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Outi Headphones

Good news for all of us living in crowded urban areas: you no longer have to crank your headphones up to max in order to ignore the onslaught of sirens, car horns, and diesel engines! Of course, you do have to put up with wearing something called “bone-conducting headphones.” Anyone else find that terminology a little bit creepy?

The Outi bone-conducting headphones supposedly allow you to crank up your music as loud as you’d like (much like the SwiMP3 does) without having to worry about going deaf down the road because they work by transmitting sound through your cartilage, skin and bones instead of through your ear drums, vibrating at just the right frequency allowing you to “hear” the music instead of feeling it, and they run on a small amp that lasts for 8 hours before having to be recharged. Oh, and they clip on the outside of your ears, so they don’t look the least bit funny when you’re wearing them. Sounds pretty sweet to me.

Via TakTak

Whiskey-A-Sippin'

Still looking for that perfect gift for the guy who has everything — and I do mean everything? Well, if he’s a scotch or whiskey drinker, here’s the answers. As most fine whiskey fanatics will tell you, it’s almost sacrilegious to water down your scotch with “regular” ice cubes. In fact, so much so that companies are storming the market with products that solve just this…problem.

The first I noticed was IceRocks. IceRocks are premium “spring water ice cubes”. These guys are willing to go so far as to let you water down your fine whiskey, but only with Evian-style ice. Anything less would be unconscionable.

The next two solutions to watered down whiskey are a bit less forgiving in their approach: fine whiskey should NOT be watered down. So in the interest of keeping your spirits strong (bad pun, sorry), have a look at the Ice Stones from Teroforma, a brand I’ve been working with lately, and a similar solution from Sippin’ on the Rocks, making an appearance on Thrillist today. Both offer a more natural and reusable solution to this quandary: rocks. Put rocks in your freezer and then in your drink, and they do the job of ice without diluting your whiskey.

And if your man who has everything doesn’t have fine whiskey, maybe you should add that to the list as well. Anyone care to recommend a favorite?

Ricoh GR Digital I/II

You may remember my post way back when about the Rolleiflex MiniDigi when I mentioned that I was on the lookout for the perfect pocket camera. Well, up until yesterday, I hadn’t actually acted on that. I waffled back and forth for quite a while because the camera I really wanted, the Ricoh GR Digital was a wee bit out of my price range. I’ve lusted after a GRD since reading a write-up on it in JPG Magazine about six months ago. It’s basically described as just about everything I want in a pocketable digicam: full manual control, small and inconspicuous, and it takes very unique images that have been compared to the Holga.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when Ricoh released the newest version of this cult-followed camera, the GRD II. Having stumbled into a little gift money — and besides, what are the holidays if you don’t spend a little on yourself too? — I decided maybe it was time to bite the bullet. I read, scoured reviews, compared shots, looked at prices, etcetera, figuring I’d end up with the newer GRD II. But after reading enough reviews that said the GRD II lacked that “something special” found in the original GRD, I took advantage of the sale prices on the older model. So, my new baby is on the way; be on the lookout for some new shots in a couple of weeks.

Oh, and feel free to let us in on what you’re treating yourself to this year…

Ferrari: Going Green

You can debate global warming until you’re green in the face, but the fact is that the end all and be all has spoken — and I don’t mean Al Gore. Car makers have slowly been trickling out more efficient vehicles in the wake of An Inconvenient Truth along with a hybrid here and there.

But now the boss of them all is making a commitment that should lead the all-out charge. According to EcoGeek, Ferrari, the maker of all things sex on wheels, has committed to reducing fuel consumption of its supercars by forty percent over the next five years. And you can be sure of one thing, they’re not going to be forfeiting anything in the way of performance to make that happen. Think about it: 500+ miles per tank and 0-60 in 3 seconds flat. Sounds like a sportscar enthusiast’s dream car to me.

Twittories

It was only a matter of time before someone started leveraging the phenomenon that is Twitter for something more creative than a branded RSS feed of daily specials. That someone is Twittories, and despite their decidedly lo-fi look, the idea behind the project is awesome. Think of it as the SMS version of those stories you had to write in English class, where you’d write for two minutes and then pass the paper on to someone else. Twittories is the same thing, only it happens 140 characters at a time. And each person is only allowed to make one entry per story. A story is finished when it reaches 140 entries (just to keep the numbers nice and round). The first Twittory is called The Darkness Inside, and it’s started off pretttttttty interesting. There’s already talk of killing a man…

AC Gears hits NYC

I wasn’t familiar with AC Gears until I read this post a couple of days ago, but I’ll definitely be stopping by their new store to check it out. If you’re interested and in the NYC area, the new shop is at 69 East 8th Street, near NYU. Originally termed “Audiocubes”, AC Gears started out selling headphones. That is, until owner Kohn Liu realized the potential market for tech toys and robotic wares…you know, everyone needs their own toy Humping Dog.

