Geekology » You Lose What You Don’t Hold…

March 5, 2010

Lo's List /// Hard Graft® 2UNFOLD (Open)

Hard Graft® 2UNFOLD Laptop Convertible Backpack in Gray

I’ve been ogling these goods for years now, back when Hard Graft® was still Working Class Heroes, and this Austrian-English creative team has only improved with the years. The show-stopper of the collection is by far their 2UNFOLD convertible laptop backpack, available in gray or brown Italian vegetable-tanned leather. Large enough to fit your Macbook, some mags, a jumper, your charger, etc, etc, this super-bag can be carried as a backpack, fold-over clutch, or messenger. The perfect amount of external pockets, elegant hardware, and a black cotton canvas lining are just three more reasons to wistfully count the days ’till the bag is yours.

Each limited edition 2UNFOLD backpack is individually numbered and carefully assembled by a family of leather artisans in the rolling hills of Tuscany with the utmost attention to detail.

Oh. It’s doesn’t stop there. The shop carries Moleskine journal covers of thick gray felt and leather trim, delicate aluminum fountain pens by Kaweco with matching grossgrain ribbon- and leather-trimmed felt holders, Macbook sleeves, little add-on pockets for Macbook sleeves, iPhone cases & wallets: it’s a bonanza of geek chic. The cohesive collection of techie accessories is a real breath of fresh air. I guess that’s what you get when good ‘ole Italian craftsmanship gets paired with some serious Anglo-Austrian design skills. Squisito!!!

Lo's List /// Hard Graft® Moleskine in Small & MediumLo's List /// Hard Graft® KawecoLo's List /// Hard Graft® 2UNFOLD (folded)
Top to Bottom: Hard Graft® Moleskine in Small & Large, Kaweco Aluminium fountain pens & Cartridges, and 2UNFOLD Laptop Convertible Backpack

Geekology » Happy Cables from LaCie

February 22, 2010

LaCie Flat Cables

LaCie’s Flat Cables

Wires are a miserably ugly thing. And, being a nitpick aesthete, just catching a glimpse of the grayish-white gaggle snaking out from under my office desk sends shivers down my spine. Same goes for extension cords: why are more elegant, colorful extension cords not readily available? Having searched high and wide, all I’ve found are 60-foot neon cords which, for a Brooklyn apartment, is a bit much.

Well, one can only hope that these styling LaCie flat cables will blaze a geeky trail into the uncharted waters of upscale wires. The collection, designed by French firm ITEM (more on these guys coming right up), includes seven different interfaces: USB A to B, USB A to Mini B, USB A male to A female, FireWire 400 to FireWire 400, FireWire 400 to FireWire 800, FireWire 800 to FireWire 800, and eSATA to eSATA. The Red Dot Award-winning cables are flat, making them super easy to coil if you don’t need the full length, and come with adorable little label stickies to further satiate your OCD. Hurrah!

Kawaii! » Brand-Spanking New FriendsWithYou!

February 10, 2010

FriendsWithYou Superblast Silkscreen Print

FriendsWithYou Superblast 18″ x 24″ Silkscreen Print

We’re huge fans of Miami-based think-tank and Kid Robot staple FriendsWithYou. They did an animated spot for Target that had us in stitches (check out their latest advert for and have also designed Mimobot USB drives for Mimoco’s Artist Collection (featured in our Top Ten Flash Drives post) based on their Malfi, Mr. Phantom, and Buddy Chub characters. The all-things-adorable powerhouse has just launched a brand-spanking new site, chock full of their oddball plushes, zippie pulls, tees, Wish Come True blind box toy collection, and art prints. I think I’ve totally fallen for Plasma Boy.

