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December 12, 2008

'The Breakup': The correct answer is 'chain saw' — not 'personal trainer'

The first time I saw the commercial above I didn't really pay attention to what was being offered on the "Minority Report"-style screen.

Then, as it came on again and again I even turned the sound on one time to hear what the weasel was saying to his astonished soon-to-be ex-girlfriend while some bimbo paraded around in her scanties behind him, and I read the series of choices offered to remedy her situation, to wit: "couples therapy, chain saw, lingerie, pawn shop, little black dress, personal trainer" — and then watched in disbelief as she nodded at that last one.

She's supposed to get a personal trainer and get even hotter than she already is so as to keep that loser?

"Chain saw" is the only possible choice.

Give me a break.

I'd love to know whether it was a man or a woman who was responsible for this commercial.

December 12, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Tweezerman Swarovski Crystal Limited Edition Slant Tweezers


From websites:

    Tweezerman Swarovski Crystal Limited Edition Slant Tweezers

    The perfectly aligned hand-filed tips are slanted to grab every hair, every time with true precision.

    A very exclusive Swarovski edition.


Black crystals (top): £73.40.


White: $100.

December 12, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Hallways are the new ICU


OK, perhaps I'm exaggerating a bit.

How about the new private room?

Carla Johnson's November 9, 2008 Associated Press story takes a look at the rise of hallway medicine, as yet unrecognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

Here's the article.

    Hospitals ease ER crowding with ward beds in halls

    There's no phone and no television. Only a screen offers privacy. But heart patient Edward Gray says he understands why the hospital put him in a cardiac unit hallway.

    "They sent me up here to make room for other emergency patients," Gray, 78, said from his bed in the hall [top] of a New York area hospital. "This is the way things are in hospitals."

    It might not sound like ideal health care, but hospital officials nationwide are being urged to consider hallway medicine as a way to ease emergency department crowding, and some are trying it.

    Leading the way is Stony Brook University Medical Center at Stony Brook, N.Y., where a study found that no harm was caused by moving emergency room patients to upper-floor hallways when they were ready for admission.

    The study's lead author says all hospitals should look at the program's success.

    "This is yet another battle cry for hospitals to get off their duffs and stop stacking people knee deep in the emergency department," said Dr. Peter Viccellio, who is clinical director of the hospital's emergency department.

    Crowding is a hospitalwide problem that has been handed off to emergency departments, Viccellio said. His idea hands the problem back to the entire hospital.

    Before the change, when his hospital filled up, patients were admitted but held in the ER in a common practice called boarding.

    On busy days, "things would grind to a halt and people would wait to be seen," Viccellio said.

    Infectious patients would wait in the ER's hallway for isolation rooms to become available elsewhere in the hospital.

    Holding patients in ERs can cause deaths, doctors say. In a 2007 survey of nearly 1,500 emergency doctors, 13 percent said they experienced a patient dying as a result of boarding in the emergency department. The survey was conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

    The new study found slightly fewer deaths and intensive care unit admissions in the hallway patients compared to the standard bed patients. That was no surprise, Viccellio said, because the protocol calls for giving the first available rooms to the sickest patients. Intensive care patients never go to hallways.

    The study is based on four years of Stony Brook's experience with more than 2,000 patients admitted to hallways from the ER.

    Other hospitals resist the idea, doctors say. Dr. Michael Carius, who heads the emergency department at Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk, Conn., said he would like it adopted at his hospital.

    But nurses and government regulators have resisted, citing safety issues. "As though the emergency department hallway is a safer environment," Carius said.

    "When you're full of admitted patients, you're no longer an emergency department, you're just a holding area," he said.

    In Texas, all it took to convince nurses at Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital was a tour of the ER, said Barbara VanWart, emergency nurse manager.

    "They could see the problem and help us make things happen because now it's before their eyes," VanWart said. The hospital started its hallway protocol in 2005.

    Dr. Kirk Jensen of the nonprofit Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Mass., said the best reason to adopt the concept is the way it gets the whole hospital involved in finding rooms more quickly for admitted patients.

    "It's out of sight, out of mind, even if they know that patients are there in the emergency department," Jensen said.

    With patients in their own hallways, "they get a lot more creative and aggressive with workflow practices."

    When Stony Brook began the hallway practice, the staff noticed "the miracle of the elevator," said Carolyn Santora, who heads the hospital's patient safety efforts. Somehow, rooms became available by the time hallway-bound emergency patients made it upstairs, she said.

