1. Love of Sports Mini Hoop Backboard
This mini hoop certainly reminds me of my Pipsqueak years, when my affinity for basketball exceeded my vertical jump many times over and I practiced on a plastic frame mounted on the door. This modern model is definitely better for my age today, but should provide the same worthwhile change of pace when I have to throw away a crumpled piece of paper. I can already imagine leaning my back against the tire, counting down an imaginary clock “3-2-1” aloud before turning around and letting you fly with the same wide-open expectations of a game winner.
2. Mi Smart Compact Projector
When we moved, I intended to use an HD projector and pull-down screen to enjoy movies from home on a regular basis. The truth is, most of the projector stayed under the sofa. Traditional projectors are cumbersome to set up for temporary use. However, this small number was designed precisely for these purposes. It has a small footprint, a quiet fan, a resolution of 1080P, Google Android TV apps, automatic focusing with a built-in camera and the ability to project an image between 60 and 120 inches in size. The four channel LED ANSI lumens aren’t as bright as my larger projector, but they’re more than a fair compromise for the simplicity and convenience they offer. Even the setup music is really enjoyable!
3. Apple M1 MacBook Air
I like to keep my machines for as long as possible, but when my wife asked about the introduction of my Apple 5K iMac in 2014 for improved ergonomics, it seemed like a reasonable opportunity to switch to the M1 CPU train. Apple plans to convert the entire product range to an ARM-based architecture and to migrate it completely in the next few years. In any case – including my own – these new machines can blow the competition away when comparing price versus performance (not to mention their all-day battery life). It’s a bloody exciting time for Mac users, especially with additional M1-powered and redesigned MacBook Pros and iMacs on the horizon for 2021. This new MacBook Air, along with the updated Mini and MacBook Pro models, really redefines what “entry level” means.
4. LEUNE all-in-one vaporizer
All work and no play makes for a boring shelter-in-place experience. Fortunately, LEUNE has helped me relax and prepare for a good night’s sleep when I have needed the past few months most. LEUNE is aimed at casual users who are looking for gentle and predictable effects. Coupled with surprisingly pleasant aromas that are reminiscent of fruit, their vapes and pre-rolls don’t stink in the house. Founder Nidhi Lucky Handa launched LEUNE and recognized the importance of design and branding in the third wave of casual cannabis users. Even if you don’t want to be pampered, Leune’s pleasant pastiche of desert colors and dot graphic design is to be admired for its visual feel-good mood.
5. Where are the black designers? Update 2020/2021
Maurice Cherry’s original 2015 WATBD presentation provided a ton of informative and insightful facts about the lack of resources faced by black American designers in the graphic design industry. He recently got his Where Are the Black Designers? Presented with additional insights and data relevant to everything that happened in the past year – an update presented at the AIGA 2020 Design Conference as a call to action to help improve inclusivity and accessibility when systemic underrepresentation is more likely the rule as the rule has remained an exception.