Found a couple of interesting travel items, both coming in handy on a hideously long, 20-hour flight to Thailand recently. One keeps the brain engaged, the other does just the opposite.
The Scruble Cube is billed as a cross between Rubik's Cube and Scrabble, a 3-D word game with 96 individually rotating letter and premium scoring pegs inserted into a four-inch cube. Like a Rubik's, you spin the cube?s sliding layers and instead of trying to form colors, you form words, keeping score on a pad provided and time with a tiny sand timer that comes with it.
It's not terribly easy to figure out at first, but when you do, it's kind of fun and most definitely time consuming. The company says there are 7.4 septillion (that's right, with an S) possible combinations in a Scruble Cube, sufficient to keep anyone busy for a good long time. It retails for about $25 and can be had at www.scrublecube.com and Barnes & Noble bookstores.
Much easier to use and far more relaxing is iChill, a two-ounce relaxation shot in a tiny blue bottle billed to "help you relax, reduce stress, sleep better.'' The stuff is loaded with the natural sleep inducer melatonin, plus rose hips, valerian root and vitamin B3, B6, B12 and B5 and has no sugar or calories. To relax moderately, instructions advise half a bottle; to chill out completely, the whole thing. I swilled one whole bottle of its Blissful Berry on my 12-hour London to Bangkok leg and actually slept for a reasonably fulfilling six hours, something I'd never done on a long flight before.
iChill, which has been featured on "The View,'' "The Today Show'' and "Good Morning America,'' and which the company says college students have endorsed nationwide, retails for about $3 a bottle and sells in stores such as the Tedeschi chain around Boston. Check it out at www.ichill.com