January 30, 2003

Gotta Have It

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Many eternal debates exist in this world. Paper or plastic? Cash or credit? Crunchy or soft? Good or evil? Sometimes the choice is obvious; crunchy, for instance, but some decisions are not as easily made. Today, I will try to settle two age-old debates. The first comes from author Edward Bulwer-Lytton. The second is a response to smart asses who love to block your view of the television. In either case, the call isn’t easy. So, here are some items that may clear up these controversies once and for all.

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

Edward Bulwer-Lytton is known for two things. One is that he was the first writer to begin a novel with the cheesiest line ever: “It was a dark and stormy night.” The other is the focus of our first debate. So, is the pen mightier than the sword? For the pen’s case, I present the Logitech io Pen. With the Logitech io pen, everything you write can be saved, organized, and shared; from notes, ideas and calendar items to sketches, emails, and signatures. All you have to do is write things down in a digital notebook or a special Post-it Note pad and the pen stores it for you. Once you have written everything you want — up to forty pages — the pen can be placed in a USB cradle to transfer all of your information to your PC. The package includes everything you need: pen, ink, digital notebook, Post-it notepad, cradle, and software. My first idea for this product was to get autographs from famous people and sell them on the world wide web, but that just my inner criminal looking for a way out. I’m sure you can find some legal uses that are just as good. (logitech.com)

The Sword is Mightier than the Pen

While it might be obvious that a sword is literally mightier than a pen, as most pen versus sword duels end with a dead man with ink on his hands, the pen gains ground when you think about writing and other intellectual stuff like that. So, to bolster the sword’s half of this argument, I submit the Kyocera Ming Tsai Signature Series ceramic chef’s knives. Ming Tsai ’89, host of East Meets West on the Food Network, doesn’t put his name on just anything, and his signature series of knives is no exception. Each knife features a zirconium oxide ceramic blade that is stronger and superior to any steel knife on the market, mostly because zirconium oxide is second in hardness only to diamonds. Each ultra sharp blade chops and cuts with precision and accuracy every time, and maintains its razor-sharp edge for many years. The knives are lightweight, perfectly balanced, stain and rust proof, and will never discolor. Also, because the blades are ceramic and not metal, your food won’t take on a metallic taste or smell. I was wondering why my steak always tasted like metal, but I always thought it was because it came from a can. (cooking.com) While Ming Tsai can chop some serious suey, the magic pen wins this one hands down (mostly because I really like that autograph scheme). Advantage: Pen.

You Make a Better Door than a Window

Wisenheimers love to tell you that you make a better door than a window if you are blocking their view of World’s Wildest Police Videos. While they might just be cracking wise, they also introduce an interesting dilemma: Is a door better than a window? As the representative of all door kind, meet the Gaffco line of bullet resistant doors. The doors are available in aluminum, wood, and steel. While I’m sure all the doors are top quality, I would recommend the steel bullet resistant door over its wooden cousin. Each sixteen-gauge plate-steel door features a core foamed-in-place Gaffco bullet resistant fiberglass. The frames are fabricated from sixteen gauges, fully welded, prime painted, mortised, and reinforced for the required hardware. Every door is custom sized and is shipped pre-hung with a heavy-duty continuous hinge. If this thing doesn’t keep your roommates from stealing your cache of turn of the century bottle caps, nothing will. (gaffco.com)

You Make a Better Window than a Door

Finally, we come to the window. While there are also bullet-proof windows, I have selected the ThermoView Alter-Lite window instead. This is the world’s first residential smart window that provides natural shade. In the Alter-Lite system, two panes of glass surround a film embedded with randomly arranged, light-absorbing particles. Under normal conditions, the window is nearly opaque. When subjected to a voltage, the special particles instantly align to let light pass. You can control how much light comes through by changing the voltage that flows into the window with a wall-mounted switch. My guess is that these windows will revolutionize, well, window. While the magic windows are cool, I’ve seen plenty of sweet Venetian blinds in my day, so the bullet-proof door takes the cake. Advantage: Door.

Archived article by Adam Matthews