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Monday, November 8, 2010

600 lbs Spokesman Hired to Sell Burgers


If you’ve been eating too much healthy rabbit food lately, The Heart Attack Grill in Chandler, AZ has the solution for you. The medically-themed restaurant has a staff of sexy “nurses” who serve such entries as the Quadruple Bypass Burger, french fries cooked in lard, and unfiltered cigarettes to the “patients” as they wear hospital gowns over their clothes.

The owner, Jon Basso, is a former nutritionist who owned seven Jenny Craig franchises. Maybe hiring sexy nurses to sell junk food is an easier racket to run.

Heart Attack Grill just hired their latest spokesman, 6’8″ 600lbs Blair River–a Biggest Loser reject–to star in their new ads. See him here:

[via AZ Central & Heart Attack Grill]

5 Things Girls Do To Look Better In Facebook Pictures


Remember the days of AOL chat rooms, when you could pretend to be anyone at all and no one would ever know? Nowadays it’s hard to hide your real identity, what with Facebook and all. So what’s an ugly girl to do to ensure that people won’t run screaming from her profile?

Here’s a list of the 5 best tips, tricks and cheats that ugly girls use to make themselves look somewhat normal in their facebook pictures:

1. Only Show Your Face

Ever heard the term Butterface? Everything looks good…but her face. Well, occasionally, the opposite can occur and when it does it’s not pretty. Actually, the face is pretty…

which is why they hide their flabby fannies:

2. Showcase Your Special Talent

…so that no one has to see your hideously deformed face. Um, is she twirling that baton with her crotch? See, I am no longer even remotely curious about what her face looks like. I do wonder how she trained her ass to eat that leotard, though.

3. Dim The Lights

Sure, when you can’t see the horrible acne scars, moldy teeth, and greasy unwashed hair they look great.

…but it’s a whole different story in day light.

4. Work That “Myspace Angle”

See, all the photography-savvy girls know that a good angle will hide practically any flaw. Which is why when you see a hottie in a picture like this…

She actually looks like this….

Sorry to burst that bubble.

5. Get Creative

Occasionally, you get a girl so atrocious that none of these other tricks work. That’s where the real creativity comes in…

Have you been fooled by one of these tricks? Share your story!

Texas Middle School Pulls Off Unthinkable Trick Play (Video)


The game of football has provided some amazing trick plays at all levels, from Pee Wee to the pros, and this one pulled off by Driscoll Middle School in Corpus Christi, Texas is certainly among the best of them.

Looking to catch their opposition off guard, the center snaps the ball over his should in a rather unorthodox manner. With the defenders looking on as if the play hadn't begun, Driscoll's quarterback steps through the line before unexpectedly speeding off for the end zone.

This play may have you asking yourself, "Can they even do that?" According to the NFL rules, they can!

According to Rule 7, Section 3, Article 3:

The snap (3-32) may be made by any offensive player who is on the line but must conform to the following provisions:

(a) The snap must start with ball on ground with its long axis horizontal and at right angles to line, and

(b) The impulse must be given by one quick and continuous motion of hand or hands of snapper. The ball must actually leave or be taken from his hands during this motion.

(c) The snapper may not:

(1) move his feet abruptly from the start of snap until the ball has left his hands;

(2) have quick plays after the neutral zone starts if the officials have not had a reasonable time to assume their normal stances.

The snapper clearly snaps the ball in one smooth continuous motion over his shoulder, making it a legal snap, and one of the most spectacular touchdowns you may ever see.

Robotic Limbs that Plug into the Brain

Scientists are testing whether brain signals can control sophisticated prosthetic arms.

Lifelike limbs: A brain-controlled prosthetic arm, under development at the Applied Physics Lab at Johns Hopkins University with funding from DARPA, may allow amputees to make much more sophisticated movements.
Credit: DARPA/JHUAPL/HDT Engineering Services

Most of the robotic arms now in use by some amputees are of limited practicality; they have only two to three degrees of freedom, allowing the user to make a single movement at a time. And they are controlled with conscious effort, meaning the user can do little else while moving the limb.

