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Monthly Archives: February 2010

Giant T-Rex Garden Sculpture Is All Wrong


By Evan Ackerman

“At 22 feet long and 11 feet tall, this Jurassic-sized replica is the largest sculpture we have ever offered! Realistically sculpted with rows of menacing teeth, a fearsome tail and scaly skin, our prehistoric artifact is cast in quality designer resin and hand-painted with powerfully convincing color and texture. This display-quality sculpture transforms any home, garden, restaurant or hotel into something truly magnificent!”

This description, and this sculpture, are so full of fail that I don’t even know where to begin. These people obviously didn’t do their homework on the Tyrannosaurus rex, and in fact didn’t even look at any illustration made in the last 40 years. First, it should be Cretaceous, not Jurassic. And not even early Cretaceous… We’re talking Maastrichtian stage (65 to 70 million years ago) as opposed to the Jurassic, which ended 145 million years ago. Second: “rows” of teeth? Sharks have rows of teeth, a t-rex has a row of teeth. Third, while “scales” may technically describe dinosaur skin, it’s really more of a pebbly texture, which you can clearly see in fossilized dinosaur skin imprints. It’s hard to really comment on “convincing color and texture,” but this poor guy looks awfully drab, especially considering recent discoveries of feathery, stripey little dinos.

The most egregious error, of course, is the posture. If a Tyrannosaurus rex stood upright like that, it would dislocate its hips and practically crush its own spine under the weight of its head. This has been known since the 70s. I mean, come on, who in their right mind would want such a terrible mockery of a dinosaur sitting out in their yard? The only, and I mean only, possible use for something like this is to place outside your neighbor’s bedroom window at 2am and then tap on the glass. Does that justify the $7500 you’d have to spend? Uh, not even close.

[ Toscano ] VIA [ Geekologie ]

Hornby Model Trains Getting A Digital Sound Upgrade

Hornby Model Trains (Images courtesy Hornby)
By Andrew Liszewski

If there’s anything model railroad enthusiasts like it’s authenticity, and that’s exactly what Hornby is striving for with their new line of digital sound locomotives. Instead of using a central speaker to reproduce the sounds of the trains running around the miniature countryside, each engine has its own speaker so that the sound effects come from the appropriate place, and dynamically change depending on where the train is. (Like passing through a tunnel.) The samples used for the sound effects, like coal being shoveled into the firebox and whistles, were recorded from the real-life versions of each train where possible, and you can expect to pay in the neighborhood of $300-400 for your obsession with realism.

[ Pocket-lint – Hornby Digital Sound: give your tunnels sound love ]

Stack Chair Wall Decal Turns Your Piles Of Crap Into Places To Sit

Stack Chair Wall Decal (Image courtesy Hidden Art Shop)
By Andrew Liszewski

There’s never enough places to sit when you have friends over, so these simple Stack Chair wall decals will turn any semi-organized pile of crap in your home into a welcoming place for someone to put their feet up. At almost $50 a pop (£30.65) it’s definitely cheaper to go out and buy some folding chairs, but on the plus side you never have to put these away.

[ Stack Chair ] VIA [ Better Living Through Design ]

Canon Introduces New imagePROGRAF Large Format Printers You Probably Can’t Afford

imagePROGRAF Printer (Image courtesy Canon)
By Andrew Liszewski

Even though you probably can’t afford them if you don’t have your own printing shop, these new imagePROGRAF large format printers from Canon still seem like a reasonable alternative to dealing with the staff at your local Kinkos. The 44-inch iPF8300 pictured above, as well as the 24-inch iPF6350 and iPF6300 each use Canon’s new 12 color LUCIA EX pigment inks, and in addition to gigabit ethernet, which is almost essential when dealing with large format print files, they also come equipped with 80GB hard drives presumably for storing recently printed documents so they don’t have to be resent to the printer every time you want a hard copy. Expect the new printers to be available in March starting at $3,695 for the 24-inch models, and $5,995 for the 44-inch.

[ Fareastgizmos – Canon announces three imagePROGRAF large format printers with 80GB hard disk drives ]

G-Spot Turns Your Car On

g-spot_in_handBy Evan Ackerman

If someone steals your keys, they can steal your car. Yeah, it’s obvious, but there are ways to make your car less accessible. For example, you could remove the steering wheel. Or one of the other wheels. Or the engine. Take that, thieves! I guess maybe it would get a little bit tedious to keep on doing that sort of thing, and some guy named Dan who lives in New Zealand has invented a little device that adds another layer of simple safety to your car. For some reason, it’s called G-Spot, and all it does is sit in between the starter wiring and the ignition and prevent the car from starting at all unless you put your finger in the right spot. It’s simple for you to use but pretty much impossible for anyone else to figure out, which is just what you want in a security gadget.

I’m not entirely sure whether or not you can buy a G-Spot (if only!), but I am sure that you can make one pretty easily by following Dan’s instructions. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it is for the paranoid and anyone with a passing interest in electronics and a free afternoon.

[ G-Spot ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

MSI’s New HTPC Keyboard Features A Built-In Air Mouse


By Chris Scott Barr

Over the last year or so we’ve seen a lot of new HTPC controllers pop up from various manufacturers. It’s been interesting to see how each one decides to integrate both keyboard and mouse into a single device. There have been some that went the way of a touchpad, while others resorted to one of those tiny nubs that I hate so much. Well MSI thinks that you shouldn’t sacrifice any of the surface space for either such device. Instead, they installed an accelerometer.

The new HTPC keyboard features a full QWERTY layout, along with some essential media hotkeys to make your life easier. Youll hold the device with both hands, and move it around to control the mouse pointer. Your left and right mouse buttons are controlled via a pair of triggers, much like you’ll find on most game controllers. Look for it later this year for around $110.

[ MSI ] VIA [ EverythingUSB ]

Secure Aluminum Toothbrush Case Doesn’t Over Do It

Secure Aluminum Toothbrush Case (Images courtesy Dominic Wilcox)
By Andrew Liszewski

When you’re traveling you don’t want anything happening to your toothbrush, since it’s one of the few items you stick in your mouth. So in my humble opinion, no amount of protection is too much. Not even this case, created by Dominic Wilcox, which is hewn from a solid piece of aluminum with brass hinges and a convenient carrying handle. Sure, it will probably push your luggage over the weight limit, but overage fees are totally worth the peace of mind knowing your toothbrush is safe and secure.

[ Secure Aluminum Toothbrush Case ] VIA [ Interior design room ]

Jostens High School Rings For Gamers & Geeks

Jostens High School Ring For Gamers & Geeks (Image courtesy GoNintendo)
By Andrew Liszewski

I don’t care if you were the star quarterback, there’s nothing ‘cool’ about wearing a Jostens ring to commemorate your years spent in high school. So you can imagine what I think of these ‘Geek Pride’ models designed for kids who spent their spare time in front of a gaming console instead of playing sports, or debating, or whatever else high school kids do these days.

[ GoNintendo – Random Time! – Jostens offering new high school ring for gamers ]

Redundant Clock

Redundant Clock (Image courtesy Ji Lee)
By Andrew Liszewski

I think designer Ji Lee’s description of their Redundant Clock sums it up pretty nicely:

This is a redundant clock. And this is a redundant description.

And sadly, it doesn’t appear to be available for sale.

[ Ji Lee – Redundant Clock ] VIA [ bookofjoe ]