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The Design blog

Eight cool and unique beach gadgets for an engaging holiday

Posted: 08 Nov 2011 07:49 AM PST

Grace Kikon:

unique beach gadgets
unique beach gadgetsunique beach gadgets

With the onset of summer, people start rushing to the beach for a cool time. Stretching and lazing around with no care in the world is what you would want to do, at least for a couple of hours. You may want some diversion to drive the boredom away and this is where fun beach gadgets come into the scene. These beach gadgets can lend sheer pleasure of just being on the beach. If you are wondering where these gadgets are available you need not look far beyond. Everyone loves to own the latest gadgets from the most sophisticated technology to simple shovels. They add to the joy of being on silky sands, beautiful panorama and the sweep of endless blue sea. Listed below are some of the must have coolest beach gadgets for your summertime rendezvous.

1. Audio unlimited 900MHz wireless floating pool speaker

Audio Unlimited 900MHz Wireless Floating Pool Speaker
Audio Unlimited 900MHz Wireless Floating Pool SpeakerAudio Unlimited 900MHz Wireless Floating Pool Speaker

As you relax on the sandy shore or the poolside, enjoy listening to high quality music on this wireless floating pool speaker. This speaker is completely waterproof with a signal range up to 150 ft. The transmitter provides a powerful signal through any obstacle in the way. You can enjoy clear music by plugging in your iPod and MP3 player which has an RCA output of 3.5 millimeter.The speaker is operational with 6 AA alkaline cell batteries including an optional Adapter. The sound volume, mood light and power are all operated from the speaker. The transmitter which has a 900 MHz Phase Loop Lock circuitry can be battery powered by 4 AA alkaline cell batteries. The transmitter has 3 channels with crisp frequency response.

2. Freeloader charger

FreeLoader Solar Charger
FreeLoader Solar ChargerFreeLoader Solar Charger

This is a solar charger with a capacity of powering any electrical device irrespective of the location. Made of tough aluminum with a black finish, the freeloader gives 70 hours of standby time for mobile phone, and capable of charging other high voltage devices. It has a multi voltage switch to 9.5 V and comes with a special adapter CamCaddy which again accepts any type of cameras for charging. There is a push button to indicate the level of power in the freeloader’s battery.

3. Waterproof bag for gadgets

Waterproof Bag for gadgets
Waterproof Bag for gadgetsWaterproof Bag for gadgets

To be able to dive into the water without worrying about getting your iPod and other gadgets water damaged is simply awesome. This waterproof bag has a clear window in the back which allows you to take pictures, use the phone and listen to music. It comes with an adjustable armband and a strap with waterproofing up to 20 M and can float on water. It also features waterproof custom buds for different size and earphones.

4. Beach leisure chairs

Beach Leisure Chairs
Beach Leisure Chairsunique Beach Leisure Chairs

The beach chairs come in recycled materials combined with dehydration and epoxy coating. It can be inserted into the ground for a comfortable position and is easy to carry around.

5. Ego iPod waterproof sound case

Ego iPod Waterproof Sound Case
Ego iPod Waterproof Sound CaseEgo iPod Waterproof Sound Case

This sound case from Atlantic combines a speaker case which is fully waterproof with shock protection for the player. This is the perfect geek for listening to your iPod inside the water without any worry.

6. Bottle Betty bikini

Bottle Betty Bikini
Bottle Betty BikiniBottle Betty Bikini

A unique bikini which can open bottles is another new feature for the beach. It has a patented built in bottle opener on the top and bottom sides. It has completely revolutionized the usual bikini with the added benefit of opening a bottle.

7. Detect metal objects with your sandals

Detect Metal Objects with your sandals
Detect Metal Objects with your sandalsDetect Metal Objects with your sandals

This is a unique sandal which sends out alert signals when it detects any metal objects. You can actually adjust it to flash light signal, vibrate or give a buzzing sound. Operated by a 9V battery these sandals can detect objects within 2 inches distance away. The wearer has to strap the little black box to the calf to detect any harmful objects that may harm your feet. A copper coil wire is attached from the sandal to the black box to facilitate the transmission signal.