A new generation of much more sophisticated and lifelike prosthetic arms, sponsored by the Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), may be available within the next five to 10 years. Two different prototypes that move with the dexterity of a natural limb and can theoretically be controlled just as intuitively--with electrical signals recorded directly from the brain--are now beginning human tests.

Initial results of one of these studies--the first tests of a paralyzed human controlling a robotic arm with multiple degrees of freedom--will be presented at the Society for Neuroscience conference in November.

The new designs have about 20 degrees of independent motion, a significant leap over existing prostheses, and they can be operated via a variety of interfaces. One device, developed by DEKA Research and Development, can be consciously controlled using a system of levers in a shoe.

In a more invasive but also more intuitive approach, amputees undergo surgery to have the remaining nerves from their lost limbs moved to the muscles of the chest. Thinking about moving the arm contracts the chest muscles, which in turn moves the prosthesis. But this approach only works in those with enough remaining nerve capacity, and it provides a limited level of control. To take full advantage of the dexterity of these prostheses, and make them function like a real arm, scientists want to control them with brain signals.

"When you pick up an object, your brain knows automatically to rotate the wrist and move the fingers," says Michael McLoughlin, who is overseeing the development of one of the prostheses at the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) at Johns Hopkins University. "We want a dexterous limb and the ability to control it in a natural way, as well as some level of tactile feedback."

Limited testing of neural implants in severely paralyzed patients has been underway for the last five years. About five people have been implanted with chips to date, and they have been able to control cursors on a computer screen, drive a wheelchair, and even open and close a gripper on a very simple robotic arm. More extensive testing in monkeys implanted with a cortical chip shows the animals can learn to control a relatively simple prosthetic arm in a useful way, using it to grab and eat a piece of marshmallow.

"The next big step is asking, how many dimensions can you control?" says John Donoghue, a neuroscientist at Brown University who develops brain-computer interfaces. "Reaching out for water and bringing it to the mouth takes about seven degrees of freedom. The whole arm has on order of 25 degrees of freedom." Donoghue's group, which has overseen previous tests of cortical implants in patients, now has two paralyzed volunteers testing the DEKA arm. Researchers at APL have developed a second prosthetic arm with an even greater repertoire of possible movements and have applied for permission to begin human tests. They aim to begin implanting spinal cord injury patients in 2011, in collaboration with scientists at the University of Pittsburgh and Caltech.

Volunteers in this study will get two different cortical chips, each carrying 100 recording electrodes. Scientists hope that doubling the capacity to listen to the brain will provide enough independent signals to enable more complex movements on the sophisticated APL arm. "This is a highly dexterous and anthropomorphic arm," says Andrew Schwartz, one of the neuroscientists involved in the study. "The information bandwidth you need to control the device is a lot higher."

The Pittsburgh researchers will also test new chips combined with telemetry systems, which process some of the recorded information on the chip before sending it to a processor implanted in the chest. The processor then wirelessly controls the arm. Current versions in use in humans and monkeys send information via wires coming out of the skull, which increases risk of infection over the long term. While the new setup will be somewhat similar to that used in cardiac pacemakers and deep brain stimulation devices, a prosthetic arm carries out more complex functions than a pacemaker, and therefore more information is needed to control it. "No implantable device has a telemetry system capable of this bandwidth," says Schwartz. "This technology will be a big step."

The Pittsburgh researchers ultimately aim to add sensory capability to the arms as well, adding materials that can sense heat and other properties and convey that information to a third chip implanted into part of the brain that processes sensory stimuli.

It's not yet clear what the highest level of complexity will be in terms of controlling the arm. "We're hoping to do at least 11 degrees of freedom," says Schwartz. His team has developed algorithms that can derive seven degrees of freedom of movement in monkeys in real time. "How will we move up to 20 or 30? We don't know, maybe we'll need new algorithms, maybe more electrodes," says Schwartz.

