April 28, 2016

Why Thieves Steal Soap (Walgreens Keeps It Locked Up)




Alex Mayyasi writing in Priceonomics has the back story.




[via Hacker News]

April 28, 2016 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 27, 2016

Caffeinated Shampoo Enhances Hair Growth

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 5.55.16 AM

Who knew?

Not moi until I read about it in yesterday's Wall Street Journal story by Laura Johannes.

From the article:


Many men struggle with baldness and wonder about new treatments. Some shampoos and lotions contain caffeine and promise to help keep hair thick and full. How does the evidence stack up?

A 2014 study found that caffeine has a "potent" effect in growing hair in laboratory conditions. But real-world tests of the efficacy of caffeine-containing shampoos and lotions are rare, and those that have been done show a modest effect.

The laboratory work sounds "really promising. But in terms of clinical application we're not there yet," says Tina Alster, a clinical professor of dermatology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

In the 2014 study published in British Journal of Dermatology, a team of academic researchers found that small concentrations of caffeine, applied to hair follicles extracted from human males and grown in a lab, counteracted the effects of testosterone, stimulating hair growth and prolonging the time the hair follicles remained in their growth phase. The study found the caffeine also had a beneficial effect on female hair growth, but only when used in an even more diluted form than was used for male hair follicles.

Caffeine-containing products that hit the U.S. market in recent years include Dove Men+Care Thick & Strong Fortifying 2-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner and Hair Surge.

Neither company has published studies on the products, but Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo C1 has been tested in studies published in 2010 and 2013 in the Journal of Applied Cosmetology.

There was "a little bit" of hair regrowth seen in the studies, "but it does not mean your hair will grow like when you were 20 years old," says dermatologist Leonard Celleno, a researcher at Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome.

Dr. Kurt Wolff GmbH plans to begin selling Alpecin shampoo in the U.S. this summer, says Theresa Ladleif, product manager [for the German company].

While the Alpecin products are designed for men, they can be used by women, particularly after menopause when hormone balance begins to change, she adds.


You can too!

While you wait impatiently for Alpecin shampoo to appear in the States in a few months, you can try the available Dove Men+Care Thick & Strong Fortifying 2-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner ($3.77 for 12 ounces) or Hair Surge ($43.99 for eight ounces).

In no time at all you'll be Neanderthal-like.

April 27, 2016 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

April 26, 2016

Through Google Glass — A Red Fox in my Backyard

YouTube caption: "It happened around 7:30 a.m."

April 26, 2016 at 08:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 25, 2016

Turn 2 outlets into 6 — without an extension cord


Say what?

This nifty piece of kit


comes in handy anywhere you care to use it.

On the back are two three-pronged plugs which fit into any standard grounded double outlet.

See mine in action not five feet away from where I'm sitting, in the picture up top.

When I got mine, maybe 20 years ago, there was no option other than this flat panel iteration:


$5.29 for the tricked-out angled version, $4.91 for the flat panel.

April 25, 2016 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 24, 2016

All this science, I don't understand — Even after I stop passing gas, the hits just keep on coming



The new (April) issue of Anesthesiology News [below]


appeared in my mailbox yesterday.

I was just paging through it when I espied, at the top of page 2, the item pictured up top and in context below.



I wonder if I can add this to my CV?


Wait a sec — what's that music I'm hearing? 

April 24, 2016 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

April 23, 2016

21400mm Chair — Oki Sato


"Oki Sato, the designer behind Tokyo studio nendo, often juggles 400 projects at once, he says, at times introducing a new product every week."

The minimalist master first showed this chair in 2010, part of the solo exhibition "Thin Black Lines" at London's Saatchi Gallery.


From the Victoria & Albert Museum's website: "This limited-edition chair by nendo is made from bent and welded powder-coated steel. It was manufactured in collaboration with Ochiai-Seisakusho, a Tokyo-based company that specializes in precision metalwork. It is designed to appear as a drawn outline of a standard chair. The 'morphing' nature of the 21400mm chair — its visually changeable quality — is very arresting and requires the viewer to observe it carefully to perceive the functional object."

I would so love to have one.


I had my Crack Research Team®© drill down and see what they bring at auction these days but it would appear they're so prized and scarce that most are in museum collections.

My team could not find evidence of any having been sold at auction in recent years.

Oh well.

I mean, it's not as if I had $50,000-$100,000 (my estimate of what this chair would bring) lying around even if there were one for sale.


[via the Wall Street Journal]

April 23, 2016 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 22, 2016

"Let's Watch Prince's Super Bowl Halftime Show, The Best We've Ever Seen"

So wrote Deadspin yesterday about his iconic performance in a driving rain in 2007.

The Deadspin piece has the full, unedited show embedded, though not in very good definition; YouTube has disabled embedding of this annotated version of the show, interpolating interviews and comments by the production crew with the show itself (in much better definition than the embedded Deadspin iteration).

Fortunately for boj readers, my nonpareil Crack Reseach Team©® drilled down and brought back the show (above) in fine definition with excellent sound.

