Cool Stuff


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 my “Cool Stuff” series of weekly posts, I share whatever currently has my fancy, and in this secion of my recommendations, you’ll find all the various goodies in those posts.

I’ll admit…I spend the majority of my time wearing gym clothes because, well, it’s really comfortable. 🙂 But when I’m not in sweats and t-shirts, I like to try to look good.

In this section you’ll find various types of shoes, clothing, and accessories that I like.

Ray-Ban Remix Sunglasses

Ray-Ban classic style with your own custom touch

With this new service from Ray-Ban ($160-210), you start with a base style and then can customize everything–the front, temples, lenses, monograms, and even your case. Read More...

Machine Era Wallet

Thin, stylish, and affordable

The Machine Era Wallet is a stylish way to carry your cash ($28-$45).

It’s crafted from a solid piece of metal and measures in at a mere quarter inch of thickness. The aluminum version comes in a matte black finish, and the brass in an unfinished condition to allow the metal to age.


I want this

Makr Daypack

Rugged and heavy cotton duck canvas with leather accents

I love MAKR’s rugged, minimalist style, and their backpack doesn’t disappoint.

It’s a heavy cotton duck canvas bag with leather accents, and it’s available in six different colors.


I want this

Supreme 2-Tone Pullover

Simple, bold, and stylish

Maybe I’m just a sucker for what’s trendy, but I like Supreme’s style. It’s simple and bold, and has a quirky edge.

This heavyweight pullover caught my eye. It comes in a few color combinations, but I liked the gray and red best.


I want this

John Varvatos Vintage Chukka

Great style and decent price

I love cool chukkas, and this pair from Varvatos caught my eye. Great style and decent price point. Read More...

I want this

Seven for all Mankind Jeans

Good cuts, colors, and washes

If you lift weights, you know how much of a pain it is to find jeans that look stylish, fit well, and don’t bleed ink or fall apart after 6 months.

Well, I’ve tried just about every brand of designer jean you can imagine, and I always come back to 7 For All Mankind.

Good cuts, colors, and washes, and they just last forever.


I want this

French Connection Marine Quilted Jacket

Great style, slimmer fit, and decent price

A quilted jacket is one of those “forever popular” fashion items that makes a great addition to any guy’s wardrobe.

I really like the color of this quilted jacket from French Connection, as well as the little details (slimmer fit, size of the squares, ribbed trim). The price isn’t bad either.


I want this

Rayban Wayfarer Sunglasses

Youthful, casual, and fun

Worn by icons ranging from Sammy Davis Jr. to Bob Dylan to Tom Cruise, the Wayfarer has proven itself a fixture of American culture and a foolproof way of giving an outfit a finishing touch of cool. It’s youthful, casual, and fun, and the thick plastic frames and polycarbonate lenses are rugged yet comfortable. Read More...

I want this

Nike Lunar Stefan Janoski Skate Shoe

Stylish, comfortable, and great for skating

I’m not a skater but I’d totally rock these shoes.

According to Nike they have all kinds of neat design features to maintain maximum “boardfeel” while providing plenty of flex, comfort, and impact protection.

I can’t attest to any of that, but they sure look cool. :)


I want this

Warby Parker

Stylish and cheap

Shopping for new specs online has never been easier. Warby Parker can fit you with the perfect new frames – and you don’t have to set foot in store (although in ten U.S. cities, you can shop in person if you want to).

It starts with a free order of up to 5 trial eyeglasses to see which ones best fit your face, and then you pick your fave frames to have ordered with your unique prescription. Return shipping is free so there are no gimmicks here.

As if all that’s not enough reason to consider upgrading to Warby Parker frames, the company donates one pair for every one sold.


I want this

Breitling Avenger Blackbird

Beautiful and rugged

This all-black watch looks smart on your wrist no matter what you’re wearing to weekday meetings, but it’s tough as nails to withstand the physical challenges you seek out every weekend.

The Breitling Avenger Blackbird Watch has a lightweight titanium case and thick black fabric strap to meet high standards of both form and function, and it works up to 300 meters underwater. And it not just looks technical to be cool; inside there’s a self-winding movement to keep it running ‘round the clock.


I want this

Patek Philippe World Time Moon Watch

Beautiful, quality, and limited edition

Worldwide multimillionaire travelers take note: This limited-edition timepiece is not only stylish, but it quickly conveys all 24 time zones in one stunning display. Read More...

I want this

I’m always on the lookout for unique stuff for my home and office: artwork, candles, furniture, decorations, you name.

In this section you’ll find all kinds of quirky things for the home and office.

Game of Thrones Character Prints, 80's and 90's Style

Your favorite characters in tacky 80′s and 90′s outfits

The collection features your favorite characters from Game of Thrones sporting some hideously tacky 80′s and 90′s outfits. My favorites are Bronn’s Adidas jumpsuit, Drogo’s grunge rocker getup, and Police Chief Tywin. Read More...

I want this

Topps Archive Prints

High-quality, wall-sized prints

Topps’ Archive Prints are wall-sized art prints of some of baseball’s greatest players when they were in their prime.

Perfect for the walls of your man cave, each print is a high-quality replica of the original baseball card design, and the material even looks the part (down to the worn edges).


I want this

Crystal Skull Ice Cube Tray

Neat and easy to make

A neat skull-shaped ice cube tray.

I want this

Miracle-Gro Aerogarden with Herb Seed Kit

No dirt, no mess, and grows any plant year round

The Miracle-Gro AeroGarden is the first consumer product to make indoor gardening actually feasible. And indoor gardening is awesome.

  • It utilizes NASA-proven, dirt free growing technology scientifically proven to grow plants up to 10X faster than plants grown in soil.
  • There is no dirt, no mess, and no “green thumb” required.
  • Thanks to the energy efficient grow lights, you can grow any plant all year round. Yup, herbs, produce, flowers, and even plants that will need to be transplanted as they increase in size can begin in the AeroGarden.

Most people like to use it to grow fresh herbs and produce for cooking, which it’s perfect for.


I want this

Volt Heated Slippers

Heated insole, auto-adjusting thermostat, and a rechargeable battery

With General Winter waging war across the world, I thought this would be a timely recommendation.

The Volt Heated Slippers feature an electrically heated insole and a built-in, auto-adjusting thermostat that keeps your feet from getting too hot, as well as a rechargeable battery that saves you money on replacing batteries. They’re perfect for keeping you feet cozy no matter how cold it is outside.


I want this

Strong Man Toilet Paper Holder

Funny and practical

Does your toilet paper holder even lift? Didn’t think so. Which is why you need this little guy. Look at that form! Read More...

I want this

Mega Hammock

Huge, comfortable, and strong

The Mega Hammock takes backyard relaxation to a whole other level.

It’s large enough to comfortably fit three people and thanks to its durable construction by an FAA-certified parachute rigger, it can handle plenty of weight. Each hammock is made-to-order by the creator himself and thus can be customized in a range of sizes and colors. Summer lounging may never be the same.


I want this

Abyss Table

Mesmerizing, beautiful, and stunning

Hoooooly crap I want this mesmerizingly awesome table.

The design team Duffy spent a year developing the table in their London studio, experimenting with sculpted glass, Perspex and wood, arranged like a 3-D representation of a geological map, and the result is absolutely stunning.

Head on over to Duffy’s website to check out the top-down view of this beauty. What a piece of art!


I want this

Cool Shooters Shot Glass Mold

Fun and creative

I’m not into drinking but shot glasses made of ice? That’s pretty cool. :) And guests at your next part will think so too!

People have found other creative uses as well, making glasses from everything ranging from melted Jolly Ranchers to chocolate and more. You can even use the mold to bake–it can handle temperatures up to 450 F!


I want this

Below the Boat Wooden Charts

Traditional and contemporary

Want a mix of traditional and contemporary in your wall art? Check out these carved wood maps of iconic waterways, including topography to add visual depth.

Some pieces are cool in how they capture the natural tributaries and small offshoots, as in Chesapeake Bay and Seattle’s Puget Sound. These intricate wood water maps are priced between $158 and $358, depending on the size, starting at 20” x 16”.


I want this

Funny Side Up Skull-Shaped Egg Mold

Funny and great for pranks

If your family has a darker sense of humor, or you want to prank your SO, make them breakfast in bed — with skull and crossbones made of eggs and bacon. The silicone rubber Funny Side Up Skull Shaped mold is especially designed to make the perfect sunny side up eggs. Read More...

I want this


Effective, useful, and compact

Closet full of dry-clean-only shirts and sweaters? Those laundry bills can add up fast, making this gadget as good of an investment as your stylish wardrobe itself.

The SWASH Express Clothing Care System will help to restore semi-dirty clothes to clean status so you can avoid the dry cleaner for at least one more wear.

Not only does it takes care of odors in 10 to 15 minutes, steaming with a proprietary laundry formula, but it uses rapid thermal drying to remove all wrinkles. Best of all, its small footprint (30” x 16.5”) means it’ll fit into any small apartment or bedroom.


I want this


Funny, official, and high-quality

Is Deadpool your favorite mouthy, cynical, sociopathic anti-hero? Show your love by drinking beverages from his head every day.

This mug is officially licensed by Marvel, which means it’s actually a high-quality piece.



I want this

Gosun Solar Stove

Portable, effective, and useful

If you’re not into the idea of dragging fuel into the wilderness, but still want delicious meals, the GoSun Solar Stove is perfect for you.

The clever design holds plenty of food and is able to convert nearly 80% of sunlight into usable heat, which means it can reach temperatures exceeding 550 °F, which will cook just about anything in as little as 15 to 20 minutes.

It only weighs 7 pounds as well, which means it’s easy to transport around.


I want this

Victorian Star Wars Portraits

Classic, stylish, and artistic

Star Wars decor isn’t just for little boys anymore. The classic Sci-Fi film characters have grown up. And they’ve done it with style – 1800s style.

Chewbacca looks like a proper gentleman with a monocle. C-3PO is dressed up with a bowtie and bowler hat, making the perfect canvas print for a steampunk enthusiast. Other characters include a dapper Boba Fett, R2D2 with a pipe, and debonair (but no less dastardly) Jabba the Hutt.

The set of 5 Star Wars prints, created by artist Greg Peltz, measure 9” x 13” and come framed with a Certificate of Authenticity.


I want this

Between the Lines: Expert Level Coloring Book

Creative, fun, and easy

Some like to build model airplanes. Some like to tinker with furniture. But if you’re the creative type who barely made it past Art 101, there’s now an adult coloring book to indulge your inner artist.

Between the Lines: An Expert Level Coloring Book is nothing to laugh at, though. Filling in the spaces with the colors of your choice may not require you to be the ultimate fine artist, but the intricate designs created by Peter Deligdisch will test your fine motor skills.


I want this

I’m a total geek at heart so I’m always on the lookout for the latest and greatest widgets.

In this section you’ll find all kinds of tech devices that I’m a fan of.

Sandisk Cruzer Orbit 16 GB USB Flash Drive

Easy file transferring and solidly built

This is nothing more than a 16 GB USB flash drive that snaps onto your key chain, but it can come in quite handy for quick, easy file transferring.



Sleep Phones

Quiet and comfortable

I used to listen to music to help me fall asleep faster, but these days I’m into the ambient noise apps (thunder storms, jungle noise, crackling fire with howling winds, etc.).

My wife, however, likes complete quiet. I’ve tried various in-ear headphones but they would invariably wake me up due to discomfort (mainly from sleeping on my side).

Well, this is where the Sleep Phones come in.


Rode iXY iPhone Microphone

Very portable, and very high-quality

The RODE iXY records the highest quality audio of any iPhone microphone available, which is pretty impressive considering its size (it fits easily into the palm of your hand).  If you create recordings that demand HD-quality audio (podcasts, lectures, concerts, interviews,  etc.) and don’t want to lug around a fancy mic, the RODE iXY might be perfect for you. Read More...


Cheap and very useful

You attach this little device to anything, and if you’re within 150 feet of it, you can find it via an iOS app using bluetooth connectivity (it indicates when you get closer or further away from the item). The app can track up to ten items at a time. Read More...

I want this

Garmin Head-Up Display

Bluetooth, turn-by-turn directions, estimated time of arrival, your speed, traffic information, etc

It connects to your phone via bluetooth and when you fire up the app and input a destination, it shows you the turn-by-turn directions, estimated time of arrival, distance to the next turn, your speed, the speed limit, traffic information, and more. Pretty cool. Read More...


Wirelessly stream content from almost any device to your HDTV

The Google Chromecast ($35) you wirelessly stream content from a Chrome browser-equipped laptop, smartphone (iOS or Android), or tablet to your HDTV. Read More...

I want this

Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker

Ultra-portable and very high-quality

If you want an ultra-portable, high-quality Bluetooth speaker, then the Bose Soundlink is what you want ($199).

As it’s Bose, you expect a good product, but this little speaker really delivers. It fits in the palm of your hand yet pumps out surprisingly loud, crisp. full-range sound, including deep lows. It connects wirelessly to your smartphone, tablet, or other Bluetooth device.


I want this

Tivo Roamio

Small, functional, and easy to use

The TiVo Roamio is a little set-top box that packs a lot of functionality.

It can, of course, record a ton of content (up to 75 HD hours/500 SD hours, and up to four shows at once), but it also lets you access your favorite video apps (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube), AND it can stream all of your recorded content on any iOS device with the TiVo app. It also serves as a media server, which you can use to play music, view photos and videos.


I want this


Small, light, and translates 25 different languages

The Sigmo Voice Translation Device connects to your iOS or Android device over Bluetooth and, using existing online translation services, translates whatever you say into one of 25 different languages.

All you do is speak into the microphone, and it then translates and plays back what you say through the speaker. It’s very small and light, so you can bring it anywhere. Pretty awesome.


I want this


Tracks sleeping patterns, heart rate, breathing, and more

Beddit automatically tracks your sleeping patterns, heart rate, breathing, snoring, movements and environment. In the morning, Beddit tells you how you slept and how to do it better.

Just place the Beddit ultra thin film sensor in your bed or under the sheet and it starts tracking. There are no wearable sensors, which to me is a big plus.


I want this

Sony DSC-QX10 Camera Lens

Take crisper, higher-quality pictures

The Sony DSC-QX10 transforms your smartphone into a full-fledged camera, able to take crisper, higher-quality pictures.

