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January 31, 2006

bookofjoe wrong about Chow magazine: 'I give this magazine a less than 1% chance of getting to year two'


I wrote those words on November 5, 2004, in a post about the inaugural issue (above) of Chow.

I'm man enough to admit it when I'm wrong and I was wrong about Chow.

It lasted 14 months, two months into its second year, before giving all the appearances of going belly–up last week.

Barbara Fisher of the Paper Palate wrote, on January 26, "Chow... has sent email out to subscribers noting that it will be at least six months before another issue arrives, because they are taking a break in order to raise enough funds to keep the magazine going without another interruption."


She continued, "The first issue of the magazine came out in November of 2004; then, though it was meant to be a bimonthly magazine, the Wall Street Journal reported in May 2005 that, due to the lack of investors, the second issue did not appear until June 2005."

Jane Goldman, the founder and editor of Chow, offers her thoughts on her current plight in a comment at the very bottom of this page.

So far the magazine has managed to put out four issues in its 14 months of existence.

Hey — I'm as fallible as the next guy.

January 31, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Clean Shopper™ — Because how do you know who was there before you?


Ever wonder about that kid with the stinky diaper sitting in a shopping cart?

Not so much about the kid but, rather, about the shopping cart after it's put back into the rotation.

That's the one you used earlier today when you were shopping.

Oh — maybe I wasn't supposed to say anything.

My bad.

As Missy Cohen–Fiffe told Ellen Tien for a feature in Sunday's New York Times, "I didn't want my son to hold the germy metal handle of the carts."

So she created the Clean Shopper (top), a quilted cotton liner that fits into the child seat of shopping carts and covers the handle as well.

Said Ms. Cohen–Fiffe, "Every time I used it in a store, people asked me where they could buy one."

So she decided to make and sell them and thus was her business born.

Clean Shopper now comes in many colors and patterns and costs $29.95 here.

[via Ellen Tien and the New York Times]


No matter what, you will do yourself a favor if you put the little plastic piece in the full upright position instead of flat down on the little rack of your shopping cart.

Consider the differing exposures of the two sides of that movable plastic piece — really stop and think about it for a moment — and I guarantee you it will never remain down again.

Can you imagine what you could culture off the ceiling–facing surface of one of those?



When I was in medical school I invented something wonderful.

I made two of them — one (the prototype) for myself and a second one for my best friend.

I purchased a sheet of 1"–thick styrofoam and cut it very precisely into pieces which I glued together, creating a box perfectly sized to hold a large pizza.

When I went to pick up my pizza (they didn't deliver) from the place in Westwood (near U.C.L.A., where I went to school — I had no car so I walked from my apartment and back) that I liked I'd bring my box and slip the pizza into it.

Every single time the people there would say "Hey, where'd you get that? That is so cool."

I said I made it.

My friend loved his and said I should patent it.

Even then I had no interest in such things: me, I prefer to give it away.

Call it a quirk.

Anyway, I called my creation the "Hot Box."

Some years later Dominos and then all the rest started using similar heat–retaining devices.

January 31, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The Physics of Baseball


It's all here.

January 31, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

World's Most Expensive Measuring Cups


Let's take a close look at these.

First, what the website has to say:

    Our nesting, 18/8 stainless steel measuring cups are straight-sided, marked on both the handle AND bottom of the cup (so you can tell the 1/4-cup from the 1/3-cup when they're hanging on a pegboard), dishwasher-safe, and feature extra-long handles for better leverage and cleaner measuring.

    Complete cup set includes 1/8-, 1/4-, 1/3-, 1/2-, 2/3-, 3/4-, 1-, 1 1/2-, and 2-cup sizes.


Well, all that's very nice.

But one thing the website doesn't address is something I find critical when it comes to measuring cups, to wit: will the cup stand up when empty or barely filled, or will it tilt?

Because when the smaller sizes have long handles they tend to fall to the side.


The fact that the website does not address this issue by noting that "cups stand and do not tip when empty" or something of that nature, along with the "extra–long handles," makes me fear for the worst and forces me to caution you about this possibility.

I wouldn't be doing my job — for which, let's face it, you pay me an obscene amount of money — if I didn't.

Should you choose to proceed, then, well, you've been warned.

Caviar's empty.

Wait a minute... that's not right.

$44.95 here.

January 31, 2006 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Area Code List — By Number


Now this is useful.

How many times have I received a phone call from an area code I can't place geographically?

If I could then I'd know who's calling most of the time.

I think I'm gonna print this one out.

Here's an potential application for the tech–enabled among you: make it so your cellphone shows the location (two letter state abbreviation is enough) above the area code when an incoming call comes in.

Get rich with it.


Addendum: [1:27 p.m. today] — "Even better is Paul Timmins' Telcodata.us,


which will use the exchange to map the area code down to the county or town." — Waldo Jaquith

January 31, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Google–style Logo Maker


So cool.

[via Dean Kaltsas and godean.com]

January 31, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

MorphWorld: Hamid Karzai into Ben Kingsley


When it comes time to make a movie about his life, there'll be no question about who's going to play the president of Afghanistan (above and below).


Ben Kingsley (below)


was a


dead ringer for Gandhi; Karzai will be a piece of cake.

January 31, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Paris Hilton's Ice Cream Scoop


From the website:

    Fun for right- or left-handed dippers.

    Winner of a 2003 red dot design award, the comfortable ergonomic design has a non-slip handle and thumb rest.

    Superior scoop shape cuts through even the hardest ice cream.



A sweet $9.95 here (ice cream not included).

January 31, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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