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March 28, 2009

Amazon Upgrade — 'Read your books online'


What's this?

Last evening on Amazon I happened on this new — at least to me — feature.

And since not a day goes by that I'm not on Amazon for one reason or another — to buy something, find out about something, grab a picture for a post, etc. — I have to believe it's a relatively recent addition to the site.

Long story short: You almost wouldn't notice it (can you find it below?),


but it says "Upgrade this book for $7.59 more, and you can read, search, and annotate every page online."

Turns out I've previously purchased six books over the past 10 years eligible for an upgrade, at prices ranging from $1 to $5.60 for the additional features.


Somehow this is meant to compete with Google Book Search but I don't see how it's possible to compete with free.

March 28, 2009 at 05:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Karl Lagerfeld Doll — by Mattel


From pulp:


From designing and dressing living dolls for Barbie’s 50th birthday in February, to now having his own doll from Mattel [above and below].

The fashion genius and chief designer for Chanel already has his own teddy bear by colossal German brand Steiff. The white alpaca bear in a fitted tuxedo and dark glasses was limited to only 2,500 that were sold by Nieman Marcus in September last year.

Despite claiming that he was never prone to the fluffy things, Lagerfeld purchased one himself for posterity.

As to whether he’ll go so far as to purchase one of his [Mattel] dolls, the couture legend has said, “Nothing scares me more than people with a doll collection. Frightening.”



Calm  down, don't  get your  baggies in a twist — the Karl doll was a one-off, specially made by Mattel for the designer and presented to him two weeks ago at the Barbie 50th anniversary party [above] at Colette in Paris.

[via trashbagaesthetics]

March 28, 2009 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

How Paul Allen and Bill Gates, as teenagers at Seattle's Lakeside School, taught me to be more patient with keyboard lag and Safari beach balls


For whatever reason(s), lots of times when I'm typing there's a distinct lag between each keystroke and the appearance of the character on the screen.

Also, in Camino or Safari I have no end of spinning beach balls.

I'm thinking that when I finally buy a new computer (I'm using a PowerBook from 2005 running 10.3.9) later this year, that sort of thing will disappear.

But until that happens, I'll be much less impatient and annoyed than I used to be, all because of a sentence I read last week in Laura Rich's fascinating biography of Paul Allen, "The Accidental Zillionaire."

Describing their high school days in Seattle, she wrote, "Soon enough the computer room became the nexus of technology lovers at Lakeside. Gearheads and math geeks spent hours there, eating pizza and just sitting around. They almost had to. A simple program like Tic-Tac-Toe could take up to five minutes to relay a single move to the remote PDP-10 and receive back confirmation."

Looked at from that perspective, a few seconds doesn't seem half bad.

March 28, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Smoking Gun


"For the die-hard smoker, this 2.25"-long accessory will underscore just how bad-ass you are. For those who would like to quit, perhaps this metaphor will help suppress your cravings."


Gold, Black, White or Red coated brass.



March 28, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Electronic Candle — by Aram Bartholi

"Aram Bartholl has used a combination of resistance wire, copper wire, switch, and 12V power transformer to light a candle."

In Bartholi's words, "A resistance wire, similar to one in a classic light bulb, is wound into a spiral and slipped over the wick of the candle. Both ends are soldered to copper wire which leads down to the switch which is fixed by a cable tie to the candle. The switch controls a 12V power transformer. The resistance wire glows very briefly before the heat breaks the metal. The candle is lit."

[via toxel]

March 28, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Alpha-Numeric Cake Pan


TechnoDolts™ will please move along, nothing to see here.

Everyone else, jump right in.

From the website:


Alphabet/Number Cake Pan

Make any letter or any number — as a cake.

Simply arrange the 2" square blocks in the aluminum pan [below] to form an endless variety of letter and number combinations.

Grid grooves secure the blocks so they won’t move when the pan is filled with batter.

Once the cake is cooled, remove the inserts.

You’ll be left with a perfect centerpiece — great for birthdays, anniversaries or any special occasion.

Includes instructions for creating 10" or 14" letters and numbers, as well as several novelty cake designs.

Set includes 12 blocks.

Base pan is 14" x 8½".

Hand wash.




March 28, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

World's largest egg


Long story short: Laid in the seventeenth century by the now-extinct Great Elephant Bird, which stood 10 feet tall and weighed one-half ton, the 13-inch-tall egg (above and below) is over three feet in circumference, larger than any other known egg — including those of dinosaurs.

Here's a March 26, 2009 Daily Mail story with the details.


Fancy shelling out £5,000 for a 400-year-old stale egg?


Its mother has long since departed the scene. As, indeed, has its entire species.

But this giant egg is a great survivor. It was laid around 400 years ago by one of the Great Elephant Birds of Madagascar.

Before becoming extinct in the 17th century, the flightless creature was the world's largest bird, standing 10ft tall and weighing half a ton.

The egg, which is more than 3ft in circumference, was discovered by Victorian explorers and has since been held in private collections.

Its current owner is antiques dealer John Shepherd, of Ashford in Kent, who bought the egg after seeing David Attenborough discover one while filming in Madagascar.


Mr Shepherd, a trained palaeontologist, has decided to sell the egg, which is on display at the Chelsea Antiques Fair, which runs until Sunday.

It is expected to fetch at least £5,000. He said: 'The egg is a talking point. It's very eye-catching and it has a wonderful simplicity about it. It stands on its own.

'It has a great social history. The Madagascan elephant bird was the only giant bird to exist with man and man caused its extinction.

'It's nice to be able to show children today about environmental issues that have been going on for hundreds of years.'

Great Elephant Birds became extinct after being hunted by the natives of Madagascar.

Even though the bird weighed about half a ton, it also suffered at the hands of other predators such as pigs who ate their chicks and destroyed their eggs.

The flightless bird, the largest to have ever lived, resembled a heavily-built ostrich. It had long legs, talons and stood at more than 10ft tall.


But despite its fearsome appearance, it was a herbivore.


The birds were wiped out by hunters in the mid-1600s.

Duncan Phillips, organiser of the Chelsea Antiques Fair, where the egg is on show, said: "This is the largest known egg in the world."

"Elephant Bird eggs are extremely rare and this is the biggest one we have ever seen."

"They are very highly prized by collectors and interior designers and there might not be another one on the market for 50 years."


A March 25, 2009 BBC News article noted that "The egg would have contained the chick of a baby Great Elephant Bird but is now hollow after it was broken and pieced back together."

March 28, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Molding Brush


Hand-made, designed to clean moldings, bookshelves and behind cabinets.



March 28, 2009 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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