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February 15, 2005



This new website is going to use Fujifilm's proprietary technology to enable you to search for people who resemble movie stars, sports icons, or former flames.

So what if Brad Pitt or Jennifer Aniston don't shop at your local Whole Foods?

Now you can have the next best thing — find someone to go out with who looks like them but doesn't have the baggage — you know, their people, the security, the attitude, the whole LA thing you don't have time for.

What could be better?

I wonder if this will have any impact on the popularity of my MorphWorld feature.

Well, we'll just have to wait and see what LookalikeFinder comes up with, won't we?

After all, their website doesn't say "Real soon now" — but it's darn close.

I wonder if I'm the only one who finds the "American Idol"–esque pose of the guy on the icon amusing.

February 15, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cabinet Quarterly — 'Beyond Eclectic'


That's all it takes to get me excited, telling me there's all manner of stuff there.

John Strausbaugh wrote an excellent story for last Thursday's New York Times about this Brooklyn-based magazine, founded in 2000 by Sina Najafi, who continues to singlehandedly run it.

"A journal of art and ideas that is eclectic to the point of eccentricity."

Oh man, you're killing me.

The magazine's website offers a selection of material from past issues.

A section of each issue includes essays organized around a theme.

One time the topic was "Failure."

The pages of that issue were cut slightly crooked, "resulting in some complaints and returned copies from those who missed the joke."

That is so my sense of humor; I'm gonna subscribe as soon as I finish this post.

They also have a special web page which offers a "subscriber discount."

To get one, you have to have one of the first names on the list they supply.

Yo, Ethyl and Chester, call your office — your discounts are ready.

Along with $1 off the regular subscription price, you also get a "special gift."

"Not all gifts will be alike. We will strive for meaningful gifts with zero eBay potential."

What I especially like about Cabinet is its size: they've currently got 2,000 subscribers.

A year's subscription is $28.

There's a "mostly unpaid" staff of five, which operates out of founder Najafi's Boerum Hill [Brooklyn] apartment.

The magazine's annual budget is $250,000, most of it coming from from private foundations and government grants.


How does Cabinet compare with bookofjoe, you ask?


Currently I'm averaging 3,000 daily readers.

A year's — heck, a lifetime — subscription is free.

There's a totally unpaid staff of one, which operates out of my Charlottesville, Virginia home.

The annual budget is $179.40 ($14.95 for my monthly hosting fee at TypePad x 12), none of it from private foundations or government grants.

So there you have it.

February 15, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Liquidinformation.org — I have seen the future of the internet, and it is sweet


I'm just back from exploring one of the most extraordinary websites I've ever visited: Liquidinformation.org.

This site was created by Frode Hegland, a researcher at University College London Interaction Center, working with Mikhail Seliverstov, a programmer in Russia.

Their goal: turn every single word of every online text into a hyperword, a word you can click and then Google, look up in a dictionary, or do any number of other things with.

But don't waste your time here: visit the site and try the demo.

I tried the CNN one and then my own site, and I was absolutely blown away.

Awesome, jawdropping, you pick the word, there's no hyperbole possible here.


I learned of the site via Sarah Boxer's excellent New York Times article, which appeared on February 10.

FunFact: Hegland notes on the site that his mentor is Douglas Engelbart.

Who's Douglas Engelbart?

Only one of the legends of computing; among other things, he invented the computer mouse.

So big, I can't get over it, that's the power I saw unleashed in this demonstration.

Bring it.

February 15, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Thing Electronic Hands and Feet


Shades of Sigourney Weaver strapping on that robot exoskeleton in one of the "Alien" movies.

Now come these appendage add-ons to make you more than you ever dreamed you could be, a kind of morphed-up "The Thing."

These new toys, "when attached to a child's own [appendages], emit electronic phrases and sounds that mimic, say, the thundering steps of the 500-pound pile of rocks himself."

They're to be unveiled officially this coming Sunday at the annual Toy Fair, where the industry gathers.

More on the toy world's move to helping you find your inner superhero in Olivia Barker's story in today's USA Today.

February 15, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Are older doctors dangerous?


Today's USA Today greeted me with a story by Liz Szabo headlined, "Older Doctors Try To Keep Up."

The gist of the article is that older is not better when it comes to your doctor.

For example, in a 2000 study of heart attack victims, mortality rates rose 1% for every two years since a patient's doctor graduated from medical school.

The newspaper's story is based on the results of a new study reported in today's Annals of Internal Medicine.


Should I hang up my stethoscope, I wonder?

As regards the practice of anesthesiology, the issue of knowledge v experience is a most interesting one.

Not only because an anesthesiologist's error can kill you, rather than simply keep you from getting better quite as quickly.

The way I look at it, I never knew more anesthesia-related information than on the day I took my oral anesthesiology board examination, way back in the early years of the last century.

But my experience now, after more than 25,000 anesthetics given (and still without ever having been sued, knock on wood), is immensely greater than when I was a board-certified smartypants–neophyte.

I can solve problems now without even having to think about them, because I've seen them before: recognition is 9/10 of remedy, is how I put it.

So, all things considered, I think a person is safer going under now with me at the anesthesia machine controls than back in the day.

But then, I'm sure I'll say the same thing when I'm walking into walls instead of through doorways.

Here's the thought–provoking USA Today story.

