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April 30, 2009

Celebration: Kewpie Doll Centennial


Rose O'Neill (above in 1907) created the Kewpie Doll in 1909.

According to Wikipedia, "Kewpie dolls and figurines are based on comic strip-like illustrations [below]


by Rose O'Neill that appeared in Ladies Home Journal in 1909. The small dolls were extremely popular in the early 1900s.... Their name, often shortened to 'Kewpies,' is derived from 'Cupid,' the Roman god of beauty and non-platonic love."

Now there's a limited-edition 100th Anniversary Kewpie Doll to celebrate.

From the website:


100 Years of Kewpie Doll

Celebrate Kewpie's creator with this special release.

Doll is dressed in a charming outfit trimmed in pink gingham and accented with ribbon roses, and holds a banner recognizing the everlasting appeal of this adorable collectible.

Crafted in collector-quality vinyl with jointed head, arms and legs.

12" tall.





Rose O'Neill with her dolls, circa mid-1910s.

April 30, 2009 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

R.E.M. Spring


Don't get your baggies in a twist thinking it's their new album.

No, it's much more mundane.

From the website:


R.E.M. Spring™ —
As seen in "O" Magazine!

The fast and easy way to remove facial hair.

Have the silky-smooth skin you’ve always wanted — without tweezing, shaving or depilatories. 

Based on the age-old Asian technique of hair threading to remove unwanted hairs, the R.E.M. Spring is safe, effective and easy to use.

You don’t need waxes, bleach or stinging lotions to remove those little hairs on the cheeks, chin, neck and upper lip.

Just roll the R.E.M. Spring bar over unwanted hairs — it removes hair from the root, and won’t leave skin with rashes, redness or sores like waxing can.

Easy to take along in a purse or travel kit.

Durable stainless steel.

Use wet or dry.




The only thing that worries me is that the folks over at MAKE will go out to their garages and down to their basements to find some junky spring and try it out for this purpose.

I hereby state unequivocally that I am not responsible should you take that approach.

And that's all I have to say

Forrest Gump 79ljtg4

about that.

April 30, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack



It is what it says.


Joe Yonan's front page story


in yesterday's Washington Post


has details.

April 30, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

'Of computer bondage' — black leather keyboard


For those for whom time at the machine represents not a willful act but, rather, a submission to needs and drives too dark to be confronted except by intermittent pixel eruptions.

"Each key of the Gokukawa keyboard (¥49,800/$548 USD) is meticulously hand-wrapped in black saddle leather. The result is a completely monochromatic glossy black-on black design. The base model [top] features blank keys."

"An upgrade to the Gokukawa Pro (below; ¥54,800/$603 USD) enhances usability by engraving the letter of each key to show through the skin-tight leather."


Apply within.

[via BornrichGizmodo and technabob]

April 30, 2009 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Leaving your mark — the footprints of devotion


From OffbeatEarth:



No, this isn’t some fancy Photoshop trick, these are real human footprints ingrained in a hardwood floor.


70 year-old Buddhist monk Hua Chi has been praying in the same spot at his temple in Tongren, China for over 20 years. His footprints, which are up to 1.2 inches deep in some areas, are the result of performing his prayers up to 3000 times a day. Now that he is 70, he says that he has greatly reduced his quantity of prayers to 1,000 times each day.


The footprints have become a source of inspiration to younger monks at the temple. “Every day I come here and every day I look at the piece of wood, and it has inspired me to continue to make the footprints myself,” Genden Darji, a 29-year-old monk in the monastery, notes.


[via Milena]

April 30, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Beer Chips


From  yesterday's Washington Post Food section:


About four years ago, Portland, Ore., resident Brett Stern was watching someone on television explain how potato chips could be flavored when he looked down at the beer in his hand and thought: There's a good flavor. Why not start a company? He quickly discovered that the ideal domain name was available, and so his Beer Chips were born.

The former industrial designer reduces bock-style beer to a powder that he sprinkles on kettle-cooked potato chips; he uses the same process to make his Margarita and Spicy Bloody Mary flavors as well. The chips are slightly sweet and fairly salty, in addition to the great taste of . . . . His chips are making their way toward East Coast retail stores.


Online store here.

April 30, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Q. How do you move a 5,500-Pound Hippopotamus?


A. "Very carefully."

Look at the photo above.

What do you see?

Thank you for that.

Long story short: Happy (above), the lone Nile hippo in Washington, D.C.'s National Zoo, who was born and raised there, is moving to Milwaukee's zoo after 28 happy years in the nation's capitol.

Here's today's Washington Post Metro section front page story by Michael J. Ruane with the details.


The 5,500-Pound Question

How to move a hippo 800 miles? Zoo officials are thinking: very carefully.

Happy the hippopotamus placed his right foot on the threshold of the giant moving crate [top] and paused.

He peered warily at his keeper, who was standing at the other end of the crate, trying to coax him in with a bucket of bananas.

"C'mon, Happy," said the keeper, John Taylor. "C'mon. You're not going anywhere today." Happy wasn't buying it. He gave Taylor a suspicious look and backed away. He was having a moment, Taylor said.

Happy [below],


who has bulbous brown eyes and skin the color of an earthworm, may not be going anywhere right now. But the National Zoo's lone Nile hippo, who was born and has lived his whole life there, will probably be moving this summer to the Milwaukee County Zoo.

Curators are pondering: How do you move a 5,500-pound hippopotamus 800 miles?

First, you've got to get him in his timber and steel moving crate. And that takes practice.

There's also the size of the crate. Zoo curators think the one they have might not be wide enough for Happy to lie down in during the journey.

