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Holiday Mind Games – Fun For The Whole Family!

[ Comments Off ]Posted on November 28, 2009 by admin in Holidays

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

We all have those moments during the holidays when we wish we had Jedi mind control powers. Well know we can, with some amazing high tech toys that are controlled by neural impulses!

You’d think if you had Jedi powers
you could make yourself not look
like a dork for the camera for a second

During the holidays, we probably all have moments in which we wish we could use some kind of Jedi mind control to alter the course of events. Well, now you can! It’s funny that while many of us struggle with the remote control, there are games for kids that are based on using neural impulses as controllers. For the low budget (and the perhaps the low expectations) we have Star Wars Star Wars Force Trainer. While it’s pretty cool, you might get bored with making a ball go up and down with your mind. You might as well drop the extra loot for Mattel’s Mindflex Game, which adds excitement to your balls by letting you build an obstacle course for them. And for the yuppie snob version of mind-control gaming, check out the OCZ Neural Impulse Actuator, which is designed to complement your mouse as a game controller. If you’d rather your game controlled you (and if you’re a little mentally impaired) you might enjoy Bop It!, which is a “modern-day, handheld Simon Says”, as the maker puts it. And if on top of your game telling you what to do, you like it to do all the thinking as well, check out the Radica 20 Questions Artificial Intelligence Game. This has been around for a while, but if you haven’t seen it in action, you’ll be disturbed by its accuracy, and probably wonder if the game has microphones in it and is connected to a remote answer-generating center run by humans. It’s pretty freaky. Sophisticated technology is being put to use in a lot of kids’ games; toys like Xtractaurs help brainwash your kids to accept genetic engineering by letting them do it themselves! If they hone their skills enough, maybe they can alter some hamsters and explore urban planning with the iMac-esque Zhu Zhu Hamster Funhouse(Hamsters Not Included, although for a hundred bucks more, they they can be*). Along those lines, if you fancy your kids to be more like media producers than consumers (and want them to actually use their brain a bit), there are toys like Ucreate Games & Artimationand Ucreate Music that let your kids mash up their own sound samples, images, and ideas to create games and music. If you think about it, raising a game developer might actually be a good retirement plan. For the kid (or nerdy adult) that has no friends (or maybe no arms), you could always pick up a Darth Vader Robotic Arm and a couple of Force Action Lightsabers. And lastly, since no game roundup is complete without something getting shot, we have the Duck Hunter Infrared Indoor Flying Duck Hunt Game. By the way, if you enjoy shooting ducks, check out this post from a few weeks ago. In any case, I’m hoping my Jedi mind control has induced you to buy something with those Amazon links; we need the revenue. Know of any cool high-tech games we should look at? Feel free to share in the comments. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Shopping Feels Good

[ Comments Off ]Posted on August 21, 2009 by admin in Lifestyle & Culture

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Unless of course you’re some kind of shopping addicted, Oniomaniacal mess.

You Have A Problem, And
This Little Box Is The Solution

The Pew Internet & American life project says that about 30% of you are here for no real reason, so I’m here to give your Internet time some purpose. You know that nice feeling you get when you’ve decided you can afford something for yourself, you take a little time comparison shopping, and finally make the purchase? Isn’t it fun to take the item home, and if it’s clothing – try it on again – without the tags, or if it’s a new gizmo, mutter profanities about the bubble pack and maybe draw blood opening it, but then get down to playing with your new toy? It’s really a good feeling isn’t it? It can actually be very calming and gratifying. Well, it may just be the dopamine talking, but who cares? It feels good. And thanks to the wonders of the Internet, you don’t even need to move from exactly where you are right now to get this wonderful set of feelings. That little search tool below? It lets you explore all sorts of products, without leaving this page, and when you see something you like, just click on it, give the invisible Amazon Elves some magic numbers, and within a few days, voila! It’s delivered right to your door. Of course, before you engage in this kind of behavior Read the rest of this entry »

Shopping Can Be Torture

[ Comments Off ]Posted on September 24, 2008 by admin in Editorial & Opinion

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Abu Ghraib: The Bush Administration Gift That Keeps On Giving

Doing some early Christmas shopping? Looking for that perfect gift, that special something that really sends a message? Try shopping at America the Gift Shop. They stock those hard to find items like the Abu Ghraib Coffee Table, pictured left; a great centerpiece for reviving “Doing The Lynndie” at holiday parties. Actually, this is an art project by photographer Phillip Toledano, in which he asks “If American foreign policy had a gift shop, what would it sell?” If you find the “human being as coffee table” concept familiar, it’s probably because this idea was already kind of stolen from pop artist Allen Jones in the sixties, when Stanley Kubrick wanted to use the concept for sets in A Clockwork Orange . Anyway, if you’re into the whole Abu Ghraib fashion thing, why wait ’til Christmas? Why not dress the kids up as Abu Ghraib detainees for Halloween?

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