How to recreate the sounds of "Forbidden Planet"

In each episode of the Gadgets podcast we recommend technology we love and use. Xeni, Jason, and Mark check out a pro-quality food dehydrator, a camera lens and eyeglass cleaning brush, a cool synthesizer kit, and more!

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Our favorite smart phone gadgets [Gadgets 007]

The editors of Boing Boing recommend technology they love and use. Xeni, Jason, and Mark check out a Bluetooth speaker, an earphone cord manager, a compact phone recharger, snap-on earpod clips, an app for insomniacs, and more.

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Cat Paint, Bike GPS, and an Audeze headphones giveaway [Gadgets 006]

In each episode of Gadgets the editors and friends of Boing Boing recommend technology they love and use. This time Xeni, Jason, and Mark talk about Cat Paint for iOS, a GPS device for bikes, ambient sound maker for human babies, a great $14 pocket knife, a wireless home security camera, plus an exclusive giveaway for a pair of Audeze LCD 2 Bamboo ($1,000 value)!

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Tiny wearable camera, rubber band loom, Picklemeister [Gadgets 005]

In each episode of Gadgets the editors and friends of Boing Boing recommend technology they love and use. This time Xeni, Jason, and Mark talk about superior shoelace replacements, a rubber band loom, a wearable camera, a krautmaker, a handheld marine VHF radio, and a fitness tracker with a 1-year battery. Plus a great website for finding free fonts.

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A question to ask yourself before you accept any invitation

Kevin Kelly told me about this trick a couple of years ago and it has helped me tremendously: "Anytime anyone invites you to do anything, ask yourself this question before you accept: Would I do it tomorrow?"

David Plotz of Slate has more on the power of this magic question.

Pizza stone, magic trick, game timer, hotel outlet adapter [Gadgets 004]

In each episode of Gadgets the editors and friends of Boing Boing recommend technology they love and use. This time Jason and Mark talk about the best chess timer for Scrabble players, a fantastic pizza stone, a compact 3-outlet adapter for hotel use, and a great magic trick for under $5. Plus, a website that converts PDFs to Kindle format.

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Email considered harmful


Clive Thompson writes about the growing body of evidence about the negative impact of electronic messaging on workplace productivity. Not only has the smartphone extended the working week to something like 75 hours for the US workers in a recent survey, but some daring experiments suggest that when limits are put on electronic messaging (for example, a ban on out-of-hours emailing), that productivity and quality of work soars -- along with the happiness and quality of life of workers (these two phenomena are related). Some businesses have banned electronic messaging altogether, requiring workers to physically traverse their workplaces and exchange vibrating air molecules in order to coordinate their activities.

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Filtered: free/open IMAP filter

Jeff writes, "Filtered is a new free/open source IMAP mail filtering application which provides automated routing of email based on per sender settings. You can train Filtered via its web UI or by dragging and dropping email to folders in your email account. Filtered can also learn from the contents of your existing folders."

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HOWTO unshrink a garment

Ever shrunk a garment in the dryer? I'm a laundry freak, and a pretty careful one, but I know I've done it (and inevitably, it ends up ruining something my wife's just bought). Turns out there's a way to unshrink clothes: soak them in baby shampoo or hair conditioner, then stretch them out (ideally, by wearing them) as they dry. Cory 0

Better way to eat mandarin oranges


Back in 2010, Jewel Pie illustrated this great method for eating mandarin oranges: slice off the top and bottom, then unroll the fruit into a peel-backed strip of sections.

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Complete meal cooking with a hotel coffee-maker


Inspired by her nephew's stories of bad food at the mess hall when he was on deployment in Afghanistan, retired photographer Jody Anderson created a recipe-book of meals that could be prepared using a coffee-maker (soldiers were allowed to have coffee-makers in their rooms), and posted some online. Coffee-makers are quick to clean, and the different stages of the coffee-maker give you different, simultaneous, cooking options (grilling, poaching and steaming). All useful stuff for frequent travellers: beats the old "cooking salmon in three thicknesses of foil using the ironing-board and iron" technique.

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Opening a can without any tools

The self-described Crazy Russian Hacker of Youtube demonstrates in eye-watering detail a method for tool-free can opening: just grind down the can's rim on a handy block of concrete, then squeeze. The stunt is repeated several times, just to be sure you've absorbed the technique in all its complexity. It's all framed in post-apocalyptic terms, naturally: a kind of Russo-Survivalist Youtube version of Three Men in a Boat.

How to Open a Can without Can Opener - Zombie Survival Tips #20 (via Neatorama)

HOWTO make a bathtub-cleaning scrub-bit for your cordless drill

By attaching a lag bolt to a plastic scrubbing brush, you can make a cordless-drill-powered polishing brush for sinks and tubs. Manly Housekeeper's howto make the process look simple, and you can't argue with the sparkling results.

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Popular Mechanics: The 110 Best DIY Tips Ever

To celebrate their 110th anniversary, our friends at Popular Mechanics assembled a collection of 110 tips from their archives.

The August 1955 issue told a farsighted person to punch a pinhole in cardboard and peer through it to read small type. It still does the trick!

Unfuck your Habitat: the app


I blogged the site Unfuck Your Habitat, which offers timely, humane, simple advice for people who struggle with mess and disorganization . Today there's "MAKE YOUR BED: excuses are boring" and a brief post on getting sex stains off a comforter, though a more typical bedtime post reads:

Unfuck tomorrow morning

* Wash the dishes in your sink
*Get your outfit for tomorrow together, including accessories
*Set up coffee/tea/breakfast
*Make your lunch
*Put your keys somewhere obvious
*Wash your face and brush your teeth
*Charge your electronics
*Pour a little cleaner in the toilet bowl (if you don’t have pets or children or sleepwalking adults)
*Set your alarm
*Go to bed at a reasonable hour

All of this simple and useful stuff has been packaged into a new Android app that's simple and cute -- good advice, timers for short sprints of cleaning (along with suggestions, room by room, for said sprints), a wall commemorating your achievements, and the same friendly, understanding, compassionate approach to "terrifying motivation for lazy people with messy homes."

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