The Friday Fillip

Occasionally the Friday Fillip makes you work and today’s is another one of those. But the work is as hard as flipping through a catalogue, which, if done with a refreshing libation at hand, can be merely exhausting for a finger or two.

The catalog through which to flip is Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools website. I know what you’re thinking… (Well, actually, I don’t, which is a nuisance only some of the time.) This is not simply an electronic gadget site, though it can be that if you sincerely want it to be. “Cool” is an expansive term of praise and a tool is just about anything that makes us human, so there’s something here for everyone.

Readers send in their candidates and Kevin publishes the best. Each “tool” is given a brief description and review, and then we’re pointed to where we can get it if it appeals.

So, for instance, I find in the “media tools” category this, er… electronic gadget, called TV-B-Gone, which, when activated, emits 200 of the known signals that turn off television sets, with the effect that when the barkeep simply won’t get rid of NASCAR reruns your companion cannot avoid being captured by, you can gain a few moments peace.

There’s a backpacking category, where you’ll find a nifty tent that sets up in two seconds when you fling it into the air… In the craft category, the cheapest portable (reliable) sewing maching… Kitchen: the Dexter-Russell S496 dough scraper… A low-tech sand castle construction manual, foam latex puppet making, an igloo making tool, a place to get mini portions of stuff… It’s all here, including instructions on how to keep your boots tied with this surgeon’s knot.


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