Posts Tagged ‘Hammacher Schlemmer’

The Personal Submarine

March 23, 2015

I found what I want for Christmas in the Hammacher-Schlemmer Catalog, the personal submarine.

This is the two-person submersible that can descend to a depth of 1,000′. Providing access to underwater features such as coral reefs, shipwrecks, and the sea floor, a completely transparent, climate-controlled 3 1/4″-thick acrylic pressure sphere keeps explorers safe while dipping even into the mesopelagic zone, offering a chance to see exotic, bioluminescent species such as lanternfish. With a maximum speed of three knots, it is powered by a 120- and 24-volt battery bank that provide up to six hours of continuous undersea adventure. The craft is propelled by two 3-hp main thrusters that provide fore, aft, and directional control and two 3-hp vertical/translational thrusters that provide up, down, and lateral control. A centrally located joystick with independent main and vertical/translational thruster controls enables precise positioning near undersea attractions. The craft’s dual-pontoon structure and broad freeboard ensure superior surface stability, even in high sea conditions. While submerged, four external 150-watt quart-halogen lamps illuminate subjects while a xenon strobe light and RF beacon alerts others of the craft’s whereabouts. The 56 3/4″-diameter sphere’s inner diameter enables comfortable, upright seating for passengers. A VHF radio provides surfaced communication and its underwater telephone communicates while submerged. It is equipped with a suite of standard instrumentation, including a barometer, thermometer, hygrometer, depth gauges, fluxgate and magnetic compasses, mechanical clinometers, pressure gauges, and a GPS receiver. Fully classified and certified as a +A1 passenger-carrying manned submersible by the American Bureau of Shipping. Includes comprehensive training. 10 1/2′ L x 8 1/2′ W x 6 1/4′ H. (6,600 lbs.)

11726_170x170

It’s only $2,000,000. Cheap.

But if that is too expensive, for only $300,000, you can get me the amphibious sub-surface watercraft.

This is the partially submersible watercraft that provides above- and underwater viewing options, driving right off a trailer and into the water without the need for a crane, tender vessel, or dock. Ideal for exploring underwater environments without the need for a fully submersible craft, this one is composed of a buoyant above-water upper hull and two-person cockpit that provides 180º surface views and an inverted 1 1/2”-thick acrylic hemisphere below that provides two additional passengers underwater views. The upper cockpit houses controls for two horizontally oriented underwater thrusters that provide up to 6 knots forward/4 knots backward movement as well as 360º turns. While on land, each of the craft’s ground track systems are driven by dedicated 48-volt intercooled electric motors, enabling their heavy-duty rubber tracks to negotiate up to 30º gradients for convenient ocean-, lake-, or boat ramp-based water entry and egress. The tracks enable 360º axis turns, ideal for precise maneuvering. Two 24-volt lithium battery banks provide 110 hours of water operation (up to 8 hours on land) before requiring a recharge using the included AC adapter. Consult local ordinances for road legal use. 12′ L x 8′ W x 8′ H. (3,400 lbs.)

12472_170x170

Hammacher-Schlemmer certainly does offer the Best, the Only, the Unexpected , and the Ridiculously Expensive gifts.

Advertisements

The Home Lie Detector

October 16, 2014

I have mentioned before that I am on the mailing list of Hammacher Schemmer, the store that has sold the best, the only, the unexpected,and the absurdly expensive for the last 166 years. In a recent catalog, I spotted a must have item, the home lie detector.

This is the USB lie detector kit with digital pulse and skin monitors for conducting a polygraph test at home. Using sensors applied to a subject’s fingers, the system takes baseline readings of the pulse rate and the skin’s electrical resistance and measures any changes in response to questioning. Data is graphed and stored in real time using free software, so testers can assess whether the subject’s pulse accelerates or the conductivity of their skin begins to change—the same physiological signs that professional polygraph examiners use to determine whether a suspect is lying. Although results are not legally binding, they may provoke a teenager’s confession about sneaking in after curfew or simply elicit laughs at a party. The system connects to a computer using the included USB cable. For Windows 8,7, Vista, XP, and Mac OSX. Box: 8″ L x 6″ W x 4″ D. (2 lbs.)