Even if the tests are successful, researchers face a big challenge; they must show that the invasive cortical control system is significantly better than noninvasive approaches. Amputees using the shoe-controlled interface can pick up boxes, operate a drill, and even use chopsticks. "If you were an amputee, and you can do that with shoes, would you have a sensor put in your brain?" asks Donoghue. It may be a matter of personal preference and the level of risk and benefit each person is willing to tolerate. "You might, because it's more natural and you can walk and do other things."

Copyright Technology Review 2010.

The Most Flexible Woman in the World (Video) — Zlata has a rare condition that makes her tendons as pliable as those of a newborn baby.

We’re far from being authorities when it comes to flexibility. We’re lucky if we can bend over to tie our shoes most mornings without requiring the assistance of an oxygen tank. That’s probably why we’re so fascinated with women who can bend themselves into all sorts of wacky positions. Or at least that’s one reason why they fascinate us.

But in all our days we’ve never seen a woman quite as flexible as this. Most people forced to assume these positions would be in a wheelchair for the rest of their lives afterwords. Not Zlata, though. The only after effect of her back breaking maneuvers is that she comes out of them being exponentially sexier than she was going in. And that alone is no small feat.

Amazing Back To The Future 25th Anniversary Cake

By Ron

Back To The Future must be one of the most popular movies ever, and for the 25th Anniversary, a stunning Delorean Cake was made to show off for the reunion.

While we have seen an amazing Delorean Cake before, it wasn’t nearly as hot as this one. Heck, this one even includes the burn marks (still on fire) as if it was just cooked at 88 MPH.

back to the future delorean cake design

For other cool Back to the Future posts, make sure to have a look at the Flux Capacitor Infographic which explains time travel, or the Real Marty McFly Shoes that we remember from Back to the Future II.

cool back to the future delorean cake design

back to the future delorean cake design image

Via: Geekologie

Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? No, it’s Jetman! Ever dreamt about flying?

by Leon Pals

This man is living the dream everyone has, being able to fly! His name is Yves Rossy and he’s a retired military pilot from Switzerland that just had to fly in a different manner than that he was used to. Watch this video so you know what we’re talking about:

Yves has been developing his wing for more than ten years now, in which he tried to cross the waterways between France and the UK and between Spain and Morocco. The first was a success, the latter not so much. Even though a project like this brings its ups and downs, Yves seems to keep at it, something which we applaud. We can’t wait to hear more about Yves and his project, because who knows, we might me able to go out and book an afternoon flight ourselves one day.

Oh, and if you still think this guy doesn’t really fly but is just prolonging his fall then you might want to see this video of him doing loopings.

Enjoyed that? You’ll love this.

Artist Melts 1,527 Guns to Make Shovels for Tree Planting!

palas por pistolas, pedro reyes, environmental art, urban art, mexican art, mexico art, art of mexico, art in mexco, mexico drug crime, mexico drug trafficing, shovels for guns

The city of Culiacán, in western Mexico has the highest rate of gun deaths in the country. After speaking with family members of victims of drug crimes in the city, artist Pedro Reyes decided to use its prolific amount of firearms to help the local botanical garden. In the ultimate act of recycling, Reyes and the garden started a campaign for residents to hand over their guns to the artist in exchange for a coupon that they could use to buy electronics or household appliances. He collected 1,527 guns for the project — Palas por Pistolas — had them melted down and transformed into 1,527 shovel heads that are now being used to plant trees in the community.

palas por pistolas, pedro reyes, environmental art, urban art, mexican art, mexico art, art of mexico, art in mexco, mexico drug crime, mexico drug trafficing, shovels for guns

Reyes is an artist who focuses on the failures of modern culture in a positive way. He doesn’t believe in failures really, but that failure is the outcome of a certain perception. He takes things that people often see as broken and shows them in a new light. “If something is dying, becoming rotten and smelly, I think there is a chance to make a compost in which this vast catalog of solutions can be mixed in an entirely new way,” he told BOMB Magazine. In Palas por Pistolas he was aiming to show “how an agent of death can become an agent of life.”