8. Solestrom smartswim UV meter bikini

Solestrom SmartSwim UV Meter Bikini
Solestrom SmartSwim UV Meter BikiniSolestrom SmartSwim UV Meter Bikini

This new bikini has a built in waterproof UV meter which monitors the amount of sunrays you have been exposed to. It tells you when you have had too much UV and to stop. By monitoring the level of harmful UV rays, this bikini with embedded UV meter is the ultimate in technology. It helps prevent harmful sunburns which can cause skin cancer. It is waterproof, washable and has a button on the belt to display UV reading. It is powered by durable CR 2025 batteries and the material used is Lycra.

Seven cool and unique matchbox inspired designs

Posted: 08 Nov 2011 02:40 AM PST

Rajni Mehta:

cool and unique matchbox inspired designs
cool and unique matchbox inspired designsCool and unique matchbox inspired designs

There was a time when a matchbox was a vital item in any household. But with the passage of time, different new inventions took over and replaced matchsticks and matchboxes from our lives. Though now it seems that people have not really got over those little sticks and the boxes containing them as now various items of modern day are designed by drawing inspiration from those matchboxes. So read on and find more about seven such matchbox inspired unique designs:

1. Matchbox Cellphone

Matchbox Cellphone
Matchbox CellphoneThe keypad actually slides inside of the LCD screen panel, giving it the matchbox loo

Let us introduce you to the matchbox cellphone designed by Lv Zhongfang. This cellphone design is yet to be released in the market. Currently it is only a concept which promises to change the cellphone market for ever. Matchbox cellphone can be said to be a design on the edge. The designs assures that the cellphone would be amazingly small since the keypad of the cellphone glides inside the screen panel of the phone. One look at the square small appearance of the cellphone with the sliding in keypad would reveal to any person that the designer has drawn inspiration from a matchbox while creating this design.

2. Matchbox Light

Matchbox Light
Matchbox LightLight Lamp is made from a bit of wood and linen

When one speaks of lights we instantly imagine of a typical structure that removes darkness from a room. But today lights have a more crucial role to play than just providing light to eradicate darkness. There are some stunning designs of lights available with which you can make your home decor look classy, stylish and elegant. One such beautiful piece of lighting is this Matchbox light that is a class apart from the rest. The base of the light is made of wood while a linen used on the top of the wooden structure lends a flapping look to the light. The light that these matchbox lights diffuse is very soft and soothing which gives a very subtle and interesting look to your home interior.

3. Matchbook Business Card

Matchbook Business Card
Matchbook Business CardMike Webster's Matchbook Business Card

Business cards are a part of business promotion and the purpose is obviously to draw attention to one’s business. For drawing eyeballs and catching attention typical business cards may not be sufficient any more and hence businessmen try to find out newer and interesting looks of business cards. One such interesting idea is a matchbox business card. These business cards are basically matchboxes with catchy and witty copy on them. They surely hold the attention of people not only for the appealing layout and copy but also because of the out-of the-box form.

4. Fritzi coffee table

Fritzi coffee table
Fritzi coffee tableSchulte Design has designed this coffee table

Schulte Design has created this new range of coffee tables and have named it “Fritzi”. Fritzi in fact serves as more than just a coffee table. It can also function as a bedside table or a stool. However, the most enchanting factor in this table is its design which is inspired by a matchbox. The top of the table is sliding and hence resembles a matchbox. The table can be custom-made and the height, width and length can be made as per your choice and needs. This multifunctional piece of furniture would be an attractive addition to any home interior and would help to redefine the style quotient of the home decor.

5. Calendar made of matches

Calendar made of matches
Calendar made of matchesDesigned BY Yurko Gutsulyak

Designer Yurko Gutsulyak designed this calendar for a company whose name and logo symbolize “energy”. Hence the need for something equally flammable to energy was required to represent the company and hence matchsticks were chosen for making these calendars. Each page of the calendar is a month the days of which are marked by real matchsticks. The look of the pages resembles that of a comb. Even if the use of real matchsticks has been made for making these calendars, there is no danger of any harm or accident because the matchsticks are covered in sulphur after they are dipped in a chemical solution and therefore are completely safe.

6. Match lighter

Match lighter
Match lighterThid s is a cute little lighter looks like a match

With these match lighters matchsticks have been reinvented. Each lighter looks like a single, big-sized matchstick as the make of these lighters has been designed by close observation of real matchsticks. This new gadget looks quite interesting in spite of being so similar to the age old, commonly seen and used matchsticks. This is a Japanese product and is expected to be available in other countries soon.

