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October 5, 2005

bookofjoeTV imminent?


What's this?

Not yet another hallucination from my fevered mind?

No, it's today's USA Today headline over a story by Jefferson Graham about the rumored video iPod, said to be in the works and unveiled possibly as soon as next Tuesday, October 11 at a media event in San Jose for which Apple yesterday sent out invitations.

Mine must still be in the mail.

I'm telling you, this Graham guy is really starting to get on my nerves, with his apparent unrestricted access to my tightly–guarded Kool–Aid stash.


Anyway, here at bookofjoe headquarters the excitement is palpable: I can even feel my pulse if I hold real still.

Speaking of which, the arrival of bookofjoeTV — whether it's next week or next year or in the next century — is going to require a major hiring spree here to keep up with the demands of being all things to all people.

You can't even imagine. But I digress.

We're now accepting applications.

The only job requirement is that you be able to fog a mirror on demand.

Please do not waste our time if you do not meet this requirement.

We are very, very busy (true, doing something close to nothing — but at least it's different from the day before) and don't have time for foolishness or nonsense that does not contribute to our mission.

What's our mission?

Go away.

A side note: why is it that newspapers insist on calling the iPod the "IPod" in headlines like the one above?

Would they call e e cummings "E. E. Cummings?"


I've written Bill Keller, the executive editor of the New York Times and Barney Calame, the paper's ombudsman, on several occasions regarding this practice but have received the customary New York Times response: no response.

I'm reminded of a great line from the book "Psychocybernetics," by Maxwell Maltz: "The best response is no response."

Clearly the Times considers this book a seminal and authoritative text.

Oh, yeah, one last thing: before you email me to point out that the USA Today story pictured above is dated 10/04/2005, having been updated at 8:40 p.m. last evening, consider that I report on what comes in over the transom in the form of the printed paper that appears each weekday morning in my box.

That's my source and that's why I wrote above that the iPod news appears in today's paper.


Now go bother someone else before I do something I won't regret.

October 5, 2005 at 05:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Honda Unveils 'DogMobile'


Today's Washington Post reports that Honda is first out of the kennel – er, blocks — with a DogMobile.

What's a DogMobile?

Well, that's my name for what Honda calls its W.O.W. Concept vehicle (above and below), unveiled last week during a media preview at what was undoubtedly a secure — though disclosed — location near Tokyo.

I wonder if Dick Cheney was there? But I digress.

The DogMobile has wide sliding doors and special cages for your pet.

The dog sits in a tricked–out glove compartment up front or in a larger crate in the back seat.

W.O.W. stands for "Wonderful Openhearted Wagon," says Honda.

Makes perfect sense to me.

Maybe they should consider some pricey options for the canine passenger, this being the automobile business: perhaps a TV screen with a view of the road ahead and a fan to simulate the breeze dogs just adore when they're riding shotgun the old–fashioned way.

Just a thought.

You can get an up–close-and–personal look–see at the W.O.W. at the Tokyo Motor Show beginning on November 19.


Here's the Post article.

    Honda Designs Car Friendly for Dogs

    Honda Motor Co. has designed a car that's friendly for dogs — part of the Japanese automaker's ongoing effort to create vehicles that are easy to use and comfortable to ride in.

    The W.O.W. Concept, which stands for "wonderful openhearted wagon," shown to reporters recently, is an exhibition model with no plans for commercial sale that will be exhibited at the Tokyo auto show later this month.

    A special crate for dogs in the glove apartment allows owners to interact with their pets while driving.

    A bigger crate pops up from the floor in the back seat area and can be folded back into the floor when it's not needed.

    For even bigger dogs, just buckle them up with a special seat belt to the floor.

    The big danger for pets riding along in cars is that they get thrown out during a crash.

    About a fifth of Japanese households have a dog, and demand is growing for cars that cater to man's best friend, according to Honda.

    The W.O.W comes with removable, washable, rollout flooring and has wide sliding doors to keep dogs happy.

    "We created this vehicle from the point of view of a dog, but it turned out to be a gentler vehicle for the elderly, children and other family members," said Honda designer Katsuhito Nakamura.



October 5, 2005 at 03:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Who's your daddy? — Episode 2: Country singer Chris Cagle makes the surprising discovery that he is not the genetic father of his 'eagerly awaited' son



No doubt Cagle wouldn't have been awaiting this past weekend's birth quite so eagerly had he known that Tammy Wheeler, his girlfriend and the boy's mother, had gone sperm shopping earlier this year for a better set of genes.

Hey, I couldn't resist — cut me some slack, will ya?

Cagle reported the news on his website where he'd been chronicling, with great and growing excitement, the imminent arrival of "his" baby.

He wrote, "We have discovered that biologically, the child is not mine."

For what it's worth: Cagle's new single is entitled "Miss Me Baby."

I'm not going there.

Res ipsa loquitur, as they say in court.

Perhaps Cagle should, in the future, check in here and keep up with what's going down in the world of paternity testing.


You may recall the headline of my post of two days ago: "In 30% of paternity tests the presumed father is not the biological father."

