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International

The First Multiple Personality End Table: Fletcha

When Brazilian designer Rafael Morgan thought about creating his Fletcha Side Table, he was reacting to the historically static nature of tables. We change our moods and our needs, the world is changing all the time, he thought. Why not have a table that we can change when our moods or needs change? The result: an anything but static, bright red, multiple-personalitied end table to function, challenge, or express just what you want.

Cell Phones Go Green: Send Text Messages On “Bio-Plastic”

Samsung introduces its new cell phones and the environmentally friendly methods used to make them.

In Japan, Pets Have Their OWND Oxygen Cafe

It remains to be seen if the oxygenating capsule for humans or dogs is going to have legs as the hottest health and fitness craze, but in Japan anything and everything is worth a try. So if you happen to be in the vicinity of the Yoyogi Uehara station in Tokyo, stop by with your dog or cat and let him try out the OWND Cafe special!

Say What? Pet Plants That Talk To YOU!

If there's anything that USB can't power, please let me know. At least this talking digital pot called the Pet Plant is only a concept. I can't imagine one more device being hooked up to my computer, especially a pet. But wait... there is something to be said for this concept by designer Junyi Heo.

Sega's New Female Robot Sings, Dances, Kisses

Meet E.M.A., Sega's new female robot! She sings, she dances, she hands out business cards and... she'll give you a kiss if you come within reach. You know you want to.

The Cat's In Style!

Cats are born snobs, and as they age they just get more finicky. The cat in this picture is obviously living in style and happy about it. And Cat's In Style just happens to be the name of these uppity cat designs created by Marly Gommans, a Dutch interior designer.

The Smock Chair Says "Convivio" To All Who Enter

"Smock" is an old fashioned word for this sleek ultra-modern chair, designed by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso, the famed Italian upholstered furniture house. But take a closer look and you will see where Ms. Urquiola got her inspiration....

'Tokyo Sky Tree' to Tower Over Tokyo Skyline

Tokyo Sky Tree is expected to soar 2003 feet (610 meters) into the sky above Japan's capitol city by late 2011, making it the nation's tallest man-made structure.

Small Wonder - Solar Powered Cell Phone Charger

Solar power at your fingertips... that's what this new compact portable solar cell phone charger both promises and delivers!

Most Functional Bionic Hand Gets 2008 British Engineering Award

The most functional bionic hand ever created for prosthetic use was developed by Touch Bionics, a British prosthetics company that just received the 2008 Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award. The new bionic hand is called the i-LIMB Hand.

Cosplayers Come Together at 'Cure', Now in English

Will cosplay (costume play) conquer the Earth? Japan's biggest community site for cosplayers, "Cure", has grown to a very respectable 300,000 registered users. With English localization now in effect, the number of Cure users who are not Japanese (already 10%) is expected to grow substantially.

Ice Cold Snow Sauna

The Snow Room, a ten-degrees-below-zero "spa" is a creation by the MNK Group, normally associated with the manufacture of saunas.

Company briefs speak about the benefits of a hot-cold therapy, pointing out that it is a common practice in north European countries.

An Olympic Souvenir You Don’t Want: Goldfish In A Key Ring

A live goldfish inside a tiny plastic key ring. A British newspaper reports it's available for sale as a memento of the Olympics.

G8 Energy Summit Ministers Given Gifts of i-Sobot Robots

Japan will be presenting a unique gift for the energy ministers attending the Group of Eight (plus India, China and South Korea) summit in Aomori - a special edition of Takara Tomy's "i-Sobot".

Be King of the Jungle with Nagi Noda Animal Hats

Ms Noda recently teamed up with colleagues Asami Nemoto and Shinji Konishi to create 15 really unique and innovative headpieces inspired by beasts such as rabbits, poodles, owls and elephants.


Weird Rice Bag Babies Go Against the Grain

One famous tradition when celebrating the birth of a new baby calls for the handing out of cigars. Things are different in Japan... a specialty gifts company called Yoshimaya suggests you share your joy by giving family & friends personalized bags of rice which feature your new baby's face - and exactly match his or her weight.

Engineers Build First Self-Replicating 3D Machine

As biologists are busy working on cloning living organisms, engineers are working on a mechanical counterpart - creating non-living things that can replicate themselves.

Green Up Your Home with a Solar Plant

A new type of solar cell technology using organic thin-film solar cells with a clear plastic protective coating is allowing environmental engineers to design imitation houseplants that are green - in more ways than one!

Obama - A Town in Japan That Banks on Barack

As the 2008 Barack Obama vs. John McCain presidential race swings into high gear, a sleepy town in Japan is playing the Obama card for all it's worth - and why not, since the town's name just happens to be "Obama".

Intel® 2008 Awards: Teen Winners Make Amazing Contributions To Their Fields!

The three young women who won top awards for their "science projects" for the 2008 Intel® Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) each won $50,000 scholarships from the Intel Foundation as part of their awards. They are already at the level of Eve Curie! Take a look at their "science projects!"