7. Matches leaves

Matches leaves
Matches leavesDesigned by Cung-Young Chu

Designer Cung - Young Chu has designed this matches leaves that are put together in the form of a flower and which burn into flames as soon as they are ripped apart from the base of the flowery design. Whether you use these matches leaves during a time of emergency need of fire or light, or you keep these as decor items in your home is up to you to choose and decide. All we can say is this design is surely a welcome re-return of the boring, ages-old matches.

The Architect Stylus combines form with functionality

Posted: 08 Nov 2011 02:37 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Architect Stylus
Architect StylusTouchscreen surface pen by Pedro Gomes

The concept:

The late Steve Jobs once snubbed off his competitors by saying something like this: if touchscreen devices needed a stylus to function, it reflected on the quality of the experience that they had to offer. A touchscreen should be able to offer users a premium stylus-free experience and an inability to do so largely result from a less-responsive touch-apparatus on a device. The Architect Stylus, however, is somewhat exempt from the critique given the fact that if architects did not care about being precise to the mm in their designs, we might just end up with a few crooked buildings to live and work in. The clever touchscreen inputter, of course, is developed to be used by lots of other people for far less important purposes than designing buildings (like taking notes on their tablets in classes or scribbling when the lecture is not interesting enough).

The inspiration:

The Architect Stylus literally came into being as a tool for architects. It can deliver a smooth pen-on-paper like quality of input on touchscreen devices that previously required a special attachment like a handwriting input device to create handmade scribbles on a computer. The designers often had to use CAD software or even make designs on a notebook and scan and upload the data manually which was a tedious and time-consuming process and resulted in noisy, distorted, and difficult to edit images.

The Architect allows both professionals and amateur users to get the same level of high-quality input and an unprecedented amount of functionality in note-taking, random sketch making, idea jotting, making manual alterations to existing designs, and scribbling. The styling and functional stylus also serves as the perfect companion for other fine-point tablet interaction requirements such as surfing the net (totally a pain in the rear if you are trying to open links that are surrounded by other links since the web was developed to be used with a much more versatile, precise, and pointy pointers that are worked with a mouse or a touchpad) or even playing games that do not require the repeated use of thumb.

The design:

The Architect Stylus was designed to be precise more than anything else was and hence comes with a smooth silicon rubber tip that ensures your touchscreen device never scratches and you get a top-quality input. Measuring a mere 7.0 mm in diameter, the tip allows users full control of the quality and precision of the input that is comparable only to the old freshly sharpened pencil and taut white paper experience.

The rest of the design is more aesthetically inspired than function based though we certainly are not complaining about the futuristic good looks of the stunning stylus. The stylus comes with a screw on cap that is designed to protect the rubber tip from erosion and can also be used an add-on to lengthen the stylus itself when the user needs it, though the smooth metal end of the cap does not deliver the same precision.

The Architect Stylus from Arctic Accessories is crafted from anodized aircraft grade aluminum that comes with a comfortable high grip position for effective and strain-free use while the ergonomics of the pen-shaped stylus allow users to hold in their hands and work with it for longer durations without incurring wear or strains. The black top serves as a tip protector and allows people to run a lanyard or a thin chain through it to turn the stylus into a hip fashion accessory.

The fabulous:

Though we love the Architect Stylus from Arctic Accessories from every angle, we especially love its cute and precise 7.0 mm rubber tip that delivers a fine and accurate stroke every time and writes smoothly and silently without straining the user's hand or scratching the display.

The target:

The Architect Stylus from Arctic Accessories is targeted at people who need to use a precise inputting device to take handwriting-quality notes or make drawings that cannot be as easily done with the help of a software like animators, though the pointer can be used by anyone who thinks poking one's fingers on touchscreen devices to get work done is caveman-ish and crude and wrecks their $500 manicures.

Related trends:

1. Kensington Virtuoso touch screen stylus and pen

Kensington Virtuoso Touch Screen Stylus and Pen
Kensington Virtuoso Touch Screen Stylus and PenFunctions as both a tablet PC stylus and a ballpoint pen

The Virtuoso™ Touch Screen Stylus and Pen from Kensington allows users the same level of creativity and accuracy as freehand drawing on paper does. The best part about the device is that it actually comes with a Parker ball pen refill so users can actually use the stylus on paper as well though the manufacturer did not throw in an eraser and a digital clock in the pen also. Useful for apps like Penultimate, iAnnotate, and SketchBook, Virtuoso comes with a soft tip that glides smoothly over any touchscreen and lets users navigate with greater precision and accuracy.

