Sugru is a soft moldable material that reminds me of Fimo clay. But unlike Fimo, it does not have to be heated to cure. It air drys and is rubbery and sticks to anything. I used it to make a new button for my utility knife when the plastic one broke. I made bumpers for my cell phone. I put some on my tools so they would not roll off the table. I am still discovering ways to use the product.
— Philip Lipton
This stuff comes in tiny pouches of different primary colors. You knead a bit with your hands until soft, then you apply it where you would like an additional grip, or stop, or section of repair. It’s pretty sticky, can be worked like clay, but dries into a hard rubber. The photo shows a paring knife handle that was falling apart from years of dishwasher use. I coated the outside with Sugru and it now it feels great and is dishwasher proof. See Sugru’s website for other ways it can be used.
It’s a serious issue in contemporary journalism: how do you record phone interviews while using a headset?
Radio Shack sells a nice, cheap device (the previously reviewed Mini-Phone Recorder) that interrupts the cord that goes from the handset to the phone, which works well when you’re using the handset. But when I do interviews by phone, I like to type a rough transcript while I talk, and typing while clamping a handset to your ear with your shoulder can quickly get painful.
When I first confronted this problem earlier this year, I spent a lot of time on the internet looking for solutions. The ones I found were pretty unappetizing. The main technology on offer is a microphone that you stick in your ear, which seems both unpleasant and ineffective.
But then I encountered the good people at Sagebrush.com, who invented this elegant and inexpensive solution, which uses about $20 worth of stuff you can get from Radio Shack.
You need three items:
1. the Gold Series Y-Adapter, 3/32″ Stereo Jacks & 3/32″ Plug, which is item # 2264801 and costs $7;
2. a 1/8″ Stereo Jack to 3/32″ Stereo Plug Adapter, which is item # 2160379 and costs $6; and
3. a 12-Inch Shielded Stereo Audio Cable, which is item # 2265306 and costs $6.
The Y-Adapter splits the signal coming out of your phone’s headset jack. One line goes to the headset; the other goes to the recorder.
Arguably, this is more of a hack than a Cool Tool. But it works (as long as your phone has a headset jack). And it’s very portable: you can also use it on the road by plugging into a cell phone.