antiPod The Panasonic Panapet R-70 is portable transistor AM radio from the 1970s. They are housed in a round plastic case that comes in a variety of colors and has two small silver dials (on/off switch/volume, and tuning) that make it look like Pac Man when viewed from the correct direction. Powered by a single 9-volt battery, the radio has a surprisingly strong antenna and comes attached to a large metal keychain to loop around a finger, attach to a belt loop, etc. Coupled with a 1/8″ adapter and a pair of Pioneer SE-50 headphones (also from the 70’s), this bulky twosome makes for the perfect revolt from today’s sleek digital music players.

Sadly, the AM-only tuner limits your listening abilities to little more than an occasional country station, right-wing talk show programs, Christian fundamentalist bleatings, and wide swaths of static. Fortunately, though, it also picks up some sports stations, so I personally end up dragging my radio outside to listen to a baseball game while I’m gardening or even have it playing in the background while I’m cooking later dinners during the summer months. Even though I also own an iPod (which gets a lot more use), I have a place in my heart for the charming and playful Panapet, which is partly space-ace, and partially downright clunky.