This faint blue forcefield renders your banana impervious to attack. Just bend the crenellations of the bunker to conform to the unique shape of your banana, then insert the banana and twist on the cap. There is a hole at the top and bottom of the bunker to accommodate the stem and allow for bananas of unusual size, although I doubt you could keep your plantains in here. At a mere six bucks it makes for an excellent white elephant gift or stocking stuffer for the banana eater in your life. Sure to be a conversation starter.
You know those arguments that keep coming up and you just can’t seem to come to a resolution? You both think you are right? Sidetaker allows you to write up your argument and send an invite to the dissenting party. Should they choose to accept the invite, they will be able to write up their own side of the conflict, at which point the argument will be posted (anonymously) for all the world to deliberate. Readers can take a side and add their reactions, comments, and suggestions for a resolution. Even if it isn’t for everyone, it is a brilliant idea. A few examples:
Every year when Halloween comes around, I carve a watermelon. I don’t have anything against the carving of pumpkins, I just find the watermelon to be a superior choice.
They are easier to carve.
They are more directly edible.
The green on the skin contrasts nicely with the red interior.
The interior looks awesome when lit.
The biggest flaw I’ve found with the watermelon is that it doesn’t take the heat of a candle very well. This year I tried this little ultrasonic fog maker with LED. Even with a windy Halloween, the results were impressive. The interior had a shifting glow in the swirling fog.
When submerged, the device uses ultrasound to resonate the surface of the water and break it into extremely tiny droplets. The fog feels cool to the touch, but not very damp. In my tests, the effect worked through thin solid materials, so you could hide it in a device. It also worked with some success on other liquids (including Vodka). You may have seen these in use in small fountains, or for reptiles, terrariums, or humidifiers.
Update: Here is my watermelon carving for 2009:
For 2009 I had a small melon. I did’t have much room inside for a water reservoir, so I just put the fog maker in a jar of water. I could hear all of the trick or treaters coming because of all of the exclamations ver the smoke coming from the teeth of my watermelon. The empty eye socket was carved to a thin shell so it lit up nicely without being open to the interior.
Predating the LaChLuVe fish is this Air Jelly made by Festo, a German automation company. The unifying goal of these creations is to achieve neutral buoyancy. From there, propulsion becomes as effortless as it would in zero gravity. This jelly uses helium for buoyancy amd when deflated, weighs in at 1.3 kG. A Li-poly battery as its only power source, and a series of gears, shafts, and cranks power the arms. It can be steered by control of a pendulum on the underside.
1.3kg gets you a lot more to work with than it used to.
Good design doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be hard to make, or use difficult to come by materials. I hope this video is a design inspiration to all of you, even those of you who never fold your shirts. I don’t see much to be improved in this device. It is inexpensive, easily manufactured, recycled and recyclable, functional, does its job easily and well, and takes up very little space.
Every once in a while I see a new product where the inspiration was good, but the execution was weak. This fog filled bubble machine by Gemmy is a prime example. First off, there is no reason to make a product this tacky. I know it is targeting Halloween, but the fluorescent orange box with a skeleton isn’t impressing anyone, and it makes it even less impressive the other 364 days a year. The product uses a fog fluid made of mineral oil or glycerin to make fog bubbles. Bubbles are nasty enough being made out of soap, I don’t want to be cleaning mineral oil and glycerin off of everything, and they have potential health consequences when inhaled.
I do think it is a fun concept. There are other ways of making fog. There is dry ice, which doesn’t solve the problem of havking to buy an extra product. It would be safer, but between the CO2 and the cold. probably far too heavy. Smoke might work, but probably reduces the life span of the bubbles, and comes with its own set of problems. I think I would use an ultrasonic fogger. I used one for my pumpkin (actually a watermelon) this year to great effect. It uses ultrasound resonance to break up the water into very fine fog.
These new shades from Nike are still in the prototype stage, but once they have named it (Hindsight) and released pictures and info, they can’t be far off. They use fresnel lenses around the sides to create a distortion like no-line bifocals, but these gives the wearer around 25º of additional periferal vision on each side. They are intended for cyclists, but I think they have plenty of uses. Sports come to mind. A baseball pitcher wouldn’t even have to look around for base stealers. More info and pictures via CrunchGear.
Well it looks like I was wrong. As of the last time I checked, this product still hadn’t materialized.
Last week in Friedrichshafen in southern Germany, there was an airship regatta (race). Along with the usual group of speedy nearly uncontrollable little blimps was this beauty which will be sure to be getting a lot of attention in the coming weeks. Team LaChLuVe has set the bar so high with their Fi-Fi- Fin-Fish that the airship races will never be the same, and may have a lot of new applicants. Unlike the propeller driven blimps and zeppelins, the air fish glides through the air propelled by a very natural looking swish of the tail, which also provides steering when holding it in place and gliding. The pectoral fins are servo actuated for additional control. I would be shocked not to see this as a consumer product within the next couple of years, and I can’t wait to see what shows up at the world air games next June.
Update: The Fi-Fi- Fin-Fish was made by Empa (a Swiss materials technology development institution) by using electro-active polymers to power the motion of the tail. When electricity is applied, the polymer contracts like a muscle to give the tail its kick. The fins, in combination with the low center of gravity, do a great job of keeping it upright. There is a further abstract for a more complex system with a flexing body here. A flexing strip along the top and bottom of the fish would be attached to the vertical ribs. The contraction of the polymer would cause the body to flex in a more natural fashion.
Update: The project was a collaboration with the Technical University of Berlin, and has been a several year project. Earlier versions of the fin-fish flew in the ’06 and ’07 regatta. Empa started with a more traditional airship, and got more fishy with each revision. Several tails were tested, as were several different ways of using the electroactive polymer.a
Part of their vision is creating a solar powered version that could operate efficiently and silently for surveillance. There is a growing demand for spy drones, and most of their competitiors sound like flying weed-whackers.
Here is something that could have, and very well may have, been invented tens of thousands of years ago. By strategically drilling holes in two sheets of metal, Jiyeon Song creates a static structure, which when the sun hits it at certain angles throughout the day and year, allows light to pass through both layers at predetermined positions. The light and shadows produce the ever shifting words of a poem. I’m not a big fan of poetry, but the time lapse is really worth a look.
The Url is perhaps the best example of the idea being the invention. Here is a site that anyone could have bought for under ten bucks a decade ago, but didn’t. Well, It’s too late now. Upsidedowndogs is a site full of upside down pictures of upside down dogs. It may not be any great revolution for society at large, but the site is a perfect example of maximum success for minimum effort, and it is hard to not be cheered by a visit.