12.20.2007

Holiday GIft Guide: For Pets

And now, some last minute gifts for the most important members of the family.

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Designer paw wear
Shoes for dogs may seem silly, but imagine walking around all day barefoot in muck and dirt and then climbing into bed. Well imagine letting the creature that's done that climb into bed with you. Poochey shoes keep dogs' paws protected and clean, and have a flexible rubber sole with traction for extra comfort and safety. These shoes are anatomically correct- with special inserts for the back paws, which are smaller. Comes in all sorts of colors, and in a wide range of sizes (there's a sizing chart available). $68 at the Shoo Shop. (Mia)


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Dolce Vita hot/cold dog bed
Not only do Dolce Vita dog beds have therapeutic foam padding to cushion dogs' joints, it also has cold and hot air therapy to keep them comfortable no matter what the season. The microsuede covered bed blows cool air to keep dogs cool in hot weather and also provides therapeutic heat on cold nights when limbs can get stiff. $249 from Dolce Vita. (Mia)


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Digital camera for dogs
Now, even the baby has his own digital camera, so the only member of the family without one is the dog. And what dog lover isn't curious about how the world looks from their dog's point of view? This .35 megapixel camera is worn on the collar, and you snap photos with a remote control or set it to take photos at regular intervals. See for the first time how stupid you look when you're talking to your dog. $79 from Japan Trend Shop. (Hoyun)


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As alternative to the doggy digital camera, you could just get this Gorillapod and mount your own digital camera on your dog's back. From Amazon. for $22 . Different approach, same amount of laughs. (Hoyun)
[Photo from A Thousand Words Blog - a Kodak blog]


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Cashmere sweater for dogs
Dogwear is available everywhere, but how often in 100% fine cashmere? The Classic Cashmere pull is snuggly soft and warm, and lets the quality of the cashmere stand on its own, no silly bows or ties. Starts at about $206 for XS (chihuahua) up to $252 for XL (German sheperd, who would all look so sweet in a pink sweater). Available from For Pets Only, which also has a New York location in Soho. (Mia)


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Ugo indoor dog potty
Do you work long hours and fear that your dog is doing a peepee dance by the door while cursing you? With the Ugodog indoor potty, your dog can take care of his business on his own, while keeping your house clean. Like a litter box for dogs, the UGO just needs a change of newspaper after it's been used. And unlike a potty pad or plain newspaper, which dogs tend to tear and throw around, the mess is contained within the grated UGO. $39.95 from UGO. (Mia)

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12.17.2007

Holiday Gift Guide: Luxury

Gifts for the person who already has everything. Here are a few items that no one truly needs but we can all dream.

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Giant martini glass
For the person in your group who's always hosting the parties, this giant chiller would add a nice accent to their party decor. Made of high-quality acrylic that looks like crystal, it can hold up to four bottles in ice, but can also be used as a punch bowl or to hold snacks. Sells for $270 at Hammacher Schlemmer. (Hoyun)


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LG Prada KE850 GSM Phone
Prada's minimalist design aesthetic. LG's feature-rich technology. A marriage of perfection, all with a gorgeous interface. Touchscreen, multimedia player, 2MP camera, micro-SD slot, to name a few features. The season's must-have fashion accessory slash tech device for the style conscious. Available at the Popgadget Pop-Up Shop at Henri Bendel. $650. (Brian)


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Shure SE530PTH Metallic Bronze Sound Isolating Earphones
For the ultimate listening experience on the road, these sound isolating earphones from Shure offer “Triple TruAcoustic Mircospeakers” and One Tweeter and Dual Woofers. Retailing normally at $549.99, it is available at Amazonfor $480. (Ray)


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O2Hi Personal Oxygen Unit
The O2Hi from USI provides all the benefits of an oxygen bar right in your own home. Delivering 50% more O2 than the freshest mountain-top air, this stylish, portable unit lets you surround yourself with cleansing negative ions and (optionally) enrich yourself with stress-reducing aromatherapy. A few minutes with the O2Hi will give a quick and healthful pick-me-up and help change tired and sluggish into alert and refreshed. Oxygen promotes overall health and wellbeing by vitalizing circulation and metabolic function. So, take a deep breath and give the gift of health! Available from Amazonand the USI website for $1295. (Brian)


