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August 13, 2007

'When a piece gets difficult, make faces' — Advice from Artur Schnabel to the younger Vladimir Horowitz

Above, a 1937 home movie of Schnabel featuring his playing, the only video featuring the great pianist to be found on YouTube.

August 13, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Official Packing Organizer of bookofjoe


What can I say?

The world is coming to me, at long last.

From the website:

    Mesh Cube* Packing Organizers

    Here's our solution to staying organized and making airport inspections painless.

    Mesh Cubes have nylon mesh on the top and sides for easy viewing.

    Great for socks, hosiery, lingeries, T-shirts and more.

    Set of 3 includes 2 Small (10" x 7" x 4") and 1 Large (13" x 10" x 4").


Besides Green, they also come in Black or Red.


* The word "cube" is inaccurate: a cube, by definition, has six identical faces.

This solid has three opposing pairs of identical faces.

To be precise, it is a special case of a parallelepiped, a solid with six faces each of which is a parallelogram.

The special case here being that each parallelogram is a rectangle.

Just thought you might be interested... I loved the word "parallelepiped" when I learned it back in the day, perhaps in junior high school, yet I don't think I've ever heard it used in speech nor seen it in print or online since.

That's now been remedied.

August 13, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Beauty & Fashion TV Takes a Powder


I knew it was too good to last.

On April 14, 2007 I welcomed Beauty & Fashion TV to DirecTV, where it quite nicely occupied channel 223 until this morning, when I espied the messages above and below


when I turned it on.

What happened?

Not quite four months and it's game over?

I stopped by the channel's website but everything there looks in order, with the DirecTV affiliation still featured on the home page and Monday's schedule along with it.


But the proof of the hemline is in the watching — and there ain't no there there on 223.

I want my B&F TV.

I mean, come on — I've got twenty channels of the thousand or so I get showing the very same football game every night, real marquee names like Appalachian State v Wofford — so why can't I have one lousy channel devoted to fashion?

I'll even promise not to ever again whine about the fact that at least 50% of the programming was 30-minute-long infomercials and their ilk.

August 13, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Digging a Hole — Episode 3: Magic Planter


How many ways are there to dig a hole?

Tell you what: I've tried 'em all.

But I digress.

Let's see, there was Episode 1 on March 29, 2007 ($29.95), followed by Episode 2 on July 24, 2007 ($39.99) and now this much cheaper and — far more important from a TechnoDolt™ point of view — simpler iteration.

From the website:

    Magic Planter

    Convert his hand drill into a convenient garden tool!

    Cut down the time you spend digging in the garden.

    Repetitive digging with a spade is tedious and stressful on the wrist and joints.

    Just attach this durable polycarbonate auger to any size hand drill and in just seconds it becomes a quick and efficient hole-digger for seedlings, bulbs and bedding plants.

    Won’t cut through electrical or irrigation lines.

    Works best in loose or cultivated soil.


"... his hand drill?"

Excuse me?

In Black, $12.95.


Transparent, $14.95

August 13, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Today is National Left-Handers' Day – 'Celebrate your right to be left-handed'


That's right: Monday, August 13, 2007 marks the 16th annual Left- Handers' Day.

Festivities here at bookofjoe World Headquarters™ include:

• Watching the grass grow outside the window in front of my treadmill

• Observing the growth of my fingernails when that gets old

• Praying for just a smidge of technical competence to somehow take root

• Working with Humphrey on Episode 2 of his treadmill series

• Wondering who wrote the book of love

Those are just the ones that immediately come to mind — trust me, there's a whole lot more going on....

August 13, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Egg Blower — Blow out your egg, not your brain


Louisa Chu over at chow.com raved about this tool, as follows:

    Egg Blower

    If you were like me as a kid, every Easter you tried to empty raw eggs by following the directions on the back of the PAAS egg dye box. You dug into your mom’s sewing kit, found a big needle, wiggled it into both ends of an egg’s shell, then desperately tried to blow out the raw innards. After a few failed, dizzying attempts, you resigned yourself to yet another year of less cool colored, hard-cooked eggs.

    While you were pitifully blowing away, the Ukrainians, masters of the ancient art of pysanky — elaborately decorated museum-quality Easter eggs — were using a generations-old tool called a Blas-Fix egg blower.

    It’s a simple yet ingenious yellow plastic hand pump with a long, hollow syringe attached. It also comes with a small manual drill. First you insert the drill into the eggshell and make a neat hole at one end of the egg. Next you insert the syringe into the hole and break the yolk so it’ll flow out. Now squeeze the pump, which blows air through the syringe, displacing the raw egg. It drips out around the sides of the syringe, through the hole.


From the product website:

    Egg Blower

    This tool makes blowing eggs as easy as 1-2-3 and it's very fast and clean.

    The set consists of a hole drill (see illustration 1)


    to make a perfect little hole in one end of the egg, a pump (see illustrations 2 & 3) for removing the egg white and yolk, and instructions.

    Eggs are so easy to blow with this tool that you'll have a big basket ready for decorating in no time.



And the answer is "No" — don't even think about trying to carry it onto a plane.

August 13, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Gapminder — Hans Rosling says 'Abre los ojos'*

Rosling is a professor of health at Sweden's Karolinska Institute who believes in showing to tell.

Gapminder.org is the website of Rosling's foundation.

Watch a few videos (above and below) from YouTube featuring his unique way with data and see if you're not just a bit surprised by what's there,

previously buried under patternless unrecognition.


August 13, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Official Finger Guard of bookofjoe


Things getting that bad, joe, that you've got to reach this far?

No — not yet, anyway.

Rather, this is Episode 2 of the Finger Guard saga, a follow-up to the generic stainless steel iteration introduced back on September 22, 2005 in Episode 1.

From the new version's website:

    Finger Guard

    Fits on most fingers and adds an extra layer of safety when rapidly slicing.

    Special construction is comfortable to wear and bends with your natural finger movement.


Bonus: in the intervening two years, not only did the folks out back in the skunk works create this bespoke version, they also managed to bring it in for 40% less — instead of $14.95, the 2007 model pictured up top will set you back a mere $9.99.

Wait a minute... what's that music I'm hearing in the background?

Oh, okay — it's just Flautist, endlessly chanting, "I am the very model of a modern kitchen general."

Or something remarkably close to it.

August 13, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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