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February 27, 2005

Ear Wax Candy


It's what's for dinner!

"We've seen lots of disgusting things here at Stupid.com, so it's not often that a product makes us gag."

But they did at this one.


For only $1.75 you get this awesome product in its totally cool ear-shaped package.

It's a plastic ear filled with candy ear wax which, though it looks like the real thing, is actually a tasty fruit-flavored gel.

Along with your candy you get a custom "Q-Tip" kind of thing to eat it with.


Says the website, "It's almost too gross for words."

But the operational word was "almost."


Guaranteed to shut up the garrulous person seated next to you on the plane: simply offer him or her some before you dig in.

[via whereisben.com]

February 27, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Tape like a pro


It's easy — if you have the tape pros use.

Since my very first day as an anesthesiology resident at UCLA, way back in the century past, I've used 3M Transpore™ tape (above) every single day, for every single case.

And I will until they tear this wonderful product out of my cold dead gloved hand.

Tape to an anesthesiologist is like heat to a cook: it's what you work with, all the time.

So the right tape is critical.

Believe me, there are a variety of tapes available in any anesthesiology department's storeroom.

But the one we use routinely is 3M Transpore™ — the 1" roll.

I put 4 fresh rolls in my cart every morning and go through most of them during the course of a single day.

Here's why:

• It's easy to use even with gloves on, our usual M.O.

• It's clear so you can see what's going on under it, i.e. — is there bleeding from the I.V. site?

• It tears bidirectionally, easily, into very thin strips, in a straight line

• It's thick enough so you can quickly find the end, even when there's craziness and panic happening

• Made of polyethylene film, it's hypoallergenic and latex-free so you don't have to worry about this problem, either in yourself or your patient

• It's called "Transpore" for a reason — it's porous to moisture, so skin under it doesn't get all white and wrinkled and moist

• It sticks very well, but not too well — you can remove it without taking skin off (though it'll still hurt)

I use it to tape in my I.V.s, keep eyelids closed, secure the endotracheal tube and esophageal stethoscope, attach the surgical drapes to the I.V. poles, and a million other things that crop up in the O.R.

I've always gotten mine free as a "perk" (self-administered) of working in the O.R.

If you know someone in the business have them bring home a roll — I guarantee you'll love it.

If you don't have a source or simply feel better paying for it you can get many different widths here.

Try a single 1" x 10 yd. roll for $1.95 and take it from there.

It comes in sizes ranging from 1/2" wide to 3" wide, but I've always found the 1" to be just perfect for almost everything.

Among its myriad uses around the house is cord control; it won't remove paint.

February 27, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

'Caravaggio — The Final Years'


This exhibition of 16 of the great Italian master's paintings from the final four years of his life has created a sensation.

It's perhaps the highlight of the year's museum shows, and here it's only February.


Caravaggio, born in 1571, was at the height of his fame, considered the most original and powerful painter of his day, when in 1606 he killed a man in a duel.

With a capital sentence on his head he fled Rome, never to return.

During the next — and final — four years of his life, spent on the run, he created his greatest works, 16 of which have been assembled in this nonpareil show.


Many of these paintings have never before left their homes, and were obtained for the exhibition only after extended and difficult negotiations.

The show opened last Wednesday at London's National Gallery, and will be up through May 22 in the Sainsbury Wing.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.– 6 p.m every day, Wednesdays until 9 p.m.


Admission requires a ticket.

February 27, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Myers-Briggs for Dogs?


Could be happening sooner than you think if Dr. Samuel Gosling of the University of Texas has his way.

Gosling has made a career out of studying animal personality, and has come to the conclusion that dogs share four out of the five personality traits psychologists use to understand human behavior.

The question of whether or not dogs have a meaningful personality is controversial among scientists, even if dog owners have no doubt whatsoever that it is the case.

Human personality is measured according to five variables: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to new experience.

