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August 1, 2006

Reflections on paper cuts


Annoying, aren't they?

They always seem to happen when you're busiest and most frazzled.

Blood everywhere, sometimes on the notarized (with the embossed stamp and all) final copy.

Paper's not the only thing that can hurt you: in the past few months I've opened wounds with a paper plate, a manila file folder and an envelope flap.

Perhaps my memory serves me poorly, but I don't recall getting nearly as many paper-related injuries back in the day as I do now.

Either the paper's getting stiffer and sharper or my skin's becoming more vulnerable.

I suppose that as you get older your skin gets drier, as the various oil- and schmutz-producing cells in your epidermis gradually wind down in preparation for the endless night to come.

But you also lose subdermal collagen and connective tissue (why face-lifts happen) so the skin becomes less taut and more yielding.

You'd think the two would more or less balance out and that paper cuts would remain static in frequency over a lifetime.

But that's clearly not the case, at least with moi.

I'm sure there are many reading this who wince just thinking about their last similar laceration — don't be shy, hear?

Share the pain.

Quick-and-dirty paper cut therapy, as recommended by a board-certified anesthesiologist (hey, joe — you know one? kewl):

1) Scotch tape, masking tape, any kind of tape will shut down the blood flow instanter. Remember to place the tape strip perpendicular to the wound so as to hold the edges together.

2) Krazy Glue. Works great and it's a heckuva lot cheaper than Dermabond (medical-grade Krazy Glue that costs a fortune).

Here's a link to an informative article about how to achieve the best results using Dermabond (read Krazy Glue).

This just in from the crack research team: Elmer's has made it even easier to employ Krazy Glue for medical purposes.

Witness their new single-use tubes (below).


A 4-pack of 1 oz. single-use applicators in the handy storage container pictured above costs $4.29.

August 1, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Glow-in-the-Dark Stair Treads


Though they're intended for stairs I sense myriad other uses, though I'll be darned if I can think of a single one at the moment.

It's sort of like how, when someone asks you what movies you've seen lately and you've been going almost every evening, you somehow can't name a single one.

You have that too?

You don't?

You have no interest in reading a blog created by someone who does?


I guess maybe I said too much, huh?

TMI doesn't always refer to Three Mile Island, I guess.

Anyway, let's move on.

From the website:

    Glow Stair Treads

    Glow stair treads are visible in the dark to help prevent slips and falls

    Non-slip treads absorb and store ambient light so they "glow" in darkness for up to 6 hours, making your stairs safer to use in an emergency, even at night.

    They meet OSHA standards for non-slip protection on hazardous surfaces.

    Peel-and-stick, easy-to-cut treads adhere to painted wood, painted metal, sealed concrete and most nonporous surfaces.

    Polyester with photoluminescent surface.

    Each tread is 24"W x 6"L.


Whoever suggests the best possible alternative use for these will win something wonderful, to be awarded in a glitzy ceremony at a time and place TBD.

Which stands, in this case, for To Be Determined.

A perfectly matched set of 3 is $39.95.

August 1, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Podcast Bunker


Bruce Chandley runs what reporter Shelly Freierman, in yesterday's New York Times story, described as "a boutique web site."


Chandley, a former top 40 radio D.J., each day receives 30 to 40 podcasts, from which he assembles a weekly ranking with links to each of his selections.

Bonus: Very nice website design.

August 1, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Squircle Plate


From the website:

Squircle Plate

Square or circle?


Why decide?


Get both with the squircle plate, which, in addition to being sort of rounded with sort of squared-off edges, is a solid, quality plate in tons of great colors perfect for any occasion.


Thick ceramic has a lipped edge and a short pedestal on the bottom.


11" diameter.


Hand wash.

Prediction: these will sell out in an Apartment Therapy minute.


In (from the top down) Red, Orange, Butter, Lime, Mint, Pink, Berry and White.


$6 apiece or 4 for $15 (that's $3.75 each), right here.

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

Were the great cave painters sex- and violence-obsessed teenage boys?


That's the novel suggestion raised by paleobiologist R. Dale Guthrie of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

In the new (August) issue of Scientific American, J R Minkel's story and interview with Guthrie, headlined "Paleolithic Juvenalia," explored this hypothesis.


Here's the article.

    Paleolithic Juvenalia

    Were cave artists sex- and hunting-obsessed teenage boys?