Another cool feature is the lens can actually function as a stand-alone camera, with a slot for a memory card and a shutter button.


I want this

Kindle Paperwhite 2

Glare-free screen, 8 weeks of battery life, built-in WiFi and free 3G

The beloved Kindle Paperwhite has gotten better.

In addition to the glare-free screen (great for reading in the sun), 8 weeks of battery life, built-in WiFi and free 3G, the second-generation Paperwhite features a new, higher contrast display that looks almost like a real book page, a faster processor, more accurate touch response, Goodreads integration, and more.


I want this

Dark Energy Reservoir

Small, powerful, and compatible with any USB device

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.


Braun Cooltec Shaver

Reduced skin irritation, self-cleans, and fully charges is an hour

As far as high-tech shavers go, the Braun Cooltec is the king.

Its big innovation is an active cooling element that helps soothe your skin while you shave, and thus reduce skin irritation (it’s particularly good for people with sensitive skin). Its blades are also configured to deliver a close shave without actually touching your skin, further reducing irritation.

It can be used in or out of the shower (dry/wet), the docking station also cleans the device, and it fully charges in about an hour.


I want this

Nikon 1 AW1

Waterproof, rugged, altimeter, GPS, and much more

The Nikon 1 AW1 is the world’s first waterproof and shockproof interchangeable lens camera.

Here are the highlights:

  • It’s waterproof to a depth of about 50 feet, and can survive a 6-foot fall.
  • It comes standard with an 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, and a wide angle 10mm f/2.8 lens is also available, both waterproof.
  • It features a 14-megapixel sensor, and can take HD video.
  • It has some features specifically for the more adventurous, like an altimeter, depth gauge, GPS, and a compass.

If you bring a camera to places where it gets wet and dirty, or you’d like to, then the Nikon 1 AW1 might be a perfect fit.


I want this

JBL Syncrhos Headphones

Aluminum frame, leather ear cushions, and great quality sound

Just because you don’t work in a sound studio doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your music on a pair of professional-quality headphones.

The JBL Synchros S700 Headphones boast the following features:

  • Die-cast aluminum frame and luxurious leather ear cushions.
  • Premium 50mm driver for professional audio sound with PureBass performance.
  • PureBass sound delivers a balanced audio experience with amazing clarity, and deep powerful bass.
  • Proprietary LiveStage signal processing technology delivers the most realistic headphone sound experience possible.
  • Detachable cable design with iOS3 button and universal remote/microphone cable included.

I want this

Kindle Fire HDX

Thin, light, and high-quality images

I’m a long-time Kindle user, and having gone through each generation of their fire models, I think they got it right with the Kindle Fire HDX.

  • The display is the sharpest yet (2560×1600, 339 PPI, 100% sRGB).
  • It’s thinner and lighter than the Kindle Fire HD.
  • It finally has enough processing power and RAM to run not just the OS, but games, apps, and video smoothly.
  • And much more…

If you’ve been holding off on getting a tablet, this is the one to get.


I want this

Nest S2001BW Protect

Real voice alert, built-in nightlight, and much more

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), almost two-thirds of US home fire deaths happened in homes with no smoke alarm or no working smoke alarm.

Well, the Nest Protect is the solution. It features…

  • A status ring that glows green when everything is okay, yellow when there’s a potential problem, and red when there’s an emergency).
  • Real voice alert.
  • An interactive sensor that responds to the wave of a hand.
  • Smartphone or tablet monitoring.
  • A built-in nightlight.
  • And more…

As a satisfied owner of the Nest Thermostat, I’ll be getting a Protect (releases in November).


I want this

Fitbit Charge

Tracks your steps, measures quality of sleep, and syncs to your phone wirelessly

If you’ve been considering an activity (or life at this point?) tracker, then you need to check out the Fitbit Flex–the latest from the company.

It boasts the features of the earlier Fitbit Flex, like…

  • You wear it on your wrist.
  • It tracks your steps.
  • The distance you’ve traveled.
  • The calories you’ve burned.
  • Your minutes of activity.
  • The quality of your sleep.

It adds a few more to the mix. Namely…

  • An improved blue OLED screen letting you read the display more easily.
  • An altimeter.
  • The ability to track floors climbed.
  • And more…

I want this

Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch Tablet

Versatile and cheap

You can spend a lot of money on tablets, but the Wacom Intuos is a great value. Here are the key features:

  • Compact drawing surface with 6-by-3.7-inch active area
  • Four ExpressKeys for customizable shortcuts
  • Multi-touch surface for scrolling, zoom, and rotation
  • Pressure sensitive pen (1,024 levels of pressure for line width and brush effects) with digital eraser and shortcut buttons

I want this

Sennheiser RS 180 Digital Wireless Headphones

Crystal clear and incredibly comfortable

I’m seriously impressed with the audio quality of these headphones.

They’re crystal clear (no static or signal degradation), and they deliver full, crisp highs, mids, and lows, with just enough bass (it’s not over- or under-powered like other sets I’ve tried).

They’re also incredibly comfortable–no ear aches after 30 minutes.


I want this

Nest Learning Thermostat

Pretty, intelligent, and saves money and energy

The Nest Thermostat is a pretty, intelligent little gadget that learns from your heating and cooling habits and, using sensors to know whether you’re home or not, and a Wi-Fi connection to get up-to-date weather information, programs itself to help you save energy and money.

You can also pre-set a heating and cooling schedule and even control the device via a Web, iOS, and Android app.


I want this

Philips Hue Starter Pack

Control color and brightness from your iPhone and save energy

The Philips Hue is a series of LED lights that screw right in to normal light sockets. You then plug the box this Starter Pack comes with into your router, and you can control the color and intensity of one light bulb or all of them right from your iPhone.

Thanks to LED lighting technology, the lights are also far more energy efficient than the standard 50W bulb, drawing only 1/6 the power.


I want this


Simple, useful, and safe

It’s sized and shaped like a credit card, and it lets you scan in all cards, and you can then use the Coin in the place of the cards. You can switch between all cards stored at any moment, manage your cards with a mobile app, and track it down thanks to Bluetooth energy alerts. Read More...

I want this

Philips Sonicare Diamondclean Rechargable Electric Toothbrush

Top notch and stellar design

Well, the Philips DiamondCare is the Rolls Royce of their Sonicare line.

The bottom line is if you want an electric toothbrush that looks stellar and delivers a thorough, deep cleaning, then this is for you.


I want this

Revolv Home Automation Hub

Connect to all of your devices, and control them from one place

Enter the Revolv Home Automation Hub. The hub automatically connects to all of your devices, and the app lets you control them from one place. It even senses your proximity to your home and gets everything ready just the way you like it.

Pretty cool.


I want this

HP Chromebook 14

Cheap, portable, and fast

The HP Chromebook 14 is one hell of a laptop for the price (under $400). It features a 1.4 GHz processor, 2 GB DDR3L Ram, a 16 GB Solid-State Drive, and a 14-inch screen.

It also runs on the zippy, minimalist Chrome Operating System.

All in all, this is a great, affordable option for most mobile computing needs.


I want this

Logitech Ultimate Ears Boom Wireless Speaker

Bold and crisp sound, light, and wirelessly connects via bluetooth

The Logitech Ultimate Ears Boom speaker projects 360 degrees of bold, crisp sound, filling any space with surprisingly good audio. It lacks deep lows, but this is to be expected with a portable speaker.

It’s light–just over one pound in weight–stain resistant, has wireless connectivity via Bluetooth, 15 hours of battery life, and can be linked with other speakers.


I want this

Carson Pocket Microscope

Portable, simple, and features 60-100x magnification

Have an iPhone 4 or 4S and want to see what’s really going on on a small scale? Then you should grab the Carson Pocket Microscope.

It’s small and pocket friendly, and it features 60-100x magnification, and it works great with the iPhone’s camera–simply attach the microscope to your phone, fire up the camera app, and you’re ready to go.


I want this

Nanoleaf Light Bulb

More light, less energy, and longer life-span

While it looks like something out of a bad science fiction movie, the Nanoleaf actually is quite a leap forward in LED lighting technology. It replaces a normal bulb, but outputs more light, uses far less energy (10 watts), and lasts much longer (30,000 hours). Read More...

I want this

Logitech Powershell Gaming Controller

Play games better and charge your phone at the same time

With our phones as powerful as computers were a few years ago, more and more technologically impressive games are being developed  and released. But actually playing them can be pretty frustrating.

That’s where the Logitech Powershell comes in. It gives you a traditional D-pad, 4-button cluster, and shoulder triggers so you can play games the way they were meant to be played–not by trying to wrap your fingers around multi-touch taps and gestures.

As a neat bonus, it comes with a built-in battery that charges your phone while you play, so you won’t burn through your juice while gaming.


I want this

Withings Smart Body Analyzer

Measure weight, hear rate, body fat percentage, and more

The Withings Smart Body Analyzer is much more than just a scale–it also measures your heart rate (which can be useful for measuring general fitness and avoiding overtraining), your body fat percentage (although this method can be quite inaccurate if testing conditions aren’t perfect), and indoor air quality (a strange addition, I must admit).

Additionally. all the data gets synced with iOS devices using Withings’ app so you can easily track your progress over time.


I want this

iRobot Braava

Cleaner floors with much less work

I was always skeptical of these cleaning robots, but they actually do a good job. Yes, you still have to occasionally clean your floors by hand if you want them spotless, but the iRobot Braava makes these cleanings less frequent and keeps your floors cleaner in the interim.

The rechargeable batter lets it dry sweep for up to 3 hours per charge or mop for up to 2; its sensors make sure it avoids carpets, raised surfaces, and rugs; and its edges design allows it to travel right up against walls, furniture, and other obstacles.


I want this

Cobra Irad 900 Radar Detector

Warns you of laser traps, upcoming red lights, and speed cameras

In addition to warning you of radar and laser traps and upcoming red light and speed cameras, the device connects to your smartphone and gives you access to the iRadar Community. The Community allows users to report and warn other users of live police, caution areas, and photo enforcement areas, and when your device detects a radar or laser, it automatically shares this data with the rest of the Community. Read More...

I want this

Polaroid Socialmatic Camera

4.5-inch touch screen, WiFi connectivity, and a built-in printer

If most of your pictures end up on a social network like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, then you’ll like the Polaroid Socialmatic.

It comes with WiFi connectivity, Android installed, and a 4.5-inch touchscreen, so you can load it up with all your favorite apps for photo sharing. It also features a built-in printer that prints two- by three-inch snaps to distribute by hand.


I want this

Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch

Discreet notifications, place and receive calls, take pictures, and more

It can pair with any Samsung Galaxy device, and then do various cool things like…

  • Discreetly notify you of incoming text messages, emails, Facebook activity, etc., and then let you preview their contents and open them on your larger device
  • Interact with music, letting you browse, pause, play, skip, or adjust volume
  • Place and receive calls using the built-in microphone
  • Give your Samsung device voice command like “Call so-and-so,” “What’s the weather like?”, and “When’s my next appointment?”
  • Take pictures with the built-in 1.9 megapixel camera
  • And more

I want this

Sony FDR-AX100 4K Camcorder

Vibrant and crisp picture

If you haven’t seen a 4K TV yet displaying 4K video, you’re going to be blown away when you do. The picture is so vibrant and crisp it’s like you’re looking through a window at the actual thing.

This remarkable little video camera is capable of capturing ultra HD, 4K video with a 14 megapixel sensor, a Carl Zeiss lens, and a BIONZ X processor. It also has built-in WiFi and NFC (near field communication) connectivity, so you can pair it with your phone, which can then be used as a remote control.


I want this

Garmin Vivofit

Movement tracking, sleep monitoring, and wireless syncing

The Vivofit comes with the standard features you’d expect from such a device, like…

  • Daily activity recommendations based on fitness goals.
  • Movement tracking that allows for the display of steps taken, calories burned, distance traveled, and so forth.
  • Sleep monitoring with reports of total sleep hours as well as periods of movement and restful sleep.
  • Wireless syncing with Garmin Connect, an online platform for viewing your data and community for meeting other Garmin-using, fitness-minded people, competing with friends, and more..
  • Water resistant

I want this

iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit

Knives, rulers, tweezers, spudgers, and more

iFixit is known for taking apart all kinds of cool gadgets, and this requires a pretty diverse set of tools.

Well, they’ve packaged them all into this awesome toolkit, which contains 70 tools to help you fix and hack all kinds of electronics. It includes things like…

  • A 54-bit driver kit
  • Tools for opening electronics
  • Various knives, rulers, tweezers, and spudgers
  • Anti-static wrist strap
  • And more…

I want this

Makerbot Replicator 2

User-friendly and wireless connectivity

3D printing is awesome, and really is the way of the future, but it’s been completely inaccessible to us consumers. 3D printers are just too damn expensive, hard to use, and large to keep at home. Not to mention that the raw materials needed are hard to come by.

Well, MakerBot is changing all that, making 3D printing at home a reality. Sure, their devices are still expensive, but if you have the money or the desire, you can start printing all kinds of cool stuff at home with the Replicator 2.


I want this

Norelco QT4070 Beard Trimmer

Light, easy to use, and rechargeable

It’s light, easy to use, and rechargeable, and it has a good battery life. I don’t use the little attachment, but I’ve tried it and it worked well. The main attachment has several settings for closeness, and I like the closest shave (giving that stubble kind of look). The suction of the vacuum is strong and while it doesn’t catch every little hair, it catches the bulk, making for an easy clean up. Read More...

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Nexus 7 Tablet

Light, thin, and a high-resolution display

The Nexus 7 is, hands down, the best bang for your buck when it comes to the smaller tablets. For just over $200, you get a light, thin tablet with 16 GB of storage, a gorgeous high-res display and extremely snappy performance (thanks to its quad-core processor and 2 GB of RAM). Read More...

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Doxie Go Mobile Scanner

Ultra portable, battery-powered, and has flash SD memory

This portable scanner is made to work anywhere, small enough to fit in a bag or large pocket, it features battery power and flash SD memory, so you can use it without the need for a computer. Read More...

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Third Wave Power mPowerpad 2

Captures solar energy to charge smartphones, tablets, cameras, and more

The mPowerpad 2 captures solar energy to charge smartphones, tablets, cameras and other devices.

