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July 30, 2007

22 Pop — Use an ordinary typewriter to send email


"Coolest typewriter ever" is how Adam P. Knave described this invention in an email earlier today.

I concur.

Aparna Rao, in collaboration with Mathias Dahlström, brought this wonderful tool into being.

From its creator's website:

22 Pop

Project description:

This project is inspired by my mother's frustration with email and using a computer. She simply cannot relate to scroll bars, the mouse, control keys and so on. To explain to her that emailing can be as easy as writing a letter, I decided to make for her a typewriter that sends email. It is a regular portable typewriter with concealed electronics that automatically sends the typed letter as an email to the intended person when the letter is finished and pulled out of the machine's carriage.

The context and situation:

In collaboration with Mathias Dalhström, 22 Pop was inspired by my mother’s own fruitless attempts to imbibe the practices and conventions of the "connected" world, and her growing sense of despair and exclusion from all social exchanges that take place exclusively over email. To her, instant electronic communication is a fascinating idea and so close at hand; yet any attempt to use a computer leaves her feeling flustered and inadequate. A simple email operation is a daunting task. She is not alone in her misgivings and inability to keep abreast with digital technologies constantly in flux. In India, typewriters were a commonplace object in the home, and associated with popular street culture to this day. With the influx of communication dissemination systems in India in the 80’s, and the sprouting of little kiosks with phone, fax and photocopy facilities on every street; the typewriter still has its much cherished corner. Outside many buildings, a portable office and typewriter is seen.

22 Pop ("22" because of the Olivetti classic typewriter Lettera 22 it is modeled on; "Pop" as a reference to the email protocol used) is simply a portable typewriter that sends and receives email. An ordinary Lettera 22 is embedded with electronics, which enables any letter that is typed to be sent as an email. Through the use of various sensors concealed in the body, a small chip interprets all the mechanical operations of letter writing. When the letter is completed and the paper pulled out of the typewriter’s carriage, the email is sent to its addressee via a telephone cable that fits into the back of the machine.


This project directly responds to the monopoly of electronic interfaces for email access. While the sudden proliferation of the Internet enables dynamic, remote and instant electronic communication for a technocratic society, it ignores or even dismisses the needs and sentiments of a generation of people caught in the rift between redundant technologies and ungraspable modern interfaces. For them, emailing means reaching across all that is familiar into a befuddling way of engaging with the originally simple, intuitive task of writing or receiving a letter. Its interface — the computer — then becomes an discriminating device creating poignant new social cleavages between the "have" and "have-nots" of the digital realm.

On another level, 22 Pop finds an interesting position within the context of Ivrea, the land of Olivetti and its glorious history of calculating machines and portable typewriters. Since the company’s decline in the mid 80’s, only vestiges remain of its economic and cultural prominence. However, even today the people of Ivrea harbor a deep-rooted sentimental attachment to the Lettera 22 that stands out both as an icon of the company’s heritage and the ingenuity and finesse of Italian design. Every home in the region has one, many still in use. Ivreans who know of this project or have tried it are particularly excited by the idea of reappropriating the typewriter now, exactly as they know it with but with a new electronic, virtual function.

The key idea for the project is to create a seamless electronic intervention to enable email, preserving all the intuitive, elegant and aesthetic qualities of interacting with a purely mechanical object. Sending an email by this machine therefore does not require any extra cues; the system is designed to understand the intentions of the person who is using it.


Winner of the TechnoDolt™ Invention of the Year award.

[via Adam P. Knave's Stop Motion Verbosity at www.hellblazer.net]

July 30, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Six-Pack Cooler


Full-contact cooling.

From the website:

Six-Pack Cooler

Keeps beverages ice-cold for up to 3 hours!

Curved sections nestle around cans while the compact shape easily fits lunch boxes, coolers, picnic baskets and tote bags.


Just pop the reusable gel-filled pack into freezer for 6-10 hours before use and it’s ready to go when you are!

Ideal for picnics, sports events, camping and more.

Non-toxic and leak-proof.

8-1/2" x 3-3/4" x 2".

If one is good, think how well three (1 above, 1 below and one in-between two layers of cans) would work.


