Monday, December 11, 2006

Bazaar Bizarre + Etsy Contest

You could be a winner! Bazaar Bizarre has teamed up with our wonderful sponsor Etsy to bring you this amazing contest which will bestow upon the winner a free booth at Bazaar Bizarre San Francisco, which is held inside the Maker Faire, along with airfare and hotel accommodations. (Well, up to $1,000 anyway.) The theme of the contest is "upcycling" a term coined by William McDonaugh and Michael Braugart in their book on ecologically intelligent design, Cradle to Cradle. Here's an excerpt from the Etsy contest page:
In the simplest terms, upcycling is the practice of taking something that is disposable and transforming it into something of greater use and value. In this contest we challenge all Etsy users to create an object to sell on Etsy that is comprised of materials that would have otherwise ended up in the trash heap.
Take a look at all the great entries that have been submitted already. You can find more details about the contest and submission guidelines here. Go ahead and open your own Etsy store while you're at it. You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Everybody's Working for the Wiikend

We picked up our new Nintendo game system a couple of weeks ago, the Wii, and let me tell you, this thing is a work of pure genius. We're not hardcore gamers by any means, so I hesitated to even blog about it, but then I realized that's the true beauty of the Wii; its accessibility to anyone! I'm lefthanded and have always had issues with "normal" handheld controllers. Computer games were fine as long as I could use the mouse and keyboard, but even joysticks presented a problem if there was a "fire" button on the side. Our most recent console purchase was the GameCube and I hardly ever played it because it was backwards. I thought I would be able to find a left-handed controller for it but alas, there is no such thing. So you can imagine how excited I was when my husband told me about this new thing called Wii. (I agree, they missed the mark on the name, but the controllers and the functionality make up for it.) The main controller is about the size of a tennis racket handle, which is very convenient for playing the Wii Sports tennis game, and an additional joystick controller attaches to the remote with a cord. Having these two components separate makes a lot of ergonomic sense and makes me wonder why it hasn't been done before now. Even for rightys it's an easier, more comfortable position for your hands and arms. The Wii controllers are sensitive to motion and position in relation to a sensor bar you set on top of your television. You get to move as if you were the game character. This is what makes the sports games so fun and also what has already led to cases of tennis elbow. I can vouch for the fact that even though you know it's a virtual game, and you know you don't really have to swing it that hard, it's difficult not to when you're trying to slam the ball over the net. And this is also why the remote comes with a wrist strap! We're still figuring out all of the Wii's bells and whistles so stay tuned for more updates.