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March 9, 2007

When Albert Einstein met Jean Piaget

From the March, 1957 Scientific American:

    Children and Physics

    Does a child's first conception of velocity include comprehension of it as a function of distance and time, or is his notion more primitive and intuitive? Albert Einstein himself posed this question to me in 1928 when I was demonstrating some experiments on causality to him one day. I have since performed a very simple experiment which shows that a child does not think of velocity in terms of the distance-time relation. We place before the child two tunnels, one of which is obviously much longer than the other, and then we push a doll through each tunnel with a metal rod in such a way that the dolls arrive at the other end of both tunnels simultaneously. We ask the child:

    "Is one tunnel longer than the other?"
    "Yes, that one."
    "Did both dolls go through the tunnels at the same speed, or did one go faster than the other?"
    "The same speed."
    "Because they arrived at the same time."

    Jean Piaget

March 9, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Wall-Mount Retractable Outlet — 'The Perfect Extension Cord'


From the website:

    Wall-Mount Retractable Outlet — The Perfect Extension Cord

    This is one of those "why didn’t someone think of this sooner?" inventions.

    A 25-foot, dual-outlet, retractable extension cord that mounts on the wall of your garage or workshop.

    Just hang it on the wall using the keyhole slots on the back and plug the 3'-long cord into any outlet.

    Or for permanent installation, the unit can be flush-mounted between 16" OC wall studs and hard-wired.

    Rugged steel and plastic construction.




March 9, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Tricks of the Trade — 'Professional secrets from those in the know'

A wonderful site (www.tradetricks.org) chock-full of really interesting, original material.

The site ceased being updated on September 12, 2006, with this entry by Matthew: "Not dead, just resting. Will relaunch shortly."

No matter — the two years worth of archives offer plenty to chew on.

For example, this tip from a professional window washer: wash each side in a different direction so you know which side the streaks are on.

Work smarter, not harder — Ray Kurzweil sure got that right.

March 9, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

No Stress Tuna Press — Episode 2: Stainless Steel


In Episode 1 back on January 21, 2006, we learned of the existence of this clever device purported to take the worry out of draining canned tuna.

Being close, that's Dial's bailiwick.

But I digress.

Now comes the new, improved tuna can colander.

You will note I did not say "tuna fish."

That's redundant, though common parlance.

Do you say "mackerel fish?" Or "yellowtail fish?"

Didn't think so.

Anyway, Steve Leckart's "Cool Tools" newsletter recently featured the stainless steel version — and if it's good enough for Cool Tools it's certainly good enough for bookofjoe.

Without further ado, then (gee, joe, I thought you'd never get to the point), Dennis Emge's review.

    No More Soggy Tuna — Stainless Steel Can Colander

    For years I wondered why no one had built or designed a way to drain out all of the liquid out of a can of tuna. Then, low and behold, I found one. This stainless steel can colander is relatively inexpensive and built with a high grade of stainless steel, so it is practically bulletproof and almost impossible to bend. This colander also works on any normal-sized can, but its real magic is its ability to completely drain the liquid out of a can to prevent wet and soggy tuna. Progressive also makes a plastic colander but I wouldn't recommend it. The stainless steel model isn't much more expensive and it will last you your lifetime.




If the link above doesn't work, go to Amazon's Kitchen store and put "stainless steel can colander" in the search box.

March 9, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

There's something about jelly candy


For as long as I can remember I've loved jelly candy, stuff like Sunkist Fruit Gems (which I buy here, 5 pounds at a time), pate de fruit (below), those sugar-covered "fruit slices" (bottom), chocolates with jelly centers, etc.


What I still haven't figured out is what's so appealing to me about that particular sort of sweet.

I know it's all about the texture, that sort of slippery, unctuous mouthfeel, but why?


A penny [candy] for your thoughts.

March 9, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

IQ Cards — Episode 2: 'Ice breaker for a conversation about God'


Lots of people liked Episode 1 back on St. Valentine's Day, so why not an encore?

At $5 for a pack of 100, it's still a lot of chat for the buck.

[via Matt in St. Louis]

March 9, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Freakydreams.com — 'Enter a detailed description of your dream and we'll tell you what it means'



[via Lucy Kellaway and The Financial Times]

March 9, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (23) | TrackBack

'The Virgin Suicides'


I started to watch this film on DVD a couple years ago but stopped after about 10 minutes — boring.

Last night I pulled it out and found it enchanting.

Timing is everything, I guess.

Sophia Coppola's 1999 film version of Jeffrey Eugenides' 1993 first novel is set in his native upper middle class Michigan suburbs in the early 1970s.

The five beautiful Lisbon sisters are kept under lock and key by their harridan mother, played by Kathleen Turner.

Dad, played wonderfully by James Woods, is a dweeb high school math teacher with more than a trace of Asperger syndrome.

Stuff happens, sisters die, hence the title.

But the pace of the film, the feel of high school and the misery of it all for most of those present, is wonderfully evocative.

You feel so glad you're not there anymore.

At least, I did.

Danny DeVito as psychiatrist Dr. Horniker is sublime.

Kirsten Dunst plays the lead sister, with Josh Hartnett (21 at the time the film was released) as her dreamy heartthrob.

March 9, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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