Survival Strap: For the MacGyver in You

What’s cool and stylish and potentially life-saving? Sure, if it came down to it you could probably MacGyver a survival tool out of just about any article of clothing. But why waste the brain power (and precious, precious time) when you could just get yourself a Survival Strap?

Survival Straps are made by hand in America. When you strap on your SurvivalStraps survival bracelet, you can feel good about where it came from and the conditions under which it was constructed. The team at Survival Straps works in a well-lit factory right around the corner from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Those of you looking for alternatives to off-shore, factory made items of dubious origin – take note!

But SurvivalStrap doesn’t just have upstanding business ethics, their paracord survival bracelet is a superior product. Every bracelet is made from military spec 550 paracord, meaning when the s!*% hits the fan the last thing you’ll have to worry about is your Survival Strap breaking or fraying.

The straps are approximately 1″ wide with about 1.75′ cord per inch of wrist side. That means a size 7.5′ (the smaller of the two large sizes) yields about 14 feet of paracord when deployed. Here’s a quick video demonstrating how the bracelet unravels:

Because SurvivalStraps is so committed to their customers loving their product (and maybe saving a few lives along the way), they offer a lifetime guarantee. If you ever have to use your Survival Strap in an emergency, simply email the replacement form that comes with the product’s owner’s manual to the company, along with the tale of your harrowing escape from the elements, sharks, &c., and they will replace your Survival Strap for free.

Whether you’re a lifeguard, a firefighter, a soldier in the US military or just a fashion-forward survivalist – the Survival Strap is for you.

Gotta Getta GoToob

We recently added GoToob to our New Products list, and people really seem to like it – what’s not to like? They look good, they work well, and they go a long way to significantly reducing stress at one of the most harried places around: the airport.

Picture it. You’re running late for a flight, and the line through security is monstrous. You have no time to lose as you place your bag conveyor belt, kick off your shoes, and wait to be waved through the metal detector. You pass through without incident, and now the only things keeping you from boarding are your bag and a few quick paces.

What is taking so long? The guard manning the x-ray machine sits with his nose to the screen, his eyes scanning the image of your bag. After what feels like an eternity, he passes the bag through… just not to you. A second guard opens up the bag and reveals the problem – an 8 oz bottle of lotion.

When you’re crunched for time at the airport, the last thing you need to be worrying about is whether the shampoo and conditioner you have in your bag are regulation size. GoToobs keeps it simple (and look good doing it). These 1.25 oz silicon containers are PC and BPA free, meaning GoToob travel bottles are just as safe as they are convenient.

The GoToobs come in different colors to easily distinguish one substance for another (so you don’t get your toothpaste mixed up with your hand sanitizer). The window in the collar near the cap of the Go Toob also rotates to mark the bottle as lotion, soap, shampoo and more. The cap has a ‘lock’ setting so your shampoo doesn’t leak in your purse or luggage, but Human Gear Go Toob website has a list of substances that you shouldn’t store in your Go Toob because they have a tendency to leak. The list includes single malt whiskey, but don’t worry. We also sell flasks.

Are you a GoToobs fan? Let us know in the comments.

Manicure Kits For Everyone On Your Shopping List

Christmas is still months away, but that hasn’t stopped the first signs of this holiday from slowly appearing in stores and cropping up in conversation. I’m no statistician, but I’m willing to bet there’s a correlation between the number of those “let’s exchange gifts!” conversations and shoppers’ stress levels. But this year you don’t have to be a grim statistic, because Useful Things has got you covered. We have a wide variety of what’s arguably the most universally necessary gift since socks – manicure sets. We have travel manicure sets, manicure sets for women, men’s manicure sets – it’s all here. With such an astounding variety to choose from, it can be hard to decide which set to give to whom. I’ve created these manicure set friend profiles with that very purpose. You’re welcome!
The Minimalist

This friend has an affinity for organization and modern European furniture. For the person with a place for everything, who keeps everything in its place and makes it look chic, there’s the brushed nickel manicure set. This manicure kit has just the basics – large and small nail clippers, cuticle trimmers, scissors and precision tweezers – in a elegant, durable brushed nickel case.

The Wanderer

When you’re on the road as much as this guy, simpler manicure pedicure sets simply don’t cut it. You need something a little more day-to-day and a little less every-couple-of-weeks. Whether your wanderer travels for work or for play, he’ll appreciate the 10 piece
black leather manicure/shaving kit. This kit includes a shaving kit and pocket knife in addition to the basics.

The Esquire Man

Between debates on the merits and drawbacks of different pant-cuffing techniques, the Esquire Man (named lovingly after the popular magazine of the same name) needs to make sure he looks good. The tan leather manicure set has everything he needs to keep his body well-groomed and his accessories in place. Especially tantalizing items include the shoe horn, shirt stays, and mini eyeglass screwdriver for when his designer tortoise shell frames need some TLC.

