To many people, it seems almost inconceivable that you can sleep through the aural brutality of an alarm clock, yet a small percentage of us can indeed, mask out all but the loudest of sounds without batting an eyelid. For those people, there is now "The Skull", a Sonic Boom alarm clock on steroids that pumps out 113 db of sound, flashes bright red light from its eye sockets, and strobes bright orange from a strip of flashing lights on the front. If that's not enough to rouse you, the skull comes with the company's "Bone Crusher" bed shaker attachment to shake you back into your body.

Frankly, I come from the other end of the sleep sensitivity scale, and if I had the Skull on the bedside table, I'd be afraid to go to sleep.

Just the same, if sleeping through the alarm is a problem for you, the Skull is an absolute bargain given that it costs less than US$50, and Sonic Alert appears to have thought of everything – there's even a battery back-up in case the power goes down, and if you wish to control the music which will frighten you to your senses, there's an MP3 player input.

The Skull features adjustable tone and volume control, snooze control and a hi/low dimmer switch.