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International

Shed Some Light On This: The Transforming, Energy Efficient Lamp

A Chinese college student has created an energy-saving lamp that brings in more light the bigger you make the lamp shade. And it has a smiley face!

Profile of Innovation: New Thinking About Cars with Think

With the message is "Don't just drive - THINK!", Think Global AS is being positioned as the car company of the 21st century. Their vision is to provide carefree, carbon-free mobility - a better way of moving

Married To Your Keyboard? Cool Number & Letter Scarves From The New Little Factory

What some people won't do for the love of numbers! If you're one of them, there's a micro suede, laser-cut Number Scarf at the Little Factory with your number on it.

Kool Boost Cigarettes Have a Ball with Menthol

Menthol cigarettes are loved by a fiercely loyal fan base, many of whom have fallen for Kool Boost. This Japanese smoke features a super-cool, squeezable menthol "powerball" in its filter which provides a blast of menthol flavor.

Caviar Substitute 'Cavianne' Saves Cash, Calories, Fish

Cavianne may do for caviar what margarine has done for butter... become an artificial substitute that approaches the original in both looks and flavor. It could also do something for caviar's source, the Caspian Sturgeon - chiefly, help save it from extinction.

Rain Parade Mini Umbrellas Help You Stand Out in a Cloud

Umbrellas don't just protect you from rain & sun, they also can be just plain fun! That's the idea behind these Rain Parade Mini Umbrellas from Japan.

Toyota Corolla Goes Electric...Sort Of

The Toyota Corolla has been a fine automobile since it's introduction in 1966. It has undergone several redesigns and hundreds of slight changes. Recently, a company based out of Finland decided it needed another change, but not nearly as subtly as some body lines. They plan on replacing the internal combustion engine with an all electric system.

Mangosteen, the Queen of Fruits!

Mangosteen, a small purple fruit relatively unknown outside of East Asia owing to its perishable nature, is about to make a big impact as a health enhancer. "Mangosteen Mania" has struck Japan - your country may be next!

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.