Limited Editions!!
FriendsWithYou Pear of Malfis PrintFriendsWithYou Plasma Boy Print
FriendsWIthYou Limited Edition Pear of Malfis and Plasma Boy Prints

Geekology » Top Ten Flash Drives

February 8, 2010

1MahjongDisk by Bronon$190

Bronon 8 and 16 GB Mahjong USB Disk

I know what you’re going to say: 200 bucks for a dinky flash drive is preposterous. But, these boxus, sandalwood, amobna and pteroceltis tatarinowii wood drives are slicker than any overpriced it-brand accessory. What’s more, the 8 and 16 GB Mahjong drives by Bronon can be made to order with custom tile designs and comes with a super slick leather holster and loop.

2Tonia Welter Cuff€185

Tonia Welter Leather and Sterlin 2-4 GB USB Cuff

The made-to-order USB Jewellery by Tonia Welter are so very bling-worthy! This unisex USB bracelet is my favorite and comes in black, red or dark brown. Although the line is carried by a few boutiques across the globe (Le66 in Paris, Dijitalfix in Brooklyn, Simon und Renoldi in Köln, and Monaco’s Best Friends Joailliers), it seems you can email orders straight to the designer as well.

3Memory Key by Arturo Jimenez for Imm Living$33

2GB Memory Key by Arturo Jimenez for Imm Living

This nifty little flash drive from Imm Living is style steps above it’s LaCie competitor, iamaKey. The 2GB Flash key is available in metallic purple or glossy blue. Attach it to your key ring and you’ll always know where your data is (erm, unless you tend to loose your keys) or grab some twine and wear it as a necklace!

4Kikkerland Loop Memory Key$75

Kikkerland 2GB USB Loop Memory Key

We’re big fans of NYC’s Kikkerland (that’s “froggie land” in Dutch), having previously reviewed their adorable Electroman and Hubman ports. These slick 2GB Toshiba Loop Memory Drives by Dutch designer Richard Hutten are equally wish-list worthy and come with a matching colored lanyard. Available in orange, light blue, black and white!

5Hacoa Animals$89

Hacoa Animal 1GB USB Drive

Hacao, a Japanese design firm with a mind-blowing line of wooden office and home gadgets, has designed a collection of geometric 1GB animal Flash Drives in light and dark wood. Choose from the duckie, hippo, piggy, elephant or pup. Stay posted for more on the must-have gadgets at Hacoa!

6Mimobot Urban Treeson$25

Mimobot Urban Treeson USB Drive

The Mimobot flash drives have made their mark on the design world, even finding their way into the MoMA store, and the company’s collection of kawaii critters has grown to include many artist editions including models by FriendsWithYou (check out a previous post featuring the FriendsWithYou gang), Tokidoki, and Bubi Au Yeung’s Urban Treeson (above).

7East by Imm Living$35

Imm Studio 2GB East USB Drive

Another quirky drive from Imm Living, the East 2GB USB Drive is part of their hand symbol collection including West, Peace, Word Up, Change, Rock Out, and Vulcan. “Meanings sometimes evolve through technological advances. The Hand Sign USB key pays respect to the remarkably expressive human hand.” — Imm Living

8Clé byAMTN/A

byAMT Clé USB Drive

Another Lo’s List favorite (we featured her ring in our Top Ten Fashion Scout post), Alissia Melka-Teichroew aka byAMT has just released what seems to be the prototype for a laser-cut plexi USB flash key in black and white versions. I can’t wait to get my paws on these – they look like they’re straight out of Alice in Wonderland! Not to worry – we’ll update as soon as we figure out where to buy!

9Split Stick by Quirky$25

Quirky Split Stick 4GB Dual USB Drive

So basic – so useful. These Split Stick 4+4 GB USB drives are simple genius. As an OCD neat freak, I hate the feeling that I spend half my day organizing files, links, emails, etc. With this two-for I can keep 2 projects out of each others’ hair while on the go. Thank you Quirky.