Gosling has found that only conscientiousness — which measures trustworthiness, selfishness and dependability — is absent in dogs.

Who knows?

Perhaps when Gosling comes up with his canine version of the Myers-Briggs, he'll make it so one of the profiles is WOOF.

February 27, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Ice Bucket = Wastebasket


This shiny thing comes billed in a kitchen catalog as an ice bucket.

Mirror-polished 18/10 stainless-steel with double-wall insulation.

Holds 4 quarts and comes with a scoop.

12" Diameter x 11"H.

$14.99 here.

Me, I'd use it as a wastebasket.

Simple, elegant, and they'll monogram it for you so that if someone steals it, at least they won't be able to use it around the office.

February 27, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How to speak British


Daily inoculations of The Financial Times and a weekly dose of The Economist have furnished me with enough material to offer a bit of language arbitrage, as it were, between the American and English versions of the mother tongue.


Without further fanfare, then:

    donut = doughnut

    soybean = soyabean

    glitters = glisters

    jewelry = jewellery

    there it is = Bob's your uncle

    math = maths

    finish [first] = come [first]

    blocked = furred-up

    whine = whinge

    disappear = go missing

February 27, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack



A big bookofjoe shout-out/welcome/Hola! to this new blog/website, launched on February 9 of this year.

It's the brainchild of a group of bacon enthusiasts from various parts of the world.

I was instantly drawn to it by... what?

Yeah, of course I love bacon, who doesn't, but that wasn't the only thing that appealed to me.

I thought about it, then let it percolate in the background while I explored the blog.

Then, voila, it hit me: what makes the site so attractive to me is its use of the Apple OS X start-up window as its header (above).

They even matched the color of my default-setting desktop background.

The site itself is now 18 days old.

Good luck, baconeers.

I wonder if Kevin Bacon knows about this?

And if so, is he going to take 'em to court and stuff....

I have written about bacon previously; to sum up, the best bacon in the U.S. is the mahogany-smoked product (below)


of Meadow Farms Country Smokehouse of Bishop, California.

For reasons I won't go into because they're too boring, the company only ships within California.

Those of us who are physically unable to visit California and do not know someone who lives in California who will go to the trouble of ordering this extraordinary bacon and then redirect it to us must thus settle for second-best which is, I regret to say, a quite distant second.

And yet — second-best is considered world-class by Danial Boulud and many of his 4-star restaurant peers, who use Nueske's bacon in their establishments.


Fortunately Nueske's, from my home state of Wisconsin, has no problem shipping anywhere your little bacon-craving heart desires.

You might be able to find Nueske's at upscale markets around your own town; I think — but am not certain — that I've seen it at Whole Foods.

February 27, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Medusa Lamp


I ordered one a couple weeks ago; it arrived earlier this week.

I didn't mention it when I bought it because I really did not understand how such a wonderful looking lamp — six flexible sconces, three-way switch, bulbs included, the whole shebang — could possibly be priced at $90 retail and be any good.


I thought for sure the quality would be poor.

I was wrong.

It came dissassembled, as expected: I mean, it's nearly six feet tall.

I put it together in about 15 minutes without reading the instructions, always a good sign: my first surprise came when I felt how heavy the metal was and how smoothly the pieces screwed together: nice, precise metal fabrication.


Even better, though, was how it worked: two of the six 25W sconces light when you want low light; four for medium; and they all turn on for 150W on high.

The necks flex anywhere/how/way you like.

The lamp is beautiful.

For over a year I've been wanting to replace a torchiere that simply died of old age but I couldn't find just the right one.


Until now.

Want a different color combination than one of each as pictured?

Or maybe broke a sconce?

Not to worry.

They also sell the sconces individually for $7 apiece.

Oh, yeah, the answer to the question I raised at the beginning: how they could bring this lamp in for $90?


Made in China.

No longer a synonym for cheesiness, the mighty country is proving it can produce world-class products at an unbeatable price.

February 27, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

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