Weird Thing in the Coffee Bag

I bought some rather expensive Hawaiian Estate coffee the other day. I keep my coffee in the freezer to maintain freshness. As I was dumping it out of the bag into the air-tight freezer container, I saw a weird plastic thing inside the bag. It is pictured below.

At first I thought it was an airvent. However it was glued to the inside of the bag with no opening in the mylar bag.

Then I speculated that it was a dessicator, something like those little bags of silica to trap the moisture. It wasn't one of those. It was a button, and the white center part was porous like a cigarette butt.

I was curious enough to email the customer satisfaction email on their website, but I have gotten no response. I should have phoned the 1-800 number.

Update: I did get a response. You can read it by clicking on:

After a little bit of cogitation, my imagination ran away with me, and my thinking went like this. Suppose they were boosting the caffeine content, and the little button was like an IV drip to slowly release more caffeine into the coffee.

Then it struck me that what I had thought of was a viable invention. There have to be some applications where you would slowly release additives into the food. A good example would be vitamins. Some foods have a vitamin content that degrades with time. Suppose you had a little button like that to time-release additional vitamins into the food.

When you start seeing these things in the supermarket, remember that you read it here first.

Office of the Chief Technology Officer

So what does the office of the chief technology officer in the tropics look like? These pics will give you some idea of the sandbox. I keep my Bat cave dark, with the blinds drawn.

I have a bluetooth dongle taped to the wall. You can see it in the first pic. I send around files to each of the devices in my office via bluetooth. My keyboard is a rubber flexible keyboard.

I also have my P5 multi-sensor glove. The blue curved tower behind the second screen is the sensor array for the glove, pictured below.

I also have my webcam and biometrics login. Strewn around my desk are various RFID toys. Then you see a USB serial modem dongle. There are various cards, representing various card payment technologies that we use.

Atop the clamp on my desk, I have a GPRS modem that connects my SMS toolbox to the cell phone infrastructure on the island. The computer on the floor is a development box for an ACK/NAK server. The box perched on the edge is my SMPP toy that integrates payment technologies with SMS.

It also acts as a modem server for testing my payment widget ideas. I have to do a lot of admin stuff, but I am happiest when I close the door to my office, crank the Guns 'N Roses tunes and spooge code to make new things.

The neatest thing on my desk, are the Sergio Tacchini sunglasses. It reminds me everyday that I am in the tropics.

Cat Carrier Invention

In response to my inventions blog entries, a reader sent me a clever invention -- a cat carrier. Brilliant !

Clever Invention Found -- Folding Fork

In my usual invention pontificaitons on this blog, I profile my Eureka moments of inventions that are needed, or ideas that strike me that could have commercial potential.

However this blog entry is the opposite. I have found an incredibly clever invention -- a folding plastic fork.

The other day, I opened a styrofoam container of instant Chinese noodles. I haven't eaten them in a while. As I pulled back the foil, there was an ingenious plastic fork provided to eat the noodles. The fork folded to fit inside the package.

You unfolded the fork, and snapped the plastic hinge support in place. Here are the pics:

This struck me as particularly ingenious and I wish that I invented it.

Notes and News

This pic is appropriate for today. The mangos are in season everywhere. It is also our brand name for various consumer financial products. And we are in the ripening stage both figuratively and actually in the business sense, in the seasonal sense and in the personal sense.

First of all, Tropical Storm Danny is a miss. It is now 370 miles to the northeast of Nassau and headed for Halifax, where it has no chance being a hurricane -- just a bad storm.

However Danny is causing some rain as I type this.

On the business sense, talks are firming up for the export of some of our financial products to the US mainland and other places in the Caribbean Basin and Latin America. We have a huge meeting tomorrow.

And the exciting bit for me, is that I have been invited to be one of the keynote speakers of the Bahamas Technology Expo in December. I also give a workshop on advanced web techniques. I am excited about this.

New Food Invention -- Roasted Toasted Capers

I accidentally came upon another food invention last Sunday. Regular readers of my blog will remember that my first novel food invention profiled here was sea grape syrup for pancakes. This new discovery came by accident as well.

