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21 of the Weirdest R2-D2 Products the Internet Has to Offer

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When Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012, they went a little crazy with licensed Star Wars merchandise. The marketing bonanza was so great you could probably deck your whole home out in R2-D2-themed products exclusively. We’re not trying to pick a fight; we all love the helpful droid companion. But one has to ask: Do you really need an R2-D2-themed flashlight? Does tea really taste better coming from a Star Wars-themed teapot? You’ll have to find out yourself. 

1. MEASURING CUP; $18

Measuring cups aren't generally very exciting, but now they can be, when they’re shaped like R2-D2. You can even make a joke about how the Force helped you make the cookies taste better. The set comes with four measuring cups that take the form of the droid when you stack them together.

Find it: Amazon

2. SOY SAUCE DISPENSER; $24

Unless you're a Star Wars-inspired sushi joint, there’s probably no real reason to own this. But that doesn’t mean you can’t want it. The perfectly kitsch item comes straight from Japan and stands at 4 inches tall. It can be filled with soy sauce or any other liquid condiment you want. 

Find it: Amazon

3. GARBAGE CAN; $133

What better way to celebrate the beloved droid than by filling it with trash? R2-D2 admittedly does look like a trash can, so maybe this product was inevitable. The wastebasket is about 2 feet tall and opens when you step on a lever at the bottom.

Find it: Amazon

4. MICKEY HAT; $50

Did you know you can buy mouse ear hats outside of the Disney parks? Well you can, and they come in a lot of different varieties. This futuristic option is the perfect reflection of Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars. The plastic cap fits most heads and comes with a strap to keep it on your noggin. The listing says you can “wear it anytime anywhere!” so feel free to don it for your next job interview.

Find it: Amazon

5. SLIPPERS; $22 - $50

Kick back while R2-D2 keeps your feet snug and warm—what a helpful little droid! The polyester slippers come in plenty of different sizes to fit the feet of princesses, Jedi, and wookiees alike.

Find it: Amazon 

6. EARRINGS; $10

A pair of earrings is a nice gift, but R2-D2 earrings are an even nicer gift (at least if the recipient is a fan of the series). These silver studs are a subtle way to show some love for the movies. If you’re looking for something a little more intense, you could go all out and purchase an R2-D2 engagement ring.

Find it: Amazon

7. WALL CHARGER; $18

The product description, “powered by droid,” is enough to convince anyone that this product absolutely does need to exist, solely for that joke. It comes with two USB ports so two friends can charge their phones at once (no more prying questions about percentages). The cute little charger even lights up when you plug it in.

Find it: Amazon

8. HUMIDIFIER; $50

Even Jedis suffer from dryness in the cold season. That’s why R2-D2 is here to put some moisture back into the air. (This is the humidifier you're looking for.) These portable humidifiers can be filled with up to a gallon of water at a time and help keep those dry coughs away. After all, pulling off Jedi mind tricks is a lot harder when you can't speak. 

Find it: Amazon

9. EGG CUP; $17

This ceramic R2-D2 converts into an egg cup when you take the droid’s head off. Combined with these R2-D2 bowls, breakfast can be perfectly themed, albeit a little strange.

Find it: Amazon

10. TEAPOT; $40

This charming R2-D2 ceramic pot promises perfectly hot tea. There’s just one fatal flaw: This teapot screeches instead of beeps, which is way less cute. 

Find it: Amazon

11. FLASHLIGHT; $12

When you squeeze the handle of this plastic flashlight, R2-D2's dome head slides up, revealing a light source. The 5-inch-tall flashlight will surely help keep the dark side at bay. 

Find it: Amazon

12. BENTO BOX; $20

This hollow droid breaks into three separate containers to hold a well-balanced lunch. When lunch is over, they snap back into place with an airtight lid. As an added bonus, the top part doubles as a cutter and can cut bread into perfect circles. A separate piece works as a stamp to turn bread into a starchy Death Star.

Find it: Amazon

13. SCREWDRIVER; $11

With this R2-D2 screwdriver, you can be almost as handy as the astromech droid himself. The 4-inch-tall tool is compact and easy to use on the go. It comes with three different bits: one slotted and two Phillips-head. 

Find it: Amazon

14. SOUP; $17

Soup’s on! Buy a case (or a dozen cases) of this Star Wars-branded Campbell’s Soup and never have a meal without R2-D2’s robot face again. The limited edition cases come with 10 cans of chicken noodle soup. The noodles are shaped like Yoda, Darth Vader, R2-D2, and storm troopers. 

