Friday, July 31, 2009

Diamonds Are A Wound's Best Friend

Hats off to Dean Ho and his team for discovering a new kind of therapeutic treatment for wound care via diamonds.

Useful link:
www.n-base.org/people.html

The State Of The Retail Jewelry Business

Nicholas White's analysis on the state of the retail jewelry business was spot on. Many will lose a lot of money in 2009. http://www.glgroup.com/Council-Member/Nicholas-White-112557.html

Rajeev Samant Viewpoint

Great review. Those who grow quality grapes will always find buyers even in the hard times. You were spot on. The Indian wine drinker may be in for a great time in the years to come.

Useful link:
www.sulawines.com

Angela Adams’s Rugs

The rugs’ textures and colors were unique, inspiring and worth studying for their sheer beauty. Check out the link www.angelaadams.com

Koen Olthuis

I was really impressed with Koen Olthuis's Citadel, a unique energy-efficient floating residential complex. Check out the link www.waterstudio.nl

Tim Burton Retrospective

I am a huge fan of Tim Burton. His paintings, drawing and photographs, which have never been seen by the public are to be shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. www.moma.org

US Renews Burma Sanctions

President Barack Obama has renewed sanctions aimed at the military junta that rules Burma, continuing the ongoing ban on the importation of jade and rubies into the United States. Stay tuned.

Useful links:
www.agta.org
www.cibjo.org
www.jvclegal.org

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chaim Even Zohar Viewpoint

It is hard to fully understand what is happening to many diamond companies in India and elsewhere when they mess up with diamond financing banks/financial institutions. The troubles created by a handful of players could adversely impact the exemplary record of the industry. Thanks Chaim for reporting the issues.

Useful link:
www.diamondintelligence.com

Mapping The Global Recession

India + China may be growing much faster, but for how long?

Useful link:
www.economy.com

Diamond Imitation Jewelry

To most untrained eyes paste/glass jewelry will look real. But most knowledgeable buyers buy paste jewelry for the look.

Random Thoughts

The lesson for all startups—and BDCs (big dumb companies)—is that innovation is all you have. Once you stop innovating, you lose your talent, and you lose the race. Never. Stop. Innovating. Never. Never. Never.

- Jason Calacanis
http://calacanis.com

Spot on.

Greenopia Wine Report

Greenopia's comprehensive list of major wineries ranked in order of sustainability was interesting. www.greenopia.com

Here is the list:
1. Alma Rosa www.almarosawinery.com
2. French Rabbit www.frenchrabbit.com
3. Frog's Leap www.frogsleap.com
4. Benzinger www.benziger.com
5. Demetria www.demetriaestate.com
6. Franzia www.franzia.com
7. Grgich Hills www.grgich.com
8. Bonny Doon www.bonnydoonvineyard.com
9. Cakebread www.cakebread.com
10. Kendall Jackson www.kj.com

Nancy Schuring Viewpoint

The key to jewelry store survival today is bonding between jeweler and consumer. Thank you Nancy for the insightful article. You were spot on. http://www.colored-stone.com/stories/july09/marketing-tips.cfm

Useful link:
www.devonfinejewelry.com

Net.Art

The Internet’s ability to connect people to share ideas and become active both in the digital and the real world is in fact creating a new genre (net.art) because of its permanent accessibility. Today Internet art can be looked at all the time by anyone. I've always loved art and intrigued by its impact in our daily lives. Maybe net art could be the next big thing. Who knows? Only time will tell.

Useful links:
http://on1.zkm.de
www.ljudmila.org/~vuk
http://404.jodi.org
http://wikipediaart.org
www.picidae.net
www.zexe.net
http://goldberg.berkeley.edu
http://dam.org
http://theoarmour.com
http://mementomori-0.net
www.sfmoma.org
www.lynnhershman.com
http://mikrogalleri.es

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Random Thoughts

A man is usually more careful of his money than he is of his principles.

- Edgar Watson Howe

So true!

Hoorsenbuhs

A great place to explore cool jewelry. One-of-a-kind. www.hoorsenbuhs.com

The Mobile Art Laboratory

The story of mobile art laboratory a.k.a MoLab was interesting. The A-Team uses atomic-force microscope, micro-Raman spectroscope, and nuclear magnetic resonance relaxometer to detect and interpret the chemical composition of priceless works of art. Brilliant.

Useful link:
www.eu-artech.org

A Streetcar Named Desire

British actress Rachel Weisz has returned to the London stage in a new production of Tennessee Williams's play A Streetcar Named Desire. Great reviews. A Streetcar Named Desire is in all honestly one of the greatest films of all time.

Useful link:
www.donmarwarehouse.com

AGTA Gemological Testing Center (GTC)

The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) announced today that the AGTA Gemological Testing Center (GTC) will close effective July 29th, 2009. The GTC opened in 1998. Hard to believe. Really.

