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March 30, 2006

Free Optical Mouse Upgrade — For PC and Mac


My resourceful crack research team stumbled upon it last night when they were dusting the cobwebs and dust bunnies off our computers.

They do this about once a year just for the heck of it.

Anyway, in the course of their spring cleaning they sprayed Pledge on every flat wooden surface, including the upper tier of Bed Bath & Beyond @$5.99 TV trays we use here as portable desks (below).


And lo and behold the optical mouse afterward seemed to be hovering above the wood surface, so slick and smooth and easy was its passage back and forth across its interface.

A highly recommended — and cheap, as in essentially free if you've Pledge or an equivalent around — mouse upgrade hack.

Try it before — not after — you snicker.

OK — now you can snicker.

As if.

Whadya want from me, anyway, for cryin' out loud?

It's hard in here for a simp.

But wait — there's more.

If you order now... no, just a minute — that's not right.

Oh, yeah.

If you really want to turbocharge your mouse consider cleaning off its bottom with the very same Pledge.

However — do NOT simply blast a dose all over the underside of the mouse.

First stick your finger or a piece of tape or something over the central optical pickup so you don't destroy it in the process of improving it.

If you're really getting into this you might want to take it to the next level the way we do around here and use a Q-tip (that's my second choice for a rapper name, after 'nuff sed — note the apostrophe: very important) to carefully clean inside the central cavity and around the optical element.


"Central cavity" — this is starting to sound a bit too carbon– (as opposed to silicone–) based for my own taste: I think I'll stop here.

March 30, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Weather Forecasting Rug


Finally — a weather forecast that's never wrong.


From the website:

    Doormat Reveals the Weather just by stepping outside!

    Guests will chuckle before entering your house.

    Up–to–the–minute weather report is accurate every day!

    Generously–sized rug is durably made of Olefin and polyester with vinyl/rubber backing.

    Measures 30" x 20" to keep dirt outdoors!


$15.99 (batteries not included — think about it for a zeptosecond before you get your baggies in a twist).

March 30, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

All It Takes — by Carl Phillips

Any force—
generosity, sudden updraft.
Fear. Things invisible,

and the visible effects by which
we know them. Human gesture. Betrayed,
betrayed. The dampness of fog as

understandable by how, inside it, from within their
thicket of nowhere left to hide—
that leafless—the winter berries, more than usual,

shine. First always
comes the ability to believe, and then the need to.
The ancient Greeks; the Romans after. How they

made of love a wild god; of fidelity—a small,
a tame one. I am no less grateful for
the berries than for the thorns that are

meant, I think, to help. As if
sometimes the world really did amount to
a quiet arrangement. Cut flowers. Make

death the one whose eyes are lidless. And
—already—you are leaving. You have
crossed the water.

March 30, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The envelope, please...


I was able to complete the assignment described in the previous post in under a minute.

It took five seconds to put "Mona Lisa" into my Google picture search bookmark: that returned, in less than one second, this page of thumbnails comprising the first 20 of 58,300 results.

I chose "David Copperfield" over "Robinson Crusoe" because I thought there'd be more results, as Dickens would seem more popular than Defoe to my way of thinking; I put "complete text David Copperfield" into Google and got back this page.

I clicked on the first result and in about 30 seconds was at a page with the full text of "David Copperfield."

For the third item I put "apple pie recipe" into Google and got back this page; I clicked on the first result and voila, there was a recipe — with a picture.

Total time: less than 60 seconds.


Things must have changed a lot on the internet in the past four years, is all I've got to say about that.

March 30, 2006 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Game time on bookofjoe


Once again it's time for an interactive game not in the sense that term is most often used these days but, rather, in the sense that this one will require you to interact with your computer.

Last Sunday evening, while I was on the home stretch of that day's New York Times, I happened on an Op–Ed piece by Edward Tenner, who often writes (very entertainingly, I might add) about technology and its unintended consequences.

Towards the end of his column was the following paragraph:

    Many students seem to lack the skills to structure their searches so they can find useful information quickly.

    In 2002, graduate students at Tel Aviv University were asked to find on the web, with no time limit, a picture of the Mona Lisa; the complete text of either "Robinson Crusoe" or "David Copperfield"; and a recipe for apple pie accompanied by a photograph.

    Only 15% succeeded at all three assignments.

I decided to see how the members of my crack research team on duty at the time would fare.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find a single one of them who was both awake and coherent.

So, as is far too often the case lately here at bookofjoe World Headquarters, I was forced to undertake the assignment myself in order to bring you some sort of result from Charlottesville.

And that's all I'm going to say about that — for now.

The next post, at 1:01 p.m. today, will report the results.

Now get cracking.

March 30, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack

Dinnerware Gone Wild


When does a meme become a trend?

Five weeks ago the "Leaning Pan of Circulon" (below)


surfaced here.

Now comes the dinnerware (top and below) to go with it.

From the website:

    Slant Dinnerware

    How’s this for a new angle?

    Museum–worthy design in durable porcelain priced around a 5 spot or less.

    Each piece is rimmed on an intriguing slant (how about the deep sides on those plates?).

    Glaze–dipped pure white and fired at 2800 degrees Fahrenheit.

    • Subtly slanted rims

    • High–fired porcelain with white dipped glaze

    • Dishwasher–, microwave– and conventional oven–safe

Pictured below are the 11" dinner plate ($5.95) the 9" salad plate ($3.95) and the bowl (7.5" diam. x 2.25" high, also $3.95)


all sold here.

The serving bowl (top) is 8.5" diam. x 4" high and costs $9.95.

Pretty nice pricing for porcelain with a twist — I mean, a tilt.

March 30, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Coca–Cola is the new BlaK


Coming next Monday, April 3 to a store near you is Coke's latest foray (above) into the seemingly limitless caffeinated beverage space.

It's a carbonated "coffee–essence" drink, according to the Washington Post, and "will come in glass bottles with those familiar curves, 45 calories per 8–oz. serving and a middling amount of caffeine (per 8 oz: 46 mg, compared with classic Coke's 23 mg and coffee's 80 mg."

March 30, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Praise modesty


March 30, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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