I was roasting a chicken, and on a whim, I threw a handful of capers on the chicken in the roasting pan. After the chicken was thoroughly cooked, the capers on top were toasted and roasted. They were like little nuts. One rolled off. I tasted it and it was delicious. It was a flavourful, salty crunchy nugget of taste. I took another and another off the chicken. They were addictive.

I could see these things being added to Bits & Bites or in those Indian snacks or Japanese rice snack bits. They were a tasty toothsome morsel. And when see these things appearing in specialty food shops, remember that you read it here first.

The Last Word on Karla Homolka -- Karla's Secret Facebook Page

Okay, I'm done. I want this to be the last blog entry that I will ever write on Karla Homolka. This all started when a Bahamian newspaper printed stories that the infamous notorious Canadian sex killer may be in the Bahamas where I live. I printed it on this blog.

From there, the trail led to Guadeloupe where her husband Thierry Bordelais is from. And then I was in correspondence with several people who told me that Karla vacationed in Guadeloupe, but in fact, she has been living in Canada and studying law of all things at a college.

This next bit, I promised not to reveal to the original person who revealed it to me. However, several people came forward and gave me the same information. Yesterday, I recieved some correspondence which confirmed what the original person told me.

Do you want to communicate with Karla on Facebook? Sign up and make her your friend. Below is a screenshot of Karla's secret page on Facebook. Fill yer boots. I'm outta here on this one.

The rest of the posts on this blog as to Karla's whereabouts can be read by following this link:

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Ghetto Proms Part III

This is the third continuation of my ever popular series of pictures of ghetto proms.

Click on any of the labels below to see the rest of the series.

Significant Hotel Room

The previous blog entry (Friday), I posted some pics showing how Silver Sands was totally destroyed by the hurricanes.

Pictured above is the hotel door number plaque from North Building, Suite 101 of the Silver Sands Hotel. I unscrewed the plate off the door of the destroyed building a couple of weeks ago when I was in Freeport on business.

This has significance for me. That room was where I slept for the first time ever in the Bahamas. As a young man, I dreamed of making my way in life, and moving to the tropics.

Well, I am now living in the tropics, for better or worse. Tied up with this plaque are many memories of a time when I was forever young and the world was my oyster.

The Fury of Hurricanes

Hurricane Bill looks like it will pass right by us and give Bermuda a swat. This gets me to thinking about Hurricane Hannah last year, and past hurricanes.

On my very first time to the Bahamas in my life, I went to Freeport and used to stay at a property called Silver Sands. I went back there many times. Every single experience there was incredibly enjoyable.

Along came Hurricanes Frances and Jean which wreaked havoc on Grand Bahama. The category 3 and 4 hurricanes stalled over the island for days. The destruction was unbelievable.

Four years after those hurricanes, I went to visit the Silver Sands. It was never rebuilt after the storms. The destruction was total. Here are some pics:

La Licenciada Tetarelli

Someone came to my blog from a Spanish speaking country and typed in the search query "Tetarelli" for the blog. I had no idea what a Tetarelli was.

I googled it. My eyes were opened. Apparently Tetarelli is a very famous stripper in Latin America. Her biggest claim to fame is an online comparison between herself and Anna Kournikova.

Well, I have no interest in strippers or such. But I do like blog hits. I am putting this blog entry up as a La Brea tar pit. It will capture blog hits of horn dogs looking for pics of said stripper. It will boost my ranking with Google.

The web surfers will be surprised when they see my picture of Tetarelli.

I will let you know how this boosts my rankings and affects my hits.

Potcake XV -- Economics

Potcake is Nassau's indigent, itinerant street philosopher who sells hubcaps and posts epigrams written on pieces of cardboard boxes. He then hangs them on his mobile business ... er ... shopping cart with along with the found hubcaps that he sells. He does a rip-roaring business because in Nassau every single street is potholed and the jalopies are losing their hubcaps all of the time.

Yesterday, he also had an advertising banner blowing in the wind. It was fashioned out of plastic bags from the City Market grocery store at Harbour Bay.

