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June, 2011

New Radiation Fluorescent Plastic Made From Plastic Soft Drink Bottles

A new type of radiation fluorescent plastic created by a Japanese research team from treated PET plastic soft drink bottles could lead to the manufacture of cheap, effective, visible dosimeters in the event of a nuclear accident.

Justin Timberlake Proves To Be Real VC-Man With Ownership Stake In MySpace

As life imitates art, Justin Timberlake who appeared in the award-winning movie "The Social Network" was also satirized in the graphic novel, "Facebucks & Dumb F*cks." As VC-Man, the novel parodies the actor playing the real-life venture capitalist Sean Parker. Today, it was announced that JT will assume that role in real-life with a joint acquisition deal with Specific Media to buy MySpace from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Super Combo Ramen Fork Spork Keeps Your Noodles Soupy

This cool designer ramen “spork” allows slurpers to gulp their noodles with a spoonful of soup on the side. Besides dispensing with wasteful disposable chopsticks, the souped-up spork adds a dash of artistic taste to any bowl of delicious hot ramen!

Google's Social Media Hangouts Challenges Facebook's Friends

Google seems to be unshaken by all its missteps, lawsuits and flawed attempts at seeking social media's holy grail - as it makes yet another attempt at trying to beat Facebook at its own game. This time out, it's launching a social networking service called the Google+ project which while looking a lot like Zuckerberg's brain child - is in a lock-down beta mode, only accessible to a select group of testers, hand-picked by the Big G...

Animal Footprint Beach Sandals Make Walkers Paws

These stealthy beach sandals from Kiko-Kids have really got sole: animal footprint soles to be exact. Now your kid can make tracks to the beach right through your living room and blame it on the family cat, monkey, owl, gecko or dinosaur.

Golden Bus Adds Bling to Nanjing's Gritty City Streets

Old and busted: Drab, ordinary public transit vehicles. Gold and bussed: A very expensive promotion by a jewelry store in China that saw a Nanjing city bus covered in sheets of gold leaf.

USB Record Turntable Plays the Hits, Saves Them to Your PC

The Donya Direct DN-USB-TP01 is a USB-powered portable record turntable that can play 33rpm, 45rpm and even 78rpm vinyl records. Like what you're hearing? Download the included 'Audacity' software and save those blasts from the past to your PC!

"...And This Side Makes You Live Longer!"

In one of the legendary scenes in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the caterpillar, after exhaling his hookah, informs the young wanderer that, “One side will make you grow taller... and the other side will make you grow shorter.” Alice asks, “The other side of what?” “THE MUSHROOM, OF COURSE!” exclaims the caterpillar. And now we learn that the inside of the mushroom will make you grow stronger, healthier, and likely help you to live better, longer.

Teachers Expel School Intruder with Two-Pronged 'Man-Catcher'

Japanese teachers recently subdued and immobilized a knife-wielding intruder using a variation of the traditional, two-pronged Sasumata. The incident highlights this ancient fighting weapon in its modern iteration as a non-violent, noninvasive, “Man-Catcher” school safety device.

Chinese Cafe Chills Iced Tea with Dry Ice Cubes

This isn't the “carbonated” iced tea you were thinking of, though there's plenty of carbon in the ice cubes used to chill it. A Chinese cafe is offering customers wilted by summer heat a VERY cold way to chill out: Bubble Tea made with frozen carbon dioxide, aka Dry Ice!

It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's a Hoverbike!

The opening scene of George Jetson commuting to work in his aerocar, complete with glass dome and airbrakes, seems like a logical solution to the modern problems of traffic jams, potholes and road maintenance. Imagine getting to your destination as the crow flies instead of where the road lies. The Hoverbike promises to fulfill those animated sci-fi images of how we should travel in the modern era.

Schick Japan Animates Your Shave with a 'One Piece' Anime Action Figure

Schick Japan and anime publisher Shueisha have teamed up for the "One Piece" collaboration and campaign running from July 1st through September 30th. The highlight for anime luvvin' shavers is a collectible Schick Hydro razor stand featuring  Monkey D Luffy, star of the immensely popular One Piece manga series.

Weirdest Fair & Festival Food Ever: Horse Semen

International observers of our summer fairs seem to agree on one thing: Americans eat some really weird... You fill in the blanks; they don't call it 'food.'   Well, deep fried butter, deep fried coke, and this summer's hottest, deep fried Kool Aid, stand back...

