February 15, 2006
Best news of the year to date: hatsofmeat.com returns
I was heartbroken last year when I stumbled on hatsofmeat.com only to learn that it was no longer alive.
Just another bunch of pixels in the WayBack Machine archive.
But then, one evening last week, while I was walking along here doing not very much (but different than the night before), over the electronic transom came the following electrifying email.
Not one word has been omitted.
- Dear Joe,
Briefly: Hats Of Meat is not "defunct."
We are up and running and back and better than ever.
Please make a note of this.
Thanks, Joe, for your support.
What's up with you?
Steve Bean Levy
Steve informs me that hatsofmeat.com is an equal opportunity website and does not discriminate against vegetarians.
I chided Steve for dropping the meatball, as it were, and leaving us bareheaded out here in the cold, cold world for years before he finally decided to take pity and bring us back into the filet.
Go ahead, take a peek — no one (except Google and maybe the NSA if years down the line after the endless appeals Google finally loses in court) will ever know.
21st–Century Fire Bellows
There's some serious technology being brought to bear here.
"A gear–driven internal turbine" — be still my overengineered heart.
From the website:
- Save Your Lung Power
There’s no better way to quickly build a charcoal or wood fire than with a steady stream of air.
The Easy Fire Starter brings the concept of fire bellows into the 21st century.
No batteries needed — just turn the handle and the gear–driven internal turbine sends out a powerful stream of air, aimed exactly where you need it.
Perfect for charcoal grills, fireplace or camping use.
Measures 10” long.
Made in Brazil.
That was the first thing that struck me.
But not the last.
What mystifies me is why they didn't use a squeeze–handle mechanism to generate power: so much easier and user–friendly for left–handed people like myself who will struggle with the rotary mechanism to generate sufficient RPMs to produce a decent breeze.
Oh, sure, we could turn it over so as to be able crank it with our left hand — in the direction opposite that intended by the designers — but such an adaptation shouldn't be necessary.
Still, an interesting exploration of the fire space.
Donna Summer, please check your messages.
What do you see?
Above, the latest shot from the VolcanoCam in the Cook Inlet, 170 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska.
Augustine is the name of the volcano there that has been erupting for the past month.
The 4,100–foot–high volcano is monitored around the clock by a host of webcams and other instruments, with hourly text updates, seismic readings and lots of other information to keep you occupied in the wee small hours when sleep just won't come.
So you don't need to drop $7.99 for that ridiculous glow–in–the–dark thermometer clock after all.
Just head for www.avo.alaska.edu and you're all set.
[via Henry Fountain and the New York Times]
Flashing Teeth Mouthpiece
The good news is they're only $1.25 apiece (batteries included).
The bad news is you have to buy at least a dozen.
Helpful Hints from joe–eeze: Where to get parts
Jessica Vascellaro wrote a very informative and useful short piece for the February 9 Wall Street Journal about the new breed of online parts stores.
She noted that they're now far deeper in terms of their inventory and much more user–friendly and apt to lead you to precisely what you need to fix something electronic or mechanical instead of tossing it.
For example, Partstore.com now has a stock of 7 million available parts, up from 4 million a year ago.
The three sites she featured, along with her comments:
Partstore.com — "Huge inventory. New consumer–friendly search narrows parts by gadget type and brand before providing a list of possible model numbers."
Wehaveparts.com — "Specializes in consumer electronics like computers, cameras and home appliances. Convenient if you have a model number. Without one, searching is time–consuming and difficult."
Sears.com/parts — "More than six million parts for home appliances, lawn equipment, portable electronics and power tools. Site provides detailed product diagrams to help identify the precise part you need."
From the article:
- Most parts sites sell pieces at or near the manufacturer's retail price.
They are often good sources of parts for older items that stores may no longer keep on their shelves.
Most sites also include instructions on how to use the replacement parts.
But they don't have installation help lines: If you get stuck you're on your own.
Let me throw in my own too ¢ense... wait a minute, that's not right — sixth sense: try putting the model number or part number (if you have it – doh! If you don't that'll be difficult, what? But I digress) into the Google search box before you go hunting on these websites — you may find yourself pleasantly surprised, as have been I, by the results.
Just an ordinary black jacket [above], right?
Because concealed under the bland exterior is a tricked–out garment [below]
with 40 — yes, forty — pockets, along with hidden conduits in the lining to thread and organize the wires from your super–secret high–tech surveillance equipment.
From the website:
- Federal Agent's Convertible Travel Jacket
This is the jacket designed by Scottevest for federal law enforcement agents that has 40 pockets — many of them hidden — to manage all of your electronic devices and other travel essentials, plus hidden conduits in the lining which allow you to thread and organize wires to keep them from tangling.
The waterproof and breathable jacket eliminates the need to remove wired devices and send items through airport security individually because it can be sent through the X–ray scanner with all items securely placed in dedicated pockets.
The 40 pockets include specific compartments for your PDA, MP3 player, cellular phone, water bottle, wallet, keys, sunglasses, pens, and dozens more, with non–scratch linings and easily opened and shut magnetic closures.
The jacket also features a protective badge holder, magnetic wind flap and zipped pocket-in-pocket system that turns one pocket into two.
The warm, three–season jacket has sleeves and a hood that can be removed or reattached to suit your personal comfort (Removable fleece liner available).
Made of imported Finetex®.
Contains magnets — not to be worn by those with pacemakers.
Weighs 3 lbs.
But perhaps you'd like to know more.
The many features and functions of this jacket are described here.
100% Whole Grain Fig Newtons — A sign of the apocalypse
Is nothing sacred?
After years of battering at the gates with reduced fat, low–fat and no–fat iterations of one of the world's great snack food classics, Nabisco has finally caved in.
Witness the grotesque new product pictured above.
"We've never seen a river guide with a bad sunburn," begins the description of this hat on a website.
- Total eclipse of the sunburn.
What's their secret?
Guides love this big, pyramid-like hat for its awesome amount of shade, light weight and comfort.
And because it's just plain fun.
Made of water-resistant nylon over a soft closed–cell foam core so it floats (naturally), and bounces back to shape after being stuffed in a pack.
• Grey, black and light grey striped nylon webbed adjustable headband with plastic buckle
• Black quick–dry mesh nylon interior head liner/cap
• Black drawcord neck strap attached
• Inside stitched finished seams
Unisex — one size fits most.
Dots or khaki.
Yes — you can leave it on.