You can also fill up its internal and removable battery packs via a power outlet or USB connection and use them to charge devices, and it even comes with some built-in functions like radio, light, and insect repellent.


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Live video, night vision, built-in speaker and mic, and more

Have you ever wondered what happens at your home or business when you’re not there?

Well, Dropcam makes it easy to find out. It’s a cloud-based WiFi video monitoring device that you can place anywhere–in a living room, nursery, office, etc.–and then receive alerts on your phone or other device when motion or sound is detected.

Once an alert is received, or just whenever you want, you can access the Dropcam’s live feed via an app and see what’s going on. The Dropcam comes with a night vision mode and a built-in speaker and mic to communicate with whomever is at the other end, and the company offers a cloud storage service that allows you to save up to 30 days’ worth of footage for review.


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Audio Technica M50X Headphones

Extremely comfortable and superb sound

These headphones are extremly comfortable (no ear aches after 30 minutes), and the sound is just superb. Its sound performance is very balanced: the lows are deep but not overpowering; the mids are rich but not all it has to offer; and the highs are detailed but not tinny.

The fact that they fold up for easy packing is nice as well, and the removable audio cable was a brilliant touch (no having to buy a new set if the cable somehow gets damaged or ripped out).


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Das Keyboard Mechanical Keyboard

Increase typing speed and accuracy

If you type on a computer all day and don’t have a good mechanical keyboard, you’re missing out. It can dramatically increase your typing speed and accuracy.

Don’t believe me? I understand. I didn’t get it at first, either. Mechanical keyboards look like clunky throwbacks to first-era typewriters. But that’s the point, actually.

You see, early typewriters were actually the product of extensive research into keyboard ergonomics, and many of the lessons learned about optimizing typing speed and accuracy have been forgotten by modern keyboard manufacturers. Simply put, most modern keyboards suck for typing purposes.

Well, mechanical keyboard manufacturers like Das Keyboard are keeping the art of keyboard optimization alive. Their keyboards are engineered with heavy typing in mind, and literally every detail is purposeful: key cap shape, size, spacing, and pressure, the tactile feedback, the flat, tilt-free angle, and more.

As I mentioned earlier, since I’ve made the switch I’ve seen a dramatic increase in both my typing speed and accuracy (and especially the latter).


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Amazon Fire TV

Standard streaming services, games, and voice search capability

Amazon’s Fire TV is Apple TV with voice search and gaming.

It comes packed with a quad-core processor and 2 GB of memory and gives you access to the standard streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, Crackle, Pandora, etc., and of course Prime Instant Video), but what’s new is the gaming controller (sold separately) and voice search capability.

The games are Android games sold in the App Store (not my kind of thing, but many people love these casual types of games), but the voice search is a nice touch (not that on-screen keyboard are that big of a deal, but…) and the Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound support is an upgrade over Apple TV as well.

If you’ve been holding out on a streaming device like Roku or Apple TV, Amazon’s Fire TV is currently ahead of the pack.


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Avengers USB Sticks

Fun, nerdy, and useful

If you’re a nerd and you know it, you might want to store your digital stuff in these fun USB sticks. And even if you don’t love all things Marvel, admit it, Iron Man’s eyes lighting up when it’s plugged in is pretty cool. :) Read More...

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Three USB ports and six electrical outlets

The Powerqube allows you to charge and power up to nine devices simultaneously. It features three USB ports and six electrical outlets, and enables each USB port to independently negotiate with each device that plugs into it. Read More...

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Android RK3188 Mini PC

Affordable, portable, and fast

If you want an affordable computer to surf the Web, blast audio and video–including streaming music and movies–download and use Android apps, and play games, then you should check out the Android RK3188.

Hook the this little guy up to an HDTV and desired wireless accessories, and you’ll be able to do all the above and more.


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Slate Mobile AirDesk

Work/play comfortably

If you spend a lot of time on a laptop and want to be able to lounge and still work/play comfortably, get the Slate Mobile Airdesk. It promotes proper posture, the mousepad  and phone/tablet dock are great touches, and it keeps your laptop cool (no more frying your lap!). Read More...

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Outdoor Technology Buckshot Wireless Speaker

Small, versatile, and great sound

If you want a small, versatile speaker that you can use on bike rides, hikes, or other outdoors activities, I think you’ll really like the Buckshot.

The sound is clear and it gets loud enough to enjoy on a bike ride, it’s really easy to attach to various things, and the battery life gives you a solid 4-5 hours of listening.


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OnePlus One

Big, fast, and aesthetic

I like my S4, but damn, this thing is a monster.

The OnePlusOne starts at a very affordable $299 (for 16 GB) and the tech specs are veryimpressive:

  • 2.5 ghz Snapdragon Quad-Core processor
  • 3 GB of ram
  • 13 MP Sony camera sensor with a 6-layered lens for unparalleled picture quality
  • 5 MP front-facing camera
  • Stereo recording and tri-microphone noise cancelling technology
  • And much more…

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Jawbone UP 24

Track sleep, movement, and food intake

Jawbone’s initial foray into the physical activity (the ill-fated Up) space was a bit of a snafu, but they’re back with the Up 24 and are looking to right wrongs and reclaim lost ground.

One of the great things about this wrist-worn tracker is that it stays connected to your iPhone or iPod via Bluetooth and transmits data about your daily sleep, movement, and food intake.

All in all, this is probably my favorite activity tracker on the market right now.


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LG Tone+Bluetooth Headset

Good sound, battery, and range

I’ve been using the LG Tone+ headset for several months now and am very pleased with it.

The sound quality is on-par with other mid-tier headphones, the range and battery life are quite good (seems to be about 20 feet without loss and about 8 hours of use per charge), and the microphone produces crisp, clear audio on the receiving end.

All in all a great Bluetooth headset.


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Audioengine D3 Digital to Audio Converter and Headphone Amplifier

Instantly improves audio quality

The quality of audio that comes out of most computer headphone outputs is pretty lackluster. The Audioengine D3 fixes that.

This little guy plugs into your computer’s USB port, bypasses the headphone output, and delivers high-fidelity audio (sample rates over 48K) that is noticeably better if you’re using a high-end pair of headphones or streaming to a quality music system.


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E-Blue Marvel Iron Man 3 Limited Edition Wireless Mouse

High-quality and limited edition

I’m not crazy about the Marvel universe, but I have to admit: this is a damn cool mouse. It looks great, the stand is awesome, the eyes light up (which you can turn off if you prefer), and it’s actually a high-quality mouse meant for gaming. Read More...

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PlayStation TV

Play on any TV with only PS4

If you have two or more TVs but only one PS4, the Playstation TV is for you. This tiny little box hooks up to other TVs in your house and allows you to play your PS4 games on them via Remote Play. Read More...

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Waterproofed Kindle Paperwhite

Cheap and effective

I love my Kindle Paperwhite for outdoors reading, and as I live in Florida, that usually means relaxing at the beach or pool. I’ve yet to ruin a Kindle with water damage, but it’s definitely gotten splashed and needed the old “rice dry-out.”

Well, the Waterfi Waterproof Kindle is an easy solution to this problem. It’s 100% waterproofed from the inside, meaning it looks stock but can be submerged down to 210 feet and remain functional (ever wanted to try scuba reading?).


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Nitecore Quadray

Extremely powerful, portable, and useful

The Nitecore Quadray is one impressive little flashlight. It’s the world’s smallest 3,500 lumen LED flashlight and has eight stages of brightness as well as a strobe mode, which can be used to disorient would-be animal or human attackers. Read More...

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Ziiro Saturn Watch

Beautiful, cosmic-inspired watch

If you’re looking for a beautiful, cosmic-inspired watch, look no further than the Ziiiro Saturn.

This creative little piece looks awesome and keeps things simple. The horizontal bars on the outer ring represent the hour and the small vertical bars the minutes.


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Honeywell Lyric Thermostat

Accounts for outdoor temperature, saves money, and much more

The Lyric is Honeywell’s answer to the Nest and I’m really liking what I’m seeing. It boasts a variety of cool features:

  • It keeps track of your location, sensing when you’re away to save energy
  • It senses when you’re coming home to get things back to your preferred temperature
  • It takes into account the outdoor temperature and weather when making its cooling decisions
  • It lets you control it from the app or the thermostat
  • It can even send you an alert when it’s time to change the air filter or get your system checked out.

It’s quite the looker as well.


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Gamevice Game Controller

Mobile, console-style gaming

The Gamevice Controller gives you a console-style gaming experience on your iPad mini. It already supports thousands of games, it’s plug-and-play (no need to pair with Bluetooth), and its light, ergonomic design fits both hands comfortably. Read More...

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Garmin Approach S4 Watch

Useful, helpful, and very light

The S4 is a powerful, GPS-enabled “virtual caddy” with a plethora of useful features and functions:

  • The yardages are very accurate when compared with a laser rangefinder (within a yard or two)
  • It’s great for tracking the distance you hit each of your clubs (hit the ball, click, go to ball, click, done)
  • The touchscreen makes for easy, quick use and can be read in the sunlight
  • Distances to the front, middle, and back of greens are shown, as well as lay-up and dogleg distances
  • The Green View feature is great for seeing the actual shape of the green and it also allows you to drag the pin into the appropriate position for perfect yardage accuracy

It’s also very light and unobtrusive. I wear mine on my left wrist when I play and don’t even notice it when I’m swinging.


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Normal Earphones

Perfect fit, maximum comfort, and maximum sound quality

No two ears are alike–our ears are as unique as our fingerprints–and this is why earphones can fit your buddy just fine but never quite feel right in your ears. A one-size-and-shape-fits-all approach is just hit and miss.

Well, Normal Earphones wants to change that. With their app, you can photograph your ears and they will then 3D print a pair of earphones specifically for your ears, guaranteeing a perfect fit that not only delivers maximum comfort but maximum sound quality as well (as the in-ear seal determines a lot when it comes to overall sound).


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Swiss Army Victorinox Nail Clipper

Compact, sturdy, and sharp

“Nail clippers? Really?”

If you’re thinking that, I understand…but hear me out! A great nail clipper is cool! :)

This little guy lives up to the Swiss Army brand’s reputation and is compact, well-designed (easy to grip and use), sturdy, and sharp. Sure, it costs more than the piece of junk sold at the drugstore, but you get what you pay for…


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AKG Pro Audio K712PRO Headphones

Crisp, precise sound and extremely comfortable

Out of all the headphones I’ve tried so far, the AKG Pro Audio K712s are my absolute favorite. They’re meant for mixing and mastering so you get incredibly crisp, precise sound, with an outstanding balance of highs and lows–there isn’t so much bass that it drowns out the treble nor so much treble that you cringe at higher volumes. They’re also extremely comfortable and can be worn for hours without fatiguing your ears. Read More...

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Slingbox M1

Watch anything live or recorded anywhere

With the Slingbox M1, you can ditch the TV apps and watch anything on your DVR — live or recorded — no matter where you are. All you do is hook your DVR up to the M1 and connect it to the Internet and you’re ready to go–everything in your set-top box is now available to be streamed in 1080p quality to your phone, tablet, computer, or even another TV via a Roku or Apple TV. Read More...

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Jaybird BlueBuds X Earbuds

The BlueBuds X are wireless (Bluetooth) earbuds designed for active people. In this product review I discuss how they work, what I like, and what I don’t. Read More...

Sense Sleep Tracker

Measures noise, light, temperature, humidity, and more

Sense is the ultimate sleep tracker: it not only tracks your sleep patterns and features a “smart alarm” like other activity monitors, but it also measures noise, light, temperature, humidity and particles in the air, and then figures out in which conditions help you sleep the best.

The “base” connects with a tag that clips to your pillow and everything is tracked and organized in the companion iOS and Android apps. Very cool.


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MB&F Starfleet Machine Clock

Aesthetic and futuristic

If you’ve got a thing for Star Trek and watches, then the MB&F Starfleet Machine Clock was made for you.

Part timepiece and part sci-fi sculpture, this beautiful piece of work features indicators for hours and minutes housed underneath a polished glass dome as well as second indicators in the form of double fly-out cannons.


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Waterfi Jawbone UP24 Activity Tracker

Activity tracker and sleep monitor with an amazing app.

One of my favorite activity trackers. It comes with several unique features, works well and has the best app you will find. Read More...

Viddy Pinhole Camera

Simple and fun

This cool DIY camera is made of recycled cardboard and is built with stickers, split pins, and a small drop of glue.

Its precision, laser-cut pinhole allows it to work with both 35mm and medium format film it also comes with a companion app for timing the shutter for proper exposures.


Breda 1652B Watch

WW2 inspired and inexpensive

I’m always on the lookout for cool watches and the inexpensive Breda 1652B caught my eye.

The dial design was inspired by WW2 radar apparatuses and it features a quartz movement and leather strap.


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Internet-enabled, Bluetooth capable, and much more

Move over, Garmin. There’s a new way to stay safe while getting directions on the road. Navdy is a sleek, transparent display that hooks up to your smartphone to show you which route to take, remind you when to turn, and let you know if your friend texted to say he’s late for your morning hike or evening gym sesh.



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Sony RX100 III

High-quality and compact

The DSC-RX100 III is earning rave reviews for its high image quality in such a compact size. Camera geeks will swoon over the Zeiss 24-70mm lens, Bionz X processor, and pop-up OLED electronic viewfinder. But selfie addicts (or anyone who is into weekly bodybuilding progress shots) will appreciate the articulated LCD that gives you great angles with 180º upward tilt. Read More...

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Easy to use and effective

Everyone knows that ice and compression help with recovering from injuries, but if you’ve tried jerry-rigging some ice packs and wraps, you know how impractical it is.

Well, HyperIce makes it easy. You fill a bladder with crushed ice, wrap it around the affected body part (they make models for both shoulders, the knees, lower back, elbows, and more), and use an air release valve to compress it all against your body.

I’ve been using both the shoulder and knee models recently, not because I’m injured but because they will ache sometimes after heavy workouts, and it’s helped tremendously. I wish I’d had known about HyperIce earlier!


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Improves fuel economy, alerts emergency response, and more

Anything from a loose gas cap to faulty spark plug to an empty windshield fluid reservoir can trigger the “check engine light,” making it a pretty ineffective way to keep tabs on what’s going on with your car.

