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September, 2012

Kit Kat & Strawberry McFlurry? Gimme A Break!

The trick to McDonald's Japan's latest sweet treat involves combining Kit Kat chocolate bars, crushed strawberries and luscious soft ice cream to create the sinfully delicious Kit Kat & Strawberry McFlurry! Boo hoo, it's only available through the end of October!

Israeli Cartoon Bomb Explodes Virally In The United Nations

With Iran's nuclear capabilities escalating to an all-time high, it appears Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has built his very own bomb in retaliation. Except his high-octane ammunition was not of the world-annihilation kind. Identified as the "Bibi Bomb," named after the PM's nickname "Bibi," his explosive came in the form of a cartoonish drawing to illustrate what is perceived as Iran's probability to create an atomic weapon. Used as a prop at the UN General Assembly this past week,  it was seen as Israel's first preemptive salvo launched at its number-one enemy, Iran.

Chinese Starbucks Coffeehouse Serves Lattes of Luxury

Starbucks' success in China owes much to the global coffee company's strategy of harmonizing their stores and menu with local culture and customs. Take the new Starbucks Coffeehouse in Fuzhou, for example, which channels the ambiance of a classic thousand-year-old Song Dynasty garden.

Human Brain Can Control Robot, Even At Great Distances

What was once science fiction is becoming a reality faster than you might have thought thanks to the work of internationally-supported applied presence and applied cognitive neuroscience research.  Just ask Tirosh Shapira who recently, from a laboratory in Israel, commanded a humanoid robot in a French laboratory to walk and pick up objects simply by imagining that he himself was walking and picking up objects.

Silk May Be The Key To Dissolvable Electronics

When I read about the dissolvable electronic medical implants created by Professor Fiorenzo Omenetto of Tufts University and John A. Rogers at the University of Illinois, my first thought was what about dissolving all my old cell phones packed up in my garage?  And, sure enough...

Bandai's Magic Pets Populate & Personalize Your Water Bottle

Strangers won't mess with one's personal portable potables thanks to Bandai's Magic Pets, plastic critters who “live” in your water bottle, personalizing it and keeping owners entertained all the while.

UN Warns International Travelers Of New SARS Virus

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) issued a global alert today, warning of a newly identified SARS virus (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) found in a Qatari patient now being treated in the United Kingdom. Although the WHO did not issue specific travel warnings yet, it is awaiting any evidence that this, the most deadly kind of upper respiratory infection you can get, poses a serious public health risk.

Calling Out Apple: The iPhone 5 is NOT “The World's Thinnest Smartphone"

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Phil Schiller, Apple's senior VP of worldwide marketing, may have wowed the faithful at the iPhone 5 keynote kickoff on September 12th but not all of the stats the suits were trumpeting stand up to scrutiny.

10 Ig Nobel Prizes For 2012: Recognition Of Funny, Obscure Research

You gotta love the Russian company SKN for converting old Russian ammunitions into diamonds, and didn't you always want to know how many steps you'd have to take to create the inevitable splash of coffee on your carpet?  But the SpeechJammer in 2012?  A machine that delays speech and makes one stutter is decades old, and it actually has the practical application of helping stutterers speak without stuttering.

 

Scores Dye Horribly in Violet Explosion

Purple prose phrased headline aside, a slow leak in a large bag of powdered violet dye brought big trouble to a little Chinese village. The generically dark powder wasn't noticed as it spilled from a truck passing through town but when rain fell, villagers suddenly saw their world through rose-colored glasses.

Houston Zoo First To Successfully Breed Big-Headed Turtles In Captitivity

The Houston Zoo proudly announced the birth of five Madagascan big-headed turtles today, the eighteenth most endangered species of turtle in the world.  It was the first birth for zoos worldwide.

Japanese Gulag For Social Media Activist Michael Q.Todd Spotlights Deportation Practices

His bio reads, "I aim to connect and promote great people who will make a difference by collaborating than individually. . . and my goals are eradication of poverty and a sustainable economy by 2015." One of his fervent passions and ongoing initiatives is to help save the Taiji dolphins from captivity and slaughter. Doesn't sound like a candidate for Japan's harsh immigration-and-detention system, does it? Yet Michael Q. Todd found himself taken into custody in the Shingu Jail on September 16h for a lapsed visa. 

As The World Burns, NIST Tries To Cool It Down

On the day the National Snow And Ice Data Center (NSIDC) announced the dreary news that the level of ice in the Arctic Sea is the lowest it has been since such information was recorded, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) presented some positive news regarding its goal to reduce the global warming potential (GWP) of the refrigerants used in our homes and cars.

Burger King Japan's “Premium KURO Burger” is Back in Black

Burger King Japan's “Premium KURO Burger” hits the grill on September 28th in celebration of BK's fifth anniversary in Japan. The limited edition black-bunned Whopper features dark ketchup colored and flavored with squid ink.

