everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

Making a scene

The aim of the good folk at BluScenes is to turn your screen into a scene. Uh huh. No longer is it good enough to use your screen to, you know, watch TV and movies and stuff. Now your screen can transport you to other worlds, or create a different ambience, or add to your art collection.

For example, you purchase a Blu-ray disc of, say, a fireplace. And you play it. So a fireplace appears on the screen. And you watch it. It makes crackly noises just like a real fire, but according to the BluScenes, it avoids a “common pet peeve that we’ve experienced with some other fireplaces — the flames go “off the top of the screen.”  We designed our scenes feature the full fire.” Because if you want to watch a fake fire, then you’d better make it a full fake fire. And it’s only $19.95 and you’ll never need to chop firewood.

Or perhaps an aquarium is more your thing. Except you’re allergic to fish or you don’t like all the cleaning or you don’t have a great track record in caring for living things. Then you can choose from the Scenic or Coral Reef aquariums from BluScenes and hey presto, instant fish tank. And accompanying soothing music.

You can find more products at the BluScenes website here. And I take no responsibility if you never ever leave your house again!

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Something Fishy

Have you ever had a fish as a pet and thought, gee, you’re lazy? Or have you imagined your fish being capable of so much more than just swimming ’round and ’round the bowl, with the occasional detour through the fake castle or the fake volcano? Well, check this out. I first saw it on Fab.com – it’s the R2 Fish School: the complete kit to teach your fish amazing tricks. Uh huh.

Your Fish School kit comes with an instructional DVD, over 20 training bits, feeding wand and an instructional manual. Crikey, sounds complicated. But it would be worth it to see your fish performing cool feats to impress your family and friends. Wouldn’t it?

Apparently Dr Dean and his son Kyle developed this idea while they pursued their peculiar hobby of training fish to perform tricks. Yes, really. They found out that fish are smarter than we think, so they got in cahoots with the good people of R2 Solutions and – hey presto, the Fish School was born.

According to the Fish School website, “it is easy and fun to teach your pet fish to swim through hoops and tunnels, do the limbo, eat from your hand – even play soccer!” And if you want proof, the website has video footage of “Fish School graduates” doing their thing. Just don’t expect them to be wearing little fish caps and gowns.

They also have a web cam on poor Comet, a goldfish that is currently in training. Not for the fish Olympics, but to beat the current world champ of fishy tricks (yes, there’s a Guinness World Record for it) – Albert the goldfish, who has even appeared in a TV commercial.

For more info, you can check out Dr Dean’s Fish School website, or buy the kit for your fishy friend from R2 Solutions here.

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Sea change

I am still not sure if this is true or an elaborate hoax left over from the 1980s (which appears to be when the photos on their website were last updated), but I present to you: Jules’ Undersea Lodge. It is apparently the world’s only underwater hotel, based in Key Largo, Florida. You enter the Lodge via a 21 feet scuba dive and the owners say that the lodge can accommodate up to six friends. Close friends, presumably, as it looks like a pretty small living area.

Whether you’re after a unique sort of venue for your wedding (or perhaps not many people approve of the match, so you’re happy to have just the celebrant and some fishy guests?) or you are one of the handful of people who loved Kevin Costner’s Waterworld and want an underwater holiday, this could be the place for you. They offer wedding packages (with too many great photos to include here) and a range of overnight stays – choose from the Luxury, European or Ultimate Romantic getaway.

Food is an important part of any holiday and don’t think that Jules has forgotten. On arrival, you are greeted with shrimp cocktail (of course!), fresh fruit and snacks. The European Package “comes with a generous portion of grilled chicken breast”. Ooh la la. And despite being surrounded by a seafood smorgasbord, they begrudgingly cater for you wacky vegetarians, who “may substitute your shrimp cocktail with humus and crackers or cheese and crackers.”  And it gets better – late night snacks can even include the underwater delivery of a pizza from a local shop.

I was confused about how you got in and out of the Lodge, but Jules explains all: A five by seven foot “moon pool” entrance in the floor of the building makes entering the hotel much like surfacing through a small swimming pool. Divers find themselves in the wet room, the center of three compartments that make up the underwater living quarters. Aha. And in case you’re interested, each of the bedrooms and the common room is equipped with telephone, intercom, VCR/DVD. Seriously? Surely you can do without technology for one night and LOOK OUT YOUR GIANT BEDROOM WINDOW AT THE WONDERS OF THE OCEAN. And one more thing, given the size of the cabin – WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO ON THE INTERCOM? Mysterious indeed, Jules.

The home page of the website asks Have you slept underwater lately? In the unlikely event that your answer is ‘no’ (but you answer ‘yes’ to the question, Do you even actually want to sleep underwater?) then check out Jules’ Undersea Lodge. And you too could be having as much fun as the couple in this photo.

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Something fishy

For too long, most of us have been stuck with goldfish – or perhaps the slightly more upmarket Siamese fighting fish – as friends.  Sure, they’re pretty and they swim around, probably wondering why on earth there is a strange castle or cactus or volcano in their tank.  And in fairness, Siamese fighting fish are pretty bad ass, almost certain to kill their fishy neighbours if you don’t keep a wall between them.  But now I’ve seen this amazing Desktop Jellyfish Tank, by Jellyfish Art (thanks Fab.com) and there is no going back to goldfish.  You get 3 ‘Moon Jellyfish’, six months of food, an LED tank light that changes colour (giving the tank a disco vibe) and a heap of other complicated sounding stuff.  They note that Moon Jellyfish don’t sting, although I’m not sure that you should be getting them out to play very often.  The downside – I don’t know how long they live, you probably can’t pick a favourite as they all look the same and you can’t make eye contact with them.  But they are very cool – like little ghosts of the sea, trick or treating around the tank.

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