published Friday, December 2nd, 2011

The Strip

THINGS I WISH MY KIDS WOULD ASK ME

Editor's NOTE: Barry Courter has a 22-year-old son who recently graduated from college and an 18-year-old daughter who is a senior in high school.

Q: Dad, some people seem to like being recognized with awards and things, and some people don't. Which is better?

A: Everyone likes getting an award or being rewarded for doing something well. Not everyone needs it as much as others, though. Some people like to quietly do their thing and prefer working in the background. Others need to be constantly told they are doing good work. The first person is usually a lot more productive, but not always. Both can develop attitudes over time.

-- By Barry Courter

WEB WATCH

  • Site: ThisIsWhyImBroke.com

ThisIsWhyImBroke.com is a blog stocked with eccentric and geeky items to tempt the cash out of your wallet, assuming there is any left after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The website links to items ranging from the absurdly expensive and impractical -- like the $130,nd a $55,000 TRON light cycle -- to cheap, mass-produced junk like a $1.93 iPhone case that looks like a cassette tape and a coffee mug that looks like a toilet ($8.99). The site, run by "a few geeky ladies and gentlemen who partake in way too much Internet shopping," links to various tools, toys, clothing and random other items they deem worthy of attention. Their criteria for what they decide to promote are a tad hazy other than they think the stuff is cool -- and they admit enjoying a "small commission for product referral." The blog's motivations aside, it's worth a quick visit for ideas and laughs -- admittedly, the Jedi bathrobe has me fingering my credit card. And the beer ammo bandoleer is inspired. Many, many other items, however, will have you shaking your head, including the Batman snuggie blanket; the nose shower gel dispenser and the AT-AT Star Wars dog costume.

-- By Stanley A. Miller II, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

TOP 10 GAMES

Game Informer Magazine ranks the top games for December. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim," PS3, Xbox 360, PC

  1. "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword," Wii

  2. "Super Mario 3D Land," 3DS

  3. "Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception," PS3

  4. "Battlefield 3," PS3, Xbox 360, PC

  5. "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3," PS3, Xbox 360, PC

  6. "Saints Row: The Third," PS3, Xbox 360, PC

  7. "Assassin's Creed: Revelations," PS3, Xbox 360, PC

  8. "Forza Motorsport 4," Xbox 360

  9. "Rayman Origins," PS3, Xbox 360, Wii

TECH GIFTS

We get it -- the accessory fiends out there need to make sure all of their gadgets and gizmos have that nice aesthetic touch, something to differentiate their product from the stale alternatives. And now, they can add USB drives to the list of novelty items they have to have. Bedol Memory Sticks are pocket-size USB drives that come in a handful of different designs. Ever want to plug the Liberty Bell into a laptop? How about a mummy, a light bulb or a musical staff? You might not have thought of it in the past, but you're probably intrigued now. All of the sticks arby part of the design to ward off dust, and all of them will get people curious when you start uploading documents. Bedol Memory Sticks come in two sizes. The 2 GB version goes for $25, and the 4 GB one sells for $35. For more information or to purchase, go to www.bedolwhatsnext.com.

POP PICKS

Walking while texting or talking on the phone has been a growing cause in pedestrian injuries. Apparently, it's a big enough concern for researchers at Dartmouth University and the University of Bologna to develop WalkSafe. The Android app uses the rear-facing camera with image recognition to warn walkers of oncoming vehicles -- from one side at least. So it has come to this.

  • Find the app in the Android Market: http://goo.gl/GsXfH. See the app in action: http://youtu.be/Fk4xK1q5P3s.

-- McClatchy Newspapers

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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