Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My Christmas Wish List: Gadgets & Gizmo's For The Ultimate Geek!

Have you ever gone into a Brookstone or Sharper Image store and seen some item that you just wanted to have? Well, I've been there and done that. If you have spent any time on the web, you've probably seen hundreds, maybe even thousands of things that you wish you had. Our goal at Discover Insanity is to keep you on top of the trends in news, entertainment and technology. So today we begin a semi-(pick the time frame) series highlighting some of the most unique and bizarre gadgets out there in our insane world. Check 'em out, enjoy them and if you really like them, buy one and let me know what you thought of it. So let's open the vault and rock on into the strange world of Gadgets and Gizmos...

The USB Fridge
For The Lazy Butt Computer Geek!
Check this one out. How freakin lazy can you be? Plug this USB mini fridge into your PC, and Brando says you'll have that drink chilled down to 47°F after five minutes. Plunk down your $33 and you get this tiny plastic refrigerator that's reminiscent of those old-fashioned Coke machines. Too bad there's not a Coca-Cola logo across the side, but then, that would mean big trouble for Brando.

While 47°F is not exactly ice cold, if this thing can cool down drinks that quickly, it might be good for a brewski or two. Five minutes? Heck yeah, I know people who can drink them that fast. Anyway, this little cooler would be perfect for that insecure, perpetually thirsty workmate of yours who walks around with a soda can as if it were a baby bottle. Seems like a pacifier would be easier and cheaper. Check out this fridge at Brando. This is a definite geek product but it's pretty darn cool!

Nosefrida The Ultimate Snot Sucker

Thank God I'm American. But Sweden is known for two things: supermodels and apparently, snot suckers, since this nasal aspirator has been used by "Swedish Moms and Dads for years." Basically, if your child is refusing to blow their nose, jam the $15 NoseFrida against their nostril (but not inside) and start sucking on the end to pull out all kinds of nasty nastiness.

Don't worry about it getting into your mouth though, because they assure us:
WITH THE FILTER IN PLACE, THE PARENT DOES NOT COME IN CONTACT WITH THE MUCOUS FROM THE CHILD. There is no risk of bacterial contamination, in other words, you will not get the cold your child has.

Nosefrida is a plastic tube with a filter that the parent uses with their own mouths to get the mucous out of their children’s noses. Compared to the bulb aspirators on the market, Nosefrida is better and safer, since you never put anything inside the nose, and you control the amount of suction you apply. It does not irritate the sensitive lining of the nose. Your child’s nose will be clear and she or he will be able to breathe, sleep and eat better.

Uh huh. Sorry, but I don't care how damn good the filter is, I don't go anywhere near sick children (or well ones, for that matter.) The last thing I'm going to do is pull their creepy-crawlies directly toward my mouth.

kwikSynCh Your On-the-Road Battery Charger

Do you travel a lot? With the kwikSynCh, you use one cable to charge all your various toys (US cellphone, GSM cellphone, Bluetooth headset, iPod etc.) from your laptop's USB port. Typically each device needs its own power supply, but with the kwikSynCh, you only carry one power supply (for the laptop).

Available from and manufactured by Malleable Devices Inc., you purchase "mTips" (i.e. connectors) to suit your particular devices. I am particularly impressed by the mTip's for my Blackberry phone that includes an in-line small adapter (i.e. "booster") to generate 6V from the 5V the USB port actually puts out. And it's only $15.00...minus the tips!

Yes, only 2 devices can be charged at once with the kwickSynch, but if you have a 120V-to-USB adapter (and the mTips work with any USB source), so I can do three at once. In a pinch, you connect the fastest-charging device (or least drained) as soon as you get to the hotel at night. Even if you don't end up with all items fully charged, you're still usually OK until my your meeting -- and you'll find that the colorful cable hanging off your USB port also makes a great conversation starter.

Cool Gloves Protect Those Fingers!

Now this is pretty darned cool for those of you who are all thumbs (or any of you who are missing one). These heavy-duty protective gloves are used in the restaurant industry for defense against knife and mandolin cuts and for handling trash, which often has glass and fish bones that stick through garbage bags. I read about them in a cooking magazine, and bought one after cutting myself on a mandolin. I now go in for a couple extra slices on the mandolin. I would stop sooner if I didn't have one on, and the glove has hit the blade of the mandolin often, and my hand's always safe. I hit myself once with a cleaver -- fortunately not too hard. I was black-and-blue, but not cut. I've had my glove for about three years and use it four to five times a month.

Available from Magid Glove and Safety, they are made of Spectra and Kevlar and, apparently, stainless steal that must be woven in, because if there is stainless steal you can't see or feel it. It just seems like Kevlar to me.

They are still certainly flexible enough to carve with. It allows enough movement/dexterity for me. None of what I do (slicing vegetables on a mandolin, using a cleaver or dealing with broken glass) demands a great deal of dexterity, but I'd say wearing these gloves is about the same as wearing winter Thinsulate gloves. And The weave is much tighter than with an expensive chain mail glove, so I think it could actually be more protective in terms of guarding against knife pokes. At $17.00 per glove it's a wee bit expensive but what's a finger worth?

TV-B-Gone Television Eliminator

Here's a cool device that will flip people out! Switch off thousands of TVs using just one small remote! When you want some peace and quiet in that local bar of restaurant or office all you need to do is hit the TV-B-Gone button. For only $20.00, It really does work.

When you press the button, TV-B-Gone takes slightly more than a minute to emit more than 200 popular shutdown codes, like trying every possible combination to open a safe. The instructions include a diatribe against television in general, as if using this product is not merely a prank, but a serious political act. Available from Amazon.com!

Hope you enjoyed some of these geeky and bizarre products! And don't worry, I'll have more of them for you to purchase for me as Christmas Gifts in the near future!