Useful link:
www.agta.org

No-Melt, Low-Cal Chocolate

Get ready for tongue testing. Barry Callebaut claims its new product, called Vulcano, is the world's first — and so far only — melt-resistant, low-calorie chocolate. I can't wait to try it. Check out the link www.barry-callebaut.com

The Curious Case Of An Emerald Necklace

The case of the Estate of Robinson Brown Jr. was intriguing. Read on. As David Federman rightly put it given the sheer number of worst appraisal and expert witnessing practices in the Louisville emerald trial, those who want to celebrate Jackson’s acquittal should do so by preventing future legal ordeals like his. That can only be done by seeing to it that judges and juries are exposed to best practices. At the end of the day it's all about trust, trust, and trust. http://www.colored-stone.com/stories/july09/louisville-emeralds.cfm

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Generation We

Generation We: How Millennial Youth are Taking Over America And Changing Our World Forever by Eric Greenberg + Karl Weber is a fascinating book about the emerging power of Millennial Generation now and for the future. A must read.

Useful link:

Global Business BBC

The Red Hat + Matthew Szulik story was inspiring. Red Hat bundles software and service plans together and include software updates free of charge. Thanks Peter.

Useful link:
www.redhat.com

Artificial Intelligence Research

Eric Horvitz's research on artificial intelligence was intriguing. I hope similar techniques will be available for the development of intelligent tutoring systems in the education/business sector.

Useful links:
www.aaai.org
http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com

Seashell Trade

A great story on shells + trade + the collectors market. To maintain prices, collectors always spread rumors in the interest of scarcity. Then and now. Shells are like jewels. Collectors these days are interested in both beauty and behavior. The world of top shell collectors is relatively small, and it's an interesting trade.

Random Thoughts

Kenya's natural fuel should come from the wind, hot underground rock and the sun, whose potential has barely even been considered. After the initial capital costs this energy is free.

- Nick Nuttall
United Nations Environment Programme
www.afriwea.org
http://laketurkanawindpower.com

So true!

New Zealand Body Art Awards 2009

The 2009 New Zealand Body Art Awards Show at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna, on Auckland’s North Shore was spectacular.

Useful link:
www.bodyartawards.co.nz

The Price Of Gold

Jewelry is about showing off, or it is about nothing. And showing off comes in many forms. Fact. Check out the golden rules for miners at www.nodirtygold.org

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sand Art

Andres Amador's sand art was stunningly beautiful. You have to see it for yourself. Really. www.andresamador.net

Beautiful Currencies

Have you ever been in another country and thought, 'These folks really have some beautiful money?' Whether it was the colors, the portraits, or the overall design, good looking money is just a little more fun to spend. I had not thought of it that way, but it makes sense. David Standish's comments and top picks were spot on.

Runway Beats

The music compliation was brilliant. I loved it. Thanks Armand/Bruce.

2009 Open Architecture Challenge: Classroom

Architecture for Humanity has announced the eight finalists in their latest competition, to design the classroom of the future. Impressive indeed. Check out the link www.architectureforhumanity.org

Somali Pirate Business Model

The way the Somali pirates exploit the international maritime trade was intriguing. As for the pirates, their escalating demands are a method of price discovery, a way of gauging how much the market will bear. I agree. Brilliant analysis + great graphics. Hats off to Scott.

Useful link:
www.scottcarneyonline.com

Random Thoughts

There are some subjects that I’m dealing with all the time, the vulnerability of the human being. Humiliation, when people humiliate each other and when they humiliate themselves. When I see that kind of behavior among people, I am always very, very sad. I am also concerned in my work with the problem of the human being’s lostness, confusion and weakness.

- Roy Andersson
www.royandersson.com

Ideablob

Meet Ami Kassar, a dotcom start-up veteran + explore his idea-sharing website http://www.ideablob.com

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Book Plant Pot

Old books into plant pots. Look what Tokyo Pistol design agency did with theirs. I loved it. http://www.tokyopistol.com/goods/honbachi

Richard Mammone Viewpoint

A successful entrepreneur must be a reductionist. Great advice. Spot on.

Useful links:
http://best.rutgers.edu
http://otc.rutgers.edu
http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/ces
http://entrepreneurship.mit.edu

The Anatomy Of An Entrepreneur

A study released by the Kauffman Foundation titled 'The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur' was insightful. Thanks Vivek for the brilliant presentation.

Useful link:
www.kauffman.org

David Lynch Project

For me, David Lynch connects with people, and that's exactly why I love his projects. www.davidlynch.com

The Discovery Of Spain

The Discovery of Spain: British Artists and Collectors: Goya to Picasso, is at the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, until October 11, 2009. www.nationalgalleries.org

New Seven Wonders Foundation

The Swiss non-profit New7Wonders Foundation is conducting a global popularity contest to name the new Seven Wonders of Nature. To vote, visit www.new7wonders.com

Bill Cunningham Viewpoint

On the Street / Market
http://video.nytimes.com/video/2009/07/24/style/1247463627087/on-the-street-market.html

Delightful and surprising styles + wonderful individuality indeed. I loved it. Thanks Bill.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Anti-Desertification Architecture

Magnus Larsson's presentation at the TEDGlobal confererence in Oxford was brilliant. His proposed Great Green Wall idea, a 4,349 mile line of trees stretching across Africa to stop desertification could work provided the political and financial aspects are taken into account. A promising vision, really. Hats off to Magnus!

Jewelers Vigilance Committee Update

The Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) has launched an electronic newsletter, eNews&Views for its members. This new online publication includes important information and updates to help jewelry retailers, manufacturers and distributors protect their businesses from risk, as well as links to additional legal compliance information. www.jvclegal.org

Art Market Update

Amsterdam's Museum of Handbags and Purses is a rare place + a must visit. www.tassenmuseum.nl

Why We Travel

For inspiration, see this gallery of images.