Find it: Amazon

15. GUITAR; $247

Rock out with your favorite droid with this guitar. It comes with 22 jumbo frets, and a 15-degree headstock pitch. If nothing else, you can use it to play the Star Wars theme on repeat (singing is optional). 

Find it: Amazon

16. SHOWER HEAD; $35

Let R2-D2 wash your troubles away with this truly inspired shower head. It comes with three different spray settings, an anti-clog nozzle, and a life-time warranty. 

Find it: Amazon

17. VIRTUAL KEYBOARD; $276

R2-D2 projects some helpful maps and holograms, so it's probably not asking him too much to project a futuristic keyboard so you can finish that C-3PO fan fiction you were working on. 

Find it: Amazon

18. TRAPPER KEEPER; $18

Children of the ‘80s will remember their beloved Trapper Keepers. Now you can relive your childhood with this R2-D2-themed binder, which has 1.5 inch rings that hold plenty of loose leaf and up to four folders and notebooks. It's perfect for holding all your ongoing fan theories. 

Find it: Amazon

19. DOG COSTUME; $18

No one can hide from R2-D2—not even pets. Dress up your small dog in this shirt and hat combo to impress your friends and embarrass your pup. 

Find it: Amazon

20. SPICE SHAKER; $20

The next time you go to powder some sugar on your Death Star waffles, or sprinkle some seasoning on the steak on your Star Wars plate, reach for your special R2-D2 spice shaker. Anything less would be a disgrace to the meal (and the galaxy).

Find it: ThinkGeek

21. SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS; $18

These ceramic salt and pepper shaker droids are perfect for any dining room table. Grab R2-D2 for salt and R2-Q5 for pepper.

Find it: Amazon

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Don’t Fall For This Trick Used by Hotel Booking Sites
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iStock

Hotel booking sites can be useful tools when comparing prices, locations, and amenities, but some services use deceptive tactics to get you to click “book.”

A new report spotted by Travel + Leisure determined that those “one room left” alerts you sometimes see while perusing hotels can’t always be trusted. Led by the UK-based Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the eight-month investigation concluded that many sites use “pressure selling” to create a false sense of urgency in hopes that customers will book a room more quickly than usual. Similar notices about how many people are looking at a particular room or how long a deal will last are some of the other tactics travel booking websites employed.

The CMA also found that some discount claims had either expired or weren’t relevant to the customer’s search criteria, and hidden fees—like the much-maligned "resort fees"—are sometimes tacked on at the end of the booking process. (To be fair, many hotels are also guilty of this practice.)

The report didn’t drop any company names, but the consumer agency said it warned the sites that legal action would be taken if their concerns weren't addressed. The companies could be breaking consumer protection law, the CMA notes.

“Booking sites can make it so much easier to choose your holiday, but only if people are able to trust them,” Andrea Coscelli, the CMA's chief executive, said in a statement. “Holidaymakers must feel sure they’re getting the deal they expected … It’s also important that no one feels pressured by misleading statements into making a booking.”

Still, booking sites remain a convenient option, so if you decide to use one, just take your time and be cognizant that some of the claims you're seeing may not be entirely truthful.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

The Internet Archive's Billions of Web Pages Inspired a New Art Exhibition

The Internet Archive, a digital library based out of San Francisco, contains books, movies, music, and roughly 332 billion web pages saved from internet history. The nonprofit's collection is an invaluable tool for researchers, but for the past two years, it has also provided some inspiration to artists. As Fast Company reports, the Internet Archive’s 2018 artist in residence exhibition opens in San Francisco on Saturday, July 14.

For its second annual visual arts residency, the Internet Archive invited artists Chris Sollars, Taravat Talepasand, and Mieke Marple to refer to its web archive (a.k.a. the Wayback Machine) as well as its media archive while building a body of work over the course of a year.

Marple, an artist from Palo Alto, California, created a series of illustrations based on a Facebook quiz titled “What Abomination from the Garden of Earthly Delights Are You?” She found images that inspired the project's visual style from books in the archive's library.

San Francisco artist Chris Sollars built a multimedia exhibition meant to evoke the Bay Area in the 1960s. It includes retro screen savers, literature on psychedelic drugs, and live recordings of the Grateful Dead.

The third artist, Taravat Talepasand, the daughter of Iranian immigrants, was born in the U.S. during the Iranian Revolution. She used the archive to build a mini archive containing magazines, propaganda, and posters from pre-revolutionary Iran. From that, she drew inspiration to make an accompanying series of paintings and drawings.

After launching July 14, the exhibition will be available to view at 1275 Minnesota Street, Suite 105, in San Francisco through August 11. If you're looking for inspiration of your own, artists and non-artists alike can search the Internet Archive for rare materials anytime for free.

[h/t Fast Company]

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