July 19, 2005



The Gamila Teastick. Cool. Now a simple and cleaner way to brew loose tea....the kind that true tea snobs enjoy. A little pricey at $20, but looks to be well made and the essence of fine design.

Posted by answerguru at 04:12 PM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2005

Use FireFox

Firefox - Rediscover the web

For any of you who haven't gotten word yet, you should definitely install and try Mozilla / FireFox. I've been using it at work for a few months now (just before the 1.0 release) and it works great...

- fast startup time
- excellent use of tabbed browsing
- nice download management

Posted by answerguru at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2004


blender3d.org :: Home

I've played around with Plasma, 3D Studio Max, and TrueSpace with some success (let's face it, mastering ANY 3D modeling / animation software takes a lot of time), but I'm thinking about going open source and trying Blender. It seems to have a rich toolset and excellent rendering abilities....plus, it's free!

Posted by answerguru at 09:23 AM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2004

T@B RV Trailer

T@B:A little RV Trailer!

Sick of those behemoth monster RVs tooling down the highway? How about a step back to the simpler days of motoring with this little beaut....towable by most vehicles and available with enough options to make it livable for those weekend trips. (especially when some folks don't like winter camping....)

Posted by answerguru at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2004



Vessel provides a series of attractive and useful items for the home. The first item I spotted was the tissue ring - a brilliant alternative to the idiotic print boxes and *gasp* crocheted box covers of my grandmothers day. This clever device sits on a pile of tissues - no box required - allowing you to pull one out at a time. They claim it's precisely engineered for size and weight to allow this to happen, but I tend to think a little experimentation could allow a similar result for less money.

A second product are the very nice Candela lamp sets. They sit on their base as various colored plastic cylinders and cones, only to light up when being removed - imagine an instant on candle that burns for 5 hours on a charge.

Posted by answerguru at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2004

Cool Japanese Design

4 Senses Interior Design

Great design of home items....lamps, furniture, appliances, etc. Even if it *is* in Japanese, it's worth a quick look around.

Posted by answerguru at 01:27 PM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2004

Modern Materials for Today


This comprehensive 196 page guide, Transmaterial, highlights novel materials that will start showing up in our world.....translucent concrete for example. Covering a range of materials that are categorized into Ultraperforming, Multidimensional, Repurposed, Recombinant, Intelligent, Transformational, and Interfacial.

Did I mention it was a free, full color PDF file?

Posted by answerguru at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)

Font Dispenser

9031.com: P-Font Dispenser

Just happened across this great site that has quite a few unique fonts for (free) download.....most of them are not your ordinary fare, so choose your selection wisely.

Posted by answerguru at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)


FIREORB - cool warmth

A truly novel and inspiring fireplace....now if I only owned a house worthy of it's investment. Maybe next year!

Posted by answerguru at 09:22 AM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2004


Internet Archive

Archive.org has been building a digital repository for websites and other cultural artifacts that are in digital form. For me the most interesting is the Live Music Archive which contains over 10,000 live concert recordings!

I have already downloaded 10 or 20 various concerts from my favorite jam and bluegrass artists like String Cheese Incident, Railroad Earth, Yonder Mountain, Grateful Dead, and many others. Most importantly they are all in a lossless format so there is no degradation of content (usually compressed into either SHN or a similar format). Just like the famous tape-traders of the Grateful Dead past, except you don't have to trade or mail anything....just a direct download to your computer.

For those of you not familiar with this concept, this is 100% legal recording and downloading. All of the bands here encourage listeners to record the shows and share them with others -- it's their way of getting their name out. In fact, I was involved with a Railroad Earth sampler CD that I copied and gave out to both strangers and friends to promote an upcoming tour - and every one of them was received with a smile and big thanks.

In addition, there are also a few MP3 or OGG shows available for streaming, which is nice to do while you work.

I give this site 5 stars for sure.

Posted by answerguru at 09:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 07, 2004

Royalty Free Pics

Picturestation | Royalty-free pictures

It's very hard to find reasonably priced pics for use in web design, digital work, etc....sure you can go to PhotoDisc and end up spending $30-200 per picture, but only if the client it shelling out for it.

Enter PictureStation. The premise is simple...for every 1 photo that you upload, you can download 2. The quality is generally pretty good (with exceptions, of course) and there is a growing database of images and categories.

No restrictions on personal or commercial use either.

Posted by answerguru at 09:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 05, 2004

Great Technology Blog

Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends

Check out the archives for an entire host of interesting tech blurbs you may not have read elsewhere.....

Posted by answerguru at 03:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 12, 2004

Amateur Scientist Articles

The Amateur Scientist 2.0

The full compendium of 73 YEARS (over 1100 projects) of "The Amateur Scientist" as published in Scientific American. Plus you get a free bonus CD with great freeware / shareware science programs.

