Rock It Chair by Offi

by Justin Thomas •

This modern rocking chair is built of out of sustainable, non-toxic mateirals (Baltic birch veneer and non-toxic painted wood). It’s part of the new “Built-By-Me” collection from OFFI, and it’s designed by Jennifer Carpenter. Available from Velocity for $109.

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Best Television Reviews

by Justin Thomas •

The best television reviews can be found on Consumer Reports (subscription required) and CNET. Shown here is Sony’s WEGA KV-27FS120 television. It received the highest marks from reviewers for its sound and picture quality, especially in 16:9 enhanced mode. It has a flat picture tube to minimize glare. It’s a bit more expensive (about $300) than comparable sets, but according …

Gift Trees: Efficient

by Justin Thomas •

These gift trees, from the National Arbor Day Foundation, can be grown indoors or outdoors or even preserved in the refrigerator until you are ready to plant them. The trees are only $3 each, but there is a minimum order of 10. You can select from four evergreens: Ponderosa Pine, Coastal Redwood, Longleaf Pine, and Colorado Blue Spruce. They come …

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20 LED Portable Spotlight

by Justin Thomas •

Not bad! Good marks on efficiency and portability. This spotlight has 20 LEDs on a rotating head. It runs up to 200 hours continuously on 3 D-size batteries.You can also plug it into a 12V DC lighter socket if you wish. It’s available from Amazon for $29.97

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Efficient: Down Filled Sleeping Bags

by Justin Thomas •

Down is one of nature’s finest insulators. Nothing matches its warmth for weight, compressibility, and resilience. Its ability to absorb perspiration and cozily drape along the contours of your body is unparalleled by synthetic materials. Down is more expensive than other insulating materials. However, when you divide its cost by the number of cozy nights it provides, down is a …

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Minimalist LED Headlamp For Kids

by Justin Thomas •

This is a nice children’s headlamp for about $18. We like it because it uses three bright, energy-efficient LEDs. So the batteries will last hundreds of hours. It has three settings: high, low and flash. Available at Amazon. See also this similar headlamp from Amazon.

Soybu: A Bamboo and Soy Bathrobe

by Justin Thomas •

The Colorado Trading Company has created a fabric they call “Soybu” which is a blend of bamboo fiber and soy fiber. The fiber feels like cashmere &#8212 it’s soft and buttery. I haven’t tried Soybu, but I have a bamboo fiber blanket. I’m impressed by the warmth and texture of the material. Two Soybu products are available: this Soybu Micro …

New Soft Helmet Turns Hard in Crash: The RibCap

by Justin Thomas •

The Ribcap is a soft, flexible cap that hardens on impact to protect the head from damage. The secret lies in the use of an elastomeric compound called d3o. It was discovered by researchers at University of Hertfordshire. It’s a shear thickening material, which is flexible when moved slowly, but when it is compressed by an impact, its molecules lock …

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Best Digitial Camera Reviews

by Justin Thomas •

The best source for in-depth digital camera reviews is Digital Photography Review. They have a useful buying guide, where you can specify exactly what type features you want in a camera. The reviews are often ten Web pages or more in length, and feature product views, sample images, features discussions and evaluations on everything from shutter lag to movie recording …

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New “Eneloop” Rechargeable Batteries From Sanyo

by Justin Thomas •

Sanyo has developed a rechargeable battery that comes charged — so buyers don’t have to charge it before use. The new battery is a nickel metal hydride (NiMH) cell of the type commonly found in many portable electronics products but with a key difference. Typically, NiMH batteries lose charge over time if they are not used. Sanyo said its new …