Bayreuth Festival 2009

The festival opens on July 26, 2009, with Christoph Marthaler's staging of Tristan and Isolde and runs until 28 August, 2009. Check out the link www.bayreuther-festspiele.de + www.wagneropera.net

Enron

Lucy Prebble tells the story of the Enron Corporation beautifully. The play could hardly be more timely. Check out the link www.royalcourttheatre.com

Blood Computers

The Global Witness report claims that multinational companies are furthering a trade in minerals at the heart of the hi-tech industry that feeds the horrendous civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Check out the link www.globalwitness.org

Friday, July 24, 2009

ABCs Of Entrepreneurship

Jeff Bezos's video presentation on entrepreneurship was brilliant. Watch and learn. www.amazon.com

Copenhagen Climate Change Summit 2009

Get your voice heard by sharing your message with Flickr group, A Message to Copenhagen

Useful link:
http://en.cop15.dk

Coco Chanel Film

The whole Coco Chanel tale is intriguing. She was very complex, pleochroic, and very rich. She was also a fragile person. It should be an interesting movie. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/4518183.stm

Useful links:
www.chanel.com
www.roadshowfilms.com.au/cocoavantchanel

Michael Jackson Diamond

Charred strands of Michael Jackson's hair that were salvaged from the shoot of a tragic Pepsi commercial have been sold and will be turned into diamonds. What a story. LifeGem is evaluating the hair sample to determine how many diamonds can be created. www.lifegem.com

Antiques Roadshow

The Antiques Roadshow isn't just about antiques - it's history, beauty and drama all wrapped up in one. Be on a show. It's an immersive experience.

Tatton Park Flower Show

Tatton Park is the place to spot up-and-coming garden designers and innovative new ideas. Check out the link www.rhs.org.uk

Jatin Das

The Collector: Jatin Das. Great collection indeed. You can tell a beautiful story with a beautiful fan.

Useful links:
http://jatindas.com
www.fancircleinternational.org

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Random Thoughts

Losing potential profits hurts the ego; losing money really hurts.

- Gerald Appel
www.systemsandforecasts.com

Spot on.

D-Screen Technology

HRD Antwerp has released D-Screen, an affordable device able to distinguish natural from synthetic colorless or near-colorless polished diamonds. It's available to all diamond bourses worldwide. The D-Screen indicates if a polished diamond is natural and has not been subjected to color enhancement. Synthetic diamonds and diamonds subjected to a high pressure-high temperature (HPHT) treatment are instantly detected. The technology used is based on optical measurement, by projecting shortwave ultraviolet (UV) radiation through the diamond. The D-Screen's range covers all polished diamonds from 0.2 carats up to 10 carats in the colours D to J. This encompasses the bulk of gem-grade diamonds. Check out the link www.hrdantwerp.be + equipment@hrdantwerp.be

Chaim Even Zohar Viewpoint

British Government Loan Guarantees to Assist Diamond Sector in Crisis. Quite a story, really. Thanks Chaim.

Useful link:
www.diamondintelligence.com

How To Re-learn The Old-fashioned Art Of Salesmanship

Christina Binkley's piece was brilliant. Selling pure emotions isn't always easy. I think the gemstone industry could also learn a lot from the new approach.

Useful link:
www.iwc.com

We Choose The Moon

On July 16 at 9:32 a.m. EDT, exactly 40 years to the minute after the moon launch, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum went live with http://wechoosethemoon.org

Travel Gadgets

Top 10 Travel Gadgets Under $50
http://frugaltraveler.blogs.nytimes.com

Do the right thing. Less is more.

Global Business BBC

I thoroughly enjoyed the programme. Thanks to Peter Day.

Useful links:
www.cutec.org
http://magicsolver.com

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Going Green Film Festival

The trend is beginning. Check out the link www.goinggreenfilmfestival.com

Total Solar Eclipse 2009

Each time I learn something new. Awesome. Nature in its glory. Really.

Pulp-Based Computing

M.I.T. Media Lab's Pulp-Based Computing project was rather interesting. The team's website says Pulp-Based Computing is a series of explorations that combine smart materials, papermaking, and printing. By integrating electrically active inks and fibers during the papermaking process, it is possible to create sensors and actuators that behave, look, and feel like paper. These composite materials not only leverage the physical and tactile qualities of paper, but can also convey digital information, spawning new and unexpected application domains in ubiquitous and pervasive computing at extremely affordable costs. Fluid Interfaces Stay tuned.

David Ogilvy’s Best Business Advice

Thank you Patricia Sellers for sharing. http://postcards.blogs.fortune.cnn.com The one I liked most was the old Scottish motto: Be happy while you’re living, for you are a long time dead. Spot on.

Souren Melikian Viewpoint

Without spending a dime, the British Museum has acquired 1,683 Chinese ceramic vessels, some of them unique, and many more made for the emperors of China, thus becoming the greatest repository of the ceramic art of China in the Western world. Thanks Souren for sharing the extraordinary story of the acquisition + the two collectors. It was educational and insightful.

