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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Japanese Man Makes Self-Stirring Pot That Uses No Mechanical Parts

By David Ponce

Making some recipes requires fairly frequent stirring. We don’t really know why, but then again we wouldn’t be able to cook ourselves out of a paper bag. We can see however how annoying it could be to have to stay in front of a pot of food, stirring continually. Maybe Hideki Watanabe felt the same way when he designed the above pot which creates a vortex in the liquid without using any mechanical parts. It’s called Kuru-Kuru Nabe (aka the ‘Pot Round and Round’) and uses thermodynamics to create the stirring motion. Heating water rises but since the walls of the pot are specially shaped, it is simultaneously propelled forward. The result is a pot of liquid that not only stirs itself but tends to channel food and more importantly foam to the middle, compacting it in the process and reducing the chances of a boilover. Chances are it might not work as well with thicker concoctions, but would be fine for simple stews, soups and pasta.

The Kuru-Kuru Nabe is not a commercially available product just yet, but Watanabe is looking for investors.

[ Product Page (In Japanese) ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Mondrian PC Case Mod

By David Ponce

Sometimes all you really need to attract some attention is a little bit of pretty. The above PC enclosure is a project from one Jeffrey Stephenson and is made from wood and hand-cut acrylic tiles. It looks like a painting from Piet Mondrian, a turn of the last century Dutch painter who also inspired a famous Yves Saint-Laurent dress, the Partridge Family bus from the 1970s TV show, and was an important contributor to the De Stijl art movement and group. The Mini-ITX design has “an Intel Core i3-2105 CPU, Intel HD3000 Graphics, Crucial 256GB M4 SSD, 8GB Crucial DDR3 system memory, a 120W mini-box.com PicoPSU, Scythe Kozuti CPU, Heatsink/Fan, Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview.” It doesn’t appear to be for sale but the links below will lead to a pretty detailed build page.

[ The Mondrian PC ] VIA [ BoingBoing ]

Optical Illusion Friday: There Are Four Circles On The Screen

By David Ponce

After an absence of a few weeks, here’s the optical illusion column again. That picture above? Four circles. No spiral.

Yeah.

In other news, we’re thinking of starting another column altogether to replace this one and we’re taking requests. Anyone?

Cookoo Smart Watch Says Me Too

By David Ponce

Perhaps fuelled by the phenomenal success of the Pebble Smartwatch (which went on to raise $10,266,845 on Kickstarter after seeking only $100,000), we have news of yet another watch that works with the iPhone and Android devices. It’s got much of the same features the Pebble did, albeit a little more low-key. It’s got Bluetooth 4.0 so will have very little impact on your phone’s battery life, and its job is simply to alert you. Whether it’s an email, a Tweet, a text, or a missed call, the watch can be setup any way you want. Aside from alerts, other uses include being a remote trigger for your phone’s camera, one button check-in device, even lost phone finder. Perhaps even more importantly, it won’t require a regular charge, like the Pebble did; the Cookoo goes over a year without needing to change the batteries.

It’s currently on Kickstarter and a pledge will set you back $80. The post funding MSRP is around $100, so there’s some savings to be made by order now.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ GearHungry ]

Pizza Slicer Also Serves

By David Ponce

If the success of Victorinox and their Swiss Army knives has proven anything is that multi-funtion tools can be popular. The above pizza slicer also incorporates a server so you can go straight from the cutting to the serving.

And that, dear folks, is it. It’s $6. We could go on about the tool and try to make funnies, but it seems frankly rude to make jokes about a topic as serious as pizza.

Pizza deserves respect.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Laser Spoke Project Measures Cyclists Power Output

By David Ponce

Things have gotten to the point where you’re able to track a multitude of quantitative points when you go out cycling: your position, speed, and elevation for example. But one metric you don’t see is power output. Yet this is very useful for athletes who can use it to set a pace and to keep track of their overall fitness levels. Well, a project currently in the funding phase at IndieGoGo called The Laser Spoke Project is able to measure just that. Every bicycle wheel exhibits a certain amount of normal torsional flex when power is applied through the pedals. This device measures the flexion by shining a laser from the center hub of the wheel onto a fixed spot on the rim; any deviation from center indicates power in proportion to the amount of deviation, the reading of which is saved onto an SD card. Of course calibration is important since not all wheels are the same, but the company is not divulging how this is done. The do say that the device should work on all bikes and not weigh more than 150g when completed. If you want to be part of the Beta-tester group, you can score one now for $550. If you prefer to wait for the final version to be released then you’ll have to pre-order it now for $750. Of course that’s assuming the project reaches its $85,000 funding goal.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

This Is How Last Weekend’s Eclipse Looked From Space


By David Ponce

The top photo was taken with NASA’s Terra satellite with its Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. No points for guessing in which part of that shadow was the eclipse most complete. The second photo is taken from the International Space Station by noted shutterbug Don Pettit. This shadow is a little bit harder to discern, but it does give you a better idea of the scale of it against the globe.

Last weekend’s eclipse was the annular kind, which leaves about 6% of the sun exposed as a fiery ring around the moon. If you just look around the inter tubes a little bit, you’ll be sure to find pictures of that. But we just thought it was interesting that while most pictures involved cameras pointed up, these two above involves cameras pointed down.

VIA [ Geekosystem ]

Private Rocker Chair Is Supposed To Give You Privacy, Isolates You In The Process

By David Ponce

We live in a time where genuine human-to-human interaction is a dwindling activity. It still happens a lot, but just think about the amount of time you spend interacting with a digital device as opposed to an analog human. We shouldn’t complain of course, since we make a living out of documenting this particular trend. And we really want to like the Private Rocker, designed by Cranbrook Academy of Art student Kyle Fleet in collaboration with Herman Miller. It’s pretty, it’s made from wood, leather, and wool and will provide the person sitting in it with a quiet and relatively private space. And we can imagine situations where its presence could be genuinely needed in order to provide a haven to the human-interaction weary, like in a open office. But we just can’t shake the feeling that any kid of device that facilitates even more isolation isn’t really needed at the moment.

We realize we’re on the losing end of this argument. Privacy is still paramount. Our misgivings are probably just due to being your usual Internet forever alone types.

There’s no word on price or availability.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Gizmon’s Clip-On iPhone Lenses Are Simple

By David Ponce

We often talk about lenses that you can add to your iPhone camera to extend its usefulness. There is the case with the polarizing lens. Then there’s the case with the dial that looks weird and unwieldy. And let’s not forget the SLR lens attachment. But what most of these have in common is their general bulk. Gizmon’s solution is a lot simpler and smaller. They’re clip-ons that fit perfectly over the camera on an iPhone 4 and 4S, and give you fisheye, circular polarizer and 3 image mirage filter. When done, just pull them right off and stuff them in your pocket. They’re $35 each and are available now.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geeky Gadgets ]