HLD

 

This can be yours for only $399.95.

There is, of course, not really any such thing as a lie detector, at least not in the sense that there is actually a machine that can determine if a given statement is truthful or not. What is often called a lie detector is, in fact, a device called a polygraph.

A polygraph operates by measuring various physiological processes, such as pulse rate or the skin’s electrical resistance, as mentioned in the catalog, and perhaps respiration and blood pressure depending on the device. The theory is that these measurements change when the subject is telling a lie.The extent to which this theory is valid is unknown since there doesn’t seem to be any consensus on how effective the device actually is. Professional polygraphers and their trade associations claim a better than 90 % effectiveness. Others, including the American Psychological Association are skeptical about whether the device is effective at all.

It is not quite true that the results of a polygraph test are not legally binding. That actually varies by state in the United States. Something like nineteen states do admit polygraph results as evidence, depending on circumstances. Polygraph evidence may also be admitted in a Federal trial, if the presiding judge at a court permits it. In general the results of a polygraph test can only be used in court if both the prosecutor and the defendant have no objections.

Since every individual responds to stress or lying in a different way physiologically. no polygraph device can determine if a person is definitely lying or telling the truth. No such device has a button that lights up or a alarm that sounds if a lie is told. The results of a polygraph examination must be interpreted by the examiner, and this is why there is so much uncertainty concerning the effectiveness of the polygraph is at detecting lies. The usual procedure is for the examiner to ask a series of innocuous questions to the subject being tested in order to establish a baseline for the various physiological processes being measured. Once that is done, the examiner can proceed with the actual interrogation of the subject. Even then, the results are far from being unambiguous and determining whether a subject is being honest is more an art than a science. A good many polygraph examinations end up being simply inconclusive. I suspect that in the cases in which a polygraph examination is effective at detecting lies, it may be more because the subject believes the polygraph to be effective and is more nervous about lying than he otherwise should be.

It occurs to me that a person who is knowledgeable about the workings and actual effectiveness of a polygraph would be more able to cheat the device than someone who really believes it can detect lies. I would also imagine that an experienced liar or criminal would display less of the reactions tested than a person who is naturally honest. It may well be that the honest, law abiding citizen, or the inexperienced and perhaps guilt ridden criminal would have more to fear from a lie detector test than the career criminal used to lying, or the sociopath who believes there is nothing especially wrong with lying. It should be noted that the notorious traitor and spy Aldrich Ames passed two polygraph examinations with flying colors while he was passing information to the Soviets, as did Gary Ridgeway, the Green River Killer. There have been suspects who have failed polygraph examinations only to be exonerated by actual evidence.

If you are ever asked to submit to a polygraph test as part of a criminal investigation, you should refuse unless your attorney is present. The police cannot force you to submit to a lie detector under any circumstances and you should not be certain that the results of such a test will show you to be innocent. You also cannot be required to take a polygraph test as a condition of employment by most private employers, the exception would employers who work with the government and have access to classified materials. If you apply for a job and are asked to submit to a polygraph test or if your employer asks you to take an exam as a condition of continued employment, chances are they are breaking the law. You might want to consider whether you want to continue working for someone who obviously mistrusts you.

So, if you want to have fun at parties, by all means buy the Home Lie Detector. I wouldn’t recommend you use it on your teenager or anyone else. If even people who administer polygraph tests professionally can sometimes find the results difficult to interpret, you might not want to be too confident of your own, or the computer’s interpretations. And, forcing your child to submit to a polygraph test might not be the best way to build trust in a relationship.

3-D Printer

October 4, 2013

I have been wondering what all the fuss is about 3-D printers and where I might be able to purchase one. Just today a got an e-mail from Hammacher Schlemmer showcasing their latest best and unexpected items for sale, including a 3-D printer.

The Desktop 3D Printer.

