When you need an extra hand.

The extra hand has an 18-inch long, flexible, stay-in-place goose neck. The rubber-tipped steel clamps at both ends can grasp most anything, letting you use both hands to get the job done. Good for holding instructions, work lights, flashlights, tools, etc. USD 24:95. brbr

Portable water purifier.

With the BottomsUp water purifier, all you have to do is fill any PET type bottle with water, screw on the BottomsUp top, turn it upside down, and the water what comes out will be a whole lot better. Design by Samgmin Bae. brbr

Weight loss pill in the works?

The amount of fat that your body stores is regulated by a complex chemical network. We won’t go into much detail here, but researchers have thought that interfering with these chemical pathways could perhaps reduce fat build-up. One promising substance, according to a group of researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA, is a signaling molecule called neuropeptide Y (NPY) known to regulate feeding habits. The team at Johns Hopkins says a chemical belonging to a family of chemicals called butyrolactones reduces the amount of NPY produced by the brain, thereby reducing the appetite. The team has tested the idea in mice and says it can precisely control the amount of food mice eat by varying their dosage of C75. Extensive clinical trials will of course be needed before the efficacy and safety of C75 in humans can be established.brbr

A second life for old jars.

Industrial designer Jorre van Ast (remember his Clampology we posted on a couple of years ago?) has come up with a way of re-using old glass jars. He has made new lids for them. The lids are made to fit a number of different purposes, like sugar dispenser, oil and vinegar, spice containers, etc. Check them out on Jorre’s own site…brbr

A lock for the deadbolt lock.

It appears that the bad guys have advanced to a point where they can open deadbolt locks using a method called lock-bumping. It’s fairly simple and straight forward; you insert some sort of tool into the lock and hammer it stuck. Then you can turn the deadbolt with the tool. The solution is just as simple. It’s preventing the deadbolt to turn. The Lock-Jaw is available for USD 19:95 on Amazon.brbr

Office in a trunk.

Everybody who works at home, or maybe just needs a workspace every once in a while should have a look here. If you’re looking for unconventional office furniture, you might also find it suitable. The office box called Trunk Station can be folded up and rolled away when you don’t need it. Available in several different colors on Japanese design shop Caina for JPY 198,000:- (about USD 2,000:-).brbr

Past and Future

Last week in Los Angeles I had the pleasure of seeing the past and also the future. Today I am in the present, I think….

Representation and Participation

In academia there are many committees as compared with industry. Committees enable the sharing of viewpoints in an open forum of members who are committed to the cause of the committee. If you turn that around however for someone who…

Eraser with 28 corners.

It’s called Kado-Keshi and it’s an unusually smart eraser. It has an abundance of what is most often lacking in ordinary erasers. Sharp corners. The Kado-Keshi has no less than 28 corners, which should be enough for most applications. The eraser won the Kokuyo Design Award in 2002. (BTW, Kado means corner and eraser is keshigomu in Japanese). It’s USD 2:50 on J-list.brbr

Door mounted cat climbing device.

Anybody with a feline in the house knows that the little critter likes to occupy the high ground. There it can look down on the rest of the world. Shelves, closets and other in-house heights are usually popular places, but many pet shops also sell dedicated cat climbing furniture. A new take on these is the idea for this door mounted cat climber by Angela and Jeremy Moser. The only question is what kitty thinks of anyone opening the door… It is also pretty costly; USD 200:- at CatLivin.brbr