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April 16, 2007

'The absolute majority of people on this earth are walking dead' — Vladimir Sorokin

The quotation above is from Sorokin's new book, "Ice."

Ken Kalfus reviewed it in yesterday's New York Times Book Review.

The full passage: "The absolute majority of people on this earth are walking dead. They are born dead, they marry the dead, they give birth to the dead and die; their dead children give birth to new dead — and so on, from century to century."

Somewhere Philip K. Dick is smiling.

April 16, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Headrest Power Inverter


From the website:

    Back Seat Power Inverter

    Headrest Powerworks™ Power Inverter converts DC power from 12v car lighter or 12v power port into 110 AC power for operating or charging portable electronic devices, including cell phones, laptops, handheld gaming units and portable DVD players on the road.

    Features grounded AC outlet/cover, LED light, replaceable fuse, Velcro straps to attach to headrest back, and reset button.


With two outlets as pictured up top, $59.98.

With one outlet — and 99+% certainty that you'll regret not opting for the two-outlet version — $49.98.

And I say again: why are we forced to go through these idiotstick contortions with aftermarket add-ons instead of simply being able to plug into regular power outlets at every seat?

April 16, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Look at the picture above.

What do you see?

I see the cover of the winner of the British trade magazine The Bookseller's Internet contest to choose the year's (2006) oddest title.

Runner-up was "Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Dagestan," with third place honors going to "Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence."

The winner, boosted by the news to #335 (with a bullet) at Amazon, costs $14.96 there.

The breaking news is featured in Lawrence Van Gelder's "Arts, Briefly" feature in today's New York Times.

His story follows.

    Hot Titles

    Here's a winning book title: "The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification." It has been named the year’s oddest title by the British trade magazine The Bookseller after an Internet poll in which 5,500 votes were cast, the BBC reported. Written by Julian Montague, it attracted 1,866 votes, followed by "Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Dagestan" and "Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence." "We are delighted to reward a brilliant piece of niche publishing again this year," said Joel Rickett, deputy editor of The Bookseller. Among the losers were "How Green Were the Nazis?" and "Proceedings of the 18th Annual Seaweed Symposium." Previous winners of the accolade, established in 1978, include "Versailles: The View From Sweden," "Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers" and "Reusing Old Graves."

April 16, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Oven Rack Guard — Episode 2: Price Break


When I featured these useful burn preventers in Episode 1 back on October 14, 2005, I did wince a wee bit at the price: $32.98 for two.

How about two for $19.50?

Getting warmer (as it were)?

From the website:

    Oven Rack Guard

    Have you ever burned your wrists or hands on a hot oven rack?

    We've done it too many times so we couldn't wait to bring you this product!

    The Oven Rack Guard offers real protection against accidental burns from touching or brushing against hot oven racks!

    The guards are made of DuPont Nomex®, special fabric first developed for firefighters, and now you can feel protected when pulling your dishes out of the oven.

    • Provides real burn protection for hot oven racks

    • Safe for temperatures up to 500°F

    • Easily snaps onto standard oven racks

    • Remains attached to oven rack between uses

    So simple to use — the Oven Rack Guard snaps easily onto the front rail of most oven racks.

    Washable too! — wash on the gentle cycle and lay flat to dry.

    Note: The guards weren't designed to work under the broiler, during cleaning cycles or to pull out a hot oven rack.



Highly recommended for kids of all ages.

April 16, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Revealed: Secret tricks to save money shopping online — and much more


Over the years my crack research team has learned a thing or two.

Considering the number of things they've forgotten, it's not a pretty picture.

But I digress.

There are a couple of things I do and take for granted which you may not be aware of.

They often result in a nice discount on the advertised price of an online item, availability when an item is said to be sold out, or a much wider variety of styles, sizes and/or colors than appear on a merchant's website.


• The Johnny-Light Toilet Bowl Illuminator (above) cost $16.99 when I featured it back on October 22, 2006. If you go to that merchant's website now, you'll find it's unavailable. But if you go to the Johnny-Light website, you'll find it's going for $14 for the first, with additional ones costing $12.50.

• The Ampac Tote Bag (below), the best airline carry-on I've come across, is available in Black or Khaki and costs $29.85 here. But if you go to the Ampac website you'll find it's available in Black, Green, Blue, Khaki, Yellow, Red, Purple or Lime Green, each $29.95.


To summarize:

1) Always see if you can find a website for the company that makes a product. More often than not it's www.productname.com. Also try productname.com, without the www.

2) Put the item into Froogle, where you'll sometimes be gobsmacked by the range of prices, sometimes with 400% or more markups — for real! — over the lowest available.

3) Know that Shawn Lea and my crack research team are here for you 24/7/365 if you have a question — and their advice is worth every penny you pay for it.

Wait a minute....

April 16, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Coolest shoe of the year


[via dixi]

April 16, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

bookofjoe as the bleeding edge


Yesterday's New York Times Sunday Styles front page article by Allen Salkin about weird gadgets cracked me up.

But I really fell apart when I opened the section to continue reading the story on page two (above), where I espied five photos of gadgets deemed especially bizarre.

Four of the five (pictured below) have appeared in bookofjoe with the OXO Cherry Pitter — featured last Thursday — only the most recent.



How'd I miss that Dog Powered Scooter, anyway?


But I digress.


Who says I don't know strange?

When the going gets weird, the weird turn to bookofjoe.


I like it.

April 16, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Portable Video iPod Enlarger & DVD Player


What's this?

From the website:

    Portable Video iPod Enlarger & DVD Player

    This portable DVD player integrates with 30 GB, 60 GB, and 80 GB iPod video devices, allowing you to watch iPod videos on a 7", 16:9 widescreen LCD that is 2-1/2 times larger than the iPod's screen.

    Using active matrix technology, the LCD can redraw images faster than typical LCD monitors, resulting in a sharper, more detailed 480 x 234 pixel resolution.

    The iPod slides into the back of the video player and is protected by a clear plastic cover, and the dual headphone jacks allow two people use the video player without disturbing fellow travelers.

    The device has an AV port for output to a television, charges an iPod while in use, and has an on-screen menu display for quick set-up.

    Rechargeable battery allows 2-1/2 hours of continuous playback on a full charge.

    Includes AC and DC adapters, carrying case, headphones, remote control, and a strap for attaching to a car headrest.

    Supports DVD, VCD, CDs, MP3 CDs and iPod video/music files.

    10-1/4"L x 2-3/4"D x 6"H.

    2-3/4 lbs.




April 16, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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