ATTENTION: The video up top was just posted yesterday and will be taken down by YouTube before the end of today, so don't just save this post for when you get home: get your headphones on and crank up the volume to max — as a fringe benefit you'll jumpstart your sorry Friday morning self in the process.


I can only say that the sadness here at boj World HQ is unmeasurable, off the charts.

Prince was the ONLY performer I'd travel to another city to see.

Too bad I waited until I was ready instead of getting on a plane when he was ready.


I guess I'll have to wait a few years before I join him, wherever he's gone, and get the opportunity to see and hear what I missed in our earthly existences.

Want an encore?

How about his performance (below) of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" at the 2004 Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame Inductions?

It left the world-class, iconic musicians on the stage with him — among them Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Dhani Harrison, and Steve Winwood — with their collective jaws dropping.

April 22, 2016 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

April 21, 2016

Lazy Man's* Way to Perfect Bacon


Longtime boj reader Mike sent his method (below)


to me after reading one of my tweets or blog posts about my microwave bacon.

After I emailed him about how easy his way was — besides the outstanding result pictured up top — in terms of attention paid during the process (zero) and cleanup (minimal and brief compared to the laborious wipedown of spattered fat from all six internal surfaces of the microwave + turntable before I could use that machine again) — he followed up with the following addendum to his original page of instructions above:

One note I'd add is that, because bacons vary considerably, you should start taking a look at it at the 75-minute mark and maybe every 5 minutes [I've modified this to every 10, being lazier than Mike — and pretty much everyone I know] thereafter so it doesn't get too dark. I also look at the wetness — when the rashers start to look not completely dry but more dry than wet, they're perfectly done. 

I guess he felt sorry for me — more likely pity — that I was continuing to go through the machinations and effort of cooking and cleanup employing the microwave for bacon when there was the potential for a whole other world of indescribably delicious, easily prepared bacon (typical appearance up top) sitting patiently in my kitchen opposite my microwave.

That world lay within my 1967 — yes, 49 years old and still working perfectly, having been calibrated just last year — GE electric oven, built into my 1967 house and happily performing like a champ for nearly half a century with only one (1) service visit in the 32+ years I've lived here.

They don't build 'em like they used to.

But I digress.

Odds and ends I've picked up with experience:

1) I like 275° for 75 minutes before I open the oven door and take my first look. Try really hard not to peek if you don't have a window in your oven door (my situation). Opening the door even a little for a quick look lets out a lot of heat and prolongs the baking process as the oven has to reheat back up to the 275° setting.

2. I dab the finished product with a paper towel very, very gently to degrease it completely after I've removed the bacon-laden wire rack: be delicate, as the bacon at this stage is very fragile and will break if you aren't careful. Half the appeal of these beautifully burnished, finished slices is in their appearance.

3. I experimented to see how much of the original wet weight of the bacon as it came out of the package was lost by the time it was finished cooking. A 12-ounce package of Boar's Head Smoked Bacon, extra-thick cut, turned into 4.55 ounces of baked bacon. So I lost about 2/3 of the original weight, almost all fat. Compare this to Mike's 80%. I suspect every bacon and every oven and every maker will result in a different — but significant — amount of fat loss and concomitant shrinkage.

4. That fat will be translucent and easy to miss, floating on the foil in the bottom of the baking pan under your baking rack. Be careful: it's hot and can burn you badly. I recommend simply leaving the fat-filled pan in the oven until the next morning, by which time the fat will have coagulated and can be easily removed by carefully peeling the aluminum foil lining off the pan and discarding them (fat and foil) en bloc.

*Or woman's

April 21, 2016 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

April 20, 2016

Speed Tape — "Proven to stay put up to 500 knots airspeed"

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 8.27.18 PM

Can your duct tape do that? Because mine sure can't.

But I digress.

I first heard of this product (pictured above) in a long reddit thread about the airline industry, where one contributor wrote "It's a high-grade tape used to cover beads of set but uncured weather sealant (among other things) on the windscreens or cowls of planes, all the while rated and proven to stay put at up to 500 knots airspeed."

From Wikipedia: "Speed Tape is an aluminized pressure-sensitive tape used to do minor repairs on aircraft and racing cars. It is used as a temporary repair material until a more permanent repair can be carried out. It has an appearance similar to duct tape, for which it is sometimes mistaken, but its adhesive is capable of [adhering to] an airplane fuselage or wing at high speeds, hence the name."

From manufacturer Fastflex: "Speed tape is similar to the very common and well known duct tape. This type of tape is used to make small emergency repairs on an aircraft and has aluminum in the tape — making the tape resistant to corrosion, water, and solvents. Speed tape is also resistant to fires or flames and able to reflect heat and UV rays, making it reliable and ideal for its intended use."

Might be good to have in your car in case sudden unintended acceleration takes you up over 250 mph


and your car starts to 


lift off the road.


Manufacturer 3M will sell you a roll (3" x 60 yards x 4.6 mil) for $101.87 (pictured Lamborghini Huracán Spyder not included).

April 20, 2016 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 19, 2016

High Heel Church


It's in Taiwan.

