The second project is very exciting. I'm making a handheld communication device of sorts. Can't give away too many details yet though. What you see is an LCD with touchscreen, an Xbee, and a rechargable battery pack.. driven by an arduino. I'm calling it the "Zed-Day coordinator". A commo tool that has no centralized infrastructure and resembles bittorrent in a few ways.
So when Z-day comes and everything collapses, you can still have a usable communication system! Reality check, hah.. or you can just use it to talk with your friends :)