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March 1, 2005

Toshiba Bone Conduction Music Pillow

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From the wizards of Toshiba comes this very cool pillow that transmits sound not by air but, rather, via bone.

    Enjoy a more tranquil sleep with Toshiba's osseous conduction music pillow.

    As you place your head on the pillow, you can feel music through your bones.

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    Therefore, you need not to worry about disturbing others with the sound of the music.

    The pillow is also compliant with stereo and TV and has stereo sound speakers.

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    Ask for model RLX–P1 (it will be helpful if you can read Japanese).

    [via japantoday.com and whereisben.com]

    March 1, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Ray Kurzweil falls to Earth

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    The protean inventor/thinker/philosopher is touching down at the 92nd Steet Y in New York City on March 23 at 8 p.m.

    He's a speaker in Wired magazine's sponsored lecture series.

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    The title of his session is "Ray Kurzweil on Technology in the 21st Century."

    His latest book is "Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever."

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    Kurzweil believes that today's technology is sufficiently mature that, combined with advances in years to come, a person under 60 can reasonably expect to be immortal.

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    Kurzweil has no doubt that this is the case for himself.

    Perhaps you should take an hour or two away from your furious drive for success to see what this singular man, poised at what he believes to be the brink of "The Singularity," has to say.

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    Tickets are $25, and I guarantee this event will be sold out/SRO.

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

    Illustrated Flexibility Mat

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    Remember when you were little, you had those plastic mats for under your food so you didn't dribble and drool all over the table?

    And remember how, if your parents were the type who had already earmarked you for Miss Porter's School or Hotchkiss, the mats always had the illustrated alphabet or a map of the U.S. or some other educational-type graphics, so you'd have the edge when you sat down to take the SAT?

    Well, guess what?

    They're back.

    No, not your parents, booboo; illustrated mats.

    This one's a non-slip version measuring 60" x 23" featuring illustrations of 12 stretches "that can be done in just 3 minutes flat."

    Because we know you're a high–pressure girl, in a high–pressure world.

    $19.99 here.

    March 1, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    World's Oldest Banknote

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    You're looking at it.

    It comes from China and was made in the 1300s out of paper from the mulberry tree.

    The first real paper money was already being used in the Chinese province of Szechuan in 1024.

    When Marco Polo came home after living for more than 20 years at the court of the Emperor of China he told people about the use of paper money but nobody believed him.

    More than 100 years would pass before paper money was finally introduced into Europe.

    The Orell Füssli Security Printing Company, which prints Swiss currency, has an interesting website with all sorts of interesting information about paper money.

    In this instance it's probably best to buy rather than make your own.

    March 1, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    BehindTheMedspeak: NoZoVent

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    Snoring is a pain.

    It indicates obstruction somewhere in the respiratory pathway.

    Often the snorer will become completely obstructed, and just stop exchanging air.

    This lowers brain oxygen and raises blood pressure.

    Over time, these changes can lead to major problems.

    There are a zillion remedies for snoring which, as with everything in medicine when there are all sorts of cures, means none of them is really much good.

    But it's always best to try stuff yourself before putting your precious existence in the hands of one of my well-intentioned colleagues.

    Because the pathway not only to hell but also to the hospital morgue is paved with good medical intentions and ideas that, well, "just didn't work out like we'd hoped."

    So hey, maybe you should drop $14.98 for a NoZoVent (item # 23193).

    The name alone is worth at least a buck, don't you think?

    I notice that in the ad for for the product (above) the blissfully-sleeping model isn't wearing hers.

    Maybe she's been cured and she keeps it in her nightstand "just in case."

    Ya think?

    You don't suspect the reason they don't show her wearing one is because it looks so gross nobody would dream of buying one, do you?

    Me neither.

    Seems to me you could create a synergistic effect by using a NoZoVent inside your nose and a

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    BreatheRite strip on the outside.

    March 1, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    HD 107146

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    The Hubble Space Telescope took this picture of starlit asteroidal and cometary debris encircling the yellow dwarf star HD 107146.

