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May 8, 2010

You stand corrected — Or why, from today forward, my corrections to MSM will appear here first instead of (maybe) being published days/weeks later in newspapers and magazines.


This morning I checked the Wall Street Journal's (WSJ) Corrections on page 2 to see if they ran my correction of Daniel Henninger's misspelling of Jabba the Hutt as "Jabba the Hut" in his column this past Thursday. 

And not just in the body of his column but also in large print as a subhead (top). 

And to make sure we know they don't have a clue, they used the erroneous spelling in a picture caption along with the text (below).



And don't tell me misspelling a fictional character's name doesn't matter. 

It most certainly does to anyone who loves "Star Wars" and there are plenty of us still kicking.

But I digress.

Maybe the WSJ will publish it next week but probably never.

Their problem from now on rather than mine, 'cause from this moment on it's on the record for anyone to see.

Tell me: If you were serious about becoming America's newspaper of record, as Rupert Murdoch keeps telling us is his goal, then wouldn't you be obsessive and fanatic about being correct and fix mistakes ASAP?

I sure would.

The time between a reader pointing out a mistake in bookofjoe to me and my correcting it can be measured in Charlottesville zeptoseconds (that's the Podunk town equivalent of a New York minute).

But I digressed again, didn't I?

Somewhere Matt is smiling.

Oops, there's number three — and I'm just getting started.

Below, my May 6, 2010 correction as submitted to the WSJ.



Bonus: As soon as this goes up, I'm putting it on Twitter just to make it official.

joe, that doesn't make it "official."


But there's no question it's on the record, WSJ acknowledgment or not.

Who thought this up, anyway?

It just occurred to me that Murdoch might sic his overpaid News Corp. lawyerbots on me for this seeming effrontery.

Don't go there, Rupert — you'll regret it.

My own Pittsburgh-based crack legal team is just itching for a fight.

Don't force me to turn them loose.

May 8, 2010 at 05:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Giant Rubber Band


"This giant rubber band is used in the shipping industry to bind boxes on pallets. Other uses include for exercise, giant slingshots, and strengthening trust between loved ones."

6 feet long x 3/4" wide x 1/8" thick; made of natural rubber.


[via Virginia Moore]


Note added today at 10:44 p. m.: link now live.

May 8, 2010 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

World's longest race: 54-year-old Suprabha Beckjord runs 3,100 miles — around the same block



From a March 8, 2010 Blue Ridge Outdoors Q&A with this remarkable athlete (above): "[Washington] D.C.'s Suprabha Beckjord is the only woman ever to enter and complete the Sri Chimnoy Self Transcendence 3,100-Mile Race in Queens, N.Y., the longest recognized race in the world."

Here's the piece.


D.C. Runner Completes World's Longest Race

54-Year-Old Suprabha Beckjord Runs 3,100 Miles Around Same Block

D.C.’s Suprabha Beckjord is the only woman ever to enter and complete the Sri Chimnoy Self Transcendence 3,100 mile race in Queens, N.Y., the longest recognized race in the world. A new documentary, "The Spirit of a Runner," details Beckjord’s journey to this unlikely record, showing audiences what it’s like to run 3,100 miles around the same block in Queens for up to 60 days in a row.

You’re known as a very quiet, humble person. How did you handle having a movie made about you?
I liked the idea of having the film made, because the race gets very little attention. I’ve been doing that race for 13 years, and there’s day-by-day coverage on the website during the summer, but it doesn’t get the sort of media coverage a marathon or ultra gets.

Tell us about the Sri Chimnoy Self Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race.
The race is set on a single block in Queens, N.Y. There’s a vocational school on one end that’s busy with kids, a big playing field in the middle, a track for running on one end, and Grand Central Parkway on another with intense traffic. During the last five years, we’ve had about 12 to 14 runners. The course can’t handle more than 15. There’s quite a few repeat runners, but I’m the only American who’s done it recently.

And you’re the only woman who’s ever run it. Why do you think that is?
Not everyone can devote the time for that sort of endeavor. We have six-day and ten-day races in the spring that get a lot more runners. I’m sure some other women will do it eventually. There are plenty of runners out there who could. I don’t know why they haven’t yet. Maybe it’s a matter of the time commitment involved. You have to be ready to spend your summer devoted to that one thing. But as time goes on, there may be more Americans involved.

