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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 24, 2010 / 17 Teves, 5771

Here Are Some Good Gifts for People You Hate

By A. Barton Hinkle




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Christmas, one suspects, must be a communist plot. Because if anything is calculated to turn even Ayn-Rand-worshipping, free-market ideologues into bearded, tree-hugging Marxists, it must be the crush of holiday catalogs peddling ridiculous junk.

Take Brookstone, purveyor of high-end and hard-to-find gadgets such as towel warmers and wine aerators. Like its competitor, the Sharper Image, Brookstone apparently caters to people who have run out of both needs and wants, but have not quite reached the point at which they are ready to heat the house by throwing bricks of cash into the fireplace.

Three years ago the satirical newspaper The Onion ran a piece about a new Brookstone "product" in development, the towel alarm clock. See if you can guess which of the following Brookstone items come from that fake news story and which ones are real:


  • The remote-control pillow

  • The video toothbrush

  • The video pen

  • The self-serving pie tin

  • The infrared sensor beam paper-towel dispenser

  • The motorized travel pillow

  • The motion-activated candy dispenser

  • The digital voice-recorder hammock

  • The self-winding watch winder

  • The "bed fan," for blowing cool air between the top and bottom sheets of your bed.

Answers ready? Okay then: The toothbrush, pie tin, travel pillow, and hammock came from The Onion. The rest are real Brookstone items.

The CleanCut paper-towel dispenser, for instance, uses two infrared sensor beams to let you cut paper towels to the precise size you need. Instantly!

This is brilliant. Who among us has not tried to wipe up a spill with a paper towel only to discover, almost always too late, that said towel is tragically either slightly too big for the job, or slightly too small? For a mere $149.95, the CleanCut guarantees you will never have that annoying problem again.

The self-winding watch winder also is a stroke of genius. The idea behind a self-winding watch, of course, is that you never have to wind it. A small weight inside the watch swings back and forth to wind the watchspring whenever you are walking, gesticulating, or punching someone repeatedly in the face.

But there is an obvious problem: What if you are in a coma? After a few days or weeks, your watch will run down. Then how will you know what time it is, smart guy? Clearly, you need a device to wind your self-winding watch for you. Fortunately, Brookstone offers one for only $99. Its "omnidirectional motor and timer keep the watch accurate and prevent accidental overwinding," which is not only great for people in comas, but also swell for those with Tourette's syndrome.

For those on a somewhat tighter budget, the Miles Kimball catalog offers a host of gifts that the Food Network's Alton Brown would call "unitaskers" - such as a stainless steel butter slicer.

You might hear the words "stainless steel butter slicer" and think "knife." Wrong! The Miles Kimball version is a specially designed rectangular thingummy with equidistantly spaced wires that you position over a stick of butter and press down upon to produce multiple, uniform pats in one swell foop. (Theoretically it also could slice straight bananas in a pinch.) This space-age labor-saving device has rescued Today's Woman from the endless drudgery of cutting butter pats one at a time, so she can devote more of her energy to Pleasing Her Man. The Women's Libber in your household will be tickled pink when she opens this gift on Christmas morning!

Miles Kimball also offers personalized garage mats, an astonishingly large selection of plastic geese in funny costumes ("Motorcycle Geese," "Cowgirl and Cowboy Geese," "Beach Vacation Geese") and a spray-can holster that fits neatly on the side of your toilet tank so Uncle Joe Bob can find the air freshener when he's done, er, reading the newspaper. (And wouldn't Uncle Joe Bob love an infrared sensor-beam toilet-paper dispenser to dispense just the right amount of toilet paper! If only Brookstone made one of those, too.) If your Uncle Joe Bob happens to be follicularly impaired, then he might appreciate item No. 86422 from the Gifts You Never Knew Existed catalog: A bandanna with fake brown hair. (If he used to be blond, get him the blond version, item No. 86423.) While you're ordering, you might as well pick him up a flatulating stuffed elephant, a Terminator T-600 bobblehead statue, and an inflatable moose head. Heck, get him two.

Gifts You Never Knew Existed also offers, for $119, a desk- or wall-mounted clock that doubles as a motion-activated four-gigabyte covert surveillance camera. The folks at Brookstone must be kicking themselves for not thinking of it first.

BROOKSTONE BINGO

Have you always wanted to create Brookstone products yourself? Well, now you can! Here's how. Roll three six-sided dice, one for each of the three mix-and-match categories below:

A

(1) Talking
(2) Remote-controlled
(3) Infrared
(4) Voice-activated
(5) Solar
(6) Digital

B

(1) Ionic
(2) Projection
(3) Memory Foam
(4) Ultrasonic
(5) Hands-free
(6) Fogless

C

(1) Massage chair
(2) Meat thermometer
(3) Hovercraft
(4) Foot spa
(5) Key finder
(6) Sock warmers

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

A. Barton Hinkle is Deputy Editor of the Editorial Pages at Richmond Times-Dispatch Comment by clicking here.


Previously:



06/15/10: The Presinator
05/26/10: More than equal
04/08/10: Angry Right Takes a Page From Angry Left but guess who is ‘ugly’?
02/16/10: Either Obama owes George W. Bush an apology, or he owes the rest of us a very good explanation for his about-face on wiretapping
02/03/10: Talkin' to us 'tards
01/27/10: I never thought I'd see the day when progressives would howl in ragebecause the Supreme Court said government should not ban books

01/07/10: Gun-Control Advocates Play Fast and Loose
12/31/09: Nearly everything progressives say about neoconservative interventionism abroad applies to their own preferred policies at home





© 2010, A. Barton Hinkle

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