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July 28, 2010

Helpful Hints from joeeze: Kitchen fire management

Flautist sent me the following, writing, "Got this from a friend today — probably a lot of people don’t know this — I sure didn’t. Great message."


Dear Friends,

I was Executive Director of the Institute for Burn Medicine for San Diego and Imperial Counties when we lived in California.

Besides raising the money to establish a Burn Treatment Center at the University Hospital there, I conducted extensive public education campaigns in Burn Prevention.

A friend recently sent me the attached short video — and like an old fire horse, I heard the bell ring and am rushing to send this excellent prevention piece to each of you.

It is stunning, well worth viewing — and it could save your life.

Please read what follows here first, then watch the short 30-second clip about how to deal with a  common kitchen fire — oil in a frying pan.

I had never realized before watching that a wet dishcloth can be a one-size-fits-all lid to cover a fire in a pan.

At Fire Fighting Training school they would demonstrate this with a deep fat fryer set on the fire field.

An instructor would don a fire suit and use an 8-oz. cup at the end of a 10-foot pole to toss water onto the grease fire.

The results got the attention of the students.

The water, being heavier than oil, sank to the bottom where it instantly became superheated.

The explosive force of the steam then blew the burning oil up and out.

On the open fire field, it became a 30-foot-high fireball that resembled a nuclear  blast.

Inside the confines of a kitchen, the fireball hits the ceiling and fills the entire room.

Also worth knowing: Do not throw sugar or flour on a grease fire — one cup of either creates the explosive force of two sticks of dynamite.

July 28, 2010 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Calculating Tape Measure


Can your tape measure do that?

Didn't think so.

From the website:


10-foot-long personalized metal tape measure (standard and metric) has locking/retracting button.

Lid flips open to reveal an LCD calculator and a sticky-note pad to jot down measurements.

Includes belt clip and battery.

2¼" x 2¼".



July 28, 2010 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Stanhopes — "Secret pictures from the past"


I'd never heard of Stanhopes (above) until last week when I stumbled on a website devoted to them.

Q. What are Stanhopes?

A. Stanhopes — or "peeps" — are miniature microphotographic lenses incorporated into many novelty collectibles produced from the mid-19th century onwards.

They take their name from Lord Stanhope, a late-18th-century English scientist who invented a tiny, high-magnification glass rod lens.

More: "Stanhopes were manufactured in France from 1859-1972. A Parisian photographer, Rene Dagron, combined two British inventions to form a single tiny unit, and inserted them in large numbers of cheap souvenirs."

"The Stanhope image is only the size of a pinhead. To be able to read captions and distinguish individual details, which are only minute fractions of this small area, demonstrates great skill by the original 19th century photographer."

July 28, 2010 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Roy Rogers is riding tonight


His horse Trigger, stuffed — the real deal, gloriously rearing up (above) — brought $266,000 at a Christie's auction in New York two weeks ago.

The buyer was Patrick Gottsch, founder of RFD-TV, a network aimed at rural America.

Gottsch kept the family together, also purchasing Rogers' stuffed German shepherd, Bullet (top), for $35,000.

July 28, 2010 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Geocities-izer — "Make any webpage look like it was made by a 13-year-old in 1996"


Too great.

Screen shot 20rgeqy10-07-26 at 4.17.18 PM

Wrote Rob Walker in his "Consumed" column in this past Sunday's New York Times magazine, "Geocities-izer... instantly reworks any slick contemporary site into a jarring mess of loud colors and pointless animation reminiscent of an earlier and more individualized version of the Internet...."

July 28, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Blast from the past: Weird pizza cutter


For a while there it seemed every week brought a post featuring a new tool for cutting pizza.

You could look it up.

Then I finally gave in to the onslaught of email and comments saying "Enough, already."

But I figure by now maybe most people here are either new or have forgotten those other posts so I'm gonna try and sneak one more by.

This one's called the Scizza Pizza Cutter.

Does "Scizza" rhyme with "pizza?"

Who knows?

From the website:


Tired of damaging your plates and trays as you slice up your evening's pizza?

The ingenious Scizza Pizza Cutter offers a clever solution for pizza, quiche, pies and pastry.

The ergonomic scissors feature a flexible nylon base which easily slides between food and trays while protecting your non-stick coatings.

The top blade cuts cleanly through your dish, preserving its appealing look.

Made from hardened German stainless steel, the device features comfortable soft-grip handles and a handy safety lock.

Perfect for cutting on any surface, it protects your plates and trays from the potentially damaging pressure of knives and traditional pizza wheels.




[via crookedbrains]

July 28, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Alan Moore gets real

Great article by Dave Itzkoff in yesterday's New York Times about the sui generis writer/artist who created, among other things, "Watchmen" and "V for Vendetta."

Above, Moore reads a portion of "Unearthing," his latest work.

The Times story follows.



Typically, the appearance of Alan Moore’s name on a comic book has been a harbinger of heady, consequential writing inside: a promise of mighty champions empowered through mystical or superscientific methods and whose conflicts would challenge the reader’s perceptions of heroism and humanity.

So perhaps the first indication that “Unearthing,” a new work by Mr. Moore, is not typical of his pioneering graphic novels, like “Watchmen” and “V for Vendetta,” is that its subject is not a costumed adventurer, but a friend and fellow comics writer named Steve Moore, who inspired him to enter the business.

