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June 21, 2009

Helpful Hints from joeeze: How one of the world's great ant experts deals with ants in the kitchen


"At 72, Bert Hölldobler, a professor of life sciences at Arizona State University and a professor emeritus at the University of Würzburg in Germany, is one of the world's great ant experts. Along with his collaborator, E. O. Wilson, Dr. Hölldobler won a Pulitzer Prize in 1991 for "The Ants." The two wrote a second book in 2008, "The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance and Strangeness of Insects."

You could look it up.

Can't be bothered?

I hear you: let's cut to the chase, from Claudia Dreifus's June 16, 2009 New York Times Science section Q&A with Hölldobler.

Do you call an exterminator when ants infest your kitchen?

A. No, I don’t mind them. Listen, if you have ants in the house, you take a wet towel and detergent and you wipe over their trail. Do this a couple of times and they’ll stay out. People come up after speeches and say, “But what can we do, we have ants?” I say, “Buy a magnifying glass and enjoy watching them.”

June 21, 2009 at 05:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

3,177 (no bullet)


Technorati reports bookofjoe is closing in on a spot in the Top 3000 blogs in the world, as of yesterday afternoon.

No bullet because, while the number's moving in the right direction, it's taken nearly a year to get here.


You could look it up.

June 21, 2009 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

'A note can be as small as a pin or as big as the world' — Thelonious Monk's advice to saxophonist Steve Lacy (1960)


[via Neven MrganERIC ALBA and What Alice Found]

June 21, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Throwback Flash Drive


Pretty amazing, how time — or the sensation of time passing, more precisely — passes,


so quickly that a 3.5-inch floppy now reeks of nostalgia.

[via Guaraná Rosa]

June 21, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Peggy Noonan on naming the technologies of the future


Her "Declarations" column in yesterday's Wall Street Journal focused on the role of Twitter and YouTube in what's going down in Iran.

In her lucid plain-spoken way she analyzed the role of real-time liveblogging and tweeting in getting out what's happening there.

Then, in her final paragraph, she veered off-topic, writing, "... it would be nice if the technologies of the future were not given babyish names. Twitter, Google, Facebook, etc. have come to be crucial and historically consequential tools, and yet to refer to them is to talk baby talk."


But Ms. Noonan's critical arrow, as a rule spot-on, this time missed its mark.

Because what we're using now are the tools of companies whose technologies and products survived a withering winnowing out on their way to primacy.


For every Twitter, Google and Facebook, there are hundreds of failed companies with grown-up names that never made it.

Thousands, more likely.

I believe there is more than a casual connection between the way-off-the-beaten-path curiosity and inventiveness of the minds that produce the wonderful software behind the tools we use with such ease and delight and a certain whimsical sense of fun and absurdity.

Grown-ups psychologically are innovation dead zones.

So when Ms. Noonan closes her piece with, "In the future could inventors please keep the weight and dignity of history in mind?", I can only reply, "Not if they hope to make an impact."


Nooby, Doofus and Kikme — bring it.

June 21, 2009 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Potty Putter


What better item to feature during today's U.S. Open?

Reader Blythe brings news of this remarkable innovation, "A miniature golf game you can play while taking a dump."

From the website:


Potty Putter — The Ultimate Toilet Putting Surface

You get home from a long day at work. The kids are bothering you. The wife is being her lovely self. All you want to do is practice your putting but you don't have time to hit the course for a few weeks. Well, why not work out the kinks in your putting game with our new Potty Putter?

It's a true innovation for getting the most out of each trip to the restroom. Get one for the office and one for home. Finally, you can play some golf without all those bothersome people. The bathroom is perhaps your last bastion of freedom, so don't let anyone invade it.


Putting green

2 golf balls

Flag stick


"Do Not Disturb" sign for your practice sessions



"Work on your golf stroke in privacy for only $19.95."

[via Peggy Wang at BuzzFeed]

June 21, 2009 at 11:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

What is it?


Here's a clue: It's not an egg cup with integrated ejection button.

Answer here this time tomorrow.

June 21, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

iTie — 'World's most functional necktie'


Can your tie do that?

Didn't think so.

From the website:


The patented design features a hidden pocket on the back of the necktie which attaches to two buttons on the wearer’s dress shirt, keeping the tie in perfect position. 


In the concealed pocket, one can store:

• Business cards/credit cards/cash

• Building access card/work ID

• Chewing gum/breath mints

• iPod or MP3 player

• Lighter/cigarettes

• Personal items

• Pens



June 21, 2009 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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