New Writing Gadgetry That Will Blow Your Mind

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Tower Inflatable Paddle Board

Pens With WiFi?

If you read TechCrunch you’re on top of all of the cool shit they are putting out on a weekly basis. The other day I saw a product that was pepper spray, a camera and it automatically dialed 9-1-1. Uh, the bad guys don’t even stand a chance. They’ll be flailing on the ground with burning eyes, the entire thing will be recorded and the cops will be on their way. That’s insane, I guess I don’t need my Surefire tactical pen for self defense anymore.

Now the next thing I’m about to tell you about might be even more mind blowing. Although that self defense tool if pretty nuts.

A Pen With Wifi

Livescribe is the brains behind this technology and it’s pretty damn cool pen. It makes my other pens look shabby. You might be thinking, okay so a pen has wifi. Great, there is literally WiFi everywhere, why do I need my pen to give off a weak signal as well?

The idea got started because the founder was having troubles remember what he was being said when he wrote certain things down. This happens to all of us, whether it’s in a board meeting or in class.

So here is the scoop. When you write it records the audio. Both the audio and the notes are automatically sent via Wifi to Evernote. This way when you want to see the notes or the audio you can get them on or offline. Pretty damn slick hey? The coolest part about this whole operation might be the fact that you can tap on any section of notes and the audio will replay from the time you wrote those notes down. I have no idea how that works but it sounds completely badass.

So when you’re put pen to paper you’re not going to forget what was said at that exact moment. And the best part? Well okay, I’ve said the best part a lot. One of the cooler things about this is the fact that you can share all of these documents and audio files with your classmates or your co-workers. And it’s not a pain in the ass because it’s stored on your evernote. So no more photocopying notes or trying to remember what the prof said at a given point in time, it’ll just happen. Which is completely badass.

What You Need in a Barbecue Toolkit

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The beers are in the chiller, the chairs are all laid out for the guests and you’ve brought the food out of the fridge ready for cooking. But before you start working up the magic on your grill or Best Electric Smoker, you need what every barbecue enthusiast should have in their arsenal: a good barbecue toolkit.

Aside from just helping you cook the best food in your smoker from Smoky Goodness BBQ, you also need tools to help clean your cooking appliances so you can keep making that sizzling food for many summer’s to come. Read on to find out the essential items you’ll need in your BBQ toolkit.

Stainless steel spatula

Don’t even contemplate having a barbecue without a good spatula to hand. All those juicy burgers are going to be red raw inside if you don’t have a strong spatula to press them down with. And for general flipping and tossing of food, a spatula is essential. You need one that can slide under food without leaving most of it stuck to the grill, so don’t buy a thick plastic design.

Locking tongs

As essential to a barbecue toolkit as a spatula, tongs allow you to get a good grip on your food. Agood pair are easy to squeeze but springy at the same time. You also want your tongs to be able to grip small or large pieces of food without crushing it or cutting into it. So the best types have a gripping edge that delicately grips your food without doing any damage to it.

Wireless thermometer

No matter how experienced you are with cooking, you aren’t going to be able to tell the inside temperature of a piece of meat ñ and in turn whether it is cooked through or not – without a thermometer. You want a good, reliable one that is sturdy enough to last after many cooking sessions. You also want the probe to be stainless steel and thick enough so you can plunge it into the thickest bits of meat without it buckling. The best meat thermometers are wireless, and some even let you leave the probe inside the meat, close the smoker/oven door and take a reading on the temperature on the monitor outside.

Marinade brush

Some of the tastiest and juiciest barbecue foods need a good marinade or sauce to bring out the flavor of the meat and vegetables, and with these dishes are marinade brush is going to be indispensable Brush over your meats or vegetables with this tool, but remember to wash the brush after you have applied it to raw meats.

Looftlighter

If you are serious about your barbecues then you are going to be lighting things on a pretty regular basis, so instead of using a box of matches, spend some bucks on a good barbecue lighter. Looftlighter’s are more than just a lighter, though, as they have a fan that blows heat to quickly ignite coals in seconds. It also has a blower to stoke the fires once you have your coals burning.

Steel Grill Brush

A must after every barbecue session, these little tools are cheap and easy to use. Buy the better brushes that have replaceable steel scouring pads that clean your grates better and faster than cheaper wire bristles.

