Gizmodo’s HD Super Bowl Party Guide

Football-loving Americans look forward to the largest football game, the SuperBowl.  This year’s game pits the Indianapolis Colts against the Chicago Bears.  No matter whether one watches the game for the football or the commercials, having a great setup, viewing and overall experience is a prime concern for many.

Enter Gizmodo, with their guide on the latest and greatest SuperBowl gadget & technology guide.  These step-by-step instructions will help you get the coolest gear for your SuperBowl Sunday party.

Sure, you can be a regular Joe and set up a couch and chairs around a crappy projection TV with a tiny grill on the deck, but who wants to look like a loser? If you really want to impress your friends and family, simply follow some steps and become the Unofficial Lord of the Party. The latest technology and gadgets are key to an awesome Super Bowl party this Sunday.

Step One: TV
There is a lot more that goes into selecting a TV for the Super Bowl than you may think. If you are thinking about going low-def, then close the browser now, because you have lost all of my respect and I would prefer you not reading my guide.
Fortunately, this year CBS has the honors of broadcasting the Super Bowl. It will, of course, be in HD. I like to call this the first year the Super Bowl will truly be in HD. Last year FOX had the rights to the Super Bowl broadcast, and even though they did air it in HD, many markets at the time did not have FOX in HD. Hell, I still don’t have FOX in HD on my cable service one year later (Cox, you listening?).

pioneer_pro_fhd1.jpgNow, on to the HDTV choices. There are a handful of things to shop for in an HDTV for the Super Bowl and more. If you are watching the Super Bowl I would like to also assume you are a sports fan and if you have never experienced sports in HD, it is one hell of a treat. Picture quality is key—specifically accurate colors, ability to produce deep blacks and adjust primary colors. If money isn’t a concern then the Pioneer Elite Pro-FHD1 may be for you. This 1080p 50-inch plasma is the top of the line for picture quality. You will pay for it, though. This plasma carries a list price of $8,000, but in all reality will cost you closer to $6,000 at most places.

xbr2.gifDon’t worry, there are cheaper options out there. For a party environment you can’t go wrong with the Sony XBR2. This is the little brother of the XBR3 that we reviewed back in December, but it is able to get the job done and impress your friends with the nice silver bezel that just makes this 40-inch LCD just plain beautiful. One feature that makes this LCD stand out is that the picture quality is always the same when viewing from off-angles. So at a Super Bowl party not everyone will be able to view the HDTV from a direct angle, but with the XBR2 from Sony, they will not be screwed with poor picture quality. This TV is a little more manageable with a price around $3,000.

panasonic_px60u.jpgStill too expensive? Okay, how about the Panasonic TH-42PX60U. This is a 42-inch plasma from Panasonic that still has pretty good colors with a price of $2,000 so (it was seen as low as $1,350 at some online retailers). You aren’t limited to the choices above, I just tried to help narrow it down to some superb TVs in specific price ranges. Just remember, it is key to find an HDTV with the best picture quality. Often you get what you pay for with HDTVs, so that $800 off-brand may seem appealing but it won’t look as good.

Step Two: HD Content

This is an easy one. HD channels don’t magically appear on your brand new HDTV—you have to buy (or rent) more gear. First step is to call up your cable provider. Whether it is Time Warner, Comcast, Cox, whatever—they will have HD digital cable tuner boxes that can be rented on a month-to-month basis. Be sure and call now to make sure you get one because Time Warner has supposedly run out of HD DVR boxes for rent, but that may not be true in your area or with a different provider. If your provider is out of HD DVR boxes, there is still another option. and it is the Series 3 TiVo, but that badboy runs a solid $800 or so.

