Epic Gifts to Avoid this Christmas

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Remember the kid from the third Jurassic Park movie who stayed alive for weeks hiding in the payload area of a wrecked tanker truck?

This prefab metal shed haute architectural marvel is almost the same thing, if the dinosaurs went away and the metal tank rotted and rusted for a few years.

Vostok Cabin by Atelier Van Lieshout (click to enlarge)
It's set up as a sauna, but you can also use it for your militia meetings or a place to hide out after the apocalypse when the neighbors have gone cannibal and you need a place to lay low.

On one hand, it would be mobile (if you had a forklift and truck), indestructible and artistic (in the way you never got when looking at sculpture made out of random bits or welded junk iron) without being too chi-chi.

On the other, it's art, there's only one and if you bought it from Cite de La Science in Paris, where it's on exhibit, it would probably be a lot more expensive than buying the empty tank from a water truck or bed of a heavy truck and converting that into your sauna/garden shed/zombie apocalypse shelter.

At the other end of the ugly spectrum is this beautiful thing that looks so much like a nightmarishly high-end kid's tricycle your first response will be to roll your eyes until you're dizzy at the extravagance of other people.

Then you realize it's actually a two-wheeler designed for adults, has an electric motor so you're not pedaling most of the time and folds up into a convenient commute-and-carry vehicle...well, I don't know what you'll do.

I love bikes of all kinds for both their looks and sublimely subtle engineering and I still don't know what I think of the damn thing.

It goes 14 MPH, weighs 23 pounds, folds up in 20 seconds and has a rider weight limit of 220 pounds.

I can't imagine riding it any distance, but it's designed for short commutes, bops-around-town, and trip-to-the-store (apparently from the yacht, judging from this gallery). It is unquestionably beautiful, if you have a fetish for nicely crafted carbon and smart engineering.

The balance and steering are different enough from a regular fold-up or other electric bike to earn a reassuring pat on the head for nervous potential customers at the top of the FAQ and costs $3600.

It's been covered by gadget sites and Wired -- most of which thought it was cool looking, expensive and not as practical as a folding regular commuter bike.

Kevin Fogarty writes about enterprise IT for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @KevinFogarty.

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