2. Pogo Sketch Pro stylus

Pogo Sketch Pro stylus
Pogo Sketch Pro stylusThis capacitive stylus looks like a paintbrush with a larger rubberized barrel grip that tapers at the end of its aluminum handle

The Pogo Stylus by Ten One Design is a capacitive stylus that was created to work with an iOS touchscreen though it was deemed a little touch to work with by consumers. The company then came back with a reworked version of the same and the Pogo Sketch Pro with "Pro Tip technology" that offers better precision, thanks to smaller tip diameters while the patterned structures in the tip itself allow a seamless input. A rubberized grip and a sexy unibody aluminum handle also give the stylus an almost paintbrush-like profile.

3. oStylus capacitive pen

oStylus capacitive pen
oStylus capacitive penoStylus was designed by Canadian jeweler and sculptor Andrew Goss

The capacitive touchscreen was just not developed to be used with an inputting device, which is why designer Andrew Goss invented this limited run and weird-looking stylus called the oStylus that makes a capacitive touchscreen feel as responsive as a resistive one. Partly handmade and partly machine-created, the oStylus comes with a pivoting 'o'-shaped head that helps users effortlessly input whatever they need to input on their iPads, iPhones or Apple Magic Trackpads with minimal force.

4. Microsoft's Manual Deskterity Pen + Touch Direct Input

Manual Deskterity Pen
Manual Deskterity PenMicrosoft’s “Manual Deskterity” combines touch and pen for a more natural user experience working with Microsoft Surface

Microsoft does not like being outdone by Apple at anything and though the passing of Steve Jobs has upped the Apple stocks thanks to sympathy- and nostalgia-induced factors, Microsoft is not one to sit idly by and watch the stylus-free Apples eat away at its monopoly one poke-at app at a time. The Manual Deskterity program from Microsoft thus focuses on bringing the pen-paper-knife-scissor like experience to users that the company itself spoilt with drag-and-modify photo editing software and click-and-point-friendly programs. Looking to take the human-computer interaction to the next level, the pen and touch computing research program looks to offer users a special infrared pen that can function like a virtual paper knife, a virtual pen, a pointer, etc. that can combine with Microsoft Surface and offer an unprecedented level of computing sophistication.

Picture Gallery
Architect Stylus
Touchscreen surface pen by Pedro Gomes

Seven artistic F1 car replicas for auto nerds

Posted: 08 Nov 2011 02:00 AM PST

Shahnawaz Naaz:

F1 car replicas
F1 car replicasbest artistic F1 car replicas

The sleek and stylish design of the F1 cars has always attracted the auto nerds with many using their creative skills to F1 car replicas. Some of these car replicas designed by innovative designers are too stylish and unique. These days there are some unique F1 car replicas available in the market. Here is a list of seven artistic F1 car replicas for auto nerds:

1. F1 car made with bread

F1 car made with bread
F1 car made with breadF1 car made delicious with bread

The F1 car replica named Bread Torque is made of 22 varieties of bread. Besides bread, the designers of this unique replica car have also used a thousand delicious loaves to design this unique and attractive F1 replica car. Every part of the car except the supporting structure is edible. The supporting structure is made of metal and it keeps the replica car is shape. This F1 replica car was built in Singapore. It was created by two artists, seven chefs, two culinary staff members and five volunteers in 549 hours. The life-sized F1 replica car was created at an expense of around $15,000.

2. F1 replica from Red Bull energy drinks bottles

F1 replica from Red Bull energy drink bottles
F1 replica from Red Bull energy drink bottlesRed Bull creates life-sized F1 replica from Red Bull energy drink bottles

Some innovative designers have used Red Bull bottles to design a life-size replica F1 car. This beautiful and unique replica car was designed to celebrate the first Formula One World Championship of Red Bull German driver Sebastian Vettel in Abu Dhabi in 2010. This F1 replica car is without doubt an amazing art car, which has been created using 2,615 bottles of energy drink manufactured by Red Bull. The designers of this car have placed one bottle over another to come up with a real-size replica car, which is currently on display at a Bangkok's shopping mall.