Step Three: Audio

You can always go the audiophile way and pick up a nice, high-end receiver and a handful of high-end speakers and try to wire it all together, but we only have a few days left to prepare so the best bet right now is a HTIB, or home theatre in a box. These are surround sound systems that come with everything you need from the speakers to a receiver, etc. The audiophiles out there may be cursing my name, but the HTIB is the best bet for the home entertainment center amateur who needs decent surround sound, quick.For top of the line with sound quality, and ease of setup the Sony DAV-X1Vis where it is at. This is a 2.1 channel system that creates a virtual surround sound environment. It is easy to set up and can provide sound for those bone-rattling hits from Brian Urlacher. It does carry a high-end price at $1,000 list price from Sony.If style is the name of the game, the Pioneer HTS-560DVis one of the best looking HTIBs for your party. The four tower speakers can make your system look damn good, just watch out for knocking them over in a drunken rage after your team loses. These carry a more reasonable price of $550.If you are looking for a more cheap solution, the Samsung HT-DB600is it. For a budget HTIB, this is the only option with superb midranges and powerful bass. This HTIB lists for $350, but you may be able to find it cheaper than $300.

Step Four: Be Prepared for the Worst

Power and cable outages are always a potential problem and there is only one solid way to save your Super Bowl party if outages were to happen. First, invest in an HD antenna. If that cable goes out you can still receive HD goodness over the air with this basic HD antenna that can be found at any radio shack. And to prevent power outages from stopping your Super Bowl party, a back-up power generator is the only way to go.

Step Five: Food and Drink
Grilling and food is essential for any Super Bowl party. Unfortunately, I can’t help much when choosing a grill. If you happen to be a chef, you probably already have a grill or know what kind you like. Some people swear by charcoal, personally I am a gas grill guy (for ease) or hell, you may even want to bust out a hibachi, smoker, PS3 or USB grill. Regardless of how you do it, here are some accessories that can help.

oregonsci-meatthermom.jpgWireless thermometers are becoming all of the rage. The best one out there is the AW131 from Oregon Scientific. Stab the meat on the grill and set the wireless monitor with what kind of meat it is and how you like it looked. Go back, enjoy the game and wait for the receiver to give you word that the meat is done.

 beercanroaster.jpgIf going wireless is a bit too high-tech for you, this spatula with built-in meat thermometer may be a bit better. Don’t forget about the classic beer-can chicken.

 lightpeppershaker.jpgGrilling at night is only inevitable, so a cordless electric knife with LED lights and lighted salt-and-pepper mill could definitely help out. Whether it is beer, wine, water, soda or juice, there isn’t much that can be done to improve drinking. Sure, there are tons of beer drinking gadgets out there, but you have teched the hell out of this Super Bowl party already, and sitting back and cracking open a cold one may be the perfect remedy to wind down and forget about all of the technology involved in making this party happen.

Step Six: Have Fun
Regardless of how much you want to show off the latest and greatest tech at your party, it is important to have fun. The Super Bowl is more than just a football game, it is a time where you can gather with people and have one hell of a time while watching football, entertaining commercials and a half-time show featuring Prince. So gather up the friends, fire up the grill and enjoy yourself—you have earned it.

(Via Gizmodo)

Apple iPod Shuffle goes color!

Not one to let Microsoft have its Windows Vista and 2007 Microsoft Office System launch without some buzz of their own, Apple announced new colors available on their iPod Shuffle. The iPod shuffle is now available in pink, green, blue, orange and the original silver without a price increase; it still costs $79.




(Via Gizmodo)

Microsoft – Joint Launch of Windows Vista and 2007 Microsoft Office System


Today, Tuesday, January 30, 2007 marks the joint launch of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office System. According to Steve Ballmer, Microsoft Corporation Chief Executive Officer, this is the most significant product launch in company history and the first simultaneous release of Microsoft’s flagship products since the joint launch of the Windows® 95 operating system and Office 95 more than a decade ago.

