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June 12, 2007

Experts' Expert: Orlando Pita's favorite hair dryer

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Pictured above and below, it's the Bespoke Labs T3 Overnight.

It'll cost you $130.

Pita (below) is a superstar hairstylist whose clients currently include "Madonna, Gwyneth, Tilda and Naomi," wrote Sandra Ballentine in an entertaining story which appeared in the April 15, 2007 New York Times Magazine Style Supplement entitled "Beauty Spring 2007."

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He told Ballentine, "I've never seen a travel dryer this good. It's tiny, folds up, has dual voltage and is as powerful as a full-size model."

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And no — you can't afford a haircut at Orlo, Pita's salon in New York City: the price back in 2004 was $800 and you can bet it's even higher now, what with his ever-increasing visibility in every column featuring boldfaced names.

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Better forward this to Edwina instanter, what?

June 12, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Synthetic Breathing Kitten

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About time, what?

I mean, they cranked out what, four breeds of puppies before turning to the feline side?

What took 'em so long?

From websites:

    Interactive Stuffed Animals — So Lifelike They Actually "Breathe"

    Have you ever wished you could walk into a pet store and walk home with a pet that you can love and pet unconditionally? Especially if that pet came without the expense of buying food and vet visits, or the chore of walking and feeding them daily? Now you can have that ideal pet with these sweet sleeping Zzz Animals!

    These charming little baby animals are so amazingly lifelike you may forget they are not real as they lie sleeping on your hearth or next to your chair. Their little midsections rise and fall as they "breathe" — and if you listen really close you might hear a slight snoring sound.

    These babies offer real pet ownership without the work or the expense that comes with owning a live puppy or kitten. You don't have to worry about remembering to feed them, walk them, take them to the doctors' office or put flea repellent on them. Nor do they require cleaning-up-after, shots, litter boxes or responsibility.

    There are also no behavioral issues because they are exceptionally well behaved — no whining, shedding, messing!
    What's more, this lovable pet makes a great companion anywhere you wish to take it — any home, office, dorm or nursing home.

    This "pet" is hand crafted with synthetic fur that is super soft, and its breathing is powered by two D batteries (one set included). It also comes with its own adoption certificate (to make the pet officially yours), a collar, bed and pet carrier.

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Orange Tabby or Black & White, each $29.99.

June 12, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Drug Rep MySpace

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Barnaby J. Feder, in today's New York Times, wrote about the new new thing in subversive websites: most def NOT approved by Big Pharma, the drug and equipment sales representative website cafepharma.com, and pharmaceutical sales representative training site pharmdrugrep.com.

"Pfizer... declined repeated requests to discuss cafepharma. Medtronic, which has the busiest cafepharma bulletin board among device makers, said, 'We do not endorse sites like this one.'"

You can bet that they watch it like a hawk, though, for leaks of confidential information.

bookofjoe MoneyMaker™ from the Times article: The site only screens posts after they've gone up, and even then not all of them are checked, so you can be certain there is extremely valuable proprietary material up there, hiding in plain sight, for those who know how to look.

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And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Here's Feder's story.

    A TheirSpace for Drug Sales Reps

    The drug sales representative was expecting a $12,000 performance bonus. Unfortunately, the rep’s chance to jump to a better job at another drug company required that the move be made a month before the bonus would be issued. Was it possible to start the new job without the old employer knowing and still collect the bonus?

    “Wow, here’s a topic we have never done before,” marveled an unidentified respondent to the equally anonymous rep, who disclosed the desire to “double dip” last month on a bulletin board at cafepharma.com.

    Nothing, it seems, is off limits at Cafepharma, a water-cooler site where, for the last six years, drug and medical-device sales reps have hashed out their lives and work in tens of thousands of discussion threads.

    Cafepharma includes plenty of news about the health care industry, but its main attraction is the profanity-laced bulletin boards, where many of the industry’s 100,000-plus sales representatives vent their frustrations and fears. All but buried in the invective and sarcasm is a leavening of useful information or advice based on intimate knowledge of the industry. Others who read it include investors, plaintiffs’ lawyers, health care bloggers, journalists and recruiters, though they rarely post anything.

    “Everyone says they don’t read it, but they do,” said Lloyd Mandel, the founder and a senior consultant at Atlantic Management Resources, a recruiting company in Warren, N.J., focused on health care sales jobs. “There’s a lot of disgruntled people posting, but I have found out about companies that are expanding from the site, and when we post jobs there, we get a very good response from qualified reps.”

    The problem is that only industry insiders can figure out which postings are accurate, said Jane Chin, a former saleswoman for Bristol-Myers Squibb who now runs a training blog called PharmRepClinic.com. “People who post anonymously can tell the truth, but the signal-to-noise ratio is ridiculous,” she said.

    Cafepharma has had more than 1.5 million posts in response to nearly 150,000 queries since it opened in December 2001. Its bulletin boards are divided into health care specialties, regions and individual companies, with general topics like life outside work.

    The discussions range over general subjects like selling tips and layoffs, and more specific ones like how to deal with an unbearable boss who occasionally comes along on sales calls. One poster had this advice for such a situation: Have a couple of friendly doctors in reserve who will meet with you and the boss on short notice and make you look good.

    Then there is the “lost civilizations” board, home for talking about companies that have disappeared in mergers. Companies like Syntex are long gone but recalled fondly, while anger and anxiety permeate posts about recently acquired companies like Kos Pharmaceuticals. “As with a nuclear disaster, the living envy the dead,” wrote one Kos poster in a recap of a sales-training session that the company’s new owner, Abbott Laboratories, ran for the merged sales force in March.

