Category Archives: technology

ICFF 2010 favorite: Brinca Dada.



When we spotted the Brinca Dada booth from across the convention hall aisle, and we immediately abandoned our planned trajectory to check out the miniature house perched atop a table. Since there were so many people gathered around, Brinca Dada founder Douglas Rollins (super nice guy) gave us a tour!The Emerson dollhouse is the first in the Brinca Dada line (with a townhouse and miniature furniture line to follow very soon).

Not only is the entire house made of non-toxic and lead-free wood stains and paints, but its six rooms — living room, library/office, master bedroom, bathroom, and child’s bedroom — are powered by solar panels! And yes, they really work! The Emerson also features mitered-glass corners, two fireplaces, sliding glass doors, and recessed LED lights. Let me tell you, The Emerson beats the pants off the second-hand Fisher Price dollhouse that I exhaustively played with as a kid.


The world has changed…

Are nerds running the show now? Granted, I have been comforted over the last few years by the slow, yet seemingly unstoppable, force of Nerd Culture permeating every aspect of our media. As technology becomes more proliferated and embraced, we are certainly seeing a new acceptance, and even, dare I say, respect for nerds.

But this is too much: A funeral for software? I chuckled to myself at the petition to boycott Comic Sans (and I agreed). And before that, yes, I thought it was funny that “Rick Rolling” had become so… omnipresent. But this is just too much. See for yourself:

@alice: you’re the best thing to happen to the internet since (fill in your favorite site here).

Alice always offers free shipping on all products!

I have been waiting to write this post since I first discovered Alice while poking around for some new iPhone apps. What is Alice you ask? Only the best thing to happen to city dwellers and busy people everywhere! The brain child of Brian Wiegand and Mark McGuire (no not the baseball player), Alice provides the convenience of ordering household essentials like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, paper towels, pantry staples, etc., online. But that’s not all, Alice also offers tons of coupons and, get this — FREE SHIPPING!!! You can also set up your account to remind you to reorder when your supply is running low, so you’ll never run out of toilet paper again.

When reviewing your order, you can add or subtract ducks from your cart, each duck is a product category, i.e., shampoo.

I recently placed my first order with Alice, and within 24 hours, it was already being shipped directly to our apartment. I think the shipping could be faster though (it sat in Shrewsbury, Mass., for two days), like Zappos, which somehow manages to send shoes overnight for free (Alice take note, you should do this, too.). Anyway, yesterday a big blue box arrived, and inside I found my order neatly packed and just waiting to be integrated into our home.

This is just one of the many planning tools Alice uses to help you visualize your household budget.

So are the savings worth it? Yes. I think so. Especially for someone living in a big city. We have to buy our toilet paper, cleaning supplies, etc., at CVS. We don’t have the luxury of shopping at a big box store for discounted items, and often even when using a coupon, CVS is more expensive than say Target. For example, we recently ran out of dryer sheets, so I went to CVS to pick some up. I picked our usual brand, Bounce, and was appalled to see the ticket price was nearly $7.00!!! I put them back and went generic, still overpriced at about $4.00 (and they didn’t smell nearly as good). But on Alice, I purchased the same Bounce dryer sheets for $2.34! And it’s the same deal for toilet paper and paper towels, too. Sure, you have to plan ahead, but once you set up your account there are so many budgeting and planning tools for future purchases it’s practically a no brainer.

Oh, and for all of you who are into design like myself, Alice’s site hits a home run. It’s easy to navigate, it’s readable and graphic, and it’s well branded. It kind of reminds me of a cross between Martha Stewart and Twitter.

Le sigh. I never knew I could get so excited about household items.

etre touchy gloves!

Unless you’re fortunate enough to live in a mild climate year-round, it’s inevitable that over the course of the next several months, you’ll find yourself confronted with the cold weather tech device dilemma in which you struggle to use your gadget without exposing your digits to the frigid air, often resulting in frustration, missed calls, and the worst fate of all, death by pavement.



