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August 15, 2012

Experts' Expert: Steven Raichlen's 5 Tips for Backyard Barbecuers

1. Follow the 30% rule — never use more than 70% of your grill's surface so you have an area to maneuver food in case of flare-ups or because some is cooking faster than the rest.

2. Use a three-part fire — on one end, pile coals for maximum heat. Next to that area, stack fewer coals for milder heat and longer cooking. Keep the third section empty of coals to allow indirect cooking and keep food warm.

3. Never let meat come to room temperature before grilling — start cooking it when it's still cold.

4. Sauce meats at the end or serve sauce on the side — never sauce while cooking.

5. Keep your grill clean — clean it after every use.

[via Jim Shahin and the Washington Post]

August 15, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Apple Corer


From the website:



This sturdy corer makes making an apple pie as easy as — well, pie.


The single-piece stainless steel handle fits comfortably in the hand and the serrated teeth give you a quick way in, making the task easier and faster, an important consideration whether you're working your way through a bushel or just preparing an afternoon snack.

How to use:

1. Squeeze handles together.

2. Insert into stem (blossom) end of apple.

3. Push through, twisting if necessary.

Features and details:

• Easy to clean

• Dishwasher-safe.

• Made in Germany.



August 15, 2012 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The rise of bookofjoe in China — bookofjoe爱中国!


It has long been a dream of mine to break through the Chinese firewall and enter the great country with flags flying and banners waving.

It just happened.

Look at the graphic above, a screenshot from my Sitemeter statistics.

You will note that Chinese visitors currently represent 4% of my readership, behind only the U.S. and Canada.


This comes after nearly eight years of toil in the virtual fields, during which time my Chinese visitors rarely exceeded 0.5%.

You may ask yourself why I'm so excited about this development.

You wouldn't be the first (heh — you know who you are) and you won't be the last.

Simple: China is where all the people — and the future — are.

And if I am anything I am a creature of the future, not the present or past.

I said it in the headline and I'll say it again: bookofjoe愛中國!

On to 10%!

August 15, 2012 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Ghost Garbino


I love this particular color of Karim Rashid's signature trash can and only wish I could find one in the larger size.

It's hard to locate the big version in any color, at least online.

No matter, I'll take what I can get.

The thing I like most about this wastebasket is that its translucent nature combines with this color and the shape to render it almost invisible in certain lights.

And isn't invisibility what it's all about?


August 15, 2012 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Rehearsal for Extinct Anatomies" — Quay Brothers (1987)

Never heard of 'em?

You'll never be able to say that again.

Think about it.

More on these singular, little-known — at least in the U.S. where they were born and raised — artists here and here.

Recent interview below.

August 15, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Face Upper Anti-Aging Mouthpiece Beauty Anti-Wrinkle Muscle Sag Care


Just when you thought I'd run out of wacked-out Japanese face manipulators, along comes this.


Fair warning: There are a LOT more where this came from.

Just saying.


But I digress.

From the website:


Three minutes a day, that's all you need to give yourself the perfect smile.

Pop the Face Upper in your mouth and then see it apply pressure from the inside daily, little by little, working to improve the sag of your cheek muscles.

Your mouth and cheeks will appear more youthful, tighter, and healthier, giving you the benefits of home esthete [sic] in the easiest way possible!

Features and Details:

• Size: around 8.5 x 3.8 x 2.3cm (3.3 x 1.5 x 0.9")

• Recommended usage: three minutes per day

• Weight: around 5.5g (0.2 oz)

• Materials: EVA

• Made in Japan



August 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Twitter Fake Follower Check

Screen Shot 2012-08-14 at 8.58.00 AM

"Find out how many fake followers you and your friends have" is what it says on the homepage.

I learned of the existence of this fake detector from Mark Frauenfelder's tweetstream; he used it and discovered 7% of his followers were in fact fake.

I put in my Twitter handle (bookofjoe) and the Willy Wonka stuff started and in a second out came the answer (top).

As any fool can plainly see, only 2% of my 1,326 followers are fake.

Hold on a sec while I get my calculator... that means 26.52 of my tweeple aren't real.

Fair warning: Not all fake followers are Egg People — there are many hot babe avatars masquerading as real humans — but you can be pretty sure that anyone named Tiffany, Gemma, Fiona, or their ilk is simply a programmer's construct.

August 15, 2012 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

World's most beautiful smoke detector

Screen Shot 2012-08-14 at 10.55.45 AM

It's not even close.

Screen Shot 2012-08-14 at 10.55.50 AM

From the website:


Screen Shot 2012-08-14 at 10.56.05 AM

Lento is a photoelectric smoke alarm designed by Finnish designer Paola Suhonen for Jalo Helsinki.

Screen Shot 2012-08-14 at 10.56.01 AM

Lento will not only enhance the safety of your home, but you will also add a touch of originality.

Forget the boring and unattractive smoke alarms on the market — with Lento an essential everyday object such as a smoke alarm will become an original piece of design for decorating your home and keeping it safe.

Installing Lento will take only a few seconds thanks to its 3M tape and there will be no need for screws or a power drill.

The whole surface of the smoke alarm acts as a test button, so there are no tiny push buttons, but the whole external casing acts as a press switch for silencing false alarms and testing the performance.

Lento has been developed and manufactured according to the requirements and standards for smoke alarms.

Lento is lightweight and has a 5-year battery life time.

Available in a number of colors, Lento was awarded the Red Dot Design Award 2011.

7.4"W x 7.2"L x 2"H (18.8cm x 18.4cm x 5cm).

Weight: 7 oz. (200 grams).



[via my crack Iceland correspondent Anna Rognvaldsdottir]

August 15, 2012 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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