Well, with Automatic you can finally decode that uninformative light: it tells you exactly what kind of help your car needs. But that’s not all–it also helps improve your car’s fuel economy, alerts emergency response in case of a crash, remembers where you parked, and more.

The iOS and Android apps are also beautifully well-designed and constantly updated with new functionality.


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Nexstar Evolution 8 Telescope

Small, powerful, and syncs to your phone

If you’re star-struck by astronomy, this compact telescope should be on your must-have list.

It’s small – the optical tube is only eight inches long – but it works as well as the large telescopes that dominate an entire corner of the living room.

The NexStar Evolution 8 Telescope also syncs with iOS and Android apps so you can scan the sky with ease. Use your smartphone or tablet as a controller to quickly point this at any stars, moons, or planets you want to see and even capture the most shareable shots.


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Great game system and an awesome game

If you don’t have your hands on a PlayStation 4 yet, it pays to pick up the new bundle, which comes with Destiny, a newly released MMO first-person shooter that Activision has committed a staggering $500 million to.

Not only do you get to explore a mythic science-fiction world in the game, but you’ll get a beautiful Glacier White Playstation 4 console instead of the standard black casing, which is bound to become a collector’s item.


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Extends battery life and works off-grid

When you’re off adventuring in your Jeep or other utility vehicle, you’ll want to be sure to have this gadget with you.

Beartooth makes smartphone cases to extend battery life, but that’s just a bonus feature. Being off-grid no longer poses a communication problem with Beartooth Radio, which helps your smartphone access short-range radio frequencies.

In other words, it turns your phone into a walkie talkie.


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Cinebox Home Backyard Theater System

Perfect for parties or camping

When you have a big backyard that’s perfect for parties and special occasions, there’s one big toy that will undoubtedly make it better – and no, it’s not a grill!

Believe it or not, this outdoor TV is fully inflatable and takes just a minute to set up. CineBox breaks the walls of the the home theater so you can bring your favorite movies and TV shows outside.


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Cinetics Cinesquid Camera Mount

Stable, flexible, and useful

If you’re on the go and but always want to snap the perfect shot (and, yes, a selfie or two), the GorillaPod tripod is your camera’s flexible yet stable best friend.

It can change positions with over two dozen leg joints that rotate 360° to capture you and your surroundings from the perfect angle. And if that’s not versatile enough, now you can also attach the Cinetics CineSquid suction cup mount to help your camera latch onto any smooth surface.


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Port Solar Charger

Useful, innovative, and money saving

Ditch your smartphone’s wall charger and external battery, and grab this one by XD Design instead.

The Port Solar Charger suctions to any sunny surface, and its embedded USB port helps you recharge any gadget on-the-go. As long as you have a window – even in an airplane – it’s now possible to power your cell phone using daylight.

Of course, since the sun isn’t out all day (except in summer around the Polar Circle), the charger also has a 1000 mAh rechargeable lithium battery on the inside.


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Sharkk Bluetooth Boombox

High-quality, clear, and a lot of bass

I wanted an obnoxiously loud Bluetooth speaker for blasting obnoxious music while golfing (yeah, I know), and after checking out quite a few options, I settled on this bad boy from Sharkk.

It’s perfect for what I need: it’s relatively small but pumps out some impressively high-quality sound, including a lot more bass than you’d expect from a $60 speaker (without so much over-amplification that it turns into a distorted mess). Oh and it can get pretty damn loud too, which is great.


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Monster GO DJ Portable Mixer

Create, record, and broadcast quality audio.

Laptop DJs got you down? Show them up with this all-inclusive DJ setup and production studio.

The Monster GO DJ Portable Mixer Digital Turntable is the only kit of its kind, allowing you to create – and record! – broadcast-quality audio and DJ sets no matter where the party winds up.

The dual LCD touch displays act as turntables so can you mix your favorite tracks together. With this gadget, you can take a studio of pro gear anywhere you go, and the whole system is compatible with iOS devices, Android devices, PC, and Mac.


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Withings Smart Body Analyzer

Measure your weight, hear rate, body fat percentage, and more.

Knowing your personal stats is empowering, and with the Withings Smart Body Analyzer, it’s never been easier to collect data about your health.

This might look like an everyday scale, but it does a lot more than monitor weight. In addition to that, it calculates body fat percentage and resting heart rate. Plus, it lets you know the indoor air quality to assess the allergen levels.

To make it easy to track progress, the data collected by the Withings scale automatically syncs to mobile devices using an iOS app.


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A monohull, katamaran, and trimaran all in one

When you can’t decide on one watercraft, it’s time to take the Kormaran, a boat with Transformer-like options to go from monohull to katamaran to trimaran.

Think it sounds more cumbersome than fun? Crafted from carbon fiber, this luxury boat can actually change from one style to another even while it’s on the move.

And it’s not a wasteful showboat, either. Since it’s designed with new hydrofoils that reduce water resistance by up to 80%, the Kormaran can hit high speeds without a high cost in fuel.


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Bluesmart Luggage

Smart, useful, and secure

Traveling all the time? A smart suitcase is a wise investment, both to protect your valuables and offer peace of mind about potential travel hiccups like a lost bag, overweight luggage fee, or a dead laptop.

With the Bluesmart carry-on, now available to pre-order on IndieGoGo, you can do all kinds of cool, useful things…

Keep track of your suitcase even when it’s stored underfoot (thanks to geolocation that can be accessed by app or website)
Automatically weigh your luggage using the built-in digital scale
Switch the TSA-approved lock on and off from your smartphone
Charge your devices using the battery charger, which is powerful enough to handle two devices at once
And more…


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Kindle Voyage

Thin, long lasting battery, and distraction free

I’m a big fan of digital reading, so I’m always interested in the latest and greatest Kindles. And while the new Kindle Voyage might look like a typical tablet, but its design still has distraction-free reading in mind.

The hi-res display features 330 ppi e-paper for sharper text and the Voyage has an auto-adjusting adaptive light sensor as well as the ability to change pages via built-in sensors, meaning you won’t have to lift a finger.

This Kindle is the thinnest ever with a battery that lasts for weeks, and it has expanded features like X-Ray information and, coming soon, the Word Wise tool to make it easier to understand challenging topics.


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Perfect Portions Digital Food Scale

Smart, programmable, and easy to maintain

If you’re going to take your meal planning seriously, you’re going to want a food scale.

And the Perfect Portions Digital Scale doesn’t just weigh grams or ounces; it takes it to another couple steps and calculates the nutrition facts – then shows you how they fit into your unique diet plan.

In addition to its internal database of 2,000 foods, the scale is also programmable to store 99 custom foods, and its flat glass design makes cleaning a breeze. . And that’s in addition to the internal database of 2000 foods. Any kitchen appliance worth its weight in salt can be easily cleaned and stored away, and the Perfect Portions scale wins out there too with a flat glass design. It also comes with a 5-year warranty just in case.


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SHURE SE215 Sound Isolating Earphones

Crisp highs and deep--but not overwhelming--lows with impressive comfort and sound isolation

It’s hard to beat the Shure SE215s in the $100-150 price range.

They’re solidly constructed and the sound is incredibly crisp: the lows are surprisingly strong but not overpowering or muddy, and the mids and highs are slightly muted but crisp. The sound isolation and fit are impressive, too, thanks partially to the several earbud options that allow you to maximize both comfort and seal.


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Sony HMZ-T1 Personal 3D Viewer

Futuristic, large display, and 3D

It’s the 21st century, so how come we aren’t riding around on hoverboards, or experiencing entertainment in a 3D virtual reality?

Actually, these futuristic technologies are becoming possible – or closer to. Sony has introduced the HMZ-T1 Personal 3D Viewer, which is a head-mounted gadget that gives you the equivalent of a 150-inch display.


LIX 3D Printing Pen

Revolutionary, portable, and very useful

Want to take 3D printing into your own hands? The LIX pen looks like any writing instrument, but instead of drawing with ink, you can do it with malleable plastic.

Create scale models, 3D script, accessories, and whatever else you can think of. This concept first hit Kickstarter as the successful 3Doodler, which is much larger in size. The LIX 3D Printing Pen is easier to use and costs less too.


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Jawbone Up Move

Track your daily progress while staying sleek and stylish

Jawbone is known for making sleek wristbands, and now they’ve made a stylish alternative in five colors. The clip-on tracker uses Bluetooth to sync to the Smart Coach smartphone app and the device itself allows you to see daily progress in a second with 12 on-board LEDs. It also helps to track sleep habits, mood, and personal goals. Read More...

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Amazon Echo

Bluetooth-enabled, Wi-Fi connected, and high-quality sound

With the popularity of Amazon Music, it’s no surprise that they would introduce a high-powered  portable speaker to match. But the Amazon Echo is way more than a 360-degree speaker with hands-free voice control.

It’s bluetooth-enabled, Wi-Fi connected, and easy to connect to Android and iOS devices. Wake the Echo with a signal word to have a companion that will capture the thoughts you choose, reminding you later what’s a top priority.

The Echo is compatible with Pandora, Spotify, iTunes, and other music playback services and can be programmed for alarms, timers, weather updates, and more.


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Amazon Fire TV Stick

Connects to Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, Amazon, and more

Soon any TV with an HDMI port can transform into a “smart” TV with internet streaming capabilities.

The Fire TV Stick from Amazon connects to Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, Pandora – and of course Amazon’s own vast video library. With a Prime Instant Video subscription, the TV Stick offers unlimited access to more than 40,000 movies.

The device comes with a dedicated remote, but – even better – there’s an app for Android and iOS that gives you control over the videos you’re watching, including voice search. On top of that, the Amazon Fire Stick connects your TV to games too.


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Sony Smart Watch

Fashionable, waterproof, bluetooth connectivity, and more

A lot of watches will sync with your Android smartphone, but not all of them will go to the levels of the Sony Mobile SmartWatch3. Whatever happens on your phone is there on your wrist, complete with voice controls. Read More...

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Kaleidescape Cinema One

Store hundreds of movies with high quality video and audio

If you’re a cinema junkie, and if Netflix isn’t nearly enough for you, but you’re over DVDs, it’s time to upgrade your collection.

The Kaleidescape Cinema One Ultimate Movie Server stores up to 600 DVD-quality (or 100 Blu-ray quality) movies, playable with the highest audio and video quality. Best of all, it’ll skip the previews and other inro stuff to immediately start your film as the director intended. If you want access in multiple rooms, combine systems to get up a library of up to 200 Blu-ray to share.


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Save money, time, and your bike

Where you ride makes a difference, especially to your bike tires. If punctures are a common occurrence when you’re cycling, it’s time to add a Patchnride to your repair kit.

It works for a wide range of rides, including mountain bikes, cruisers, road bikes, and jogging strollers, and even if you’re used to fixing it yourself with tubes or patches, the Patchnride will save not just time but also money in the long run. This handy tool will get you back on the road in a quick minute with a permanent fix.


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Seek Thermal Camera

View high-definition images day or night

Not enough that your smartphone is able to make calls, browse the internet, and take pictures? Turn it into a high-tech infrared sensor too.

The Seek Thermal Camera, which attaches to your smartphone’s Micro USB or Lightning port, converts information into 32,000 thermal pixels to create a visible image. It works in broad daylight and total darkness, helping you better assess your surroundings wherever you are.

This device is available for iOS and Android.


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Zeiss VR One Headset

Affordable, immersive, and comfortable

Virtual reality is an affordable reality at last: for $99, the ZEISS VR ONE Headset creates an immersive experience out of your iPhone.

The device accommodates most smartphones with display sizes between 4.7 and 5.2 inches and even fits over eyeglasses to act as a central hub for launching VR apps to enjoy with leading-edge optical design and ZEISS precision lenses. It has ports to plug in the audio and charging connectors and ventilation openings to prevent fogging and ease airflow for optimal comfort.


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Tivoli Model One

Hand-made, old school, and portable

Taking a real vacation, one without your laptop, tablet, and smartphone? Whether you are sneaking away for an entire week or just an hour, it’s a good idea to grab the Tivoli Model One Radio to hide out with.

Kick it old school with just FM and AM radio emitting from a handmade wood cabinet that’s retro sleek. But, of course, if you need to grab some tunes from your iPod or other device, there is a 3.5 mm auxiliary input so you can use this radio for Spotify and other internet streaming music services as well..


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Sports & Exercise

Next Section Apps

I can’t forget sports and exercise recommendations!

My only sporting these days is weightlifting and golf but I’m in for trying out just about anything I can get my hands on!


WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards

Clear illustrations, wide variety, and a 110% money back guarantee

If you want to start exercising but are short on time and unsure where to even begin, then Workoutlab’s Exercise Cards is for you.

Here’s a quick summary of why I like them:

  • The cards feature professional and clear illustrations that show correct form and movement
  • There are 50 exercise cards and 5 workout routines in the decks
  • They will be printed by the US Playing Card Company on the Bicycle® playing card paper so they can withstand ware better than traditional digital printers’ products
  • The decks will come in Men’s and Women’s versions
  • They have a 110% money back guarantee on pre-orders (if you don’t love the deck when you get it, they refund 110% of your money and you get to keep the deck(s)

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Nike Legend Dry-Fit Shirt

Thin, lightweight, and comfortable

Let’s face it: part of working out every day is looking good. And some shirts just make you look better than others. Read More...

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Connects wirelessly to your phone and measures speed, acceleration, angle, and more

It quickly attaches to any club—driver, putter, whatever—and via Bluetooth, pairs to your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet. The application then records everything you’d want to know about your swings:

  • A full view.
  • Club head speed and acceleration.
  • Club face angle.
  • Static and dynamic loft and lie at address and impact.
  • Swing tempo.
  • And more…

If you’re serious about improving your golf game, the Swingbyte will help you immensely.


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Callaway Big Bertha Alpha

Adjustable and stylish

I used to be big into golf and the original Big Bertha was the first driver that impressed me. Well, Callaway has brought it back in style.

The Big Bertha Alpha comes with adjustable weights, adjustable lofts, adjustable face angle, which are pretty standard these days when it comes to adjustable drivers, but the adjustable center of gravity is new. Callaway calls it the “Gravity Core,” and it allows you change the vertical center of gravity of the head, which is another useful way to customize your club to your swing and setup. 


