1. Love of Sport Mini Hoop Backboard
This mini hoop sure brings back memories of my pipsqueak years, when my affinity for basketball far exceeded my vertical leap by many magnitudes and I’d practice on a door mounted plastic hoop. This modern model is definitely more suitable for my age today, but should offer the same rewarding diversion whenever I need to discard a crumpled up piece of paper. I can already imagine my back against the hoop, counting down an imaginary clock “3-2-1” aloud before spinning around and letting one fly with the same wide-eyed expectations of a game winner.
2. Mi Smart Compact Projector
When we first moved, I had every intention to use an HD projector and pull-down screen to enjoy movies from home regularly. The truth is that projector has mostly remained under the sofa. Traditional projectors are just cumbersome to set up for temporary use. But this little number is built exactly for those purposes, with a tiny footprint, quiet fan, 1080P resolution, Google Android TV apps, auto-focusing using a built-in camera, and the ability to project a picture anywhere between 60–120 inches in size. The four-channel LED ANSI lumens isn’t super bright like my larger projector, but it’s more than a fair trade-off for the simplicity and convenience it delivers. Even the set-up music is genuinely pleasant!
3. Apple M1 MacBook Air
I like to keep my machines for as long as possible, but when my wife asked about adopting my 2014 Apple 5K iMac for improved ergonomics, it seemed like a reasonable opportunity for me to jump onto the M1 CPU bandwagon. Apple is planning to forge ahead and fully migrate to an ARM-powered architecture across their entire line over the next few years, and by all accounts – including my own – these new machines blow away the competition when comparing price versus performance (not to mention their all-day use battery life). It’s a damn 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, alongside the updated Mini and MacBook Pro models, really do redefine what “entry level” entails.
4. LEUNE All-in-one Vaporizer
All work and no play make for a dull shelter-in-place experience. Thankfully LEUNE has helped me get relaxed and ready for a restful night’s sleep when I’ve most needed the last few months. LEUNE is aimed for casual users seeking gentle and predictable effects, and paired with surprisingly pleasant aromas reminiscent of fruit, their vapes and pre-rolls won’t stink up the house. Founder Nidhi Lucky Handa also launched LEUNE recognizing the importance of design and branding amongst 3rd wave of casual consumers of cannabis. Even if you’re not one to indulge, Leune’s pleasant pastiche of desert hues and dots graphic design is to be admired for its feel good visual vibes.
5. Where Are The Black Designers? 2020/2021 Update
Maurice Cherry’s original 2015 WATBD presentation delivered a gut punch of informative and eye-opening facts about the dearth of resources Black American designers face working within the graphic design industry. He’s recently updated his Where Are the Black Designers? presentation with additional insights and data relevant to everything that has happened in the last year – an update presented at the 2020 AIGA Design Conference as a call out to action to help improve in regards to inclusivity and accessibility where systemic underrepresentation has remained the rule rather than exception.