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Originally published October 5, 2012 at 10:00 AM | Page modified October 6, 2012 at 6:07 AM

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Stuff for when you smell, or need, something funny

There's something in the air at the Domestic Goddess: from a bag that quells smell to a bird that detects smoke.

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That stinky bag thing for $40...? I travel a lot on business and have been using a... MORE

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GODDESS, IN an attempt to mingle among the commoners, had herself a little part-time job back in college daze. She, in disguise, worked in the dorm cafeteria on the conveyor-belt line setting up the dirty-dish trays for the washers farther down the line. Our supervisor, a kindly but stern man, kept us to our task by hollering: Hey, you kids! Cut that shuckin' and jivin'!

And that, for you political-office-holder readers, pretty well sums up this week's cover story.

Sometimes, politics stinks

And sometimes it's just your gym bag, or suitcase, or backpack. We can fix that. Store stinky, sweaty garments away from the clean bits with the NSZ Sport Bag from Silver Edge Gear.

NSZ? No Stink Zone.

Great for travel; dirty clothes here, clean clothes over there. And when you remove stinky gear, the bag will be stink free. Get. Out.

"It really does work, that's the really nice thing about it," says stinky-bag professional Katy O'Kennedy. Interior nylon fibers are encased in silver, then laminated to a polyurethane backing so it's waterproof. Then it's laminated with nylon for color and durability. "Yep, yep, absolutely," Katy says of the process.

Won't wash or wear off. $40. Comes in colors. See also shinguard pads, apparently those are also known to be quite smelly.

Mascot is a skunk. silveredgegear.com.

This twitter's a real lifesaver

Here's a whistle-blower of a different sort: American black-capped chickadee as smoke detector, Chick-A-Dee.

Smoke detectors, gotta have 'em. It's just that, usually, they're not doing a single thing to class up the joint. Enter Dutch designer Louise van der Veld and her lovely little white bird perched on a branch.

Van der Veld was inspired by the canaries who went workin' in the coal mines goin' down, down, down as both singing distraction and life protectors early in the previous century (history!). The tiny songbirds were used to detect odorless poison gasses such as carbon monoxide. Louise re-imagined the home smoke detector as chickadee and won a prize for her efforts in 2006.

A control light flashes once a minute under normal conditions. But when there's smoke, there's an 85-decibel alarm. Easily fitted to the ceiling; Battery replacement and test button also easy peasy. $75. Find at www.aplusrstore.com, neo-utility.com and at www.amazon.com.

In other bird news this week ...

Are the tin caught-in-flight creatures of Seattle artist Jenny Fillius.

Times are tough, budgets crunched. And when the going gets tough, the tough, well, you know, they dig through the garbage and come up with art! And that's just what Ms. Fillius does. She hunts tin cans and whatnot to make birds, officially called Recycled Tin Birds. Right to the point.

One man's trash ... "I was sitting in front of the television, and there was a Coke can on the table," Jenny reports. "And I thought, I should be able to do something with that. I grew up in Mexico, and I know people in other countries are better at making things out of their garbage than we are."

One step for United States-kind.

The folks at SAM's Olympic Sculpture Park report that they, ah-hem, fly out the door. $14 a pop for fliers about 4.5 inches long, 3 inches wide. Also find them and more of Fillius' recycled tin artwork at her website: jennyfillius.com.

Reach out to The Goddess at bteagarden@seattletimes.com. The Goddess is also very Pinteresting. Find her there at http://pinterest.com/rtea/.

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