June 17, 2005
'This I Believe'
"Unless one wants to lead a stunningly boring life, one ought to be on good terms with one's darker side and one's darker energies." — Kay Redfield Jamison, psychologist and author, in an essay she read last week on National Public Radio's "This I Believe."
In 1951 radio pioneer Edward R. Murrow asked Americans from all walks of life to write essays about their most fundamental and closely held beliefs.
Every week NPR broadcasts an essay read by the individual who wrote it.
Among those whose essays have been heard since April of this year: Brian Greene, Charles S. Johnson, John Updike, Errol Morris, Dave Brubeck, Norman Corwin, and many "ordinary" people whose essays were so striking NPR asked their authors to read them as part of the series.
This website offers the essays in written form along with their original broadcasts on NPR.
There is much of interest here.
A bumper for your bumper?
With the uselessness of today's bumpers a $22.95 investment in a set of bumper guards might pay off big time.
- From the website:
You don't have to be a mechanic to install the auto bumper and door guards.
Just make sure that the bumpers are clean and dry.
Remove the backing from the 3M tape, then press to attach.
Two hours later, press once more to secure seal.
They come in silver, black, white, dark green and clear, which will work with any color car.
Apple Sunlit Earth Widget
It's Number 1 on the Apple Widget Hit Parade.
But not any more: it's every man a king and every girl a CEO.
All you have to do is buy Tiger or a computer running it and you can download this superb graphic (above) to your computer screen — free.
It's updated once a minute.
I'm loving Steve Jobs and Apple so much I could just pop.
For your interest, there are currently 556 available widgets and the number climbs every hour.
Garmin Forerunner 101 — Best tech device of the year
To date, at least.
I purchased this wrist–worn GPS watch from Amazon a month or so ago and I love it.
Long story short: I can use it.
Long story a bit longer: How it is possible to create a device this small that can track you from outer space this accurately for this price is simply unfathomable.
To be specific: the watch cost me $85 at Amazon (it's $82.78 there today); it measures your distance traveled in increments of three feet.
That is not an exaggeration.
Yesterday, after it locked on to the satellite, I walked one step at a time just to see and darned if the display didn't register 19 feet, 22 feet, 26 feet, 29 feet, etc.
FunFact: "The United States Government does not allow the export of GPS units to Iran, Libya, North Korea, Cuba and Syria."
Lots more information about this watch here.
A suggestion: From now on, make it a practice, before buying anything online based on something you've seen in bookofjoe or elsewhere, to go to Froogle and search for the best price.
It's really striking how often something I find in some esoteric catalog and list the price of, say $15, is available for $10 or even $5 elsewhere — the very same thing.
For example, this watch is lasted at Amazon along with Amazon's request to let them know if you find it elsewhere for a lower price; Amazon prides itself on offering the lowest price whenever possible.
Yet on Froogle I found it for $81.84, cheaper than at Amazon.
I can't do everything for you, you know — I'm just one guy sitting in a room in his pajamas....
BehindTheMedspeak: Low Blood Sugar is a Legal Defense
Earlier this week the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that low blood sugar meets the legal definition of "involuntary intoxication."
Dave Rose of KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs wrote on the station's website:
- Diabetic Reaction Becomes Legal Defense
Low blood sugar can be used as a defense in court.
The court ruling gives legal standing to something diabetics and medical authorities have known for a long time: that low blood sugar can have serious effects on the way people act.
Diabetic intoxication was a likely factor just last month when Salida police officers shot and killed 60–year–old Kenneth Clark.
His wife called for an ambulance because he seemed to be ill.
But when help arrived, police say, Clark pointed a gun at them.
Exactly when bad or criminal behavior becomes justifiable will always be problematic.
The case on which the Colorado court ruled involved Steve Garcia Jr., who was convicted of second–degree attempted murder and first–degree assault in 1999.
The justices ruled 4–3 that Garcia should have a chance to prove he was involuntarily intoxicated as a result of low blood sugar.
I suppose you could call using low blood sugar to excuse culpability the "Negative Twinkie" defense.
On a related note, the actual case on which were based the superb novel and film "Anatomy of a Murder" rested on a defense of "involuntarily impulse."
StandBag — Put the trash can in the bag
"The simplest trash can in the world."
Go here, find StandBag, then move your cursor over the red line drawing... yes, you're definitely getting it.
Are what I'm referring to.
What's wrong with you, anyway?
BehindTheMedspeak: 'Active Skin' — Be your dress
Ian Pearson (above) has been chief of British Telephone's Foresight and Futurology Unit for some 13 years.
He trained as a physicist but has spent his entire working career on long term research projects ranging from missile design to computer generated environments.
His current projects include the creation of active skin bionics.
Pearson notes that within the new few years chips will be as small as skin cells, opening the body to the possibility — and likelihood — of fusion with integrated electronics.
Said Pearson, "You could use your skin as a communications medium to link together all the devices you're carrying. Or you could have video tattoos — where you stick an incredibly thin screen to your arm to watch a video or DVD."
He continued, "There's the possiblity of active make–up. You could get up in the morning, put one cream or product on your face, press a button and instantly your eyelids turn blue, your lips turn red and so on."
I know people who can do this without electronics. But I digress.
Active skin will take the concept of jeans so tight they look sprayed–on to the next level.
Namely, achieving that look without need of a spray can.
"Forget those cute little suction–cup clotheslines."
That's right, it's time to run with the big dogs — you're a big girl now.
"The Flexo–line (above and below) holds up to 12 lb. of wet clothes, thanks to its surgical quality natural latex rubber tubing which is woven in THREE braids — not the usual two."
That's your secret but I'll never tell: trust me, I'm....
"Just loop its ends around a doorknob, hook, shower head or shower rod (it stretches to seven feet), then poke a corner of your wet garment in the tight braid to dry."
Comes with a handy 3" x 5" storage pouch.
"No clothespins needed."
A bookofjoe Design Award 2005 winner.
I'm sure there are many other uses for this device; do share them with me and your fellow joeheads.