But this year, instead of risking gadget and digit, pull on some Etre Touchy gloves. Etre Touchy gloves are cleverly designed to expose only the tip of the thumb and index finger, while keeping all other digits toasty warm inside a woolen glove. They come in a variety of sizes and colors, including brown with mint stripes and charcoal with rose trim (fashionable!).


zikmu by philippe starck.

Parrot by Starck

If you love music, then you know how important creating the ultimate listening experience can be. And most likely, you’re willing to go to the ends of the earth to achieve the ultimate sound. If you fall into this category (I believe the experts call these people audiophiles) then you’ll love the Zikmu speakers from Parrot by Philippe Starck. Not only are they gorgeous specimens of listening innovation, they’re also wireless! No more hideous speaker wires laying about the floorboards of your apartment! Now because of the built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technologies, music can be transmitted through the ether and emitted through the speaker (excuse the rhyme). Plus, the Zikmus also feature NXT technology, which makes room placement a no-brainer — sound automatically adapts to the acoustics of the room. And as is becoming requisite, they also feature an iPod/iPhone docking station. Of course, as expected, these beauties aren’t cheap. At $1600 they might set you back a bit, but then again, music’s never sounded so good.

wired magazine’s gift list for geeks.

Wired‘s December issue includes a handy gift list highlighting 100 choice selections for the gadget-obsessed person in your life. I love gift giving and always wholeheartedly chose something special for everyone on my list. Here are a few nifty neato things that caught my eye:

No. 1: Dyson’s Air Multiplier Fan

Using Dyson’s Air Mulitplier technology, this fan from the future produces an uninterrupted stream of air sans blade and grill and is easy to clean.


No. 2: Best Made Axes

According to Wired, after laying your eyes on a Best Made Axe all objects may succumb to kindling. Each axe is made to order — handcrafted and handpainted to your specifications.

No. 3: SuperHeadz Plamodel Camera

SuperHeadz consistently produces the coolest novelty cameras. In this case, the DIY Plamodel arrives “model-airplane style” in plastic sheets, just snap apart, assemble, and then enjoy the grainy photos produced without using digital techonology on “gasp” film!


No. 4: Casa Bugatti Vera Electric Kettle

Sure Bugatti makes cars most people will never be able to afford, but that doesn’t mean you can’t outfit your home with its products. This sleek electric kettle has an LED screen on the handle that alerts you when your water reaches its desired temperature. And for $300, it’s a lot less burdensome on your wallet.


No. 5: Gaudí Stool

Bram Geenen’s carbon fiber stool has such an intricate design that only a 3D printer can translate it for production, and its price tag is equally as impressive. $5, 700 will buy you Geenen’s stool, modeled after Gaudí’s unfinished La Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona.


gifts for gracious guys.

A few days ago we posted our fabulous gift suggestions for ladies, and in keeping with our holiday theme (notice the falling snow on our background?), we’re following up with our fabulous gift guide for that genteel man in your life. We tried to keep it fanciful and creative, so you won’t find ties, cologne, or socks on our list. But you will find a hand-picked selection of gifts sure to get your guy grinning ear to ear come the holidays.

1 ) Steven Alan Men’s Flannel Holiday Reverse Seam, $168, Steven Alan. 2 ) Three-fold wallet by Paris House, $134, available at Paris House. 3 ) A year’s subscription to Arkitip magazine (every issue is curated by an artist or creative luminary and comes with a cool gift), $95 for 4 issues, Arkitip. 4 ) Vans x R. Crumb “Fritz the Cat” Slip On, € 70.00, Colette. 5 ) Grunge by Michael Lavine (text by Thurston Moore), $24.95, Abrams Image. 6 ) Incase Perforated Snap Case for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, $29.95, Incase. 7 ) Ethan Toiletcase by Steve Mono, $150, Opening Ceremony. 8 ) American Youth, Collector Box of 11 films about adolesence selected by Hedi Slimane and MK2 films, €149,99, available at MK2. 9 ) Sandalwood Shaving Soap in Wooden Bowl by Taylor of Old Bond Street, $32 and Ivory Silver Tip Shave Brush by Muehle, $61.25, available at Smallflower. 10 ) Climate Project Tee by Marc Jacobs, $28, available at Marc by Marc Jacobs stores.