It's been a long week, folks
Rather than several shorter blog entries this week, dear reader, you get one lengthy entry. How and why did I fall so sadly behind? I think it was because I was distracted; partly by how humanity’s collective Schadenfreude allowed the public descent of a celebrity into serious mental illness to become a media event worthy of tasteless jokes. I was also saddened by the loss of Toronto Star columnist James Travers, who worked so hard to keep us informed about the things that really do matter — like the decline of democracy.
But because I am essentially an extremely shallow person, I also spent the early part of the week slowly pondering a new product that turned up on my desk; a battery-powered motion-sensing soft-soap dispenser. Shown at left, the Lysol Healthy Touch Dispenser sells for about $15 at major retailers. It’s supposed to help stop the spread of cooties, and is suggested for use in the kitchen, bath and laundry areas. The idea is that you won't have to touch the dispenser at all, so you won't risk contaminating it with bacteria that the next user could pick up when they touched it or pressed the pump.
Now I must say I do like hands-free tech for my kitchen, where I have a Delta touchless faucet set with a soft-soap dispenser (LOVE IT!). Which means if I’m working with raw chicken, I can wash my hands without touching surfaces and worrying about spreading antibiotic-resistant bacteria
But after careful consideration, I’ve decided that when it comes to the laundry and bathroom, unless you think may have to perform an emergency tracheotomy there, this kind of high-end tech gizmo ain’t necessary. Why not instead save the planet a few batteries and just use a bar of soap? And keep nagging your kids to wash hands often, taking at least as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday to You twice through.
The coolest thing I saw this week was the Dyson Air Multiplier, which is a blade-less fan that expels 405 litres of air every second. It’s James Dyson’s response to conventional fans, which he says always disappointed him. “Their spinning blades chop up the airflow, causing annoying buffeting,” he explains in a news release. “They’re hard to clean. And children always want to poke their fingers through the grille. ” (Of course that that will learn them, I always say.)
The Dyson Air Multiplier should hit Dyson.com, The Bay, Home Outfitters, Sears, Future Shop, Best Buy, Canadian Tire and all Dyson authorized independent retailers by mid-March. Prices start at $380.
The most inspiring chats I’ve had all week were with colour guru Janice Lindsay and Joanne Currie of Pittsburgh Paint With both, I talked about my new-found appetite for using colour in the home, and of the magnetic pull I feel toward reds and oranges. I am, for the record, in love with PP's Hacienda palette - shown above.
Got great advice from both. For those who want to embrace colour but are faint of heart, Joanne C suggests painting a chunk of a strong colour on the wall (or even on a canvas that could lean against a wall) and taking time to gauge your reaction to it. (Although she's betting on the fact that you'll love it and decide to carry through, if not with it, with another confident hue!)
Janice L listened to my shining ode to red, orange and yellow and about how I wanted to use five shades of each in every room of my house because they’re so beautiful and I love red and orange is great and yellow is so sunny and blah blah blah. Such a diplomat. Then she casually suggested that sometimes colours we might consider boring - say Pittsburgh Paint’s Jute - actually work really well as a backdrop for stronger colours. And lo, I found a swatch of jute and I lay it against my beloved bricky-red Granada and golden Oro de maya and burnt pumpkin Dulce de Membrillo. And I saw how those colours would work as excellent accents to the brown-paper-parcel-ish Jute. And it was good. Thank you, Janice.
I’ll have more good advice from both in my Hot Home Products column next week. In the meantime, I’m off to sunny Las Vegas, land of the styrofoam Eiffel Tower and 20-ounce portion of meat.