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Easybreath Snorkel Mask

No fogging, better view

What a great idea this is. The Easybreath Snorkeling Mask fits over your entire face, allowing you to breathe normally underwater without having to deal with fogged up goggles, and its clever dry-top system plugs the air intake when immersed, preventing water from entering. Read More...

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Rugged and roomy

I love GORUCK’s military-issued style, and their rugged, roomy gym bag is awesome. It comes a few sizes and the larger one makes a nice overnight bag as well. Read More...

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Easy to use and effective

Everyone knows that ice and compression help with recovering from injuries, but if you’ve tried jerry-rigging some ice packs and wraps, you know how impractical it is.

Well, HyperIce makes it easy. You fill a bladder with crushed ice, wrap it around the affected body part (they make models for both shoulders, the knees, lower back, elbows, and more), and use an air release valve to compress it all against your body.

I’ve been using both the shoulder and knee models recently, not because I’m injured but because they will ache sometimes after heavy workouts, and it’s helped tremendously. I wish I’d had known about HyperIce earlier!


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Rehband Knee Sleeve

Comfortable and keeps ligaments warm

I’ve stayed away from knee wraps because research has shown they increase wear and tear in your knee joints, and recently I looked into knee sleeves and was pleasantly surprised.

Unlike knee wraps, knee sleeves don’t exert nearly as much compression as wraps while providing some joint support and heat retention (warmer tendons and ligaments can stretch easier), which has been shown to reduce knee joint pain and stiffness in people with knee osteoarthritis.

I don’t have any knee problems, but I’ve definitely noticed that my heavy squats and deadlifts have gotten a bit more comfortable since using the sleeves, mainly due to the knee tendons and ligaments staying warm in between sets and the light compression giving support while actually performing the exercises.


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Tusa Evo Sea Scooter

Powerful, fast, and fun

Heading underwater on your summer excursion? Take the Tusa Evo Sea Scooter for a wild ride like no other.

Of course you’ll want to get in some exercise in the ocean by kicking and paddling, but when you need to conserve energy on a long trek, or maybe some spelunking, this is the perfect toy to not only have fun but take you (and up to two more divers) back to safety. It’s powerful enough to pull three people at about 2 mph, and it can up as low as 230 feet deep.


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Ciclotte Exercise Bike

Beautiful and functional

Every bit of design matters when it comes to an effective exercise machine, but let’s face it: they’re all an eyesore! Well, lay your eyes on this beauty: the Ciclotte, a stationary bike for those who care as much about designing the perfect house as sculpting the perfect body.

The Ciclotte looks like a modern sculpture at first glance, but here form and function go hand-in-hand. Grab the snai antenna handlebars and get some great endurance and lower body training by spinning the magnetized wheel to create resistance.

And yes, there’s still a display to change settings, and this one’s a touch screen. It also comes in three colors: carbon black, silver, and purple.


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Simple and useful

Have a small spot outside for your bike, but don’t want to leave it uncovered? When a garage meets a tent, you get YardStash, a handy way to keep your mud-covered valuables outside.

Now you won’t need to dedicate wall space to your hanging bike rack(s), and you know your ride will be waiting for you under its own tarpaulin roof. The YardStash tent has a polyester body, reinforced floor, and full zippers to keep out everything, whether you’re worried about the weather or creepy crawlies invading your kids’ outdoor toys.


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Schiller X1 Water Bike

Alumni frame, comfortable seat, LED lighting, and more

If you love cycling and being on the water, the Schiller X1 Water Bike is just for you.

This high-performance, human-powered watercraft features an aluminum frame, a proprietary drive train built for maximum speed, handlebars with integrated steering, and twin oscillating propellers that do away with the need for a rudder.

 The Schiller X1 also comes with a comfortable seat, LED lighting, a teardown/assembly time of under 10 minutes, and a watertight storage compartment, and it fits on most bike racks or in most trucks.


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Firevision Sports Football

Bright, unique, and fun

Monday Night Football inspiring you to get into the game — and not just via Madden NFL on your Xbox? Then you need to check out the Firevision from Nerf.

This football is great to toss around during the day, but it gets even better at night with the Nerf Firevision Sports Frames. In total darkness you and your kids can still see the ultra-bright glow of the Firevision Football up to 100 feet away with no charging necessary.

Depending on the frames you pick, the ball will glow green or red, allowing you to create unique twists on team games like flag football.


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Axe Bat

More comfort, more control

Can’t quite get a handle on a traditional baseball bat?

Whether you play in an adult league or like to work out your aggression in the batting cages, the Axe Bat will offer you a more comfortable, controlled grip. The wider tapered end lets you hold on more tightly during the swing and feel secure in your grip, enabling you to swing harder and hit faster than ever before.


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Fun and exciting

The Kitewing is a wing-shaped sail that allows you to harness wind power in your skiing, snowboarding, ice staking, roller blading, and more.

Unlike sport kites, the Kitewing doesn’t have a separate control system, which provides greater control, maneuverability, stability, and safety. There are no lines to tangle and you hold the kite directly in your hands.

If you want to add some speed and exciting to your outdoor adventures, check out the Kitewing today.


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94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball

Track shot spin, dribble force, muscle movement, and more.

Need to boost your basketball game faster than shooting hoops?

Friends, teammates, and even your coach (if you have one) will want to know your secret after you begin practicing with the 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball, which uses motion sensors to measure the force exerted on it, giving action-based info about how you play – and how you can play even better.

The 94Fifty ball’s visual display and voice feedback share data including shot spin, dribble force, and imbalanced muscle movement. It also includes goal- and score-tracking for more than 50 drills and competitions, letting your crew of up to 5 b-ball players know who dominated each round.


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WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine

Natural, useful, and beautiful

There’s only so much time at home to work out, and chances are you want to multi-task – and I don’t just mean in front of the TV. An activity like rowing will optimize physical activity with a motion that works several major muscle groups, including your core, back, and legs.

The WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine is equipped with a Series 4 performance monitor to track workout intensity, stroke rate, heart rate, zone bar, duration, distance, and (with an optional chest strap) heart rate.

But even if you don’t use it every day, it’ll look amazing in its spot in the corner. Unlike heavy metal workout machinery, The WaterRower – complete with a double-paddled flywheel enclosed in a water tank to create a self-regulating drag resistance system – is crafted of all-natural ash wood or stained honey oak.


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Bas Rutten O2 Trainer

Simple, cheap, and improves performance

The Bas Rutten O2Trainer is a simple device that trains your lungs as if you’re at a high altitude, and can be used while running, weight lifting, rock climbing, or performing any other exercise.

It’s adjustable to four different levels to allow you to slowly improve your inspiratory muscle endurance – in layman’s terms, lung strength. The O2 Trainer also comes with four more end caps to be used while in a resting position; so you can give your lungs and diaphragm a workout even while lying down.


Gibbs Quadski XL

Fast, comfortable, and amphibious

What’s the ultimate sports vehicle? That’s a matter of great debate, but in terms of sheer versatility, the Quadski XL is downright impressive.

Not only is it an awesome jetski that comfortably seats two, but you can drive it out of the water and off-road as an ATV. This transformer vehicle by Gibbs Sports Amphibians hits speeds of up to 45 mph on land and water and is available in a variety of colors, including custom orders like camo.


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I don’t like cluttering my phone or iPad with tons of apps but I’m way into well-designed apps that actually fill a need.

In this section you’ll find a bunch of different apps that stood out for their purpose, design, and overall functionality.


High-quality audio recordings of real thunderstorms

It features true-to-life, stereoscopic (3D sound) audio recordings of real thunderstorms, which  makes it sound like you’re actually listening to a storm outside. Check out the preview on their website to hear how high quality the recordings are. Read More...

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Track purchases online, hours spent in the gym, etc

Mem:o is a free app that lets you track just about anything–every purchase you make online, how many hours you spend at the gym, every book you read, etc.

You can then view each data set, or “memo,” as a circle with the relevant information displayed. These memos populate onto a board or calendar for easy viewing, and you can share your collections with friends via social media.


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Binoculars, compass, speedometer, and more

Spyglass is your iPhone’s Maps on steroids.

This app was designed for roughing it in the wilderness: it gives you options for augmented reality navigation, navigating by the stars, and saving places and waypoints (which then show on the augmented reality “HUD”), and it even comes with binoculars, a compass, a speedometer, an altimeter, a rangefinder, and an angular calculator. Whoa.


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Amazon Music

Ad-free streaming and offline access

Amazon’s music app isn’t new, but it has an exciting new feature that basically reinvents it: Amazon Prime members (like myself) now get streaming, ad-free access to over a million songs and hundreds of pre-made playlists, a la Spotify. You can even download Prime songs to your phone or tablet for offline access. Read More...

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Wink Relay

Once place to control all your electronic items

The number of gadgets we all have – smartphone, tablet, fitness tracker, and more – may be getting out of hand, or rather keeping our hands too full. Add to that the pile of remote controls for A/C, the garage door, dimming lights, and more, and it’s clearly too much for one person to juggle. Read More...

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I love good stories, whether told in a book, on TV, or on the silver screen.

In this section you’ll find movies and TV shows that I didn’t just like, but that really stood out as outstanding.


Quirky, witty, and sophisticated

It’s hard to find comedy whose characters are quirky but not annoying, and whose writing is witty but not obscure, sophisticated enough to make vulgarity work, and funny enough to genuinely make you laugh out loud.

Archer is all of those things. And I love it. The show is full of brilliant absurdity reminiscent of Family Guy, hilarious puns and insults, and all kinds of ridiculous shenanigans. It’s a fun time.


The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector's Edition

Unseen interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and IMAX sequences of big scenes

The Dark Knight Trilogy Ultimate Collector’s Edition comes with the three films plus yet-unseen interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and IMAX sequences of big scenes. It also comes with a couple exclusive Hot Wheels vehicles (the Batmobile, Batpod, and Tumbler), a 50-page book containing production images, and collectible cards featuring each of the major villains. Read More...

Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection

Blue-ray, 22 films, and over 130 hours of bonus footage

This awesome Blu-ray collection takes you through 50 years of Bond, with all 22 films up to Skyfall (which it doesn’t include), and over 130 hours of bonus footage.

If you’re a Bond fan, you’re going to want to add this to your collection.


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Star Trek Into Darkness Starfleet Phaser Limited Edition Gift Set

Authentic, actual size, and limited edition

The Star Trek Into Darkness Starfleet Phaser Set includes a 3D Combo Blu-Ray of movie, as well as a 1:1 scale replica of a Starfleet phaser, a brass plaque, and a gloss black display stand. This will only be available for a limited time, so pick it up before it’s vaporized. Read More...

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Game of Thrones Season 3 Amazon Exlusive

Amazon exclusive, and includes 3D replica of the third season poster

We need a good reason to buy discs these days, and this one is actually pretty tempting.

This Amazon exclusive box is a durable, heavy 3D replica of the poster that was released for the third season of the show, and it looks pretty awesome. Can you say collector’s item?


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Breaking Bad: The Complete Series

Over 22 hours of special features, a new two-hour documentary, and much more

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.


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Enter the Dragon: 40th Anniversary Edition

High-quality, commentary from the producer, and a newly remastered video and soundtrack

Like many people, I’m a big admirer of Bruce Lee, and this is my favorite movie of his.

In this 40th anniversary Blu-ray release, you’ll find three new featurettes, commentary from the producer, and a newly re-mastered video and soundtrack that looks and sounds outstanding.


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Louis C.K. "Oh My God"

Raunchy, bold, and hilarious

Emmy and Grammy award winning Louis C.K is, in my opinion, one of the boldest, funniest comedians around (and is in my top 5 favorites of all time). If you’re not familiar with his work, just start watching some clips on YouTube (NSFW, haha) and I think you’ll see why.

Well, in “Oh My God,” he’s back in all his uncomfortably raunchy and self-humiliating glory. He rants about road rage, dating, why being overweight and bald is better, and a bunch of other stuff that makes you “cringe laugh” with delight.


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The Island

Though-provoking, exciting, and plenty of action

Instead of a mindless repetition of explosions and chase sequences, The Island is a thought-provoking story of the costs of Utopia and conflict of morality vs. self-interest. In it we can see various facets of our own society and ponder serious issues that face us today, like how far we should trust institutions and at which point secrecy becomes harmful to the public good.

Oh and it is  a Bay film, so it does have plenty of action as well. :)


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The Wolf of Wall Street

Great acting and extremely entertaining

The movie is a recounting of the life of Jordan Belfort, a Wall Street scam artist that led a horde of financial marauders in the 1990s and bilked hundreds of millions of dollars out of unwitting investors. At the peak of the operation, Belfort was making thousands of dollars per minute and was spending it as fast as he could: cars, houses, yachts, hookers, drugs, you name it.

While I’m not quite sure what the argument of the movie really was (if you have enough money you can get away with anything?), it’s thoroughly entertaining. DiCaprio and Hill are really good and their antics are like a derailed train that just keeps smashing through everything in its path–shocking, but you have to keep watching.


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Pirates of Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

A perfect blend of action, drama, romance, and comedy

This is one of the greatest action/adventure films in the last decade. You know, the type that you can watch for the seventh time and still enjoy. Up there with the original Indiana Jones movies, in my opinion.

Depp is at his comedic best and really steals the show despite a strong supporting cast of memorable characters. Rush couldn’t have played the villain better and struck a perfect balance of despicable evil and comedic charm. He was one of those bad guys that you love to hate. Bloom and Knightley don’t shine like Depp and Rush, but they fill their roles more than adequately and definitely contribute to the flick and help carry the story along.

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, treat yourself to it–it’s one of those rare movies that isn’t just fun to watch, but completely enchanting.


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Game of Thrones

Intricate plots, masterful acting, and very suspenseful

There’s a reason why just about everyone is talking about Game of Thrones these days: it’s just that damn good.

For me, it’s in my list of top 5 best TV show experiences (I say experiences instead of shows because some shows, like Lost and 24, delivered an outstanding experience in their first seasons but only got worse and worse as they went on).

The plots are intricate, but not confusing; the character development is some of the best I’ve ever seen; the acting is masterful; the suspense never lets up (you never know who’s going to die next); and the production values are feature-film level.

