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Pocket Tool Thin as a Credit Card and Infinitely More Useful

1379974_215012588622939_289233868_nSome people are born mechanics, even if they never pursue that field. We call them handy fellows and sometimes burst out singing the chorus of “Bob the Builder” when their pocket tools make an appearance.

Yet not as many handy fellows carry pocket tools as you might think, because so few pocket tools are truly handy. Unhandiness is the last charge anyone would ever think to level against the PocketMonkey.

pocketmonkey-closeup-inWallet-bgIt’s as thin and flat as a credit card and fits into a wallet the same way. Nate Barr, the handy fellow that created PocketMonkey, designed it initially with twelve uses in mind. Other handy fellows are constantly discovering more.

The PocketMonkey is three different kinds of screwdriver: the customary flat tip screwdriver, a miniature screwdriver like the one needed to repair eyeglasses, and a Phillips screwdriver. All consist of simple blades, without handles and without jutting edges.

Any multi-tool worth its salt includes a bottle opener, and the PocketMonkey is emphatically worth its salt.

pocketmonkey-orangePeeler-260You would expect a tool with the shape and face of a monkey to include fruit functions, wouldn’t you? PocketMonkey peels oranges and slices the tops off bananas, things not even the long-fingernailed among us always accomplish with ease.

How about lock-picking? Remember, a door’s lock only prevents the door knob from turning; the latch is still free. The PocketMonkey’s thin frame can slip between the latch and its corresponding hollow in the doorframe and force them apart, opening the door without even unlocking it.

The built-in letter and package opener rips through paper and tape as easily as a pocket knife would. Two rulers, one metric and the other standard, are printed along the sides. Five different sizes of hex wrenches come standard: find a bolt and slide the wrench hollow over it until one size sticks.  To top it all off, the PocketMonkey combined with a credit card makes a really great phone stand.

 

 

Scott Morris – Co-Founder & President at Freshpet

ScottAndDerek for Email Blast

Scott Morris, Co-Founder and president at Freshpet talks with Derek Ridenoure about his company’s journey from product development to retail shelves across the country. Continue reading

Tom Muccio – President of Global Customer Teams (retired) Procter & Gamble

TomMuccioStillWP

Tom Muccio – President of Global Customer Teams (retired) Procter & Gamble, talks with Derek Ridenoure about early stage CPG strategies that work.

Continue reading

Blink: Effortless and Affordable HD Home Monitoring

a455c5167dabbc818eb4aef2d1a632c4_largeBlink, the up and coming wire free HD home monitoring and alert system, promises a new day in affordability and adaptability for home monitoring systems.  Crowdfunding on Kickstarter has been a smashing success,  attracting over 5,500 backers and raising more than 4 times their goal with only a few days left in the campaign.

The genius lies in its simplicity of use and versatility.  No wires or outlets are necessary, save one outlet for the accompanying Sync Module.  That’s one outlet for the entire system, not one per Blink box.  The Blink itself is powered by two regular CR123 batteries that last up to one year.  Information is displayed through the Blink app on your iOS or Android, and there are no monthly fees.

The Coolest Cooler

869d96b44377164366c7c4ef6beac4c4_largeThe man who set his mind to building a new kind of cooler wouldn’t have had to do much to improve on the old one. Short of accidentally omitting its insulative properties, any change to your average cooler would be an improvement.

But in adding features and improving old ones, something amazing happened. The resulting cooler was cool. It was the Coolest Cooler there had ever been.

The Coolest Cooler has wheels big enough to be called tires. Pulled along like a suitcase, this cooler will bounce along over obstacles like a Jeep.

faf63cb91e9f4005df4bbceca1489e36_largeYou know the feeling of opening a refrigerator door late at night and being bathed in its angelic glow? LED lights built into the Coolest Cooler’s lid achieve the same effect. You might start singing.

A removable divider separates the ice from the food, preventing sad and soggy drowned sandwiches. Slots in the lid perfectly fit plates and silverware for easy take along.

blender_smI’ve saved the best for last. The Coolest Cooler includes a blender that operates on the lid. You have ice, you have drinks – it seems meant to be. Slushies, smoothies, mixed drinks, shakes… The pairing of cooler and blender seems like it should have been obvious; that’s how we know it was such a great idea.

On the Coolest’s front, a Bluetooth waterproof speaker brings the music with the food, another natural pairing.

All of this is USB rechargeable. Are you rushing to the Coolest Kickstarter page yet? At the time of this writing, it had raised over eleven million dollars and had thirty-six short hours left of its campaign.

 

 

A New Kind of Construction Set

0a02ae70a80605bc94cfbe09ec8e1e50_largeI never jumped on the Lego bandwagon. I was too busy digging stray pieces out of the vacuum cleaner and out of my bruised and lacerated feet.

The grooved log connectors of Lincoln Logs appealed to small fingers, but a kid can only build a log house so many times.

f956aca9f5e032b1fb5ef929ffece1e3_largeWoodyMac borrows a little  from both to achieve its creator’s own more expansive vision of architecture.

