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February 11, 2005

SplitTheSheets.com

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Clever: a sheet that's half polar fleece, half smooth cotton, with a "no feel" seam in between.

The inventor, David W. Haggerty, writes on his website, "Lying in a puddle of sweat one night, I came up with a idea."

And before you know it, Split the Sheets was born.

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Available in four colors — $69.95 for a king set, $64.95 for a queen.

[via Maria Puente and USA Today]

February 11, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'There are only two types of strategy: high value or low cost'

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"Success for any business starts with a decision about which path to follow." — Michael Porter, management consultant extraordinaire.

This, from today's Financial Times post-mortem on Carly Fiorina's demise as CEO at Hewlett-Packard.

I guess it must be true: I mean, it's the conclusion of a full-page anaylysis by two Financial Times writers, and they're quoting the acknowledged authority on business strategy.

I guess I must be really, really dumb.

Because my business strategy is high value and zero cost.

Huh.

No wonder things aren't working out.

Maybe I should ring up Carly Fiorina and see what she thinks.

After all, with her golden parachute being worth upward of $21 million, she's probably not frantically lining up interviews for her next job.

And she should have plenty of time now to take my call.

February 11, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The wheels — and the leather — are coming off at Mercedes

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Once among the most-esteemed brands on the planet, the fallen — and still without a visible parachute deployed as its descent accelerates — carmaker has just announced that its cars will be available in a skinless version.

PETA has targeted Mercedes since its anti-leather-in-cars drive began five years ago.

What's astounding to me is not that Mercedes gave in, but that — at least according to yesterday's USA Today article — the company says it did so because of PETA's relentless attacks.

That's unheard of in either business or government.

To say you did something as a result of someone else's influence, opinion, or pressure is considered a sign of weakness and failure.

It's always unrelated to any forces other than the company or agency's own thinking.

Everyone knows it's a lie, but the party line gets parroted nonetheless.

The reason Mercedes gave in and every other carmaker refused is not, though, because Mercedes is bigger-hearted.

No, it's because the company is sinking and desperately rearranging its deckchairs in a frantic effort to make people think they're righting their ship.

Memo to Mercedes: until you bring your cars up to the quality standards of Lexus, it doesn't matter what options you offer for your interiors — or anywhere else.

February 11, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

hiscoldfeet.com

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Andrea Passman Candell started this site.

"A website for the woman who wants to tie the knot with the guy who wants to talk about it later."

You know the one — yeah, that's right, your boyfriend.

And the previous one too, come to think of it.

Now you've got company.

Bond with your sisters.

February 11, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The yellow first–down line on TV — John Madden's greatest achievement?

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He's many things, is the protean former Raider coach: Monday Night Football analyst par excellence; multimillionaire grand panjandrum of the most popular sports-related computer game in the world —

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Madden NFL 2005, which sold 1.35 million copies in its first week last fall; author of a number of best-selling books; and the world's most famous bus rider.

Little known, at least by me until I read it in in Don Babwin's Associated Press story this past Monday, is that Madden was the first person to propose placing a virtual line at the first-down mark.

Eleven years ago, he suggested it in a television production meeting.

It then took four years for Chicago-based Sportvision to roll it out.

Now, it's impossible to imagine how we ever did without it.

Often we can see if a play's made a first-down before the announcers are even sure.

I like that: power to the peanut gallery.

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Catchy, what?

February 11, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Trail Blazer® Snow Auger

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Archimedes is smiling as he reads this.

From Union Tools of Columbus, Ohio comes a whole new approach to snow shoveling.

Their Trail Blazer® Snow Auger is a kind of horizontal corkscrew designed to clear up to 4" of heavy snow or 6" of powdery stuff with much less effort than a conventional shovel.

Invented by a fellow Wisconsinite, so you know it's been battle-tested.

As you push the thing along, it churns the snow out along the right side.

So you'll want to start on the left side of whatever you want to clear.

Charlie Wilson, senior product manager at Union Tools, said in yesterday's Washington Post story, "This is as easy as pushing a lawn mower. There is no bending or lifting. It works so fast you are not out there very long."

"As it's pushed along the ground, the Trail Blazer® clears a 21"-wide path by forcing the snow off to the side with the auger's turning action."

"Clears down to the pavement in one pass."

It also works on uneven surfaces such as brick, fieldstone and decks.

Man, I'd have made a fortune with one of these if I'd had it growing up as a boy in Milwaukee.

The non-powered Trail Blazer® has a heavy-duty, weather-resistant ABS auger blade in its polypropylene housing.

Two-piece powder-coated steel handle with a D-grip.

$35 at Home Depot (800-553-3199).

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Can't wait till it snows again to try it out.

February 11, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Looking down at Saturn

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The picture above was taken last December 14 from the orbiting Cassini spacecraft, at a distance of 446,900 miles (about twice the distance of the earth from the moon).

It show not the rings of Saturn, as you might think at first glance (I did) but, rather, the planet's northern hemisphere, in its natural blue colors.

Oh, to be orbiting the planet myself aboard a Virgin Galactic spaceship, and see it with my very own eyes.

Maybe someday.

More about the photo here.

This post ended with the sentence above until about 10:04 a.m. ET (four minutes ago).

That's when I happened on an even more breathtaking photo (below) from Cassini.

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Once again we see Saturn's northern latitudes in true color.

The dark lines, as in the first picture, are shadows cast by the planet's rings.

At the bottom of the photo is Saturn's moon Mimas (247 miles across).

Craters give the icy body a dimpled appearance.

More on this picture, taken on January 18, 2005 from a distance of 870,000 miles from Saturn, here.

February 11, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Spray-on Hair

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Once upon a time it was "Hate that grey? Wash it away."

That was the familiar tag line for Grecian Formula 16.

Funny, you don't here it much anymore.

How 'bout not at all.

So.

From the super-secret "Black-Ops" skunkworks of Jerome Russell comes this laudable product.

"Spray-on hair helps cover and color light-to-medium bald spots for men and women."

Easy to use: just wash your hair, spray on, let dry.

You're good to go.

"Blend in and brush hair over treated area to give an illusion of thicker, fuller hair."

Say what you will, that sentence just above is far deeper and more in tune with the evolving quantum world-view of the early 21st century than most advertising.

Hats off to the writer — but only if you've sprayed beforehand.

Comes in Black, Dark Brown, Medium Brown, Brown/Blonde, and Silver/Grey.

$9.98 a can here (item # 12455).

February 11, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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