    The disc marks an early stage of planetary formation.

    Between 30 million and 250 million years old, HD 107146 is a much younger cousin of our 4.5 billion-year-old sun.

    Once upon a time, billions of years ago, our Earth and in fact every person on it — past, present and future — were components of a disc just like the one in the (false-color) photograph above.

    HD 107146 is 88 light-years from Earth.

    Remember, when you consider such statements, that light-years are units of distance, not time.

    One light-year is the distance traveled by light (at 186,000 miles/second) in one year.

    That's 5,865,696,000,000 miles, in case you don't have a calculator handy.

    HD 107146 is 88 times further away.

    What a long, strange trip that's gonna be.

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

    'Take Me Home, Country Roads' — She wrote it and sang on it, but you've never heard of her

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    Taffy Nivert (above, center) is her name.

    She and Bill Danoff (below)

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    made up the folk group "Fat City," later to become "Bill and Taffy," which played in the Washington, D.C. area, where Danoff attended Georgetown University.

    One night in 1970 they shared the bill at a folk club called the Cellar Door with John Denver, who'd just released his third album, called "Whose Garden Was This?"

    After opening night, the three piled into Bill's car and headed back to his place for an impromptu jam.

    On the way, there was a car crash, in which John's thumb was broken.

    He was taken to the hospital, where a splint was applied.

    By the time the three of them got back to Bill's house, Denver was, in his own words, "wired, you know."

    Bill and Taffy told him about a song they'd been working on for about a month.

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    The inspiration had come while they were driving to a family reunion of Taffy's relatives in Maryland.

    To pass the time en route, Bill had made up a ballad about the little winding roads they were taking.

    Later, he changed the story to fit that of an artist friend who used to write Bill about the splendors of the West Virginia countryside.

    The original second verse of the tune was quite risque, making reference to nude women and such - so Bill and Taffy figured their song would never ever get played on the radio.

    Anyway, they sang it for Denver, who recalled, "I flipped."

    The three of them stayed up until 6 a.m., changing words and moving lines around.

    When they finished, Denver announced that the song had to go on his next album.

    The three of them debuted the song at the Cellar Door in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. on December 30, 1970. (The photo leading this post is of the three of them performing at the Cellar Door during that historic engagement)

    Released in the spring of 1971, the new song broke slowly, moving up the charts very deliberately.

    RCA called Denver after a couple weeks and told him they were giving up on the single.

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    He told them, absolutely not.

    By August "Take Me Home, Country Roads" had become a million-seller and was on its way to the iconic status it still enjoys.

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    Bill and Taffy toured with Denver and sang on his albums in the early 70s.

    In 1974, they added a singer named Margot Chapman and a teenaged piano player/vocalist named Jon Carroll and formed the Starland Vocal Band.

    Yep - "Afternoon Delight", a monster #1 hit in 1976, was a product of the very same collaboration of Bill and Taffy that launched Denver into superstardom.

    March 1, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Tie Teacher

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    So maybe you can't afford to commission Seth Goldstein to create one of his bespoke Tie-Tying Machines (below) for you.

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    And you're not ready to take the bookofjoe route: that consists of having a perfect knot tied in the store where you buy your tie, then having the salesman carefully slip it over his head without losing the knot and put the tie in a bag for you to take home.

    You place the loop on a hanger — I like to keep it on the same one as my dress shirt — and when it's time to get tied up, you simply place it over your head, under your collar, straighten things up, and Bob's your uncle.

    I've had my navy blue tie tied for over 10 years, and it still works like the day I bought it.

    Looks darn snappy, too.

    I wear it maybe three, four times a year.

    Usually when I give expert testimony in court. But I digress.

    So you don't like either of the above options — OK, I can understand that.

    No normal person would.

    I could — but won't — ask what you're doing here, in that case. But I digress yet again.

    A joehead sent me a link to the Tie Teacher (below).

    "Forget the $100 Tie Lessons!"

    "Easy & Quick for All Occasions!"

    "Great for beginners!"

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    $14.99 plus shipping and handling.

    March 1, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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