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May 18, 2005

BehindTheMedspeak: 'Halloween teeth that fit'


Slip–on teeth are the new new thing in not–so–cheap fake smiles.

Dentists can create them in one day in their offices.

They cost $1,500 to $2,500 — about a quarter the price of permanent veneers.

Oh, yeah, one more thing you should know: "Just don't bite hard — they're fragile — meant for show, not for go," as Jennifer Huget noted in her story about them in yesterday's Washington Post Health section.

Here's the article.

    Halloween Teeth That Fit

    Big date coming?

    Not ready to face the pain or expense of a dental makeover?

    You could hide, at least for a while, your yellowed, misshapen choppers behind a "snap-on smile" -- a slip-on plastic mouthpiece meant as a quickie alternative to pricier, more permanent fixes like porcelain veneers.

    The trompe l'oeil piece attaches via acrylic knobs to the space near the gumline between the last tooth covered and the next tooth in line.

    Depending on the number of teeth covered, clip-ons cost $1,500 to $2,500 -- about a quarter the price of veneers.

    Just don't bite hard: They're fragile.

    Cosmetic dentists have been crafting temporary, slip-on veneers for decades, said Larry Addleson, a San Diego dentist and immediate past president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

    But recent news stories about a Manhattan dentist's celebrity-inspired slip-on models (the Gwyneth, the Halle) have upped public interest.

    Addleson likens the product to "Halloween teeth that fit."

    A dentist takes an impression of your teeth, chooses an enamel shade and crafts a heat-treated acrylic sheath.

    D.C. cosmetic dentist Eric Markowitz can make one in his office in a day; higher-quality models can take a week or more for a lab to produce, he said.

    They're not meant to mask decay or serious dental problems; underlying flaws still need to be addressed.

    "They're for show, not for go," said Markowitz.

    He often counsels patients to bite the bullet and spring for more lasting repairs.

    Still, he said, snap-ons can tide you over until you spring for permanent repairs, and they are "a great way to test-drive a smile."

    As for that big date, first impressions matter. But someday you may have to show your true colors.

May 18, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nike Free 5.0: Episode 2 — Where to buy them


Almost daily since last September 25 when I wrote about the Nike Free shoe I've received email asking where to buy a pair and I've emailed each person back, "I don't know."

Until today.

Because my crack research team has finally unearthed a website where you can customize a pair for yourself and then order online from anywhere in the world.

And probably from outer space as well as long as you have an internet connection.

Go here.

May 18, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Lovers


The singer launched her L.A.M.B. (Love. Angel. Music. Baby.) fashion collection last year and now she's back with her new, more affordable Harajuku Lovers line.

Gwen's fascinated with Japanese youth culture and street style, and harajuku ("supercute") girls played a big part in the promotional blitz for her solo album "Love. Angel. Music. Baby." last November, wrote Donna Freydkin in a story in yesterday's USA Today.

The first Harajuku item out is the HP Photosmart Harajuku Lovers digital camera (above), which went on sale this past Monday for $249.99 at HP.com.

The rest of the line, including underwear, stationary, hats, baby clothes, T-shirts, cellphone charms and handbags, will be sold at Urban Outfitters and Hello Kitty stores starting June 15.

I'm mesmerized by "Hollaback Girl," the third song on her album.


It's on repeat X a million today.

May 18, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Travel Utility Scale


"Luggage that exceeds airline weight and size limits can cost you a fortune in surcharges."

From the website:

    Souvenirs purchased en route may add significant weight to your luggage on the trip home.

    Avoid expensive surprises by packing the handy Travel Utility Scale.

    Just hook it on your bag's carrying handle and lift it off the ground [if you can] for an accurate weight reading in pounds and kilograms (up to 50 lbs./23 kg).

Built–in tape measure lets you determine if bags or packages exceed carry–on or check–in dimension restrictions.

Also useful for impromptu "guess what the bag weighs?" contests while your flight is delayed.

You could even set up your own boarding gate–side business if you were really mercenary.

Measures 4.25" x 4.25" x 3"; weighs 6 oz.

$9.85 here.

May 18, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nutraffin — 'Mars Twinkie?'


No, not a successor group to The Mars Volta but rather the new new thing in space food.

The Nutraffin won this year's NASA Space Food Travel Contest.

Created by a team of Oklahoma State University students, the spicy, bite–sized muffin is made from carrots, soy milk, peanuts, and wheat flour, which provide the fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals required by astronauts on long voyages.



"Can I have some more, please?"

May 18, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cocoon Jewelry


Kathy and Ben Stout have achieved a remarkable fusion of science and craft.

They're specialists in stream ecosystems with two decades of field experience.

The Stouts are experts on the Caddis fly, a unique insect which builds a cocoon made of leaves, sticks or small pebbles from a stream bottom.

The Caddis live in their case until they eventually metamorphosize into adults, moth–like insects with fuzzy wings quite common around lights on a summer evening.

In 1995 Ben Stout went to a conference and had a thought: get the Caddisflies to build their cases out of pieces of gemstones instead of stream debris.

Two years later, after countless failed experiments, the Stouts succeeded: the Caddis began building their cases out of the gemstone fragments.

The Stouts now fracture, sort and polish gemstones to a fine finish and provide them to Caddis in a simulated stream ecosystem.

The Caddis are raised through adulthood and when their day comes, say the Stouts, "we simply open the windows and doors of our laboratory and let the adult Caddis fly away,... while we take their abandoned cases and recycle them into beautiful Nature Crafted Jewelry".


From their website:

    We raise Caddis fly larvae in a predator–free simulated stream environment, providing them with gems and minerals in place of natural stream materials.

    The Caddis flies then produce a case they use for protection, respiration and camouflage.

    When the Caddis flies emerge as adults, they leave behind their unique cases.

An article about their work appeared last summer in Mountain Discoveries magazine, and there's a small feature in the May 2005 National Geographic magazine about them (in the Geographica section towards the front of the magazine).

[via AG]

May 18, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Reclamando las calles! — Mexico City's bicyclists strike back


Bicitekas is a radical urban bike group in Mexico City that leads a massive weekly group ride, an attempt, however quixotic, to take back the streets of the city from the 3.5 million cars spewing pollutants into the air.

Membership is free and you'll probably meet all sorts of interesting people.

Say "hola" for me, OK?

May 18, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Aqua Swing Floating Chair


Nice way to chill if you want to keep an eye on things.

It's a U–shaped chair with a tough vinyl sling seat, kind of like on kids' swings.


The chair arms have a reinforced internal steel frame for extra support and strength.

Brass grommet for easy hanging/storage.

26" Deep x 24" Wide x 3.5" Thick.

In blue or white closed–cell foam covered in easily cleanable, soft plastic.

Won't leak or absorb water.


$40 here.

May 18, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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