Useful link:
www.britishmuseum.org

Art Of forgery

The National Gallery is to stage its first exhibition dedicated exclusively to fakes and mistakes – and, its director insists, they can be a pure joy. I agree. It's not a bad idea to have fakes. It's important to know how clever forgers can be + learn how to identify them. Hats off to Nicholas Penny!

Useful link:
www.nationalgallery.org.uk

Art Market Update

Kelly Crow's report on Brueghels was brilliant. (To succeed as an Old Master buyer, collectors must be willing to navigate a clubby, oak-paneled world dominated by a handful of dealers, such as Richard Green in London and Otto Naumann in New York, and a slew of heady collectors, from investor activist Carl Icahn to investment banker Leon Black. A pilgrimage must also be made each March to gossip and shop at the prestigious European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht, Netherlands. Spot on.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Random Thoughts

When stock prices are rising, it’s called 'momentum investing'; when they are falling, it’s called 'panic'.

- Paul Krugman
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com

Spot on.

Nobuo Uematsu

Nobuo Uematsu is the master. Videogame music in concert was an immersive experience. Give it a try.

Useful links:
www.square-enix-usa.com/uematsu
www.ffdistantworlds.com
www.videogameslive.com
www.play-symphony.com
www.awrmusic.com

Guide To Sleeping In Airports

The Budget Travellers Guide to Sleeping in Airports has some interesting surprises. Charles de Gaulle has been voted the absolute worst, followed by Sheremetyevo in Moscow. In the third and fourth spots were New York’s JFK and Los Angeles’ LAX, while Delhi airport rounded off the top five worst airports. On the flip side, Singapore’s Changi was rated the cleanest and most comfortable airport to sleep in, followed by Seoul’s Incheon and Amsterdam’s Schiphol. Avoid Paris’ Charles de Gaulle at all costs, but embrace Singapore’s Changi.

Useful link:
www.sleepinginairports.net

Nandan Nilekani Interview

Great interview. In Imagining India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation, Nandan Nilekani tackles themes ranging from education and demographics to investment and infrastructure. Nilekani was recently recruited by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to head a project to create a national identification card for the country. I wish him the best of luck.

Useful link:
http://imaginingindia.com

Connect With Community

Museums' new mantra: Connect with community. I fully agree. It's all about community. This generation is about social relevance and global connection. That's the only way to get connected.

Useful links:
http://reachadvisors.com
http://reachadvisors.typepad.com
www.museumoftolerance.com
www.metmuseum.org
www.lacma.org
www.museumca.org
www.getty.edu

Jorge Colombo's Sketches

Artist Jorge Colombo makes pictures of New York street life using the Brushes application on his iPhone. Check out the link www.jorgecolombo.com

Leonardo Notarbartolo's Story

Milanese authorities found Leonardo Notarbartolo, the man accused of masterminding the world’s biggest diamond heist, in possession of approximately 2.2 pounds of rough, uncut diamonds.

Great story, but diamonds are nearly impossible to tag/trace. I completely agree with Joshua Davis. If you can’t prove that the diamonds are stolen, then you would logically have to give the diamonds back to the owner. Stay tuned.

Useful link:
www.joshuadavis.net

Monday, July 20, 2009

Why Raindrops Come In Many Sizes

I have always wanted to ask this question. Now, by filming one falling raindrop, researchers in France have explained why the drops are an array of so many different sizes. Emmanuel Villermaux from Aix-Marseille University explained it well. Thanks.

Random Thoughts

There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it happens to everybody.

- Adlai Stevenson

Spot on.

Harnessing Networks

Harnessing Networks to Create Value and Identify New Opportunities by Paul R. Kleindorfer, Yoram (Jerry) Wind was interesting. It was all about open innovation + engaging/learning via social experiments so that the key players are able to modify and move forward to generate new opportunities.

Space Exploration

July 20, 1969: One Small Step. One Giant Leap. Forty years ago, NASA put a man on the moon. What does the next 40 years hold for the world’s premiere space agency? Space exploration volunteers wanted (The catch? It's a one-way ticket). The next generation of astronauts may hurtle through the cosmos for years or decades on a mission to explore distant planets and stars – and never return. For some it would be an offer they can't refuse.

Burma Gem Sales and Statistics

Check out Pala’s Burma Gem Sales and Statistics. Educational/insightful.

Strange Habits

For Sale: One Leopard-Skin Rolex and Maybe Some Frozen Sharks. When a Mexican drug lord gets busted, what happens to his emerald-encrusted pistols? Read on. What really intrigued me was the Mexican narco-bling: A Rolex watch and band custom-jeweled to resemble leopard's skin; De La Cour watches featuring skull or marijuana-leaf motifs; a pair of gold pistol grips with raised eagle busts adorned with diamonds and emeralds. Perhaps reflecting proximity of death for many drug traffickers, often the jewels have religious themes, such as a palm-sized gold and diamond necklace ornament depicting St. Jude, the patron saint of hopeless causes.

Seven Pleasures

Seven Pleasures: Essays on Ordinary Happiness by Willard Spiegelman was simply pleasurable. A must read.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Museum In A Shoebox

Created by the Swedish artist Kristina Dalberg, it presents real and imaginary works by real and imaginary artists. Check out the link www.museuminashoebox.com

Luke Johnson Viewpoint

You will forget the customer at your peril. In business, everything starts with the customer. Without customers, there are no sales, and with no sales, a business is bankrupt. Spot on. Thanks Luke.

