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June 19, 2006

World's Greatest Bathboats


They are to be found at — where else? — bathboats.com.

Can they build one for you?

Above and below,


happy bathers playing in the bath with their bathboats.

Read the story of the little company that could here.

"People ask how long these boats last. We tell them we can guarantee them 30 years... that's how long we've been making them and the first ones are still floating."

That's good enough for me.

Here is a link to a page of frequently asked questions (FAQ).

Here is a link to a page entitled "Show us your boats!"

The photo below


features Dana McDill, CEO of World's Greatest Bathboats, "on his coffee break in front of international headquarters in Princeton, Minnesota."

Strange: his international headquarters bear more than a passing resemblance to bookofjoe World Headquarters™ here in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Clearly, great minds (Bizarro World iteration) think alike.

But I digress.

Here is a link to a page where you can order your very own bathboat.

Off-the-shelf versions are $25 and a custom design, incorporating personal touches about the recipient, are $30.

Cheap at ten times the price considering they'll still be floating in 2036.

Will you?

[via Reggie Nadelson and the Financial Times]

June 19, 2006 at 05:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Is running backward the next big thing?


I saw an item in the May 30 USA Today about Timothy "Bud" Badyna (above and below), one of the world's greatest backward runners.


Pretty amazing: He's run a sub-four-hour marathon and a 10K in 45:37 — backward.

That's a lot faster than I can go forward these days.

But I digress.

According to the article, "Badyna, dubbed 'Backwards Bud' by fellow runners, holds the Guinness World Record for fastest backward run in a 200-meter-race (32.78 seconds), set in 2001."

Turns out that the 39-year-old Badyna is one of around 500 people in the U.S. (more in Europe) who routinely walk or run backward.

It's also called "retro-running."

I like that.

A lot.

Supposedly it burns 20% more calories than regular jogging.

Perhaps it's time to put a workstation at the rear end of my treadmill.

Apropos of that it seems to me that backward running on a treadmill is far more conducive to staying alive and intact than taking it out on the street.

I'm just saying.







More about backward running here.

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

Tire Condom — 'Change a flat without ruining your clothes'


Say what?

From the website:

    Flat Tire Concierge

    Change a flat without ruining your clothes

    Until now, it's been almost impossible to avoid ruining your pants or shirt when confronted with a flat tire.

    The Flat Tire Concierge keeps the grit and grime away from you while you do what needs to be done.

    Inside its compact storage case is a mat to kneel on, a pair of protective gloves and a full-size elastic tire tote


    that slips over the tire (up to 31"-dia.), letting you handle it while staying squeaky clean.


Tell you what: far too many people get killed standing by their car waiting for assistance for me to ever dream of trying to change my own tire.

Me, I'm off the interstate faster than you can say "Call AAA."

But if you're of a bolder disposition then by all means this item might have your name on it.



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

'You Can't Lay Down Your Memory' — Chest of Drawers by Tejo Remy


Designed in 1991, it appeared in Droog Design's first show at the Milan International Furniture Fair in 1993.

It's a "wardrobe" consisting of a haphazard pile of used drawers held together with a tightened strap.

It recently took 10th place in the "Best Dutch Design" contest.

The one pictured below


is at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

[via Blake Gopnik and the Washington Post]

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

Glass Art Sinks


Hand-blown glass sinks created by the Seattle Glassblowing Studio.


Each sink — weighing 15 pounds, 1-inch-thick and 16 inches in diameter — is created by an eight-person team working in exquisite synchrony.


It takes about 10 years to acquire enough expertise to become part of the team.


Even so, the studio considers it a good day if they end with five sinks after starting eight.


Katherine Salant wrote about the sinks, examples of which appear above and below, in an article which appeared in this past Saturday's Washington Post Home section; the relevant portion follows.

    Hand-Blown Sinks

    The bright red, green and purple hand-blown glass, vessel-styled sinks displayed by the Seattle Glassblowing Studio were a departure from the latest and the greatest in appliances, cabinetry and countertops offered by the other 900 exhibitors at the kitchen and bath show.


    The Seattle Glassblowing Studio's hand-blown sinks -- as well as hanging pendant shades and wall sconces -- are made by 12 glass blowers. The sinks can be translucent or opaque, in one color or multicolored, with patterns ranging from "clouds" to spinning vortexes.

    As interesting to me as the sinks is the way they are made. Having seen a few glass blowers make smaller pieces such as bowls or bottles, I imagined the sinks to be the work of a single artisan. But, I learned, the Seattle glass blowers' 21st-century iteration of a 2,000-year-old craft -- a 15-pound, 1-inch thick, 16-inch diameter sink -- requires the careful coordination of an eight-person team.