The first season starts out a little slow (normal for the genre), so be patient for a few episodes and if it hooks you like it hooked me and millions of others, you can binge-watch everything online.


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Smart, emotionally engaging, fast-paced, and downright fun

When I first heard of Sherlock, I was skeptical. Another rendition of this beaten-to-death franchise? Especially after Guy Ritchie’s turds of movies? Good luck.

Well, I was very pleasantly surprised. Sherlock is a smart, emotionally engaging, fast-paced, and downright fun. You can’t help but like Cumberbatch and Freeman and the very human feel of their characters, which are much more than walking soundboards of purple dialogue and snarky witticisms, and the blending of modern forensic science and Sherlock’s extraordinary powers of observation and deduction.

Give Sherlock one episode of your time and I think you’ll be hooked.


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The wardrobes, sets, locations, and effects are top notch

I was skeptical of Vikings  when I first heard of it, but when I learned that it was a Michael Hirst project (the incredibly talented researcher and writer behind The Tudors and The Borgias), I had to check it out. And I’m glad I did.

The story introduces you to Ragnar Lothbrok, a legendary Norse ruler and hero, who starts as a family man with ambitions to be the first man to successfully sail to the lands in the West (England) to raid and plunder. He does it, of course, and this sets off the dominos of repercussions that begin his historical journey.

The first thing that struck me about Vikings is the production values. It was shot in Ireland, which is downright beautiful, and the wardrobes, sets, locations, and effects are truly top notch. You really feel immersed in the period. 

The narrative choices and dialogue are solid, but do feel a bit trite at times. This is no Game of Thrones, but it’s in the same league. The story starts out slow, but give it a chance–once it kicks into high gear, it’s enthralling.


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A brilliant exploration of loyalty, integrity, and morality

I was once really into poker, and this was the movie that started the obsession. Many people not interested in gambling pass it over, but you do not have to like the game to like the movie.

It tells the story of Mike McDermott, who lost his bankroll in a high-stakes card game with an underground card shark, and who gave up gambling for law school as a result (and swore to his toe-the-line girlfriend he’ll never play cards again). But all that changes when his best friend gets out of prison, back into the card rooms, and into trouble with the same guy that cleaned Mike out. Mike’s loyalty as a friend and love of the game pulls him back to the tables, but if he loses this time, he won’t just lose his money–his entire life will collapse.

Another aspect of the movie that I really liked is the richness and subtlety of the writing. Surprisingly, it actually makes you think as it isn’t just a succession of poker things happening, but a well-planned thematic exploration of loyalty, integrity, and morality.


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Action, gore, and sex

The graphic novel is outstanding-one of my all-time favorites–and I think the movie did it justice.

The story is set in an alternate world where American superheroes changed history as we know it: the US won the Vietnam War, Nixon is still president, and the cold war is in full effect.  WATCHMEN begins as a murder-mystery, but soon unfolds into a planet-altering conspiracy. As the resolution comes to a head, the unlikely group of reunited heroes–Rorschach, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandias–have to test the limits of their convictions and ask themselves where the true line is between good and evil.

While The Watchmen has gritty action, gore, and sex to make it fun, what really sets it apart are the themes of the story (which, I admit, are a bit heavy-handed at points), and the depth of the characters and their subplots. By the end of this story, you feel like you’ve truly come to know an extraordinarily diverse cast of people and enjoyed a surreal, intellectual and emotional roller coaster together.


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The Intouchables

Explore friendship, happiness, and fulfillment

The Intouchables is based on a true story, and it’s just one of those experiences that was meant to be told to the world.

Like The Blind Side, this movie will touch you. The characters’ circumstances and interactions just tap into an emotional wellspring in all of us, and although our lives couldn’t be more different, we can all relate to the themes explored: the nature of friendship, happiness, and fulfillment.


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Battlestar Galactica

Superb casting, acting, and writing

 I’m a pretty picky TV watcher. Most shows just aren’t that compelling to me–within a few episodes I just don’t care anymore and would rather read a book.

Well, Battlestar Galactica was not one of those shows. In fact, like the first seasons of Lost,Dexterand 24BSG basically usurped my mind and I ended up binge-watching the entire series over Christmas break a few years ago.


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Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Entertaining, well designed, and perfectly paced

I’m a big fan of the original Star Wars movies and of the universe itself, but after the new trilogy, I thought Lucas had completely lost his touch for storytelling or simply didn’t care about the franchise anymore. Thus, when I heard about the Clone Wars series, I assumed the worst: a cartoon, meant primarily for children, with Lucas at the helm? No thanks.

But I was wrong. Completely wrong. Clone Wars is fantastically done. It’s far better than the New Trilogy, and actually makes me hopeful for Episode VII.


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American Psycho

Extraordinary acting and keeps you on edge

merican Psycho is the story of Patrick Bateman, an urbane, Manhattan uber-Yuppie who’s obsessed with looking good, wearing designer clothing, eating in the hottest restaurants, and partying at the most exclusive clubs. And whose only thrill in life is brutally torturing and murdering people, particularly young women.

Like The Wolf of Wall Street, this is one of those movies that, although ridiculous, keeps you wondering, “What the hell will this guy do next?” If Bateman’s on a date with a girl, he may or may not take her home to chop her head off. If someone mentions how the Japanese are buying up all of New York City, he may order Chinese take-out to an abandoned building (mistakenly thinking it as Japanese food) and stab the delivery boy to death. If a bum asks him for money, he may toss him a few bucks with disdain, or strangle him to death.

If you want to cringe-laugh a bit, be thankful you’re not a sociopath, and enjoy an extraordinary acting performance, watch this movie.


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American History X

Great acting, great film

Like Primal Fear,  American History X is one of those movies that just makes you love Ed Norton. He’s a true acting virtuoso, and someone I wish would make more damn movies and win some Oscars already.

In this movie, we follow the story of Derek (Norton), a sociopathic skinhead that winds up in prison for brutally killing a black man. While incarcerated, Derek befriends a black inmate who sees beyond his racism and causes Derek to change his attitudes and realize the horrible social and spiritual damage of racism.


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House of Cards

Great acting, great writing, and realistic

House of Cards is a remake of the a 1990s British political miniseries, moving the shenanigans from Westminster to Washington DC.

This is the story of House Majority Whip Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey), who has just been passed over for a coveted Cabinet position in the administration he helped get into office, and his wife Claire, who helps him plot and realize his revenge.

Like many shows, the first season is better than the second, but I’m anxiously awaiting the third.


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Band of Brothers

Awesome visual, great audio, and epic battle scenes

Band of Brothers is one of the best TV shows–no, cinematic experiences–I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. I’ve always liked WW2 stories so I’m a little biased, but I think this is right up there withGame of Thrones and Breaking Bad in terms of thematic depth and gravitas, and seasons 1 of Lost24and Dexter in terms of overall entertainment and watchability.

In Band of Brothers you follow the harrowing exploits of Easy Company of the 101st Airbourne Division from the beginning of bootcamp through the end of the war, and get a true-to-life re-enactment of what it was actually like to parachute into France on D-Day and fight your way into Germany as the Third Reich toppled.

Whether you have any particular interest in WW2 or not, Band of Brothers is one of those shows that everyone should enjoy.


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Lost Season 1

Entertaining and addictive

The first season of Lost stands out as the most entertaining, addictive TV show I’ve ever watched.

My wife and I watched it over a Christmas vacation and what we thought would be an episode here and there turned into an all-out chain-watching binge. It really is that good.

It begins with a jetliner traveling from Australia to LA crashing on an unknown island, leaving 48 survivors with no signs of civilization or hope of rescue. It then starts rolling out incredibly powerful hook after hook as we get to know 14 primary characters and discover some very strange things about the island (a mysterious monster that lurks in the jungle, the presence of polar bears and wild boars, an SOS message that has been transmitting for 16 years, miraculous physical recoveries and other wishes coming true, a set of numbers that are somehow involved in the disaster, and more).

If that sounds even remotely interesting to you, watch the show. You won’t be disappointed.


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The Great Escape

Outstanding acting, surprisingly high production values, and fantastic writing

I remember watching The Great Escape for the first time as a young boy and being completely enthralled. And now, 20-something years later, I’m just as enchanted by it and it remains one of the more memorable movies I’ve seen. It’s not your typical prisoner or war movie.

Based on a true story, the movie opens up in 1943 in a German POW camp built to hold the slipperiest prisoners captured in the war, which of course sets the stage for the assembly of the ultimate team of escape artists. This team, lead by the legendary “King of Cool” Steve Mcqueen, contrives and engineers the largest prison breakout ever attempted, and we’re taken along for the ride.

If you’re looking for a movie to watch this weekend, give The Great Escape a go. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.


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A Beautiful Mind

Intelligent and suspensful

 There’s a reason this movie won 4 Oscars: it’s one of the best movies of its type that I’ve ever seen.

This movie is (loosely) based on the biography of John Forbes Nash, an American mathematician whose pioneering work on game theory won him the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics, and is a riveting tragedy of tortured genius.

You see, despite his great brilliance, Nash was also a paranoid schizophrenic, and thanks to what I think is Crowe’s greatest performance to date, we experience what it’s like to fight back against a kaleidoscopic mind that can crack infinitely complex codes but which also slides into almost phantasmagoric states where nothing is as it seems.

Complex, intelligent movies with a visceral tension and suspense are rare, and this stands out as one of the greatest. If you liked Shutter Island or Good Will Hunting, I guarantee you’ll like A Beautiful Mind.


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Outstanding cinematography and stand-out performances

For me, Spartacus was like Lost: it started out really strong and then went to shit. But the first two seasons of both were so good that I think they’re still worth recommending.

Spartacus is a loose re-telling of the actual historical figure’s story: a Thracian gladiator that rebels against his masters and eventually wages a full-scale war against Rome. And it’s just fantastically good.

The outstanding cinematography, costume and set design, and gratuitous blood, gore, and sex immediately grab your attention, but the depth of the acting and writing is what really keeps you watching. For me, Lucy Lawless and Andy Whitfield are the stand-out performances, but everyone holds their own.

If you liked HBO’s Rome and 300, you’re going to love Spartacus. I guarantee it.


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Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Entertaining and touching

Yes, this is a documentary about sushi. But it’s so much more than that as well.

In it, you meet Jiro, an 85-year-old man that has dedicated his entire life to one, single pursuit: making the best sushi the world has ever seen. While Jiro modestly downplays his skills and achievements, his 3 Michelin stars speak for themselves: this man’s sushi is without equal.

As you would expect from an award-winning documentary, the pacing, narrative structure, and interviews are handled extremely well and entertain and touch you. What I really loved, however, was Jiro’s complete embodiment of the timeless principles of mastery.


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Unpredictable, intelligent, and thrilling

This movie really took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting much and I got an unpredictable, intelligent thriller that, once it got going, had me on the razor’s edge of my seat.

The characters are interesting and the acting is fantastic; the plot delivers a plausible and entertaining game of cat-and-mouse, hitting all the requisite notes with a couple stand-out “no f#%!ing way” moments; and the ending delivers a satisfying twist and payoff.

Watch this move. It’s one of the better I’ve seen in a while.


Bigger Stronger Faster

Truthful, entertaining, and endearing

Bigger Stronger Faster is Chris Bell’s entertaining, endearing look at how steroids have shaped, and continue to influence, sports in America and the rest of the world.

The film is reminiscent of Morgan Spurlock’s work and introduces us to not just Chris but the rest of his family, including his well-meaning but clueless mom and his steroid-using brothers, and explores the personal and cultural ramifications of performance enhancing drug use.

Chris starts with the question of why his brothers feel the need to “cheat” in their bodybuilding and powerlifting and is surprised to learn how deep the steroid rabbit hole goes in both everyday gyms and professional sports, and how bizarre and unfounded much of the demonization of these drugs is.

While the film isn’t decidedly pro-steroid, it does tend to gloss over the negative effects of steroid use.


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Hilarious and sadly becoming true

Idiocracy is a hilarious comedy from Mike Judge (Office SpaceBeavis & Butthead) that is sadly becoming something of a documentary.

The premise is simple: Joe Bowers (Luke Wilson) gets cryogenically frozen in an army experiment and then forgotten about. When he awakens 500 years later, he learns that he’s now the smartest man in the world and is among the dumbest, laziest people in history, and it’s up to him to get human evolution back on track.


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Office Space

Hilarious, vulgar, and witty

Simply put, Office Space is one of my all-time favorite comedies. The premise is simple:

Unable to endure another mind-numbing day at Initech Corporation, cubicle slave Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) gets fired up and decides to get fired. Armed with a leisurely new attitude and a sexy new girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston), he soon masters the art of neglecting his work, which quickly propels him into the ranks of upper management!

Now the stage is set for Peter to carry out a high-tech embezzling scheme that’s sure to mean the end of his job and a one-way ticket to easy street. Can he pull it off before all corporate hell breaks loose?


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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (English Subtitles)

Dark, violent, and great acting

I haven’t seen the US remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but I loved the Swedish version (and I’m generally not a fan of subtitled movies).

This dark, violent drama follows the travails of Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist unjustly convicted of libel against a powerful industrialist. While awaiting his sentence, Blomkvist is hired to investigate the disappearance of wealthy man’s niece 40 years earlier, which brings him into contact with “the girl with the dragon tattoo”, Lisbeth Salander.

This is one of those rare movies that elegantly unfolds an intricate story at just the right pace, building and releasing tension masterfully, and then delivers a truly cathartic climax and ending…while also remaining true to the book it was based on. The entire cast gives outstanding performances as well, with Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth) shining above all.


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Indie Game: The Movie

Inspiring and educational

As someone that grew up playing NES, SNES, Sega, and the like, and that fantasized about making a game of my own one day, I found this award-winning documentary particularly endearing and nostalgic.

Indie Game skilfully tells the story of four indie game developers developing three different games and shows just how much work, love, and sacrifice it takes to win as an underdog in this industry. Scratch that…as an underdog in any industry.


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Smart and highly entertaining

As much as I want to like James Bond movies, I think most of them sucked. Connery had a good run, with my standouts being Goldfinger and Thunderball, but the franchise fell into a long slump once he moved on.

