While many homeowners find a learned peace and pleasure from mowing their lawns, and some have even turned the act into a source of pride, for many, the task is still one of those constant pains that every week must once again be checked off the to do list.
Of course with football season rapidly approaching (Note: Go Cowboys!), a vast number of American men are going to find their chore time on weekends has been drastically reduced, to the point where that junky old mower may not have the juice left to get everything done in time.
While you could explore alternative methods like bleaching your lawn and salting the earth (Additional Note: Please consult your wife first), what you really need is a powerful mower free of restraints and basic decency. A kind of mower that’s very use is preceded by the use of liquid courage and a thoughtful prayer.
Designed at the behest of the “Top Gear” crew, who were also tired of the slow process that is mowing the lawn, Honda outfitted one of their standard mowers with an engine from their motorcycle division and, after a few other choice enhancements, eventually came away with a mower packing 110 horsepower, and capable of 0-60 in around four seconds, with a hypothetical top speed of 130 mph.
Hypothetical, of course, because this isn’t exactly the most stable and safe of vehicles, due in large part to its power to weight ratio, which is greater than that of many exotic vehicles. There’s also the issue of the flames it spouts out the side which could cause some serious problems regarding an even cut, not to mention that nasty house fire issue.
Sadly we can all assume that this mower will never see the mass production light of day, and instead will be relegated to the “Top Gear” track, and the dreams of many homeowners. Still, it’s not every day that a mower that could make Tim Taylor blush is crafted and, regardless of whether or not the majority of the planet will ever use it, that’s a day to take notice of.
It’s origin story is much humbler than its aspirations, as the story goes that one day creator David Patrick was playing around trying to get six pieces of interlocking cable to fit into a cube (which is apparently how eccentric geniuses entertain themselves), when he realized that upon dropping his created design, the shape he’d formed not only rolled, but rolled smoothly over a long stretch of ground.
As a lifelong skateboarder, David immediately realized the potential of this design, and modified it to create the Shark Wheel, a somewhat warped interpretation of the standard wheel that is designed to specifically reduce the amount of direct contact with the ground. Among other things, the benefits of that approach includes faster speed, better grip and control, and the ability to provide both of those features in wet or uneven terrain. In other words, by shifting the model of the traditional wheel slightly, it manages to provide the most desirable aspects of the regular skateboard wheel in a way that the old design cannot.
Now, the term skateboard wheel is being thrown around here, because that is the sole intention of this design’s function at the moment, as the Shark’s kickstarter campaign will net you 4 longboard wheels for a $50 donation.
While the inventor insists this design is not currently intended for use on an automobile or any other wheel dependent vehicle, it is nonetheless impressive that someone out there has managed to accomplish what was previously only referenced in terms of a joke and has actually improved the wheel, even if it is only in one specific capacity. It does go to show though that there is an infinite world of creative possibilities still to be explored, and, on its own, looks to be an impressive piece of design that any skateboarder should be intrigued by.
Let it be known that when the technological hall of fame is built (no doubt by our future robotic overlords), I’d like to nominate Legos as a first ballet entrant.
Sure they aren’t as flashy or “capable” as say your iPhone, but ever since 1949, they’ve been a tool for innovative minds to hone, and show off, their skills through, as well as a consistent source of amusement that has managed to evolve and adapt with the changing world.
While new and exciting Lego creations routinely make the internet rounds, there are a couple fresh ones I had to share today.
Equipped with built in status screen, and functioning knobs and lights, the Lego Pipboy’s design is impressive, and immediately recognizable, but the ace in the hole is the built in FM radio, tuned to the Wasteland’s favorite DJ Three Dog in the demonstration, that takes this invention from “oh cool” to “holy crap” on the Lego creation scale. Further bonus style points are awarded for the “retro meets future” design the device has, which sums up the entire “Fallout” style nicely.
No details on how to make one are currently available, but considering I used to have trouble make even a paltry Lego house, that may be moot.
Of course, in terms of items from the “never be able to build it in a million years” school of Legos, the next design is even greater.
That machine takes the previously simple task of creating and launching a paper plane, and turns it into an automated mass production device that is the envy of any second grader. Constructed by Lego Mindstorms user hknssn13 with almost 7000 Lego bricks, and a few NXT model “smart” Legos for the automated parts, the almost 5 foot long creation builds and launches the perfect paper airplane every time.
No word yet on whether a rubber band launcher of the same design is in the works but, considering the offensive potential of that device, that information may be classified.