Winner of the Popular Mechanic’s Breakthrough Award, this is the printer that creates exact, three-dimensional reproductions of objects. Over a thousand free designs, such as an iPhone case, a bracelet, and the Sphinx of Hatshepsut can be downloaded from a website and the printer extrudes 1/125″-thin layers of warm, viscous thermoplastic that hardens within seconds, forming a solid, three-dimensional meticulous reproduction. Three-dimensional prints can measure up to 5 1/2″ cu. and for intricate designs that require reinforcement during printing, the device automatically incorporates plastic supports that can be removed when the print is finished. Design files are exported to the printer via Wi Fi or the included USB flash drive and the printer’s touchscreen control panel allows you to optimize print settings. Additional designs can be purchased and downloaded from the website or generated using three-dimensional modeling software (not included). Includes one cartridge of neon green plastic (additional colors available below) that yields up to 14 three-dimensional prints. Compatible with Windows 8, 7, Vista or XP and Mac OSX

82332_1000x1000

It looks great. This item can be mine for only $1300. I am going to have to order one quick before they run out.

I wonder if the design for the 3D printed gun is included.

 

 

 

The One-Acre Mosquito Trap

July 30, 2013

I occasionally buy gifts from Hammacher-Schlemmer, even though they are a little too upscale for my budget. Even though I can’t afford most of their products, I still find it fascinating to browse through their catalog. They really do sell some unique items. One thing that caught my eye was the One-Acre Natural Attractant Mosquito Trap. Here is the description from their website.

This trap attracts and kills mosquitoes across one acre without harmful chemicals. The trap mimics the natural conditions of human habitation by emitting heat and odorless carbon dioxide (the same gas people expel during respiration) and light to lure mosquitoes. Carbon dioxide is generated when ultraviolet rays from two fluorescent bulbs react with a titanium dioxide coating inside the trap. When the mosquitoes are drawn inside the device, an integrated fan traps the insects and sends them to a removable net where they die of dehydration. Unlike propane systems that require frequent refills or electrocution traps that release pathogens when an insect is killed, this superior model uses 5,000-hour rated UV bulbs and does not create biological agents. Plugs into AC. 22″ H x 13″ Diam. (9 lbs.)

And a picture.

81846_1000x1000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really like this,not only because I really, really hate mosquitoes, but also because it generates carbon dioxide, or “carbon pollution” as they call it these days. I would love to run this thing all year round just to increase my carbon footprint and promote global warming/climate change/climate catastrophe/ climate something bad. At $199.95,the mosquito trap is more than I can afford, but it might be worth the money just to irritate global warming alarmists.

Zoltar Speaks

September 24, 2012

 

I get e-mailings and catalogs from Hammacher Schlemmer, a store that offers the best, the only, and the unexpected to customers, for a high price. I think I have only bought two or three items from them, as gifts, but that is enough to put me on their mailing list for life. I can’t complain though. They do sell some interesting things, though way too expensive for me.

In their last catalog I saw Hammacher Schlemmer has Zoltar Speaks.

This is Zoltar, the classic animatronic fortune teller found in arcades, that stands 6 1/2′ tall, and augurs a spoken and printed fortune for you. Richly detailed with a handlebar mustache and beard, a gold head wrap, gold shirt, paisley vest, and jewelry, the bust of Zoltar stands in a solid wheeled cabinet of oak with birch veneers, finished in gold-and black-painted trim, and is surrounded by three panes of tempered glass. Zoltar acknowledges your presence and invites you to approach him. Once you insert a quarter (coins may be removed), Zoltar nods his head up and down as his crystal ball illuminates and he sweeps his hand back and forth. Zoltar provides 16 different spoken fortunes and dispenses one of 23 different printed fortunes in the form of a paper card; 2,000 fortune cards are included. The fortune is dispensed from the front of the cabinet. The manufacturer has confirmed that this item meets U.S. Federal toy safety standards for lead.

This is the fortune telling machine in Big that grants Tom Hanks’ wish to be big. It can be yours for only $9000.

 


%d bloggers like this: