Taxidermy chess: Play with rooks and dead rodents

Yelling "Checkmate!" is even more rewarding with a dead mouse clasped in your hand. Or that appears to be the thinking behind this one-of-a-kind wooden chessboard that comes with taxidermy mice dressed as kings, queens, rooks, knights, bishops, and pawns.

Created by Florida-based artist Rachael Garcia, the unusual taxidermy chess set is made with white and brown mice that were originally destined to be snake snacks.

"Every mouse was a unique creature in life, making each piece of this set a one-of-a-kind creation, hand-stuffed by me," Garcia writes on her Etsy page. "The set includes 16 light colored mice and 16 dark mice, in various sizes, pawns being the smallest... All specimens were acquired from a captive breeding facility that distributes frozen rodents for reptile feeding, so don't feel sad if these little guys were not battling it out on the chess board they would be deep in the belly of a snake." … Read more

Five-deal Friday: Speaker dock, Call of Duty, gaming mouse, and more!

I'm about to make/ruin your weekend. Make it, because I've rounded up five seriously sweet deals. Ruin it, because you're going to want to buy them all. Food, clothing, feh -- who needs 'em?!

Answer the Call of Duty

Can't afford the $60 price tag on the hot new Call of Duty: Ghosts? Give it time; in six months or so, you'll be able to get it for half as much, maybe even less.

In the meantime, how about a little older-school CoD action? For the next couple days, StackSocial has Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PC/Mac) for $4.99. … Read more

Crave Ep. 134: Homemade portable NES pushes our buttons

Subscribe to Crave:

iTunes (HD)iTunes (SD)iTunes (HQ)


This week on Crave, a Canadian dentist wants to clone John Lennon with a tooth he bought for $31,000. A computer scientist builds an awesome portable Nintendo Entertainment System. Plus, we all want to take a turn with the "beercade" machine, which serves up cold brews as you play vintage video games. All that and more on this week's episode of Crave. … Read more

Split the typing difference with KeMice keyboard

"Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door" is a misquotation of Ralph Waldo Emerson. While the poet actually referred to chairs and knives, doubtless he'd feel the same about keyboards.

I love alternative keyboard designs because they're trying to innovate a ubiquitous device bound for obsolescence.

Ergonomic keyboards have been around for ages, but KeMice is yet another attempt to modernize the hoary QWERTY. It's split in two and is supposed to be easier to use than portable Bluetooth or virtual keyboards; it's also got a built-in mouse. … Read more

Get a Bluetooth speaker mouse for $29.99 shipped

Sure, your mouse is an integral part of the computing experience, but what has it done for you lately?

Probably just moved your cursor around. Slacker! For a limited time, and while supplies last, Over Half Sale has the Aerb Wireless Bluetooth Mouse with speaker for $29.99 shipped. That's after applying coupon code CNET15 at checkout. This vocal rodent normally sells for $44.99.

I know: crazy gizmo, right? But maybe not so crazy. For starters, it's a Bluetooth mouse, offering one less bit of cord clutter on your work surface (except when you're charging it, … Read more

Listen to a real live mouse organ

We know mice are pretty actually pretty smart (as demonstrated by the trained rodents of MouseAgility), but are they smart enough to play music? Well, it depends on the instrument.

Duo Fabio Di Salvo and Bernardo Vercelli -- or Quiet Ensemble -- have created a "mouse organ" known as the Orchestra de Camera. Thankfully, it's a little kinder than the Katzenklavier. To work, 40 mice are put in 40 mouse wheels, which are rigged up to music boxes. When the wheels go 'round, the handle turns and the music plays. … Read more

NYU loses lab mice, years of medical research to Sandy

In the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, researchers are discovering the damage the done to one of New York University's research facilities and mourning the loss of lab animals and of scientific data that could take years to rebuild.

After the New York Daily News reported on Tuesday that flooding and power loss claimed the lives of thousands of lab mice as well as wiping out enzymes, antibodies, and DNA used in cancer and other research, the NYU Langone Medical Center confirmed in a statement released yesterday that its Smilow building was "adversely impacted" by the speed and severity of the flood surge.… Read more

New artificial retina helps blind mice see

A cure for blindness could be brewing at a Cornell University laboratory.

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York say they've successfully decoded the brain signals that allow mice to see. Using this information with a new type of prosthetic retina, they were able to restore vision in mice.

Next up, the researchers say they've cracked the code of a monkey retina, which is nearly identical to that of a human. If the prosthesis works on monkeys too, the researchers think they may eventually be able to help people who've lost their eyesight.… Read more

Microsoft unveils tablet-friendly mice and keyboards (with hands-on)

Not to be left out of the coming Windows 8, tablet-focused excitement, Microsoft's hardware group has an assortment of new mobile input devices to show off this morning.

The four new devices, all Bluetooth-driven, are aimed squarely at mobile Windows 8 tablets and laptops. Microsoft says they will also work with iOS and Android tablets, which helps explain why it made sense to release them before Windows 8's debut on October 26.

Wedge Mobile Keyboard Of the three new products, the Wedge Mobile Keyboard is the most interesting. The thick rubber sleeve helps protect the keyboard in transit. Once you take the keyboard out, the sleeve then folds in half to create an adjustable tablet stand.… Read more

Razer Ouroboros mouse channels Dark Knight Rises' The Bat

It's the gaming mouse you deserve, but not the one you need right now. Because it's the middle of the morning and you probably have business to attend to. But when it's fragging time, you could do worse than the Razer Ouroboros, a frightening new peripheral that channels The Bat, Batman's ludicrous flying tank.

It might look like a wee version of Bruce Wayne's latest runabout, but it's packing serious firepower of its own. Just like a superhero's supervehicle, the Ouroboros can extend its body and arch its back to fit your hand, … Read more