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Champagne tower
Looking like the monolith in the movie "2001" this is actually a fancy fridg for champagne. Just 15 of these Champagne tower chillers, with room for a dozen magnums in individual, lit drawers, have been designed for Veuve Cliquot by Porsche Design. It runs $70,000, but hey, that includes a flight of 12 classic Veuve Clicquot magnums, starting with the 1955 vintage and ending with 1995. At almost seven feet, it doesn't fit in my kitchen, but I could park it in the driveway with a l-o-n-g extension cord? Via Gizmodo. (Evan)


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Alienware Area-51 m9750 Gaming Laptop
For the hardcore gamer who's attached to their desktop- make their obsession portable with an Alienware Area-51 m-series laptop. The Area 51 has up to 4 GB of memory, an Nvidia Geforce Go 950 7950 graphics card with 512 mb of video memory, 7.1 high-def audio, and a widescreen 17" display, but still only weighs just 8.5 lbs. And with Alienware's "stealth black" coating, scratches and fingerprints are a thing of the past. Starts at $2799. (Mia)

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12.16.2007

Holiday Gift Guide: Eco/Green Gifts

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Luau Portable Lantern
I love LED lamps, and they are only getting better. Once criticized for cold lighting, the new generation of lamps glow softly, in elegantly designed housings. The Luau Portable Lantern is made by Boston product design company, Vessel. The Luau is sold at the Vessel site for $199. (Ray)


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Cortland Bag from Noon Solar
Still fresh from the Wired pop-up store, the Cortland bag has a flexible solar panal on one side of the bag, which can be used to charge mobile phones and a lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack. When you're on the street, the panel side can be held toward your body to disguise the power which lies inside. The Cortland sells for $383 on the Noon Solar site.(Ray)


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WATTSON energy measuring device
The original WATTSON, energy-measure device won acclaim for design and utility. Just in time for the holidays is their limited edition version, which is still made of bamboo and measures how much electricityis consumed by an appliance. Knowing your actually power consumption is the first step towards lowering your carbon footprint. Love Eco is selling the WATTSON: Limited Edition for $720. (Ray)


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Wind Up Phone Charger
This windup phone charger is great in an emergency, as well as a greener way to power your mobile phone. A few minutes of winding with charge your phone battery to talk for half an hour. For $12 at the Gadgetshop.com, the gift is economically as well. (Ray)


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Green vodka
Turns out that when people were talking about "drinking responsibly" they meant drinking green. We try to do our bit so I went straight to the source, Eco-Chick. Sure enough, Starre (Starre Vartan, founder and dditor) has done extensive , uh ,"testing" of responsible vodkas and recommends 360 vodka, Reyka, and Square One. What makes a vodka organic and/or sustainable? Take Iceland's Reyka - it's the only vodka distilled using geothermal energy, which is abundant in Iceland due to the prevalence of volcanic activity there. "Steam from the Earth’s interior powers 100% of the distillery’s processes, and emits absolutely no CO2." Impressive! (And you've got to admire a a country that has a woman president.) As importantly, she says : "Very clean tasting, yet still has that pleasant vodka taste. " Now I won't feel quilty as I sip a martini while composting. At 2 in the afternoon. $60 at most fine liquor stores. (Evan)


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Coke bottle jewelry
Give eco-friendly presents this season with these stunning jewely pieces made from . . . wait for it . . . coke bottles. Kathleen Plate, the artist and owner of Smart Glass, started making earrings and necklaces from recyled beer, wine, liquor, and water bottles, including the "open line" made entirely from Coca-Cola bottles. Each one-of-a-kind piece is designed using traditional stained-glass techniques and is handmade with sterling silver. Beautiful aren't they? Prices range from under $100 to about $175. (Evan)

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12.14.2007

Holiday Gift Guide: For Technophobes

A few suggestions for what to buy your favorite Luddite. Here are some ideas that are either super-user friendly tech items, low-tech or covert tech, or completely non-tech.