Potcake's topic was economics. His sign read:

  • "Potcake Says: Anudder day, Anudder Dallor --Gone"

Of course he meant to say "Another" instead of "Anudder" and "Dollar" instead of "Dallor" but he isn't exactly a poster child for literacy. Then again, maybe he is is.

The rest of my collection of Potcake sayings can be seen by clicking HERE.

Jellyfish Stings

When I arrived in the tropics after a stay in Canada, I was itching to get back to my swimming regimen on Cabbage Beach. I went down to the water, and it was roily and choppy. You somehow knew that tropical storms were blowing in the ocean.

Whenever this happens, the waves break off jellyfish tentacles and drive them to the beaches. Even though the tentacles are broken off from the beast, they still can swim. They are self-loaded nematocysts that spring on contact and drive venom under your skin.

Halfway through my swim, I felt a searing heat in my arm. I am used to jellyfish stings, and they are no more bothersome than say a mosquito bite. Not this one. It raised a huge Y shaped welt on my arm. Here is a pic:

That was Sunday. Today is Tuesday. The welt and itchiness is still there. It hasn't gone away.

I am wondering what species of jellyfish got me. I never have had a jellyfish welt for this long. It doesn't hurt any more. It just itches like hell. Common wisdom says that you pee on the welt and it gets cured. I think that I will stick with the itching for now.

Hurricane Season

We have been incredibly lucky this year. With the coolish spring, the potential for hurricanes went down significantly. A couple of years ago, we had over twenty named storms. Up until a couple of days ago, we had none.

That is all changed. Ana, Bill and Claudette have sprang up. Ana and Claudette are tropical depressions. It looks like Bill will turn into a hurricane. Fingers crossed.

I arrived from Canada yesterday and went for my swim at Cabbage Beach. Instantly one could tell that tropical storms on the ocean were about. The waves weren't exactly high, but the surface of the ocean was disturbed and roily and lots of seaweed had blown in. Here's hoping that Bill blows by all of us.

Photo Essay -- Cottage Life

I have just returned from Cottage Country up north. This is my photo essay of cottage life in eternal summer in the boreal forests lakes of the north.

Sitting out on the dock in the sun is great.

The old kitchen cast iron stove:
The quintessential cottage pasttime -- canoeing on a lake:
The hills surround the lake with greenery:
View of the lake from the deck:
The Lovely One swims in the lake:
A gaggle of watercraft:

On Hiatus

This blog will be on hiatus for the next ten days. I will be in Canada for the duration. See you on the flip side.

Beautiful Women

I was coming over the bridge to Paradise Island, and there were flags flying from every lamp post. (Interestingly enough, I didn't notice a Canadian flag on either of the two side-by-side bridges.) I wondered why.

Later on, I went for a swim on the beach, and I saw a group of young women.

The thought forcibly struck me that the women were exceedingly beautiful. One woman, who was almost seven feet tall particularly stood out. I did realise what was going on until I turned on the TV. The contestants for Miss Universe are on the island. The almost seven-foot girl is Miss France.

I picked up Yves at the airport. He had just come from Montreal via Miami. On his flight, the captain came over the intercom and said that there were special guests on the plane ... Miss Nicaragua and two other contestants that I don't remember. Yves said that the whole plane was like a bunch of prairie dogs popping up to get a view.

I have to say, that the scenery is beautiful in the tropics.

Travolta To Testify in the Bahamas

Here pictured is the cover story of today's Tribune in the Bahamas. Big news. John Travolta is coming to town to testify in the extortion attempt in the death of his son Jett. This case is scheduled for September 21, 2009.

As far as anyone knows, this is what happened. When Jett collapsed, the ambulance was called and a 47 year old ambulance attendant apparently took some photos with his cell phone camera of Jett's body. He also apparently had some incriminating evidence that the ambulance was not called promptly. Also there was a bit about who's care Jett was in while he suffered his death.