Useful links:
www.lukejohnson.org
www.riskcapitalpartners.co.uk
www.channel4.com
www.johnlewis.com

Cash For Diamonds

Cash for Gold USA has launched a new website, Cash for Diamonds, which allows consumers to sell diamond jewelry and loose stones. Check out the link http://cashfordiamondsusa.com I would like to see an entrepreneur launch Cash for Colored Stones. Really.

Digital Graffiti

To see the interactive digital graffiti wall at the Royal Albert Hall was an immersive experience. I think it's a perfect educational tool. I really liked it.

Useful link:
www.lumacoustics.co.uk

Diffusing Copper Into Tourmaline

Potential for Diffusing Copper into Tourmaline via GIA Research (Thailand)
http://www.giathai.net/pdf/The_copper_diffusion_of_tourmaline_experiment_June_16_2009.pdf

Educational/insightful. If doubtful, always consult a reputed gem testing laboratory.

Music Simplified

The music-making game + technology installation that allows anyone to create a music track and video in just six minutes was brilliant. I liked it.

Useful links:
www.silentstudios.co.uk
http://musicispower.youthmusic.org.uk
www.chrisoshea.org

A Collector Extraordinaire

Quality matters, rarity is appreciated but beauty gives way to documentary value and particular era. The depth of the museums’ holdings encourages visitors to see even such seemingly banal objects as toasters and magazine racks in a newly appreciative way. Spot on. Hats off to Mitchell Wolfson, a.k.a Micky, for the spectacular collections!

Useful links:
www.wolfsonian.org
www.wolfsoniana.it

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bundanoon Effect

A town in rural New South Wales has become the first community in Australia, and possibly the world, to ban bottled water. Bundanoon has set a good example. Just do it. Read on.

Useful link:
www.dosomething.org

Bill Cunningham Viewpoint

On the Street / In the Wind
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/07/16/fashion/20090719-street-feature/index.html#

There is a whole new trend of fashion. Something to think about, really. I loved it. Thanks Bill.

Art Market Update

Renaissance for the Renaissance. The National Museum of the Renaissance at the Chateau d’Ecouen is a place to be discovered peacefully.

Useful links:
www.musee-renaissance.fr
www.musee-moyenage.fr
www.louvre.fr

Chris Anderson Viewpoint

Tech Is Too Cheap to Meter: It's Time to Manage for Abundance, Not Scarcity. Interesting viewpoint. Read on.

Useful link:
www.thelongtail.com

Digital Bridge Academy

I was really intrigued by the way Digital Bridge Academy tailors programs to individual learning styles. It's brilliant. It works.

A Fine Line

A Fine Line: How Design Strategies Are Shaping the Future of Business by Hartmut Esslinger is an inspiring book on design + it's his story, really. A must read.

Useful link:

Dara Dubinet

Meet Dara Dubinet + explore her latest raw collections. www.daradubinet.com

Friday, July 17, 2009

Beryllium Treated Blue Sapphires

Beryllium Treated Blue Sapphires via GIA Research (Thailand)
http://www.giathai.net/pdf/Beryllium_diffused_blue_sapphires_at_June_26th_2009.pdf

Educational + insightful, really.

Demantoid Disclosure

The ins and outs of reporting demantoid treatment and locality. Major gem testing laboratories have different viewpoints. Read on. http://www.palagems.com/demantoid_disclose.htm

Sustainability Index

Wal-Mart is developing a unique operating system what it calls a 'sustainability index' to measure the sustainability of every product it sells via a sustainability consortium led by the University of Arkansas + Arizona State University that will provide scientific research to support the effort. Check out the link www.sustainabilityconsortium.org

I think economically it's going to have a huge impact in the retail sector.

Codex Sinaiticus Project

The world’s oldest manuscript of the Bible has been 'reunited' in cyberspace, thanks to a joint effort by the British Library in London, the University Library in Leipzig, the National Library of Russia in St Petersburg, and the ancient monastery of St Catherine’s on the slopes of Mount Sinai, the Bible’s original home. How did the pages come to be so dispersed? Check out the link www.codexsinaiticus.org

Unlocking Opportunities For Growth

Unlocking Opportunities for Growth: How to Profit from Uncertainty While Limiting Your Risk by Alexander B. van Putten + Ian C. MacMillan offer a tool they call Opportunity Engineering (OE), which shows companies how to engineer the risk out of uncertain opportunities in order to pursue more high-payoff innovations. A must read.

Mosquito Ring

Stephen Webster has been commissioned by the Malaria Awareness Campaign to design a one-of-a-kind mosquito ring in the likeness of a mosquito from rhodium-plated white gold set with ruby cabochons, white diamond wings, a silver diamond tail and a black diamond band to raise funds for charity organization Malaria No More U.K. Hats off to Stephen!

Useful links:
www.malarianomore.org.uk
www.stephenwebster.com

Goldman Sachs Internal Memo

Furthermore, to avoid drawing criticism from the press, this year the bonuses, expected to be comically large, will be distributed in blood diamonds, which can be easily concealed in a briefcase so it looks like we’re working. Read on.

