This small intelligent orb guesses what object you are thinking of in 20 questions


This tennis ball-size orb knows what you are thinking. Most of the time it will guess what you have in mind after asking you twenty yes/no questions. It is eerily smart, and slightly addictive. The toy is remarkable. Because it is so small, so autonomous, its intelligence is shocking to the unprepared. Most children can’t stump it, and if you stick to objects it will stump smart adults about 80% of the time with 20 questions and most of the time with an additional 5 questions. I love to watch people’s reactions when they think of a “hard” thing, and after a seemingly irrational set of questions you are convinced are dumb, the sly ball tells you what you had in mind. (For instance, it can correctly guess “flying squirrel” without asking “does it fly?”) People who play chess machines won’t be surprised, but just about everyone else will be tickled. It feels like the future. But right now, for fourteen bucks, you can get an amazing little artificial intelligence, about as smart as an insect — but an insect which specializes in guessing what object you are thinking of. And in that part of the brain, it’s smarter than you are.

See more photos at Wink Fun.

20Q Deluxe by Techno Source Ages 7 and up $14 Buy a copy on Amazon This link is for 20Q Deluxe, a newer version from the photos above Read the rest

Incredibly useful headmount magnifier for $8


Splinter removal, painting, soldering, building models, inspecting your kids' heads for lice, jewelry repair. I've used my LED illuminated headmounted magnifier at least twice a month for several years. It might be the best $8 I've ever spent. Read the rest

A crayon highlighter that'll never run dry

Staedtler makes a highlighter called the Textsurfer Gel that somehow congeals finicky, dry-out-prone highlighter ink into an everwet, enduring crayon that you'll be handing down to your grandchildren. Read the rest

Super bright LED lantern for $10


This small lantern has 30 LEDs, making it very bright for its size. It runs on 3 AA cells (not included). It's got a 4.7 star rating on Amazon with over 2,600 reviews. A good deal at $10! Read the rest

Excellent LED headlamp for $7


If you're an Amazon Prime member, this adjustable-angle $7 LED headlamp is a great deal. It's regularly $19. Read the rest

Hand-crank lantern, flashlight, USB charger ($15)


This combination flashlight/lantern/USB charger will reward you with 15 minutes of light for for each minute you pleasure it by turning its crank. Amazon has it on sale for $15.

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Build curvy, complicated, organic structures with ZOOB


Most of the really great construction sets are rectangular in shape, or they obey rigid angles. Lego, Kapla Blocks, Kinnex, or Zomeworks are fabulous kits that foster open-ended creativity. But they all tend toward very rectilinear structures. ZOOB is the first construction set I’ve seen that encourages organic, free-flowing builds. There are five basic ZOOB shapes centered on a ball-and-socket connection. When you click them together you have full 180-degree freedom in how the connection is oriented, leading to creations that are curvy, complicated, or ones that repeat like vertebrate in a spine, or carbons on a chain, or even amino acids on DNA. I was surprised by how sophisticated you could make the forms; you may need a bit of patience to get complex ones to fit perfectly (note to 8-year olds). In fact the force and precision needed to assemble pieces may be beyond toddlers, but school kids should have no problem. The plastic pieces are largish, unlike lego, so the finished forms can be quite hefty.

ZOOB Ages 6 and up, 125 pieces $20 Buy a copy on Amazon

See more photos at Wink Fun. Read the rest

You're inflating your tires wrong. Here's how to do it right, and save up to $500 a year.

Your tires? I want to PUMP! THEM UP!

R2D2 Rollaboard

This would be way better as a 4-wheel spinner, but it's still a sweet piece of kids' luggage with handle sized for small people and flashing lights and beeps -- a worthy successor to the hardcase version. Read the rest

$3 clip-on camera lens kit for smart phones

I bought this camera lens kit for the heck of it, because it cost only $3.14 including shipping, via Amazon. The package arrived from China. The kit consists of three lenses (made of red anodized aluminum) and a spring-loaded clip. To use a lens, you screw it on the clip and then pinch the clip over phone’s camera lens. The clip is padded so it won’t scratch your phone. I had to take my phone case off for best results.

The macro lens is excellent for getting very close detail shots of small objects. The fish-eye and wide-angle lenses are similar to each other, but the fish-eye gives a more exaggerated bubble view. The kit also comes with lens caps and a little cloth drawstring pouch to keep all the pieces together.

Fisheye, Wide Angle, and Macro Camera Lenses By KingMas $3 Buy one on Amazon

See more photos at Wink Fun. Read the rest

Huge, futuristic 3D printed mech-tank

Singaporean toymaker Michael Sng made Boudicca, a T1 Training Colossus -- a 3D-printed robot tank with 400 custom parts and servos controlled by an Arduino. Read the rest

Amazon Prime Day is not that great. But here are a few good deals


I was looking forward to today's Amazon Prime Day, because Amazon was promising “more deals than Black Friday.” But the stuff they've been offering isn't that exciting. Here are a few decent deals. You need to be a Prime member to take advantage (Prime is $99 a year, but you can get a free 30-day trial and bail before they charge you).

Coleman MicroPacker LED Mini Lantern ($7)

Razor A Kick Scooter ($22)

Men's 4-Pack Fashion Boxer Briefs Underwear by LUK ($24)

Universal Wireless Range Extender with Power Outlet Pass-Through ($28)

Electrohome Archer Vinyl Record Player ($80)

MultiPurpose Balaclava, 2-pack ($12) Read the rest

Reading glasses by the 4-pack ($8)


Currently selling for $7.85 for a 4-pack on Amazon, these normcore reading spectacles are a great deal. Available in a wide range of strengths. Read the rest

The best affordable fan for cooling your home this hot summer: Vornado 660

Vornado 660
And this fan isn't even marketed as a fan, but an “air circulator.” Whatever. It works.

Save 72% On The Power Vault 18000mAh Dual USB Battery Pack

Charge 2 USB-Compatible Devices at Once. Don't Let Your Battery Slow Life Down.

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