kobebeefipodnanocase2

PC Magazine unveiled its Top 10 Weirdest Tech of 2008. There’s a pig shaped iPod dock and a battery-powered T-shirt that can be used as a Wi-Fi finder. It glows brighter as the signal strength increases.

But the weirdest is an iPod nano (3g) case made from Kobe beef. Tokyo-based Solid Alliance is selling the case, which weighs 20 grams (seven-tenths of an ounce), for about $100.

I know what you’re thinking: ‘Dan The Man, an iPod case made of beef is a great idea. But the economy is in the tank and it’s impractical to spend $100 on an iPod case.’ Agreed, so here’s a suggestion: Order a 10-oz Wagyu steak [$98] from Lobel’s in New York and make your own. You’ll have enough beef left over to toss on the grill for supper.

Seriously, who buys this kind of crap? And how many bottles of sake did it take to convince the boss that people would pay to stick their iPods in a slab of Japanese beef?

BTW, there is some confusion about what a “real” Kobe steak is. Like champagne, real Kobe beef is raised in only one part of the world — the region surrounding the city of Kobe in Southern Japan. Very little of it is imported into the U.S.

Instead, high-end restaurants in the states serve wagyu. It’s the same breed of cattle raised in Japan, and the methods for raising wagyu are similar. Most wagyu beef is raised in the U.S. and Australia. Real Japanese Koke beef goes for $300 or more a pound while waygu — sometimes marketed as “Kobe-style” beef — sells for a little more than $100 per pound. Two good articles on the topic are here at MSNBC and at this Web site for Lobel’s, a well-known butcher shop in New York.

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