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The Digital Photo Christmas Ornament can be a wonderful gift for your parents - it houses a digital photo frame and can be hung right up the Christmas tree itself. So gather your favorite photos (up to 50) from the days gone by and download them on to the ornament from the PC. Watch your parents relive forgotten memories as it plays back the photo slides on its miniature LCD screen. Available at Brookstone for $49.95. (Kanchana)


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Microwaveable Teddy Bear: This Teddy Bear is a microwave safe heating pad. The tiny specially treated wheat grains with a bit of lavender which are inside the bear heat in a few minutes and stay warm for up to two hours. On sale at Gadgetshop.com for $30. (Ray)


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It's come to my attention that losing the remote control in one's home is a universal problem. Clearly, it doesn't matter what brand you're using, or what kind of home you live in (apartment, mansion, mobile) someone is gonna get blamed for losing the remote. I bought Brookstone's very own Super-sized TV Remote as part gag gift, part great gift. I think you'll agree with me that this is one remote that no one in my home is going to lose. Fun and giggles aside, this is a 6-in-1 remote for your TV, VCR, DVD, satellite, cable and auxiliary A/V device. Compatible with hundreds of popular brands - just pop two AA batteries in and you're good to go! 5" w x 11" x 1" thick. $19.95 at Brookstone. (Chrissie)


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For your superstitious loved one who cringes whenever there's no wood to knock on (Hoyun will just knock on her head, but I don't know if that counts . . . ), the Knock on Wood Necklace provides the proper surface no matter where they are. Designer Sharon Feldstein designed the beautiful 1.3" wide pendant so she could always fend off bad karma. There are three small diamonds set inside and it's strung on a long 18" 14 karat gold chain, for easy reach. $400 at Shop Intuition. (Mia)


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SmartShopper Voice-Activated Grocery List: This device recognizes 2500 errands and shopping items, and you can also enter your own custom items. After reciting a list, you can take a paper copy with you, using its inkless, thermal printer. The list maker is sold at the Sharper Image for $149.95. (Ray)


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Hello Kitty USB Aquarium: It's not for me to ask the whys and hows of technology, but I could not resist showcasing this gem of a gift. The working aquarium gets power from a standard USB port or battery. It's available for $39.70 at GeekStuff4U.com. (Ray)


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Animal/Celebrity scale: Here's a perfect way to have fun while battling the bulge. Never mind how many pounds, stones, or kilos you weigh... Eschew the numbers and express your weight in terms of what animal or celebrity you most resemble. It may not be as exact as the big scale in your doctor's office, but it's sure to give you a laugh. And, really, what better way to encourage you to drop a few than to start comparing yourself to Mr. Ed, King Kong or the big oinker herself . . . the pink pig! A perfect holiday gift but, for Heaven's sake, make sure the recipient has a sense of humor about their dieting efforts! Available from Charles and Marie. $50. (Brian)


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Tom Tom One GPS
For the friend or family member who is always getting lost but doesn't think they can learn how to use a GPS, the TomTom One is a solid car navigation device for beginners, with just the basic functions and easy to follow display. Best of all, you can use it right out of the box - no setup whatsoever. $300 at Amazon.

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12.11.2007

Holiday Gift Guide: For Technophiles

For the tech-geek in your life - a few things to keep them plugged in for the holidays.

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Sony Rolly SEP-10BT Sound Entertainment Player
Imported from Japan, this hand-sized sound system holds 1GB of flash memory. The side flaps open to reveal the speakers, and it comes with a docking station. GeekStuff4U.com is offering this “first one on the block” gift for $456.56. (Ray)

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Samsung i85 Camera
Slim, stylish, well-equipped, and available in different colors to suit your personality. It's everything you've ever wanted in a mate, um, camera! The i85 from Samsung features 8.1 megapixel resolution, a 3" hi-resolution LCD screen, hi-res SVGA MPEG-4 video capability, face detection mode, and a 5X optical zoom. It also boasts a built-in media player so you can enjoy music, videos, or even movies without having to carry another device around. It also replaces the tourist guide book with its World Tour Guide function, which covers over 4500 regions. All in all, it's got quite a lot more than your average camera. Now, if it could only make the travel arrangements... Available at the Popgadget Pop-Up Store at Henri Bendel. $350. (Brian)


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JVC Bath MP3 Player
Not only is this MP3 player waterproof, but it floats as well. 4 AAA batteries provide enough power for 15 hours of music. The memory is a bit low, with only 256MB, but definitely enough storage to play music to last a hot bath. Buy it at GeekStuff4U.com for $225.45. (Ray)


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Smooth moves, smoother sound
You're a person on the move and your moves are inspired by sophistication and comfort. Bang & Olufsen gets this perfectly, and for you they've created A8 Earphones. These earphones are designed to perfectly fit the contours and curves of your individual ear and promise to deliver unsurpassed sound quality. The Earset 2, companion Bluetooth mobile phone headset, promises to "make your whispers sound convincing." Price: $450 at Amazon. (Chrissie)