10Rei Ayanami USB Drive$62

Rei Ayanami 4GB USB Drive

Look, sometimes you just have to go the fun route. This 4 GB Rei Ayanami USB drive from Japan’s Neon Genesis Evangelion series would be perfect for storing personal snaps and fluffy miscellanea. Other kawaii characters available at Geek Stuff 4 U include Kaworu Nagisa, also from the Evangelion franchise, Izumi Konata from the Lucky Star manga by Kagami Yoshimizu, Ranka Lee from Macross Frontier, Lupin III by Kazuhiko Kato (aka Monkey Punch), and Sheryl Nome from Macross Galaxy.

Geekology » WantWant! BookBook!

January 29, 2010

Twelve South's BookBook - Hardback Leather Case for the Macbook

Twelve South’s BookBook Macbook Cover

While we wait for the iPad (ugh… I can barely say the name without wincing) to get with the times (no flash? really?) we’re happy to stick to our trusty Macbook Pro as a primary portable computing device. So, in honor of the good old dog, get yourself a BookBook, the stellar invisibility cloaks laptop covers by Twelve South. The perfect clash of high- and low-tech! A computer hiding in a vintage book!? The covers – available in red or black – are made of rigid leather with a padded interior and handy elastic corners that hold the case to the computer when open. The BookBooks are also handcrafted and distressed to ensure that each item produced is unique. They even made the zippers to mimic old-fashioned ribbon bookmarks! Compatible with the 13-inch MacBook, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and 15-inch MacBook Pro. Also, be sure to check out Twelve South’s other Mac-dedicated products like their ingenious BackPack adjustable iMac shelf!

More BookBook Views!
Twelve South's BookBook - Hardback Leather Case for the MacbookTwelve South's BookBook - Hardback Leather Case for the Macbook

Geekology » If an iPhone Rang in the Woods…

January 14, 2010

Woodtec iPhone / iPod Docking Station

Woodtec iPhone Docking Station

Love this! Love this! Woodtec’s handmade cedar docking stations for iPhones and iPods are made-to-order, meaning each one is unique with it’s own knobbies and marbling. The docks are compatible with all iPods (except the shuffle) and use a standard USB wire.

The Cali-raised, Hudson Valley-dwelling designer, Will, and his wife Rachel (and toddler son) are a busy Etsy family (with 3 Esty storefronts between them) – who knows what little Lundon will start making once he’s old enough to go into the DIY biz!?

Geekology » Electroman & Hubman to the Rescue

January 3, 2010

Kikkerland USB Hubman

The other day, on our Williamsburg P’tit Louis gift excursion, YZ and I sidetracked into Dijital Fix (in the Bedford Mini-Mall) for a quick peruse… Faced with geeky accessories galore, I couldn’t help but buy these two office helpers from ever-innovative Kikkerland. The Hubman is now smiling happily beside my Mac, charging the iPhone, connecting my zip drive, powering the keyboard light and serving as a nifty mouse-cord-extender when Goobie the Cat decides to snooze in one of his favorite spots: right in front of my computer screen. The Electroman is sitting against the wall like a sci-fi Raggedy Ann with four limbs ending in four outlets. As an ardent hater of extension cord design, this guy was a real diamond-in-the-rough find (his little brother, Hubman, has been on my Want-It list for a while now). Now, if only they came in colors. Speaking of which: should any of you out there (hello?) know of a company that carries colored extension cords (I already know about the big industrial orange ones, BTW) please… leave me a trail of breadcrumbs…

Kikkerland Electroman Multi-Outlet

Gift Guide » The Perfect Stocking Stuffer!

December 21, 2009

Poddities Orange Leather Loop

We’ve been waiting for these slick iPhone accessories for a good few months now and are thrilled that Poddities straps and loops have arrived just in time for us to crown them as THE perfect stocking stuffers this holiday. Available from always-reliable Amazon, the straps come in natural and black leather or red, orange, yellow, green, blue, gray, and white seatbelt-weave styles. Get rid of that nasty case and flaunt your newly pimped iPhone!