 

Hair Styling Technology – Curling Wands And More

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A curling wand is simply a curling iron that does not include the clamp element that holds hair down or in place. For the curl to take place, one wraps the hair around the wand until the desired curl is achieved. With a bit of practice, one can become efficient using a curling wand. Since the wand can heat up faster than the normal curling iron, it is a favorite for style and use. No more tangles or getting caught in the clamp or clasp of the curling iron. Also, the amount of hair damage is greatly reduced as well. Many prefer the ceramic models but all of the wands are very efficient to use over time and with practice.

One should take their time in selecting the right curling wand for their individual use. Everyone’s hair is different and everyone has a separate sense of what they desire their hair to look like and what tools that they are comfortable with in styling their hair. If you do not have the budget to buy several wands at one time, one should go into cooperative agreements with girlfriends and associates who also use various wands and try the various wand styles before they settle on the curling wand that they prefer. For information on how to find the, best curling wand, betterhairday.com can help serve as a guide in the curling wand selection process. One should not discount price but many feel that there is no price on achieving the quality of one’s hair. Below is a great video if you are unsure about what a curling wand is, or how to use one.

Many people also suffer from a condition simply known as oily hair. This is a result of natural build up of sebum produced by one’s body at the scalp. There are a number of products that can help to bring the sebum back into balance without introducing additional chemicals such as sulfates. These products are considered botanical based and does not leave the user with dry hair such as other treatments and shampoos. These products also do not remove much needed nutrients from one’s hair and scalp and work to moisturize one’s hair without causing the gross buildup of grease like materials.

As each person’s hair is different, one should try a few of these products to determine which one’s is most effective in cleansing one’s scalp as well as eliminating dandruff. One should expect different results for one’s hair. The success of the treatment will depend on the person’s lifestyle and what elements their hair is exposed to on a daily basis. Temperature, climate and time of season also play a large factor in determining the success of a particular product or treatment.

The following products are described in more detail in the link at the end. Rosemary and Basil Organic Shampoo, “American Crew Daily” Shampoo, “Kerastase Specifique Bain Exfoliant Purifiant” Shampoo (Unisex), “Senscience” a Specialty Shampoo and “Blowpro Faux” a Dry Shampoo. Sourced: helpful hints to cure oily hair problems.

Why Every Home Should Have a Wi-Fi Access Point

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So you enjoy surfing the net for the newest gadgets on the market to make your life better, and you’ve already checked out the cat  Litter Robot reviews and have one on the way. So now you’re ready for something new, something to mainstream your life and let technology make things even easier, as if an automatic pooper-scooper wasn’t enough. Enter the Wi-Fi access point.

You don't need Wi-Fi access to own a Litter Robot

Courtesy of Mike McCune

Network Powerline Adapter

wi-fi access point is exactly what it sounds like: a point in your home where you can access your internet where the Wi-Fi signal may be weak or dead. What the network power line adapter does is give you an access point to your home network that you previously didn’t have, and it doesn’t require running Ethernet line all over the house. Most power line adapters come with two devices: one device that plugs into the wall outlet closest to your router with an Ethernet line running straight to it, then one plugged into a wall outlet in the weak/dead spot in the house with another Ethernet cord going from it to the device you want to use. Any device that can accept an Ethernet wire can be used, and it gives you much faster speeds than Wi-Fi alone so you don’t have to worry about the family hogging up all of the Wi-Fi channels.

Pros 

The power line network adapter serves a couple different purposes: a constant connection, quicker speeds, and a connection in spots where Wi-Fi couldn’t reach before. The best bet for these devices is to have whoever uses the most bandwidth in the house use the power line adapter. Since they are the ones clogging up the channels and eating up your Internet data, it’s best to let them use it. If everyone is using about the same, it’s best for whoever is farthest away from the Wi-Fi connection because they won’t have to worry about a dropped signal in the middle of a game, video, chat, etc. The connection is hard line, convenient, and fast.