Well, in my mind, Goldeneye was Bond’s triumphant return to past glory, bringing together a terrific cast, compelling locations, tight, plausible writing, perfect pacing, and just enough sex and violence to deliver a thrilling vicarious experience that makes you just wish you were Bond.

Whether you like Bond movies or not, if you like smart, highly entertaining action and adventure films, you’re going to like Goldeneye.


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World War Z

Well written, solid acting, and a climactic ending

Having heard that the movie completely deviates from the book, which I enjoyed, I came intoWorld War Z with relatively low expectations. And I was pleasantly surprised.

Although the screenwriters did ditch the episodic narratives of the book for a more familiar “Hero’s Journey” type of tale, it was well executed.

Sure, it had its handful of plot holes and WTF moments where everyone should have died, but on the whole, I found it a tightly written, visceral ride with solid acting, tense pacing and build-up, and a climactic ending that, while feeling a bit hollow, delivered the payoff set up in the first scene of the movie.

In the end, this was the type of movie you feel like you’ve seen many times before, but it hits every note with enough skill that you want to keep watching to see how it all turns out.


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Historically accurate and suspenseful

After seeing a million parodies of the famous map meeting scene, including this hilarious one of Hitler’s disgust for Crossfit, I decided to watch the actual movie. And I quickly learned why it has earned so much critical acclaim (and wondered why it hasn’t garnered more attention here in the States).

Downfall takes you into Hitler’s Führerbunker during his last days as leader of the Third Reich and delivers a historically accurate, visceral experience of what it was like to be there as Hitler and his officers and advisers realize that this really is the end.


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Classic and enjoyable

I recently re-watched this classic and thoroughly re-enjoyed the ride.

The premise is simple and fun (an interstellar teleportation device, found in Egypt, leads to a planet with humans resembling ancient Egyptians who worship the god Ra), and while it’s very 90s in its overall execution–simple, predictable plot mechanics; stereotypical characters and arcs; a one-dimensional villain; and so forth–this movie has heart in an Indiana Jones type of way.

The production values and overall attention to detail were ahead of its time, and let’s face it: the idea of a Stargate that can warp us across the universe is just plain cool, which is why this moviegave rise to an entire “universe” of spin-offs.


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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Fun characters, witty, wry humor, and more

I kept hearing good things about this show but was reluctant to check it out because I’m generally underwhelmed by Marvel’s movies.Well, my low expectations worked to my advantage because I’ve come to really enjoy it.

The show picks up where the Avengers left off, with the Battle of New York over and the world permanently changed. In response, mysteriously resurrected Agent Phil Coulson assembles an elite team of skilled agents and operatives: Melinda May, Grant Ward, Leo Fitz, Jemma Simmons and new recruit/computer hacker Skye.

Together, they investigate the new, the strange, and the unknown across the globe, protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary. But every answer unearths even more tantalizing questions that reverberate across the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.


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The Game

Brilliant and intelligent

The Game puts a brilliant twist on the old “what do you buy a man that has everything? dilemma, and delivers a roller coaster ride of a thriller that keeps you biting your nails and guessing until the very last scene, which is one of those rare, perfectly executed climaxes that not only makes you say “wow,” it rejiggers everything that came before, dropping it all into its proper place (think The Usual Suspects).

Combine the intelligent plot with superb acting in all quarters and outstanding cinematography (thanks to David Fincher) and a big production budget, and you’ve got one of those “once in a while” movies that is just supremely satisfying. The Game really is that good.


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Live Die Repeat: The Edge of Tomorrow

Funny, suspenseful, and great acting

With remakes and Marvel currently dominating the action/thriller genre, it’s nice to see movies like Live Die Repeat thrown into the mix.

Although it only did $100 million domestically (due to piss-poor marketing, which is why Warner Brothers renamed it from just Edge of Tomorrow to Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow and relaunched it), Live Die Repeat was one of the most entertaining and original sci-fi flicks that I’ve seen in a long time. Think of it as Starship Troopers meets Groundhog Day meets a high-octane exoskeleton video game.


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A thrilling, classic masterpiece

Like genre landmarks such as Fight ClubThe Usual SuspectsThe Matrix, and Se7en, it’s hard to not enjoy Memento. It’s one of Christopher Nolan’s best films, right up there with Inception and Batman Begins in my book.

The movie’s protagonist, Leonard, is played by the always impressive Guy Pearce, and is stricken with a strange disability: the inability to form new memories. It began the night when he was assaulted and his wife (Carrie-Anne Moss, who is also fantastic) was raped and murdered, and if he’s going to take his revenge, he’s going to have to plunge headfirst into uncertainty and danger, with nothing but Polaroid pictures and tattoos to serve as a memory bank.

Memento is brilliant on multiple levels. It’s told in reverse, with each successive scene preceding the last in time, and the unfurling of a rather complex plot is just handled masterfully. So much so that you are compelled to actually participate in Leonard’s journey: you’ll find yourself pausing to read his tattoos and peruse the Polaroids to digest the clues, you’ll wrestle with his uncertainty and devise and discard all kinds of theories, and you’ll anxiously await the final reveal.


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Shutter Island

Mind-bending, suspenseful, and with a brilliant plot

I have some simple move-watching guidelines, and one is if it stars DiCaprio, it’s probably going to be good. And Shutter Island is good. Damn good.

This mind-bending, poignant, and disturbing story takes you to an asylum for the criminally insane on a hardscrabble island off the coast of Boston, where US Marshal Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) arrives to investigate the disappearance of a female prisoner, who is assumed to have escaped. What starts as a routine investigation, Something else is happening on Shutter Island though

As you’d expect from Scorcese, the cinematography and tenor of the movie is outstanding, and as you’d expect from actors like DiCaprio, Kingsley, and Ruffalo, the performances are on point, but what really makes this movie stand out is the plot, which centers around Daniels’psychological journey, and which turns the screws tighter and tighter and keeps you second-guessing, back and forth, your conclusions about his sanity or lack thereof.


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True Detective

High stakes, high tension, and great acting

I kept hearing great things about True Detective, so I decided to check it out. And I was disappointed at first.

Although I loved their performances, I found McConaughey’s nihilistic monologues tedious and redundant, Harrelson’s cornpone problems cliche and flat, and the investigatory plotline downright annoying (tagging along to question one boring, dead-end lead after another gets old).

I know, I know, it’s more about character subtleties and thematic undercurrents, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I was told to give it a few episodes, though, and I’m glad I did, because once the writers have slowly and carefully rolled and molded their pie, they waste no time releasing the wolves to devastate it. The pace picks up, the stakes raise, and the tension winds tight.

I’m still in the middle of it, but I’m now hooked. And damn, McConaughey really can act.


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Great acting, great writing, and a great plot

I’m a big fan of the Revolutionary period so I was predisposed to like Turn, but I’m also an extremely picky reader and viewer, so the scales were balanced going into it.

Based on the historical events narrated in the book Washington’s SpiesTurn tells the story of Abraham Woodhull, a man living in Tory territory that is recruited to be a rebel spy, and who then finds himself pulled into more and more dangerous dealings as he “lives among the enemy.”

Where Turn first impressed me was the richness of the characters and writing–the dialogue is rich and mature, the acting gets an A+, the attention to detail gives a gratifying air of historicity, and the plot is well designed and terrifically paced.


The Incredibles

Don’t be fooled by its childish appeal and PG rating–The Incredibles is so much more than the formulaic dreck that has basically usurped the genre of animated storytelling.

There’s a reason why it won two Oscars: it’s not a haphazard collection of cliched jokes and pop-culture references; it’s an incredibly well-written, fully developed story that kids will love and  adults will appreciate.

The Incredibles has glitz, heart, and style, and I’ve actually yet to meet someone that didn’t like it. Give it a go and you’ll see why.


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The Raid: Redemption

creative, aggressive, and reckless

First, this movie doesn’t try to be anything it’s not in the way of plot or character development, which is refreshing. A little bit of exposition and dialogue sets the stage and then IT’S CLOBBERIN’ TIME!

And oh, the clobbering… The Raid takes it to the level of elegant mastery. The fight choreography is some of the most creative and aggressive I’ve ever seen (think Ong Bak on all the steroids) and the stunting is just reckless. This cast has balls of steel and your jaw is going to hang more than once.

The sequence of fight scenes just gets better and better too, reminiscent of a good video game that forces you to push your limits facing bigger and badder bosses, and you’ll creep closer and closer to the edge of your seat as the good guys are splattered one by one.

If you’re in the mood for some ultra-violent, no-frills escapism, check this movie out. It delivers the goods.


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I’ve always been in games: sports, board games, video games, you name it. I just like competition.

In this section you’ll find my favorite board and video games. I wish I had more time to play them!

The Last of Us

Hollywood A-list acting, the story is gritty, and the visuals and sound are downright stunning

The story is gritty, visceral, and thought-provoking; the visuals and sound are downright stunning; the acting is at a Hollywood A-list level; the gameplay is intuitive, thrilling, and harrowing (especially on the highest difficulty levels); and the overall presentation and experience is nothing short of enthralling. Read More...


Fun and cooperative

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.


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Killerspin Revolution SVR

Beautiful, consistent bounce, and reduced glare

If you’re into table tennis, you’ll appreciate the beauty of the Killerspin Revolution SVR table.

It not only looks awesome, it offers tournament-level performance: the playing surface is specially engineered for a consistent bounce, it’s coated with a chemical that reduces glare, and the heavy-duty net apparatus keeps the net taut and level.

If you’re building the ultimate man cave and have money to blow, this is for you.


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Settlers of Catan

A great blend of strategy, luck, and player interaction

The game is for 3 to 4 players (but you can bring more players in using expansion packs) and it involves collecting resources and using them to build roads, settlements and cities, for which you gain Victory Points. The first player to collect 10 Victory Points wins.

What makes it great is its blend of strategy, luck, and player interaction. It’s easy enough to learn that you can enjoy it from the get-go, but sophisticated enough that you can devise and test strategies to your heart’s content. The trading and bartering system between players also adds a fun, challenging dimension and element of unpredictability.

I also love the replay value of this game. You can vary the board setup every game, which puts you into different starting positions every time, requiring you to adapt your strategies accordingly.


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Giant Chess Set with Giant Mat

Fun and different

If you like the idea of turning chess into something of an outdoors workout, then this giant chess set is for you.

While it may seem ridiculously unnecessary, it’s actually pretty cool for parties, and for getting your kids out of the damn house for a bit.


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Say Anything

Fun and simple

The game is simple:

Each player gets a marker, a board to write on, and two chips that are the color of their board. One player is the judge and picks a card, which lists 5 different questions. The judge chooses whichever he or she wants to read. The questions are very diverse.

Once the question is read, the players write their answers on their boards and place them face-up on the table. The judge secretly chooses the winner and locks it in with a little gadget provided, and the players wager their chips on what they think the judge will choose.

The winner is then revealed and the players that wagered chips on the winning answer win points–one for each chip wagered. The judge also wins points for each chip wagered on the right answer, and can win no more than three points.

The next player then becomes the judge and on it goes.

The real fun is in the answers, of course, and this depends on the group you’re playing with. G-rated people can have laughs as can R-rated people (but don’t mix them together!). If you have particularly creative, funny, or twisted friends, you’ll want to invite them to play this game.

This is a good ice breaker game at parties because it gets people to open up and laugh.


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Fun and stimulating

I’m not a big card game player, but I really enjoy Dominion. It’s designed for 2-4 players (but I recommend 3), and games take 30-40 minutes. The object of the game is to gather the most valuable deck of cards, winning you Victory Points. The winner is the person with the most Victory Points by the end of the game.

All in all, this is a fun, stimulating game that I enjoy playing with friends. I also recommend the expansion, Dominion Intrigue, which supports up to 8 players in a two-table game and 6 players in a one-table game, and which adds 25 new Kingdom cards, plus a new set of Treasure and Victory cards.


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Cards Against Humanity

Ridiculous, fun, and twisted

The game is simple. Each round, one player asks a question from a Black Card, and everyone else answers with their funniest White Card. The player that asked the question picks the funniest answer, and whoever played it wins a point.

For instance, the question might be “Coming to Broadway this Season, ____________: the Musical” and some answers could be “Eugenics,” “warm Muppety velvet sex,” or “genital piercings.”

What makes this game great is how ridiculous it gets. If you’re playing with the right people, it quickly degenerates into a hilariously awful battle of vulgarity, political incorrectness, racism, sexism, and basically anything else you could possibly find offensive.

Buy it, gather up some people that have been permanently warped by the Internet, and you’ll cry tears laughing.


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Hannibal Rome vs. Carthage

Fun and competitive

If you’re looking for a great two-player competitive war game, and if like card-driven games, then you will love this game.

Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage is set during the Second Punic War in which Hannibal faced off with the Roman Republic. Players use strategic-level cards for multiple purposes: moving generals, levying new troops/reinforcing existing armies, gaining political control of the provinces involved in the war, and generating historical events.

A second set of cards is used to determine the winner in battles. Ultimately both players seek victory by dominating both fronts: military and political. While military might plays an important role in winning, it isn’t the only factor. The political side of the game is also very important. You can systematically undermine and hamstring your opponent by causing him to lose political influence among his peoples, and that’s actually one of the reason you fight battles (to not just kill soldiers but strike political blows).

Hannibal Rome vs Carthage has been often hailed as one of the best–if not THE best–card-driven war game ever made, and for good reason. It’s an outstanding game.


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Monopoly: The Walking Dead Survival Edition

Unique and fun

Like Monopoly and The Walking Dead? Well, here you go. :)

This game delivers a classic Monopoly experience of wheeling and dealing, but adds a “survival” element: you must fortify the real estate and resources you own against zombie invasion and out-last the rest of the players.

The artwork on the game is great, the customized game pieces are unique and fun, and I liked the “short-game” mode.

All in all a great spin on Monopoly!


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Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

Beautiful and interactive

I’m very picky with video games because I don’t have much free time these days and don’t want to waste any of it playing a ho-hum game.

Like the Uncharted series, Tomb Raider feels like more than just a game–it’s a beautiful, interactive cinematic experience that never lets up or feels stale or redundant (oh how I hate games that just send you running from place to place to gather up widgets). One minute you’re solving a puzzle…the next you’re in a shootout…then you’re exploring…then hunting…then watching a stunning quicktime event.


