Sure, we've heard the heartwarming stories of SMS savings a boy's life and TiVo preventing a man from heading to prison, but this round of "Gadgets Saving Lives" features none other than the token iPod as the center of attention. While Griffin has long since had the idea of using the iPod to power a flashlight-type device, a mushroom hunter (yes, they do exactly as the title describes) resorted to the backlit LCD in his Apple in order to lead rescuers to his location. While enjoying a presumably thrilling evening of picking 'shrooms from the wild brush in Vancouver, Washington with his mother, Pini Nou somehow found himself off the beaten path and lost under a cover of darkness (and wild grass, too). By phoning in authorities and faintly describing his surroundings, troops were able to get close enough to view the white glow emitted from his PMP, and 20 minutes later he was safe and sound, albeit "cold, tired, and aching." So, there you have it kids, the ultimate excuse to get an iPod for the holidays -- safety.

[Thanks, Napo M.]

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iPod: media player, cultural icon, and rescue beacon?