SMART STUFF #11, VOLUME 1. NOVEMBER 2005 |..1..2..3..4..5.....>
The 90 degree drill conversion. Sometimes there is just not enough space. In those instances this smart invention could come in handy. All you have to do is attach the 90° conversion kit to your power drill, the drill bit to the conversion piece's own chuck, and drill away to your heart's content. Can be mounted on both left and right, and works equally well for sanding or polishing. Available at Sporty's for USD 14:95.
3 November 2005
Mother of all mosquito sprays. We are aware that mosquito repellents are not really in season. But after to-day's news of the number of bookings for trips to Thailand this winter (ten months after the tsunami, travel companies have sold 70-80 percent of the available space) maybe there is a point after all.
When it gets down to mozzie sprays, a concoction called DEET is reported to have been the best/worst (you choose) money can buy for the past fifty years. We have never heard of DEET, but anything that keeps the flying pests away gets a gold star in our book. The US government agency CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has the following to say about DEET:
"Of the active ingredients registered with the EPA, CDC believes that two have demonstrated a higher degree of efficacy in the peer-reviewed, scientific literature. Products containing these active ingredients typically provide longer-lasting protection than others: DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) (and) Picaridin (KBR 3023) ... Typically, the more active ingredient a product contains the longer it provides protection from mosquito bites. The concentration of different active ingredients cannot be directly compared (that is, 10% concentration of one product doesn’t mean it works exactly the same as 10% concentration of another product.) DEET is an effective active ingredient found in many repellent products and in a variety of formulations. Based on a 2002 study (Fradin and Day, 2002):
• A product containing 23.8% DEET provided an average of 5 hours of protection from mosquitos
• A product containing 20% DEET provided almost 4 hours of protection
• A product with 6.65% DEET provided almost 2 hours of protection
• Products with 4.75% DEET were both able to provide roughly 1 and a half hour of protection."
Ben's 100 Max (A) contains 12 fl.oz of 100 percent pure Deet and it is USD 6:- (ca SEK 47:-) at Walkabout Travel Gear. Note! We do not recommend using undiluted DEET, since it is believed to be toxic in concentrations above 50% (CDC).
Update II, 6 December 2005: Swedish authorities recommend that DEET should be used at a maximum concentration of 20%. Here is the answer we got from Lars Lindqvist at Kemikalieinspektionen (Swedish chemicals inspection agency) to our question regarding DEET (our translation): "Insecticides (including mosquito repellants) under Swedish law (Miljöbalken 1998:808, 14 chap. §13) are to be approved by KemI (chemicals inspection) before they are allowed to be sold or used. KemI weighs benefits against risks, and the limit of 20% is a compromise between efficiency and risks with DEET along with the recommendation only to use DEET on limited skin areas. DEET is a nerve toxin that can be absorbed through the skin." Thank you, Lars, for the information.
There is another new mozzie repellant based on DEET. It is called MK-19 (B), and the new idea is microencapsulating, a technique that allows DEET to be dispersed to the air, but reduces the risk of it getting absorbed by the skin. It also reportedly gives longer protection - up to eight hours in one study. It is still unclear wether MK-19 is available in shops, and what it will cost, but it is marketed by Nim Distribution.
Update I, 6 December 2005: We have been informed by Elisabeth H. at Nim Distribution telling us that the MK-19 will have an MSRP of SEK 94:- (approx. USD 12:-) and appear in stores during spring of 2006.
2 November 2005
Pixel tape. If you noticed the digital tape we posted the other day, here is its pixel-based cousin. The same basic idea; you black out not wanted parts of the grid with a black marker and thus creates a quick sign. A little less expensive than its digital sibling, the pixel tape is GBP 7:- (approx. USD 12:30) for a roll of 65 meters (about 213 ft.). From Random International.
2 November 2005
The world's smallest PC? We are talking almost invisible here. Well, maybe not invisible, but unnoticable (if there is such a word), since the whole thing is built into the wall socket! How much smaller can you get? It is called the Jack PC, and has a 500MHz processor, gets its juice via Power over Ethernet, has 128 MB RAM and runs Windows CE. The catch (there is always a catch) is that the mini PC is strictly client-server, so do not even think about any local processing to speak of. But still. Yours for some USD 299:- (ca SEK 2.300:-). We could never have posted this on April 1st... Via Red Ferret.
1 November 2005
November news on Smart Stuff. Welcome to Smart Stuff number 11. We have not made any large changes this month, but we have added a bunch of new and interesting links in our blogroll/link collection. Please check out the left side column. We hope you enjoy visiting our site, and that we will have the pleasure of having you visit many times in the future. We have a lot of smart stuff lined up for November, that is a promise!