Appropriately for a device that, metaphorically, taser stabs subtlety in the face, there isn’t much more to explain or elaborate on. It’s a friggin taser, built into a friggin sword. When in use? Lighting sword. An honest to God lighting sword.
Oh, and before you question the safety of this device, it protects the user via electrical tape on the handle (naturally), so the only person in danger is the entire rest of the world that doesn’t have one while you do. Bonus child like logic points goes to the electrical plug built into the base of the handle for charging.
If you’re wondering what it looks like in action, or how effective it is, allow the inventor to exhibit more of the judgment skills that no doubt guided him while creating this device, by conceding for one to be used on him, and even getting in a taser sword fight with his buddy.
WARNING!!!!!: The Following Video Contains Bad Language, Extreme Stupidity, and Oddly Fitting Lightsaber Type Sound Effects
You know, I’m disappointed in only two things about this item. First that it will never, ever be available in a retail or military capacity, and that no one bothered to raise the sword above their heads and scream “I HAVE THE POWER!!!!” in either of those videos.
As someone who is confined to an office chair all day, let me tell you that they are not the comfortable prospect they may seem to people who spend their working days on their feet. Instead they are usually a rung or two down from the most diabolical medieval torture devices, and their design inspiration rarely stretches beyond that of “chair.”
Which is why I like the idea behind the Optimal Posture chair, the office chair designed for the modern day average human, who can’t manage to sit perfectly straight for eight hours a day, five days a week, for most of the calendar year. It encourages the user to maintain their ideal sitting posture, largely by moving the backrest to the front, and making room for you to droop your arms comfortably over, while incorporating the natural lean most people tend to have when sitting. The rest also swivels to the more traditional position, where it still incorporates your shoulder positioning to provide maximum support.
More than just a twist on the classic chair design, the Optimal Posture chair also takes into account your lower body, as it forces it into a position of “semi-standing” that also counters the dreaded slouching efect. Put it all together and you can remove your daily pain in the back from your pain in the…elsewhere…job, for the not so low price of $499.95.
Designed with the help of spine doctors, this chair reminds me of the “As Seen on TV” success Snuggie, in that its bizzare, somewhat easy to mock looks also appear to be insanely comfortable and produce a desirable effect when actually used. So while it may look a little strange, and have a notable asking price, for optimal comfort in your day, it sure beats the hell out of waiting for the employee with the good chair to quit so you can steal it.
In “2001: A Space Odyssey” director Stanley Kubrick opens his film with a group of apes discovering the monolith, which was a towering structure of great significance, that would serve as a beacon to change of global proportions, and shape the events of everything that was to come.
In 2013, we now know this was not a creative plot device and instead a herald of the real future, as the monolith was recently discovered, and it has taken the form of an arcade machine called The Last Barfighter.
The machine runs off of motion sensors that recognize cups and not quarters, and it only appears at special events, most around the brewery’s home state of North Carolina. With any conceivable amount of luck though, they will start getting these to venues everywhere as it is not only one of the more significant milestones in all of human endeavors, but the best combination of beer and games ever.
With the biggest blizzard of the winter set to pound sections of northeast with potential snowfalls of 3 feet, most are preparing by buying canned goods, bottled waters, and similar items to ready themselves for the worst.
Let’s not forget though that if everything works out okay, you’ll be left with a large winter battleground for perhaps the last snowball fight of the winter. Take no chances then of living with humiliating defeat all through the Spring, Summer, and Fall, and arm yourself with gadgets designed to make you a snowball fight king.
Before the first wave of attacks, you’re going to need to arm yourself up with a primary arsenal of snowballs, and there is no quicker way to do that then with the Sno-Baller.
It’s a simple clamp that makes a perfectly formed snowball every time without muss, fuss, or freezing wet hands. It may not make as large of snowballs as you could the old fashioned way, but with an estimated output capacity of 60 snowballs a minute, it’s an essential tool for preparing your assault and defense on the snow fields of battles.
Icebox Igloo Maker
Whether it is your primary attack position or an area of retreat, every snowball fight soldier needs a good fort.
Waste no time then in building your base and employ the Igloo Maker from Icebox. It’s basically a scoop that allows you to perfectly pack in a hunk of snow and build a snow brick from. With 8 adjustment sizes, you have the option to create the perfect layering for your fort, meaning even under the heaviest of onslaughts, you need not worry about the integrity of your base, or break your back constructing it.
The best medieval forts and castles knew the advantages of having a good series of archers in place when fortifying your position and generally crippling your enemies’ chances of victory.