“The designs, rooted in the Netsuke tradition, lie at the heart of Japanese culture and aim to combine both style and function. The leather loop strap allows users to use the iPhone while being attached to a belt, while the leather hook and seatbelt-weave straps enable users to gain a more solid grip of the sometimes slippery iPhone surface. This makes it easier to fetch the phone from your pocket or bag. By making the phone less prone to dropping, we hope to replace the bulky cases that get in the way of the iPhone’s sleek design.”

Poddities Blue Nylon Hanger

Coming soon from Poddities: pink straps (!), carabiner models and, as the designer behind the product line put it: a neck-strap version for the Flavor Flav’s out there…

Kawaii! » Q is for Quaker, Z is for Zeus

December 14, 2009

Chris Delorenzo Keyboard

“We used to learn our alphabets by reading those classroom banners that associated each letter with an animal or object. These days as kids become increasingly computer dependent at an early age I thought it was about time to adapt an old method to a new medium.” – CMD

These keyboard stickies by Christopher Monroe Delorenzo are retarded cute and, aside from teaching munchkins their ABC’s, could be a wonderful tool for type training. Although not currently available online, you can email the designer here for further instructions on how to buy the $12 sticker set.

Some key examples
Chris Delorenzo F is for FoxChris Delorenzo P is for Pirate

Chris Delorenzo U is for UmbrellaChris Delorenzo B is for Bowie

In the Bag » The Complete Carry-On

December 10, 2009

Peasants and Travelers Doctor's Bag

This holiday season, whether you’re driving over the hill and through the woods or taking a transatlantic aeroplane to get to grandma’s house, the better you pack the smoother your journey will be. The comfort of long travels comes down to one essential piece of luggage: the Carry-On (or, if you’re roadtripping, the one bag you don’t chuck in the trunk). When the wonderful Jee Kim, founder of Peasants and Travelers, sent us the P&T Doctor’s Bag to test drive, I immediately knew that this hard-shelled beauty was born to make my flights to Marseille and Tel Aviv more bearable. The collapsible metal frame is perfect for keeping contents organized and easy to access, even with the stingiest of allotted leg room. Small interior pockets can hold your basics: wallet, phone, passport… and the lovely gingham blue lining will surely brighten the journey. A detachable shoulder strap, leather accents, nickle hardware, and a choice of black or brown make this bag an understated, overachieving accessory. Now… what to put inside?! Here are my 24 essentials. Details below…

Comme Des Garcons Green Embossed Pouch in LargeManuella Travel PillowNew York Magazine
Old Navy's Sweater Knit Slipper SocksClear Pouches from The Container StoreWNYC's Radiolab Podcast
Kaba's Mini First Aid KitCaran D'Ache Metal Classic Line Ballpoint PensMarjane Satrapi's Chicken With Plums
Gap Scarf in RazzleberryKusmi's Russian Blends Prince Vladimir Miniature TinZojirushi Travel Tea Mug with Strainer
Incase Fluorescent Yellow iPhone CoverSanrio's Hello Kitty Travel ToothbrushBorn to Run by Christopher McDougall
KabaClip Contact Lens CaseMuji's Historic City View NewYork HandkerchiefNivea Travel Size Creme
Franzus Travel Smart All-in-One AdapterLabello Classic Lip BalmChoward's Scented Violet Gum
Apple iPod ClassicPanasonic HeadphonesCliff Bar in Cookies N' Cream

1 I never take along my daily wallet when traveling. I prefer a larger, slim pouch that I can fit my passport, ticket, id, cards, cash, and change quickly inside. This lovely embossed green pouch from Comme des Garçons is the perfect solution. Get it here!

2 Absolute travel necessity: a super-soft pillow that fits in your bag. This 100% cotton/fleece ducky pillow by Manuella (check out our Duck Duck Goose Gift Guide for another great Manuella find) has a nifty tie that you can use to attach to your chair’s headrest. Available in a handful of great colors! Get it here!

3 Along the lines of literature, I like to take a mix of the highbrow good stuff and lowbrow time-killers. New York Mag, with its juicy gossip, recipes, product reviews, and (my favorite) crossword, will be sure to gobble up an hour or two of travel time. Get a subscription here!