If you're a science nut, don't pass this one up! Cheap too!

Posted by answerguru at 11:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 23, 2004

Cheap PCB Prototypes

BareBones PCBs

Really cheap PCB prototypes. 50 cents / sq. inch + $25 per lot. Nice. I think I'll try them out next time I need one etched...

Posted by answerguru at 12:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Mathmos: Modern Lighting Toys


Mathmos is the original manufacturer of lava lamps, but have expanded their line with some great new items. These include Tuba, a sleek color changing light panel, Color Tumbler which changes its color characteristics as you move it around, and the Space Projector, which is an oil wheel projection system -- basically projecting trippy images on your wall.

Posted by answerguru at 11:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 04, 2004

Trigonometry Master Class

Trig Lesson

Paul has written a nice summary of "need to know" trig stuff. If you're an engineer (or physicist, math guru, etc), you can probably skip all this....otherwise, read up on it. Maybe even do a practice problem or two.

Need help or a problem to work on? I'd be happy to help out...

Posted by answerguru at 11:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 26, 2003

Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate

Forget your coffee! Forget your Starbucks! The same pickup from caffeine, but without the jitters!

Yerba Mate is an herbal (tea) drink (served hot or cold) that tastes great and has a nice boost to it....but it's not caffeine. Native South Americans have been drinking this stuff since the 16th century. It's really cheap in bulk and is pretty healthy as well.

Drink up!

Posted by answerguru at 08:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 24, 2003


Welcome to Retro-Gram.Com Purveyors of Internet Telegrams

No more plain email - send a Retro-Gram! The style and class of a vintage telegram...the speed and convenience of e-mail. There are 6 fun styles to choose from -- just the ticket for that email that needs attention!

Posted by answerguru at 03:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 17, 2003

Oreilly Hacks: Book Series

hacks.oreilly.com -- O'Reilly Hacks Series

Some of these books got some good press recently. I haven't checked any of them out personally (yet), but I think the Spidering Hacks and the Google Hacks could prove interesting.

If you've hacked some stuff yourself, submit it to Oreilly, and maybe get it published in a future edition...

Posted by answerguru at 10:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 10, 2003

Super Cheap PIC Prices

glitchbuster.com - Your source for PICs and stuff

Randy at GlitchBusters has his act together and has GREAT prices on PIC parts and related components. No minimum order and really cheap shipping (unlike DigiKey and others).

Posted by answerguru at 07:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 28, 2003

Puppet Terrors

Puppet Terrors - Puppets With Problems

I came across this site from a Toy Inventors group I read - this guy just launched his own company and is selling these great "Pupper Terrors". Basically a bunch of scary, psychotic, not-for-kids puppets.....including:

Bunky the Clown: Some people are afraid of clowns. Some people are scared of puppets. Just THINK of the psychological damage you could do with this bad boy!!

Death Row Joe: His last appeal was rejected, and Joe is on his way out, but that doesn't mean you can't still take him home! Just don't write us about your conjugal visits.

Hack: Your run of the mill corpse cutter replete with organs and body parts hanging from his smock.

Klaus: 'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house. Not a puppet or a person could be found, thanks to Klaus. It doesn't matter if you've been naughty or nice when Klaus comes to town. He'll take over your Christmas and shut it right down. "Sant-Heil!" (definitely politically incorrect)

Posted by answerguru at 07:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 12, 2003

Absinthe: The Green Fairy is legal in Europe

Absinthe: Catching the Green Fairy

So the EU has relegalized absinthe....the favorite drink of yesteryear also known as the Green Fairy to the French (la fee verte). Don't drink too much though....Van Gogh did and we all know what happened to his ear.

Article includes links to suppliers and a rating of a few samples.

Bottoms up!

Some suppliers:


Posted by answerguru at 12:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 29, 2003

Blank Manuscript Paper

Music Paper

Almost exactly what I was looking for -- blank manuscript (sheet music) paper in PDF format. Lots of combinations too....solo, piano, guitar tab, jazz band, brass quartet....excpet there was no Banjo Tab!

So, out comes Adobe Illustrator, a few minutes of design and test printing, an export to a PDF and voila, instant Banjo Tab / Manuscript.

Download it, use it, distribute it. Enjoy!


New! Banjo Manuscript paper without the Chord Boxes

Download it, use it, distribute it!

09/04/03 Update:

Found this link to some other Guitar / Chord and Mando / Chord paper and manuscript for all you multi-instrumentalists out there.

Posted by answerguru at 03:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Shag: Retro Artist Unleashed!

Shag (aka Josh Angle) has become a top selling artist of retro / tiki / hipster / beatnik pop art....and I think it's great! Check out some of his collections to see what I mean all you space-pad bachelors ~~

Mr. X's Valet
She Dreams of the Alps
The Yawn
Dead Musicians Suite
Lustful Artist
Full Moon Serenade

Posted by answerguru at 08:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 24, 2003

Hokey Spokes - Bike Fun!

