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May 19, 2006

Life as a controlled implosion


The only time I really think hard about things is when I'm unhappy.

That's because when I'm in a state of "flow" thought is beside the point.

That being the case it's not often these days that I really think hard about things.

But yesterday, as I drove down to Richmond around 7 a.m. to deliver anesthesia for the day, I got to considering how it is that reality comes to be.

And a new idea occurred to me.

Namely, that all possible realities collide as if in a supercollider and annihilate each other, leaving as a residue what each of us then experiences as a 30-frames-per-second apparent life.

Which, if you do the math, means you get 30 frames x 60 seconds/minute = 1,800 frames a minute x 60 minutes/hour = 108,000 frames an hour x 168 hours/week = 18,144,000 frames/week x 52 weeks/year = 943,488,000 frames/year.

Multiply that number (call it a billion, it's close enough) x the years you've been alive and that's how many implosions you've been party too.

And you thought you lived a quiet life.

May 19, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

World's Largest Charcoal Chimney


Lose the lighter fluid and use convection instead.

From websites:

    Monster Chimney Starter

    Big Charcoal Fires Need A Monster Chimney Starter

    Designed to Steven Raichlen's specifications.

    An essential for large charcoal grills, the Monster Chimney Starter (above and below)


    lights charcoal easier, greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to get charcoal ready and allows you to start with enough coals to keep grilling for hours.

    Holds 425 cu. in. of briquettes (7 lbs.), the most of any starter on the market.

    The square shape makes it easy to direct the hot coals where you want them to go.

    Made of rust-resistant steel with stay-cool heat-resistant Bakelite handle.

    7"L x 11.75"W x 12"H.


It costs $29.99.

Full disclosure: I purchased a smaller version of this device (much like the one below)


years ago, not really believing it would do what it said: I was wrong.

In fact it's not only effective but it's also kind of cool.

You put the charcoal in the top, you crumple a couple sheets of newspaper and put them in the bottom, you light the paper and soon the charcoal's all white and glowing and ready to hit the grill.

Do remember to put the thing on the grill and not your kitchen counter or heirloom wooden table.

The one pictured above costs $14.99

May 19, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

BehindTheMedspeak: Adam Sandler Anger Management Sunglasses


Invented by psychotherapist Robert Buck, he said the sunglasses (above) work, according to a brief item in the May 16 Washington Post, "by stimulating the brain's left hemisphere — where rational thinking is rooted — to help rein in the right hemisphere, the home of our impulsiveness and anger."

Here's this past Tuesday's press release with more details:

    A Whole New View About Anger Management

    Ever since Cain slew Abel mankind has been struggling to keep its powerful emotions in check.

    Now it appears that a special kind of sunglasses, from NeuView Incorporated, may lead the way to a less angry life.

    Robert Buck, the psychotherapist who developed and patented the sunglasses believes that they represent a major breakthrough in the field of anger management.

    "Now anyone can quickly and safely learn to use the glasses to help manage their angry feelings," says Buck.

    NeuView Sunglasses provide a direct way of stimulating the left hemisphere of the brain.

    It is the left hemisphere that functions to provide us with a rational, logical view of the world.

    Analytical thought and deductive reasoning emanate from our left-brain.

    The right hemisphere of the brain is the seat of our emotions, our anger and our impulsiveness.

    Buck explains, "When we’re overly angry our right-brain is highly active and may become too active to allow us to receive important information from our rational, logical left-brain. However, by using the glasses we can quickly create a connection with this information and begin to recognize options for dealing with our distress."

    These sunglasses don’t really look all that different from many wraparound sunglasses, but they do have side sections that can be raised to allow in more light.

    It is this additional light, and the manner in which it hits the eye’s retina, that causes the increased neuronal activity of the cerebral hemisphere opposite the light source.

    For example, if the right side window is raised, the left-brain will be stimulated.

    And Buck notes that, "Because we are dealing with a neurological event the speed at which our anger diminishes is remarkable."

    "These are not just your sunny day sunglasses" says Buck, "but hopefully they are the one’s you’ll reach for in those dark, angry moments."


Your future's so tranquil you gotta say it's because you're gonna be wearing these shades.


$72.50 here.

May 19, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Faux Mulch Tree Ring


The people who named this product definitely need to attend this year's bookofjoe Product Naming Seminar™.


Beyond bad.

From the website:

    Reduce Yard Work With Maintenance-Free Mulch

    American-made Perm-A-Mulch® looks remarkably like natural bark mulch and eliminates trimming, weeding and re-mulching for years.

    Made of recycled tires so it will last for years, the rubber Tree Rings and flexible Border prevent weeds from growing while allowing water, air and nutrients to pass right through.

    Cut center hole to fit tree trunk.


The perfect accompaniment for your Pruning Drop Cloth (below).


Note how both items achieve closure.

I don't care how good your therapist is, you will not see this kind of result in any office.

But I digress.

Does the fact this approach to the problem appears twice in the bookofjoe gardening space in the past three weeks suggest synchronicity at work?

Or that I'm attracted to really dumb stuff?

Me, I'm going with the latter but feel free to come to your own conclusions.

Think about it — but not for too long.

The Perm-A-Mulch Tree Rings comes in two sizes: 24" in diameter ($19.95) and 36" ($36.95).

The Border measures 4.5" x 120" (10 feet) and costs $21.95.

Get yours here.

May 19, 2006 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Zero-G Wedding Dress


Designed by Eri Matsui.

Above left, how it looks on Earth.

On the right is what it might look like in orbit.

[via Dennis Overbye and the New York Times]

May 19, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Inflatable Fun Cube


From the website:

    Aquatic Playhouse For Kids

    Hours of thrills are in store as children are challenged to conquer their own personal floating obstacle course.

    The Fun Cube inflates in less than 5 minutes with the included electric pump and is easy to store.

    Constructed of heavy-gauge PVC for years of fun on the water.


"For kids?"

Excuse me, but it's my turn.



May 19, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Eleanor Rigby Statue — by Tommy Steele


It's on Stanley Street in Liverpool, England.

It was donated to Liverpool by the sculptor in 1982 as a tribute to the Beatles.

I happened to hear the instrumental version of the song yesterday on XM radio and it was strikingly haunting — perhaps even more so than the Beatles' recorded version.


"Where do they all come from?"

May 19, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Morphing Highlighter Ballpoint Pen


Look once, it's a nice-looking, nothing-special pen.


Twist the barrel and voila —


a yellow highlighter tip descends


over the ballpoint.


From the website:

    Shaeffer Prelude MPI

    If you make notes while you read, try this dual-purpose pen.

    The Sheaffer Prelude MPI combines a high-quality ballpoint pen and a handy highlighter in one convenient package.


    Twist the barrel to change from ballpoint to highlighter and back again.

    Highlighter ink is water-based and will not smear the ballpoint ink.



In Gold ($80), Silver ($44), Metallic Blue ($54), Chrome ($54) or Black ($70) here.

May 19, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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