December 27, 2007
Helpful Hints from joeeze: How to get an extra hour or two out of 'dead' batteries
"If your batteries die midflight, rubbing them briskly on your leg to generate static electricity can prolong their life for as much as an hour or two." — William Grimes, in his December 19, 2007 New York Times review of Chuck Thompson's new book, "Smile When You're Lying: Confessions of a Rogue Travel Writer."
Thompson added, "This also works in cheap hotels where they never change the batteries in the remote."
Official bookofjoe Drip-Free Safety Umbrella
Be still my heart.
From the website:
- Drip-Free Safety Umbrella
Rainy, foggy conditions call for this neon Safety Umbrella with reflector top.
Stay dry with the broad brim and see what's ahead through the clear panel.
Super-strong nylon with extra struts for wind resistance.
Built-in drip guard eliminates wet messes on the floor.
Safety tips — no dangerous points.
That drip guard looks weird, what?
Is chocolate poisonous in dogs?
Above, the topic of Alison Snyder's February 2, 2007 Scientific American article.
Long story short: it is.
Here's the piece.
- Fact or Fiction? Chocolate Is Poisonous to Dogs
Chocolate can affect canines in different ways — from the mildly upsetting to the downright dangerous
A small dog should be belly-up after eating a handful M&M's, at least according to conventional wisdom. But watching "Moose," a friend's five-pound Chihuahua, race around a living room after his sweet snack makes one wonder: Is chocolate truly poisonous to dogs?
It is. The cacao bean, the central ingredient in chocolate, can sicken or, in some cases, kill members of the Canidae family.
Chocolate is processed from the bitter seeds of the cacao tree, which contain a family of compounds known as methylxanthines. This class of substances includes caffeine and the related chemical theobromine. Theobromine is abundant in chocolate, and caffeine occurs in smaller amounts. Both molecules bind to receptors on the surfaces of dogs' cells and block the canine-produced compounds that normally attach there.
Low doses of methylxanthines tend to produce euphoria in humans, but large amounts will cause muscle tremors or even bring on seizures in some dogs (so don't serve them coffee, either). Even relatively small amounts can lead to vomiting or diarrhea. Methylxanthines can also cause a dog's heart to race up to twice its normal rate, and some dogs may run around as if "they drank a gallon of espresso," say Tim Hackett, a veterinarian at Colorado State University. Moose, it seems, was on a "theobromine high."
The danger of indulgence also depends on the type of chocolate scarfed down and on the animal's weight. Unsweetened baking chocolate contains more than six times as much theobromine as milk chocolate, although amounts vary between cocoa beans as well as different brands of chocolate. In general, however, as little as an ounce of milk chocolate can sicken a beagle, and less than four ounces will sometimes kill dogs the size of Moose, according to the Animal Poison Control Center of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Still, people's fear that their dogs will die from eating some chocolate may be overblown. Around every confection-centered holiday — Valentine's Day, Easter and Christmas — at least three or four dogs are hospitalized overnight in the animal medical center at Colorado State, he notes. But in 16 years as an emergency and critical care veterinarian, Hackett has seen just one dog die from chocolate poisoning, and he suspects the animal may have had an underlying disease that made it more vulnerable to chocolate's heart-racing effect. When death does result, it usually stems from abnormal heart rhythms, high fever or breathing difficulties, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual.
Dogs that eat a small amount of milk chocolate or other blends (say, a handful of M&Ms) should be able to cope with the methylxanthines and may even be able to avoid a trip to the vet. But those that eat a lot more or a stronger variety (and thus are poisoned) usually need professional care. Such dogs can generally be treated by inducing vomiting and administering activated charcoal, to absorb any methylxanthines that remain in their gut or are passing through their digestive system.
Ultimately, Moose survived his cocoa snack. But no matter how you bake it, wrap it, blend it or melt it, chocolate and dogs just don't mix.
From the website:
- Spaghetti Tester
Plucking a noodle from boiling water for testing is oh so easy with this sleek stainless steel spaghetti tester from Germany.
Special hook at the end of the tool lets you fish out a noodle without burning your fingers.
Holes in handle for measuring single or double portion of dry spaghetti.
Intermission — by Owen Sheers
A night-long easterly and a chestnut tree
side-swiping the power lines
has stilled the house to this:
wells of darkness in the hallway,
doors opening onto mine shafts of night
sitting by firelight,
tipping heels of whisky
against the flames and the dust.
An evening of unfamiliar obstacles,
rooms shrunken to the candle's halo,
the world lessened.
You speak from the shore of the other chair,
saying all you really want is to live
long enough to be good at the oboe
and remembering a fly I saw that morning,
vibrating across a window like a tatooist's needle
towards the slip of space that was air not glass,
I think I understand.
That it is after all the small victories that matter,
that are in the end, enough.
'Take Your Medication' Vibrating Watch
From the website:
- Take Your Medication Vibrating Watch
For busy people, remembering to take your pills several times a day is hard work.
Fortunately, this vibrating watch will discreetly remind you in the office, in church or at the movies.
• Large easy-to-read display with backlight shows time and date
• Up to six daily alarms and no resetting required
• Replaceable battery included
• Beeping alarm option
• Black leather strap
Think outside the medication space — anyone who needs multiple alerts daily could use this watch.
[via Mary Sue]
Personalized Blocks in a Box
From the web site:
- Personalized Blocks In A Box — Teach toddlers ABC's while providing hours of fun
Set of 48 colorful wooden blocks features letters of the alphabet, pictures, numbers and math symbols.
They come in a handy, solid wood storage box personalized with your child's name.
Each 1-3/8" block has 2 raised relief sides and 4 stencilled sides.
For ages 3 and up.
"Your child's name?"