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December 9, 2006

'... And Jupiter aligns with Mars...'


But wait, there's more — Mercury's joining the fun.

Jupiter, Mars and Mercury will appear to nestle together in the predawn skies tomorrow (Sunday, December 10, 2006).

About 45 minutes before sunrise the three planets will be so close your thumb could obscure them.

This is their closet approach from an Earthbound perspective since 1925 and won't happen again until 2053.


Don't miss it.

Assemble the musicians.

December 9, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Black Christmas Tree


All the rage in Europe in 2005, it's now crossed the pond and is selling like hotcakes.


A little Christmas music?

December 9, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

'The Megacity: Decoding the Chaos of Lagos' — by George Packer


The superb, above-titled article appeared in the November 13, 2006 issue of the New Yorker magazine.

I've waited patiently for it to show up online on the New Yorker website but it looks like it's just not going to happen.

Too bad.

For once, instead of the usual "it's a great laboratory, wonderful things are going to happen in places like this" la-di-da nonsense, someone comes out and says what's far more likely: out-of-control urban agglomerations like Lagos are not going to simply implode and let us watch from a distance through heavy lenses; rather, they are going to literally and figuratively bring destruction, disease and death on an industrial scale to the developed world via mechanisms and routes as yet untried and unknown.

The best way to improve life for those atop the pyramid is to elevate those at the bottom — sooner rather than later.

I asked my crack research team to keep on noodling around looking for Packer's article anyway and guess what?

They found the greater part of it — the first 60% or so of the approximately 14,000-word-long piece — just as it was published in the magazine, right here.

Read it and weep.

December 9, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Self-Powered Lighted Bicycle Pedal — Episode 2: Price Break


Mark Morgan, commenting here this past Wednesday on last year's Episode 1 post, noted that "the Pedalite KPL100 is NOT the first self-lighted non-battery-powered bike pedal."

He followed up with proof.

It follows, from the websites he kindly forwarded to me.

    Battery-Free LED Flashing Bicycle Safety Pedal

    Unlike any other lighting system on the market today, the Safety Pedal is activated automatically by the action of pedaling.

    It is very difficult to identify a cyclist at night in today's traffic conditions.

    The Safety Pedal provides a unique light signature created by the movement of the pedals.

    The signature is easily identifiable to the motorist and provides information about the cyclist's distance, direction and relative position.

    The Safety Pedal's principle is to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy from the movement of the pedal spindle.

    This new bike pedal has a patented self-generating energy source, which is transferred to the multiple LEDs surrounding each pedal.

    The pedals therefore DO NOT REQUIRE BATTERIES and alternately flash bright red LED lights as you pedal your bike.

    The life expectancy of each LED is over 100,000 working hours.

    Fits on 9/16 threaded cranks.


Watch the video.

Bonus: at $24.95 this iteration is one-third the price of last year's version, which currently sells for $75.11.

December 9, 2006 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

50 Works of Art Worth Traveling to See


Jonathan Jones, art and architecture blogger for The Guardian, has compiled a definitive list of 50 works "that demand to be seen at least once in a lifetime."


Here's a link to a slideshow featuring 10 of the 50.

December 9, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack



Everything you need to be just like me.

"Even an idiot (i.e., my good self) can make Mr. Site get up and boogie, and the silly price includes your... own web address," wrote Jonathan Margolis in yesterday's Financial Times.


December 9, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What do you see?


It's a creation of Moto restaurant in Chicago, "where the mad scientist chef Homaro Cantu, a Charlie Trotter protégé, creates 'postmodern' food using liquid nitrogen, carbon dioxide and lasers," wrote Jaime Gross in last Sunday's New York Times.

"The menu is printed on edible, panini-flavored paper."

I'll take one, please.

December 9, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Xcuse Box


From the website:

    Xcuse™ Box — Background noise to make an excuse believable

    Can‘t get off the phone?

    Xcuse Box to the rescue!

    Just push a button and you'll have a full minute of background noise to present one of 10 believable excuses to go.

    The person on the other end of the phone will hear a crying baby, static and disconnect message, police/fire siren, emergency call, construction zone, bad weather, airline delay, auto repair shop, aircraft taking off or urgent call on the other line!

    Easy to carry — just under 3" long.



What is the sound of a dog eating your homework?


December 9, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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