Of the weapons that Reyes collected 40% of them were automatics of military caliber. After the collection the guns were taken to a military base and publicly smashed with a steamroller. They were then melted, recycled into shovels with wooden handles that tell the story of the project and distributed to art institutions and public schools where people in the community are planting — at least — 1,527 trees. In addition to the trees planted in the Cualiacán community these shovels have made their way to the Vancouver Art Gallery, the San Francisco Art Institute, Maison Rouge in Paris and other places around the world to plant Palas por Pistolas trees.

+ Pedro Reyes

Via GOOD Magazine

Ask the bartender: Giving all those old bar terms the finger


Sean Kenyon Bio Photo.jpg
Sean Kenyon knows how to pour out both drinks and advice. A third-generation bar man with almost 25 years behind the bar, he is a student of cocktail history, a United States Bartenders Guild-certified Spirits Professional and a BAR Ready graduate of the prestigious Beverage Alcohol Resource Program. You can find him behind the bar at Squeaky Bean -- and here every week, where he'll answer your questions. Now serving: Kenyon on bar terms, a question from Petey of Denver.

Q: "Up," "neat," two fingers," "rocks," dry," "dirty" -- when are historical bar linguistics too much, when are they not enough? For example, I ask for two fingers of whiskey, which to me means a measure of two fingers in a tumbler. I'm served a shot in one of those half glass-bottomed shotglasses more aptly adorned with a TGI Friday's logo. I ask for a brand-name vodka "up, with a twist," and I've received it unchilled, in a tumbler. Can you give us a primer on generally accepted to more obscure ordering terms?

A: Great question. Bar terminology is often misunderstood by both inexperienced bartenders and patrons.

Let's start with the "Finger Method..." Ordering by the digit originated in American saloons in the Old West (1830s to 1920), where you would order whiskey by the width of the barman's finger. For example, if you asked for two fingers of whiskey, you would get straight, room-temperature spirit poured in an old fashioned glass (or tumbler) to the height of two fingers. This is an antiquated method and is no longer common because different bartenders have varied sizes of fingers, making the pour lack consistency. As well, most bars have a standard pour of 1.25 to 1.5 ounces, making it difficult to figure out how to charge for each finger.

Recently, with a nod to bar history, there has been an effort to standardize the "finger pour" to 3/4 of an inch per finger in an standard old fashioned glass, which equals about one ounce per finger. This would result in two fingers equaling two ounces and so on. This is not yet generally accepted, but as cocktail culture continues to evolve and more bartenders become well-versed in cocktail history, the standardized finger pour will become more recognized.

Here is a simple glossary of of commonly accepted bar terminology. (Note: liquid measures may vary at individual bars; the amounts listed are the ones I use as standard.)

Shot: 1.25 to1.5 ounces of spirit served up in a small glass.

Neat: 2 ounces of spirit at room temperature served in a standard old fashioned glass or tumbler.

Up: For straight spirit, 2 ounces stirred with ice to chill, generally served in a chilled cocktail glass. For a cocktail, shaken or stirred (depending on the ingredients) with ice, generally served in a chilled cocktail glass.

Rocks: For straight spirit, 2 ounces served over ice in a rocks or old fashioned glass. For a cocktail, shaken or stirred (depending on the ingredients) with ice, strained over fresh ice into a glass specific to the cocktail.

Double: 2.5 ounces of spirit served rocks or neat.

Tall: A standard mixed drink (for example, gin and tonic) served in a taller glass with extra mixer. There is no extra spirit.

Dirty: Adding olive brine to a martini. Personally, I think this is disgusting. A great alternative to olive brine was created by my friend, Nate Windham, an amazing bartender from The Office in Colorado Springs, using a blend of Lillet Blanc, sea salt and orange flower water.

Twist: A swath of citrus peel, twisted to express the oils over a cocktail. Twisting adds to the aromatics and flavor of a spirit or cocktail. I prefer to use a paring knife or peeler, as opposed to the typical channel knife so that the amount of pith is minimal. Twists must be done fresh from the fruit for each cocktail. as they start to dry and lose their oils once they are cut.

