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09.23.2006

Another video game cake (my last one, i promise)

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OK, I know that I already posted on the Xbox wedding cake and then on NES and Tetris cakes. I don't know why I am fascinated by these baked goods. Yes, I do. I love cake and I love video games.

So, here is a Mario Brothers themed wedding cake, which, well...takes the cake. I really like how Mario is posing with his arms crossed as if he is about to bust into b-boy moves. Check out the whole flickr photo set to fully appreciate the craftsmanship. It is almost too beautiful to eat. Almost.

Via Boing Boing through Wonderland.

Posted by Ray    Category: toys
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09.22.2006

Halfsuit for boxer-wearing telecommuters: Businessbibs

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My husband is one of those "I am most happy with my tees and jeans" people. Because he's in the technology industry, everyone around him dresses more or less in the same fashion. It's only when he has to meet up with the big bosses or customers, either personally or increasingly via videoconferencing, that his suits get to see the light of the day. In spite of my genuine appreciation of how good he looks in those suits, he is still convinced of their complete uselessness. His strong distaste is reflected in his view that a tie serves no purpose other than as something to wipe one's face after dinner!

It's no wonder then that he sent me this link on Businessbibs. It's basically a half suit that you can put on over virtually anything, to give you that professional appearance during video conferences or web chats. Each Businessbib has a slit back Velcro-sealed design and can be slipped over your T-shirt and shorts to give you to that sophisticated look in a jiffy. Once you're done with the meeting, you can remove the Businessbib and get back to your casual lifestyle. Since this will work only for videoconferences, its usage is pretty much limited to telecommuters. Also, the product is a no-no for people who use their hands to do the speaking or have a habit of moving around during meetings. For those adventurous ones, who believe that they can try this out in face-to-face meetings, it would be nothing short of suicidal.

Businessbibs are hand-made from recycled materials and are supposed to be sturdy and stylish. Priced between $135-150, they can be ordered online.

Posted by kanchana    Category: eco | wearables
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09.22.2006

Micropack: take it with you

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If you ever go running somewhere other than an indoor gym, you know how difficult it can be to decide what to do with your essentials when you're out and about. Maybe you just need a place to put your keys where they won't jingle. Perhaps you need a Micropack Landsport, which is totally bounce-free and jingle-free, and can hold an iPod mini or shuffle. With a clip for sunglasses and a pouch for keys, you'll have everything you need while you're on the run.

And for water lovers, try the Micropack All Conditions with a removable waterproof dry pouch. Perfect for transitions between water and dry land.

Posted by Katherine    Category: accessories
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09.22.2006

Spirals for all

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I grew up with Spirograph. Evan recently posted about the Spyro Gyro Pen.

Now, here's a great DIY project, provided by Paul Bourke, for the truly hard core geometry fiend. Try building a harmonograph. This contraption used to be home entertainment at the turn of the last century. It works by using two swinging pendulums which control the motion of the pen; as the swing slowly damps. the spiral pattern emerges.

Just remember, everyone, math is cool.

Posted by Ray    Category: design
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09.22.2006

Pet staircase

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Pet staircase comes in different sizes, three steps, four steps, five steps and six steps, and as the name suggests, is specifically designed to allow your pet to easily climb up and down every couch, bed, chair, etc. you might have.

Pet staircase seems to be one of those objects that get pet owners overly excited only to find that their dog, cat or whatever else is never going to use it. But what do I know? After all, I am not a pet owne Öat least not anymore.

I bet Paris Hiltonís Tinkerbell has one.

Pet staircase price ranges from $80 to $150, depending on size.

Via product dose
.

Posted by Camilla    Category: pets
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09.22.2006

Boo Boo Kisses

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As all moms know, there is nothing like a kiss to make a boo boo better. Now you can follow it up with a boo boo bandage. What could be better? (At my age? A shot of Scotch.)

They all come with a little "toy" to make the ouchie feel better, too.

Boo Boo Kisses are cut into the shape of lips and come in four different colors. Fifteen per tin.

