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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Sofa Guard Pet Alarm

Sofa Guard Alarm (Image courtesy Pro-Idee) By Andrew Liszewski

While you can train your pets to stay off the furniture while you’re home there’s really no way to tell if they’re going to behave while you’re away. The Sofa Guard not only helps train your four legged friend to keep off the couch but can also make sure they stay off when you’re not watching.

It’s basically a 4 1/2 foot long mat with embedded sensors that you simply lay out on whatever furniture you want to protect. As soon as your dog or cat jumps onto the mat a loud 105 decibel alarm will sound which pretty much ensures they’ll be jumping off just as quickly. The alarm will only sound while the pet is actually on the mat which should help the owner keep some of their sanity depending on how persistent the animal is.

The Sofa Guard is available from Pro-Idee for about $37.

[ Sofa Guard ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]

Homer Simpsons 3D Sculpture Puzzle

Homer Sculpture Puzzle (Image courtesy Hawkin's Bazaar) By Andrew Liszewski

I’m sure we all remember those 3D puzzles that were all the rage a few years back. They were just like the 2D versions except that in the end instead of having a nice, flat, easy to store picture you were left with some massive structure that no one really knew what to do with.

This 3D Homer sculpture puzzle on the other hand I would proudly display on the fireplace mantle or even as a dinner table centerpiece. Where as most 3D puzzles use thick styrofoam pieces to give the final result some structure this Homer puzzle is actually composed of 150 traditional 2D puzzles which stack on top of each other. Eventually when all the puzzles are completed and stacked (don’t worry they’re sequentially numbered making them easy to stack properly) you’re left with a 3D bust of Homer’s head which actually looks pretty impressive. The photo here shows a nearly completed product but keep in mind once assembled the Homer bust is actually a solid gray color and you’ll need to use a set of included paints to give his skin that healthy yellow glow.

The Homer Sculpture Puzzle is available from Hawkin’s Bazaar for about $50.

[ Homer Sculpture Puzzle ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

Wii Media Center X – Verdict: Great Potential

Wii Media Center X (Image courtesy Red Kawa)
By Andrew Liszewski

While Nintendo has made a pretty firm stance that the Wii was designed solely as a gaming machine the addition of the Opera browser last week has opened up a lot of potential for the little white box. Besides the ability to surf the web and of course waste many hours on YouTube from the comfort of your couch the browser now gives developers a new way to access the system.

The Wii Media Center X from Red Kawa is one such example of how programmers are taking advantage of the Wii’s web browsing capabilities in unique ways. By turning your PC into a media streaming server the software allows the Wii to access pictures, MP3s and even videos on your computer without having to first move them to an SD card. The software is currently available for download on their website in an early alpha version and while I couldn’t get it to actually do much it does show some potential. (The only tutorials on how to get things running exist in the forums which I didn’t have time to read. For the time being I’m just going to hold off until they release a more functional beta version with actual instructions.)

Oh and if you haven’t successfully traded that PS3 you bought for a Wii yet there’s a version of the Media Center X for that console too.

[ Wii Media Center X ] VIA [ UNEASYsilence ]

Hansgrohe Downpour Air Rainmaker Shower

Hansgrohe Downpour Air Rainmaker (Image courtesy Hansgrohe) By Andrew Liszewski

It seems over the past few years the traditional shower has become too mundane for the average consumer and as a result manufacturers have been looking for the next way to turn that morning routine into the equivalent of a waterpark thrill ride. Hansgrohe’s latest attraction addition to their line of showerheads is the Downpour Air Rainmaker.

The first sign that this is not your traditional showerhead is that it’s 24 inches in diameter and uses 350 individual spray channels. Sure it includes all the various massage modes we’ve come to expect from a high-end shower but what sets the Downpour apart is that it can also function like a hot tub infusing the water with a jet of air. Apparently this air and water mixture creates a texture that is gentler on the skin and also results in considerably less splashing during your shower. The Air Rainmaker can also be set to use its full 24 inch diameter or can be limited to only 12 inches depending on how high you want your monthly water bill to be.

The Hansgrohe Downpour Air Rainmaker can be found online for around $2,500.

[ Hansgrohe Downpour Air Rainmaker ] VIA [ Home Improvement Ideas ]

Countertop Dish Dryer

Dish Dryer (Image courtesy Target) By Andrew Liszewski

I am unfortunately one of those few people who does not have a dishwasher at their disposal. But at the same time since I’m not feeding a large family at home I can last surprisingly long without having to do the dishes.

Anyone else who has to manually wash and then subsequently dry dishes will probably appreciate this countertop Dish Dryer available at Target. It has a 34 liter capacity which allows it to hold “up to 4 large size dishes, 8 medium size dishes, 6 small dishes, and 6 sets of chopsticks.” The chopstick drying capacity is apparently an important fact that needed to be mentioned on the Target website. The dryer uses a fan to ensure that the hot air is properly circulated around the dishes to promote faster drying but I don’t know for sure how long the drying process actually is.

The Dish Dryer is available from Target for $69.99.