$7.98 (alas, sodas not included).

July 30, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Do computers exhibit morphic resonance?


The thought occurred to me just now as I waited for data via the painfully slow (23kbps down/32 up) dial-up Internet connection I've been downgraded to for the past three days as a result of Comcast's "all-or-nothing" high-speed service.

By that I mean when it's on, I get about 14,000 down/750 up ("all") but when it inexplicably stops working — as it does on an almost daily basis for minutes, hours or longer (as is the case currently), with no sign of inclement weather and my cable TV coming into my house just fine via the very same wire that can't seem to simultaneously deliver the Internet — the speed drops to (doh!) 0, i.e., "nothing."

Don't bother with advice/suggestions — I've followed it/them all repeatedly and this is simply the way it is.

But I digress.

Rupert Sheldrake is a generally discredited scientist whose work is termed heretical by those who consider him a revolutionary genius and quackery by those who don't.

Regardless, his theory of morphic resonance, whereby living things something instantly sense fields so far uncharacterized by conventional science, allowing instant communication (i.e., faster than light speed, akin to quantum entanglement but on a classical scale) never seems to completely disappear from view.

It seems to me that when I'm on dial-up, the internal clock speed of my trusty 15" PowerBook G4, the official laptop of bookofjoe, purchased in the spring of 2004 and now in year four of its excellent uninterrupted service, slows in sympathy to what's going on outside it.

By that I mean that labeling an email as junk seems to take about 5 seconds to happen whereas when Comcast is delivering it's instantaneous.

And sending a "print" command is likewise much slower: about three seconds until the little drop-down dealie appears as opposed to instanter when I'm "Comcastic."

Etc., etc.


And that's all I have to say about that.

July 30, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

With a name like ExStink, it has to be good!


Wait a minute... that's not right.

From the website:

    ExStink Odor Remover — 100% Non-Toxic and Environmentally-Friendly

    • What is ExStink?

    A powerful, 100% natural, environment friendly, long-lasting crystalline mineral mined in the US. This mineral absorbs most major odors cause by: Cat Urine, Feces, Fireplace, Fireplace Odors, Fish, Formaldehyde, Garbage, Hydrogen Sulfide, Mildew, Pet Urine, Urine, Vomit, Smoke, Bacterial Decomposition, and more!

    • Won't Harm Children or Pets

    ExStink is non-toxic and environmentally safe; therefore it will not harm your pets, children or infants.

    • Our Guarantee

    ExStink is guaranteed to remove all organic odors or you get a refund of your purchase price. Simply return the unused portion in the original container for your refund.

    • 16 Years!

    We are now celebrating our 16th year of removing organic odors from homes, yards, businesses, trains, autos and boats.


Powder or Gravel.

4 lbs. for $19.95.

July 30, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

China 'DumplingGate' — Episode 3: bad buns bring bookofjoe ban

That's the bottom line, methinks, explaining why it is that 1) China has disappeared from my visitors location chart, whereas up to a couple weeks ago it was consistently around 1%, and 2) I've received several emails from China-based joeheads during that time telling me they can't access bookofjoe all of a sudden, and did I know if it was being blocked?

Yes, I think so, is the short answer.

And all because I fell for the initial news reports (videos above and below) about those cardboard-stuffed buns.

And even though I came back with a second post wondering out loud if any of it was true, I guess that wasn't enough to turn the tide and take down that firewall.

Then came the following item, from last Tuesday's (July 24, 2007) Wall Street Journal via the China Media Project website.

    China's 'Dumpling Gate' Puts Media in Hot Water

    A scandal over a news report has left some Chinese wondering which is less trustworthy: the country's food supply or the state-controlled media, a newspaper in China says.

    Earlier this month, an undercover television-news report showed dumpling vendors in Beijing stuffing their wares with cardboard. Ten days later, authorities in Beijing declared the story a fraud. The Southern Metropolis Daily, a Guangzhou newspaper, says this left people unsure who duped them — the dumpling vendors, a reporter or a government that has recently become sensitive to reports of tainted food.

