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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: June 15, 2012 @ 11:53 am

    Last minute shopping panic

    Ciara O'Brien

    Father’s Day is this Sunday. And whether you dismiss it as a Hallmark holiday or not, chances are you’ll probably end up dragging yourself down to your local newsagent to buy a card at the very least. If you’re planning on splashing out on a gift but haven’t quite got around to it yet, here’s some last minute ideas:

    Dyson DC34

    Handheld vacuum cleaners are one of those things that you don’t realise how useful they are until you actually have one.

    At €169 for the starting model, the Dyson DC34 is a bit pricier than some other cleaners on the market, but it certainly earns its price tag.

    It’s extremely powerful and easy to use for a start. It lasts for 15 minutes on normal power, six minutes on max power, and takes only 3.5 hours to charge fully.

    We put it through its paces, including a stint tackling some stairs in a house with three cats and two dogs. The results were more than mildly impressive.

    And then there’s the design. It’s instantly recognisable as a Dyson, even down to the buttons to empty the (bagless, naturally) cleaner. Rather than feeling like a domestic appliance, it feels more like a power tool. It even has a trigger button to turn it on and off.

    (Harvey Norman)


    Darth Vader Lego Alarm clock

    What better way to be woken up than by the dark lord of the Sith himself?

    Ok, so he’s in Lego form, which is slightly less intimidating, but on the plus side every morning you get to punch Darth Vader on the head. I don’t think James Earl Jones/David Prowse would let you do that.

    The only way this would be better is if the alarm was something a little more Star Wars-themed. Maybe the Imperial March or Vader’s heavy breathing. Even some light sabre sound effects. Anything except the standard annoying beep.


    iPod Nano

    The new Nano has a few different functions. It plays your music, yes; that’s its most basic purpose in life. But it also multitasks, with an FM radio, a fitness tracker and even a watch face in its bag of tricks. The accelerometer tracks your movement, and teams with the Nike+ site to record your walks and runs.

    Plus it’s small and light, so you’ll barely even realise its there.