    Numerous threads name and comment on the management shortcomings and quirks of individual sales executives. Others explicitly plumb the consequences of love affairs with customers and colleagues, although, truth be told, any subject attracting more than a few responses can veer without warning into sexual putdowns and other vulgarity.

    “There’s some pretty harsh commentary, and it’s not just generalizations,” said Jamie Reidy, a former salesman for both Eli Lilly and Pfizer and the author of “Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman.” Mr. Reidy said he had been surprised to find some spot-on descriptions of managers he had known, and that when he looked at reports about a recent national meeting of Lilly’s oncology sales force, he said he felt as if he were right back in it, adding, “It was like catching up on a soap opera.”

    Not surprisingly, Cafepharma lacks corporate fans.

    Pfizer, the subject of the site’s most popular bulletin board, declined repeated requests to discuss Cafepharma. Shreya Prudlo, a spokeswoman, said that Pfizer monitored every “communication channel” that reached its constituency, and that each needed to be “viewed based on their accuracy and integrity.”

    Medtronic, which has the busiest Cafepharma bulletin board among device makers, said, “We do not endorse sites like this one.” It said it monitored Cafepharma periodically to see if confidential or proprietary information had been posted. Cindy Resman, a spokeswoman, said that Medtronic had not asked Cafepharma to remove any information yet.

    Sarah Palmer, Cafepharma’s Webmaster, said that scores of posts were removed each day for violating bans on advertising, spam, personal attacks and racist language, but she acknowledged that the screening did not cover every posting and was after the fact; many postings that violated the policies have slipped through, she conceded. She said the site kept no information about who was posting or where they were.

    Cafepharma has more than 18,000 individual visitors on an average weekday, said Ms. Palmer, who is also Cafepharma’s chief executive, chief financial officer and secretary. Ms. Palmer said she operated the site from her home in an Atlanta suburb; a mailbox in a U.P.S. office in a Marietta, Ga., shopping mall is listed with the State of Georgia as her work address.

    Ms. Palmer, who said she had no background in the drug industry, said that her titles reflected the desire of Cafepharma’s owners to keep a low profile. Questions about the operations that she will not answer herself are referred by e-mail to Michael Bryan, who identifies himself as Cafepharma’s majority owner, director of business development and other full-time employee.

    Mr. Bryan, who said he was 41, said that he and his four partners were current or former pharmaceutical salesmen. He declined to identify which companies he and the others have worked for. He said that he had worked as a rep for several years after Cafepharma began, and is afraid that any publicity might result in legal action against him by his former employers.

    Although Cafepharma, which supports itself from advertising, only recently became profitable enough to give him a job, Mr. Bryan’s fears about fallout from creating the Web site while performing his sales job echoed the concerns raised in the recent discussion on double dipping by the rep expecting a bonus.

    The latest advice — posted May 21 — might serve as a verdict on the whole Web site as a source of reliable information: “Don’t count on it.”

June 12, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Speak Geek? Street Cred Slide-On Eyeglass Visor

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You ain't got this, you ain't got #&Ô%!

From the website:

    Slide-On Eyeglass Visor

    Unique slide-on visor slips over eyeglasses — for great sun protection that won't ruin your hairstyle!

    No bulky bands or tight elastic; just slip the side loops through eyeglass earpieces for easy summer comfort.

    Machine wash, air dry.

    Nylon and terry.

    8-1/4" long.

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I can't speak for you but me, my future's so bright I got no choice but to order one of these yesterday.

"Won't ruin your hairstyle!" — be still my heart.

$4.99 (no — glasses not included. Sheesh.).

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

The look of love

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[via imagechef and Puppies and Flowers]

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

Levitating Lamp

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Created by the Swedish design collective Front, just named Designer of the Future for Design Miami/Basel 2007, it's part of its new Magical! line of furniture, to be introduced at the fair which begins today and runs through June 16.

Elaine Louie wrote, in the "Currents" feature in the June 7, 2007 New York Times Home section, "The Levitating lamp has a shade that seems to float in mid-air. (It actually hangs from the ceiling on thin wire; the light comes from a bulb in the top of the base.)"

Magritte-approved.

June 12, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

MorphWorld: Milka Duno into Sandra Bullock

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The Venezuelan driver (above) finished 31st in last month's Indianapolis 500, her first appearance at the Brickyard.

She and Ms. Bullock (below)

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appear to have had plastic surgeons whose rhinoplasty esthetics are strikingly alike.

June 12, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Page Boy — World's best collapsible book holder

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An email the other day from Barny Sanchez read:

    Hello,

    Just wanted to drop you a thank you note for this item that I have been looking for EVERYWHERE!!!

    Much appreciated!

    Barny

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Delighted to be of service, Barny.

It struck me that perhaps it was worth another post to introduce this nifty device to today's bookofjoe readers.

When I first featured it back on August 7, 2005 it was $5.99; in the intervening 22 months the price has increased to $7.99 — still cheap.

Here's the original post.

    Page Boy® Folding Book Holder

    I bought one of these at least ten years ago and still use it when I travel.

    It's beaten up but still perfectly functional.

    I've been looking for a source since then without luck until yesterday when I turned the page in a giant library supply catalog and voila, there it was.

    Now I can give them to people and share a superb design with excellent function.

      From the website:

      Folding book holder is compact enough for storage inside a binder or folder, yet it is sturdy enough to support an unabridged dictionary.

      Hold any kind of book, newspaper or magazine open for convenient note–taking.

      Great for displaying literature, too.

    Chrome–plated steel.

    4.5"H x 7.5"W x 6.5"D.

    Folds flat for transport.

    $5.99 here.

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Like I said, now $7.99.

June 12, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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