The second sign is that “Unearthing” is not a comic book at all, but a lengthy spoken-word recording accompanied by an atmospheric musical soundtrack and a book of photographs.


Despite the radical change in format, the “Unearthing” project is no less significant to Alan Moore, a prolific (and prodigiously bearded) 56-year-old resident of Northampton, England. To him it is a tribute to a colleague and mentor, and a demonstration that he has transcended the boundaries of the graphic novels for which he is best known.

“After all those years of working within the comics industry and quietly going mad, this is what erupts,” Mr. Moore said in a telephone interview.

For all of his protests, “Unearthing” is also an affectionate retelling of the history of British comics — a nostalgic look back, through the prism of a friend, at the genre he says he is moving beyond.

The seeds of “Unearthing” were sown in 2006, when Mr. Moore published its text as an essay in an anthology called “London: City of Disappearances,” edited by the writer Iain Sinclair.

Asked to memorialize a part of London that was in danger of vanishing, Alan Moore chose not a place but Steve Moore, whom he had known since their teenage years in the 1960s. (The two men are not related.) After publishing some of Britain’s earliest comics fanzines and helping to organize some of that country’s first comic-book conventions, Steve Moore became a contributor to fantasy- and superhero-theme comics like Warrior and 2000 AD.

When he wrote the essay, Alan Moore was embroiled in a war of words with his American publisher, DC Comics, over the rights to his works and his frustrations with film adaptations produced by DC’s corporate sibling Warner Brothers.

But none of this enmity is reflected in the poetic and densely allusive text of “Unearthing.” In part, the piece pays homage to Shooters Hill, the South London neighborhood where Steve Moore lives and that has been referred to by writers from Dickens to Wordsworth and whose geological history helped create the Thames Valley. “It’s almost as if the entire city of London and its history is a dream of Shooters Hill,” Alan Moore said.

The essay also recounts the birth of the British comics scene, when it was still obsessed with the American science-fiction and horror titles of the 1950s and deeply envious of the American superhero stories of the ’60s.

In “Unearthing,” Mr. Moore recalls the “crowd-pleasing formula of omnipotent losers” pioneered by Stan Lee, the Marvel Comics writer and editor (“Yeah, you may be Nordic god of thunder, but you’ve got a gammy leg”), and the “Cadillac-smooth sweep” of the DC artist Carmine Infantino.

Alan Moore also praised Steve Moore for embodying the “radical and progressive” mindset of the ideal British comics fan. “We were all proto-hippies,” Alan Moore said, “and we all thought comics would be greatly improved if everything was a bit psychedelic, like Jim Steranko.”

Acknowledging that he is not exactly a household name, Steve Moore said in a telephone interview that he has reacted to his immortalization in “Unearthing” with “a mixture of amazement and amusement.”

“Obviously, it’s a bit strange to have all the intimate details of my life exposed to the public,” he said, adding, “I’m just sitting back, watching the process and wondering where it goes next.”


Since its initial publication, “Unearthing” has continued to evolve in unexpected ways. Alan Moore gave permission to the photographer Mitch Jenkins, another longtime friend, to shoot a series of pictures based on its narrative. Mr. Jenkins then brought the project to the independent British label Lex Records, which produced Mr. Moore’s ominous reading of the essay with a score performed by musicians like Adam Drucker and Andrew Broder, a pair known by the stage name Crook and Flail; Mike Patton of the band Faith No More; and Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai. (A boxed set containing the recordings and photographs is being sold at the label’s Web site, lexrecords.com, and will be released in stores on Aug. 9.)

Mr. Jenkins said this process was typical of how Mr. Moore’s creative explorations come together.

“He just refuses, steadfastly, to do anything unless he truly believes in it, whereas I have sold myself to the Devil so many times,” Mr. Jenkins said. “For me it’s a new experience to sneak into a world where you do things just because you want to do them.”

If “Unearthing” reflected a yearning for a simpler era of comic-book publishing, its author said that was inevitable. “That is perhaps a nostalgia that I was trying to summon on behalf of Steve,” he said. “Some things in there are things that I am not personally nostalgic for. Some of them are things that I’ve never read or never seen.”

But Mr. Moore said he was leaving that world behind, preferring to savor his newfound role as impresario and, he said, “all the new projects that seem to be springing up like mushrooms, ever since I removed myself from the arena of the comic book.”

He said he was still committed to his adventure series “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” which is illustrated by Kevin O’Neill and whose latest issue was released in May 2009. But he is also working on Dodgem Logic, an underground magazine that he began publishing last fall; a “grimoire” — or magic spell book — with Steve Moore; and a film project for which he will write the screenplay and that Mr. Jenkins will direct.

Alan Moore said he was also about 26 chapters into a long-long-in-the-works novel called “Jerusalem,” in which, he said, “I can conclusively prove that death is a perspective illusion of the third dimension and that none of us have anything to worry about.”

Mr. Moore admitted that the pressure to outdo himself, largely self-imposed, was one he has been facing ever since he and the illustrator Dave Gibbons finished work on “Watchmen,” their enormously influential and best-selling superhero series, back in 1987.

“It’s just constantly raising expectations for myself,” he said, “to the point where, inevitably, I must surely collapse under my own mass and become some sort of creative black hole.”

He added, “Hopefully, that’s a way off yet.”



Q.&A with Moore here.

It pays to read to the end.

July 28, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Pocket Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Not "real soon now" but shipping.

I'll take one.



[via Pulp]

July 28, 2010 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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