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October 3, 2008

Mr. Clean is dead


Well, kinda sorta.

House Peters Jr. (above in 1948) — who shaved his head and wore a hoop earring and harem pants in his role as Mr. Clean in Procter & Gamble's late 50s/early 60s ads, long before the look became mainstream — died this past Wednesday in Los Angeles at 92.

His New York Times obituary follows.

    House Peters Jr., 92, the Actor Who Gave Heft to Mr. Clean, Dies

    House Peters Jr., an actor who appeared with bald head and hoop earring as the original Mr. Clean in Procter & Gamble’s commercials for household cleaners, died here on Wednesday. He was 92.

    The cause was pneumonia, said his son, Jon Peters.

    The elder Peters played many supporting roles in his career, usually as a heavy or villain. But he is best remembered as Mr. Clean, a muscular man with a no-nonsense attitude toward dirt and grime. From the late 1950s and into the early 1960s, he helped advertise the household cleaner.

    Mr. Peters’s prime acting career ran from mid-1930s to the late 1960s. He worked with Roy Rogers and Gene Autry on their television shows and appeared in “Perry Mason,” “Gunsmoke,” “The Twilight Zone” and “Lassie.” He also wrote an autobiography, “Another Side of Hollywood,” in which he describes growing up the son of an actress and silent film actor in Beverly Hills, Calif. His father, Robert House Peters Sr., has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    Robert House Peters Jr. was born Jan. 12, 1916, in New Rochelle, N.Y. He studied drama in high school and became inspired to pursue acting as a profession.

    Besides his son Jon, his survivors include his wife, Lucy Pickett; a daughter; another son; and four grandchildren.



a 1958 Mr. Clean commercial, featuring the cartoon figure whom Mr. Peters would soon incarnate.

That jingle is an earworm which, once heard, may lodge itself deep in your brain and remain on endless repeat for the rest of the day.

Fair warning.

October 3, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Scanning Toaster — Eat your morning news


From a website:

Toaster burns news onto bread

Many things have appeared on toast: Marmite, Vegemite, jam and even Cylons.

Now a designer’s invented a toaster that can burn pretty much anything onto your morning slice, including the news.

The Scan Toaster connects to a PC over USB and downloads everything from local weather conditions and the current time to the morning’s news headlines.

As shown in the graphic below,


individual toasting modules — each heated by a hot wire — inside the toaster (upper left) are heated and moved about (upper center) to create the on-toast image (lower rows).

Each module can move by 30° and, once the user selects what they want on their toast — excluding a topping, of course — the modules align themselves and burn the appropriate content onto the bread.

The appliance is a finalist in design competition run by manufacturer Electrolux and designer Sung Bae Chang said he got the idea whilst — you guessed it — making some toast.

No plans to manufacture the toaster on a mass scale have popped up yet.

[via Milena]

October 3, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

'79 men and women alive today aged 110 years old or more'


You could look it up.

Or just take my word for it.

I found the headlined FunFact in a September 19, 2008 Wall Street Journal "Science Journal" column by Robert Lee Hotz who wrote, "All told, there are only 79 men and women alive today aged 110 years old or more, according to the Los Angeles Gerontological Research Group."


Better count quick 'cause that number can change in a heartbeat.

As it were.

FunFact #2 is the second sentence (my italics) of Hotz's final paragraph: "Yet, there is little evidence of an abstemious lifestyle among the 450 people between the ages of 95 and 110 enrolled in the Longevity Genes Project at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. There are no vegetarians. At least a third of them were obese in middle-age. A third have been smoking tobacco for 40 years or more, despite health warnings. 'I have a woman who recently celebrated 91 years of cigarette smoking,' says Dr. Barzilai. 'She is 106 now.'"

I guess Michael "Eat your peas" Dukakis was wrong.

Here is a link to a website with the latest updated tables on supercentenarians ("validated human centenarian[s] who [have] attained the age of 110 years or more) around the world.

"Certain of these tables were last updated on Wednesday, September 17, 2008."

Like I said above: don't dally.

October 3, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Pillowig — Episode 2: Operational


First seen here last year,


this whimsical 2004


creation of


New York-based South Korean




JooYoun Paek demonstrates its functionality.

[via Milena]

October 3, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Solar eclipse — August 11, 1999, seen from the Mir space station


"An eclipse appears total only while you're directly in the moon's shadow. Normally the darkness lasts only a few minutes."

[via Futility Closet and Milena]

October 3, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

October 3, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

bookofjoe hits the airwaves — LifeTips Radio

File under "don't encourage him."

This past Wednesday, October 1, 2008 I was interviewed live on the weekly LifeTips radio show.

My segment is the second half of the 30-minute broadcast so if you want to see if I sound as foolish as I seem from what appears here, well, here's your big chance.

Tune in, turn on, fall asleep.

Wait a minute....

Thanks so much to Byron White and Amanda Smyth for going slumming and launching my new media career.

I'm hoping for an Episode 2.

Hey, joe — are your eyes closed?


'Cause you must be dreaming.


October 3, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack



From websites:

Doggles® — Protect His Eyes From Biting Wind

If the truck is moving you can bet Scout’s head is out the window.

Doggles protect his eyes with shatterproof polycarbonate lenses — no wind, dust or debris can get in.


Full UV protection and anti-fog too.

Scout-approved comfort: wraparound frames with cushioning foam won’t irritate dogs or restrict their vision.

Two adjustable elastic straps keep Doggles on securely during any activity without feeling tight.

Small, Medium or Large.


Chrome Frame/Smoke Lens; Black Frame/Smoke Lens; Blue Frame/Blue Lens; Black Frame/Clear Lens.

Forget the dog — I'll wear 'em.


October 3, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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