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Xbox 360 Elite
The hard-core gamer in your life will love the special edition Xbox, with sexy black case and matching wireless controller, Xbox Live headset and two games. The 120GB hard drive can save games as well as other media such as movies and television. Available at Target for $449. (Ray)


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Jawbone Bluetooth headset
The Jawbone has quickly become the darling of the wireless set. Achieving CNET's highest rating ever for a Bluetooth headset hasn't hurt either. If you haven't heard, the Jawbone is not only a super-stylish accessory, but a super-engineered one, as well. It features adaptive "Noise Shield Technology" that not only works to virtually eliminate any background noise, but adapts the speaker volume to the environment. The result? Callers hear your voice without any background noise and you hear theirs loud and clear. Features a very respectable 6 hours of talk time and 120 hours of standby time. Available at the Popgadget Pop-Up Store at Henri Bendel. $120. (Brian)

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12. 8.2007

Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

Who doesn't love stocking stuffers, whether you're buying or receiving? Here, our writers share their favorites:

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Let your imagination run wild with this UNO Magnetik Distractions Interactive Magnetic Jewelry set. Made out of tiny magnetic nickel beads, the UNO goes from necklace to bracelet and anything in between with a quick twist. Available in 15 bold colors, the mix-and-match potential is both obvious and endless at the same time. The brainchild of Miami Designer Luis Pons, known for his work in magnetics, the UNO is perfect for the fickle gift recipient on your list. Missing a traditional closure, the UNO is held together by a small magnet that only adds to your design capabilities. Available from Charles and Marie. $16 per strand. (Brian)

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Stop those electrons from causing static shocks. Attach the Static Electricity Eliminator (SEE) to your keyring, and if you're "charged" (a result of shuffling feet, sliding seat, sweater sweeps), hold it and touch a grounded object. If you're safe you'll see a little happy face flash of the SEE screen that will let you know you're static free (safe to touch and be touched!). Otherwise, you can consider yourself charged up and ready to shock! Price: $9.99 at ThinkGeek. (Chrissie)

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Sony USM-H Micro Vault USB Drives- Two gigabytes and about the size of a thumbnail. And, oh, yeah, fun colors and super-cute cases. 'Nuff said! Available at the Popgagdet Pop-Up Shop at Henri Bendel. $120. (Brian)

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These bejeweled butterfly-inspired buds and choker are pure fashionista-fun. Don't let the crystallized Swarovski accents fool you, they conceal comfortable silicone ear tips, a powerful punch with 9mm neodymium drivers, 3.5mm stereo mini plug connection, gold-plated plug for improved sound transfer, and more! Listen to music in style with these fashionable earphones. The ear buds feature jeweled flowers and the choker sports a beautiful butterfly for a stylish look. Price: $59.99 at BestBuy.com. (Chrissie)

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Need someone at the office who agrees to everything you say, or have a boss with a similar need? Then welcome this Nohohon creature into your life. Part of a Japanese toy family, this sweet guy will sit at your desk and keep nodding throughout the day. Apart from boosting your confidence and morale, you can claim to have done your part in saving the planet, as this toy works purely on solar power. Available for $29.99. (Kanchana)

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Awww, the baby of the Moppel family has arrived - and just in time for Christmas stockings. This cute little guy stands just 4-3/4 inches tall and uses a battery pack with 3 AA batteries (included), or it can use the USB port on your computer for power. The best part is that his bulbous head glows in 7 colors! That just spells "Christmas" to me. $24.95 at Lights and Knives. Other Moppel products are also available at Amazon.(Evan)


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Listen to those sweet tunes with fashionable, festive, and feminine Shuga Buds. They come in iridescent, gold, blue, green, and pink, decorated with Swarovski crystals. Comfortably designed to be worn around the back of the neck. For use with iPods, MP3 players, portable CD players, and Sony Walkman. Storage case included. Price: $48 at Neiman Marcus. (Chrissie)


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The Gorillapod by Joby is one of the most versatile tripods out there. You can set it on almost any surface or wrap it around tree limbs and fence posts (or even your poor defenseless dog). It now comes in a variety of colors and models for different cameras. The red one above sells for $21 at Amazon.(Hoyun)

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