CLOSE
Original image
The Neatoshop

14 Awesome Ice Cube Trays

Original image
The Neatoshop

1. Star Wars

Fun fact: By adding just a touch of grape juice or purple food coloring to your Darth Vader ice cubes, you can ensure that your beverage comes to the Dark Side as the ice starts to melt. Papa Vader would be proud.

Of course, if you refuse to let your beverage join the Dark Side, there are still plenty of Star Wars ice cube trays for you to choose from. Be a rebel with Millennium Falcon cubes, see if your X-Wing ice can take out the tiny defect in the center of the massive Death Star cube, chill out with everyone’s favorite beeping Droid, or see if you can help Han escape his icy carbonite prison before you need a refill. Who knew ice cubes would be the key to reliving the best moments of one of the greatest film franchises in history? Best of all, there don’t seem to be any Jar Jar ice cubes in this galaxy or the next.

2. Chess Pieces

Are you such a chess master that even speed chess has started to seem dull? Then raise the stakes with this ice version—take too long to move and your king will literally start to melt away. Just remember to use a waterproof board or your playing area will be as short lived as your pieces.

3. Alphabet

This alphabet ice tray is perfect for all the Boggle and Scrabble fiends out there. Just pop out a few letters and figure out all the words you can spell in your drink before your letters melt away into illegible shapes.

4. Crystal Ice

These cubes might not come in an unusual shape, but the design ensures that ice from these trays will form the same way it does in the great outdoors: The impurities get pushed to the bottom of the cube so you can have perfectly clean and clear cubes every time.

5. Pi & Science

Want an appropriate way to cool down after making a dozen pies on Pi Day? Then grab some Pi ice trays and turn your post-Pi Day cocktail into a mathematical celebration. If you really want to crank your scientifically geeky cocktail to 11, you might want to grab this Cool Science tray as well that comes with such classics as the infinity, square root, and sigma signs.

6. Ice Ice Baby

If you love terrible early 90’s one-hit wonders and goofy puns then you’re bound to love the Ice Ice Baby Ice tray that references one of the stupidest songs ever made while describing exactly what it is making.

7. Abominable Ice Men

Was your favorite part of Disneyland always the Abominable Snowman in the Matterhorn? Well then, relive those memories without leaving home by letting an Abominable Ice Man move into your freezer to help you cool off your favorite beverages.

8. Shark Fins

If the first thing you think of when you hear the word shark is the unforgettable theme from Jaws, then bring some of the classic film home to your freezer. Just remember, if someone starts screaming that there’s a shark in their glass at your next cocktail party, you don’t need a bigger boat—you just need to cut that person off for the night.

9. Skull and Crossbones

Avast, ye pirate-loving geeks. Sure you can’t get much ice on board your favorite vessel, but when you’re on shore, you might as well get as much Vitamin C as you can to help you fight off that scurvy. And there’s no better way to cool off a pineapple, orange juice and rum concoction than with a few ice cubes that resemble the most famous Jolly Roger flag.

10. iPhone Apps

If you’re such a die-hard Apple fan that you have a hard time using anything that doesn’t reflect the genius of Jobs, then you can finally start enjoying your iced water again. Just add in a few of these iCubes that are based on apps on an iPhone and enjoy your tech-tastic beverage.

11. Superheroes

Whether you’re a DC or Marvel fan, you can make your drinks infinitely much more super with nothing more than the logo of your favorite superhero. Choose from Batman wings, Superman’s S or the Marvel tray that features Captain America's shield, Iron Man's mask, The Thing's head, and Hulk's fist. Just try not to add gamma radiation to your ice cubes—the process of making a superhero in real life is drastically different than what you see in the pages of your favorite comic.

12. Dinosaur Bones

You don’t have to be an archeologist to dig these cool dino bones. While this triceratops and T Rex skeleton won’t end up in a museum, they probably will be a lot more refreshing than those actually discovered underground.