The Crystal Cathedral is so 20th century.

From AtlasObscura:


Standing on a large concrete disc in Ocean View Park, in Taiwan's Budai township, is a massive glass slipper that looks as though it would be fit for a giant Cinderella.

But in actuality this strange building is a church meant to cater to women.

Or to reference a local legend.


Finished in early 2016, the giant shoe church is an all-glass structure, formed out of 320 blue-tinted panes set into a metal grid.

The main worship space is in the toe, with a large screen at the tip, while there is an outdoor stage built into the collar where someone's giant foot might go.

While it is being called a church, officials say that its main function will be to cater to weddings and photo shoots. 


And before anyone gets to thinking that all of this is just to pander to women, there is a more traditional explanation for the design of the church.

Apparently it is an allusion to a story of a local girl who, while engaged to be married, contracted Blackfoot disease.

She had to have the lower portions of her legs amputated, ending her engagement and resulting in her spending the rest of her days alone and living in a church.


[photos via CHENALLEN/Shutterstock]

April 19, 2016 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

April 18, 2016

Wrist Ruler


From the website:


Wrist Ruler is a leather wristband with engraved inch and centimeter measurements.


If you find yourself always needing to measure things when you're on the go, this is the perfect product for you.

Sizes are based on wrapping around your wrist twice.

Give it extra length depending on how loosely you want to wear it.


Please allow an extra 1/2 inch for the stud closure.

Made in the U.S., produced in small runs and individually numbered.





But perhaps you're a vegan and want no part of leather touching your skin.

Or maybe $19.95 is a bit pricey.

Just for you they created a rubber iteration that will set you back $10.

From the website:


Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 5.33.39 PM

Rubber Wrist Ruler

Rubber Wrist Ruler is a silicone wristband with engraved inch and centimeter measurements.

It's a vegan alternative to our classic leather Wrist Ruler.

Wear your ruler everywhere and never take it off.

It's one-size-fits-most and waterproof.


Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 5.34.01 PM

White, Yellow, or Black: $10.

April 18, 2016 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 17, 2016

"One of the most perfect films that I've ever seen runs a total of three minutes." — Manohla Dargis

The headline above was the opening sentence of her April 1 New York Times review of a 14-film retrospective of Bruce Baillie's movies from 1961 to 1977, at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, up through April 21, 2016 (next Thursday).

She continued:

Shot in 1966, Bruce Baillie's "All My Life" opens on a pan of an old picket fence framed by the blue sky above and a stretch of summer-brown grass below. On the soundtrack, you can hear the crackle and hiss of an old record that's soon filled with the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald singing "All My Life" in a 1936 session with the pianist Teddy Wilson. 

In many respects, the image is perfectly ordinary, the kind that you chance on if you're driving along, say, a California road, as Mr. Baillie was when he popped out of a car, seized by inspiration. Yet, as the camera continues to float left and Fitzgerald begins singing ("All my life/I’ve been waiting for you"), something magical — call it cinema — happens in the middle of the first verse. As the words "My wonderful one/I've begun" warm the soundtrack, a splash of red flowers on the fence suddenly appears, as if the film itself were offering you a garland.

April 17, 2016 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 16, 2016

Bacon Scented Underpants — "Stop and Smell the Bacon"


From The Guardian:


Oh, For a Bacon-Scented Bottom

If you love waking up to the smell of a cooked breakfast, but don't have anyone to cook for you, help is at hand in the form of bacon-scented boxers.

"Marrying the ultimate in comfort and cured meat, J&D's Bacon Scented Underwear represents the gold standard of meat-scented luxury undergarments," says the Seattle-based food company behind the porky pants.

"Each pair is hand crafted in the U.S. to offer the support of briefs, the freedom of boxers, and the smell of breakfast cooking in your pants. You really can have it all."



April 16, 2016 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

April 15, 2016

Can you become lifelong friends with an eel? One woman did

Remarkable (full screen recommended)

[via Facebook and Reality Carnival]

April 15, 2016 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 14, 2016

BehindTheMedspeak: The rise (and diminution) of pulse oximeters


It's been a while — many months, if not years — since a BehindTheMedspeak post appeared in this space.

Just goes to show you how messed up I was during that nearly two-year-long depression, that I couldn't even post in my — by far — reader favorite category.

Water under the sink.

Wait a minute... that's not right.

Never mind.

When I began my anesthesiology residency at U.C.L.A. in 1977, we had three (3) then-brand-spanking new pulse oximeters.

They cost $5,000 apiece ($10,000-$15,000 in today's money), measured about 1.5 feet deep x 1.5 feet wide x 8 inches high and weighed about 50 pounds, so much that each one was bolted to a heavy-duty wheeled stainless steel cart.

They had to be plugged into a socket.

You had to go to the guy running the OR floor and make your argument each morning for why you and not a million other residents needed one of the three Holy of Holies.

Now you can buy a wireless finger-size pulse oximeter [above and below] from Masimo, the industry leader, for $299.


Times change.


April 14, 2016 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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