Mark Newgarden's remarkable "Cheap Laffs: The Art of the Novelty Item" is worth far more than the price of admission. Of course, the bulk of the book is a lovely, arch, witty illustrated encyclopedia of mid-century gags from fake dog-shit to humorous toilet-seat covers; each one gives a capsule history of the gag, notes on material and construction and sometimes even little quotes from the founding fathers of the golden age of gags.
But beyond the encyclopedia, there's a truly outstanding introduction that tells the colorful, fascinating story of the gag, stories of intense rivalries between immigrant entrepreneurs of the last century, squabbles over who invented rubber puke, and the early regulation of sneezing powder. These were deeply weird people, but charming, and Newgarden's capsule history of gagdom is like a window into a better world.
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
We just got the Sport model of the EPIKGO hoverboard at my office. Besides being terribly chic, it’s apparently bulletproof.
Ok, it’s not just solar powered. It’s also an anti-theft, waterproof marvel that keeps my phone’s power bar from ever getting into the red.Sure the idea seems obvious now – tuck a gigantic solar powered battery pack into an exposed slot and turn the wearer into a walking energy harvester. Simple maybe, but I didn’t […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]
The Lightning port has thus far resisted the cruel fate that befell the headphone jack, and despite rumors that it may be disappearing come iPhone 8, for the present and foreseeable future, Lightning cables are a hot commodity for iPhone users. As such, we must make do in this strange time in which long, glorified […]