To the editors:

In [Cecil Adams’s] recent column on “subliminal sex” [The Straight Dope, June 26], Jerome Julian states: “Ice cubes in ads, for example, are completely the work of retouching artists, since real ice cubes would melt under the hot lights of the photographer’s studio.” As someone who built many “ice cubes” I would like to share my recipe: take one acrylic cube, round off all sharp edges, carve all flat sides with random hollows and bulges, polish on wheel with emery and jeweler’s rouge.

The Set Shop, a photo supply house where I worked, sold these faux “ice cubes” for $20 apiece or $7 per day rental. No retouching necessary.

I hear that most ice cubes come from the Japanese now; they are the Zen masters of fake foods.

Michael L. Brennan

Hoboken, New Jersey

PS: The reason for not using real ice is not so much the melting factor, but that real ice is seldom crystal clear, but a well-polished acrylic cube is flawless.