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March 28, 2011

Water Cremation


A September 16, 2010 article in The Economist about the rise of "green funerals" listed a number of changes happening in the moribund funeral industry, among them shared hearses, using home-grown flowers at funerals, and coffins made from cardboard.

Along with such low-tech innovations, new technologies such as "water cremation" or alkaline hydrolysis, where a corpse is placed into a heated solution of water and potassium hydroxide, and in a few hours dissolves into an inorganic liquid which can be used as fertilizer and a white ash-like residue, are becoming  commercially sustainable.

"Aquamation Industries, an Australian company, opened a water-cremation facility in Queensland last month. Resomation, a British firm, will install equipment in Florida by the year-end. Its founder, Sandy Sullivan [top, left, between engineering director Craig Sinclair and the company's brand-new Resomator S750 water-cremation tank], says conventional cremation produces four times as much CO2 as does this process."

Then there's freeze-drying, where "The body is freeze-dried in liquid nitrogen, then vibrated so that it dissolves into a fine powder. Further processes evaporate water and remove things like mercury. The residue can be put into a shallow grave and turns to mulch in about a year. Observers reckon that the Swedish company which developed the idea, Promessa, has promised much and delivered little. But Susanne Wiigh-Mäsak, its founder, says that franchises are now in place in South Korea and Britain, and that the need for crematoria to comply with mercury-abatement rules could also prompt orders in Sweden itself."

March 28, 2011 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Bottle Screws


"Made of silicone, they fit most wine bottles."

4cm H x 3.5cm Ø.

Two for $12.50.

March 28, 2011 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Dorengerschplitz: and the winner is... Stacey!


Tara Blaine spent two sleepless nights reviewing the entries for last Wednesday's "What should it mean?" contest aimed at selecting the very best definition offered by joehead Nation of her neologism.

Below is her decision, complete and unexpurgated as received here in encrypted form at bookofjoe World Headquarters™ last Friday. Not one word has been omitted.


Wow, joehead Nation really came through on the definitions! I think we're poised to develop the bookofjoe English Dictionary (JED, of course) and knock the old OED off its pedestal.

Though all the definitions are plausible, I must choose Stacey's as the official bookofjoe Definition™ of dorengerschplitz, both for the grace of her definition and for the fact that I'm pretty sure I witness this phenomenon at work on a daily basis.

Plus, it could be used as both a noun and a verb!

"'Did you hear Bill's dorengerschplitz at the staff meeting?' 'Ugh, that guy dorengerschplitzes at every meeting. Why do they let him talk?'"

And now, I sign off, lest I begin to dorengerschplitz.


Below, Stacey's winning entry.


Dorengerschplitz. Ah, what a familiar word. Austrian, I must add. It means a seemingly random spurt of useless dialog in which the speaker is quite unaware they have gone off on a tangent. It may also represent a conversation where the speaker is not understood, as in not "speaking the same language."

A great means to confuse your audience.


March 28, 2011 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Slide Shoe


A 2010 




by Kobi Levi.


[via Shawn Rossi]

March 28, 2011 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Soul Dust: The Magic of Consciousness" — Nick Humphrey


Best book title of the year.

Wonderful cover too.

I hope the content's as good.

Close second: "The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World" by quantum physicist David Deutsch.


[via Matt Ridley and the Wall Street Journal]

March 28, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Blast from the past: Brionvega Radio


Wrote Tom Samiljan in an appreciation in this past weekend's Wall Street Journal, "However obsolete they may seem, some radios are beautiful enough to keep on the shelf even if you never turn them on. Such is the case with the Brionvega ts522, a semiportable, cubey delight designed by Richard Sapper and Marco Zanussi in 1964."

"When closed, its retractable chrome handle, rounded edges and boxy, log-like outline make it look like a lunchbox swiped off the set of a Fellini movie. (It can run on batteries.) Opening it up reveals a retro-futuristic set of controls that involves turning old-school dials and watching LED lights roam over bandwidth dials to tune in a station (the lights are a new-millennium replacement for the original radio dial's printed numbers)."



March 28, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New York Times firewall breach — bonus: it's legal


A reader writes, "If you use Firefox, then add this simple plug-in: http://noscript.net/ and the New York Times paywall disappears. It is just that simple. No laws broken. No hacks."

Best of all: free, the way we like it.

March 28, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Expert's Expert: Stephanie Phair's favorite lip treatment

July 12 iNature n Lucas 005

Phair, the director of the Outnet (Net-a-Porter's discount spinoff site) told Nicole Berrie in an interview in this past weekend's Wall Street Journal, "I never leave home without Lucas' Papaw Ointment. It's the Kiehl's lip balm of Australia. We have quite a few Aussies who work at the Outnet and they've made everyone addicted."

25-gram tube: $9.90.

March 28, 2011 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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