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08.22.2006

Soundbike: everywhere you pedal laughter follows

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Imagine yourself on a sunny day, biking through the beautiful countryside. In one of those shots that could come straight from some 70s film, the sun arcs behind you and the wildflowers and trees bend lightly in the breeze. The sound of laughter (your own) trailing behind in your wake. It's a far cry from the typical grunts and shouts of those lycra-clad distance cyclists who often clog the park, or the lean mean (and ever decreasing in number) bike messengers who zip through city streets. The Soundbike, a project by Jessica Thompson, seems to be trying to interject some lighthearted fun back into urban cycling. The project, at the core, is just a regular old bike, but what makes it special are the motion sensors that respond to the velocity of the bicycle which trigger audio samples of laughter. The end result? A thrilling ride that brings giggles everywhere you go. Imagine a fleet of these touring around Central Park or flying through Times Square with Critical Mass. It would be a nice pick-me-up for all the grumpy pedestrians and tourists.

Posted by Katherine    Category: current affairs | design
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08.22.2006

Pickle what????

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Claiming 30 times the electrolytes of Powerade and 15 times that of Gatorade, the newly released Pickle Juice Sport already has major sports figures endorsing it.

Yes, you read correctly… pickle juice. Developed through market research that confirms many people sneak a drink of pickle juice from the jar. Apparently there was a market, after all, for a manufactured beverage that tastes of dill, salt, and vinegar. This was later reinforced by an NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys, which received national attention over the Eagles’ consumption of pickle juice to beat the 120 degree heat and led them to victory. Who knew?!

I wonder if there are half-sour or bread-and-butter flavors in the future.

Posted by Brian    Category: body
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08.22.2006

i-Luv

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I have to admit that what first attracted me to this product was the name: i-Luv.

But on further inspection, I realized what a good - and useful --product this really is. The iLuv i603 Rechargeable Lithium Polymer Battery with Silicone Skin is a battery pack that boosts your iPod's capacity by 4x, adding more than 9 hours of video playback or 60 hours of audio play time.

It's available in white or back with a matching wall charger, for $70 at iLounge.

Posted by Evan    Category: devices
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08.21.2006

Karaoke Ice: travelling karaoke in an ice cream truck

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"Ice, ice, baby... too cold, too cold... " So the infamous lyrics by Vanilla Ice go. But Rob Van Winkle wouldn't have been able to have anything on you if you had been in San Jose from August 7th - 13th. Karaoke Ice a project by Nancy Nowacek, Katie Salen and Marina Zurkow features a souped up ice cream truck replete with screaming day glo colors, microphones, speakers, otter pops, and a dancing squirrel. Throughout the ISEA 2006 festival Karaoke Ice roamed the streets of San Jose, enticing ordinary people to join in the fun of public street-side Karaoke. Participants were invited to sing along for the crowd and follow the bizarre rituals of Remedios, the dancing squirrel (which was really just a guy dressed up in a squirrel helmet and tail, but he looked cool.) While not everyone had the courage to engage in inpromptu performance, many got a great kick out of the unexpected spectator opportunity. In an artful maneuver positioned between low art and entertainment, Karaoke Ice was not cold at all. In fact, it was smokin' hot.

(Above is a picture of the truck parking next to the SRL performance that night, providing some pre-show entertainment for those waiting to line up.)

Posted by Katherine    Category: current affairs | design | toys
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08.21.2006

Pretty sandwich bags from Mobi

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I am pretty sure that Mobi’s zipper sandwich bags are not much different from regular ones when it comes to fulfilling their purpose, namely storing a sandwich (or anything else you feel like putting in them), and yet I wouldn’t hesitate a second before buying a pack. They are just too cute to resist.

They have a good selection of different motifs to choose from -- I would buy a box for each design. Mobi’s sandwich bags are available for $4.99 a box (each box contains 20 bags) and can be purchased directly on their site.