The word “Wow” plays a big role in Microsoft’s marketing campaign for its new operating system. “This ‘Wow’ thing is a great way of describing what we’ve got here,” Microsoft’s chairman told The Associated Press on the day before Windows Vista’s launch. More than five years in the making, Windows Vista was released for business customers November 30, but the new Windows operating system’s unveiling for consumer buyers is being released for consumers, today, Tuesday, January 30, 2007 around the world.

For more information, check out and

iPhone: Get it now, for free!


Excited about Apple’s MacWorld annoucement of the iPhone?

Although it won’t be available in the United States until this summer, you can get one now, for free!

Sounds too good to be true, right?  Well, (it partially is) you can get it now, just “print, cut and fold!” Ta-dah!  Your own non-working iPhone.  Perhaps this will calm your iPhone cravings, at least for now.

(Via TechCrunch)

Top 10 Detox Foods

Yahoo! Food offers advice for ten foods that will help clean and detox your body.  It’s a perfect way to start fresh, whether it be for the new year, a new month or just a new day.

Add these 10 foods to your grocery cart and you’ll get three terrific benefits:

  1. Lots of super-healthy liquids to flush out the body while pouring in nutrients.
  2. Fiber to keep your GI tract fit.
  3. Foods that energize cleansing enzymes in the liver, your body’s built-in detox center.

The top 10:

Green leafy vegetables. Eat them raw, throw them into a broth, add them to juices. Their chlorophyll helps swab out environmental toxins (heavy metals, pesticides) and is an all-round liver protector.

Lemons. You need to keep the fluids flowing to wash out the body and fresh lemonade is ideal. Its vitamin C – considered the detox vitamin – helps convert toxins into a water – soluble form that?s easily flushed away.

Watercress. Put a handful into salads, soups, and sandwiches. The peppery little green leaves have a diuretic effect that helps move things through your system. And cress is rich in minerals too.

Garlic. Add it to everything – salads, sauces, spreads. In addition to the bulb’s cardio benefits, it activates liver enzymes that help filter out junk.

Green tea. This antioxidant-rich brew is one of the healthiest ways to get more fluids into your system. Bonus: It contains catechins, which speed up liver activity.

Broccoli sprouts. Get ’em at your health-food store. They pack 20 to 50 times more cancer-fighting, enzyme-stimulating activity into each bite than the grown-up vegetable.

Sesame seeds. They’re credited with protecting liver cells from the damaging effects of alcohol and other chemicals. For a concentrated form, try tahini, the yummy sesame seed paste that?s a staple of Asian cooking.

Cabbage. There are two main types of detoxifying enzymes in the liver; this potent veggie helps activate both of them. Coleslaw, anyone?

Psyllium. A plant that?s rich in soluble fiber, like oat bran, but more versatile. It mops up toxins (cholesterol too) and helps clear them out. Stir powdered psyllium into juice to help cleanse your colon, or have psyllium-fortified Bran Buds for breakfast.

Fruits, fruits, fruits. They’re full of almost all the good things above – vitamin C, fiber, nutritious fluids, and all kinds of antioxidants. Besides, nothing tastes better than a ripe mango, fresh berries, or a perfect pear.

Ultimate Detox Recipe

Easy Wilted Garlic-Sesame Salad
Toss dark, leafy greens in hot, garlicky oil for a cleansing?and delicious – dish
4 servings, about 65 calories each
1 Tsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. spinach, stemmed,
  or 1 lb. Swiss chard, stems sliced, leaves torn
  or 1 lb. mixture of spinach and watercress
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 Tsp. sesame seeds for garnish
Warm oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir until lightly browned, about 45 seconds. Add greens (do in two batches, if necessary) and toss until just wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Top 10 Foods for a Good Night’s Sleep


Having trouble falling asleep at night?  These ten food items may help you get a good night’s sleep.  According to Yahoo! Food, these ten items “relax tense muscles, quiet buzzing minds, and/or get calming, sleep-inducing hormones – serotonin and melatonin – flowing.”  So if you’re having trouble sleeping, try one of these ten foods, it just might help you sleep better.