Brilliant post. I couldn't stop laughing. This was hilarious. Thanks Farley.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Film Forum

In a Lonely Place begins a weeklong run at Film Forum. Don't miss.
www.filmforum.org

Sander Mulder

Continue Time Clock, designed by Sander Mulder is definitely a piece of art. I liked it. www.sandermulder.com

Sarah Graham's Jewelry

Meet Sarah Graham + explore her innovative/functional jewelry designs. Stunningly beautiful indeed. www.sarahgraham.com

Latitude Festival 2009

Poets and pop stars prepare for Latitude
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/8149432.stm

Useful link:
www.latitudefestival.co.uk

Festivals are interactive + magical + welcoming. Don't miss.

Africa Rising

Africa Rising: How 900 Million African Consumers Offer More Than You Think by Vijay Mahajan is an interesting book about growing opportunities in Africa. A must read.

Random Thoughts

Opal is a luxury item and times are tough. You can't eat it, you don't need it, so people aren't buying it.

- Stuart Jackson

Chaim Even Zohar Viewpoint

One Umbrella to Become the ‘Mother of All Umbrellas’
http://www.idexonline.com/portal_FullEditorial.asp

Useful link:
www.diamondintelligence.com

Spot on.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Innovation Tournaments

Innovation Tournaments: Creating and Selecting Exceptional Opportunities by Christian Terwiesch + Karl Ulrich is an interesting book on how to selectively absorb new ideas via innovation tournaments for greatest profitability. A must read.

Useful links:

Carvers And Collectors

The Getty Center, Los Angeles runs an exhibition named 'Carvers and Collectors' through September 7, 2009 at the Getty Villa. This exhibition features intaglios and cameos carved by ancient master engravers + outstanding works by modern carvers that illustrate the lasting allure of gems. Don't miss. Check out the link www.getty.edu

Mass Animation Project

An Animated Film Is Created Through Internet Consensus. That teaser, posted last fall on Facebook by the upstart company Mass Animation, kicked off a project many people in Hollywood thought was laughable: making a five-minute animated film using the Wikipedia model, with animators from around the world contributing shots, and Facebook users voting on their favorites. Social networking works, really. Check out the link http://www.facebook.com/massanimation

How To Store Excess Electricity

The Challenge for Green Energy: How To Store Excess Electricity. Jon R. Luoma's article on storage technologies was educational and insightful. www.e360.yale.edu

Prix Pictet 2009

The Prix Pictet is an annual prize dedicated to photography and sustainability. Check out the shortlisted artists at www.prixpictet.com

Picasso - Peace And Freedom

In pictures: Picasso - Peace and Freedom. Coming soon/expect next year.

Useful links:
www.tate.org.uk/liverpool
www.picasso.fr

Champagne Citrine Gallery

John Dyer's fancy cuts were stunningly beautiful. Check out the link www.johndyergems.com

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Christoph Niemann's Art

Master of the Universe
http://niemann.blogs.nytimes.com

Useful link:
www.christophniemann.com

Brilliant. I loved it.

Random Thoughts

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.

- Bertrand Russell

Spot on.

Telling Tales

The V&A's new exhibition Telling Tales delves into the fantastical world of contemporary design, taking visitors on a mind-blowing journey through furniture, lighting and ceramics, all inspired by the spirit of storytelling. Check out the link www.vam.ac.uk

Color Grading Natural Zircon

Brilliant idea. I think the zircon hues and appearances are very similar to to those of champagne (and cognac) diamonds. Hats off to Raja Shah! The existing C1-C7 color-grading system can be easily adapted to quartz + topaz. Why re-invent the (color) wheel? Spot on.

Next Generation Biofuels

(via Guardian) Gene scientist Craig Venter has announced plans to develop next-generation biofuels from algae in a $600m partnership with oil giant Exxon Mobil. His company, Synthetic Genomics Incorporated (SGI), will develop fuels that can be used by cars or aeroplanes without the need for any modification of their engines. I hope the new technology is economically viable and effective.

Useful links:
www.jcvi.org
www.syntheticgenomics.com
www.carbontrust.co.uk

Global Business BBC

Peter Day presents the story of Hiroyoshi Ishibashi + Weathernews Inc.
www.weathernews.com

Inspiring story, really.

Engineered Transparency

Engineered Transparency: The Technical, Visual, and Spatial Effects of Glass by Michael Bell + Jeannie Kim is a fascinating book about innovative glass technology + its impact in our daily lives.

Useful links:
www.wernersobek.com
www.icaboston.org
www.toledomuseum.org

Monday, July 13, 2009

Postcards Of Lost Royals

Reminiscent of a forgotten era of glamour, grace, and regal power, Postcards of Lost Royals brings history to life and distills the essence of a long-vanished world of royalty. One of my favorite, really.

Random Thoughts

Some extremely sharp investment advisors can get you in at the bottom of the market. Some extremely sharp ones can get you out at the top. They are never the same people.

- Gary North
www.garynorth.com

Spot on.

Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright's operatic debut Prima Donna has been unveiled at the Manchester international festival.

Check out the link www.rufuswainwright.com + www.mif.co.uk

Melbourne Recital Center + Theater Company

The Melbourne Recital Center and Theater Company, designed by ARM has won the 2009 Victorian Architecture medal for successfully crossing design boundaries (for public architecture + interior architecture + interior architecture). Congratulations!

