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November 26, 2005

BehindTheMedspeak: Zielonka SmellKiller Lollipop


It's here and it's for sale.

From Germany comes this nifty creation, a smooth piece of high–grade stainless steel that, when it comes into contact with molecules in saliva causing halitosis, serves as a catalyst to separate, then oxidize them into bland–smelling compounds.

Lisa Katayama (above, enjoying one) wrote about the new oral technology in the current (December) issue of Wired magazine.

"This faux confection is shaped like a regular old sucker, and you use it the same way," wrote Katayama.

In my due diligence and efforts to find a place you can buy this device (below),


I came across Michelle Cheung's October 4 story on OhGizmo about it.

All credit to her for bringing it to the world's attention and providing a source (see the end of this post).

Turns out this isn't the first Zielonka product to appear in bookofjoe: back on September 26 I brought your their very stylish room deodorizer (below),


also of high-grade catalytic stainless steel and made by their Frieling USA division.

And the need for transparency and full disclosure compels me to report that for many, many years I have had one of these


stainless–steel odor killers sitting on the ledge over my kitchen sink for use on my hands after dealing with ramps, onions, garlic and their ilk.

Guess what: unbelievable as it may seem it really works.

One of those things that doesn't make sense when you try to figure out how, no matter what the scientific explanation: how can rubbing a piece of metal make odors go away?

No matter — it does.

I can see you're still skeptical.

That's OK — you're not the only one.

For you, there's this discussion by a chemist of how stainless steel "odor eaters" work.

The SmellKiller lollipop, in your choice of blue (above) or red (below),


costs ¥2,310 ($19.37) at Amazon Japan.

The Stainless–Steel Egg–Shaped Odor–Eater (for your hands) is $12 here.

November 26, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Button Bowl


Heavy cord knots together multicolored buttons.

Made in Vietnam.

Flexible sides.

8"D x 3.5"H.

$26 at the American Folk Art Museum Gift Shop (2 Lincoln Square [66th Street and Columbus Avenue] in New York City; 212-265-1040, ext.124).

November 26, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Über–Mathematician Stephen Wolfram Breaks It Down — For Your Cell Phone


Just out from the mighty mind of Mathematica creator Stephen Wolfram are Wolfram Tones — custom, one–of–a–kind ring tones for your phone.


Matt Brady wrote, in the current (December) issue of Wired magazine:

    Start by selecting a musical style (rock, hip hop, classical), then specify secondary parameters, such as pitch or specific instruments.

    Wolfram's algorithms will spin your composition into a unique beat, complete with a visual representation of its computational makeup (cellular automaton pattern, in Wolfram-speak).

    The price per download: two bucks.

    Who knew computational irreducibility could be so funky?


No, Benoit Mandelbrot, last I heard, has no plans to market fractal


ringtones — at least, he hadn't up till now.

Once he sees Wolfram cleaning up


he might well change his mind.

November 26, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

World's Largest Crossword Puzzle


It measures seven feet by seven feet, has 28,000 clues and over 91,000 squares.

Comes complete with a 100–page clue book.

No — there is no clue phone number.

Printed on sturdy paper stock.

Folds up for laptop solving, one small section at a time.

You can tack it up or tape it to the wall if you like.

Months, even years of fun, depending on how goal–oriented you and/or your friends and visitors are.


$29.95 here.

November 26, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Galleria illy: The best espresso in America — but it's only available until December 15


illy is passionate about coffee.

Some might say obsessed with the subject.

All the better.

From the Galleria illy (above and below) website:

    About Galleria illy

    A gallery, a library, a theatre, a university and the most authentic espresso in New York

    During its three month run from September 15—December 15, Galleria illy is taking coffee education and enjoyment a giant step forward, showcasing original works of art and music, hosting provocative coffee-centric discussions and events and even premiering an original theatrical production.


    We invite you to stop by and to make your own espresso drinks (with expert help available) or enjoy a perfect cappuccino or espresso prepared by the world's best-trained baristas and paired with desserts and chocolates, carefully matched to illy's taste profile by celebrated chefs.

    Galleria illy is open from 11 am to 8 pm, Tuesday through Sunday, during its three month run.

Here's a link to a page about all the events going on there.

Here's a link to a page with videos about various aspects of coffee.

And there's all sorts of other stuff on the website, to help you waste even more time.

As if.


Galleria illy is at 382 West Broadway in New York City.

November 26, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Twist and Spout — 'Instant Pitcher'


Instantly converts any water or soda bottle with a screw–on cap into an ergonomic pourer.

Watering can?

Kitchen accessory?

Up to you.

Transforms an ungainly two–liter soda bottle (above) into a much easier–to–handle (and far more stylish) serving container.

The longer version (6.5"–long spout) comes in blue and green.

The shorter (3.5"–long spout) is in red and orange.

Same price: $4.99 apiece here.

November 26, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The world as we will know it (the new boss is nothing like the old boss)


The other day I was just sitting here, doing something close to nothing (but different from the day before) when a wonderful analogy occurred to me.

I was trying to find a way to express what I believe is happening right now, with the internet moving from a static place "inside" the computer to an all–enveloping, invisible web enrobing us all within its ineffable essence™.

Anyhow, not to be too over–the–top (what, you mean it's too late, I'm already way past that? Hey, tough noogies... [haven't heard that one since high school: you?]) about it, but you remember how, when you were little, you had those flipbooks where you could riffle the pages fast and it would be like a movie?

Well, that's where I'm headed with this.

Take a movie on a reel.

Make a picture or slide of each of the frames.

Look at them, one by one.

It will take a long time.

How long?

Well, let's do the math: 24 x 60 = 1,440 frames make up 1 minute of a movie; let's say the film is mercifully short, say, oh, 80 minutes long: that makes 80 x 1,440 = 115,200 frames.

Divided by 60 (that's give us how many minutes it will take to look at each frame at a rate of 1 frame/second) = 1,885 minutes.

Divided by 60 (to convert to hours) = 31.4 hours.

So if you could keep up that pace for 8 hours a day, it would take you four days to "watch" that movie.

You can see how, at the end of the fourth day, the story might not be anywhere near as vivid and absorbing as if you watched the movie as a movie.

24 frames, looked at one/second, vs. 24 frames/second: that's the internet now vs. what's now beginning to appear.

A picture book vs. a movie: they're completely different experiences and they change you in different ways.

Who, looking at a book of pictures, could have predicted or imagined the power and depth and consciousness–altering effects of movies?

The consequences of internet 2.0, as it's called these days, are completely unpredictable and, in fact, unknowable.

Take what you see now vis–a–vis computers and the web, amp it up by a factor of, oh, say 100 or 1,000, and you'll get a sense of the power that's currently arriving right on your screen, little by little.

We become what we behold, it's been said: so it will be.


Can't hardly wait.

November 26, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack



Daniel Harper designed this singular object, a chair which unfolds to become a fully functional shower with air–supported walls.


In the shower's base are a blower, water heater, pump and filter.


The structure fully inflates to form the shower walls in one to two minutes.


Above, the designer himself preparing to take the plunge.


Inside are two rooms: one for showering (the wet room) and one for undressing and drying off (the dry room).

[via AW]

November 26, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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