    Cyrena Stefano, a glass blower and a member of the sink-making team, explained that only one person actually blows the sink, while each of the other seven, in a carefully choreographed sequence, prepares and adds as many as four colored pigments at the right moment, shields hands and arms from the 2,400-degree molten glass, turns the blow pole, shapes the piece into a large oval that looks as big as a dinosaur egg, and guides it onto a punty (in layman's parlance, a stand). Then, using an instrument that resembles giant tweezers, one team member punctures the oval and, with a few quick circular turns, opens it into a finished sink.


    At this point, the sink has cooled to a mere 960 degrees. It is then placed in the care of one team member, the "cold worker" who hovers over it for the next two days until the sink has cooled to room temperature and the drain can be installed.

    The process from molten glass to uncooled sink takes about an hour, Stefano said. Acquiring the expertise to make the sink, however, takes about 10 years. Even then, mishaps are not uncommon. On the days they blow sinks, they plan on eight starts, but if they end with five sinks, "it's been a good day," she said.


    The studio offers seven sink collections, each in different colors. They can also match the color of a cloth swatch or tile. The sinks range in price from $1,900 to $2,600. A matching soap dish is $150.

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

'The Devil Wears Prada'


Opens June 30.

Great poster.

The trailer.

June 19, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

We get email: From the webmaster at BookMateStore.com


Just in at 8:22:14 a.m. this morning:

    Dear Joseph:

    A new comment has been submitted to your weblog "bookofjoe," on the post "Reading in bed - the search for the Holy Grail of reading lights continues...."

    Comment from:

    Name: Webmaster at BookMateStore.com
    Email: webmaster@bookmatestore.com
    URL: http://www.BookMateStore.com


    Try http://www.BookMateStore.com/clip-on-book-lights.htm

    While we appreciate your use of our cartoon, we don't appreciate its use without attribution.

    The fact that you didn't mention our "Mighty Bright Clip-on Book Light" [below]


    which can be powered by A/C adapter or batteries, was also not appreciated, since it's the best all-around reading light we've found in many years.

    You are right about the red beanie with the "B" for "BookMate" (not BookofJoe)... It's not for sale!

    Webmaster at BookMateStore.com


I like it when someone goes deep — as in, deep into my archives — and exhumes a blast from the past, like the November 1, 2004 post referred to above.

The webmaster is correct: credit was not given for the wonderful reading in bed cartoon (top), which (dare I admit it?) I've used on more than one occasion since, also without attribution.

But never again — promise.

Pinky swear.


I hereby attribute the wonderful, iconic red bookofjoe beanie reading in bed being with the perfect complexion (depends on where you're coming from, what?) to BookMateStore.com.

And even though I gave up on finding a perfect reading in bed light some time ago, having spent hundreds of dollars over the years on a collection of hardware now gathering dust in my Museum of Failed Booklights (MOFB), I will order the "Mighty Bright Clip-On Book Light" and try it out as a small tribute to the webmaster and his excellent performance in his role as grand panjandrum of all things digital at BookMateStore.com.

From the website:

    Clip-on Book Light

    A recent addition to the BookMate product line, our Clip-on Book Light is a great accessory for any reader.

    This battery powered clip-on projects light exactly where it's needed.

    It's sleek and compact, and its head and arm are fully adjustable.

    It securely clips onto any of our BookMate book holders/book covers or onto any hardback book, and it can also be used as a mini-desk lamp or utility light.

    These Clip-On Book Lights are available from BookMateStore in a rainbow of exclusive colors including Blue Moon, Eggplant, Silver Cloud and Black.

    There's one that will complement any book and personal taste, so choose yours today!

    This product is a quality imported product distributed as the "Mighty Bright"™, while all other BookMate products are manufactured in the USA.

    Requires 4 AA batteries (not included).

    In addition to battery power, these Clip-on Book Lights may be powered by any widely available A/C adapter offering 5 or 6 volt D/C, 4 watt output and a 2.5mm male plug, or you may order the adapter below.

    Replacement bulbs, which are 4.8V 0.3A base flashlight bulbs, are also widely available locally or may be ordered from us as provided below.

    Folded flat for storage, these Clip-On Book Lights measure approximately 5-1/4" long X 1-3/4" high X 2-3/4" wide, with a 3-1/8" clip depth.

    When in use, the extended height is approximately 6-1/4".

    The individual light shipping box measures approximately 5-3/4" X 2-1/8" X 3".


The light comes in four colors (above and below):

Blue Moon,




Silver Cloud


and Black.


$12.45 (batteries not included).

Note to self: put BookMateStore webmaster on list of suitable recruits for a future opening on my crack research team.

cc: Shawn Lea.

June 19, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

K-Bench — by Charles Kaisin


The Belgian designer created it from polypropylene sheets formed into a Slinky-like, beehive structure which expands and retracts from 16cm to 300cm (6.3" to 118" — nearly 10 feet).

In White, Orange, Grey and Translucent.


Weighs 25 kg (55 lbs).


Origami seating.


Available everywhere.

June 19, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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