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Uncommon Knowledge

Uncommon Knowledge: Can You Control a Teen?

September 18, 2015

Mason Jar Speaker & Amplifier | UncommonGoods

You might not be able to control their taste in music or their new fangled tastes in technology, but you can actually corral them like a couple of trendily dressed sheep. The secret behind it is kind of a bummer—naturally occurring hearing loss. Sound is made of pressure waves that alternate between compressing and stretching through air at a certain frequency. The higher the frequency, the higher the resulting pitch you’ll hear. Dogs have highly evolved hearing, which is how they can hear those fancy dog whistles and we can’t. While we’re born being able to hear a wide range of frequencies, this range narrows as we get older in a natural process called prebycusis. In an effort to take advantage of this deterioration, there is now a machine—the aptly named The Mosquito—that emits a high pitch frequency that, according to science, only those under the age of 24 can hear. How does this control the youths of the world? Put the machine in a spot where you’re sick of pesky kids loitering and—bingo—the sound gets so annoying to their bionic, youthful ears that they scatter to the wind. The downside of the sound? The kids have caught on and can make it a ringtone for their cell phone. Text message dings, us Old Ears are none the wiser.

Mason Jar Speaker & Amplifier | $65

Gift Guides

Top Picks from a Tech Guy: Our Systems Admin’s Favorite Goods

September 24, 2012

Greetings! My name is Jonathan, and I am currently on the Sysadmin team here at UncommonGoods. Around this time of the year, my team and I work extra hard to make sure your gift giving and receiving experience are the best you have ever had. But in the midst of all this preparation we still manage to play with the some of the many cool toys and gadgets we carry. Here are a few of my favorites.

Cube LED Alarm Clock
In Technology you can find just about anything to fit your needs even if your needs are to just to be woken up on time. This alarm clock keeps things simple. It serves its main purpose as an alarm clock and it’s aesthetically pleasing to boot. This battery powered box can be placed anywhere! No, really, you can put it anywhere without the worry finding a power source. So far this little box has woken me up out of my bed and onto my favorite part of the morning, the coffee part.
Wooden Gizmos

Mini Wooden Speaker
I like to listen to music at work, and usually I just go with my earbuds. But sometimes the whole tech team agrees that we need some background music. In that case, this little speaker is great.

MaKey MaKey
Even if you’re a beginner to the world of microcontrollers, you should be able to grasp the concept of this little device. Anything can be turned into a controller (no really, anything) with just a little bit of creativity. So far we have made buttons and triggers from simple objects such as marshmallows, fruit, doormats, doorknobs, cups of water, ink, and just about anything else we could find lying around. This is a great tool for children and adults alike who want to tinker with electronics without the risks of real power or breaking the device itself. I recommend this product to my fellow gamers, tech enthusiasts or anyone who likes to play with well, anything.

Message Stamp Kit
Let’s face it, birthdays are happening all around us. So if you have a stamp to say happy birthday for you–why not?! If you’re like me and have trouble finding the time (or space on the card with those good-wishes-packed company birthday cards going around the office all the time) to scribble a little something for someone on their birthday then this gift is for you. Sure, it would be easy for me to just send an email from my desk–but this feels a little more personal and it is just as easy. This handy box has helped me with greeting cards for birthdays, anniversaries, bar mitzvahs and those monthly letters to the in-laws. This kit contains the all-in-one emergency sentiments you could ever need; it can even go as far as calling it a Swiss Army sentiment box.

Mushroom Kit
Another non-gadget pick, but perfect for many tech department offices. We aren’t quite in the basement, but we don’t have a lot of natural light. I’ve been meaning to get one of these, because windows or none, it will be nice to get something to grow in our work space. (Especially something we’ll get to eat in a few weeks!)

If you like Jonathan’s picks, don’t forget to check out our other gadgets and tools.

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