Cons 

The first and most obvious con is that you have to buy something else to make this happen, and it’s not a cheap $5 or $10 fix like running a line from the router straight to the device that needs the connection. The power line adapters can run anywhere from around $50 up to $200 or more, depending on the speed and access points on the adapter. The adapters also don’t work well at all with power surge connectors. You have to remember it’s pulling the Internet signal from the router, to the adapter connected to the router, through the wiring in your home, and then to the wall outlet. If it also has to go through the power surge to get to the second adapter, it’s probably going to provide a spotty connection. The adapters are also bulky and can cover up the second mount in the wall outlet they’re connected to.

Skin Cream… for Dudes?

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I jokingly like to call myself a fontologist. Really, though I’m a typographer. Or, more accurately, I’m a student of typography (i.e. I don’t actually create letters; I specialize in the design). So, in a lot of ways, I’m like a designer. In school, typography students end up taking a lot of the same classes as designers because, really, typography is a field based on aesthetics. To be good at typography, you have to understand what looks good. More importantly, you have to understand what’s stylish.

And, like with most designers, that bleeds over into my personal style. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Everyone knows a designer. And most designers are as nuts about their personal style as they are about their graphic design. I’m kind of the same way. Style is just important to me. I don’t mind spending a few extra bucks to put together an outfit that I think looks really great. I spend money on really good haircuts. I like shoes. You get the idea. It’s just… important.

That’s why acne was such a pain the butt for me for such a long time. I did struggle with acne for a while when I was younger. And, if you’ve ever had acne, you know how much it stinks. But in many ways, it’s even worse for a designer – someone who cares so much about making things look nice. So, having acne was a struggle for me.

Eventually, I got it under control (for those of you wondering, it was a combination of getting very gentle cleansers and eating much better, cleaner food). And let me tell you: it was such a relief to finally get to stop worrying about breakouts. I didn’t have to wake up in the morning dreading looking in the mirror because I didn’t want to know what new and monstrous pimple and popped up during the night. It took years, but I was finally over the stupid acne that had made my life miserable for nearly five years.

However (there’s always a “however” isn’t there?), I wasn’t totally done. Like many people who’ve struggled with acne, when I finally got it under control, I was left with dark spots. Dark spots, or postinflamatory hyperpigmentation, is basically a bunch of concentrated pigment left over from your skin healing itself. So, it’s a natural part of the process, and my dermatologist told me that these things actually go away on their own, but I still wanted to find something to help me now.

It took me a long time to find a cream that helped alleviate some of the symptoms I was experiencing. After trying a bunch, I settled for the Proactiv cream. Don’t get me wrong, though, this isn’t some kind of advertisement for Proactiv. There are plenty of creams out there that work just fine. The point is, really, that the creams do work.

And I guess my other point is that guys shouldn’t be afraid to try cosmetic products. Really, who cares? I think the most important thing is to try to be happy with yourself in the first place. If that’s the case, picking up a skin cream to help you increase your confidence really isn’t that big of a deal. It worked for me, anyway!

How Workout Supplements Help You Lead a Healthier Life

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FTF ArticleAre you wondering if you could benefit from the use of supplements like creatine, protein or strength training products to help increase the benefits of your workout? Starting your workouts with the right supplementation could help get and keep you in “the zone.”

Workout supplements can help increase the benefits of your workout and provide you with enough energy and zeal to get you through your workout. Supplements can also aid in nutrition to help build and repair muscles and cartilage after your workout and even help protect your joints during your workout. According to experts, a list of workout supplements you should add to your exercise routine include a multivitamin, fish oils, probiotics, Tongkat ali, bio cell collagen, and protein powders. Let’s look at what these workout supplements can do for you.

Multivitamin-experts suggests, because of exposure to pollutants, stress, and the consumption of nutritive robbed fruits and vegetables, those wanting to consume a healthier lifestyle should incorporate a natural multivitamin to their workout regimen. Natural multivitamins are free of dyes, chemicals, and fillers, which makes them more effective than those than those that are not.

Fish oil-aids your workout by preventing muscle break down, enhances fat loss, increases joint healing, and strengthens the immune system and brain function.

Probiotics- promotes “good” bacteria which helps your gut function properly, which aids in the absorption of nutrients, and build muscles. According to experts, when selecting a pro-biotic supplement, you should choose a non-refrigerated variety because condensation and moisture can affect the activity and viability of the cultures.

Tongkat ali-this is a Malysian botanical that is used to support proper cortisol and testosterone levels. There is one type specially formulated for men and one type specially formulated for women.