13. Ice Attacks

If you own Agent Mulder’s “I Want to Believe” poster and consider your vacation to Roswell a “pilgrimage,” then there’s no better way to cool down after an invigorating period of sky watching than with a nice cool drink filled with UFO and meteor ice cubes.

14. Aliens

Of course, if you expect our first encounter to result in violence and death, then you might prefer your alien ice cubes to reflect the classic Aliens franchise. If so, enjoy these ice trays bearing the likeness of the famed aliens and their eggs

Do you guys have some cool ice trays you’re particularly proud of, or do you tend to stick with cubes like the rest of us?

Original image
iStock
arrow
fun
11 Camping Essentials to Get You Through the Summer
Original image
iStock

If you're hitting the trails this summer, you'll want to make sure you've got everything you need to make your trip to the great outdoors the best it can be. Before you lose cell service, grab these 11 camping essentials.

1. ALITE MONARCH CHAIR; $55

Treat your butt to this comfy hammock chair, which is perfect for sitting around the campfire. The patented design only has two legs (you’ll need your own legs to balance it) but that means it can easily perch on uneven terrain where other camping chairs can’t go—not to mention you can use it as a rocking chair. When packed up, it’s just a foot long and weighs just a little over a pound, so it can go anywhere, whether that means the soccer field on Saturday morning or a long backpacking trip.

Get it: Amazon

2. SCRUBBA WASH BAG; $48

Wash your clothes on the go with this little bag, which has a textured washboard lining to give your clothes an actual scrubbing. Throw your clothes in, add water and soap, then slosh the bag around for a few minutes to get a high-quality wash for your sweaty, dirt-laden outdoor gear. Then empty out the soapy water, rinse, and hang your newly cleaned clothes to dry. Scrubba also makes a bag designed just for delicates, a travel clothesline, a camping towel to dry your clothes, and even a set of inflatable hangers.

Get it: Amazon

3. PACKTOWL; $10 - $50

This travel-ready towel dries 30 percent faster than the traditional cotton version, and despite its thin form, it can absorb up to five times its weight in water. It comes in multiple different styles, sizes, and colors from lightweight hand towels to deluxe beach blankets, the largest of which folds down to be about the size of a kid's lunchbox. The company touts its PackTowl Luxe as “the most luxurious fast-drying towel available”—and having used it as a very comfy desk blanket to ward off frigid office temperatures, we’d have to agree.

Get it: PackTowl

4. OTTERBOX VENTURE COOLER; $250 - $400

Otterbox’s Venture Coolers are just as indestructible as the company’s famous phone cases. They’re waterproof, drop-tested from every angle, and can be made certifiably bear-proof with a $30 lock set. You can add slide-on cupholders, a bottle opener, a cutting board, and other accessories as needed; you can even organize the interior into compartments to keep your fruit from getting squished by your soda, your bread from getting wet from your icy beer, etc. And the 2-inch foam insulation is designed to keep your ice solid for a full 14 days.

Get it: Otterbox

5. KICKER BLUETOOTH SPEAKER; $150

Kicker’s heavy-duty outdoor speaker is water-resistant, durable, and fits in a cupholder. But don’t let the small size fool you: It’s also capable of churning out “muscular bass” beats. It’s got 10 hours of playback, plus a built-in USB port that you can use to charge your phone.

Get it: Amazon

6. SEA TO SUMMIT X-SERIES COOKWARE; $105

When you’re carrying everything you need to survive for days, weight matters. So does size. These aluminum-base, silicone-walled dishes and pot are a little pricey, but they take up barely any room and weigh less than 1.5 pounds. The two-person cook set comes with a pot (and a lid with a built-in strainer), two bowls, and two mugs. They collapse almost flat and fit together like nesting dolls, saving you space in your pack or in your car. Note: You’ll need a camping stove, because an open fire will burn the silicone sides of the pot.