Dry: A term used specifically for martinis. A dry martini contains less dry vermouth than the standard 50/50 cocktail; I always use an 11 to 1 gin or vodka to vermouth (2.75 oz to .25oz) ratio for a dry request.

Extra Dry: Another martini-specific term. An extra dry martini contains only a wash (rinsing a glass with spirit ) or bar spoon of vermouth with 3 oz. of vodka or gin.

Perfect: Used generally with martinis and manhattans. A perfect manhattan or martini splits the normal volume of vermouth into equal parts of both sweet and dry. For example:

Perfect Manhattan

2 oz rye whiskey
.5 oz sweet vermouth
.5 oz dry vermouth,
2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Add all ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice, stir to chill. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or over fresh ice into an old fashioned glass.

Now that you know how to order like a pro, you're all set for the holiday drinking season.


Google TV vs Apple TV: The Showdown and the Lowdown

By snarkydeals


These days in technology it often comes down to a simple question: Apple or Android? Sure, there are other brands, but these are two brands and operating systems that we're all super familiar with in our daily lives. I have an iPod, MacBook, and Android phone (as well as two PCs, but that's another story!).

The Apple vs. Android battle has gone beyond laptop and cellphone to the arena of television--specifically Internet TV.

In a cage match to the death, which is the better product in the long run and also best for your budget: Google TV or Apple TV? It's time for the showdown and lowdown on these cool new Internet TVs: what do you need, how much do they cost, are they worth the price, and which is better? Google TV

The Google TV motto is "your TV just got smarter." I hope that doesn't mean it plans to revolt against its creators, Terminator style. But, being the new kid on the block, it looks like Google may have bitten off more than it can currently chew, so you're probably safe from Terminator-esque Internet TVs plotting against you. Probably.

Google TV boasts a lot of incredible features, but a pretty hefty price tag. To get Google TV, you need one of three things: a Sony Internet TV (enabled with Google TV automatically), a Logitech Revue box, or a Sony Internet TV Blu-Ray Combo Box. Sony Internet TVs start at $599 for a 24" model and go up to $1,399 for a 46" model. The TVs are sleek and cool, and because it's Sony, they are good buys in the long run.

Compared to the $299 price tag for the Revue and the $399 one for the Combo Box, it's hard to say which is the best option. If you've already got a killer big screen, I'd say stick with it and go for the Revue. Otherwise, get the Sony Internet TV. The Combo Box isn't all that great, and for what it does, the Revue does better.

So, what does it do??

With Google TV, you have very few restrictions on what you can do with your TV. Want to watch a movie? Browse Netflix, your DVR, live TV, YouTube and more straight from one source called "the Homepage." Just like in a browser or smartphone, your homepage sets the tone for what you want to do with your TV: you can set-up favorite channels, see what you've recently watched, add movies to a queue, and even record from your DVR straight from the search box. It's super-intuitive, just like you'd expect from Google.

Google TV also comes with applications, automatically installed with Pandora, Netflix, CNBC, and more. Also coming in 2011, the Android Marketplace for Google TV will be opened to developers wishing to create their own apps, so just like on any smartphone, you'll be able to download games, social, and other apps for your TV. (With this, you do run the risk of downloading apps that are not necessarily good for the OS, but I really think if you're dumb enough to download something that looks fishy, maybe you shouldn't have an Internet TV. Just sayin'.)

Other cool features for Google TV include the ability to "fling" content from any smartphone or iPod to your TV with one simple click. Plus, you can use your smartphone, iPod, or your own voice to surf channels or browse the web. It's all inclusive. Or, if you want to use a 'normal' remote, try the one it includes, which boasts a full QWERTY keyboard! All this awesome technology would make Marty McFly say, "This is heavy, Doc."

As for content, Google TV works with Netflix and Amazon (not iTunes, obviously) as well as YouTube, NBA Game Time,, and VEVO. It doesn't unfortunately work with Hulu, CBS, ABC, and some other popular sites due to legality issues (they basically don't want you getting their free content on your TV, even though you can get it on your iPod).