Useful links:
www.a-r-m.com.au
www.melbournerecital.com.au
www.architecture.com.au

Scott Harrison's Story

Clean, Sexy Water. People always ask: What can I do to make a difference? That’s where Scott Harrison comes in. Read on. It's an inspiring story. Thanks Nicholas for the post.

Useful link:
http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com

Create Your Own Economy

Create Your Own Economy: The Path to Prosperity in a Disordered World by Tyler Cowen is a great book that will open your mind to think differently. A must read.

Useful links:

Michael Arthur

Meet Michael Arthur, a pen and ink artist who specializes in live drawing of theater, dance and music rehearsals. www.michaeldarthur.com

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fabio Cammarata

Fabio Cammarata's unique pendant collections featuring precious people were brilliant. They all have a story.

Useful link:
www.fabiocammarata.it

Jorge Colombo Update

Jorge Colombo sketches limo drivers using the Brushes application (iPhone) and his fingertips. www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/tny/finger-painting

Significant Objects Project

A curious way to promote writing. Storytelling in a different way. Really.
http://significantobjects.com

Bill Cunningham Viewpoint

On the Street / Elevated
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/07/11/fashion/20090712-street-feature/index.html?hp#

It's fashion for the 21st century. This is the future. Thanks Bill. I loved it.

Art Market Update

Orientalist art. Great review. Two crucial lessons for vendors in recessionary market: don’t sell unless you have to, and don’t be greedy in setting estimates. If the low estimate is pitched at a high level, buyers sense greed in the air and tend to hold off from bidding. In a buyers’ market, purchasers like to feel they have got a bargain, especially if they are spending a lot of money. Spot on.

Useful links:
www.cantonart.org
www.sothebys.com
www.christies.com

Karl Taro Greenfeld Viewpoint

Luxe Redux. Lavish. Silent. Undisturbed. Visiting luxury boutiques these days can seem like stepping into a time capsule. Spot on. Karl's report on the luxury sector was brilliant. Today the brand + consumer disconnect is real. How do you sell luxury in a post-luxury age? That's a two million dollar question!

Useful link:
www.karltarogreenfeld.com

Soul Power

Soul Power is an extravagantly entertaining documentary by Jeffrey Levy-Hinte. Don't miss. Check out the link www.sonyclassics.com/soulpower

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Heard On The Street

I don’t want to make money buying and selling gems. The idea is all about acquiring knowledge, and access to the top gems of the world.

Mad├ęcasse

Mad├ęcasse, made from cacao grown in Madagascar’s naturally organic forests tastes good. Try it. It’s traded fairly and is environmentally friendly.

Useful link:
www.madecasse.com

Jancis Robinson Viewpoint

Take the sommelier home with you
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/7033f200-6ce0-11de-af56-00144feabdc0.html

Useful links:
www.jancisrobinson.com
www.ft.com/arts/columnists/robinson
www.sarmentwine.com

Great review. Thanks Jancis.

The Hermitage Amsterdam

The Hermitage’s new satellite museum in Amsterdam should encourage visitors to spend an extra day in the Dutch capital. Certainly, yes and yes. Check out the link www.hermitage.nl

How Flowers Conquered The World

I have always wondered about flowering plants dominating the landscape. How did this happen? Have you ever stopped to think just how important they are? I love flowers. What would this world be like without flowers?

Useful links:
www.ncp.wur.nl/UK/Staff/Berendse
www.aew.wur.nl/uk/staff/MS

Fewer, Better Things

Antwerp hopes to keep its sparkle. Antwerp has certainly secured its place as capital of the diamond trade - 80% of the world's rough diamonds and 50% of all polished stones pass through the city. But these are hard times for diamonds. It's a fact!

Useful links:
www.awdc.be
www.antwerpdiamondbourse.net
www.worldfed.com

Marko Djurdjevic

Meet Marvel’s Marko Djurdjevic, the concept artist/artistic genius + explore The Marvel Art of Marko Djurdjevic.

Useful link:
www.sixmorevodka.com

Friday, July 10, 2009

Random Thoughts

An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less, until eventually he knows everything about nothing.

- Anonymous

How true!

Kalu Ganga River Auctioned For Gem Mining

For the first time in Sri Lanka history one of the main rivers (Kalu Ganga in Kahangamuwa) has been auctioned for Rs. 30.6 million by the Gem and Jewelry Authority for gem mining. Hard to believe, really.

Useful link:
www.srilankagemautho.com

Peter Galison + Robb Moss

Secrecy: www.secrecyfilm.com

Secret knowledge vs Open knowledge. A great documentary.

Jewelry Market Update

In a Downturn, Jewelers Aren’t So Precious. In this economy, many consumers would rather keep their money in their wallets than on their fingers, necks or ears. As people re-examine their budgets, jewelry is turning out to be one of the easiest places to cut back — or trade down (NYT). The half-carat is the new three-carat (Hayley Corwick). Spot on.

Artworks By Old Masters

Old Master price soars at auction. I think luck also played an important role. The painting was expected to fetch up to £250,000, but it sold for £1.3m as two bidders battled it out.

