Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Things You Didn't Know You Needed

I never used to pick up SkyMall, but then I realized I like looking through catalogs (more so than shopping in person). On my latest airplane trip, I was flipping through SkyMall when I noticed this item:


According to the catalog, WonderVase is made of a "stury, thermal-plastic material" that can be molded into a vase shape when exposed to warm water. Once molded, it can be filled with cold water and flowers. I'm not sure I'd go so far as the catalog to claim that the product looks like glass. But I like the fact that WonderVase can be stored flat. The catalog suggests that it can be used while traveling to brighten one's hotel room, but for someone like me who gets flowers fairly infrequently, a vase like this would definitely cut down on the clutter factor.

On the other hand, this item might look nice, but I wonder whether or not it merely makes people more fearful:

EVAC-U8 Smoke Hood

Though the hood is recommended for when one is traveling, I wonder whether or not something like this might make more sense for one to keep at home or at work, given the fire that occurred in a Chicago high-rise in 2003.

On an unrelated note, after my airplane ride I had a hell of a time navigating the MTA (New York City) with my suitcase. Even though I was using one of those suitcases with wheels (for the very first time!), getting to and from the airport was still a hassle. For one, I was stymied every time I got to a turnstile. At least the CTA (Chicago) turnstiles at O'Hare Airport are wide enough to accommodate a grown person with a suitcase. But I had to lift my suitcase over the MTA turnstile every time I went through. Then there are the numbers of stairs that I encountered. I actually don't know how someone in a wheelchair could have navigated the route I did because I don't recall seeing any escalators and very few elevators. I'll probably go back to traveling with a duffle bag. It's slightly lighter than the suitcase, and I can carry it on my shoulders instead of having to watch out for this thing behind me.

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