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July 23, 2007

Captured! By Robots — World's first robot band

Tell you what: they sound better than a lot of their human counterparts.

Created by Jay Vance, a San Francisco rocker who got "fed up with losing bandmates to sex, drugs and day jobs."

Lots more of the band's music on YouTube.

They're going on tour this fall — guaranteed to be a smash at the Mos Eisley Cantina (below)


if they ever make it to Tatooine.

[via Christina Couch, writing in the August, 2007 issue of Wired magazine]

July 23, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Cone Head Ring Toss


Past time you had this.

Just named Official Ring Toss Game of bookofjoe.

From the website:

    Cone Head Game

    With this Cone Head Game, simply inflate plastic hats and rings, put on your "cones" and start tossing (if you can stop laughing long enough).

    Rings are pre-printed with points to determine the winner!

    Will you be the Master of your Cone?



You'll never know unless you try.


July 23, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Is it dangerous to stand close to a microwave oven?


Nobody seems to know, yet about half the people I know (including moi) move away while it's doing what it does.

Anahad O'Connor, debunker-in-chief of the New York Times, addressed this question in his July 10, 2007 "Really?" column, which follows.

    The Claim: People Shouldn’t Stand Too Close to a Microwave

    The Facts: Considering how long microwave ovens have been around, one would think that any concerns about their safety would have been resolved long ago. But many people continue to wonder whether standing next to a microwave while it’s on can expose them to radiation — and if so, how much.

    Although microwave ovens can in fact leak radiation, the levels that might be released are fairly minute.

    According to the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, a unit of the Food and Drug Administration that regulates microwave oven safety, every microwave that reaches the market must meet a requirement limiting the amount of radiation it can leak in its lifetime to five milliwatts per square centimeter at roughly two inches away from the oven. According to the center, that is far below the levels of radiation that have been shown to harm humans.

    (By comparison, the most common cellphones operate at a peak power of about 1.6 watts or less, and most studies have found no evidence linking the phones to health problems.)

    Manufacturers of microwave ovens are also required to line the doors of the machines with metal mesh that prevents microwaves from escaping, and to use a type of door latch that stops the production of microwaves whenever the latch is released.

    Those features greatly limit exposure to levels of radiation that are already low. And since the radiation levels drop sharply with increasing distance, the levels two feet away are about one-hundredth the amount at two inches.

    The Bottom Line: Proximity to a microwave oven is not dangerous.


Feel better?


I know I do.

July 23, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MX Air — Logitech's new mouse channels bookofjoe


You may recall that on October 25, 2006 I lamented the fact that I'm still forced to operate my mouse in 2-D while Nintendo's Wii taunts me with its nifty 3-D control capability.

Well, Logitech's crashed the party with its cool new mouse (above).


That's the good news.

The bad news: no Mac capability.


July 23, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Cold Hill Side — by Rachel Hadas


As months and years accumulate,
I miss you more and more.
Forgetting where I put the key,
I sometimes find a door

and other times feel stunned and lost,
though living in my own
body and life, presumably,
bewildered and alone

as the knight, kidnapped and released
to a dim world, who said
And I awoke and found me here,
on the cold hill side.


July 23, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mutant Power Cord


I've always said that fields of any type — magnetic, x-ray, electric, charisma, microwave, what have you — are powerful things, to be kept at a safe distance.

Those who venture too close come away changed.

Witness the strange cord above, described below.

From the website:

    "Y" Power Cord — turns one outlet into two!

    Plugs safely into any wall socket to power two devices at once with grounded 3-prong, adapter-ready outlets.

    Ideal for chargers that take up an entire outlet!

    22"-long grounded power cord splits into two 8" flexible outlet cords with 13-amps capacity overall.


Oh, sure — like we believe this cord just "happened" to be invented.

Give us a break — and not at the "Y."


Not to beat a dead electron carrier or anything, but how do you explain the item above in light of




Cat got your tongue?

Thought so.

July 23, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

'Scuse me while I kiss this $2.7 million Twombly


Who knows, perhaps those were the words running through the crazed mind of Cambodian-born French artist Sam Rindy, who "said she was so overcome by the 9-by-6 foot work that she had to kiss it."

The Daily Mail story follows.

    Art lover faces charges for kissing £1m painting at French museum

    A painting by American artist Cy Twombly [pictured above in front of one of his paintings — not the one kissed] was damaged when a woman kissed it while wearing red lipstick.

    Charges have been brought against a woman who allegedly kissed a painting by American artist Cy Twombly, smudging the bone-white canvas with her lipstick, French judicial officials said.

    Police arrested the woman after she allegedly kissed the work on Thursday.

    She is to be tried in an Avignon court on August 16 for "damage to a work of art," judicial officials said.

    The painting, which is worth an estimated £1 million, was on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in the southern French city of Avignon.

    It is part of an exhibition slated to run at the museum through September 30.

    Born in Lexington, Virginia, in 1928, Twombly has lived in Italy for nearly half a century.

    He won the prestigious Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale in 2001.


Here's Lawrence Van Gelder's take on the episode, in today's New York Times "Arts, Briefly" column.

    Kiss for a Twombly Is a Case for the Police

    Sometimes a kiss is just a kiss, but on other occasions — as when lips meet a painting valued at $2.7 million — a kiss could be a crime. That is why Sam Rindy, 30, a Cambodian-born French artist, will have to appear in court to face charges of criminal damage, Agence France-Presse reported. Ms. Rindy left the imprint of her lipstick on the otherwise immaculate white canvas that is an untitled work by the American artist Cy Twombly at “Blooming,” an exhibition of his works running until Sept. 30 at the Collection Lambert in Avignon, France. Ms. Rindy said she was so overcome by the 9-by-6-foot work that she had to kiss it. “I stepped back,” she said. “I found the painting even more beautiful. The artist left this white for me.” The police were summoned, and Ms. Rindy was arrested as she left the premises. She has a date in court on Aug. 16.



The Stendhal syndrome is one thing but this latest interactive iteration is ridiculous.

If I were Twombly I'd turn things upside down and give the woman the painting when she appears in court next month.


July 23, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Digger Dog — 'Barks, Wags Tail, Kicks Leg, Passes Gas!'


Listen for yourself.

From the catalog and website:

    Digger Dog

    This hilarious pup gets our vote for Gag of the Year!

    Looks just like a beagle digging his way to China.

    Walk past him and he barks, his tail wags, his back leg goes up and down — and he passes gas!

    Sturdy mechanical canine covered in durable vinyl is set off by motion sensor located in his rear or with detachable remote button.

    Uses 4 AA batteries (not included).

    15"L by 11"H.


July 23, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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