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January 20, 2005

APO - World's Most Expensive Jeans


Currently, Gucci holds the Guinness World Record for the most expensive jeans: they sold in stores for $3,134 in 1998 and featured African beads, feathers, and designer rips.

Well, I've got news: there's a new "designer rip" [off] out there.

From New York-based Calvin Stewart come APO Jeans, which - tricked-out with a diamond button and rivets - start at $4,000.

Of course, you could buy the economy version: they run only $1,000 a pair.

I had no idea you were so cheap.


For your grand you'll get the bargain-basement special, so be warned: silver buttons and rivets, no extras.

You can upgrade to 14k white or yellow gold for $1,500; platinum will set you back $3,250.

"All jeans will come with an authenticity number as well as an appraisal sheet from a top jeweler in the New York diamond district."

Yeah, don't forget the appraisal sheet if you expect to get into the really hot clubs.

Otherwise, it's like when you went back to school after being absent without bringing a note from a parent; you're just asking for trouble.

But wait, there's more - from the website:

    Personalized designer jeans that are exclusively made for their clients' individual fit.

    Our goal is to target sports, entertainment, and business professionals.

    Our jeans are made with some of the most expensive denim in the world.

    Unlike other jean zippers, our zippers are specially polished and plated.

    APO Jeans' one-of-a-kind pockets (below)


    are made with exotic silk satin rather than the regular cotton material used by other jeans.

    And last but not least, each label is personalized with the client's name and ID number, enhancing each individual jeans' exclusiveness.

Well, I'm tired of everyone else in the world cashing in while I sit here watching.

From this point forward I'm only going to offer "Designer Anesthesia™."

I've just applied for a trademark for the term.

What exactly is Designer Anesthesia™, you ask?

That will be the subject of a future post.

Heck, I don't want you to abandon me now, when I'm just getting going....

But I will give you a hint: it's very expensive.

Q. What is the sound of bling?

A. Ka-ching!

January 20, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

iPod Shuffle - A steal at twice the price


You tell me which is a better deal:

1) Buy a 512 MB Memory Stick


($160) or

the 1 GB version



Now you've got easily transportable, non-volatile storage for your files and stuff.

Except you need a Memory Stick Reader to use it.

That'll be another $41.

2) Buy a 512 MB iPod Shuffle ($100). Or the 1 GB version ($150).

Now you've got easily transportable, non-volatile storage for your files and stuff.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot: Apple will throw in - free - the following: a music player, as elegant and stylish as any functional object on the planet; a 12-hour rechargeable battery; a lanyard; earphones;


and a U.S.B. 2.0 connector so you don't need a reader.

Pick up the clue phone.

Apple has just disemboweled the flash memory market.

Or - at the very least - brought prices down to where they should've been all along.

January 20, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Fruit Flies Break Law


Indiana University (IU) houses the world's most comprehensive repository for mutant fruit fly strains beloved by genetic researchers.

As such, IU sends vials of live flies, their eggs, or larvae to overseas scientists in nearly 200 countries.

Except that such mailings are completely illegal, according to an international postal agreement among 190 participating nations.

The pact forbids mailing most live insects, including fruit flies (pictured in a vial, below).


Yet in 2003, IU mailed nearly 125,000 samples of fruit flies, about 43,000 to overseas labs.

After months of effort and lobbying by the U.S. Postal Service and State Department, the Universal Postal Union will consider this month a proposal to accelerate a change in the law to allow the mailing of live fruit flies.

January 20, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Fecal contamination of airplane water getting worse


This just in, from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): tests in 169 U.S. passenger planes in November and December of last year found contamination by fecal coliform bacteria in 17% of them - up 5% from the initial round of tests performed last August and September, which unleashed a firestorm of dismay and controversy.

Back in the fall, the airlines vowed to clean up their act and said it was no big deal, anyway.

The same sort of dismissive attitude is evident in response to the latest findings.

Doug Willis of the Air Transport Association said, "The good news is that no dangerous bacteria were found."


He continued, "I suspect our lavatories are no different than the public restrooms at the EPA."

Hey, it's the beginning of "Coli Wars."

Forget "Star Wars," and cola battles: this time, the gloves - and paper toilet seat covers - are coming off.

Tom Skinner of the EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance said, "While news that the water may have traces of human or animal feces is a fairly gross variable, it's no reason to panic."

"People have been flying for 40 years in this country and there haven't been reports of mass outbreaks of intestinal illness on any given flight. And conditions haven't changed for the worse in the last 40 years."

Skinner added, "It's probably something that's been with us for a while. But now that we know about it, we're committed to making it better."

My take:

1) He's wrong about mass outbreaks of intestinal illness on specific flights: there have been many such instances.

2) "Conditions haven't changed for the worse in last 40 years?" How about just the last 10 - or 5? Clearly, this guy doesn't fly much.

3) Why are we not confident that things will get better? Maybe because since the problem was identified, with measures such as disinfection of water trucks and plane water tanks having been put into place, the problem's gotten worse.