Hokey Spokes - Bicycle Safety Lights with LED spoke lights for your bike

When I was back getting my BSEE, I built a circuit for my Digital Logic class that exploited this fun concept.....that a quickly moving row of LEDs + persistence of vision can make for lots of fun! This guy took it one step further and mounted them on bicycle wheels -- there are numerous patterns to cycle through, a customizable text message, even a way to program them from your Palm.

Posted by answerguru at 10:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 14, 2003

iBot Wheelchair gets FDA approval

The world is never the same if you are forced to live it from a wheelchair....while shopping, products on the top shelf are out of reach, while meeting people you are always at belt level.

No longer....Dean Kamen's iBot Wheelchair has been approved by the FDA. A radical and ingenious design, it can go up and down curbs, climb stairs, AND raise you up on 2 wheels to a standup height.

Here's a nice 10 minute video clip of it in action, just prior to it's FDA submission.

You'll also notice that this design is a direct precursor to the Segway scooter - all of the balancing electronics and algorithms are a direct descendant.....

Dean Kamen scores another victory.

Posted by answerguru at 07:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 11, 2003

A Short History of Nearly Everything

CNN.com - The man who knows 'Nearly Everything' - Jun. 11, 2003

A new book by well known author Bill Bryson has been released, "A Short History of Nearly Everything". It looks like a brilliant read, so it's going on my list...

Posted by answerguru at 10:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 08, 2003

Amazing Helicopter Video

Two great video links here.

1. Video of the latest in electric "micro" RC helicopter technology and flying. In this video you will see a flyer inside of a gymnasium doing acrobatics and upside down flight. Truly amazing.

More info on the Piccolo Micro Helicopter.

(note, you may need to ask your PC to use Windows Media to play this file)

2. Watch this complete moron try to fly the helicopter he just bought for the first time. It really isn't pretty, nor all that long of a flight.

Remember, always take lessons first and get checked out on your new equipment. Especially if it costs a lot of money.

Posted by answerguru at 12:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 02, 2003

Marijuana, pornography and illegal labor

Guardian Unlimited | With pot and porn outstripping corn, America's black economy is flying high

A new book by Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation (ranked 87th with Amazon), investigates the shadow economy of the US -- pot, pornography, and immigrant labor. The book, Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labour in the American Black Market is sure to cause a stir...especially after the success of his first book.

"While the nation's largest legal cash crop, corn, produces about $19 billion in revenue, "plausible" estimates for the value of marijuana crops reach $25 billion. Steve White, a former coordinator for the DEA cannabis eradication program, estimates that the drug is now the country's largest cash crop."

Posted by answerguru at 10:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 01, 2003

Baby Gramps: Steel Guitar and Wordsmith

Baby Gramps.com

Baby Gramps is a piece of living history here in the Northwest, and one who is well respected throughout the country. The first time I saw him was last summer, at the Northwest String Summit - I was instantly hooked into his distinct style, his rhythmic contortions, and his ear-bending sense of humor...all conveyed through a beat up steel guitar and a weathered voice belting out rhymes, melodies, and palindromes.

Baby Gramps is someone not only to be heard, but to be seen -- hence his 2 videos and his DVD. A characteristic clip gives a taste to the new listener.

Check him out...

Posted by answerguru at 04:47 PM | Comments (0)

April 29, 2003

Used Books: Find Them Here

Abebooks--40 million books: Used, Rare, and Out-of-print Books You Want!

I had read about AbeBooks.com a few years ago, and it seems they are now the premier used book seller on the net. Amazon has used books (a few of which I've bought), but I noticed in their listings that many of them come up from abebooks.com anyway. Might as well go directly to the source....

"Abebooks is the world’s largest online marketplace for used, rare, and out-of-print books. Abebooks connects those who buy books with those who sell books, providing abundant selection at affordable prices.

Bookbuyers love the variety and selection of 40 million books, offered by 10,000 booksellers who list on Abebooks. Readers find bestsellers, collectors find rare antiquarian books, students find textbooks, and treasure hunters find books they’ve been seeking forever."

Posted by answerguru at 10:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Backup of Copy Protected Games / CDs

TechTV | Dark Tip: Alcohol 120%

Easy CD Creator? Nero?

Forget them, just try out Alcohol 120% to copy everything that's out there....and backup any games or CDs you don't want to lose.

Posted by answerguru at 08:56 AM | Comments (2)

April 25, 2003

Pacific Domes: Vinyl covered Geodesics

Innovative Geodesic Dome Shelters - Pacific Domes

"Pacific Domes -Ideal family dwelling guest house workshop or yoga studio. Architecturally engineered steel frame handles heavy snow & hurricane winds. Durable covers are weathertight / windows, screens & wood stove set-up. Winterizing kits available."