3. Lego Ferrari F1

Lego Ferrari F1
Lego Ferrari F1Lego Ferrari F1: Plastic bricks for the Scuderia

The Ferrari F1 replica car made of Lego was unveiled ahead of the Lego World in 2008. The presenter of Jetix, Leon Krijgsman drove this unique and beautiful replica car made of 80,000 Lego bricks through the streets of Amsterdam. Italian car maker Ferrari designed and created this car made of Lego bricks to celebrate Lego's anniversary. We must say that Ferrari had celebrated the brick maker's anniversary in full style.

4. F1 car replicas with bullets shots

F1 car replicas with bullets shots
F1 car replicas with bullets shotsPintor Sirait creates F1 car replicas to show his dislike for the sport

Designed by Pintor Sirait, the "Democracy" is a F1 car replica with bullets shots. Sirait is renowned for creating F1 car sculptures to highlight things that are wrong with the world. His latest creation, Sirait tried to highlight what all countries in this world want to do but have failed to accomplish so far. The body of the car is covered in 1500 bullet holes. Democracy is an advanced version of Desire created by Sirait. Desire had 600 bullet holes. Sirait had also created Victory to symbolize the crash and victory of British racer Lewis Hamilton at the German GP in 2007. Sirait created the Democracy in 2009.

5. Full Scale Mercedes F1 made from matchsticks

Full Scale Mercedes F1 made from Matchsticks
Full Scale Mercedes F1 made from Matchsticks956,000 Matchsticks transformed into Full Scale Mercedes F1

Imagination is a powerful thing and it often helps us to turn our dreams into reality; and some people have the ability to take their imagination to the next level but making it into reality. Michael Arndt is also one such person who is brave enough to imagine things and then turn them into reality. Arndt deserves credit for designing a life-size replica of a McLaren 4/14 F1 car using 956,000 matchsticks. Arndt spent 6000 and used 1686 glue-tubes to create this masterpiece. This F1 replica car is easily transportable because it can be broken down into 45 parts.

6. F1 racer made from Puma shoe boxes

F1 racer made from Puma shoe boxes
F1 racer made from Puma shoe boxesF1 racer enliven from Puma shoe boxes

Puma is closely associated with motorsports and when it comes to motorsports how can we not talk about Formula One? Puma joined hands with British Ben Wilson Design to design a life-size replica of a Formula1 car. The car is designed by brothers Ben Wilson, Oscar Wilson and Luke Wilson. They used Puma shoe boxes. The car was put on display at Chicago's North State Street. The Wilson brothers cut Puma shoe boxes into different shapes and fixed all the cars manually to make a full-size F1 car. The car has a beautiful and sleek design.

7. Styrofoam Formula 1 racer

styrofoam Formula 1 racer
styrofoam Formula 1 racerA Formula 1 racer made entirely of styrofoam

Michael Salter deserves credit for designing a creating a life-size F1 replica car using Styrofoam. Salter has created this lightweight F1 car using scrap Styrofoam. The car has an innovative and unique design, which is attractive as well. Salter's car shows that creativity can be used to come up with articles that are both attractive and beautiful. Salter's created the car in 2009.

Seven hi-tech gaming pods to move you to the virtual world

Posted: 08 Nov 2011 01:04 AM PST

Rajni Mehta:

gaming pods
gaming podsHi-tech gaming pods.

Are you obsessed with those hi-tech computer games? Do you spend a good deal of time in the virtual gaming world? If so, then you would be glad to know that various designers have designed gaming pods for people who are passionate about virtual games to heighten their pleasure and experience of gaming. Here is a list of seven hi-tech gaming pods that would take you away from this real world to the virtual world of gaming.

1. Immersive Cocoon

Immersive Cocoon
Immersive CocoonImmersive Cocoon entraps gamer in a delightful zone.

This gaming pod will not only take you to a different world but will make your entry right into the game. Thus making you a part of the game. These gaming pods are circular shaped with the seating arrangement made as per the users or gamers needs.

Once you enter the pod, you are treated with realistic 3D effects and superior quality sound that make the game come alive. There are tracking sensors in the pod that track your movements and react accordingly helping to make the motions of the game seem very real. This concept, if turns into reality, will change the gaming world for ever.