4 Why airplanes are so damned freezing is a mystery to me. I’ve learned my lesson time and again and now never travel without extra layers of warmth. A great item to stuff in your bag is a thicker, cozy pair of socks. These sweater-knit knee highs from Old Navy are a great, budget solution that will surely keep your digits warm and live up to your style standards. Get a pair here!

5 Rules, rules, rules. The whole clear pouch, anti-liquid thing can be a bit annoying, but, it is what it is. These inexpensive pouches from The Container Store are great for carrying the few toiletries still allowed on board. Available in three sizes. Get a pair here!

6 Don’t leave home without your Radiolab. Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich’s brilliant show will surely be a source of laughter and exploration during your flight. By the time you land, you just might know a thing or two about parasitic wasps that the whole family would love to hear over Xmas dinner. Download the podcasts here!

7 I get about two paper cuts a day as it is and, when you combine those stats with the terribly dry airplane air, I’d be bonkers not to pack bandaids. This nifty first aid kit by Kabalab has all a klutz might need: an emergency info card, bandaids, and cotton swabs – all packed up in a little plastic carry case. Get it here!

8 I feel naked without a pen in my bag at all times. Besides, what will you use for that crossword? Pencil!?!? Pff!!! These chic ballpoints from writing tool royalty Caran D’Ache are available in gobs of colors, write like a charm, have the perfect weight (they’re metal), and use replaceable cartridges. I literally have these in every single damned color. Get it here!

9 Aside from a magazine, I carefully select two books for the journey. That way, I can change my pace if one or the other isn’t living up to my expectations. I don’t see how Chicken with Plums, the latest graphic novel by the talented Marjan Satrapi (of Persepolis fame), could be anything but a page turner though… Book review to come shortly… Get it here!

10 Along with your snuggly new socks, a long, light scarf is a multitasking travel marvel. Wrap it once or twice around your neck or use it to hide under for a light-free nap. These raw-edged buffalo plaid scarves by the Gap are the perfect length and made of 100% cotton. Several styles and colors available… Get it here!

11 I can’t make it an hour without tea. Tea calms my nerves, keeps me hydrated, and is a sure-fire homeopathic winner against jetlag. Kusmi Tea has several of their blends available in miniature tin collections – the perfect size for travel. If you’re more of a tea bag fan, well, they have those too… Get it here!

12 How are you going to drink that scrumptious tea if you don’t have a container? By all means, don’t count on the airline to provide you with an adequate vessel. Last time I did that I got a Styrofoam cup just large enough for a desperately needed shot of whiskey. Count on the Japanese to make the king of all tea travel mugs: Zojiruchi’s stainless steel mug with strainer will keep your bevie nice and warm while you fall in and out of a snooze. There’s even a secret compartment in the lid that holds a tea bag or loose tea! Seconds as a great hand warmer… Get it here!

13 Well duh! What’s a flight without your favorite iPhone apps? And how are you going to call your forgetful uncle to tell him he’s supposed to pick you up from the airport? Incase has oodles of bright, sturdy cases for your hipster gadget so there’s less of a chance you crack your screen when you throw it on the ground, cursing AT&T’s crappy 3G network. Get it here!

14 Look, just because you’re thousands of feet above the ground doesn’t mean your teeth don’t need a good scrub every few hours. And I’m sure the people squeezed into your row would appreciate a neighbor with minty fresh breath. Just, pack a freaking toothbrush, would you? While you’re at it, you might as well have some fun with Sanrio’s bigwig: it’s a Hello Kitty travel toothbrush! Sold. Get it here!

15 Second book on the holiday travel list: Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. The book studies the unparalleled running skill and story of the Tarahumara Indians living in Mexico’s treacherous Copper Canyons. This will be sure to motivate any runner during a rather gluttonous time of year… Book review to come shortly… Get it here!