[ Dish Dryer ] VIA [ Cribcandy ]

Eddie Bauer Electric Ice Scraper

Electric Ice Scraper (Image courtesy Amazon) By Andrew Liszewski

Even if there’s no snow on the ground the winter months can be a pain for anyone living in a climate where temperatures hit the freezing mark. While you might not have to spend half an hour shoveling away the white stuff in the morning odds are if your car isn’t stored in a heated garage you’ll still have to deal with a layer of frost before you can head to work.

Growing up I saw hundreds of different shapes and sizes of ice scrapers pass through my parents cars but I’ll admit this is the first heated version I’ve ever seen. The Eddie Bauer Electric Ice Scraper plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter and produces a ‘gentle heat’ to help cut through the frost. A 15-foot power cord ensures you should be able to reach every window on your vehicle too.

The EB Electric Ice Scraper is available on Amazon.com for $14.99.

[ Electric Ice Scraper ] VIA [ Home Improvement Ideas ]

Inkless Metal Pen

Inkless Metal Pen (Images courtesy Grand Illusions)
By Andrew Liszewski

Instead of using ink the tip of this Metal Pen from Grand Illusions is made from a special metal alloy that leaves a mark on most types of paper. The website suggests it works best on the type of stock used in photocopiers and printers so I can only assume the more porous or rough the paper is the better this metal pen will work.

The technique of using a metal ‘nib’ to write on paper has apparently been around since Da Vinci’s time where he presumably used it to write his special code. And unlike a pencil the tip of this metal pen will take years to wear down but of course when it does you’ll probably need to get your hands on a pencil sharpener with a diamond edged blade. It’s too bad this thing couldn’t have surfaced before Christmas since it would have made for a great stocking stuffer for the family, gift for your office co-workers or shiv for that uncle spending the holidays in prison.

The Metal Pen is available from Grand Illusions for about $30.

[ Grand Illusions Metal Pen ] VIA [ Spluch ]

RoadBox Accident Recorder

RoadBox Accident Recorder (Image courtesy AVING.net) By Andrew Liszewski

The RoadBox was recently unveiled at the KES 2006 electronics show in Korea and it’s kind of left me scratching my head. Basically the VGA quality camera is mounted near your rear view mirror and sees everything going on in front of your vehicle. Built-in acceleration and speed monitors are able to determine when an ‘accident’ has occurred which then causes the camera to save the video from 14 seconds before and 6 seconds after the incident. In addition the the speed and acceleration data is also documented in the event it’s needed later on.

I think the idea of being able to record the events leading up to and following a crash is great, but I question how effective this particular device can be. For one it can really only see out the front of your vehicle so unless you want to mount a RoadBox camera in every other window in your car you could easily miss capturing the crash if another vehicle hits you from the back or side. And as I see it the biggest advantage of recording a crash in the first place is to provide rock-solid proof in the event of an investigation but with the camera pointing forward odds are any crash that does get recorded will be the fault of the person driving. As useful as the footage will be I don’t know too many people willing to provide proof of their own mistakes.

[ RoadBox Accident Recorder @ AVING.net ]

OGCC Day 25 – The Leg Lamp

A Christmas Story Leg Lamp (Images courtesy Leg-Lamp.com)
By Andrew Liszewski

OGCC Day 25 (Image property of OhGizmo)Well here we are folks. It’s hard to believe it’s already been 25 days of our first Christmas countdown. What started out as an ill-conceived plan to post tacky Christmas-related gear that we normally wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole has ended up really growing on me. So for those of you actually reading this post on the 25th I either congratulate you for your dedication to keeping up on this countdown or I have a lot of sympathy for you because you’re probably trying to avoid visiting family or have nothing better to do this day.

I’m sure a few of you might be disappointed by my selection for the final entry of the countdown but even before writing the first post at the end of November I knew I’d be finishing with the infamous Leg Lamp from A Christmas Story today.

For many of us (in North American at least) December 24th & 25th is now spent with at least one or two viewings of the TBS network’s 24-hour marathon of that now classic film. Now while a lot of us would probably never stick something like this in the front room window like Ralphie’s old man did, I’m sure we’d gladly display it somewhere in the basement or den. Of course these days there are a lot of different companies selling copies of the leg lamp (longtime readers will remember a previous post I wrote about a nightlight version of it) but I’ve done my homework and believe I’ve found the most accurate reproduction.

The ‘Leg Lamp Factory’ as it’s called has gone as far as to purchase the copyrighted mold design from the original leg manufacturer to ensure their lamp reproductions are as accurate as it gets. At 50-inches tall the lamp will be hard to miss in any room of the house but just in case it doesn’t catch everyone’s eye the leg itself lights up and glows just like the one in the movie did. The best part I think is that the Leg Lamp Factory will actually deliver the lamp in a cardboard crate that looks exactly like the one seen in the film complete with excelsior wood shavings and spray painted ‘fra-gi-le‘ warning.

The full size 50-inch replica of the Leg Lamp is available for $269.99 and having it delivered in the look-a-like crate box will add on another $99. The company does sell smaller versions that are of course also cheaper but why skimp when it comes to something like this?

[ A Christmas Story Leg Lamp ]

So from everyone here at OhGizmo I hope you all had a Happy Holidays and of course I want to remind you to check back here on December 1, 2007 for the 2nd Annual OhGizmo Christmas Countdown!