« July 18, 2007 | Main | July 20, 2007 »

July 19, 2007

Sly Stone — The original 'Spaced Cowboy' — returns


Back in the day he had some serious hair (below).


Decades after disappearing from public view, the 64-year-old funkster plans to start work on a new album this fall "'Cause it's kind of boring at home sometimes."

No kidding.

I'm set, though: what with his Greatest Hits CD sitting patiently on the shelf since last century, all I have to do is dust it off and push "Play."

I wonder if he's gonna keep channeling Billy Idol (top).

July 19, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Black Ice Cool Collar CCX Personal Cooling System


"Fight heat, night sweats, hot flashes!"

From the website:

    Black Ice Cool Collar CCX™ Personal Cooling System

    Personal Cooling — It’s Hot. Be Cool.

    A personal cooling system so intelligent, it’s actually “programmed” to help you keep your cool.

    It’s hot, it’s humid, in a word, it’s miserable.

    To combat the heat, you may have tried personal cooling fans, cooling bandanas, wet towels, battery-powered personal cooling contraptions, cooling vests, evaporative cooling gizmos, maybe even ice — but nothing works — until now.

    Black Ice produces a cool, refreshing, safely-regulated temperature output of 55-60°F — regardless of ambient temperature or humidity level.

    A unique combination of bio-tech engineering and an amazing high-tech molecular alloy, this lightweight, portable personal cooling system provides cool 24/7 relief — without batteries, wires or external plumbing.

    Be cool — whether you’re fishing, watching or playing your favorite sport, biking, running, or just working out in the yard, the Black Ice Cool Collar CCX personal cooling system will help you keep your cool.

    Night sweats? Hot flashes? Who says you have to be active to be uncomfortably hot?

    Do you, or somebody you love, suffer from night sweats?

    How about hot flashes?

    Night sweats and hot flashes can be terribly uncomfortable, and though they generally attack the ladies, they can also have an indirect affect upon others — do your husband and kids wear down parkas in the house?

    Does The Weather Channel keep calling for a 50% chance of snow in your home – because you set the thermostat so low at night?

    Many of our customers have come to us in search of more comfortable, more reliable, more economical relief from night sweats and hot flashes.

    Black Ice can be charged rapidly and stored in a portable cooler, refrigerator or freezer so it’s always ready to take the heat for you — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.




July 19, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

What is real? Chinese cardboard buns report fabricated — or is the 'truth' equally false?

Yesterday's comments included one on my July 13, 2007 "Cardboard Buns" post, from a reader who wrote, "It is just fabricated news by the reporter."

I was then directed to today's China Daily story by Zhu Zhe, which follows.

    TV report on cardboard buns 'fabricated'

    A TV report earlier this month that purportedly showed a Beijing seller using softened chopped cardboard as the main ingredient in steamed buns has been dismissed as false news.

    The Beijing municipal government said last night that investigations had found an employee surnamed Zi with Beijing Television fabricated and directed the sensational program for higher audience ratings. Zi is being held under criminal custody.

    The program, broadcast on July 8 on Beijing TV Life Channel, featured the maker of the buns — or baozi — talking about how the product was made and sold in the capital's sprawling Chaoyang District.

    The report said 60 percent of the bun's ingredients were chopped cardboard that had been soaked in caustic soda. Pork flavor and fatty meat were added to the cardboard, it claimed.

    The story gained more currency after China Central Television relayed the program nationwide last Thursday, and added to international concerns about made-in-China products.

    However, the government announcement said that Zi had provided all the cardboard and asked the vendor to soak it. "It's all cheating," it said.

    The municipal government also said that after the report, industrial and commercial officers inspected bun sellers across the city, but found no such problem.

    Beijing TV apologized in the announcement for failing to check the authenticity of the report, adding it will punish editors involved and make efforts to improve professional ethics of its staff.


I decided to sleep on things to help clarify my thinking.

Alas, it's about as muddy today as when I dropped off last night.

I watched once again both YouTube videos (above) I included in my July 13, 2007 post but they're no help at all: could be real or not.

