garlic; cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in wine and simmer until it has mostly evaporated. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven.
  3. Bake until the rice is just tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Shortly before the risotto is done, steam asparagus, peas and bell pepper until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.
  5. Fold the steamed vegetables, Parmesan, parsley, chives, lemon zest and pepper into the risotto. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings

Still Hungry?

This updated spring classic calls for nutty-tasting short-grain brown rice instead of the traditional white arborio. Because the cooking time is longer with whole-grain rice, this risotto is cooked in the oven rather than on the stovetop, eliminating the need for almost constant stirring.


Ingredient note

Use short- or medium-grain brown rice, available in natural-foods stores and large supermarkets, to achieve the characteristic creamy risotto texture.

(Via Yahoo! Food)

Chicken, Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo

    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    2 pounds medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, shells reserved
    2 pounds chicken wings
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    2 tablespoons tomato paste
    4 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium broth
    3 bay leaves
    6 whole chicken legs
    2/3 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    8 large cloves garlic cloves, finely chopped
    6 large scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced separately
    4 medium celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    2 large Spanish onions, coarsely chopped
    2 medium green peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    1 pound andouille sausage, half finely chopped, half sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
    2 teaspoons dried thyme
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 pound okra, stems trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
    3 tablespoons file powder (see Note)
    Nutrition Information:
    Calories: 548 kcal
    Carbohydrates: 20 g
    Dietary Fiber: 3 g
    Fat: 35 g
    Protein: 36 g
    Sugars: 4 gAbout: Nutrition Info

    Powered by: ESHA Nutrient Database

    Cooking Directions:

  1. In a large, heavy stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Add the reserved shrimp shells and chicken wings, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the chicken wings are browned, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until glossy, about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the stock, stirring with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Skim the surface of the stock, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, skimming occasionally.
  2. Add the chicken legs to the stock and simmer until they are cooked through, about 40 minutes. Strain the stock into a heatproof bowl and transfer the chicken legs to a large plate. When the legs are cool enough to handle, remove the meat and discard the skin and bones. Tear the meat into 2-inch pieces and set aside. Skim the fat from the surface of the stock and reserve the stock.
  3. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, stir the remaining 2/3 cup of vegetable oil with the flour until smooth. Cook the oil and flour over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until a deep brown roux forms, about 25 minutes. Add the garlic, scallion whites, celery, onions, green peppers and finely chopped andouille sausage. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 15 minutes. Add the thyme, cayenne, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the reserved stock. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour, skimming occasionally.
  4. Add the okra and simmer until just tender, about 8 minutes. Add the reserved shredded chicken and the andouille rounds and simmer for 10 minutes. Season the gumbo with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and simmer for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and let the gumbo stand for a few minutes. Stir in the file powder and scallion greens and serve hot.

Yield: 12 servings

(via Yahoo!Food)

Jawbone Bluetooth Headset


The Jawbone Bluetooth Headset, created by Aliph and sold through Cingular Wireless stores not only looks futuristic, but also employs amazing noise canceling technology to allow clearer conversations in noisy places.  Jawbone’s Noise Shield technology cancels out background noise and zeros in on the user’s voice. The Jawbone Bluetooth Headset technology queries the sounds around it 500 times per second to help enhance your voice and cancel out background noise, as well as improving the sound clarity through the earpiece.

Sounds good, right?  Check out the video below or visit Jawbone’s website and click on the “demo” to hear the Noise Shield in action.

Currently sold exclusively through Cingular wireless stores, Jawbone’s Noise Shield technology doesn’t come cheap.  You can pick up one for $120.