« December 14, 2008 | Main | December 16, 2008 »

December 15, 2008

'As soon as you say it's over, the subject will feel relieved and suddenly look great. And then you keep shooting.' — Annie Liebovitz spills the beans


The great photographer was quoted thus in Thomas Mallon's entertaining December 14, 2008 New York Times Book Review essay on her new book, "Annie Leibovitz at Work."

So it would seem you can create your very own "decisive moment" rather than waiting around hoping it happens and you're awake enough to recognize it.

I like that.

Up top, her photo of Queen Elizabeth II, taken in March of last year in London.

December 15, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

MicroFlower Keychain


That's different.

From the website:

    MicroFlower Keychain

    Tiny fully functional mini-greenhouse attracts people like flowers attract bees.

    Each plant thrives in its own exquisitely detailed individual arboretum.

    When plant gets too large, transplant to a larger pot and slip in another tiny plant.

    Exquisitely detailed key chains like these are the rage in Japan, the living land of micro-mini super-kawaii things.


4 for $29.95.

December 15, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Note to Congress: Before you drop $14 billion into the black hole of Detroit, read the article below


It appears in today's Wall Street Journal, and the first sentence reads as follows: "A Chinese auto maker [BYD] plans to unveil the country's first homegrown electric vehicle for the mass market, at least a year ahead of similar efforts around the world."

Breaking news: it happened today.

Wasn't it less than three weeks ago that I featured Wang Chuanfu, who founded BYD in 1995 at the age of 29 and intends to make it the world's largest car company by 2025, in a post headlined "The man who would be king — of cars?"?

Read Norihiko Shirouzu's WSJ story below.

BYD to Introduce China's First Electric Car

A Chinese auto maker plans to unveil the country's first homegrown electric vehicle for the mass market, at least a year ahead of similar efforts around the world.

On Monday, BYD Co. plans to show reporters in Shenzhen the new F3DM [above and below], which runs off batteries that can be charged from a regular electrical outlet. BYD began marketing the F3DM this month to cab operators and other potential fleet customers, and plans to have it in showrooms by the end of this month, said Henry Li, a senior company executive. BYD plans to sell the car in the U.S. market as early as the second half of 2010.

The F3DM runs on batteries and is charged at a regular electrical outlet.

China's government intends to support the electric vehicle push through research-and-development subsidies for auto makers and tax breaks and other incentives for consumers, as well as with plans to build battery-charge stations and other public infrastructure. The government hasn't said how much it will spend.


Though essentially an electric car, the F3DM also has a small gasoline engine that is used to generate electricity if the battery runs dry. Some people question whether the leap to electric cars makes sense in China, in part because most of China's electricity comes from "dirty" coal-burning power plants.

BYD plans to sell as many as 10,000 F3DMs in 2009, according to Mr. Li. The car is to be priced at less than 150,000 yuan, or about $22,000, toward the low end of the price range for a typical midsize sedan in China.

General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. are both developing similar battery-powered cars. But Toyota won't launch its version until late 2009 and plans to sell it in the U.S. and Japan, not in China. GM is expected to launch its Chevy Volt in late 2010 in the U.S., but the company's financial struggles have left plans unclear. Nissan Motor Co., which is weighing the launch of an electric car in China as early as 2012, believes that battery-powered cars could account for as much as 30% of all automobile sales in China by 2020.

The city of Shenzhen, where BYD is headquartered, is expected to announce Monday that it is buying some 20 F3DMs.

New York Times Op-Ed page columnist Thomas Friedman wrote yesterday, "The auto consultant John Casesa once noted that Detroit's management has gone from visionaries to operators to caretakers. I would say that they have now gone from caretakers to undertakers."

FunFact: "In September there was a remarkable endorsement of BYD when even as global stock markets were plunging, the canniest American investor of them all, Warren Buffet of Omaha, Nebraska, paid $230m (£155m) for a 10% stake in the Chinese company."


You could look it up.

December 15, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Laser Toothbrush — Never buy toothpaste again


From the website:

    Laser Toothbrush

    That’s right.