See, here's the thing: the original report made headlines worldwide, none of them good as far as China is concerned, especially now that the country is getting body-slammed from every side about just about everything it does and makes.

So it would clearly be in the interest of China and its grand panjandrums to concoct a story about how some rogue reporter ginned up a sensational scoop to get attention — clearly a successful effort, if indeed that was the case.

But no one but the reporter and the putative cardboard bun maker and the Chinese powers that be know if it's fiction or real.

You and I simply can't tell, at the distant remove from which we observe.

So much of the daily news is like this: seen through a filtered glass, distortedly, to paraphrase Philip K. Dick.

Which leads me to an apotheosis of this problem of early 21st century "belief theory," if you will, a new novel (published five weeks ago, on June 12, 2007) entitled "The Execution Channel."

By Ken MacLeod, it takes place in the not too distant future, in which belief is the battlefield and war is fought by opposing teams of content creators who go deep — very, very deep — into the Internet to create alternative accounts of events and their background, complete with the virtual equivalent of "pocket litter," to the point that truth becomes simply and solely a matter of personal preference.


Very highly recommended by me is this frightening, absorbing novel.

July 19, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pillowig — Gives a whole new meaning to the word 'bedhead'


Created by Joo Youn Paek in 2004,


a limited edition of 50 was produced — 47 sold.


Perhaps you can find one on eBay.


Or if you're of Phillip Torrone's ilk,


you can try whipping one up yourself.

[via Jason Chen/Gizmodo Japan and neatorama]

July 19, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Gatorade Rain — Official Sports Drink of John Rain, Assassin Extraordinaire


Does Barry Eisler know about this?

He will soon.


Gatorade's just come out with a new brand extension called "Rain."

According to a June 29 New York Times story, it has "a taste intended to be lighter than regular Gatorade."

I liked it, and adding to the excitement was the light purple hue (top) of the Berry flavor I enjoyed.

It also comes in Lime and Tangerine, wherever fine sports drinks are sold.

July 19, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Solar-Powered Floating Color-Changing Triple LED Pool Lights


From the website:

    Floating Color-Changing Pool Lights

    These Floating Color-Changing Pool Lights use a discreet solar module to convert energy from direct sunlight.

    It's an energy-efficient way to bring a rainbow of colors to your pool or pond.

    • Pool light automatically illuminates in darkness with triple LED technology

    • Program cycles through seven vibrant colors for brilliant outdoor lighting

    • Display outdoor lights in your pool or mount on included integral base

    • 4.5" diameter


They had me at "discreet."

$29.50 each.

July 19, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Tackling Staff Fraud and Dishonesty: Managing and Mitigating the Risks'


File under "Know thine enemy."

Wait a minute, joe — whose side are you on, anyway?

Yours, booboo.


I happened on the above-titled document in the course of reading Richard Donkin's June 27, 2007 Financial Times story headlined "Would-be Employers Grapple with Dodgy CVs."

In it he wrote, "A recent handbook published jointly by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and CIFAS, the UK's fraud prevention service, recommends that all job candidates complete an application form that can be compared for discrepancies."

Well, guess what, UK joeheads (and whomever else is interested)?

You can download that application form right here.

Forewarned is forearmed.


Just don't tell anyone where you heard about it.

Wait a minute....

This sort of advance knowledge always makes me muse about whether, if I'd been in a fraternity in college with the perk of access to the files of previous tests, things might've gone a tad easier.

Next time through I'll go that route, then let you know how it turned out.

By the way, the 2002 film pictured up top, based on a 15-page-long Philip K. Dick short story of the same name, is well worth seeing.

July 19, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Scrabble Ring


splityarn wrote, "My scrabble board was toast, but I wasn't going to let the tiles go anywhere. A little glue and you have insta-jewelry. I think I've easily made over a dozen of these little babies."


I saw one in the New York Times Sunday Styles section (below)


a while back, which prompted me to rouse my crack research team from its lassitude and drill down a bit.

As you were.

July 19, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

« July 18, 2007 | Main | July 20, 2007 »