Jon Stewart vs Bill O'Reilly To Beat The Obama-Romney Debates?

He's done it before. Back in 2010 when the Tea Party Republcans helped overtake the majority in the House of Representatives, Comedy Central's Jon Stewart jumped into the debate ring with his co-faux newscaster collaborator, Stephen Colbert. Touted as the "Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear," the event was well attended in DC. This go-around Stewart has targeted Bill O'Reilly, the Fox News talk-show host to help iron out some of the pressing issues of this year's presidential election campaign.

Social Finance Comes From China To Assist US College Students?

Social media has continued to evolve over the course of the last decade. From social networking to social gaming to social commerce, the common belief is that social will continue to bleed into other categories. Social Finance is SM's latest iteration and there are a number of exciting start-ups trying to attack the trillion-dollar student debt problem in the U.S.

Branding Vegetables So Kids Will Eat Them

Would George H. W. Bush have liked broccoli if his mother referred to it as "Power Bunch Broccoli" instead of just plain (hold your nose) broccoli?  Research from Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab says he would.

DARPA Designs New Robots After Cheetah And Pack Mule (Videos)

Biomimicry is almost a byword of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Indeed, if any group has discovered that 'nature does it better,' it's DARPA, and you have to admit the Agency is pretty adept at imitating it.  Here, are two of DARPA's latest robotic tributes to nature's designs: the Cheetah Bot and the Pack Mule Bot.

Handy Portable Bidet Helps You Stay Fresh While On The Go

The Handy Portable Bidet De Toilette model DL-P200 from Panasonic Japan cuts personal hygiene for women and infants down to size. Available in six fashionable colors (three of them pink), the DL-P200 is like a tiny high-tech Japanese toilet you can hold in your hand or hide in your purse.

Gulliver's Plate Dish is One Big Lovin' Spoonful

Yo dawg, I herd you like spoons, so Japan's Village Vanguard made a plate like a spoon so you can spoon your eats from a spoon-shaped plate!

And The Social Media 'Bacon Number' Goes To Mark Zuckerberg?

With one's share value tanking to half its original IPO value, Mark Zuckerberg's been in an ongoing crisis management mode for months now. Acccepting every speaking engagement offered, ironically he spoke at TechCrunch's Disrupt Conference on the same date Apple's stock escalated to an all-time high of $660.97.

Love You LONG Time: China's Nettled Netizens Mock the iPhone 5

Apple's highly-anticipated iPhone 5 is finally here and what do China's fanatical fanboys & gals get after their long wait? A longer iPhone... Really? Less than impressed with this critical post-Jobs product, China's clever, creative and critical netizens have logged into China's social media matrix to call Apple out.

Trial By Twitter Over Occupy Wall Street Tweets Could Set Privacy Precedent

In a potential landmark case, Twitter was ordered by Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino 73 days ago to turn over three month's of tweets from Malcolm Harris. Accounts under contention are related to two of Harris's profiles on the microblogging site are @destructuremal and @getsworse.

Alcohol Analyzer for iPhone, iPad or iPod is a Mobile Breathalyzer

Pick up your iPhone and measure your blood alcohol content instantly with the digital, no-batteries-required Alcohol Analyzer for Apple's iPhone, iPad or iPod from Japan's Spec-Computer.

Energy Saving Nano-Carbon Light Bulbs Could Outshine CFLs and LEDs

A Taiwan university research team has been awarded a patent on energy efficient nano-carbon light bulbs. Unlike popular CFL bulbs and LED lights, the new nano-carbon light bulbs and tubes use a mercury-free manufacturing process and can be easily integrated into existing light bulb production facilities.

Oh Snap! The $35K, Limited Edition, Japan-Only White Leica M9-P Camera

Only 50 Limited-Edition White Leica M9-P digital full-frame rangefinder cameras are available for sale, and all 50 are exclusive to the Japanese market. Priced at an astounding 2.625 million yen or around $35,500 each, these white Leica M9-P cameras sell at five times the price of standard Leica M9-P cameras.

Tech 101: When and Why You Should Buy Refurbished Electronics

 A lot of people say that refurbished goods aren't for them. The reason for that is they have misconceptions on the quality, durability, and functionality of refurbished items. But the fact of the matter is this: just because it's been 'fixed up' or 'repaired' doesn't mean that it won't last long.

CruxSkunk Transforms Your iPad Into A Macbook

Stuck with an iPad and wish you had a full-size Macbook? The oddly-named CruxSkunk will help soothe your loss.


Angry Birds Meat Snacks: A Tastier Way to Crunch Some Pork

Gamers playing Angry Birds can really work up an appetite and snack attacks are as common as pig attacks. What to do? Angry Birds' developer Rovio and Chinese pork producer JoyCome have teamed up to create some seriously symbiotic bite-size taste treats: Angry Birds Meat Snacks!