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July 9, 2005

Alain Robert IS Spiderman

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No special effects, no trick photography here.

When Alain Robert goes up he does so without special equipment or a safety net.

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He recently climbed the Taipei 101 Tower in Taiwan.

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That building, standing 1,670 feet tall — over a quarter of a mile high — is the world's tallest.

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He told Richard A. Friedman, M.D., in a story (scroll down about a third of the way for an excerpt) that appeared in the June 20 New York Times about why people seek out risks, "The euphoria when I reach the summit maybe lasts a few hours or days at the most, and then I have to have it again."

He continued, "I enjoy the risk and to be in control of my fear and have to do it again and again. I cannot stop climbing."

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Jeez.

I cannot stop blogging but boy, I have to say that the worst thing that can happen while I'm at it is difficulty finding just the right word.

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I am so glad God gave me a generous allotment of dopamine receptors and plenty of neurotransmitter to go with them.

July 9, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The worst advice J.K. Rowling ever received

Insiderowling

Barry Cunningham, her first editor at Bloomsbury Publishing in London, told Jacqueline Blais of USA Today that he gave Ms. Rowling (above) "terrible advice" when they met in the 1990s.

At the time Ms. Rowling was a divorced woman without much money.

Cunningham continued, "She was telling me about her circumstances. I was worried she was really relying on Harry [Potter] to be the future for her and her daughter. I told her she wouldn't make any money at children's books and she should get a day job."

The USA Today story went on to note that since then, her first five Harry Potter books (in a series of seven) have sold an estimated 270 million copies worldwide in 62 languages.

Rowling herself is now on Forbes' list of the world's wealthiest individuals, with an estimated net worth of $1 billion, more than the queen of England.

Her new book, "Harry Potter and the Half–Blood Prince," goes on sale at one minute after midnight next Saturday, July 16.

What is it with this one minute after the hour stuff, anyway? But I digress.

Ms. Rowling plans to be at Edinburgh Castle reading from the book.

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The event will be beamed by satellite to TV and radio stations around the globe.

July 9, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sony robot throws out ceremonial first pitch at RFK Stadium

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This past Wednesday evening at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., Sony's two–foot–tall QRIO robot (above), the only humanoid robot that can pitch, threw out the first pitch before the Nationals–Mets game.

Sony spokeswoman Shoko Yanagisawa told the Washington Post that "QRIO stands for 'Quest for Curiosity.'"

Huh — wonder who thought that one up?

QRIO is built to be a companion, according to the Washington Post's story about the signal event.

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"QRIO can perform dances from different cultures (above, doing a fan dance that would make Sally Rand sit up and take notice), recognize faces, understand more than 65,000 words in Japanese and get up after falling down."

I know people who can't do any of those. But I digress.

Bonus: "QRIO can fit into an oversize handbag."

I guess that depends on what the meaning of "oversize" is.

QRIO delivered a fastball straight into the catcher's mitt and the crowd went wild, according to Ms. Yanagisawa.

The singularity draws ever nearer.

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Do not be afraid.

They are coming.

In fact, some are already here.

Look around and think about what you see.

Are you certain things are as they seem?

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Skim milk masquerades as cream.

July 9, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cell Phone Wrist Band

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No self–respecting alpha male would be without one.

    From the website:

    Cell phone wrist band is ideal for workouts or on–the–go.

    Secures phone, ID, credit cards and money out of the way, yet easily accessible.

    Features open front to view incoming calls.

    Easy access zipper pouch.

    Hook and loop closure.

    Holds compact flip–phones and open–face cell phones up to 4".

    Washable neoprene.

$9.98 here.

July 9, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Covered Pet Stroller

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It's a dog's life no longer.

Not with this stylish transport for Fido.

    From the website:

    So you can take him with you!

    For the pet whose curiosity gets the best of you, the top zips secure all the way around.

    For those more laid–back pets, zip the top off.

    Either way, your buddy has a full view of the scenery and plenty of ventilation through mesh panels on the top and bottom.

