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Gift Lab

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Can a Self-Watering Pepper Planter Be Trusted?

December 4, 2017

Data scientist Dr. Ken proudly displays his wee peppers. Spicy!

Product

Self-Watering Pepper Planter

Research

House plants that enter into my care rarely thrive. More often, they have the sort of existence Thomas Hobbes (no, not that Hobbes) might have written about—that is, “nasty, brutish, and short.” And while I’ve tried many different types of plants, the problem is always the same: water. Some occasions it’s too little too late, others it is a root rot-inducing flood. Frequently, it’s one followed by the other as I overcompensate. Whatever knack is required, I don’t have it, and I was ready to give up on the idea that anything could grow in the barren desert landscape of my living room.

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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: How to be a Happy Camper with the Portable Camp Grill and Charger

November 10, 2017

Food, Drink, and Garden Merchant Assistant Maia settles in for a wee bit of rustic eating.

Product

Portable Camp Grill and Charger

Research

I was raised to be a capable outdoorswoman. I can set up a tent without once consulting the directions and identify edible plants and tubers in a pinch, but to my chagrin, I never proved to be a very good study in the art of fire-making. The last camping trip I organized, I managed to forget the matches and lighter at home, and thus served my fellow campers lukewarm pasta salad, sans pasta (so… salad) for dinner.

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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Does Our Silicone Suction Pet Set Have Staying Power?

October 16, 2017

Jackie, our very own PR pro, is back—and this time, she’s got pet bowls on the brain.

Product

Silicone Suction Pet Set

Research

About a year ago, I adopted a wonderful rescue cat from the Bronx named Orange Ivy Carter. Her name is inspired by Beyoncé’s daughter, Blue Ivy, but I modified it slightly since my Ivy is orange.

Editor’s Note: It’s worth mentioning that Ivy is something of a local celebrity here at UncommonGoods, where she frequently features in our #uncommonpets Slack channel. After all, who can resist those little paws?

So regal.

Although Ivy is perfect in every way (besides her habit of biting everything that moves and eating laptop chargers), she is a very, very messy eater. Her preferred method includes using her paws to fling food out of her bowl and eat it off wherever it lands, be it the floor or walls. The area around her bowls was a complete disaster, and her paper bag place mat had to be replaced every three days since it got so soggy. When I saw the Silicone Suction Pet Set had been added to our assortment, I knew I had to give it a try.

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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Will this Portable Phone Charger & Light Overpower the Other Guys?

September 5, 2017

Our Payroll and Benefits Administrator, Chantelle, is looking for a way to keep her phone good-to-go while she’s on the go.

Product

Portable Charger & Light

Research

I was looking for a new portable battery. I have a few good ones I use regularly, and they are a life saver when you have been snapping and tweeting all day. I hate receiving that dreadful notification: LOW BATTERY. When it appears on my screen, I die little inside. I’m always on the hunt for a new portable battery.

I go to a lot of tech events, snapping and tweeting my life away, so I wanted another battery to add to my collection. The color and design of this one first caught my eye, but I was skeptical about using it. In my experience, the more attractive the battery looks, the less likely I am to receive a full charge. Usually I receive only a slight boost. But I was willing to try it out.

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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: How Well Does the Bard Dispense Profanity?

August 10, 2017

Our copywriter, Eric, checks out some Shakespeare silliness.

There are more things in heaven and earth…than are dreamt of in your philosophy

Having played a certain infamous, misanthropic card game a few times, I was curious about whether our Shakespearean version—Bards Dispense Profanity (BDP)—would provide a similar level of smutty, giggle-inducing fun. Or would it be a tedious, highbrow take on a very lowbrow phenomenon? Only one way to find out.

This report is inspired by our long-running Gift Lab series, but I took some poetic license with the scientific method. After all, Will would want it that way.

Now, once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!

 

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