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January 27, 2008

Garbage Truck RV

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Say what?

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It's a bit different from your average tricked-out garbage truck — or RV.

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Here's what Naveen had to say about it in a January 15, 2008 post in Bornrich:
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We have earlier seen Boeing jets being converted into luxury homes, luxury yachts and street-legal Limos. It would really feel great to have a ride on such transformed luxury vehicles, but what if I say that someone has converted a garbage truck into luxurious mobile living space?

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Smells bad at first thought, but after you take a look inside the camper, you will be forced to admire the transformed luxury. No doubt the project has taken a lot of money, much imagination and serious engineering.

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The vehicle might appear to be a garbage truck from the outside, but inside it's designed as a sort of cross between a mobile home and an off-road vehicle.

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It’s a TerraCross "Home on Wheels" manufactured by UNICAT, and comes complete with an office, beds, bathroom, kitchen and ample storage space. The luxurious Home on Wheels is all ready to take you on an expedition.
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7highig


Apply within.

January 27, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Scratch Lounge — 'World's best cat scratcher'

From the website:

    Scratch Lounge

    Cats spend 100 times longer on the scratch lounge than on any conventional one-sided scratcher.

    For many years, cats have uncomfortably spent their time on very un-cozy one-sided scratchers.

    Without any opportunity to relax, cats became a moody bunch and, to the dismay of their human friends, are prone to violent outbursts released on the nearest piece of furniture.

    Finally, cats can relax.

    Why won't the grey cat in the video leave the Scratch Lounge?

    Because he's never seen anything like it.

    The Scratch Lounge satisfies a cat's instinctive need to nest.

$25.

January 27, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Juicy Crittoure — 'For the decadent dog'

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Launched late last year, Juicy Couture's new canine brand extension is featured at — among other fine emporia — Saks Fifth Avenue.

Jura Koncius reported on the new new thing in a November 8, 2007 Washington Post story, which follows.

    Party Animals, Well Groomed

    A dog's life keeps getting better and better.

    Juicy Couture, the company that launched its brand name with clingy pastel terry track suits favored by Hollywood celebs and teenage wannabes, has introduced a line of canine cosmetics.

    And the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has penned a book about how to throw parties for your pet.

    We cannot vouch for the superiority of the Juicy line, but the products get extra points for slick packaging and clever names: Juicy Crittoure Pawfum Eau de Parfum, Pawtection Softening Paw Balm and Coif Fur moisturizing conditioner. The collection, priced at $14 to $60, has just arrived at Bloomingdale's.

    "Designer dog care was bound to happen," says Howard Kreitzman, Bloomingdale's vice president of cosmetics and fragrance. "People who have dogs love to spend on them."

    The best-selling item so far: $14 Polished Paws pale pink claw polish.

    Once your dog looks his or her best, it's time to live it up. "Let's Have a Dog Party" (Adams Media, $12.95), by Ingrid E. Newkirk, has tips for pool parties and recipes that feed four wolfhounds or 20 Chihuahuas.

    "Most people say their dog is spoiled, but that is rubbish," Newkirk says. "They usually get the same dollop of boring food each day." She has ideas for doggie bags and canine pancakes.

    We asked her if we should throw a party for our cat.

    "No. Inviting 10 cats to a party would be cat hell."

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$14–$80.

Arf.

January 27, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Science Fiction — by Les Murray

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I can travel
faster than light
so can you
the speed of thought
the only trouble
is at destinations
our thought balloons
are coated invisible
no one there sees us
and we can't get out
to be real or present
phone and videophone
are almost worse
we don't see a journey
but stay in our space
just talking and joking
with those we reach
but can never touch
the nothing that can hurt us
how lovely and terrible
and lonely is this
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January 27, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Slippery Low-Friction Tape

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From the website:

    Slippery (Low-Friction) Tape

    This UHMW (ultra-high molecular weight) tape is used wherever you need to reduce friction between two surfaces.

    Typical uses are for cabinet drawers, machine fences of all kinds, and shop jigs such as cut-off boxes.

    A small piece on the cross rail under a drawer will give you a silky-smooth action.

    This is a transparent, PSA-backed, 5 mil tape that is incredibly tough.

    Well worth it just to fix all the drawers around the house.

    Excellent on jointer fences or under miter guides.

    A durable tape with excellent adhesive qualities.

    About 18' (216") long by 1" wide.

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$11.70.

January 27, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

'Proust Was a Neuroscientist'

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Interesting concept.

Author Jonah Lehrer talked with Jennifer Hillner in a Wired magazine interview, which follows.

    Q&A: Rhodes Scholar Jonah Lehrer on Art for Science’s Sake

    Jonah Lehrer wants scientists to bone up on the classics. A former neuroscience lab drone, the 26-year-old Rhodes scholar would devour pages of Marcel Proust's "Swann's Way" whenever he wasn't spinning down DNA. In the process, he made a discovery: Artists have something to teach researchers. In his new book, "Proust Was a Neuroscientist," Lehrer argues that many artists have foretold the scientific future — Proust revealed the inaccuracy of memory, chef Auguste Escoffier anticipated the fifth taste sensation we now call umami, and post-impressionist Paul Cézanne proved that the brain fills in what a painting doesn't show. Wired asked Lehrer to explain why the white coats should go all black-beret.

    Wired: Do you really think that we'll find answers to science's Big Questions in the arts?

    Lehrer: Virginia Woolf isn't going to help you finish your lab experiment. What she will do is help you ask your questions better. Proust focused on problems that neuroscience itself didn't grapple with until relatively recently — questions of memory that couldn't be crammed into Pavlovian reinforcement: Why are memories so unreliable? Why do they change so often? Why do we remember only certain aspects of the past?

    Wired: Has the separation of the disciplines held them back?

