Rejecting A Flat World
Great men in history, like Christopher Columbus and/or Amerigo Vespucci, and even the likes of Larry Flynt, have proven the same thing over and over: things are decidedly better when they are NOT flat. Following in the footsteps of these great men comes the MY3D Viewer ($8.00) from Hasbro, which turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into a 3D viewing screen in a snap. Just download the free, specially-formatted MY3D Apps, which include movies, gaming and 360 degree experiences, pop your iPhone or iPod Touch into the viewer and voila! 3D in your face! The content is mostly for kiddies (it is Hasbro, not Hustler), so wrapping this puppy up at the holidays is pretty much guaranteed to make you the coolest uncle ever. If you’ll give it up long enough to let the kid see it.
The Patriotic Hero.
While the most obvious hero of The Rocky Series would undoubtedly be the afore-mentioned Rocky, one MUST pay one’s respect to the Italian Stallion’s foe-turned-friend, the magnificent powerhouse, Apollo Creed. Sure, Apollo gets style points for prancing around in silk stars and stripes boxing trunks, dressed like Uncle Sam, but the real reason you’ve got to respect Apollo goes far deeper than that.
It takes a strong man to turn your number one adversary into a friend, but Apollo had the integrity to recognize a kindred spirit and a great fighter in that greased up meatball, which allowed him to get past his initial shit-talking (i.e. the classic threat to “drop you like a bad habit”), and come to be Rocky’s manager and tight friend. And of course, Apollo was a true patriot at heart, refusing to let a commie Russian (sorry kids, it was the Cold War after all) force him to surrender, fighting for the pride of America ‘til the very end. We would also be remiss to omit Apollo’s incredible litany of badass nicknames that every hero needs: The Master of Disaster, The King of Sting, The Dancing Destroyer, The Prince of Punch, The One and Only, and The Count of Monte Fisto. Touche, Apollo Creed. Touche.
Well Done, Done Well
Call it stupidity. Call it pride. Call it an overdeveloped sense of good old American can-do. Whatever your motivation was, the bottom line is YOU invited your Argentinian gaucho buddies over for a big steak dinner, and you have no idea how to cook steak. Sur La Table’s Steak Button Thermometer ($20.00) to the rescue! For use on the grill or in the oven, these little doodads are 100% idiot proof, with a bright red arrow that indicates Rare, Medium, or Well Done. Made of stainless steel and glass, they’re easy to read, easy to use, and easy to wipe clean and stash until your next dinner party. Which, of course, includes the local butcher and that group of ranch hands you met on Craigslist.
A Guitar Geek’s Wet Dream
If you’re into guitar porn, we respectfully suggest blocking off the next 72 hours, locking your bedroom door and sparing us the details of what happens therein. The Guitar Collection ($1,500-$3,000) is a glossy, graphic collection of the world’s most elite guitars, blending high-art original photography with captivating storytelling that encompasses the cumulative knowledge of guitar experts and rockin’ guitar history. Get up close and personal with the Fender Stratocaster named “Blackie” that Eric Clapton jammed on for 15 years (and which eventually sold at auction in 2004 for a whopping $959,500). Then get intimate with the instruments of icons like Cobain, Hendrix, Keith Richards, Buddy Holly and Jimmy Page, down to their cigarette burns, scratches, and carvings. Each of the three editions comes in a cool leather guitar case, with a separate book of Guitar Collection Stories, that features original rock and roll photography of some of the rock and roll legends of our time. Each edition has a run of just 1500, making these puppies collector’s items. Did we say you needed 72 hours? Better just make it a full week.