If you're like me, you have no idea if you're maintaining proper tire pressure in your car tires in between trips to the shop. This self-inflating tire, developed in the Czech Republic, takes this out of your hands by inflating automatically through a device called a peristaltic pump which inflates the tire as it turns, keeping it at a constant, safe pressure level. This technology, if adopted widely, will not only make the roads safer, but will have a positive environmental impact by way of savings on fuel (cars with under-inflated tires use more fuel), resulting in a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, and an increase in the lifespan of tires. Read more here.
Legendary British nature documentary maker David Attenborough (you may be familiar with his work if you saw the groundbreaking and epic Planet Earth has developed an oddly effective new way to film his favourite subjects - reclusive wild animals - in their natural habitat.
For his new program, Tiger - Spy in the Jungle, currently showing on BBC1 in the UK (and no doubt in America and the rest of the world soon), he got exclusive footage of tiger cubs, and was able to follow them from newborns to adulthood thanks to an inventive new filming technique. Trunk cams.
Yes, somehow Attenborough and his team got elephants to film the action in India's Pench National Park, using cameras made to camouflage with their trunks. (I swear this isn't an April Fool).
You can read more about this revolution in nature documentary making here, but I still don't understand how the elephants were persuaded to participate. I hope they at least got union rates.
You splurged and got the iPod nano in your favorite color, so why don't you have matching earbuds? Now you can with Griffin Technology's "Tune Buds" which come in 5 snappy colors (Silver, Light Blue, Purple, Light Green and Red).
At $19.99, your'e not going to expect the quality of your Shure earbuds, but they're surprisingly good, especially with the bass, which is always tricky.
The secret is not only the neodymium dynamic drivers, it's the specially-engineered ear cushions, shaped to perfectly conform to the shape of the inside of your ears, which means enhanced audio isolation from outside distractions. Size matters, folks.
With 3 sizes of interchangeable soft washable silicone ear cushions included in every package, there's a size for everyone, so no more "ear-fatigue."
Next time I want to skip work, I wonder if my editor would accept "my ears are fatigued" as an excuse?
With all the job-hunting tools available on the Web, you may still find that your resume goes unnoticed after you click that send button on your computer. Maybe it makes more sense to wear your resume so that anyone who sees you on the street has the opportunity to make you an offer. That's the idea behind Blackbird Tees' custom Resume Tees. When ordering, you choose an intro or teaser line for the front of your t-shirt (for instance, "My resume is on the back of my shirt," a simple "Hire me," or "I heart job offers") and then upload your resume for printing on the back (as a Word doc, only Times Roman font). Choose from 6 different colors - $30 for unisex, an additional $3 for a girl's fitted tee.
And if you manage to get hired this way, you'll at least know that your employer has a sense of humor.
Word-a-day calendars might improve your vocabulary, but unless they're electronic, they're not exactly great for the environment. Here's a more creative and lasting alternative that you don't have to wait for a new year to try out: the key calendar from Takumi.
I'm not sure exactly how it works, but it seems that you move the key every day to keep track of the date. It would be very cool if turning the keys revealed some kind of secret compartment (you could set it to deliver a love note on your anniversary or something) but I don't think that's an option yet.
Apartment Therapy says the calendar "plays upon both the metaphorical and also the innate physical desire to manipulate the mechanical as an effective way to keep track of the days of a month."
I just think it's pretty.
Currently ongoing at digital art institution Eyebeam is Feedback, which is a collection of experimental green design. As compact fluorescent light bulbs and solar powered patio lights continue to become more mainstream, Feedback reminds us that there are still boundaries to be pushed in green design. The show explores issues concerning topics such as natural resources, ecology, energy use and climate change. The forms of work run the gambit from visualization of data to working prototypes to theoretical architecture and design.
A highlight of the show (no pun intended) is the piece called "The Revolution Door" by Fluxxlab, which was founded by two Columbia architecture design school graduates, Jennifer Broutin and Carmen Trudell. As you turn the door, this working prototype powers the "Feedback" sign on the main panel explaining the exhibition. (Thanks to Stephanie Pierce who was at the opening and agreed to operate the door while I took the picture.)
Fluxxlab's project demonstrates how our daily activities, such as pushing a door, generate energy that can be converted into something useful, instead of being lost. As good experimental design does, The Revolution Door leads to further questions. In this case, the next logical query is: How can these kinds of designs be implemented on a mass scale?
The Feedback show closes on April 19, 2008, so there is still time to get to it if you're in the New York City area.
I might get kicked out of the girl club for admitting this, but I get more excited (probably too excited) about a new episode of Geekbrief than the latest Vogue and while I can find a hundred reasons to buy another MP3 player, dropping a hundred bucks on the latest face cream would make me want to cry.
However, I do like the occasional spree at Sephora (eyeshadows a specialty) so I had a little interest in news of a new beauty gadget for the eye area. Crystal Clear's eye pen is a battery-operated serum delivery system (which sounds a bit rude, but isn't). You gently rub the pen around the eye area to simultaneously stimulate circulation and ensure an even application of serum. (Again, sounds rude, but really isn't.)
According to Crystal Clear, the pen "helps with dark circles, puffiness, lines and wrinkles and can also help lift and firm the skin around the eye." It looks a little high-maintenance for my liking (I'd rather just wear sunglasses when I leave the house) and I could easily fund a second iPod with the £135 ($267) price tag but if your crow's feet are your bete noir, I'd consider this before rushing straight to the botox doctor's door.
Everytime you look at the tattered corners of your sofa, your shredded curtains or claw marks on the lovely kitchen cabinets, don’t you wish that your kitty didn’t have claws? Why not make your feline happy by providing a stylish alternative for her scratching instinct?
The people who designed the Itch Cat Scratch Pad had just that in mind. And while they were at it, they made it completely environment friendly too. Made from 100% renewable bamboo, the pads can be hung up (or placed horizontally) at strategic locations in your home to entice your kitty. The pads have removable carpet inserts that can be replaced from time to time. Sounds purrfect? Get yours from SquareCatHabitat for $50 a piece.
Via Eco Fling.
"CARRY WITH FUNS" (Look for this one as a giveaway in this week's Popgadget Drop email. Not a subscriber yet? Takes only a second to sign up here.)
You can't help but smile when you see an E.Square Bag - the bright colors, the cheeky designs - but hiding under all that fun is a meticulously crafted, functional bag. I've been carrying my MacBook around in it for a week, and it's comfortable (has a padded shoulder strap which I've come to learn is essential for a 13 lb.laptop). It sports padded pockets for all your electronics, plus essential outside pocket for easy access to travel docs.
Kristina Kim, who founded the company with her husband says they "put fun prints on the bags in order to add splashes of colors" into our lives. "We know the designs are very bold and in very eye-catching colors, no one would ever think to have YELLOW on a laptop bag, but we did it and together with some other bold colors and big retro flower prints. AND hey! It's working and actually is very very well received in the market. So, we know tech cases (are) missing some colors, we will continue to put fun prints and bold colors on the bags."