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International

Top Ten Strange Santas from Japan



Santa Claus is a recent feature of Christmas in Japan and sometimes a few details get lost in translation. Sometimes a LOT does, as our Top Ten Strange Santas from Japan so graphically illustrate!
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Skype Offers New High Quality Video as a Free Download


For anyone who has ever made video calls over the Internet, with a company such as Skype, you've no doubt gotten frustrated with the choppy 15 fps (frames per second) video that looks a lot like somebody doing the robot with a strobe light Background. Skype has found a solution to this problem with their latest version, Skype 3.6, which offers High Quality (HQ) video with 640 x 480 VGA-quality video at 30 fps. This is almost like viewing the video call in DVD quality. The best part is that the Skype download is free. Check out the difference in picture quality... read more »

ETree Floor Lamp is Way Cooler Than Traditional Christmas Trees


‘Tis the season for decorating the home with a tree of one kind or another, so why not ditch the traditional Balsam Fir and go with something a bit more modern? Forget the pine tree and instead surprise your family and friends by bringing home this extraordinary new ETree floor lamp...
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The Fine Art of Drinkable Art


Artist Hannes Broecker's installation of colorful blocks of drinkable art opened in Dresden, Germany earlier this week, enticing gallery attendees to partake of the fine art of drinking, alongside the mighty fine art itself. read more »

Bookshelf Chair Combines Comfort, Design and Efficiency



"The Cave", a unique combination bookshelf & chair by Japanese furniture designer Sakura Adachi offers booklovers a comfortable, womb-like space in which they can really become one with their reading material.
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Holiday Hairdos Hit Hong Kong


Christmas Holiday Hairdos: Source: Javno.comChristmas Holiday Hairdos: Source: Javno.com

Need that perfect look for this year’s holiday party? If you live in Hong Kong, getting a truly unique look just got a whole lot easier thanks to Spanish hair artists Sienta La Cabeza read more »

Cyber University First to Offer College Courses via Cell Phone



Is Japan's futuristic cell phone culture too cool for school? Not according to Softbank, a Japanese cell phone service provider who just began offering college courses on the company's cell phones.
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Plant-Based Filter Looks Cool and Cleans Air


French designer Mathieu Lehanneur and Harvard professor David Edwards have teamed up to bring us one step closer to cleaner air with their Bel-Air plant-based filter. This so-called "domestic spacecraft " utilizes the natural recycling qualities of the plant kingdom to absorb toxic compounds in the air, emitted by common household items. read more »

Cup of Communism With Your Salad? What One Chinese Restaurant Dares To Ask


A waiter dressed up in a vintage military uniform in the questionable bathroom: Source: China DailyA waiter dressed up in a vintage military uniform in the questionable bathroom: Source: China Daily

Asian innovation when it comes to interior design may not always be a good thing – as one Beijing restaurant recently proved. read more »

French Decanters Make Wine a Centerpiece


Don't know what to do with all that wine you've been saving for some long-awaited special occasion? Why not break out some of those vintage reds and allow them to adorn your home in these limited edition wine decanters designed by French sculptor Etienne Meneau? read more »

Japanese Team Invents Tiny Laser Light Powered Motor



A working motor powered only by laser light has been demonstrated by researchers at the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan. Light-powered motors will work in areas with high magnetic fields unsuitable for conventional motors, such as such as MRI medical scanners.
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Whale Curry Adds Spice to Japan's Traditional, Controversial Dish



Japan's renewed whaling activity has generated loud protests from the world at large. One wonders, just what is done with the meat from hundreds of "scientifically killed" whales? Japanese food company Asian Lunch offers a spicy solution, Whale Curry, though there's something fishy about efforts to curry favor with hungry diners!
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Are Super Trains Here to Rescue Our Futures?


General Atomics: The only MagLev in the USGeneral Atomics: The only MagLev in the US

Highways are becoming more congested by the day, and the skies aren't doing any better. And with pollution posing an additional problem, we are running out of options. Could the newest Steel-Wheel and MagLev trains be the answer? read more »

Scare the Kids This Christmas with Asia’s Oddest Amusement Parks


 

Asian innovation has taken the amusement park industry by storm in recent years, and here are a couple of my personal favorites which have made it on my “Places To See Before I Die” list, because while I am fairly certain about an afterlife, I struggle to grasp the existence of these real world locales. read more »

Used Condom Hair Bands: China Takes Recycling Too Far


American ladies are always on the prowl for fashion deals that will amp their appearance without breaking the bank. The same goes for women living in China, though unfortunately this Asian country has recently taken budget beauty a little too far. read more »

Newspaper Can Make Good Yarn Too


Imagine yourself one relaxing cold winter night in front of the fireplace. Your newspaper logs burn brilliantly in the fire. Your hot cup of organic chocolate coco cools down next to you on your favorite recycled wood end-table as you sit back and crochet your new rug out of newspaper yarn for your bamboo floor. read more »

Tanya Aguiniga's Art Crosses Into Funky


Tanya Aguiniga has some captivating ideas about contemporary furniture and accessory design, ranging from funky to quirky and everything in between. Currently based out of L.A., this young artist grew up crossing the border every day from Tijuana to go to school in San Diego. Her art is a reflection of that cultural line she walked growing up, and reflects the duality inherent within it... read more »

Cute Cleaning Robot Cleans Toilets While Chatting You Up



Cleaning grimy highway rest stops is a job barely fit for humans, but never fear: the disturbingly cute, talking Lady Bird robot will begin scrubbing Japanese public toilets in 2009!
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Lamponi Lamps Give Old Parts New Life


Milan-born designer Maurizio Lamponi Leopardi boldly states, "My lamps are not gadgets." Well, all right. I guess they hover more in the world of fine art, then? At the very least, they walk the line between restored iconic retro pieces and functional light sources, and could certainly be considered masterpieces by some... read more »

Matchlights: A New Twist on Playing With Fire


Now you can play with matches without fear of getting burned. Contemporary lighting concepts seem to know no end in their inherent coolness. I am continually amazed by the novel ideas that are constantly spilling forth from the minds of today's innovative artists. The "Matchlight", designed by Chetan Sorab, is just such a fresh concept in home lighting. read more »