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Cool Stuff of the Week: Dark Energy Reservoir, Breaking Bad, Pandemic, and More…

Cool Stuff of the Week: Dark Energy Reservoir, Breaking Bad, Pandemic, and More…

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m kind of a sucker for cool stuff. I like nifty gadgets, quirky decoration pieces, nice clothes (and shoes!), good books, and fun games.

In this series of weekly posts, I share whatever currently has my fancy. Maybe some of it will catch yours as well!


What a little beast. Making daddy proud, I’m sure…





The Dark Energy Reservoir is the ultimate portable device charger.

It’s as big as a smartphone and stores enough juice to keep the average smartphone running for an entire week, and it charges as fast as a wall outlet. It can charge two devices at a time and is compatible with any USB charging device.



pandemic board game


I love playing a great board game with friends, and the award-winning Pandemic is just that.

Here’s what it’s all about:

Four diseases have broken out in the world and it is up to a team of specialists in various fields to find cures for these diseases before mankind is wiped out. Players must work together playing to their characters’ strengths and planning their strategy of eradication before the diseases overwhelm the world with ever-increasing outbreaks. For example the Operation Specialist can build research stations which are needed to find cures for the diseases. The Scientist needs only 4 cards of a particular disease to cure it instead of the normal 5. But the diseases are out breaking fast and time is running out: the team must try to stem the tide of infection in diseased areas while also towards cures. A truly cooperative game where you all win or you all lose.

Cooperative board games are rare, and good ones are even rarer, which is why I really like Pandemic–it’s actually great fun, and a nice alternative to the normal “race to beat your friends” experience of other games.

Everyone must work together and help devise the overall strategy, and the tension is kept high as you almost always feel like you’re about to lose. If you like to do game nights, pick Pandemic up–it’s a nice addition.



Breaking Bad Complete Series

If you’re hooked to Breaking Bad, you’ll love this complete collection, which contains the following:

  • Collectible replica money barrel
  • Over 55 hours of special features from all seasons
  • All new two-hour documentary
  • 16 page booklet with letter from Vince Gilligan
  • Commemorative challenge coin designed by Vince Gilligan
  • Los Pollos Hermanos apron

If you don’t watch Breaking Bad, you’re missing out.

There’s a reason why it’s universally acclaimed, has 3 Emmys and 4 more nominations. It’s just damn good. One of the best shows of the last several years, in my opinion  (and I’m a really picky TV watcher–I rarely make it past the first few episodes of a show before losing interest).

In case you’re not familiar with it, here’s a the premise:

To provide for his family’s future after he is diagnosed with lung cancer, a chemistry genius turned high school teacher teams up with an ex-student to cook and sell the world’s purest crystal meth.

But what makes it truly great is the combination of strong plotting (great twists, rising tension, hero-abuse, etc.) and addictively intriguing characterization (think seasons 1 and 2 of Dexter). Thanks to the fantastic writing, no matter how despicable the protagonist becomes, you can’t help but root for him, which is just plain fun.

Check out the first episode on Amazon Instant Video and I think you’ll be hooked.





Pillars of the Earth is one of the best pieces of historical fiction I’ve ever read.

The story is set in 12th century England and concerns the building of a cathedral in a fictional city, but like Shogun, it offers so much more than a bunch of trite archaic speak and dull historical details.

It’s really about the ambitions and conflicts of 5 people during decades of political upheaval, and like Game of Thrones, the characterization is riveting, the plot is beautifully paced, and it delivers that rare visceral experience that just grabs and forces you to keep reading.


What do you think of this week’s picks? Have anything you’d like to add? Let me know in the comments below!

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I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

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  • Kevin

    Great show, and great book! Breaking Bad is probably the best show on t.v.
    Off topic: I’m starting my second week of BLS. Can you give any recommendations on setting realistic goals for an increase on Bench, Deadlift, and Squat? Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      I agree! 🙂

      Hard to say on the increases, but if you’re new to lifting, you can expect to add weight every week for the first few months, then it turns into adding reps, which turn into more weight.

  • Alexa White

    Co-op board games are great! Have you tried anything like Elder Sign? My friends and I have to really plan a strategy to not get killed as the bad guys get tougher and tougher really quickly.

    • Michael Matthews

      I know! No I haven’t but I’ve seen it. I’ll have to check it out…

  • Josey

    Love Breaking Bad! You should check out Jimmy Fallon’s parody on Breaking Bad. It’s hilarious!

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah it’s awesome and thanks I’ll check it out!

  • Audrey

    Breaking Bad is great…2nd season was my favorite by far

    • Michael Matthews

      Nice. I just recently got into it and haven’t finished season 1 yet.

  • Kickstarter Backer

    Do not buy the Dark Energy Reservoir, it’s a kickstarter project that grew by treating the backers like dirt(and not replying to refunds and complaints) after gathering quite amount of seed money. See their comment page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/darkenergy/dark-energy-reservoir-premium-portable-charger/comments

    • Michael Matthews

      Wow that’s horrible. Thanks for the heads up.

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