    Best for smaller cats and dogs.

    Removable, washable cushion in bottom keeps Fido comfy.

    Lightweight and folds easily for transport and storage.

    Nylon and aluminum.

$79.98 here. (Bichon Frise not included.)

No alpha male worth his feeling self would be seen without one.

Be the first on your block to broadcast the message, "I'm a sensitive sort."

July 9, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cinderellas.info

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"If it looks like a stamp, or feels like a stamp and it's not listed in Scott's catalog then it's probably a Cinderella."

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More?

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OK.

    From the website:

    We're often asked the question, "What are Cinderellas?"

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    You may remember the fairy tale about Cinderella, the stepchild that everyone pushed aside.

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    "Cinderellas" is the name given to the stepchildren of stamp collecting, all those stamps and things that no one can find in Scott's catalog, and no one knows what to do with.

Bonnie and Roger Riga are philatelists who specialize in "Cinderella" stamps.

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They created Cinderellas.info to provide a free reference resource.

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All the stamps pictured in this post are "Cinderellas."

July 9, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thomas Heatherwick Leather and Canvas Expandable Bag for Longchamp

Xxxaa

The London–based designer does more than astounding folding footbridges.

After all, someone's got to put food on the table.

For Paris–based Longchamp he's created a leather and canvas expandable shopper (above and below).

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It unzips and zips to match your storage needs.

Model number 2680119; it's $625 at Longchamp boutiques in New York, Boston, Palm Beach, Coral Gables, San Francisco and Las Vegas. (866-LONGCHAMP.)

You can try to buy one online at the tricked–out, over–Flashed–up Longchamp website but you'll give up long before you succeed in finding it.

At least, I did.

Oh, yes, the folding footbridge in London;

here

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you

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go.

Yes, I do tease but in the end I deliver everything I promised I would.

Sometimes even more.

But I digress.

July 9, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Perfect Sound Forever

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"Founded in 1993, Perfect Sound Forever endures as one of the longest–running online music magazines."

Material from and interviews with Brian Eno, Lester Bangs, Robert Quine, David Byrne, Holger Czukay, Jim DeRogatis, Richie Unterberger, Dave Lang and many, many more.

Untold stories in music's past, present and future.

    From the website:

    The name of the website comes from the Sony/Phillips slogan promoting the advent of compact discs in the mid–80s.

    To convince the public to give up their vinyl for this new technology, they advertised CDs as the ultimate in sound quality, impervious to scratches or wear or tear.

    Perfect Sound, Forever.

    As we all know now, CDs scratch relatively easily, and over time decay via oxidation.

July 9, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Helpful Hints From joe–eez: How to remove a broken light bulb

Aasdd

This much–loved feature of bookofjoe returns after some time in turnaround.

And it returns with a crash, to wit: the smashing of glass on your floor as a light bulb explodes or shatters in your hand as you're changing it.

Now what?

The screw part of the bulb is stuck in the socket, with sharp glass pieces sticking out; and those wiggly things in the middle don't look like a whole lot of fun either, I must admit.

Well, guess what: been there, done that, and not very well, I must confess.

Now comes wondergirl Jane Buckingham with a most clever piece of advice on what to do next.

Here we go:

1) Get a potato. No, this is not a joke — just get one.

2) Turn off the power to the socket or light.

3) Remove the fuse or turn the breaker off.

Note: If you don't know how to do step 3 do not continue — repeat, do not continue. Instead, find someone who can execute step 3 for you.

4) Push the narrow end of the the potato into the screw cap/remains of the light bulb.

5) Twist and the broken base should emerge, buried in the potato.

Ms. Buckingham recommends gloves and safety glasses: I concur.

But I must say I was somewhat surprised to read her instructions and see she'd not inserted the cautionary note between steps 3 and 4 above.

Well, that's why you have me too, isn't it?

Zxcv_1

Sort of like belt + suspenders: one or the other will do the trick for sure.

July 9, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

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