Jul 31

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The amazon.com

This smart broom has bristles on one side of the head for sweeping while the other side switches pads for mopping and dusting. The pole extends to 5.5 feet and telescopes for compact storage.

We see how this broom could benefit wheelchair users and people who have trouble stretching and bending.

Eds. Note: We love good cleaning gadgets. But we can’t say they inspire us to clean. You would agree if you saw the state of our floors. Of a messy house, Phyllis Diller once said you should just walk in and cry, “Who could have done this? We have no enemies!”

Jul 31

Traffic engineers in Japan are experimenting with making roads sing to alert drivers they are going too fast or too slow. They’re called Melody Roads.

Blind blues musician Jay Spell says a serious bout with cancer has given him new appreciation for life.

Artist and engineer Del Short made this amazing machine from wood with no nails or screws.

Jul 31

this video shot in upstate New York of architect Michael McDonough’s home, which he calls a laboratory for living.

McDonough takes viewers on a tour of his adaptable kitchen and his rooftop container garden - both of which speak to our hearts.

There are so many benefits to container gardening, as you know from reading our site. As for kitchens, a couple of years ago, Marty gutted her kitchen, removed the cabinets - which were icky looking - and installed a stainless steel counter with double sinks from a restaurant and rolling tables with storage underneath.

The only drawback is there is no where to hide a mess since everything now is in the open.

Jul 31

This year we experimented with planting a variety of small melons in containers and the one we’re happiest with is this Golden Midget Watermelon.

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Its foliage resembles oak leaves so it’s a lovely addition to the containers by our patios, and the exterior of the melon turns golden-yellow when ripe so there’s no guessing about when to harvest them.

We got the seeds from Seed Savers, one of our favorite places for unusual and old-fashioned herbs, fruits and vegetables.

Jul 31

Winning industrial design came into play when South Korea’s Yakult yogurt company wanted a better pushcart for its 13,000 delivery ladies, who range in age from 20 to 60.

yogurt-cart.pngThe carts go door-to-door daily because many in South Korea prefer their probiotic yogurt drinks delivered to their homes, in the same way milk was delivered to American homes during much of the last century.

The old Yakult push carts did little to ease the physical challenges of the door-to-door delivery job. So Yakult had Continuum redesign them into rugged, ergonomic carts that resemble walkers with wider wheels and a bar to lean on.

Yakult says its new cart enables workers to feel proud of their association with the Yakult brand and their important role in Korean daily life. The Yakult cart has been recognized by the Industrial Designers Society of America.

Jul 30

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Anyone who questions the value of a nap just hasn’t learned what these guys already know.

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(via wisdom.com)

Jul 30

Those bastardly Japanese beetles have descended but we’re staying on top of them with this lightweight plastic pitcher, a little soapy water and a wood spoon.

beetle.jpgWe don’t use pesticides in The Gimpy Garden and so have to gather up the beetles in early morning and around dusk when they are having sex on the asparagus vines and are too caught up in their reverie to fly away.

Hold the pitcher under the beetles, bap the vine with the spoon and the beetles tumble right into the soapy water. At peak beetle season, we daily catch between 30 and 50 of the prolific little buggers.

Cait finds the pitcher and spoon lighter and easier - especially when she must reach - than anything else we’ve used previously to capture the little devils.

Eds. Note: Our posts and photos often give the impression that our gardens run smoothly and our plants always prosper. Were that the case.

This year we’ve had a terrible siege of blight that scalded the foliage of many of our tomato cans and several containers of cukes. Our basil has been decimated by beetles and Marty stepped on a bumblebee and her foot swelled like a boiled jumbo hotdog. Two days later, Marty’s rubber garden clogs tripped her up and she hit the concrete driveway hard. Finally, Marty has so many mosquito bites on her right now that Cait says Marty looks like a “bad addict” with needle tracks. Ahhh, Summer living.

Jul 30

Salon.com calls a “very good, smart” read about living with diabetes. The name refers to writer Allison Blass making lemonade of the health lemons life has handed her.

Meet the legally blind director of the planetarium in Nashville, Tenn., who for 19 years has roamed the galaxies charting star maps. “Everyday,” she says, “I get paid to go to space and it’s a blast.”

Jul 29

Jane Gross’ blog click here in the last few years.

NewOldAge is getting a lot of attention at a time when most major newspapers still dedicate little space and time to the issues of aging, mobility and independence.

These are huge issues, affecting so many people today - and even more in just the next few years. Kudos to Ms. Gross and the Times for taking a lead.

Jul 29

cyl-lamp.pngThe company that designed the LavaLamp in the 1960s today has a lamp that is controlled by motion detection.

Pass your hand horizontally through the air above the Mathmos Airswitch and the lamp turns on or off. Raise your hand vertically and the Airswitch brightens or dims accordingly.

We’re always on the hunt for lamps that turn on by voice, motion, touch and/or a timer - anything but those awful little switches that make it painful, if not impossible, for people with limited hand mobility.

The Mathmos Airswitch works with infrared beams that track the movement of an object over the acid-etched hand-blown glass lamp.

The bummer is it only handles a 40-watt bulb - not much candle-power for a $90 lamp.

Click here to see a video of the AirSwitch in action.

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