Hopefully non-lethal prison pen.

Prisoners, at least in the US, seems to have a tendency of killing each other off for different reasons. The power of imagination when it comes to designing improvised weapons seems to have no limits, which has led prison authorities and designers to try to create everyday objects and tools that can not be transformed into weapons. One example is the no-shank toothbrush we have mentioned earlier, and here is another; the bending pen. The pen is supposed to be impossible to make into a weapon, and it is USD 10:- on the Spycatcher webshop.brbr

Braked wheelbarrow.

This wheelbarrow has to, as far as we can see, pretty unique characteristics and we have given the first one away in the headline. It has a hand brake. This is the first time we have ever seen a wheelbarrow with a brake, but we can see the benefits. The brake will help you keep the, possibly heavy, load under control in a downhill and it will also serve as a parking brake since it is lockable. The other, equally unique property, is the name. Those with keen eyesight have probably already spotted the little yellow sticker. For the rest of you; the barrows name is Jeep, which was news for us. On closer scrutiny, we find that the wheelbarrows are not actually manufactured by Jeep, but the name is used under license. But anyway, don’t you agree that it would be kind of cool to park this wheelbarrow on the driveway next to the Wrangler?brbr

Q-drum. Smart water mover for the third world.

With the persistence of fools, we keep arguing that water, or rather the shortage of clean water, is one of the top health hazards in the world. We also think access to drinking water will be a major reason for war and conflict in the not-so-distant future. If more people could be given access to clean water, innumerable lives could be saved. We could present one idea for a simple transport system for water already in November of 2005; the Hippo-Roller water barrel. Here is another idea along the same lines, one that may be a little simpler to implement, but maybe harder to move. The Q-drum has been designed by P.J. and P.S. Hendrikse as a cylindrical barrel that can be rolled or pulled along the ground and has room for up to 75 liters (about 20 US gallons) of water. Q-drum is one of many smart ideas exhibited at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York as part of the Design for the other 90% exhibit.brbr

Sock saver II.

The fact that socks disappear in the laundry seems to be global phenomenon. It probably occurs everywhere where there are washing machines and tumble dryers. There are also different ideas on solving this problem; we wrote on one the Opair sock saver a couple of years ago, and now we have found the Sockpro. Sockpro is a small rubber disc with star shaped hole in the middle where you stick your socks before washing and drying them. The little rubber disc keeps the socks together during laundry and drying, and makes sure they do not get lost. The Sockpro is USD 19:96 for a pack of 80 in four different colors.brbr

Lemon ball. Juice without the mess.

And we loved our citrus trumpet so much. But this thing is very smart, too. With the added benefit of (almost) mess-free operation. The lemon ball is called Squeeze-Me and it is designed by Jaime Mark Antoniades. It is available on Generate for USD 27:-. A bit on the steep side, maybe…brbr

Folding guitar. An airline pilot’s contribution to music.

Swedish airline pilot Fredrik Johansson had a problem bringing his guitar on trips. He tested different guitars, and he frequently asked for folding guitars in music stores. The answer was always that such a thing was impossible. This prompted Fredrik to spend a few years of his spare time designing his own folding travel guitar. And now it’s in production and fore sale. It is not exactly cheap (EUR 2,600:- or USD 3,370:-) and it is not easy to get ones hands on, as luthier Leif Jakobsson will have time to finish no more than 300 of them this year. But it is quite unique.brbr

Dell launches hard drive free laptops.

Besides the fantastic 100 dollar laptop (now unfortunately priced at USD 175:-) Dell is the first manufacturer (we have heard of) that seems to make a serious attempt to market laptops without the usual hard disc drives (HDD). Instead they offer a 32GB flash memory or solid state drive (SSD) in two new products just launched. The flash memory in the Dell machines is the same as in music players and USB memory sticks, only bigger. The advantages are obvious; no moving parts, no spinning fan(?), quicker start-up and access among others. But 32GB? We have 120GB right here and we are longing for more… The new laptops are priced at USD 549:-, but they are so far only available in the Americas.brbr

Clay and sand evaporation fridge.

This smart preservation device for foodstuffs was invented in 1995 by Nigerian engineer Mohammed Bah Abba. The Pot-in-pot cooler consists of a small earthenware pot nestling inside a larger one with wet sand filling the space in between. As the water in the wet sand evaporates, it extracts heat from contents of the inner pot thus cooling them. The pot cooler is one of many clever ideas shown at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York in its in Design for the other 90% exhibition opening 4 May 2007. Here’s a link to a preview story and slideshow in the International Herald Tribune.brbr

Funnel for s-l-o-w fluids.

Getting to use the last of the shampoo or ketchup can be hard. Modern packaging is not exactly designed to help us get everything from the bottle. In that case maybe this funnel could be helpful. It can be used as an ordinary funnel in the usual way, or to connect two bottles together like in the picture on the left. Then you can let the bottles with the s-l-o-w running contents be for as long as it takes. A task that could be very time consuming and irritating should you have to hold them yourself and wait and watch. From Home Trends. USD 10:95 for two.brbr

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