February 28, 2007

Now some of you playing along at home may have remembered that I featured this same monitor back in December. I normally don’t like to repeat a product, but this is a great monitor and it is even cheaper now. The Samsung 941BW is a 19″ widescreen LCD with some knockout features. Some of the highlights include a blazing fast 4 ms response time, 1440×900 native resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio (widescreen) and a wide viewing angle (160 degrees). Buy.com is currently featuring this baby for $179.95 after $20 rebate and free shipping.
It’s a window, it’s a balcony, no it’s both! It’s the window-matic 5000… Ah, forget it; I don’t have the energy for rehashing old SNL bits. Seriously, the Bloomframe from Dutch architecture firm Hofman Dujardin is a window that converts into a balcony in a mere 12 seconds. As a stationary balcony it is nothing special, however, when you consider that it can be installed in existing buildings and is fully convertable, now you have something. If you dig around the Hofman Dujardin site you can find all the details. I can’t link directly to the product here because the site is Flash-happy which makes it impossible. However, you can click here, then click ENGLISH , Design, Product and then BLOOMFRAME.
In this day and age where designers have created clocks with every conceivable display, the Verbarius electronic clock is refreshing. I’ve seen clocks with only one number, some with scrambled numbers, and even one with no hands but I have never seen one so clean and simple. The Verbarius, from Art Lebedev Studio, is a beautifully designed chunky minimalist slab that literally tells time. No hands, no numbers, just a simple phrase like Midnight or Two forty-five. More interestingly, it is able to display a different variation each time. For instance, forty-five minutes past four, or fifteen minutes to five, or four forty-five, or a quarter to five. It has simple controls for time setting and resetting, can display in English, French, Russian, German or Spanish and has a battery backup in case of power failure. The Verbarius can be had for $158.25 but is sold out until November. The price goes up after September 1st, however, it can be pre-ordered at a 15% discount.
Traditionally, wood stoves aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing objects, at least not the efficient ones anyway. However, Belgian manufacturer Concept & Forme has created a model that has hit a home run on both fronts. The Stûv 30 is as beautiful as it is green. In addition to its ability to swivel in any direction, it also has three operating modes. With the curved glass door closed, the stove operates at an efficiency beyond the highest European standards. When the glass door is opened, it operates at a lesser efficiency but allows you to enjoy an open fire and the possibility of cooking dinner using the optional barbecue accessory. And finally for the ultimate in efficiency, the solid door can be closed for increased air tightness that allows slow burning all through the night. This is another Flash-happy site, so after the clicking the link, just click Stoves & Hearths and then Stûv 30 – 3 mode stoves to get all the juicy details.
I don’t even know how to begin to be frightened by this. This week Chinese scientists announced that they have successfully controlled the flight of a pigeon by implanting micro electrodes inside the bird. According to Xinhua News Agency, scientists at the Robot Engineering Technology Research Center at Shandong University of Science and Technology were able to command the bird to fly up, down, left and right by stimulating different areas of the brain. Apparently this type of experimentation isn’t new with American scientists in 2002 getting similar results using rats. I just can’t see anything good coming out of this. I keep trying, but all I come up with is some sort of of Day of the Dolphin or Manchurian Candidate type of scenario.