January 30, 2013 |
I RECENTLY DELIVERED a speech to two classes at a Pennsylvania high school (the name being immaterial). Going in, I was under the impression that these students had a serious interest (or at least had some interest) in going to law school and that that was the reason for my appearance (i.e., to provide advice or insight that would make their path to "the law" a little bit easier). I took time away from my job and literally spent hours on my presentation and preparing a handout for distribution.
January 18, 2013
WHO SAYS American ingenuity is dead? While it's true we still don't have jet packs and flying cars, we do have the Bierstick, a giant plastic syringe that can pump 24 ounces of beer into your mouth in less than two seconds. That's two full cans of suds down the gullet in less time than it takes to flush a toilet. And get this: It's made with "high-quality FDA-approved materials," so you know it's gotta be safe. Ah yes, the spirit of invention lives, especially when it comes to beer.
January 16, 2013
1 THE UP BAND: This is your life, as tracked on a sleek little bracelet from JawBone. Exercise, steps per day, sleep patterns, meals, even mood swings. How healthy can you be? Find out for $129.99, with supporting app. 2 HAPIFORK: Electronic utensil vibrates and lights up, reminding you to eat more slowly. Upload your stats via USB; track progress on phone or computer. Waterproof, comes in colors. Preorder for $99 at hapilabs.com. 3 FITBIT: Activity-tracking wristband, wireless motion detector, scale - this family of products, plus website and mobile app, offer multiple options to help meet your health and fitness goals.
January 3, 2013 |
1. AB WHEEL Nothing beats a good old-fashioned $7.99 ab wheel for toning the abs, core, arms, shoulders and back. 2. JUMP TO IT I have always extolled the virtues of the jump rope. Done properly, jumping rope is a low-impact cardiovascular exercise that simultaneously works every muscle in the body. A jump rope is simple, efficient, travels well and can be used anywhere. Six minutes of jumping (at 120-1,140 rpm) equals 20 minutes of jogging. Jump rope for 15 to 20 minutes for an unparalleled total body workout.
December 20, 2012 |
Modernist cooking - call it "molecular gastronomy" only if you're willing to suffer the wrath of its pricklier practitioners - is gaining favor with more and more chefs who see value in the cuisine's vacuum sealers, water baths, and dehydrators. Home cooks, by contrast, happily cling to the classic techniques. Several factors play into the modernist movement's low impact with us house-bound hash slingers, costs and degree of difficulty prime among them. But as scientist-turned-cookbook-author Nathan Myhrvold recently noted, home cooks have long been at a disadvantage, too. They haven't had many resources to explain, in the necessary depth and detail, all the tools, gels, powders, and processes behind modernist cooking.
December 2, 2012
We're not among that group of tech-savvy travelers who have to have every new gewgaw that comes along. In fact, we tend to wait until some gadget screams "everyone else has one" or "we need it" before we buy anything with a learning curve steeper than a speed bump. Which is why we finally bought Rhonda a few months ago. Rhonda - as in the Beach Boys' 1965 hit, "Help Me, Rhonda" - is the name we gave to the GPS we bought for a recent car trip to visit friends who have a cabin in the mountains.
October 26, 2012 |
In people years, the World Wide Web is barely 21. In technology time, it sometimes seems like eons since the first website went online in 1991, as the personal computer has morphed into increasingly powerful desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets. Innovations, companies and devices have come and gone in the years since - which makes it all the more remarkable that we're focused this week on announcements by Apple and Microsoft, two players there at the start thanks to their pre-Web origins.
September 6, 2012 |
I've never been one to need all the latest must-have gadgetry. Sure, all the other car writers hear this and laugh in unison at me, but I can take it. Luddism is in my genes. The late Grandpa Driver's Seat never had a car with power windows or air conditioning until 1992. "More things to break," he'd say. These days, as I see all the gadgetry out there and scan automakers' technical service bulletins, I think the old guy may have been on to something. (Besides, keeping Sturgis Kids 1.0 through 4.0 in food and shoes has made finding spare change for new toys challenging.)
August 29, 2012 |
THE back-to-school season has become so gadget-centric that it's now the second biggest selling season for electronics buying, after the year-end holidays. "Electronics actually make up most of the $80 billion back-to-school business," Consumer Electronics Association spokesman Jim Barry said recently. "And [it] is such a far cry from the pencils and notebooks we used to consider 'school supplies' back in my day. " Tops on any list for collegiates should be a "smartphone and a notebook computer," said this longtime industry tracker.
July 29, 2012 |
Say you catch a home-run ball at the big game, or your child finds a gorgeous (but dry and not smelly) little starfish at the beach. Wouldn't it be nice to frame these treasures? The Z-Access 3-D display frames are a fun option. The back and front of the 6-by-4-inch plastic frames are connected by a hinge, and each side holds a transparent flexible polyurethane sheet instead of a piece of glass or plastic. You open the frame on its hinges, like a book, set your baseball or starfish (or whatever fits)