Posted by answerguru at 03:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Pod: Geodesic Structures

The Pod - Folding geodesic dome shelters

Really like some of the designs of easy-setup geodesic domes on this site, except I'm not terribly confident in the materials they used for construction.

The designers were obviously going for the eco-friendly materials for building -- they use recycled paperboard which is sandwiched between a protective layer. They think they will last an average of 3 years in an outdoor environment.....which I think is too short.

In addition, the connections between the panels appears to be slightly cheesy -- first you tab and into slot b, then you TAPE it in place. Tape? Your kidding.

Still like the concept as a design structure...

Now I want to know the price!!

Posted by answerguru at 12:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 19, 2003

Bad Ass Buddy Icons

Buddy Icons at BadassBuddy.com - because your buddy icon totally sucks

Ok, this is hysterical. If you use AIM (AOL Instant Messenger), then definitely check these out. These crazy dudes have over 1,100 icons on their site for your use!

Most of them are very funny and clever.....amazing what you can do when you're limited to 48x48 pixels and a max size of 7kb.

Very cool.

Posted by answerguru at 06:37 PM | Comments (3)

March 13, 2003

TreePad - Kill the Post-IT Notes!

Treepad Lite: Notes Manager / Text Editor / more

This is one of my favorite computer tools - with it you can organize just about any type of information that you may have. Typical database tools aren't very good at just organizing thoughts, random bits of information, or unstructured data.

Treepad lets you organize information easily, in a structure that you create on the fly. It's configured very similar to Windows Exlorer with the organization tree on the left and the data on the right. As you add in new categories a new "blank slate" is created automatically...just type in your info and go!

Personally, I've used it to organize web site designs, web content, internet research, brainstorming sessions, programming notes, and much more.

- easy to use
- completely adaptable to any applications
- compact program, little overhead

- limited linking in freeware version
- limited exporting in freeware version

Of course, I just convinced myself to upgrade to the full version. I use it enough that it's definitely worth the $30.

Feature Comparison List

Testimonial: I use this program on a daily basis and it holds some of my most exciting work.

Posted by answerguru at 03:51 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2003

Pattern Recognition: new book by William Gibson

Salon.com Technology | Nodal point: New SciFi

One of the more brilliant modern SciFi authors has published a new book, "Pattern Recognition", concerning the post-9/11 apocalyptic mindset. Gibson is author of many well-known books (if not by title, by idea / concept / screenplay) such as Neuromancer, Johnny Mnemonic, Idoru, and Virtual Light.

More info on Pattern Recognition and an excerpt.

Info on his website and interesting entries from the author himself on his Blog.

His latest work (which I've yet to read -- but it's now on the list) is noted here:

"Without any metafictional grandstanding, Gibson nails the texture of internet culture: how it feels to be close to someone you know only as a voice in a chat room, or to fret about someone spying on your browser's list of sites visited. ...Pattern Recognition is Gibson's most complex, mature gloss on the artist's relationship to our ever more commercialized globe."
-The New York Times


Posted by answerguru at 12:48 PM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2003

Ready for Spring: Chaco Sandals!

Chaco Sandals: Welcome

First entry in the new category of "Product Recommendations".....for Chaco Sandals.


Many of you are familiar with Teva's and other knock-off water sandals, but you may have never heard of this company - unless you've been out West and seen the popularity of this footwear.

And for good reason....

When I started travelling out West this past year I saw many intrepid travellers and outdoors people wearing them. As I needed something to replace my Teva-knockoffs that were falling apart, I talked to a lot of people about them.

Every person had something positive to say about them -- no negative comments at all! So my mind was made up, Chaco's were definitely in my future. My next stop at a major mall found a retailer who carried them...but let me warn you, they aren't cheap upfront....

The very next day I was headed to the NW String Summit - an outdoor bluegrass festival in the hills of Oregon. A place which turned out to be a perfect proving ground for my new purchase, as it rained hard for the next 24 hours and it was a huge camping mud-hole. The Chaco's were the perfect shoe for this environment (and as I soon found out, most environments).

They have excellent traction, a very comfortable footbed, and straps which are exceedingly comfortable. As with any sandal, you may have a minor rub point for the first day or two, but that will subside in no time. Amazingly, I can run through tough terrain at full speed with these puppies on - just try that with your average Teva. No way! I'd be sporting a twisted ankle if I tried such exploits....

Final word: yes, they are expensive upfront (around $80-100), but they have a very long life built into them. Replaceable strap (which I can't imaging having to do anytime soon) and replaceable Vibram soles -- on a sandal! Vibram soles are usually only found on high end hiking and mountaineering boots....

BTW, I own the Z1 model with the aggressive Terreno outsole. No strap between the toes either. :)

Posted by answerguru at 11:55 AM | Comments (0)