Have a Solar-Licious Summer

I felt compelled to write about solar-powered radio products today. I’m not sure why. Maybe because it’s such a nice day out, and we should all be outside instead of in our offices. Some of these products you may have already heard of…but I thought I’d roundup these energy-savers anyway in preparation for the start of summer. (Can you tell I’m anxious?)Soltronix AM/FM Headset Solar Radio ($29.95)It’s not the hippest headphone you’d ever wear, but it beats buying new batteries. Just 1 hour of a charge in the sunlight, and you’re good to go at the beach for 1-3 hours of listening pleasure. Even more, when fully charged, the headphones play for more than 20 hours inside and outside. Features an internal antenna, extended bass, and a NiMh AAA battery. Solar Radio ($19.99)I never thought I’d see gadgets on EddieBauer. Sure enough, here’s one.

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This solar-powered portable radio clips onto a belt or bag. Comes with headphones. Available in Dark Red or Grass.NexxTech AM/FM Solar Pocket Radio ($8.99-$9.99)Or, if you don’t want to don the Eddie Bauer brand, here’s one from Circuit City. Comes in blue or yellow. Includes a belt clip and headphones. Sunlight charges internal battery up to 12 hours. Solar Rechargeable Lantern SL-9000SW ($64.95)I expect to do a lot of camping this summer, so obviously there won’t be any outlets around to plug in a radio or some lights (remember, I’m scared of the dark!). This Lantern features AM/FM weather radio and a 9-Watt flourescent bulb that provides 7-12 hours of light from the built-in rechargeable battery.

The coolest thing is that the 2.5 Watt solar panel unfolds on the back for handy solar charging and then folds close for nightime use. Comes with an handle and includes an 120V AC wall charger, 12V DC car lighter charger, and LED charge indicators.Solar Armband Radio & Emergency LED ($17.99)I also plan on doing a lot of running. Although I could use my iPod to exercise (and I do), sometimes I like to be old-fashioned and listen to the radio. Here’s a solar-powered radio that attaches to your arm for convenience. Comes with headphones and a AC adapter.

Geeky Gifts for Moms, Dads, and GradsMother’s Day

Conveniently, I’ve narrowed down the shopping search for you, with this list of must-haves for the mom, dad, and graduate in your life.

1. 5X Zoom Lighted Fog-Free Mirror ($59.95)Dad’s everywhere could use this for those hard-to-see shaving spots. This mirror uses a precise 1-5x power zoom mechanism and three LEDs to provide clear and illuminated magnification. Its unbreakable, polycarbonate fog-free surface allows for in-shower use, and also sports a digital clock. Requires three AA batteries.

2. Cooper Cooler ($59.99)There’s nothing worse than a warm beverage, and your mother doesn’t deserve that. With the Cooper Cooler, you can chill your drink fast, from 77F/25C to refrigerator cold 43F/6C or to “ice cold” 33F/1C. Just add ice cubes, water, and plug it in. Available in white or silver.

3. Personalized Light Affection ($119-$239)Nothing says, “You’re the greatest!” than a personalized gift. Light Affection is a lamp with a personal photo of your choice. It includes the main carved piece, a frame, a back stand, an energy efficient light bulb and a plug-in electric cord with a on/off switch. Comes in 4×6, 5×7, and 8×10 frame sizes.

4. Push Pin Lamp ($19.99)Great for the student who needs a lamp to double as a Post-It note holder. Choose from red, blue, green, and orange. Press down on the push pin to turn on the lamp. Bulb not included.

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5. Floating LCD Clock ($89.99)Perfect for the office or dorm. The base includes micro-processor controlled magnets that allow the clock to levitate in mid-air. Clock displays time, month, day, year, and temperature. Comes with 120V Power Adapter.

6. Westinghouse WST2000W Intelliblend Blender ($33.99)Does mom need a new blender? Let her be geeky for once with this digital blender. It has built-in memory containing over 400 pre-programmed recipes. Recipes include frozen drinks, dips, sauces, spreads, salad dressings, and smoothies. Features a 425-watt motor, backlit LCD screen, 5 control settings, and heavy-duty blades.

7. Beanbag Cell Phone Chair ($9.75)Is your teen always losing their cell phone? Give them a bean bag to keep track of their cell phone’s whereabouts. It’s a comfy place to not only store a phone, but also an mp3 player or Blackberry. Comes in Neon Green, Turquoise, Orange, Red, Fuschia, Charcoal and White nylon.

8. S.BEAT MP3 Digital Media Player ($260)A 1GB MP3 player and Swiss Army Knife in one! Comes with earphones, adjustable neck strap, anti-dangling mechanism, remote control, arm strap for jogging, line-in cable to record from external sources, belt clip, and USB cable. Tools include blade, scissors, nail file, abd nail cleaner.

9. Lazy Drinker Cocktail Dispenser ($750)A computer-controlled dispensing device that holds 16 ingredients mixed automatically by your computer. Features a database of over 5,000 drinks to choose from. Comes as a cooler or a DIY kit. Only requires a Co2 tank and a PC with a serial port.

10. Soda Club’s Gourmet Soda Machine ($119.99, $129.99, $299.99)Make your own seltzer or soda in a variety of flavors that’s ready in seconds. Comes in three models: the Fountain Jet, Edition 1 and Penguin. There are over 25 great-tasting regular, diet and caffeine-free flavors to choose from, starting at just $2.99, which produce 12 liters of fresh soda!