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February 13, 2013

Fondue Toilet — Mmmm.....


Porcelain — the way toilets were meant to be.


$17.13 (fondue forks — but not cherry and/or chocolate sauce— included).

[via Laurel who tweeted "See today's blog post? Thought u might get a laugh!" She got that right. As I think about it, it's actually rather pathetic that I'm this easy to target: just find something toilet-related and you're pretty much guaranteed to hit the jackpot — if getting your name in a bookofjoe post is your idea of a jackpot. There are those — more than a few people, I'm afraid — who'd consider it a booby prize.).]

[Actually, kind of perfect in a loserville Valentine's Day way: just make sure to use bittersweet chocolate.]

February 13, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Whom do you want to meet today? Get connected (that'll be $3,000)


Andrew Ross Sorkin's New York Times piece about a new company called Relationship Science brings good news and bad news.

The good news: For $3,000 you can find out how you're connected to pretty much anyone in the world.

The bad news: Your 3K only buys names — not their phone numbers or email addresses. 

For that, you're on your own.


Below, excerpts from the Times piece.

It sounds like a Rolodex for the 1%: two million deal makers, power brokers and business executives — not only their names, but in many cases the names of their spouses and children and associates, their political donations, their charity work and more — all at a banker's fingertips.

Such is the promise of a new company called Relationship Science.

It turns out that over the last two years, with a staff of more than 800 people, mostly in India, Relationship Science has been quietly building what it hopes will be the ultimate business Who's Who. If it succeeds, it could radically change the way Wall Street does business.

Here's how it works: Let's say a banker wants to get in touch with [Henry R.] Kravis, the private equity deal maker, but doesn't know him personally. The banker can type Mr. Kravis's name into a Relationship Science search bar, and the system will scan personal contacts for people the banker knows who also know Mr. Kravis, or perhaps secondary or tertiary connections.

The system shows how the searcher is connected — perhaps a friend, or a friend of a friend, is on a charitable board — and also grades the quality of those connections by identifying them as "strong," "average" or "weak." You will be surprised at the many ways the database finds connections.

The major innovation is that, unlike Facebook or LinkedIn, it doesn't matter if people have signed up for the service. Many business leaders aren't on Facebook or LinkedIn, but Relationship Science doesn't rely on user-generated content. It just scrapes the Web.

Relationship Science is the brainchild of Neal Goldman, a co-founder of CapitalIQ, a financial database service that is used by many Wall Street firms. "I knew there had to be a better way," Mr. Goldman said about the way people search out others. Most people use Google to learn about people and ask friends and colleagues if they or someone they know can provide an introduction.

Relationship Science essentially does this automatically. It will even show you every connection you have to a specific company or organization.

Kenneth Langone, a financier and co-founder in Home Depot, said that when he saw a demonstration of the system he nearly fell off his chair. He used an unprintable four-letter word.

"My life is all about networking," said Mr. Langone, who was so enthusiastic he became an investor and recently joined the board of Relationship Science. "How many times do I say, 'How do I get to this guy?' It is scary how much it helps."

Mr. Goldman's version of networking isn't for everyone. His company charges $3,000 a year for a person to have access to the site.

Apparently, his sales pitch is working. Already, some big financial firms have signed up for the service, which is still in a test phase. Investment bankers, wealth managers, private equity and venture capital investors have been trying to arrange meetings to see it….

I discovered I had paths I never knew existed to certain people or companies. (Mr. Goldman should market his product to reporters, too.)

One of the most vexing and perhaps unusual choices Mr. Goldman seems to have made with Relationship Science is to omit what would be truly valuable information: phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

Mr. Goldman explained the decision. "This isn't about spamming people." He said supplying phone numbers wouldn't offer any value because people don't like being cold-called, which he said was the antithesis of the purpose of his database.

Ultimately, he said, as valuable as the technology can be in discovering the path to a relationship, an artful introduction is what really counts.

"We bring the science," he said. "You bring the art."

Don't forget the 3K.

February 13, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Astronaut Comforter — "Be the first in the galaxy!"

Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 10.04.09 AM

Makes being first in line at the Apple Store for an iWatch seem positively trivial, what?

Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 10.04.17 AM

As a child of the space race (I was 9 when Sputnik 1 was launched on October 4, 1957) I would've given anything to have this bedding at the time.

Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 10.04.03 AM

Of course, such an acquisition would've meant having access to a working time machine.

From the website:


Let the countdown begin.

Underneath these sheets you will dream far beyond the stars.

Because the astronaut suit that's on there is real.

It's not from the costume shop around the corner, but from the Space Expo Museum in Holland.

So lie down, close your eyes, and feel gravity decrease instantly.

Houston, we have lift-off!


€59.95 (includes helmet-pillowcase).

February 13, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Just 1 in 8 women consider themselves attractive

More from the Telegraph article below.

More than one in four women (27%) admit the biggest pressure to be "beautiful" comes from themselves, according to a new study of  UK women conducted by Dove Skincare.

And only one in eight (13%) have the confidence to call themselves "attractive."

One in four women were unable to remember when they last received a compliment that made them feel beautiful.

Society (19 per cent) and the media (13 per cent) were next on the list of top beauty pressures, but just 5% of women feel pressure from friends, family and partners.

The research also revealed that the secret to women feeling confident was a clear combination of relationships and looking good.

Being loved (72%) was the biggest confidence booster for women, followed by having a strong relationship or marriage (53%), liking how you look in the mirror (35%), being in good physical shape (33%), and taking good care of yourself (31%).

February 13, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

4:01 a.m. Bottle Opener Series ('I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy") — Episode 25: Homer Simpson Talking Bottle Opener


"Mmmmm... beer."


February 13, 2013 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Paul Tanner, inventor of the electro-theremin he played on "Good Vibrations," is dead at 95

I'm pickin' up sad vibrations....

The October 1966 release is number six on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time."

Bruce Weber's obituary appeared in yesterday's New York Times.

When I was at UCLA in the late 60s, Tanner's "Introduction to Jazz" was known to be an easy A: if you took the final, you got an A.

Yet I never took the course.


I was told by some whose judgment I trusted that in the then feverish blood-on-the-lips competition to get into med school and avoid being drafted and sent to Vietnam, admissions committee members frowned on applications which had obvious mickeys like this one.

Trying to do everything I could to improve my chances of getting in, I elected not to take the easy A.

Life was different then.

But I did get in, so maybe all's well that ends well.

February 13, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

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