Biocell Collagen Hyaluronic Acid-vigorous exercises can really take a toll on connective tissues and joints, so experts recommend the addition of a joint support supplement such as bio cell collagen with hyaluronic acid, which helps to lubricate joints, strengthen cartilage, and promote joint cell and healthy connective tissues. According to experts, it’s also good for reversing aging skin, sun damage, wrinkles, and depigmentation
Protein powders- taken throughout the day as meal replacements and at night before bed time, can help repair muscle damage after a strenuous workout.

Creatine – Nutritionists recommend that you take this product if you are looking to build muscle and increase strength during regular workout routines.

The right pre-workout supplements can help improve every aspect of your workout regimen from strength training and endurance, to your focus. Different supplements work to improve different parts of the body as well as different parts of the session. According to experts, because different people react differently to different supplements, you should consult your physician for an individualized supplement regimen just for you. Pre-workout supplements that contain caffeine are becoming more popular with the fitness crowd, but because it can cause negative side effects in those with caffeine sensitivities, be sure to check with your physician to see if it is right for you.

Types of Home Safes and Why You Need Them

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Protect your valuables with a safe

A home safe isn’t just for the wealthy, and it doesn’t have to be hidden in the wall behind an expensive painting. If you have documents, pictures, jewelry or anything that you want to keep safe, you should consider purchasing a home safe. Common documents that you could consider keeping in a home safe are birth certificates, life insurance policies, tax returns, passports and estate planning documents.

For Crime Prevention

Most people associate a “safe” with protection against crime. That is not the only function of a home safe though. A home safe can protect your documents against fire, water resistance and other natural disasters. Home safes will detail their fire-resistant properties.

 

Security for firearms

Security

Documents and fire safety

The specifications for a safe that you are only using to protect documents will be different than the specifications for one that is protecting electronic equipment (like old tape recordings or 35mm slides). The document safe doesn’t need to keep the valuables as cool. The safe specifications (for a fire safe) will also detail how many minutes of protection the safe will provide.

Fires move through a home quickly, so 30 minutes will be sufficient. If you are most interested in a safe because of crime protections, there are a few things to consider.

First, pick a big safe. If your safe weighs over 100 pounds, it isn’t going to be easy for the criminals to carry it out and work on picking the lock later. Also, you should look for a safe with solid metal and heavy doors that will make it more difficult to open using drilling, picking, or pressure tools.

 

Firearm storage and Gun Safes

Another use of a home safe is to store guns or other firearms. This is especially important if you have young children or teens living in your home, or if you have frequent visitors. We all have heard the tragic stories of lives lost through unsecure storage of firearms and a curious child. On a more positive note, your gun is an investment, and a safe will protect your gun in the event of a fire or crime. There are many options of gun safes out there, and there are now even biometric gun safes that are programmed so only you can open it.

Safe Deposit Box

An alternative to a home safe is a safety deposit box. Sure, in any Hollywood blockbuster “heist” they go after the safety deposit box, but when was the last time you actually heard of a bank robbery that involved safety deposit boxes? It is extremely rare. If you have heirloom jewelry, rare coins, or even a rare Babe Ruth rookie baseball card that might be the best option for you.

Summary

Consider how often you will need the items before you place them in the safety deposit box. You will need to evaluate the trade-offs of security versus the inconvenience of visiting the safety deposit box.

How I Improved My Oral Health With One Tool

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The title draws you in, doesn’t it? Just one tool? How? Impossible! Tell me! Please?

I know, the suspense and intrigue is killing you.

(TL;DR – I use a water flosser. An oral irrigator. A stream of water for flossing. Don’t understand? Keep reading then!)

I’ve never had terrible teeth or anything, and I’ve typically brushed twice a day and flossed most days. A bit of mouth wash a few times a week when I remember…yeah I’m not perfect but I haven’t had a cavity in years and I feel pretty good about my mouth.

So why the change?

I noticed a bit of a crack in my tooth a little while ago and was examining it closely in the mirror. I started thinking about how panicked I would be if I had to get it pulled or if it was a big crack, or all of the other things it could be (turned out it was just a chip, so no big deal).

