Reminder: In many countries, including the U.S. and in the U.K., this Sunday is Father’s Day! And while he didn’t birth you, he likely changed more than a few of your diapers, so that man deserves something special. According to Wikipedia, the first observance of Father’s Day actually took place in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5, 1908. The event was organized by Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton to celebrate the lives of 210 fathers who had been lost in the Monongah Mining disaster several months earlier. It’s possible that Clayton was influenced by the first celebration of Mother’s Day that same year, just a few miles away. Clayton chose the Sunday nearest to the birthday of her recently deceased father to hold the commemoration.
Fast 100 years for another random fact: more phone calls are made in the United States during Mother’s Day than during Father’s Day, but the percentage of collect calls on Father’s Day is much higher, making it the busiest day of the year for collect calls. Now, let’s see if we can’t do our Father’s one better and if you can’t afford to ring them on your telephone, download Skype and you can video chat with Pops for free.
If your dad is super cool, get him a Jambox. This surprisingly powerful portable speaker magically beams music via Bluetooth. It’s great for taking tunes to the park, beach and depending on your dad’s musical tastes, you’ll benefit too.
Buy it here ($184-$199).
The Hot-Pot BBQ
Who says you can’t have it all? Function and form, while maintaining aesthetics! The Hot-Pot BBQ designed by Dan Black and Martin Blum looks like any other large terra cotta pot…until you lift off the top to reveal a metal grill. To use, simply remove the grill, fill the stainless steel liner with charcoal, replace the grill with the stainless steel tongs, and Dad is ready to start cooking. Bonus: The terra cotta pot look will please Mom too.
Buy it here ($124)
Smart Planet ELM-1 Electric Lemonade Maker
Lemonade is refreshing but ELECTRIC LEMONADE is way cooler. This electric lemonade maker from Smart Planet makes 2-quarts of juice. It’s dishwasher safe with removable components, BPA free and FDA certified. And it’s super cheap. Throw in a quarter bottle of vodka, and you’ve got one happy go-lucky daddy.
Buy it here– US Only ($5.08)
Amazon’s Kindle 3G
I recently gave my father a Kindle for his birthday and it was the best present I’ve ever given him. The Kindle combines the gift of reading with the added bonus that you’re bringing pops up to speed with the best eReader out there. Unlike the iPad, the Kindle can be easily turned into offline mode for a distraction free reading experience. Plus, the e-Ink is easy on the eyes in comparison to the shiny iPad screen, which also makes the Kindle a winner when reading on the beach.
Buy it here ($164.00)
Buckyballs: The Special Edition Blue Balls
As you may or may not know, I am obsessed with magnets. These magnets are very, very special. Each Buckyball cube contains 216 powerful Rare Earth magnetic balls that can be shaped, molded, torn apart and snapped together in unlimited ways. I had them shipped to my boyfriend’s office, and he hasn’t stopped playing with them. They also work as an added security measure for your bike. Simply stick a Buckyball anywhere you could use an Allen wrench and use the other Buckyballs to remove it when you need to take apart your frame. Finally Blue Balls Dad will actually enjoy!
Buy them here: ($39.95)
Bose Noise Canceling Headphones
Owning these is a right of passage in any connected traveller’s life. They are undoubtedly the best noise cancellation headphone you can get. They’re extremely comfortable and deliver a bright, encompassing sound. The headphones come with an annoyingly bulky carrying case, AAA battery and an airplane adapter.
Buy them here. (US $299.95)
What Dad wouldn’t want a robot cutting his grass? The LawnBott LB3210/LB3250 is like iRobot’s Roomba for your lawn. The 22 pound robotic lawn mower capable of mowing up to 3/4 of an acre right out of the box. The LawnBott LB3210/LB3250 feature “adaptive programming,” which learns the growth pattern of your lawn over time. It then automatically modifies its mowing schedule around the actual mowing needs of your lawn. This feature saves battery life and lengthens the life of the electric motors.
Buy it here (LB3210/LB3250, $3399/$3699).
TiGr: Titanium Lock
This Titanium Lock is not just as cool as your Dad’s bike, it’s probably cooler than your Dad’s bike. The device first started as a Kickstarter project and was successfully funded 4 days ago. According to the project site, the complete TiGr system includes a flexible Titanium bow and a compact, highly pick resistant lock cylinder. The TiGr bow has a protective coating to protect your bike and stores snugly and unobtrusively on the top tube with simple and light weight straps. The Titanium bow is flexible so that you can lock your bike to a variety of structures up to about 5 1/2” in diameter. Depending on the wheel base, rim and tire configuration, you can even lock both wheels (without removal) and frame to a structure.
Visit the Kickstarter page for more details.
Outcast Junior Wireless Outdoor Speaker
This weather-proof wireless outdoor speaker transmits signals up to 350 feet outdoors and features an 8-inch downward firing woofer, four 3-inch high frequency drivers, and a 100-watt digital amplifier. (It can also directly connect with other audio devices using the auxiliary input/output jack.) The speaker is made of water-resistant plastic and operates up to 10 hours with a rechargeable battery pack.
Buy here ($599.99)
Leica V-LUX 30 Camera
Leicas can cost a killing. But this one is under $700 and comes with the sorts of features people have come to expect.The V-Lux 30 offers a 16x optical zoom, 14.1 MP sensor and a 3D mode. Other stand-out specs include a 3″ touch screen display, GPS photo tagging and full manual controls. All this inside quite a slight frame makes for the perfect summer camera. In the meantime, we’re still patiently waiting for the day we’ll be able to turn our iPhone into a Leica.
Buy it here ($655)
Did you know we have a newsletter all about consumer tech? It’s called Plugged In – and you can subscribe to it right here.