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April 6, 2006

My first post


bookofjoe began on April 6, 2003.

Today marks my third anniversary.


April 6, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Digital Trumpet


A lot going in the embouchure space.

    From the website:

    This digital trumpet generates over 20 instrument sounds and allows musicians to perfect valve fingering, tempo, notes, and key changes before learning to master breath control and mouthpiece placement with an actual brass trumpet.

    It has a powerful built-in speaker, and the internal memory chips can generate over 20 sounds, including seven trumpets, eight brass instruments (including the tuba and trombone), five woodwinds (including oboe and clarinet), strings, and a synthesized human voice.

    By simply humming or singing into the mouthpiece, you create accurate notes and tones, with the option of playing along to accompanying songs; 10 songs are pre-loaded (including Respect and When the Saints Go Marching In) and more can be added to the internal memory using the included software.

    A training mode uses illuminated LEDs, allowing you to follow lighted valve cues, and the accompaniment will slow down or pause to give you time to achieve correct tempo.

    Has MIDI in/out and headphone jacks.

    AC adapter included; can also be powered by four AA batteries (not included).

    9"H x 7-1/2"W x 25"L.

    6 lbs.


April 6, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

'Geek conferences should be free for women'


Just to even out the odds. After all, over the years growing up boys had all the advantages of being encouraged to tinker with technology while girls are mostly given vapid, soul-less barbie dolls and stupid ponies. The overdose of pink and purple alone is likely responsible for more fried brain cells than teenage alcohol drinking.

So, if conference organizers want to avoid this, it's a simple solution. Make conferences free for women, provide them with some perks (maybe free hotel stays?) and they will flock like tweens to sparkles.

Although that would do away with the one huge perk of being a woman at a geek conference. The bathrooms are always clean and empty.

[via kasia]

April 6, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Leakproof Fold–A–Cup


I like that little tab and ridged surface just adjacent that allow you to easily open and close it.

From the website:

    A folding cup that never leaks!

    This durable, crush-proof plastic cup pops open from its 1" folded position to form a stable 7 oz. cup that's guaranteed not to leak, even with boiling water.

    Fits easily in day bag or pocket.

    3-1/2" diameter.

    Weighs 1 oz.


In both the paper catalog and online they show it in yellow and brown but I couldn't find any mention of color choice anywhere.

Perhaps, if color matters and you want one, you should call and inquire: 800-962-4943.


April 6, 2006 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Good Vibrations — Episode 3


The something–for–nothing fitness movement appears to be gaining traction much as the treadmill office is failing to go viral.

Oh, well.

From Soloflex comes the Whole Body Vibration (WBV) platform.

An ad (above) in last Friday's USA Today brought this new technology for the masses to my attention.

I read the headline and thought gee, that's strange — wasn't the whole money thing part of the reason Jesus was so unhappy back in the day at the Temple?

But I digress.

    Here's the rest of the ad copy.

    God only knows how Whole Body Vibration (WBV) therapy improves circulation, strength, flexibility and balance while easing joint and muscle pains.

    Scientists can’t explain it.

    They have, however, meticulously documented the effects of WBV in controlled studies.

    Soloflex is pleased to manufacture the first affordable WBV Platform for home use.

    At only $395 delivered (institutional WBV platforms cost $2,500 to $12,000) our platform makes daily use convenient.

    If you're not training with weights regularly, here's the next best thing.

    It only takes ten minutes a day and all you have to do is stand on it.

    Will miracles never cease?

    Log on to www.soloflex.com to learn more. Or call 800-547-8802 anytime for a brochure.


Let's recap, shall we?

The Power Plate (below),


mother of all vibration technology fitness machines, debuted last year, for $4,840.

Then came Vibra–Fit (below)


this past Sunday, dropping the price nearly 90% to $499.

Now the WBV Platform brings you vibes in the form of much smaller 3–D footprint (yes, I know a footprint is by definition 2–D but you're just gonna have to deal) for $395 delivered.

So who ya gonna call?


Me, I'm wondering if a double shot at Starbucks might give you the same result in a far more ubiquitous and portable package — not to mention cheaper.

But don't be too quick to bolt to your nearest java stand.

Because not only will the WBV Platform shape you up, it also promises to get your dog, cat, rat or any other pet you can get to stay on it with you into tip–top shape while you all watch TV in your robe and slippers.

Doesn't get any better than that.



April 6, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Ryobi AirGrip Laser Level


Billy Bastek, Home Depot's head honcho for hand and fastening tools, described the AirGrip in a March 22 Wall Street Journal story as one of the "great innovative items in hand tools" in the past year.

The reason?

The AirGrip adheres to any surface for hours — without leaving a mark behind.

    From a website describing it:

    The AirGrip® laser level uses a small battery-powered motor to take in air and creates a vacuum on the bottom of a rubber pad so that it can stick to painted walls, untreated drywall, most wallpaper and many other non-porous surfaces.

    Unlike devices that use pins, nails or expensive adhesive tapes, the AirGrip laser level will not leave a single mark on a wall, yet is powerful enough to adhere either vertically or horizontally for several hours at a time.




April 6, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Bill Emmott, just–departed editor–in–chief of The Economist, shows how to be your own brand


I happened on his website after reading about it in Mrs. Moneypenny's column in the Financial Times.

She — like me, Bill Gates and countless others around the world — has long been a devoted fan of Emmott's singular newspaper and was not a happy camper when he announced earlier this year that he was leaving on March 31.

I would encourage anyone who wishes to create an online presence to spend some time at billemmott.com and then give his site designer, itzbITs, a holler and ask if they can build one for you.

Note the following features — and, equally important, non-features — of Emmott's site:

• Fast

• Simple

• Easy to navigate

• Everything works — no dead links

• Frame of page stays the same while you navigate within

• No misspellings, bad punctuation or incorrect grammar

• No Flash

• Cheap

• Not out of control


Note: you'll fare far better if you tell itzbITs Bill Emmott sent you than if you drop my name.

I'm just saying.

[via Mrs. Moneypenny and the Financial Times]

April 6, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Imagined realities


April 6, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

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