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Sometimes you just want to buy something because it looks like it’ll be good fun tinkering with. That’s what this section is for!

Pump-Action Outlaw Shotgun Rubber Band Gun

Fun, simple, and cheap

Remember the good old days of rubber band wars? Relive them with the Bandit Gun Rubber Band Outlaw Shotgun ($25).

This pump-action rubber band shooter allows you to fling your stretchy ammo up to 25 feet via three different firing modes: single shot and rapid fire.


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Lego Super Star Destroyer

Nearly 8 pounds, over 4 feet long, and is built with over 3,000 pieces

If you’re a Star Wars nerd like me, and you have a lot of time on your hands plus four feet of space to devote to a Lego starship…then you’re going to want the Lego Star Wars Super Star Destroyer.

This bad boy weighs in at nearly 8 pounds, measures over 4 feet long, and is built with over 3,000 pieces. It comes with a display stand, data sheet label, and five minifigs, including IG-88, Admiral Piett, Dengar, Bossk, and Darth Vader himself.


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Hot Wheels Car Maker Playset

Customizable, simple, and fun

If your kid likes Hot Wheels cars, then he/she will love being able make custom cars with this playset.

You choose a mold and colored wax stick for your vehicle, and in about eight minutes, the Car Maker melts the wax into the car mold and cools off.

You then attach the molded vehicle body to one of the three included chassis and decorate the car with decals in the sticker pack, and voila, you have a brand new car ready to be raced.


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Illusionist Black Ghost Playing Cards

Fun and great for performing tricks

If you play cards or are into performing magic tricks, then you need to know about Ellusionist. They turn boring decks of Bicycle cards into stunning works of art.

The Black Ghost deck is one of my favorites. Ellusionist used to only give them away as special promotions, and to professional magicians, but they recently decided to sell them to the public.


Combat Creatures Attacknids

Wireless remote, exploding armor, and tons of fun

Attacknids are about a foot tall, feature six legs, and 360-degree rotating weapons that can fire up to 30 feet. You control them with a wireless remote, and when battling, a direct hit explodes armor off their bodies, and 3 hits shuts them down for the next fight. Read More...

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Wham-O-Arctic Force Snowball Blaster

Fun, light, and launches snowballs up to 80 feet

Take your snowball game to the next level with the Wham-O-Arctic Snowball Blaster.

This baby has a removable snowball maker for perfect projectile formation, and it can then launch them up to 80 feet a bit faster than you can throw them.


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Ice Zombie Hand Mold

Cheap and fun

This silicone ice mold makes an oversized ice cube in the shape of a detailed zombie hand. Fun fun. :) Read More...

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Gerber Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit

Machetes, axes, knives, and more knives

The name pretty much tells you exactly what you’re getting here. This “zombie apocalypse kit” includes everything you need to survive the impending zombie outbreak: machetes, axes, knives, and a few more knives for good measure. Basically anything bladed that’s remotely useful is packed into this baby.

It’s also worth noting that this doesn’t just have novelty appeal–Gerber has been making knives for more than 70 years and is one of the premier manufacturers in the USA.


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Lego Lord of the Rings Tower of Orthanc

8 pounds, 2 feet tall, and over 2,500 pieces

If you’re into Lego and Lord of the Rings and you have a lot of time on your hands plus a few feet of space to devote to a Lego tower…then you’re going to want the Lego Lord of the Rings Tower of Orthanc.

This bad boy weighs in at nearly 8 pounds, measures over 2 feet tall, and is built with over 2,500 pieces. It has you build all 6 floors filled with fascinating movie-related details including the attic, library, alchemy room, Saruman’s throne room, entrance hall and dungeon. It also comes with a Great Eagle, buildable Ent figure and 5 minifigures with weapons: Saruman, Grima Wormtongue, Gandalf the Grey, an Uruk-hai, and the Orc Pitmaster.


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Death Star Silicone Mold

Ice cubes, chocolate balls, candles, and even soaps

This silicone Death Star mold is freezer and oven safe, so you can freeze and bake to your heart’s content. And if you want to go all out, you can have even more fun with the rest of the company’s molds:


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Accoutrements Horse Head Mask

Just plain fun

If you want to make life a bit more fun, wear a horse head mask around for a day. And then send me the video so I can include it on a Cool Stuff of the Week post. Seriously. Anyone? Read More...

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Fred and Friends Samurai Cake Slicer

Swift, silent, and fun

If you want to cut your baked goods with swift, silent, and deadly precision, then you want the right type of cake slicer. This (plastic) samurai sword will do nicely. Read More...

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Tower Adventurer Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board

Good quality and fantastic price

Paddle boarding is getting more and more popular these days as a fun, relaxing way to get in some exercise.

If you’re into it, or want to get started, but don’t live by the surf, this inflatable stand-up paddle board might be right up your alley. It not only looks great, it’s 6 inches thick and extremely rigid, which means you stay stable and your feet stay out of the water.

The price is also fantastic considering the average cost of other inflatables and fiberglass boards.


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DJI Phantom Quadcopter

300-meter range, GPS positioning, and programmable

There are cheaper UAV drones out there but there’s a reason why the Phantom is receiving all the praise.

It uses a handheld controller instead of an app, it has a 300-meter range, it uses GPS positioning technology to compensate light wind, it can be programmed to return to its takeoff position and land if the connection to the controller is lost, it has a programmable autopilot mode, and more.


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Airsoft Grenade Launcher

Fun, safe, and looks awesome

Playing a little too much Call of Duty? You’re probably itching to get your hands on a grenade launcher. But since a real one is probably out of reach, it’s a good thing you can satisfy the urge for high-powered weaponry with a BB gun.

The ICS-10- GLM Grenade Launcher is an airsoft gun that has capacity for six 40mm shells. With an adjustable rear stock for comfort in multiple shooting positions, it’s great for gameplay, as a prop for costumes, or just to make any afternoon running around the backyard a lot more fun.

GLM frames are made of impact-resistant polymer and incorporate a fully integrated rail system for the addition of grips, lasers, and other tactical gear.


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Turbospoke Bicycle Exhaust System

Safe, battery-free, and fun

If your kids aren’t quite ready for a real motorcycle, check out the Turbospoke as a safe alternative.

This toy is a battery-free, pedal-powered attachment for bike wheels 16” and larger that offers the look – and classic vroom vroom sound – of a motorcycle exhaust pipe. It may seem fancy but is really an upgrade of the ol’ playing-card-in-the-spokes trick.


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Catchy and great for lifting

Skrillex is back with Recess, and it’s quite different than his previous work, which was more about robot noises and massive drops than the harmonies and song structures most people look for in music.

Recess will make you want to dance more than mosh, and the songs that really stand out for me are All is Fair in Love and BrostepRecess, Try It Out, Dirty Vibe, and Ragga Bomb. All is Fair in Love and Brostep, Dirty Vibe and Ragga Bomb are great lifting songs as well–loud bass and catchy hooks help me hit PRs. :)


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In this section you’ll find a mish-mash of products that I thought you might like but that didn’t warrant their own categories.

Pimsleur Language Courses

Fun, short, and at a good gradient

I recently decided to start learning other languages (beginning with German), and after trying a couple products (Michel ThomasRosetta Stone, and Pimsleur), I like Pimsleur the most.

Here’s why:

  • The lessons are short (30 minutes) long, so you can get through at least one per day.
  • You start out by learning essential grammar and vocabulary, as opposed to random nouns and verbs.
  • The repetition is just enough to maximize retention without boring you to death.
  • The MP3 format is great–I upload the courses to my Google Music account and use my phone to go through them while I drive, do cardio, etc.

If you’ve been wanting to learn a language, I highly recommend you give a Pimsleur course a go. 


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Star Wars: Frames

High-quality prints and beautiful hard covers

If you’re an avid Star Wars fan like me, you’re going to want this.

For two years Lucas went through more than 150,000 frames per film, editing more than 1 million frames, and chose 1,416 images that now comprise Star Wars: Frames,

The selected images are printed in two beautiful hardcover volumes–one for the Original Trilogy, and another for the Prequel Trilogy–which come in a beautiful sleeve.


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Kikkerland Samurai Umbrella

Fight the rain and look cool

Fight rain with honor and resolve with your very own samurai…umbrella!

Yeah, it’s kinda kitschy, but it’s an umbrella with an awesome samurai handle and scabbard!


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"That's No Moon" Star Wars Sunshade

Impress other geeks and keep your car cool

If you want to make other geeks jealous, get this sunshade.

It features the timeless shot of the Millenium Falcon getting pulled into the Death Star, fits most cars perfectly, and is a plastic material, not a cheap cardboard.


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Quicksweat Dice

Simple, fun, and ultra portable

Quick Sweat Dice is a fitness dice game that makes working out fun. Here’s the lowdown:

  • With this 6 dice set, you have access to 462 unique workout combinations.
  • For beginner to advanced fitness enthusiasts: You’ll get a fun and challenging workout if you’ve been going to the gym for 20 years, or just driving by a gym for 20 years.
  • Ultra portable: I mean really, your gym towel takes up more space.
  • Absolutely zero equipment is needed. I mean zero, no chin up bars, no towels, no stairs, no chairs. All you need is two arms, two legs and a competitive attitude.

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Razorpit Men's Razor Blade Sharpener

Cleans razors, saves money

Each time you shave, skin cells, water, and keratin are left on the blades, which eventually causes them to feel much duller than they actually are. We throw them away, but under the gunk, they’re still sharp enough to be used.

The RazorPit can fix that. It uses a patented friction technology to clean off the residue, leaving you with a clean and sharp razor blade.

The big bonus here is SAVINGS–this thing can extend the life of each of your razor blades by MONTHS.


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Snow Wolf Snow Shovel

Fast, easy, and pain-free

This is for all my snowbound readers. Shovel 2 – 3x faster and say goodbye to back pain because this innovative snow shovel moves heavy loads of snow without twisting or lifting, making clearing large areas a breeze. Read More...

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Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds

Colder drinks, and less diluted

If you want to fully enjoy that meticulously-aged scotch without traditional ice cubes diluting it down, then you want a sphere ice mold.

This shape minimizes the surface area and therefore the water that makes its way into your drink.


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Lotus Grill

Fuel efficient, mess-free, and dishwasher safe

The Lotus Grill is a smokeless BBQ grill. It works by forcing hot air over the charcoal, which creates high heat, but bypasses the smoking stage of the cooking process.

It’s perfect for grilling on a balcony, the beach, a boat, a picnic, camping trip, etc. It’s ready to BBQ within 3 minutes of firing it up, it has heat control, it’s very fuel efficient, mess-free, and dishwasher safe.


Concorde Jet Model

Beautiful and glamorous

Random, I know, but this beautiful model of the Concorde just caught my eye. Crafted from polished aluminum and poised in mid take-off, it perfectly captures the beauty of its sleek delta wing and pivoting nose, evoking a time when air travel was still glamorous and thrilling. Read More...

Fluent Forever

Fast, simple, and effective

My wife and her family are bi-lingual (they’re German), so I’ve been regularly reminded over the years that I like the idea of learning and speaking a couple of languages.

Well, I recently put in a couple hundred hours doing Michel Thomas’ and Pimsleur’s German courses and while I learned quite a bit, I was actually pretty disappointed with how impractical my vocabulary was after it all. I was basically a functional tourist but couldn’t actually talk about anything that mattered to me.

Thus, I began looking around for a better way to learn German that would actually meet my needs, and I ran into Gabriel Wyner’s work and decided to check out his most recent book, Fluent Forever.

Well, I’m thoroughly impressed. He really has developed an elegant system of learning and retaining languages that has gotten me excited to get back on my German grind.


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Personal Viking Ship

Hand-crafted, beautiful, and fun

Even if you aren’t a sailing enthusiast, this toy might be for you.

Live out your dreams of being a Viking warrior, or use your hand-crafted vessel to fish, paddle the local lake, or rediscover childhood imagination by recreating historical scenes.

No matter what you do with your personal Viking ship, it’s sure to be one hell of a conversation piece whether on the water or in your living room.


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Cuisinart CGG-180 Portable Gas Grill

Portable, versatile, and useful

Whether you’re stoked it’s the start of football season (in other words, tailgating time), plan to camp as much in the fall as in the summer, or need to make the most of a small patio, this portable grill is versatile enough to be the perfect way to prepare burgers and sausages.

The Cuisinart Petit Gourmet portable gas grill has telescoping legs so it becomes small enough to carry with one hand like a briefcase. And yet this tiny cooking machine transforms into a 145-square-inch platform for steaks, kebabs, packets of veggies, and other outdoor grilling favorites.


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Picnic Time Insulated Cooler and Propane Grill Tote

Useful, innovative, and great for partying anywhere

Party anywhere with this innovative Picnic Time cooler tote.

Not only is it insulated to keep your beers and other beverages cool, but it also hides an entire grill set-up, including the grate, a stand, portable propane.

The seemingly simple tote also packs away three stainless steel tools like a spatula that also has a bottle opener, and the cooler holds up to two dozen cans of soda or beer, all stored in one easy-to-carry container.

It’s also easy to carry thanks to the hefty handle on top, a carrying strap, and the removable cooler insert has two handles on the sides.


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Useful and safe

When you’re on the move — running, biking, climbing, or otherwise traveling — it’s not always possible to leave your gear behind.

If you’re training for a race, you’ll need some gel packs or other fuel. If you’re jogging around the neighborhood, you’ll at least want a house key, maybe also a fitness tracker. And if you’re doing anything anywhere, chances are you want your phone within reach at all times.

No matter what small personal items you want to bring with, they’ll fit safely in the FlipBelt. The stretchy fabric contains four pockets to stay organized and comes in 10 colors. It can be pulled on like a pair of pants to sit snug at the hips, and it flips inside-out to secure your stuff.


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Delivers personal care products right to your door

Sample junkies no longer have to beg at Sephora to try new skincare or shampoo–Birchbox delivers several uses of personal care products, as well as grooming tools, to your door every month. Read More...

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Pelican U100 Elite Backpack

Rugged, useful, and safe

Want to head outside, but can’t bear the thought of leaving your laptop behind? There’s nothing like this backpack for rugged tech travel. Read More...

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