Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pinterest Roundup

 I’ve been a Pinterest junkie since the early days—its ability to let users organize what they like sends my anal retentiveness into fits of joy. I’m always looking for new design inspiration and a scroll through a few boards will always net me some great ideas. It’s like flipping through 1,000 magazines without the advertisements and the noxious perfume samples. A favorite now is to discover cool and creative products that are not only genius in their simplicity, but contribute to energy savings (both personal and electrical!). Here’s my top 5 from recent posts:

1. The sewing machine with built in ink that tints white thread to match the color you need! No more running out of the color you want, or having a stash of 4,000 spools you’ll never use again.
2. Two “no-drip” dispensers that make cooking clean and easy. There’s the syrup/honey dispenser for $15.99 ( and the pancake batter dispenser for $15.95 (

3. The pizza scissor spatula $11.99 ( Sure you have 2 products that do the same thing, but I’m thinking this single product does it better.

4. Belkin has a bunch of great energy saving products ( including this $9.99 socket that automatically shuts off when your device is charged.

5. Another energy saver: The Live Socket (looks like it’s only a foreign prototype right now: but this seems like an idea that is so quick and easy to use that hopefully it becomes a reality.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Reading List: Oceana (2011)

 Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them

Most people know Ted Danson as the loveable Sam Malone from Cheers, but what isn’t as public is his support for environmental conservancy, specifically the sea. This is hands down one of the best environmental books of the last few years…not only is it aesthetically beautiful, what’s written inside is both awesome and thoroughly frightening. It was a shock to learn that probably because of their vast size, oceans don’t have the same protections that other bodies of water do. Many think that the oceans are the environmental equivalent of “too big to fail”, when reality shows they are just as vulnerable as everything else. I’ll let the quotes speak for themselves:

p. 69 “The current rate of destruction and death among the world’s coral reefs due to a multitude of threats including trawling and bleaching is—there’s no better word for it—horrifying. Close to 30% of the world’s tropical reefs have vanished since 1980, including half of the reefs in the Caribbean.”

p. 89 “Experts say we’re within a century—possibly even less—of inhabiting a world where the only viable seafood left in the oceans will be jellyfish.”

p. 130 “Calculations show that the total area of seabed trawled by the worlds fishing fleet each year is 150 times the area of the forests cut.”

p. 182 “You show me a polluter, and I’ll show you a subsidy.” Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

p. 186 “Factor in the destruction caused by that deep-sea fishing and you’ve got a triple whammy: The public is paying to help catch those fish, we’re paying to eat them, and we’re paying to help destroy our oceans in the process. I don’t think many of us would support fishing subsidies if we were fully aware of these facts.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

“Do you ever wish you could make some things disappear?”

I’m not usually one to sit through commercials, (I’ve been watching most of my TV online these days and that usually means watching the same 4 commercials over and over again—seriously how big a problem is toilet paper for Daily Show viewers?!) but this latest one from Tampax for their Tampax Radiant product caught my attention and sparked some outrage. Let’s overlook the overtones of “if you have your period you should hide in a shack for 7 days” and focus on that tagline: “Do you ever wish you could make some things disappear?” for a product that is mostly plastic and will not biodegrade in any reasonable amount of time. (can I tell you how many plastic applicators I saw bobbing in the Hudson River this summer while living in NJ?) Look, it sometimes sucks a lot to have your period but the alternative is not very much fun either. Do I wish I could make things disappear? Yes, unnecessary one-time use plastic products like Tampax Radiant.