Have you missed the weekly Crave podcast? We sure have. We are, therefore, very happy to tell you it's making a comeback with CNET producer Stephen Beacham! Catch the madness and mayhem below.Episode 101:
In Umea, Sweden, the forecast for Thursday is partly cloudy with a 10 percent chance of precipitation and a high of 25 degrees Fahrenheit. As I write this in dark and damp Portland, Ore., Umea doesn't sound so bad.
But the city, located some 400 miles north of the already northern Swedish capital Stockholm, is for most of the day this time of year cloaked in darkness, with the sun rising at almost 9 a.m. and setting just after 2 p.m.
So the local energy company Umea Energi has begun installing phototherapy lamps in 30 bus shelters … Read more
Anyone who has ever worn a necklace or bracelet made of Buckyballs knows the potential of magnets as a force for fashion. Ian Stikeleather is taking it a step further by integrating magnets into his Affectation clothing line.
Affectation is up on Kickstarter, working to raise enough to put the magnetic fashion line into production. The biggest draw is the interchangeability of the clothes. For a $50 pledge, you can pick up the Duality Interchangeable Tie. It comes with an extra tail that can be exchanged and is held on by magnets. Click it together and you have a new look for your busy day in the cubicle farm.… Read more
Finnair business travelers flying between Helsinki and Shanghai will soon have the chance to be test subjects on the effect that "brain stimulation" headphones have on jet lag.
The $240 earbuds, made and tested by Finnish company Valkee, already blast LED lights instead of music into desperate and willing ear canals with the intention of alleviating seasonal affective disorder. (The company has claimed, too, that the light helps improve reaction time--at least in Finnish hockey players.)
Now Valkee is working with the airline Finnair to determine whether the lights may instill a sense of well-being in long-distance … Read more
It's often the case that a device or substance with a known benefit also comes with known risks--typically referred to as side effects and listed quickly at the ends of commercials. So it seems worth noting when a product's side effect may in fact be useful.
The Valkee, a portable headset launched in August of 2010, directs 8- to 12-minute doses of bright light through the ear canal and into the brain to improve seasonal affective disorder. It turns out that this concentration of bright light into the brain may also improve motoric reaction time, according to a study conducted by Verve Research in Finland.
The placebo-controlled study (meaning some were given the treatment and others a placebo in its place) tested the effects of the Valkee headset on Finnish national league ice hockey players and found that those exposed to 12 minutes of light via the headset sped up their already fast reaction times by 20 percent.
"The placebo-controlled study showed a significant improvement in motoric reaction times of top athletes using bright light via the ear canal," says lead researcher Mikko Tulppo in a news release.… Read more
Some call it seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Others just call it the winter blues. But whatever you call it, if you happen to be one of the millions of poor schmucks who live in colder northern states, you may be aware that you're hitting the peak gloomy season, and it's not particularly fun.
One way to combat SAD is simply to get outside and absorb as much sunlight as you can during the daylight hours. However, sometimes it's just flat out too cold outside or that little thing called a job--if you're lucky enough to have one--keeps you in the office cave.
That's where something called light therapy comes in, and several companies sell small light boxes to combat the winter blues. The product I've been testing out in my windowless office in New York is called the GoLite Blu, which is made by Apollo Health but has the Philips brand on it (Philips Respironics bought Apollo in 2007).
The GoLite has been out for a while and uses something called Bluewave technology. Philips describes the glow the GoLite produces as a low-intensity blue light (470nm), but it's actually quite intense at the brightest setting. You're not supposed to look directly at the device, but instead shine it more at the side of your face for about 15-30 minutes a day (you can adjust the timer as well as the intensity of the light).
According to Philips, "using the right wavelength of light, you can trigger your active hormones naturally, boosting your mood and overcoming those down feelings, whatever the season."… Read more
Winter is fully upon us. Whether you have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or Winter Blues, the milder version of the disorder, you are probably yearning for the warmth of the sun and the hypothalamus boosts it triggers.
The Litebook Elite is a portable device that contains 24 LEDS that mimic sunlight minus the dangerous UV radiation.
As the Gadgeteer (who suffers through Indiana winters) points out, many of us get to work and arrive home in the dark, leaving no opportunity for what little natural light is available during the winter day.
The Litebook Elite for $30 is intended to … Read more