    The Southern Metropolis Daily is controlled by the government, though it has developed a reputation for forcefulness. In an editorial, the paper calls on the government to allow the media more space when covering itself, according to a translation by the independent, Hong Kong-based China Media Project. The Guangzhou paper cites as a good example for dealing with fake reports the coverage the New York Times gave to reporter Jayson Blair's fabrications in 2003.


If there's one person I know who might be able to add some light to all this heat, it's China-based James Fallows.

I'm gonna send this post to him and see what he says.

I've been banned in China before and then unbanned and this is probably not the last time.

But no matter what happens in the short term, we all know how this story's gonna end.

So do China's rulers: the only thing that remains uncertain is when.

July 30, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nose Cups


Say what?

From the website:


Nose Cup Set

Silly "Nose Cup" Set gets the party started! Transform your face with these hysterical "nose jobs!"


As you tilt the 12 oz. paper cups to take a sip, photo-realistic noses on cups appear to be your own!


Whoever said, "You can pick your friends and you can pick you nose but you can't pick your friend's nose" needs to get with the program, what?


A set of 24, featuring "both male and female schnozzes," is $8.99.

July 30, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

airlinemeals.net — '18,821 pictures from 536 airlines'


What's not to like?

Well, for starters, how about "18,821 meals from 536 airlines?"

The pictures were taken by passengers and flight crews.

Pictured up top is the breakfast served to Robert Porter aboard Aeroflot in July of 1971 on a flight from Khabarovsk to Irkutsk.

The meal consisted of a meat patty, rice, cucumber, assorted fruit, black bread, butter and caviar.

Coffee and tea were served.

His comments: "Caviar was served on several of the charter flights across the USSR. Cucumber and tomato salads with greens were freshly prepared on board."

Porter rated the meal a 5 on a scale of 1-10.

You don't how lucky you are boy....

July 30, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

World's first climate-controlled pet carrier


Nothing but the best for your best friend.

Jura Koncius featured it the July 26, 2007 Washington Post, as follows.

    Chill Out and Warm Up to Pet Climate Control

    The Komfort Pets Carrier, billed as the first to offer heating and cooling, is being hyped by its creators as a product as revolutionary as the fax machine or cellphone. If you're a Labrador or a Siamese, maybe it is.

    The climate-controlled carrier uses patent-pending conduction/convection technology that turns on cooling when the temperature reaches 72 degrees and warms up when it's below 65. The product has had extensive testing and inspection by veterinarians, according to Bob Inello, chief executive of Komfort Pets, who says the carrier "can provide sanctuary in unheated garages" and is equally useful for homes, cars, boats and RVs.

    The smallest carrier (19-by-13), designed for lap dogs or cats, is available in ruby or silver for $399 through www.komfortpets.com and Amazon.com. Medium and large models will be out later this year, as will a metallic pink version worthy of a Paris Hilton spread in People magazine.

    Carol Boker, editor in chief of Pet Product News, says the carriers should be a hit with people who take their dogs or cats along on trips. "The trend of pampering pets shows no sign of slowing down," she notes.


From the product website:

    Komfort Pets Climate-Controlled Pet Carrier

    In the heat or cold, your pet will enjoy the ultimate in comfort

    Comfort for your pet is priceless — but now affordable.

    The revolutionary Komfort Pets Carrier is the world's first climate-controlled pet carrier designed to automatically keep pets cool when it's too hot and keep them warm when it's too cold.

    Komfort Pets has pioneered a patent-pending technology to offer both heating and cooling capabilities for your pet's comfort.

    Our temperature control system is designed to complement the natural methods by which a pet regulates its own body temperature by using both conduction and convection simultaneously.

    We have incorporated this ingenious technology into the best-looking and most distinctive pet carrier in the marketplace today.

    The Komfort Pets Carrier can be taken or used almost anywhere.

    It is surprisingly affordable and can be used in cars, SUVs, RVs, rental cars, boats or in your home or garage to provide a comfortable cooled or heated sanctuary for cats, dogs, rabbits or just about any other household pet.

    The Komfort Pets Carrier can be customized for police and military applications and is available with an interlocking stackable top for the show dog circuit and other uses.


July 30, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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