The Make-Up Artist

Some ladies keep it light with mascara, eyeliner and maybe a gloss. The make-up artist thinks this is a sad, boring way to live. For the girl you come to with questions about whether your eye shadow should be a ‘warm’ or ‘cool’ hue to best match your skin tone, we have the pink leather manicure set. With this manicure kit, your friend can apply touch ups on the go with several sizes of make up brushes.

Grid-It Visor Organizer Keeps Your Stuff Safe & Sound While You Drive Around

With the school year fast approaching, it’s important to get everything organized so you don’t have to do any on-the-fly organizing when stuff gets crazy. When finals week rolls around and you have a game-changing work project due in two days and your best friend’s birthday party is next Monday… let’s just say you’ll be happy you spent the extra time getting your room tidied up. That’s one less thing to worry about, right?

There is one place that most people neglect when it comes to keeping things in order – their cars. Even the most meticulous people seem to have trouble keeping their vehicle from getting cluttered with various personal electronics, cords, notebooks – the stuff that accumulates from busily driving around with the day-to-day assortment of stuff in your car.

Grid It Sun Visor Organizer

But there’s hope! You can optimally organize the limited space available in your car with Cocoon Innovations Grid-It Sun Visor Organizer. What sets Grid-It apart from other sun visor organizers are its grid of rubberized woven elastic bands. This innovative grid allows the sun visor organizer to be put to use in a variety of different ways, as seen in the video below.

In addition to keeping your car clutter-free, the Grid-It sun visor organizer also makes your vehicle safer. When all of your frequently reached for items in one easily accessible place, you’re not tempted to riffle through your backpack or purse while driving to look for something.

Have other ideas for ways to keep your car organized? Let us know in the comments!

From Rotten Shark to Fried-brains: Uncommon Cuisine From Around the Globe

Food preferences are intensely personal things. Your age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and moral stance on food all have a huge impact on what you consider “normal” to eat. However, there are some dishes that have become infamous for their controversial flavors, ingredients and preparation methods. I present to you a list of 10 such dishes.

1. Fried Spiders – Cambodia

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. By this logic, if life hands you a country full of terrifying spiders the size of a human palm, throw a little oil in the wok and fry those suckers up for dinner.

2. Haggis – Scotland

Stuff a sheep’s heart, liver and lungs into its sheep stomach with some onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt, stand back and wait for a few hours, and viola! You have haggis. Serve with a glass of Scotch whisky and try really hard not to think about what it is.

3. Chocolate Cheese – China

‘Interested in shaking up your boring old grilled cheese sandwich? Stop by your nearest Asian market and pick up a pack of chocolate cheese slices. Now doesn’t that sound delicious? (If you actually try this, be sure to post a description and/or pictures. Inquiring minds want to know!)

4. Natto – Japan

Natto is smelly, slimy and has a strong taste. What’s not to like? This fermented soy bean dish is typically consumed for breakfast over rice. Natto comes in to-go cups comparable to the iconic Styrofoam Ramen noodle container, but if your love for natto inspires you to put a little more love in the process, here’s a tutorial just for you.

5. Snake Wine – China, South Korea, Vietnam, Southeast Asia

Snakes are scary. Alcohol is fun when consumed responsibly. So it seems like a total head game to throw a couple of snakes into a bottle of grain alcohol and make it a popular alcoholic beverage, but that’s just what the Chinese have been doing for thousands of years.

6. Kutti pi (goat fetus) – India

This dish, pronounced ‘cootie-pie’, is anything but adorable.

7. Fish and chip gelato – Australia

Some of us prefer savory foods, others prefer sweets. One thing we can both agree on is that some of the most deliciously innovative food products were born from the fusing sweet and savory food. First, there was bacon and egg ice cream, then Il Gelato in Australia took up the torch with their fish and chip-flavored frozen treat.

8. Fried-brain sandwich – St. Louis, Missouri

Don’t think you’re going to get away with your weird food, America! Sure, you may have brought the world McDonald’s, but you still eat some pretty freaky stuff. This sandwich features thinly sliced deep fried calves’ brains between two heavily battered hamburger buns. Since the rise of mad cow disease, this specialty burger has dwindled in popularity, forcing some restaurants to switch the primary ingredient to piglet brains.

9. Turducken – England

Gluttony at its finest, the turducken is quite literally a de-boned chickened stuffed into a de-boned duck stuffed into a deboned turkey. This dish seems almost comically elaborate, such as novelty dishes like the KFC pie or the pulled pork and mashed potato parfait, but this culinary feat actually originated in 18th century England.

10. Hakarl (rotten shark meat) – Iceland

Iceland, like China, has taken a terrifying animal and turned it into an equally terrifying meal.

Any uncommon meals you’d like to share with us? Be sure to leave a comment!