June 08, 2008
Theoretical Exercise Machine
Yo, joe: what about the 20th century — didn't stuff happen then?
Nothing worth remarking on, Grasshopper.
But I digress.
I cannot take credit for this wonderful invention.
Rather, all possible love is now and forever directed to one Marijean Jaggers, a fellow resident of my Podunk town and blogger par excellence at stlworkingmom.com, "one working mom's survival guide, parental ponderings and frustrating failures."
What are the defining characteristics of a Theoretical Exercise Machine?
I thought you'd never ask.
1) It exists only virtually — any attempt to render it beyond pixels and their ilk voids the warranty and ends in tears
2) You can use it anywhere, anytime — even during boring meetings when everyone's texting below the conference table
3) If your mirror neurons are well enough developed, you will notice the pounds melting off before you can say Bob's your uncle
I mean, if mirror neurons really are "a recently discovered system in the brain [that] may help explain why we humans can get so worked up watching other people," it only follows that we can get worked out as well.
What the heck?
Deep muscle therapy at home with the original Backnobber.
Developed by an occupational therapist, this simple S-shaped tool helps ease the symptoms of muscle fatigue, neck, shoulder and back discomfort, and headaches.
Its unique shape allows you to apply just the right pressure to those hard-to-reach tender spots in your back.
Pressing on these "trigger points" helps relieve tension in the muscle, allowing it to return to its normal flexibility.
Completely portable, the Backnobber disassembles so you can take it wherever you go — work, vacation or business trips.
Includes a 36-page user guide that features illustrated instructions, plus exercises to stretch and strengthen your back muscles.
Fish of the month
It's a 1-centimeter-long juvenile boxfish collected last fall from the surface waters of the Celebes Sea off the southern Philippine Islands.
Tire Gauge with Filler Chuck and Bleed Valve
Mine can't arrive soon enough.
Since forever I've been annoyed by the process of first adding air, then measuring the pressure, switching back and forth between the air hose and my pressure gauge until I get it right.
Not to mention that my fingers are completely black by the time I'm done with all five (yes, I check the spare too — you don't? Shame on you...) tires.
I'm having an air party down at the Exxon station one yoctosecond after my new toy arrives.
From the website:
- Tire Gauge with Filler Chuck and Bleed Valve
Top up your tires in half the time
Our Tire Gauge with Filler Chuck and Bleed Valve lets you add air while you're checking the pressure.
This lets you skip the routine of removing the gauge, adding air, checking the pressure and repeating ad infinitum.
The chuck clips securely to the tire stem and you add air directly through the gauge.
If you go too far, you can bleed off pressure by pushing a button on the gauge.
Super-accurate gauge is protected by a shock-resistant cover and reads 0-100psi.
BehindTheMedspeak: The James Lind Library
An interesting website, created by The Library and Information Services Department of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and brought to my attention by my Glasgow correspondent, Financial Times medical columnist Dr. Margaret McCartney.
"Created to help people understand fair tests of treatments in health care. Essays explaining the principles of fair tests are available in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese."
"To illustrate the evolution of fair tests of treatments from 2000 BCE to the present, the James Lind Library contains key passages and images from manuscripts, books and journal articles, many of them accompanied by commentaries, biographies, portraits, and other relevant material."
Another useful resource in this arena is The Cochrane Collaboration, a global network which styles itself "the reliable source of evidence in health care."
Much more than I, Dr. McCartney is an advocate of evidence-based medicine, which uses statistical outcomes as a guide to best practices.
I always end up looking at every individual — especially myself — as a series of one, which puts paid to any consideration of overall efficacy in a large series.
I suspect there is room for both approaches within any individual's practice — it's simply a matter of how much weight one gets vis-à-vis the other.
What took so long?
From the website:
- Sea Horseshoes
Our Foam Sea Horseshoes game safely brings the great American pastime of "pitching shoes" to the water.
Approved for all ages, it makes a terrific party event or everyday family activity.
• All pieces are vinyl-coated to resist cracking and peeling
• Safe, solid foam stake is mounted on floating turf
• Four color-coded floating foam horseshoes
• Foam construction is child-safe
• Safe to play indoors, too
• 24"W x 30"L target
• 10"H stake.
25 of the strangest collections on the web
The no-nonsense testers over at Cook's Illustrated, in the July/August 2008 issue, reviewed it as follows:
"Leftover pie doesn't last long, but when there is some to spare, a Pie Gate... promises to keep the filling intact. This plastic tool, which looks like two wings attached on a central hinge, adjusts to fit any angle — and most pie plates. Its flexible silicone edge does the job of neatly and tightly sealing in leaky fillings. The device can also double as a dam for cut rounds of creamy, oozy cheeses such as Brie or Camembert."
From the product website:
- Pie Gate
Fits most 8”–9” pie plates.
Holds pie filling in, keeping pies fresh.
Flexible edge provides a perfect seal for storing pie.
Use for cakes, brownies, tarts, casseroles and more.
$6.95 (pie not included).