Useful links:
www.sothebys.com
www.bonhams.com

Michael Moore's New Film

Michael Moore has announced the title of his forthcoming documentary: Capitalism: A Love Story. Check out the link www.michaelmoore.com

Chaim Even Zohar Viewpoint

Playing with Figures
http://www.idexonline.com/portal_FullEditorial.asp

Useful links:
www.diamondintelligence.com
www.mckinsey.com
www.ndol.org

Fascinating post. Thanks Chaim.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Diamonds In The Rough

The human rights abuses in the Marange Diamond Fields of Zimbabwe has been shockingly horrific. Could the Kimberley Process (KP) simply ban diamonds from one area? No one knows. I think the government of Zimbabwe + World Diamond Council should take some proactive steps, and do the right thing.

Useful links:
www.hrw.org
www.kimberleyprocess.com
www.worlddiamondcouncil.com
www.jvclegal.org

The Knot Report

What Brides Say About Rings....and You. What I found intriguing was that stone cut/shape and style/setting vied for the most important attributes, with 53% and 52% respectively ranking them as #1 or #2. Metal was the third most important attribute, followed by stone size and price/value tied for fourth place. The least important attributes for engagement ring shoppers were the retailers and designers. Interesting trend indeed. Thanks Deborah for the insightful article.

Useful links:
www.theknot.com
www.weddingchannel.com

Ponyo

Japan’s Master Animator to Be Honored in U.S. Visit

Useful links:
-
I am a huge Hayao Miyazaki fan and my favorite is Spirited Away.

Random Thoughts

History shows that the art market follows the stock market and the real estate market. I thought the recent contemporary auctions were pretty good. Every artist is different. You may see continued softening with some artists. When you have works of great quality, there will always be buyers who will want to step up to the plate, who will buy in good times and bad.

- Eli Broad
www.broadfoundation.org

Spot on.

Manchester International Festival 2009

If you are in Manchester, U.K, for the festival, don't miss Zaha Hadid’s extraordinary Bach concert chamber. Though a temporary one, it's a real masterpiece.

Useful links:
www.mif.co.uk
www.zaha-hadid.com

The Jameel International Art Prize

Between Islamic and contemporary art
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8138175.stm

An exhibition of nine artists and designers who've been short-listed for the prize is being held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Corot To Monet

In pictures: Corot to Monet at the National Gallery
www.nationalgallery.org.uk

Brilliant, really.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Road To Samarcand

The Road to Samarcand: An Adventure by Patrick O'Brian is a brilliant book and has economic wisdom and adventure. A must read.

Georgia O'Keeffe

Dove/O'Keeffe: Circles of Influence
www.clarkart.edu
www.okeeffemuseum.org

Great review. Thanks Judith.

IDEO Toolkit

IDEO's field-tested tools for social impact via Human-Centered Design Toolkit was brilliant.

Useful links:
www.gatesfoundation.org
http://designthinking.ideo.com

Milton Glaser

A new documentary by Wendy Keys: Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight
Milton Glaser is the modern renaissance man. Don't miss.

200 Top Art Collectors 2009

The ARTnews 200 Top Collectors
http://www.artnewsonline.com/issues/article.asp?art_id=2702

Great compilation from a lot of great sources.

Swarovski Crystallized

You be the artist + create your own jewelry.
www.crystallized.com

Coral Update

The Coral Reef Alliance + Greenpeace USA + SeaWeb + Sierra Club + the World Wildlife Fund + other conservation organizations, along with more than 100 marine scientists, have sent signed letters to the U.S. Congress and the White House urging lawmakers to reauthorize the U.S. Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000, legislation that was designed to support research and management of coral reefs. Check out the link www.coral.org

Useful links:
www.greenpeace.org
www.seaweb.org
www.sierraclub.org
www.worldwildlife.org
www.tooprecioustowear.org
www.cites.org
www.tiffanyandcofoundation.org

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Global Business BBC

Peter Day's Comment. I think he was right. Innovation is the only way out of the current nasty recession. Enter Saul Klein via OpenCoffee Club. It’s a meeting place for people who love start-ups, and it is now in more than 80 different cities worldwide. Check out the link www.opencoffeeclub.org

I.D. Annual Design Review 2009

The Design Review recognizes the best in design in consumer products, graphics, packaging, environments, furniture, equipment, concepts and interactive. Check out the link www.id-mag.com/annualdesignreview

Gaston Julia Necklace

Marc Newson’s 'Julia', the one-of-a-kind necklace named after Gaston Julia, the mathematician who, in the early 1900s, discovered the formula upon which the necklace is modeled, was stunningly beautiful. Hats off to Marc, really.

Useful links:
www.boucheron.com
www.marc-newson.com

Marc Andreessen

Marc Andreessen + Ben Horowitz = Andreessen Horowitz
http://blog.pmarca.com

Andreessen believes the internet will soon take over all aspects of our lives + most applications are going to be delivered over the internet. Look out for new startups.

Shawn Blore

Blood Diamonds + Diamond Smuggling
www.shawnblore.com/Reports_Diamonds.htm

Read on. There is a lot of info.

Art News Update

The Faking of the Russian Avant-Garde
http://www.artnewsonline.com/issues/article.asp?art_id=2708

Useful links:
www.incorm.eu
www.centrepompidou.fr

Brilliant report. Art business is becoming like gem business. There are more fakes than genuine pictures/gems. It's definitely affecting the market. Collectors are pertrified because some experts have not only proved to be unable to struggle with the forgers, they have become their accomplices. It's like two blind walking the streets. Scary, really.