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October 17, 2008

How the expert got his spots


Not to spoil your just-so story with a mixed metaphor but the headline of the ad above, from a recent issue of The Economist, tells you everything you need to know about why someone who's good at what they do is just that.

While you spend your time analyzing ten things, the smart money has zeroed in on the winner, placed its bet and headed for the beach.

Unfortunately the ad doesn't tell you how the smart money got that way but I will, with the following story.

A young man walks up to a wizened rabbi and says, "Reb, everyone comes to you for advice and you give it and it always turns out to be helpful —€” how did you get to be so wise?

The rabbi replies, "It's easy. Good judgment."

The man says, "But what's the secret? How do you get good judgment?"

The rabbi answers, That's easy too. Years of bad judgment."

October 17, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Ego Laptop — 'A notebook computer that looks like a bag'



So you.

"Crafted, personalized and assembled completely by hand, boasting a glitter-covered keyboard and an exotic exterior. What's great about Ego laptops is the ability to personalize your laptop with a unique leather or fabric skin and add embroidered initials or symbols. It runs Windows Vista and includes a 64-bit processor, built-in webcam, bass reflex sound system and an anti-reflection high-resolution screen for indoor and outdoor use."


From £5,490, depending on cover and personalization.

[via geeksugar]

October 17, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Having a pet bird can prevent eczema

Who knew?

File under "Things they didn't teach me in med school."

Long story short: A study published in the September 25, 2008 online issue of Archives of Disease in Childhood reported that eczema in infants (21% of whom had the condition by their first birthday) was reduced by 65% when there was a bird in the house.

Here's the abstract of the paper.

    Early introduction of fish decreases the risk of eczema in infants

    Background: The prevalence of eczema in infants has increased in western societies. It has been suggested that environmental factors and the introduction of food affect the risk of eczema.

    Aims: To investigate the current prevalence of eczema among infants in western Sweden, to describe current patterns of food introduction and to assess risk factors for eczema at one year of age.

    Methods: Data were obtained from a prospective, longitudinal study of a cohort of infants born in the region of western Sweden in 2003; 8176 families (50% of the birth cohort) were randomly selected and, at six months of age, they received an invitation to participate, together with a questionnaire. The families that agreed received another questionnaire when the infants were twelve months old. Answers to both questionnaires and Medical birth register data were obtained for 4921 infants, i.e. 60.2% of the originally selected population.

    Results: At one year of age, 20.9% of the infants had previous or current eczema. The median age at onset was four months. In the multivariable analysis, a familial occurrence of eczema, especially in siblings (OR 1.87; 95% confidence interval 1.50-2.33) or the mother (OR 1.4; 95% CI 1.30-1.84), remained as an independent risk factor. Beneficial effects of introducing fish before nine months of age (OR 0.76; 95% CI 0.62-0.94) and having a bird in the home (OR 0.35; 95% CI 0.17-0.75) were seen. We found no effects from short-term breast-feeding, the age at which milk or eggs were introduced, a cat or dog in the home or parental smoking.

    Conclusions: One in five infants suffer from eczema during its first year of life. A familial occurrence of eczema increased the risk. Beneficial effects were seen from introducing fish before nine months of age or having a bird in the home. The duration of breast-feeding or the age at which milk or eggs were introduced did not affect the risk of eczema.


I haven't seen dancing like in the Trashmen video up top since I don't know when.

October 17, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Solar-Powered Helicopter


Tired of spinning your wheels at work?

"Set this wooden chopper in a sunny spot and watch its propeller spin!"

Green, Natural, Red or Yellow.



Batteries not included.

Wait a minute....

October 17, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Google's Forgotten Attachment Detector (It's not what you think)


It was the September 25, 2008 tech "Tip of the Week" from nonpareil New York Times Computer columnist J.D. Biersdorfer, and follows.

    Tip of the Week

    Gmail Labs has plenty of experimental features including the Forgotten Attachment Detector, which warns if your message mentions an attachment, but the services senses no files attached.

    Turn it on by logging into Gmail, clicking on the Settings link and clicking on Labs. Scroll down and click to enable the Forgotten Attachment Detector.


Here's my TechnoDolt™-friendly translation for the rest of us.

1) Click on Gmail (above and to the left of the Google logo below)


2) Click on Settings (below, far right)


3) Click on Labs (below, far right),


then scroll down to Forgotten Attachment Dectector (top of this post)

4) Enable it

October 17, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fat-Free Microwave French Fry Maker


From the website:

    Microwave French Fry Maker — Serves Up Tasty Fries in Minutes

    Grid rack cooker holds frozen fries or home-cut raw potatoes vertical and separate.

    Pop into micro­wave — fries come out crispy with less fat and calories, and since no added oil or fat is required there's virtually no mess.

    Serve right from the cooker — separate section holds condiments for dipping.

    Dishwasher-safe plastic.



$9.98 (frozen fries or home-cut raw potatoes not included).

October 17, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



For less than the average co-pay you can download whatever you need to play hooky for the day.

You get a pack of 30 excuse notes including a number from specialist "physicians," notices that you've been called for jury duty and — should you need to really pull out the big guns — a funeral pamphlet that includes a photo of the "deceased" and a lovely poem.


"Package includes: Cardiologist's Note; Chiropractor's Note; Classic Dr. Note; Dermatologist Note; ENT Doctor Note; E.R. Doctor Note; Gynecologist Note [I recommend you not use this one if you're a guy]; Podiatrist Note; Urologist Note; Oral Surgery Note; Classic Medical Note; Mental Health Note; Prescription Note; Hospital Printout; Bonus Materials."

"All of our products are for entertainment use only," says the website.

"We do not condone intentional false absence from an employer or educational institution."

Me neither.



[via the October 2008 issue of Physicians Practice]

October 17, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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