Posted by Camilla    Category: home
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08.21.2006

PSP Vespa

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Long ago, I came to terms with my inefficiency in operating anything that has a motor attached to it and functions in some kind of traffic. A quick evaluation of my car driving skills will induce a panic attack in anyone who tries to imagine me on a moped or motorbike. So I never even seriously thought about getting either one.

Of course Vespa had to come out with the White Vespa PSP, so now I want it! Even I would look cool on a white Vespa PSP!

The White Vespa PSP features Sony’s handheld logos pretty much all over the vehicle (hmm yeah, free advertising for Sony) and its purchase will entitle you to a free white Playstation Portable value pack.

This limited edition Vespa LX 50 costs € 2,699 and can be ordered and purchased only from Vespa Dealers in Benelux … and I can get one!!! [theoretically]

Via Uber-Review
[press release -in Dutch-]

Posted by Camilla    Category: cars | toys
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08.21.2006

Focused Bags

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Of all the accessories made out of recycled materials Focused Bags are probably the most far-fetched ones I have seen so far. The idea of turning an old - hard - wooden skateboard into a fashion accessory is just … pretty damn cool! Especially if it’s your own old board you can get turned into a pretty bag. I can’t think of a better way to retire your old board.

Sophie Manson is the designer of Focused Bags; each bag is unique and hand crafted and there are four main styles to choose from: Switch, Big Spin, Hurricane and No-Comply.
They can be purchased on eBay, but the site also offers a custom order service.

Focused Bags will also buy your old boards in pretty much any condition you have them: whole, snapped into two halves, and even just pieces of it … maybe not the most ‘romantic’ way to retire your old board, but still a lot better than just throwing it into the garbage.

Via Ektopia

Posted by Camilla    Category: accessories
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08.21.2006

Morpheus mood lighting pod

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The mood ring was child's play -- this is for us adults.

You can program the the Morpheus mood lighting pod to change colors as fast as your moods. It looks like a high-tech light so it can go just about anywhere. You can choose colours that add warmth in winter, go for cool blues in the summer or just set it to a colour you look good in. Permanent candlelight, in my case.

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There are a number of presets, so you can let Morpheus do some "morphing" - changing the colour range in your room subtly, which sounds like fun.

It's available from Morpheus Lighting for about £65, which is my way of telling you that you can't buy it here yet.

Posted by Evan    Category: design | home
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08.21.2006

Light Bead Curtain: trippy effects for ordinary furnishings

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The Light Bead Curtain by Jin-Yo Mok and Ami Wolf is described as an "interactive musical installation," but to the unschooled eye, it looks rather suspiciously like some tripped out home accessory you'd find in your local head shop. The curtain, which was most recently installed in the cafe of the San Jose Museum of Art for ISEA 2006 as part of the Interactive Cafe category of the festival has several modes. The most basic mode allows participants to illuminate and produce sound through touching the beads of the curtain. Other presets allow for cascading patterns and sonic behaviors. While this artwork may not find itself into commercial production anytime soon, it's really a shame that you can't throw this up alongside your Grateful Dead posters and kick back while getting all psychedelic with your friends. It's art and tech for the retro-hippy set!

Posted by Katherine    Category: current affairs | design | home
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08.21.2006

Baby Love: spinning teacup musical bumpercars

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Ohhh baby! Artist Shu Lea Chang's new work, titled Baby Love was on exhibition during ISEA 2006 from August 7-13th. The installation, which is comprised of several spinning teacups (like the Disneyland ride!) allows for the exchange and remix of uploaded MP3s. Taking the teacups for a spin is kind of like bumper cars, but with a sonic twist. Each teacup is comprised of an autonomously moving unit, which participants are encouraged to board. As the wheel is turned, the teacup spins round and round, eventually colliding with one of the other units. When a "bump" is achieved between teacups, the musical track that plays during the ride (which is specific to each teacup) is mixed between riders. The result is zany and fun! If you missed Baby Love at ISEA you can always catch them later at the Chelsea Art Museum in New York City, opening November 30, 2006

Posted by Katherine    Category: current affairs | design | toys
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