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April 21, 2005

World's Best Egg Peeler?


After Monday's Egg-Stractor™ feature I thought we were done with this topic for a while, but no: today comes a contender for the title of "World's Weirdest Hard Boiled Egg Peeler."

From out of nowhere has emerged... the "Instant Egg Peeler" (above).

"Shells eggs automatically for you without peeling in seconds. Just slip Instant Egg Peeler onto faucet, insert egg and turn on the water. Presto! Egg slides out of the shell like magic... no work!"

I'm all about "no work" here so I think I'm gonna round up some small change and drop $3.89 on this device.

I gotta see this for myself — in the privacy of my own kitchen, it goes without saying.

Some things you share; others must remain very closely held, for one's own good.

bookofjoe advises boiling your egg first — BEFORE attempting to use the Instant Egg Peeler.

April 21, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

New from Google — 'My Search History'


"Remember what you saw on Google, no matter where you are."

I like that: reminds me of "No matter where you go, there you are." But I digress.

Here's how Google describes the new feature, just announced earlier today.

    My Search History lets you easily view and manage your search history from any computer.

    This feature of Google web search enables you to find information you thought you lost.

    And over time, you'll see an increasing number of relevance indicators in your search results that help you find the information you want.

I don't know about this.

I mean, I'm trying to lose information for the most part, not find it: once I'm done, I'm done.

I don't like to watch movies or read books more than once: why would I want to see what I searched for last year?

Delete and move on is my philosophy.

But it may not be yours.

I respect that.

That's why I'm bringing this to you.

I'm just the messenger.

Please, don't shoot the messenger.

April 21, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Periodic Table of Wine


Characteristics of 184 red and white wine grapes are organized like the periodic table of elements.

Individual units describe specific flavors and features.

Body (weight) is charted top to bottom while acidity runs left to right.

An accompanying booklet goes in your purse or pocket for trips to the store.

$35 here; $29.75 at amazon.

[via the Washington Post]

April 21, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pin Clock


3,000 pins display the time.

Inspired by the Pin Art toy that uses moving pins to form an impression of a hand or face.

"The minutes click ahead with a sound that evokes the classic flip of the number at airports or train stations, combining aural ambience with visual style."

Perfect for dreaming your life away.

Runs on two D batteries (not included) for about a year.

$70 here.

I love this clock and predict it will sell out in no time flat.

Perhaps it's not fair but I already ordered mine.

Sorry about that.

Blogger's prerogative.

April 21, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Saturday' — by Ian McEwan


A day in the life of a British neurosurgeon.

That's the short version; McEwan's runs 279 pages and is completely absorbing.

A wonderful companion at bedtime, as are most of McEwan's books.

They are entertaining, beautifully written, surprising, and yet don't keep you up turning pages frantically to find out what happens.

You can wait.

As can the author: he's in no hurry, and this deliberate style and approach is perhaps part of what makes McEwan so good.

He certainly did his homework for this book: the details ring very, very true to this blogging anesthesiologist whose specialty — back in the day when he was in academia — was neurosurgical anesthesia.

Why, he even wrote a book about it.

And editorials in the Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology.


But that was then.

There was in fact one error in the anesthesia-related portions of the narrative but it's so subtle I don't think anyone but another anesthesiologist would notice it.

And I don't believe there are more than a handful who read bookofjoe and McEwan — the Venn diagrams


don't overlap too much here — so I won't even bother mentioning it.

Besides, don't you just hate picky people?

So get the book, put on your PJs, settle in,


and blissfully begin "Saturday."

From the book:

    A habitual observer of his own moods, he wonders about this sustained, distorting euphoria.