Anyways, I started thinking about ways to ensure I was always on top of my mouth’s cleanliness. It really hit me that you only have one set of teeth once you get your adult teeth and if you screw them up now, you could be in for a world of hurt in the future.

Pain, tons of money spent, and loads of time wasted would be your punishment later in life for not taking care of your teeth now. I didn’t want any of that and I wanted to make sure I took care of the only set I’m going to have until I die, so I started doing some research. I came up with a few things, but the one thing that has done the most for me is this:

I started using a water flosser in conjunction with my existing oral health routine.

So now my routine looks like this, and I definitely do it twice a day:

  • Brush my teeth with a good toothbrush
  • Brush my gums, tongue, and cheeks lightly
  • Floss with dental floss (the string kind)
  • Floss with my water flosser (so awesome, seriously. I read up about them here)
  • Swish and gurgle with mouth wash (about a minute, not just a few seconds)

It’s pretty intense, but a small price to pay for years of good, worry-free teeth!

(If you’re wondering, I picked up the highly recommended Waterpik Ultra).

water flosser

AUUUGHH teeth!

How To Trim Your Beard for Work

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Many men out there have had beards for years and always appear to be perfectly groomed. Their secret is largely due to them obtaining the best beard trimmer they could find and using it diligently, learning exactly how to work it, what looks best, and making sure never to miss a shave.

What if you’ve just decided to grow a beard, though, and aren’t sure how to maintain it, particularly for important situations or professional circumstances?

The style will depend on your face shape, your personal style, how well your beard grows, and your circumstances.

If you have a dress code that extends to things like facial hair, tattoos, and the like, you should follow that as to not get in trouble. Otherwise, just be smart about your choices. A basic, full beard will do you well, as will a mustache, sideburns, or a goatee with a mustache, although a full beard is most recommended.

The first thing you must know is that it is not okay to intricately style your beard for work, no matter how low key your job setting is. It is always better to be presented as professionally as possible, so you should consider growing a very ‘normal’, respectable, but good-looking facial hair style.

Trim your beard before going to work to make sure it is of even length. Also be sure to edge it properly around your neck line and cheek line, because with a simple trim in those areas, you will look very put together. Getting those small creeping hairs does wonders for your overall appearance and presentation. Finally, if you are going to use a razor to get your neck and cheeks, be sure that it is a sharp, new razor and that you apply shaving cream and aftershave. Be careful, because there’s nothing worse than cutting yourself or getting razor burn just before getting into the office!

For more tips and for reviews of the best trimmers, make sure you visit beardguide.com and read through the articles. I’ve been doing that, and it’s actually how I decided on my first beard trimmer.

best beard trimmer

Check out this old beaut! If you’ve got one of these, it may be time for a new trimmer…

What Kind of Electronics and Grooming Tools Does a Man Need?

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Men need loads of electronics and grooming tools, but I want to talk about the bathroom portion of your life, specifically.

Whether you’ve got a beard, are clean shaven, have magnificent locks, are bald, have lots of body hair, or have none, there are some things men should be cognizant of when it comes to electronics, gadgets, and grooming tools.

1. Beard Trimmer

If you’ve got a beard, you absolutely, without a doubt, need a beard trimmer. You must keep your facial hair looking trim, neat, and clean and you simply can’t do that without a beard trimmer. If you don’t have a beard, you can always look into electric razors, or even get a beard trimmer if you like to keep fairly clean shaven but leave a bit of stubble to suit your style a bit better.

2. Nose Hair Trimmer

Let’s face it – every man has or will find an errant nose hair that tickles and is embarrassing when it can be seen coming out of your nostril. Not the sort of impression you want to give off in a meeting or on a date. Be sure to pick up a nose hair trimmer. They’re usually electric, but there is a very cool one that is actually manual and hand operated with very little to it, that does a remarkable job.

3. Electric Toothbrush

Yes, your trusty hand held manual one is fine, but to really kick it up a notch and brush like the dentists, you should invest in an electric brush for your Chiclets. It’ll help you get a better clean and the more you take care of your teeth and mouth, the better for you in basically every possible way.

The point is, there are some really cool tools out there for men in when it comes to gadgets, electronics, bathroom grooming tools, and beard trimmers! Experimenting with trimmers myself, so yeah, that’s what’s happening!