Well, the ambulance attendant contacted Pleasant Bridgewater, a lawyer and an ex-MP representing the PLP or Progressive Liberal Party. Bridgewater lost her seat in the last election by less than 50 votes. She went to election court for a recount and lost, and just last week, a judgement of a million dollars in legal fees for her opponent was delivered against her. Bridgewater represented the ambulance attendant in trying to extort $25 million from the Travolta's. She is so skewed ethically, that she thought that she would get a hefty retainer out of the $25 million.

In the extortion attempt, she was turned in to the police by a member of Parliament for Bimini West End, who represents the riding that Jett died in. His name is Obie Wilchcombe, the ex-minister of tourism. Bridgewater was a colleague and a member of the same political party as Wilchcombe.

This trial is due to start in September and could go into October, when the PLP party is holding a convention. It promises to be an interesting time, because some PLP members castigate Wilchcombe for turning Pleasant Bridgewater in to the law. Wilchcombe is trying to oust the current leader of the PLP, and most pundits agree that the convention will be a night of long knives. The Travolta case may figure politically in fortunes of the PLP convention.

Drama. You can bet that the courtroom will be full. I have something for the television crews coming to the Bahamas to cover the event. I have a spot with perfect view of the courthouse that I can rent out. Call me.

Calculating The Worth of Your Website

Last November, I wrote a blog entry on how to calculate what your pageviews or internet hits might be if you had a reasonably successful website. I get a lot of page views and Google queries on the entry. If you wish to read it, you can click HERE.

In that entry, I did some exponential regression analysis to come up with a mathematical formula to calculate future hits or page views. The formula looks like this:

I am afraid that you will have to read the entry to get an explanation of how to use the formula.

So now that you know how may pageviews you can get per day, I decided to take it further. I decided to extract a formula for website worth.

The key indicator of what your website is worth, is how much ad revenue that it can potentially generate. The key indicator of ad revenue is page views or internet traffic.

There are many websites that calculate the worth of your website, but none of them give you the formula. I did some regression analysis to come up with the formula that you can use with your own metrics.

Here it is:

W is the worth of your site. X is the average number of page views per day. The way that the formula works, w= 720 * (0.00300007x + 1.74285) , is that the part in the brackets ( 0.00300007x + 1.74285 ) is the daily predicted ad revenue based on average daily page views.

That figure is then multiplied by 730 days or two years. In other words, the most that you can count on ad revenue in the internet world is two years. This formula gives you an approximation of what your site is worth to a buyer.

So to do your own calculations, is to take your average daily pageviews and multiply by 0.00300007. Then add 1.74285. This is what you can expect to make a day if you had ads on your website. Then multiply the whole shebang by 730 and that is what you can expect if you sell your site.

Using this formula, Facebook is worth $630 million dollars. Microsoft doesn't think so. It invested $240 million in Facebook, and got 1.6%. Yep, less than 2%. That makes the owners of Facebook billionaires, but we already knew that. Good luck!

Holiday Weekend

It's a long holiday weekend here in the tropics. That means (for me), the beach, a barbeque tonight, picking friends up at the airport, walking the potcake dogs, a leisurely stroll to Starbucks to watch the tourists and the super yachts at Atlantis. I will go spear fishing for some seafood and perhaps garner a few golfballs on the beach by the 17th Hole at Ocean Club.

One thing that I will try to stay away from, is work.

Night Portals to Paradise Island

I walked to the office last night. I missed my daily swim, and I needed the exercise, so I walked the three miles to the office at night.

I have to walk 1/2 the distance of Paradise Island where I live, over the steep harbour bridge (high to let the boats pass underneath) and then along East Bay Street to Harbour Bay which is near the office.

As I was on the bridge, I turned around to look at the toll gate. You cannot get onto Paradise Island unless you pay $1 toll. Luckily I have a transponder in my car, so I do not have to pay everytime I leave the island to go to work and shop.

In this time exposure, you can see the boats in the harbour in the foreground, and the sloping bridge ending in a toll booth (the lighted area). In the upper background, you can see the futuristic cupola of one of the Atlantis buildings, and to the left of that you see the Atlantis towers.

It was a hot and muggy night.