And what better substitute for a company of archers then the snowball crossbow? Composed of high quality plastic and elastic, the crossbow uses a band and pulley type system that lets the user load a snowball in the muzzle and, through a varying degree of force, absolutely launch a snowball up to nearly 60 feet. It’s built to last, and is one of the best first wave weapons you could ask for in a snowball fight.
The Snowball Blaster
As great as the snowball crossbow is, when you need a more primary attack device, you can accept no substitutes and must turn to the 50 foot snowball blaster.
As you may have gathered, it gets its name from its ability to launch a snowball up to 50 feet, and can hold up to four snowballs at once (three in reserve, and one in the chamber). Function wise, it works in a similar capacity to the crossbow, and while it may have a slightly shorter range, it does have a greater ammo capacity and handier design, making it a must have go-to in any snowball fight, and prevents you from resorting to your hands as a primary attack like some sort of animal.
Of course if things turn sour in the battle, and you find yourself needing to escape, or at least temporary retreat to a better position, then there is no better alternative than the Slegoon,
It resembles those chute pods used to enter contestants into “The Running Man” game, and it’s aerodynamic design allows for maximum speed capabilities for a non-motored power unit, plus the roll cage bars not only add some much needed safety, but double as a shield from incoming snowball attacks. Not that you will have to worry about that, as unless you’re facing opposition armed with some of the other tools on this list, you shouldn’t have be concerned about anyone reaching you in this.
The only disadvantage? They’re not exactly easy to find through retail, if available through that avenue at all.
With necessity being the mother of invention and all that, how the hell has a sink that also dries your hands not been introduced before?
Thankfully the good folks at Dyson are a step ahead of the game and have introduced an all in one bathroom sink called the Dyson Airblade tap that allows for you to wash and dry your hands via one convenient fixture. It’s not exactly rocket science either, as the setup simply includes the traditional motion sensing faucet, only equipped with wing jettisons that also respond to movement, and dry your hands when you’re ready with little more than a simple flick of the wrist in either direction.
More than just a handy case of common sense inspired design though, the hand dryers themselves are much improved over the classic models as they blow cool air which actually disposes of the water naturally instead of evaporating it. Not only that but the air is more purified for less chance of potential germs, and the Dyson powered motor shoots out air at 430 mph, ensuring a drying time of around 12 seconds.
There’s not much more to the new Dyson design, and that is, of course, a big part of its brilliance. Not only does its simple ingenuity help to eliminate the mostly hated paper towel use, but also does away with the incredibly inefficient traditional blow dryer and cuts down on the amount of awkward bathroom lines you’ll have to face in your lifetime.
Truly, for us public bathroom aficionados, this is a case of heroic design.
Between the chilly weather, my fondness of sleeping, and preference to not work as opposed to going to work, It’s been harder and harder to get going in the morning.
Is the problem a lack of motivation and general laziness? No, I’m sure not. Instead it must be my simple alarm clock, which just isn’t capable of besting my urge to stay in bed. If you share that same problem, then allow me to present you some more intense alarm alternatives, all of which have ways beyond an annoying beep to force you to get up in the morning.
Electrifying Alarm clock
Taken in aesthetically, the singNshock alarm is just a well designed and good looking alarm clock, with a soothing music playing wake-up feature, and multicolor LED display. On first glance, it’s actually very welcoming.
But once it’s time to get up, the singNshock immediately ceases all notions of friendliness, and straight up shocks you into waking up. The moment you try to turn your alarm off, the alarm sends a small millivolt (1 thousandth of a volt) electrical charge through your body. It’s not enough to make your hair stand on end, and can actually be turned off, but it will get your attention when it’s most needed, which is kind of a theme on this list.
Gun Alarm Clock
Most of us have aggressive tendencies towards our alarm clocks and, in moments of sleep deprived frustration, you may have even fantasied about shooting it.
Don’t suppress those darker urges though, but rather encourage them with the Gun O’ Clock. Whenever the alarm goes off in the morning, a target pops up from it and requires you to use the light gun accessory to shoot it down via either quick shot mode (5 perfect shots in 3 minutes), a quick draw speed shot, or a random mode. It’s not a beat you over the head school of alarm clock design, but it does require a little hand eye coordination, and provides a bit of entertainment to get you started with the day.
Carpet Alarm Clock
We now get more into the idea of motion based alarm clocks, as the toughest part of any morning is getting out of bed.
The carpet alarm directly addresses that issue, as you are required to stand up and step on the carpet in order to turn it off. There’s even a nice LED pressure sensitive clock built into the otherwise normal rug, bringing it closer to the traditional alarm clock look. While there are quite a number of cheats for this such as placing it right by, or even on your bed, and then going back to sleep, purists will put this on the other side of room and force themselves out of bed every morning.
