Archive for the 'Cool Things' Category

Puddles Pity Party: And now for something completely different

A seven foot clown named Puddles shows up in Scott Bradlee’s living room to sing a mesmerizing cover of Lorde’s Royals along with Scott’s band Postmodern Jukebox. The song has haunted me for days. Thought I’d share.

Hockey with a new twist

I played hockey in Boston when I was 9 too – but not like this. Watch Oliver Wahlstrom and count the days until he’s old enough to play in the NHL.

For details see Puck Daddy.

How to defeat a phonebot

Sick of dealing with automated phone systems? Paul English and Walt Tetschner were. That’s why they created their respective websites Gethuman.com and Get2Human.com. These are databases of secret codes that can be entered during an automated message to get to a real human. But they are more than databases, they represent a movement.

Don't let the evil phonebots stand between you and the custoner service you deserve.

Don't let the evil phonebots stand between you and the customer service you deserve.

The GetHuman™ movement was created from the voices of millions of consumers who want to be treated with dignity when they contact an enterprise for customer support. Our goal is to convince enterprises that providing high quality customer service and having satisfied customers costs much less than providing low quality customer service and having unsatisfied customers.” – Get2Human.com

Both sites allow you to search for the company you are interested in and have options that let you sort by country, industry or company name. Thanks to Paul and Walt.

Photo Credits: The phonebots pictured above are real. Find out how you can get your own at techchee.com.

The Ultimate Wheel: The best invention since …the wheel

uwni20Want to reduce your carbon footprint in style?

Looking for a present for the person who has everything?

Do long bike rides hurt your bum?

Try the Ultimate Wheel.

Second only to a Birkenstock in simplified transportation, the Ultimate Wheel also comes with a minimalist price tag: $90. Didn’t one of the guys on Johnny Hart’s “BC” comic strip use one of these? Anyhow, you can check it out at Unicycle.com.

See it in action at NonRhoticTV

Mean green machines – sexy gas misers

Increasing gas prices and concern over the environment have me taking fuel economy more seriously these days. And with that new-found sobriety come some pretty boring vehicles like the 29 city/36 highway Toyota Yaris or the Prius Hybrid at 48/45. I’d rather drive a yak. But just because I’ll never get that Hummer I’ve always dreamed of, doesn’t mean all is lost. That’s thanks to vehicles like the Uno and Spyder.

Uni
Uno Cycle (Photo Courtesy of Motorcycle Mojo)

The “UnoCycle” is an electric vehicle that is part Segway, part street bike. It was invented by 18-year-old, boy-genius Ben Gulak (He’s now 19 and attending MIT). These photos are real and not retouched.

Uno Cycle (Photo Courtesy of Chicago Tribune)
Uno Cycle (Photo Courtesy of Chicago Tribune)
Uno Cycle
Uno Cycle (Photo Courtesy of Motorcycle Mojo)

From the side it looks like it has one wheel but there are actually two wheels packed side by side. There is just one control – a start button. After that you just lean forward and off she goes. Top speed is a bit poky at 25 mph, but Ben feels with a little more work he can get it up to 40 mph. Ben’s website is still under construction, but I heard he plans to bring Uno to the market. Can’t wait to see what he invents after hanging out at MIT for four years.

Can Am Spyder

Can Am Spyder (Photo Courtesy of BRP)

Then there is the Can-Am Spyder. I saw one of these drive past me in the States this summer. I thought it was a custom job, but found out is was from Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP). The same folks who make my favorite outboard engine – Evinrude. They also make Skidoo which accounts for the strong resemblance to a snowmobile.

The perfect ride for motorists like me who are green but still too yellow to drive a Harley. Some call it a “reverse trike”, BRP calls it a “roadster”. Like the Uno it looks like something you might find in Batman’s garage. Unlike the Uno, it goes 110 mph. And at 30 mpg I’d take it over a Yaris any day.

Can-Am Roadster
Can-Am Roadster (Photo Courtesy of GizMag.com)

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