Oh, and don't think you can avoid the problem by bringing your own bottled water onboard -


that's contaminated too.

Maybe the way to go is to treat a plane flight like a trip to the Third World, and drink only bottled beer - after you wipe down the neck.

[via Elizabeth Weise and USA Today]

January 20, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'The best book-related feature in any of this planet's English-language newspapers'


So wrote Dwight Garner in the January 9 New York Times Book Review about "The Digested Read."

It appears weekly in the Guardian of London.

Its premise: each week the Guardian asks a writer to regurgitate the contents of a newly published book in 500 words or less, preferably in the style of its author.

Bonus: at the end, there's a one-sentence compressed version of the compression.

Here's the December 20 installment, which featured Michael Crichton's "State of Fear."

    A scientist dies in Paris after having sex with a mysterious stranger. A supplier of mining equipment is also killed in Canada. Nobody - least of all the reader - pays any attention. Except Kenner, the MIT-educated, special-forces-trained lone wolf.

    "Hmm," he smiled grimly to himself. "The environmental activists are on the move."

    Back in California, Nick Drake, head of the National Environmental Resource Fund (Nerf), was sharing his thoughts with George Morton, his tycoon backer.

    "It's really heavy," said Drake. "The water level of the Pacific has risen so much that these islands are going to be swept away. We need money to sue the multi- nationals for global warming."

    "You got it," replied Morton. "I love this planet."

    Peter Evans, Morton's attorney, and Sarah, Morton's impossibly beautiful PA, nodded in agreement. "We love this planet."

    Two weeks later, Morton appeared drunk when he got up to speak at a Nerf gala. "Global warming's a load of rubbish," he shouted, before driving off in his Ferrari.

    Peter and Sarah tried to follow him, but found only his wrecked car. There was no sign of his body. "Guess he must have been thrown into the ocean," they sobbed.

    "Give me Morton's money," yelled Drake.

    "I can't," replied Peter. "His estate is in probate."

    Drake stormed out.

    "What are we going to do now?" asked Sarah.

    "Not so fast," said Kenner, abseiling in through the window. "You two are coming with me."

    On the way to Antarctica, Kenner delivered a long lecture on how global warming wasn't really happening and that many scientists had allowed themselves to be lured into a state of fear by environmental pressure groups.

    "Nerf is funding terrorists to create environmental catastrophes to reinforce their message," warned Kenner. "We have to stop them."

    A day later, Sarah and Peter crawled out of a crevasse. They were bruised and bloodied, but at least they had prevented a huge piece of the ice-shelf from being calved off into the ocean.

    Two days after that, Sarah and Peter crawled out of a mudslide in Arizona. They were bruised and bloodied, but at least they had prevented another disaster.

    "Just the Solomon Islands to go," yelled Drake.

    Sarah and Peter looked at each other. They were about to die trying to save the world from a tsunami and they hadn't declared their love for one another.

    "I'm alive," shouted Morton, as he rescued them. "The world is saved, and I'm going to start a new environmental organisation based on truth."

    Author's note: I'm very, very clever and have read a lot and you're all stupid wishy-washy liberals.

    The digested read ... digested:

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Crichton, and the Word was Crichton.


January 20, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Nose Job Glasses


The most common plastic surgery procedure for Asians might be eyelid surgery, but following close behind is the nose job, where the nasal bridge is raised.

It's the opposite of most Western rhinoplasties, where the nose bridge is lowered.

Now, a Japanese professor at the University of Sydney has made it possible for folks to get their gaijin nose without going under the knife.

His invention comes in the form of a pair of lensless glasses, wherein the magic lies in the vibrating plastic nose piece.

Powered by mercury batteries, the nose piece vibrates at 7,000 Hz, creating forces that accelerate the growth of your nasal bridge cartilage.

Wear it for three minutes every day and you should be able to look down your newly augmented nose in two to three weeks.

A pair costs HK$1,680 (U.S.$215) at JC Shop outlets in Hong Kong, where they’ve experimented on a model (below).


Her nose was apparently raised from 20° to 30° after only seven days of use.

[via Popgadget]

January 20, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Radical Honesty


This movement, self-described as a cult, is quite popular.


Its credo is simple: "The honest sharing of information, feelings, and thoughts is the elixir of life, and the saving grace of humankind."

That may well be.


But I know of lives shattered and people destroyed as a result of a determination always to tell the truth.

January 20, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Darth Tater - Just in time for 'Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith'


Coming next month to stores in your galaxy is this new Star Wars toy, the 21st-century version of venerable old Mr. Potato Head.

For $7.99, you'll get Darth all tricked-out with his own removable lightsaber, cape, helmet, shoes, eyes, nose, teeth and more.

With the much anticipated May 19 release of the next chapter of the "Star Wars" saga being featured on the cover of the new (February) Vanity Fair (below),


having your own personal Darth Tater to keep you company may make counting down the days that much easier.

[via gadgetmadness]

January 20, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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