I would advise against wearing this lovely bamboo motorcycle from Roof. Not because its top, covered in interlaced bamboo, is fragile—it's passed all due European safety measurements, probably because there's something more sturdy underneath—but because wearing a motorcycle helmet without face protection is dumb. You'd feel really silly if you wore a bamboo helmet and then caught a tree in the teeth.
It's available later this month for £189.
Roof release Bamboo helmet [MotorcycleNews.com via Treehugger]
Bottled water's popularity stems from a strange confluence of circumstance: just as people started realizing that chugging several thousand calories of sugared soda a day was unhealthy, easily accessible public water sources dried up. When's the last time you saw—let alone used—a public water fountain?
In the process of breaking of the habit of buying bottled water when there are cheaper options, you might find yourself shlepping around a reusable water bottle; Slate's Laura Moser took eight out for a spin, judging them on portability, aftertaste, and style. Here's hoping that last factor becomes more important in the days ahead, encouraging water bottle use, without heading into the inevitable $10,000 "Portable Patrician Pro" bottle that grinds up sheets of gold leaf to flicker down into a lead crystal jug of sustainable public tap water.
Two choices from Moser's piece caught my eye: the Platy from Platypus Hydration, which is a collapsible bottle tough enough to be boiled; and this corn-based water bottle with a built-in chlorine filter. You can't boil that one, but toss it back in the compost pile when it starts to get funky and it will decompose in just three months.
Message in a Bottle [Slate]
• Werner MT-13 13-foot Aluminum Multi-Purpose Telescoping Ladder for $60 at most Lowes stores. [Slickdeals]
• Lenovo ThinkPad T61 Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8GHz 15" Laptop for $860, shipped. If you like your laptops full-sized, that's a great machine for a very reasonable price. [Dealnews]
• Solar Insect Theater for $20, shipped. This little wooden box has a light and a curved plexiglass window, the better to lure in nightime critters and view them before they escape and flap their singed wings in your face. [Dealnews]
• 50% Nalgene-Outdoor.com. Bottled water is for chumps. [Dealnews]
This metal device is one of a number of similar devices which were invented in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries to prevent masturbation. A leather strap which would have kept it in place is now missing. Until the early 1900s, many people regarded masturbation as harmful to a person's health, and it was blamed for a variety of ailments, including insanity.
Safe for work, provided steel simulacrum of Gonzo's face is acceptable in your workplace.
Image Page [ScienceAndSociety.co.uk]
While minifig scale is my preferred LEGO model size, I've always been impressed by competent microscale work. LEGO models are studies in implication to begin with, but at microscale even the shape and size of the connecting blocks becomes a huge factor in the believability of a model.
These Transformers perhaps push the envelope just a teensy bit—without the center model I'm not sure "Transformer" would be the first thing to spring to mind—but taken as a whole the picture is clear.
I don't have a source for this image—please let me know and I'll add it!—but I do have the source for another great microscale Megatron, credited to one of the best microfigure LEGO artists around, Count Blockula.
Extremely fashion and new aparent sun roof, made of a sticker that will give any car the image of a real sunroof.
Our selfadhesive sunroof DECANO™ has our own patented technology , it consists on a series of flexible laminated magnetic layers, weatherproofed and framed with a selfadhesive tape.
Later the manufacturer goes on to explain how they use "MAGNETIC TECHNOLOGY" that allows you to stick—and unstick!—the sunroof as many times as you want before finally sealing it onto the roof of your car for good, trapping and suffocating any remaining shred of pride you might have.
Sunroofs Self Adhesive Sunroof [eBay]
Suissa Computers' "Shadow" external hard drive is what some of their previous wooden electronics work has not been: classy. And even though I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the top that looks like a Degas painting, it definitely breaks up the "all wood" look that has overweighted some of Suissa's previous pieces.
If you must have one of these 750GB external hard drives with a 4-port USB hub inside, you can pick one up for $730 for the "Natural" or $875 with the glass top. Ironically, these will probably look best on a metal desk.
Product Page [SuissaComputers.com via Treehugger]
• Astrobase Go!: Google adds star maps to Google Earth. [Google's Lat-Long Blog]
• Pocket Monolith: GlobalTop G66 Touch Bluetooth GPS receiver is small and slim, necessary in an age where GPS is still not in every gadget. Reviews soon. [Engadget]
• Business in the front, business in the back: MTV, Verizon, and Rhapsody are forming Rhapsody America. Does this mean all-you-can-eat Rhapsody downloads to Verizon phones soon? (Probably not.) [GigaOm]
• Big Crunch: The infamous SuprNova bit torrent index site is back again, thanks to the friendly neighborhood Pirates of The Bay. For many, SuprNova was their first torrent site. Aww. [Suprnova.org]
• Not Easy Being Green: Sony announces their prototype "Take Back" program, a free recycle service for Sony products. I do not share Treehugger's antipathy towards the need to drive to a recycling center, although I'll admit door-to-dump service would be optimal. But we'll end up paying for it no matter what. [Treehugger]
My first pessimistic thought upon seeing the products from "Ecologic Designs," who crafts sports gear (partially) from reclaimed materials like tire inner tubes: How would one recycle the Ecologic products?
But whatever! Making things out of a older things is at least 100% better than just tossing that old gear in the dump. Ecologic Designs has four main product lines, three of which focus on a different materials source—old tires; plastic billboard posters; hemp—and one that serves as a catchall for random materials.
Company Page [EcologicDesigns.com via Treehugger]
I've prophesied (incorrectly, for now) that wood would be a resurgent trend in gadget design. It's pleasing to look at and to caress, and—if done properly—is more sustainable than plastics. For the most part I'm still waiting for my vision to come to pass—and it is perhaps too retro for its own good—but looking at the portfolio of one Paul Isabella I was struck by how attractive simple white plastic inlays can be next to wood.
Of course, if you look at some of Isabella's other ideas—the clock in particular—it's clear that if you lean too heavily on the white plastic, no amount of wood inlay will save you.
Portfolio Page [PaulIsabella.com via Josh Spear]