2. Ovei Pod

Ovei Pod
Ovei PodOvei Pod for ultimate personal entertainment.

Ovei Pod has been designed by Lee McCormack to give a new definition to gaming experiences. The Pod, engineered by Mclaren Applied Technologies, is so appealing in its appearance that even a non-gamer would like to take a seat in the pod and experience the ambiance or atmosphere of the husk.Though one has to pay a hefty sum to own one of these pods. But the high price also ensures that this pod is going to provide you with a lot of features that are surely going to make your gaming experience very different and superior.

The sound quality of this pod, with the surround sound effect and the bass vibrations, along with the latest high-tech display monitor provides a person with a memorable entertainment experience, whether that be a gaming session or a TV watching one. The enclosed space of the pod helps you to get completely involved in the game but the same may also expose you to a feeling of claustrophobia, isolation and dangers or security threats from outside the pod.

3. eO Gaming Station

eO Gaming pod
eO Gaming podeO Gaming Station transport gamers to another dimension

The eO Gaming station provides you with a private and isolated place for playing your favorite game, watching a 3D movie, listening to your all time favorite songs or even chatting with your friends through video conferencing. There’s space for two individuals in this pod so that you can enjoy your game with your buddy. The futuristic look of the pod resembles a spaceship. Ample thought and provisions have been made to make this pod comfortable for prolonged use.

The pod comes with push-back seats, air conditioner and mood lighting for creating that perfect luxurious ambiance. A large window adorns the pod which one can use as an emergency exit or as the window to get the supply of food and drinks through. The hull is echo-free as well as sound proof to minimize any disturbances or distractions in your dose of entertainment. The surround sound system along with an advanced LCD screen, CPU, USB and an X-Box assure you of a top quality audio and video experience.

4. GT5P Pod

GT5P Pod
GT5P PodGT5P Pod for those who crave for speed.

If you love to pump up your adrenaline with virtual car or bike races, then you would be glad to know about GT5P pod, which is specially designed for racing games. There’s a 40″ LCD screen in this pod along with a PS3 with DFGT. But to own this gaming pod you must have a large apartment where you can rest this pod. You must also be willing to reduce your bank balance by a hefty amount as this pod comes pretty costly and may even be beyond the reach of average people because of the price tag.

5. Mark III Pod

Mark III Pod
Mark III PodMark III Pod fully-enclosed, high-end gaming cockpit.

PodWombats has brought to you a gaming pod that is named Mark III Pod. This pod provides you with a completely enclosed space that is well equipped to maximize your gaming sensation, whether that be a computer game or console game. This gaming pod successfully keeps all distractions away from you while you are trying to relish those gaming experiences. This pod with a length of 6 feet, width and height of 4 feet each, provides all comfort to an occupant.

The reclining and adjustable seat is placed in the center of the pod. Provision has been made so that all gaming peripherals can be accommodated in the pod. A shelf for placing the monitor or display screen along with a pull-out keyboard tray also feature in the cockpit. There’s sliding doors on either sides of the pod and for easy access and ventilation holes on front and back walls for proper ventilation. Mark III Pods are available in a range of hues to choose from.

6. Nintendo gaming Pod

Nintendo pod
Nintendo podPod designed for launch of game Electroplankton.

This gaming pod was designed to launch the game Electroplankton. Since the target was to make the product attractive to businessmen from cities, therefore the colors and materials were accordingly chosen for the gaming pod. This smart looking gaming pod is fitted with padded leather chairs for providing a comfortable time to the gamers and glowing lights to add to the attraction quotient of the pod. The entry to this pod can be gained through a single, sliding door resting at one side of the pod.

7. WOW Pod

WOW pod
WOW podWorld of Warcraft Pod, even Geeks Need a Home.

The WOW Pod designed by a MIT PhD researcher is designed to bridge the gap between real and virtual world. This pod is still in its conceptual phase and once launched it will leave other gaming pods far behind. This pod comes with a toilet, your food and your virtual avatar. You can install this pod in your bedroom too and get complete privacy while you are busy with gaming. While a gamer can become an avatar by entering this pod, which seems to be a part of the game, digital avatars can seem to come alive and help you with various instructions including how to prepare your food.

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