 

China's Farmers Could Grow Foods Naturally Enriched in Selenium

Chinese geologists have announced that over 28 percent of the soil in the Chinese island province of Hainan is naturally enriched in Selenium. Farm produce grown in selenium-enriched soils incorporate this important trace element, offering health-conscious consumers a safe, environmentally-friendly way to improve their health.

It's No Bull, New 'Pepsi Energy Cola' Gives You a Buzz

Pepsi Japan just can't kick their habit of rolling out one new cola after another, and this time their seizing the Red Bull by the horns with Pepsi Energy Cola!

China's New Icebreaker Will Paint the Poles Red

If you thought China had cold feet when it comes to polar exploration, think again. The country's State Oceanic Administration has announced that the launch of a new icebreaker in 2013 will give China the ability to monitor both the arctic and the Antarctic environment at the same time.

Presidential Social Media, Not Stymied By WeinerGate!

Back in February, when Mia Cambronero was stepping down from her post as Social Networks Manager for President Obama, the open position and job description sought job candidates that were "passionate about engaging millions of Americans in advancing President Obama's agenda and changing the country." And going into the 2012 elections, our "social media" head of state is not going to shy away from social media like so many other politicians who fear from the backlash of Representative Weiner's "below the belt" sharing.

Deep Frying Aims To Make The Kool-Aid Man A Little Rounder

On a day-to-day basis I try to avoid deep fried foods (for obvious artery-clogging type reasons), but if I came across fried Kool-Aid, as is being offered at the San Diego, Calif., County Fair, I think that my curiosity would get the better of me.

It's Five O'Clock Somewhere... But Where?

As the Country & Western song goes, “It’s five-o’clock somewhere.” But exactly where to go at five-o'clock? Chicago-based SceneTap has developed an eponymous new mobile application that no urban cowboy or hip barhopper will want to leave home without.

 

Giving Thanks for the Mammaries at Japan's Best Breast Shrine

Thank God for breasts... and wouldn't you know, Japan has a shrine for that! Since 1678, Karube Jinja in Okayama prefecture has been providing hope and faith for Japanese women seeking the best for their breasts.

Rifle Umbrella Keeps You Dry, Could Trigger Panic

Stop or I'll bumbershoot! The Rifle Umbrella from Brando.com may not be the most well-thought-out gadget but at least it'll keep you dry when sudden storms strike.

China's Facebook Launches Social Credit Card While It Slides On Stock Exchange

A paradox seems a foot when a Chinese social network pilots an innovative global initiative at the same time its stock price is plummeting. As Renren, China's Facebook teams up with China Merchants Bank to create a co-branded credit card with "social features" - in one week's time, the value of its stock fell from US$14 to an all time low of US$6.78 as of closing on June 16.

Medical Identity Thieves Meet New Detective: The Palm Reader

According the the National Survey on Medical Identity Theft, about 1.4 million Americans were victims of medical identity theft in 2009.  Almost half of these victims did not learn of the theft until one or more years after their medical records were taken over and 'blended' with the thief's.  The time it takes to discover medical identity theft is one reason why this crime is on the rise; it's easier to get away with.

 


Be A Proud Spaz And Own It By Chugging Down A Can Of Spaz Juice

If you frequently forget where you placed things a few minutes later or regularly lose important documents, your car keys, or even your mobile phone, then you, my friend, are a spaz.

Pets Age With Dignity And Plenty Of Technology In Japan

Voluntary euthanasia is legal in Japan and surveys have shown that the majority of Japanese people support it, especially in terminal cases.  But the focus and originality of assistive treatments and therapy available for aged cats and dogs in Japan suggest that Japanese pet owners do not readily accept euthanasia for their furry family members.

 


iPhone, iPod and iPad Custom Button Stickers Bling Up the Power

Before you push it, stick it on! Cute & colorful “Touch Me!” home button stickers from Japan help your iPhone, iPod or iPad stand out from the other Apples in the bushel.

Black Market Human Milk Being Bought by the Bag in Beijing

White milk, black market: Chinese mothers, leery of powdered milk due to a series of well-publicized scandals, are increasingly turning to online human milk sources to help feed their babies.

New Research Calls For Pre-Alzheimer's Intervention To Maximize Benefits

Every month more studies are published that demonstrate that if there is to be successful avoidance of, or limitation to, the ravages of Alzheimer's disease, intervention needs to begin as early as possible.  Several suggest that treatments begin before Alzheimer's symptoms appear. One study, published online just yesterday in the Archives of Neurology, shows the benefits of doing such.

