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September 28, 2007

Redneck Pool Heater (Formerly known as Barbecue-Powered Pool Heater)


I must say I prefer the original name but who cares what I think, anyway?

Todd Harrison, a database administrator from Mesa, Arizona, and his then-thirteen year old daughter Veronica dreamed it up and then built it from 180 feet of pipe, elbow fittings and a garden hose.

It took them 40 hours and cost $250.

Details here.

[via "Makers: All Kinds of People Making Amazing Things in Garages, Basements, and Backyards" by Bob Parks]

September 28, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Strange Days Paint Brush — 'First improvement in paint brush design in more than 200 years!'


Tell us more.

From the website:

Comfort Glide Paint Brush System

It's the first improvement in paintbrush design in more than 200 years!

The patented, ergonomically designed handle fits your hand naturally, allowing you to paint for hours without strain or fatigue.

Set includes 2 handles and 4 snap-on interchangeable brushes [below]:


• 1-1/2" angle edge,

• 2" straight edge

• 2-1/2" angle edge

• 3" straight edge

Long-lasting nylon bristles lay on paint smoothly.



September 28, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Joe Apology


"JoeApology.com is a site where people can freely and anonymously post their apologies. Think of it as a confessional of sorts (without the religious ties, that is). Are you feeling sorry about something you did? Do you want to get something off your chest? Go on, tell me about it... and remember, it's completely anonymous. Just post your apology, no matter how big or small, and you'll feel so much better. I promise."

Joe Apology

There's quite a lot of amusing stuff on the site, certainly enough to keep you entertained and doing stuff other than what you're paid to do for the rest of the day.

Note: Joe Apology has nothing to do with me (at least, not that I know of. There's always the chance that a disgruntled former crack research team member — whose numbers grow by leaps and bounds daily, what with the ever-increasing turnover here at bookofjoe World Headquarters™ — went rogue and started the site).

September 28, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

World's brightest — and most expensive — bike light


Wrote Reed Albergotti in today's Wall Street Journal:

Bright Lights, Big Price Tag

Like most athletic gear these days, bike lights are getting lighter, more complex and more expensive.

This fall, a few well-padded bikers are lining up to buy the "Betty" [above], a blindingly bright light that retails for as much as $1,185. The Betty, made by Germany's Lupine Lighting Systems, generates so much heat that if a rider isn't moving fast enough to create wind, the light will automatically start dimming itself to prevent the light from overheating. At 1,400 lumens, it's about as bright as a car's headlight, the company says. There's a wait-list of up to two weeks for the light, which is made up of seven LEDs.


Lloyd Chambers, a software engineer in Portola Valley, Calif., used to commute home from work with two military-grade tactical flashlights strapped to his bike and helmet. But these days, he's strapped a Betty on his helmet instead. He says it's impossible that anyone could miss him, but he gets strange responses from pedestrians. Recently, cycling home from work, he turned to look at a pair of teenagers walking into a grocery store. Says Mr. Chambers: "I heard one say 'What is that? A car driving sideways?'"

rikoshea wrote, "Here are a few


i took


this morning [September 27, 2007]


on my way to work, not the sharpest but you get a good idea of how even the beam is, not one hot/cold spot to be seen!"


FunFact: My crack research team went deep on the Lupine website and learned that the Betty got its name from "The Flintstones."

From the site: "Betty, the big sister of Wilma has an advantage of a couple of years life experience over Wilma."

Now I ask you: Where else are you going to find out stuff like this?

September 28, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: How loud is too loud?


In her September 18, 2007 New York Times "Q&A" column C. Claiborne Ray explored just how loud noise has to get before you start to go deaf; the piece follows.

    Cover Your Ears!

    Q. At what decibel level does noise start to do irreparable hearing damage? Are regular subway commuters in danger, for example?

    A. The risk of hearing loss from loud noises depends on both the level of sound and the length of exposure, and at least one study of New York City subways has found that the hearing of commuters may be in danger if they ride a noisy train or wait in a noisy station for long enough.

    According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, an extremely loud sound of about 120 to 150 decibels, like a nearby clap of thunder or a gunshot, can damage hearing right away, and sounds of 85 decibels or more can cause damage if there is long or repeated exposure, say for 45 minutes a day.

    A study last year, published in The Journal of Urban Health, found that potentially damaging noise levels had been recorded on some platforms and on some moving subway trains.

    On the 17 subway platforms where measurements were taken, the mean maximum noise level was 94 decibels. The highest level, 106 decibels, was recorded in Union Square station. On the trains, one-fifth of the lines checked exceeded 100 decibels, and two-thirds exceeded 90 decibels.

September 28, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

September 28, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Oxford University Press Blog


Perhaps you've had enough of the nonsense purveyed by bookofjoe.

I know I have.

But I digress.

My crack research team stumbled on this refreshingly literate blog by people who have a clue.

"The talented authors, staff and friends of Oxford University Press provide daily commentary on nearly every subject under the sun, from philosophy to literature to economics. OUPblog is a source like no other on the blogosphere for learning, understanding and reflection."

Rebecca Ford has been at the helm of the OUPblog since the summer of 2006, having previously "... worked at Creative Loafing, an alternative newpaper in Atlanta."

Them's pretty good credentials where I come from.

Though I'd have preferred she'd spent at least a little time at Uncreative Loafing, bookofjoe's Bizarro World outpost.

Or is that the one in Second Life?

But I digress yet again.

September 28, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Everybody Is A Star — Personalized 'Walk of Fame' Tissue Box


From the website:

    Personalized 'Walk of Fame' Tissue Box

    You're a star... and that's something to sneeze at!

    Personalized tissue box cover has your very own "Walk of Fame" star!

    Crafted of plastic and fiberglass, it holds any standard-sized box.

    Please specify name up to 15 letters/spaces.

    6" x 10-1/2".


September 28, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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