I watch for cheap prices on Lens Pens, as I keep them on hand for cleaning eye glasses and cameras on the run. Anything in the sub $5 range catches my eye.
The lens pen sports a retractable brush at one end and a cap-covered, lint-free soft wiping element at the other. It is compact and protected enough to live in a pocket or glove box without collecting ruinous amounts of dust. Number of useful cleanings per pen varies on the size of and what I'm cleaning, but I tend to get quite a lot of careful use out of them. Grease and oil that gets picked up by the wiper don't get cleaned off, so over time you'll need to replace the pen.
I clean big lenses at home with a blower, lens paper and cleaning solution if needed. It'd be a waste to use one of these. In the field, however, this little guy shines.
Lens Pen Cleaning System
I live in a place so dark that grues are a legitimate concern. I've found no super bright flashlight better sized or more dependable than the SureFire E2D Defender. I also have not found many more expensive. Shockingly, it is worth the $185!
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After eight years of development and a successful Kickstarter, BB pal Mitch Altman's Neurodreamer sleep mask is ready for shipping! You might recall that Mitch is the inspiring maker behind the TV-B-Gone, Trip Glasses, and a bunch of other delightful gadgets. The Neurodreamer is an open source light/sound machine integrated into a memory foam mask. Mitch says:
The NeuroDreamer sleep mask is an advancement over prior entrainment* devices which attempt to entrain the brain with only a single brainwave frequency at a time. The NeuroDreamer sleep mask uses up to four brainwave frequencies simultaneously (mixed at different amplitudes), to more closely replicate the full spectrum of frequencies present in a person who is falling asleep.
* "Entrainment" is the the process of externally presenting brainwave frequencies to the brain, allowing it to synchronize to those frequencies.
It's available for $69.95 in three different versions designed for Sleep, Lucid Dreaming, or Meditation. Mitch is having a sale right now: Entering the coupon code THANKS gets you 10% off everything in Mitch's Cornfield Electronics shop, including the Neurodreamer. I want one!
The Pumpkin Tap turns hollowed-out pumpkins and watermelons into drink dispensers! I think most any beer faucet and shank would work, but this is a fun idea.
I have used this for 2 years. It is very effective in narrow spaces such as IDF (Intermediate Distribution Frame) closets, where I have to add switches or UPS units to rack units. The wand shape makes using this screw driver very effective since it gives me the additional length from the chuck to the screw that a normal electric drill configuration fails to achieve.
I wish it also had a LED illumination adjacent to the chuck, which Dewalt is adding to its newer electric product line. -- Stephen S. Wizowski
Dewalt DW920K-2 1/4-Inch 7.2-Volt Cordless Two-Position Screwdriver Kit $70
Cuppow is a a reusable lid that turns a glass canning jar into a travel mug. They have versions for regular and wide mouth glass jars. It's made in the USA from BPA-free, Phthalate-free plastic. What a great idea! Amazon has the regular mouth size for $8; you supply the jar. Cuppow Regular and Cuppow Wide Mouth
Latvian designer Kaspars Jursons designed the Stand, a combination sink/urinal, to address water shortages. The water flowing from the tap as you wash your hands also flushes the toilet. ""It is more suitable for hygiene than just a urinal and then guys who don't wash [their] hands," Jursons told NPR. The look reminds me of the Penal-Ware Comby, a stainless steel, suicide resistant toilet/sink combination designed for prisons. Unfortunately, that device doesn't use the sink faucet's water to flush.
In this press conference, Microsoft finally reveals its plans for Skype.
Want to build a DIY version of the Hubble Space Telescope? I posted last year that the Vehicle Power Interface Console used at the Goddard Flight Center during pre-launch testing of the HST was for sale on eBay for $75,000. Well, now the seller has significantly sweetened the deal by throwing in this stately and elegant two-person HST control console presumably also used during pre-launch testing. "NASA ARTIFACT VPI Vehicle Power Interface Rack & Console Hubble Space Telescope"
The Hand iPhone Case is totally impractical and not really a case. But it's absolutely fantastic! You can choose between an adult or child-sized hand. (via Gadget Lab)
From the @boingboing Instagram feed, my snap of a Silver Star ORP-1803 organ, radio, phonograph (c.1976) at Groove Merchant, SF.
Clever TV commercial for Le Trèfle toilet paper by the Leo Burnett ad agency. (Thanks, David Steinberg!)
BoomCase transforms classic old luggage (and lunch boxes) into one-of-a-kind, er, artisanal amps/speakers that run on batteries and accept any audio input. The BoomCase (Thanks, Patrick!)
Many of you were intrigued by the $50 Ion IT34 portable USB turntable/cassette deck that I posted about a couple weeks ago. If you don't care about USB and have $700 or so to spend on your mobile vinyl needs, might I suggest you seek out the legendary Sharp VZ-2000 boombox from 1982. It features a linear tracking vertical turntable that plays both sides of a record without having to flip it.
Griffin Technology, makers of a slew of iPhone accessories and other gear, just announced the Mouthstick, a capacitive touchscreen stylus for people who can't use their hands. It's $29.99.