    Perhaps down at the molecular level there's been a chemical accident while he slept — something like a spilled tray of drinks, prompting dopamine–like receptors to initiate a kindly cascade of intracellular events; or it's the prospect of a Saturday, or the paradoxical consequence of extreme tiredness. It's true, he finished the week in a state of unusual depletion. He came home to an empty house, and lay in the bath with a book, content to be talking to no one. It was his literate, too literate daughter Daisy who sent the biography of Darwin which in turn has something to do with a Conrad novel she wants him to read and which he has yet to start — seafaring, however morally fraught, doesn't much interest him. For some years now she's been addressing what she believes is his astounding ignorance, guiding his literary education, scolding him for poor taste and insensitivity. She has a point — straight from school to medical school to the slavish hours of a junior doctor, then the total absorption of neurosurgery training spliced with committed fatherhood — for fifteen years he barely touched a non–medical book at all. On the other hand, he thinks he's seen enough death, fear, courage and suffering to supply half a dozen literatures. Still, he submits to her reading lists — they're his means of remaining in touch as she grows away from her family into unknowable womanhood in a suburb of Paris; tonight she'll be home for the first time in six months — another cause for euphoria.

    Perowne looks away and slows before turning into the mews where his car is garaged. How restful it must once have been, in another age, to be prosperous and believe that an all–knowing supernatural force had allotted people to their stations in life. And not see how the belief served your own prosperity — a form of anosognomia, a useful psychiatric term for a lack of awareness of one's own condition. Now we think we do see, how do things stand? After the ruinous experiments of the lately deceased century, after so much vile behavior, so many deaths, a queasy agnosticism has settled around these matters of justice and redistributed wealth. No more big ideas. The world must improve, if at all, by tiny steps. People mostly take an existential view — having to sweep the streets for a living looks like simple bad luck. It's not a visionary age.

April 21, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



Very nice invention.

The Rootcube (above) is a foam rubber growing medium which is divided into cube-shaped cells.

1) Saturate the sheet, which holds 40 times its weight in water

2) Drop a seed into each of the pre-punched dibble holes

3) Wait for germination

4) Separate the cubes and press them into the soil and voila, instant garden!

104 cubes in a 1.25"-high sheet for $5.99 here.

Duchamp, bless his Dada soul, would've called this "garden–in–a–box."

April 21, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

IAMAT — International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers


Got a passport?

Ever used it, or plan to?

Know anyone who travels?

Then the best thing you will ever do for your future well-being or that of your peripatetic friend is to visit IAMAT's website, look around for a moment, then make a donation of whatever amount you feel like.


I did so about twenty years ago, back in the day when I went to places like New Delhi and Rotorua and Santorini.

In the mail a few weeks later I received a bunch of stuff, among it a wonderful little booklet published by IAMAT entitled "Medical Resources."

And every April since, on a day much like today, when I received the 2005 edition, they've sent me the new one, without my ever having contributed a penny beyond the initial $5 bill I sent them long ago.

One of the best investments I've ever made.

Of course, that's not saying a whole lot. But I digress.

So what? you say, of the IAMAT booklet.

In that little booklet, arranged alphabetically by country, are the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and (for the past few editions) email addresses of doctors in almost every country in the world who have agreed to treat IAMAT members for a minimal fee.

Most speak English.

Think you won't wish you had this booklet when you start to shake and get chills in Gabon or the Solomon Islands?

I think you will.

So do it.

Trust me....

If you'd rather rely on me, that's OK too: I offer free medical advice and assistance 24/7/365 here — just email me and I'll take it from there.

You'd be surprised how often I hear from traveling joeheads with questions and concerns.

I'm surprised by how often I can be of value and use.

It's what I do best: giving it away.

A good philosophy, to my way of thinking.


But then, it would be, wouldn't it?

April 21, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Individually-controlled makeup magnifying glasses


"Flip down, one at a time, to apply eyeliner, shadow, mascara or lashes perfectly!"

Why didn't someone think of this decades ago?

Like all breakthroughs it's obvious now that you look at it.

"No more squinting in mirrors to see. Eyeglass wearers can flawlessly apply facial makeup. Optical quality 3X glass lenses make it easy to tweeze eyebrows. Adjustable wire frames."

Comes with a "satiny carrying case."

These won't last long.

Originally $8.99, now priced to move fast at $7.99 here.

Great for "weird day" at school or work, or when you get in one of your strange moods: go out with one lens up and one down and I suspect no one will trouble you.

In that regard, these might be the perfect way to prevent someone taking the empty seat next to you, once you look up at them and smile....

"My God, where does he find this stuff?"

"Doesn't he have anything better to do?"


I don't, in fact.

I have found, at long last, the highest and best use of myself.

And it is so much fun I can't hardly wait to get going each day.

April 21, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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