Painter's masking tape sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. When it doesn't, it really ticks me off. Well, now there's a new advancement in painters tape. It's called Frog Tape. What makes this tape so special? It contains a super-absorbent polymer that swells when paint touches it. This swelling actually helps block the paint from seeping beneath the tape. Pretty cool. It's now available at most home improvement stores.
A lot of developments in consumer products and technology have actually come out of NASA research. One cool thing that evolved from the Mars Rover mission is the technology that allows us to record soil and atmospheric information. Well, now you can buy this technology with a product called the EasyBloom. You take this product and stick it in your garden, flower bed or any planting area for 24 hours. After 24 hours, remove the EasyBloom, attach it to your computer and it will tell you what type of plants will thrive in that location. The device records light, temperature, soil moisture and humidity. When you connect it to your computer it brings up the EasyBloom Web site that has a database of more than 5,000 plants. The device can also tell you if you're over- or under-watering your house plants. One drawback is that it doesn't record your soil pH.
Tim Thompson lives in Gainesville. E-mail Tim your ideas for tips, tools or tricks.