Bananas. They’re practically a sleeping pill in a peel. In addition to a bit of soothing melatonin and serotonin, bananas contain magnesium, a muscle relaxant.

Chamomile tea. The reason chamomile is such a staple of bedtime tea blends is its mild sedating effect – it’s the perfect natural antidote for restless minds/bodies.

Warm milk.It’s not a myth. Milk has some tryptophan – an amino acid that has a sedative – like effect – and calcium, which helps the brain use tryptophan. Plus there’s the psychological throw-back to infancy, when a warm bottle meant “relax, everything’s fine.”

Honey.Drizzle a little in your warm milk or herb tea. Lots of sugar is stimulating, but a little glucose tells your brain to turn off orexin, a recently discovered neurotransmitter that’s linked to alertness.

Potatoes.A small baked spud won’t overwhelm your GI tract, and it clears away acids that can interfere with yawn-inducing tryptophan. To up the soothing effects, mash it with warm milk.

Oatmeal. Oats are a rich source of sleep – inviting melatonin, and a small bowl of warm cereal with a splash of maple syrup is cozy – plus if you’ve got the munchies, it’s filling too.

Almonds.A handful of these heart-healthy nuts can be snooze-inducing, as they contain both tryptophan and a nice dose of muscle-relaxing magnesium.

Flaxseeds. When life goes awry and feeling down is keeping you up, try sprinkling 2 tablespoons of these healthy little seeds on your bedtime oatmeal. They’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a natural mood lifter.

Whole-wheat bread.A slice of toast with your tea and honey will release insulin, which helps tryptophan get to your brain, where it’s converted to serotonin and quietly murmurs “time to sleep.”

Turkey.It’s the most famous source of tryptophan, credited with all those Thanksgiving naps. But that’s actually modern folklore. Tryptophan works when your stomach’s basically empty, not overstuffed, and when there are some carbs around, not tons of protein. But put a lean slice or two on some whole-wheat bread mid-evening, and you’ve got one of the best sleep inducers in your kitchen.

For an extra treat, here’s the ultimate sleep-inducing snack…

Lullaby Muffins
Makes 12 low-fat muffins
Between the bananas, the whole wheat, and the honeyed touch of sweetness, these muffins are practically an edible lullaby.
· 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1 tablespoon baking powder
· 2 large, very ripe bananas
· 1/3 cup applesauce
· 1/4 cup honey
· 1/2 cup milk or soymilk

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine the flour (make sure it’s whole-wheat pastry flour or you’ll produce golf balls, not muffins), salt, and baking powder. In a blender, puree the bananas; add the applesauce, honey, and milk. Blend well. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Line muffin tins with paper muffin cups, pour in batter, and bake 30 minutes or until tops are lightly brown and slightly springy.

Nutrition Facts
Per serving: 119 calories; 1g fat; 2.5g protein; 27g carbohydrates; 10g sugars; 133mg sodium; 3g fiber; 35mg magnesium

(Via Yahoo! Food)

UK – 35 acre underground Cold War city


There is a 35 acre, secret subterranean Cold War city (code named Burlington) 100 feet beneath Corsham, in the city of Wiltshire, UK.

Built in the late 50s, this massive city complex (a interactive map here) was designed to safely house up to 4,000 central Government personnel in the event of a nuclear strike.

Located in a former Bath stone quarry the city was to be the site of the UK’s main Emergency Government War Headquarters – the hub of the Country’s alternative seat of power outside London.

Over a kilometer in length, this city has over 60 miles of roads. Blast proof (for weapons of that time) and completely self-sufficient the secret underground site could accommodate up to 4,000 people, in complete isolation from the outside world, for up to three months.

Although never actually used, the New York grid-style city of roads and avenues was equipped with all the facilities needed to survive. From underground hospitals, canteens, kitchens and laundries to storerooms of supplies, accommodation areas and offices.

This underground city was finally decommissioned in December 2004.