Ingenious ancient Irish camping kettle.

Smart Stuff reader and tipster Austin L. writes to let us know of this smart almost 100 years old design for an outdoor kettle. The Kelly Kettle is manufactured by Patrick Seamus Kelly in Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland, the fourth generation of the Kelly family associated with the Kelly Kettle. The kettle, sometimes also called the volcano kettle, uses a double walled metal flask that is heated via the internal chimney. This provides fast boiling, safe and weather protected handling (no open fire) and virtually no fuel costs, since the kettle is promised to burn almost anything from newspapers, tinders and small twigs to dried camel dung. The kettles are available in two sizes; 1 pt. for EUR 55:- (USD 66:50) and 2.5 pt. for EUR 62:50 (or USD 75:50) from the Kelly Kettle webstore. Thanks, Austin, for the tip!/

Swift answer from the Microplane rep.

Laila J. at Hamonoya ApS in Denmark (the company representing Microplane over here) writes to tell us that the mysterious breaking of our grater is the first such break she has ever heard of, and that she will send us a new grater free of charge. She also says the Microplane engineers will be all over the broken grater as soon as we can get it to them, to make sure this stays the only time such a mishap has ever happened. What can we say? This must be an exemplary way of handling a complaint like ours, and we will all be better at our business if we learn from it. We’ll also be asking the Microplane people to let us know what caused the break if they can find out, ’cause we are very curious to know.brbr

…and something on the lighter side.

We got this little tool when we bought some paint a while back. It is a pretty smart tool for opening tin paint cans without ruining the edge of the lid. Something that happens to us a lot when we try to pry them open with a knife or screwdriver. The extra feature of a beer bottle opener was not lost on us, and we hope you will appreciate it, too. We know that US beer bottles have twist-off caps, but ours do not, so fur us it is a pretty handy

Some sad news…

One of our favorite kitchen tools has left us. It is one of the super sharp Microplane graters that inexplicably split just where the handle is fastened to the grater. We were grating some cheese for an omelet when the grater broke, and we promise we were not using any excessive force. As you might see from the close-ups it is the clear acrylic(?) plastic that has split. The reason for this is anyone’s guess, but there might have been a tiny crack in the plastic. We will get in touch with the Microplane representative to see what they have to say in the matter…brbr

Merry Christmas everybody!

We’re taking the day off to get all the Christmas stuff in order. We’ll be back in a couple of days with some more stuff. If you have the time, check out the cool Charlie Brown Pathetic Christmas Tree we just posted on Cool Finds. To all of you who don’t do Christmas, we wish you a happy holiday. See you soon!brbr

Vote and win!

The voting has started to choose the winner of this year’s Smart Stuff Readers Choice Award. Go to our voting page and pick the invention you think is the smartest of the ones we have presented during 2006. Among all those voting we’ll pick five people who will four sets of smart Button Clips button savers (2 black and 2 white).brbr

Anesthesia mask with integrated pacifier.

Small children sometimes need surgery, too. And sometimes they need anesthesia. But, as nurse Monica Dahlstrand experienced when assisting during an operation, ordinary masks do not work very well with small children. She started thinking of a better way. Babies find comfort when breast fed and they also find comfort with pacifiers. When brought in for surgery, babies, like adults, have not eaten for some time. But unlike adults, babies have very little impulse control, making it difficult to put them under and keep them there for the duration of the surgery. But, by combining a baby sized anesthesia mask with a pacifier, Monica Dahlstrand made the whole process of performing surgery on babies much easier. She has won several inventor’s prizes and the pacifier mask is protected by a world patent. More on the Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology website (Swedish only).brbr

Avalanche airbag.

This idea is a bachelor’s degree work at the University College of Design in Umeå by Daniel Nadjalin. The thought is that the inflatable collar would protect the head from all sorts of debris floating around inside the avalanche and that the inflated airbag will help lift the wearer up through the avalanche much the same way a life jacket lifts you in water.brbr

The mobile phone winter handset.

It is not impossible (maybe even probable) that we will see this idea in production one of these days. The integrated glove and handset is meant for situations when it is too difficult or too dangerous to handle the actual phone or an ordinary headset. The glove communicates with the phone in one’s pocket via wireless connection (Bluetooth?). The glove is called Wanted and it has been developed by Lena Berglin at Textilhögskolan (University College) in Borås, Sweden.brbr

Look out Canada, here come the Neveaus!


I am super excited to let you all know that my husband and I are moving to Toronto! We have made several trips a year to work in our company's Toronto office and have always loved the city. And there is a lot of great people there who love letterpress even more than I do… Don Black Linecasting, Trip Print Press, Pantry Press to name a few. I am looking forward to getting to know them better and sharing what I learn from them with you. As you can imagine, juggling the move, the holidays and work not really leaving a lot of time for blogging. But, when I am settled I will be back full force.

Have a great holiday!