Now, in addition to headphones, AC Gears sells random techy objects for the home and personal accessories. They’ve got a unique line of watches as well that are pretty reminiscent — perhaps not surprisingly — of those I’ve seen at Giant Robot. They’ve also got a few distinctly Japanese items like their Cup O’ Noodles Perfecting Timer. Looks like it might be a fun place to grab a holiday gift for that office gift exchange.

COLOURlovers Redesigns

If you don’t know about COLOURlovers yet, get thee to this site. If you’re already in the know, then you’re aware of just what an amazing resource the site has become over the last few years. And what more would you expect from a site that’s dedicated to something as diverse and wonderful as colour (that’s “color” for those of us on this side of the pond). To date, they’ve gathered over 45,000 members who have collected more than 650,000 colours and 231,000 palettes.

In celebration of this success, and in the interest of keeping things fresh, COLOURlovers recently released version III of their wonderful site. The newest version features a “pattern” selection, to work alongside their palettes and colors, as well as a full colour redesign of the site itself. And, just as a fun comparison, when Josh wrote about COLOURlovers over 2 years ago, the top palette was Summer of 1970 and the top colour was Heatland. Those honors now go to Stockholm Syndrome (shown) and Cosmic.

Hlaska Wallets

Alright gentlemen, we all know just how tough it is to find a decent wallet…not to mention that we all want something different out of a wallet. Most newly professional guys are either carrying around some remnant of their childhood — my first wallet was a red nylon tri-fold with yellow trim and velcro — or a tattered piece of leather they got in high school that’s showing more duct tape than wallet these days. Gentlemen, it’s time to step up a little bit. Hint, ladies: if your man is still carrying a red nylon wallet, think about a new one for the holidays.

That’s where Hlaska comes in. They make a sweet line of wallets that are well thought out, and they make one for just about everyone. Want to carry cards only? No problem. Need a place for some loose change? They’ve got that covered. And they even have some colors if you’re not a fan of the plain brown or black. I’m particularly taken with their Evergreen series; designed to mimic wood grain in three different colors, it’s a nice touch to spice up your pocket without pulling out something in candy-apple green.

Make it Right

Brad Pitt’s making news for something other than adding to the collection of ridiculouslt attractive, culturally-relevant third world children he shares with Angelina Jolie; this time, it’s for something we’d probably never have seen coming. Apparently Brad Pitt has a little soft spot in his heart for architecture and design, and he’s proving it by helping out the people of New Orleans. Pitt is putting up $5 million of his own money, alongside philanthropist Stephen Bing, toward project Make It Right, an initiative that will build 150 low-income houses for residents of New Orleans.

These aren’t your average projects; the team has hired 13 architecture firms each to submit plans for sustainable, flood-resistant designs. Each house will be around 1200 square feet with three bedrooms, and each will cost around $150,000. The green design initiative is expected to keep upkeep costs down by at least 75% for the residents.

Make It Right is asking for donations from anyone willing to help. Companies can donate a house or multiple home, and individuals are encouraged to help with as much or as little as possible: a solar panel, a tree, even an energy efficient toilet.

Raumgestalt's Console Table and Blackboard

The designers at Raumgestalt have created an unlikely pair. While their streamlined console table isn’t a new idea, it is well a designed and clean-looking piece. The unique point, however, is the pairing with a blackboard; we all need some place to take and leave messages for loved ones, and there’s only so many post-it notes that you can slap across your walls before it starts looking a little unruly. Of course, the fact that it reminds me of one of those old blackboards that kids used to carry to school makes it so much more fun — both because I like the subtle way-retro factor and because the thought of some kid walking uphill both ways in the snow carrying that blackboard makes me laugh. Raumgestalt also makes a table, a bench, and a stool that match the slat design of the console table. Unfortunately there’s not a direct link, but they’re under the “making space” heading on the product list, along with some other fun toys.

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