Five rad and random things I found this week

The end-of-week dispatch from PopSci's commerce editor. Vol. 50.

My job is to find cool stuff. Throughout the week I spend hours scouring the web for things that are useful or fun or ridiculously cheap. Often times, these choices coalesce into a guide of like items—for example, the ultimate guide to making cafe-style coffee in your own home or the best vacuums for any kind of mess. But I often stumble across some pretty awesome gear that doesn't really fit into a list. So I made a list for those.

Scratch-off map

CNSUNWAY Lighting Travel Map Poster
CNSUNWAY LightingAmazon

These scratch-off maps are great for avid travelers and people that want to keep track of all the places they've been. The 32.5- by 23.4-inch poster starts as black and gold, though it gets more colorful as you scratch off the places you've been. $13.

Herbs for herbal tea kit

Nature's Blossom herbal tea kit
Nature's BlossomAmazon

This kit comes with everything you need—seeds, biodegradable planters, and soil discs—to grow mint, catnip, lemon balm, and chamomile. Use the step-by-step instruction manual that'll teach you some gardening 101 and bring you from seed to herbal tea. $25.

Pug tape measure

Paladone Pug Tape Measure

This pug figurine has 3.3-foot tape measure as a tongue. The desk accessory has measurements for inches and centimeters and weighs under 4 oz. I just wish this pug could measure its own cuteness. $10.


Pai Technology Cube-Tastic!
Pai TechnologyAmazon

After reading about all the different takes on the classic Rubix Cube in our Intelligence issue, cubed brain-teasers have been catching my eye. This Cube-Tastic three-by-three cube by Pai Technologies can be scanned by your smartphone or tablet and then paired with the Cube-Tastic augmented reality app. Once recognized, the app gives you step-by-step instructions on how to solve the puzzle. $20.

SoundCore nano

Anker SoundCore nano

I thought I had seen all Anker products, but this adorable SoundCore nano escaped me. The Bluetooth speaker has a 3W audio driver, aluminum shell, and four-hour charge. This is great for a trip to the beach. $17.

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