    Nurses hate seeing patients in their hallways, Santora said, and that's fine with her.

    "I want them to hate it. I want them to do everything to expedite flow to get the patient out of hallway."

    Gray, the hallway patient at Stony Brook, came to the ER with chest pains and was stabilized before being sent upstairs. He is a retired nurse and said hospital crowding deserves attention from lawmakers.

    "I wish the $700 billion went for hospitals, roads and bridges and not to bail out those folks on Wall Street," he said.

December 12, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

34-in-1 Bionic Wrench


From the website:

    34-in-1 Bionic Wrench

    Combining the award-winning Bionic Wrench with a magnetic bit driver, this handheld utensil performs the work of 34 full-sized tools yet is compact enough to slip in a pocket or stow in a glove box.

    The patented 6" Bionic Wrench securely surrounds nuts so it won't slip or "round-off" edges like lesser open-end wrenches, and covers 14 standard and metric sizes (1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 7/16", 1/2", 9/16", and 7mm-14mm).

    The wrench's handles lock to create a powerful 1/4" hex driver on the tool's opposite end, with the head serving as a torque-enhancing pistol grip.

    Twenty bits are included to handle most screw types (four slotted, four Philips, seven hex, Torx #10, #15, #20, and #25, Robertson square #1 and #2).

    Bit holders store inside the tool's handles and double as cushioned handgrips.

    Made from hardened cold-rolled steel with a rust- and chip-resistant black oxide finish.

    6"L x 2"W x 1/2"D.


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

'Psycho Killer' lyrics lacuna — by Michael A. Olson


Clearly Michael's new in these parts.

How do I know this?

Because he wrote the following in his email (above) of earlier today: "Maybe you hate people when they're excessively fault-finding and/or they show off their foreign-language skills."

Should he become a bookmark-carrying joehead he'll soon realize that the people I love most are those who are "excessively fault-finding..." — they're my utmost favorites.


Because they help make bookofjoe better and that's what it's all about.

Apologies to Virginia Tech fans, but that's really the way it is around here.

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

Firm Grip — Spray-On Buttocks Adhesive


My crack research team finally did it.

They actually made me smile.

Wrote Dave Barry, "This is the same professional-grade buttocks adhesive used by all of your top beauty pageant contestants, as well as 65% of the players in the National Football League."

From the product website:

    Firm Grip

    Also known as the infamous "butt spray" or "butt glue" — every pageant girl needs it!

    When you have to keep things in place while on the runway this is the MUST HAVE product.

    Pageant contestants use this spray adhesive to keep their swimsuit in place.

    Guaranteed to last you through thousands of pageants.

    Order your can today.


"Thousands of pageants" — I wonder what the record is?


If you're willing to think outside the swimsuit space, softballjunk.com will sell you the identical product — used to get a better grip on the bat in that alternative universe — for $9.95.

December 12, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

transmaterial.net — A catalog of over 1,000 innovative new materials


Smog-eating concrete?

It's here, along with zero-carbon drywall, energy-harvesting glass, paint that cleans the air and myriad other products and materials you've never heard of.


It's all the result of one Blaine Brownell's "humble project" to collect and share information about innovative new materials that grew like topsy into perhaps the most comprehensive such source on the web.

Above and below,


translucent concrete.

December 12, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Radioactive Uranium Marbles


Above, under UV (black) light.

From the website:

    Radioactive Uranium-Doped Glass Marbles

    The marbles, each about 5/8" in diameter, contain approximately 3% uranium-238 (by weight).

    This small amount of uranium is added to the glass while it's still in the furnace and in a molten state.

    As the uranium dissolves into the red-hot glass, it takes on the telltale pale green color of uranium glass.

    Because of the added uranium in the glass, the marbles glow brightly under ultraviolet light (black light).

    The small amount of radiation that the marbles emit will also register on sensitive Geiger counters.

    The marbles do not emit high or dangerous levels of radiation, and are completely safe to handle.

    A small sample of uranium ore (the type used to make this particular type of glass) is included.

    Collectors take note:

    Uranium glass is no longer manufactured anywhere in the world.

    Although a few glass manufacturers still have small quantities that they are keeping for historical purposes, no one plans on manufacturing any in the future.

    Once our stock is sold out, we never expect to see any again.


Fair warning.

Oh, yeah, one last thing: Don't try to carry them onto a plane — or pack them in your checked luggage.

How do you spell "Please step into this room?"

Below, under normal light.


Three for $10.

[via Milena]

December 12, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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