Overall, I love the idea of the Google TV, but at the moment it is extremely pricey and is not without bugs and limitations. That said, it does the most of any Internet TV solution on the market and offers free updates through its interface, so when the technology does catch up to the ideas, you'll get it all free. A great option if you have a little extra cash and want an all-inclusive solution.

Apple TV

Compared to Google TV, Apple TV doesn't appear to offer very much. There's no built-in web browser, so you can't get all the content you can from Google TV, the remote is small and weird, and there's no app store. But what Apple TV does offer, it does well: it is seamless to set-up (literally, just plug and play), offers a familiar interface for those of us who've used an iPod, MacBook, or iPad, and is extremely affordable. At just $99, it's a real bargain for becoming a media solution, but it has a ways to go to be comparable with other devices on the market.

The big content from Apple TV includes the ability to rent from Netflix or iTunes (no Amazon) as well as YouTube. You also can stream Internet radio, access Flickr photos and use MobileMe galleries, but it's missing the big thing that makes Internet TV unique: The Internet! I think in a year or so, Apple will jump on the bandwagon with a built-in web browser, as they can't really compete if Google TV lowers its prices. But for $99, you really may feel more comfortable getting your movies and some Internet abilities through Apple.

Also in the 'coming soon' stages, Apple TV will soon offer AirPlay, which will allow you to stream content from your iPod, iPad, or smartphone straight to the TV. This will really up the value of Apple TV, as will an extensive app store, if they decide to offer that.

The biggest downside I found for Apple TV was really the lack of content. You do have access to YouTube for a lot of great shows, but otherwise you're stuck with NetFlix's unfortunately limited selection of streamable TV shows (assuming you're paying the $9/month fee for Netflix) or the $1 per episode charge through iTunes. I mean, I'll pay $1 per episode if I have to, but only if every single show I want to watch is there. iTunes and Netflix have limitations, which YouTube can help fill in, but not entirely. Without a web browser, you're stuck with just these three options as a hopeful catch all.

But for the budget, there's really no getting around how affordable Apple TV is. For $99 (plus the cost of an HDMI cable if you don't already have one), you can see some TV shows, movies, YouTube videos, and your own iTunes content to your heart's desire.

Overall, if you're working on a budget or require the familiar, go with Apple. If you're willing to spend a little extra for a lot more content, try Google. Both will be updating more and more as the months and years go by, and they can really only get better with time.

Green Spray Cleaner is Empty Bottle that Lasts 3 Years

By Jonathan Bardelline

Replenish Downsizes Spray Bottle Packaging with Built-In Refills

OAKLAND, CA — What Method did for rethinking laundry detergent and how it's used, Replenish wants to do the same for household spray cleaners.

Born from an idea company founder Jason Foster had while ironing more than four years ago, Replenish is introducing a line of cleaners, but is selling only empty spray bottles - which will last at least three years - and concentrated cleaner mix.

Although Replenish isn't the first to make concentrated cleaners, it has developed a wholly unique bottle design and system, just as Method rethought how laundry detergent should be used with its 8x concentrated detergent that's dispensed by pumping instead of pouring.

"We had a great opportunity with a blank canvas to say, 'How should you build a bottle?'" Foster said.

Replenish's bottle is made so that the pods of cleaner concentrate screw into the bottom of it. To make the cleaner, you turn the bottle upside down, squeeze the concentrate pod to fill up a measuring cup built into the inside of the bottle, and add water.

Other concentrated cleaner brands like IQ, Ecodiscoveries and a no-longer-produced line from Arm & Hammer rely on using small bottles of concentrate, one per bottle of cleaner. Replenish's pods hold enough concentrate for four bottles and can stay attached to the bottle as long as needed. Ecodiscoveries' system involves pouring bottles of concentrate into the main bottle, and IQ's includes placing the cartidges of concentrate inside the bottle before inserting the spray nozzle.