    Lehrer: It has affected both cultures adversely. You read the diary of Woolf and the letters of Cézanne and realize they thought they were discovering something true — in the same real way that science is true — but we don't think of artists that way anymore. The separation has also led science to neglect this other side of the mind. It's important to acknowledge that when you discuss the brain only in terms of proteins and enzymes, you're missing something.

    Wired: Which artists are making the discoveries of tomorrow?

    Lehrer: Maybe my next book will be "Kanye West Was a Neuroscientist." He's making use of the same musical principles as Beethoven, the same idea of building toward a pattern but then denying the listener that pattern by injecting randomness, because that unexpectedness is what your auditory cortex really craves.

    Wired: What scientific advances are affecting artists today?

    Lehrer: Neuroscience has come up with some amazing things in the past couple of decades, like the idea that there is no you in the brain, no neuron that is you or that cares about you. You're just a massively distributed parallel network. And the idea that from the perspective of DNA we're all so incredibly similar. That feels very novelistic to me.

    Wired: Which of today's artists and scientists would you pair up?

    Lehrer: Sculptor Richard Serra should read about string theory and figure out a way to simulate what 11 dimensions might be like. I would love to put Serra and physicist Brian Greene together.

January 27, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Weather Watch

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From the website:

    Forecast Watch

    Are you a meteorologist wannabe or just fascinated by the weather?

    Well, now you can keep track of the temperature, humidity, today's time and date, and even the weather forecast simply by glancing at your wrist.

    On alarm setting, it even alerts you to upcoming appointments.

    Just press the function you want on the 2"-diameter, easy-to-read plastic face.

    Adjustable vinyl strap fits most wrists.

    Quartz movement.

    Battery included.

$19.99.

January 27, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

NPRmusic.org

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Still in beta, the website went up last November "... to the joy of many listeners and the consternation of some local public radio stations...."

I'm certain that won't bother those of you who can't get a local public radio station or live outside the U.S.

You can read all about it in Marc Fisher's January 13, 2008 Washington Post article, which follows.

    NPR's music Web site troubles member stations

    Wealth of programming is seen as competition for listeners and dollars

    Living in a city without a full-time jazz station, one must rely on CDs and downloads to get his fill of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. To discover new jazz from singer Madeleine Peyroux or pianist Bruce Barth, for instance, it may be necessary to turn to music blogs and pay satellite radio.

    But now comes NPR Music, a sprawling Web site from National Public Radio that features the NPR jazz (or classical or folk or indie rock) shows that don't air on Washington's public stations — as well as song lists, video and audio of concerts, music-related stories from NPR's news shows and a raft of programs from public stations across the country.

    The Web site, NPRmusic.org, which launched in November to the joy of many listeners and the consternation of some public radio stations, helps fill the gap in the many parts of the country where jazz, classical and other traditional public radio music formats are vanishing as stations increasingly focus on news and talk programming.

    "As listening to radio flattens, we are looking to use digital platforms to reach audiences with music that crosses genres and geographic boundaries," said Maria Thomas, NPR's senior vice president for digital media.

    NPR Music includes programming from the network's own shows as well as from 12 of its member stations, including top music producers such as jazz WBGO in Newark, N.J., acoustic rock WFUV in New York, classical WGUC in Cincinnati and Austin's KUT, which features a mix of rock, blues, jazz and Latin sounds.

    But perhaps the best-known and most original public radio music format, the eclecticism of KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif., is nowhere to be found on the NPR site, nor is the alternative rock of WTMD (89.7 FM) in Towson, Md. In both cases, station managers believe the new site is undue competition or detracts from NPR's mission.

    "NPRmusic.org is the first service NPR has created that competes with NPR stations for listeners' time," says Stephen Yasko, general manager of the Towson station, one of four public stations serving the Baltimore area. "They're reducing the number of hours a listener spends with their local public station. NPR Music is potentially taking membership money away from WTMD." (NPR is funded in large part by membership fees paid by public stations across the country; those stations in turn depend heavily on listener and corporate donations.) When a show such as "World Cafe," a daily two-hour broadcast of world music from Philadelphia's WXPN, airs on the Towson station, it includes promotional announcements for NPR's music Web site, so Yasko believes he is "involuntarily promoting something that draws listeners away

    from my station." For that reason, he is "very strongly considering dropping 'World Cafe.'" Similarly, KCRW General Manager Ruth Seymour told the trade newspaper The Current that she saw no reason to put her programming on the NPR site because her station has its own brand and reputation to protect.

    Those stations that do share programming with the Web site hope both to stretch their business model — the NPR site will share revenue from corporate sponsors with participating stations — and to lure new Web listeners back to the stations' own sites and radio stations.

    Ironically, NPR Music sounds more like a creative, genre-busting radio station than do many actual public stations. It's a place where radio adds value, with smart critics presenting and telling stories about music, programs that happily smash through the genre limits that make so much of radio too predictable, and online-only shows such as "All Songs Considered," which grew out of listeners' fascination with the music producers used to fill the spaces between stories on NPR's "All Things Considered."

    "The public radio listener is not bounded by a particular genre," Thomas said. "It is absolutely an intentional part of our strategy to bust the format and connect to public radio listeners, who are characterized by certain qualities, including curiosity, lifelong learning and joy."

    You can listen to top 10 song lists put together by classical, jazz, rock and folk critics, along with a video documenting how the Washington band Georgie James responded to NPR's challenge to write and record a song in two days — a full menu of music you unfortunately can't hear on the radio.

January 27, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Nose Pencil Sharpener

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I know people who can do this without the tool.

But I digress.

"Every kid needs one of these in their desk! Stick a pencil up the nose and twist till it's sharp!"

Inquire within.

January 27, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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