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Mr. Christmas Lights and Sounds

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In 2005, the world was charmed by a video called the Christmas Lights Gone Wild, in which Carson Williams loaded his house with Christmas lights and programmed them to flash in sync with music, specifically "Wizards in Winter" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Williams spent two months and over $10,000 to create the spectacle. It wasn't the first such display, but the video stormed the internet and impressed many who had never seen such a thing.

Since then, many people have tried to do the same, whether by programming a computer system themselves, or by hiring a professional company. One is time-consuming, the other expensive. So of course, someone had to come up with a way to make it easier for the rest of us. Mr. Christmas Lights and Sounds of Christmas by GE is a gadget that will program your lights for you. It has six electrical outlets in which to plug your lights, a stake to anchor the gadget into the ground, and a controller that has twenty songs to which it will synchronize your lights. You can set the controller to "multiplex", which means the six outlets will be powered on or off independently according to the beat of the music. Your other options are "unison" in which all your lights will flash off and on together, or "steady on" where the lights stay on regardless of the music. Yeah, that's simple, but if you want to go ahead and computerize your Christmas lights to play 150 songs, you're looking at a much more complicated and expensive venture.

The music is a bit cheesy, and the quality of the light display is up to you. However, the odds are that no one on your block is doing anything nearly as interesting with their Christmas lights. Mr. Christmas costs around 90 to 95 dollars, available through Amazon and possibly your local hardware store or gift shop.

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Spéciale
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Improve Your Chopping Skills With This Knife-Cutting Board Hybrid
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Spéciale

Chopping ingredients properly is an impressive skill, and for those who haven’t mastered it yet, this part of the cooking process can be a pain. Luckily, it is possible to do your slicing and dicing without the awkward hand positions and frequent slip-ups. All you need is a knife that stays attached to the board where you’re doing the cutting.

Spotted over at Mashable, spéciale is a high-quality walnut cutting board that comes with a 17-inch Damascus steel knife built in. Whether you’re breaking down fruits, vegetables, cheese, or charcuterie, the blade can rotate across the board as you cut while the tip stays fixed in place. This leaves one hand free, so you don’t have to pause to put down your glass of wine before the chopping starts.

The designers focused on aesthetics along with functionality, so when the board is not being used in the kitchen it doubles as a serving platter. And after you’ve had a chance to enjoy the fruit of your labors, you can pop the knife off the board for easy clean-up.

Spéciale recently wrapped up a campaign on Kickstarter where it raised more than $150,500, and prior to that it debuted on Indiegogo, where it raised nearly $170,000. The product is still available to order through the Indiegogo page for $195.

[h/t Mashable]

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Retro Games Limited
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The Commodore 64 Will Return as a Mini Console With Dozens of Games
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Retro Games Limited

Today’s video games may be more innovative than ever, but that doesn’t stop many from returning to the old-school games that remind them of their childhood. Following Nintendo’s massive success with the NES Classic in 2016 and the SNES Classic in September, the Commodore 64 is set to be the next vintage gaming device to get a miniature makeover. As Nerdist reports, Retro Games Limited will release a plug-and-play version of the 1982 bestseller in 2018.

The C64 Mini will be half the size of the original Commodore 64 computer and will feature 64 retro 8-bit titles, including Impossible Mission, Armalyte, Paradroid, and California Games. The kit will include a joystick, an HDMI cable for hooking up the console to your TV, and a USB power cable for charging it.

The console will have two USB ports that can be used to connect an extra joystick or plug in a full-sized keyboard to use the C64 Mini for simple coding. This could be especially useful when you get bored of the pre-loaded games and want to program a new one of your own from scratch.

The C64 Mini is set to retail for around $70 when it hits shelves in 2018, making it $10 cheaper than the newly-released SNES classic. Retro Games also plans to revive a full-sized version of the original Commodore 64 to sell in 2018. For an idea of what that might look like, check out this classic Commodore 64 how-to video from 1982.

[h/t Nerdist]

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