Benefits for All

On the environmental side, Replenish's products result in 90 percent less plastic, oil and carbon dioxide emissions compared to using other cleaners over the course of a year. By shipping empty bottles, truckloads are lighter. And since the idea is for consumers to reuse one bottle over and over while buying only pods, the smaller physical footprint of the pods would lead to fewer trucks trips and other storage savings. Foster said it would take 1 semi-truck of pods to equal the amount of product in 15 semi-trucks of typical cleaners.

The bottle and pods are made of PET, the commonly-recycled plastic identified by the #1 resin code, although the spray nozzle, which is also entirely plastic, is not.

Since the spray nozzle doesn't contain any metal, it has a longer lifespan than ones that have metal coils, which can rust and fail. Foster estimates the life of the bottle at around three years. "Can it last longer? Absolutely," he said. "There is no designed obsolescence in this bottle."

The actual length of the nozzle's life is fuzzy because when it went through a test to see how many trigger pulls it takes before the trigger fails, it lasted all the way through the test, which maxes out at 10,000 pulls. The downside to an all-plastic spray trigger is that is costs twice as much as typical spray triggers.

The actual cleaner was developed with the environment in mind as well. The ingredients are 98 percent plant-derived and modified seed-oil-based cleaning agents, sugar fermented ethanol, deionized water, food grade colorants, fragrance and natural essential oil.

The cleaners, Foster said, are non-toxic, readily biodegradable (meaning the majority of the product breaks down within 28 days) and pH neutral, giving them the same profile as water.

As for the cost, the bottle and one pod will be sold together for $7.99 and the individual pods will sell for $3.99. Due to the concentrating that has been happening with laundry detergents, Foster doesn't expects customers to be thrown off by the $8 price tag for mostly air. He's also hoping to attract customers with the environmental aspects, as well as the convenience the bottle provides.

Replenish is initially launching online at, which creates storefronts for companies, but Foster is in negotiations to sell Replenish through some natural-focused retailers. He also received interest from bigger retailers that he wasn't expecting, he said. But for the launch, he's focusing on getting people to use the product and hoping they spread the word. "This is about building advocates and wanting to be with people who think through the products they buy," he said.

An Idea Born From Ironing

Before developing Replenish, Foster was an equity research analyst, but left the field in 2004. One day while ironing, he thought about how useful it would be to have a cleaner that you can use in an iron. Then he imagined it would be a concentrated cleaner, but realized an ironing board wouldn't have enough space for a bottle of concentrate and something to mix it in.

Then, he wondered what it would look like to stack the concentrate and the mixing bottle on top of one another.

Foster started patent work on the system about four years ago and founded Replenish in 2008. Since the inception of the idea, he spent over $1 million in engineering the bottle. Some of that was his own savings, some came from his family and some came from angel investors.

While shopping the idea around, he also ran into plenty of resistance to the idea of completely changing how cleaning products are packaged. "You couldn't ask for a better business than selling 95 percent water in bottles that people will keep buying," Foster said.

He also made a number of allies, though, that helped the product along: Eastman Chemical, which supplied the PET resin and provided advice; designers who helped flesh out his idea through freelance work; Radius Product Development, the design arm of precision injection molding company Nypro; and McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC), which helped Foster look at every aspect of the product through the lens of Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C) design.

Hooking up with MBDC also helped with attracting angel investors, and Foster said Replenish is in the process of having its products evaluated for C2C certification.

The actual engineering of the bottle provided the most hurdles. First off, Foster wanted to make the bottle with PET. Due to the intricate and specific design of the threading that the pods screw into, the two valves in the bottle and the built-in measuring cup, it couldn't be blow-molded like the common cleaning bottle.

The parts had to be precision molded, and the base of the bottle had to be ultrasonically welded to the main part, something that hadn't been done before, Foster said. "There were all these unknowns before, and now we've worked through them," he said.

Due to that, though, the bottle doesn't contain any recycled content. Foster said that due to concerns about the quality of plastic in the recycling stream, and since it was already a technological leap to do what they did with PET, Replenish is sticking with the PET resins it knows will work for now, but will be doing trials with recycled content.

