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November 1, 2010

First Annual bookofjoe Potato Chip Contest — The winner: Billy Goat Chips

The much anticipated judging of the contest, whose entrants were introduced here last week, is now complete.

Watch as Cary and I critically evaluate smell, appearance, taste, mouthfeel, and crunch, feed them into our proprietary algorithm, and come up with a winner.

To Michelle at Billy Goat Chips in St. Louis, Missouri, our hearty congratulations on creating the perfect chip.

As you read these words the Golden Chip Trophy is being designed for you, the first recipient of this much-sought honor.

A formal presentation is in the works, details to follow.

It should be noted that the winner was chosen only after an extended debate between Cary and me over the merits of Billy Goat vs. Rusty's, out of Hawaii.

In fact, my first choice after the tasting was Rusty's, Billy Goat coming a close second.

Cary and I had an extended discussion and another round or 10 of tasting these two two extraordinarily good chips, with me finally coming around to his observation that the thing I most liked about Rusty's — their thickness, easily twice or three times that of the next thickest chip — was in fact not a benefit if one were going to eat a large bag of them, for the simple reason that it took some effort to bite into and crunch Rusty's chips, which over 10 or 15 minutes or a half hour might well become a bit tiring.

To the finalists who couldn't quite ascend to the top of the chip heap, our congratulations for making it to the final 15.

Preparations for next year's contest are already well along, with the first of what will be a new field of 15 contenders already identified.

Stay tuned.



November 1, 2010 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Klein Bottle Opener V.2.0


From Bathsheba Grossman's website:


The problem of beer 

That it is within a bottle, i.e. a boundaryless compact 2-manifold homeomorphic to the sphere.  Since beer bottles are not (usually) pathological or "wild" spheres, but smooth manifolds, they separate 3-space into two disconnected regions: inside, containing beer, and outside, containing you.  This state must not remain.

A proposed solution 

Clearly the elegant course is to introduce a non-orientable manifold, which has one side and does not divide 3-space, into the system. The stainless steel Klein bottle1 shown above is an example of this class.  When juxtaposed with the closed 'bottle' described above, it acts to disrupt the continuity thereof, canceling the outdated paradigm of distinction between interior and exterior. This enables interaction between the beer and the self.

In summary 

You need one.

[1]  This sculpture is finished by machine.  It's smoother, glossier, more golden in color than the hand-finished version, and is unsigned.





November 1, 2010 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Escape Motions" — Peter Blaskovic


Ray Earhart sent me this link, writing "This guy is amazing. His Experiments page can make you waste the rest of the day easily."

Fair warning, this time from Ray.

November 1, 2010 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Do not work for free under the guise of good exposure


Good point.

[via FFFFOUND! and graphichug.com]

November 1, 2010 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Isn't it rich? Paul Simon reviews Stephen Sondheim's new book


It was the lead review in yesterday's New York Times Book Review, a kind of love song without music.

Above, Sondheim (now 80) at the piano in the mid-1930s.

The second paragraph of the review: "The book 'Finishing the Hat' becomes a metaphor for that feeling of joy, the little squirt of dopamine hitting the brain when the artist creates a work of art. It’s a feeling so addictive the artist is willing to forgo love in order to experience artistic bliss. It could be a metaphor for Sondheim’s love of songwriting."


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

Transparent Paper Punch


What took so long?


Designed by Kisang Yoon and Kyubok Lee.


"The Transparent Punch allows you to see exactly where you will punching a hole in the paper."


"The red ring guides your placement and saves you from doing a shoddy job."

[via LikeCool and Yanko Design]

November 1, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Goldilocks and picture size on bookofjoe


Yesterday I received the following email from David Bogner, grand panjandrum of Treppenwitz: "Hi Joe. Just a note to let you know that posts like this get cut off (on the right) when viewed on the iPad. Being that you're a user, I figured you'd want to know. Still love your site. Regards, David"

He's right, and this problem has vexed me since I took delivery of my iPad in April of this year.

Anything larger than 600 pixels wide gets cut off due to the iPad's maximum width of 1,024 pixels and the built-in structure of bookofjoe with its right-sided sidebars.

Short of having someone create a bookofjoe app which would improve its rendering on the iPad (and smartphones), I guess it's either accept the truncated photos or make them smaller from the get-go, limiting them to 600 pixels wide when published, with the option to click and make them much larger.

Since it's as obvious to me as the nose on my face that more and more people are going to be accessing boj on small screens, I think I'll forego the pleasure I take in seeing those giant 1,200 or 1,400-pixel-wide photos on my iMac's spectacular 27", 2,560 screen and tailor things better for the small screen.

And maybe I'll give some more thought to that app....

It's also true that if I could compose bookofjoe on my iPad, it's very unlikely this would even be an issue, because I'd see what was going up as it happened and wouldn't tolerate a cut-off photo.

Maybe with the software update scheduled for this month, which includes multitasking, I can actually do that.

I'll most certainly try.

Of course, putting a Retina display on the iPad would also resolve things in a Cupertino minute.

But even with the Retina display's 960 pixels on the iPhone, that 600-wide pixel limit on photos would have to be in force to let iPhone joeheads see the whole image as posted.

November 1, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Earth Watch


"A 1/580 million scale model of the Earth's northern hemisphere rests under a glass dome, rotating once a day in line with the actual Earth's motion."


"The clean, etched bezel displays hours and minutes, and the top-down view of the planet let you see what time it is anywhere in the world. You can even remove the core module from the watch and use it as a desk clock."



November 1, 2010 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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