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06. 6.2006

Origami Chaise

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Well, I’m not sure how comfortable these would be to sit on, but they sure are pretty and will look fantastic in my imaginary spacious living room. They make me think of those intricately designed and executed Japanese origami art pieces.

Featured in the furniture show in Milan recently, these chaise longue titled Antibodi were designed by the red hot (and I don’t just mean looking) Spanish Italian designer Patricia Urquiola, who worked for and was mentored by the great Achille Castiglioni. Like an organic flower, the chairs bloom from cells of petals sewn in triangular shapes. The petals feature reversible materials in felt and wool fabric, and wool fabric and leather, which create a supporting cover which is then fixed to a stainless steel metal frame.

Available at Moroso in Italy

Posted by maggie    Category: design | home
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06. 6.2006

rice cooking v2.0

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Despite my love for the old school, I must say that I am currently smitten with the new "Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker" from William Sonoma. I don't mind the warm and fuzzy feeling of the "Fuzzy Logic." The design of traditional cookers has not really changed much in the last fifty years, although culinary tastes have. So, I find the claim of being able to perfectly cook different varieties of rice appealing. (It also can be used as a steamer and slow cooker.) Despite much trial and error, I never could master steaming brown rice with my trusted cooker that I've had since graduating college. Further, I'm sure there are many purists, who insist on cooking rice on the stove, which make me question the whole idea of "authenticity." For me, it seems like the time is ripe to take the rice cooker into the 21th century, with me and my multi-grains with it.

Posted by Ray    Category: home
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06. 6.2006

Plant-me Pet

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Spanish designer Martí Guixé has the greatest website, "brilliantly simple and curiously serious" indeed. Among his many creations are the Plant-Me-Pets, weird squeaky toys that can also be planted to grow vegetables. They come in tomato, melon, and pumpkin, but tell me, how could you really bear to bury the poor critters? It's exactly the kind of ambivalence Guixé seeks to engender: emotion or function? You decide.

Posted by Katherine    Category: home | toys
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06. 5.2006

Be Mario: the Nintendo Amusement Park is coming

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Not too long ago, Camilla posted about the Super Mario virtual world mingling with the real world. Nintendo enthusiasts just upped the ante by recently releasing a beta version of its interpretation of an amusement park ride. The Nintendo Amusement Park site includes a great video demo. Applying what they call "physical augmented reality," players use harnesses, pulleys and bungee cords to experience Super Mario Brothers in real space. You even get a costume and Mario mustache. I know it's only in beta and the production values will only get better, but I love how the backdrop looks like bed sheets and you're basically jumping on a giant bead bag with eyes. Get ready to jump over Goompas, as they are said to be gearing up for a full blown version for E3 2007.

Via Joystiq

(Please note, that Nintendo is not involved in this project. Thanks Matt and Stephen!)

Posted by Ray    Category: toys
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06. 5.2006

To-Fu Mates

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I love tofu. And who doesn't? Well... if you don't, even you will love these super cute Tofu Head Connect Cubes. Sold individually, yet made with the ability to "stick together" at the corners they'll make one Tofu block party you won't want to miss. At $7.50 USD each, they'd make a great squishy add-on gift for your vegan friend, and even possibly the meat eaters in your life.

Posted by Katherine    Category: toys
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06. 5.2006

Recycle your cell phone for half the money

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A new service out of the UK has confirmed a theory that I've had for a long time. There is a great chunk of change to be made recycling used electronic gear. Envirofone is saving the world by buying retired cellphones in order to keep them out of landfills. Essentially, the company buys old phones on a recycling sales pitch then resells them for a profit. Payouts are available as cash, Argo's gift cards, or as a donation to a charity of your choice.

This company's service is extremely useful... if you don't know how to use eBay. As an example, Envirofone is offering to pay seventy-five dollars for a Samsung D500, but the going rate on the used market is upwards of $150. I'm surprised that The Register's coverage didn't mention that Envirofone is owned by Eazyfone, a company that solely exists to redeploy used electronics collected through various channels.

This business model is a very old trick in the technology business. I've made a habit of haunting a few "recycling centers" I know that receive tech gear from environmentalists through the front door, but operate a ghetto fabulous computer junkyard out the back doors.

Posted by Johnny    Category: devices
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06. 5.2006

Micro Rice Cooker

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I'm really really hoping that this Micro Rice Cooker works as well as it looks because I could use a gadget like this. Even though the effort is probably the same (you still gotta rinse the rice, add water and wait), there's something about using the big rice cooker to make one serving of rice that seems wasteful and more work.

The ceramic bowl has 2 indicator lines on the inside to let you kow how much rice and how much water you need to cook the perfect serving of rice. Let it stand for 15 minutes (did you know that rice tastes best if it's soaked in water for awhile?) and cook it in the microwave on a low setting for another 15 minutes. Take it out and eat. Of course you can just buy one of those ready-to-eat microwaveable rice bowls that you can get at your Asian grocery store, but that gets pricey and I'd like to think that I'm not THAT lazy.

Available at Compact Impact.

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06. 4.2006

The history of chart topping in 37 minutes

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Here is an interesting art project by R. Luke DuBois, part of his "time-lapsed phonography" explorations. DuBois's sound installation for ipod entitled "Billboard" used the Billboard Hit Singles chart to create a 37 minute long interpretation of contemporary popular music. DuBois took all the songs that reached #1 and aggregated them into one "song." Weighted by the number of weeks the song was on the top of the charts, the average song got one second in the piece. The end result is an abstracted archive of the history of popular music from August 1958, when the list got started, up to today.

You can hear "Billboard" at the Bit Forms Gallery in New York until 7.15.05.

Posted by Ray    Category: design
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06. 4.2006

Handsfree can opener

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Need a better can opener? Sharper Image is betting you do. Check out their Handsfree Can Opener. With just a push of a button the Handsfree can open most round cans, automatically traveling around and cutting a smooth edge just below the rim, allowing you to lift the lid safely without sharp edges. The can opener runs off of two AA batteries and will open about 100 cans before needing more juice. Best of all is that the battery-operated cordless design will let you use this little baby wherever you need to, in the kitchen or out on a campsite. How convenient.

Posted by Katherine    Category: devices | home
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06. 3.2006

Fruity home appliances

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Ahh! I love the smell of lemon zest cleanliness in a kitchen, and, eh, the look of strawberries on my fridge. These panels from Vincon instantly transform the dullest of kitchens into a walk-in fruit bowl. The range consists of apples, oranges, lemons, strawberries, coffee beans and more bizarrely, broken eggs. The flexible sheets are thin enough to be cut with scissors to allow for variations in appliances, and are easily interchangeable due to their magnetic nature.

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The designs were produced using "high quality digital printing", and only 100% organic fruit was used in the photographs. Ok, I made that last part up - I thought it might make you feel better about yourself if you bought one.

Get them now from Vincon for €116 each.

Posted by Stuart    Category: design | home
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