October 10, 2002

Gotta Have It

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Fall break is here once again, so let the half-hearted rejoicing begin. Two days off nestled next to the regularly scheduled weekend isn’t much, but –since the university would hand out snowshoes before canceling classes — we’ll have to take what we can get. As I see it, there are only three types of fall breakers. See if any of these rings a bell. First, there are the “I have so much work to do, woe is me, I’m staying in Ithaca” types. Then, you have the “I miss mommy, I miss my doggy, I’m going home” types. And finally, there are the “I’m crazy, carpe diem, I’m going to Timbuktu” types. No matter what category you fall into, there are goods and services out there that can make your four days of freedom that much sweeter. Check ’em out.

Go Time

Sure, you have tons of work, but that doesn’t mean you need to be locked indoors. Instead, get a Xybernaut Poma, ($1499) so you can take your work and run, literally. The Poma is the world’s first wearable computer — consisting of a CPU, a head-mounted screen, and an optical mouse. The six-inch tall, eleven ounce CPU clips to your belt and contains a 128 MHZ RISC processor, 32 MB of RAM, a USB port, and a headphone jack. The headset weighs less than three ounces, and the one-inch screen floats in front of one of your eyes like an electronic monocle. The hand-held optical mouse brings everything together. By moving the cursor with your thumb, you can check email, go online, or play solitaire on the go. I’m not sure how you’ll avoid obstacles or type a novel while you jog, but at least you will look like a cyborg. (xybernautonline.com)

Home is Sweet

No one is going to blame you for going home, but you could do it with a little more style. Instead of hopping on a Shortline, go buy BMW’s new M3 with its sequential manual gearbox (SMG). Besides being a phat ride, the M3 contains the world’s first automotive “Easter egg.” Taking a nod from video games and DVDs, the BMW engineers included a little hidden feature with their new toy — a cheat code for the software running the fully electronic transmission. If you press the right buttons in the right order, the car will launch you from a dead stop after revving the engine to 5,000 rpm — just what you’ll need to pick your little sister up from soccer practice. Due to some pesky safety laws, US models only rev up to 2,500 rpm, but it you ask the dealer nicely they should be willing to hook you up with the European software. The code isn’t included in the driver’s manual so you might have to do some research. I suggest you rummage through your old Nintendo Power magazines. One word: Contra. (bmw.com)

Get Out of Here

Finally, if you want to squeeze the most out of life, head on over to Thrillnet.com. Located in Las Vegas, Thrill Seekers Unlimited specializes in extreme vacations. You want to drive a hovercraft? No problem. You want to hunt for buried treasure? You got it. One of their coolest options is the stunt experience package. This five-day vacation includes high falls, zip lines, air rams, heavy weapons, bullet hits (squibs), car transfers, stunt driving and fighting, and pyro gags. At long last, you’ll get to experience being a real-life stuntman, minus all of the blood in your urine, the lonely nights spent eating TV dinners, and the constant struggle to make all of your alimony payments. Tell Lee Majors I said hi. (thrillnet.com)

Archived article by Adam Matthews