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Made on a Mac
SMART STUFF | ARCHIVE | MISC. |..1..2..3..4..5.....>






For your inner MacGuyver.
All who have watched the MacGuyver show on tv must have been thrilled by the guy's ability to transform anything into useful stuff. But we have got him now. He has been reading this book! Here we are promised more than 80 ideas in areas such as self defense, security and just plain fun stuff do do in your spare time. Examples are; How to make an FM radio into a listening device, how to make your own electronic greeting cards, how to make a fire extinguisher from ordinary kitchen stuff and how to dissuade intruders with a rubber band. Sounds really geeky, right? Now we are waiting for someone to read it and post a review. The book is USD 9:99 (about SEK 75:-) at Think Geek.

Sneaky Uses For Everyday Things
Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN: 0740738593

21 September 2005





Possibly the most important invention of our time.
It is called LifeStraw and may well prove to be the invention that saves more lives than anything since penicillin. The LifeStraw is a plastic tube with a built in water purification filter, 25 cm long and 29 mm in diameter, meant to let you drink water that unfiltered would be a potential killer.

The most common cause of premature death in the developed part of the world is automobile traffic, followed by a number of diseases caused by our over indulgent lifestyle. In the world as a whole, though, the most common killer is bacteria such as Typhoid, Cholera, e.coli, Salmonella and others. Millions of people die every year because they lack clean water. And until now there has not been a lot we have been able to do, since water purification is costly, requires electrical power, spare parts, training, and so on.

With the LifeStraw there are new possibilities. The LifeStraw is cheap, needs no power, no training, no service, and is said to be able to filter up to 700 liters (184 gal US) of water before it needs to be replaced. 700 liters is roughly what one person drinks per year. The tube has been tested positively on water borne bacteria such as Salmonella, Shigella, Enterococcus and Staphylococcus. Now, if we could just find a way to manufacture and distribute these LifeStraws in sufficient numbers to the world's trouble areas, millions of lives could possibly be saved.

The idea comes originally from Dane Torben Vestergaard Frandsen, and has been developed in cooperation with The Carter Center, Rob Fleuren of Holland and Moshe Frommer of Israel. LifeStraw has furthermore been nominated to Index Awards, an award for design with the potential to improve life for large groups of people. Gizmag.

31 August 2005




Swedish paper sleeping bag can save lives.
We went past Svensk Form at Skeppsholmen in Stockholm the other day to see the exhibition Improving Life featuring Swedish innovations. Many of the exhibited products we have seen previously, like the mobile phone (yes, really!) the computer mouse, the medication inhaler and the heart pace maker among others, but the environmentally friendly disposable paper sleeping bag from DeCell was new to us.

The material used is called Cellsulate™, a strong and hygienic biofiber laminate (basically it is paper, as far as we can understand) with very good insulating properties and very good environmentally. From this material DeCell makes disposable sleeping bags, both traditional for the outdoorsy crowd and rescue bags for disaster relief areas. They also make bed covers and blankets for hotels, hospitals and emergencies. Among their customers are the relief organization Star of Hope or Hoppets Stjärna in Swedish.

10 July 2005






Finally quit smoking.
This might sound like the tiresome rant of a born-again, but today (when the Swedish restaurant no smoking law is in effect) it has been two years and twelve days since we put out our last smoke. It was not entirely easy, but a collection of mysterious spots on our vocal chords and frequent use of a nicotine inhaler helped us through. What does this have to do with smart, you may ask. Well, after 24 months and 12 days, we think it was a pretty smart decision to make. And that the Nicorette inhaler is a really smart invention. But we still remember how boring we thought the new-quitters were, so this is the last you will ever see us write about it. Everyone is entitled to make his and her decisions.

1 June 2005





Smart idea for cities, trams, and the environment.
In Vienna they have, (according to Boing Boing and The Yorkshire Ranter a while back) come up with a smart idea to get rid of some truck traffic in the city. They use trams and the extensive network of tram lines to transport goods and supplies. The Wiener Linien has started out by trying to meet the tram traffic's own need for spares and supplies. It it works out, they want to try to run shipments for local businesses, garbage disposal and mail this way. Would it not be marvelous if we could be rid of some diesel fumes by transporting other stuff than people on the trams instead of on trucks? But, we forget. The people in charge scrapped almost all of our trams in the sixties, when we switched to driving on the right hand side of the road...

28 May 2005



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