The Hot List: Volume 25

Features, Lifestyle I By John Beltz Snyder I February 10, 2012
Every week we sift through a truly amazing amount of “stuff” in the dozen or so hours we spend online—you know, the time spent not driving sweet cars. A lot of the cool stuff we find has to do specifically with new cars, naturally, but there’s also a huge amount of awesomeness that doesn’t completely fit in the normal Winding Road world. Once, we were in the habit of simply reading, watching, or talking amongst ourselves about this web detritus, but recently we thought it might be a good idea to start sharing it with you all. Thus, The Hot List.
We aim to bring you a list of the most interesting bits of information we run across. Ten worth-knowing-about things that may or may not be related directly to the world of cars, but all of which we think our typical enthusiast readers will be able to really dig into. We don’t know, from week to week, what will show up on this list, which is part of the fun for us and for you.

Read, enjoy, and comment. If you happen to know of something that you think would make for a good inclusion on next week’s list, drop us a line at [email protected].

Once they’re done saving someone’s life, used airbags can be used to make your life easier. These backpacks, made primarily of exploded airbags (along with other car-related recycled materials) not only look cool, but they can hold a lot of peanut butter sandwiches in their various compartments. They’re waterproof, too. Mariclaro also has other bags and accessories made from old car stuff.
Do you ever notice when the letters of words are badly spaced, and it totally drives you nuts? Oh, you don’t? For us, anyway, instead of seeking professional help to curb our neurosis, we sometimes play this little game. See, that process of making type look pleasing to the eye via proper spacing is called kerning, and the Kern Type Game lets you do just that, and it lets you know how well you did. No rulers, that’s cheating. (Now, that we’ve given you a new a new obsession, maybe you’ll find this funny.)
On Facebook, the Williams Formula 1 team is offering up a whole bunch of information about its FW34 racecar and other aspect of the team. The app is very interactive, and users even have a chance to win signed photos from team drivers Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna.
Ugh. Valentine’s Day. At least Volkswagen is offering these nifty goodies. If your sweetie digs the German automaker, you’ll probably find the perfect gift right here. We particularly like the VW earrings, seatbelt belt buckle, and bag toss game.
Whether you have kids, or are an adult still obsessed with toys (hey, we’re not judging—that whole pot and kettle thing, you know?), you might get a kick out of this Dark Knight version of Mr. Potato Head. There’s even a collectible-grade edition, which makes you sound less childish, but more nerdy.
Every once in a while, we let it be known that here at Winding Road, we love dogs. But we also love robots. The DarwinBot combines the two, letting you interact remotely with your nice boy with this cool robot. It plays fetch, dispenses treats, and can even chase your horrified pet around the living room. Now you don’t have to feel so bad when you have to leave your pup at home while you work.
(Everyone say it with us.) Science, man! (Well done.) Developed for astronauts, this biocapsule would be implanted under the skin, and it would be able to diagnose and treat illness—astronauts are particularly vulnerable radiation exposure. It’s great for when you can’t float yourself to the nearest space hospital, but could also save lives here on Earth. Fascinating stuff.
Our options for living in our car have just expanded. This Volkswagen Transporter receives an electric slide-out rear extension that nearly doubles the van’s interior size. You can even order it fully customized. That’s it; we’re putting our house on the market. Please forward our mail to the Winding Road parking lot.
This four-wheeled pedal-powered cycle is interesting in that it is designed to be ridden off-road. It’s rear-wheel-drive, with a fully independent suspension, and a lightweight aluminum and carbon-fiber body. Get outside and get some exercise, all while being the weirdest-looking guy on the trail.
If pedaling isn’t really your thing, you might want to check out this A2B electric scooter, coming soon. Its battery pack is removable, which helps to deter theft. It has a top speed of 30 miles per hour and a range of up to 30 miles. Recharging takes four to six hours in a standard outlet. Depending on what the price will be when announced, this could be a cool way to get around town.

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