    Here’s your opportunity to have Hollywood-white super-healthy teeth thanks to this revolutionary super-safe medical-quality laser toothbrush.

    It has an energy concentration so low that any tissue surface, even eye tissue, is safe.

    It works with a programmed tooth management system that turns on the laser for a recommended treatment period (55 seconds) with a one-touch mode switch.

    The laser toothbrush does not need toothpaste but directly radiates laser light on teeth.

    This revolutionary semiconductor medical laser helps decrease sensitivity, toothache pain, inflammation and even helps eliminate bad breath.

    No more messy toothpaste accidents — now you can clean your teeth with light!

    AA batteries included.


It's almost too good to be believable.

Regardless of the assurance above, I'd avoid looking directly at it (the laser beam itself — it's fine to stare at the picture up top for as long as you like).



Just in (2:03 p.m. today) from perspicacious reader Lilorfnannie, the following comment, too good to be consigned to the sidebar: "If a person never needs toothpaste again — why is there a brush on the end?"


December 15, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

iBreviary — World's first Vatican-approved iPhone app


Long story short: "Complete missal and principal prayers in Italian, Spanish, French, English, and Latin."

You could look it up.



I don't think so.


Sheesh, whatchoo tink, mon?

Church has to make a living.

99 cents, please.


Considering what you're getting for your money, cheap at twice the price.

[via Dusan Belic in IntoMobile and Cellphone9]

December 15, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Flash Drive Lighter


Strange mashup, what?

From the website:

USB 8GB Flash Drive Lighter


Electronics and fire have never been friends and you could even say they are essentially sworn enemies.

But in the case of this USB flash drive they have decided to call a truce.

Long standing differences have been put aside to create a product that is both practical and very unique.

This flash drive has an ample 8GB capacity and the lighter is refillable.


The USB connector slides out of the bottom of the metal case, using a small slider lever located on the side of the lighter.

The lighter has a polished chrome finish and an adjustable flame.

Dimensions: 1.5" x 2.4" x .5" (3.8 x 6 x 1.3 cm).

Includes USB cable.



December 15, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Drug Error Finder

A superb new online resource which lets anyone — physician, pharmacist, nurse, patient, etc. — access a comprehensive searchable database to avoid medication errors.

From the website: "USP's Drug Error Finder allows a user to search more than 1,400 drugs involved in look–alike and/or sound–alike errors."

This goes on the front page of my iPod touch for instant access in the OR.

I cannot begin to count how many times over the years I have just missed injecting the wrong drug because of the near perfect size, shape and color mimicry of one label, bottle or ampoule for another whose contents would have had markedly different and potentially deleterious effects on an anesthetized patient.

Even with my way over the top practice of checking, rechecking, rechecking and checking yet again, even after I'm 100% certain I've got the right medication, about once a month I still throw a labeled and loaded syringe into the sharps box because I don't have a photographic recall of having drawn it up that morning.

See the videos above and below

to get a better sense of how easily devastating, sometimes fatal mistakes can occur in a clinical setting.

[via David Bronstein's article in the December 2008 issue of Anesthesiology News]

December 15, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Personal Photo Booth


Just like the old days, except in your home.

Charge people a buck for a strip of four pictures like the booths used to and in about a thousand years you'll break even.

From the website:

    Authentic Boardwalk Photo Booth

    Identical to the classic units found in amusement parks, arcades and boardwalks, this photo booth can take and print a four-frame strip of pictures in 16 seconds.

    Unlike prior models that used chemical processes to develop pictures, this one uses a thermal printer exclusively designed by Polaroid, producing 2"H x 2"W 72-dpi monochrome images.

    The booth works just like its predecessors; individuals, couples, or groups press a button and pose for each of four pictures, taken at five-second intervals.

    The booth comes with two rolls of film that provide up to 3,200 pictures (or 800 sessions of four-frame photo strips).

    The booth is made of powder-coated 14-gauge steel.

    74"H x 37"W x 60"L.

    Plugs into AC.

    770 pounds.


December 15, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

« December 14, 2008 | Main | December 16, 2008 »