Opening Notes

Explorer

January 31 2000
Opening Notes

Explorer

January 31 2000

Explorer

TV lunch

Give people what they want, isn’t that what business is all about? Not always, it seems. In Indianapolis, Thomson Consumer Electronics, holder of the RCA brand name, is mulling over what to do with its wired version of the old noon-hour standard—the lunchbox.

Known as Joe Lunch Bucket, the electronic device, which is still in the development stage, resembles a cross between Apple’s iMac computer and a normal lunchbox. Powered by batteries, it comes equipped with a 5!/2-inch LCD screen for watching television. It was originally designed with young professionals in mind, but, according to Joshua Maruska, a senior industrial designer at Thomson, during focus-group studies some parents wanted the portable entertainment centres for their children. The company, however, is concerned that school-age children will watch TV while in class. “We manufacture millions of televisions, so were constandy under the scrutiny of concerned parents,” says Maruska. If nothing else, Joe Lunch Bucket could lend a whole new meaning to educational TV.

Web sites of the week

Ever wonder how to sculpt the bill of a baseball cap into a perfect arc? Or how best to nurse a hangover or what to do with a scratched CD? The

Learn2 Web site (www.learn2.com) boasts the answers to these questions and hundreds of thousands more. The site uses a simple search procedure to display colourful and entertaining “2torials.” A convenient list of step-bystep instructions, required items and the amount of time it should take to learn a new skill accompanies each 2torial, as well as several links to related topics. Easy-to-use and addictive.

Welcome to the 58th century— according to the Hebrew calendar, that is. Calendarzone {www.calendarzone, com) is a massive collection of Web sites that lists categories such as celestial, religious, historical and reform calendars. With a little patience, users can discover the current date on the Aztec calendar, when alternateside parking is allowed on the streets of New York City and why Thursday is named after Thor, the Norse god of thunder.

Danylo Hawaleshka and Michael Snider