Three main pieces make up WoodyMac’s construction scheme: cube connectors, deeply ridged beams, and walls. The cube connectors connect the beams magnetically and with force – they can be pulled apart but will never collapse. The walls slide down into the grooves of the beams, very securely. Some walls come with doors, some come with windows, and others are simple slabs.

The arrangement is deceptively simple. With these three components, an imaginative builder can create almost any structure, mainly differentiated by the addition or omission of walls. For instance, a fort might be more beam than wall, and it would certainly have no great profusion of doors. A house would be more wall than beam, and nearly every wall would have a window.

ba36517d101e9d13b58ebb0a6caa1760_largeCertain sets come with specialized components: staircases and signs, light fixtures and furniture, fences and roofs. I even caught a glimpse of an inground swimming pool.

Customization doesn’t end with WoodyMac’s makers. If WoodyMac looks bare, it needn’t stay that way. Its blank aspect encourages artistry as well as architecture: paints and texturizers and wallpapers, judiciously or injudiciously applied, will further make your creation all your own.

 

 

 

 

A Knife Called Splendiferous

737783584a43f10b04238fb20bf5bf62_largeThese guys take butter very seriously.

At least they appear to be serious.

The problem? Cold butter doesn’t spread unless first beaten into submission. The solution? Grate and aerate it with The Stupendous Splendiferous ButterUp Knife.

Doubters and cynics will ask, Why not just leave a slab of butter out on the counter for a few hours? Or throw it into the microwave for seven seconds?

photo-main (13)ButterUp is about convenience. Without forethought (to leave out butter for future consumption) and without effort (to master the delicate trick of softening but not melting butter in the microwave), it can spread butter straight out of the fridge, not to mention those butter substitutes refrigerated by necessity.

0d5cb4201e236767425f353ea452ec24_largeTraditional butter knives had one thing right: the broad blade. ButterUp kept it. On one side you have a serrated edge, useful for cutting bread and for leaving neat little rows in the butter spread on it. On the other you have the true innovation: a grater designed specifically for butter or buttery substances. It slices cold butter into neat little curlicues that spread easily and do no violence to toast (really, have curlicues ever been known to do violence to anything?).

 

 

 

The ElectroVine: It’s Not Every Extension Cord That Grows Leaves

ac63be896f9d94324cdf56161331682d_largeRunning wires. Nothing quite ruins the cool and serene look of your favorite room like a black snaky thing running the length of the floor.

Extension cords aren’t going away. They are a necessary evil - unsightly, but necessary.

Nature’s equivalent to the running wire is the vine. Now the problem seems workable.

A vine that conducts electricity would meet the demands of the utilitarian while satisfying the sentiments of the aesthete. Enter the electroVine.

Twenty-six synthetic ivy leaf clusters fasten by tiny clamps to six feet of cord, every inch of it green. Leaves and cord and plug-in are all of one hue, so no part of electroVine betrays it as something so industrial and unidealistic as an extension cord.

ElectroVine’s clamped leaf cluster arrangement comes fully intact, with each cluster attached in advance. The clamps remove and adjust easily, so you can position them where they’re needed.

Even if the distance between the outlet and, say, a lamp doesn’t call for the use of an extra six feet of wire, the winsome quality of an electric vine might just incite you to tuck away the attached cord and leave only electroVine in view.

 

 

Seafood to Save the Fish

1185640_726242310729534_1369161944_nShrimp that aren’t shrimp, fish fillets with no fish, crabless crabcakes, scallops that are no such thing – reserve judgment until you’ve read the ingredient list.

Sophie’s Kitchen produces vegan seafood for the conscientious and the highly allergic. All its offerings are plant-based, without a trace of meat or gluten – or eggs, it is to be assumed – or anything else morally dubious or potentially anaphylactic.

The main ingredient and shape-holder of Sophie’s Kitchen seafood is a yam named Konjac, a slightly salty but largely tasteless root. Potato flakes and pea protein occasionally pick up the slack in texture. Canola oil holds the mixture of starches together, and sea weed imparts a subtle seafood flavor. Sea salt and a specific mixture of spices further mimic the real deal seafood to which you’ve bidden farewell for reasons of your own.

Their product list covers nearly every form of seafood best loved in the West: canned tuna, breaded fishless sticks and fillets, crab cakes, squid, shrimp, scallops, salmon.

 

 

 

Gigs 2 Go: Tear and Share Flash Drives

g2g_torn_largeGigs 2 Go tear and share flash drives are a product whose time has truly come.

Easy, fun, and inexpensive, they eliminate the need to track down high dollar thumb drives from friends and colleagues after loaning them out. The perforated tabs make for an especially innovative way to share data with potential clients, or to share and promote projects, artwork, music, or new businesses.  Feel good about leaving them behind with people you may never see again; you always have more ready to go.

Made from recycled paper pulp, four drives fit on a sheet about the size of a credit card.  The brain child of product designer Kurt Rampton of the BOLTgroup, they come in 4 pks of 4, 8, or 16 GB capacities.

 

 


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