 

 

Japanese Black Rind Watermelons Taste Sweet, Cost Plenty!

What better cure for melancholy than melons – expensive, black rind watermelons to be exact! Be prepared to pay dearly for these sweet black beauties, however, as the premium Densuke watermelons are only grown on Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido.

Block Sticky Notes Look Awfully Like A Tetris Party!

If there's ever a game that sticks in your mind, it's the almost classic video game Tetris®. So, our friends at Suck UK, never too shy to honor a true classic, have commemorated the 10 year old game with a new design by Ben Ambrose: Block Notes. What cooler way to remind you of your 'to do's?'

 

Scientists Find New Evidence To Support Plasticity In Aging Brain

Researchers have looked at various influences on brain structure through fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and have witnessed the change in size and shape in various parts of the brain influenced by certain emotions.  In a new study from Columbia University Medical Center, brain plasticity is demonstrated by the production of neurons and neural stem cells produced in the hippocampus.

Japanese Army Rolls Out Floating Orb Robot That Shoots Pics – For Now

Remote-control Predator drones operated by the U.S. Air Force may not be old & busted but Japan's army just rolled out some awesome new hotness: a flying robot orb ready for recon or defcon!

EV Roadside Assistance Charger Vehicle Gives You a Boost in the Boondocks

So you want to drive an EV (electric vehicle) but worry about being stranded when the power runs out... it's a valid concern that puts off many potential EV buyers. Now a pilot project from Nissan and the JAF (Japanese Auto Federation) is addressing the issue by testing an EV Roadside Assistance Charger Vehicle.

Chinese Caterpillars Stop Cargo Train In its Tracks

Get lost, Godzilla. Keep quiet, Kung Fu Panda. When it comes to feats of strength formidable enough to impress Frank Costanza on Festivus, you've got to give it up to millions of Chinese caterpillars.

Cat Allergy Finding Sparks Potential New Drugs For Allergies & Asthma

You've heard the commercials for allergy treatments; they all promise relief  from the symptoms of allergies.  But now, researchers from the University of Nottingham in the UK have found the secret to what causes a very common allergy - cat allergies.  Their discovery could lead to a whole new class of drugs that attack allergies at their first point of contact, so that symptoms of allergy and asthma never develop at all.

 

Retro Brick iPhone Case Recalls Classic Clunky 80s Cellphones

The ThumbsUp! iPhone case takes you and your smartphone back to the Cafe 80s when men were men, greed was good, and mobile phones were big black bricks.

Wooden Bulb Casts Some Spooky Shadows

Laser-cut wood creates some dazzling designs, especially when they're lit.  The Wooden Bulb, created by Barend Hemmes, a South-African born, UK designer, is indeed dazzling.  And when you switch it on, it creates a mood that might be eerie to some, but definitely suspenseful, especially if it's the only light in the room.

College Students Win Top Awards For Biomedical Inventions

The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) has announced the winners of the 2011 BMEidea Competition. Awards have gone to three college groups for the invention of much needed biomedical devices and applications that will aid patients in the future: an internal bleed detector, a new therapy for dry eye disease, and a superior broad spectrum antibacterial dressing for infected wounds.

 


Bottle Cap Lamp is Ideal for Light Drinkers

The battery-powered Bottle Cap Lamp from Japan's Ideaco turns most any water or drink bottle into an eerily attractive lamp. Hmm, wonder if it'll turn a bottle of Budweiser into a Bud Light?

Helter Shelter: A Cheap Portable House made from Packing Materials

The problem of temporarily housing refugees from natural disasters is being addressed by students from Nanjing Forestry University in Nanjing, China, who have created a cheap, lightweight house made from common packing materials.

Biofuel Caffeinated Popcorn: Better Than A Cup Of Coffee?

When normal popcorn just ain't doing it for you, then maybe it's time to switch to the Biofuel Caffeinated Popcorn. If you want a pick-me-up other than coffee, then here's some good news: each bag of this popcorn contains just as much caffeine as a single cup of joe. The best part is that it still tastes just like normal popcorn would: sweet and just the right bit of salty. Mmm-hmm.

Monitor Your Power Usage on your Monitor With Sassor's ELP Lite

Japanese homeowners can keep tabs on their domestic power consumption this summer with the “ELP Lite” Energy Literacy Platform device from Sassor. The compact hardware/software combo sends realtime energy use data to be displayed on a website or a handy iPhone app.

