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Environment

Chinese Medicinal Plants Garden is World's Largest According to Guinness

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM for short) has roots that extend back thousands of years, with seeds in folk cures that were already old when ancient Chinese scholars first began writing them down. It's no wonder, then, that one of China's oldest official medicinal plants gardens has been declared by Guinness World Records to be the world's largest of its kind.

Japanese Scientists Listen to Oysters, Pick Up Pearls of Wisdom

Put a shell to your ear and you can hear the ocean. Japanese scientists have taken that concept to a higher level, inventing a device called the “kai-lingual” that can “hear” oysters commenting on their environment. Well shucks!

Japanese Earthquake Seismogram Sculpture Created by Luke Jerram

Dry statistics and flat printouts do little to convey the awesome destructive power of earthquakes. British multimedia artist Luke Jerram has found a way to bring data to life, as it were, and by doing so express not only the measured progress of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake over 9 minutes terrifying but also display the pure esthetic beauty of nature's fury in action.

iPhone Geiger Counter Calls Out Concealed Radioactivity

The Geiger Fukushima iPhone was designed to be cheap yet effective in exposing radiation hotspots. It accomplishes these goals by working with the owner's iPhone and a dedicated app, thus reducing duplication of components. Bonus: it's made in Japan's hard-hit Fukushima prefecture!

Pickmaster Plectrum Punch Owes a Debt to Credit Cards

Attention indebted guitarists, don't be so quick to cut up those maxed-out credit cards. The Pickmaster Plectrum Punch quickly recycles VISA, Master Card and other name brand credit cards into cheap “green” plastic guitar picks. Sing with me now, “E I E I Owe!”

Washable Toilet Seat Liner Warms Hearts, Saves Power

If your pet peeve is a cold toilet seat and you're dreading the onset of winter weather, Japan's got something that'll warm your heart (and more): fluffy, furry, reusable and washable toilet seat liners. Next time nature calls, don't let American Standard give you the cold shoulder - plop your posterior on a poodle instead!

Chinese Compensation Scheme Saves Wild Predators, Reimburses Herdsmen

Cry wolf, prey tell? China's innovative compensation program has proven to be a roaring success, protecting endangered wildlife as well as the pocketbooks of farmers and herders.

'Video Memo' Digitally Updates 3M's Classic Paper Post-It Notes

Video Memo from Japan's Green House allows you to leave short video messages friends, family and/or co-coworkers can watch. With its 1.77-inch LCD screen and on-board CMOS camera, Video Memo is the 21st century's version of the Post-It Note.

Eco-Friendly Heat Pad Pencil Combo Composts As You Compose

Care to shave a few cents off your monthly heating bill? Looking to be the next hot writer? Say “yes!” to both, provided your purple prose is penned with the Heat Pad Pencil!

Polar Bear & Penguin Ice Cube Cups Raise Environmental Awareness While Cooling Your Drink

Global warming poses grave consequences for polar bears and penguins. Raise awareness of their plight while you raise your glass... cleverly chilled with global warming warning ice cubes from cups conceived by Japan's Atsuhiro Hayashi.

LED Emergency Flashlight Pig Needs No Batteries, Won't Hog Energy

The cute, practical & eco-friendly 'Dynamo Torch Pig Shape' from Chinese online gadget emporium Shanghai Donya may have an unwieldy name, but this flashlight swine will rise & shine when storms strike and power outages leave you in the dark.

Beijing to Build 42,000 Electric Car Charging Posts Within 5 Years

Chaaarge it!! Beijing is becoming China's “Electric City”, at least where drivers are concerned. An ambitious plan to set up 42,000 new electric car charging posts by 2015 intends to match the current number of gas stations in China's bustling capitol.

Tsunami Survival Capsules Offer Hope for Japan's Next Great Wave

Ready for the next tsunami? Then you've really got balls: enhanced fiberglass “Noah” capsule balls, to be exact. Japan's Cosmo Power designed these bright yellow survival spheres so users can escape onrushing floods and ride the relentless quake-spawned tidal waves to rescue.

New Japanese Smartphone Case Doubles as Radiation Monitor

Japan's largest mobile phone service provider, NTT DoCoMo, has produced a prototype cellphone case that adds a radiation detecting function to your smartphone.

Beijing's Tallest Skyscraper Takes Energy-Saving Technology to New Heights

The 108-story China Zun building will soar 510 meters (1,673 ft) into the sky over Beijing, China, when it's completed in 5 years time. The distinctively shaped, skyline-changing building has been planned from the ground up as an eco-friendly structure featuring the latest energy-saving technology.