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Adventures in SkyMall

Recently, I went to the Grace Hopper Celebration. It was my first conference actually representing Yahoo! and doing interviews. It was also my first time going to Portland! On my way there, I decided to amuse me the only way people can on a short flight: Skymall, a collections of the worlds most insane products to give you just enough to think about until you land. A few really set themselves aside for me. And here they are!


Beamz Interactive Music System

Do you remember the Theremin? It is a strange device where you move your hands around it and the sound is adjusted which is how they got the otherworldly sound for the original Theme for Star Trek. Someone released a mass production version! Except it’s cheap and relies on IR instead of general EM Fields, so I suspect it’s more like breaking IR ‘harp strings’ than an actual Theremin. Except now it’s not just the instrument, but it also includes music videos! And Karaoke! It’s like DDR but with a cheap theremin-harp device! Because that’s not dweeby or reeking of poor decisions. It’s really not.

If you don’t remember the 80’s and early 90’s, the slap bracelet phenomenon was basically a small, thing, excessively sharp band of metal that a young girl would slap on her wrist and it would wrap around it. These became so popular that they were banned from most schools because of some asinine idea that a girl could accidentally, or purposefully, slit her own wrists with it because sharp objects were so difficult to find. But now they padded it with rubber and added a relatively heavy block of metal and turned it into a watch! In case you didn’t just want to relive that slaptastic feeling, but you also wanted to sling that small block of metal as hard on your wrist as possible. I get the same sensation from knocking my arm into the bathroom door and frankly I don’t see the appeal. But you can for $35!

Universal Skate Sail / Orbit Wheels

Of course, if hurting yourself just a little wasn’t enough, they also advertise a Universal Skate Sail. It’s a sail that you hold using poles on either side with each hand while on wheels, because that can’t go badly at all. In case this impromptu windsurfing apparatus wasn’t enough, they also have a skateboard that doesn’t have a board. They are two gyroscopic wheels that act like small rainbow cycles around your feet. If you combine these two, you may trend on YouTube. You might even make it on Tosh.0, just make sure you don’t tell anyone I suggested it. I will deny it completely.


Thank you, Skymall. I would never have thought to find these things if I wasn’t on trapped on a plane!


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