Rolling Alarm Clock
Like the carpet alarm clock, this one is based on the idea of you moving to wake up in the morning. Unlike the carpet alarm, this one presents few cheats to counter it.
One of the oldest and most effective of the tough alarm designs, Clocky is equipped with wheels so that when your alarm goes off, so does the clock. As it rolls around, you’re forced to chase it down in an effort to turn it off. The clock moves with good speed, and in random patterns, making it an effort to pursue it, and providing you with the necessary amount of motion, and a healthy bit of early exercise, needed to get you going.
Weight Alarm Clock
Then again, if a little exercise isn’t enough to get your day started, you should probably consider an alarm that demands a full amount of reps.
Modeled like a dumbbell, the shape up alarm has no problem turning off in the morning, so long as you are willing to do a few curls. Specifically it requires 30 curls done in succession for the alarm to deactivate, which is a healthy amount designed to make sure that you are using more than a quick motion, or hazy chase down, to try to get moving. Instead it takes a concentrated physical effort to overcome this hardcore alarm.
IQ Alarm Clock
Of course, there are more important parts of your body to work out in order to have a productive morning than your biceps, one of which would be your brain.
In fact, more than your limbs, it’s usually your brain that’s the last thing to start working in the morning, and the IQ alarm knows that. That’s why it ditches the snooze button, and comes equipped with an extremely difficult battery compartment, ensuring that to stop the alarm you will have to answer 1-3 (the required number is changeable) IQ test level questions. It’s a clever design, as it requires you to be equally clever to best it.
Sonic Boom Alarm Clock
When you don’t want to trust to gimmicks and novelties to wake you up, you need an alarm clock that has no interest in, or ability to, play games.
The Sonic Boom is a standard alarm clock in that it displays time, makes a beeping sound, and even has a snooze button. The difference is the main alarm on its top setting can achieve a level of 113 decibels (the equivalency of a jackhammer or rock concert). Not only that, but it is equipped with bright flashing red lights, and a disk that fits under your mattress and shakes your bed with extreme authority until you turn the alarm off. There may be no additional features to assure you won’t roll back to sleep, but the ruthless aggressiveness of the Sonic Boom may just put you into fear of disobeying it by even suggesting you rest your eyes. Such is its authority.
Trying to nitpick, analyze, highlight, and discuss the Consumer Electronics Show with any kind of totality is a maddening proposition, unless you’re willing to devote a significant amount of research time and several posts to doing so. I considered doing just that briefly, before I decided to step back and remember that the CES is really supposed to be fun. And while part of that fun is seeing what we’ll be able to buy in the coming year (and what we’ll never, ever afford), another, more entertaining, part is mocking the most absurd inventions that had no business on the show floor in the first place.
It’s those that I wanted to focus on, and specifically I wanted to find the most ridiculous of them all. For a moment, I thought it would be the iPad training toilet (not only because it teaches kids they don’t need to stop using their gadgets, even while on the toilet, but makes me realize there are kids who can’t even stop pooping their pants that somehow have iPad access and knowledge), or the Motorhead sponsored headphones designed to more or less be dangerously, annoyingly loud.
In the end though, there was only one clear winner.
A fork? Yeah, but of course it’s a smart fork. How can a fork be smart? When it’s designed for stupid people of course.
In this case, the Hapifork (as its known) measures your eating habits (particularly how fast you are eating) and through an app (of course it has an app) allows you to monitor statistics like how long your meal was, how many fork servings you had per minute, and the time between bites. The data is then analyzed to help you find ways to become a healthier eater. It can also provide visual cues while eating to let you know when things are getting out of hand.
Now, I am aware that obesity and over eating are huge problems, particularly in America. However so is stupidity, and it’s frightening to believe there are people speaking of this fork like it is somehow a good idea, or noble weapon on the war against not eating so damn much. It’s neither. It’s a device that attempts to eliminate common sense and reduce personal responsibility in a field (dieting) that requires a great deal of both to be successful.
So instead of considering spending the $99 on the Hapifork when it is released (or put on Kickstarter), allow me to present an alternative. Hire me. Seriously, if you must have an eating tattler, rent me for $5 during your meal, and when I see you attacking a plate of pasta like it violated a peace treaty I’ll say “Dude”. You’ll say “Oh, right” ,slow down, and hopefully, neither you, me, or any of us will have to hear about this smart fork again.