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January 2, 2005

Java-Log - 'Perk up your fire with coffee!'


That's how the description of this product begins on the website.

Why is it that I was instantly uninterested in trying this item out?

What a drippy idea.

It's a fake fireplace log infused with coffee grounds.

Now, logically you'd think it's a great concept: I mean, minds far greater than mine did, apparently.

From the website:

    This amazing log was praised in Time Magazine as "one of the coolest inventions of the year."

    It was also highlighted on "The Today Show" and "Ellen."

High praise indeed.

You get six logs, each of which lasts up to three hours, for $29.95.

I don't know, call me old-fashioned or a Luddite, whatever, but I much prefer to have my coffee in my cup and my fire in my fireplace.

I mean, you could trick out those stainless steel fireplace logs, I suppose, to brew coffee.

But I wouldn't.

January 2, 2005 at 06:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Voxel Man


Traditional Chinese medicine meets computers - and acupuncture will never be the same.

It's a joint effort of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and the Institute of Medical Informatics at Hamburg University.

They've developed a body model and 3-D atlas which contain everything known about acupuncture.

From the website:

    It will allow the visualization of acupoints, needle position and direction, as well as the interrogation of penetrated structures and achieved effects.


    The system can then be used for teaching of novices, as lookup for experts and finally for research about the mechanisms of acupuncture.

January 2, 2005 at 04:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Panasonic Ultra-Thin Electric Shaver


So elegant, so chic I made an exception to my usual rule.

Usually I write the post, then order something I like.

Here, I ordered it first.

Because Neiman Marcus, where I bought it, is going to sell out of this item real fast.

Panasonic introduced it in Eastern Europe under its National brand and, after tricking it out with a gold (instead of silver) finish and simplifying the design on the circular element in the middle (no doubt the on/off switch), has just brought it to the U.S.

Runs on two AAA batteries (not included, but in this case I don't mind at all).

The size of a credit card, it has "floating stainless steel blades."

Measures 3.6" x 2.2" x 0.5"; costs $66.

Goes right into my car's glove box.

Makes the old question, "Did I shave my legs for this?", a little less painful to answer in the affirmative, no?

January 2, 2005 at 02:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

DVD Backpack


Kind of cool: the Chibi Vision backpack has a built-in DVD player and an LCD screen, to broadcast personal videos, favorite shows or movies, whatever.

Initially it was intended for corporate marketing (?), but now Japanese kids rent them for about $300 a day to hang out with.

Naomi Yamamoto, quoted in the January Wired magazine, said, "I feel like a celebrity! It's near-futuristic and, like, a bag nobody else has. It's a must for people who love to stand out."

True - as long as it's a novelty.

But when everybody's got one, then what?

Of course, this is only a rest stop on the way to implanting a working LCD screen into/onto a person.

I bet it's already happened somewhere.

Prediction: you'll read about the particulars right here, along with a picture, this year.

Or your money back.

[via Wired magazine]

January 2, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



"Everyone is a piece of the puzzle. Everyone is essential."

So says Moira Gunn, host of ITConversations, an online site which focuses on the impact of technology on our lives.

Tech Nation, the interview show she hosts, features interviews with just about everyone who's made an impact in the tech world.

Free, and you don't have to register.

I just listened to an interview with William Gibson (on my iMac) which was superb in both content and quality.

It was crisp, clean, without static or any sense that it was coming in via cable modem.

Would that internet video would someday get to that point.

Well worth a visit, is this site.

You can either listen via your computer or put the material on your iPod for use when/wherever.

[via BoingBoing]

January 2, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack




You can sit quietly in the privacy of your own cubicle and pop the bubbles in limitless quantities of Bubble Wrap for free, forever.

It doesn't get much better than this.

Not too much upside from here.

The site was created by Katherine Fernie, a Centreville, Virginia web designer, "back in the day when the funniest things on the Internet were sites like 'the big red button' that doesn't do anything."

Enough of the small talk: start popping.

There's also an "insane" version if you're really bored.

And what website would be complete without a store?


All manner of things Bubble Wrap.

Why is it, I wonder, that I don't have a store on my site?

And if I did, what would I sell?

Certainly not the usual stuff: bookofjoe coffee mugs, hats, bumper stickers.

I know I can come up with something better.

Gotta give this some thought.


PW - you still awake? Got any ideas? Make a note of them, then let's take a meeting.

Maybe we'll do lunch.

Have your people call my people.

[via Lisa Napoli and the New York Times]

January 2, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

X-Hale Gloves


You know how, when you're really chilly in bed, you pull the sheet and covers over your mouth, then breathe in and out real fast and quickly warm up your body in your little improvised cocoon?

These gloves employ this principle.

You blow into a port on the back and the warm air flows to your fingers via the hidden air chambers.

Cool - I mean, hot.

The moisture wicks out so your fingers stay toasty warm and dry.

The women's version (above), in the pictured grey/blue, is OK looking, but the guys' (below in grey) looks dreadful.


$49.95 here.

January 2, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Fortresses of the American Independent Cinema'


I stumbled across this treasure trove of a site just now.

It's an alphabetized list of just about every microcinema, arthouse, cinematheque, brewhouse, revival movie palace, experimental screen, and alternative media center in the U.S.

The site links to just about every one.

Superb resource.

The site also has lists - with links - of DIY distributors, film databases, review sites, online films, film magazines and reviews, local film festivals, international film festivals, film societies/media centers/manifesto makers, motion picture studios and distributors, and motion picture guilds and organizations.

If you've made a movie but don't know what to do next, this is a good place to start.

January 2, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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