« June 28, 2009 | Main | June 30, 2009 »

June 29, 2009

bookofjoe MoneyMaker™ — literally


You know how they always tell you to vote for yourself in an election in which you're a candidate?

Reminds me of one of my favorite fridge magnets, it shows some crazy line drawing of a guy saying "Vote for Change!"

Then below it says, "Vote for me and I'll give you 25 cents."

It's amused me for decades.


Now that bookofjoe's available for the Kindle (you could look it up), it seemed to me obvious that I should subscribe so as to have at least one person on my Amazon roll.

Beside which, I could finally give the idiot who writes bookofjoe my two cents worth — on a daily basis.

But I digress yet again.

Problem is I don't have a Kindle, just an iPod touch with the Kindle reader app, quite nifty but "... newspapers, magazines and blogs are not available for iPhone [or iPod touch] at this time."

But I already knew that.

What I was thinking was that it would be nice for Amazon to let people subscribe regardless of whether they had a Kindle or, for that matter, any interest in reading on a Kindle as opposed to online.

No, what I'm thinking is that subscribing is a nice way to support someone's blog or website, even if you access it on another platform.

I've never liked the "Donate" button PayPal offers as a way of bringing in money; it seems too needy and off-putting, as if you really don't think the recipient deserves it on merit.

I got the subscription-as-a-gesture idea from a blog post by reader Joel Ordesky.

Maybe I'll forward this post to Amazon's Kindle store and see if they have any thoughts on it.

June 29, 2009 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Hublot x BMC Limited Edition All Black Bicycle


Carbon fiber and aluminum with ceramic bearings.


Edition of 30


available only


at Hublot stores.


Price? If you have to ask....

[via Sybarites]

June 29, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

'It isn't really there because, if it were, someone would have already picked it up' — Efficient market hypothesis on a $100 bill lying on the sidewalk

There's something wonderfully wacky about this oft-cited apothegm, containing as it does elements of Philip K. Dick, Bugs Bunny, Homer Simpson and Burton Malkiel.

As John Maynard Keynes remarked, "Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent."

June 29, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

TuGo Cup Holder


Where was this puppy last month when I covered a half-mile between gates at Philadelphia Airport — pulling my jampacked carry-on wheelie and a tote bag full of books, newspapers and magazines while balancing a searing hot Starbucks Americano in the other hand — in about seven minutes?


From websites:


TuGo™ Holder keeps your coffee cup secure when you're on the run

This pliable molded cup holder safely nestles your coffee cup between the telescoping handles of your wheeled luggage.

Just thread it around the luggage handles, tighten, and slide in any small to medium take-out coffee cup.




June 29, 2009 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

'Magic Fingers' Inventor John Houghtaling is dead at 92

Here's Margalit Fox's June 20, 2009 New York Times obituary.


John Houghtaling, an inventor whose best-known product shook postwar America, or at least those Americans who stayed overnight in midprice motels, died on Wednesday at his home in Fort Pierce, Fla. Mr. Houghtaling, the inventor of the Magic Fingers Vibrating Bed, was 92.

The cause was complications of a recent fall, his son Paul said.

Developed in 1958 in Mr. Houghtaling’s basement, Magic Fingers was a ubiquitous presence in the roadside America of the 1960s and ’70s. Installed on millions of beds in hotels and motels across the country, it featured a mechanical vibrator attached to the box spring, and a coin meter attached to the vibrator. Activated, “Magic Fingers quickly carries you into the land of tingling relaxation and ease,” as a label on the device proclaimed.

Operation was simple. The weary traveler dropped a quarter into the meter, and the mattress surged to life. Fifteen minutes later, when the shaking stopped, the user could either drop off to sleep or pay for another tremulous round.

“While the vibrators offer a pleasing sensation similar to weightlessness, no special medical or therapeutic value is claimed,” The New York Times reported in 1963. “It is said, though, that they are of aid in getting to sleep.”

Combining the thrill of a carnival ride with the pleasure of what could be accomplished, sleeping or waking, on a motel bed, Magic Fingers has insinuated itself into the consciousness of a great many Americans over 40. It has cropped up in a spate of movies, television shows and popular songs, including “This Hotel Room,” by Steve Goodman, in which Jimmy Buffett sang: “Put in a quarter / Turn out the light / Magic Fingers makes you feel all right.”

John Joseph Houghtaling was born on Nov. 14, 1916, in Kansas City, Mo. (The family name is pronounced HUFF-tay-ling.) After high school, he held a series of jobs, among them hotel bellman, cookware salesman and a salesman of a remote-control lawnmower.

The earliest vibrating beds predated the Industrial Revolution and were powered by household servants. Then came steam power, and after that, electricity. Mr. Houghtaling’s great innovation was to separate the motor from the bed.

In the late 1950s, Mr. Houghtaling was working as a salesman for a vibrating-bed company. Its product, which combined motor and mattress in one integrated unit, was expensive and unwieldy. What was more, as he said in interviews afterward, it broke down frequently.

Tinkering in the basement of his home in Glen Rock, N.J., Mr. Houghtaling tested 300 motors before hitting on one that was light, unobtrusive and made the bed tingle at just the right frequency. At the company’s height in the mid- to late 1970s, Paul Houghtaling said, more than a million Magic Fingers devices were in use in hotels, motels and private homes in the United States and Europe.

Mr. Houghtaling’s first marriage, to Ruth Donovan, ended in divorce; his second wife, Rita Breier, died before him. He is survived by four sons, John, Mark, Paul and Chris, and a daughter, Alison Lincoln, all from his first marriage; and four grandchildren. Most of Mr. Houghtaling’s children have Magic Fingers in their homes, Paul Houghtaling said in an interview on Friday.

By the early 1980s, Magic Fingers had begun to fall out of favor with hotel owners. By the standards of late-20th-century in-room entertainment, the device seemed quaint. There was also the matter of guests breaking into the coin meters and stealing the quarters, something they did often.

Mr. Houghtaling retired in the 1980s, after selling the rights to the Magic Fingers name. Today, the device is marketed by its current owners for home use.

The Magic Fingers Vibrating Bed can still be found in a handful of steadfast motels, mostly in the American West. There, the faithful check in and take to their beds, rolls of quarters in hand.

June 29, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tasty Wafer iPod Shuffle Case


"Tight-fitting high-density silicone cases


with cutouts for easy access


to controls."


3-Pack (Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla): $13.99.

[via Brogui]

June 29, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Mark Leckey in the Long Tail'

Wrote James Harkin in the June 20, 2009 Financial Times, "When I asked Leckey why he was interested in the idea of lectures as performance, he told me that he now spent most of his time as an artist scouring the internet for imagery. In this kind of 'dematerialized' world, the idea of presenting objects in a gallery no longer seemed appropriate, he said. He was, however, keen to distinguish what he did from the traditional role of the public intellectual. 'Most artists are not very clever... nor should we expect them to be. We don't go to an artist for a rigorous analysis of an idea. What I'm trying to do is something that really engages with the pathologizing effect of electronic information. I want to channel the idea, to get inside it and become the medium.'"

June 29, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Micro Power Drill


Now that's small.


Powered by a button cell battery.

Watch the movie.

[via my7475 and New Idea Homepage]

June 29, 2009 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

« June 28, 2009 | Main | June 30, 2009 »