Does running the same half-mile block make the race harder or easier?
It would certainly be more interesting to run the 3,100 miles straight out somewhere and back, but in order to take care of the runners, it has to be a small course. Also, it would be exhausting if your surroundings were perpetually changing. It’s actually better if everything’s familiar. You need that familiarity to get through those miles.

How do you train to run 3,100 miles?
During the last couple of years I’ve been focusing on strength training. I used to do a number of shorter distance races to build up to the 3,100 miles, but I haven’t been able to fit in as much running recently. Basically, I’ll run 45 minutes a day with a longer run on the weekends and just try to be fit and strong at the beginning of the race in the summer.

Is finishing this distance a case of mind over matter?
Not so much the mind as the heart. The mind is so boggled with just the idea of that distance. The mind says you’re tired. I have to go beyond the mind and run this race with my heart, which is full of eagerness and joy. It’s a pilgrimage. I always go inside and meditate. You have to be aware of your surroundings of course, but for me, and for a lot of people, running is a way to quiet your mind a bit, and to feel happy just to be outside. To be outside all summer like that, from 6 a.m. to midnight sometimes, is a special thing.

Are you looking forward to this year’s race in June?
I haven’t decided if I’m going to run it yet. I have run 13 editions of the race, and 13 is such a nice number. The next number I like is much higher, so maybe this is a good time to stop. We’ll see.

Is running a normal race like the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler anticlimactic after running the Self-Transcendence?
Not at all. I ran the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler a few years ago and I loved it. Every distance is fun for me, and it’s not like I’m raring to go after finishing a marathon. I’m tired like everyone else.



a trailer for "The Spirit of a Runner."

May 8, 2010 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Got carpal tunnel? This may be the lopper for you


From websites:



Electric Alligator Lopper

This Electric Alligator Lopper tackles mid-sized branches too thick for standard loppers.


Built like a chain saw with double handles, it has a 4" jaw that cuts from side to side in a scissor-like action, trimming and then cutting debris into small pieces.


Safer than a regular chain saw, it's lightweight (just 6 lbs.) and easy to manage, and the blade is almost entirely enclosed.

Equipped with a 4.5-AMP motor and retractable cord. Ideal for after-storm cleanup and regular yard maintenance.




May 8, 2010 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

What are they?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

May 8, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Porcelain Measuring Spoons


Res ipsa 





May 8, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Hoodie Computer Sleeve

Why pay more?

[via LikeCOOL]

May 8, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tao Tactical Pen: Defensive writing instrument with 'three levels of force'


Designed by knife designer Allen Elishewitz.

From the website:



In Chinese philosophy, Tao means "the way," the fundamental or true nature of the world. And appropriately, these pens reflect the current state of today's world, in which a sudden, unforeseen physical attack can come at any time.

Allen notes, "These pen designs are evolutions of the custom tactical pens I have offered successfully for many years. However, they are very different from the other aggressive-looking pens and kubotans on the market, that is, they do not look threatening, but are useful high-tech writing instruments with a stylish and futuristic design. If the user is threatened or attacked, the pens can be used at three levels of defensive force, depending on the type of threat. 


"At the lowest level of engagement, the impact crown on the cap can be used to strike the assailant on the head or hands by raking or thrusting. This provides notice of self-defense, and may deter the attacker with minimal injury to him.

"At the second level, the more pointed butt of the pen may be used to thrust or provide a disabling pressure point behind the ears, at the armpit or throat.

"At the third level, if the attack persists, the pen point may be thrust for penetration in soft tissues of the throat, chest or abdomen with potentially lethal results if the assailant does not break off the attack." 


The pens are made of 6061 aluminum, precision-machined and hard anodized. The heavy cap is threaded so that it will not pull off in use, and castellated for greater impact. The flutes and grooves on the pen, combined with the pewter-toned stainless steel pocket clip, provide a secure grip.

All Tao models are functional writing instruments which use the Fisher® Space Pen ball point cartridge, a pressurized design developed for NASA. It has a tungsten carbide ball point and thixotropic ink which will write in freezing cold, boiling heat, underwater and at any angle — even upside down.

When you can't take a knife or handgun, you can rely on the Tao.



Apply within.

May 8, 2010 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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