    Older Doctors Try To Keep Up

    Older doctors are less likely to practice according to the latest medical standards than physicians fresh out of school, according to an analysis in today's Annals of Internal Medicine.

    Researchers who reviewed 59 previously published studies were surprised to see that more than 70% showed declines in performance over time, says the lead author, Niteesh Choudhry, a Harvard Medical School instructor.

    In a 2000 study of heart attack patients, for example, mortality rates rose by 1% for every two years since a patient's doctor graduated from medical school.

    The problem is not aging but the challenge of keeping up to date with rapidly evolving medical science, Choudhry says.

    Traditionally, older doctors based decisions largely on training and experience.

    Younger physicians are being trained to practice "evidence-based medicine," in which they prescribe drugs and treatments that reflect the results of large clinical trials.

    Younger doctors also are often more comfortable searching the Internet and using handheld computers and electronic medical records, which can remind doctors about routine screening tests or flag drug interactions.

    In some cases, younger doctors also must meet more rigorous standards.

    In the field of internal medicine, which is the specialty that deals with adults, only doctors initially certified since 1990 are required to take additional board exams every few years.

    Doctors certified before then are exempt.

    Older physicians have a wealth of experience that younger ones lack, Choudhry acknowledges.

    Older doctors also might have strong relationships with longtime patients.

    None of the studies in his analysis asked patients whether they were happy with their care, he noted.

    Yet Mary Frank, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, says the article shows that the medical profession needs to find better ways to help doctors stay current.

    The study also shows that doctors should evaluate their own work, says Maureen Padden, an AAFP board member who practices at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

    "This is the future of medicine," Padden says.

    "Medicine has got to move into the next generation, with lifelong learning, lifelong self-assessment and lifelong improvement."

February 15, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Pocket Dentist


Keep your sunny side up with this clever take on a Swiss Army knife.

Tuck it in your purse, pocket or put it on your keychain.

Opens to reveal a tiny magnifying mirror, interdental pick, scaler, interdental brush, plastic toothpick, and tongue scraper.

Stainless steel, 2.5" long.

$6.98 here.

No, you can't carry it on a plane, so don't even ask.

[via whereisben.com]

February 15, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Google news — that is, news about Google


This wonderful company, which makes bookofjoe possible and furnishes endless hours of amusement, fascination, education, and diversion for me as well as hundreds of millions of other people — free, amazingly — always has lots of stuff going on.

But lately, since they've gotten so dominant, powerful and, above all, gone public, there's a lot more about the company that's in the public domain.

Last Thursday's Wall Street Journal had an article by Kevin J. Delaney which contained all manner of interesting information.

The highlights, in no particular order:

• Google can't grow nearly as fast as it would like to because of a personnel bottleneck: they simply can't find enough qualified employees.

Co-founder Sergey Brin told several hundred analysts last week that though Google now has over 3,000 employees, up from 2,292 last June, the company cannot hire the quality and quantity of people they want.

• CEO Eric Schmidt for the first time revealed how Google allocates its resources: 70% to its core search and advertising services; 20% to other search-related products like Google News, Froogle and email; 10% to projects unrelated to searching, such as Orkut, Picasa, Keyhole, and developing wireless applications.

• Schmidt said that in fourth quarter Google had 227 advertisers from the Fortune 1000 list, up from 156 a year earlier.

Google's stock closed last week near $191, up significantly from its IPO price of $85 a share.

The New York Times noted in its story on Google's first-ever (since it went public last August) presentation to analysts that the company continued to do things its own way.

For example, Mark S. Mahaney, an analyst with American Technology Research, said, "They had a formal presentation by their chef but not their chief financial officer. I've never been to an investor day when the C.F.O. didn't speak."

Indeed, Google's top chef, Charlie Ayers, spoke to the assembled investors and analysts at length about the lunch he had prepared for them, featuring entrees like grilled pork tenderloin.

The Financial Times report on the analysts' conclave addressed criticisms that many of Google's products were still in beta.

Tim Page, Google's other co-founder, said that this was a sound approach for the company.

"It's part of our branding strategy, that we underpromise and overdeliver and being in beta is part of that," he said. "You don't expect it to be perfect. For our engineers, it's in beta if you'd be proud to show it to your mom once you have made one or two major changes."

That's the best definition of beta I've ever come across.

The company reported net sales of $654 million in the fourth quarter, more than double those of a year earlier; net profits for the quarter were a record $204 million.

You GO Google!

February 15, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Danielle Gordon — Episode II: Return of the Scot


Here in joeworld things are sort of like the Bizarro World, in that they're not quite right.

For example, we have the Scots, whereas in your world you have the Sith. But I digress.

Yesterday Danielle Gordon introduced herself to me and, being the sort of person I am, I paid it forward, as it were, by introducing her work to you.

Except Danielle Gordon then informed me that the work I'd shown was not hers but, rather, that of another Danielle Gordon.

But not to worry, because Danielle Gordon — Episode II is herself an innovative designer, working in metal and jewelry (jewellery, as they say in her home country of Scotland).

Her work "has taken inspiration from the architect Santiago Calatrava and fashion designer John Galliano."

She fused two contrasting materials — ribbon and silver — into three ribbon bangles (above) which she offered for her degree show last year at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in the School of Design at the University of Dundee.

February 15, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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