Then there's the size of the truck -- the journey will be a kind of hippo road trip, Happy's first.

And there's the size of the crane it will take to hoist him out of his yard. That task will probably be the most delicate because the crate should be kept perfectly level, curators said.

"We want the crate to be as stable as possible, as if it's levitating," said National Zoo Senior Curator Brandie Smith.

Happy has to leave Washington because the National Zoo's ongoing expansion of its elephant exhibit will claim his quarters. And the Milwaukee zoo wants to expand its hippo presence and possibly breed Happy, who recently turned 28.

Zoo officials plan to map out the best route to Milwaukee, as well as two alternates. They will also alert zoos along the way to have veterinarians on standby, in case of an emergency.

"You can't pull over at a gas station," Smith said. "If something horrible happened on an interstate, instead of being stuck in traffic, what they could do is go to a zoo, and he could be tended to there."

Happy will probably be traveling in an air-conditioned truck to ward off summer heat. The trip will probably take most of a day, officials said.

Curators do not anticipate trouble, Smith said, but they are thinking through every possible scenario.

Happy could get overexcited, or hungry, or hot, or thirsty. The zoo plans to have plenty of water and munchies for the journey and lots of pre-trip practice. "We're doing this now so he won't freak out," Smith said.

If all goes as planned, he will join Milwaukee's two female hippos, Puddles and Patty, in what is expected to be a swanky new multimillion-dollar hippo exhibit there.

"Imagine if you lived in an efficiency apartment, and then you moved into this gorgeous new mansion," Smith said. "We want to think that he'll miss us . . . because we like him so much. . . . [But] he is a hippo . . . so he won't be homesick."

Officials at both zoos have high hopes for Happy's encounter with Patty and Puddles. Male hippos are extremely territorial and can be aggressive with other males, Smith said, but not necessarily with females. "If they have a territory, it's to attract a mate," she said.

Happy will be gradually "introduced" to the females, she said. "You start out small," she said. "First you smell each other. Then you see each other. Then you kind of get a little contact."

But first, Happy has to get to Milwaukee.


Taylor [above and below], who has been Happy's keeper for 15 years, practiced getting him into the crate yesterday, with one end closed. The zoo has had the crate in Happy's enclosure for months, trying to get him familiar with it. Keepers must gradually get him used to having one end closed, then both ends closed.

"We make getting into the crate fun," Smith said.

Food is the key.

The crate is chained to an entryway of Happy's enclosure so he has to pass through it to go into his yard.

Yesterday, Taylor, known as JT, placed a bundle of delectable alfalfa at the closed end of the cage. Happy loves alfalfa, although it is too rich for him to eat all the time.

Taylor then enticed Happy toward the entrance with banana and apple chunks, pitching them into the hippo's yawning mouth.

As he stood outside in a light rain, Taylor spoke soothingly as he coaxed the animal toward the crate.

"Come here, Hap, come on," he said, lobbing food. "You like that, don't you? You eat all your hay, now?"

Taylor banged the banana bucket on the crate to try to get the hesitant animal to enter. "You're thinking about it," he called. Eventually the lure of the alfalfa was too much, and Happy ambled in.

Taylor said he will miss Happy. He's not sure whether the hippo will feel the same way.


"I think he's going to forget about me after the first day," he said. "That's my biggest fear. Because they're going to have two ladies down there."

April 30, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Helpful Hints from joeeze: Shower Curtain Hole Repair


A blast from the past.

File under "Fixing a hole."

Not a week goes by that I don't receive a request for a source from which to obtain Shower Curtain Hole Repair discs (above), featured back in early 2007.

Rather than have to continue to respond individually to readers requesting this information, and because as a rule 10-100 times as many people think about doing something as act, I figured I'd put up the information here in a freshened post, with an updated live website source, for all those reenacting the Beatles' song.

Here's that 2007 post.


Shower Curtain Saver

Add years of life to curtains and liners — just apply a clear peel-off Curtain Saver over each hole.

Don't throw out your favorite shower curtain because of a torn hook hole.

Strong plastic reinforcements can be applied in seconds and last years.

For best results, apply one saver on each side of the curtain hole.


36 for $3.99.

N.B.: If you plan to proceed as advised above and put one of these on each side of each hole of a standard shower curtain, you'll need 2 x 12 = 24 discs to cover all the holes.

Then you'll know how many holes it takes not to fill the Albert Hall but, rather, exist in a standard shower curtain.

Even I can do that math — as long as I have a calculator.

But maybe you don't have a calculator and maybe you don't have any interest in ordering these things.

I can see how you'd feel that way.

"Solve the problem with what's in the room," was one of Edwin H. Land's favorite sayings.

I've always found it a source of inspiration and inventiveness, at least in my neck of the woods.

One day, many years ago, I noticed a tear between one of the holes in my shower curtain and the top edge.

I shrugged.

I mean, you have 11 others to take up the slack, right?

But as time went on and I'd occasionally glance at the rent and think about it, I wondered if there was a way to repair it with what was in the room.

At the time I lived in a studio apartment in LA so it really was "in the room."

I espied a roll of strapping tape, that really strong stuff you hurt yourself trying to tear before you give up and go get a knife or scissors.

Then I remembered I had a paper punch, the kind you use to punch holes in plain paper so you can put it in a three-ring binder.

I cut off a piece of strapping tape about two inches long and folded it over the top of the shower curtain and over both sides of the torn hole.

Then I used the paper punch to make a new hole.


And Nextel hadn't even been invented yet.

April 30, 2009 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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