A few weeks ago I wrote about Harvard Medical School's advice on dealing with sinusitis, the medical name for a sinus infection. To my surprise, one item the august medical authorities were recommending for sinusitis was an ancient Indian technology, the neti pot.
Now we hear from yet another august authority: the New York Times. This time the topic is nasal allergies. The paper sorts through the evidence and arrives at the same conclusion: Washing out your nasal passages with salty water from a neti pot is medically helpful: it can help prevent spring pollen, hay fever, and other nasal allergies.
In my neck of the woods, tree pollen is in full flower, and grass pollen will be along before we know it. So this up-to-date advice praising a thousand year-old medical practice comes not a moment too soon.
Here's a video showing how to use a neti pot. It's not really as icky as you might imagine. Warning: the video ends with a pitch to order neti-related products. You don't really need them; ordinary non-iodized salt will do fine.
Here's an early (very early) tip for Father's Day this year, if your Dad likes grilling as much as most Dads of my acquaintance seem to do. Giles & Posner are selling a hot stone grill that not only looks very stylish (for a grill) but brings out the natural flavors of foods with no need for fats or oil. The grills can be used inside or out, and retail for around $43. The only snag? They seem to be UK and Ireland-only so far.
Via Boing Boing Gadgets.
Feeling a little indecisive today? Not sure what to have for lunch, whether to stay in tonight or see a movie or even if you should stick with your boyfriend a little longer or kick him to the curb?
Hunch could help you out. It's a website that will run through a range of options with you to help you make a reasoned decision - a modern version of the pro-con list but a lot more fun, in other words.
CNet used it to decide on that age old question: Mac or PC? But there are no limits to what Hunch could help you with. Probably.
It makes me secretly happy (no more?) to know that technology is going all out to woo the fairer sex and what better than to be able to lay my hands on accessories-cum-gizmos that are not only visually appetizing but also happen to satisfy my hunger for sensible technology.
The latest debutante in this category is from designer Ilya Fridman - the Ripple bluetooth headset. The idea behind this design was the conceptualization of "smooth fluid sound waves, like that of ripples in a still body of water". And the result is this gorgeous "earring" which actually camouflages an ultra minimalistic headset that clips on to your earlobe unlike the conventionally styled headsets that remain suspended over your ear. The outer covering can be flipped open to reveal the microphone and once you are done talking, pressing the button in the centre of the light ring allows it to remain active for listening to music. Well, thanks to this designer's creativity, we are one step closer to looking like airbrushed glam dolls, not very unlike the one pictured above. And I sincerely hope that this terrific product is carried over by gentle ripples to the safety of the shores, ahem…stores.
Via Yanko Design.
It might be a more unusual rallying cry than you're used to (what do we want? T-shirts!) but it is genuine all the same. KamGi Chak and Kyle Finch, the founding members of clothing company Be Love are on the board of Common Peace: The Center for the Advancement of Nonviolence, which provides nonviolence workshops in Los Angeles.
All the company's shirts (which feature icons of peace including Gandhi and the Buddha) are guaranteed sweatshop-free and most are organic. There are styles for men, women and children and prices start from $30 - although Treehugger has a discount code.
Chak and Finch donate 10 percent of Be Love's profits to Common Peace and use their website as a forum for debate about nonviolence and peace.
It seems that over the last five years (the amount of time Popgadget has been around), I've talked a lot about how women are under-valued in technology and business, so it makes me very happy to talk about something that very much celebrates the successes of women: The Personality Project: Women of Personality.
The Personality Project: WOP, is a FREE e-book, written by the PR and Digital Marketing guru, Rohit Bhargava, bestselling author of Personality Not Included. After Bhargava published PNI, he was overwhelmed by how many women wrote to him about their experiences in business, and he was inspired to write Women of Personality, to showcase some entrepreneurial women who have used their dynamic personalities to create strong brands. I'm truly humbled to be included in this group, which includes amazing women like Kare Anderson, Emmy-winning journalist and author, and Dr. Marcia Firestone, founder of the Women Presidents' Organization.
Please do check it out- you can read it in full, just below, or just click the image on top of this post to download your own copy. Also- if you have in mind someone who should be included in Women of Personality, please do go to the WOP site and let Rohit know, as he's already working on Volume 2.
We hear a lot about teenagers being bullied or stalked or induced into anorexia via their use of social networking sites but how representative are the big news stories that grab the headlines and instill fear into the heart of every parent?
Not that representative at all, actually, according to a study undertaken in 2008 and reported in the last week in USA Today.
A team of California researchers asked 251 teenagers about who they communicate with online (and their motives for that communication) and found that teens were mostly using the Internet to catch up with and stay close to existing friends, rather than to meet new ones.
Computer-human interaction can be weird. So maybe it's reasonable that some of the ideas on display at the recent Computer-Human Interaction 2009 conference were a bit strange too, or at least strange-looking.
Technology Review has a roundup here. A sampling:
--odd goggles that permit the user to control a computer with eye movements alone.
--communicating with a mouse via sensations of hot and cold.
--turtle-shaped photo-displaying clocks that, when synced, show related photos.
--a small robot that can trundle a cell phone around.
--a camera and mic embedded in a matchstick whose purpose I will not even try to describe.
But, trust me, it's weird.
I can't decide whether these are weird or cute but they certainly are inventive. Ceramic artist Louise Graham is on a mission to make everyday objects beautiful. The egg cup stand above uses velcro to turn part of a box into an egg cup and the pourer below will fit a variety of milk containers.
Prices start at around $41 from British store Pedlars, or you could always smash some of your grandmother's old china and see if you can re-capture the old-meets-new sensibility for free.... (Good luck with that).
Via Hygge Nook.
I'm not a fan of sewing: there are enough perfectly good clothes shops and tailors in the world without adding my ham-fisted attempts to make something to the mix. But I hear making your own clothes is making something of a comeback in these credit crunch-y times and this ring would make the perfect gift for the seamstress in your life: it combines cool and quirky jewelry with the functionality of a pincushion, and is extremely portable.
Buy it from Art Star for $150.
Via Mighty Goods.