Portable organ, radio, phonograph from 1976

From the @boingboing Instagram feed, my snap of a Silver Star ORP-1803 organ, radio, phonograph (c.1976) at Groove Merchant, SF. Read the rest

Funny French toilet paper TV commercial

Clever TV commercial for Le Trèfle toilet paper by the Leo Burnett ad agency.
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Vintage boombox with vertical turntable

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. Read the rest

Mouthstick: mouth-held touchscreen stylus

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. Read the rest

Google Glass demo video

This promotional video apparently demonstrates the Google Glass experience.

Portable USB record player/cassette deck combo

I can't vouch for the sound quality of the Ion IT34 Duo Deck USB turntable/cassette deck but I sure dig the design. It runs on four AA batteries, fits in a backpack, and plays 78s -- perfect for a real old timey picnic. Would also be fun to build it into your auto's dash, like this fine car audio system of yesteryear! $50 from Amazon. "Ion IT34 Duo Deck Ultra-Portable USB Turntable with Cassette Deck" Read the rest

Space Age bachelor pad hi-fi

If my home was the Discovery One, I would listen to my space age bachelor pad music on this Rosita Stereo Commander Luxus stereo paired beautifully with Grundig Audiorama 8000 HiFi speakers, both c.1975. This particular set is from the Aediorama blog, but I learned about the Rosita Stereo Commander Luxus from Spencer Hickman of Death Waltz Recording Company who recently acquired one with which to better enjoy his label's freaked-out horror soundtrack reissues. Read the rest
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Real history of the Fisher Space Pen

I've carried a Fisher Space Pen Bullet on and off since I was a kid. ("Write underwater and upside down!") I usually lose them in a matter of weeks, but while I can manage to hold on to one I do appreciate its minimalist design, small size, and great "fiddleability." Of course, the Space Pen is surrounded by some epic marketing and myth. Did NASA really invest millions to develop a perfect pen for astronauts? No, apparently, Fisher had developed the pen technology and later brought it to NASA. Following two years of testing, the space agency bought 400 of the pens at a 40 percent discount. And on October 11, 1968, Apollo 7 astronauts carried Fisher Space Pens, model AG7, into orbit.

"The Fisher Space Pen Boldly Writes Where No Man Has Written Before" (Smithsonian)

Fisher Space Pen AG7 (Amazon) Read the rest

Ambient jam from Buddhist chant boxes and electronic tanpura

An ambient "jam session" between three of those chant boxes and a Raagini Electronic Digital Tanpura laying down the drone.

Universal remote control pillow

If your remote control vanished as often as mine, you wouldn't dismiss this admittedly ridiculous Universal Pillow Remote out of hand. (Thanks, Charles Pescovitz!) Read the rest

Buddha Machine 4 now available

FM3 has released the fourth (ahem) incarnation of its wonderful Buddha Machine, the classic ambient music generator loaded with loops by Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian. Above is the lovely "hao" loop from Buddha Machine 4.

iPhone case allows you to take photos with phone held horizontally

The MirrorCase for the iPhone lets you take photos while holding the phone flat, like an old-timey camera. It seems like a good way to shoot video of yourself, too - just set it on a table and do your thing. At $50, it's a bit pricey. I wonder if there's a DIY version? (I think this is the gizmo used to secretly tape Mitt Romney declaring that 47% of Americans suck.) Read the rest

Attractive, simple table top radio: Sangean WR-11

After futzing around with various streaming radio apps and bluetooth speakers, my wife told me she wanted a real tabletop radio for the kitchen. Here were her requirements:

1. No buttons - knobs only.

2. Two knobs preferred. A maximum of three.

3. Pretty.

4. Easy to use.

I immediately thought of the Tivoli Audio Model One, but the $150 price tag kept me from getting it. Then I saw the wood-cased Sangean WR-11 for $85. Not quite as good looking as the Tivoli, but almost. Certainly attractive enough to be called pretty. No buttons: check. Three knobs: check (the third knob turns it on and selects AM or FM). Easy to use: It sure seemed like it would be. I bought it.

It arrived yesterday. The sound is rich and deep, even when the volume is turned up, and the tuning and volume knobs are pleasantly viscous when you turn them. Not much more to say about it -- my wife likes it, and so do I.

Sangean WR-11 Read the rest

Companion Cube ice-trays

Wow 'em at your next Portal-themed cocktail party with ThinkGeek's Companion Cube ice-cube molds, at $12.99 per.

Portal 2 Companion Cube Ice Tray (via Geekologie) Read the rest

McIntosh compact AirPlay stereo system

The McIntosh McAire is a standalone stereo system designed for Apple AirPlay. It also is a fine hardware complement for the McIntosh AP1 Music Player app, digitizing those iconic blue meters (although these sadly don't actually respond to the music). The app is free but the McAire is $3,000 -- real blue meters are expensive! Read the rest

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