It's a pasta timer in the shape of a little man, which gets dropped into the pasta water as it boils. When the water has been boiling long enough, the timer man sings. Sings opera.
Martha Stewart's One-Pot Pasta - Boil Penne pasta for 6 minutes less than al dente; add broccoli florets, and cook until Penne is al dente. Drain; return to the pot, and toss with a couple of crushed garlic cloves, some olive oil, the zest and juice of a lemon, salt and pepper, and plenty of parmesan cheese.