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International

A Simply Brilliant Design: The Strap!

It's hard to find shelving that fits a certain space, a special function, and modern minimalist design. But I think that Dutch designer, NL Architects, has created one. In fact, you might say the Strap is a very elastic design, able to meet a variety of space, function, and personal preferences.

Baseball in Japan Can Throw You a Curve

Baseball in Japan has evolved quite a lot since Horace Wilson first introduced the sport in 1872, yet foreigners still find many aspects of Japanese baseball confusing – not least the the odd names of the teams. Let's run down the dozen Nippon Professional Baseball league teams (without actually running them down) and clear up any misconceptions.

10 Luxury Toilets That Will Make You Wet Your Pants in Excitement

There are a few expected fixtures in a bathroom and one of them is a toilet... yes, even in the most luxurious bathrooms, people still need a place to "go." Toilets have been in need of modernizing forever, and it's about time to replace that same old "john" that looks like everyone else's. Here are 10 contemporary, cool-looking, luxury toilets, some with matching bidets, from my favorite bathroom designers.

Baseball in Japan Can Throw You a Curve - Part 2, the Pacific League

Part Two of Baseball in Japan Can Throw You a Curve looks at the six teams in NPB's Pacific League. The Pacific League corresponds to MLB's American League as a Designated Hitter is used – in the Central League, pitchers must hit. Leading off the sextet are the amusingly named Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, league champions in 2007.

 

Bees Battle Crows in the Skies Over Tokyo

Tokyo is plagued by crows. Not crowds (well, that's debatable) and definitely not cows, but crows. Noisy, aggressive flocks of crows have become such a huge problem that Tokyo city authorities have turned to nature in a desperate effort to combat the ravenous ravens – thousands of stinging bees!

USB Cooler Mouse... It's The Cooler Mouse

The USB Cooler Mouse really blows... and I mean that in a good way. Well OK, I mean it literally – 5 buttons and an adjustable on-board fan make this multitasking mouse as cool as it gets!

Jailhouse Frocks are Japan's Latest Fashion Trend

A series of stark, black & white aprons and totes emblazoned with the Hakodate Juvenile Prison logo in both Japanese and English has proven so popular, inmates can't keep up with demand.

Don't Keep Your Favorite Clothes Closeted: Use Them As Lampshades!

It's the Clothes Hanger Lamp. Yes, you read it right. It’s a lamp that uses clothing as a lampshade. Designed by Hector Serrano for the prolific Dutch design house Droog, the Clothes Hanger Lamp leaves a laundry list of opportunities to create new looks.

Scatalogical Door Handle Is Universal Symbol For Bathroom

Need something on your bathroom door that says "bathroom" in a universal language? French designer Florence Doleac created a door handle that does just that. Poignée signalétique could be translated into "identifiable door handle" or an "identifiable handshake," as you wish. But let's not quibble about which translation to use; scatologic is universal.

Colorful Sanitary Napkins Cheer Up a Blue Period

Feminine protection – whether it's pads, napkins or liners, this essential women's hygiene product has been the last frontier for marketers who seek to embellish every product with “designer” cachet. No longer, at least not in Japan where new colorful pads sport stylish designer prints.

Made To Order Spooky Shades For Your Interior Lights

Naked lamps can be harsh on the eyes, but also on your interior design. An interesting lamp or chandelier shade allows your light to make a design statement that can change the whole atmosphere of its surroundings. Take this mildly spooky Lampshade by British textile artist Julie Roberts...

Starbucks Japan Grows While American Stores Close

Starbucks is closing over 600 stores in the USA alone this year as the coffee giant goes through a painful contraction, yet its Japanese subsidiary continues to grow while posting very tasty sales numbers. Is Starbucks Japan doing something different, or are they destined to echo the mother company's boom and bust?

Shopping Robots Crawl the Mall So You Don't Have To

Imagine having your very own shopping robot who crawls the mall while you relax at home? Even better, you remotely control your robot shopper's movements and see through its electric “eyes”. You can also stop imagining... robo-shopper is (almost) here!

Japan's Asbestos Cancer Time Bomb Defused Using New Technology

Japan's asbestos cancer “time bomb” ticks louder day by day as the nation's average population gets older and decades-long incubation periods for asbestos cancer and other diseases caused by asbestos exposure end. Now, several new technologies developed in Japan may make cleaning up the asbestos mess not only easier, but safer as well. Hmm, does WALL-E know about this?

Beijing’s Olympics In Your Hands: The Video Game

"Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games" brings the video game icons together. Take a look at the video game version, and the real deal in Beijing.

GM Releases Video of Corvette ZR1 at Nurburgring

When the Corvette ZR1 hit the Nurburgring a short while back, most people were impressed with the lap time of 7:26.4. General Motors recently released the video of the lap to give the world a taste of what the ZR1 is like on the famous Nurburgring.

Kenner's Blythe Doll Takes on New Life in Japan

Girls of a certain age may remember playing with Blythe, a big-headed doll introduced by American toy company Kenner in 1972. A generation later, Blythe has taken on a new life in far-off Japan. Blythe's most devoted Japanese fans hold her in such deep esteem, one might liken it to mania!

Your Name In Lights On The Bathroom Wall!

If you've always wanted to see your name in lights, Korean designer Hyomi Kim has created a design called tile + light, a modular lighting system that fits right in with your tiles on tiled walls, ceilings, columns, hallways or wherever tile is used in home or institutional settings.

High Performing Lotus Replica For the Track

Using motorcycle engines to power lightweight 2-seater track cars is becoming more popular, and for a good reason. Most of the performance engines offer quite a bit of power for thier small displacement and low weight. Using this and a few other high-tech components, LusoMotors managed to resurrect a legend.

A Lighting Designer In A Dark Place With A Sense Of Humor

Environment can have a great impact on a designer's work. Take Ali Siahvoshi, who grew up in Iran, where it is very sunny. After moving to Britain, where it is not very sunny, Siahvoshi began designing lighting. Not just any lighting, but spirited, humorous lighting, many from objects you don't expect to see in a lamp... like funnels, and tableware, and recycled wire hangers, for example.