Our guest on the Cool Tools Show podcast this week is Adam Rubin. Adam is the New York Times best-selling author of Dragons Love Tacos, Robo-Sauce, and half a dozen other critically-acclaimed picture books. He is also a world-renowned inventor of illusions and was recently named Director of Puzzles and Games for ArtofPlay.com.
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"So, this pen is not actually marketed as a disappearing ink pen. It’s marketed as a Frixion Pen, and its intention is to be an erasable pen — it’s a normal-looking pen and on the back of the pen is this sort of rubber or plastic nib. And if you write with the pen and you rub the nib over the ink, the ink goes away. But, the true nature of the pen is that it's heat activated. So, if you heat up the ink, it disappears. That could be with the nib that's on the back of the pen or that could be with the flame from a lighter or that could be in a microwave. So, basically, what you have, is you have a pen that writes with ink that you can make disappear with fire. And that is a pretty cool tool to me. … One of the cool things about it is that you can use it sort of as a fun science thing to do with kids because, you don’t necessarily need to use fire. If you draw on paper and you put it in the microwave for about 15 seconds, you can watch the ink visibly disappear with nothing touching it, which, is a really fun experiment with kids.”
"The Super Scrunch Backpack … It’s a rip-stop backpack. It's like 20 liters and it stuffs down into a pouch that's smaller than your fist. It's super strong. It's super reliable. And I keep one in all of my bags. My backpack, my carry-on, my duffle. I always have an extra backpack that takes up less room than a pair of socks. … So, when you’re on the road, you want to put some laundry in there or you want to put extra souvenirs or you just want something for hiking to stick into your larger backpack, it’s a totally awesome product.”
“[Why Knot?] is an illustrated guide to knot tying that was written by Philippe Petit, he is the famous subject of the documentary, Man on Wire. Where, he, tight-rope walked between the Twin Towers before they were finished being built. … An amazing guy. Like a total Polymath. He illustrated and wrote this book himself, which is pretty amazing because he is definitely a guy who is very dependent on knots. So, he's super passionate about the history, and he's really good at explaining the different kinds of knots you might need to use for sailing or for camping or hiking. And he’s even got some magic trick-type of knots in there and there’s some really cool decorative knots as well. … I learned how to tie a monkey knot, or a monkey’s fist from the book.”
“I was in the advertising industry for 10 years, and I quit my day job almost two years ago now to write full-time and work from home at design and I was worried that I would just spend the whole day sitting in a chair and just kind of slouched over. So, I was looking for something to help me overcome that problem and I found this stool. It’s an adjustable height, rotating, rolling, desk stool and it is so perfect for me. …I like it because it gives me a couple of options, like I can sit my feet flat on the floor and get that upright posture for a while and then sort of switch to more of a perched position like a little bit more on the edge of the stool with my heels up on the base ring.”
Here’s a good puzzle from Martin Gardner’s Mathematical Circus. The book is out of print but used copies are cheap. Problems involving weights and balance scales have been popular during the past few decades. Here is an unusual one invented by Paul Curry, who is well known in conjuring circles as an amateur magician You […]
This puzzle designer, Fleb, has a YouTube channel that has in-depth videos of new and old puzzles. I love it. In this video, he tries out a puzzle called Sphaera, from Art of Play.
I was at Maker Faire Bay Area this weekend. One of my favorite things was a collection of simple handmade puzzles sitting on a table under an umbrella, away from the action. A Russian woman named Tatiana Ginzburg told me that the puzzles were part of some kind of mind enlightenment group she started. When […]
The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of […]
Guaranteeing your privacy online goes way beyond checking the “Do Not Track” option in your browser’s settings. To ensure that your internet activity is totally hidden from Internet Service Providers, advertisers, and other prying eyes, take a look at Windscribe’s VPN protection. It usually costs $7.50 per month, but you can get a 3-year subscription […]
This project management bundle will help you get organized and learn how to lead a team to success. You can pay what you want for these five courses when you pick them up from the Boing Boing Store.To help you become an invaluable asset for your company, this bundle includes a curated collection of professional […]