Op-Ed

Op-Ed
Team Humidor's Most Coveted Gadgets

Team Humidor | 24 Jan 2008 22:33
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The Dyson Vacuum Cleaner - Julianne Greer
I want it, but I don’t have it.

The Dyson Vacuum Cleaner was actually born as an air filter. James Dyson created his cyclone technology first to clean the air his factory making a … fancy wheelbarrow. Yeah. But, somewhere along the way, Dyson wondered if the cyclone technology could be adapted and put into the most powerful vacuum cleaner ever.

And five years and more than 5,000 prototypes after this thought occurred, a vacuum cleaner based on the air filter unit using centrifugal forces over 100,000 times gravity's power was born. Yes, in the early 1980s, a vacuum cleaner stronger than Earth was created. And the world rejoiced.

Now, 20 years later, and multiple iterations, improvements and upgrades, Dyson makes some of the highest end, most powerful vacuums on the market. And I have two large dogs, a collie and a white German shepherd, who shed everywhere like it’s their jobs. And I’m a gamer and creative person, whose unstated, yet required uniform is black. You see where I’m going with this?

I really need a great vacuum. Yes, it’s pricey, but I think I’ve come close to spending the purchase price on those little tape lint rollers over the past few years. Someday …

The Nike+iPod - Russ Pitts

As far as technology I've been able to get my hands (and feet) on, Nike+iPod takes the cake. Away from me actually, because after using this thing for a month or so, I've become so health conscious I hardly do anything fun anymore. I don't drink, don't smoke and don't eat pie. What I do do is run. A lot. And my Nike+iPod is there with me.

The Nike+iPod is a multi-part invention. The first part, the sensor, fits snugly in a specially designed receptacle inside certain Nike Shoes. I bought mine, the Air Pegasus, for about $80. The second part is a receiver that plugs into the iPod Nano. The sensor sends out signals telling the receiver how often your foot strikes the ground, and how long it stays there. The receiver transmits this information to the iPod Nano, where the Nike+ software decodes the signals to tell you how fast you're going, how far you've gone and how many calories you've burned. The iPod then stores this information and tells you if you've improved. Then Lance Armstrong tells you you're doing great. I'm not kidding. The folks at Nike (or Apple - it's all very mysterious) recorded the voices of celebs like Armstrong to enhance the experience, urging you on and reminding you how awesome you are. It's like having a personal trainer who fits in a shoe and plays music. Jillian can suck it.

After you've logged some runs, the iPod automatically transmits your run data (if you want it to) to the Nike website, where you can map your runs, compare them, track them, set goals, challenges and even share your highs and lows with the entire Nike+ community. It's like having a support group in a tiny, little music player. Plus, the idea my shoes are talking to my iPod just never stops being cool. I strap mine to my upper arm and feel like the bionic man whenever I'm running. Gives me that extra oomph. Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na.

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