Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Yuletide Gifts To Suit the Senses


I don't understand the science behind the Verilux Happylight. However, I understand how diminished access to sunlight can have an effect on people's psychology. The manufacturer markets this powerful, focused light for Seasonal Affective Disorder, but as a graveyard shift worker, I get limited sunlight year-round. And I've learned there's a concrete reason why shift workers often shuffle around like the undead.

And I also know that, if I sit for one hour bathing in this light, I have more energy going into the shift, emerge feeling much less depleted, and have sufficient wherewithal to keep accomplishing things rather than going straight to bed. I don't even have to stare into the light like I feared; I get the benefit if I have the light on while I reading or cooking. (Don't use it with anything that generates contradictory light, like watching TV of noodling on the computer.)

The light produced by this device is much whiter and warmer than that produced by supposed full-spectrum lights you can buy at the store. I've gone to the kitchen with this light on, looked back, and thought I'd left the drapes open. It really looks like sunlight. And it has the lingering effects you'd get from a picnic in the park, especially handy when your work schedule, or the season, limit your available sunlight.


When I pulled the Turtle Shell 2.0 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker from its package and noted how small it was, my heart sank. How could something so tiny have decent sound? But I gamely paired it to my smartphone and fired up Pandora, and it filled my living room with warm, full sound. Compared to my phone's onboard speakers, which sound like someone playing 78s through a cardboard tube, this arrangement sounds like an actual home stereo system.

Besides its complete, rich sound and compact size, this speaker has a durable outdoorsy construction, hardy yet flexible, which makes it great for yard work, cycling, or just chilling on the porch. Its rubberized base makes it shock resistant, and the speaker grille has holes small enough to resist accumulating grit. And by attaching it to a compatible bike mount (sold separately), it travels well. Take your streaming players, YouTube, or other media with you.

Most laptops, smartphones, and other streaming devices these days have lousy speakers. The first time you tried to play your favorite web radio station on your laptop, you hated the sound, right?. But not only does this speaker improve the sound of prerecorded media, its integrated microphone lets you get more life from live media, like Skype. Though it can't access your media, it brings new richness and depth to the media you already have.


Who woulda thunk the shape of the ice in your drink matters? Surely ice spheres are just plain frivolous. But when I popped the first ice ball from my DeluxIce Premium Ice Ball Mold, it was only slightly narrower than a standard drink tumbler, meaning that even if I pour water, juice, or liquor into my glass warm, I’m still guaranteed a nice cool sip when it hits my lips.

Not to disparage the novelty value. Spherical ice makes for added value in swirling your cocktail, adding debonair points to your next party. (Dear Santa: I prefer Wild Turkey.) And because spheres have less surface area by volume than cubes, your ice will melt slower and last longer. One ice ball lasted me through two big glasses of water and three fingers of whiskey.

These molds come in pairs, so make ahead before your party, or order multiple sets. Their flexible structure absorbs ice’s natural expansion, and their two-part design snaps together snugly for easy use. They’re made of food-quality silicone, used in making pans, oven mitts, and spatulas, so you probably already have this material in your kitchen.

And finally, your fashion sense

If you're anything like me, your collar stays have an annoying tendency to curl with age, crack, and finally die quietly when you forget to take them out before tossing your shirt in the dryer. Because typical plastic or cardboard stays age badly, your shirts often look old and cheap despite your best efforts to keep them fresh. I really appreciate NeoStays’ durable, age-resistant, and economical stays for multiple shirt sizes.

NeoStays Magnetic Metal Collar Stays are made of metal, so they won't curl or split with time. They weigh no more than typical store-bought collar stays, yet resist age and deterioration and continue lying flat, even if you accidentally run them through a wash cycle. I can wear them to work, church, or out on a date, and my collars look as crisp and businesslike at the end of the day as they did when I got dressed in the morning.

For most purposes where you have occasion to wear a collared shirt, this simple addition will keep you looking good throughout the day, with a precise, businesslike edge that won't wear off just because your stays aren't new. If your appearance matters, and you want to keep that crisp, fresh-ironed look through a long day, these are the fashion accessory you've looked for.

No comments:

Post a Comment