16 I’m blind as a bat and, although contacts trump glasses in most cases, the air in a plane in as harsh as sand scraping against my cornea. These nifty little contact cases (they clip to the lid of your contact solution) by Kabalab are a saving grace. There’s even a little hole to attach it to a keychain or cord for easy retrieval. Get it here!

17 Although you could use your scarf (eew, please don’t), a handkerchief comes in handy right as things could get awkward. You know how a runny nose can go from mere sniff to waterfall before you can say achoo? Well, chances are the flight attendant is caring for the guy who can’t unfold his dinner tray and your nose is left to fend for itself. With Muji’s city map hankies, you’re snot free and have a slightly damp guide to London, Tokyo, Paris, or New York at your immediate disposal. Gezuntheit! Get it here!

18 Look. Nivea’s been around for 100 years. They know a thing or too about hydrating. Your skin will thank you. Get it here!

19 Sometimes the worst happens and you get stranded in an airport terminal far far away for just long enough to be miserable and not quite long enough to get out and enjoy the foreign land. Well, at least you packed an All-in-One adapter (try the Franzus Travel Smart model) to recharge your iPhone, iPod, Powerbook, etc… Some airplanes even have outlets in the loos… Just in case you want to be that asshole that recharges his computer in the bathroom. Get it here!

20 My favorite lip balm – like making out with silk. Beiersdorf!? Nivea and Labello? In one life? Thanks buddy. Now available in the States. Get it here!

21 This subtle chewing gum has just enough fragrance for a fresh kick. New York City sweetheart Choward’s has been around since the 1930’s and their line of nostalgic mints and gums (choose from Violet, Lemon, Spearmint, or Peppermint) aren’t overpowering like many of today’s sweets on the market. Added plus: great vintage packaging. Get it here!

22 Yeah, you have an iPhone. But, if you’re a real music geek, you don’t keep your digital library on your phone. I adore my 160 GB iPod Classic and store nearly my entire music library on the thing. It’s like having the whole world in your hands… Tip: turn down the brightness and your battery will last twice as long. Get it here!

23 These Panasonic monitor headphones are out of this world good. Not only is the sound impeccable – blocking out the misery around you, but not a soul can hear the cheese you’re listening to. They’re snuggly warm in cold weather too! Get it here!

24 Chicken or beef? I’ll pass. Hasn’t anyone ever gone 12 hours without a full course meal? Why people eat airplane food is a mystery to me. For that possible craving, I find that Clif Bars are the perfect snack to tide me over ’till I can bite into a fresh croissant! Bon Voyage mes amis! Get a 12-pack here!

Gift Guide » Top Ten Bookworm

December 9, 2009

1Nel's Pack of Dogs Bookshelf & Bench$413

Nel's Pack of Dogs Bookshelf

So you’ve trained your dog to fetch the paper? Meh! No need. This doggy bench (call him El Santo) designed by NEL Colectivo is sturdy enough to support your weight, and holds spare books in his mouth without the slobber. Manufactured by Proteak, a green-forward company that only works with sustainably-grown teak planted in Mexico, this beautiful bench is water resistant and will wait for you loyally by the pool or by the fireplace. Not the right size? Check out Santo’s pup brother, Aguayo… Get it here!

2Penguin Classics with Cover Illustrations by Coralie Bickford-Smith$14

Penguin Classics with Cover Illustrations by Coralie Bickford-Smith

Penguin’s senior cover designer, Coralie Bickford-Smith, will hands down be the reason I go broke this holiday season. Every book she touches turns to library gold. Where to start? The classics of course! This series of cloth-bound Penguin Classics hardcovers are a coveted collection the world across. Get your bookworm her favorite masterpiece or splurge and buy the whole set. Not the right demographic? Check out her wonderful cover designs for Penguin’s Boys’ Adventure series! Must… Have… Them… All…Get it here!