    Few images fire the imagination like Paleolithic cave paintings, part of the scant physical record left by humans who lived more than 10,000 years ago. To some scholars, this ancient art represents the handiwork of shamans; others detect traces of initiation rites or trancelike states. A new interpretation offers a more prosaic explanation for cave art: the expression of adolescent boys' preoccupation with hunting and sex.


    During the late Paleolithic era, 10,000 to 50,000 years ago, humans roamed a vast steppe covering modern Europe, Asia and North America. These wandering hunters left behind myriad paintings on cave walls and artifacts depicting human figures and the large mammals of the day, including mammoth, elk, bison and horses. Early interpretations cast the images as religious icons or magical totems, perhaps part of hunting or fertility rituals performed by shamans. Humans definitely produced repetitive, stylized iconography over the past 10,000 years, says R. Dale Guthrie, a paleobiologist emeritus at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. "Paleolithic art isn't like that," he contends. "It was done in a more naturalistic way, [showing] real animals eating, copulating, braying or bellowing, biting." To Guthrie, a hunter and amateur artist himself, cave painters seem more like natural historians than shamans.


    Curious to discern more about the artists, Guthrie analyzed the handprints common to many image-bearing caves. He identified 201 handprints from Spanish and French caves that could be reasonably measure for width and length of fingers, palm and hand.


    He compared these data with measurements taken from 700 children, teenagers and adults at local Fairbanks schools. The groups are comparable, he reasoned, because both came from European stock and were well fed on high-protein diets.


    Statistically, the cave handprints match up with modern children aged 10 to 16, Guthrie reports in his book, "The Nature of Paleolithic Art," published earlier this year. "We've always known from the footprints


    in these caves that children are represented, but they're never given much to do by paleoanthropologists; they're regarded as invisible," says anthropologist Clive Gamble of Royal Holloway, University of London. Guthrie estimates the sex ratio of the handprints as largely male, by three or four to one. He argues that the subject of much Paleolithic art is consistent with its being created by adolescent boys, who would have been preoccupied with hunting and mating. Images of animals sometimes display lines through the beast's midsection, along with streaks of red pigment issuing from the mouth or loops below the belly — clear natural hunting imagery, in his view. Voluptuous female imagery is even easier to understand, if modern adolescents are any guide.

    Much cave art is spontaneous and playful, not shamanistic, in Guthrie's view. As evidence of its down-to-earth origins, he cites images that incorporate features of the cave wall or show a rudimentary skill level. Religious impulses and other motivations could still have played a role in some images, however. "I suspect there's not a one-size-fits-all answer" for Paleolithic art, say anthropologist Nicholas J. Conard of the University of Tübingen in Germany. "We're talking about 30,000 years of some fairly complex imagery."


Guthrie's book is $28.35 at Amazon.


Read an excerpt here.

After reading it and the rave reviews on Amazon, a number of them by people expert in the field, I bought it.

August 1, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Look again


Limited-edition matches by Tobias Wong at CITIZEN:Citizen.

An interview with Wong appeared on NPR on July 11 of this year; you can listen to it here.

[via Alex Spautz]

August 1, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Why Coca-Cola BlaK is doomed to fail: It's simply too good


It's not only bad products that wither away and disappear: good ones do as well — perhaps even more often.

The most common reason, in my humble opinion (note to self: coin acronym), is that something is simply too good for its time and place.

Full disclosure: I love Coca-Cola BlaK, introduced in April of this year with much fanfare.

Though it's meant to show off its "carbonated-coffee essence" the thing that most appeals to me about it is the wonderfully chocolaty flavor — not too sweet but, rather, in the words of Goldilocks, "just right."

Alas, it's far too quirky and exotic to succeed.

I predict the chance of being able to find this product at this time next year to be ≤ 1%.

Enjoy it while you can.

BlaK: R.I.P.

August 1, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Retractable Visor — World's most technical automobile windshield sunshade


From the website:

    Retractable Visor

    Sliding slats make this a versatile visor

    The Retractable Visor provides the ultimate in protection from dangerous sun glare.

    The tinted slats block glare but also let you see important things — like stoplights and the car in front of you.

    More versatile than any ordinary visor, it adjusts to four different positions, then slides out of the way when not in use.

    Magnetic strips hold the slats in place and a well-designed handle allows for easy fingertip adjustment.

    Attaches securely to your windshield with 3M adhesive.

    Available in two sizes: Standard (19"W) and Extra-Large (24"W).


Huh — one size doesn't fit all, for a change.

Not recommended for TechnoDolts™.



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

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