Superman's Cane Is Here In The Form Of 'The Aid'

If Superman were ever permitted to have major surgery or to get old (heavens forbid), he would definitely own The Aid, by Lithuanian designer Egle Ugintaite.  The neatest part about this walking cane is that it looks super futuristic, but it is achievable.  The Aid recently won Fujitsu's grand prize design award for 2011, themed  "A Life With Future Computing," designs for 2020.

New Melanoma Drugs Have Unprecedented Success Rates

The type of skin cancer known as melanoma has historically been one of the deadliest forms of cancer.  Though a few drugs have helped extend the 5 and 10 year survival periods, news of two particular drugs presented at yesterday's annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology  have sparked some real hope for the future.

 

Anti-Aging Supplement from Squid Skin Helps Health, Reduces Waste

Squid skin, formerly disposed of as a waste product, has a lot to offer an aging population prone to degenerative diseases. Taiwan's Fisheries Research Institute (FRI) has found that processed squid skin supplements can slow down the aging process, lower blood pressure, improve learning and reduce age-related memory loss.

Virtual DVD Dinner Dates Satisfy Japan's Lonely, Hungry Geeks

Loneliness and shyness seem to be serious issues for many Japanese guys, but fear not: a series of 3 self-help DVDs is here to save the day. Microwave up a frozen Swanson entree, pull up a ratty sofa and pop in a disc, hungry Otaku, your virtual dinner dream date awaits!

Upper Body Aerobic Exerciser

A piece of exercise equipment you can use while sitting by the pool--and it actually increases the workout that way.

Part Boat, Part Car, All Awesome: The HydroCar

The Dobbertin HydroCar is one of the coolest boat-cars/car-boats we've ever seen. But it still isn't quite greater than the sum of its parts.

Bullfrogs with Cholera Have Chinese Consumers Feeling Jumpy

Bad news, amphibian gourmets: Bullfrogs are off the market and the menu in Shanghai, China, after health authorities discovered cholera bacteria during routine testing. The good news is, nobody's croaked yet.

Social Media Finds "F Word" Acceptable For Songs & Graphic Novel

From George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television," and Harry Nilsson's "You're Breaking My Heart" back in the 70's, it's taken almost 40 years for one of the most taboo of curse words to make it into every day discourse via social media channels such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Cancer Drug Challenged To Mend Damage Caused By Heart Disease

Congestive heart failure (CHF) has a cure rate that's worse than most cancers, with 40 percent dying within a year of diagnosis. But a drug used for cancer therapy is about to be tested on a small group of human subjects, after decades of studying its performance on everything from yeast cells to mice.

New Zealand Prisons Ban Cigarettes, Substitute... Carrots?

Cigarettes, at least through lore, have been regarded as the one luxury of prison life.  Depicted in film, those long drags looked so satisfying when taken by a man behind iron bars.  Prisoners would beg their visitors, not for mama's homemade meatloaf, but for cigarettes.  Cigarettes were money in prison; they could be traded for favors or possessions of other prisoners....

 

Origami Phone Handset is Ideal for Very Light Conversations

The Origami Handset is an edgy telephone receiver design concept by Chengyuan Wei that really cuts the classic landline handset down to size. If your calls were recorded before; they're about to be refolded as well.

Cancer Drug Shows Promise For Inherited Form Of Dementia

Scientists from the Center for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have discovered that the drug SAHA shows promise as a potential therapy for familial frontotemporal dementia (FTD).  As yet, there is no treatment for the neurological disease, the second most common non-elderly dementia.

 

Card Reader Frog Gobbles Up MicroSD & SD Cards, Won't Give You Warts

The model 303-F "Yomikaeru" microSD & SD Card Reader Frog from Japan Trust Technology (JTT) is one electronic data reading device that isn't afraid to toad the line.

Gardening For Depression: Doctor's Prescription Needed

Britain's National Health Service (NHS) has been developing some novel strategies for its 62 million health care recipients.  One of the latest and most intriguing is in a trial phase now: treating clinical depression with gardening classes at a local nursery. The NHS will pay for an 8-week course of instruction, if you have a prescription from your GP (general practitioner).

Slap Chop Chopper Hits Japan, Vince & Graty Not Included

Slap Chop, the handy-dandy food chopper frenetically promoted in TV infomercials by now-disgraced pitchman Vince Offer, has arrived in Japan with neither Vince or Graty in tow. How do you like his nuts now?