3My Wonderful World of Fashion by Nina Chakrabarti$13.5

My Wonderful World of Fashion by Nina Chakrabarti

Do you have a budding Valentino in your household? Then this is the book to buy. London-based Nina Chakrabarti’s oeuvre, published by Laurence King, is a cornucopia of intricate pen and ink illustrations held together with a humorous narrative a la Maira Kalman. Pages of fashion fodder are captioned with matter-of-fact suggestions like “safety pin an antique lace collar to your t-shirt” and “tights can maketh the outfit…” Great as a coloring book too!Get it here!

4Studio Smeets Design Lili Lite Bookshelf Lamp€99

Studio Smeets Design Lili Lite Bookshelf Lamp

There’s nothing quite as comforting as your favorite reading nook. This brilliantly simple bookshelf designed by Amsterdam’s Studio Smeets Design has all the essentials covered: the bottom bend holds a stack of books (about the right amount for a standard reading list) and the top bend is reserved for your book of the moment, holding your page until you return. The kicker? A little light under the top bend with a sensor that turns it off when an open book is placed on the shelf. And for the control freaks, there’s also a manual on and off button…Get it here!

5Harry Allen Rollerstop Bookend$95

Harry Allen Rollerstop Bookend

I was the queen of the block growing up. And I had rollerskates that matched the part: white leather, neon pink wheels. I would cascade down the street, doing tricks, skating backwards, in circles, ponytail flying in the wind, feeling like a million bucks. Oh… the 80’s. Relive the memories with this Rollerstop Bookend by Harry Allen. Available in classic matte white, neon green, or polished silver.Get it here!

6Folk & Flora Pattern Books and Notecard Set by Reprodepot$44

Folk and Flora Pattern Books and Notecard Set by Reprodepot

Flora gathers together sweet blossomy designs, while Folk features homey motifs. Each book includes step-by-step directions for ten fabulous papercraft projects.

Djerba Goldfinger, president and founder of fabric purveyor Reprodepot, has curated two volume, Folk and Flora, brimming with the textile house’s best designs. Each anthology comes with a disk of the digitized patterns for your personal crafting use!The two volumes plus a Folk & Flora Notecard Set are available now at Amazon for just $44! Get your paint set out – things might be getting a little DIY around the house this holiday… Get the set here!

7Zelco Itty Bitty Book Light$35

Zelco Itty Bitty Book Light

I grew up with the Itty Bitty Book Light. I remember the plastic red case, the bright yellow light, and the secret society I built around it (erm, that would be me, under the duvet, with my Book Light and about two dozen stuffed animals). Times have changed (as has my eyesight) and I think I’m ready to use the nifty tool for it’s intended reasons. Itty Bitty is light as a feather so it will hold fast clipped onto even the dinkiest of paperbacks. Better yet, the “kids” version (banana yellow) is still available! Check out the Zelco site for all the different models. Get it here!

8Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller$29

Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller

Photo Credit: Paula Forbes / Eat Me Daily

I count my lucky stars that I married such an avid cook. Even the whirlwind he leaves behind in the kitchen (for me to clean up) is worth the winter stews and summer ceviches I am privileged to sample. Although most of YZ’s recipes come from this gastro-geek corner of his brain, a chef can always use some guidance and who better than master chef of the universe, Thomas Keller? Owner of some of the finest restos in the country: The French Laundry, Bouchon, Per Se, and most recently, Ad Hoc, Keller has been the recipient of countless accolades and continues to question and change the very definition of cooking. So, YZ… what’s for dinner? Get it here!

9Pictorial Webster's$23

Pictorial Webster's

From Acorns to Zebras, Bell Jars to Velocipedes, these alphabetically arranged archetypes and curiosities create enigmatic juxtapositions and illustrate the items deemed important to the Victorian mind.

I’ve been growing my reference library for years now for exactly one reason: those diagrams. Now any little munchkin can get excited about the wonderful world of words with this Pictorial Webster’s Dictionary, chock full with over 1,500 engravings straight from the original pages of the 19th century oeuvre. Move over Waldo – there’s a new picture-book in town. Get it here!

