Jack Herer would be so proud. Thanks to the forward thinking, skate-friendly team over at iPath Footwear, never was a hemp shoe so beautifully envisioned and made. The geniuses over at iPath have been including stash pockets in the tongues of their shoes since 1999—a great amenity when you need to discretely store your . . . loose change and laundry list. CULTURE was fortunate to try out several pairs of these socially-conscious kicks, including the Langston Coffee Hemp 3IA29 hi-top. We were impressed by the clean, uncluttered design and the little details, like the tasteful white stitching that runs up the back of the shoes and the logo that’s nearly camouflaged near the ankle. Superbly comfortable and fitting for skaters, patients and anyone who enjoys wearing a cool pair of shoes. Check out http://web.ipath.com for the latest info. (Matt Tapia)
OCB Rolling Papers
Move over Daft Punk, there’s a new French import heating up the States. Vanilla LA Inc. is now distributing OCB rolling papers, one of the world’s most popular smoking accessories. These ultra-thin papers, produced by the Bollere Company for nearly 100 years, use all-natural gum from Africa and include pure filters with every pack. Of course, you’re still welcome to make your own filters from crap you scrounge off the street, but why not smoke in style with OCB. Visit www.ocbusa.com for store availability. (David Jenison)
First, the Sony Walkman that revolutionized portable music player technology. Decades later, the iPod did the same thing—and introduced the world to those omnipresent white earbuds. Now the Kube is set to make a quantum jump for your private listening pleasure. This tiny (about the size of an ice cube) MP3 player holds up to 8,000 songs and comes in a variety of funky pastel colors like pink, green and yellow, plus black and white. Bite-sized, but with big sound (six hours of continuous music on a single charge), The Kube is an instant conversation starter for your next tech-geek soirée, and the smallest thing we’ve ever seen delivering decibels from the palm of your hand. This player goes for $34.99 and you can get more specs at www.thinkgeek.com. (Matt Tapia).
Soil be damned—hydroponics has been the method of choice for many cultivators. In fact, the earliest published works on soil-less growing goes back to 1627 by Sir Francis Bacon. Enter the Hydrofogger, a new hydroponics system with a 3.5-gallon reservoir that makes growing plants and herbs easier by misting the roots directly, which means the nutrients are more easily absorbed. Whether you’re growing one plant or up to 12 clones, it’s a set-it-and-forget-it operation that comes with a water pump that can be controlled by a timer. This is an all-in-one system (it goes for $99) that will definitely get your green thumb itchin‘. Go to www.growthponics.com for more information. (Michael Carlos)
OK, I’ll refrain from the obvious “cycle-delic” wordplay and remain content to tell you that the Cyglo Tyre is the sort of why-didn’t-I-think-of-that invention that will make your nocturnal bicycle jaunts that much safer. And trippier. Bright LED bulbs (triggered by a motion sensor) are imbedded into the walls and tread of the tires to form a circle of light that will alert motorists, passersby and other cyclists—and give rave types a flashback or two. Different colored lights are available so, go ahead and call yourself a glow stick on wheels—and set the latest eye-catching trend. Go to www.nightbrighttyre.com for further details. (Matt Tapia)
Some items just don’t hold up well in the summer heat—tubes of ChapStick, sunscreen, chocolates and . . . your friendly neighborhood edibles. The Cool-It Caddy is the perfect new product to store such items effectively and discreetly. The patent-pending design features lightweight insulation layers and an integrated chemical coolant that provide protection from mercury-busting temperatures. Guys will likely opt for the black Caddy and leave the zebra stripes for the ladies, though each is compact enough to fit in a purse, backpack or other such carrying case. Check out more at www.cool-itcaddy.com. (David Jenison)