Get it: Amazon

7. KELTY SINE 35 SLEEPING BAG; $240 - $260

Even if it’s summer, you probably still need to prep for cold nights. This sleeping bag has easily customizable ventilation so you can adjust it for whatever the weather. Outside magazine calls the Kelty Sine 35 “a smart choice for almost everything.” The diagonal zips make it easy to get in and out of, and if you’re a feet-outside-the-covers person, there’s a vent down at the bottom of the bag for your tootsies.

Get it: Kelty

8. SUMMER MOON 2 TENT; $160

This squat tent is super simple to set up because it only uses two poles. At less than 4 pounds, it’s also the lightest tent on the market for less than $200, according to its manufacturer Sierra Designs. It’s designed to function in three seasons and also comes in a three-person size. It comes equipped with Sierra Designs’s Night Glow, an accessory that turns your headlamp into an overhead light.

Get it: Amazon

9. JETBOIL FLASH PERSONAL COOKING SYSTEM; $80

This handy system lights up with the push of a button and boils two cups of water at a time for coffee, instant oatmeal, dehydrated meals, and more. It’s essentially a combo stove/Thermos, which you can use both for cooking and as a drinking vessel. The Neoprene sleeve protects your hands while it’s hot—with a color-changing indicator to warn you when it is—and it comes with a lid you can use to drink straight out of the cup once everything is done boiling. When you’re done, the fuel, stove, and accessories all fit back into the cup for safe storage in your bag.

Get it: Amazon

10. RADIANT 300 RECHARGEABLE LANTERN; $39

Your campfire can only be your sole source of light for so long. This ultra-bright rechargeable lantern works for five hours at its brightest setting and 27 hours at its lowest, recharging in three-and-a-half hours. It’s water- and impact-resistant, so there’s no need to treat it with kid gloves. Just clip the carabiner handle to your pack and go. It can also be used as a power source for your phone or tablet.

Get it: Amazon

11. VASQUE BREEZE III GTX BOOT; $180

What kind of hiking boot you want will depend a lot on the type of trip you’re taking and the specific contours of your foot, but for all-around outdoor footwear, you could do worse than Vasque’s Breeze boots. The latest version is lighter, with better traction than its predecessors. It’s got great grip on rocky terrain, keeps your feet cool with mesh panels, and features a nice cushion that you’ll appreciate after hours on your feet. It comes in men’s and women’s sizes.

Get it: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

Original image
Panasonic
arrow
technology
This $180 Hanger Will Deodorize Your Clothes
Original image
Panasonic

Panasonic is looking to replace your dry cleaner with a high-tech hanger. According to Engadget, the company plans to release a clothes hanger that can deodorize outfits while they hang.

Think of it as part laundry method, part allergy prevention plan. The Nanoi X hanger has eight vents that emit a deodorizing vapor to cut down on both smells and pollen in clothes. Used inside a suit bag, it can effectively neutralize cigarette smoke and other strong odors, according to Panasonic.

The Nanoi X works using Panasonic’s “nanoe” particles, charged water particles designed to improve air quality. Essentially, the technology takes moisture from the air and applies an electric voltage. These particles can suppress viruses and bacteria, the company has found.

A diagram shows where the nanoparticles come out of the hanger.
Panasonic

It seems like a useful gadget for delicate, dry-clean-only clothing—as long as you don’t need to remove any stains or spills (which would require actually cleaning, not just deodorizing). You do, however, have to hang it up near a power outlet, so it might not work in your closet. It takes five hours to work (or seven hours on the heavy-cleaning setting), so it’s not a quick job. If you wake up in the middle of the night and realize you have to wear your smelly blazer before the dry cleaner opens, though, it might be worth it.

It will be released in Japan in September and, according to Kaden Watch, will cost about $180 (¥20,000). Surely Americans hate to do laundry enough to make this profitable in the U.S., too?

[h/t Engadget]

SECTIONS

More from mental floss studios