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Environment

Tsunami Soccer Ball and Volleyball Kicked 3,100 Miles to Alaska

Now ain't that a kick: signed soccer and volleyballs found washed up on an island off Alaska several weeks apart are to be returned to their surprised but grateful owners. The balls may be the first identifiable pieces of debris from Japan's devastating March 11th, 2011 earthquake and tsunami to reach North American shores.

Don't Kill Gambian Pouch Rats! Recruit Them

Annihilation by man or beast is not called for.  The giant African pouch rat, with its pouchy cheeks resembling a hamster, is easily trained.  So easily trained with food as treats that in its native Africa, the giant rat is used to detect land mines and tuberculosis. In Belgium, one of the countries where they are trained, the African giant pouched rat is called "heroRAT!"

Folding Shoes from Timberland Japan Zip Up & Clip On

Radler Trail “Camp” shoes from Timberland Japan take portability to the next level. A built-in zipper running along the upper flange of the sole allows the shoes to be folded, zipped and hung by a carabiner clip when not being worn.

Panasonic Eneloop Batteries Celebrate Walt Disney's 110th Anniversary

Panasonic's popular Eneloop rechargeable batteries are showing their “LoveLove” for the late Walt Disney. Officially approved, limited edition battery designs in red, white and black honor the award-winning animation pioneer by celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth.

'Dragon Tree' May Bring Good Luck to Japan's Tsunami Ravaged Coast

The massive tsunami that pounded Japan's northeastern coast following the devastating March 11th, 2011 earthquake left few trees standing along the shoreline. Among those few survivors is a battered, twisted pine that now resembles a Chinese Dragon. The so-called Dragon Tree has become a symbol of hope and renewal for the region's hard-pressed residents.

Solar Powered & Retro Styled Toyota 2000GT SEV Sounds Crazy, Sparks Interest

The Toyota 2000GT SEV is a one-off, electric concept car being shown to the public at the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon. Designed by the Crazy Car Project under the direction of the Toyota Automobile Association, this “shocking” automotive update takes Toyota's iconic late-sixties sports coupe from flower power to solar power.

Still Searching For Just The Right Pooper Scooper? Here's The Dog Dung Vacuum!

Everyone I know with a dog thinks they have the best idea for a pooper scooper.  Well, here's a new one: the Dog Dung Vacuum... a pooper scooper with power!

 

Avoid Co-Worker Cooties With The Vioguard™ Self-Sanitizing Computer Keyboard

I doubt the word 'cooties' was in Vioguard's application to the FDA  for approval of the very first Self-Sanitizing Keyboard (The UVKB50), but when you consider all of the types of germs that congregate on and between the keys of communal computer keyboards, you'll definitely want to avoid them like the cooties.  Hopefully, your company is willing to wait on line to order the hygienic keyboard....

 


World's Largest Bus Seats 300, Bends Like Beckham

The 25 meter (82 ft) long Youngman JNP6250G developed by Chinese manufacturer Zhejiang Youngman is the “world's largest” public bus and can carry up to 300 passengers. Don't expect to “bus da move” in luxury, however, as specs for the JNP6250G indicate it has just 40 seats... you do the math.

Polymer Shown To Rehabilitate Soil After A Wildfire

Wildfires claim hundreds of thousands of farm acres yearly, causing famines and permanent devastation to the soil that produced the farmed crops.  But a graduate student at Tel Aviv University (TAU), along with his supervising professors from TAU and the University of La Coruña in Spain, has identified an anionic polymer polyacrylamide (PAM) that seems to enable reforestation more rapidly and less expensively than current methods.

Toshiba's 'Portable Gamma Camera' Takes Snapshots of Radiation Hotspots

Toshiba has developed a portable radiation-sensing camera that overlays color-coded radioactivity measurements over visual images. The camera is a refined version of a similar concept tested and proven at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Eco-Friendly Oil-Filled Space Heaters Exude Retro Radiator Styling

Cool heaters! The FZ Series Oil Radiator Heaters from Japan's Eureks may look film-noir retro but look beyond their finned skins and you'll find environmentally friendly, non-polluting, oil-filled space heaters designed to match the needs of today's power-saving, post-nuclear Japanese households.

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.