Thursday, January 31, 2008

Equal measure

When my son was young, we loved flipping through the Archie McPhee catalog, because it was filled with just the wackiest toys and gizmos. Among the things we got from them was a jello mold in the shape of a human brain, along with a recipe that made a gelatin dessert eerily colored to resemble brain matter. (Yuck....but actually yum, because it tasted great.)

Well, we've moved on from Archie's (though you can still buy the brain mold), but I recently came across a grown-up version of Archie's called Fred & Friends. There were a couple of things that I wanted, though some of them perhaps a little too Archie McPhee, as it were. One of them was an ice mold that makes ice cubes that look like dentures. (See what I mean? Yuck.) Another was a spring-loaded spoon that is designed for food fights....though I can't see any parent in the world actually letting their kids have one of these.

But the object I liked the best because I could see myself actually buying it, was a measuring cup called Equal Measure. The clear glass measuring cup is marked with standard measures--cups and ounces on one side and milliliters on the other--but also includes real-world equivalents. For example: The 2-1/2-cup mark reads "As many grains of flour as people on the planet (6.8 billion)." And the 300-ml mark reads the "amount of honey made by a bee hive in a day." Fred's does not sell its products directly, but you can find local retail stores in their section called BUY.

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