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February 8, 2005

No–Maintenance Cat


Finally, a pet for the rest of us.

Sure, we love cats — but maybe you're not allowed to have one where you live: "No Pets."

Or perhaps you could have one if you liked, but you're often away and worry about how you'd make sure it was fed and watered, not to mention it going insane and shredding everything you own.

Kudos, then (that's what people used to say in the old days, before "props" worked its way into the lexicon) to the inventor of this superb low-maintenance feline.

It's a 3-dimensional cat-shaped pillow.

"No muss, no fuss — yet your companion is always nearby."

Why, you could even take it on the tube and to work.

Cotton/polyester; measures 11" x 16".


$24.98 here (item # 23229).

February 8, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Chocolat Moderne: 'I can resist anything — except temptation'


Oscar Wilde said it best, as with so many things.

Last night I was just sitting here.

Seems like I was busy doing something close to nothing,


but different from the night before.

All of a sudden, over the virtual transom comes an email from one Bohdan Peter Rekshynskyj.

Now, I must tell you, even though bookofjoe is now a world-wide phenomenon, read in over 200 countries planetwide, I do not recall ever making the acquaintance of anyone named Bohdan.

So I immediately roused myself from my stupor and looked more closely at this email.

You can appreciate that here at bookofjoe we get thousands of emails a day, many in languages completely unintelligible to anyone on my crack research team, which, collectively, speaks one language - and that barely fluently.

But I digress.

Turns out Bohdan is Director and CIO of Chocolat Moderne, an artisanal chocolatier in New York.


He invited me to sample their wares: to be specific, his email said:

    Try us!

That's all it took for me to gear up and get moving.

En route as I type these pixels is the 25-piece "Petits BonBons" assortment up top.


It features 6 flavors:

• La Dolce Grapefruit (Soft Grapefruit Caramel)

• Madame 'X'tasy (Espresso–Lemon Truffle)

• The Player (Single Malt Scotch Truffle)

• Pumpkin Pique-Nique (Crunchy Pumpkin Seed Praliné)

• Raspberry Rendez-Vous (Raspberry Truffle)

• Parlez Pistachio (Crunchy Pistachio Praliné)

I am so excited, I'm beside myself.


I'm very taken with both the website and the stylish names of their various flavors.

If the chocolates are as good as their advance notices, it should be one sweet day tomorrow here at bookofjoe World Headquarters in beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia.

February 8, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Draft Stopper


Extremely clever, I must say.

Common draft stoppers require repositioning every time you open or close the door.

This one doesn't, because it seals both sides of the door, moving in tandem with the door whenever it's opened or closed.

So not only do you get twice the draft protection, you do much less work.

That's my idea of a great invention: better outcome with less effort.

It's 35.5 inches long, and you can cut it to size.

The inside is closed-cell foam; the outer fabric cover is removable and machine-washable.

$9.99 here.

A bookofjoe 2005 Design Award winner.

It just occurred to me that for a child afraid of ghosties and suchlike, you could probably buy a couple years of night-time security at bedtime in the dark by telling her or him that it keeps ghoulies and their ilk out.

February 8, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: 'The Quick and the Dead' — Reaction Time Predicts Life Expectancy


That's the take-away message of an absolutely fascinating study which appeared in the January issue of the journal Psychological Science.

Here's Rob Stein's story about it, from yesterday's Washington Post.

    The Quick and the Dead

    The key to a long life may not just be being quick-witted, but also just plain quick, according to new research.

    Previous studies have found that people with lower IQs tend to have shorter life spans than those with higher IQs.

    But some have speculated the phenomenon may be because smarter people tend to have safer jobs.

    So Ian J. Deary of the University of Edinburgh and Geoff Der of the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow studied data collected in 1988 about 412 male and 486 female 54- to 58-year-olds living in Scotland.

    The participants had taken tests measuring both their intelligence and their reaction time — how fast they pressed a button after seeing a number on a screen.

    Over the next 14 years, 185 of the subjects died, allowing the researchers to examine the data to see whether their IQs or quickness predicted their mortality.


    Those with higher IQ scores lived longer, but faster reaction time seemed to be an even better predictor of a long life than intelligence.

    In fact, it appeared to account completely for the difference between the two groups, the researchers found.

    "The reaction time variables were stronger predictors of death than was... intelligence," the researchers wrote in the January issue of the journal Psychological Science.

    It remains unclear, the researchers noted, whether people had slower reaction times because they were already in poor health, although that does not appear to be the case.

    More studies will be needed to fully explain the link, the researchers said.


    "We and others are following up several possible explanations for this intriguing new association," Deary said.

    February 8, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Munki Munki — Scratch 'n Sniff Underpants


    What does regret smell like?


    Heather T. Ross, founder of Munki Munki, a California clothing company, says it's like a cedar armoire.


    She decided to take it one step further by creating a line of women's underwear, introduced in the fall of 2003 in camisole-and-brief sets, bearing cartoon images of her past boyfriends.

    When scratched, the images emit scents.


    Ms. Ross got big fast this past Sunday when Brendan I. Koerner, in his New York Times Business section column "The Goods," featured her and her wares.

    February 8, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Louise Bourgeois — At 93, at the very height of her power


    Her current show, "Sublimation," is up at Hauser & Wirth Gallery in London.


    I urge you to visit the gallery's superb website


    and take the "Walkthrough" — beautifully done.


    Bourgeois just keeps pushing the envelope, breaking fresh ground with every passing year.


    So unlike many established artists half or a third her age, who simply crank out more of the same because it sells,


    Bourgeois simply will not let go of the rage she still feels at her chaotic upbringing.


    She has said that her entire artistic output is a result of her inability to come to grips with what she saw, felt and heard as a young girl at home.


    Oh, but that she were thirty years younger so that she could live long enough for the singularity to make her immortal.


    If you're in London you're in luck: the show's up through March 12.

    February 8, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Ice Cream Earrings


    What fun.


    $40 a pair here.


    Choose from


    mint chocolate chip,


    blue ice, or



    Hey — what's with all the chilly/cold type posts this morning, anyhow?

    February 8, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Frozen Finger Festival


    Better book now 'cause it begins this Friday, February 11, in Minot, North Dakota:

      11th Annual Frozen Finger Festival

      Frozen fingers thaw out quickly when they're furiously fiddling at this bluegrass and old-time music fest.

      Friday's dance warms things up.

      Hone your fiddle and guitar skills at workshops Saturday morning.

      Starting at noon, a different group takes the stage every hour to play country-western, bluegrass and old-time tunes.

      Saturday evening features Chmeilewski Old Time Dance from 8:30–11 p.m.

      Gospel music is on tap Sunday.

      A three-day festival pass costs $25 for adults; free for children 16 and under.


      Minot, North Dakota; tel: 701-838-8484 for additional information or to volunteer; current temperature: 1°F.

      February 8, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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