$3.99 at Perpetual Kid .

Posted by Evan    Category: home
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09.21.2006

Learn how to build with cardboard

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A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me if I was interested in taking a workshop on building stuff out of cardboard, taught by the Adaptive Design Association. Located in New York City, ADA is this amazing non-profit whose mission is to make customized equipment for people (and especially children) with special needs. They use and reuse inexpensive material like cardboard, fabric and brown paper bags to make chairs, toys, and physical therapy equipment which can be custom designed for a person's exact dimensions and needs.

They hold workshops, where you can learn basic skills in cardboard carpentry. There's enough time in one class to build something you can take home and use. People in the workshop I attended made: a book/ laptop stand for working in bed, a work-out balance board and a physical therapy step stand. I ended up making a small staircase for my friend's diabetic cat with a cranky back, so he can get into bed.

Check out ADA's site for the fall workshop schedule. Classes are starting next week, so sign up now, and break out the (card) board.

Posted by Ray    Category: design
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09.21.2006

Claudia Mitchell is robobeautiful

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Claudia Mitchell and I are both 26, but she's 1) a pretty lady and 2) the first woman to receive a bionic arm. After a tragic motorcycle accident took her left arm Ms. Mitchell was at a loss to do her daily tasks like folding laundry or peeling a banana. She volunteered as a test subject for a program interfacing advanced robotic prosthetics directly into the nerves that had previously controlled the arm she had lost. The resulting marriage of body and build gives her a properly articulated arm that functions through thought.

How does it work? A plastic surgeon rerouted the nerve endings that used to control the muscles in her missing arm; those nerves are grafted into chest muscles. When Claudia thinks about moving her missing arm those nerves still fire, and it stimulates the chest muscles. Where prosthetic makers once tried to overcome the phantom limb phenomenon, they are now finding that those signals are the perfect way to control a robotic arm.

These little guys are being developed with NIH grants as replacements for injured soldiers, and the wearers are encouraged to really put them through the paces as limb replacements. High tech prosthetics don't come cheap; prices hover around the $40,000 range, but ABC's WMDT reports that some insurance companies are now covering the costs.

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago has done fantastic Steve Austin style work, and I have an amazing respect for people like Hugh Herr and Todd Kuiken who are using their technological aptitude to help others. Don't miss Rachel Metz's great feature on the people and technology behind these advances in prosthetic body parts.

Posted by Johnny    Category: body
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09.21.2006

USBCELL rechargeable battery

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Moxia in the UK has come out with a rechargeable battery which tops off on any powered USB port. Appropriately named, the USBCELL, requires no cables or wires, simply plug it into any available USB port (including those on your Playstation, XBOX, and powered hub).

Not only can it be used like a normal battery and recharged simply by plugging into a USB port, a few minutes of charging will usually give you a few hours of power. An LED indicator provides "intelligent charging."

At the moment, it's available in a AA format with a mini-USB connector and also with a folding full-size USB, and with convertors.

So where can you get this revolutionary recharable battery? Now it is available in the USA, Canada, Australia and most of Europe.

Also, in January of 2007, USBCELL was a Design Week finalist for best consumer product of 2006.

Posted by Evan    Category: devices | eco
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09.21.2006

Brabuddy

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I personally feel that tugging at falling bra straps is as much of a fashion faux pas as visible bra straps themselves. To my shame, slipping my fingers under my collar to pull back an errant bra strap is a maneuver I make all the time.

One solution is to use a bra strap holder that holds the two straps in place below your shoulders (for instance, the Strap-Mate). Now, an Australian company has come up with an alternative - the Brabuddy. This is nothing more than a simple clip that converts a regular bra into a crossback-style bra, by pulling the two straps together. Not only does it prevent your bra straps from falling off your shoulders, but it also allows you to wear your racerback tops without your bra straps showing. The maker also claims that it is cleavage enhancing. The site shows how the non-contortionists among us can put on the Brabuddy.

The Brabuddy is available in packs of three, with one each of clear, white and black.

Posted by saresha    Category: wearables
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