With the exception of that godawful last season, I'm a huge 24 fan. In one episode Jack Bauer was using a super-cool tiny bright flashlight. A little search lead me to a treasure trove of cool toys.
I was surprised to learn that the messenger bag Jack Bauer carried was less than $20, as was the flashlight.
Although the Gerber Infinity is awesomely small, lightweight, and has a convenient clip, it ain't all that bright. You don't want to shine it in your eyes, and Tom Hanks could have wooed Wilson in the dark in Cast Away if he had had it, but it's not really bright enough to compete at night with city lights.
Fast-forward two years. I've lost my bag with a bunch of stuff in it, including the flashlight.
So, after some hunting, I found this site, with fantastically geeky reviews of all kinds of flashlights.
The flashlight pictured above is what I ended up getting.
Flashlights have been basically the same thing for a hundred years or so: an incandescent bulb (breakably thin wire filament in a sensitive glass bulb) powered by a battery that wasn't going to last super-long no matter what. They were the type of plastic junk that Radio Shack used to give away in order to sell batteries.
Now they have improved dramatically within the last five years, thanks to LEDs, circuitry, and battery improvements (thanks, cellphone researchers!). Incredibly tiny lights are super-bright, and you can spend up to $500 on flashlights that will signal airstrikes, or freak out the man on the moon. And then there's this guy.
If there's any part of you that's a gear junkie, I highly recommend getting yourself one of these nifty new lights. Remember, it takes 65 lumens or more to disorient or blind a foe with night-adapted vision.