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International

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.

Only Two Push-Ups! China’s Government Sparks A New Meme

Why is this man doing a naked push-up near Beijing's Olympic stadium? It's part of a quiet protest against a hard-line government.

Ford Focus RS Coming to North America

Euro spec vehicles always seem to be built better and offer more than that ones available on this side of the big puddle. This has been a wonderful point to complain about for a long time, but Ford decided to bring that to a halt and offer up something that is right on par with the cars available in Europe.

Not Sea Worthy, But It Lights Up A Room: The Anemone

Ever handle Silly Putty? Remember how it slips and slides in your hands, changing its form as you move, kind of squishy-feeling? Well, here's a lamp that acts like Silly Putty, or more accurately, like an anemone, its namesake.

Cool Handmade Keyboards are Just Your Type

Bored with your keyboard? The NISHI-KI keyboard adds a touch of class & culture to this most utilitarian of peripherals. It may cost a pretty penny, but such is the price of made to order exclusivity, not to mention the gorgeous handmade decorative keys.

Puff Politely: Japan Tobacco's 'Smoking Manners for Adults' Ads, Part 3

Welcome to the third installment of Japan Tobacco's 'Smoking Manners for Adults' ads. With a total of 73 ads making the rounds of Japanese ad space, it's unlikely you'll see the same ad twice – but you'll definitely get the message that smoking demands consideration. Here are ads 21 through 30...

British Motor Show Preview : The New Lotus Eagle

Every major auto show has that 1 car that is at center stage. For the British Motor Show, that could very well be the new Lotus Eagle. Although there is already a fair amount known about the car, people are still very anxious to see the revealing of the newest addition to the Lotus family.