10i3’s Help! Bookmarks – Set of 5$19

i3's Help! Bookmark

Who dog-ears their books!? Who!? Blasphemous!!! If you’re like me, dusting your books on a weekly basis and make sure no spines on the bookshelf are directly hit by sunlight, you probably employ the use of a bookmark when reading. These hilarious little drowning clips by i^3 Lab are the perfect size to throw in your book bag and forget about until you need them. Also, unlike paper bookmarks, these guys are made to last and won’t fall out of your book as easily. Get them here!

Geekology » Sci-Fi Spiders & Friends

November 22, 2009

Microbotic - Christopher Conte - Steel Widow I

Nope. Not a bug fan. Somehow, I’ve been designated the official role of Bug-Squasher at home and am certainly not fond of those duties either. Oh! What’s that there? A shiny, bits & pieces, watch-innards mechanical bug? Well, that’s a whole different cup of tea!

These bio-mechanical critters by Bergen, Norway-born and New York-raised artist Christopher Conte have all the functional intensity of the real thing without the gazillion eyeballs and post-squash goo. After  he received a BFA at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute, the sculptor dove into a 16-year career as a Certified Prosthetist (a direction suggested to Chris by one of his professors, who noticed an anatomical focus in his work) before he returned, in 2008, to a full-time career in art-making.

Inspired by films the like of Star Wars and Terminator, combined with a curiosity towards future technologies and the evolution and limitations of biological critters, Conte’s work is the merging of mad scientist and inquisitive, imaginative little rascal. The bugs, skulls, and other mechanical bits in his collection are the combination of the same sort of simple & complex: aerospace and medical materials are used alongside cast-away flea market junk  (sewing machine doo-dads,  watch whirlygigs, hand-blown German doll eyes…). The resulting sculptures (often taking weeks, months to complete) are an easily believable sci-fi forecast of our future planet. See below for current shows or check out Chris’ site for all past, present, and future shows.

Microbotic - Christopher Conte - Blue Widow
Microbotic - Christopher Conte - Steam II Insect

Geekology » Pixel Kong!

June 24, 2009

Hong Kong Pixel Map

Just stumbled upon this jaw-droppingly accurate pixel map of Hong Kong! It functions much in the same way as Google satellite maps but so much more fun to explore! Get directions from landmarks, measure distances between home and your favorite hang-outs, add your own tags, print it out and you’re good to go. Not sure who created this mega-map but, tip of the hat!

Geekology » Mario Style

June 21, 2009

Mario Power-Up Poster

Oh if only I could have a pet Mario. As a kid I dreamed of it: keeping him in a mason jar by my bed, feeding him ‘shrooms and changing his adorable outfits. So, stumbling across this Mario fashion chart power-up chart was pure flashback bliss. I remember the thrill when, playing the 8-bit at my neighbor Dana’s house, I finally found Mario a Tanooki outfit and the way he would stretch his little glove-clad hands out while preparing to fly. Over the years, his flair for fashion power-ups has exponentially grown including some gems like the Boo Suit and the Wing Hat. What was your favorite Mario makeover?

“Who knows how Mario will look in the future. Maybe he’ll wear metallic clothes!”
Shigeru Miyamoto, circa 1991

Frog MarioKanooki Mario
Hey! It’s Frog and Kanooki Mario!

Geekology » Uniqlo Calendar

June 17, 2009

This great new widget from Uniqlo provides for endless hours of comfortably numb relaxation. Watch time lapse video clips of dancers in a Shizuoka parade, A cricket practice warm-up in Tokyo, and lapping waves in Okinawa as well as 29 other scenes including four more Japanese cities (Kanagawa, Hyogo, Tokushima, and Kyoto) in Japan. You can browse the globe’s weather while checking out the stylish clothing company’s latest duds, all while listening to an updated rendition of Franz Liszt’s Liebestraum arranged and performed by Fantastic Plastic Machine. There’s even a very-easy-to-customize embed code for all you social network, tweeting, blogistas out there. Get in on the action here.

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