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April 11, 2008

We get email: From Anne Hills, who appears to have drunk the treadmill workspace Kool-Aid (and then ate the glass it was served in)


Following is her March 30, 2008 email, which was accompanied by the photo above.

Not one word has been omitted.

Nor has the picture been Photoshopped.

Not that it could be, considering the technical capabilities of my crack photography team.

But I digress.

Without further ado, then, let's meet Ms. Hills.

    My New Treadmill Desk

    Hello. I suppose your name is Joe? So, hello Joe.

    I'm Anne Hills, a currently very fat and inactive, formerly pretty fit and outdoorsy, girl from Maine. I've been getting more and more ticked off at my ever expanding flabbiness (I'm 5'10" and weigh 270 lbs) and deteriorating condition and all of the unfortunate side effects that go along with being seriously out of shape. Problem is that like you, my life involves spending a lot of personal time on the computer and as it happens my professional life involves exactly the same thing since I'm a database developer.

    Then last Tuesday I read an interview with James Levine in CSPI's Nutrition Action (if you're unfamiliar with it — it's a wonderful little newsletter, often enlightening and regularly humorous). There was a drawing of Steelcase's walkstation and all I could think was why in hell didn't I think of it myself... But, not for work — for home.

    I ran out at 9pm that night and bought the simplest treadmill they had, ripped the wiring out of the arm, unscrewed the computer from the console and screwed it into a holder on my wall. I put the treadmill under my work table, which is my all-purpose desk, and raised my table up 16 inches using speakers, a fire safe and a pail of joint compound plus some wood blocks I sawed up for the purpose.

    WOW! I walked two miles without noticing it while watching videos online. Too easy — I cranked up the speed a bit, ahhhh — that's better.

    I have the treadmill under the table enough so that I can get very close to my laptop if need be and reach across the table without stepping on the front cover of the treadmill, yet can ride back on it to stretch out or dance a bit to my music.

    I desperately need an anti-static desk mat, and will need better sneakers with more cushioning because I'm now on my feet all the time while home. No problem. This thing is bliss. I kid you not — it's the answer to the eternal problem of "no time to take a run or hike/go to the gym/do a workout." I'm walking 2.5 mph now on the thing all the time and love it. I'm walking miles every day and I feel better already.

    This isn't a diet that I'll lose interest in or a gym membership that I'll rarely use — this is something that fits perfectly into my existing lifestyle! How rare is that? Something healthy and energizing and motivating and strengthening all while fitting neatly into my regular routine! The only thing I'm ticked about is that I didn't think of it or stumble across your site or Levine's long ago.

    I googled this today and found you and Steelcase. $6500? Good grief. But, I have to say that even the quietest treadmill would be disaster at my office because, like so many, we have an open space and it wouldn't be the sound of the motor — the problem would be the sound of shoes hitting the treadmill.

    Seriously: whap, whap, whap, slide, whap, whap. No way that's going to fly in any open office that's not already very loud, and you'd need a change of shoes for business meetings, etc, etc. However, at Steelcase prices, nobody is going to purchase their gadget who doesn't have a closed door office.

    Ahhhhhh, but I love my home contraption! Bliss. Had to share....

    Very best to you,



Back at ya, Anne.

April 11, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Anatomical Heart Necklace


Sure, Tiffany's sold a billion of Elsa Peretti's iconic iterations but by now everyone and her sister has one.

Here's another take.


From the website:

Anatomical Heart Necklace

This solid cast sterling silver pendant is heart-shaped — shaped like an actual heart, that is.

Pendant hangs on a 16.5" sterling silver chain.

To be more precise, it's a cross-section of a human heart.


You could look it up.


[via Jerry Young]

April 11, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Italo Calvino's '5 Imaginative Qualities for the New Millenium'


• Lightness

• Quickness

• Multiplicity

• Exactitude

• Visibility

In Calvino's "Six Memos for the Next Millenium" he wrote, "In the even more congested times that await us, literature must aim at the maximum concentration of poetry and of thought."

Calvino was to deliver these "memos" (there were to be six) as Harvard's Charles Eliot Norton Lectures in 1985-86 but he died after completing the fifth.

[via Sarah Ruhl, in John Lahr's March 17, 2008 New Yorker profile of her]

April 11, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What they're wearing backstage



[via my Paris fashion correspondent, who for reasons of job security prefers to remain anonymous]

April 11, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Placenta 10000 Jelly Drink — FOSHU for beauty


"FOSHU (FOod for a Specific Health Use) food and drinks are quite popular these days, and the ever-changing Japanese beverage market is constantly bringing out new offerings to appeal to consumers who want to have some function with their food," wrote Michael Keferi in a March 24, 2008 CScout Japan post about new 0-Calorie Placenta 10000 Jelly Drink.




Not to worry, it's made from pig placentas, not human, so no need to get all stem-cellish about it.


James Thornburg sent me the link and asked, "It is healthy to drink pig's placenta?"

What troubles me is that he thought I might know.


Anyway, Amazon Japan has Placenta 10000 Jelly Drink ready to ship for a mere ¥840.

But wait, there's more!

That's what you were afraid of, wasn't it?


Keferi noted, "... I didn’t taste or smell anything besides peaches [in Placenta 10000].... Of course, if you want to make your own placenta cocktails, the Placenta 400000 extract [below]


might be more to your taste, but I have the feeling that it doesn’t smell much like peaches."

April 11, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Destroyed Jeans — by Martin Margiela


So much better than "distressed," don't you think?

Tell it like it is.

$495 at Maison Martin Margiela stores everywhere.

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

BehindTheMedspeak: 'What should you do if you come across an unconscious person?'


That was the question posed in Melinda Beck's February 12, 2008 "Health Mailbox" column in the Wall Street Journal.

Ms. Beck — who took over from Tara Parker-Pope, lured across town by the bigger impact factor (and, no doubt, $$$) afforded by the New York Times — has gotten her groove and now offers a consistently interesting and informative read.

Here's the gist of the aforementioned Q. & A.

    Q: What should you do if you come across an unconscious person, as in the case of actor Heath Ledger?

    A: Emergency physicians say the first step is to verify that the person really is unconscious. Shout, shake him or dig your knuckles over his collarbone. That may revive him.

    If it doesn't, call 911. Then check to see if the person is breathing. It may be shallow so put your ear to his face to feel for any movement of air. Also watch to see if his chest is rising. If you don't detect breathing, tilt his chin back, open his mouth and clear out anything that may be blocking his airway. Then check again for breath. Also check for a pulse; the easiest place is under the jawline on either side of the windpipe.

    If the unconscious person is breathing and has a pulse, you probably don't need to do anything else. Just stay by his side until assistance comes.

    If there's no breath or pulse, the 911 dispatchers may ask you to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).


The new CPR eliminates so-called "rescue breathing" and focuses on chest compressions.

Make it hard and deep (try for 2" of up-and-down movement with each compression) and fast — 100 times a minute without interruption.

Don't worry about sharp cracking sounds — those are ribs breaking and all it means is that you're doing it correctly.

Completely acceptable collateral damage, happens all the time.

Keep on with the chest compressions.

CPR performed properly can get very tiring even for experts: I find five minutes of chest compressions is the max I can do before I start to noticeably slack off in terms of power and frequency.

If there's someone else around, draft them to help while you rest.

More on the new CPR here.

CPR training?

You just had it.

April 11, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

April 11, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

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