October 5, 2005 at 02:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

What would Grace Slick say?* — Giant Pink Rabbit Appears on Italian Mountainside


Just in from joehead marycherry [quite possibly the best name of the day and perhaps even the year to date: it's certainly in the top three. But I digress...] is the news that a giant pink bunny has just been erected on an Italian mountainside where it will remain for the next 20 years.

"The 200–foot–long toy rabbit [toy? What makes it a toy, I ask?] lies on the side of the nearly one–mile–high (5,000 feet) Colletto Fava mountain in northern Italy's Piedmont region," Ananova reported.

The Viennese art group Gelatin designed the giant soft sculpture and says it was "knitted by dozens of grannies out of pink wool."


Said Gelatin member Wolfgang Gantner, "It's supposed to make you feel small, like Gulliver. You walk around it and you can't help but smile."


As I recall, through a memory dimly, Gulliver was relatively big and it was the six–inch–tall Lilliputians who did him in. No matter — let's move on.

Gelatin says the bunny's not just for petting: you can climb its 20–foot sides and relax and picnic on its belly or ears.

Better wait a few days after a heavy rain, though: ever smell a factory full of wet wool?


The rabbit is expected to remain on the mountain until 2025, though it's not clear if it's expected to have disintegrated by then or if that's the date certain for its deconstruction by Gelatin, with pieces no doubt to be auctioned at one of the world–of–the–future's great auction houses in Beijing or Shanghai.

I asked my crack research team (the latest and no doubt not the last iteration) to explain to me why it was that I was only learning of this shocking development today when it had been widely reported as long ago as September 20 when the Guardian ran a nice feature about it.

Not surprisingly, the team simply sat there with their usual blank expressions of bewildered befuddlement, drool sliding down their chins.

The cleaning bill around here is astronomical.

Good thing I charge plenty to visit.

Expenses can eat up your venture capital in a hurry.

Get me Sequoia on the hot line, would you? I need another infusion.

Oh, yes, one last thing — Claes Oldenburg, call your studio: your rabbit has finally turned up.


*Go ask Alice

[via marycherry and Ananova]

October 5, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

A Palpable Silence — by Kay Ryan

What is as delightful
as a palpable silence,
a creamy latex of a
silence, stirrable
with a long stick. Such
a silence is particularly
thick at the bottom, a
very smooth lotion, like
good paint by the gallon.
This is a base silence,
colored only by addition,
say a small squeeze of
green when the bird sings
idly of trees he has
seen. It is a clean
silence, the kind that
does not divide us,
like dreams it is
viscous but like good dreams
where sweet things last and
last past credibility.
Even in the dream we know
it is a luxury.

October 5, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Star Trek Phaser Remote


Makes all sorts of cool sound effects as you move around the TV universe.

Forget stun: phasers to ESPN.

For a limited time the website is accepting Earth currency in lieu of AndromeDollars — better order yours today.

$39.99 here.

If it's really a slow day, amuse yourself by activating the website's sound effects (scroll down) to hear what your new remote will sound like when you get it home and in your hot little hand.

October 5, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Movement Research and Dance Theater Workshop


Carla Peterson received a rousing ovation at last months 21st Annual New York Dance and Performance Awards (known as the Bessies) when she was awarded a special citation for "Gut and Gumption in Directing Movement Research."

What's Movement Research?

It exists to foster the creation of "process–oriented, investigative movement," wrote Claudia La Rocco in last Friday's New York Times story.

La Rocco continued, "If you want to see how choreographers think about, develop and explore emerging aesthetics in dance, head over to Dance Theater Workshop any Sunday over the next two months [through the end of November], where, for the 14th season, artists chosen by a rotating panel of their peers will show works in progress."

"The focus here is on exploration, not end result, with the artists performing anything they choose within a 5–to–15 minute period."

La Rocco noted that there is no admission fee but neither are there reservations for the limited–seating showings, so arrive early.

Doors open at 7:45 p.m. for the 8 p.m. performances each Sunday.

Dance Theater Workshop is at 219 West 19th Street in Chelsea; 212-598-0551.

October 5, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Jumper Cables with Built–in Flashlights


What took so long?

This is such a great and obvious invention and yet it wasn't all that obvious, was it, if it took until now for someone to have the bright idea of putting a light on the end of jumper cables so you could have some idea which battery terminal you're connecting them to in the dark?

"No need to juggle a flashlight in one hand while connecting the jumper cables with the other."

That is, if you have a flashlight.

But wait — even with only three functioning neurons I just realized that the invention is only half–baked: these cables feature "on one end, two bright LEDs — one on the red clamp, one on the black."

Hey — you have to connect both ends, remember?

So now you're all set: one end correctly connected via the built–in lights, but at the other end it's all guesswork.

Boneheads: there should be LEDs on both ends.

What were they thinking?

And to think they could've simply run this by me, gotten the suggestion, rejiggered the design and put out a truly great device instead of their near miss.

Ah, well.

Sure, you could use the lighted end as a flashlight for the unlighted end, then connect the end with the lights — but where's the elegance and ease of use Apple's famous for in that routine?

Oh, yeah — I forgot.

These aren't from Apple.

Sorry — my bad.


$19.90 here.

October 5, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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