Images courtesy of Replenish

Ingenious Beeramid Solution

Written by Das Fork


We’ve all encountered the problem of not having enough space in our mini-fridges because of all the beer we have jammed in there. Well, here’s a quick solution to the problem – for a couple pennies on the dollar, you can be the proud owner of one of these paperclips that make your very own Beeramid!


Simple, yet ingenious.

The Life and Death of a $1 Bill

Posted by: Dutch Mechanic

Nothing gets around more than your average dollar bill! Here are some interesting facts brought to you by Online Finance Degree on the typical life span each one holds, and the illegal powdery substances it comes in contact with every day. What is this piece of green paper actually worth?

Life and Death of a Dollar Bill
Via: Online Finance Degree

13 More Awkward Store Names


Store name Fails

Being relatively well traveled and having lived in Los Angeles my entire life, I know we have some of the greatest restaurants in the world — Screw Les Halles, who doesn’t eat at Chili’s, Applebees, and/or TGI Fridays at least twice a day?

But sadly, being spoiled by these fine LA eateries means I just don’t have time to check out Shatin Chinese Food, Cabbages & Condoms, and the many many varietals of Flavors of Negros — I hear the Congolese Crisps are delicious.

Until then, enjoy these Awkward Store Names.

Shalane Flanagan second in N.Y. City Marathon

Shalane Flanagan collapses after finishing second in the New York City Marathon. PHOTO / ASSOCIATED PRES


NEW YORK (AP) -- It was a case of "like mother, like daughter" Sunday in New York.

Marblehead's Shalane Flanagan, who stood out in both cross country and distance running both in high school and in college, added another notch to her cap Sunday, finishing second in the New City Marathon.

She's not the first person from her family conquer a marathon course. Her mother, Cheryl Treworgy - who embraced her on the podium - knows a thing or two about running marathons too. In 1971, she set the U.S. record (long since broken) of 2:49:40. By comparison, Flanagan finished the race Sunday in 2:28:40.

Flanagan's time was the fastest among American women (the race doubled as the U.S, women's championship), and she won $40,000 in prize money just for the accomplishment alone. Her total purse was $120,000.

Flanagan is the American runner since 1990 to finish among the top two in the race.

This might have been Flanagan's first-ever marathon, but it's certainly not her first foray into distance running. She was a national cross country champion while at North Carolina, and she was also the state two-mile champion two years running while at Marblehead High.

Her most important accomplishment in track and field thus far, however, occurred in 2008 when she took home a bronze medal in the 10,000-meter at the Beijing Olympic Games - again, the first U.S. woman in over a decade to win a medal in the event at the Olympics.

Flanagan did so well in her marathon debut she may run it in the 2012 London Olympics.

"My passion for the marathon is very strong after today, so we'll see," Flanagan said. "We'll see how the whole next year of track season plays out."

Katie McGregor was second among American women in 2:31:01 (11th overall), and Kathy Newberry was third in 2:35:23 (17th).

Serena Burla of St. Louis, who overcame a malignant tumor in her hamstring this year, was fourth in 2:37:06 (19th).

The American field was without top runners Kara Goucher and Deena Kastor. Goucher, who finished third in the New York City Marathon in her debut in 2008, had a baby boy in September. Kastor is pregnant and served as a commentator for the marathon.

Flanagan, who wore white knee socks and black gloves and arm warmers, was in the pack at the halfway mark. She took the lead briefly at the 15-mile mark and again entering Central Park at mile 23.

"As soon as I started to push, I started to hurt a little bit," Flanagan said. "I was just trying to keep it close and I know not to give up at any point because things can happen."

Video from her homepage:

Shalane Flanagan video after marathon debut at 2010 ING New York City Marathon

November 7, 2010

Shalane Flanagan video after marathon debut at 2010 ING New York City Marathon. Shalane finished 2nd in New York City and became the 2010 US Marathon Champion in the process. Shalane Flanagan ran at 2:28:40 in her marathon debut.